30 Days of Photos – Day 15 Finished

We have been waiting for this day for a long time and today it happened. Today we finished!


Day 15 – Finished

Each year when the days get shorter and the corn turns golden, we head to the fields for harvest. We go hoping for a good crop that produces high yields and low moisture. We go knowing the days will be long and sometimes the tempers short. We check the weather on the hour hoping for a bit more time when they say that rain is on the way. We eat at the edge of the field or on a tailgate the meals brought to us. We juggle kids, homework, laundry and business all from the cab of a tractor or combine. We rely on Gma and Gpa to help watch, shuffle, transport and supervise the next generation. Above all these things, we say thank you. We say thank you for the bountiful harvest, for the individuals who helped and for the fact that we finished.

Canon Rebel T5i

Blessings to you,
Laurie – Country Link



30 Days of Photos – Day 2 Light

I am still making up the rules for this challenge as I go along, but one thing I do know is that I want to challenge myself with this project and to help others as they go about working on their own photography journey.


Day 2 – Light

Light is my favorite tool to use when I photograph. I am always trying to lean more about the light and how it affects my pictures. Like today’s photograph. Kendall is setting on her bed looking out her window which faces east. The day is over cast, but there is enough light coming through her window that she is illuminated. I did set my camera to a higher ISO to get the added grain in the picture. I also used the built-in filter in the camera and took this in monochrome. For her not to be feeling well, I feel the light helped to capture her and her youthful innocence.

Canon Rebel T5i
50 mm lens

Blessings to you,
Laurie – Country Link

30 Days of Photos – Day 1 Family

Welcome to my first 30 day blog challenge! Who am I challenging? Well, myself of course. I have put this little blog on the back burner and decided today that it was time to dust off the cobwebs and get back to it. So here we go!


Day 1 – Family

We are still harvesting corn and soybeans, but the end is in sight. Today was a good day in the field; perfect weather wise, no break downs and I got to spend a little time in the combine. For the past few years I have tried to make sure that we have a picture of all five of us in the field together. As Seth was hopping out of the combine to run to a neighbors, I sat up the tripod, set the timer on the camera and hit the button. The results I feel turned out pretty good!

Canon Rebel T5i

Blessings to you, 
Laurie – Country Link

June Country Fair Blog Party

Welcome to the June 2016 Country Fair Blog Party! Thank you for joining us in another fun filled month of linking-up. Please take a minute to look over all of the great linkups from May. There were an array of topics to learn about, recipes to enjoy and projects to try.

Here are my Purple Ribbon Winners from all of the great posts:

county fair ribbon

Green Grass Girl – The Tallgrass Prairie and Looking for Beauty

I love traveling to these gorgeous locations, but I think it’s good for me to live my day-to-day life in the humble prairie. Why? Because the prairie teaches me to look for beauty in the here and now—to hunt for wildflowers amid otherwise barren landscapes and to notice unique surprises along my ordinary path. They are there! But I have to look for them.” – Rachel

county fair ribbon

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com

Delightful Repast: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes – Cream Cheese Frosting

Of course, this one seems positively autumnal, and it is spring. But I had a special unseasonal request for my pumpkin spice cupcakes.” – Jean

Just like a local Country Fair, we have friends, food, family, farming, animals, crafts, cooking and comedy!

Be sure and check the link to this month’s blog party to see what great blogs link up. If you are a blogger, then please link up to three of your posts. It does not have to be new, just one you love or one that you want to share.

Blessings to you,
Laurie – Country Link



Be sure and check out my lovely co-hosts blogs!

Jan of Tip Garden  Nicole of Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom  Val of Corn, Beans, Kids and Pigs

Mama’s Journal – Mama Cows

It is not very often that I am woken up in the middle of the night. I tend to get my 7-8 hours of sleep every night and have for years. So when I am woken up in the middle of the night by sounds coming from outside my window, it tends to set one back a bit.

Let me start by taking you back further in time. When my husband and I were dating, I brought him home to the parents one weekend and showed him a piece of land and said, “I will build a house here some day and live”. Fast forward to 2009 and the breaking ground of our house in about the exact spot I said I would have a home one day. The importance of this is that before there was a house here for me to live in…..the cows had the run of the place. Really. There was about 50 acres for them roam across and rotational paddocks to keep them in certain areas at certain times, but in all, they had the run of the place. Then we came along and changed things. Really changed things for the mama cows.

