Wednesday, December 11, 2013

So what's going on in your world? It sure is busy in mine..........

That's not the exact line of the George Strait song, I believe he mentions being I lonesome, shoot no. Busy, up to my eyeballs, kinda like normal. No big shocks there, right folks? For those who may not know, there have been many changes in life as we know it at H&K Farms...............Here's a little run-down:

  1. Oldest child has been away at his first semester of college, left days after my last post and I haven't posted since, no that's not my plan, but sometimes life gets in the way.........on a similar note, he has one more final to take in the morning and will be headed home for Christmas break. He goes back in January as a Sophomore..........thud, yeah it makes me feel old. 
  2. I have entered the working world. I did it for a lot of reasons. First off, it just makes sense, our kids are old enough to allow me to be gone some and they are at school all day everyday. I feel blessed to be able to relieve a little of the financial burden of our large family from The Farmer. And its afforded us the ability to offer some extras that we feel are important to our family. 
  3. Still subbing at school once in a while. The job I am mainly doing isn't even the first job I took this fall. I worked as temporary employee at a small dog show production company. I am not sure that's what they call it, but that's my best attempt at describing it. They are affiliated through the AKC. They produce (do all the nuts and bolts required) dog shows all over the country, but primarily in the Midwest. I helped with logging entries, creating the rosettes given as prizes and the creation of the catalogs and just a little bit of everything. I enjoyed the work. I loved spending time in the town I grew up in, with people I grew up with. It only ended up being a temporary thing, and it was probably for the best. I got my feet wet rejoining the working world, gave me a transition time to get used to making things work at home while not being here as much. My kids eased into the change. 
  4. Now I am an office support staff person for a real estate agency. Is this my life long dream? Not sure. Do I like it? Too new to it to know. Is it satisfying work? Yes. I am loving bringing home 'the bacon' wish the drive wasn't so long and that I could iron some of the rough spots that aren't exactly gelling but its a process, right?
  5. Our middle son is playing HS sports, we enjoyed an awesome fall of football, with him literally playing on all three levels, Freshman, JV and Varsity. Now wrestling season has begun, and he's starting to really shine. Will be a GREAT winter of watching him on the mat. 
  6. As far as writing, you all obviously realize I haven't blogged, much, like at all, lately. But that doesn't mean I haven't been writing. I have.............I have the beginnings of about 4 short stories in the works, trying to tweak them and add to them. I am considering publishing them. With media available in so many forms and self-publishing an option in some formats, its something I am considering. While I am working on the finishing touches of these stories, I am already outlining a personal story, that I am intending to write for my kids and family. I am doubting its anything that I would ever publish, strictly a labor of love. 
  7. As you also know, sewing or more specifically quilting is also a love of mine. I have combined that love with my writing skills and have a pattern that I am hoping to publish and potentially sell in the new year. 
Well as you can see, while I have been on a short hiatus in the blogging world, I certainly haven't been without my usual set of many irons in the fire. Looking forward to adding the blogging iron on a more regular basis. With the holidays approaching I would like to wish all of our followers, family and friends a truly Blessed and Merry Christmas.

Staying up too late but missing my blog and wanting to say a quick hello,

From Tulip~



Saturday, August 17, 2013


Since we are over half way through the month and I haven't managed to post one entry, and it looks like that theme could likely continue, I thought the title was appropriate. What a month it has been, what a month it will be. August is one of those months of change. Some years its something I look forward to, some years not so much. I remember as a kid, I was one of those kids who looked forward to school starting. Another childhood memory was attending the State Fair with my best friend and camping with her grandparents there. 24 years ago, this was a very emotional month. I went to college, four hours from home. I was a homesick kid.

I didn't miss the State Fair that year. In fact those few days were highlights of my summer, that year. As we walked around the fairgrounds a few nights ago, I was transported in my mind to a time when The Farmer and I walked the fairgrounds together, hand in hand. That part was still the same, but this time we had two of our four kids in tow. We talked about the conversation that would forever change both of our lives. At the MO State Fair August of 1989, sitting on a FFA kids' trailer project was the first time we talked about getting married. For anyone who wonders why the State Fair is so special to me, that conversation is a big reason why.

The only State Fair in recent memory that I did not attend was 19 years ago. I was VERY, VERY pregnant with our oldest son. I keep reminding myself that in a few weeks he will be as old as I was when I got married and had my own household and that the trip to take him to school is the next step and that he is ready for it. Although he is, I am not sure I am. Had my first of likely many 'take your breath away' crying moments this morning just thinking about what is ahead. I sure hope he's tougher than me. But I will also admit, I hope when he is done, he comes back home and stays close.

As I sat thinking about this blog, there were so many things that I wanted to talk about, which of course is the reminder that I haven't blogged nearly often enough. I know that the above paragraphs are kind of rambling and almost garbled, so sorry. Feeling kind of a mess right now. So, I will close with some pictures that will at least update you a little on what all THIS August has been about.

