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Day of Rest

10 Jul

I’ve been thinking this week about needing to take all of God’s commandments more seriously (see Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21). The one I neglect the most is keeping the Sabbath. This commandment was on my heart, and then my little girl got sick Saturday night and we took the Day of Rest very literally. I have no complaints.

Day of Rest

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. – Exodus 20:8-11

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Wyoming Wildflowers

1 Jul

As my birthday gift, my incredibly busy farmer husband took an afternoon off to take Ella and I for a drive. We drove up to Esterbrook (a little community of summer cabins) and back around Laramie Peak. It was beautiful and we even found a little spot to have a picnic by a creek. It made me nostalgic for the summers I spent at my Grandpa’s cabin in the high elevations of southern Colorado.

Much to my delight, the wildflowers were blooming away! My mom gave me the book “Wildflowers of Wyoming” by Diantha and Jack States two years ago for my birthday and I finally put it to good use. This book is so great for a novice because it has a color guide in the front. I did my best to identify these flowers, but if anyone has more knowledge and sees that I’ve make a mistake (or has a more specific identification) feel free to comment and help us all learn!

And one more thing. Before any of you go teasing me about these being “weeds” not “flowers”, I get it. I’m a rancher’s granddaughter. Grandpa Jim would tell me that locoweed is a dangerous plant, not a pretty flower. But, my definition (as taught to me by my agroecology professor, Dr. Wilson) is “a plant out of place.” And these plants were right where I needed them to be to lift my spirits…so that’s no weed.

Beardtongue | The Farm Paparazzi

Beardtongue (Penstemon)

Bluebell | The Farm Paparazzi

Bluebell

Fleabane Daisy | The Farm Paparazzi

This one I wasn’t quite sure of…my best guess was fleabane daisy…

Nuttall's Evening Primrose | The Farm Paparazzi

Nuttall’s Evening Primrose

Common Harebell | The Farm Paparazzi

Common Harebell

Lambert's Locoweed | The Farm Paparazzi

Lambert’s Locoweed

Silvery Lupine | The Farm Paparazzi

Silvery Lupine

Wild Vetch | The Farm Paparazzi

Wild Vetch

Wild Rose | The Farm Paparazzi

Wild Rose

Wild Geranium | The Farm Paparazzi

Wild Geranium

Richardson's Geranium | The Farm Paparazzi

Richardson’s Geranium

Indian Paintbrush | The Farm Paparazzi

Indian Paintbrush

But the best flowers I saw on the entire trip were these beautiful gifts from God!

Ella and Black Eyed Susans | The Farm Paparazzi

Ella (holding Black Eyed Susans) and Tyler

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” – Isaiah 40:8

Back to Blogging…I Hope

25 Jun

Here it goes. Another attempt at blogging. I’ve never been consistent, mostly because I didn’t want blogging to feel like a chore. But the last 18 months have been consumed by motherhood and I’m only now consistently showering, let alone contributing to my hobbies.

Being the mother of a toddler makes you really evaluate how you spend your time. I’ve been thinking a lot about the “point” of blogging. Although I’m big on communicating, I’ve never been a huge fan of social media for my personal life. I could go down the rabbit hole of why…but I’ll spare you. I know you get it. Real life is just more, well, real.

The main reason I started the blog was to share our life on the farm. Because after reading the twelfth article of the day about how evil/wrong we farmers and ranchers are, you just get plain fed up with the misinformation, misunderstandings, and flat out lies. And although I have doubts about my ability to make a difference and doubts about subjecting myself to criticism, I’ve concluded that it is worthwhile and I should forge ahead. We all have a story to tell and this is ours.

I’m looking forward to reconnecting with friends and family who’ve been readers in the past. And I’m looking forward to making new connections. So, onward and upward!

God Bless You and American Agriculture,

Liz

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Crawling Baby Photo Shoot

17 Oct

Each month I do a little photo session with Ella to mark her growth and progress. It’s what any good Pinterest mom would do.

In all seriousness, I just enjoy the creative outlet and it’s fun to brag about my kiddo.

crawling-baby-photo-shoot-10

The quilt was made by my Great Grandmother Helen and finished by my Aunt Mary. It’s called Pussy Willows. Adorable, right?

Ella has been very compliant (for the most part) as we do these photo sessions. But, three days after she turned 9 months old, she started crawling. It’s exciting and wonderful, but not conducive to these photo shoots. Allow me to demonstrate.

crawling-baby-photo-shoot-2crawling-baby-photo-shoot-3crawling-baby-photo-shoot-1crawling-baby-photo-shoot-4

I was laughing so hard and Ella was moving so fast that most of the images are a blur.

crawling-baby-photo-shoot-6

I kept trying.

crawling-baby-photo-shoot-8

And trying.

