For all who have been praying for Juliet, you can now go read more about her and send her some love on her adorable blog, RareJul.com. She is once again at her home away from home, Childrens Hospital. Go read her blog now!

You know one group of people who are really excited about the low gas prices?! I do. If farmers have a way to buy fuel ahead of time, they’re doing it. Brad figures these prices could save him .18 an acre spraying. That adds up.

We’re having a taste of spring weather, so my farmer started working on his planter. He took the green hitch for the fertilizer trailer off to make it easier for him to reach the middle boxes.working on a corn planter

I thought I was going to snap my arm in the two minutes I helped, and Wyatt happily ran the cherry picker.

Small Town Nebraska:
We’ve had a guest book ever since we were married. I have gotten great joy out of using it and looking back through it to remember who we’ve had in our home. I’ve decided that small town Nebraska is detrimental to a guest book. Our use of the guess book tanked when we lived here the first time and has tanked once again. I’m blaming it on that we have so many situations when people come by that aren’t “guest book signing” appropriate:

  • Neighbor kids
  • Bible study
  • Family 10 minute stop by to say hi or let us know something
  • Frequent fliers

That’s pretty much everyone. So…my new plan is to call it the “Visitors-from-over-a-60-mile-radium-guestbook” and to make sure I at least use it with those guests. If you’re one of those special people sometime, could you remind me you need to sign the book?


biggest bragA new Berenstain Bear book came out in 2014; and thanks to Booklook Bloggers, I got a complimentary review copy. I love a good Berestain Bear book, and my kids do too. The theme of The Berenstain Bears and the Biggest Brag by Mike Berenstain is something my two oldest kids need to learn. The book cover shows it perfectly. They tend to compete over the silliest things and love to try to one up each other. This book shows kids the problems with always trying to be one better than someone else and tells them, “Where there is strife, there is pride.” That’s something good for all of us to learn.







A New Year

I’m going to try for a once a week post highlighting Small Town Nebraska’s main ideas. We’ll see how it goes.


Juliet has been out of the hospital since before Thanksgiving! Thank you so much for all of your prayers for her. Keep them coming.

– Here are 3 other great ideas you came up with for what Liza was talking about at the dishwasher:

  • …and I really recommend the 2 year service plan.
  • I have the best mom in the world and could go on and on about it
  • That coffee is really kicking in

HA! HA! Love them!


Have you ever experienced life with an almost one year old? It’s an experience all its own. She found the toilet water this weekend. Always bound to happen at some point. Thankfully it was a flushed toilet.

My college roommate stopped by on her way to Colorado. I’m telling you very seriously, we make the perfect stopping point for you who are traveling to Colorado. My parents and niece came to visit too. We made sure to give my niece a dad a taste of western Nebraska sledding even though it was super cold. They loved it and wanted more.Western Nebraska sleddingSledding behind a 4 wheelerWinter fun

What I’m Thinking:

Is it pathetic that my main New Year’s resolution is to make it a habit to sweep the kitchen after we eat supper? I’m focusing on something small that can make a mental difference for me. I can’t think of how many times I look at the floor and feel so frustrated by all the stuff all over it. Liza will be disappointed if this habit sticks, since she likes to come and find a snack off of it at any given time.

I’m thinking I should also resolve to quit being uptight when my house is a mess because that would really cut out on over half of the stress I put upon myself and stressing over a messy house probably isn’t causing a lot of holy behavior AND I’m going to have a one year old for most of the year.

I’m wishing I could find a 2 year plan for reading through the Bible chronologically. I haven’t been successful, so if you find one let me know. I did find a one year plan that I may just adapt to make it 2 years.


I highly recommend the 5x5x5 reading plan if you’re just getting started with making Bible reading a habit for you.

If you’re looking for a good book to read to start off your year, I highly recommend The Same Kind Of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, which is essentially a very interesting and moving autobiography of two people. Did you catch that? It’s an autobiography of two people, a true story or two true stories that combine into one. The subtitle of the book explains it more, A Modern-Day Slave, An International Art Dealer, and The Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together. I read this book over three years ago, and still remember it being a meaningful book. Consider this quote from the book.

“There’s somethin I learned when I was homeless: Our limitation is God’s opportunity. When you get all the way to the end of your rope and there ain’t nothin you can do, that’s when God takes over. I remember one time I was hunkered down in the hobo jungle with some folks. We was talkin ’bout life, and this fella was talkin, said, “People think they’re in control, but they ain’t. The truth is that which must befall thee must befall thee. And that which must pass thee by must past thee by.”” (169)

same kind of different as meThank you to BookLook Bloggers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. If you’d like to borrow it, please let me know.

Small Town Nebraska:

You know you live in a small town when you look out your window every time you hear a car drive by.


Ground is a little too cold to do much farming other than reading and talking about it. Farmers never stop farm talking.

