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

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Thankful - Grateful - Blessed

Falling into Fall - September 2019

Mikaela's handwork, deco in my living room

I found this daybook layout and thought it might help me give you interesting information about what's happening with The Farmers.
I hope you enjoy it.

Looking out my Window

There's not much to see out our windows at home. This is what's happening down the street. When we moved here the intersection had no construction, just land.

Now we have a hospital, a gas station and a new complex going in.

Brian has moved into a "real"  apartment in Burnsville, MN. 
He feels so at home (except for, of course, he is far from us.)
This is his living room window. He says this one room is 
bigger than his whole efficiency apartment!

Brian's visit in May

Daniel, Tina, and Austin had the opportunity to go to St. Croix this summer with some of her family. Not sure this was looking out their window, but isn't it beautiful?

My grandson, Austin

I am Thinking

Pastor Jividen at the Bloomingdale church spoke on the crippled man who sat of the pool of Bethesda waiting to be healed. It is interesting that Jesus asked him, "Do you want to be healed?" It seems a crazy question when he is lying there at the pool waiting and hoping someone will help him into the pool. 

But Pastor asked us, 
"What is it that you are hoping and praying for?" 
"Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen?"
"What lifestyle changes need to be made in order for it to happen?"

You, see, there is always an action that we must take. Jesus told the man to pick up his mat and go home. He didn't touch him or give him a hand. He had to get up and pick up his mat on his own. We, too, must do our part to receive the blessings of God.

God is not going to just dump blessings into your lap. You need to still do the work. If you want an A on a test, you must study. If you want to be successful in sports you must workout and practice. If you want to spouse, you need to start living without one.

Are we doing our part to make dreams come true?

Side Note: Pastor Jividen's last day at Bloomingdale Church is this Sunday, Sept 22. Michael will be filling the pulpit twice a month at the Bloomingdale Church while they search for a pastor.

I am Thankful

God has been so, so good to us over the past 4 years. It's been amazing to us how He brought us to the perfect home in a safe neighborhood. This year is the first time the rent has gone up and it was only $10 to cover the HOA. There may not be enough money in the budget to take care of the basic needs, but somehow money arrives from somewhere to pay each bill. 

It has been truly wonderful to learn how to really trust God for everything.

One of my Favorite Things

I love getting together with my daughter to bake.
Everyone else likes eating these cinnamon rolls.

I am Creating

Mikaela pulled out all her high school t-shirts and started a quilt

I pulled out the fabric left from my mother's wedding dress (and mine) after we had it restyled for Mikaela. I had already made little purses for Mom, me, and my sisters. Now I'm working on a Christening Gown. (No, don't get any ideas. There are no grandbabies in the works yet. I'm just doing this while the stuff is still laying around.)
Note to the children of Elaine Dawson. 
You are welcome to borrow this christening gown if you like.

I am Reading / Watching / Listening

Creed 2 - We watched this movie with Brett. And was reminded of Sunday's sermon when Rocky decided to go ahead and fight the Russian dude who beat him to a pulp earlier, even when he was down. Rocky said, "Well, let's get busy!" 
And they got busy training. It wasn't easy. 
Getting ready to win took a lot of hard work-outs. A lot of pushing himself beyond the limits. If he hadn't done the work, he would not have won the fight.

Poco - We also watched this movie. It was a wonderful movie even though I don't celebrate or care about the Night of the Dead. The theme was that family is important and also that we should remember, even the bad stuff so that we learn from it. Good message.

In my Kitchen

Time to make PumpkinPies!
In the Schoolroom

Ethan is "back to school" online, working on his ordination. Still working full time at Fed-Ex, but now doing online studies as well.

In my Garden

Daniel is the gardener in the family.
 Here are a few pics from this spring.

Post Script

Michele Bruxvoort and I are celebrating one year of blogging together over at  How did the year go by so fast?
celebrating one year

A moment from the day

Tina is working as a manager.

Closing Notes

We hope things are going well in your part of the world.
God Bless;
The Farmers

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Merry Christmas from The Farmers

Well, here we are at Christmas again. 

How did that happen? I see that I haven't written since July. My hope was to write every three months, I have been writing just not here. :) A good friend, Michele Bruxvoot, and I have joined together on a new blog page. Getting that going has kept most of my attention since the wedding. I think you will like it, so please take some time to visit when you have a chance. Mandy and Michele Just Keeping it Together! If you like what you see, click on that little blue bar on the bottom of the page and sign up for the weekly newsletter that will keep you in the know about what's happening on the blog.

