When we first moved out to the country in November 1992, to what we now affectionately refer to as "Turtlebee", we were a simple homeschool family with 5 children ages almost 1,3,5,7 & 9yrs.
Our goal had been met. We moved from a mobile home out to 30 beautiful, uninhibited acres of countryside; plenty of room for our children to safely explore and use their imaginations;
no matter that the cottage/cabin was 900 sq ft. Everyone advised us to "doze it".
We made it our cozy home for 14 years and it still stands as Turtlebee's honey house for our beekeeping events.
Tim was working diligently at a very good job that he enjoyed as a computer numerical control operator at an aerospace research facility. He worked long hours away from home so we were always thrilled whenever we had Daddy at home. We also talked everyday by phone as his breaks would allow.
Our first spring at Turtlebee, a friend brought us beehive boxes that he was no longer using. We accepted them but in all honesty, just thought it would make good kindling for our wood stove.
However our friend worked with us to order up some bees. We'd never heard of such a thing! But Tim's curiosity had been piqued and as homeschoolers, we were always up for something new.
Well that was the beginning of our beekeeping journey. Since Tim was an outdoors-man and not one to follow the average sporting events, his attention was drawn to the honeybees.
The more he learned as he read to us, the more our understanding and interest grew and then the more we wanted to involve our friends. This lead us to extracting honey with our homeschool friends. Needless to say, word spread and other homechoolers began contacting us. We were delighted to share our home with them and provide a fun memory.
As our family continued to grow, so did our need for Daddy at home. Our oldest son, Josiah at 12, was showing a need that his mom was not able to fill. So, as God lead and as we trusted (trusting was the hardest part), Tim left his work to come home full-time in 2000.
By now we had established our business and were at the Brighton Farmers Market with our honey every Saturday, May through October.
When Tim turned in his resignation, his boss gave it back to him reminding Tim that he had 8 children and couldn't afford to quit his job. He kindly told Tim to take a week and think about it before turning it back in. On the spot, Tim considered the advice given to him and returned the resignation with his declaration,"For the same reasons, I can't afford not to quit." We've never regretted our decision.
God is ever-faithful and though it has not been necessarily the path of least resistance,
we have grown in character and grown as some have described us as "a tight family".
The point is, we have grown. For us, God has used this beautiful countryside and beekeeping.
As of January 2014, 22 years later (can hardly believe I'm saying that), we have 5 sons, 4 daughters...the oldest 3 are very happily married...with 6 still at home and one having returned from the military (ages 24 to 11 yrs). Now we have 5 grandsons, 4 granddaughters (ages 3 & under). Every year only promises more activity and love multiplied when they all come home for Christmas.
We are entirely blessed for having persevered even at times when all seemed hopeless or all for nothing. We have clung to our Rock and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who tells us that
"All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
Begun January 2014
As of SPRING 2016 we are anticipating...
TWO WEDDINGS, TWO GRADUATIONS & TWO NEW GRANDBABIES!!!
OCTOBER 2015, Noah(24) was deployed to serve in Kuwait area as military police and looks forward to a DECEMBER 2016 WEDDING.
MEANWHILE BACK AT THE FARM...
Little sister Hosanna(22) receives a proposal of marriage to Ben Foreman of Highland and will be getting married OCTOBER 2016.
Family Chief of Staff, Tim decides we should throw a couple of graduations into the mix; Big sister Bethany(28) & Austin of Traverse City (Bee Joyful Skin Care Products) are due with baby & 5 in August; brother Beau(26) & bride, Joy, of 1 1/2 yrs, staying on the farm, will have baby #1 much to the delight of all. Do they make cowboy (or cowgirl) boots that small?? Aawww... That will make Grandbaby #13 with the oldest turning 6 in July.
Autumn(32) & Adam are still up on the dairy farm and their boys keep them busy (5,4 & twin 2 1/2 yr olds); Josiah(30) & wife Erynn are down in Tennessee with their 2 girls and now baby hunk Josiah Timothy along with a growing number of beehives in the cove. We were able to stop in for a couple of overnight visits on our way to pick up bees in the south this spring. Celeste(20) was able to stay for a week and Destiny(14) was Josiah & Erynn's right hand man for 3 weeks. Corbett(17) was a capable driver on one of our 5 trips down south for bees this year. Three drivers makes the whirlwind trips much smoother.
So enjoying our growing family.
"Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!"