Monday, September 30, 2013

Down on the Farm - Part 2

The day before we met up in Indiana with the Brinker brothers, we spent the day out at the farm.  Here we are with Grandpa, enjoying every moment we got to spend sitting and talking with him!

We love our Paw Paw Fred!

Playing hide-and-go-seek in the hay!

Sitting at the top of the barn!  Grammie said she used to sit up here and watch the thunderstorms roll in as a young girl..  doesn't that just sound heavenly?!

My little farm boy, just looking like a man!!

Grant and Jude mostly just laid under the trees and snoozed in the shade for their first trip to the farm.. which was totally fine with their moms. ;)

Country babies.

Here's where Grammie carved her name into the wood
and it's one of my favorite places on the farm!  

The only way to make this day just a little more perfect was to add watermelon to it.

Baby Grant at 3 months old!

Playing Grandpa's piano..

Fresh flowers picked just for Mom. 

Sadie filled Grandpa's front pocket with flowers!

Here is Grammie and Pops showing everyone the spot they were standing when they met for the first time...  Mom was mowing the grass and Dad had just pulled up in the car..

And we're all here now because they fell in love.
Thank you, Jesus, for a perfect, perfect plan!

A few more farm scenes:

When you're down on the farm, you make up games to pass the time.  Wade created this one::
How hard is it to sit a few feet from a large mason jar and throw corn kernels into the jar??

Apparently, VERY hard. 

Grant got a sunburn!!!  #worstmomever :((

Visiting Grandma's gravesite and wishing she were here..

Jen read on a Food Network app that a chef said that the best ribs he had ever eaten in his life were at 17th Street Barbeque.  In Marion, IL.  What were the odds?!?!  Of course, we had to go!

We got the Family Platter so that we could try all of their meats..
brisket, ribs, chicken, pork.  And every bite was unbelieveable.  Even the sauce was supreme!  If you're ever near, you. must. try. it.

And duh, we had to buy the cookbook.  Which includes this amazing coleslaw.  And I don't even like coleslaw.

Best meal everrrrrr.

Our little piggies at 17th St BBQ.

Sadly, it was time to say goodbye to Grandpa.  After a glorious day on the farm, it was time to pack up and head on to Indiana.

Grandpa with his oldest great-grandbabies!

So thankful for Paw Paw Fred.  Thankful for the sweet memories he made with us as children, thankful for the Christ-filled legacy he leaves for us, thankful for the gift of his baby girl..
my precious mom.

The ride to Indiana was not nearly as fun as the long journey the day before.  They boys were very sad the whole drive and Andrew woke up 20 minutes before our arrival and all I'll say about that is THANK GOD FOR IPHONES!  They are little miracle workers. ;)

We drove to Evansville and right into the party!
The Brinker brothers were there and we had such a great time just being together and catching up..
but that's for Part 3.  ;) 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Down on the Farm - Part 1

On Labor Day Weekend, there was a family reunion planned in Indiana and we knew we just had to be there!! It's been years since all of the Brinker boys were together and we spent weeks looking forward to it! On Friday afternoon, Wade, Jen, and I packed up all 7 kids, loaded them up between 2 cars, and made the 10-1/2 hour trek.  We were stocked with fruit snacks, grapes, Cheeze-its, and Powerades and believe it or not, the trip there was wonderful!  The babies did great and Callie and Andrew discussed life... while the 3 oldest girls got to ride with Grammie and Pops.  While snacking on celery sticks and carrot juice. Yuuuuummm. :))  We made it to Illinios at midnight and were only scolded once by the hotel employees for being too loud.  What can I say?? 
Old habits die hard.. am I right, Cottingham D-Wing?!  :))

Here are the big girls, riding out to the car for a day of fun on the farm!

First, we had to go pick up Grandpa!  He was waiting at the door for us, ready to meet Andrew, Grant, and Jude in person for the first time!
"Hello, little lady!" - Paw Paw Fred

Meeting Grant...

Meeting Jude..

We got to soak up some uninterrupted talks with Grandpa...

...before it was time to get down to some serious snuggling.

Here is "Paw Paw Fred" with 7 of his 11 Brinker great-grandbabies!

Jenny & Jude!

Upon arriving at the farm, we discovered Grandpa's apple and pear trees in full bloom!  We immediately went to apple-picking and snacking on these Red Delicious apples!  This is as organic as it gets, folks.

Each and every apple was like a hidden treasure that you couldn't wait to pluck off its stem and hold in your hand!  It was pure bliss!

 Now this is country living!

The beautiful farm..  it's always picture-perfect.  

Playing in the hayloft at the top of the barn..

This was a whole new world.. and they enjoyed every minute of it.

Picking Grandpa's corn and shucking it... 

What an experience!
Wouldn't want to be picking corn with anyone else in the world!

I spy... 
two lovebirds in the cornstalks. ;)

Enjoying the ripest, freshest, juiciest pear of his life!

Love this...
simple, carefree, relaxing days at the farm.

Sitting under the shade tree..

I couldn't get enough pictures.. 
it's such a classic beauty that holds so many memories from summers past.

In that grove of trees was a pond where we would bring the horses for a drink before breaking out the fishing rods to catch catfish, sit by the bonfire, and eat hot dogs and smores with Grandma and Grandpa.  After a full day of working the farm, like getting the mail and riding on the tractor, of course.

Looking down into one of the wells!

Grammie loves being at the farm!

Showing Wade where we would feed hay to the horses..

I love walking down memory lane with my little family!


Grandpa holding sweet Baby Grant..

The house, the smokehouse, the shed, the gas tank..
they never change.

We used to put lawn chairs on this bushhog and ride around on it as Grandpa drove it all over the farm!  Talk about fuuun!!  

Grandpa with his great-granddaughter!

This is the stuff life is made of.

About Me

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From childhood friends to high school sweethearts, and now newlyweds and brand-new parents, Wade and I can only thank Jesus for His incredible blessings. Our three children are the ULTIMATE gifts from God and we pray that our lives glorify Him. He is our everything.