Archive | Farm

Halloween Party Down on the Farm

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Last Friday we had our annual Halloween party for the kiddos. If I’m guessing correctly this is our 6th year doing it, but with this pregnancy brain, who knows!

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I can put this party together pretty quickly since I don’t change anything. Story time, feeding the goats + cows, pumpkin hunt, hayride, and dinner. It takes somewhere between 2-2.5 hours for the 150-ish (YES, 150+!) guests to do all those things. We’ve got it down to a science.

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I even serve the same menu every year: mummy dogs (hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls), a pumpkin throwing up guacamole, a Jack ‘o lantern veggie tray, oranges colored in to look like Jack ‘o lanterns, and s’mores. We also have chips, regular hot dogs, chex mix, and chicken nuggets.

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And I made prep even easier this year by using both the Walmart Clicklist (use this link and get $10 off your first order) and the Sam’s Club Club Pickup. It took me about twenty minutes to order everything online and another five to pick it up. #gamechanger

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This year I debated on whether to do it or not since we’re getting so close to D-Day, but I’m glad I did it since this baby seems to be as happy as can be cooking on the inside (I wish I could say the same…ahem…).

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And this year was special because it was the first time Lawson got to invite his friends since he started preschool this year. It was funny to see his face when he recognized the kids in his class with the whole “I know you from somewhere” look.

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It’s crazy to think how long we’ve been doing it–I found this picture from (I think) our first party back in 2012. Look at my wittle bitty babies! My, how time flies!

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…and just think I have at least ten more years of doing these shindig since Baby B. isn’t even here yet, HA!

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Friday Five

Before I begin, guess who has 500 followers on Instagram right now?! Yep, me! Thank y’all so much for following me and checking in daily. When I started the blog back up three months ago I didn’t know if anyone would read it anymore. Y’all do my heart good!

Ok, let’s see what we got this week in our Friday Five: fried rice, a certified farm boy, a Braves game, a quilt, and cookies.

Sounds like a winning lineup to me. ūüėČ

  • First up: Fried Rice

My family loves fried rice. (Well, maybe not Moseby. If it’s not popcorn or hotdogs he’s not really a fan.) So I’ve come up with a recipe for a pretty great dinner by itself or alongside oven-baked salmon (MM’s fav). And what’s even better is that if you’re doing Keto or some other low-carb diet you can easily make it with riced cauliflower and it is SO GOOD. Click here to download the¬†fried rice printable. (One note about using cauliflower: really let it dry after you wash it–I even press it between layers of paper towels after I “rice it” in the food processor. And add it to wok/skillet first before any of the other ingredients–you want it to cook. You’ll hear sizzling and that’s the water evaporating. Watch it so it doesn’t burn but make sure you get all the water out of it you can. Ain’t nobody got time for mushy Fried Faux Rice!)

  • Farm Boy

Lawson is having a ball on the farm this spring. If he is not asleep he wants to be outside with his Dah (what he calls my dad–the other grandkids call him Pops; he calls Pops ‘Dah’ and his daddy ‘DaDa’ and since they answer he keeps on doing it, haha). They water plants, prune trees, ride the golf cart, spread cow poop, feed the animals, and today they planted the vegetable garden. But if Dah is busy you better believe he is with his Mamaw. He’s obsessed with her Mule rides.

But let’s not talk about how yesterday MM was holding him so he¬†could pet a chicken I caught {wow, how country do I sound?!} and got dropped on his face because his shoe touched her leg…in a chicken pen…that was quite muddy and uhm, chicken poopy. I’ll spare you pictures because I’m sure your imagination is enough. #thirdkidprobs

  • (Gwinnett) Braves Game

My dad is celebrating his 70th birthday on May 17th and to celebrate we’re doing a little something every week leading up to his birthday. This past week we went to a Gwinnett Braves game (Lala stayed home since it was so close to his bedtime). They lost big time but MM loved Chopper¬†and Mo loved the footlong corndog (he ate the entire thing), the giant tub of popcorn (he ate the entire thing), and the second box of popcorn (yep, he ate the entire thing). ūüėČ

It turned quite cold during the game because it had rained earlier and because I’m such a stellar (lazy?) mom I STILL have a garbage bag of clothes in the back of the minivan to take to Goodwill. By the end of the game we all were wearing mismatched sweatshirts and sweaters. We were quite a sight (…but warm!).

