For all of you traveling through Nebraska this summer, I have some great western Nebraska stops you can take to break up your I-80 journey. Going from east to west…
Cody Park in North Platte:
Cody Park has perfect rides for toddlers, and hardly ever do you have to wait in line for more than a few minutes. The smiles on my 3-year-old’s face in the pictures prove the point, and the big kids enjoy it too. You can also eat there for really cheap, and they have huge ice cream cones. The baby size is even big.
Front Street in Ogallala:
Ogallala is home to the “longest running summer stock theater production in Nebraska” – The Crystal Palace Review. We went to the show for the first time this summer and will go again. It was very enjoyable. It does fill up, so you might want to call ahead to make sure they have a seat for you. You can eat supper before or during the show or you can just come to watch the show. I hear the rib eye is quite good.
If you’re traveling by on a Sunday afternoon and don’t mind taking home some sand, you should try and come hang out with us at Lake McConaughy or the Sutherland Reservoir. We will do our best to show you a fun time and even have a spot for your baby to nap. Although if they are 6 months or older, it might take four hours to finally get them to sleep!
It’s that time of year again!
Here are my favorite pictures from this year:
Here is every year since we started this tradition. In the first one Elliana was 3 and Wyatt was 2. Now they are 9 and 8!
Wheat Harvest 2011
Wheat Harvest 2012
Wheat Harvest 2013
Wheat Harvest 2014
Wheat Harvest 2015
Wheat Harvest 2016
step 1:Put Oreos in a bowl
step 2:Smash it up
step 3:Put some chocolate chips with it. Choice of melting it
step 4:Put a touch of butter in it
step 5:Put a touch of peanut butter in it
step 6:Mix it up
step 7:Eat it
[He was wondering this morning if this recipe he created could become famous. “So try it,” he said.]
We are on the cusp of planting season, which means Brad has pallets of seed corn waiting to be planted in his building. This week the big kids discovered that this makes for a lot of fun. Brad must have suggested it since he remembers playing on piles of seed corn when he was a kid. I guess since we don’t have hay bales to jump on, we’ll jump on “seed bales.”
Brad took these pictures on the day the fun was discovered. After supper, they pleaded to go jump some more. Apparently seed bales makes for some fun posing too.
When we first moved I was highly annoyed when people suggested a positive of the farming lifestyle was that kids could go to work with their dad. Don’t ever say this to a mother with very little people unless you want her to think ‘You have NO clue!’ and glare at you. I know my baby and 2-year-old saw much less of their dad when we moved here. They didn’t want to be confined to a buddy seat and weren’t able to play safely in the shop while he worked.
Now with bigger kids, they can go hang out in the shop while Brad’s there, and that’s fabulous for all. Elliana especially likes the one on one time of riding along with Brad in whatever form of transformation. (Wyatt would still rather be somewhere playing whatever sport is currently consuming him.)
This weekend she was riding with him when he discovered a dead animal in a field. Later that day when she saw him taking the loader tractor to go move the animal, she told me she wanted to go with him. I told her it probably wouldn’t be safe, but she ran and told him that she wanted to go with him. He had no thought of it not being safe and told her to hop on!
Having another child was a major step of faith for me. Three kids was far from easy. Call me crazy or tell me I’m making things up, but I felt very strongly like God wanted us to have another one. I’m guessing I’ve thought of all the selfish arguments that could be made as to the practicality of not having four children but being obedient seemed like the better option.
God has a perfect plan for him.
I had to come to grips with the truth that just because I do what I think God wants me to do doesn’t mean that He’s going to make it easy. I didn’t have a guarantee of an uncomplicated pregnancy or a baby without significant medical issues. This was actually my worst pregnancy (which still wasn’t that terrible considering what some women endure), Brad got SICK two and a half weeks after William was born, our third child is determined to always be the center of all attention, and our house and vehicle haven’t magically expanded; but we don’t regret our number four at all.
We’re a month into the four kids journey and have seen so many blessings. Parenting any number of children is a great daily reminder of how much you NEED God every moment. We have the guarantee that He will show up, and He definitely has.
When we were in the hospital waiting for William to be born, we had people text that they were praying for us and we hadn’t even told them we were at the hospital. We’ve been well taken care of with food, gifts, and extra help with taking care of kids and house work. God keeps showing up everyday.
Yes, she put a blue stamp on her forehead.
Then there’s the bizarre events. Since having my fourth child, I’ve started making my bed and I’ve read three books. How does that even fit into the four kid equation?
While we were in the hospital after having William, Uncle Darin had two reasons to come to town. One reason was to meet William. Another reason was to stop at the county treasurer to hopefully get the farm license plate numbers he wanted before someone else took them. I’m not sure which reason was more of the priority for him.
This year all vehicles registered with farm plates in Nebraska get new license plate numbers, and some people (all of the men in Brad’s family) like having meaningful plate numbers. The extra fee of getting new plates before the old ones were expired was worth it to them. Barely into the second week of January all five of the men in Brad’s family had been in to get the plates they wanted. When you live in a small county in Nebraska, the county treasurer tells you this when you’re there. “Your dad was just in this morning.” “You’re the last of your family to come in.” She also told us one farmer was waiting outside the first day they were open this year to make sure no one else took his number.
Brad got license plates that are our birthdays. Yes, he licenses enough vehicles that all six of us have our own plate, plus one or two more! That doesn’t even include our non-farm vehicle or any trailers. Minimalistic living isn’t in Brad’s future.