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Fangirl Friday — JK Farms

Hey, y’all! Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving. Hard to believe we are heading into December — and I haven’t even started decorating yet (not counting the wreath on the front door). This year has flown and, just being honest, I’m not entirely sad to see it go. However, Mason’s first birthday is next Friday and I am so pumped about that! I’m equally bummed, though — this is my last baby and I cannot get over how quickly his first year has gone by. He has really completed our family dynamic and I can’t begin to imagine life without his thousand watt smile.

But getting to the topic of the day! We’re kicking off today’s Fangirl Friday with my sister-in-law’s “baby”, JK Farms. She and my brother are forces to be reckoned with when it comes to farm life and I have loved watching their farm, and their love for it, grow. So now I’m turning the mic over to Kristyn.

1) Hey, Kristyn! Thanks so much for joining us today!
*Thanks for having me and spotlighting our farm…JK Farms!

2) So today you’re going to tell us about your “baby”, JK Farms. How did you decide this was what you wanted to do?
*Well, it’s definitely my “baby”! I’m an animal freak basically — haha! Some think it’s a little overboard, but I enjoy them all. I’ve ALWAYS been an animal lover. Once I moved back out to my childhood home and set some roots down we decided to get chickens. I kept hearing about chickens being the “gateway” animal to farming….well it’s true! We started out with 12 chickens in June 2016….now November 2018 we’re up to around 100 animals! We have chickens, guineas, turkeys, ducks, Muscovy, geese, rabbits, mini pigs, goats, 2 cats and 6 dogs.

3) What is the best thing to you, personally, about JK Farms?
*The best thing about JK Farms is it’s mine! I put my whole heart into these animals. They’re not only there to help feed my family and make us a little money, but they’re my pets. Most of them have names, of course. They bring me joy and happiness.

4) Has this changed you and, if so, how?
*I think it’s changed me for sure! I’m learning what it’s like to own my own business so that’s making me more responsible, for sure. I can also now understand all the hard work it takes in building your own business. Even though this really started out as a hobby, I now want to do this full time!

5) So, I know that you’ve got a full-time job in addition to JK Farms, but if you weren’t doing this today, what would you be doing?
*If I didn’t have JK Farms…hmmm, I don’t want to think about life without JK Farms! lol.

6) What are some reasons that you like to share this passion with others?
*I love sharing about JK Farms and my animals because it makes me happy and I want to make others happy. Seeing my goats running and jumping around and raring back to ram each other all in play is so peaceful. Seeing the mini pigs lounging around with their guardian dog in the sunlight; a chicken chase after a cricket or a muscovy going after a moth; one of the cats jumping up to catch a dragonfly; and watching a chick hatch, seeing the start of a precious living thing is an experience everyone should have at some point in their lives. Not owning a farm — but being able to witness the pure innocence and joy of animals.

7) This is definitely a lifestyle commitment. What are some ways that you enjoy sharing your experiences with others? Do you feel like your love for JK Farms has inspired others to broaden their horizons as far as recognizing their own passions?
*I hope I have inspired at least one person to follow their dream, no matter how big or small. I would’ve never thought this would be my life, but I’m so thankful for it. I can’t wait to raise a child on our farm and instill my passion for animals in them. I pray they enjoy it all as much as I do.

8) These days, everyone has so much going on and dreams/goals become lost in the busyness. How would you encourage other women to stay goal oriented?
*You gotta start somewhere! Make a vision board! Gather pictures, newspaper or magazine clippings, words, whatever it may be that makes up what your dream is or your goals and post it somewhere… somewhere you’ll see it every single day as a constant reminder to chase your dreams! Make lists! I need to do better at this, but it’s the best way to stay on top of your goals.

9) Thanks so much for sharing with us today! Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for helping us small business owners get out there and share our passions!

Hope you enjoyed reading about farm life with Kristyn! It’s so cool to me how different interests cultivate different goals, making them realities. If you want to stay linked in to what’s new on the farm, hop over to JK Farms on Facebook at the link below and share this post! Thanks for reading, y’all!

JK Farms

Blog, Children, Family, Food, Humor, Kids, Links, Lists, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Relatable, Snacks, social media, Uncategorized, Writing

10 Things I’ve Said to My Children in Walmart

As we grow older, we develop life stories.  Some parts of these stories are light-hearted and fun.  Other chapters are dark and gloomy.  Some are just “meh”; you know what I mean — we all wander out of the “wonder years” and straight into the “not-even-using-dry-shampoo-give-a-damn’s-busted”- ‘meh’ phase.  It happens to the best of us — don’t knock ya’self.  If you’re a parent, at least one and a half of those chapters take place at the grocery store.  If you’re an unlucky parent, that grocery store just so happens to be WalMart.

Now, look — if any of you are employees of WalMart, I’m not hating on your workplace (much).  WalMart is a necessary evil.  A necessary evil that I should be a stockholder of, but I digress.

Point being, we all hold our own dialogue, with our own children, from our own personal experiences in the aisles and check-out lanes of various markets.  My kids are generally well behaved in public.  Sure, they get rowdy on occasion and sometimes I threaten to leave them in the frozen food aisle (“WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS, RANDOM HEATHEN?!”), but usually, the most damage that is ever done is me having to say really. weird. SHIT.  No, Classy Cathy; I don’t mean stuff.  I mean SHIT.  I have said some seriously off-the-wall, where-in-the-world-did-that-come-from crap.  And if you have ever had to run into the grocery with your children for, “Just eggs!” and you come out with everything but eggs, then you know my grief.

With that said, I’ve compiled a Top Ten list of my personal favorite “WTF?!” WalMart moments with my kids.

