Thursday, December 10, 2020

A 2020 Christmas Letter from the Farmers


We are confident that we scarcely need to tell you how our life has been this year, but our 20/20 Vision has cleared, and we are confident that God remains faithful and good. We praise His Name continuously.

Yet I am confident I will see the Lords goodness,

 while I am here in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13


Mikaela & Ethan

Ethan and I are thankful to have had jobs throughout the pandemic thus far. Our jobs are 'essential' since Ethan works for FedEx and I work at the Bread Store. We are also thankful to have stayed healthy thus far. It has been a blessing to continue to be able to fulfill all our duties with our secular jobs as well as our spiritual jobs since we were also a part of the 'COVID-19 lockdown ministry team' that helps run the live streams and do the music while we were in lockdown for the first several months of the pandemic in America. The lockdown has made us appreciate the simple ability to socialize even with family.



I really enjoy running video and sound at church. It has been a little more challenging this year as we not only had Sunday services live but also Wednesday night Bible Studies. I was deeply honored and surprised to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the church; I was just getting good at preparing steaks on the grill. This year I have been trying my hand at steaks on the gas stove. Aside from the smoke alarms sounding, it has been an awarding task.




On the occasions I have been able to fly [as part of my free employee benefits], I've enjoyed having extra space. Delta's policy of keeping center seats open means extra legroom and more comfort on the plane. When not traveling to Savannah, I have been able to join my family virtually at church. This is thanks to Brett for his techie abilities at the church sound board. And I am always blown away at the talent of my sister on the guitar.


Daniel, Tina & Austin

We are all thankful for good health, and for being able to be close to our parents and siblings with Brian being the only long-distance sibling. Thankful we have been able to see him frequently throughout the year. Thankful to be able to be church leaders this year, through all the craziness that is 2020. Thankful that it is December, which means 2020 will end soon.




Through the grace of God and good friends, we managed to move to a smaller, cheaper apartment in March. Ironically, just in time to stay apart from each other though within walking distance of Mikaela and Ethan. So nice that they can peek in us more often. We have found creative ways to travel this year. We Zoomed in on Mandys parents in Nebraska several times along with her siblings from Wisconsin, Texas, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Kentucky.

Mandy's parents, Gene & Elaine Dawson

We visited most of the 50 states via Aerial America on the Smithsonian Channel, and back in time by binge-watching old TV series like Andy Griffith, MASH, The Waltons, NCIS, Columbo and further back to the revolution with the TURN series. Mandy continues to blog with friend Michele Bruxvoort. but has also enjoyed writing Bible Studies with a womens online group, Gracefully Truthful. Her studies pop up about once a month. She was excited to write for this years Advent Series which was published in book form.


In the World


While we have attended both Harvest Church and Bloomingdale Church of the Nazarene  in Chatham County virtually, we have also been logging in to Greg Lauries Harvest at Home worship services every Sunday. Harvest Church has taken this pandemic seriously and are going live 6 or 8 times each weekend. We appreciate that Greg always preaches a Bible-based sermon and never finishes up without an invitation to accept Jesus as Lord. He gives each new believer a New Testament. This year they have had over 140,000 professions of faith. If for no other reason, this makes the pandemic well worth it! This could be the start of a New Great Awakening. At the same time, we invite you to pray for the persecuted. The pandemic has also caused greater oppression among believers in many places.


We hope and pray that you will have a peaceful and quiet Christmas Celebration where you find 20/20 Vision and True Hope in Christ.


The Farmers’

Michael & Mandy, Daniel & Tina, Austin, Brian, Brett, Ethan & Mikaela


Mandy & Michael Farmer

100 Saint George Blvd  Apt 803

Savannah, GA 31419

Monday, June 1, 2020

COVID-19 Quarantine Update From the Farmers

It's been since Christmas that I have posted at the Farmers Place. 

It's time for an update following a Simple Woman's Daybook.

Looking out my window

Three of our children are on their own. They have shared some pictures as well.

View from our bay window

Brian's place in Minnesota
Out Daniel and Tina's front window
from Kaela and Ethan's bedroom

I am thinking

How blessed we are. We learned in January that we had to move out of our so loved townhouse. God was gracious in providing a lovely ground floor two bedroom apartment within walking distance from our daughter! He also provided all the funds to make the move and buy some much-needed appliances.

I am thankful

We were able to get moved in and out of the townhouse just in time before the COVID-19 quarantine. We are enjoying the new apartment though we haven't had an opportunity to meet neighbors. Or really so how normal life will flow from here.

One of my favorite things

crocheting - see below

I am creating

I just finished this I Heart Scraps Baby Blanket for my cousin's grandbaby.
 It was received just in time for the arrival of their baby girl!
I used the scraps leftover from the stained glass blanket I made for my daughter.

Mikaela, the inventor, used pieces from items she was throwing away
to make this lap desk.

