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Spring Has Sprung

17 Apr

Spring has sprung, the grass is ris’, I wonder where the flowers is?

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziI can still see my Grandpa Jim dancing and wagging his fingers as he recited his ditty each spring. Spring definitely has sprung. You might think it still feels like winter. There WAS snow on the ground just two days ago. But, I’ve got news, folks. That IS spring in Wyoming.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

March 1, 2014. No, seriously.

It’s hard to complain too much. All this snow and rain is quenching our parched land and helping our snow pack (from which we get our irrigation water). We farmers are looking forward to plentiful water this year.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

The Laramie River was a little low last summer.

Even though I’m definitely enjoying the warmer weather, I can’t believe it’s April 17 already. I’ve been a bad blogger and have much to update on. Here’s the rundown:

In January, our nephew Hunter was born. He’s awesome.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziTwo days before that, my wonderful friend’s twins were born. They were a spectacular surprise.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziIn February, Tyler and I took a trip to Arizona. We visited family and friends and took a tour some farm country.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

Safford, Ariz. That’s alfalfa. In February.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

Tyler with my cousins, Paxton & Vance.

 

Grandpa George & Me

Grandpa George & Me

My in-laws and I also threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law Sunni and baby Hunter. Kristny and Mama Kim came up with this adorable Noah’s ark theme.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

Noah’s Ark Diaper Cake

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

“The Lion & The Lamb” Cupcakes

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

Mama Kim, Sunni, Hunter, Skye, Kristny & Liz

In March, Tyler turned 30 and we celebrated with a house full. I was so busy hostessing that I didn’t get any good pictures. But, it was a blessed time filled with great friends and loving family.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

Yes, I made Tyler blow out 30 candles.

I also did some quilting this winter/spring. After three years, the wedding quilt/farmer’s wife quilt is DONE! I’ll definitely tell you more about that soon.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziAnd, we got a dog. His name is Clay. We call him Red. It was either take him off Dad’s hands or he’d be dead. I like him. He’s warming up to the idea of me.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziOh yeah. And we’ve also been fitting in some farming.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziWhew! It’s been an awesome few months! Spring has definitely sprung, and the most exciting and important thing about it is celebrating our Risen Savior.

Jesus came to Earth as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. I love this Casting Crowns song, which tells the story of Jesus and his amazing sacrifice. To learn more about developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, visit http://rickwarren.org/know-god.

Have a wonderful Easter focusing on what Jesus did for you and me!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:40-43

Gone, But Not Forgotten

24 Jan

I’m still here! I promise! I’ve been gone, but my faithful readers are not forgotten. Okay, so maybe I have two faithful readers. And maybe their names are Mom and Dad. But, a girl can dream can’t she?

As, I’m sure it’s been for all of you, life has been crazy busy. Here’s a quick recap of the last couple of months…

I’ve been finishing up my wedding quilt (yes I realize I’ve been married three years).

Gone But Not Forgotten | The Farm PaparazziI went to Missouri to see my friend, Kassi, who had the nerve to fall in love with a rancher 1,000 miles away. We had fun reminiscing about our State FFA and College Roommate days. We baked cookies, fed cattle and didn’t take a single picture. This is ironic since she is a professional photographer and I’m a Farm Paparazzi. We did get one picture when our friend Megan showed up.

Gone But Not Forgotten | The Farm PaparazziWe traveled a lot for holidays, visiting family in Colorado and Gillette. We also saw family here at home. We are blessed to be able to see so many loved ones!

Gone But Not Forgotten | The Farm PaparazziWe celebrated my Mom’s birthday in December and Tyler and I celebrated our third anniversary on Jan. 8!

Gone But Not Forgotten | The Farm PaparazziI’ve been keeping busy with contract PR jobs, volunteer work, and farm wife duties. Tyler has been busy helping feed cattle and do some winter farm work.

Gone But Not Forgotten | The Farm PaparazziBut, the absolute best news is we have a new nephew! Hunter was born on Jan. 19 and Tyler and I traveled up to Gillette to visit the next day. I hogged held him and loved him and threatened to bring him home with me. It was wonderful!

Gone But Not Forgotten | The Farm Paparazzi

Hope all is well in your world!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” – Matthew 18:12-14 (NIV)

Merry Christmas

24 Dec

 

(Click on images to make larger)

2013 C.Mas Card 1

2013 C.Mas Card 2

Yearlong Greetings

12 Dec

December seems to always fill our mailbox with lovely greetings from family and friends. Christmas cards, letters and invitations bring greetings of joy, love and good tidings. For someone who loves getting cards and letters, it makes the jaunt to the mailbox pretty exciting.

