Off To A Great Start!

Do you ever try to do to much? How about having a great plan, but realizing that you waited until the very last minute to put your plan into action? Most days this is me. Trying to do to much or realizing that I have waited to long to get done what I KNEW was going to be great. This is my one and only goal for 2016: Stay on top of things so that I can be a better me.

Off to a great start

I have seen several posts from others regarding goals, resolutions and changes for 2016. I have only read a very few of them because for me, a new year brings new attitudes, new experiences, new adventures and hopefully new friendships. Why worry about trying to accomplish resolutions when you can just focus on what is important to you and your family.

So, for 2016 here is what I need to stay aware of and for lack of better words, “on top of”.

  • Housework – As much as I would rather be outside working or playing with the kids, I do need to put a bit more effort into keeping the house clean. The house picked up and things put away I can do. Scrubbing the floors and windows……not high on my list.
  • Paperwork for the farm and home – My one goal last year was for a balanced checkbook every week. I will not lie. It was not every week, BUT it was more than once a moth. So with this new routine, I am focusing on keeping additional paperwork filed and dealt with. (How is it we still have so much paper to keep track of?)
  • Projects around the house – This includes the project of finishing our basement. Six years ago when we built the house, we knew we would need to finish the basement on our own. It is coming along, but we can go months without lifting a paintbrush, hammer or even a saw down there. With a little motivation from all, I think we will see lots of progress in 2016 inside and outside of the house.
  • Volunteering – I love to help, especially when it is something close to my heart. This year I am a 4-H Club Leader, 4-H Project Leader for Clover Kids and the Foods project. I am also serving on our County Farm Bureau Board for the first time ever. For some this may sound like A LOT. For you over achievers, this is just A BIT. For me, this is all I can handle and I know that. No more can be added because these are the things that I want to do, and I want to do them well. To accomplish that, I can’t take on more than I can handle. By placing my time in things I am invested in, I am sure to not let anything get by me. (Right?)
  • Photography – Do you take a bunch of pictures, download them on to a computer or laptop and then let them sit there? I hate to admit it, but this is me. I have hundreds of pictures that will never be seen because I just download them, knowing that they are at my fingertips whenever I may want them. When I do want them, I have to figure out which file they are in and then do my basic editing so they can then be shown to the world. How sad is that? (Poor little pictures.) So to stay on top of my photography, I am striving to not take quite so many pictures and to only take the pictures that I want to take. Once I have taken my pictures, I then plan on editing and tagging as soon as they are on my computer. (This will be the hardest one to stay on top of.)

So far things are going pretty well. We have begun work on our basement again, I have not said yes to any other commitments and my all paper work so far for this year is filed away. I still have Christmas decorations up and the floors really need a good steaming/cleaning, so we will say, “2016 is Off to a Great Start!”.

Do you have a goal for this new year?

Blessings to you,
Laurie – Country Link





36. It is just a number. Right?

Well today this “number” makes me another year older.  Yup, that’s right, this gal is 36 years old today.  Happy Birthday to Me!

There are many things are I am Thankful for after 36 years on this earth.  Since I was born right after Thanksgiving all those years ago and my birthday tends to fall on Thanksgiving, here is my list of 36 things that I am thankful for.  Ready? (These are not in any particular order other than they were in the order that they came to me.)

1. Faith – I am thankful for the faith that I have and were it has taken me.  Some days I do struggle, but I know that where I am and what I am doing is all part of a bigger plan and that gives me peace.

2. Family – With them I am my best and without them I would be nothing.

3. Cell Phones – I got a call just before I started writing this to come to the field to get my husband to take him to get a truck.  See, they are very handy!

As good as it gets

4.  My Husband – I always say marrying him was the best decision I ever made.  He takes care of me and I take care of him.  It is a relationship that I am thankful for every day.

5.  Our Home – It keeps us warm and dry.  It brings family and friends together under one roof so that we can all be together.  It was designed by my husband and I and we helped in the process.  It will, as far as I am concerned, be my final address on this earth.

Country Link Kids

6.  My Children – They are the world to me.

Picking up alfalfa - Country Linked

7.  Sunglasses – I always have them with we when I am going outside.  The cheap over sized sparkly ones are my favorite.

8.  Peanut Butter – I eat it everyday!  I eat it more than chocolate!  Yes, I really do!

9.  Friends – I know a lot of people, but the ones I call friend, are the ones I truly want to spend time with and do.  They make me laugh, they understand me and they don’t judge me.  They call when I am needing someone to talk too and they always, ALWAYS keep me on my toes.