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10. You don’t have to have a new toy every time we come to the store.  Yes, that includes the poo emoji beanbag chair.
09. STOP POKING THE CHICKEN.
08. I don’t care if this is only WalMart and not Target, quit farting on your brother.
07. Quit staring at the bras.  You’re right — I don’t have a tiger striped bra.  Oh, I’m sure dad would laugh, alright.

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06. You know, they throw kids in WalMart jail for eating grapes that haven’t been purchased.  Don’t think I won’t let them keep you, either.
05. Yes, I see that she is wearing her pajamas.  No, you may not wear your pajamas next time.
04. Are you lic– WHY ARE YOU LICKING THE BUGGY?!

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03. No, you may not scan the baby’s butt.  Why?!  Because we’ve already paid for him, that’s why.
02. GET OUT OF THE FREEZER.
01. Go get in the car. Go GET in the CARGET IN THE CARRRRRRR.

All of the above was said in one shopping trip.  Last week.  The final week of summer.  Y’all, Connor started kindergarten today.  Do you know what that means?!  That means I get to go grocery shopping, nay, to WALMART, alone.  Unincumbered.  In (relative) silence.  There will be wine and dancing in the aisles and I don’t care who stares!

I hope I’m not alone in most of these (and seriously doubt that I am) and also hope you’ll comment below with your own grocery shopping proclamations and weirdness.  Like what you’ve read?  Hit the links below to follow me and subscribe for email notifications!

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Blog, Children, Family, Food, Health, Healthy eating, Humor, Kids, Kids' Health, Links, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Snacks, summer

Snack Thirty

Lemme just preface by saying this post isn’t about my snacking habits.

This time.

Before this summer, my kids weren’t super snack-y.  I mean, sure — from time to time they’d request gummies or an apple.  Nothing out of the ordinary and not super often.  Little did I know that dark days were upon our household.  Enter Summer 2018: the two and a half month period where my kids asked for snacks literally every ten minutes (no kidding — my oldest just came in and asked for a donut.  UH, NO).  I didn’t mind for about the first week.  I’d simply throw them a banana or give them a bowl of grapes and some water and send them on their way.  Then week two reared its ugly head; it was then that I realized my kitchen, nay, our LIVES would never be the same.

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Now, in case the obvious has escaped you, my parenting style is “sasshole”.   I haven’t always been this way, though.  No, there was a time when you could see me frolicking through the tulips, singing songs from The Sound of Music.  I’m done making apologies for that.  My kids are great, but they’re challenging.  It’s either be a sasshole or rock back and forth in a padded cell, and my insurance doesn’t cover that.  My kids, on the flip side, are newbie SNACKholes.  I mean, they could own Snickers commercials guys.  “Hungry?  Grab a case of Snickers.”  Except don’t, because: diabeetus.

My boys could have feasibly rivaled any hongry, hormonal woman during her monthly visit from Aunt Flo this summer.  Things got ugly, FAST.  You’d think that after almost 5 and 9 years of me being their mom that they’d know better.  Well, my children are smart, but no one has ever accused them of being Mensa smart.  And so the Battle of the (Mom’s Trying to Keep You From Developing a Stomach) Bulge began.  There were survivors — but only because I don’t do orange jumpsuits.  Also, I’m not mentally prepared to be anyone’s cell wife.

Listen, I’m no skinny-Minnie.  I’ve struggled with weight since I was a kid, partially because of a (legit) thyroid issue.  And I say “legit” thyroid issue because it’s just that — legit.  Not a, “I ate ten pies and a cake, and I don’t understand why my pants don’t fit” issue.  But because thyroid issues run through my family (as well as diabetes), I try really hard to make sure my kids understand that it’s okay to enjoy themselves but to believe in portion control and self-restraint.  My goal isn’t to be a party pooper, but for them to live their best lives — and part of that means self-control where eating is concerned.  My boys are healthy and active, but that doesn’t mean they can’t change those qualities one day down the road.

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It occurred to me that they could actually be hungry — they will be five and nine in the next week, after all.  Of course, they could also be bored (unlikely) or dehydrated (more likely).  So we agreed that they could have snacks if they A) had been largely active prior to eating a snack and B) had consumed x-amount of water prior to snacks.  This wasn’t a huge deal for either of them because they are pretty much constantly active and they both drink water without complaint.  I also told them that large amounts of junk food were out of the question and that our snack choices would be healthy.  At first, they were worried that snacks would be gross.  I distinctly remember Gabe saying, “Are we just going to eat lettuce all day?  Because we don’t like lettuce.”  And I get it — snacks are a part of childhood memories.  I assured him he wouldn’t eat lettuce 24/7 and that I would find fun, healthy alternatives.  He didn’t believe me.

Enter KidFresh Triple Cheese Pizza Bites.  They’re packed with hidden veggies which include pureed carrots and spinach (joke’s on you, bud!) and made with whole wheat flour.  There’s no high fructose corn syrup and nothing chemically engineered, so I feel totally cool with letting my kids nom on these!  Bonus: my kids love them and never believe me when I tell them about the “hidden” veggies.  And while KidFresh Pizza bites are considered a snack, I’ve even given them to my kids as lunch with a not-so-hidden vegetable and cup of applesauce.  Winning!

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My oldest starts school tomorrow and Connor begins a week after.  I’ve already promised them that these will be in our freezer ready for a school-afternoon-snack the minute they walk in the door — give or take fifteen minutes.

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photo courtesy: me. illustrations courtesy: kidfresh website.

Disclosure: The above opinions are those of my own; I am receiving no compensation from KidFresh brand, nor have I been approached by them to advertise.  This is simply a product that we, as a family, have tried and have enjoyed.  Any opinions given are given purely as personal recommendations to other parents and/or anyone interested in healthier snack options for little ones.  The above image is linked to the KidFresh website; illustrations are not my own.