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You may remember from our night at Roller City that we gave the gift of time to each other for Christmas this year.

February's outing was planned by Grace and it was a movie night. Since we knew that a movie we wanted to see was coming to the local theater in early March we pushed our February outing back just a couple of days and actually did the February fun on March 2nd. ūüôā

We went to our favorite movie theater, The Charles Theater, which is run by volunteers in Charles City, Iowa. Since it is run by volunteers the prices are low and super affordable for a family outing.

The movie we saw was A Dog's Way Home. It was cute and left this momma a little teary eyed. I'm kind of a sucker for a good animal movie though. ūüôā Here is a short blurb from their website about the movie:

As a puppy, Bella finds her way into the arms of Lucas, a young man who gives her a good home. When Bella becomes separated from Lucas, she soon finds herself on an epic 400-mile journey to reunite with her beloved owner. Along the way, the lost but spirited dog touches the lives of an orphaned mountain lion, a down-on-his-luck veteran and some friendly strangers who happen to cross her path.

The most important part of going to the movie was going together as a family! We enjoyed time together, a few treats, and a heartwarming story. We also adopted a new name for our cat that already has ten names. We have now added Big Kitten to the list, as that was one of the characters in the movie. ūüôā Our poor cat has no idea what his real name is at this point.

Stay tuned to see what our March gift of time is, Grace had that one, too! I am sure it will be lots of fun!

Have you seen A Dog's Way Home? Anyone tried the envelope idea with giving the gift of time?

From the gravel road-

Jen

2

It's Wednesday! Please welcome my guest and fellow North Iowa Blogger, Val from Corns, Beans, Pigs and Kids.

What Inspires Me Wednesday - My Community


Community.  Community can mean a few things.  It can be tied to location or tied to common interests.  I'm lucky and get inspired by both realms of my community.  

Latimer, Iowa I married into the Latimer, Iowa community over 11 years ago and even as a young woman dating a local before that, I found the community very welcoming.  You don't find that warm hospitality everywhere you live or visit and it's been something I've appreciated and aspire to share with everyone I meet.


I love that even though we are a small community (town of 475), we have big ideas and don't let being small in size stop us from making our community to best place to live no matter your age, race or gender.  Five years ago, as a young Mom, I saw a need for a library in town.  I went to the city council and asked if I could put up a Little Free Library in downtown on city property.  They unanimously said yes, despite never hearing of such a thing before I brought the idea to them.  They believed in me and they believed in the goals of the Little Free Library, and I'm proud to say Latimer, Iowa was one of the first communities in North Iowa and really, even in Iowa, to put up a Little Free Library.  The community has rallied around this project and continues to use it all year long and donates books to me to keep in stocked.

Another project that our community rallied around was building a Splash Pad in one of our town's parks.  A Splash Pad is no small project, in fact ours cost over $92,000.  But in about 9 months (from the fall of 2017 to the start of the summer of 2018), our community fundraised, built and opened the Splash Pad!  How amazing is that!  The Splash Pad allows our community members to cool off and have fun in somewhere that is local and free.  My family became regular splashers this summer and we look forward to spending time at this local amenity again this summer.


Women in Agriculture 

Another community that inspires me is the world of women in agriculture.  Growing up on a farm where my Mom was incharge of the pig nursery (baby pig barn), drove tractor and was apart of daily operations, I always saw that this life was possible, but yet the world still didn't see her as a farmer.

After I graduated college, I started meeting other women in agriculture that inspired me to not let my gender slow me down in a male dominated field and change the minds and impressions of society.  I met these women in person at conferences such as Iowa Farm Bureau's F.A.R.M. team, Commodity Classic and different commodity group meetings.  As part of the ASA Dupont Young Leader program I was inspired to start my blog, Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids over seven years ago.  Since starting my blog, the opportunities to meet even more women in agriculture from across the country and world, both in real life and online has increased.  I have gotten involved with groups like CommonGround, a local Women's Grain Marketing Club and Outstanding Farmers of America.  I am proud to be a farmer and want other women who are driving a tractor, taking care of livestock, marketing their crops and organizing their farm's financials to feel like they too are farmers.


What about your community inspires you?  How are you inspiring your community?

You can follow Val on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CornBeansPigsAndKids

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Twitter: @PlaggeVal

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Blog: https://www.cornbeanspigskids.com/

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