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But Ella got the better of me each time. I think it may be foreshadowing of our future battles.

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We’ll see how the 10 month update goes.

crawling-baby-photo-shoot-9

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;his faithfulness continues through all generations. – Psalm 100:5

 

Introducing Rozella

7 Feb

Biirth Announcement_Page_1Biirth Announcement_Page_2

Photography by Leah Yetter (check out her Uprooted Magnolia blog: https://leahyetter.wordpress.com/)

Brewery Tour: Where Our Malt Barley Turns into Beer

22 Dec

 

Malt Barley Harvest 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Malt barley harvest on T&L Farms

Last summer we arranged a tour of the MillerCoors brewery in Golden, Colo. As contracted malt barley growers, we got the special treatment.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Our tour group consisted of Tyler and I, my mom Amy, dad Steve, brother Ben, Tyler’s mom Kim, her husband Bill, and Tyler’s Great Uncle Harry, and Great Aunt Veletia. Veletia put together a detailed, very informative slideshow of the trip, the company’s history, and the brewing process here. It’s a fun read with great photos!

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

During Prohibition, the company diversified by making ceramics and other malted products.

We learned a lot about how beer is brewed in mass quantity. It was fun to see the final leg in our barley’s existence. Now I’ve seen it go from field to cup!

Malt Barley Harvest 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Barley growing on T&L Farms

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

I’d never seen hops in person before. Have you? They had it growing outside the brewery, and had some of it to touch on the way into the facility.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

We saw what the barley goes through before other ingredients are added.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Steeping tanks. The barley is soaked twice before it is germinated.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Germinated barley. This must be done before the grain is suitable for brewing.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Kilning or roasting is done to get the barley just right for different types of beer.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Kilning or roasting before the barley is sent to the brewing process.

This was the best smelling place. The barley goes through the brewing process where other ingredients are introduced. Veletia’s slideshow really has a great explanation of the details.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

The finished beer goes through quality control. It’s all more scientific than I ever imagined beer brewing would entail.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

We also got to see the product being packaged on site. Look at that sea of cans.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

And, of course, we got to taste test some of the product. Was a fun time had by all!

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

 

“Let a man walk ten miles steadily on a hot summer’s day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented.” – Gilbert K Chesterton.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. – Hebrews 10:25

 

Showered with Love

29 Nov
Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Me with my Grandma Marcy’s Better Homes & Garden’s Baby Book from 1951. Photography by Stephanie Russell at Cowgirl Graphics | http://www.cowgirlgraphics.com/

As of tomorrow, I am officially four weeks away from my due date. When you first get pregnant, 40 weeks sounds so far away. Now it’s nearly here and I am excited/terrified/elated/apprehensive/insert emotion here. Basically, one moment I feel an overwhelming sense of love and anticipation for Sweet Pea’s arrival and the next moment I just feel overwhelmed. But, I think that’s pretty normal. Right?…Right?

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Photography by Stephanie Russell at Cowgirl Graphics | http://www.cowgirlgraphics.com/

Well, even if I’m not normal, I guess I’ll forge on ahead. I’m rarely normal anyway.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Clay doesn’t quite know it, but his world is about to be turned upside down by a tiny, pink baby girl. Photography by Stephanie Russell at Cowgirl Graphics | http://www.cowgirlgraphics.com/

One thing’s for sure, I’m feeling much more prepared for Baby Girl Lauck’s arrival after we were showered by friends and family this month. And when I say showered, I mean it was an absolute downpour of love, support, encouragement and generosity!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

My mother-in-law borrowed this vintage baby buggy and decorated it with Tyler and I’s baby blankets. It held gifts and was inspired by the antique doctor’s buggy we had at our wedding to hold gifts.

The first shower in Wheatland was hosted by my incredible in-laws. Tyler’s mom, Kim and sisters Sunni and Kristny poured the most amazing amount of love and effort into making the day beautiful and special. Just look at the fun details they put together for the Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice theme!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

 

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

It was also an incredible turnout! A lot of Tyler’s family lives in Wheatland, so we had family, friends, church family, and P.E.O. Sisters form a crowd of around 55+ people. Talk about a flood of support!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

The first table to sort the sprinkles by color won a prize!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

We had to call in reinforcements to haul all the adorable gifts home. We thank God for all these amazing people in our lives and are so grateful He is allowing our daughter to be born surrounded by such wonderful spirits.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Mom had her hands full writing down all the adorable gifts.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Mom, Kim, Me, Sunni and niece Skye.

