July 31, 2018

July 2018 Family Update

Skylar and I popped down to Bham to spend 4th of July with my family as is our tradition, as is the local fireworks show. Skylar got her very first driving lesson this year in my grandfather's old pickup truck out in the pasture. Classic! She and Aunt Sheila got in the sewing room and designed a reversible skirt. Yes, Skylar Bishop now has a skirt! Since we stayed longer than normal, we skipped grandparent camp this year as she was missing Onyx. Ya'll, her and that dog are tight. They really are besties!

After we returned back to Nashville we received some concerning news about my mom's health and made the decision for Skylar and I to move temporarily to Birmingham to help care for her. My sister-in-law graciously agreed to foster farm our chickens and we tried to streamline as much as we could at the BFF to make things as simple as possible for Mike for the remainder of the year.

It's a little tricky for our family living in 2 different states but we are doing pretty good. Moving back home temporarily was the right thing to do and I'm thankful for the extra time I'm getting to spend with mom. But living here has its perks too. Like being able to swim at Uncle Bennie's or having him bring us fresh veggies from his garden. Aunt Sheila is right next door and I have cousins right up the street. We've been out to visit my Uncle Fletcher's cabin and my Dad is thrilled to have me so close. Many of you know that he has been relentlessly trying to get me to move back to Alabama for about 2 decades straight. I'm still getting voicemails, lest you worry about that. And Skylar has Hannah right next door as well, who is also homeschooled so they will have plenty of time together.

This past week Skylar has been at summer camp with New Tribe. It is no small feat to watch a bus drive away with your 11-year-old knowing that they are headed for Oklahoma, which is basically a billion miles away. Despite me only seeing one picture of her the whole week and fearing the worst, she had an absolute blast! She says it was the best camp she's ever been to, which is a pretty high accolade. She came home E X H A U S T E D!!! In fact, she has taken a nap 2 days in a row which is unheard of in her world. She's going to hang with Mike in Nashville the rest of this week and he will bring her down to Bama this weekend. I miss them both so much! Onyx does too.

Business is going well. My VA clients have been very understanding about my decision to relocate my office and many tasks have been delegated while I help take care of mom. My HempWorx business is growing like crazy and I hit a new rank (25K) with the company this month!!! I absolutely love hearing the stories my customers tell me about how CBD oil is helping them and their pets. I'm excited to be involved on the ground floor of such a new and exciting opportunity that is exploding not just in the US but around the world! If you are interested in hearing more, please let me know.

I think that about wraps it up for July. Next month Mike and I have a little trip planned for our anniversary and I'm taking Skylar to her very first concert!

June 30, 2018

June 2018 Family Update

Ah, summer! This month has been full of summer activities.

Mom came to visit the first weekend of the month and was able to catch a couple of Skylar's softball games and go to New Tribe with us. Mike and I were even able to sneak in a date while she was here. 

Skylar moved up to the youth group at New Tribe this month. The transition totally snuck up on me and I don't think I was quite ready. I'm seriously not a fan of the growing up business. Skylar, on the other hand, jumped in with both feet. She absolutely LOVES youth group. Thankfully, we have developed some great relationships in the last few months and the leaders have been super welcoming and very gentle with this first-time youth group mom. We've even decided to let Skylar go to camp with them next month in Oklahoma. You know, like a million miles away from home. Hold me, Jesus. Skylar is pumped! 

In case you didn't know, our girl loves summer camp. She would go to all the camps if we'd let her. She attended her 3rd year of Cumberland Camp this month. She earned this one all on her own through BeeKidCandles.com. I was so proud of her hard work and we are so thankful for everyone who ordered from her. She had a blast and was even able to afford extras like laser tag and had spending money for the store. You can still order to help her save up for her next camp! 

While she was at camp, Mike and I worked our booties off getting some things completed in time for our big summer party. We recently inherited a large cabinet and bookcase that was built by Mike's grandfather. I refinished it and we moved it into the office. I'm loving the way it turned out and it has created a much more cohesive look in that room. Mike also finished my custom barn door for my laundry room which includes a piece of tin from my dad's farm in Alabama. I was so tickled to get two sentimental pieces added to our home in one week. 

Once Skylar came home from camp, we entered a marathon weekend. I had to work the concession stand at the ballpark and it was also the last day of softball with closing ceremonies. Mike was at home smoking meat for our Summer Solstice Party and my Dad came into town for the festivities. We enjoyed having everyone over for our party. It's always so fun to see friends who have been in our lives for as long as we have been in Nashville alongside the new faces that have come into our lives in the previous year. Seeing kids run and play in our back yard brings me so much joy. It's one of the things I always imagined when dreaming about our land. Sunday was Father's Day and I was so glad my Dad was able to go with us to New Tribe. 

