Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Avery's Branch Farm

"But he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a farmer; for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.’"
Zechariah 13:5

2 Saturday's ago (yes, I'm really behind on this post!) we went to Avery's Branch Farm for their annual "Give Thanks for Udders."  We were interested in getting another raw milk share since Daddy has really been convicted that we need to switch back over after reading his cancer book.  Since they have shares we wanted to go and tour their farm so we could decide whether or not this was going to be where "our cow" is.

Saturday morning we got all packed up for a day at the farm!  We just packed Cheerios, fruit, and stuff for our lunch because we were going to have a big dinner that night.

A friend from church, Mr. Johnny Panchison, came on the trip with us since his parents were gone for the weekend and he had nothing to do! :) 

After dropping off some kale at my aunt's house we drove the 1 1/2 hours to Avery's Branch Farm.  The only problem was that we got lost following google maps...twice.  We were an hour later than we had planned and the only way we got to their farm was after Mama called her friend, Mrs. Tara, and got directions from her. 

Once we parked, we got out (it was a little cold but still beautiful) and went and drank some apple cider, ate some cookies, and  before going to watch the movie Food Inc.  Daddy, Mr. Johnny, Hannah, Caleb, and I were the only ones who really stayed in there.  Everyone else was outside wandering around waiting to meet Mrs. Tara who was coming to the farm also!  While we watched the movies some more of our friends, the Kellers, showed up too!  (And we also saw someone from Bread Beckers Pick-Up!)  The movie was very good (even though we almost froze in the barn as we watched it!) and extremely disgusting at times.  I really would like everyone to see it because then they would realize how nasty processed meat is!  Seriously, the videos they had of the meat processing plants was horrifyingly nasty.  And we eat that stuff!

Anyways, after the movie finished we walked around, looked at the different animals, milked a "cow" and met some of the Avery's Branch family.

Milking the "cow"

Eden milking.

The sky was just gorgeous throughout the afternoon.

Some of the old barns.

One of the adorable little cows!

Lydia, of course, loved all the animals.

For fencing they used electrical, but they had it turned off, so Lydia thought she could go in the pen and slyly suceeded before I realized where she was and pulled her out! :)

The cows are so cute!


Some of their chickens.

I think they were laying beside each other to keep warm.

The sun before dusk.

Some more cows!

Daddy ended up talking to Mr. and Mrs. Alexander (the owners) and one of their sons before we left. Well, actually he talked to them for a long time! :) (He's always very good at making sure he gets to know people)

The sunset before we left that night.

Mrs. Tara May, Mama's best friend from high school, came to the farm sometime during the movie and talked with us.  We hadn't seen her or her family for 1-2 years and since they lived nearby the farm we went to their house for dinner and to visit.   For dinner, we made Mrs. Tara's favorite, Mama's enchiladas, a Taco casserole, and Taco Dip.  For dessert we had brownies!

As the food was cooking, we went outside and watched Mrs. Tara interact with her horse, Garth.  It was so sweet how they communicated with each other!  Mama even got to back Garth up into his stall just by shaking her wrist, hand, and arm!  It was really neat!  The boarding horse they had nipped at us once but that was probably because she got scared with everyone around her.  Thankfully we all backed up out of her stall before she could get us!  The younger ones got to brush  A.J., the little miniature horse, and all had a fun time in the barn even though it was very cold!

Once back inside we talked, laughed, and ate some bean dip and had dinner once it was done.  I forgot to mention that Mrs. Tara has two children, Madison and Montana that we played with too.  Mr. May was working and wasn't home until 10 minutes or so before we left, so we barely got to see him.

I sat with Madison during dinner and then we played Sorry! together.  After that most of us watched Mrs. Tara demonstrate how she makes all of her beautiful scrapbooking cards.  Lexi was all into it because she's very creative and would love to scrapbook!  It's amazing how much scrapbooking stuff someone can own!

Her (Mrs. May's) cards were absolutely beautiful and we enjoyed watching her demonstrate how she did everything!

(You may be wondering what our friend, Mr. Panchison, was doing...he was talking with Daddy!)

We finished off the night with a bite of brownies!  Before we left we tallked to Mr. May a little bit and then got into the car and drove home.  It was around 12 that night when we got home so all of us were really tired!  Mr. Johnny ended up staying the night with us (he got Eden and Josiah's room) and dad broke him into his late night prayer meeting and worship that he does after we all go to bed.  We're going to get a milk share, probably this spring,  from Avery's and we definitely enjoyed the beautiful day talking with friends, laughing, etc.!

All for Jesus,
Kimber :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Catch-Up Post! :)

"That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works."

Psalm 26:7

This post is mainly just to catch you up on all that we've been doing, so sit back and relax! :)


Tuesday night Daddy went and picked up our Great Grandma (we call her G.G.) for her birthday dinner.  She turned 88 years old (I'm trusting Caleb for this!).  We had a roast with potatoes and carrots and greenbeans along with Hannah's 1st place buttermilk rolls! :)  Hannah played the piano for G.G. before dinner then after dinner was cleaned up we all sat and sang songs while Daddy watched Lydia in the schoolroom.   G.G.'s favorite thing is to listen to her grandchildren/great-grandchildren sing or play an instrument so we tried to do that for her.  After we finished off our singing we had chocolate pie!

All of us around G.G.

Daddy took her home shortly after our pie since she goes to bed early.


