Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where does the time go???

About 3 weeks ago, I was thinking to myself, "I really need to update my blog." Needless to say, that took a backburner to the tons of things happening and Greg's and my world lately. Here's a quick recap, just in case you were wondering:
  • Lots of little stuff in April and May. Nothing blog-worthy.
  • June 1-3: Officer retreat with my students. I could seriously write a whole post just about this, but I'll skip to the nitty gritty. We rented a house on Kelleys Island for two nights (it's an island about 20 minutes from the Lake Erie Coast by ferry.) The house had two huge rooms upstairs (one for los chicos and one for las chicas.) I had the master suite downstairs. 
  • We spent three hard-core days planning activities for next year. I cannot begin to describe how proud I am of that group of kids. The chapter had never had a program of activities (something us FFA nerds do to plan), and they cranked out the whole thing for next year. They have such a great outlook. On the first day, one of them said, "Just because we've always done it doesn't mean we have to do it next year." How mature is that?! For those of you that understand my situation, you know how much of a relief that was for me to hear. 
  • Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all work and no play. We had a great time toodling the island, rocking out in the school van. Plus, I don't brag too often, but I was pretty darn proud of the agenda I put together. I tried to attach it, just in case someone else can borrow it and put it to use, but I couldn't figure out how. Let me know if you're interested. Again, I can't say enough how the coolest part of my job is opening my students' eyes to new opportunities and experiences. Here are a few pictures from the trip:
After the challenging year this group has been through, they truly are united together.

Such a cool group of kids. 

I just really like this picture.

They've never had a mission statement before. They're going to make a nice poster and hang it in the ag room for everyone to see. They wrote this all on their own with just a little guidance!
  • From there, I headed to FFA Camp, where I came to realize that after my ninth year of chilling out at Camp Muskingum, it's still as great as ever. Such a special place!
  • HOT Conference (Hands-On Training) for ag teachers was a great time. It's wonderful knowing that I have such genuine colleagues in the teaching profession. It's truly a great career to have.
  • This week are SAE visits. My mission: visit 65 kids in one week. I'm a third of the way there. I'm seeing some pretty cool things, and the students are teaching me a lot.
That's takes me clear through my iCal, and now that I've bored you to death, allow me to direct your attention to one more interest/hobby of mine. I've began spending a lot of time promoting Greg's family's dairy farm. (It still seems weird to call it "my family farm." I mean, they're definitely my family, but I don't think it's my farm. I haven't poured years of sweat, tears, and labor into it yet. It doesn't seem right to claim it!) Anywho, check out my PR efforts thus far:

Alrighty, folks, that's all for now. I'll do my best to stay more current. Thanks for taking the time to read. And, just in case you'd like to know more, give me a call; it's much more personal. :) 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If we don't tell our story, who will?

Let's face it, more and more people are disconnected with agriculture. From little kids (and adults for that matter!) thinking that brown cows make chocolate milk to consumers only buying organic, because they think it's safer for them, agriculture is up against some pretty big challenges.

Lately, I've become enthralled with the concept of using social media (Facebook, blogs, Twitter, etc.) to tell agriculture's story. As farmers (and those who grew up on farms), we are the best experts out there when it comes to how food is produced. Therefore, it is our responsibility to share that message whenever possible.

This week, I created a Facebook fan page for Dial Dairy Farm, Greg's family's farm. It's a fair-sized operation, not huge by any standards (about 150 milking cows and 150 replacement heifers). Many old-school farmers would argue that they don't need to do anything as far as neighbor relations are concerned. Well, folks, the times they are a-changing. In the olden days, maybe they wouldn't need to use public relations, but the times we live in are different. As I drive down the road, I see new houses with people who have migrated from cities. Will those people, who have never stepped foot on a farm, understand the not-so-pleasant aroma drifting across their yard when Greg cleans out the manure pond? Will those people understand the noise from equipment here in a couple of weeks when they start planting hours upon hours each day? Will those people understand that when calves cry, they're just making their voices heard, and they're not being abused? I hope so, but chances might be slim.

A Facebook page for a farm- I doubt our grandparents would have ever seen it coming. The fact of the matter is, however, that we're in a different world, and it's up to our generation to reach out to our neighbors. The future of agriculture depends upon it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Long overdue post

I'm sure you've been waiting anxiously for my latest update, so here goes!

I am officially on spring break. We had Good Friday off, then all of this week as well. It's kind of weird not being at school. Weirder yet is the fact that when we go back, there are only 6 weeks left in this school year. I don't know how I'm going to finish everything I want to get through with my students! This school year has definitely flown by. I still get questions pretty much constantly of, "How are things going?" with that concerned kind of eyebrow raise and quiet voice. I think people must believe I'm sugarcoating things when I say, "They're great!" I know that I was probably temporarily insane when I accepted the position, but it is going so much better than I could have imagined. I definitely have top-notch students. Every day, it is more and more my program. Sure, there are frustrations, but I really do enjoy it.

Easter weekend was nice. Greg and I went to my mom's for lunch on Saturday and spent some time with the family. His family had dinner yesterday, so we also hung out with them for a while. My culinary masterpieces continue to amaze me. I cooked the ham for Saturday, which wasn't that big of a deal, but yesterday I made a cheese tray (complete with the crinkle cuts, thanks to my Pampered Chef gadget), cream cheese and chocolate chip dip for graham crackers, and grasshopper pie. I was quite proud of my Better Crocker-ness. Of course, the food and fellowship bow in comparison to the real reason for Easter- Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and rising again!

Greg is getting pretty busy preparing to be in the fields. Some times I wish I understood more of what's going on. I feel like he has to explain it to be 53 times before I comprehend. Then, I think about the fact that I have an ag background. How must people who have no idea what agriculture is view planting season? 

More to come later. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

God stuff

For quite some time, Greg and I have been searching for a new church home. In fact, we've only been to the church he grew up in maybe twice since we've been married. The reasons are varied, but the fact of the matter is, we are longing to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and we have yet to find it. 

In the meantime, we've been joining in a bible study every Sunday night with some others from his old church who are in the same situation. It is a great group of people, and it's been pretty rewarding thus far. Tonight was especially exciting as we all shared some experiences about what we've seen in other churches and what we're looking for in a new church family.

For the past few months, Greg and I have experienced lots of new churches. Last night was an epiphany of sorts for both of us. First of all, we went to a Saturday evening church was a little bit different. But, more importantly, we realized that going to church shouldn't be about the pomp and circumstance that we're used to in worship. Instead, it should be about celebration and joy, for Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Introducing my new presence on the web

You wouldn't believe how challenging it has been for me to start a blog. Not because of technical issues, mind you, but instead, because I haven't been able to come up with a name that I'm satisfied with! Finally, today, this one came to me, and I think I can live with it. Nonetheless, I'm not sure if it should be "Rose in Real Time" or "Rose in Real-Time." Let me know your thoughts: hyphen or no hyphen?

Alas, today, I knew it was time. I've had many blog-worthy things happen to me over the past few months, and with my growing disdain with the Humane Society of the United States, I couldn't hold back my energy any longer. 

As this is an introductory post, I won't write any more, but you can count on me to update regularly on the rants, raves, joys, and challenges of this little thing called life.