Animal Lovers

You should know the only animals living in our house are uninvited bugs. So when my animal loving sister-in-law and brother came to visit (They live with a dog, 2 cats, hedgehog, guinea pig, and occasional foster animals.), we had to go visit our other animal loving family.

Sara was in heaven.

sheep love Friendly lambsWyatt was too.

IMG_8746kittenskitten loveOther animals they loved on that aren’t pictured include 3 dogs, many cats, a hedgehog, and if the bottle calves would’ve been in the barn like they were the other day,

bottle calfI’d have more pictures for you.

Great Company

20130926-125513.jpgMy aunt and grandpa came to visit us last weekend. It was a delightful time. I documented it with iPhone pictures.

My grandpa gave the combine a thorough inspection and gave his approval.
20130926-125254.jpgMy grandpa is a retired dairy farmer. His first combine, which was something he pulled behind a tractor, cost at most a half of what one of the tires cost on this combine.

20130926-125225.jpg 20130926-125401.jpgWe thought we’d give them a real taste of culture and go to a demolition derby. It was a real taste of culture for sure. Note the fancy arena.
demolition derbyThe cars didn’t take too long to get beat up to the point of not running any longer, so we had time to drive around and look at the corn. The mule deer even made themselves part of the country drive.

We did a few other things too, but I’ll just leave you with knowing it was a memorable visit thoroughly enjoyed by all. Next time Grandpa comes to visit or we visit him, I’ll have a pen and paper ready to write down all his stories. He loves to tell them.


Showing Great Grandpa how the iPad works

We’ll Put You To Work

My parents came to visit us for the holiday weekend. I was thinking we should spend some time at the lake. Instead we just put them to work – washing windows, making food, picking things from the garden, painting, putting up shelves, cleaning out the building.  You know, just your typical holiday get away.

photo 4

Just your typical piles of old wheat and pigeon poop.

 photo 3Brad and Dad swept half of this 140 foot building! photo 5Where the washer and dryer used to be:  photo 1Where the “pantry” will now be:photo 2 They also took some cute pictures of the kids!

IMG_0291 IMG_0308

Field Mapping

Our agronomist friends from eastern Nebraska had work to do on our side of the state, so we got to see them several times this month!

They’d been this way before but got a much bigger taste of things because they had drive all over the place and through all sorts of fields.  They observed the following about western Nebraska compared to eastern Nebraska.

1. A lack of houses

2. A lack of towns

3. A lack of trees

4. A lack of partial pivots

5. A lack of well known stores (HyVee, Target)

6. An abundance of tribulus terrestris

7. More sand

The west also seemed to be against them in many different ways on their endeavor. They think they’ll drive through Kansas the next time they go to Colorado to avoid western Nebraska.

They were here to do some soil mapping by driving a special sensor all over fields. It rested in this bed IMG_7205

which sat in one of these two “sleds”



that were pulled by this little vehicle. IMG_7204

The sensor sends out three electromagnetic frequencies that go to specific depths (e.g., 14,000 goes 3 ft, 12,000 goes 6 ft). As they come back out of the soil, the machine records them and gives a measurement of the conductivity of the soil… or something like that. I’m sure you could ask Aaron a question on twitter to make actual sense of it all.

It provides the farmers with a map they can use to help get the most out of their field. If they have a smart pivot and smart tractor equipment they can do variable rate irrigation, plant different amounts in different parts of the field and fertilize more or less. Talk to your nearest agronomist if you really want to understand what’s going on here.

Here’s what the map of the pivot Brad farms looks like. The purple part is sandier soil.

Field MapSo our friends left this morning. Their equipment looked about as good as they felt about working in western Nebraska.


That’s not mud. It’s what happens when you drive through a field with cattle in it.

IMG_7317Notice they’re still smiling. You’re looking at quality people, hard workers with excellent character, great friends. We hope they’ll come back.


1. Have you tried White Whole Wheat flour? A friend said it didn’t taste much different than regular flour, so we tried it and she wasn’t lying.

2. We had some special friends come by on their way to Colorado. They are the fun people who organized the luau last summer. They helped us eat some of my peppers. I feel bad I didn’t get a picture of them, but I couldn’t help but feel like a grandma if I asked them to pose for a picture. I should’ve dealt with that image issue and taken their picture because they’re cute people. It would’ve made you smile like they did us.

3. Did you know Kearney has a fun, free, splash park? I didn’t until last month. Nice place. It has swans and swan paddle boats too.

4. It’s fair season. We’ve been to two county fairs and will at least hit one more if my guess is right. In Lincoln, we barely made it to the fair that was two miles away. Now we’ll drive at least 40 miles for some action.

5. I’m in preserve mode. I now have carrots, beans, tomatoes and peppers that I’m trying to figure out how not to waste. It would’ve been smart to stagger the carrot planting.