In Florida, a true cut-your-own Christmas tree farm is hard to come by. There was only one that I could find in all of Florida. Lately I have been feeling like the more family adventures we can go on, the better. So naturally we trekked off to this farm. The two hour drive didn’t seem that bad. We kept ourselves busy and happy in the car.
The tree farm was fun! Lots of stuff to do. They did have an actual farm there. My girls saw the goats and started squealing and running toward them yelling, “Goats! Goats!” This really threw me for a moment. I mean, we have goats. The girls milk them twice each day. What??? But it turns out that they were just pretty psyched about a smaller breed of goats. This little sheep was pretty cute too.
The tree hunt was fun, but definitely not as fun as hunting for one up north. While it’s cold up there, Florida offers a different set of…we will just call them reasons why kids might complain. Fire ants, yellow jackets (they like the trees!), other bugs, and the heat, although, we did go on a beautiful day. In Florida, the usual types of Christmas trees that you might find at a tree lot won’t grow. But the sand pine is a really nice tree! So we found one we all mostly agreed on (6-1) and started cutting.
I love the tree hunting experience. It’s one we did every year when I was a kid, and I love sharing that with my family. I think we might start our own little tree farm right on our land. 🌲
Wow! We are nothing short of blessed by the outcome of Hurricane Irma. What could have been a disaster and “catastrophic” as the news suggested numerous times, turned out to be flooding and a couple minor repairs. Others were not nearly as blessed. All of that wind and rain, while scary at times, actually provided us with a great day spent as a family. And what better day for it to happen than Laelia’s birthday!
We had horse races, played games, painted our nails, ate cake and ice cream, had a birthday gift treasure hunt (that one always ends up happening just moments after the last person wakes up and not a second later!), and did gymnastics in the livingroom.
Our power waited to go out until just about bedtime (for the kids), so we all snuggled up together in our room…but not too close because it was hot! And candlelight was just he right touch for this snugly moment.
As I reflect it might sound like a magical day. And it was. However, with multiple tornado warnings, worry about our animals and outbuildings, concern for our house and our wellbeing, as well as that of our family this was a stressful few days that I am choosing to remember as a fun-filled day. After all, on this day 7 years ago God gave us our sweet girl. She has been a firecracker with a brilliant sense of humor and a kind and loving heart. She continues to fill each day with sunshine…even one that is cloudy, rainy, and destined for a hurricane!
Less than one year from our last hurricane preparations and we are battening down again. On our farm we like to welcome friendly visitors with open arms, but Irma is definitely an unwelcome visitor.
No store bought chicken can compare to the delicious flavor that farm fresh chicken can bring to your dinner table. Such a rich flavor comes from chicken from your own backyard. But in order to get it you have to have….butchering day. Now, a fair warning: there will be a lot of graphic pictures in this post on account of the butchering of the chickens. So if you are bothered by that, please overt your eyes.
After two years of being happy goat owners, our does gave birth to two tiny babies. Which means we are now up to our ears in milk! Not just any milk. Nope. This is the good stuff. Raw, creamy, nutrient-rich goat milk.
Oh, these sweet people. They make my heart swoon! Each one is different. Each one has special gifts and things that they do very well. Each one has struggles and moments when they experience the sadness that life can bring. I love their different personalities. They have things that they love and that are their favorite. They have best friends, favorite shoes, fashion styles (hidden, however, in this picture by the dresses Mama wanted them to wear. I got some pushback on that! But they’re so pretty, right?!!).
Happy Mother’s Day, my friends! Today I am thankful for my Mother, mother-in-law, and stepmom. God has blessed me beyond words with these three ladies, beautiful both inside and out. I love them all so much.
But to my own mama, I am so grateful to you for raising me in the name of Jesus. I’m glad God put us together. I love you!
And with all of the joy and love I can muster I must tell you how thankful I am for my children. Every one of them is so amazing. God has blessed us abundantly and I do not take his graciousness for granted. He continues to bless us through foster care and hopefully through adoption. It is because of Him alone that our family has been put together so carefully. He gives us strength, guidance, and love unconditionally, and His example of love for us is what we use as a model to parent our children.
I’m also grateful on this day for my sweet husband. He loves us. He takes care of us. And his gentle spirit can be felt by each one of us. I am thankful that God chose him for me and me for him.
Happy Mother’s Day! Give your mama a big hug and kiss today. ❤️
Today my heart is heavy. I miss my dad every day, but today I feel that sadness hanging a little heavier over me. This is the day my dad went to be with the Lord. This is the morning he breathed his final breath and his soul departed from his body. I miss him.
Our family has embarked upon a new adventure. This one is sure to be a blessing for us all–foster care. It has been on our hearts for quite some time to take care of kids who need a family to love and care for them, no matter how long or short of a time that may be. On Wednesday we were granted our license to foster children. And late last night we were blessed with our first little guy. He’s a sweetie, and we’re grateful to be a part of his life for a while.
Something that has consumed my heart for some time is teaching my children to have a heart for Jesus. Part of this heart, this passion, is serving Him. My hubby and I both serve faithfully in our church, with our children right alongside of us. Modeling this behavior to our kids has taken a prominent place in our activities. Part of what we share with them as we do things together is that serving the Lord doesn’t have to be done in this grand way. It can be as simple as watering plants at church or taking chairs off the table after the janitor cleans a room. We can replace napkins or sweep the floor. Anything they do, as long as their hearts are focused on the Lord, is an act of service for Him.