Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's A Miracle!

So the other day I wrote a kinda depressing post about our drought. I was in a very dark place at the time, and I apologize if you were let down by that. But since then, a beautiful wonderful miracle of God happened!

First, the sky got REALLY dark and scary and then the wind picked up. All of our porch furniture was flying around, branches were cracking off of trees, and the sky turned black.

I went outside to watch the storm roll in, and it STILL wouldn't rain. Really?! I had just gotten out of the shower, was still in my bathrobe and was in the middle of brushing my hair.  I'm sure I looked ridiculous running around on the porch trying to catch our furniture and take down my hanging plants so they wouldn't be blown around, all while trying to keep my bathrobe from flying up Marilyn Monroe style.  I was getting so mad it wouldn't rain so I finally started shaking my hairbrush at the clouds and then CRACK! Lightening and then it just started pouring and pouring! It was amazing! I immediately called Seth and I thought he was going to start crying! We got almost half an inch yesterday, still not much, but we'll take anything!

There's our half an inch!

Look! Puddles!


Halleluja! We'll be praising Jesus big time at church tomorrow!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Claire's 4th of July Healthy Fruit Pie

One of my favorite holidays is just around the corner: 4th of July! I love this holiday for so many reasons mainly being the food, the parties, the lawnmower race, and I'm American.  Last year we threw our first annual "Red WHITE and Blue party" (get it, our last name is White?!) and it was a blast. So this year we're doing it again and EVERYONE is invited! 

Anyways, last year at our party, my wonderful, beautiful, hilarious friend Claire wanted to make something delicious, refreshing, and healthy. 

Fruit pie!

You will need:
-Wick's prebaked pie crust
- Sugar free strawberry glaze (found in the produce section)
- Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. (any kind of berry your heart desires!)

All you do is alternate layering the sugar free glaze and the berries, and serve cold!

Doesn't that look delicious? And isn't she beautiful?!
It's a great dish to take to parties or cookouts because its quick and simple, and takes just a few minutes to prepare!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

So much for that...

Farming has its ups and downs, and this year, its full of downs.  As many people know, we're having a drought, and even though we had hopes the   corn would hold out this year, something happened this week that dashed all of our hopes.  The corn tassled. And we have no rain. So bascially, there will be no corn this harvest.

This makes me sad for many reasons. Of course, its so sad to put in all that hard work, money, and time to have nothing to show. Yes, we have crop insurance thank goodness, but the satisfaction of harvesting the corn is such a great feeling and its a time that really brings the family together. I'll miss riding in the combine with Seth, or driving the grain cart. This year's lack of corn will trickle through the economic system and really affect a lot of people. The cost of food will go up, for example. I think in a way, this really makes people aware of how much they depend on farming families.  Sometimes I think people have a view of farmer's as uneducated, "hilljack", work in the mud all day type of people.  Quite the contrary, farming takes a lot of brains, brawn, and guts.

However, in light of the situation, we will press on and pray for the soybeans! Life will continue, and thankfully, Seth said this has never happened to them. I'd say that's pretty good for 27 years!  Also, to end this on a good note (because I hate being negative, and don't want to be accused of whining..."There's no crying in farming!") I want to share this hilarious video that my sister, Lisa found and posted to my facebook.

It's amazing and the best part is that when the guys dance at the end, one of them totally does Seth's signature dance move: the lawnmower!
Enjoy! Keep Calm and Farm on!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

You say Potato, I say one big mess!

Eli is the easiest baby in the world. I like to brag about this fact a lot, and I don't feel bad about it either.  He hardly fusses, cries,  gets sick, or wakes us up in the middle of the night. However, lately he's been getting us up at about 3 am to eat. I realized today as I weighed my litte 5 month old boy, that I probably am not feeding him enough anymore!

I decided it was time to put my Magic Baby Bullet to use and whip up some purees for the little guy.  I had so much fun doing it! It's great because I can use the veggies in the garden and its all very healthy and organic. I started with sweet potatoes, and then I got a little obsessed. I think I pureed every single item in our fridge! So much fun, and Eli was really entertained by it all and was a very good little taste tester!

Here's what you need:

Blender, or Magic Bullet, sweet potato (or carrot, or apples, etc.) 1 cup of water, and baby oatmeal

a baby! (ok, I am using this as an excuse to post adorable pictures of my son)

Blend for about 10 seconds. Half my batch of sweet potato I left plain, and the other half I added in the baby oatmeal. I did the same with the apples, bears, and carrots. Also, Eli didn't really love the carrots, so instead of water I used formula and he really like that. (just a note: if you use formula you can't freeze and use later)

now just store, freeze and use for later! Aren't these so cute!?

