Friday, June 26, 2015

So I Guess June Was My Blogging Vacation?

Sorry friends.

I have done a lot of sharing on Facebook (if you haven't followed me there, search Confessions of a Farm Wife, and there you go).

I have put pictures on Instagram (again, follow me @emilywebel...evidently I need more friends?).

But blogging has come in a very, very, very distant third.


I would love to have an exotic tale of how Joe and I were whisked away on some summer getaway, or that we all went as a family on some well planned, family friendly vacation.

Unless you consider trips to the pool, grocery store, softball games and endless hours spent refereeing twins who are evidently training to be baby WWE wrestlers vacations, then we've just been here, trying to figure out how to do summer with six kids.

So far, so good...I guess. I have to laugh at myself, however. When we first had the twins, folks asked how in the world we were able to get anywhere. The babies were on heart monitors, learning to nurse, etc., etc., but they were NOT MOBILE and OPINIONATED. Mary and Caroline were complacent, compliant, portable newborns.


Not so much.

Mary is working on mastering crawling, and Caroline has been the queen of rolling and rolling and rolling, so when they are in lock down (i.e., their car seats or a stroller), they are miserable.

It's super fun.

So, getting places is an act of sheer will. Getting out the door is insane (plus, we are currently in the outdoor phase of our construction, so our usual door, with the sidewalk directly to the garage is no longer usable, and if it WOULD STOP RAINING, we could actually start on the final phase of our project. And quit looking like someone who doesn't care lives in the house...I'm digressing.), and with all the big kids' activities and their want to go and do, blogging or completing a thought that doesn't involve logistics of some sort is very low on my totem pole.

However, today, you're in luck! A whiny post about how I can't post!!

Anyway, here's just some basic "what's going on" on the farm updates to tide you over until I have another stretch of quiet (see you in 2025).

1) Josie and I got to get away for an afternoon and do what we do best: shop! We ended up choosing new Wayfarers. Not until we snapped the pic did I realize we chose the same style. She is definitely a mini-me!!
 2) Anna has had a few cattle shows, and this one was particularly special to me: my home fair grounds, sponsored by my old high school. Thanks Jen Beard for this beautiful picture, and for confirming the fact that I need a "big girl" camera.
 3) As a part of Joe's job as Ag Teacher, he helps facilitate a lot of community activities. In the summer, there's a festival per week it seems, and around here, one must have a pedal pull! One of his students constructed a new sled for the pedal pull, and Jack went to test it out. Please excuse the red tractor he is sitting on...we needed something *ahem* not as fancy to pull the sled! Ha!

3) Amelia turned 6, and needed a spa party...because, well, of course! She and two little friends were pampered at Spa Webel.
 4) Finally, LOOK!!! We finally got it together to have the babies' six months pictures, two months late. Amy Davis, at Amy Davis Photography, took this beauty (and I'm sure many many more) yesterday. Amy and I run together (well, not so consistently thanks to these girlies), hang at the pool together, and she just so happens to take amazing pictures. She also sympathizes with me about our construction, as her house is under a big remodel. Her husband is crafting an unbelievable space for her family, and when it's done, I hope to steal ideas from her!! Anyway, how CUTE are babies in baskets??? To answer very common questions: Yes, they do NOT look alike, but are starting to resemble each other. Yes, Caroline is smaller than Mary. Yes, Mary is sitting up better than Caroline, and YES, I am certain they are twins. Seriously, the last question is truly asked more than you would think.

Thank you for being patient with me this summer. I promise, I'll have opinions on various ag related issues, the weather, and a host of other earth shattering topics as they come about. I promise.

I'm sure you're waiting with bated breath.

Happy summer!

Friday, June 12, 2015

You Thought the Internet Was Big? Well...

What about electricity?

This was a conversation my grandmother had with one of my cousins as they were discussing the amazing capabilities of the Internet. She listened intently with great interest, as she always does. When he finished explaining how life changing, amazing and innovative the virtual world was, she replied, in her quietly calm voice,

"So was electricity."


This is my grandma, though. It's been a big week for her, for Amelia, for all of us. We have celebrated my Grandma Mary's 101st year this week. I am so thankful for her, and what makes her birthday even more special, is that she shares it with our precious third child, Amelia. Birthdays on June 10th are celebrated at Grandma's house with a big dinner around her table, stretched in her dining room, covered with the same perfectly pressed white cloth that has been covering that table since I can remember. Now we celebrate with two cakes: one big one for Grandma, and a little one for Amelia. In Amelia's six years, this has become the tradition, and while some six year olds may complain about having a joint celebration, Amelia is the type of kid who loves to have her birthday shared with her beloved great grandma. While Amelia is too young to completely understand how truly remarkable this celebration is (she just loves the little cake, and singing "Happy Birthday" twice), I am nearly brought to tears every year we have had this celebration. Not very many people can say they have their grandparents at age 37, let alone one in triple digits who willingly orders a special cake for your little girl.

