"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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Bill~this is the

photo I was trying to find. 
I do not remember where I found this photo so if anyone knows who to give credit to, please let me know.

Bill~THIS is the idea I have for all the window frames.   I love the log framing and it makes my brain smile.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Repurposing the yard sale chairs

I bought a few years ago while back east.  I paid $1.00 for each chair and I think I got a bargain.  I finally am to this project and here are two of the chairs I have finished.

And yes, I do like bold, bright colors.  They are a wonderful contrast to the somewhat not so bright but ever so beautiful desert.  Final cost per chair $4.00 with remaining spray paint to brighten other items. 

Mini for Me!

I bought some mini roses the other day, as they were beautiful and of course they were mini, oh and my favorite, they were on sale.  I have already transplanted them and they will reside in pots so I can bring them in each winter!  Oh how I love these minis!

What can you do with $12.00?

You can upgrade the playroom with a magnetic board.   I actually bought what is an oil drip pan from Wal*mart about 4 years ago to use under the plants I grow indoors.  I spent about $12.00.  If you go to Wal*mart site today it is priced under $9.00. 

My grands love playing with the magnets on the fridge.  The only problem with this is that the iddy bitty piggly wigglies sometimes push the magnets under the fridge. 
I was thinking about a solution and this is it.
It is the perfect complement to the play area.
The magnets are from all the fun places we have visited.

Bill simply mounted the pan on the wall.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Something is different in the house

and I am going to share a photo montage to see if you can figure out what it is.





Yep.  It's a mystery for sure! ;)

*Photo #2 is for a helper to reach and do the dishes.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Friday Night Gathering

We gathered together Friday night to celebrate Third's birthday. 
At times I am so shocked at how fast time passes.  This is the first photo of Third and his brothers after he came home from the Kinder clinic (Kind of like NICU in Germany). 
Here was Third Friday night.  I made a tank convoy cake.
I know he is a married man with a child, but he is still my bubboo and I was making light of the very serious occupation he has enlisted in.  Yep, those are plastic army guys behind the tanks.  For the gun(or whatever it is called) on the tank, I cut a chopstick.  

To Third: Oh dad and I love you so much.  It was so nice to gather and BBQ with the entire family as we visited, laughed, and celebrated another wonderful year with you among us. 
Be strong, walk with the LORD, and never forget that your wife and son are a blessing.
Love you oodles and oodles,
Dad and Mom!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Captain David P. Gibson

Fifty years ago on April 8, 1967,  my dad was killed in Vietnam.  

Today I am sharing this milestone once again.  It is not an easy milestone to share.  I wrote this statement in another post as it is the reality even fifty years on,
the ultimate sacrifice paid by a soldier is always a debt owed by the surviving family.  My family is one such family.  We will always be the family of a soldier killed in Vietnam in April of 1967. ( to read this post click here)
My dad was a young man when he was killed.  He was 28 years old and had been married to my mom for less than 7 years.  When dad was killed mom was pregnant with me, their sixth child.  Cathy was 5, the twins David and Liz were 4, John was 3, Peter was 2 and I was two months shy of being born. 
August 1967

My mom was amazing and raised my siblings and I to be very strong, independent people. The soldiers of Vietnam weren't treated as honorably and respectfully as soldiers are today.  The anti-war sentiment was rampant across the nation and it was a heavy burden for mom to be the widow of a man that many called negative names.  She was a brave woman and a letter she wrote made it to the 91st Congress and is forever memorialized in the Congressional Record Vol. 115 No. 175 October 28, 1969.  I never knew that she wrote this letter until a few weeks ago.  You see, she lost the love of her life and it deeply impacted her.  Here is a portion of the letter she submitted:
[It was about] the forthcoming anti-war October 15, Day of Moratorium [which she called] these pacifiers, these malcontents, these groups, and yes, even some members of Congress are going to carry on placards...are going to read into the Congressional Record the names of our soldiers killed in Vietnam.  They are going to use these precious names to justify and support their position on Vietnam which ranges from rightful conscientious objection,  to pacifism, to cowardice, to Communism, to treason, and even to support the Hanoi regime.  Well I know an Infantryman who fought and died in Vietnam;  he didn't fight because he was a warmonger or a hired assassin;  he was fighting, and, yes killing for the South Vietnamese people-he was fighting to protect them.  He was killed a little over two years ago-our soldiers are still desperately needed there.  This infantryman (one of 40,000+), myself (his widow), and his six children feel a great love and sorrow for the families of South Vietnam.  
I feel it is[the Day of Moratorium] a terrible injustice to my husband and the cause he fought for(as a soldier, as an American, as a gentleman) that these people will carry his name, publicize his name, and have it read into the Congressional Record for purposes so contradictory to what he sincerely felt himself.  If there is any way his name can be rescinded from their lists, I would appreciate your kind assistance.  If not, may I say thank you for your magnanimous support of the United States soldier, his dependents, and his survivors.
Sincerely,   Mrs. David P. Gibson
                   Catherine (8 years)
                   David (7 years)
                   Elizabeth (7 years)
                   John  (6 years)
                   Peter (4 years)
                   Jennifer (2 years)

