Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Blog Year In Review

Well, I have officially finished my first year of blogging.  At times I didn't blog as much as I wanted to or blog about different events and topics that I wanted to, but in the end I'm very happy with what I have accomplished.  I have really enjoyed blogging this year and look forward to the New Year of blogging.

I want to say thank you to everyone that has followed my blog over the past year.  It has been great connecting with family and friends, as well as new friends I have made from across the country through this experience.  I hope to expand my network of followers in the new year by having content worthy blogging that attracts a variety of viewers.

I got an idea from "From small-town Iowa girl, to big-city Ag lawyer" (@eburnsthompson) to share my "Year in Review" statistics from my blog.  In 2012 I found the time to put together 122 posts for this blog, that got 16,537 views from 10 different countries.  The most popular posts for the year included:

  1. Rules of a Farm Wife (Spring Edition)
  2. Rules of a Farmer (How to Have a Happy Farm Wife)
  3. Cy's Cook Off - Cardinal & Gold Cream Cheese Burger
  4. My 100th Blog Post!!!
  5. When Life Makes You Slow Down
Thanks again for your support this past year during my first year of blogging.  May you and your family have a blessed New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Walking through Sand instead of Snow for a few days

Enjoying a beautiful December day on the beach, with my feet in the sand....

LP and My Farmer's feet in the sand
Wait - that doesn't sound right!  December means celebrating Christmas and playing in the snow, not relaxing in the sand.  Well, this year I've been able to do it all.  My Farmer, LP and I just got back from a few days in Miami, where we celebrated and participated in My Farmer's sister's wedding.

My Farmer's Sister and her new Husband at their wedding reception
My Farmer and I during his sister's wedding reception
LP having fun at the wedding reception
(LP enjoyed not having to wear shoes for the beach wedding I think most of all!)
I don't have too many photos from the actual wedding day because I was busy with everything involved with being the matron-of-honor.  But I do have pictures from other things we did in Miami, including some "firsts" for LP.  

My Farmer and LP getting ready for LP's first plane ride
LP did a great job both ways of the flight
LP playing in the sand for the first time during the rehearsal
A quick family photo after the rehearsal
LP playing the ocean for the first time
LP having fun in the ocean
LP playing in the sand
Enjoying our time in the ocean
We had a great time in Miami and we were all honored to be apart of such a special wedding.  We wish My Farmer's sister and husband a blessed and life-long marriage!

An ocean view (and backdrop for the wedding ceremony)
A night-time view from the reception area

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas From My Family to Your's

Merry Christmas!  We had a great time with family the last couple of weeks celebrating Christmas.  Here are a few photos (from the tons I took) to show you a little of what and where we've been.  I hope you and your family enjoyed celebrating as much as we did!

LP and My Farmer on a very cold and windy day picking out our Christmas tree

LP playing with his new tractor with wagon and corn stalk bailer

LP opening gifts from My Farmer & I and Santa Clause

LP posing with some of his gifts
(including cheese blocks from a  meat and cheese gift box from a landlord)

LP was one lucky boy and got a pedal tractor
(LP also got a motorized tractor and wagon for Christmas too - that'll be fun this summer)

LP and My Farmer opening gifts (and wearing gifts) at my grandparent's house

What does a farmer truly get excited about:
a new pair of Muck boots, a  new  Carhartt sweatshirt and a new Leatherman

Our only family photo from Christmas...  I'll work better on that next year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Update

Wow!  I have not been good about blogging since Thanksgiving!  I guess, just like all of you, I've gotten busy with getting ready for Christmas, going to Christmas parties, directing our Children's Christmas program at church, etc.  Plus we've been busy with things for my sister-in-law's wedding that is at the end of the month.  I know I don't have to explain being busy during December.  December always seems to be a busy month.

To brighten your day, I thought I'd share some of our Christmas card photo out-takes from this year.  For the last four years since My Farmer and I got married, we've taken a Christmas Card photo in front of our west wind break using the self-timer on my camera every year.  It is one of our Christmas traditions.  Here's a look at this year's Christmas card photo:

Looks like our dog Bailey would rather look at us than the camera.
(This seems hard to explain to her every year...
Bailey you have to look at that random camera on tri-pod in the middle of the yard, not us.
This ones great, both LP and Bailey are not wanting to look at the camera.
LP and Bailey talking to each other - "Hey Bailey, how are you doing?"
It's not just our dog Bailey and LP that make a photo not a keeper.
Not sure how both My Farmer's and my eyes were both closed on the same photo?
And the winner!
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Santa Visits

My Farmer and I thought visiting Santa might not go the best this year - LP is at the stage that it takes him awhile to warm up to people.  So we decided to try to visit Santa when he came to the library, because one of LP's favorite places to go is the library:

LP visiting Santa at the Library
As you can see he wasn't the biggest fan when we wanted him to sit on his lap.  So we figured we'd try one more time when Santa was at our local fire station.  LP actually knows Santa, so we thought it might go a little better:

LP visiting Santa at the Fire Station
It did go a little better...  It must be the red suit!  We figure these pictures will be priceless someday!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

RIP The Best Farm Dog A Family Could Ask For

I feel like farmers don't like to admit how attached they get to their farm dogs - after all  they're suppose to just be helpers on the farm, right?  But like probably your dogs at home, they become members of the family.  Yesterday morning, my family felt the loss of our dog, Dolly Freckles Krumm.