OK, so ... What has been going on with you this year? 

Michael and I seem to spend most of the time visiting doctors. Oh! The joys of retirement. You retire and suddenly you are sick all the time. ugh! We've managed to get my pain under "control" or at least into some kind of new normal. The R.A. is in remission and the fibromyalgia is bearable as long as I don't go doing too much. We head down to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville 3 or 4 times a year to get injections in my neck. My C1-C2 joint is deteriorated because of the R.A. Michael has been fighting various illnesses this year. We seem to be jumping from one thing to another. He had some melanoma removed, then he has "too much blood" so he goes and has some removed every 6 weeks or so.

Michael has been supplying at Savannah Harvest Church twice a month since the senior pastor got promoted to heaven. It was sad to lose Pastor Jim but the extra income has been a blessing for us. We are amazed at how God continues to provide our every need, month after month.

Wedding Bells

The biggest news and excitement for the Farmers this year was the beautiful wedding of our Mikaela to Ethan Grimes. This was "the other royal wedding". Married on the same day as Prince Harry and Meghan, Pastor Jim said that this marriage was indeed a royal wedding as both Mikaela and Ethan are children of the King of Kings.

Tina&Daniel, MikenMandy,Ethan&Mikaela, Brett, Brian

Mikaela's brothers were all, in their own special way, deeply involved in the ceremony. Nephew Austin and brother Brett were "Bride's Dudes". A little unorthodox but they are indeed her best friends so it was very appropriate. Brett did a lot of behind the scenes running, you know a go-pher. He didn't want to be running the sound so he made sure everything was in order for another to do it.

Brian helped with the ceremony and sang during the Rope Ceremony. I had never seen a rope ceremony but it was beautiful. It is based on the scripture "a cord of three strands is not easily broken". Ethan and Mikaela braided the three cords representing themselves and God this was instead of the traditional candle lighting. Awesome.

Speaking of the ropes, Daniel made a gorgeous plaque to hold the braid. It was displayed for the ceremony and is now in Ethan & Mikaela's home. Daniel and Tina have a little side business making some amazing wood furniture and walking sticks. So nice. Tina did her part for the wedding too. She was the wedding planner! Couldn't have made it all happen without her! Also, Tina has found two wonderful products that she is now selling online, Norwex (wonderful cleaning products) and Magnabilities (customizable jewelry).

Daniel is still "running things" over at Mock Plumbing where he designs and heads up the plumbing plans for institutional buildings. Recently, he has been helping with the new hospital going in here in Pooler... and many other things, even over in South Carolina. Daniel acquired food poisoning in October which brought attention to his high blood pressure. This was investigated and it was found that he had a kidney stone the size of a half dollar piece. The kidney was not really working at all so the decision was made to remove the entire kidney. That happened last week. He is resting at home now. Lots of pain but doing well and should be back to work soon after the holidays.

Our grandson, Austin (20) is still in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) & Kickboxing. When not at the dojo, he can be found at the gym. He feels led to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. Currently, he is brushing up with some online classes before enrolling in college.

After the wedding, Brian moved to Minneapolis to consider a new line of work. He has friends there that put him up until this month when he found his own little place. For now, until he gets established he is doing quite well driving for Uber and delivering for Amazon. He's really loving it ..even the cold.

Brett has been promoted to store manager at a local sports shop. He's enjoying the change from Chick-Fil-A. And now hoping to move closer to town. The drive in is taking its toll on his car. (2 accidents this fall alone.)

He's also running the sound at church. Something he really enjoys doing.

Mikaela is still working at the bread shop around the corner from our house. That's nice because occasionally she drops in after work with a loaf of bread! Ethan keeps getting moved up at Fed Ex. He is impressing their socks off over there and they keep asking if he wants to make a career there. He is also working on his ordination as a youth pastor. He received his district license this summer a week or so after returning from their honeymoon in Gatlinburg. If you want to know more about their wedding and see more pictures, just click on this link.

That's about it for excitement here. Hope your holidays are joyous and the new year full of great expectations.

Mandy, Michael, and the gang

Remember to go by and check out Mandy's new blog at


Oh, now we know that we are WAY TOO YOUNG to be great-grandparents but we do have a few that we claim through marriage. Daniel's Tina has two children from a previous marriage. They are adults and this year they gave us #5 and #6 great-grandblessings! Check these cuties out!