Yearlong Greetings IMy mom has a basket she always fills with cards and letters from the year, then she covers the fridge with photos of family and friends. I started the same tradition in my household. The basket holds all the cards and greetings and this frame holds all the photos.

Yearlong Greetings IVSince the string of new greetings is filing in, it was time to clean out the basket. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside as I re-read this past year’s Christmas greetings, anniversary and birthday wishes, wedding and baby announcements and thank you notes. Our loved ones are really a gift and fill our lives with an abundance of joy and love.

Yearlong Greetings IISo, as 2014 approaches and the new year speeds along, I’ll look forward to my little basket filling with reminders of how blessed we are to have such loving, caring people in our lives.

Yearlong Greetings IIIEnjoy your holiday preparations and keep Christ as the focus!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. – Ephesians 4:2

Belonging

10 Dec

d457d-speakingLast week I was in Casper for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association Winter Roundup. This annual meeting was a highlight of my work with WSGA, so I was thrilled when they asked me to come back and help. I didn’t take a single photo while I was there…except with the Association’s camera. I know, bad paparazzi, bad. I was just too busy having fun, I guess!

A bunch of information was distributed, many issues were addressed, lots of money was raised and much merry-making went on. There was great energy at this convention! The current leadership team is really firing people up and I saw more young people this year than ever before. Way to step up Millennials!

Associations like WSGA, Wyoming CattleWomen, Wyoming Farm Bureau, etc. are vital to our industry. These are the folks tracking the issues and utilizing our dues to the benefit of all farmers and ranchers. While we’re on our operations…um…actually operating, they are tracking bills, rules, regulations and misinformation. They are meeting with lawmakers and officials. They are sharing positive and truthful messages about our industry. They are talking to reporters to explain what agriculturists go through to get food on consumers’ plates. We need them and I’m grateful for them.

I heard it mentioned during one of the “talks” that out of all the ranchers in Wyoming that utilize public lands, only 10% provide the funding to the Wyoming Public Lands Coalition for our state’s part in the national Public Lands Council. That means 10% are carrying the burden for 100% of the public lands ranchers. I think only 25% of all the ranchers in Wyoming belong to WSGA. Again, 25% shouldering the load for 100%.

I urge everyone to belong to an ag organization – whether as a regular, associate or supporting member. Whether or not you want to dedicate the time to participating is one thing, but everyone should be sending that annual dues check in. We all need to pitch in to strengthen the organizations benefiting us every day.

So as you’re sending your famous fruit cake to Aunt June and signing that Christmas card to Cousin Bart, be sure to throw your check in the mail to your local, state and national agricultural associations. Together we can do so much more.

Cattle

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – J.C. Penney

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galations 6:2

My Cup Runneth Over

27 Nov

I want to express how blessed and thankful I am as we move into this day of thanksgiving tomorrow.

Happy ThanksgivingMy husband offered me a good lesson the other day. We’d had a wonderful sermon that Sunday about how to actively give thanks (speak up, make the most of it and pass it on). I tease my husband about having A.D.D. and not being able to listen through the whole sermon. Turns out, even though I listened, I didn’t really absorb it. But, he did.

It was my turn to cook food for our church’s free high school lunch program. I was in the midst of fretting about having enough. Complaining about chopping and peeling vegetables. Wondering why I volunteer to help with things that stress me out. As I complained, he offered suggestions, encouraging words and reassurance. Then he gave me the best advice of all. He reminded me that we’d just listened to a sermon on thankfulness. So I needed to look at this project with gratitude.

He told me to be grateful we had the money to buy groceries to donate toward the project. To marvel at the ability to run to the store at any time for any ingredient. To rejoice at the fact that I’m able to stay home on the farm, which also gives me time during our slow season to volunteer. To thank God for the ministry our church provides these students and for using me in it.

Talk about bringing a sermon full circle and refocusing my attitude!

Busyness VII | The Farm PaparazziA lot of my Facebook friends have been posting something they’re grateful for each day of November. I didn’t jump on that bandwagon, but would like to offer my own list.

This year, and every year, I’m thankful for the following:

Thankful for Christ’s example, teaching and sacrifice. Thankful for God’s grace, mercy and love. Without knowing Jesus, I would have no hope.

Laramie Peak SunsetThankful for family. The one that raised me and the one that welcomed me when I married Tyler.

