Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Farm

The lady that owned the "Farm" before us loved flowers/plants.  Almost excessively so.  She also loved that black rubber edging and put it around all her trees in the front yard ~ probably to keep her husband or whoever cut her grass from mowing down her plants that surround every single tree.  Then she circled a large pinestraw island with planters.  Big, little, plastic, ceramic, terra cotta planters. There is one area on the side of the driveway where there are little rosebushes planted in a circle...but nothing is in the middle.  I'm not sure what the point of that was.
While chasing the Chihuahua's one day around the house (their new "game"), I saw this gorgeous flower blooming in one of the pots.  I believe its an Amaryllis.  This one is the most brilliant in color.  The other 2 pots, on either side of it, held the same flowers but they were a lighter pink.  Now, I wonder what I in those other pots.
We have lots of work to do in the beds,  way to many bushes need trimming or removing.  Overcrowding in some areas, is an understatement.  And with being overgrown, they aren't attractive.  And there are probably creepy, crawlies hiding in there that I don't want to know about!

Our garden area  in the back pasture is thriving ~ the pumpkins like that area, as do the squash and corn.  The green beans were nibbled to the ground and the watermelons are slow starting.  The beans, pumpkins, watermelons, squash and corn were started from seed.  The we purchased a grapevine plant, tomato plants, and pepper plants and planted them closer to the house.  The green beans we planted up there, are coming up. Hopefully the dog will keep the rodents away (I can dream!)


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Family Fun at the Farm

Yesterdays Memorial Day lunch was a great example of the old phrase, "many hands make light work".  We had lots of family over fun lunch, games, relaxing, and visiting.  We came up with the idea for a gathering a couple of weeks ago ~ then I remembered that I had a ham & a turkey in my big freezer ~ then the rest of the menu was born.  Greg smoked the ham and fried the turkey, I made broccoli salad & tea & sliced the tomatoes, Allen & Jennifer brought drinks and yummy baked beans, Katie & Bryant brought drinks & homemade chocolate chips cookies (Robert helped with these), my Mom contributed her yummy potato salad, Amy made us cupcakes (with red/blue sprinkles, and my sister Brenda made us a huge vegie tray with dip.  We used plastic silverware, plastic cups, and my clear glass plates.  Everyone ate & ate and then started snacking throughout the afternoon. 

All 3 grandboys were there and enjoyed the sunroom with MaMa & PaPa's toys, and lots of attention.  An almost 3 year old, a 15 month old, and a 9 month old keep things interesting......and by the end of August, our family will welcome another little buddy to the mix.  Our cars & trucks and car rug, plastic animals, and play food/kitchen stuff was well used and scattered all over the porch.  Robert especially loves the "Thomas the Train" battery powered ride on toy that I got at a garage sale for $5.  (Today I found a Little Tikes play kitchen at a thrift store for $10).

Over the weekend, Amy also added to the Jackson Farm Menagerie.  We drove to SC and picked up 2 baby angora bunnies.  They are both females and she named them Ana & Elsa.  They are living at Grannys house with Jack until after we return from our NY Mission Trip next month. 

Thomas decided the train car went faster if you pushed it!

Robert playing on the back porch

Auntie Amy having a play food picnic with the boys

art time with Auntie Amy

My nephew Bobby and grandson Robert with Ana & Elsa ~ Amys new angora rabbits

Aiden & Robert

Hi MaMa

Robert brought Aiden a dinosaur to play with ~ Aiden decided to eat the head

Yummy food!

Bethany, Amy & Bobby

Aidens cutting bunch a bunch of teeth, so everything goes in his mouth to get chewed on

James, Granny, Brenda & Doug

Robert, Thomas, Bryant & Greg

Aiden wasn't  too sure about the live bunny...Auntie Amy wouldn't let him yank on the bunnys ear

Amy, Bethany, Aiden with Ana & Elsa

Robert has a pained expression on his face ~ with Elsa & MaMa

this boy loves the train

new way to ride

Thomas trying to get in on the engineer act

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mothers Day & Beyond

We don't have internet at the that means no blogging.  Well, I could use my phone but it would take quite a while!

We got an awesome surprise on Mothers Day ~ Katie, Bryant and the boys drove down to see us!  I had no idea and was thrilled to spend time with them!  Heres some pictures of our fun ~ and some of the rest of the week.

handsome boys in their Sunday best!

Love these buddies!

MaMa, Mommy, Robert & Thomas

My baby girl!

My girlies!

Little Imp!

Hey Auntie Amy, I want to hold the camera!

Handsome almost 3 year old!

Riding on our Thomas the Train!  I love the church garage sale!

Its slower riding with brother in the train car!

We are blessed with a long driveway for riding toys!

Mothers Day Sunset

Put Amy's old bedroom light in the bathroom!

new shower curtain ~ walls will be the lighter turquoise color

spice cabinet getting set up

bowls, plates, and mugs

new bathroom light for master bath

my new pan lid holder from IKEA is great for y serving platters

my sister and kids back to help!

