Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: My Trip to Corn Congress

A few weeks ago I headed to Washington D.C. with the DuPont New Leader Program. It was a long, tiring, and super fun trip! I learned so much and plus I got to see some of my favorite farmers from across the Midwest! 

I wanted to share some photos from that trip, as we had a National Geographic photographer with us for one of those days and he was awesome, and gave us lots of really great tips for taking photos not just with fancy cameras, but also with our smart phones. In his famous words "The best camera is the one you have with you". And I always have my phone with me it seems, so taking good photos on it is imperative! 










Saturday, July 12, 2014

Genetic Traits In Crops

Feel misinformed about GMO's? So do most people. The truth is it sounds very scary, but once you break it all down to the basics it's pretty simple and whole lot less scary. 

Genetic traits added to certain crops have only improved the crops and is very specific on what is being targeted. 

There are only a few crops that have genetically modified traits in the market today. And those traits have been extensively tested, it takes nearly 15 years for one trait to be approved! 

I don't know about you but that makes me feel really safe, knowing what goes into the testing. Not to mention that using genetically altered crops allows farmers to produce more on less. 

Genetically modified crops show no difference in nutritional value, look, or taste versus non-GMO's. And because of GMO's we apply less pesticides to our crops. 

GMO's have only made the Ag industry better. Safer. And more confident in what we are growing can feed the world. 

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48 Hours In Just 48 Seconds

Other than farming, I pretty much love talking about food. Well, and my small child!

One thing that is important when it comes to food is freshness. We have all been to the grocery store where certain produce seems picked over and all that is left is something that looks like it may have been sitting there longer than a few days. 

One thing that you might find interesting is that it takes 2 days for fresh milk to make it to your dinner table. This video from Midwest Dairy sums up 48 hours in 48 seconds. And gives you just a small glimpse of the hard work that dairy farmers put in every single day!




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Monday, July 7, 2014

My Hubby's Favorite Pulled Pork

On the 4th of July we didn't do anything too special, unless you count lots and lots of home projects.
Knowing it was going to be a busy day of projects I decided I wanted to do something quick in the crockpot and still yummy!

One thing I love in my house is our crockpots. I use them pretty much all the time and I love trying out my favorite recipes in them. 

My husband gives two thumbs up for this delicious pulled pork I make in the crockpot and it's so simple any busy mom will love it too!

Ingredients

6 lbs. boneless pork shoulder
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. thyme 
1 tsp. garlic powder 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1-2 cups of water

Directions

Mix all the seasoning together in a small bowl. Stick your pork shoulder in your crockpot and then taking the seasoning give it a good rub down. Make sure to lift up any pieces that are overlapping. There should be more than enough seasoning. Add your water last. 

Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. Or cook it until the pork is really tender. Pull apart with a fork tender. 

Serve on Kaiser buns or hamburger buns with BBQ sauce. 
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Busy Off The Farm

Life has been busy on and off the farm these days. The last few weeks we have had a few weddings and a birthday party. And two of those weddings were a few hours away from us. But, it's safe to say that Elliette has turned into the dancing queen. She loves, and I do mean loves, wedding dances we have found out. 


In between wedding weekends we spent the last couple of week trying to cut, rake, chop, or bale hay in between rain showers. It seems that every time you think you want to go outside and get something done on a cloudy day it starts sprinkling rain again. 

We bailed our pasture into square bales for my cows and the entire evening we were doing it the only picture I snapped was this one. 


Well, really about three versions of this one. But, I love how happy Elliette is in this one. 

My symptoms with IVF have seemed to decreased some. The nausea has really gotten to me the last week or so. I've started decreasing what I eat at meals and aiming for smaller meals most of the day. But, that hasn't helped very much. I even resorted to my peanut butter sandwiches and sipping on coke that helped so much when I was pregnant with Elliette. And that didn't help at all either. I seriously hate when my stomach hurts it makes doing anything just that more difficult. It isn't so bad if it's part of the day or even a few days at a time. But, all day, every day. That is really not easy. And it seems that my doctors have pretty much exhausted their techniques for anti-nasuea medicine. 

But, the best part is when I tell Ellie that my belly hurts she says "Sorry Mommy" and she kisses it to make it feel better. 