LeSatz Family

Lauck FamilyThankful for my husband. He is hard-working, patient, loving and fun. He starts my car while I’m getting ready so it can warm up. He makes me laugh and helps me not take myself so seriously. He gives the best hugs.

Barley PlantingThankful for my friends. Longtime friends and new friends. I’m surrounded by amazing, kind, Godly people.

Old Friends

New Friends

Work friendsThankful for my occupation(s). Working with my husband is awesome. Working the land and growing food to feed the world is gratifying. My “other” occupation keeps me connected to ranching and Wyoming. It keeps my creative juices flowing.

Busyness III | The Farm Paparazzi

Busyness V | The Farm PaparazziThankful for my church congregation. The folks who run and attend Memorial Baptist Church are truly the salt of the earth.

Church

Thankful for the service organizations to which I belong and members who work beside me.

Laramie Peak CattleWomenThankful for creative outlets. I’ve found joy and solace in music throughout my life. And quilting is reminding me what beauty lies ahead when we overcome obstacles.

Quilting Retreat 2011 E

Stars of Tomorrow 05Thankful for health. It’s something I take for granted everyday. There are so many things that can go “wrong” with our bodies. Let me remember to cherish every healthy day I have.

LizLauckEntry1Thankful for Wyoming. This state and its people are independent and strong, but won’t hesitate to help and share in times of need. We follow the Bible and the Code of the West.

WyomingThankful for our energy workers. Thank you to the coal miners, oil and gas drillers and all the support workers that keep our lights on and our gas tanks full.

CoalThankful for America and those who keep her free. With all her faults, this country is still the best in the world and I’m proud to be an American. Thank you to our military servicemen and their families. Without these amazing people, and God’s grace, we would have nothing that matters on this earth.

AmericaThankful for my fellow farmers and ranchers. They endure, they achieve, they innovate, they fight. And then they get back up and do it again the next day.

CattleThankful for abundance. I’ve never suffered from lack of food, warmth, shelter or love. My cup runneth over. Every. Single. Day.

IMG_8819

Thankful for the promise of tomorrow. There are so many things I’m leaving off this list. There are countless every day blessings like running water, a reliable car to drive, civil service workers and the friendly neighborhood store owner.

I humbly thank God for the undeserved life he’s given me. I praise Him for allowing me a life to live in comfort and peace. I ask every day that He use me to do his will and his work. I ask for each tomorrow to be a day to right wrongs, shine His love and thank Him for all he does and provides.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. – Psalm 23:5 (KJV)

Dammit

11 Nov

Do you have a temper? Have you ever broken things because you threw something or hit something too hard?

No?

Me either.

Dammit | The Farm Paparazzi

My college roommates doing our best Tony Soprano impressions

Okay, to tell you the truth, I do have a temper. My parents, little brother, husband and college roommates will attest to that. Once I broke the towel rack in our hall bath because I thought it would be safe to hit things with a towel. A towel is soft, right? Well, it ripped the rack right out of the wall. I’m just being honest. Please, don’t think less of me.

I’ve gotten much better about controlling my temper, but every now and then I still feel like hitting something. My mom knows this about me and she brought something to my aid when my parents visited last week.Dammit | The Farm Paparazzi

It’s called a Dammit Doll. We’re new best friends.

Dammit | The Farm PaparazziThis poor little creature has one purpose…getting the stuffing knocked out of it. Short of tenderizing chicken breasts with a mallet, this is the best stress relief tool I’ve ever seen.

Dammit | The Farm PaparazziI haven’t used it yet for it’s official purpose (see I told you I was getting better at this self-control thing), but when I need it, my Dammit Doll will be there for me.

Thanks Mom,

Liz

(This isn’t a paid promotion. Dammit Dolls has never heard of me. I just like their product.)

Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool. – Ecclesiastes 7:9 (NLT)

Busyness

19 Oct

Busyness IV | The Farm PaparazziWe’ve had a lot going on the last few weeks! We’re done with everything but corn harvest. It’s nice to have the rest of the crops out of the fields.

Update 6Harvest has gone well while we’re in the fields. But, actually getting into the fields has been the difficult part as rain and snow storms keep kicking us out. At least we’re getting moisture.

Update 2My job during corn harvest is running grain cart. You can see how the combine fills up the cart, and then…

Update 3…the cart fills up the trucks. The trucks either go directly to the feedlots where we sell corn, or into our bins for storage and sale at a later date. In these photos, our good friend, Scott, is running cart. I was slacking off doing another job at the time.

