"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Fun

Summer in New Mexico is about days of 105 plus temperatures, siestas, mouth dropping sunsets, and peace and tranquility.

Summer in New Mexico often means short vacations into Texas. San Antonio is after all, only about 9 hours from home. And in Texas you see amazing critters...or likeness thereof!

Summer time fun is appreciating that in the heat a cool refreshing climb is worth it...as long as you have a swimsuit on!

Well some need not wear swimsuits, but summertime without a pool in New Mexico is just plain hot.

Oh and don't forget, at the pool, to have floatation devices...safety first we always say!
All of the farm goofs are in this photo...Fourth and Second in the tube, First in front and Third in the back right


Hope you all are having a wonderful summer.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Birthday Cakes are best when they are Pies!!


Taking the day off...Have a lovely day!

The Numbers Game

Last June my oldest son was 21 and I was 42, and I smiled amazed at the fact that he was half my age.

This June my oldest son is 22 and I am 44, and I am smiling because he is still half my age.

Maybe I can be a politician as I am not really doing anything, yet have been able to manipulate information to make this work out perfectly. I am not lying in the first two sentences. How can this be?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Just Arrived

on flight 321 Sister Airlines- is our oldest son!

After a long day of flight cancellations and delays he arrived in El Paso around 8 pm!
Status update-still stationed at Fort Drum.
Handsome as ever.
Smart as always.
And an incredible cook!



Sunday, June 19, 2011

Birthday At White Sands

We went to White Sands for Second's birthday. Four vehicles 14 teens and Bill and I! It was absolutely beautiful last night.

Sunsets are magnificent!


The sand was so detailed.


Some of the guys singing to Second!


Five pair of feet...and which pair belongs to Second?


Second, Fourth (in yellow) and friends.


Sledding at White Sands. We rarely have snow in southern New Mexico, so kids do not sled in snow, but on the White Sands dressed in summer gear.


Due to fire restrictions we could not use the parks grills nor use charcoal. Only propane bbq's were allowed. We served all beef dogs, veggies, chips, homemade rootbeer, water, cake and ice cream!


I cannot imagine living anywhere else in the world!


Oh and I couldn't help myself!!

Happy Father's Day

Wishing all the dad's out in blogland a very Happy Father's Day from the Double Nickel Farm Family!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

19 years ago

I had my second son.

We were stationed in Germany and lived in a small village called Lich.

He was my only term baby. He was due on the 21st and I had him on the 18, pretty impressive for a woman that ended up having the other three six, eight and finally ten weeks early.

My life only became brighter from this point forward. Second has been a delight in our lives and never ceases to amaze me.

When he was 5 he became fascinated with US presidents. He requested only books about presidents for about 7 years. He is filled with all kinds of trivia about the presidents. He is my avid non fiction reader. He desires information all the time and proceeds to read everything and anything he can about a subject.

Second arrived in the United States when he was 2 1/2 years old!

Second is exactly 5 years younger(to the hour and minute) as his cousin from Nevada.

Second was due on Father's Day in 1992. Interestingly enough, Third was due on Mother's Day in 1993-neat how the due dates were that way.

Second recently tested for a position and scored the second highest out of 20.

Second has been a delight and last night he asked his mom for a bit of mom/son time, and we took a drive and chatted about his plans and goals. I am so proud of him. He has been and will always have my heart.

I cannot imagine how the years can continue to get better but they do thanks to having Second as well as his siblings.

We are so proud of you Second. May you have a wonderful day and get much sand between your toes.

Love
Dad <3 Mom
First, Third and Fourth

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tick...tick...tick

can you hear time go by?

Tomorrow Second turns 19!!

Holy Smokes.

I have a 19 year old (okay, okay, I also have a 22 year old as well as an 18 year old and 15.5 year old too)~

19 years ago we were living in Germany and due to have our second child.
Coincidentally enough in a world so small our neighbors across the hallway were military and had a baby weeks before us...but here's the coincidence. This family who we met 19 years ago in Germany live 12 miles from us today! No kidding!

