Thursday, May 31, 2012

wheat harvest: pictures for Dad

Wheat harvest came early this year, and I have LOVED being a part of it. I know that my Dad would have loved to be here for it as well, and many people made the comment to me, "ahh, I bet your Dad wishes he were here right now". Jon especially talked about you a lot and said he remembers riding truck with you when he was a little boy.

He even ate some wheat in your honor yesterday! We were waiting for everyone to come back from eating lunch to move to another field, and so Jon and I were just waiting. Jon took a handful of wheat and goes, "This is for you Uncle Tom! Hurry back to Kansas!" It was so sweet. I also ate some wheat and it was good and crunchy.

So... wheat harvest. Ready for some pictures of the mighty Wiebe farm operators?

In order to get out to the field, I hitched a ride in the truck that was unloading wheat at Uncle Gordon's. That day, it just happened to be Casey who was driving.

We had to wait for the thousands of pounds of wheat to be unloaded.

And stored in the bins.

After it finished unloading, we headed back out to the field.


We had both combines going -- Casey was driving one (the new one), and then either Jon or Uncle Doug was driving the other one. But Uncle Doug said he preferred to drive truck, and Jon said he preferred driving the combine cause, "I'm a big guy. I like big machines." :)

Kristen's Ben was driving grain cart

The wheat was BEAUTIFUL! Really thick. View from inside the combine whilst riding with Jon!

At one point, we were full, and the grain cart hadn't arrived to the field yet, so we had to drive back to go unload directly into a truck. And guess what? Jon let me drive!!! He said, "hey Melissa, want to drive?" And before I had time to think about my answer, he was standing up and switching places with me, and I was in the bouncy driver's seat! 

That's right! I drove a combine! Granted, I didn't actually combine any wheat, but I drove that massive machine! It was fuuuuun. 

 Justin's kiddos were out there with us a lot too, and loved playing in the wheat!

There was lots going on in the field (right by Justin's):
Robert was raking

Justin was baling. 

And Jason was picking up the bales.

The first day, I rode with Jason for several hours, picking up bales all over the field. It was so much fun. Of course, good ol' country music playing on the radio! 

We were there really late, and got to enjoy a beautiful sunset over the field. And even cooler was to see all of the combines and tractors with their lights on working in the field. As Jason said, "isn't that nice? All these machines working out here at the same time in the dark?" I thought it was harder to spot the bales all over the field! 

I had to sneak this picture of him, as he promptly refused to let me take any others. After he'd put a full load of bales on the trailer, he'd hook it up the tractor and we'd take them to the edge of the field. 

Doesn't it look like so much fun? Hard working people, these Wiebe's. Dad, we sure missed you! Mom, you too of course! And in fact Mom, I took a picture of your brother for you:

I rode with him in the combine for a while and he was asking me about French and told me to tell him a phrase in French slang. So I did. And then he said, "what does that mean"? And I said, "it means, I dig it". And he goes, "ok". And that was the end of that. Ha! It was funny.

When we moved fields, they took the header off of one combine, but not the other. Ben made this cool header trailer and it works pretty slick to detach the header on there. I rode with Jon as we went down first street (with the combine and header still attached) and I said, "wow, we're really taking up the whole road. Nobody will be able to pass us!" And Jon goes, "that's right melissa! People will pass me, when I say they can pass me!" But he always got over nicely for everyone. 

Danae, we passed your husband!! :)

And then we got .60" of rain! That was a blessing! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

T & G

Last Saturday was a big day for our family. My cousin Tracie got married. There are 4 of us cousins who were in the same class, and Tracie is one of them. I was thrilled -- beyond thrilled actually, to be here for her wedding. The reality of living overseas and only coming back every couple of years means that I don't get to be at all of the weddings. Which is really hard. I hate missing them.

So being there on Saturday, and seeing in person how beautiful and happy Tracie was, was very special. My new cousin Gordon is pretty cool too. He's hilarious and a super match for her.

She was glowing! And very expressive. :)


 That's my Mama's sister -- my aunt Donna. Can you see the family resemblance? 

He's SO cute!! Amy, I think he has your eyes. :)

Curtis and Bitty. They are stellar people. I'm very much looking forward to coffee with Bitty. Ahem.

Hey Matthias y Cecilia! These are the people that are coming to visit you in June! :)

Linds, we wanted to show you a picture of Sherlynn's awesome braid! We missed you!

Another newlywed couple; Jodi and Alan just got married a couple weeks ago!