I think he enjoyed it! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Faces of White Farms

So much of my lifestyle isn't necessarily about where we live, but the people who surround us.  I'm so proud to be part of such a hard working family farm, because that's what it is: Family. So, I thought it would be important to introduce all my readers to the wonderful world of White Farms.

Taylor, Grant, Vicki, Seth, myself, Ted and Boiler

Ted: Ted is the the head honcho on the farm.  He makes the final call, but he's so good about getting the boys to be on the decision making side too.  Ted is best known for his evening attire. In the summer you can find him in his office in his shorts, tall black work socks and boots, and in the winter, the same combo but slippers and a puffy vest (no shirt under the vest, just a puffy vest).  Ted likes to eat weird things like "shit on a shingle" (ground beef on tortilla chips or toast) and he puts cheese on everything. Ted is a tough guy, but he's a big softie too. I think all of his years working with a ton of women in his office made him this way. He also has a big spot in his heart just for his dogs.  Ted and Vicki's Doberman, Boiler, is constantly at Ted's side. He rides with him, romps with him, eats with him, and sleeps with him. I love riding along with my husband in the machinery, but I love riding with his dad just as much. Ted loves to talk and he loves to listen.  He explains things so well, and he's a great teacher.  The first time I was to drive the grain cart I was so terrified because Seth's final words were "You'll be fine. It's really easy. Just don't mess up or dad will kill you."  Ted was so patient and even if I did mess up, he didn't tell me! I'll never forget what Ted said to me at our wedding when we danced together. He said, "This wedding is a lot of fun, but I don't feel like it changes anything. You've been in our family since day one."  See why I love this guy?

Grant, Ted, and Seth after a lawnmower race

Vicki: The relationship between a mother-in-law and her son's wife can be a challenging one, but I have so much respect for this woman dealing with her boys.  I grew up with all girls, and poor Vicki grew up completely opposite. Not only did she raise them, but she fed them, educated them, had to clean up their scrapes and bruises since Ted doesn't handle blood or vomit, and she gets  picked on by these guys ALL. THE. TIME. I have literally walked into their house before and Vicki is hanging upside down, one of the boys is beating her with her socks, someone else is holding the dog to lick her face, and then the big finale is one of them farting in her face and then dropping her on the kitchen floor and then asking "what's for dinner, mom?"  You'd think she'd yell, drive off, drink herself into a stupor, but instead she laughs her way through it.  She's the mom who works part time as a short order cook when the boys are in the fields, which is saying a lot because she has very picky eaters.  When they guys come in for dinner she makes sure they have their vitamins, a hearty meal, a kiss on the head and then for good measure yells, "GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN WITH THOSE FILTHY BOOTS!" (and then pours us girls a glass of wine and she heads to the living room to watch True Blood)  Seriously, I could take lessons from this woman and never be able to master all that she does.  Vicki may be tough, as all farm wives must be, but she has a soft side too.  She's so busy, but I love it when I see her climb up in the semi or combine to ride with Ted. Its the only way you get to talk to your husband sometimes, and it makes me smile to see them still do these things. I die for her wilted lettuce and chocolate chip cookies, and I admire how relentless her love for her family is.

Vicki may be surrounded by men, but she knows how to make it work to her advantage!

Seth: I won't take much time to talk about Seth, because he's featured in about every single post. Seth is the typical older brother. Bossy, control freak, nosy, and he always has a strategy and is always trying to wheel a deal.  Seth is extremely passionate about farming, maybe more so than anyone else in the family. Its all he talks about day and night. He lives for it and its what truely makes him happy.  Seth is at his happiest during harvest when he's behind the wheel of the combine, singing to the radio, and yelling at the monitor to show better yields. One kinda important/embarassing thing to know about Seth: he's obsessed with Nascar, especially Tony Stewart. For our last weekend getaway before Eli was born, we went down to a Christmas festival in Tony's hometown because he was the guest of honor. In fact, for a long time, Seth was really angry with me for not even considering Tony as the baby's name.  One thing I love about Seth is that he puts it all out there. There are no hidden sides or secrets to Seth. What you see is what you get, and he is honest, open, not always the most tactful, but he loves his friends fiercely and would take a bullet even for the worst person. One thing I loved about him while we were dating is that he would always pick up the tabs, even if I had 12 of my girlfriends with me, and he would take my sister and friends out to lunch, even if I couldn't go. Some girls would find this "weird" or get jealous, but I like that he has friendships with my friends or that he will just call up my sisters to chat on his way home from work. He's a great guy, and I realize I've talked too much about him so moving on...