Our German neighbor gave birth 19 years ago today(June 17) with a baby girl, I can't remember her name but the family name was Oder.

We lived catty corner from the Licher Brewery.

Photo credit Wikipedia

Translation? When they brewed the bier (beer) I would get queasy from the smell of the hops. I was pregnant!

My this young man has been a delight in my life. I cannot imagine life without him and look forward to a wonderful day tomorrow as well as a combined birthday/graduation/Father's Day trip next week!

Tick...tick...tick.
Time goes by but it allows for you to have precious memories as it passes.

Friday Thoughts

Another week has gone by and I have a few thoughts to share.

I have not written many post and instead have opted to share photo type post as what can I say? The world is a crazy place. It is filled with every kind of evil and many kinds of good. I cannot say something new as the Internet is filled with many that interpret the news, make the news, avoid the news, or hate the news. Instead I try and remain calm and look toward Hope. I find peace in Jesus Christ and pray for others to seek Him.

My daughter and I were in town the other day and saw an incredible cloud formation. The photo does not capture the absolute amazing pattern. As we took photos we noted many people in the parking lots, on the sidewalks and around taking cell phone photos or gaping at the sky.

I smiled and thought, yes, this is a good thing. We are to look up to Him and His return.


As I have been very reflective, I am happy to have a train tracks near by. My daughter took this photo from inside the truck, but I am afforded an opportunity to do my dishes and watch several trains a day pass by the back side of my farm. I see the trains loaded with every kind of thing, and ever so rarely I see a passenger train fly by. I wonder in times like these, where everyone is on the go heading to and fro, if they look at the countryside and to my mountain and slow their thoughts down?

Certainly we all understand that if we are fortunate, we have about 75 years on this planet. What do you want with this time? Busyness, money, status, title, perfect health, perfect body...because none of these things die with you. They remain here.

One thing has been given freely for you to take.

One thing.

And that is eternal life.

One is an eternal life with Jesus Christ.

Without receiving the eternal gift of Jesus one ends up in torment and gnashing.

One is freely given and only needs to be received.

The other requires no effort and paves your way to hell.

Neither means you are a good person/bad person or anything in the middle. What eternal life with Jesus means is that you accept you have a Creator, you are not in control and man is hopeless without Him.

One thing I know, as I type this post is this: we all are going to die. Rich, poor, white, black and everyone else.

We all have been told life evolved from nothing how many ever billion years ago science now says, but what if, for a simple silly moment, educated thought was wrong?

At death it is too late.

Have we ever heard an educated man speak a lie? Teach something that was later discovered to be incorrect? Disobey laws? Be unfaithful to a spouse? Beat a child? Steal something?

Man is not perfect and is filled with flaws.

Just suppose, for a moment, instead of Jesus Christ and eternal life in heaven being a quaint story Grandma told us, imagine that man evolving from nothing was the quaint tale.

That is what I am thinking this Friday.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Take the Time

to watch the sunrise. You will not be disappointed.

Climate Change Impacting Hair Styles?

Perhaps~ here is Fourth with her new style in our local mall teen scene.


Fourth in the truck on the way home...

A reminder of her hairstyle before Climate Change impacted the hairstyle...


Another before photo~and for those that *know* me, will appreciate that this is Raider Country!!

*aside from the first photo, all photos were taken by Halo Brown photography.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Steady Pace

Seems like my year has been very slow and hard to schedule.

I have my tire gardens in but most are young and slowly coming along. These are some of my tomato plants, as they grow larger I will transfer to other tires. I am so thankful that we have a long growing season in New Mexico.

We have zucchini, yellow squash, scallop squash, cucumbers, two types of tomatoes, onions, green beans, spinach, and Serrano's. I am not sure what else I will plant, I have plenty of seeds.

I also am growing many flowers...not very practical but something simple and lovely for me and that is practicality~Jen version. I am growing them from seeds so~steady pace once again.