10.  Crystal Light Strawberry Drink Mix – I add it to my water every day so that I drink my water.  Friends and Family are used to seeing me with my Tervis cup and pink water.

11.  Cannon Rebel T2i – My camera.  Enough said.

12.  My Computer – With it I write, I edit pictures, I stay in touch with loved ones, I shop, I learn and I create.

chili recipe

13.  Chili – I never ate chili.  EVER!  Now it is making my list of what I am thankful for because now it is a comfort food on a cold winter day or when we are working cattle and need a hot meal to eat at lunch.

Country Linked - Cows

14.  Cows –  No matter what I am doing or if I happen to have a bad day, I can look out the window and see the cows walk by and the baby calves running and jumping.  They bring me peace and I am very thankful for that.

15.  4-H – I was an 11 year member of 4-H and now my kids are members.  I learned so much and made many life-long friendships thought the years in this youth program.  It allowed me to travel, show livestock and gain skills I still use today.

Farm Moms

16.  Farm Mom’s – I have a group of Farm Mom’s that I love and am so thankful for.  They get me and the crazy, stressful, wonderful life that we live.  Some days I don’t know what I would do without them.

17.  My Home Town – Being back where I grew up has taken some time to get readjusted, but I am so thankful to be able to raise my children in a small community that is as close as ours is.  Individuals here go out of their way to help others in need or to lend a hand.

18.  Blankets – To wrap up in and keep us warm on chilly nights.

19.  My Parents – They are a help and a support.  I am thankful to live as close to them as we do.


20.  My Sisters – When we are all together, watch out!  When one is hurt or threatened, really watch out!  We all lead very different lives, but if I ever need something I know I can count on one or all three of them.

Country Linked - Tractor

21.  Tractors – Really, I am thankful for tractors.  One or even two are used every day on the farm.  Without them our work would not get done.

22.  My Car – It takes us where we need to go safely and is reliable.  I have hauled tractor tires, kids, plants, meat and even feed in it.

23.  The Radio – I listen to the radio every day all day long.  It is on in the house and in the car, tractor, truck and even the combine when I am in them.  It is my source for news, entertainment and music.

24.  The Followers of this Blog – I am Thankful for all of you reading this!

25.  The School and Teachers – We have a wonderful school in our small rural community.  I know all of the teachers and if I ever have a question or a problem, I know they are there to help.

26.  Mocha’s – During my Senior year of college, my roommate and I would get one at the campus coffee shop before a test.  I am thankful for her and those times we had.  I don’t have one very often now, but when I do, I always think of her and the great year we had.

27. MIZZOU – The University of Missouri was the only college I applied too.  I am very thankful that they accepted me!

28.  Farmers – I love food and I love to eat!  We can not grow everything that we love to eat, so I am very thankful for all of those who work hard to make the food that we all need.  Especially you dairy farmers!!!

29.  Ice Cream – See #28.

30.  The Farm – It is where we Live, Work and Play.

Work gloves and barbed wire - Country Linked

31.  Work Gloves – A good pair of work gloves can make the day go better.

32.  Scarves – During the winter I wear a scarf almost every day.  I love having my neck warm when I am out working in the cold or going to town.

33.  In-Laws – I am blessed to have wonderful In-Laws.  I am thankful for them every day, for without them I would not have my husband.  This also includes my sisters and brothers-in-law.  They are wonderful individuals all of them.

34.  Burrus – Our journey home began with a simple phone call inquiring about a job with the Burrus Family.


35.  Pigs – Stay with me here.  Years ago as a young farmer starting out Gpa brought pigs to the farm.  For the past 40+ years he has been a hog farmer.  These animals have provided for my family and even in the tough years, the pigs have stayed.  Now my son enjoys raising and showing pigs and I love watching him do that.

Panama City, Panama

36.  Traveling – As kids we always went on a family vacation before school started in August.  We traveled to many states over the years taking in the sites.  I am thankful for those times and for the times now that we get to travel with our family and see new places.  The world is vast and if we can see just a bit of it and share it with our children, then that is truly something to be thankful for.

