Thursday, July 26, 2012

God Bless the Workin' Man

I sat and thought and thought about some cute title, many song lyrics came to mind, from Alabama's 40 Hour Week, to Brooks and Dunn's Hard Workin' Man and many of the popular 'farm themed' country songs............then I thought of ballads, because I do love that man A LOT!
I would like to take you through a day with my husband. His alarm goes off at 5:25am, I know this not because I pop right out of bed with him, I think anyone who knows me, knows that I can get to 5 am way easier than I can start there! He starts his morning off with and the markets, checking out the auction websites and craigslist while eating a bowl of cereal, I promise you this is his preferred breakfast. His stomach doesn't like bacon and eggs that early and eating cereal promises that no one else has to be involved, awake and talking to him. Out the door moments after 6 to start his day. Animals are fed. Sick ones doctored, currently there's a calf who injured its leg and redresses the leg each morning. Then on to maintenance, whether its a tire that needs fixed, equipment that needs to be adjusted or greased, he gets everything ready for the day. This is of course summer time when he doesn't have to make sure everyone else is up (slightly altered schedule during the school year, he probably doesn't go out till 6:15...... )
Once things are ready to go, and by this time Jason (brother in law) has done his morning chores, they begin their day. This last week it has been chopping silage. By mid morning (this week) Cody is back home from football camp, Sam has drug himself out (he's kinda like his momma about mornings) and they pack some drinks and head out. Several loads are chopped, hauled and packed before lunch. Most of the time work stops for lunch. After the meal a quick siesta is had, AKA 20-30 minute power nap.

(OMG----it's raining outside! YAY! Sorry to get off subject, but wow!)

After lunch its back at it, David does the chopping, Jason does the packing and helps with unloading the wagons and truck. The hauling is done this year by a combination of Cody, Sam, Beth, today me, and Luke helped over the weekend. We are about to fill our bunker silo, so there will be some adjustments to switch over to the upright, the blower will need to be gotten out, etc.......

Today as I helped, I couldn't help but mentally add up all the different jobs David does. He makes marketing decisions, considers upgrades on equipment, veterinary work, shop work, repairs, the 'skill jobs' (makes me think of Cody talking about skill positions in football) keeps in his mind what he planted when and where, the variety it was, everything you ever or never needed to know about all of our tractors, combines and pieces of equipment, what grain is in the bins, whether its been checked recently, when he mowed the alfalfa last and will it be ready to be mowed again, when to move the bulls to the summer pasture, which group of cows have calved, should be calving soon, etc etc........ he blows my mind.

He can fix anything, of this I am pretty sure. We broke a brace on the silage chopper that braces the blower. He stopped, got the pickup, pulled underneath it and monkey-ed up the thing, had it off of there and we were headed to the house before I much more than got asked the silly question of can you fix it? You would think 22 years and 12 days into this thing, I would know better....... measuring tape, piece of scrap iron, cutting torch, the grinder, a chalk mark for the bolt hole needed, another drill, little more grinding, then it was hold this, close your eyes, I am gonna weld............waaa laaa....... he fabricated a new 'end' to the brace and back to the field we went.

I know that when he proposed to me, I knew I loved him, when we got married, I knew I loved him, when we had babies---loved him........... I am pretty sure that I had no idea how that love would grow exponentially, year by year, day by day.........hour by hour. Heck I even drove for him chopping silage and while I could tell from the body language I was frustrating the crap out of him, stupid dirty windows, sun glare.........yeah I have excuses. He called me on his way to a meeting, that he was probably late to, trying to get 'one more 5 minute job' done, to make sure I had everything under control while he was going to be gone and to say he loves me.

(BTW, rain already stopped........sigh)

Waiting up for my sweetie,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Some amazing people.........