  • Latest quilt

If you are my mother-in-law, stop right here. Do not read any farther.

I’m talking to you, Ms. Kathy. No peeking.

Everyone else, lookie lookie.

I’m making this quilt for my mother-in-law’s birthday next week. It’s a great pattern–in fact, MM is working on her first quilt using this pattern!

I took it to the quilt shop on Wednesday (I don’t do quilting–I know my limit and quilting makes my eyes cross and cuss words spew out of my mouth). Can’t wait to get it back to put the binding on.

That is, if I can keep this little guy off of it long enough to put the binding on–rolling around in quilts is his favorite!

  • And last but not least, the¬†best ever chocolate chip cookies. MM had to make them the other day for a school project and I wanted to share the recipe again. They really are the bomb dot com. I use five different kinds of chocolate chips which certainly doesn’t hurt. ūüėČ

I hope you all have a great weekend. For once, in what seems like MONTHS, we don’t have anything to do. I’m hoping to get both a Zumba class and a yoga class in and some time on the boat. Oh, and an afternoon nap would be icing on the cake. Which makes me think–maybe I’ll bake a cake!

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Bees Knees

Sorry for the picture quality, I took these with my phone. I’m not confident enough around the bees yet to bring my big camera just yet.

A couple of months ago we got bees on the farm.  Just a few, you know.

Just 35,000.

HA!

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Today we went out to have a look and see if we had a queen yet. ¬†When we set up our hive we have several queen eggs {we didn’t want a live queen as she might take the hive and just up and move if she didn’t like where we placed them}.

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My dad lighting the smoker.

Unfortunately, while we saw a new queen had hatched {the little egg-cell thing was open} we couldn’t find her and there were no eggs. ¬†{A queen can lay easily a couple of thousand eggs in a few days time so we should have seen tons}

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All is not lost though.

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The bees we do have are thriving. ¬†Tons of yummy honey that we even tasted–talk about fresh!–and lots of happy bees. ¬†And four queen eggs that have yet to hatch {fingers crossed!}.

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Our beekeeping mentor–Sylvie–told us if a queen doesn’t hatch soon he’ll just use IVF to give us another one which made us all laugh…meaning he’ll bring a queen egg from another hive and put it in our super.

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Look at our little audience in the background, ha!

Hopefully one of our royal ladies will hatch soon and start laying thousands of her own eggs!

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Us tasting the honey.

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Christmas Tree Huntin’

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Here’s another one of those posts that I just didn’t get around to when we did it weeks ago.¬† You know my reasons {…and the perfect little knit gray hat…the dark gray booties…and all the other shopping and preparing going on for Baby C.}, but I still wanted to post these photos here since this little blog keeps track of our family’s life.

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I will say that cutting down a Christmas tree is just not that big a deal if you own a Christmas tree farm.¬† We see them every day.¬† I’ve been trying to think of a way to make it more special and I think the next time we plant {late winter} I’m going to let MM pick out a liner from the batch as HER tree.¬† We’ll put a special tag on it and let her take care of it for the next four years as it grows.¬† And then when it’s time to cut it {and she’ll be almost 7–ACK!} she’ll get to use the saw herself and help her daddy.¬†

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But until then we just go out in the fields and cut our trees…or three…down.

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If you want to cry all you have to do is go back to 2009 and 2010 and see how much my little one has grown. It’s crazy how quick they go from a little baby to a toddler talking in full sentences.

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Cup-Of-Nine’s

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My grandmother has a huge old scuppernong vine that is always loaded with fruit starting in August…which MM calls “cup -of-nines”.

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And boy, does MM love to eat them.

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She’ll sit there and let you feed them to her all day long {you can’t eat the outside…or at least you’re not supposed to {but my mom does}…or the pit on the inside}.

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We received our first frost in these parts a couple of days before Halloween so imagine our surprise when we noticed some good fruit about a week later.

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MM loves picking anything–blame it on those farming roots–and wanted her a basket. ¬†I obliged thinking she’d have just one or two scuppernongs in the bottom.