Dolly September 2008
Dolly passed away yesterday morning at the age of 18 and a few months - which I figured out to be probably about 129 years old in dog years.

Dolly and I November 2003
Seventeen years ago my family adopted Dolly, as she was a rescue dog and spent the first year of her life starved with no shelter and chained up.  Technically Dolly was my youngest sister's dog, but she became the family's dog at the same time.

Dolly and my youngest sister August 1995
Dolly and my youngest sister November 2009
Over the last day my whole family has been thinking of many memories we all have of Dolly and we all figure she just must have lived for so long because of all the love she gave us and we gave her.

Dolly playing on top of a snow drift January 2001
Eighteen years is an unbelievable amount of time for any dog to live, but especially one whose first year of life was so horrible.  Think about that, eighteen years old.  That's like you getting a puppy when your child is first born and for them living through their senior year in high school!  Or for me, it was the summer after 3rd grade through me getting married and having a little boy who loved Dolly as much as I did.

Dolly sleeping on Christmas Day (inside the house!) December 2009
(I guess you could say we all got a little soft and let her in the house the older she got...)
LP petting Dolly in one of her favorite sleeping spots November 2011
I wanted to conclude with a poem my youngest sister wrote yesterday in memory of Dolly:

You were there for me since I was eight,
When I first met you I knew it was fate.
A second life I was determined to give you,
And through these 18 years both of us grew.
From playing sports, hunting and playing dress-up,
You were always such an amazing pup!
Such great memories with you I can't pick just one,
We always had so much fun!
You will always be close and dear to my heart,
I'll never truly feel like we are apart.
I'll meet you again someday in heaven,
You can wait for me chasing bunnies and eating bacon.
I'm very sad to see you go but know life must come to an end, 
Your time here on earth you were my best friend.

Dolly with my sisters and I on the trampoline Summer 1996
Dolly with my sisters and I on Christmas Day 2004
Dolly and all the "kids" at Christmas 2007
My youngest sister with Dolly and
me with our dog Bailey when she was a puppy May 2008
My Mom, Sisters and I with Dolly November 2009
My youngest sister with Dolly and her other dog Lobo May 2012

Blog Photos Are Back!

Some of you may have noticed that my last blog post had no photos on it.  Well this was due to me running out of free photo space on my blog.  (I didn't even know there was photo limit space for a blog!)  Well I decided I wasn't going to take the easy way out and just buy extra photo space - I was going to find a way to continue sharing photos for free!  So I contacted some social media friends and received a link to this great website about using photo sharing sites to embed photos in your blog from Judi Graff.  Thank you Judi for all your help!  I now am using Photobucket and once again have photos for my blog once again!

Be sure to check out my updated Thanksgiving Weekend Wrap-up post now with photos!  Photos just help tell the story so much more.  Here is one of my favorite photos from the post.  It is of My Farmer blowing up a pumpkin with tannerite in it.  I was happy I caught the photo just at the right time and was able to get an action shot of the pumpkin blowing up!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend Wrap-up

What a Thanksgiving holiday weekend!  We battled through the flu, had a great time with lots of family and I'm over 50% done with my Christmas shopping!

Our first big Thanksgiving celebration was on Thanksgiving Day at my in-laws.  This is where we had the big Thanksgiving Dinner with not only My Farmer's family but part of my family too.  Thanksgiving Dinner included lots of great food, great times talking with family and blowing up pumpkins with tannerite.

My sister-in-law and mother-in-law with all the great food
before people started eating it (well at least most of it!)

LP with his giant plate of food at Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving Dinner - Post Full Stomachs
Catching up with family - My Farmer talking with one of his Uncles
My Farmer blowing up a pumpkin with tannerite in it
Can't forget the dessert!
Following the big Thanksgiving Dinner, the rest of my family came up to our house and my Mom, sisters and I got busy finalizing our Black Friday shopping lists and plan of attack for the night/morning/day.

My side of the family Thanksgiving night
Nine years ago we started Black Friday shopping because of a college writing assignment, I was suppose to experience something new and write about it!  This year was a new record for us, we Black Friday shopped from 8:30pm to 2pm - that is 17.5 hours!  We were all exhausted by the end of the day but we just have so much fun Black Friday shopping!  Also, another fun note about Black Friday this year - we had snow flurries!  No snow stuck to the ground but it was fun driving from store to store listening to Christmas music and watching the snow fall from the sky!

Me in my TGIBF shirt
Thank God It's Black Friday!
Waiting in line at our first store of the night - Target
Got all of our stuff and Wal-Mart, plus "ordinary" items too
(I came home with some paper plates...)
This little boy was tired at Kohl's
(His family was going home after they checked out thankfully)
End of the car ride was a tight fit for those in the back seat
Couldn't see out the back end of the car by the end of the day!
Then on Saturday most of our family left, with the exception of one of my sisters who ended up getting the flu so she stayed at our house, since we had already had the bug make a run through our family.  I guess you could say we quarantined her at our place.  On Saturday, I also made a quick trip into our county seat to do a little bit of shopping for Small Business Saturday.

And then yesterday ended a long but fun weekend with afternoon naps for the whole household after church and my first glass of egg nog of the season!  Plus, I started early on my Cyber Monday shopping!

Mmmm Egg Nog!
We feel very blessed this Thanksgiving and hope you all had a great Thanksgiving too.  What was your favorite part of the Thanksgiving weekend this year?