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The opportunity to see home through the eyes of another is a rare gift.  A few months ago, a local photographer chose Mud Creek Farms for a documentary style shoot on a random Saturday for a photography class.  The experience was the antithesis of most things typically social media; no retakes, no staging, and no posing.  This is why these will be remembered as some of the most beautiful pictures that have ever been taken of the family.  Without further adieu, a day in the life of raising kids in the country…


5:00am: Chores on the farm always start in a place other than the barn.  It’s usually the two legged mammals that first demand attention.

Twin girls and a bottle breakfast

It looks a  little crazy but after 5 kids, the changing table became one more piece of furniture that just didn’t fit in the nursery.  The first childcare provider to watch over the brood changed every diaper on her lap. Many impromptu momming lessons were learned from Ms. Zandra.  A river of tears flowed from the house when she retired but she is remembered like a grandmother to the oldest three.

A diaper change with a view

7:00am  There’s just enough time for a cup of coffee and the attempt to feel slightly human.  Sleep deprivation with one infant is real, with two, unreal.  Then, the remainder of the horde stumbles down the steps.  There are three more; two boys and a girl.

Even though they tend to fight like cats and dogs, there’s just something about a baby that’s hard to resist.  Typically, hugs are tempered with a “Honey, she looks like she’s having a hard time breathing when you squeeze her like that”. It’s probably one of the many reasons that the good Lord designed us not toremember the first few years so clearly.

Cuddles with sister

The less discussed and somewhat overlooked compromise of marrying a farmer is that he is likely to split time between his family and the other ladies.  About 40 other of them to be exact, and their calves. In this house, the word heifer gets thrown around a lot but nobody gets offended.


Father and son walking out of the barn with buckets of cattle feed.
Helping Dad with buckets of feed

The fuzzy headed and sweet dispositioned bovine that wander these pastures are Hereford cattle.  They are raised not for milk but their meat. Yes, the kids get attached to them but from an early age, they know that they serve a purpose.  And as their caretakers, they are taught to treat them kindly as they take care of our family as well.

Posting with a Hereford heifer

Chores.  Every day there are chores when raising kids in the country.  For some reason, the ones outside get completed a little more quickly than the ones in the house.  The arguments seem to be fewer and farther between as well. Maybe it’s because many hands make light work, or at least the work goes a little faster.  That also means breakfast comes a little sooner for the two legged critters too.

Hungry Hungry Herefords

The inside of the house is a little less scenic, quite a bit louder, and a lot more messy.  There are complaints about the lack of variety on the menu, the quality of the entre, and the presentation of the plate.  

Everyone is losing patience, including Mom

Thankfully, there are members of the household who are a little less discerning than others. It’s been a busy morning and breakfast hasn’t even made it to the table yet.

Dogs love watermelon… who knew?

Check back soon for Part II

Thank you to my talented neighbor Jana (ericandjanaphoto.com) who graciously allowed me access to the photos!