Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Please Stand By, Polka Party In Progress

So sorry for being MIA lately but it's the biggest holiday of the year and I've been prepping like crazy! Literally!

I have yet to be home so luckily Travis is learning what it's like to eat out of the freezer or how to use those drive-through things you see attached to places like BK. Our poor house gets a good cleaning once a week if that and the laundry is screaming for some much needed attention. I feel like a horrible domesticated housewife who sits on her rear eating twinkies while the kids run around lighting off fireworks in late September. I know there's so much work that needs to get done (including homework) but getting home late every night I feel like all I want to do is relax for ten minutes before being forced to take a shower and pick up my shoes I threw in the doorway.

On another note, as much room as that last paragraph took up about my complaints I'm thankful for my time spent volunteering and wouldn't trade it for more time to clean or cook. I LOVE the kids I help and I love spending time sharing my love for my Czech heritage! To prove how much fun we have as a group of Beseda Dancer's here's a video of the kids on the way home from our nursing home visits yesterday. Exhibit A:

Great right!?!?! Hearing them scream the words at the top of their lungs just made my day! I may become a little worn down from the constant chaos but it's all worth the bags under my eyes when I see smiles on their faces and polka music coming from their loud lungs hearts. We've been practicing for almost a month straight, with four practices a week it really takes up some time not including the driving back and forth to Wilber but I know the kids enjoy it and I know Dirk and me love to encourage their love for dance and polka music. So grateful to have the opportunity to teach them and keep them involved in community events. Unlike school sponsored events these kids aren't required to come to practices or even participate so it's great seeing the kids take the time to join us.

With Czech Days quickly approaching (less than two days until the official kick-off) I must admit I will probably not be around to update you guys on what's all happening in my life. I promise once Czech Days is over I will give you a full beat down of what all went on. I love this time of year and I must admit I feel it's just as fun as Christmas but for different reasons. I love the "high" you get off the smell of kraut and dumplings mixed with pork. The sound of polka music ringing in your ears for days upon days after the festival. The sight of the town going from a small 1,700 to a much larger 40,000 in less then three days and then town going back to 1,700 by Monday morning. The cheer and happiness on everyone's faces as they sweat out every liquid they've consumed from the heat that is pounding on us giving us all sunburns. LOVE. IT. ALL!

I will be busy participating in the Alumni Band, helping with performances for the Senior Czech Beseda Dancers, going through parades, spending time hanging out with family and close friends, playing polka's at the bars, spending time celebrating being me, CZECH. But most importantly I will spend time remembering all the reason's I'm thankful for my family for encouraging me to get involved with my own community and being grateful our small town is so proud of our ancestors.

If you don't hear from me don't worry, I'll be back. If you really are interested in what's going on please come on down and "Czech" us out!! DobrĂ½ Den!! (Have a great day!)

PS- Check out the sweet t-shirt design done by our very own Bruce Beacher?! My old art teacher in high school! How cool! He always does a great job creating an awesome design for the Czech Days t-shirts.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday's

I know the weeks will slow down and my normal life will return but until then I'll continue to pray for patience and ask the Lord to lift the stress of feeling overwhelmed off of my shoulders. Just like every other hectic situation in my life this too shall pass.

  • GroupMe App for keeping my informed about Scentsy Convention since I couldn't attend
  • The forecast for giving us a glimpse of hope with rain in the near future
  • Travis for picking up after me, helping cook dinner and even helping with homework when asked his opinion
  • Kids listening when we attend events for Beseda Dancing, thankfully I didn't have to call them down too many times
  • Dad for encouraging me to promote my love for my heritage 
  • Mom for being an awesome seamstress and spoiling me with new Czech outfits whenever they're needed
  • The Beseda Dancer kids I get to spend four nights a week with, they're all so much fun!
  • A happy puppy whose always excited to see me when I come home
  • Subway giftcards :)
  • Thankful for one last fun Thursday of volleyball league, it's been great ladies
  • Polka music playing in downtown Wilber
  • My teacher for giving me almost perfect grades, love getting 98 and 99% on my assignments
  • The weather for giving us rain and cooler weather
  • Warm shower to clean sand and dirt off of me
  • Staying busy and keeping my mind off of the stresses I know are still around me
  • CZECH DAYS fastly approaching

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weekend Review

These past few weeks have literally flown by! I've been super busy with the Senior Czech Dancing Beseda Group and loving every minute of it! We've had practices four days a week since the beginning of August so I've been committing a ton of time driving to and from Wilber but watching the kids transform from barely able to keep a beat or two-step to watching them grow into wonderful polka dancer's who want to dance more and more is the most rewarding feeling. I will admit it can be tiresome teaching that many days a week for a month straight but I know that it's now show-time for us so it's exciting to see the kids share their talent with everyone else. Just think, exactly one week from now we will see the Budweiser trucks rolling into town "rolling out the barrels" of beer, we'll hear polka's playing on our sound system downtown and we'll start to see campers taking their claims along main street and in the park. It seems like each year Czech Days creeps up on us. Before you know it we'll have Polka's In The Park, Alumni Band Family Night and then the Annual Czech Festival will be in full swing!