They still have lots of area to roam around in and they still have their paddocks, though this time of year the calves tend to ignore the electric fence and go where they please, but now there is a fence. A fence that separates them from our yard. A fence that is only 20 yards behind our house. A fence that all 30 of the mama’s collected at last night and had a very loud group meeting. A VERY LOUD gathering of the cows. Now, I know what you are thinking, “was there something wrong?”, or “was someone lost or had a calf gotten out?”. Let me assure you that they were all fine. Can you take a guess as to which mama was not? One guess.

Being that we live right in the middle of what used to be part of their pasture, I get it. They have their spots. Just a bit further to the north of where they were last night is where they have the calf nursery. The spot where when the calves are very little they will bring them too, make them stay, and then the mama’s will go out to pasture to eat. The behavior of the baby calves from birth to about 3 months is AMAZING! They are the BEST behaved children you will ever see. They listen to their mama’s and if they don’t, mama comes running! So I get it. Right outside our bedroom window is the spot. The meeting spot. The VERY LOUD meeting spot.

Now I can only guess that there may of been a coyote in the neighborhood and it had them worked up a bit. The dog was outside and I heard him barking as well. I appreciate that fact with these mama cows. They came together, right outside my window, but they came together and let others know that something was going on. VERY LOUDLY they discussed what was going on.

With this slight interruption in sleep last night, I was up early this morning getting the kids off to school, starting the laundry, putting away clean dishes and getting in my 30 minutes of writing. Who am I to hold a few minutes of lost sleep against a group of cows? I would not hear of it! Now it it happens again tonight…….

Blessings to you,
Laurie – Country Link





Mama’s Journal Day 1

Today I have been cleaning our bathroom shower. When I am cleaning I tend to think. Now, yes, I do think all of the time. As a women and a mama my brain hardly ever shuts down, but the cleaning type of thinking is different. I process things differently when I am cleaning. It probably has to do with the fact that I don’t like cleaning and thinking things through and really processing them makes the task go faster. Or so it seems.

Take this shower that I am cleaning. It should of been done a week or so ago, but I kept putting it off and off. Now I am to the point where every little square inch of the thing is going to be so clean you don’t want to take a shower so that there is no way that soap scum can make a reappearance clean. With that type of cleaning comes thoughts. Lots of thoughts.

One of those thoughts was sitting down and just writing every few days here on the blog. Just sitting the timer and writing for 30 minutes and seeing where it takes me. You see I was looking back at old blog posts yesterday and noticed that I don’t write any more. Oh sure, I have blog posts and pictures and words, but not the writing that I used to do. When did I stop doing that? When did I stop writing about just about our everyday lives and the things that we do as a family? When did I start worrying about every little word and phrase and how it would be construed? I will have to tackle more shower scrubbing to get to the bottom of those questions, but for now my cleaning thoughts came up with Mama’s Journal and today is my first entry.

With my feet smelling like vinegar and a shower half way to the cleanest it has EVER been, I stopped for 30 minutes so that I could get some of the deep cleaning thoughts out of my head and on my computer. Now this journal is not going to happen every day, but I do hope to get back to the reason I started this blogging adventure; to write and to share our sometimes crazy, never dull, farming life with others. Does not matter if that is only three people or 3000 people. This Country Mama is going to write again!!

Don’t worry, there will still be some of all of the other stuff and pictures too. This is just a little something for me and that, my friends, is why one should write in the first place.

Blessings to you,
Laurie – Country Link


Christmas in the Country is Back!

www.countrylinked.wordpress.comJamie and I are happy to announce that Christmas in the Country is BACK for 2015! We received wonderful feedback from past participants and just could not see not hosting Christmas in the Country (CITC) again. So here we go! Year three of this fun gift exchange between agriculture/farming/county bloggers.

Last year we enlisted the help of Erin and Robyn. They were fantastic and brought so much to the exchange. Thank you Erin and Robyn! So not to over whelm them and to spread the exposure around a bit, this year we have asked Lara and Kirby to give us a hand. They are both past participants and are very excited to see behind the scenes of CITC.

Lara comes to us from the blog My Other More Exciting Self. She is a shoe enthusiasts, farm raised, boy mom from Minnesota. Her whit and charm are just two of her many wonderful qualities.

