A Southern Snowfall

I have done what I am sure many new bloggers have ….. NOT BEEN CONSISTENT!  Quite frankly, I went through a spell where I really didn’t think anyone cared what I had to say. But you know, I realized that I need to blog for me and not try to write what I think you might want to hear.  So, I am jumping back in full swing.  Lots going on at Acres of Hope, so let’s start with the biggest news of these past 2 months…

Our Homestead in the Snow

It only happens about every 4-5 years in our little town and it always shuts us down.  You guessed it, snow!  The children are all excited.  No school, roads closed, no milk or bread on the shelves in the local grocer, and endless trails of mud and water through the house.  Awwwwww…. a little piece of heaven!

The last time it snowed here was 4 years ago, and we remember it well.  It was the day we brought Maggie Mae home from China!  Beyond exhaustion from the 33 hours of travel, after 4 hours of sleep, everyone bundled up and headed out for some fun.  It only lasted half the day, but the kids had a blast!  This year, we got to enjoy it for 2 1/2 days!!!  So what do southerners do in the snow……..

Well you gas up the Polaris and the 4-wheeler and head to the shed to get the boogie boards you use at the beach, the wake skate and tube you use at the lake, grab some rope, hook em up and away they go!!!! No snowmen this year because the snow was too dry, but endless hours of being whipped around in the snow/mud was all they needed.

We took peaceful walks in the woods where we met up with this guy,  Ruby and Billy  stayed warm in their house all day, brewed lots of hot cocoa and smoke was continually rising from the chimney.  A few much needed days of rest on the homefront!

A Return to Family Dinners Part 2

So I left off last week with your menu planned, shopping done, and prep work done.  The table we were building was in the final stages, just awaiting staining and sealing.


As you begin your “plan”, I also said that the being flexible was key.  You see so many times we can get caught up in the plan and miss the journey.  For us in our business, if we get too busy we don’t enjoy the project or take the time to pray for the family who is receiving the treasure.  You don’t want family dinner time to be life threatening if your plan fails:) No “We will sit down together if it kills us” attitudes. I think for me, my desire is to connect with my family in as many ways as possible during the day.  Most of the time that is with individuals at various times throughout the day. So, dinner time is the time we can all be together.  Also dinner time can be a time when we work together.  Our kids have jobs at dinner time so mom is not exhausted by the time we all sit down.  Sometimes they even like to play “restaurant” and take orders and serve each other.  You’ve seen some pictures of our youngest daughter Maggie Mae “helping” daddy build stuff.  Well, when we finally delivered the 14ft Farm Table, he hired on 2 new helpers!

Delivery time was sweet! With much anticipation, we finally arrived Saturday evening at the Godwin’s new home to set up the table.  Due to its size, we had some assembling to do, and like I said, Dexter had some amazing help from those 2 princesses pictured above!  Dexter made the necessary adjustments and …….

14ft Farm Table

Here it is!!!! We are so excited and a bit in awe that the Lord enabled us to do this.  A large table like this will allow at least 16-18 people to gather around and fellowship.  It’s the only piece of furniture you will purchase that encourages spending quality time together focusing on each other and not the things of this world.  You see, without the Godwin family gathering around eating, playing games, making projects with the kids, etc., it is just wood fashioned together into a very large rectangle.  Their time spent at the table is what makes it special.  Someone commented on Facebook after seeing the table and said, “Would love to hear this table talk in 10 years.”  I would too!  So I guess I will leave you with this thought, what would your table say if it could talk?

A Return to Family Dinners Part 1

As Dexter and I were down in the shop building the other night, he shared with me some of his thoughts about building tables.  We got into a discussion about Family Dinners or the lack of families sitting down together eating dinner.  Has life gotten so busy and complicated that we can’t seem to find time to sit, be still, and fellowship with one another around the table?  The dinner table is the one place where our family has our most treasured conversations.  We get to find out about each others’ day, share what we feel the Lord is teaching us, talk about what’s coming up on our calendar, and quite frankly, just look at one another and give each other our full attention.  Now this is not always a “Hallmark” experience.  There are those times when some don’t want to talk, or want to talk about things that shouldn’t be discussed at the table.  And yes, with 5 kids, we ALWAYS end up with some kind of “potty talk”, as we call it.  It used to bother me when our conversations would digress, but now, I just have to laugh because they just can’t help it:) Somehow, some way they end up there!

So can you see why Dexter is motivated to want to handcraft tables for families. It’s the memories! As he is building them, he truly is thinking about all the food that will be eaten, the conversations that will be had, the games that will be played, and the projects that will be completed on them.  He thinks about how many generations will enjoy the table.  Most importantly, how many lives will be blessed around the table.  The 14ft. table we are building now makes us think about all the children, both biological and adopted, that will gather around it, and the Mom and Dad who are faithfully following the Lord as they raise them.

If you are yearning for this experience in your home, let’s look at some ways you can get started!  I’ll correlate it with what we did when we received an order for a 14ft table that we didn’t know how we were going to build! First you make a plan.  Look at your calendar for the week and plan your meals according to your schedule and how much prep time you have.  If you are not a planner, I promise, if you will just try this, you will save time and money and family dinners will be a legacy in your home! Then you make your shopping list, or for building the table, Dexter makes a cut list.

When you come home from the store, put together what you can for the meals ahead.  For instance, put marinade and chicken in a bag before you put it in the freezer, so all you have to do is thaw it!  You can also wash and cut up vegetables before you put them in the refrigerator to cut down on prep time when you need them.  When we have more than one table order, Dexter likes to cut and assemble all the legs at one time….

Now that your meals are planned, the shopping is done, and everything is put away, you can begin to enjoy it one meal at a time.  The key words are BE FLEXIBLE because….

blessed are the flexibleThis sits in my kitchen as a constant reminder that LIFE HAPPENS! It’s much easier to be flexible and move with the changes than swim upstream and fight the current!  Remember, the whole point is to have a time during the day when your family can get together!  More to come in a few days. I will share how you can add some special touches to the table and your dining environment! Also, the big reveal of the 14ft Farm Table!