While we girls were having fun at the shower, my dad and Tyler were busy at home with the nursery “to-do” list I left. Aren’t I a good cruise director? I had expected only a few things to be checked off, but when I arrived home, they’d gotten nearly everything done on the list! Grandpa and Dad get a gold star for sure.

The very next weekend my wonderful Aunt Mary and friend Cheri hosted a shower in Colorado where a lot of my family lives. It was a much smaller gathering, but was just as special. We got to enjoy a Peter Rabbit Storybook theme complete with bunnies everywhere and flower cupcakes. It was so precious and a great tribute to my favorite childhood pastime – reading!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

I was presented with some wonderful handmade treasures, as well as some practical gadgets and lots of really good advice. I respect these mother’s so much and soaked in all their wisdom.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

My Aunt Mary cross-stitched this blanket, as well as finished a quilt my great grandma had started. Including the wool rug she made, I’d say she was one busy woman and my daughter is one blessed girl!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Wonderful friends Kosha, Dell and Leanne with my Mom.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Cousin Emilie and Aunt Alisa look at the baby pictures from Tyler and I’s albums.

As if I weren’t spoiled enough, my amazing friend Kassi hopped on an airplane and flew from Missouri with an 18-month-old just to be at the shower. We’ve been State FFA Officers together, roommates, bridesmaids in each other’s weddings and now we get to share motherhood together. Our mutual friend Megan also was able to be there. Even though she lives in Omaha, Neb., she was in Denver for work and was able to come to the shower as well. Amazing!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Nora put her seal of approval on the gifts.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Nora, Kassi, Me and Megan.

I am so blown away by the love and generosity we’ve received throughout this whole pregnancy. We have people all over the country praying for us and sending us sweet gifts. It’s hard for me to express how truly thankful we are. Praise God for putting all of you wonderful family and friends in our lives!Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:13-14

Farmer Vacation

26 Sep

As a farming married couple, our vacations usually revolve around something ag related. One of my fondest memories of when we were dating was a road trip to pick up equipment in eastern Nebraska. I call it vacationing with a purpose.

Our latest trip, while not solely tied to agriculture, was for the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit in Jackson, Wyo. (I blogged about that last time.). We were part of the agriculture contingent, so I think it fits our vacation modus operandi pretty well.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Participants during the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit in Jackson, Wyo. mid September. Photo Courtesy of Governor Matt Mead’s Office.

Since both of us had been to Jackson several times, we skipped a lot of the regular attractions and sought out a couple sights we hadn’t seen before. While in this part of the world, you can literally stop every two minutes for a photo op, so you really have to pace yourself. It’s so gorgeous, but I didn’t go overboard with my paparazzi tendencies and was proud of myself for just soaking in God’s majesty.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Mead Family Ranch

We, of course, saw the Tetons. It was a great time of year to visit because the leaves were starting to turn. Unfortunately, the West has had a horrible fire season, so the air was pretty smoky and limited the clarity of our views. Even with the haze, it is always incredible to be at the foot of these mountains.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

We also stopped to see the Moulton barn on Mormon Row. Probably one of the most photographed barns in the world, it is part of a series of homesteads settled in the 1890s. It’s inspiring to stand where these Pioneers once broke ground and endured back-breaking labor to survive.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Moulton Homestead on Mormon Row

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Tyler by the famous Moulton Barn

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Me in my pregnant glory (24 weeks, a.k.a. 6 months) with a pretty awesome backdrop.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

It wouldn’t be a true Farmer Vacation without us investigating their irrigation system. Water was still flowing through the homestead properties.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The 1,756,892 picture ever taken of the Moulton Barn. That’s an approximate figure.

We stopped in Moose, Wyo. (yes, Moose) for lunch and visited the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor’s Center. Named for the late Senator from Wyoming, this center features spectacular views and interactive displays. Our main reason for detouring over to Moose, was to find the penny-smashing machine for a friend who collects them. We thought it was a fun reason to visit a place we’d otherwise not bother with.

Then we headed through Grand Teton National Park. For you married folks out there, you know how road trips can go. One person wants to stop at all the cool sights. The other person is worried the stopping might get out of control and we’ll end up spending eternity in northern Wyoming. So, all this to say, I wanted to get a really pretty picture in Grand Teton NP. There was a slight disagreement about it. The photo never happened. The end.