Kirby comes to us from the blog 15009 Farmhouse. She is country gal who lives in the heart of Missouri. Kirby and her farmer recently completed the building of their new home. Her gift for design and the gathering together of friends and family is second to none.

Between the four of us, we will organize and coordinate Christmas in the Country. If at any time you have questions, please let one of us know! You will be able to contact us at the bottom of this post. Now, if you are new to CITC, here is a quick run down of how this all works:

  • Christmas in the Country is an annual gift exchange for Agriculture Bloggers.  It is a great way to get to know bloggers across the country and engage with others who have the same interests as you. We all need a little boost during the holidays and connecting with others who know about our lifestyle can help in so many ways. This is a secret exchange. You will not know who has your name until you receive your gift. Suggested gift value is between $15 and $25.
  • Sign up begins November 20th and ends November 30th. To sign up YOU HAVE to fill out a form giving us some basic information about yourself. This basic information, your email address and your mailing address with be shared with your secret blogger. You in turn will receive the same information on another blogger.
  • All gifts need to be sent by December 15th to ensure delivery before the holidays. There is no exception to this!! Once you have received your gift, reach out to your person through email, their blog or social media to tell them you received it and to thank them. The co-hosts will also want to know that your package was sent and that you then received one as well.
  • You will receive the name and information of who you will be sending a gift to on December 1st. Once you have your blogger’s name, then you can begin to learn about them through their blog! While we highly encourage local and homemade gifts, the most important part is to think of a gift that is a great match for your person. The more creative and personal the better!!
  • On January 5th-12th we then ask that you share a blog post about what you received and what you learned while participating in CITC. Once you receive your gift, please contact your gift giver and thank them for your gift, but hold off on posting until after the holidays. There will be a link-up available for everyone to go to so that all of the participants can see the gift reveals.

My favorite part of CITC is the connections made and the ideas shared through this exchange. From the little things of getting a great gift idea, to learning something new about a fellow blogger, to seeing the friendships that are started and that continue through the years.

You may of noticed that there are a few changes to this years exchange. We are keeping this year to only bloggers. We love the past participation of our Agvocates! Thank you Ladies! This idea has caught on in other circles and we know that there are now several gift exchanges/swaps to participate in. Also this year we are keeping it in the states. I know, we love our Canadian participants too! The rate for sending packages across the border just keeps increasing. We do hope they are able to form their own exchange and when they do, we want to hear all about it!

*One last thing before I go. We as hosts enjoy organizing and participating in Christmas in the Country. We enjoy getting to know all of the participants and getting to see the joy shared across the country. We do not, however enjoy hearing that a package was late or that a thank you was not sent or acknowledged. If you truly want to participate, then we expect you to participate fully. If you can not do that, then this exchange may not be for you.

Alright, mark your calendars for November 20th!! Sign-ups will open that morning and close the night of the 30th! Again if you have any questions, please let Jamie, Lara, Kirby or myself know.

Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link


Jamie – This Uncharted Rhoade – thisunchartedrhoade@gmail.com

Laurie – COUNTRY LINKed – laurie.link@gmail.com

Lara – My Other More Exciting Self – ldurben@charter.net

Kirby – 15009 Farmhouse kirbylinebach@gmail.com

September Country Fair Blog Party

Country Fair Blog Party by Country LINKedWelcome to the September addition of the Country Fair Blog Party! Now that school is back in swing, things around here have changed. We are getting back on a school schedule with the kids adjusting better than this farm mama. With this shift in change, also comes a shift in the seasons and soon harvest will be here! If you are feeling the change of the seasons like we are, then join us at the Country Fair where all are welcome!

During the August Party I was inspired by all of the great blog posts! Thank you everyone for your continued participation! What a joy it is to know that we will have a successful link-up each and every month.

