Christmas in the Country

This year (well December 2015) when it was announced it was time for sign ups for the annual Christmas in the Country, I was hesitant. Last year was my first year to participate and I loved it… But this year I was changing careers and we were moving 1,600 miles from Nebraska to Nevada. So what did I do? I signed up to participate another year! This is a great event for ag bloggers, and has been an excellent way to meet others with similar interests.

This year I received Lara at My Other More Exciting Self. Lara is always posting excellent turkey recipes, delicious looking baking projects, and pictures of her family and Earl the Pug (I mean technically he is family too, right?). I was a complete slacker and didn’t get any pictures of what I sent Lara… Luckily she documented it well and wrote about it in her Christmas in the Country reveal post. I had fun making and thinking about things that Lara and her family would enjoy.

My surprise Santa was Taysha at Dirt Road Charm. I met Taysha a couple of years ago at an AgChat Conference, and give credit to her and her co-presenters on me taking up a more active role on Instagram. Taysha included a handwritten note in the box and told me that her local hardware store has a craft/gift section where local people from the community can sell handmade goods. How fun is that?! They were all made with love in Edon, Ohio.Christmas in Country 1

My box had a pair of mittens, which were upcycled from old sweaters by a stay-at-home mom. They are so warm and soft, perfect for the cold winter we have been having. There was a faucet knob picture holder made by a local farmer that is so clever and cute, and is already up in my new office! A burlap wine bottle sack that says “Cheers” made by the hardware owner. I may have to keep this thing for myself πŸ™‚ And last, but not least, there was a great grain sack bag (aka purse) in there. On this gift Taysha’s letter made me laugh as she says “No idea, but I’m sure someone made it (right?)”. Haha yes, someone did make it, and it is very cute and roomy. I had to keep an eye on my Mom as she was eyeballing this for herself over Christmas. I think Taysha did an excellent job with the gifts, and they will all be well used. I encourage you to check out what Taysha received in the Christmas in the County exchange and to read her hilarious posts on motherhood.

A huge shoutout to the ladies who pulled off the 2015 Christmas in the Country. I know it cannot be easy, and I certainly appreciate the reminders of deadlines. Β Check out their blogs: Jamie – This Uncharted Rhoade, Laurie – Country Linked, Kirby – 15009 Farmhouse, and Lara – My Other More Exciting Self. If you are interested in seeing what all of the bloggers who participated received, and their posts about it, head over to the lineup on This Uncharted Rhoade.


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

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Handmade for the tree… Throwback Thursday

Anyone else have some handmade Christmas tree ornaments like this on their tree?


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

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– Facebook
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Work, life, and everything in between: A photo update

Wow, where have the last six weeks gone? I had intended to do more posts, but couldn’t make the time. So today’s post will fill you in on all of the recent happenings.

I participated in Christmas in the Country gift exchange with other agricultural bloggers – it was a blast and I look forward to doing it again next (err this) year. I did blog about this, and it can be found in my feed.
My sister and I were able to get on the same flight west – good times.
A view of the river, notice the beaver trees?
My Mom’s sheep started lambing right before we came home, it was fun to see them play and run.
My Dad and I went coyote hunting (they are a major predator for sheep, goats, and baby calves). One morning all we called in were these curious heifers.
My sister and I started a little genealogy project for my Dad. We didn’t quite solve the puzzle, but when we finish gathering all of the details I will do a blog post on what we found.
advent calendar - final
Many years ago my Grandmother made an Advent calendar for her mother (my Great-Grandma) and my Mom. My Mom uses hers annually, and I now have the one my Great-Grandma had, but it has seen better days and left my sister with out one. So I decided to make one for my sister… and loved it so much I am making one for myself too. It was fun to customize the ornaments to fit them and their interests, and some of the ornaments came off of the original tree my Grandmother made.
Home skies - final
While there wasn’t much Christmas snow, there were some great sunrises, sunsets, and clouds – and if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I love sky shots.
For New Year’s Eve the Hubs and I cooked up some crab legs. Oh they were tasty! The only problem was we should have bought more πŸ™‚
reports - final
I just had my 5th Extension anniversary, and went up for promotion. Our annual reports were also due just a week later… What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
research center - final
One of my favorite things about my job is that no two days are the same. In the last couple of weeks I have seen calves grazing corn stalks and I have received a bag of popcorn from our agronomy department – who else gets these perks at their job? Working at a research center is pretty awesome.
Kansas City - final
The Hubs and I both had Martin Luther King Day off, so we headed to Kansas City (one of our favorite cities to visit) for a long weekend. We enjoyed the sites, the food, the tours, and the relaxation!