There you have it!  36 things that I am thankful for.  I am sure that I could go on and on about all of the rest of the things/people/places/animals that I love and are thankful for, but I wont.  That will be for another day.

Blessings to all of you who I am thankful for,

Laurie – Country Link

*If you would like to read more posts about Thankfulness then check out Hasekamps of Tulip and Farm Livin’ is My Life.  Both of these blogs are doing a thankful series for the month of November.  

*If you would like to know about the beauty of adoption and the individuals who are thankful for it, then got to In Between The Sunsets of Life to read all about this very important topic.

*Darcy from Success is Reason Enough was the inspiration for this number post.  Thanks Darcy!

*Don’t forget that sign-ups for Christmas in the Country are still going on! 

Farm Picture Friday #51 – Inspection

Farm Picture Friday #51 from Country Linked -

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted.  – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, KJ

Blessings to you and to those who are harvesting,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #49 – Picking Up

Farm Picture Friday #49 by Country Link,

I can not take credit for this weeks Farm Picture Friday.  I was actually on the trailer stacking hay and did not have the camera.  Kendall, our 8-year-old was in the cab of the truck snapping away.  It is always fun to go back and look at what pictures the kids took.  What a complete surprise this one was!

She took this Tuesday night in the alfalfa field.  Gpa was just getting ready to pick up a small square bale of hay to then put on the trailer.  She captured him at just the right time getting ready to grasp the strings.  The evening rays are highlighting his back and you can see the rest of the field behind him.  I have used the kids pictures before as Farm Picture Fridays, but I think this one is my favorite.

Blessings to you and young photographers everywhere,

Laurie – Country Link


Farm Picture Friday #47 – LIVE. WORK. PLAY.


Where do you live?  Do you live in a city or a small town?  Do you live down a gravel road or near a major interstate?  Do you live close to where you work or far away ?

Today’s Farm Picture Friday might tell you more about where we live.  (I know, not my usual FPF, but I promise you I am going somewhere with this, trust me.)  We live where we work and where we play.  Huh?  Yes, we as family farmers Live, Work, Play all at the same place.

Take the above collage of pictures.  These pictures were actually taken all on the same day in June on our farm in north central Missouri.  It was a typical Saturday morning.  We had things to get done and family was visiting.  When cousins come to the farm they know that they are going to help with something.  On this day we had gravel that needing spreading and the bean platform (combine header) needed worked on so it would be ready for wheat harvest.  The garden needed checked and weeded and the little pedal tractor and wagon of course had to be played with.  Gpa needed lots of good helpers to help him with his chores and Seth needed little ones to tease.  Live. Work. Play. 

Live. We built our home five years ago on part of my family’s farm.  The cattle walk by multiple times a day for water and here soon we will be seeing new baby calves by their sides.  We live close enough to my parents that we can be there in a flash if we are needed or something is forgotten at one place or another.  There are pastures on three sides and across the gravel road that runs in front of the house there is a bean field.  Closest neighbor is a mile and the mailman is most consistent and sometimes the only daily traffic on our road.  We have fresh air to breath and the beauty of God’s creation to look at every day.

Work.  When you care for the land and animals you need to be available for whatever may come up.  Be it working in the garden so that fresh vegetables and fruit can be on the table, assisting the cow that is having trouble giving birth, or making that late day delivery of seed, we are ready for work at a moments notice.  Seth’s job as a Sale Manager for Burrus Hybrids allows him to work on/from the farm.  His main office is here out of the house.  It offers him flexibility and access to those who he serves.  Being a Sales Manger for a seed company is not a nine to five kind of job.  Days can be long, so being able to have an office in the home is necessary and a true blessing when you are the seed guy.

Play.  We do take time to play, but when we do it is usually here on the farm with family or friends.  Be it building a fire in the fire pit to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, or lighting fire works on the 4th, it all takes place right here on the farm.  The kids enjoy being outside and love to have friends (and cousins) come for a visit. Their friends love coming to the farm.  Where else do you get to climb on hay bales, pick sweet corn or take muddy adventures? Not anywhere else I know of then the family farm.  Now we do take vacations, but like they say, “There is no place like home” and “Home is where the heart is”.

This week’s Farm Picture Friday is just the start of more blog posts regarding Live. Work. Play.  Until then, tell us about where you live, work or play.

