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Ready for His Close-up

21 Aug

Clay loves summer. It’s hot. There’s lots of water to play in. There are lots of critters to chase. And he gets to ride everywhere with his favorite human on earth, my farmer husband.

Ready For His Close-up | The Farm Paparazzi

I snapped this photo while we were irrigating one evening and I think he looks like the dog version of Fabio on the cover of a romance novel. Isn’t he fabulous?

Ready For His Close-up | The Farm Paparazzi

“Whatever, Liz. I’m just going to ignore you and pounce on this mouse.”

Ready For His Close-up | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Marking Memories

8 Jan

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

Today is our 4th Anniversary. Tyler and I met because, well, when you live in a small town, you end up meeting. Six years later we were married. At the wedding reception we asked guests to write their birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar I’d created. The thought was to keep them a part of our marriage beyond the wedding.

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

The calendar was a fun, custom addition to our first year together, so I decided to make one every year. I missed making one last year, but made sure to get on the ball for a 2015 edition.

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

I use Shutterfly. It’s super simple to use. I’m sure there are other great calendar-creation services out there, but I just use what I know. (This isn’t an ad for Shutterfly…they’ve never heard of me…except when I order stuff from ’em).

I try to match the image to the month, but sometimes I go rogue and just use an image I like.

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

This year I also added some favorite Bible verses. Sometimes they fit a theme for the month, but some are just ones I love.

Marking Memories | The Farm Paparazzi

It’s just a fun way to highlight our work, display some of my novice photography and to create a keepsake to look back on.

Do you have any annual traditions? I’d love to hear about them!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. – Psalm 90:12

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay

6 Jan

Over Christmas, we got to spend quite a bit of time with both sides of the family. That’s the beauty of all our family living within a 3 hour drive.

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

There were lots of special moments. One of my favorite memories didn’t have anything to do with food (although it was delicious) or presents (although I love tearing into wrapping paper) or the snow (although it was a beautiful white Christmas). It was when my (almost) four-year-old niece came running up to me and asked if I’d go with her and Uncle Tyler to the farm.

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

She wanted to see the cows and the combine. So we put on our boots and ventured out. My father-in-law custom feeds cattle and she loves watching them. Uncle Tyler held her close after they climbed into one of the cow pens. Then he called Clay in and we watched as the curious cows came closer.

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

“They like him,” Tyler said and little Skye watched as Clay licked their noses.

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

“Ick, yuck,” she said, mystified at the scene. She made faces, chuckled, asked a couple of questions and noticed all the different colored ear tags.

Christmas, Kids, Cows and Clay | The Farm Paparazzi

What fun to watch a kid on a farm.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. – Exodus 18:20 (NLT)

Corn Dog

3 Jan

One wintertime activity for row crop farmers is hauling our stored corn to feedlots.

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

Notice: This is obviously an older photo because it is not sunny and dry. We have a foot of snow on the ground right now.

This is Tyler’s job. I don’t know how to drive a straight truck and I’m protesting learning how. I’m sort of closed minded, but I’m working on it.

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

So, when my farmer husband comes home this time of year sometimes his pockets are full of corn. One morning he grabbed his hoodie to throw on and corn went all over the floor. It was like a scene out of a Leslie Nielsen movie. It just keep falling and the more he tried to stop it, the more little kernels trickled all over the floor.

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

Normally I’m OCD and this would have made me crazy (I’m working on it), but it was so comical that all I could do was watch and giggle. Then the dog scampered in and started crunching away at the mess. He really loved it. He’s weird, but he’s working on it.

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

So instead of scurrying away to get the dustbuster and broom, I took pictures and chuckled. Farm Paparazzi at your service (even if they are blurry cell phone paparazzi shots).

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

Hope your day is filled with “corny” fun and laughter!

Corn Dog | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

A cheerful heart is good medicine… – Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)

Winter Glow

27 Dec

I’m a sporadic holiday decorator. Some years I just don’t have it in me and other years I really make up for my lazy years. This was not a lazy year. More of a Martha Stewart year, really. I even got lights up on the outside of the house for the first time in our four-year marriage. I’ve really been enjoying seeing our house all lit up. Then God gave us a white Christmas and made it even more special.

Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi

Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi

Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi

Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi

Winter Glow | The Farm Paparazzi

Hoping your Christmas was a magical celebration of God’s most precious gift, our Savior and King, Jesus Christ.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ. – Philippians 3:8

Christmas Greetings

22 Dec

Christmas Greetings | The Farm Paparazzi

Christmas Greetings | The Farm Paparazzi

The Christmas Photo Session Saga

15 Dec

Hi guys. It’s Clay.

Red and Black | The Farm Paparazzi

My humans have lost it. Could you please come save me? There I was in the kitchen, minding my own business, when they called me into the living room.

The Christmas Photo Session Saga | The Farm Paparazzi

They were sitting on the hard rock, not on the soft chairs. Then, they wanted me to sit down, facing AWAY from them. What?! How’s that supposed to work? I’m telling you, they’re nuts.

The Christmas Photo Session Saga | The Farm Paparazzi

Then the female human, the one that feeds me, well, she kept jumping up and pushing buttons on this contraption. It started to beep and make bright flashes. I was, like, huh? What is the purpose of this?

The Christmas Photo Session Saga | The Farm Paparazzi

The dang flashes about blinded me, but the female human just kept jumping up and making the contraption do it over and over and over.

The Christmas Photo Session Saga | The Farm Paparazzi

Finally, I just got bored and laid down. I’d had enough of this weirdness.

The Christmas Photo Session Saga | The Farm Paparazzi

Send help immediately.

Love and cuddles,

Clay

The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. – Proverbs 12:10 (NIV)

The Tragic Tale of the Tail in My Boot

22 Nov

Many of you will recall the heart wrenching story of the bee in my pop and the callous reaction from my father. As if that weren’t enough to send me straight into the arms of a weekly therapy session, I will now recount the tragic tale of the tail in my boot.

The Tragic Tale of the Tail in My Boot | The Farm Paparazzi

Google Images

I was probably about 10 years old and my Grammie Marcie had given me two bottle lambs out of her farm flock. In order to properly care for livestock, one must have the appropriate attire. For me, this included a pair of black irrigation boots from the local country store. I loved those boots and proudly wore them as I fed my lambs, cleaned their pen and filled their water tank.

One day, I innocently entered the garage and began to pull on my beloved boots. As my foot hit the bottom of the left boot, I felt something in the toe. I figured I must have left my wadded-up sock in the boot from the day before, so I took off the boot, held it upside down and whacked the bottom for good measure. But, instead of a white ball of sock, a little gray mouse came tumbling out! He scurried out the side door and left me with nothing to do but SHRIEK at the top of my lungs.

My dad must have been within ear shot, because he appeared in the next moment. I’m sure at the sound of the racket, he thought he’d find a daughter with a bloody stump or gouging head wound. Instead he found a mortified little girl, holding her boot upside down and having a severe attack of the willies.

A man of extensive personal experience regarding all things creepy, crawly and outdoors, he immediately realized what had happened and out of pure relief that his daughter was not maimed, he began to laugh out loud.

Seriously? What can a girl do to get some sympathy around here? Oh well, something else to discuss with my counselor.

The Tragic Tale of the Tail in My Boot | The Farm Paparazzi

Google Images

May your boots stay critter free and your sense of humor stay in tact!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

The Farmer’s Wife Wedding Quilt

23 Aug

When I was a bright-eyed newlywed, my good friend, Judy, asked me if she could make me a wedding quilt. In a moment of insanity, I said, “Actually…could we make one together? That way I could learn along the way!”

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm PaparazziWell 3 years and, almost exactly, 3 months after I said “I do”, I finally finished said wedding quilt.

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm PaparazziThe journey has been so fun. Judy was so patient with me (especially after a year in there were I didn’t accomplish anything on the quilt) and really helped me get excited about being a quilter. I can’t thank her enough for her kindness in teaching me and dedicating so much time and so many resources.

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm PaparazziWe got the project up and running after Judy handed me a copy of The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt. The book description says:

“The 1922 The Farmer’s Wife magazine posed this question to their readers: “If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of your own experience, have her marry a farmer?” The magazine at the time had 750,000 subscribers, and received over 7,000 letters. The best answers to this question are included in this book, along with the traditional quilt blocks they inspired.”

How fitting for a girl who’d just married a farmer!

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm Paparazzi The entire sampler quilt has 111 unique blocks, so we decided to scale it down. Instead, I found another quilt pattern I liked, chose 23 blocks out of the book and Judy created a design from which to work.