Seth's first year in 4H and Cody's last year in 4H, sigh......

8yr olds pose for pictures, 14 yr olds, not so much

Practicing fitting technique, smh.....

Serious little show woman! 

While there are a million more other things that I could write and post pics of, August isn't over, maybe I will get a chance to share more stories.

Savoring the last moments of summer,

From Tulip~



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Local Fair Wrap-Up, only 16 days since my last post~YIKES!!!!

Hey there friends,

Did you wonder what happened to us? Well guess no more, here comes a barrage of pictures and misc random facts about the wanderings of this Farm family for the last 2 weeks or so............... Why have I been MIA? Well its Fair Season, kinda similar to any other sports season, long hours, hard work, but oh so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!

It started where I started, Sturgeon........ The little town I grew up in a few miles away was our first show of the season. We took 6 head of cattle, 4 steers, 2 heifers. That night Cody showed a steer and a heifer, Sam showed 2 steers, Jenna showed a steer and Seth showed a heifer; take a look.

After their bath, they get tied to a tree in the yard. 

How many kids does it take to fit a calf?

Every job needs a Supervisor, right?

Getting ready to head into the ring. 

Such ferocious beasts, and the calf looks wild too! ;) 

Cody's last year and Seth's first year in 4H 

Wondering what mischief inspired this big smile?!?!?

Jenna Claire workin' the stick, doing her thing. 

The Sturgeon Cattle Show actually happens while the Centralia Fair is going on, which means that we had fair 'duties' before and after that show. We had helped get ready for the fair, checked in building exhibits, etc. Then the day AFTER the Sturgeon Cattle show was the Centralia Cattle Show. The Farmer and I used to be Chairmen of this, but when our kids became old enough to show, we passed the torch, so to speak. Now The Farmer's sister and her husband run the show, because as you can see, we are a LITTLE busy!!!

The littlest farmer was working away at his heifer.

Most important part of the show, getting the ribbon. 

At 10 yrs older, Cody is a LITTLE more serious in the ring. 

Seth is stretching that stick to its limits. 

Out of the ring, not as serious! 

Reserve Champion Angus Steer

Jenna and 'Horns'

Sam and 'Twinkle Toes' 

As soon as the two local fairs concluded, we got right to work preparing for county fairs, we show at two. The county we are 4H members in and the county we live in. For most people that would be the SAME county. But for us, we live in the absolute edge of Monroe County, the kids are in 4H in Audrain County and actually attend school, in yet another county, Boone. So between 4H, FFA and where we live, we could actually call three counties OUR county fair. :)

A few days after the local fairs, we headed to the Monroe County Fair. It was a very hot day there, I really can't think of too many Monroe County Fair Cattle Show days that aren't hot! Mid July, in Mid Missouri that's pretty well the deal!

Sam washing the girlfriends' calves, hmmmmmmmmmm

Our nephew Marshall and his bottle calf.

BYOB? Well when you are showing bottle calves, YES!

Some of our cattle showing fam, the Cooley's

Our group is BIG, kids galore! 

It's a group effort, Cody was holding a calf while our neighbor showed her other heifer.

Sam helping another member of our club show his cow calf pair.

Cody's steer, I would offer its name, but he doesn't name them anymore.

Seth and 'Scratchy' his heifer this year, she was his bottle calf last year.

Jenna and her steer, she does name hers, this is Horns.

Last of the four smaller fairs we do is our county fair, which started last Friday. Friday was spent baking cookies and biscuits for the little kids Foods building exhibits, pies for my concession stand donation and preparing food to take to the fair. We can't afford to feed everyone every meal there, we'd go broke! ;) While the little kids and I got their exhibits checked in, the big boys got our spot in the barn ready. Then this last Saturday, we spent about 16 hours on the fairgrounds, showing cattle. Our neighbor girl got sick and wasn't able to show her cattle, so we jumped in and helped out. (You thought I had ALREADY added A LOT of pics, wait till you see this group!)

We sorta take up a BIG section of the fairgrounds when we get there!

Lunch was TACOS!

The canopies provided a nice shade. 

Our club made 100% of the entries of the 4H Bucket Calf Class.

Sam showing Brittney's Angus Heifer.

Sam showing Brittney's Charolais Heifer

Cody and Jenna showing her Cow Calf Pair

The Farmer doing some of the 'dad duties' at the show. 

Dollens sisters, members of our club. 

Sam showing someone's Shorthorn heifer, not sure who's. 

Seth and Scratchy, show face on! 

Cody got Senior Showman. 

Sam showing Britt's Angus Bull

Cody and The Queen, Emily! 

Jenna won the light weight steer class. 

Ol' Seffy Kamps gives momma a half hearted smile.

Cody and his steer

Sam (AKA Brittney as they were now calling him) showing his OWN steer. 

