Friday, June 27, 2008

Our Week

Monday was Harrison's 7th birthday!He requested a chocolate cake with white icing so everyone would be surprised when they sliced into the vanilla-appearing cake and found chocolate.
Harrison loves Indiana Jones and most of his presents were with an Indiana Jones theme. He requests to be called "Indy" instead of Harrison, but the older boys and Daddy insist on calling him "Cindy Anna Jones". He gets SO very indignant and exclaims that he is just as strong and "manly" as Elliott and Oliver, which just eggs on Daddy and the big boys to continue joking him. :)

After Harrison's birthday lunch, we left for our NC house and spent Tuesday playing at the beach there. Sheridan loves playing in the sand and on the water's edge...We came home Wednesday in time for the afternoon milk delivery and spent most of Thursday processing chickens. We were so blessed to have Oma here on Wednesday-Friday. She helps so much with cleaning and keeping the inside in order while we are out killing chickens. Also, an agent called with very short notice to ask if she could view our house, so it was wonderful that Oma had just spent most of the day cleaning it for us!


Friday, June 20, 2008

Farm Tour

A few days ago, Harrison, Sheridan, and I (Meredith) went to the front of our property to plant some flowers in the flower bed at the entrance to our driveway... All finished...
On the way back to the house we stopped and took some pictures. In this picture, Sheridan is visiting with our youngest calf, Frannie...
The barn/milking parlor...The pasture...
One of the cows...More cows with layer hens in the background...
We keep the meat chickens (we will be slaughtering these this upcoming week) in portable chicken houses that are moved daily so the chickens will have plenty of grass...These are younger meat chickens that won't be ready to slaughter for several more weeks...Last week, three of our pigs were taken to the meat packing plant and we will be picking up the pork possibly this week. These three pigs were lucky enough to get to stay here for a little bit longer...
The goats...
The handsome farm boys (Elliott and Oliver) heading up to the barn for the evening milking...
Our dog, Sammie, with her puppies...Home at last...
Hope you enjoyed the tour of our farm!

"She considers a field and buys it..."

Ever since Meredith was a young girl, she has loved real estate. Reading the fine print in the newspaper's legal section under the heading "Foreclosures" has been a favorite pastime of hers for many years. Meredith's diligence rewarded her greatly this week and we're just so excited for her!

About a year ago Meredith's research led her to attend an auction for a property offered through a tax foreclosure - a proceeding initiated by the city because of an owner's unpaid property taxes. We were thrilled when she became the successful bidder on a six-tenth of an acre, buildable site in North Carolina.

Meredith paid for her lot with money she has earned and saved while serving in our family's tractor service as the primary bushhog operator for the past 6 years - since age 15. Although not a very "girly" job, she has worked enthusiastically for countless, hot, summer days. At sundown, when our workday ends, she is often vaguely recognizable as she is covered with a mixture of dirt, grass, and sweat. Yet never has she grumbled about the difficulty of the task.

I remember one time in particular when she was cutting in NC and I was home in VA and she called me from her cell phone. "Hi Mama," she said in a relaxed tone. "I was just waiting for Daddy to come by and pick me up and thought I'd call for a minute." As we exchanged details about the events of our day, she said, "Do you hear that thunder in the background? I'm actually sitting in the ditch because it's lightening and thundering all around me in this field and I'm afraid the tractor might attract the lightening." I asked her when Daddy would be returning to get her! She calmly said, "I don't know but now it's starting to rain...actually it's pouring...really pouring! I hope Daddy comes soon." A picture formed in my mind that is as vivid today as the moment we finished our conversation several years ago: my daughter, my sweet girl that I like to protect from adversity, sitting in a ditch getting drenched by the rain while lightening flashed and thunder roared.

Such stories make up our memories of the tractor service. It's always been so hard, yet Meredith excitedly begins every new year strategically planning how she can market more effectively and increase our customer base. She deserves so much more than what we've ever been able to afford to pay her for her marketing, billing, and mostly cutting in the grueling heat in July and cold, chilly conditions as the wind whips off the waterfront lots in October.

From her meager earnings and thrifty spending practices, she saved enough money to achieve her dream of purchasing a piece of investment property. When friends were buying their first car, she insisted she would rather use the family truckster than spend her money on a vehicle that doesn't appreciate in value! So, when she became the successful bidder, she stroked a check for her piece of land, placed her sale sign in the yard, and fielded calls from potential buyers.

In a depressed real estate market where investors are experiencing record losses, God greatly blessed Meredith's efforts and allowed her to enjoy and eight-fold profit on her first investment. Imagine that!

Do you think Meredith is finally shopping for her first car? Not hardly. She's too busy searching for a replacement investment property!

We are so blessed to live with this young woman who is a constant testimony to us, her parents, of how God blesses when one follows His principles of hard work, debt-free living, and contentment.

Congratulations, Meredith. May God be glorified in all you do!

"She considers a field and buys it..." Proverbs 31:16

We picked wheat off Mere's property just before she sold it to save as a memento.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Eggs Up To Our Ears!

After purchasing 100 extra laying hens from our friends', the Wilsons, farm we have eggs up to our ears!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Our New Blog!

We are so excited about starting this new blog! It may take a couple of days for us to get the template and colors set up like we want them, but soon we'll be able to update the blog more often (Blogspot blogs update much faster than our previous blog did) and we'll be able to read your comments!

Have a great weekend!