This summer as our family has worked hard getting crops planted, hay baled and now silage chopped. We have had the privilege to see some amazing things among the groups of people we spend time with. Our rural country church had vacation bible school in June. For their daily offering, the kids generally pick a charitable organization to contribute to. This year the Central Missouri Food Bank's 'Buddy Pack' program was chosen. This story starts back long before VBS, as many of you know our kids go to church with, are in 4H with, ride the school bus with, etc etc etc the same set of kids mostly. Last fall our 4H club was presented with a program on the Buddy Pack program by a good friend of mine, Shelley Becker. She works at the food bank as their grant writer. While the parents were concerned that maybe the facts and figures were over their heads.........those kids turned around and the next meeting planned to go and volunteer at the Food Bank. One day after school the moms gathered everyone up and we went to the food bank and made some huge amount of Buddy Packs up, I wanna say about 400, in less than an hours time. The kids were thrilled, amazed and ready to go back and help again. The Buddy Pack program is near and dear to the kids' heart. They see some of their classmates helped by this program weekly throughout the school year. It makes their hearts feel good to know that they could help with their own skills in a program that they see working. The Buddy Pack program is a bag of food sent home in backpacks every Friday throughout the school year with nonperishable easy to prepare foods that are healthy for the kids to eat. This helps families who would otherwise struggle to feed their kids. I don't know the actual percentage, but I know as a substitute teacher, in a class of 20-ish students, I have seen as many as 5 or 6 qualify in a classroom. We are so thankful to live in an area that works so hard to help families with kids, get them fed! Now fast forward to summer, with that memory of helping in their minds, when asked what group could we help with our VBS offering, they shouted in unison---Buddy Packs!!! And helped they did!! I takes around $180 per kid to sponsor this program through the school year, and I think at last count its getting close to 9,000 kids that are helped in the central Missouri region. Well 30 Tulip VBS students and their families, raised $740 dollars in a weeks worth of offerings to pay a yrs worth for 4 kids to get Buddy Packs, plus a little extra!
If that was amazing enough to witness, remember how I talked about my kids hanging with the same kids in about everything that they do? Well another project my good friend Shelley is involved in is the Central Missouri Honor Flight, which takes WW2, Korean and Vietnam War veterans to Washington DC to see their monuments and to just honor them and thank them for their service to this country. This spring we had Shelley back to a 4H meeting and another program was shared, this time on the Honor Flight. After watching this program the kids thought it would be great to try and help this group as well. It was decided that we would raffle off a quilt to try and raise money to sponsor a veteran to go on this Flight. Having been given a lot of scraps by my quilting friend Dee and after going through my own stash, I came up with the idea to do a 'Patriotic' quilt, we were selling the tickets around the 4th of July, it was to raise $$$ for veterans, it seemed like the thing to do. After getting the quilt pieced, I sent to another friend of mine Jan who has a long arm quilting business. She quilted it for us. When I went to pick it up, instead of a bill there was a note that said, 'If it wasn't for 4H I probably wouldn't be sewing as a business, 4H was a big part of my life growing up and I am so proud of what you all are doing, so I am donating the quilting at no charge!' What a wonderful woman, she's that anyway, but wow, what a great way to help. During the local fairs, our 4h members sold tickets and the quilt was drawn for at the end of our county fair. The winner is already enjoying it at her house. We added up the ticket sales and found that not only do we have enough to sponsor a veteran (takes about $300) we are just a few dollars short of sponsoring TWO VETERANS..........I mentioned that on facebook the other day and I think that through more friends, we will be ready to send the Central Missouri Honor Flight a check for $600 from our 4H club.
Now as anyone who pays attention to anything at all, you know things aren't good with the economy, haven't been for a while now, certainly this summer's drought has been rough on farmers in many areas. I would guess 90% of people involved in these two projects are rural people and several were involved in both projects, with a little hustle we were able to help two very worthy causes. And what we have gotten out of these experiences have been amazing. So proud of our friends, neighbors and family. Thank you for reaching into your hearts and finding ways to help others even when much wasn't to be found in your own pockets. You are amazing!

Links to the Charities I mentioned are:

Wishing the silage chopping would get rained out,
From Tulip~