Raising a Farmer

Alot of work but always room for laughter

Barn Olympics

We have Olympic Fever, do you?


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The Picture I almost Said “No” To

It was a Monday. The day after our county fair this past summer. We were exhausted and tired and exhausted. Did I say we were exhausted? Running back and forth from the fair to the farm and back to the fair and then again back to the farm takes its toll. Chores at home and then chores again at the fair. I am thankful for good help at the fair. We were running low on sleep (I was averaging about 3-4 hours a night), low energy and we were tired. We needed a good meal that didn’t involve a granola bar, Little Debbie snack or fried food. (I eat my fair share of chili cheese fries at the fair).

Monday afternoon we had gotten a phone call from our co-op seeing if we were available for a photographer to come out Friday to take promotion pictures. When Nate told me they had called I seriously couldn’t even think about it. I was maxed out in the thinking department. My brain was turned off. Tuesday morning came and our field rep called, they needed an answer. I told Nate “No. I can’t. We can’t. Can we do it next week?” We checked, it needed to be Friday. Nate and I talked about it. Well, he talked me into it, “We will just power through it, Brenda. It will be fine.”

Friday afternoon came. One meltdown and I began to look on the brighter side. We had Lady Wilt still used to the halter and 304 wouldn’t take that much to wash so soon after the fair. “It will be OK,” I started to tell myself. Cowboy Media came and took some photos of our family on the farm. They did more than that. I look at the pictures and I think, “I wanted to say no to this?” This picture means more to us than anything. Little did we know in a couple months we would have to say goodbye to 304.

We take so many pictures during the year, from what we had to eat, to what part is needed, to “look at this,” to the kids sleeping. Not every family picture is perfect but some are more than perfect. There are few pictures, which live on in our hearts and this is that one. This picture I wanted to say no to. The picture that captures everything that is important to us. Family, love, farm, faith.Rudolph Dairy 0035

Rudolph Dairy 0038


BarnBall~Football in the barn

The Vikings didn’t bring the win home but we are welcoming them back home with open arms.

They gave us football fever this year.

No one talked about how great their season was all fall because we didn’t want to jinx it.

We finished the season with some barn ball, by the looks of it the barn team needs to do some training in the off season.  I think the best part is Everett laughing. I love his laugh. Why is it always “Blue 42”

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The Country Christmas Connection~2017

The Country Christmas Connection is a way for agriculture bloggers to connect with other bloggers or ones who are active on social media sharing their story. This is a great fun way to connect.

It amazes me how someone you have never met before can know you so well. I patiently waited for my package to arrive wondering who my Country Christmas Connection would be? I wonder what we would have in common? Who is it? What part of ag would our connection be in?  Talk about suspense!

It arrived from Chelsy Mesman over at Organic Dairy Mama   I love handwritten notes.  Her words were so sweet and kind.  Thank you Chelsy.  As I continued to open the package each gift was individually wrapped.  IMG_4166  With each gift opened I was amazed how Chelsy knew me so well.  At the same time it gave me comfort knowing my online self and my off line self are the same.

IMG_1740Candy for my never ending sweet tooth. Lipstick and pretty soap to help me feel like a girl (Some days I just want to be a girl but barn clothes and barn smell takes over). Homemade apple butter I love canned goodies. (The love and patience that goes into canning is a gift) A Nicholas Sparks book, How did she know? (Can we say the Notebook?)   And of course a new cook book.  Seriously Chelsy, have we met in another world before? Thank you Chelsy so much for all of your gifts!



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The easiest Chicken Noodle Soup~Brenda’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Winter is here.

There is nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup to give you the feel goods from the chills of winter. This recipe is so easy. When the kiddos are feeling under the weather this is on the menu.  When I want  a good bowl of soup this is on the menu.  When we are under the weather I add noodles.  When we just want a good bowl of soup I add dumplings instead of noodles.

What you will need:

1-12.5oz can of chicken meat (I use canned chicken its easier, it looks like a tuna can but bigger, when I have the time I will boil a whole chicken in water, onions, garlic and celery salt and pepper)

1- 32oz carton of chicken broth

1-tablespoon of oil

3-4 cloves of garlic

1-med onion

1-small package of carrots


1 package of wide egg noodles

2 tablespoons of chicken broth base

salt and pepper

Start by sauteing chopped onions and chopped garlic in large pot, salt and pepper to taste with about a table spoon of vegetable oil.  IMG_1671

Saute till sweated

Don’t begin a, well lets say a conversation/discussion/disagreement with your husband where you may be distracted because this will happen.

This is burnt you do not want your onions and garlic to look like this.    IMG_1672Let’s start over. Saute onions and garlic in pot.


Carrots, Celery, Onion and Garlic



Add chopped carrots, chopped celery and drained chicken. If you start with raw chicken the water you boil the chicken in would be your base for the soup.  Stir around.


Stir in chicken broth. Fill empty chicken broth carton with water add to the pot. Stir together. Simmer on med-low. Add 2-3 tablespoons of chicken base.