Wednesday night Hannah, Alexis, and I (Kimber) went with Na-naw and Paw-paw after church.  We stopped first at Panera Bread to get breakfast for Thursday morning and then went to their house.  We were spending the night at our grandparents house because our cousins and their family were in for Thanksgiving and we wanted to spend some time together.  When we got there we all got to watch Paw-paw prepare the 20+ lb. turkey.  That was very interesting!  (Just to let you know, I don't like touching raw meat so seeing all the blood and giblets was a bit nasty!)  We stayed up late (of course) watching the movie Amazing Grace and were in bed by 1 A.M.  After saying "good morning!" we went to sleep and woke up at assorted times a few hours later! :-D  Breakfast was wonderful and we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, talked, etc. while waiting for everyone else in the family to arive for the 12:00 lunch!  Everyone arrived and we prayed over the food and went through the line.

Na-naw helping G.G. get some food.

Salty ham to your left and unsalted to your right!

There were all the Thanksgiving fixings:  ham, turkey, peas, greenbeans, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and more!

Getting food.


Everyone in the family came except for Uncle Sean and Amanda who were eating at Amanda's parents house.  (We saw them Sunday at the Nash Family Luncheon though)

Most of the grandchildren were outside eating.  I ended up taking pictures of my cousins during lunch because I like doing that and they like being the models! :)


Erika again.

Sarah, Erika, and Kaitlyn.


Erika and Sarah.


I was taking a test picture because I thought that the above pictures were smoky looking so I didn't know if something was wrong or if there was something in the air.  So, Daddy volunteered to let me take a picture of him and everything was fine!

My youngest cousin, Rachel, Kaitlyn and Sarah's little sister.  (Isn't she adorable?!)

Before we left, the oldest girl cousins (Hannah, Alexis, Allie, Erika, Kaitlyn, Sarah, and I) ended up in Na-naw's living room.  While we were in a circle on the floor, we got to listen to Erika's hilarious explanation of what her wedding would be like.  She's the only one who really talked the whole time but it was so fun listening to her!  She had everything planned except for the groom!  What would we do without cousins? :)

We left Na-naw's and Paw-paw's house around 3 PM and drove up to Grandma and Grandpa's for another Thanksgiving meal.  We arrived a lot sooner than was planned so we had some time to visit before dinner.

Lydia on their steps.

My uncle and his family were there along with Aunt Amy's brother, Greg.  As soon as the dinner was ready we once again ate turkey, mashed potatoes, etc.!  As usual, we were overfed for both meals! :)

Grandpa and Hannah cleaning up afterwards.

Of course, after dinner there must be dessert!

Pumpkin rolls.

'Siah waiting for dessert.

After dinner was over some of us did a little Thanksgiving project that Aunt Amy brought.  She would pass out cards to everyone and they would have to answer the questions on them.  Everyone got to share something and it was a wonderful time together! :)

After dessert we were all just sitting around (some were playing the Wii) and then I suggested that we put the Christmas decorations up while we were there!  So, Grandpa got out the tree, lights, ornaments, etc. and we started assembling the tree!

It was fun putting it up together!  Seth got to put the highest branch on and Diana put the star up after everything was finished.

Some of the lights in the tree.

In the above picture we hadn't put on the silver beads, ornaments, or anything yet.  We just did things in a very relaxed way and enjoyed ourselves as we went!  The tree was beautiful after we were done but I don't have a picture with you to share (you'll have to wait til Christmas!).

We spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's that night.  The oldest girls were downstairs on the sofa or on the futon (Hannah had went upstais though) and, as normal, we weren't sleeping until somewhere around 12 that night.  We had a little popcorn before falling asleep too!

Breakfast that morning...Grandma's food leaves me speechless sometimes!  She spent the day before we came making Farmer's Crepes for us.  Something that takes forever and is a pain to make!  I had never had any of her crepes before until she made them for Daddy's 40th birthday this year and I'll just say that they are one of the best breakfast foods around!  I'm being serious too!  She also made pigs 'n a blanket and (my favorite) Cinnabon muffins!  Phew! :)  We spent that day together with everyone, playing on the Wii or the computer, talking about different things, or just laughing together! 

To sum Thanksgiving was one of the best so far!  (I hope that isn't just because of the food!)


Saturday night we put up our Nativity scene.

To explain:  We do a nativity scene every year instead of a Christmas tree, for assorted reasons.  Daddy always goes and cuts us some fresh wood as the border on the nativity and then we put lights, some ceramic figurines, and the manger we made by hand a few years ago inside the wood boundaries.  (The nativity is different every year.)  Then we add our fake "pine trees" to add to the homey appearance of it.  We put garlands on the windows and sparkling LED light around the top of our den.  We hung up ornaments everywhere and then, after decorating and making dinner at the same time, we just sat around in the den and stared at the lights.  That's one of my favorite things about Christmas.  Just sitting on the couch with my family and staring, forever, at those beautiful lights and the manger.  Saturday night the boys were wrestling on the couch, which really didn't make things very peaceful, but why does it matter?  We're a family and the time will come when none of us will be left in the house and we'll long to hear all those sounds we hear all the time, once again.  I love just about every moment that I have with my family!  How precious each and every single one of my siblings are!  And my parents...words can't express how absolutely wonderful they are.  What would I do if I didn't wake up to Daddy's genuine smile and jokes every morning?  Or Mama's cheerful self as she makes breakfast for us every morning?  The greatest gift I've ever received (other than salvation!) is my family.

Eden by the pine trees.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:16

All for Jesus,
Kimber :)

Caleb's Fish

"'Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”They said to him, “We are going with you also.'”
John 21:3

Yesterday Caleb came back with a huge bass after fishing at one of our friends' ponds!  It was 16 1/2 inches long and 5 inches tall!  (A trophy bass is 20 inches)

They wanted the fish to be nice-looking for the picture so they rinsed him off for me! :)

All clean!

(That other fish was another of the fish that they caught that was much more inferior in size!)

The proud fisherman!
Congratulations, Caleb!  Thanks for providing dinner for us tonight! ;)

All for Jesus,
Kimber :)