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