Grant: Sometimes I joke with Seth that I married the wrong White brother. Obviously after reading my description of Seth, you know I don't really mean it, however, Grant is one of the best guys I know. He is smart, sweet, and one of those "still waters run deep" type people. He is slow to anger or react, and he takes his time making decisions (Seth should take a lesson from him now and then).  Grant is the mechanic around the farm, he can fix anything and everything. Seth usually is the one to break it, and Grant fixes whatever he broke. Grant also has a sneaky side that you have to watch out for, he's been known to have a couple tricks up his sleeve before.  One time Grant was having a party at his house on campus during a football game and he had been busy getting food ready and drinks too of course. I was in a hurry to get to the game with my parents and Grant told me I had to try some of his homemade hot cider before leaving.  Little did I know that there was a LOT of Everclear in the cider.  It was so funny because he just kept pushing the cider on everyone and refilling their cups for them. Grant and Seth have a great relationship too.  They get along really well and even though they call each other names and pick fights and wrestle, I know they love each other a lot deep down.  An example of this is when the boys race lawnmowers. Seth loves to race, but Grant is the one who is really good at it, and Seth knows this.  It's so fun to watch Seth blocking everybody and getting in everybody's way so that his baby brother can smoke them all and cross the finish line first.  I'm so lucky to have such a great brother-in-law who has supported us so much and always has ours backs.

Grant and Taylor

Taylor: Taylor is Grant's fiancee, and comes from a farming family herself.  She is literally "the girl next door" and has known both Seth and Grant for a while. I knew Taylor long before meeting Seth because her older sister and I were in the same sorority, and I got to meet Taylor when she joined the house as well.  Taylor is goofy, beautiful, smart, fun, creative...I could go on. You want to hate her because she's the whole package, but you can't because she's so much fun to be with.  She's the person who pushed Seth and I together and I'm so grateful that she did! As I said before Taylor is really creative.  She's won countless 4-H awards for her seamstressing abilities, she helped me decorate and paint Eli's nursery, and she's an amazing artist too.  One of my favorite moments with Taylor was when we lived in DG and she would show us how many somersaults she could do in a row, or when she and I dressed as "white trash" for a halloween party and she drug me all the way to Mcdonalds afterwards to get burgers even though we looked hideous.  I'm so excited that Taylor will officially be my sister in just a few months, and that they are going to be living close to us.  She's a wonderful Aunt to Eli and a wonderful friend to Seth and I both! 

So there you have it! The people behind the White Farms!  Hope you enjoyed!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why My Husband is Depressed

You know the country song "Rain Is A Good Thing"?

Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey,
whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky (one of my friend's nephew's sings "crispy" instead of frisky, which I think is hilarious and cute!)

Well, whiskey we have. Rain, we don't. I'm pretty sure right now if Seth heard it on the radio, he would start crying and then begin to hunt down Luke Bryan for writing a song that is a mockery of our situation right now. We need rain, and we need it bad.

Every evening Seth comes home, gets out of his truck, and then just stands in the barn lot looking at our corn. Back in May, when we were dry but not too bad, he would just cuss and curse out Mother Nature for not letting any rain down on us. Then, back in May, the whole region to the north and south of us got rain...but not us. It was like a joke was being played on us. My theory is someone in Fulton County royally PO'd the Big Guy upstairs and we're being punished.  At this point, Seth doesn't even have the energy to yell at the skies or be mad.  He just stands out there and pouts, and then comes inside and shuts the blinds so he doesn't have to see the fields.  I suggested he water the fields with his tears, but THAT went over like a lead balloon.

To better illustrate our predicament, here are some pictures I took tonight:

This is what corn is SUPPOSED to look like (this is actually from a patch near our house that I've been watering just because I can't keep looking at dying corn while I water the flowers)


This is what our corn looks that's not pineapple!

Probably one of the most annoying things when you're a farmer during a drought is people complaining about their lawns. Who cares if your grass is brown...we're watching our income shrivel up!  However, we can't complain, there are MUCH worse things in life to be happening to us. We are very blessed and we can always count on these two little words:

crop insurance.

That's what I remind my husband when he's grumpy (which is quite often these days).  I also try to distract him by making his favorite potato dish or by having him change Eli's dirty diapers :)

So that you don't think I'm just complaining and being negative, here are some pictures of our corn that will make you smile.

Children of the Corn! (I'm down there in the dirt trying to hold Eli up!)

