At the Pumpkin Patch

I love Halloween. Actually, I just love fall and Halloween is a fun part of it. I waited until the last minute to run to the pumpkin patch with the kids. My youngest was a little panicked we weren’t going to make it. But the days have not been good for drying, so Brother didn’t have anything he needed me to do, so off we went. We grabbed Niece#4 to spend the day with us.

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As soon as they got there, they took off to pick the best pumpkin. It is very important to pick a good one!

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Thankfully there were lots of good ones to choose from!

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It’s pretty serious business and the discussions were pretty intense between these two. They looked over everything trying to find the one they liked the best.

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With the pumpkins finally chosen and delivered up to the table to be weighed, they were off to the other fun waiting for them!

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The corn pit was especially fun. Even better when your other cousin shows up! Of course they went to visit the face painter first. She does a pretty good job making up whatever they want. Of course, since the face painter happens to be my daughter, I might be biased.

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There was a lot of rolling, digging, falling and burying.

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But really, what is more fun than rolling in corn?

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He tried to bury himself, he did better burying his brother.

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See the face laying beside him? Yeah, that’s Landon. This wasn’t quite good enough.

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Ahhh, that’s better. He loved it. They spent a lot of time in the corn.

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Denton stayed down in the corn pit for most of the time we were there. Who knew how much fun a corn pit could be.

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The other two boys went to play Yard Jenga. They thought this was pretty tricky.

Us girls decided to try Yard Yatzee.

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This I think we are going have get. It was pretty fun.

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They even had a pretty neat Yatzee scorecard.

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We didn’t finish completely. But it was a fun time in some beautiful weather.

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So then we took a break and had dinner. Pulled pork sandwiches, chips, pickle and drink. Pretty tasty little picnic food.

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Then we were off for a hay ride! Up the loading chute to find a seat.

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The whole crew! They even let the face painter join us.

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It’s so peaceful out at Eden Hills. We got to peak at the new girl llamas and all the other goats. Traveled around looking at the scenery.

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It’s just pretty and relaxing out on a hayrack going the speed of tractor.

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This smile makes the long day worth it. Loved her butterfly face.

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Just being silly. There was a lot of that through out the day.

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My three kiddos. The sun might have been in their eyes!

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Of course you can’t leave without visiting the market. They had some gourds! So cool and so many different types and colors.

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I could have spent a lot more than I did. I love these old windows with the string and clothes pins. My problem is I have 3 wall hangings at home that I haven’t found a place for yet. So I will wait on these. For now. But I want one!

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This building is full of fun crafts from local artists. And they truly are artists. There are some very talented people from my town. One does wood working, I really want a birdhouse. That will be a one of these days things. There is one that does horseshoe and metal art. I got a couple things from her. A horseshoe cross and a moon and star. Another one does crafts with things from nature. I loved her little wooden pumpkins, and the pumpkins made from old books. She even took some of the metal art from the other artist and incorporated it into a new piece. Another one made earrings, dream catchers and beautiful Indian corn decorations out of feathers and all kinds of things found in nature. They really are beautiful. I got a few of them for teacher gifts. Of course there is all the goat milk soap, lotion, candles, locally raised popcorn, handmade snacks and jams, and local honey. Just a lot of fun things! If you are in the area, make sure to make a point to make it. It is truly fun for all ages! And if you didn’t make it out but are wanting to check out some of the fun craft and gift ideas, the On the Farm Market will be open on Saturdays starting the Saturday before Thanksgiving. You should check it out at Eden Hills.

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Of course the most important part of going to the pumpkin patch is carving the pumpkins. The boys did a good job, carving them mostly themselves this year. I love carving pumpkins, mostly because I love making pumpkins seeds!

 

 

Joking with Mom

Mom tends to be a worrier. I tend to be a joker. Mom went to visit her dear friends in Minnesota for the week. While she was gone, it rained 2+ inches. I sent her a text.

“You lost a branch in your driveway”

She told her friends. They were all concerned about damage and the mess. Then I sent her this picture.

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“I will work on cleaning it up before you get here.” 

All I got in response…

“Very funny”

I did have to tell her the main reason I even sent it was Niece#5 was so concerned that Gramma wouldn’t even be able to get home. Mind you, Brother and I both just drove in the driveway past the ‘Branch’. I think she could have made it, but I cleaned up the big mess so Niece#5 didn’t have to worry about it.

I Cubs

So instead of trying to get everyone an individual Christmas present, my Grandma Beavers get the family a skybox and tickets to our local Minor League baseball team the Iowa Cubs.

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My boys love baseball and are always pretty excited to go.

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We ended up with pretty good seats, right behind home plate.

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The boys didn’t really move from here. They loved it.

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Of course, their buddy got to go with them and that always makes everything better.

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Most of the gang watching.

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Madelyn was kept busy with the little girls. They seem to really like her! It’s nice to get together with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and their kids. We don’t do it as often as when we were kids, so it’s nice to have the chance to catch up.

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I don’t know about everyone else, but one of mine ended up cashing out on the way home. Guess all that excitement was just to much!

 

Cleaning out the bin

Today Brother was finishing hauling corn from the bin at Mom’s. Since he is the trucker, that leaves me as the cleaner outer. Ok, maybe cleaner outer isn’t actually a word or a position, but I am going with it.

He of course had everything set up, because he and Mom had been hauling out of this bin since last week.

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Bin to the auger. And here you can see my watchers. Mom and Niece#5 are tasked with watching me and the grain cart.

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We fill the grain cart then when Brother returns he fills the truck and goes again while we continue to fill the grain cart.

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Doesn’t seem like much left.