Were your last few weeks as insane as mine? I look forward to things slowing down just a bit!


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

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Christmas in the Country gift exchange

citc14-1This was my first year to participate in the Christmas in the Country gift exchange. This was a secret Santa experience for ag bloggers and online agvocates. It was a lot of fun and I want to share my experience with you.

I received Val at Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids. She is Wonder Woman – a mom, wife, farmer, volunteer, agvocate, blogger, woman of faith and community located in northern Iowa. And she is getting ready to have a third baby! I look forward to getting to know her more and following her adventures through her various social media platforms. I have to admit that I might have freaked Val out with my gift, as I checked her out online and sent personalized gifts for her whole family. Since Val and her husband raise pork, I found that she and I seem to be on the same page when it comes to bacon – we both love it. And Val had indicated that faith is important to her. I have made stacked crosses for several friends in the past, and I thought I would make one for Val too.

Hand-made Christmas ornaments… This one is for Val. I also made one with the initial’s of her husband and their kiddos and a generic one with a pig on it for Baby #3.
I tried to use my artistic talents as best as possible and make this specific to her blog title… Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids.
My attempt at a pig πŸ™‚
I filled Val’s and her husband’s ornaments with Christmas “stuff” and the kiddos with hot chocolate mix. I figured they could eventually fill it with legos, corn, beans, or whatever they wanted!
Bacon…enough said. And in case Val needed ideas for more ways to use the delicious goodness, she got this recipe book. Yum!
Val indicated green was her favorite color, so I tried to pick hues of green for this stacked cross.
Off to the post office to ensure they received this before Christmas!

My hubs and I headed to Northern California for Christmas, but I was delighted to find my secret Santa gift waiting for me when I returned.

My gift box was put together by Kim at Kim’s County Line. Kim is a wife, mom, a young grandmother, farmer’s wife, photographer, and an amazing woman in south central Kansas. Kim sent me a great gift box of Kansas themed items! All of them were perfect. She sent food items: spiced tea mix, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, cinnamon apple butter, and Hudson Cream corn bread mix and country gravy mix – I am a huge fan of eating, so everything has been a hit! Kim also takes excellent photos, and she sent some blank cards with her photos on them! I know as I write thank you cards for Christmas gifts my family will love receiving these cards. Kim also included a wine stopper, a snowflake ornament, recipes, and a Kansas bookmark! Isn’t she great!?

A great letter from Kim explaining all of the gifts. After I mailed my package to Val I thought I should have included a note for her to open after opening the gifts so I could explain them a little more…next year I will do that!
My pile of booty from Kim – and all Kansas items too! She did a great job of finding things that are/were perfect for me and my interests!
Look at these notecards made with Kim’s pictures, I think they are awesome and that Kim is very talented. Kim does sell these, so if you would like a few for yourself, reach out to her.
Tonight the Hubs and I are having beans and ham hocks so we can try out the cornbread mix.
I have been enjoying the spiced tea (and the Hubs really likes it too). Kim sent a great cookie recipe I will have to try, but it seems as I will have to buy more chocolate covered sunflower seeds as the ones she sent have made for good snacks!

Prior to this exchange I was not familiar with Val or Kim, and I am glad that I have gotten to know two more wonderful ladies through Christmas in the Country. I encourage you to check them both out and see what they up to, as they are wonderful women who are living life to the fullest with their families and loves ones.

This was a wonderful experience, and I look forward to participating again next year!

Many thanks to Christmas in the Country hosts: Country LINKed, This Uncharted Rhoade,The Ranchwife Chronicles, and Diaries from the Dirt Road.

If you are interested in knowing more about this gift exchange, check out the original post on Country LINKed.


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

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Christmas in California

Next week I head to California to spend Christmas with my family and friends. And I am pretty excited! In all of my years in college and living away, I have yet to miss a Christmas at home. Yes I said home, as that is where my heart is… My heart loves the mountains, trees, rivers and lakes, ranches, livestock, and of course family and friends. And I get to see these people…

WY weekend 052
My parents – aren’t they cute?!
My sister (and I, on the left).
Wedding Photos7 046
Love the mountains – especially from the top down…
A summertime favorite…

Where is home for you? Is that where you are spending Christmas?


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