So as you can see we have been a LITTLE busy the last little bit. And although there's not any fairs this week for us, there's football camp, which I need to go get Sam from.

Enjoying these beautiful summer days,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What's for Dinner Wednesday---Lots of Lasagna

Here's a recipe blog that I typed up several weeks, when I was planning to make Lasagna, so I could TAKE PICTURES............ well it didn't get made that week, the sausage got put in the freezer, hopefully I will get my head above water soon and get to make it for my family, maybe then I will come back and add the pictures, and of course repost so you all who follow can SEE what I am rambling on about below.

Hopefully also someday soon, I will get the chance to add some more posts, so much to say, no time to do so! Really thinking that a portable device that I can use EVERYWHERE is more of a necessity all the time. Busy at the farm, planting done, haying in full swing, and we add fair/show season to the mix in about 3 days!

Enough about all that, here's the recipe!

I used to be so proud that I could make this recipe and get about 4 meals out of it. Of course that was back when I had two LITTLE forward a few years and in my house, this recipe is usually only about two meals and that's if its paired with bread and salad (for those who eat it at my house) This is one of those recipes that I try to do when I have the time and put one pan in the freezer to fix later or use when I need to take a meal to another family, as even though I have two big strapping almost 200 pound over 6 foot teenagers and two other kiddos, its a big recipe.

Here's what you'll need: 4 pounds of ground beef, 1 pound regular sausage, 1 pound Italian sausage, all browned and drained. 2 large jars of spaghetti sauce= first layer. Ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese equal to approximately 8 cups in whatever proportions you like. I also add an egg or two to this mixture as well, this is your second layer. The third layer is the noodles. Use whatever version you like, no-cook or the ones you cook, I have used both types with good results.

When I make this and I am going to be freezing one or both pans, I line my pans with aluminum foil.

Then I layer, meat, cheese, noodles. I do this three times into 2 9x13 pans. I try to leave a little meat and cheese to sprinkle on the tops. Then regardless of its destination, I cover it with more foil and seal it up well. If its headed to the freezer, I label it and set it in the freezer, pan and all. Once its well frozen, a few days later, whenever I need a pan and remember its in the freezer, I go and retrieve my pan, then I usually place the frozen casserole into a 2 gallon ziplock bag. I think it helps protect it, although I don't think we have ever left a lasagna in the freezer long enough for freezer burn to ever be an issue. :)

If its going to get baked, I bake it at 350 for 40 minutes, I uncover the top and let it bake that way the last 15-20 minutes. If I am starting from frozen, which I try not to do, I place it back into a pan (which hopefully I have labelled which pan I originally used, see you thought maybe I put the date on the casserole, ha ha, fooled ya!) I start out at 325 and add about 30 more minutes to the over all cooking time and turn it up to 350 half-way through the cooking time.

One of the benefits of using the aluminum foil inside the pans is besides 'packaging' the frozen casserole, it makes clean up a lot less involved, as you can peel that foil out and throw it away and MOST of the clean up is eliminated.

I generally serve this with my Bread Machine bread. If the family is super lucky, there's salad, for those who like it and a dessert, but I think we all know that's not very often the case, besides I wouldn't want them to get too used to that! LOL

Okay waiting for hay boss to return from taking non-driving hay haulers home but he's about taken too long this momma is headed to bed,

From Tulip~



P.S. Here's one picture...........
This is the picture, my 200th follower will receive next week.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Thankfulness Thursday---USA

As is my usual post on Thursdays, I am here being thankful. I am thankful for many things and its barely lunch time. So far this morning, I have been thankful for the beautiful wheat fields that are ripening and being harvested this week in our area. Look at that, isn't it gorgeous?!?!?!

Love those Amber Waves of Grain

I am thankful to have supported a neighboring farm family and go with my two youngest children to pick blueberries. We will enjoy them today. We only picked a gallon, so guessing the way my family enjoys them, today and maybe tomorrow is all the longer they will last.

MMMMMM, the luscious goodness!!!!!!

After we picked blueberries, of course we went and bought some fireworks. Then since, I was basically in town, I drove by one of my favorite tourist attractions in Centralia, MO. The Avenue of Flags. Today there's not much breeze, so they aren't as wonderful as many other pictures I have seen, but here's the view as I drove by.

Avenue of Flags memorializes local veterans.
Now we are home, cooking some lunch to take to my Farmer who is planting soybeans after the wheat that was harvested  here a couple of days ago. This afternoon my bigs will clip the show cattle. This evening, we will likely grill something and shoot the fireworks off, then drive into town and watch the local aerial display. A pretty laid back day. Very blessed and thankful for those who made this day possible.

Shared a couple of videos of some great patriotic country songs that for me says it all. Happy Independence Day friends.

Feeling Thankful and Blessed to be an America today,

From Tulip~