“Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.” — Frank Lloyd Wright
Hi, my name is MJ. I invite you to take a glimpse into this former Virginia girl’s ever changing, yet firmly rooted life here in the heart of the Central Valley in CA. Every season has its changes, some welcome and others, well, not so much. But, I have learned to flourish and rejoice in all of them and hope you will leave here feeling refreshed and more equipped to cope with whatever season you are in your life. So, grab a cup of coffee or pour yourself a glass of sweet tea, pull up a chair and sit a spell and let me introduce you to my family.
This handsome guy is my husband, Brandon, the MAN. Whatever project we are working on, whether it is how to assemble an aquaponics system, keeping bees or building a chicken coop, he is the go-to guy. Brandon works hard to provide for our family as an installation technician of home automation and security systems that allow people to remotely manage and access their homes. He is definitely the brains of this operation and is a.k.a. “Techno Man,” but I have yet to talk him into wearing a cape! Although, he is too humble to say so himself, Brandon has broken many company records for his employers at MasTec and has made suggestions that have been implemented nationwide to improve employee performances and save the company a lot of money. I am so proud of my smart, talented and hard-working man!
But, that is not his most important work. Brandon is a Particular Baptist preacher, serving and teaching at our church, Oasis of Hope, and fills the pulpit for our pastor on occasion. However, his first priority is building our little church here at home. Brandon leads us in daily prayer and devotions as he faithfully washes us in the water of God’s Word. We are blessed to have such a godly man lead our family!
I am also blessed to be the mother of this good-looking young man, our 11 year old son, Braxton, the BOY. Just look at those dimples! But, don’t let the picture fool you, he is all boy or as we like to say around here, he is the epitome of the definition of boy: dirt that makes noise! Whether he is riding his bike, digging holes in the backyard or rolling around in the grass with the DOG, Radar, he will find a way to get dirty. However, he also loves to sing hymns, perform science experiments and is an avid reader. He particularly likes historical fiction and nonfiction books about the founding of our nation and the faith of our fathers, such as The Light and the Glory or The Crown and Covenant series. He frequently quotes the character of the horse named “Liberty” in the Rush Revere books. Braxton certainly keeps us all on our toes, but he is a blessing and the answer to my many prayers for a son.
Then there is me, the WOMAN. I am a Christian, wife, mother, and homeschooler. Writer, artist, photographer and gardener. My days are spent rising before the crack of dawn, waking up the BOY and groping my way to the coffee pot. Meanwhile, the CAT, Mallow bounces across the hardwood floors like a Bronco all the way to the kitchen. Then I prepare breakfast for all of us and pack lunch for the MAN, while he is out back releasing the Kraken. Okay, not really, he is just letting our four bossy chickens, the GIRLS, out of their coop. After breakfast and our family prayer and devotion time, I give the MAN a kiss as he heads off to work. At this point, it really depends on what time of the year it is that determines my plans for the day. Right now it is summer, so it is doing the bucket brigade with the BOY as we haul buckets of water from our storage tank for our organic garden full of herbs and heirloom vegetables. But, then there are water days! We are only allowed to water two days a week during this man-made drought here in CA. No water themed amusement park could rival the joy we experience on those days. Whether it is feeling free as we liberally water our plants and animals with the hose or letting the BOY run through the sprinklers after dinner, water days are the best!
When I am not homeschooling or doing housework, my days are filled with everything from nature walks, bike rides and photography; to coming up with my own original recipes for cooking, baking, canning and dehydrating food; to writing Sunday School lessons, journaling and doing art projects; to unit studies with the BOY (this summer we are doing a unit study on the Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder) piano lessons and going on visitations to the homes of members of our church.
Phew! It is a busy life, but I love it!
And I would like to share it with you.
So, if you want to know what this country girl thinks about all day and learn the names of our chickens, come back and visit me. I will be sharing how we became a family, what it is like to be the wife of the preacher MAN, why I am so thankful to be the mother of the BOY and how we hope to grow this family through adoption.
With love, MJ