Tag Archives: family fun

The 12 Days Of (Christmas) Fitness…

I have a habit of making up words to songs that I enjoy.  Over the years, my family has picked up this same tendency which ensures much laughter in our daily lives.

Our family also has a habit of fitness.  Matt and I are lifelong athletes, and keeping physically fit is important to us.  We often sing when we exercise — sometime the correct words and sometimes our own funny remake of a song…

familytree2.jpg

My favorite blonde cowgirl took her daddy to the community wellness center a couple of days before Christmas.  After running a bit, they did a circuit exercise set that Megan devised to the old favorite song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.  Unfortunately, I missed out on the fun as I was tied up working at the feed yard, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the retelling of the session and figured that I would share Megan’s Twelve Days of (Christmas) Fitness with each one of you.

  • On the first day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to me: 1 Pull Up
  • On the second day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to me: 2 Knee Curls
  • On the third day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to me: 3 Single Bounces with a Heavy Jump Rope
  • On the fourth day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to me: 4 Tosses with the Medicine Ball
  • On the fifth day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to me: 5 Wheel Rolls
  • On the sixth day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to me: 6 Sit Ups with a 10# Medicine Ball
  • On the seventh day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to  me: 7 Step Throughs with a Jump Rope
  • On the eighth day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to me: 8 Jumping Jacks
  • On the ninth day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to me: 9 Push Ups
  • On the tenth day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to me: 10 Lunges
  • On the eleventh day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to me: 11 Toe Touches (with straight legs)
  • On the twelfth day of fitness, my favorite farmer gave to me: 12 Double Bounces with the Jump Rope

If you remember, the song goes through each day of Christmas repeatedly as it goes from 1-12.  I am happy to report that by the end of 12 pull ups, 22 Knee Curls, 30 Single Bounces with a Heavy Jump Rope, 36 Tosses with the Medicine Ball, 40 Wheel Rolls, 54 Sit Ups with a 10# Medicine Ball, 54 Step Throughs with a Jump Rope, 40 Jumping Jacks, 36 Push Ups, 30 Lunges, 22 Toe Touches, and 24 Double Bounces with the Jump Rope that my favorite farmer was breathing hard enough he was no longer singing out loud 🙂

I hope that each of you found some time last week for moments of laughter, peace, and share memories.  Each Christmas with my family reminds me of how truly blessed I am.

1 Comment

Filed under Family, General

Birthday Fun For Our Favorite Farmer…

Our favorite farmer celebrates his 43rd birthday today.  In honor of his birthday, Ashley Grace and Megan have written their top 5 reasons why Matt loves being surrounded by women…

mattbirthdaytube1.jpg

1. His days are filled with lots of smiling faces and very little attitude…

2. He is surrounded by fashion advice and never has to worry about going out of the house with clothes that do not matchOr be concerned that he won’t be able to find an emergency supply of lip gloss and hair rubber bands in his pickup truck…

3. Dreaming of the boys that will soon permeate his house gives him great incentive to teach us all of his best wrestling moves…

4. It is good for his ego that all of his girls can smoke him in all four strokes in the swimming pool…

5. Fear of no longer being able to beat his girls on the track provides excellent ambition for exercising and staying fit…

Happy Birthday, Dad!  We love you :)

Happy Birthday, Dad! We love you 🙂

4 Comments

Filed under Family, General

The Innovative Farmer

One of the things that I love the most about my favorite farmer is his ability to build and create.  His engineering brain never ceases to amaze me.  Whether he is adapting pieces of farm equipment to accomplish a specific task or playing in the shop building something for fun, Matt is a great innovator.

The new creation...

The new creation…

Matt’s latest recreational project was building a two person slalom water ski.  When he announced his project early last spring, I rolled my eyes and laughed.  We already had a strong handful of home made “water toys” that he built in high school!

Matt and Karyn up for the first time a few a couple of weeks ago...

Matt and Karyn up for the first time a few weeks ago…

Even as I rolled my eyes, I recognized that this was a project that Matt needed.  The spring and summer months are highly stressful for him.  He manages a crew of 10+ that farm well over 5000 acres, and dehydrate 13,000 tons of alfalfa pellets.  Weather permitting the alfalfa mill crew works 6-7 days a week from the 1st day of May to the end of October.  On any given day, he faces a multitude of challenges that range from Mother Nature to equipment malfunctions to crew issues.

Matt's alfalfa dehydration plant...

