Tag Archives: family times

A Brief Recap…

The Burkholder residence has been it’s usual crazy self over the past couple of weeks.  Due to a variety of time constraints and an unplanned bout of influenza, this week’s Feed Yard Foodie post will simply be a brief recap of our wanderings…

Last week, my favorite brunette and her Oral Interpretation of Drama speech team garnered 4th place at the Nebraska State Speech Meet for their rendition of “The Bible in 30 Minutes or Less”.  I enjoyed watching these talented 5 high school students take their knowledge of the bible and turn it into an interesting and funny summation of the Old Testament. Outside of the normal speech season, the group performed for many different community audiences allowing for the great inter-generational engagement that often permeates small town America.

Last week also sparked the official start of track season in Nebraska. With two high school varsity competitors, there never appears to be a dull moment… Ashley Grace continues to compete in middle distance and distance events as Megan tackles the pole vault and both hurdle events. My favorite farmer and I are both track nerds so we are having a blast (despite the fact that Mother Nature creates vicious settings for Nebraska track meets in March). Last Friday, I became the favorite farmer fashion parent wandering around the track in her coveralls 😉

My youngest blonde athletic dynamo worked her way onto a traveling soccer team based out of Lexington, Nebraska this spring so she begins her journey of games across the state this coming weekend. We will travel to Lincoln to watch her play soccer on Saturday. The soccer team has been an awesome experience for Karyn, and I am so pleased with how the girls from the neighboring community have opened their hearts with kindness toward the tall blonde Haymaker.

My favorite farmer began the spring farm field work a couple of weeks ago. We received some very needed rain last week with a 2″ soaker permeating the ground. It is currently raining again and this seasonal moisture brings a tremendous blessing. Planting oats sits on the nearby radar screen, followed by alfalfa in the middle of April, and corn in early-mid May. Matt and his crew continue to prepare the alfalfa dehydration plant for its season start up the middle of May.

I am closing in on 60 days on my new job at the Beef Marketing Group and am enjoying both the people and the projects. I’ve made a couple of trips to Kansas as well as visiting all of the feed yards in Nebraska. It seems to be a good fit for me on this journey we call life 🙂 On the home front, we are preparing to take cattle to grass in about a week so bovines continue to play a large role in my daily activities.

Today we celebrate my favorite blonde cowgirl’s birthday.  I’m not sure where the years have gone, but I feel so blessed to be able to share my life with this awesome young woman!

 

Happy Birthday Megan!

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Snow Skiing Should Be Treated Like A Good Piece Of Chocolate…

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When I fell in love with my favorite farmer, I made the commitment to trade sand for snow.  Matt loves to snow ski — and we are the type of couple that likes to do everything together.  Over the years, my skiing skills have developed enough that I can ride the same lift and make my way down the blue slopes, but our philosophy regarding how to get down the mountain varies significantly…

I believe that downhill skiing should be treated like a good piece of chocolate.  The ski run should be savored — taking time to enjoy the experience and recognizing that the traverse can be just as enjoyable as the speed 🙂

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My favorite teenager and her blonde cowgirl sidekick are heading quickly toward their father’s school of thought as well as his skills.  The trio secretly laughs at me as they take rest breaks when we ski the same slope, but I remind them with a smile that at least I am in good shape so I can ski the run from the top to the bottom without resting myself (cutting down on their empathetic break time…).

Smarty pants farmer boy skiing down the slope backwards while teasing me -- his two cohorts in the background cheering him on...

Smarty pants farmer boy skiing down the slope backwards while teasing me — his two cohorts in the background cheering him on…

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Ornery squared…

My baby put on her rebel snow board boots working to learn a new snow sport.  With her good balance and athletic prowess, I am sure that it won’t be long before she will be beating her Mama down the slopes on the snow board.  She has her sights set on challenging her surfing/snow boarding Uncle Terry sometime in the near future.

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It was a beautiful day on the mountain and a nice change from farm chores.

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Life is much more enjoyable when we can bend and compromise in order to create great family times. 

We topped off the day with a tasty home-raised beef dinner.  The only thing missing was the piece of chocolate!

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Sunday Morning Yoga at the Feed Yard…

This one made me smile so much that I just had to share…

IMG_3978Breaking for a little bit of morning yoga while exercising calves at the feed yard at dawn.

My Sunday morning helper makes me smile…

Happy Sunday!

 

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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!

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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?

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