Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good bye 2014 and Good Riddance

I have to say that 2014 has been the biggest roller coaster year I have ever had. Don't get me wrong there were many wonderful things that happened in my life this year but unfortunately just as many negatives. Let's just say that I'm glad this year is done and a new one is beginning. 

Instead of focusing on the bad things that happened this year I want to highlight all the good things that did go on. 

Graduating from LPN school
One of the things that consumed most of my year was nursing school. What took a little longer than I had originally planned but has gotten me one step closer to my dreams. I am now working as a nurse at the Nursing Home I started at over 2 1/2 years ago as an aid. I actually just got the email saying that I can take my boards and become an official LPN!! So that will be the biggest goal of 2014 is to pass my boards. 

Missouri Honey Princess/Queen
I have to say that I have been extremely blessed to get to serve as the 2014 Missouri Honey Princess. This year as the princess has allowed me to travel all over the state, meet some amazing people, and help increase my knowledge and the knowledge of others about bees and honey. I think I traveled over 5,000 miles, to around 19 different event and have met hundreds of people! I attended 2 wine tastings, many beginning beekeeping classes, the Mo State fair, my county fair, 2 governors conferences, and many more amazing events. But even more exciting is that they have selected me to do it another year as the 2015 Missouri Honey Queen!! I am beyond excited for another great year with the MSBA!

I officially Retired from Livestock Showing
Well I had originally thought that I was going to be done showing livestock last year because I knew that I would be in Nursing school. But my Ag teacher kept asking if I would show and he volunteered to keep the pigs at his house. So I wouldn't have to worry to much about them. So I showed 2 pigs and ended my career officially. I also took the money that I got from selling my pigs and donated it to a local charity. 

I got to learn extensively about my Family History
This year I had several opportunities to learn extensively about my family history. My mom and I spent this Memorial Day visiting many cemeteries and many headstones belonging to people in my family. Mom also spent that time telling me about each of these people and how they belong to me. We went back to 3-4 generations back grandparents. We also began going through some things at my grandmas house and have been going through many pictures, letters, and memorabilia from my family. To me this stuff is worth more than gold and I'm so happy that my family really tries to preserve this stuff and likes to learn the stories and are willing to pass them down!

Other Travels
Along with all my princess travels I did some traveling of my own to some neat places. Nothing like last years trip to Wyoming but still any chance to travel is great! Probably the coolest places that I got to visit was the American Gothic house 2 times once to eat pie that was made in the house :) I learned that it was located in Iowa just last year and really wanted to go. It is actually not that far from where my grandma lives. One sad thing was that due to being busy and gone during many rodeos I only got to attend 2 rodeos this year :( I got to go to the PBR in Kansas City in February and then a PRCA rodeo in Sidney Iowa. Both great as usual!

New Year!
Those things along with some that I'm sure I've forgotten are probably the highlights of my year. I am so excited to see what next year brings. My resolutions that I made last year were pretty sad and the only one that I came close to accomplishing was Trying 100 new recipes. I got close at around 76. So I say that's pretty great! 

I'm not going to set resolutions or goals for next year because I just want to live. I am going to focus more on me this year and really try to say "NO" more often. I'm going to try to focus more on God and establishing a better relationship with Him. Finally I'm just going to keep working towards my dreams. They've been the same now for quite some time now and I've made some progress and I refuse to give up on them. So I wish you all a wonderful New Year and let's make 2015 great!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

45th Missouri Governors Conference on Ag

This past January I got to attend just one day of the Governors conference and I had a blast. This year I got to attend all 3 days and it was even more amazing!! This years event was at the Lake of the Ozarks at Tan-Tar-A resort. I left early Thursday morning in the snow. Thursday night was the first event. They had a Taste of AgriMissouri reception. Where all the food prepared was grown/produced/made in Missouri. Of course the food was amazing. There was lamb, ham, beef, spaghetti squash, jams, honey, mixed greens, meringue, and ice cream and so much more.  

My plate of food!
Dessert. Meringue made with Missouri eggs.

Our display.

Me and My friend Darrell who makes some awesome granola.

Uncle Bob winning an award. I love his Jam! It was so great to meet him in person!

This Chef who won an award for using Missouri Products in his restaurant. 

Some soda that's made in Herman, MO. 

The second day was filled with some wonderful speakers who spoke on some hot topics in Agriculture. The Governor even spoke during our lunch. 

The Director of Agriculture for Missouri Richard Fordyce

State of the Industry Panel. All the big wigs in MO AG. :)

Charlie Arnot; The CEO of the Center of Food Integrity. I loved his speech. He spoke on how we can help ease the public's distrust and misconceptions in AG. 

The Governor Jay Nixon Speaking during lunch.

Our Lunch

Best speaker hands down in my books. He spoke about some history of AG and how we can do our part in promoting AG. 
Plus I got to meet him and am getting a signed copy of his book!! 

Cyndi Young and Tom Brand some Farm Broadcasters. 

They had everyone taking pictures with this sign showing that "I am Missouri Agriculture"

David Frost speaking about Wine. Very interesting but way over my head as a novice wine drinker :)

Me handing out samples of Honey ice cream and fielding questions about bees!

Day 3 brought with it more speakers and a big section on Youth in Agriculture which I enjoyed because it was mostly FFA and 4H kids along with The Peterson Farm Bros. (and Sister). We also had a banquet that night honoring some people along with my dear friend Laurie Link from Country LINKed who, along with her son, were given an award for their photography. After the Banquet was a concert by Sawyer Brown which was great.

This is Allison Sunstrum the CEO of GrowSafe Systems for Cattle. Definitely one of my favorite talks. 