Bristol the Pistol finding some shade after a romp outside

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fast Fruit Kabobs & Bridal Shower Spread

This has been a crazy week, followed by an even crazier weekend. My neighbors daughter/pseudo sister-in-law (she and Seth are basically family, they fight like brother and sister and he's standing up with her at her wedding) is getting married in August. I was going to be helping my mother-in-law hostess her bridal shower, and with a grumpy teething baby, I only had so much time to get something together. Fruit kabobs are great because they're fast, easy, and healthy! However, I like to serve mine with the cream cheese fruit dip that is probably not so healthy, but, delicious!

I decided to stick with strawberries, bananas, grapes and pineapple. Sometimes I like to use commercial blueberries (the wild ones we pick are too small to go onto the wooden skewer) raspberries and kiwi.

Half the strawberries and slice up all the fruit

Slide them on the skewers and tada! Fruit Kabobs!

The spread: cheeseball and crackers, chicken salad and crab salad croissants, strawberry salad, and veggie salad

There's the 2 second veggie salad I posted about earlier!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Farmer's Wife Vacation

If any of you out there are wondering "where the heck has she been?!"...the answer is Kjostad Lake, Minnesota. This place is near and dear to my heart, as it's where my grandparents went on their honeymoon, and our family has been going ever since. All three of us sisters even had our senior pictures at the lake. This was my 25th summer at Kjostad, but more importantly, it was Eli's first trip to the lake.

One of our favorite lake activies, floating in from the island
A picture of my Mamaw at the lake in the early years

Also along for the ride were Seth's parents, who got a taste of what a REAL road trip is like. Not too sure if they enjoyed the part of the vacation, but I think they they had a great time otherwise.

Seth's parents enjoying a ride on the pontoon

Vacation at Kjostad is nothing fancy, in fact, that's what makes it amazing. It's a simple life: no tv, no cell phones, no internet.  We spend our days fishing, doing chores around the cabins, laying on the dock, skiing and tubing, and best of all: eating!

This year we went up earlier than what I normally do, but we still had some great weather after all the rain finally went away.  I have a rule when I go up to the lake: you haven't really been to the lake if you haven't been IN the lake. Even the 65 degree water was not going to stop me. A little old trick I learned from my 20 years of competitive swimming is to just dive in! No pansy tip toeing around people, you gotta go all in or you're not gonna get in (or you might get pushed in by someone else!)

Though I love being at the lake, it just isn't the same without my sisters being there. Most of our best memories together were from our times at the cabin.  When we were little we used to play with our American Girl dolls and make up plays with them on rainy days. On the nice days we spent so much of our day in our swim suits that we would have horrible diaper rash. 

Lisa, myself, and Michelle at the cabin
Being silly at Nelsons: Lisa, Michelle, and myself

We would also walk the lane, which barely a 2 mile walk round trip, but I remember when I was little thinking it was the most horrendous thing ever when mom would make me walk the WHOLE thing! I would imagine a deer would come out of the woods and carry me on its back the rest of the way back.  The size of my thighs and tummy at this young age would probably explain why I hoped for things like this. 
Along one part of the lane was a large sand bank that we called "The Pit."  It was a rite of passage from "weenie little baby" to "cool big kid" if you could climb the pit with no help.  This year when we walked by the Pit, I had to laugh about it, but someday I think I'll make my kids do the same thing.

Change is slow at Kjostad Lake. One of the biggest changes over the 25 years that I can remember was when we were teenagers, our Mamaw and Papaw decided to get a Port-o-John on our lot because their septic tank at the cabin could only take so much, even with  the "if it's yellow keep it mellow, if it's brown flush it down" rule. 

My two sisters and I were all competitive swimmers, and when we went to the lake was peak training time for the summer State meet. Dad, not about to let us miss out on getting some shiny medals, took it upon himself to keep us in tip top shape. He took a bright yellow rope to make an underwater "lane line" for us to follow. Down and back, down and back, all along the yellow rope. Everyone in camp would get out their binoculars and watch us. By the time we went to the State meet, I bet those people could've taken our lap split times better than our coaches!

Dad and I swimming to the Big Island, a mile long swim

I could go on forever about the lake. It's provided us with not only so much fun, but it was a safe haven for our childhood.  In the fast paced world with so much pressure, it was a place that we could still be a kid, and it still is.  It was the place where we breathed out our last minute fears and jitters about going off to college, had our first alcohol on a "booze cruise" with family, and where we all hope to take our own kids someday to grow up. Being up north is not just the physical location, but it a state of mind. Even though I just got back, I'm already dreaming of being there again next year....