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Uhm, yeah, I was wrong.  How about five or six POUNDS?

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This little girl was in heaven.

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Bliss

At seven this morning had you passed by our little Georgia farm you would have seen four generations of women stooped over in their garden.  Aged from two years to almost eighty whose love for each other, and farming, run deep.

My grandmother, Ruth, was picking green beans…gallons upon gallons of green beans.

My mother, Denise, was harvesting the peppers and trying to keep them sorted hot and mild.

I was searching for ripe watermelons among the vines.  Black skin.  Green-veined skin.  Crimson inside.  Some that are yellow.

And my daughter, Mary Margaret, was investigating the vegetables, the bugs, and the mud.  Every few minutes running to catch a bird or butterfly that passed by.

I have the clearest picture in my mind of this morning.  These three wonderful ladies and I all together doing something we love.  How I wish I had my camera so I could capture this memory.

Four generations.

I feel so blessed.

In other news, will you please take all of a five seconds {seriously, just five} and vote for MM and I at Cottage Mama? ¬†We made the top five in the ‘Playdate Outfit’ Sew Along and would love to win! ¬†All you have to do is go to the website, look at the left-hand sidebar, and click on ‘Natalie.’ ¬†Thank you in advance.

In more news, you’ll notice a little extra something on this blog. ¬†I’ve joined the BlogHer network and am very excited about that!

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Around These Parts

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Around these parts it’s all about the garden right now. ¬†Picking, selling, cooking, canning.

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Just a teeny tiny part of our garden.

There are radishes to turnips. ¬†Squash to zucchini. ¬†Cucumbers to green beans. ¬†The list goes on and on. ¬†And there’s so much more getting ready to come in too {Oh, the corn! ¬†Oh, the watermelons!}.

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And don’t forget those berries.

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Or sunflowers.

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Every year this is the time where there is so much food around here that I don’t even know what to do with myself. ¬†I feel this sense of urgency to preserve as much as I can for winter–I think I have such an “old soul” that I have a tendency to forget there are such “modern conveniences” as grocery stores where you can get corn year ’round, HA!

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I’m sorry I don’t have more to say, but next week I promise to post a tutorial on making our “famous” green tomato relish {that keeps selling out no matter how much I make} and a little road trip post on my aunt & uncle’s organic blueberry farm.

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Until then I have some blackberry jam {we’ve *only* canned six cases this week, ha!} to get out of the hot water bath¬†canner.

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Don’t forget to like our page, Four Generations of Farming Women on Facebook!

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Mary Margaret’s Easter Egg Hunt Birthday Party at the Farm

Before you even ask…

Yes, her birthday was in January.  And her birthday party was in April.

{Well, she did have a birthday party on her birthday this year with family too.}

My birthday is in December which means that not only is it Christmas tree season {meaning my family is crazy-busy on their farm}, but it’s also cold.¬† As a kid I hated it being so cold and it left you with just two options for your birthday party in my hometown: the church fellowship hall or the roller skating rink a couple of towns over.¬† {When I was 8 years old I caught my big 1980s poofy bangs on fire as I was blowing out my candles at Skate Country.¬† My Aunt Jackie put the flames out, but not before it singed my hair and eyebrows.¬† I’m not sure if I ever told you or not, but thank you, Aunt Jackie!}¬† But I digress.

Anyway, I say all this to say, I knew that if I ever had a child with a winter birthday that they would be given the option of delaying their party to spring or summer so they could enjoy it.¬† I’m still jealous of my cousin Jessica who had the perfect mid-June birthday and got to enjoy *my* swimming pool for her birthday party every year.¬† Just sayin’.

And without further adieu, here are the pictures from the party…

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The party was held at my family’s farm, but mostly took place in my grandmother’s front yard under a big pecan tree. I had a table set up {at little person height} with the cookies on it and next to it was a big wash pan of iced-down drinks for kids and parents. We had a great big stack of family quilts and when it was time to eat we just¬†lay on the ground in the shade of the tree and we had a little picnic.

I kept this party super cheap–the only things I really bought were the cookies, drinks, and a bag of candy {I’ve been collecting the other prizes over the last year and I got the eggs for 90% off a few weeks after Easter last year}.