IMG_1680 Simmer till vegetables are tender.  Add noodles, if you like less noodles add less if you like lots of noodles add the whole package. If you feel like you have to much liquid let it simmer longer and if will reduce. (That’s a fancy cooking word for evaporate.)

When noodles are tender it is ready to serve.

My favorite side with chicken noodle soup is buttered crackers.  I’ll dunk them in the soup.  Let them sit around the bowl. I’m a crackers in my soup kinda lady.

Yep life is better with chicken noodle soup and buttered crackers.  IMG_1682


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Everett is ready to fix Stuff

At my mom’s family Christmas, we have an auction. There is a set amount we want to reach and those dollars are used to purchase gifts/auction items for the auction the following year. We play cards for the remainder of the gifts. Everett was eyeing up a letterman/multi-tool thinger do that you wear on your belt. If there is something you really would like you request for the auctioneer to begin the bidding on it. My brother was the auctioneer. Everett ran up to the table and handed him the tool.  Nate was bidding on it. Everett was bidding and at times Everett was bidding against himself.

Its organized chaos. Or is it the excitement of an auction?

During evening chores one night, Everett was ready to fix stuff.

When Nate was fixing a handle I had earlier broke.  (The straw room door was froze shut and when I went to open it, the handle came off)  He asked Everett if he could use his new tool. Everett told Nate, “Don’t break it!”

Everett ready to fix

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Dairy Inspection December 2017

Did you know that ALL dairy farms are inspected by the Department of Agriculture?
Dairy Inspectors are a very important step to ensure food safety.
There is a reason the US has the safest food in the world.

From farmer to your kitchen table there are many steps to ensure your cold glass of milk is delicious.
Our farm is Grade A, we are inspected 2 times a year. We know what month the inspector is coming but not the day or the time. Here is a quick interview with our dairy inspector.

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2017 left our hearts broken, saying Good-bye to 304

Just when we thought 2017 could not break our hearts anymore, it proved us wrong.

We had to say good-bye to Everett’s special cow 304.  Our hearts are broken because we did everything we possibly could do and it wasn’t enough. It didn’t make her better.  Our hearts are broken because there is a hard part of dairy farming~life. Our hearts are broken.  Everyone knew she was never going to leave our farm, we’ve been repeatedly asked by dairy farmers,  “What are you going to do?”  She was going to turn into a pet. Everyone knew how much she meant to Everett.

304 taught us so much.

Everett has two of 304’s daughters, Arendelle and Lady Wilt.

Here are all the blog posts of 304 and Everett.

Everett & 304

304 is in labor!

304 is a Celebrity

Morrison County Fair 2015

Milk Does the Body Good

Baby Arendell

A walk of faith

The best team: 304 & Everett

304 “the show cow”

Proud mom, Proud aunt & Proud Dairy Farmer

The night before Fair

304 goes to School

A Determined Fair Goer

Celebrating 4H Week with Highlights from the Morrison County Fair






Making Sno-Cones when it is -25F

We tried out Everett’s new Christmas present, a Snoopy Sno-Cone maker.  The day was -25F in Central Minnesota. You would think we should have been making hot chocolate but when you are winter kids you celebrate the cold. (Well sorta) Everett had a little experiment of which ice cubes froze faster the ones outside or the ones in the kitchen freezer.  Which ones do you think won?

I’m not sure if this goes under a #momwin or a #momfail.  I am thinking the original sno-cone maker from the 80’s had sharper blades because this was a process.  Man did I even struggle putting three pieces together too!


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Finding Peace Doing the Dishes

Dishes can be a dreaded chore. Usually it seems to take me about three days to get all the dishes and pots and pans put away. Some people may see the dishes after a big meal as a dreaded chore but for me, after an event or holiday, I find peace. I find peace as I do the dishes by myself because I am able to think about the day.IMG_8734[1]

I am able to smile about the faces that gathered in our home.

I am able to laugh about how the two youngest members of our family felt clothes were optional this year on Thanksgiving. Apparently clothes make you sweaty. I think about holidays when I was a child and how those special times are so cherished now. I smile at how, as soon as we are done eating, Everett and Noah are ready to go outside with their BB guns. The special times I have with my nieces and sister-in-law looking through the Black Friday ads. How the girls tried on my old dance costumes, flower girl dress and First Communion dress.IMG_8707[1]

Before anyone came, as I walked into the house from finishing morning milking, “Mom we have a lot of work to do yet! We have to make the table bigger and get the turkey out of the oven!” The excitement in Everett’s voice I can still hear in my mind as I do the dishes. Doing the dishes bring me peace. “Mom when are they going to get here? Mom, call auntie Cyndie and see where they are!” Everett was not patiently waiting.IMG_8696[1]

Knowing I am able to prepare a meal for my family brings me peace. I think of how many times family and friends have gathered around the exact same dining table through the years. From my grandparents’ home to my parents’ home to now our home. How many times it has been made bigger and how many times it has been made smaller. How many times dishes have been carefully set at the table. How many times warm food has been placed on the table. How many times grace has been said giving thanks.IMG_8736[1]

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