Hot day, cousins, conversation & icees!

A happy tractor PaPa  in his back pasture!

baby plants in the garden

Saturday, May 9, 2015


We are TIRED!  We've packed up James' home and moved him to GA.  He is going to camp out in Will's room till Will gets there ~ then I guess live in our RV.

We corralled our 17 chickens into a large doge pen and put it in the RV.  Greg had to ride with the windows down because ~ hey, it was 17 chickens!  And chicken wrangling pre-7am is a challenge!  Then we had to get them into the pen under the sunroom while we finished the coop.  The coop got done today, so another wrangling session which resulted in sore backs & headaches for the wranglers ~ mostly Amy and Greg. 

The lawn tractor got fixed and we picked it up today, so Greg cut the back 40 ~ actually, 2 acres.

The garden is coming in ~ we've got some squash, pumpkins, watermelons, green beans, and corn. 

Amy got a job at the chick fil a here and starts this week.  We got to go to an orientation with her, tour behind the scenes, and then got dinner compliments of chick fil a.  Then over to Allens to play with our little buddy.  He is now 8 months old and quite the busy little fellow.

Our multiple trips to the hardware store have resulted in bathroom accessories ~ towel bars, toilet paper holders, etc.  Plus the stuff to finish the coop.  My buddy Angel shared with us their idea for using a screen door for the door to the coop, so we bought one.  Works great!  We will have to reinforce the screen on the bottom so that no country creatures help themselves to a chicken dinner.

Amy has cleaned out the mess left in the basement.  I think she has 3 cans of garbage for trash day next week.

We are camping out in our new bedroom.  Quite comfy on our extra cushy air matresses and quilts.  We brought over some of our dishes, cups, mugs, etc. so now we have some stuff to use in our new kitchen.  We cooked bacon & eggs this morning.

Tomorrow is Mothers Day!  I get to celebrate the day with my mom, husband, and 2 of my children.  Plus my sister and her family! 

This farming is hard work!  I am thankful I get to travel on this journey with my best friend. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Reading & Jumping (ha ~ not at the same time!)

So, I've been hearing about a book written by 2 sisters "Trim Healthy Mama" or THM.  Its advertised as a common sense guide to satisfy your cravings and energize your life.  Sounds good!  This book is 600 pages long ~ and I read it...over 2-3 weeks.

It seems to be a pretty common sense approach to food ~ "God has given us all the food groups and he wants each one to be enjoyed in a balanced way.  Every give God gives is good.  Why should w shun any of his gifts?  Why would we dismiss their value with a 'we know best attitude'? " pg.xvi.

Greg and I both did the low calorie/low carb diet from our local hospital ~ we spent $1000's on the tests, blood tests, office visits, and food & we lost a combined total of 130 pounds.  Awesome results! But you really can't live on 800 calories a day.  And when you transition off the strict, mostly liquid diet ~ you gain some of the weight back. (And I say mostly liquid because we didn't last long on just drinking the shakes, we missed chewing!)  Now, in defense of the program, we did not take advantage of the nutritionist and that probably would have helped us.

We did great keeping the weight off for over a year after we stopped going and we switched to the Atkins plan...much more affordable.  Then we went to Disney last fall and its pretty much been downhill ever since.  Argh, honesty stinks.

I am ready to make changes.  Prayerfully, they will be lifestyle changes and not a "diet". 

The book seems to me to be a combination of Atkins ~ high protein, low carb with more vegetables and fruits thrown in.  I've eaten 2 apples in the last week and enjoyed every bite!  You should eliminate white things from your foods...potatoes, regular flour,  rice, sugar.  Use Stevia or similar products for your sweeteners.  Use xantham gum or glucomannan as thickeners for recipes (ordered the glucomannan from amazon but don't have it yet).  Use almond flour to bake with.

The book includes lots of recipes to get you started.  There are facebook pages dedicated to this book and its recipes.  And of course tons of pinterest boards for ideas.

I am hoping this will not be a big "leap" for us to switch too.  I think we can take the atkins mentality and add to it.

And yes, it would probably help if we weren't doing this in the middle of a huge move ~ retirement ~ job hunt, etc.  But we generally don't do most things the easy way! 

Now I need to purchase my own copy of this book ~ my sister will want hers back!

Back to the title ~ reading the book & jumping on the bandwagon! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Homemade Gifts

I finished my baby bibs for my great nephew.  This new little love was born yesterday ~ Mommy  and baby are fine!  Aunt Donna can't wait to meet him next week! 

These bibs were made from a pattern my Mom used many years ago when James (now 31) was a little tyke.  They are large, and cover baby on both shoulders and down the front.  The 2 prints are made out of flannel ~ front and back and the blue ones are denim ~ front and back.

I am very thankful for this new little one who has joined our family!