Posts Tagged With: farm family

Organizing your New Year’s Resolutions into goals you can actually DO!

Its time!  The New Year is almost here and many of us, farmers, bankers, or candle stick makers, are planning our New Year’s resolutions.  And in about 45 days all that planning will account for nothing since most of us won’t stick with the  goals we’ve made for more than six weeks.  So today I’m going to show you a way to organize your New Year’s resolutions into goals you can actually do!

First, forget about your goals being for the “new year.”  These are goals for your life!  Sure, start today, but being flexible with your resolutions helps you to overcome setbacks.  Instead of waiting for next January when everything heads south, just pick a date and start again.

Second, break down your goals into steps.  “Get Healthy” is a great idea, but how are you going to do it?  Will you diet? Exercise?  Cleanse?  Take vitamins?

Third, get out your calendar.  I like the cheapie month-in-view from Wal-Mart, but chose what works for you and your life.  Cell phone, pocket calendar, desktop, kitchen calendar, whatever!  Then assign the steps to your goals to each month.

For example:

Organizing Your New Year's Resolutions into goals you can actually DO!  Going to keep them this year!

In the “notes” section of each month I wrote down a reminder of the steps to take towards my goal that month.  I divided my goals into various areas of my life, such as financial, spiritual, homeschool, etc.  My January goal for the farm is to research and pick out my new chicks and garden seeds.  For February I plan to build covers for my current garden boxes to protect the seeds from the chickens we already have and research and pick out a breed of sheep and guard dog.  In March I’ll build trellises for the garden boxes  and create pens for the sheep and dog, hopefully to be added to the farm soon after.  In April I’ll need a more permanent chicken coop and in May I want to purchase and set up rain barrels for both the animals and the garden.  All of these steps are aiming at my big goal of “Raise More of Our Own Food.”

In the next few weeks I’ll also take you through the steps we use to organize our life, farm, homeschool, and other obligations, so stay tuned, but in the mean time I’d love to hear your ideas for New Year’s Resolutions you can actually do!

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Farm Family Christmas

Christmas Farm Style

Rusty the snowman, was as hick as he could be,
with an old seed hat and a flannel shirt and two eyes made out of bolts.
But there must’ve been some magic in that orange Dew’ cap we found,
cause’ when we placed it for his nose he began to …dance around!
Oh, Rusty the snowman,
had to hurry on his way, saying
“Nascars on and my tree stands gone I’ve so much to do today!”
Bumpity bump bump, bumpity bump bump
Snowmen can haul hay?
Bumpity bump bump, bumpity bump bump
Did he take my Chevrolet???!!!!
Song by Daddy, snowman by Brett
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A Healthy Holiday Recipe!

You might think there isn’t much to do on a farm in the winter.  Well, you’d be thinking wrong!  Its bitterly cold today in Missouri, but there are some garden plants that don’t really care.  Spinach is one of my favorite veggies to grow year round.  All you need is a tray of dirt, your favorite spinach seeds, water and sunlight.  Oh!  And a spot indoors!

And then you need a recipe!

But let me say that just because my farm kids help grow the veggies doesn’t mean they’ll eat them!  So I created these green Christmas pancakes to entice my little ones to consume a bit more of those leafy greens.  It was an instant success!  So here’s to healthy holiday recipes!

These Healthy Christmas pancakes use spinach for a holiday green color!


Healthy Holiday Pancakes

Handful spinach leaves
3/4 cup buttermilk*
1/3 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup flour (I use 1/2 wheat, 1/2 white)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

*If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own by adding a teaspoon or so of lemon juice to plain milk and letting it set for about 5 minute.

Put spinach leaves in a blender, cover with buttermilk, applesauce, agave, egg and oil.  Blend until smooth.  In a mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients.  Add wet mixture to flour, stirring just until moist.  Add more flour if the mixture is too runny.  This will vary, based on how much spinach you use and how juicy the spinach is.  I also add about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to mine at this point to distract my kiddos.  Then pour onto a griddle and cook as usual.  Enjoy some holiday baking without the gilt!

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In Memory: Easy Chicken Nuggets!

The rooster’s time has come.  For months now he had been a happy, well-behaved bird.  But no more.  On Thursday he left a long red mark down my little girl’s arm, and on Friday he attacked my son.  So McChicken has become nuggets.  In his memory, here is the recipe for our favorite, easy chicken nuggets you can make at home.  Even if you have to purchase your chicken from the store :-).

Easy Chicken Nuggets

Weelicious Easy Chicken Nuggets

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Harvest Photographs

Harvest photograph

Harvest Photographs

Harvest Photographs

Harvest Photographs

Harvest photograph

These are a few of my favorite pics I snapped during harvest season this year.  l.eave me a message and tell me which is your favorite!



Categories: Science | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pumpkin Theme Ideas for Pre-school and Kindergarten

Pumpkin puzzle for pumpkin theme ideas

You may have read about the visitors to our farm a few weeks ago.  You may not have the opportunity to ride on a combine during harvest, but almost anyone can visit and farm this time of year!  Pumpkin patches abound with great opportunities for everyone to see bits and pieces of farm life.  And since we just did a homeschool unit about fall for my preschooler and kindergartener, here are some pumpkin theme ideas for you to use– and hopefully you can visit a pumpkin patch as well!

Of course, cutting open a pumpkin and playing with the seeds are a must.  But instead of carving a face, try these math and science ideas instead.

Clean the seeds, layer them on a baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with salt, and roast at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Eat and enjoy!