Life on the farm continues to move forward on a steady pace just not often the pace I wish for!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day


Today is flag day.

Flag Day falls within National Flag Week, a time when Americans reflect on the foundations of the nation’s freedom. The flag of the United States represents freedom and has been an enduring symbol of the country’s ideals since its early days. During both events, Americans also remember their loyalty to the nation, reaffirm their belief in liberty and justice, and observe the nation’s unity. (source)


Each one of us should take a moment and reflect upon the foundations of the nation's freedom.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beauty

Living in the desert is filled with beauty. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I live here, amidst all of these amazing views. Now to the unskilled eye, one may miss the beauty that is everywhere.


One may see the hot, arid climate and be at a loss. For me, I see an opportunity to grow pomegranate trees. Can you see the pomegranate on the tree?


Life is breathtaking. I wish my camera could share the redness of the sunset. Once again I had a lovely mural to bring an end to my day.



Life is filled with beauty. One need not live in New Mexico to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us all. It truly is perception...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Five

Welcome to the farm this Friday!

Here are five photos from my neck of the woods:


In case you wonder where I am on a map...well here I am. The farm is in the northern part of the Chihuahuan Desert.

Biggest traffic back up in awhile, and it was for a wide load!


Melon explosion! Who knew ducks love watermelon?

Camel at White Sands. This man and his wife take the camel out and uses the camel as a witnessing tool. Folks come over to talk about the camel and he shares a tract or bible if the person would like one. ps...why not have a camel in the Desert?

And my precious Fourth. I love this photo of her!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And Now the Rest of the Story

Sometimes a photo is edited and the rest of the story is lost. My daughter took this photo the other day and she asked that I post it for her on another site. I knew she wanted Samson so I edited the photo without really looking at it. Thanks to picnik.com one can edit any photo with the click of a mouse.

So I edited and posted this photo.
I really liked the photo and ended up placing it on my Face*book wall too...as he is growing so fast.

This morning I was cleaning up my computer and filing recent downloaded photos and looked once again at the above photo-not cropped.


Now the rest of the story!

I had noted the three hens behind Samson, but seemed to miss the silly paw on the right corner.
I suppose cats like to photo bomb every now and then!
I laughed out loud- now how did I miss that paw?


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Window


Bill's dad visited last fall, and I found one more photo of the visit on a cell phone. Here is Fourth with Abuelito and Bill chatting about the farm.


Did it snow? In June? No-of course not, this is the White Sands of New Mexico taken while driving through the park.


These are my boots. I usually wear Croc's- and turquoise ones at that...but sometimes I have to venture to really untamed parts of the property~roughly 20 feet from the door to help on projects. This is how the boots look post projects. Those are all thorns from the Mesquite...


Second called last night wondering if it was an eagle he saw along side the road, but I am pretty certain it was a hawk. Fourth and I drove down to see and of course I snapped a photo.



As I have mentioned Second is a volunteer fireman. Last Saturday his department did hose checks at the old Walmart just outside of town. He is on the right.

Updates on all-
First is still stationed at Fort Drum, New York. He is planning on a short visit at the end of the month.

Second is maximizing all training offered by his department and is the foreman(so to speak) on the farm. He turns 19 in a few weeks and has been on this department since he was 17.

Third is working full time and enjoying life as a grad. He is saving money like crazy, although he is investing money into his Toyota truck that he bought. Long term goals still being worked on...

Fourth is working on her online degree. She is my cutie and is a night owl that reads voraciously. She has taken over complete training of the Great Pyrenees puppies that I picked up from Oklahoma several weeks ago.

Bill is pastor at a small church, works full time and is the mainstay on the farm running so efficiently. He continues to be my best friend!

I have been working diligently on our gardens, the animals, and pamphlets on how to's. We all are working on appreciating the simple life. In a moment at 8:15 at night, I am going to go out front and put my feet into the kiddie pool and enjoy the sunset upon the mountains.


Seems like Crazy is the

new norm.