This picture makes me laugh. Amy, I'm sure you're going to love it. Amy is the one in pink and the mother of the cute little baby with big blue eyes. And Shorty's so pretty!

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. MacCleod!

And THIS week-end, my other cousin is getting married! Woohoo Ben and Lisa!

Friday, May 25, 2012

a boy and his mama

I have some cousins who don't loooooove having their picture taken. Gasp.

Aunt Marilyn wanted a nice picture with Jason. He didn't think it was such a grand idea.

But candid shots are sometimes the best anyway.

You can get real smiles, and capture really fun moments.

My dear aunt Marilyn and cousin Jason. They're great!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

4-wheeling and checking wheat

Sunday night, my dear cousin Jon came over and told me to hop on the 4-wheeler so we could go for a ride! His little brother had left on our place earlier that day, so I hopped on it and with Jon on his, we headed west.

It was SO fun. We got a couple miles down the road, and Jon wanted to stop and check some wheat. It wasn't one of our fields, but apparently the wheat was worth looking at. :)

While Jon was checking the wheat, I thought I'd document our 4-wheeler ride, and my feet...

and the beauty of Kansas (isn't it SO pretty?)

And when I turned around to walk to the wheat field, I saw that Jon had a huge clump of wheat that he had just pulled out --"to check the moisture in the soil and see how tall it was". Or something like that.

I of course wanted a picture of it, and so he told me to hold it up "just so" so we could show Uncle Tom how tall it was.

The next morning, when I showed the pictures to Erika, she saw this one and goes, "that's so weird! You have a clump of dirt with wheat sticking out of it". She obviously didn't appreciate how awesomely cool it was to hold wheat from its roots to the top.

And we didn't just throw it away when we were done. We decided to head down the road a few more miles to visit one of our aunts and uncles and it just so happened to be Carrie's birthday. Jon cut off the bottom half and it made a lovely "surprise" birthday bouquet for her. I think it was her favorite birthday present. Ever.

We had a wonderful time visiting with everyone at their home! I kept thinking how incredible it was to be able to sit on their porch with them, and visit...after not seeing them for a couple of years. They are such awesome people and give great hugs!!

Obvservation: 4-wheelers seem vital to these farm operations. 

Application: I'm thinking it could be vital to my life in Rennes.

I helped Casey plant corn a couple days ago. "Helped" in the loosest sense of the word. But that deserves a whole other blog post.

I had walked down to the farm, and after our tractor ride, he volunteered to take me home. On the 4-wheeler of course. He's great!

Tomorrow I have a date day with Shorty! I can't wait! She has been working so hard, and tomorrow we get some quality time together.We're going to the big city! Maybe she'll buy me a nice cup of starbucks coffee! :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

the "behind the scenes"

Meet my Uncle Gordon and Aunt Terry. They are quite the dynamic duo. They were my Sunday afternoon visitors, getting all dressed up for a party. :) They had to get ready over here so their boys wouldn't see them. I enjoyed tattooing my uncle. And watching him get his hair spray painted black.

Tracie, you should know that he's "forgotten" to wash off this tattoo on the back of his neck. So... it'll probably be there under his tux at your wedding on Saturday. That's alright with you, right?

They were SO funny while they were getting ready!

My beautiful Aunt Terry! She'd look good in any disguise.

What a pair.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the kind of visitors you can expect in KS

Sunday, I had the "opportunity" to get a visit from someone very unexpected.

I don't know about you, but whenever you're home alone, and then the doorbell rings, you always hope that the person you'll find on the other side of the door, is either the neighbor or someone who looks like your Grandpa. Right? I mean, just so that you feel safe.

Sunday afternoon, I walked outside; only to see this:

I haven't been back to Whitewater for 2 years now, so I don't know who all the new neighbors are, or people who regularly came by to see Will and Steph when they lived here...

The guy was pretty nice though. He told me he was waiting for a young, curly haired lady so they could go cruisin' down the Whitewater road.

I told him it might be a bit weird, but would it be possible for me to put his picture on my blog, so my parents could see him and perhaps identify who he is?

 He didn't have any problem with that, in fact, he posed quite willingly for many pictures. At the sound of my parents name, he chuckled and said, "oooh, you show them these pictures, and tell them I was here on your property. Ask them if they know me". But it was kind of creepy!!

So, Mom and Dad -- do you know him!?! I hope he doesn't come back anytime soon. Especially since he was shedding handlebar mustache hairs all over. I'll have to walk down and show Uncle Gordon and Aunt Terry his pictures and see if they've ever seen him.