And if a marathon weekend wasn't enough, we packed up and headed to Pigeon Forge on Monday. Our friends have an awesome camper and invited us to come and hang with them for a few days. It turned out to be the perfect way to decompress after the previous week and we had so much fun. My favorite thing was indoor snow tubing! 

We celebrated Onyx first birthday! Oh how we love this girl. I was convinced I never wanted another puppy but she has been the perfect addition to the BFF. There really aren't words to describe her sweet and gentle personality. Her and Skylar are truly best buds. She got a swimming pool for her birthday but is currently only using it as a large water bowl. LOL! 

The rest of the month was pretty par for the course as far as work and farm chores. Things are going really well with Hempworx and I recently booked my trip to the company convention in October. I have seen CBD oil help so many people and I love sharing the benefits with everyone I know. I want everyone to try it. The ones who are the most skeptical become the biggest fans because it works so well for a variety of different symptoms. 

We have something exciting in the works for the BFF and hope to be able to make an official announcement soon so stay tuned. For now, I'll leave you with a pic of our baby birds who went from eggs to flying the coop in just 10 days.

May 31, 2018

May 2018 Family Update

Not a whole lot happened this month, aside from work, but I still feel like it flew by.

Skylar attended the sub-regional competition for 4H at the beginning of the month. Grandma and D-Dad were able to come see her presentation and Mike took off work. This was a big deal for our girl and she did GREAT! We were so thrilled for her that she got second place, which included a trophy! This was her first year in 4H and I simply could not be prouder of all she accomplished.


She's also turned into quite the little entrepreneur. She decided that she wanted to go to several camps this summer but they are all pretty pricey. I explained that I would pay for 1 but she would need to earn the money for the others. She came up with the idea for these awesome rolled beeswax candles and she's super close to earning what she needs for Camp #1. She even designed her own business cards, bought her first URL, and now has a website. You can place your order at www.BeeKidCandles.com. The candles have been getting rave reviews and I'm so excited with her creativity and determination to acheive her goal!

We wrapped up our first semester of small group at New Tribe. I just can't even tell you how much we have grown to care for those families. They are all precious and we have enjoyed every second of getting to know them better. We also had a church-wide family picnic last Saturday that was an absolute blast! Mike smoked 20+ pounds of meat and, I swear, it was the best I've EVER eaten! Aside from the yummy food, they had a huge water slide for the kids, a volleyball tournament for the adults, free Kona Ice, and so much more! I love Jesus with all my heart but living life with other Believers is a pretty awesome perk and a heck of a lot of fun!

Mike is settling in easily at his new job and he even traveled to Winston-Salem for a few days for a work-related event. Skylar and I held down the fort and for the first time in 13 years I actually slept while he was away. I am typically the biggest scaredy cat when I'm home alone. Always have been. This trip, I fell asleep quickly, slept soundly all night, and work up feeling amazing! Thank you, CBD oil! Oh, and did I mention I can now eat gluten again. Seriously, if you are curious about CBD oil, message me. If you are local, be sure to RSVP for this free class that I'm teaching on CBD 101 (limited spots available).

We are knee deep in grass cutting season again. Our grass seriously grows SO fast and there is a ton of it, but I've been able to listen to some really good books. I promised myself I'd listen to more non-fiction this year. I've recently been on a Bush Family kick. I listened to Sisters First and 41 and adored the both. I've also planted a few things in the garden like beans, peas, zucchini and corn.  My onion and carrot seeds didn't germinate and I'm now on my second batch of tomato and pepper plants but they are coming along nicely. So far, the Back To Eden gardening system (Google it!) is working out really well. I haven't had to water once any my plants are flourishing!!!

Skylar has been taking fiddle lessons since January but she recently made the decision to switch over to the ukulele. She's actually really good at both (or so her teacher tells me) but she naturally leans towards the ukulele so it will be fun to see how she improves from here.

I've worked a couple of overnight postpartum shifts this month helping one of my sweet repeat families. Snuggling babies in the middle of the night is truly one of the best jobs ever.

I think that's about it for May. Skylar leaves for camp in another week and our annual Summer Solstice party is quickly approaching. I can't wait!!!

April 30, 2018

April 2018 Family Update

We kicked off April with our Spring vacation. However, April 1st was also Easter. We couldn't fathom missing our 1st Easter at New Tribe so we delayed our departure by a few hours and it was definitely worth it! The church has grown so much since we started attending around Thanksgiving, so they launched a 2nd service on Easter Sunday. It was super exciting to be a part of the inaugural 9 am service! Since then Mike has been serving in the kid's ministry and I have become a part of the Welcome Team. After the struggle we faced last year trying to connect at various churches in the area, being a friendly face to a newcomer is something that has become near and dear to me despite how far it is outside my introverted bubble. Everyone is so genuine, friendly, and welcoming at New Tribe that it's pretty easy to follow their lead! Our small groups (ahem, Tribe Groups) also kicked off this past month and we are enjoying getting to know other families. Our little group is just precious to me. We are all at different stages of life and spirituality but we seem to click pretty well!