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm PaparazziBecause we wanted to include family in the process, I sent a letter to many of my and Tyler’s female relatives and asked for donations of fabric from their “stashes”. I received fabric from many generous family members. My maternal Gramma Marcie also gifted me with most of her huge fabric stash.

Then my mom gifted me my paternal grandmother’s sewing machine. Although she died when I was a baby, having Grandma Rozella’s machine made it feel like she was cheering me on as I sewed my wedding quilt.

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm PaparazziJudy and I spent a lot of time selecting the right color values for each block. She also washed and ironed all the fabric (no small task). My first piecing experience was at the 2011 Wheatwater Quilters Retreat that the Platte County Parks and Recreation Department hosts each year. Judy started me off sewing all the little tan pieces. I even tried my hand at a couple blocks during that retreat.

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm Paparazzi

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm Paparazzi

Over the next couple of years, Judy and I worked on the tan blocks, the sampler quilt blocks and the piano keys (the striped borders). Finally at the 2013 Wheatwater retreat, we finished the blocks, added the brown borders and the piano keys and figured out what order we wanted to display the blocks.

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm PaparazziA couple weeks later, we got together to finish the quilt top. It was so exciting to see all the intricate details start to form a REAL LIVE QUILT!

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm PaparazziAfter the top was finished, Judy quilted it on her longarm machine.

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm PaparazziOnce that was done, she showed me how to square up the quilt and how to sew on the binding. I took the project home, finished the binding and then proceeded to jump up and down and squeal!

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm PaparazziIt was finally done! The girl who couldn’t sew a straight line in Jr. High Home Ec. just finished a whole quilt!

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm Paparazzi

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm Paparazzi

The Farmer's Wife Wedding Quilt | The Farm PaparazziWe still have to put the label on, but as of April 2014, the Farmer’s Wife Wedding Quilt is done!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. – Proverbs 16:3

Bee Stings

6 Jul

BEE-lieve it or not, my husband and I have both been stung in the face within a two week period. Each of us were just merrily riding a Gator (him) and a 4-wheeler (her) while checking irrigation water, when, BAM! Out of nowhere, an unsuspecting bee hits us under the left eye (him) and above the right eyebrow (her). I guess when bees whack a person doing 30 mph, their last ditch effort is to sting said motorist. Then all the sting victim can do is cuss (him) and cry (her) while their face throbs and swells.

Cue the sad violins.

Bugs Bunny | Warner Bros.

Bugs Bunny | Warner Bros.

So, while I’m sitting here with a forehead that looks like I belong in one of those Geiko caveman commercials, I’m reminded of another bee sting story.

Geico Caveman

Geico Caveman

When I was about 5-years-old, we lived in Eaton, Colo. My parents were finally able, after many years of planning and dreaming, to purchase 80 acres. While our new house was being built, we would go out to check progress and do things adults do while building a house. Forgive me for not really knowing exactly what we were doing out there. I was 5.

Many of the details are a little fuzzy (I was 5), but what is clear in my memory is the fact that I had a pop in my chubby little hands. I was slurping said soda (have you ever known a 5-year-old to quietly drink a beverage? The answer is, no.). For some reason, I set the aforementioned pop down and ran off to do whatever it is 5-year-olds do at a construction site. And when I came back, I took a BIG slurp of the sugary stuff.

“Oh, shucks,” I thought to myself. “There’s a dirt clod in my pop.”

So I spit the whole mess out and lo-and-behold, the dirt clod was a bee.

My surprise at seeing a bee come out of my mouth was quickly overtaken by the throbbing pain on my tongue. Certain of his impending compassion and concern, I ran to my Dad.

“There wath a bee inma pop! Ibitma! Ibitma!” I tried my best to communicate. Dad just laughed.

He didn’t believe me! The wretched parent! How could he mistrust such an innocent face with such a swollen tongue? But mistrust he did and it’s taken years of imaginary therapy for me to come to terms with his denial of my truth.

And at times like this, with my swollen brow, I think it’s still a very traumatic memory.

Don’t even get me started on the time there was a mouse in my boot!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)

P.S. After posting this, I got a couple suggestions. My mom recommends a vinegar and baking soda paste and my friend Judy recommends a product called Afterbite (or just plain ammonia, which is the main ingredient). Shout out, if you have any bee sting cures!

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