Daniel, Tina, & Austin had to say goodbye to their beloved Doberman Pinscher, 
Lexie early this year. Mikaela painted this picture for them.

 Tina made some face masks for her boss.
She also painted her porch furniture this beautiful color of teal.
Doesn't it look awesome?

I am wearing

We're wearing pajamas a lot these days. I'm wearing some Lula Rue's pants that Mikaela found for me at a yard sale. They are so comfortable, especially for my fibro pain. Just enough pressure on my legs to ease the pain and restless legs. They are my go-to choice during the quarantine.

Tina, our daughter-in-law, wears and sells her beautiful magnabilities jewelry. It's amazing. You purchase the style of a pendant you like. Then you buy magnetic inserts to match your mode, your clothes, the season. You can even take a picture of your own and create a personal insert like the one shown here with a photo of her children. Go to her webpage and check out the possibilities.

I am reading (read) /watching (watched) / listening to

Iner Disciplines
I'm reading Disciplines of the Inner Life by  Bob Benson along with my devotions each morning. And basing my blog writings on what I am learning.
This year I am also reading and watching true stories/biographies like I am Malala, How one Girl Stood up for Education and Changed the World
Another awesome movie based on a book was The Same Kind of Different. Read my review on my other blog. And Hidden Figures which has not been review just yet.
My favorite podcast right now is Emily P. Freeman's The Next Best Thing

The Shining
Mikaela said, We recently just watched the Stephen King movies The Shining and Dr. Sleep, which are a series kind of. And now I am going back and reading the book The Shining. Maybe eventually I will get the Dr. Sleep book. I find that it is way better for me, and anyone watching the movie with me, to watch the movie adaptation first and THEN read the book and see how it's supposed to go.

Tina said, I went to go check on a couple of my amazing neighbor ladies and they were telling me about how they loved watching “Hank” on Chicago PD. They told me they never miss it and people know not to call or bother them at that time. Haha! So, I decided to start at Season 1 episode 1. Oh my goodness... 
I love this show! The next day I had to go tell these ladies they got me hooked!


Brian says I'm watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe films in chronological order while I'm on leave from Delta. And reading a series of choose-your-own-adventure books on the Oregon Trail that Mikaela sent me.

I am hoping

I am hoping that this COVID-19 Stay at home edict can be over soon.
I've been fine but really getting a bit stir crazy.
And I need to go to Nebraska to visit my parents.
They have just moved into assisted living, against their wishes.
Here is my Brother's family having a window visit with them.

I am learning

I learned about the Five Solas recently with the online Bible Study I participate in.
I have been commissioned to write for them as well! Join us and you will hear from me on He ~ El Gibhor ~ The Mighty God later this month.

In my kitchen

I think I have now replaced all my major appliances down to my hand mixer.
Just before moving, our washing machine quit on us. Fortunately, the apartment complex rents them for $20/month. What we really wanted to get was a chest freezer because the tiny little freezer above the provided fridge just does not hold much.
Unfortunately, This COVID craze sent everyone and the brother out for a freezer to hoard on meats and frozen foods. So, when we got ready to start looking there were no freezers to be found. Two weeks ago, our son Brett, walked into a furniture store and asked, "I think I know the answer, but would you happen to have any freezers?" 
They said, "We just got some in today, but already we only have 2 left and they are small 5cu. chest freezers." 
He responded, "That's exactly what I am looking for. I'll take one of them." (The other one was sold over the phone while they did the paperwork on his purchase.)
Then, last week our clothes dryer stopped. Thank God for a stimulus check that paid for a washer-dryer set. Next, my hand mixer quit. I was glad to find a Kitchenaid hand mixer. It was rated the best AND it also happens to be the lightest on sold which is helpful for this old Chronic Pain Warrior.

In the Schoolroom

We no longer have any school-age children. But I would like to encourage those of you who have found yourself homeschooling against your will. Don't get stressed over this. Your child is going to do fine. Enjoy spending time with them. One thing I learned quickly was when it gets stressful, it is time for a little break. Go outside for 15 minutes ~ play or have a snack or even just do a little exercise. When you return, things won't seem quite so bad.
I loved having my children at home and learning right alongside them.
We homeschooled from kindergarten to senior high.

In my Garden

We don't have a garden but I would love to create some kind of garden or bird sanctuary outside our bay window. It's about a 6'x6' area. We are thinking to put some kind of border along the sidewalk to keep the leaves from blowing on the walk. This would make our door a little more noticeable for the delivery people. And I'm thinking it would be beneficial to plant something that deters the mosquitos and other unwanted pests.

Our oldest, Daniel is the gardener in the family. You can see his back yard on the left above and some flowers they have on the front porch. 