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The sweep auger does most of the work. It takes the corn to the auger out of the bin. I just have to make sure it is still going around, and clean up behind it.

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It’s not the best look, but it sure helps with the dust.

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My watchers took their job pretty seriously. Checking on me regularly.

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It didn’t take long to get it cleaned out.

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Once done, I sweep the floor up and the bin is all clean.

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Once we got everything covered and put away, I headed home to clean up.

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Because it’s that time of year! First Cross Country meet of the season. There she goes! Madelyn ran really well and placed 4th on her team. I am so proud of her. I should also mention that I am really proud of Niece#3. After her surgery and long recovery, she has been cleared to run. This was her first high school meet and the first time this season she ran the whole 3.12 miles. And she did it! Ran the whole thing and finished! Good job girls.

 

 

State Fair Again

So we went back to the fair again. This time we took the whole gang. Well, 3 of Sisters kids and my 3, Sister and BroInLaw, and Mom of course.

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The chicken barn was full of beauties, this skinny legged one was a favorite!

 

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Boys by the giant pumpkin!

 

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This is the Agricultural Building. Full of variety of associations and other groups having to do with ag.

 

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Mom and I getting our Selfie on!

 

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The Butter Cow is always a favorite of crowds. This year they had Star Trek figures also.
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My favorite exhibit, Bonsia Trees! This one is 95 years old!
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Niece#4 liked the plow horse made entirely of farm tools and parts.

 

 

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The whole crew!

 

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Chow time! Tenderloins are Landon’s favorites
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The Avenue of the Breeds is always one of our favorite stops!

 

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Kune kune pig

 

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Massive Elk

 

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Jacob’s lamb

 

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I don’t know what kind these tiny cows are, but cute!

 

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Sicilian African Donkey

 

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Fred, the big boar. 1155 pounds of pork!
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A Belgian, he’s a big dude.

 

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Denton seeing how close he is to as tall as the big horses.
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Learned something new! This is a flag display that is either new or we have missed. So we went to check it out. Apparently, each county in Iowa has their own flag, we found all three of ours. It’s a really pretty place.

 

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BIG SLIDE!! I didn’t get everyone in the picture, partly because they race to the bottom and I have to record it so we know who won. Landon won this year.

 

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Denton liked this tractor in the FFA Farm Tractor display.

 

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We stopped and caught a magic act while Mom and Sister did a little shopping.

 

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Yes, they got me on the Sky Glide. Other than a cool view, I don’t love it. I am more of a feet on the ground kind of girl, but I will pretty much do anything for my kids.
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It’s a terrifying way to end your day at the fair. Ok maybe I am being a little dramatic.

The State Fair is fun for everyone. If you want a snapshot of what Iowa has to offer, it’s there. They say Great Food, Great Fun, Great Friends. Yup Sums it up pretty good. Until next year!

Walking Beans

We might be old fashion but that’s ok. I like old fashion. Technology is great, but sometimes nothing beats good old fashion hard work. This is one of those times. Brother has tried spraying, but certain weeds just don’t respond to spray anymore. Like lambs quarter and water hemp. They might be stunted, but then they almost always come back stronger.

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We started in the big field. We are a little short of help this year due to Niece#3 having surgery earlier this summer and Niece#2 having a stress fracture in her leg. I know they are really disappointed at not being able to help.

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But Niece#5 was there helping! She doesn’t take up many rows but she is learning and trying.

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Niece#4 was there and did a really good job. You can barely see her, just her red hat as she is bent down pulling a tough one while Denton takes a break. Big Nephew got in on one day before he leaves for the start of Football season.

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Denton and I working? He did the whole field with us, which with half mile rows makes a mile a round. We figure we made about 10 rounds yesterday.

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He was a trooper. Only complained a little mostly about being tired, which we all were, but it was a great day to get a field knocked out.

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This is how you hold your hook evidently. Landon struggled a little but I think that had more to do with being tired than anything. You should have seen the energy these kids had after we were done.

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Dinner time in the field with the whole crew. Brother, Mom, Big Nephew, Nieces#4 and #5, my 3 kids, Neighbor and Neighbor’s Grandson made a pretty good little group. We ended up about 3 rows short of finishing. One thing Mom is very talented at is packing a meal in a field for a crew.

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We have a couple fields left and are hoping to knock them out early this week before more rain.

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Little nephew doesn’t get to spend the whole day in the field. But he sure is excited when he gets there. Especially to see his dad. Brings tears to my eyes remembering how Brother ran to Dad this way. It’s great when your hero is the guy at the end of your row.

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One of my favorite statements Brother has told the kids when they complain that walking beans is the worst thing ever, “if you can do the worst job in the world well, everything for the rest of your life should be easy”. Each year the kids get better and better at it, watching Big Nephew patiently coax his sister along and check on her shows that they do grow out of the complaining stage and become leaders in the field.

Sounds (or Sights) for the soul

My mom has always had the most beautiful way with words. She said this about the sounds of spring…”The sounds early in the morning, birds singing, geese calling, calves looking for their mothers, beautiful sounds. Sounds for the soul.”

She honestly couldn’t be more right. They are sounds for the soul. They are good for the soul. I needed spring to come. I look so forward to the beautiful sights and sounds of this amazing season. For watching the earth come back to life after a long grey winter. So today, enjoy a few sights for you soul.

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Yeah, I needed that. I hope everyone is enjoying this Mothers Day. I am so blessed to have a beautiful mother, inside and out. I am also blessed to still have my wonderful Grandmothers, who are 95 and 92 years young.

Being a mother is the greatest blessing that I have in my life. I try to be sure to count my blessings everyday, but today I will sit back and bask in the glory of this beautiful blessing today.