Matt’s alfalfa dehydration plant where the alfalfa plants are turned into animal feed pellets…

One of the hardest things for me as a wife is to watch the stress slowly erode his peace of mind.  I have spent the better part of 20 years trying to figure out a way to bring the sparkle back into his eyes when he gets home after a long day during the farming season.  I know that there is no perfect answer, but spending a few hours as a family at the lake always brings a smile to his face.

Good times...

Good times…

While I originally viewed this building project with a touch of derision, the ski has turned out to be a truly wonderful family experience.  It does not cut like a regular slalom, but the challenge of coordinating balance between partners makes up for the lack of flare as you move across the lake.

All five of us have now conquered the Silver Tiger, and Matt and I even got to ride it together last Sunday when we talked his dad into driving the boat for us.  I am very proud of our girls for both their adventurous spirit and athletic prowess.

Most of all, I am proud of my favorite farmer for his innovation and foresight.  The laughter and smiles that his new ski have brought our family are priceless!

5 Comments

Filed under Family, General

Poignant Moments…

My favorite farmer and I are just getting accustomed to the drama of teenage girls.  Matt casually mentioned the other day that in a few years when our girls are 18, 16 and 13 that he is planning to take a year sabbatical from parenthood.  I imagine that all of you can envision my emphatic response to this plan…

a

Their innocent smiles may be a bit deceiving…

There are times as a parent when I want to pull my hair out and slam the nearest door; however, there are more times when I marvel at the wonder of what Matt and I have created together.

Last week our family stole a few days and traveled to Northern Wyoming to visit my parents.  It is always interesting to watch my girls interact outside of our farm and small community.

We managed to even tire them out at times...

It’s a bummer when your elders can out-hike you…

Vacationing with the Gibson/Burkholder clan is always lively.  My parents fulfilled a life-long dream about ten years ago when they purchased a cabin just off of the Chief Joseph Highway.

As avid fly fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts, it is truly a paradise for them.  At just a couple years short of seventy, you can still find them spending long days hiking or horseback riding in search of the best trout fishing.

Getting ready for a hike up to a great fishing spot...

The young, the not as young, and the four legged hikers…

Intermixed with these mountain adventures, I found myself having many poignant moments.  The types of moments when you find your heart lodged in your throat and a smile firmly locked on your face.

Somewhere in between the Aspen groves and the mountain tundra at 10,000 feet, I realized that spending a few days away from everyday responsibilities was good for all of us.

Watching my favorite teenager let go of the pressure and simply enjoy the world around her…

The view at 10,000 feet was gorgeous---I don't know which one of them liked it best...

  • The view at 10,000 feet was gorgeous—I don’t know whether AG or the marmot liked it best…Down was easier than up!

Or my favorite cowgirl/chef binding together our family with her antics and eternal sunny nature.

Doesn't everyone want to climb a mountain with a 100# giggling girl hitching a ride?

Doesn’t everyone want to climb a mountain with a 100# giggling girl hitching a ride?

cc

She found something bigger to carry  her up the next one…

  • Or proudly following my favorite eight year old in an impressive “cowgirl up” on a 12 mile horseback ride over mountains and through streams…
    At the end of the 12 mile round trip ride--she even managed to help catch a few trout on beautiful Crandall Creek...

    At the end of the 12 mile round trip ride–you can just barely see the horse trailer in the distance…

    She even had energy left to love her Uncle's new puppy!

    She even had energy left to love her Uncle’s new puppy when she got home!

    The months of summer on the Feed Yard Foodie farm can be nothing short of masked chaos.  My favorite farmer and I do an impressive juggling act, and our girls do a great job picking up the left-over slack.  The three days that we spent in the mountains were a wonderful reminder of those things most important in life.

A special thanks to my parents for being the rock stars of the Bear Tooth Mountains, and also to our loyal crew at home who kept the farm running when we were gone!

9 Comments

Filed under Family, General

Sunday Afternoon at the Lake…

We try very hard to spend Sunday afternoons as a family at Midway Lake.  It is a great way to spend quality time together and provides my favorite farmer with some down time away from the alfalfa mill.  This weekend was special because my mom was here visiting.

Grandma with Ashley Grace and Karyn...

Grandma with Ashley Grace and Karyn…

My favorite Cowgirl/Chef slalom water-skied for the first time.  Go Meg!

My favorite Cowgirl/Chef slalom water-skied for the first time. Go Meg!

My favorite teenager used her push-up strengthened arms to push her sisters off of the tube...

My favorite teenager used her push-up strengthened arms to push her sisters off of the tube…

My baby caught some serious air coming off a turn...