Here are my August Purple Ribbon Winners:

county fair ribbon

CHARMING FARMING – The Problems With Dress Code Defiance

“Surely there are better ways to help our daughters change the culture than encouraging them to defiantly bare their bellies. If this generation of young women would use some of their anger and energy to take on the entertainment and advertising industry, they might someday make real progress in the fight to empower women.” – LC

county fair ribbon

FOR FARM AND RANCH WOMEN – Tying off the Rain

 “With our own throbbing, cold fingers, absence of arguing, and with the redeeming smell of rain on our skin, we stood in the weather and admired not what we expected, but instead the humbling experience God gave us that day.” – Jessie

county fair ribbon

FARM GIRL COOK’N – Grandma Charlie’s Purple Ribbon Cinnamon Bread

“A simple recipe with quality ingredients is always a winner!
This recipe is reminiscent Amish Friendship bread, without the long term commitment.” – Mary

county fair ribbon

MINNESOTA FARM LIVING – Agvoacy Through Baseball and “Big City” Foodies

“And our goal? To have a conversation, make connections and learn from each other. Many of our guests have no connection to farms or farmers, just as many of us pig farmers have no connection to foodie urbanites.” – Wanda

Now be sure and come back though out the month and check out all of the posts that are added. This month we will not be having a theme, so share up to three of your favorite posts. Recent or last month or last year. As long as you have not linked it up before, then we want to see it!

Just like a local Country Fair, we have friends, food, family, farming, animals, crafts, cooking and comedy!

Be sure and check out my lovely co-hosts too! They each pick their favorites from the month and one of theirs might be one of yours!


Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link

September Link-Up

August Country Fair Blog Party

Country Fair Blog Party by Country LINKed

It is hard to believe that August is here! July just flew by in the blink of an eye! In July we were busy with our own local county fair, baling hay, finishing up planting soybeans and over the 4th we harvested wheat. And yes, we have also been having a lot of rain this summer. It has halted our plans from time to time, but when it came time for a little trip to Iowa and a trip to Branson for the kids, it made getting away easier since it was too wet to do much at home.

Last month for the Country Fair Blog Party we had a fantastic turn out! For July we had an All American theme and boy did you bloggers not disappoint! Each month it gets harder and harder to try to pick my favorites. That however is a bonus to being a co-host. I get to check out all of the wonderful blogs and the inspirational, fun, delicious and creative posts! I hope you have had a chance to read as many as you can that link-up each month. Have a new favorite blogger yet? (Oh, wait! I am your favorite!)

Here are my ribbon winners from the July link-up:

county fair ribbon

Farm Fit Living – Celebrating An All-American Girl

county fair ribbon

Dirt Under My Fingernails – Those Magnificent Men….

Now be sure and come back though out the month and check out all of the posts that are added. This month we will not be having a theme, so share up to three of your favorite posts. Recent or last month or last year. As long as you have not linked it up before, then we want to see it!

Just like a local Country Fair, we have friends, food, family, farming, animals, crafts, cooking and comedy!

Be sure and check out my lovely co-hosts too! They each pick their favorites from the month and one of theirs might be one of yours!

Jan                             Nicole                               Laurie                               Val

Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link

August Country Fair Blog Party


Happy May Day! There are so many wonderful things to celebrate in the month of May, so we have titled this months Country Fair Blog Party, CELEBRATE!

One of our favorite things to CELEBRATE this month is our Tessa’s birthday. This year she will be turning six! My has the time flown by. With her birthday comes Mother’s Day, Graduations, End of School and Memorial Day. What is your favorite thing to CELEBRATE in May?

April’s, THINK SPRING blog party had a fantastic turnout! I don’t know how I picked my favorites, but I did. Here are my top three posts from last months Country Fair Blog Party:

Success is Reason Enough: Branding in Pilot Rock

“We love going to brandings where they drag to the fire. While it’s technically “work”, it’s a chance for the guys – who’ve been calving and busting their tails with little sleep for the past two months – to get to see their friends and get work done.
That’s multi-tasking at it’s finest for a rancher.” – Darcy

Little Blog on the Homestead: Sinfully Delicious Cinnamon Rolls

“Pull them out when they’re a light golden brown and then it’s time for my favorite part….ICING! Seriously this is what makes or breaks a good cinnamon roll in my family. I make a mixture of powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and enough milk to thin to the right consistency. It’s simple and delicious!” – Nicole

Gentle Joy Photography: Searching for Happiness

“So, if you search for happiness, it will never be found. But search faithfully for Jesus in God’s Word, And blessings you will find. Troubles yes, but so much more.” – Gentle Joy

Now don’t forget to link-up your own posts for the May Party! Be sure and visit the others and if you life what you read, be sure and leave a comment. Let them know how you found them too!

Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link

May Blog Party Link-up

 Your Party Co-Hosts are:

Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
This Unchartered Rhoade
TIP Garden 
A Kansas Farm Mom