Pumpkin seeds, idea for pumpkin theme unit

OR put the seeds in a plastic tub and let the kiddos squeeze and squish the squash 😉

Make a pumpkin puzzle!  We tried a few different designs and the best puzzles were pumpkins cut in horizontal “slices.”  For older kids talk about how puzzle pieces lock together and have them help design the puzzle.  For little ones just cut simple waves around the pumpkin to be used like stacking rings.

Pumpkin puzzle, pumpkin theme ideas

Design a pumpkin patch of your own.  We made fall leaves with my cricut, added a variety of pretty pumpkins, painted pumpkin leaves and vines, added a plastic rake from our summer sand toys, and talked about the pumpkin life cycle.

Pumpkin patch, pumpkin theme ideas

And speaking of pumpkin life cycles, we designed our own pumpkin life cycle chart with a paper plate, a seed, and tissue paper flowers.

Throw bean bags into a pumpkin.

Make a pumpkin smoothie.

And then when you are done with the pumpkins, place pieces in a plastic tub (you’ll want a lid for this one!) and watch the pumpkin decompose.  We journaled about our observations in our science journal.

Observe pumpkin decay, pumpkin theme idea

Categories: Homeschool, Thematic Unit | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Farmers want you to know about Safety During Harvest

Harvest season is in full swing throughout the midwest.  As those tractors, carts, wagons, combines, head wagons, semis, augers, and pick-ups move from field to field, here are a few things farmers want you to know about safety during harvest!

Safety During Harvest

We don’t like it any better than you do, but sometimes farm equipment must drive on the highway.  Dealing with the slow-moving machinery that produces our food is just part of eating!  First, stay back for the sake of your vehicle– you don’t want beans smacking your window and the farmer can’t see you very well anyhow.

Be patient.  Most farm equipment won’t be driving on the highway for a long way.  As soon as a back road is available, the tractor or combine is probably going to turn off.

When you are traveling on a back road, keep a close eye out.  If you see a pick-up or car with flashing lights at the top of a hill watch out!  This is the signal to warn you that a large or slow-moving machine is coming towards you on the road.   Slow down or even stop and get as far over on the shoulder as you can.  Don’t ignore flashing lights!

Some neighborhoods are built where a field used to be and are still surrounded by farm ground.  Many farmers are happy to talk to families and kids about the equipment they drive or what they are doing, but never approach a farmer while he is driving.  Wait until he has fully stopped before you approach your neighbor to ask a question!

And never play on parked equipment!  Farmers sometimes need to leave combines and carts in the field over night and come back to finish later, but these are not giant toys!  But if you ask nicely you just might get a chance to sit in the driver’s seat with the help of the farmer!

So from our farm family to yours, be safe!

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A Taste of Farm Life



A taste of farm life

a taste of farm life

a taste of farm life

a taste of farm life

a taste of farm life

Try this taste of farm life– literally!  I’m not exactly sure why, but although anyone may can food at home, farm families tend to do a lot of it!  Fall is a busy time in the field, but it is also a busy time in the kitchen.  Tomatoes from the garden turn into salsa and crushed tomatoes for chili.  Peaches from a near-by orchard taste great as peach halves, peach butter, and peach sauce.  Apples from friends make lots and lots of yummy applesauce.  Any of these foods are readily available at your local grocery store or farmer’s market and believe me when I say they taste so much better than what you buy already canned!

Before you get started canning I suggest you make a plan.  Learn the steps for home canning from a cookbook, internet source, or canning book.  I like Blue Ball canning and Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  Check to see if you have all the supplies you need.  Most supplies can be purchased for little cost, but consider borrowing them if you have never done this before.  Then schedule a day when you won’t have to quit half way through the process.  I’m much faster now, but when I began canning it took most of the day and is still a big event in our house.

Applesauce is a great place to start, but crushed tomatoes are probably quickest.  Choose your favorite foods for best results and try a taste of farm life!

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Farm Living

Picking Cherries

What do you suppose farmers do when the planting is finished?  What keeps them busy when they aren’t harvesting?

Every farm is different, of course, but there is enough to do on every farm to keep a person hopping from sun up to sun down!  This picture shows our family working on an “off day” on our farm.  Having lots of wide open spaces means there is room for more than just soybeans, corn, and wheat.  We also enjoy the cherry tree– and picking those high up cherries farmers style!  Have you ever picked cherries?  They are in season now in grocery stores.  Try a bag and imagine picking each one!

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Compare and Contrast

Many family farmers live life just like anyone else.  We shop at grocery stores, check our e-mail, go to football games.  But some things are different on a farm.  For example, we walk almost half a mile to drop a letter in our mailbox or pick up our latest Netflix.  A “neighbor” may live more than a mile away.  And no one plants a sweet corn patch like a farmer!

compare and contrast the life of a family farm

This is a photo of Daddy, Brett and Anna planting the sweet corn patch.  This planter usually plants field corn, (which is NOT good for plain eating!) and is 16 rows wide.  Usually we fill the huge, yellow, bulk tanks on the top full with waxy seed corn.  This week we finished planting all our waxy corn, and that means its time to clean out the planter and switch to soybean seeds.  Before pouring in the soybeans, however, we can fill the small, yellow boxes on the planter with sweet corn seed and make a 100 foot pass at the end of the backyard.

compare and contrast life on a family farm

Then Daddy and the kids can plant, farmer style!

Based on the things you’ve learned from the blog so far, what ways do you think the life of a farm family is different from yours?  How is it the same?  Draw a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast.

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