I love being a farm wife. But, being a mommy pretty much rocks!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Our Story Of Loss And Hope (Part 5)

Well, I hope I didn't drop a shocker on you and then run last time. If you haven't read our story from the beginning be sure to check them all out here: 
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Again, I feel so blessed by the outpouring of love and support from my followers and even some of my new followers. Thank you, thank you for sharing your own stories and for your continuous prayers as we continue on our IVF journey. 


Now, that IVF journey. It isn't easy not even a little bit. I know we both talked about how it wasn't going to be easy. And we had a lot of long talks about it. The plan for Elliette especially when I had the really bad days. No matter what, we wanted to keep her life as consistent as possible. 
And we have. On the days where she can't be with me because I am so sick to my stomach or I have been told to rest, rest, and then rest some more she has spent time with her Daddy on the farm, or Grandma's house, or our babysitter. On the Sundays when I just didn't feel good enough to make it to church Jason packed her up and took her to church. 


I wasn't lying when I said that my body is tied to a schedule. A really, really tight one. Down to the minute it seems. I have to give shots at the same time each day and give a different shot at the exact time so I don't mess up the process for the doctors. But, I made it through the shot part, or the big shot part, I should say. 
Barely. 
I think I only cried once in pain. But, more than once in not being able to be a "good mommy". And I was so sick to my stomach that I don't even think my hubby got to see a real mood swing in me. 
We went with the recommended course from our doctor. Which is what they call a 'Frozen Embryo Transfer'. Which means that they take out my eggs, they fertilize them, and then they freeze the embryos to put in at a later time. We did this because at the doctor's recommendation we sent them off to a genetics lab for our chromosomes to be analyzed and see if there was a genetic anomaly that we didn't know about. 
It started with a pack of birth control (a bit ironic, right?). Then it was one shot a day. Then it was three shots a day. And then it was one really, really big shot that was a trigger shot that was given at 
7 P.M.- 36 hours before the egg retrieval. 
All the shots essentially made me produce as many eggs as I can and make my uterine wall nice and thick. Then that really, really big shot called the trigger shot- triggers me to ovulate. Then 36 hours later the doctor performs an egg retrieval.
I was nervous, I won't lie. I always get really sick after procedures and surgeries. But, the last thing I remember was a puff of something smelling weird and then waking up feeling....a whole lot better than I thought I would! My blood pressure was really, really low. So, I had to hang out for a little longer than we thought. But, before we knew it we were home and I was happily asleep. 
Then before I knew it I was sicker than sick. I guess I wished a little too much to feel good after being put to sleep. And I mean so sick to my stomach, and puking. And the cramping. 
It was safe to say that the IV medicine had worn off. 
I am a week past the procedure and I am still pretty sick to my stomach, and the cramping has gotten better, but not nearly gone away quite yet. I hate being sick to my stomach. It has to be one of the worst things in the world. It makes me crabby and so miserable. 
But, during that week we have gotten some good news. The day of the retrieval they were able to retrieve 14 eggs! Which is the perfect number. The next day 13 eggs were fertilized. And now on Day 6, we have 7 embryos that are still viable. Which is a true blessing. I would have been devastated, to say the least, if I went through the entire process and they didn't get enough eggs. 
It's amazing how quickly those numbers can diminish, but now it's time for them to be sent off to be analyzed genetically. And once we get those results here in a few weeks, we will start things all over again, a little differently, but starting again, nonetheless. And we will start praying for a safe embryo transfer. 
An embryo transfer means that they will be putting a fertilized egg back inside my uterus. And, because I know I will get asked, we aren't sure how many fertilized eggs we are putting back in. It's a really, really big decision. One that will take a lot of prayers for our family. 
It's hard to believe what we have gone through the last month and on a date night a few nights ago my husband mentioned something about someone asking him if we will do it again if we don't get pregnant. And he said he wasn't sure, because it was really, really hard on me. 
And that's true it has been really, really hard on not only me, but also for Jason. He has had to pick up my slack in all areas and really pull double duty with Elliette. He has been a rock and I know he is tired and ready to have his completely busy, in control of life, wife back. And I hope to get there soon. 
So, I don't know if we will do it again if this IVF cycle fails. But, I know we are meant to be parents, that I know is true in my heart. And if that means only with Elliette then that is okay. But, we haven't closed the book yet. And we can't make decisions when we don't know what the future entails. But, not only is this our IVF journey, but it's also our story of our hope of becoming parents again. Either through IVF or through adoption. Which is a whole new journey we have began, but put on hold for our IVF cycle. It's exciting the opportunities we have in our life. And the many blessings we have encountered along the way. 
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