Fall 2013 CowCountryI was busy putting together the Fall Issue of CowCountry. When I left the Wyoming Stock Growers Association this spring, I was able to keep the magazine as a contract job. They just can’t get rid of me.

photoOn October 7 we had a visit from several Canadian producers! It was so fun to visit with Jolene, Andrea and Erika from the Canadian Cattlemens Young Leaders. They were down for the 2013 Agrifuture Conference, an event put on by the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. While in Wyoming, these awesome young women, along with Pamela Rose of the Canadian Consulate in Denver, toured several SE Wyoming ag operations. Brook Brockman with the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and Haley Lockwood from the Wyoming Stock Growers Association were their tour guides. While on the tour, they stopped by to visit with us. Not that we’re anything special, we just can’t say no when people ask us to do stuff.

Canadian Tourists 3I gave the gals a general overview of our farming operation. And by general, I mean the very little I actually know about our operation. I’m still a farm wife in training.

Canadian Tourists 1Then I took them down to the field where Tyler was combining corn. He gave them the real story. It was really cool to compare operations. The gals were from different parts of Canada, so we got some different perspectives of livestock production and farming from our neighbors to the north.

Wyoming-Canada_Page_1

Pamela gave us some neat goodies that represent the trade partnership between the US and Canada. Included was a handout that gave specific statistics, including the fact that in 2011, $17 million worth of goods were traded between Wyoming and Canada. Visit this website to learn more. I also urge you to visit Erika’s ranch blog! The neat thing about agriculture is, even though our operations vary greatly from state to state and country to country, we all share a lot in common. I hope someday we can get up to Canada to visit their operations.

Apple ButterI’ve also been filling my days with fun projects like canning for the first time! Some friends gave us a 5-gallon bucket full of apples off one of their trees. I’ve been going apple crazy making apple crisp, apple cookies and apple butter. I canned the apple butter and shared with family. So good on toast or even chicken and pork!

Praise God for an awesome life!

Update 1

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. – Joshua 21:45

Multitasking

17 Oct

Lots going on right now and lots to update about, but I’m slowly working through a to-do list. One of my tasks is to go through my e-mails…there are people I haven’t responded to in about three weeks, which is like 70 years in Internet terms. Anyway, as I’m going through my e-mails, I ran across this video my quilting teacher, Judy, sent to me a couple months ago. This gal figured out how to quilt while she runs tractor – genius!

Now I’m off to continue the quest to mark things off my list! Do you ever accomplish something that wasn’t on your list and then write it on the list and cross it off? Just to feel good about seeing it done on your list? No? Me either.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

…in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:6

Visiting

21 Aug

We had some visitors over the last week. Tyler’s cousins Lane and Erickson came up from Texas to visit family, run around on the farm and revisit memories.

Visiting V | The Farm Paparazzi

Erickson and Lane both spent many summers in Wheatland. Erickson even lived here and went to school for a year or two. He’s a little older than Tyler and had lots of memories of the antics they got into as youngsters on the farm. Because of Erickson, I learned that Tyler had a coon-skin cap and his dirt bike once caught his leg on fire. Just when I thought I knew everything about my husband, then awesome stories like that resurface. I love family.

Visiting I| The Farm Paparazzi

Lane has spent many summers in Wheatland, including the summer of our first year of marriage. He’s a great kid who loves the farm and wants to be an Air Force pilot. We’ll keep him.

Visiting II | The Farm Paparazzi

While Lane was here, my friend Stephanie with Cowgirl Graphics took his senior pictures. She did an awesome job and we had so much fun running to different locations and making Lane smile 5,123 times.

Visiting VI | The Farm Paparazzi

We also spent the weekend with Tyler’s sister, brother-in-law and niece at Keyhole Reservoir in NE Wyoming. They put Jake’s boat to good use and camped out. Tyler and I spent the day on the lake Saturday, then got a hotel in Rapid City (Let’s just say I wasn’t terribly excited about camping) and went to Cabela’s on Sunday. We drove back to Gillette and visited with Sunni, Jake and Skye for the rest of the day and then Tyler, Lane, Erickson and I drove back to Wheatland.

Visiting III | The Farm PaparazziThe rest of the week was filled with opportunities to catch up with family (great aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, old friends…), time on the farm and a little Wyoming entertainment. It was laid back, but I think we all enjoyed it.

The guys left today. Lane starts his Senior Year soon and Erickson’s employers want him back.

Visiting IV | The Farm Paparazzi

Visiting VII | The Farm PaparazziUntil next time!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people. – Psalm 52:9

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