Dan Davidson an Agronomist who spoke about Cover crops


They did a great talk about advocating for AG and about their success. They also sang all their songs. It was so funny watching the videos on the big screens and then thinking "Oh yeah they are right there!!"

Then I got to meet them and get a picture with them!!!!! :)

Me and Laurie and her Daughter!

Me and Valerie who went with me and is the President of the Missouri State Beekeepers Association.

Wyatt Laurie's son receiving his award for his picture.

Laurie Receiving her award

Sawyer Brown Band

All the Free stuff and things I got from the booths.

This was an amazing trip and I learned SOOOO much about how to be a better agvocate and things about AG in general that I didn't know. I got to meet some awesome people and people who I've followed on FB for quite a while. I can't wait to go back next year!! If your from Missouri and are involved in Ag I highly encourage you to go to this conference. It's well worth the money!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sign Up for the Christmas In the Country Gift Exchange!!!!

Hello everyone and welcome to the second annual Christmas in the Country gift exchange!!

We're glad you have decided to join up with us and participate in the gift exchange. If this is your second time, welcome back! If it's your first time, get ready to have a great time!

As a refresher, here's the important dates that you need to know:
  • November 30th - Signups end!
  • December 1st - You will receive the name of the person you will be sending a gift to from one of the hosts in an email. If you haven't heard from anyone by December 3rd please let us know.
  • December 17th - Send your gift by this date!! You are welcome to send your gift earlier if you like, but please, please try to get it sent by the 17th at the latest so everyone gets a gift before Christmas. After you receive a gift share about it on your blog or social media pages!
  • January 7th - Come back to the host blogs and link up your posts about your gifts!

Before you sign up, please read through these simple rules:
  • After you sign up, please take a minute to share about the swap on your blog or Facebook page, feel free back to one of the signup blog posts. The more the merrier so encourage your friends to join!
  • If you decide to participate, we ask that you please write a blog post (or if you don't have a blog then on Facebook or other social media) about the gift you received no later than January 7th. Then, on January 7th you need to come back to the host blogs and link up to the party. Linking up is easy and we can help you if needed! We want everyone to be able to see what everyone else got so it's important that everyone shares!
  • If you join, YOU MUST SEND A GIFT! We really don't want anyone to be left out, that's the worst! If something comes up and you cannot continue to participate after you have signed up, please let one or more of the hosts know ASAP so we can work something out.
  • You must get a tracking number for your gift that you send, and you must send that tracking number to the host who emailed you your gift exchange name. Please send these to us as soon as you get them. I've found one of the best ways to send packages like this is to use the Priority Mail Flat Boxes from USPS. You can pick up the boxes for free from your local post office, and they ship out for one flat rate regardless of weight. You can either print off a label at home and leave for your mail person or take the filled box back to the post office and ship it off there. Either way, be sure to get a tracking number for your package please!!!
  • Please use the linkup below to add your blog (click on the blue "add your link" button, add your blog home page url and pick a thumbnail image) or your Facebook page. This way, all who are participating can look at the linkup and see everyone else who has joined! If you don't have a blog, please leave a comment letting us know who you and why you decided to participate.
  • For the sake of fairness, we've decided that bloggers will be pair with other bloggers and non-bloggers will be paired with other non-bloggers. That way those that blog will get a chance for their gifts to be featured on someone else's blog. Those that don't have blogs are more than welcome to join and still share their gifts on other social media.
  • Please tag all posts (whether on Facebook/blogs/Instagram/Twitter) about the gift exchange with #christmasinthecountry2014. This will hopefully make it easier for us to find everyone's posts!
  • After you sign up, please grab the button below and add it to your blog if you have one. Feel free to use the large image above as well when you share or for your blog posts (you should be able to right click on the image and download).
Christmas in the Country 2014

So now on to the fun part, THE GIFT! Here's some guidelines:
  • We encourage you to spend some time thinking about what your person might like, and send a unique and creative gift. Use their likes and dislikes that they listed (your host should email the list to you). Also check out their blogs or social media sites (without letting them know who you are) to get a feel for what they might like.
  • We've found it's nice to focus on locally and homemade items. If you can support other farmers, farm wives, and country folks that's great! If you're crafty think about making something special to send to your person, or include some of your famous Christmas cookies in their package. If you're not the crafty type see if maybe you can support some local artisans with your package.
  • Because we like to encourage local and homemade gifts, we don't set a spending limit. However, if you're one of those people who really need a number we've found that somewhere around $15 to $25 spent on a gift is a nice range, but you can't put a price on homemade goods! Many people like to include a few different smaller items in their box, but some also just send one larger item, it's up to you! If you still need more ideas check out the link up party from the 2013 Christmas in the Country to see what everyone from last year sent and received!
  • Remember, this gift exchange is a secret! That means that you only know who you will be sending a gift to - but you don't know who your gift will be coming from! That's half the fun! So please be careful NOT to let your person know that you are sending them a gift. However, when you do send your gift, please include a note revealing yourself so they know who their goodies came from! You can let them know a little about yourself and why you choose the items that you did. The person that you send a gift to is not the same person who sends a gift to you, so you will have the chance to make two new friends!
  • And remember to please get that tracking number on your gift! Makes it easier to make sure everyone got their gift!


As a reminder, here are all of the hosts for the Christmas in the Country 2014 gift exchange, you can find our contact info on our blogs if you have any questions or need help!

 Last year I received a gift all the way from North Dakota from Kayla Jo at Creek Side Ranch and she sent me some amazing things!! I got a journal which I have used alot this year, some amazing BBQ sauce that we loved and wish had some more, a candle, cookbook, and some postcards from her part of the country. I was tickled to get to know her and recieve the things I did!!