This was the attitude of the nation then.  This was what my mother did to stand tall for us, and ensure that dad's honor was not marred by those wishing to use the dead to push forward their cause.  I knew mom was a courageous woman, but wow, this letter is of a woman that says it like it is and means it.  

Dad's death changed mom.  She did remarry and had another daughter and gained a step-daughter but she became very guarded about dad.  After being married to my Bill I understand.

My siblings and I know dad died serving a nation he loved.  The loss is not a gut wrenching loss today but a sorrowful loss.  It is a sorrow for what dad missed out on and what we missed out on.  It is so devastating to know what my mother missed out on.  As a couple they were still in the diapering, baby stages.  They missed out on the teen years, the weddings, and so many milestones.

Mom outlived dad by 44 years. She died on February 19, 2011.

Dad is forever 28.

My mother detailed the events of dad's funeral: I am going to share my mom's words once again, just a snippet of her description of the military funeral. I am not going to mention any names of the personnel that Mom mentions, but aside from that, here are her words:


There was a short blessing at the grave by an army chaplain-then the gun salute by the 58th Infantry-a bugler sounded taps-and the military pall bearers-all in dress blues began the folding of our most precious flag.

Then they presented the flag to the Captain who in turn with warm and stirring words gave it to me. Then I turned and left the cemetery-it was all over-we had been married a little over 6 1/2 years-so short a time-David had been in Vietnam only 41 days-he had totally given of himself the supreme sacrifice. 





Legacy of David and Dee:

6 children: Cathy, Dave, Liz, John, Pete, and me Jenny.

15 grandchildren: David, Ann, Tony, Danielle, Katie, Cameron, Bill, Peter, Ashley, Ruben, Parker, Trey, Carson, Cali, Mari.  

10 great-grandchildren: David, Lily, Carson, Sam, Kayd, Kam, Eva, Jacoby, Zoey, and Levi.  One more great-grand is due late summer thanks to my oldest and his wife. 

 Military service: My brother Pete made a career out of the Army and retired a few years ago.  My oldest son served in the Army and served in Afghanistan and my youngest son took the oath of enlistment this past Wednesday and leaves for Basic Training at the end of the month.   

Fifty years later, me the baby, will turn 50 in June and my oldest son will turn 28.  This is the part that is so hard as dates and ages and numbers are always in my head.  I know I am not a baby but forever I will be and have said this before, the baby born too late.

Ten years ago Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit shared the post I wrote about dad.  It is the only post I have up on my other blog Pen of Jen.  It was so profound to realize that the Vietnam soldier was no longer a stigma or something that we kept quiet about.  I will always be thankful that Jim shared my story of dad.

Here are some things I have written about my dad as the quote I shared about the debt the family pays is forever.
Historic Find
Historic Find Continued
Fifty three years ago
News and Letters from 1967
Always to Remember
42 years ago today
46 years ago today
Here are some things my dad had on him
Clipping of the first announcement of his death
Long Dose of Reflection
American History 1967
February 20, 1967
Memorial Day
Never Forgotten

Thursday, April 6, 2017

El Paso Texas

Six of us were able to attend the oath of enlistment ceremony for Third.  Here are some more photos from yesterday. 
 Third and his sweet wife and baby before the ceremony.


This was moments after the ceremony.  

Third and Bill

Third and Fourth

Third and his nephew G1

A bit of play time for the grands to burn off some energy.

After the ceremony we went to lunch then Sam's Club. 
G2 on the left is almost 18 months and G1 on the right is almost 22 months.

It has almost been ten years Part 2

since we moved to the farm.

Be sure to read Part 1 of this series

In the past ten years we have learned so much about raising animals, growing our own foods, and living a more organic life.  Not because we are looking down upon others but the farm life has afforded us the opportunity to have a better quality of food that we put in our bodies.  Below are some posts and photos to share the past ten years of this part of our lives.