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Here are the prizes for the Easter egg hunt.

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And what would an Easter-themed party be without pictures of the special girl with the Easter Bunny? The ceramic egg she painted a few weeks ago at a pottery place–it’s our new little tradition. Didn’t she do a good job?

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All the flowers came out of my parents’ garden {which I planted, hmph!} and are in vintage milk jars.

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We hung paper pom-poms from the tree. I bought these two years ago for like $2 each and have used them now at three parties and they’re still going strong.

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But since it wasn’t really MM’s birthday I didn’t do the cake thing–she’d already done that in January, and just chose to do Easter-theme cookies instead.

The egg holders {I’m sure there is a “correct” name for what they’re called, but I don’t know it!} came from C.’s gradparents. They hold four eggs from our chickens–two blue {Ameraucanas}, a white {Cochin}, and a brown {Rhode Island Red}.

For the first thirty minutes or so we let the kids feed bread to the goats and cows. Once it looked like everyone had arrived we got in the hayride to go to the back field for the Easter egg hunt. {Side note: there were WAY more kids than I thought there would be so we had to take two hayrides which meant some extra waiting time. I’ll know next time to keep the hunt in walking distance!}

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Some of us chose to put our baskets on our heads to wait. Whatever does it for ya’.

I was helping get everyone in the hayride when I realized I hadn’t seen MM in a while. I kinda got panicky before someone told me she had already hopped on the hayride and was waiting to go! …yes, someone goes on a lot of hayrides.¬†¬† …and yeah, she was ready to get the Easter egg started too!

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We lined everyone up the best we could {this is less than half the kids}. Another note to self: next time do one field for 0-2 and another field for 3 & 4 year olds. The older kids are much more suave at hunting eggs than my two-year old who liked to stop and examine the contents of each egg before going on to the next one.

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And then they were off.

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After a successful hunt {the eggs not only had candy in them, but also Silly Bands and miniature farm animals…not to mention prize eggs}, we all loaded on to {two} hay ride{s} and went back to my grandmother’s front yard.

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We ate cookies and a certain birthday girl got way too many presents and was way too spoiled.

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And it was a really fun day & I think we’ll make it a tradition–birthday party or not. Here’s a few more pics I snapped…and check out Allison’s blog for some great ones of the party.

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Looking through the eggs {300+ of ’em} before we went to hide them.

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That’s her and her “boyfriend” Grant–she even gave him a kiss too! You may remember him–he was the Indian she was hugging on at Halloween.

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To Have and To Hold

Last weekend C.’s best friend got married to his love of thirteen years.

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It was on my family’s farm and C. was the best man and MM was the flower girl. ¬†And let me tell you, I stressed about her being a flower girl since she’s only two…and a “young two” at that.

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We talked about “throwing ped-els” the week before and practiced walking down the aisle towards Daddy for a whole day.

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Here she is at the rehearsal…it was a long way to walk!

We talked about the Easter Bunny loves watching little girls throw petals in the pasture & that he was hiding behind the trees watching her. Crazy? Oh, yeah. But she totally ate it up.

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She didn’t really get the whole throwing the petals as she walked down the aisle thing. Instead she chose to throw them out once she was standing at the front.

The day of the wedding she did such a good job & stood up front the whole time. When it was time to walk to back down the aisle she wasn’t so sure so her daddy carried her.

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She was so happy with herself and spent the whole reception dancing-dancing-dancing the night away with everyone.

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There Are No Words

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Sometimes I take a series of pictures of MM and there are just no words to describe them.

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Take today’s pictures: her in her overalls, ‘Taylor’ doll in her front pocket, safety goggles on, and a saw…

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…she was ready to do something. ¬†I’m just not exactly sure what.

And then she started working on her tricycle–loosening those screws with a plastic screwdriver is hard work.

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She totally cracks me up.  Everyday is something different and new with her.

In other news, my mom was staring at me while I was outside taking these pictures. ¬†I could feel her staring so I asked her what she was doing. ¬†She exclaimed, ‘Oh my gosh! You’re so gray-headed! Like, almost completely gray-headed at the temples and front!”

Talk about making you feel good. HA!

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