Also, this past week was filled with the Saline County Fair. Travis is such a great volunteer so every year he helps to run the scraper blade tractor for the Tractor Pull and Figure 8 Race. We of course love spending time together and as if we don't spend enough time together in a tractor we go somewhere else to do it also. The Tractor Pulls are always great and my bff's boyfriend actually helps his dad with a pulling tractor. Best part, he won the show! Then the next night while watching the Figure 8 Race we were excited to cheer on Trav's brother and watch him take home a win! Again, congrats Tyler, it's so awesome to see you winning races we all knew you'd do great when you focus on it. You're constantly trying to improve the car and your driving skills and now it's all starting to pay off! What great shows put on both nights by people we know!

At the fair Spring Creek Repair (SCR), Travis' business, also had a booth set up so we spent plenty of time there. Darin his uncle and the other partner in the business always does great with PR work and reaching out to talk to potential new customers. They put together a float to go through the parade and we were lucky enough to have the City of Crete snap a couple shots of me and Travis together! I'm proud of him for working non-stop but I do with he'd come home more often. None-the-less it's great to spend time with Travis' family and Darin's a pretty cool guy (but don't tell him I told you). My dad's Kelly and Bob also joined us for the little parade so as always we had fun and joked around a lot.

To throw a little added time consuming project to the list, we're back in school and I'm only a few weeks into the Summer Quarter of classes. This time I have chosen to only take one class but the class is a challenge in itself. I'm having a difficult time trying to set time aside to focus on just homework because when I get home at 10:30 every night all I want to do is relax for a little bit. Poor Travis has been suffering eating frozen foods or take out food because I haven't been around to cook. I'm so lucky to have a guy who is tolerant and doesn't complain. :)

Another shot taken but this time we got more of the crew in the photo (Darin & Dad)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Farming On The Four's

Check out this link which shows that more than half the country is in extreme drought already. We haven't had it this bad in almost sixty years!! That's just proof that we really need some rain and quick. I have to laugh because anymore when we talk about rain we get excited about even a 50% shot of rain and as you can tell by our 7 day forecast it looks like Wednesday we just might have a chance of getting something. But hey, they always say something is better than nothing so we'll keep hoping on that 50% and throw up some extra's prayers letting the big man know we'd appreciate any little drop he'll give us.

I promise to post crop growth photos once I get them taken. I've been getting home late which has been causing me not to get out there to get some shots. Our dry land beans aren't looking too bad but if we don't receive rain soon they're going to start suffering. The field that was sprayed and replanted twice is now officially dead. There are spots of beans coming up but with no rain I think they'll suffer and eventually die here soon.

As for corn in our area, well, the yields will more than likely be down this year. I haven't looked at reports lately but I'm sure they're expecting less bushels which means corn prices will rise to meet the demands. When they do bushel reports the reports estimate how many bushels they think will be produced this year. The boards then take those numbers to analyze them to see what prices should be, the smaller amount of bushels we'll have means the price will rise due to a shortage of the product. Corn in our area is alright but even the irrigated corn looks super short and the ears aren't putting on a lot of kernels. Let's just hope when we harvest the bushels are higher than expected!

I will admit I will probably miss the next "farming on the four" due to Czech Days but I promise to back track and post later on in the week. Until the next fourth, pray for rain and happy Czech Days! :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Farm It Maybe

New video fav! Remember that video that's gone viral, "I'm Farming And I Grow It"? Yup, another young farmer has created a parody of a pop song. This one, might be a little more cute because the young pup is half their age but it's all green equipment so he losses points there. ;)

Check this on out though, I love seeing kids promote agriculture and the new way is obviously through parodies. I guess keep it coming if it makes others aware of us!

#7 from 101 in 1001

7. Spend a whole day in pj's watching movies

Well, we didn't spend the day necessarily in pj's but we spent it staying inside and watching tv. We were out the night before a little too late so to be honest, we were hungover most of the day, but that doesn't mean I didn't get to spend the day inside just hanging out and relaxing with my boy. It was kind of fun to do nothing but get up occasionally from our little "nest" as we call it to go get a snack and lay back down. We rarely get time to lounge around together so the chance to spend time together was great.

Thankful Thursday's

This past week has sent many blessings my way like normal. I really should be better about posting them as they happen because when I get to my computer I always forget half of them.