Critters:  We began our farm journey by a trade of work for sheep.  We mucked out barns for a bit and in return received a started flock of sheep.  Two ewes, one ram and one lamb. The sheep were Navajo Churro sheep.
Boaz and Ruth 
Cuatro and Obed
Esther
 Some of the lambikin births here and here and here.
We then picked up some goats.  Goats reproduce quickly!

 Many kids were born on the farm...here and here and here for a reminder.
We have had chickens, turkens, turkeys, geese and ducks as well. 

We have raised beef to fill the freezer...here is the pre freeze post breathe post.  It was a learning curve for the family on how to butcher respectfully and with gratitude.  

 We learned that the critters loved playing as much as the goof troop did.
goatie goat playground...

lambslide!

Our freezer is filled with farm fresh beef and elk.  In the past ten years I cannot believe how we have completely transformed from store bought meats (which we did not buy much of as it was so pricey) to raising or buying in on  locally raised beef.  First off, it is much cheaper in the totality, and secondly, we know all of the beef is from one animal and not from possibly, Canada, Brazil and the US in the same package.  We also have elk in our freezer thanks to my Bill.  He applies for a tag every year and the elk has provided for our family. Here is one elk he shot.

In the past decade we have implemented a variety of gardening techniques which have proved highly successful.  Here is a post that shares what we did.  We are in the middle of major changes and relocating the garden for the past two years so in a bit things will be new and improved but still implementing sound water conservation.

This series has really become an eye opener as I am reflecting upon all we have learned, all we need to learn, and how much we have accomplished by simply rolling up our sleeves. I'll close this post with a few photos of the critter barns, coops, and shelters.  Every single shelter has been made by using salvaged materials.
The newest coop is this one, and the main house is made from salvaged wood from our old porch.  We call that screened in area the Sun room! The tin was from a construction site and the tee poles from Craigs*list.
 
The double sided barn here is made of campaign signs.  Seriously!  We ended up with a ton of free campaign signs and we used them in pretty much all the early projects.

Even on gates. 
This coop was our first built mostly by the youngest three. We painted the signs but the building is made from campaign signs. The window is from an old fridge shelf.

This coop is in the main sheep pen and it is made of salvaged tin and pallets.
 
We made the stalls out of pallets...

as well as the fencing. 

Stay tuned for Parts 3 and the finale Part 4 of this series!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Go Army!

We went to Fort Bliss today to witness our third son taking the 
oath of enlistment into the US Army.  

Thank you son, as we know that serving has been a passion of yours
and we are so thankful that we were able to be there today with you 
and your family.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

It has almost been ten years Part 1

since we moved to the farm.  I was thinking about this last night and I thought I would share some of the things that have happened in the past decade.

First  the reason we named the farm the Double Nickel: It seems like a lifetime  ago
Be sure to read both of these as it explains why we began the journey that placed us on the Double Nickel:
     Before President Obama Part 1
     Before President Obama Part 2

Bill's and my story from an anniversary post: Happy Belated Anniversary.

Bill and I on our wedding day:

Bill and I on the first day of 2017

About the goof troop...they are all grown.
I homeschooled them all.

Here is one of the earliest group photos after Fourth was out of NICU. 
 Here is a photo from 2 weeks ago.
l-r Second, Fourth holding G2, Second's wife, Second, First's wife holding G1, and First.
 
The kids all live and work in the area we moved and now call home.  To keep things as real as possible I must say that my kids take after Bill and are either first responders or connected to that field~either in the legal sector/ or the detention sector. 

Grandbubbies: The family keeps expanding.  We became grandparents in 2015...twice! 
G1 born in June

G2 born in October
Crazy thing about having the two grandsons 4 months apart is that their daddy's are 9 months 10 days apart!

We will be adding to grandbaby files by late August early September 2017.  The votes are 50/50 for whether it is boy or girl.  I am making an official declaration on the blog that it is a boy.  Updates to prove me right or wrong when news is available!

Bill has had two surgeries and the events that brought us to the farm are a dim memory as sometimes things happen and then surgery and one can return to the career one loves...stay tuned for news on this as well.

Oh and so far two members of the Double Nickel have served in the armed forces. 

 Here they both are.
One was a wee bit young and the other my Bill as an MP.
The wee one all grown up.
On Wednesday the number will change and I will give an update after the officialness is all done.  
By the end of the month 50% of the Double Nickel of the family(before spouses and grands) will have served or be serving.   

This ends Part 1 of the It has almost been ten years series.
I am working on the rest of the series and of course the upcoming week lots of events or milestones are happening and I am going to post about.
Until then, 
Jen