Another Fun Filled Summer in Photos

The house is pretty quiet this week. The laundry piles are smaller, and the milk lasts a little longer. It is official. Jonathan and I are empty nesters!

This summer was pretty busy, which is how we prefer our summers to be. I’d like to share some of the fun with you in the photos below.

Most of the family was able to surprise my brother and his family at a Twins game in the beginning of July. Bruce had the honor of raising the Twins Territory flag. It was pretty cool.

The family – 14 out of a possible 19 made it!

The game: Twins won, with the help of a couple home runs at the hands of Trevor Plouffe.

A week later, Christina left for a five week stay in Costa Rica as a part of her Spanish studies. She missed out on our intense 48 hours of fun at Lake Ethel.

Jonathan likes to work hard, and play hard.

After we returned from the lake, Jonathan and Laura attended a national youth gathering for a week. They had a great trip, but were very happy to be back home again. Pretty much as soon as they returned, it was time to harvest wheat.

I took my turn in the combine for a little while.

Jonathan harvested most of the wheat, while I helped Laura get her projects ready for the county fair. Laura did the work, but I was her adviser.

The vanity Laura refinished, which is now displayed in my entry.

Laura competed in her final horse show at this years fair. She enjoys participating in the trail class the most. I think she’s pretty good at it.

Laura also brought three Boer goats to the county fair. This year’s fair was filled with a little drama. During the goat show, a severe thunderstorm rolled through and we all needed to take shelter. A few days later, another storm rolled through and we were once again waiting it out in the horse barn. 

Laura in the show ring.

For the first time in my life, I was in the ring during the State Fair line up. Can you spot my shoes?  I won’t quit my day job…

In between the county fair and the state fair, I worked at Farm Fest. Farm Fest is a three day agricultural event where vendors bring their equipment, software, expertise, or whatever they have that serves the agriculture community to southwest Minnesota. I help to sell pork chops on a stick in the Farm Bureau tent. I totally forgot to take photos this year, so you’ll have to close your eyes and imagine a delicious pork chop being handed to you by a local FFA member or Farm Bureau volunteer.  After a good day of recovery, I always look forward to the next year!

During the county fair and Farm Fest weeks, we had a visitor! Our former exchange student, who we now refer to as our German daughter, spent two weeks with us. It was great to catch up in person!

Viktoria at Alexander Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls. A beautiful park that we went to a few times while she stayed with us for a year.

While I was running around like a crazy woman, Jonathan was home being a great husband and dad. When he gets hungry for cookies, he just whips up a batch. They typically don’t last very long.

This brings us to the Minnesota State Fair. I love the fair! Laura went up with other 4-H members from our county for the 4 days of the Livestock encampment. Christina and I went up to watch the goat show, and then we walked around a tiny bit. We saved most of our fun for when we planned to go back the following week. 
Laura earned a purple ribbon in showmanship! She was pretty amazed, since this goat had been super jumpy at our county fair. He calmed down quite a bit once he entered the show ring.

We always check out the Agriculture/Horticulture building to see if Jonathan won any ribbons for his seed samples. He did! This year he received blue ribbons on both of his wheat varieties that were submitted.

Before we left, Christina and I had to find my new favorite treat. I am lactose intolerant, and ice cream really affects me, even when taking Lactaid. It was super hot, so this frozen banana on a stick was just the thing.

After our second visit to the fair, it was time to finish packing. All three girls moved to college last weekend.

Part of what we moved. I am so blessed that all three girls are in the same town. Two at one college, the youngest four blocks away at another.

We are now in the patiently waiting for soybean and corn harvest mode. There is still plenty that needs to get done before we are ready. Jonathan is loading up wheat that was sold, and will be sweeping out the grain bins when they are empty.  He will be making sure that the combine and trucks are clean so we do not have any wheat in our soybeans. I will be working on getting our house ready for family to stay. Once the soybeans are ready, I’ll be running the combine while Jonathan hauls the loads in the semi.  We plan on fitting in a few dates here and there as well.  So far this empty nest thing is looking pretty good!

Author: Carolyn Olson

I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. In 1988, I married my best friend, and moved to the farm. Jonathan and I have three daughters, and will soon have a son-in-law! I love life on the farm, and wouldn't trade it for anything!

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