My baby caught some serious air coming off a turn…

And then worked on mastering the kayak...

And then worked on mastering the kayak…

Learning teamwork and making memories...

Learning teamwork and making memories…Note which member of the trio is doing the work!

Even Shellie had a good time while watching over her girls...

Even Shellie had a good time while watching over her girls…

The lake is a little piece of heaven...My husband grew up water skiing on these same beautiful waters...

The lake is a little piece of heaven…My husband grew up water skiing on these same beautiful waters that my daughters love so much…

The neighbor's Red Angus cows are nice enough to share with us...

Fortunately the neighbor’s Red Angus cows are nice enough to share with us…

How do you like to spend your Sunday afternoons?

9 Comments

Filed under Family, General

Q Fun…

Lest you all think that I am a complete bah humbug about the snow, I figured that I would share a few pictures from our family sledding expedition on Saturday afternoon. 

The snow was perfect for sledding and the afternoon weather was gorgeous!

The snow was perfect for sledding and the afternoon weather was gorgeous!

My 8 year old dare-devil...

My 8 year old dare-devil…

My 41 year old little boy...

My 41 year old little boy…

My ornery 10 year old cowgirl/chef/trouble maker...

My ornery 10 year old cowgirl/chef/trouble maker…Yes, she did drop it on her sister’s head!

My favorite teenager who kept loosing her sled on the way down the hill...

My favorite teenager who kept loosing her sled on the way down the hill…

And yes, even the girl who traded her flip flops for cowboy boots enjoyed the hill!

And yes, even the girl who traded her flip flops for cowboy boots enjoyed the ride!

Even Shellie, the family mutt, enjoyed the outing :)

Even Shellie, the family mutt, was thrilled with the snow 🙂

The girls keep Matt and I smiling, and I cherish all of the memories that we make together!

8 Comments

Filed under Family, Foodie Fun!, General

A Christmas Favorite…

My favorite Christmas tradition is cutting down a tree.  I grew up in the city where we bought an already cut down tree every year for Christmas.  When Matt and I moved to Nebraska in 1997, we started our own tradition of cutting down a tree each year.  Now that our girls are old enough to be opinionated, we have implemented a family voting system when choosing the tree.

Honestly, I do not know what is more fun—searching for the tree, debating on whether or not it is good enough to be “our tree”, watching Matt cut down the tree, or actually setting it up in the house and decorating it.  I love everything about our “Christmas Tree” tradition…

What better way to begin the search than hitching a ride around the tree farm...

What better way to begin the search than hitching a ride around the tree farm…Come on dad, can’t you go faster than that?!

Can you tell which one of my older daughters is the "instigator" of trouble?

Can you tell which one of my older daughters is the “instigator” of trouble?

The choice of my favorite blondes was a tree trimmed to look like a reindeer (I thought it looked more like pig myself)...

The choice of my favorite blondes was a tree trimmed to look like a reindeer (I thought it looked more like pig myself)…

Matt quickly moved them off to search for other trees...

Matt quickly distracted them with a tree just off to the right of the camara lens.  The tree was 25+ feet tall and was more suitable to being planted in my front lawn…

We finally settled on a very pretty 8 foot tree that I found while the other four were off looking at the 25 footer...

We finally settled on a very pretty 8 foot tree that I found while the other four were off looking at the 25 footer…

At one point in the cutting down process, Matt suggested that our favorite 13 year old athlete put her muscles to good use and help.  You can see how well that idea went over...

At one point in the cutting down process, Matt suggested that our favorite 13 year old athlete put her muscles to good use and help. You can see how well that idea went over…

There was a fairly decent "team effort" put forth to lift the tree onto the carrier...

There was a fairly decent “team effort” put forth to lift the tree onto the carrier…

Celebrating the success...

Celebrating the success…

Headed back to the pickup---either the blondes have begun a fitness and strength training program for their daddy or they are spoiled and have him wrapped around their little fingers...I am going with the latter of the two!

Headed back to the pickup—either the blondes have begun a fitness and strength training program for their daddy or they are spoiled and have him wrapped around their little fingers…I am going with the latter of the two!

All in all, the 2012 Christmas Tree tradition went well at the Feed Yard Foodie house!

Wandering, looking for a tree,

It’s hard to please both you and me…

Finally, we found it!

Watching dad wriggling on the ground

Timber! He finally cut it down.

Glowing, it brings joy to the home.

Poem by Ashley Grace

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

5 Comments

Filed under Family, General