Up is down and down is up. It is bizarre to read or watch a video clip of someone on the Left suggesting that we "cannot accuse him of hypocrisy because he is not a family values moralizer" so they do not judge Anthony Wiener...and are only disappointed because he lied to them. Kind of ironic I guess the lie to Mrs. Anthony Wiener is not important. Kind of ironic that an American citizen cannot expect honor and integrity to go hand and hand with our elected officials.

For the record, hypocrisy? One cannot accuse a married man of hypocrisy? He is married having online( sexual in nature) relationships...but no we cannot accuse him of being hypocritical? In what rational world does this make sense? Oh that's right- in America, today.

Next new norm:

Lady Gaga won the Fashion Icon Award by the CFDA(Council of Fashion Designers of America). Fair warning on the link-as it is disgusting. For the record, in the link she is singing with Patti LaBelle, in a lovely fashion outfit that afforded her that grand award. It has about 2 or 3 inches of actual cover, and I mean in diameter not in length. Oh if Patti LaBelle dressed the way Lady Gaga did, she would not win any fashion icon awards...as you know, she is a tad plump.

Is this what feminism gained for women? The right of our daughters to be whores and not be told that they are whores? Our daughters see this and are emulating these styles. Our sons see this and expect the girls they are near to act and dress this way. So a woman is only any thing of value when she can show how vulgar and progressive she is with her body?


Funny, because science has proven that men are visually stimulated and women are more emotionally stimulated...so who really orchestrated this feminist movement?

Who gains in a situation where our daughters dress like Lady Gaga? Well men. Are all men perverted and going to ogle your minor daughter? Well no, but here's a biggie, does your daughter have her age stamped upon her forehead? No? Well then how is a man to know how old she is?

Notice how neatly Anthony Wiener's defense works into play now, and how both articles are deeply connected.

He said he did not know the ages of all the women to whom he had sent messages, saying, "they're all adults, at least to the best of my knowledge."

Welcome to the new norm.




Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Simple Life

is more than a idyllic notion, but something quite possible. Here are some things to think about:

Let's say you have a job that takes you 40 hours a week from your home. That is 160 hours a month, not including drive time to and from work. Then let's say you sleep another 160 hours a month- you now total 320 hours of things unchangeable. Did you realize that you have 352 hours left in the month?

Wow!



With that much time you could start and herb garden.

Or you could read the bible.
Or you could exercise 30 hours and still have 322 hours.
Or you could quilt, target practice, cook, write or read some books you never find the time for.


Amazing.

Life is more than something to speed through and ignore the simple pleasures.
An older neighbor or loved one would love to receive a handwritten note. And you could give of yourself in this process. Have you ever watched the birds outside? Or sat and watched the sun set without speaking?

Awesome.

Life is more than television, computer, or gaming.
Life is more than networking, clubbing or hanging at the local eatery.
Life has so much more and it is not a mystery that you need to unravel. It is before your eyes.

Unless.
You fill in the blank. It is your life, your time, your way. You are actually more in control than you think. I challenge you to look again at your life. I challenge you as I know what I found when I really looked at my life. I know what you can find!


Jennifer

Monday, June 6, 2011

22 Years Ago Today...

I met a person.


I was not too embarrassed, but he was completely naked.


I am pretty sure, now that I have known him all this time, that he was not embarrassed either.


This person changed my life.


I would be willing to say he made my life more complete.


This person defined me who I was to become, and who I have been for the past 22 years and will continue to be until I take my dying breath.

This person would not speak to me at first. I didn't think he was rude, and rather preferred his smiles. He had some tendencies that reminded me of what I have always heard about someone that is Amish, as he burped a good deal and I took it as a sign he liked his dinner. Funny now, because this is considered very rude in American culture, but as a subculture it is/and was accepted.

I am trying to remember when I first saw him wear shoes. It was at least a year after I met him.

And did he ever brush his teeth? Not for a good long time...but I don't recall being grossed out by this.