It's a great day.

It's bigger than the Internet being invented.

It's bigger than the presents we give.

It's bigger than anything I can put into words on this dreary day.

My Grandma Mary and my Amelia are lights in my world. While I know that 101 years is a number that is hard to keep one-upping, much like the invention of electricity, I have truly learned to cherish my sweet grandma. Sharp minded, she still plays games with my kids, asks them detailed questions about school, calls Joe about his cattle he keeps on my uncle's (her son's) pasture.

I feel this same unbridled happiness towards our sweet Millie. She is one of those kids that exudes life. Like her birthday buddy, she's a listener. Maybe that's because she's the third kid. She always has a story or a funny joke or just some sort of funny expression. We are so lucky to have her personality in our mix. She makes the other kids laugh, helps with our babies, and is Jack's best buddy. While being the third kid out of six has its challenges, she has tried to adapt and figure out how to be the best Amelia she can be. As cheesy as that sounds, she has perfected it.

It's been a great week. While I am a few days late on this birthday post thanks to the busy-ness of it all, I am so lucky to have had a week like this.

Happy birthday, Grandma Mary and Amelia. June 10th is the best day, thanks to you two.

Monday, June 1, 2015

It's Summer? Really?

I'm only saying this because I'm sitting here in a closed up house with a jacket on over my running gear. It's cold here!

It's summer?



It's summer in that we've already had ballgames and a sleepover and swimming. It's summer because there's been daily calf washing, groaning about Mean Mom's screen time rules.

It's summer because 50% of the kids are still sleeping, and it's a quarter to eight.

I'm typing fast. Time's ticking!

This summer is an adjustment for us. Joe is home (sans a few FFA/Ag teacher conferences). There are two babies (who enjoyed crying for a majority of the early evening hours last night. Thank you, teeth.). There are four other kids who are used to picking up and going. Now, it takes a plan, an army of snacks and diapers and the correct time to get anywhere.

So, because my time is ticking and my table for eight is being delivered soon (whoohoo!!), and my rock chip will be fixed today (it's a big day here!), I'll give you some highlights since last we met.

1) Planting and side-dressing is complete. There's a lot of jockeying of equipment around here. It's like a big game of Tetris to get our equipment in the machine shed. I think all of those years my dad spent as the "Master Packer" when we went anywhere on a trip or back to college has prepped him for these days.

2) Speaking of my dad, he'll be in Cuba (as in the country...if you're in Illinois where we are, there needs to be a distinction thanks to a tiny town nearby!), starting Sunday. He's one of few commodity representatives amongst other government officials going, and we're excited to hear what Castro has been doing all these years.

3) Cattle shows. My girl has a slate full this summer. While, again, that means planning and prepping and hard work, this kid has committed to working on her animal with love and care. She's also adopted the "cut off sleeves" look for this time in the barn. When she asked me to cut off the sleeves on her shirt, I referred her to her dad, as I froze. Do you cut off above the seam, or at it? I'm too preppy for this endeavor. Luckily, Dad to the rescue, and as I folded her shirt, I remarked to Joe about how she's now a sleeveless shirt wearing girl, and he said, and I quote, "This just reaffirms her awesomeness." End quote.

4) Team Beef Illinois. Had the best time last Tuesday. I got to pretend I was working again, in heels and everything, and traveled to Bloomington for a Team Beef Illinois advocacy training with Daren Williams, Executive Director of Communications for the National Cattelmen's Beef Association.
Wow. My advocacy for beef has been upped a notch, thanks to his information, and I would like to work for them. The end.

(If you're in Illinois, or any cattle producing state for that matter, and you run, I encourage you to find your Team Beef group. Check out our group on Facebook, Team Beef Illinois.)

5) Babies. They are now crying, and so I'll end with this. Watching all the tragedy in the world, flooding in Texas and Oklahoma, and now the Northeast, families killed for money, cancer, terrorism, etc., I'm so hopeful that you will spend the summer finding joy in your every day. This is my goal for the summer. Joy in the everyday. My babies are screaming. I have laundry in the dryer that needs to be folded. There are papers that must be filed in an office that is partially put together. These are not things of stress. These are happy times. Please help me remember this as summer wanes on, and I get my pity party on.

Stay warm today, Midwestern friends, and remember, it is really summer out there!