Ok, back to vacation. We spent a week in Washington DC and it was fabulous! There is no way to do everything in one week but that didn't stop us from trying. LOL! We visited...
  • Ford's Theatre
  • Spy Museum
  • Museum of Natural History - The gem exhibit was a highlight for me. 
  • Air & Space Museum - This was a favorite for Skylar. 
  • Botanical Gardens - It was orchid season but I loved the medicinal garden best.
  • Museum of the Bible - Absolutely fascinating! I could have spent another day here.
  • Arlington Cemetery - Saw the changing of the guard and visited several other areas. 
  • Annapolis & Chesapeake Bay 
  • Monument Tour - We did this at night and it was spectacular. Saw Lincoln, Jefferson, MLK, Vietnam, Roosevelt, WWII, Washington Monument, and the Cherry Blossoms which smelled amazing!
  • Capitol Building - We had a fabulous tour guide and also got to see Representative Cooper's office. 
  • Library of Congress 
  • Air & Space Hangar - This was a last-minute stop on our way out because Skylar enjoyed the other museum so much. I think we all really enjoyed this one! 
Now, I did all the historical things for my people because I love them but, truly, I vacation for the food! D.C. did not disappoint. I feel like we ate our way around the world while we were there. We also stayed in an awesome Air B&B in a residential brownstone area that was perfect for us! Despite us coming home exhausted, it really was a great trip! We also had a great house sitter while we were away. Ben did a great job keeping the BFF running and feeding our critters. 
Once we were home things didn't slow down. My workload is busier than ever and Mike made the decision to change companies. It's something we've been talking about since December and an opportunity presented itself so the time felt right. He's still settling in but we think this was a really good move for us personally and for him career wise. 

Softball season has also started back up. Skylar is with the same coach and many of the same girls from her team last year. They picked the team name, Blue Lightning this year and Opening Day was this past Saturday.  
Many of you know that I have dealt with depression almost my entire life and anxiety in the last few years. This past fall I began taking CBD oil and it has been a game changer. Despite the winter that didn't seem to want to end, this was my easiest cold season yet. Mike has also started taking it for his arthritis and joint pain and has finally stopped taking one million ibuprofen every day. He says he's sleeping better and it's helping his tummy troubles too. I'm even able to eat gluten for the first time in 3.5 years. Y'all I am such a believer in CBD oil that I became a distributor for the company. If you want more info, please let me know and I'll be happy to share. This stuff is amazing and is helping so many people in my life. 

The BFF got another upgrade this week and we checked another item off our list. Skylar has been driving our new 4-wheeler around everywhere.
This month I worked with 2 sweet families who are repeat clients. It's always exciting to help a mama welcome a new baby when we've worked together before. 

Our co-op has ended for this semester. We wrapped up with Field Day this past week, which is always the highlight at the end of the school year. Skylar also competed in 4H and won for 5th grade in Food Science in Wilson County. She moves on to sub-regionals this coming week. I'm so proud of her!!!
I think that will just about wrap it up for April. Stay tuned for May. Surely things will slow down a little bit. Oh wait. It's about to be grass cutting season again. LOL! 

March 31, 2018

March 2018 Family Update

Mike and I kicked off the month attending the Symphony where they dedicated the entire evening to songs by Frank Sinatra. We had awesome seats close enough to read the sheet music and we both enjoy Sinatra but we spent the entire night being entertained by the conductor's facial expressions. Ha!

We also found out this month that there is a cave here at the BFF. It was tight so there was a lot of mud and a lot of trust involved but we were pretty proud of ourselves.

Skylar and I attended the Teach Them Diligently Conference for the 5th year this month. This time I spent the majority of my time in the vendor hall, which is a drastic change from my first year. We have absolutely loved unschooling this past year and I greatly enjoy purchasing whatever items that I know will interest Skylar or just seem to catch my eye. It's so much less pressure yet results in so much more learning. This year I also opted to skip the childcare program and instead put her in robotics camp, which was fantastic! Then, I got to meet Ken Ham and had him sign one of Skylar's books. She flipped out! She thinks he's awesome. In fact, on the first night we had to sit on the very.front.row. to hear him speak. 