As I type this I am remembering more about my first meeting with him. It was a bit crowded. Several women, several men, and the place we met was off the beaten path for me. I can honestly say that I had never been in that room before.

Oh my, and I cried. Yes, that is the truth. When I met this person, I cried. And I cry now thinking of that day. As that one day that one moment, began 9 months earlier...and this day, 22 years ago, I met my firstborn son for the very first time. He was greeted by his dad and I.

He was early by 6 weeks.
He was adorable and still is.
He stole my heart.
He still has it.
I love him more than he could ever know.
I am so proud of him.
And I was able to become part of the Mom club.
To my son, I love you. I wish we were there to take you to dinner, to sing to you, and of course to visit with you. I know you are coming this way in a few weeks...so I am content.

Thank you for 22 years. I have learned so much because you have been in my life. I look forward to so much because you are in my life.

I love you.

Happy Birthday Bill...

signed Mom

Friday, June 3, 2011

It took a long time, but I understand...

what Ben Franklin meant by A penny saved is a penny earned.

In the years since we moved to the farm, I have slowly but surely learned the how to's of many things, and am still learning even more. One thing I did to save money which then made Bill's income stretch further was to reduce what I threw away.


I began by making things with material we had on hand. And for the record, I had not really sewed much of anything that was to be used each and every day. But I wanted to make this work. I wanted to learn to be more reliant upon us and less dependent upon things I had grown up needing.


It was surprising to realize how much I spent each month on items to be used once and thrown away. Cloth napkins were implemented. The first generation of these were fairly unattractive to look at, and took the family some time to adapt to. The above napkins are made of flannel and cotton. I have gotten a bit better in my sewing skills, although I have a long way to go.


I store the napkins in this basket and aside from napkins that may come home if someone ate fast food, I have not bought any paper napkins.




I did know one simple stitch in crocheting, so I made dish scrubbies. I use these exclusively in cleaning the dishes.


These are simple flannel squares cut into 12 inch by 12 inches. I put a simple stitch around the edge as you can see. Now what do I use these for?


On my handy dandy mop. I confess I bought my mop at a second hand store for a dollar, as I knew I wanted to make the floor mop pads. I blocked out the name as I bought it used. I love the concept of taking the flannel square off and tossing it in the washer far more than I liked the mops that you would rinse out in the sink. I have a bucket that I fill with cleaning water and dunk the flannel into it and squeeze out and use. Sometimes I use a spray bottle filled with cleaning solution and spray the floor and mop. So easy and the flannel pads have lasted a good long time. I toss the used ones on the washing machine and wash with the darks.


I store the scrubbies and the flannel mop squares to the side of my sink in these baskets. It is so amazing how little space these items take up in the wash and how much money they leave in the budget.

I enjoy seeing how many things I can save or make now. I will take something that has served its purpose and give it new life. I shared in this previous post how I make rag rugs from old clothes . Well I also make other things. Here are two pot holders that I made from part of Bill's old jeans, and a few of his old shirts. They are a bit used if you look closely, but they work amazingly well. I used an old towel as the center and made it like a quilt. If you look closely you can see that I took the strip of fabric that the buttons are on to make the handles of these pot holders. Everything can be re~purposed, trust me!

Perhaps being this frugal or thrifty is not your thing and I understand totally. This works for us on the farm, because my simple actions have afforded us the ability to have more in other areas. We do need to take heed to wise counsel. We live in times where most of us are on thin ice and it has cracked...we just haven't looked down.

Idyllic or Hard Work?

Taking a piece of the desert and converting it to a farm is far from easy. In fact, I am willing to admit that it is back breaking work that seems to have no end. Every out building, every pen, every coop, every garden bed, every fence came from the sweat of each and every member of the family.

It is hard work. Who knew sheep pooped all day long? Who knew that you need to trim the hooves and shear the wool of the sheep? Well who really thinks of these things if they live a typical American life. Who knew that putting a fence up with little money would be so taxing? Who knew that thorns in the desert magically land on you even if you are yards from the thorn bush?