  • Plowing Bee's for showing me what it was like back when open cab tractors were considered new technology
  • Travis for making a small commitment but a major step forward in our relationship
  • Verizon for taking our money for allowing us to have new phones
  • Rain! We didn't get much of anything, but something is better than nothing right?!
  • Patience while teaching dance lessons, it really is so rewarding
  • Dried cranberries for snacking on
  • Hugs for tough times
  • Subway gift cards
  • Google Docs for allowing me to no longer loose my USB drives
  • The sprinkler for keeping my garden somewhat moist
  • Clean laundry
  • Sleep! I'm so thankful for ONE night at home, I rarely get those with C.Days prepping going on
  • Tyler for being an awesome figure 8 racer and taking home a big win at the hometown race
  • A free night to do absolutely nothing, I need it more than anything
  • Lemon water for the encouragement to keep drinking my water
  • You guys, all my family, friends and followers for continuing to support my blogging addiction :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wilber "Plow & Sow" Plowing Bee

So my farming on the four post is going to focus on something a little different. This time it will focus on an event that took place on the 14th! It was oh so fun, wish you could have made it out. ;)

This year marks the 6th Annual Plow and Sow and we have had more tractors than ever this year! This year we had over 29 tractors attend in assorted paint colors and sizes. According to our sign in sheet from when we passed out food that was how many tractors were written down along with their "owners." I was excited to experience two plowing bees in two weeks but this weeks plowing bee always seems more fun to go to. Of course I'm partial to this one because we typically host it but I also love being surrounded by close family and friends. I felt more at home with this weekends crew and of course the crew always puts on a great show.

This time around we plowed about 50 acres but then we proceeded to plow up some terraces because the boys didn't want to quit that early. I know we ordered over 60 hotdogs and hamburgers and we went through all of them and had to make an extra trip to town to get more so that means we had well over 100 people show up to help encourage the "plowers" to keep plowing on!

Here are some snapshots of the plowing bee that I took and some others took also. They're all great shots and it's so fun to see our little plowing bee grow from a team of ten to a team of twenty-one is less than six years!

On the road to our next field

My co-pilot's for the day, what cuties!

How many boys does it take to fix a plow?! 

Aaron Niederklein

Doug Oliva

Tim Lempka

Gene Niederklein

Mitch Fritz

Ken Schmit & his son Conner Schmit

Loren Coffey & Tim Warta

Jason Kotas

Nate Bartles

Robbie Slama

Kevin Homolka

Ben Kastanek

Here's my captain, he refuses to sit on the seat he's always gotta have his front paws up on the "dash"

Someone wanted a quick ride when I got home

Check out these old timers making sure that everything is under control!
Photo by Amber Koch
Oh, side note, that guy in the picture on the right? The one with the fisherman hat and the bud light can? That's my dad, love him to death. He's pretty much my idol and I have always looked up to him. Thanks for being such a great role model and instilling great things into my character. Oh, another note, see the one next to him? The one with the overalls and water, ya, he's my second dad. I guess you could say he kind of helped to shape me into a great person also! Both wonderful men and I swear sometimes they're together more than they're home with their wives. But that's what a friendship is all about!!

Photo by Amber Koch
Grandpa passing on the plowing tradition
Photo by Amber Koch

Enough time to relax with grandma before Ranger rides
Photo by Amber Koch

Three generations of Niederkleins plowing up the ground
Photo by Amber Koch

Photo by Amber Koch

Linking this post up to other blogs:

Farmchicks Farm Photo FridayBlissful and Domestic

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Czech Days Newbie Tips: Food

First post, let's start off with food. Everyone get's hungry over the course of the weekend and everyone needs to eat. Food choices, well, just walk up and down main street to find any and all food types you could imagine! But some of the best food you need to try are the ones that the locals make. Some of the amazing places you can eat include:

Wilber-Clatonia FFA Foodstand. They're typically located in front of the bank near mainstreet and serve up delicious pork and pork reuben sandwiches. The best part, most of the food sold is donated from Alumni and FFA members meaning the meals you purchase that money goes towards the FFA chapter. I was an FFA member in high school and I must admit the knowledge I learned and the memories I cherish from trips we made were worth it. I'm so thankful to have sponsors like you guys helping us out and giving back to educational chapters like the FFA. To learn more about the local chapter or if you're interested in joining check out their website for more info!

Wilber Methodist Church. I'm bias when I say I love their lunch buffet style meals. They've got a full fifty course meal set up in the basement (ok not literally but you get my point), they have air conditioning and a place to rest for awhile. I have helped serve at the church for years but as time has gone on I've gotten too busy to help out anymore. I still like to make at least one pit-stop here for a meal and support my church each year though. They also have award winning liver-dumpling soup. That's their fame and they make it so yummy that as gross as the contents might be if you just taste it you'll fall in love.
Here's me shoving my face in a kolache eating contest

Lefty's. Tastes great, great people! This is another have to try stand if you're new to town. They have great pulled pork sandwiches and there's always a great crowd of workers to greet you. They're all local's who also attend some other close events and cater our for events on request.