Board room

I'm a little slack at posting on Pinterest, but my handle is GGMandy
You can find me on Instagram  @Mandy_Holds_u_Up

Post Script

Have you checked out my Blog with Michele Bruxvoort?
I love her writing and mine is OK. :)
There is usually a post every day. When you get there, sign up for Push Notifications where you will get notified immediately when we post something OR
sing up at the bottom to receive an email newsletter every Friday.

Shared Quote

An Appropriate Prayer from Disciplines for the Inner Life

O God, you have made us for fellowship, and have given us the power both to help and harm our fellows, grant us the wisdom to know what is their good, and the ready will to help them attain it. Heal those we have wounded, strengthen those whom we have failed, grant us all your healing grace, and make our fellowship to be your family, through Jesus Christ our Lord. - Norman B. Nash in Daily Prayer Companion

A moment from my day

All I do is blog and visit doctors! :)

Closing Notes

I do ask your prayers for me. 
I am having some shortness of breath and lightheadedness. I am scheduled for a nuclear stress test this weak. Michael is also having to tweak his BP meds which has things "all stirred up"

With Love from the Farmers

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Merry Christmas from the Farmers!

December 2019

I recently read that joy comes from gratitude. We may often think that gratitude follows Joy, but they have actually proven scientifically that when we express gratitude, it makes a connection in our brains and we become joyful. Below we have shared several things for which we are grateful to God this year. He has been wondrously good to us.
 We challenge you to start a gratitude journal next year. You will be surprised how much God is doing for you. And you might feel a little joyful along the way.

Wishing you a season filled with the joy of the Lord,
Merry Christmas from the Farmers

Gratitude Journal for 2019
1) 2018 Christmas cash gifts paid for two tires for the car and
2) much needed and overdue eyeglasses for both Michael and Mandy
3) tax return paid for an air purifier for allergies and some needed clothing items
4) Health Insurance rebate paid $1,000+ on our medical bills.
5) Our benefits were renewed! These benefits pay our health insurance premiums and pays all of Mandy’s co-pays!
6) We found more ways to save on our auto insurance. (getting older does have it’s benefits)
7) Tina was hired at Days Inn and was fast promoted to manager. (a real God thing here!)
8) Ethan received a promotion at FedEx.
9) Mikaela & Ethan were able to acquire a second car.
10)  Harvest Church called a new pastor.
11)  Mikaela and Brian both gave us their old cell phones (better than what we had) plus all the kids committed to pay Michael’s cell phone fees saving us $30 a month. They didn’t like that we canceled his cell phone to balance the budget.
1)  Brian found a larger, nicer apartment in Burnsville, MN and moved in September.

2)  Brian bought us an external hard drive to store our stash of movies and TV shows!
3)  MRI for Mandy’s left shoulder shows it needs to be replaced. Surgery is not possible due to her unstable C1-C2, but injection has helped immensely with the pain.
4)  Brett was rear-ended & his car totaled. However, enough money was given on the settlement to pay off all his debt and put a nice down payment on a new car!
5)  A new laptop from Brian is keeping Mandy writing and blogging. Mandy was commissioned to write devotions for the general Church of the Nazarene and also to write Bible Studies online at
6)  Michael started preaching twice a month at the Bloomingdale Church since their pastor resigned in September.
7)  We received another reimbursement from health insurance for $200+ which helped restock on pantry shelves.
8)  We received pastor appreciation gifts from both Savannah churches.
9)  We were safe from any effects of Hurricane Dorian.
10)  Mandy received a generous birthday gift of cash which she used to purchase a small Christmas tree and more yarn for her crocheting projects.
11)  Michael’s polycythemia has improved with needing only two phlebotomies this whole year. Check-ups stretched to every 2 months.
12)  Brian started a job in November at Delta in Minneapolis. He was one of a few selected out of thousands of applicants. So many wonderful benefits. He is very happy with the position.
13)  The Bloomingdale church gave us an abundant Thanksgiving basket including a whole turkey and everything needed for the whole meal.
14)  Mandy only had to visit Mayo Clinic once this year. She’s had more joint pain but the general consensus is that it’s your basic osteoarthritis. All the crazy accidents on the farm are catching up with her.
15)  Occasionally, one of the kids will just decide to put gas in our car. What a blessing.
16)  November brought to mind that we have been living in the Savannah area for four years now. We are still so thankful for the way God provided us a place to live in HarmonyTownes.
17)  Mikaela reminded us that it’s been 3 years since she and Ethan starting dating. Married 1 1/2 years now!
18)   We are eternally grateful to family and friends who have given us cash or provided food just at the right time this year. We are blessed.
19)  Speaking of anniversaries, Michael and Mandy will celebrate 30 years of marriage on December 31. Not sure how that happened. I guess time flies when you are having fun.

This is just the tip of the iceberg because we didn’t share all the answers to prayer for other friends and family that God has answered gloriously. It has been an awesome year. So, again, we encourage you to start a gratitude journal. You will be so surprised at all God is doing