Who knew that chickens squawk all day long? I thought roosters only crowed in the morning~well shoot that one down, as they crow all the time! Who knew that being hen pecked was more than a saying. And the pecking order is very real~

Who knew that flies are why there is an f in the word farm? Flies are everywhere. Every method of fly eradication known to man has been tried here on the Double Nickel. Who knew that flash flooding would destroy and entire year of hard work? Who knew that coyotes would come to the farm and consider it their personal buffet line? Who really believed that Javelina's would become a menace to the animals? Who would have believed a skunk would back spray a family member?

Who knew that this many rattlesnakes existed? It is almost as if they all live in a 5 mile perimeter around the farm!


Who knew to eat organic meant that you would have to have animals you raised, butchered? This was a hard thing to adapt to. Who knew that preserving the foods you grow would be so grueling? Who knew that hanging clothes on the clothesline would be so hard...I mean it used to be so easy in town with a yard and a clothesline just off the door. Here each and every load, dried on the line, takes up a good portion of the day, and to be honest it is hard.

Who knew all these things? Well those who have walked before us. Those that left everything to come to a plot of land they could call their own. Pioneer stock that made this nation what it was, because they became the innovators. They took an idea and tweaked it to become their own. Truth was they did so to make their lives easy.

Who knew it would be so amazing to come up with ideas to save time or money or both? Who knew that learning animal husbandry would be so interesting? Who knew that by moving to the farm, and eating the foods from here would actually make me more healthy? Who would have guessed that frugalness comes from effort exerted to gain items. I find I am far more frugal as I really appreciate the effort to acquire things.

Well as hard of work as it is, at the close of the day, it is absolutely an idyllic life. It is like the Little House on the Prairie series. One becomes fiercely independent on their own land with the sweat of their own dripped upon its soil. It is idyllic to look from one corner of the land to the other and appreciate that it is yours alone.

It is idyllic to sit on the porch and look to the sunrise and inhale in the sheer beauty that the Lord has provided. It is idyllic to be taken in by a Pyrrhuloxia sips a drink from a water trough. It is idyllic to see a lamb suckle its momma. It is idyllic to walk by the pens side by side with your spouse of 23 years and take in that this is real.

The problem is that many people think that just by breathing that they are exempt from work and the reality of life. We have been raising generations of children that get everything from the cradle to the grave and they do not even realize where anything comes from.

The problem with our economy is tragic and very real. It is not a decade away from repair but may actually be unrepairable because we as a nation do not realize that we cannot spend our way out, but instead must take drastic measures. This means that each and every American must take these same drastic measures. We should look back to a time that was considered simple~ and duplicate the example earlier generations of Americans set. We should pay off debt, and not strive to accumulate for the simple reason to have, but to own only what we pay for and save for anything else.

I have been a part of this problem. I was raised in the Midwest. I was raised in the 80's. I was raised in a time where ME, MYSELF, AND I became all that mattered. I have slowly been rejecting that for a simple life that is indeed idyllic. Easy? No, yet would I change anything? Not for any amount of money.

Friday on the Farm


Samson -note the paws, yes they are big, but the mud is from a photo down below.

The Pyrrhuloxia feeds after the ducks make a mess. A few straggler chickadees join him.

Tim cooling off. This is how the chickens cool themselves off in the heat of the day.


Pups coming up the steps with Bill. Note the paws, and poor Delilah's tail that is Samson's chew toy.


This is why the pups have muddy paws all the time. We have these water tubs all over the property for the animals. Samson and Delilah climb in them to cool off while drinking. Oh the ducklings love the tubs too. Soon they will be big enough for the kiddie pool!


Wacky weather here in New Mexico. This was a dust storm that came in last night.


Here is a mini project Bill has been doing. These are small Mesquite trees. While young he is weaving or braiding them together. We saw a a Mesquite tree that had three trunks braided which inspired us. This is what we are doing all over the property with the new growth. I can't wait to see how they turn out!

That's it for the photos...have a lovely weekend.