My sister in law took her kiddos to the Chattanooga Aquarium for their spring break and graciously allowed Skylar to tag along. She had a blast! For our Spring Break, our girl went to Birmingham, where she spent a week with various family who kept her busy sewing, shopping, movie watching, Easter egg hunting, and cave exploring. Mike and I enjoyed a little mental break and we finally saw The Greatest Showman. The soundtrack is my new Saturday cleaning music.

In case you've been following along. It's a month later and Metro Stormwater still hasn't finished our driveway but they did manage to get the sidewalls put up. Now we wait for steps 3 & 4, blacktop and grass seed. Maybe by summer. LOL! And then we can finally put up our real mailbox. Bless.

In other news, our garage that we built back in November finally got approved by the codes office this week (another looooong story) and we also reached a settlement with the insurance company from our rollover accident from last July. These things had really been weighing on me and stressing me out. I'm so thankful to have them off my plate. Big answers to prayer!

Next week we are headed to DC. Hope everyone has a Happy Easter!

February 28, 2018

February 2018 Update

February was pretty ho hum with the exception of the Olympics. Oh, how I love me some Olympics! Althought, I do miss the dual screen set up we had at our other house. Regardless, there were many late nights and lots and lots of pacing, cheering, screaming, and jumping up & down, as usual. Mike traveled to Knoxville for a 4-day work trip mid month so Skylar and I basically laid in bed and watched Olympics the whole time. LOL! And when we weren't watching Olympics we were homeschooling about Olympics. At 38 years old, I'm a brand new coffee drinker (I know, I know) but I had an added appreciation for that caffeine boost during the 2 weeks of the Olympics. I'm a committed fan and it involves a lot of late nights. Can't wait til next time! #Tokyo2020

Our church started a new Bible Study that we've been going to and it will run through March. The ladies meet on Tuesday nights and the guys meet on Wednesday nights but we are all studying the book of James. We've even been challenged to memorize the entire book. I'm currently on verse 12. Only 96 more to go! The suggested time frame to learn it is 5 months, which I think is probably doable. Focus on 1 chapter a month. I'm excited to challenge my brain with some memory work and I'm particularly excited because it's a big chunk so the entire thing will stay in context. When I haven't been working on my Bible study, I've been knitting. Skylar taught me how. Thank you homeschool co-op!

The BFF got a little upgrade a few weekends ago. We were able to purchase some tree seedlings for $1 a piece so we planted 15 new trees. There were 5 different varieties so I'm hoping this will help bring some color to our property in the fall.

I passed another kidney stone this month. Thank you, family genetics! It moved quickly and relatively easily but not without me waking everyone up and demanding to go to the ER. Mike was warming up the car when I had a sudden pinching pain and then everything eased up. I can't find any medical proof to my remedy but I've now passed 2 kidney stones almost instantly by using colloidal silver. It may be a total fluke. Guess I'll try it again next time and see if I can do it 3 times in a row. Not that I'm looking forward to it. The pain is seriously worse than childbirth. It's so intense and there is no break. Not even for a second. Since it was so short lived, we went on our planned field trip to First Freedom Bank. I seriously think this was one of the best field trips we have ever been on. We were so welcomed and everything was so nicely planned out perfectly for our group.

Have I mentioned our ongoing saga with Metro Stormwater? When we moved in last year I contacted them about our culvert because it was too short and the sides of our driveway entrance were falling off. We also have standing water every time it rains even just a little bit, but it has gotten progressively worse. They came and looked at the problem last March and agreed it needed to be fixed. For the record, we (along with every other resident in Davidson county) pay a stormwater fee every month that covers repairs like this. We received a notice that the work would be done in May 2017. It wasn't. I have called Metro every month since then and have been given every excuse in the book including "we don't know." In January 2018 I finally played the political card and got our local council person involved. Like magic, suddenly people were showing up to investigate the problem, mark water lines, and decide on the size of culvert needed. This past week they finally showed up to do the job. Well, they started on it. The new culvert is in but we are waiting on more gravel and blacktop. They also have to repair our neighbor's culvert as well because it was part of the flooding issue. But wouldn't you know it, they haven't been back. Guess I'm calling again on Monday.

Speaking of rain, I am SO over it. Beyond over it. We are a mere week or so away from Daylight Savings Time. That will help my mood tremendously but we are also getting ready to head into grass cutting season and the extra daylight will be much needed.

That's about it for February. For more pics click here. Now, on to March!

February 2018 in Pictures

We LOVE the Olympics! #teamUSA
I learned how to knit! 
Tree planting day!
I helped format a book and Skylar got a shot out in the acknowledgments. 

Bank Field Trip
Our buddy Harper came to visit! 
 Every time it rains our front yard becomes a pond. 
 Finally getting our entrance fixed. 

 The work so far. 
 Our sweet Onyx is getting so big!