SHATTO MILK COMPANY

Shatto milk company

Last weekend we had an opportunity to visit Shatto milk Company in Missouri and had a blast touring the facility and seeing up close and personal how milk is processed and how it ends up on our grocery shelves!

I also had the opportunity to meet with Barb Shatto and interview her for our #SteadyMotherhood series! I’m so excited to share with you her take on motherhood on the farm in the next couple of weeks!!

Shatto milk company
Growing up, I dreamt of living in a farm, milking cows and tending to chicken coops. My parents and Alex’s parents both have stories that highlight farm life. Their stories are of hard work, early mornings and late nights.  According to them, farm life is tough, but it’s hard to tell by the look of their faces.  Farm life brings them joy and it’s vivid when they share their stories.

Also, I’ve always thought there was something romantic about getting our food the old-fashioned way. Waking up early feeling the dew on the grass on your ankles, and hearing the animals all gear up to take on the day. I feel like all great stories start with the backdrop of a farm.

We set up a tour of Shatto’s family owned dairy farm and experienced milk at it’s finest!

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

The tour starts off with a good look at the most beautiful cows. Shatto Farms has over 400 cows and during the tour, they let you come up-close and personal with some of them. They bring you into the calves barn and give you a chance to pet a baby calf. Gracie really enjoyed this part of the tour. There were two sweet little calves that were just born the day before the tour. You can tell they were brand-new because they were very clean and still very shy. The herdsman also set it up for us to milk one of the cows which was really fun for the kids.

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

This sweet little baby calf was one of the ones that was born the day before the tour. She was so pretty and Gracie had a chance to pet her and show her some love. 

Shatto milk company

This was a sweet Holstein cow we got a chance to milk. Both Grace and Haddon took turns milking and feeding her.  She ate the hey right out of their hand.  It was beautiful seeing her stand so close to the cow.  We were able to appreciate the difference in their sizes.  Grace so small and the sweet cow so big and mighty.

Shatto milk company

 They were a little hesitant at first about milking the cow’s private but once they figured out that they could squeeze milk out, they didn’t want to stop. I gave the sweet cow a little space.  I figured she’s appreciate one less person all up in her areas (I know the feeling all too well)

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

The cows have a lot of space to roam. This is the holding area where they hang out before getting milked.

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

It’s always so much fun to see my kids experience nature and God’s creation. There’s something about physically touching an animal that reminds you of how big this world is and how small we really are.

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

 

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

This area was pretty cool. They bring 12 cows in at a time, hook up suction cups to their utters and each cow is milked for approximately 10 minutes.  This process is done twice a day. We also found out that an average how produces 6 to 7 gallons of milk per day. Also, during this tour they placed the suction cups on our thumbs so we can feel the strength of the suction and witness that the suction does not harm the cows. It’s hard to believe that before machinery, cows were milked by hand!!!

Shatto milk company

This is where they pasteurize and bottle the milk. There is a big window that overlooks the plant and the kids were able to see milk being poured into each glass bottles. We found out that they bottle close to 10,000 bottles of milk per day.

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

 

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

They ended the tour in their country store where Barb Shatto gave us a brief history of the farm.  We found out that this farm belong to her father and she used to help him milk the cows when she was younger. 

In their country store, we had an opportunity to sample all of the flavored milk. We tried cotton candy milk, strawberry milk, root beer milk, coffee milk, chocolate milk and banana milk. Each one was tastier than the last and we liked them so much, we ended up bringing a half-gallon of chocolate and strawberry home with us.

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

They also let us sample their ice cream. Grace of course had strawberry, Haddon had chocolate and Alex salted caramel. 

We were also lucky enough to arrive on the day they were making cheese and ended up sampling their cheese curds! So good!!!!

Their country store is adorable. They have a whole section of Shatto goodies with the cutest illustrations.

Shatto milk company

 

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

 

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company

Shatto milk company is a family own dairy farm then has been in the Kansas City area for over 100 years.  They don’t treat their cows with rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) or rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) and take pride in making the best tasting dairy products possible. 

Thank you Shatto farm for having us and for the most delicious milk we’ve ever tasted!

Continue Reading

HENRY DOORLY ZOO WITH PAPA & TATA | A VIDEO

The weather was beautiful last weekend, Alex’s parents were in town and it was a perfect day for the zoo. We had such much fun running from exhibit to exhibit and since this was our third time here, the kids were excited about showing their grandparents around.  We started off with the desert dome which I think it’s our favorite thus far. We have been watching a lot of Wild Krats lately and have spent some time talking about the animals that live in the desert. I think one of the rewarding parts of homeschooling is seeing Grace retain information and recognize concepts that we talk about at home. We’re planning a trip to a few of the west coast national parks this fall and are taking notes of some of the animals we may find during our hikes (hopefully nothing too dangerous)

This time around the zoo was a little different for Grace and Haddon. Their grandparents have given them so much love and attention I think they were just happy to hold their hand and walk around with them.  We made a little video of our time together so we can look back and show the kids all of the fun they had with their grandparents.  My favorite part of the video is Haddon’s little voice saying “Animals stink”  and seeing Grace instruct Haddon about keeping off the sand.  Those two make my heart so happy.

henry doorly zoo

 

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

Grace was helping grandma overcome her fear of lizards. She was so brave and kept saying “it’s ok, you can touch it, it won’t hurt you.”