Blessings to you and all who live, work and play on family farms,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #45


Being a farm mom I relish the times that my children are with me.  Depending on what I am doing or where I am at, they are not always with me on or off the farm. Take Wednesday for instance.  That morning three of us left the house to go to swimming lessons.  Kendall, the middle child, had already left to go to a 4-H Clover Kid camp and we would be picking her up later.

Two with me, one not.

After arriving home with all three kids, a babysitter came to watch them so that I could go to the hay field to help.

None with me.

After getting the hay done, I went to the house and got Wyatt, the oldest, so that he could help plant beans.  I went to the field too with the extra beans in case they were needed.

One with me, two not.

After the beans were planted it was back to the hay field to pick up small square bales of alfalfa.  Wyatt was needed to help drive so that I could help pick up bales.

One with me, two not.

After all the work was done, it was time to head back home and fix supper.

Three with me. 

I relish the time together with my children.  The learning and growing that they do.  The sense of accomplishment that I see on their faces.  The love for each other and the land that we are raising them on.  Yes, I even love the dirty knees and the ripped out jeans.

Blessings to you and any child who has ripped the knees of their jeans,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #43

FPF #43

Yesterday we finished planting for 2014!  The seed is in the ground, so all we need now is rain and sunshine so those little seeds can grow.

On the day this Farm Picture Friday was taken, we had just arrived to the field with a cold, glass of ice tea and a snack for Gpa so that he could take a break from planting.  The kids met him in the field, and immediately began looking for seeds to check the depth and placement of the soybeans he had just planted.  Seed depth is very important.  Too deep and the seed may have a hard time making it to the surface.  If planted too shallow, the seed may not establish a good root system, which could lead to an uneven stand and lower yields.  The kids have become accustomed to seeing Gpa and their Dad stopping to check the depth of seed, because as a Burrus Seed Dealer, Seth is always out in the fields checking on the seed placement and the growth of the plant through the growing season.

After checking the seed, they all came back to the truck to have a drink and to help Gpa eat his snack.  (The kids are good at helping Gpa do a lot of things, especially eating.)  After a few minutes, we noticed the temperature was dropping and a wind coming across the field, for it was stirring up the dirt.  Right behind that wind was rain.  RAIN!  A pop-up shower occurred with BIG rain drops.  We scrambled to the trucks to get windows rolled up and the tarp on the grain truck where the seeds are stored.  We did not get “soaked”, but we sure were damp.  The rain lasted long enough that Gpa had to quit planting for that day.  So instead of getting done on Wednesday, we finished planting yesterday, Thursday, May 29th. Two whole weeks before we began planting last year.

Just like the weather on this day, farming can be unpredictable and things tend to just “pop” up.

Blessings to you and those still in the fields,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #41

FPF #41Strength and honor are her clothing and she shall rejoice in time to come.  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. – Proverbs 31:25-28 (KJV)

This Farm Picture Friday is a new one for me because………………………………… I am in it!  (Did you recognize me?  I am the one not wearing a hat.)

 I looked back through all of the other 40 FPF and I am not in a single one.  I have used pictures that the kids have taken before, (this one was taken by Wyatt, our oldest), but all the rest were taken by me, so I was behind the camera.

Now, you may wonder why I chose this picture with all of the others that were taken this week, especially since corn planting started for us on Monday and I have many pictures from the field.  I chose this picture for two reasons.  The first being that I, like most mom’s, have very few pictures of myself with any of my children.  Mom’s are always taking the pictures trying to capture the special moments for our children and we forget to hand the camera to someone else (Dad) and let them take a few.   Second, I feel that this picture captured the feeling and spirit of what it means to me to be a farm mom.  IT MEANS EVERYTHING.

Being a farm mom means to me that every day I get to spend time with my family on the land.  We get to interact with all that God created and watch it grow and change.  I have the chance to teach my children hard work, dedication, compassion, and love.  I myself get the satisfaction of hard work, achy muscles and dirty finger nails.  Being a farm mom means fun trips and adventures to and in the fields and pastures.  It means safety first and doing the work when the work needs done.  Last, but not least, being a farm mom means that I get to show my children how much I love what I do and how I love that I was given the opportunity to be their mom.

As you look at this picture I hope you see the spirit of all moms, not just farm moms, and the love they have for their children, biological or not.  For Sunday may be Mother’s Day, but to a mom, every day is celebrated when we get to have and hold a child.

Blessings to you and all Mother’s,

Laurie – County Link