Wilber Catholic Church. They always have a great Sunday breakfast. I enjoy going with my dad as sometimes it's our only time to spend together over the whole weekend. They also have a booth located closer to the bandstand that sells kolache and they typically run out so don't wait until Sunday to try one.

American Legion. They always have the best hamburgers in town and you cannot go through one whole Czech Days without stopping for at least one or two hamburgers. They're always open late which means you can get a midnight snack before walking home. The people working are always friendly and I've never been disappointed in their hamburgers yet!

Wilber Lutheran Church. They also have a lunch/dinner buffet on Saturday and Sunday. I've truthfully never visited them but I can only assume their pork and dumplings are satisfying. From the people that I've talked to that have ate there they said it was yummy too. They also have recently started setting up a booth that has "duck and dumplings to go" service right on main street. Typically located down on the west side of town by the extension office it's situated perfectly for when I take the long route to the town house. The cup size is great and the dumplings are never less than perfect! 

There are of course vendors lined up and down the streets that have the typical carnival type foods too if you're not into the Czech meals. My fav vendor type food would be the gyro stand of course, but the lemonade lady that always comes is a close second. I would encourage everyone to at least support one local vendor and thank them for all their time, I know a lot of the vendors that are local are all volunteers and it's so special to see how much effort our small community puts forth to make the weekend flow smoothly and to welcome everyone to our little Czech town. DobrĂ½ Den!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

#18 from 101 in 1001

18. Don't sleep in on the weekend, wake up by 8 am for seven days

I did it!! I had a hectic week this past week but I was busy on the weekends meaning I had to wake up by eight just to accomplish all that needed to get done. The bonus, Travis wasn't even home to make me get up, I did it all on my own!! I will admit I am a bit run down from the busy schedule I had but it was kind of neat getting up and giving myself a little me time before I had to run around the rest of the day. I'm not sure I'll make a habit of getting up super early but I might attempt to get up earlier than eleven on weekends from now on. ;)

Friday, July 13, 2012

#88 from 101 in 1001

88. Do a link party with another blogger

So obviously I'm slowly chipping away at my list of 101 things in 1001 days and this is one of my first items I've crossed off! Yup, I did it!! I linked more than one post to two different parties!! I'm so proud of myself and it's kind of a cool feeling to see my post linked to someone else's blog! The two articles I've linked up are my Tabor Hall Plowing Bee article and my Here's How My Garden Grows posts along with a couple others.

The most rewarding part about linking up to other blogs would have to be seeing my stats grow for my blog! Being a blogger sometimes you feel discouraged if you see you only have a handful of followers but seeing just one or two more people follow you makes you excited and feel like people want to read what you have to say. And comments, comments are the "likes" in the fbook world, we LOVE comments. :)

Do you guys know of any cool linky's or do you think I should start doing linky parties? I'd love too but with only ten followers I'm not sure how many people would actually link back to me. If you think we could do a party please by all means let me know!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday's

This week has been downright hectic and I hate it. But with hectic-ness comes thankfulness and I guess I need to open my heart to hear what it's saying and make myself aware that I've had many happy things going on.

  • The ability to keep my mouth shut when I'm ready to scream and yell, how people are so disrespectful and "shady" are beyond me but I'm really throwing up some extra thank-you's to the Lord this week for helping me with this subject
  • School for starting back up, I guess I'm thankful I can still learn right?
  • The #2 seated team for thinking we're a joke and allowing us to win one set last night at volleyball!
  • Finishing up a couple of my 101 in 1001 to-do's
  • My mom for words of encouragement in times of frustration
  • Travis for doing dishes and making supper on the days I'm not at home
  • New haircut giving me a new look on my body image and what I think of myself (dumb but it's true)
  • Teen Mom and The Real World for giving me a reality check
  • The bank for keeping my money safe
  • Scentsy Team Meetings for giving me a girls day away
  • Bruises, it must mean I'm working hard enough to damage my body
  • A party order being sent in for Scentsy
  • Baby shower planning almost being completed
  • The Lord for giving me peace within in times of stress and confusion
  • My garden for being understanding while I'm away
  • Czech Days for approaching, the anticipation is killing me
  • Friends to surround myself with that give me a positive attitude
  • My bestie guy friend for helping to prep the baby shower decor and get the last minute items done
  • Link-Ups for helping me to find more followers and meet new people
  • Beseda Practice for giving me my dose of dancing and teaching