Farming

IMG_0767Recently I was challenged on Facebook to place ten pictures in ten days of our farming operation. I realized I have a lot of pictures like the one above that many people don’t see. The challenge said not to give explanations for the pictures, but I feel like maybe not everyone knows what they are seeing in the pictures. Before marrying my farmer, I didn’t!

In the picture above there is a combine harvesting corn. Notice the the corn is dry and the stalks are standing. This is what the farmer wants. If we get a great deal of rain about the time of harvest and the roots of the corn plants are not deep and strong, the stalks will fall over causing the corn to “go down.” This is a great deal more work for the combine driver when corn is scattered all over. The rows are easy to see when the corn plant is standing but not when the corn goes down in the fields. The larger fingers of the front of the combine run between the rows and a series of rotating spirals pull the plants into the combine. The inside of the machine removes the corn kernels that are then stored in the hopper (the large, open bin at the top of the combine) and the corn stalk is chopped and thrown out the back, along with the corn cob. You never want to stand near the back of a working combine as the debris comes out dangerously quickly and could harm you.

Besides the combine is a grain or auger cart. You can see that the combine also has an auger. That is the arm sticking out on the side. It can be pulled in between uses.

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When the hopper is full, the farmer can empty it on the move by opening the auger. Then grain will move through the auger and into the wagon being pulled by the driver of the tractor. A good driver can match the sped and direction of the combine, not getting too close and not going too fast, allowing the combine operator to dump the grain in the hopper into the moving wagon.

After the grain is moved to the wagon, the tractor driver will drive to a nearby set of wagons or semi-truck to move the grain to market or a grain bin site for storage until later.

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A semi can hold a great deal of grain.

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If wagons are used, they need to be moved and emptied into bins quickly before the grain in the combine fills all available wagons.

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You’ll notice that in the above picture, my son is going to ride with the operator. The boys often ride in the combine, the semi, and the grain cart during harvest.

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Our sons also help to fix or check on the equipment. We take safety very seriously. The boys are learning early to be aware of equipment and moving implements.

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If you see equipment moving during harvest or planters moving around (this time of year) getting the crops planted, PLEASE be careful on the roads. Sometimes operators have trouble seeing you. Know that they are high in the air and are operating VERY heavy equipment. If your vehicle strikes them, it (and maybe you) will be hurt. Use safety when passing and don’t drive too close. A few minutes behind the equipment might give you time to think, hear your favorite song on the radio, or even talk to your children about the need for farmers.

With less than 1% of our US population being farmers, they have a really important job! To feed everyone else in the United States as well as sending grain to those around the world is an important and necessary job that only a few people do. Pray for them. Pray for us, the farm families. Love your boys! Teach them where their food comes from and why that is important. Without American farmers, we have no say in how our food is produced or where it is produced!

What questions do you have about equipment? Are your boys interested in farm equipment?

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Receiving a Gift Game

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Photo by Kim Stiver on Pexels.com

Every year since my boys have been very young we have played the Receiving Game. We gather some empty gift bags and hand one to each son. Then we sit in a circle and pick a person around the circle to give a gift. I give everyone a couple of minutes and the boys collect gifts for one another or me from around the house.

After that, we sit in a circle again and present our gifts to Mom or one of the brothers. Each person takes the gift from giver and thanks them. THEN, he/I open the gift and find something nice to say about the gift. “This is my favorite color.” or “I love the smell of this candle.” or “I can always use socks! Thanks!” The comment must be positive and accompanied by a genuine smile. Inevitably, a brother thinks it is funny to give underwear and this year was no different. 🙂 It brought many laughs and a good lesson on receiving.

Why would we play this game EVERY year? It is important to me that my boys learn to receive gifts given to them around the holidays. It is important that they put the GIVER in front of their own feelings and preferences, even if they get underwear.

Here are our rules while playing

  1. Sincerely thank the Giver
  2. Put yourself in the Giver’s shoes and give a kind remark about the gift
  3. Never say “I already have this.” (We will exchange it later.) Again, never say this.
  4. Never say “I don’t like this color, item, toy, character, etc (Again, we can exchange it if needed.)  Find something you DO like about the gift and say that.
  5. Remember the Giver is the most important one in this transaction.

Each year we write a paper, handwritten Thank You for our gifts as well. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it can be a pain for Mom. No, the boys don’t love to do it. However, it is so very important that we thank others for their gifts. It is important that we think about the Giver and what they did for us to get presents to us: thinking about us, money, time, purchasing, wrapping, bringing the items.

Through this process, we reflect on the Giver of the most precious gift: the Lord Jesus Christ and our salvation through His blood. He, a sinless God, became a sinless man to die on the cross for us. We deserve death for what we do wrong every day (I might be speaking for myself only here…) But, His blood was shed and Jesus Christ gave up His life for us-for me, for you. He paid the price of our sin. Then He was buried and rose again from the dead, conquering death. Praise the Lord!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Thankful, happy 2019.

Who we are…

I thought it about time for you to meet the crew, since we here at 4theloveofboys are all about BOYS.  We have four sons, my husband (the Farmer) and I, and they are our eldest son, The Engineer; our second son, Farmer, Jr.; our third son, The Cowboy; and finally our baby, The Dancer.

The Engineer loves to figure out how things work, and is currently working on another “How Things Work” book.  Farmer, Jr. wants nothing more than to be JUST LIKE DAD.  He can often be found creating farm scenes and playing farmer.   He also likes to dress like dad…The Cowboy loves make believe.  He dresses up like cowboys, warriors, bad guys, good guys, trains, pretty much everyone!  He also likes to create with Legos and blocks. Finally, our dancer loves to dance and sing and play!  He enjoys life and I could learn a lot from his carefree spirit.  I am excited to be a part of their lives to see who they will become as they grow and learn.

That’s us: 4theloveofboys.  I will continue to add new posts as I figure out this blogging thing!  Come on back soon and see us!