We then took a loop through Yellowstone National Park. We came through the south entrance by Lewis Lake, headed west to Old Faithful, looped up through Madison, Norris and Canyon Village, headed back down along the Yellowstone River, and went out the east entrance. We had many a bison encounter, saw a myriad of geo-thermal activity, and enjoyed gorgeous sights.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Because this was mostly a driving tour of Jellystone, we didn’t see a lot of wildlife. However, the bison viewing was abundant.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Yellowstone’s version of a cattle drive.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Old Faithful

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Gibbon Falls

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

One of the reasons for hazy pictures. It couldn’t possibly be my amateur photography skills.

One word of caution to you fellow travelers out there. Don’t assume you can find a hotel room along the way. We had planned to stay overnight in Cody, but after stopping at five hotels and checking a couple websites, it appeared that out of 30+ hotels in this town, the only one that had rooms available was the Cockroach Inn. So instead of delaying our drive with a nice meal at a good sit-down restaurant, we grabbed some quick McDonalds and hurried down the road to Thermopolis where a bed awaited these weary travelers.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Hot Springs State Park

While I was none too happy about my vacation fare including fast food, the detour to Thermopolis ended up being a fun one. We took a little drive to see some of the farm ground outside of town. Then on our way back through town, we stopped at Hot Springs State Park. Tyler has fond memories of playing in the mineral pools as a kid. Although I’ve been through Thermop many a time, I’ve never actually stopped at the park, so it was long overdue.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The Wyoming State Park website says, “Over colorful terraces along the Big Horn River at Thermopolis flows water from mineral hot springs. More than 8,000 gallons flow over the terrace every 24 hours at a constant temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit.”

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The Swinging Bridge over the Bighorn River. I’m afeared of heights, but I went across it anyway.

Then we headed back home so Tyler could get back to cutting and combining our beans, silage harvest, irrigating, etc. and I could get back to the 47 things on my to-do list.

After a long, stressful summer, it was so nice to get away for a few days. If it weren’t for Governor Mead’s invitation to the Summit, we probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere this summer/fall. I was desperate for one last trip together before Baby Girl Lauck arrives, and wasn’t looking forward to traveling in November when I’ll feel whale-esque. So hooray for vacationing with a purpose!

Where’d you go this summer?

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. – Proverbs 2:8-9 (NLT)

Expo-sing Kids to Agriculture

22 Sep

It’s technically the last day of summer today, although once Labor Day rolls around and the irrigation water goes off, it already feels like Fall to me. It’s been a crazy, stressful summer so we’re glad harvest is commencing and crops are rolling out of the fields.

One thing that marks the beginning of Fall for me is our local Ag Expo. Hosted by the Laramie Peak CattleWomen here in Platte County, we invite the local 3rd and 4th graders to come learn about agriculture. I’ve organized the event for the past two years and enjoy watching the kids learn about my favorite industry.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Laramie Peak CattleWoman Bonnie Terrell talks about the importance of a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. With nutrients like zinc, iron and protein, BEEF is a part of a healthy diet!

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Wyoming Game & Fish’s Jeff O’Brecht talks about wildlife and uses a collection of hides, horns, antlers and bones for hands-on learning.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Brown Company, our local equipment dealership, brought a New Holland tractor and a Polaris Ranger for kids to experience. Laura Lauck explained how equipment is used on the farm or ranch.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Wheatland FFA member Samantha Kernin discussed sheep with the students. She explained the different breeds and how their products are used.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Glendo FFA Members talked about horses with the kids while two miniature ponies were on display.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Mary Ann from Platte County Extension talked about composting with the students. The kids enjoyed seeing how they could use “trash” to help improve their garden soil.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

LeRoy Jons from Platte County Extension showed the kids the high tunnel located on the Fairgrounds. He discussed how the structure extends our short growing season and the kids enjoyed sneaking a tomato or green bean.

2015 Platte County Ag Expo | The Farm Paparazzi

Laramie Peak CattleWomen President Jan Hyche and member Deanna Christensen taught the kids about branding cattle. The students got to hold down and “brand” a “cow”, learned how to read a brand, made their own brand and left with a Wyoming CattleWomen I Heart Beef temporary tattoo.

Thank you to the students, teachers and bus drivers for coming to our Ag Expo year after year. We appreciate all the volunteers, including CattleWomen members, the Glendo FFA Chapter, the Wheatland FFA Chapter, Brown Company of Wheatland, Platte County Weed and Pest, Platte County Extension, and Wyoming Game and Fish. We also appreciate the wonderful help of the Platte County Fairgrounds staff and use of their facilities.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. – 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

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