Cody & Lizz
with Lacie, Caiden, Livie,


Loran&Justin with Cooper

Sawyer born Nov 2018

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Wedding Day May 19,2018

At last! The day had finally arrived. May 19, 2018

He had been waiting for this day for some time now. Ethan, the young groom stood at the altar with his best man awaiting the arrival of his bride, our daughter, Mikaela. Tears of joy were already pooling in his eyes at just the thought because he loves her so.

The sanctuary was filled 

with friends and family from as far away as Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas. Some had driven over 5 hours that morning to be at this special event.

Best Friends

Ethan invited four of his best friends from High and College. Mikaela had asked her friends, as well, to come and stand with her. Though a very traditional girl, she had also asked her brother, Brett and her nephew, Austin to stand up for her because they were indeed her closest friends. Unfortunately, Austin became ill that morning and was not able to attend.

Grandparents and Mothers all had taken their seats and the bride and groom's wedding party was now in place. 

Music from Tangled, the Disney movie, began to play and his sister, Ericka, sweetly began to sing...

All those days watching from the windows
All those years outside looking in
All that time never even knowing
Just how blind I've been
Now I'm here blinking in the starlight
Now I'm here suddenly I see
Standing here it's all so clear
I'm where I'm meant to be
All at once, everything looks different
Now that I see you...

Ethan bowed his head and closed his eyes. He didn't want to see even a glimpse of his beautiful bride until she was standing in the doorway. We waited as the music continued. 

As one of the groomsmen, Mitch, sang out the second verse, the congregation stood and turned. Ethan lifted his head and opened his eyes.

Now she's here shining in the starlight

Now she's here suddenly I know
If she's here it's crystal clear
I'm where I'm meant to go

And at last, I see the light...

And there she was pretty as a picture standing at the threshold of their new life together. She wore a gown of antique satin and Chantilly lace from the same dress her mother and grandmother had worn many years earlier. Around her neck hung a necklace worn by her Daddy's mother.

Tears of joy could no longer stay back as he gazed at his treasured bride. Her Daddy stepped to her side and they walked down the aisle together. Daddy was also in tears. Just the thought of giving away his little girl brought so many emotions to the surface. Both pairs of parents had prayed for this day when each would meet God's mate for life.

A Royal Wedding 

They turned and faced the minister who made mention of the Royal wedding which had taken place that same day “across the pond”. He noted that this, too, was a royal wedding because the bride and groom are children of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Her brother, Pastor Brian, delivered a marriage message speaking of the gift of marriage and what it meant to give oneself to each other. He spoke of other gifts as well. The gift of love, commitment, themselves, and more.

Brian stepped aside, and both Dads approached the couple. Since both are ministers, they led the couple in the repeating of their vows. How precious that each father could lead their own child in these most sacred promises. You could hear their voices quiver.

And then, the exchanging of rings.

“With the ring, I thee wed..”

The groom placed his grandmother’s wedding rings onto her finger.

“.. And give to you, my life”

Mikaela placed a ring of wood and fiery opal on Ethan’s finger. Opal is her birthstone. [No comment as to whether "fiery" has any indications.] It could mean he has her wrapped around his finger. But more likely, She has him wrapped around her finger!

Bonded Together Forever

The couple then moved to the side for the unity ceremony.  They lifted a veil to reveal a beautifully stained board with a cross and three cords. Her brother, Daniel, had created this unity board for this day and this moment was the first glimpse they had of the board. 

Mikaela & Ethan began to braid the three cords representing God, Ethan, and Mikaela together.

And her brother, Brian sweetly sang as they spent a few treasured moments together.

“Today you're giving your all
You've never trusted like this before.
Now tears of joy fall like rain
They seem to wash away every fear
You feel God's presence so very near."

Yes, tears fell and Ethan took a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe her tears. What an endearing few moments to watch how much he loves his bride.

And a brand new life is waiting for you
Starting here, starting now

From this moment on
From here to forever
He will carry you
Safe inside His love

The couple returned to the arbor where Pastor Eric,
Ethan’s dad pronounced them man and wife.

“Ethan, You may kiss your bride.”

The kiss was as passionate as their love.

Thunderous applause and cheers rose up from the sanctuary nearly drowning out the pastor’s introduction of the new couple.

“May I introduce to you, 
Mr. and Mrs. Ethan Grimes”


Applause rose up again. The joyful strains of the Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus could hardly be heard as the couple stepped out hand in hand.

The moment had finally arrived. 

They were now bonded together. 



Thank you to all those who helped make this day a beautiful day. We couldn't have done it without you!

Need to see more pictures? Click here

Photos provided by Lynn's Photography