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

This handsome boy and his lashes! My goodness!

henry doorly zoo

If you look up close, you can see a humming bird that Alex shot right by the his nectar.  We stood there baffled when that little guy came up. Alex and I have never seen a humming bird up close and seeing that little guy was really something else.

henry doorly zoo Grace took the time to show her grandmother the lifecycle of butterflies. Also, we’re starting to talk about the concept of death and stages of life with Grace and seeing some of these little creatures reach the end of their life has helped me bring up some deep talking points with her.

What a great time we had! We sure are going to miss having tata and papa here with us!

Continue Reading

TRAILING BY THE FROZEN LAKE

Trailing by the lake

Last week we packed the car up and headed to a near by park with a trail path that wrapped around the most beautiful frozen pond.  It was cold.  Really cold and there was snow everywhere.  It was so beautiful and we were determined to walk as much of the trail-path as possible.  I think the fact that we have never lived in snow before makes being here much more exciting.  We are more aware of our surroundings and are always on the lookout for something new. Trailing by the lakeAlex thought it would be a good idea to try and walk on the lake. We didn’t. However, ice skating on a frozen pond is on our “winter bucket list”
Trailing by the lake

See what I’m talking about. Everyone told me that seeing snow would change my life.  They were right. There’s something about seeing everything covered in white, hearing the crunching snow under my boots and breathing in the crisp cool air that makes dealing with the cold so worth it. Trailing by the lake Trailing by the lake
Emory has been so sweet during our transition to Nebraska. She literally has just hung around for the ride and our ergo has been working overtime.

Trailing by the lake Trailing by the lake Trailing by the lake Trailing by the lake Trailing by the lake
Along the snow we saw the coolest deer hoof prints. It took us a while to figure out what in the world we were looking at but once we did we were thrilled at the thought that we may actually spot one. As we were driving out of the park we actually saw a few of them from afar. It may not mean much, but if you’ve never seen deer in the wild it really is a treat.

Trailing by the lake Trailing by the lake Trailing by the lake Trailing by the lake Trailing by the lake

I love this last picture. Grace wanted me to see some snow on her shoes and she snapped this.
I can’t wait to see what this park is going to look like in the spring and then again in the fall with all of the leaves changing!! Also, just a quick tip, if you decide to go out with your three kids (all under 4) make sure they’re wearing snow pants, mittens and that they keep them on. Haddon made a big funk about his mittens and his poor little hands were hurting 15 minutes in.

Continue Reading

WINTER AT HENRY DOORLY ZOO

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

Last week we had a chance to visit Henry Doorly Zoo for the first time. We have been looking for different activities to try during the winter here in Omaha, NE and a few friends suggested the zoo! It sounded a little crazy to me given that most exhibits are outdoors, but the zoo is open year round and a lot of them were moved indoors. We packed up our blankets, gloves, hoodies and snacks and spent the day exploring in the snowy zoo!

henry doorly zoo

So, the zoo has 7 acres of indoor exhibits and this desert dome is the world largest indoor dessert where we learned about the Australian desserts, African desserts and the Sonoran dessert in North American.  It may not mean much you many of you, but Haddon is really into the Lion Guard and it was so cool to see animals that he has been learning about.  Alex and I really tried to give the kids some freedom in here and let them explore but it was so sweet to have them run back to us when something looked slightly dangerous.

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

Alex is so good with teaching our kids about our world, it makes my mama heart so happy.  He was totally geeking over this exhibit and would stop and pick the kids up so they wouldn’t miss a thing as well as explain to them what they were looking at.  Grace had a lot of questions about the smell and Haddon really wanted to play in the sand but they both got a kick out of the Kingdom of the night exhibit where they let you see the animals in their normal habitat. They also had caves and bats which were really cool.

henry doorly zoo

These golden lizards really gave us all a good scare.  Haddon was still unsure of whether he wanted to touch it or not and after a lot of convincing, Grace touched it’s tail 🙂

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

So to be completely honest with you this guy and all of his reptile friends really give me the creeps but for the sake of my kids I put on my big girl pants and teach the kids all about their slimy ways.  I’m hoping they fall for my poker face until they’re old enough to make their own decision about these guys.  For now, I’ll continue to pretend that they are super cool and not scary at all.

henry doorly zoo

After the desert dome we visited the chimp exhibit and really got a kick out of all the monkeys.  They were all very playful and there was even a baby Orangutan that stole the show.

henry doorly zoo

Haddon fell asleep on our way to the aquarium and if you look closely you may be able to see him under all of those blankets.  (Can you tell we’re Floridians?)

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

The aquarium was our favorite exhibit of the day.  We saw penguins, sharks, sea turtles, warm water fish, coral, eels, and of course Dori and Nemo.

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

henry doorly zoo

Walking through the 70 foot shark tunnel was really impressive.  Grace couldn’t believe she was under water and seeing all of those fish and sharks just swim around you was really awesome.  Alex mentioned that they camp out under the tunnel and let you “sleep under the ocean” which is something we are really looking forward to doing with our kids.

This visit was so much fun and we barely skimmed the surface of what the zoo has to offer.  We are already planning our next visit and are really exited about visiting in the spring once all of the exhibits and rides are open.

henry doorly zoo

Continue Reading