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If you haven’t heard it, no worries, I linked the music video below.  The music I am referring to is “In My Blood.”  An amazing new song that was just released in celebration of National FFA Week at the end of February.  It is a tribute to the 50th Anniversary of female membership in the FFA organization.  For me, listening to it the first time on the Shining Bright Podcast brought a massive lump to my throat and tears to my eyes.  Song lyrics have a way of doing that to me, especially when those lyrics are speaking words that I hold in my own heart.  Tenille’s words and the images from Marji are an amazing combination that has truly left me reflecting on what is In My Blood.

Love is in my blood

There’s a piece of me in these fields of gold, when I drive by I feel it in my soul…

Love of the land and the animals we raise.  I could take a drive around our beloved Hawkeye state every Sunday from now until the day I leave this earth and never tire of looking at the fields, herds of cattle on green pastures, and work being done to the landscape.  I will never tire of seeing a newborn calf stand on wobbly legs or the feeling of watching hay go up in the barn. It’s in my blood.

Community is in my blood

Everybody waves hello...

For as long as I can remember my parents have been members of boards or volunteered to be part of organizations, whether it was the local rural cooperative, women’s group, or church board.  My parents taught us to not only give to those in need financial but to also give to our community by being a leader.  I continue to give by holding positions on boards at church, the Floyd County Fair Board, and leadership teams at work.  I believe giving back is one of the greatest things we can do for our community.  It’s in my blood.

My dad was a member of the Butler County REC Board for 15 years.

Grit is in my blood

Little never givin’ up is what I’m made of…

I have had fabulous role models in my life that have helped instill the courage and perseverance that I have today.  Setting goal after goal is how I live, whether it is a financial goal, fitness goal, or goal on our farm.  Have I hit every goal? H, E, double hockey sticks, NO.  I believe that’s what keeps us going.  Every fall or stumble gives the push to keep moving forward.  It’s in my blood.

It's in their blood

Just like my mother and her mother, too. I am gonna find my way...

I am thankful EVERY single day that it's in their blood, too. We are blessed to instill the values of hard work, grit, giving, and love in our girls. I pray daily that they find their way. As Tenille has said in many of her interviews, "It makes me feel like the next 50 years are in very good hands.” I am beyond grateful for the men and s women that have led the way and helped me find my way, including one of the Rockford FFA's former Chapter Sweethearts, my mom.

My mom, chapter sweetheart, prior to females being allowed to be members of FFA.

From the gravel road,

Jen

One of the most treasured items that I have from my childhood is my grandma Patty’s pasta maker.  I was feeling very sentimental during the holiday season and really missing the traditions of my younger years and spent quite a bit of time thinking about memories made with my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins.  All of the reminiscings made me think about that old pasta maker.  So I dug it out and announced to the girls that we were going to have some Christmas Eve fun!

When we gathered at our family Christmases when I was a kid we would traditionally have chicken noodle soup or chili.  I decided we would continue this tradition in our home, but that we would make our own noodles.  We had chicken leftover from a whole chicken that we had roasted and homemade noodles would be the perfect addition to our homegrown chicken for a Christmas dinner of homemade chicken noodle soup.

The girls were excited to get to use the pasta maker and I enjoyed showing them Grandma’s signature on the bottom and telling them how I used to run slices of bread through it just for fun.  I have seen grandma’s signature on it several times, but this time it made me wonder why she had it labeled.  Did she take it to a large gathering where they made lots of noodles? Maybe a church or family gathering?  Not sure, but it did make me wonder.

The girls quickly got in the groove of kneading together our ingredients. My job was to roll the sheets of dough out and then they took turns running the dough through the machine and then laying the noodles on the table to dry.  I won’t deny that there were a few arguments over whose turn it was to run the crank on the machine and a bossy older sister telling a younger sister that she wasn’t laying the noodles out correctly, but even with that we still had lots of fun and made some memories. 

I have included the recipe that we used for our homemade egg noodles here.  We decided to make a double batch so we would have some extras for beef and noodles sometime this winter. Do you have any special meal traditions around the holidays?  Have you ever ran a pasta maker?

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