Friday, May 24, 2013

Dirty Boys and Chickens! Life in Birmingham.


I miss you all when I am away and WOW have I been away a long time or what! I didn't realize that part of moving to the woods/mountains is not having INTERNET or cell service really. We moved out here to be "in touch" with nature but I wanted to still be "in touch" with the rest of the friggin' world too.

Life is definitely different since moving out here and I am loving it! (I think you can tell this is an EXCLAMATION type of post. I'm just so family knows that's a fairly common thing!!) I spent about three months at home when we moved here and it was an amazing time. I got to spend a ton of time outside working in the garden, planting veggies and we even have chickens now! I will tell you all about the chickens in a bit.

We are really happy that we took this big step and made this change. So far it has turned out to be a blessing in so many different ways. I can't list them all and the list keeps growing but here is the readers digest version. We have been so blessed by all of the wonderful people up here, our family has grown by many with the addition of plenty of loving aunts, uncles, cousins, psuedo nieces and nephews, and Chris' lovely grandmother. We have been so lucky to have found a new faith family at our new church and that alone has been a whole basket of blessings, we have an awesome small group Sunday school class with other young families figuring it out (AND they are all just as crazy as us it turns out!), our kids absolutely love it there and we have made many new friends.  I just started a new job here selling radio advertising for the same company I worked for in Dallas and it has been a blast so far. We are growing veggies, raising boys and chickens, and just enjoying life here.

I have a ton of great stuff lined up for the blog as far as cool parenting topics that I'm loving right now, outdoorsy stuff, and plenty more. Today is an update on my life and where I am at so that as this blog goes forward everyone will know who I am and where I am coming from. I absolutely love this blog even if nobody ever read it because it feels good to get stuff out, it's like free therapy! I should start paying you guys for the counseling :) I have been writing a few books for a few years now and they turned into the never ending books because I wasn't getting anywhere with them. So, in addition to wanting to keep the blog updated I have also set a goal for myself to write one chapter a month and finish a dang book. "Expecting a Litter" will be a completed book BY GOL if it takes me 6 years!

So here we go....(Warning, this is a very picture heavy post so if you hate seeing pictures of adorable kids, historic sights, and cute farm animals then now is the time to leave)

Where We Are:
Blount Springs, AL

We live on what I love to call the "Holmes Compound" with my husband's Aunt, Uncle, their daughter, and his Grandmother. We have about a billion acres (more like 25) to roam around on so we have spent a lot of time exploring the surroundings. We are really in the woods in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. The area that we live in has natural mineral springs and back in it heyday in the late 1800's early 1900's it was a booming resort town with plenty of wealthy and famous visitors. We have had a ton of fun exploring old homesites, stone foundations, checking out the sulfur springs, and collecting old bits and pieces of history. I have always had an affinity for history and now I am totally immersed in it. There used to be a bottling plant where they bottled and sold the mineral water as tonics and treatments for a variety of ailments and the property is littered with cool remnants of that. I have been collecting tons of blue glass from the bottling plant and one big piece says "Blount Springs Natural Mineral Water". I have become a glass bottle geek and have already found six or seven whole bottles including my pride and joy, a Coke bottle with straight sides from the early 1900's before 1910.

So needless to say, I'm on a bit of a history kick right now and one of the things on my seemingly endless list of things I want to do is to really dig down and research the area and put together a cool book or blog post or something like that. One thing is for sure though, Blount Springs, Alabama history has just been added to the list of things that this blog is about :)


One of my absolute favorite things that we have done since we got here has been playing in the yard. Chris' aunt is a fellow gardening freak so we have done some serious damage since I have been here. In addition to clearing and planting plenty of flower gardens we have planted an awesome garden with tomatoes, peppers, squash, lettuces, and more. It has been a blast watching this stuff grow and having something to dirty my hands on whenever I want plus the boys get to learn about how stuff grows, healthy eating, responsibility and all that other stuff that awesome parents teach their kids!

Aidan helping us plant the garden

My awesome Dahlias
I have always loved these but I couldn't grow them in the Texas heat
The Chickens!
Ok, so I have considered myself a nature person, animal person, wannabe pioneer woman for awhile but I never had the pioneer part...just a small, sunsoaked, suburban backyard. NOW we have all kinds of room for lots of cool homesteading, pioneer woman, doomsday prepper activities. One of my pioneer woman aspirations has always been to have chickens and be able to go out in my gingham apron to fetch eggs in the morning. Well now I have the chicken part...not the eggs yet. I don't even really have chickens....technically they are my husband's aunt's BUT they are the result of much begging, researching, cohersing, and then finally promising to take care of them and not let them all die just like a 10 year old in the pet store. So you could say I have a sponsor for my chicken dream :)
Chicken Momma

Crazy Chicken Lady

This is the chickies when we first got them.

Aidan and Palin...our favorite so far.

This is Giselle...our model. In our beautiful tomato plants pecking around.
Anyway, we have only had them for just over a month and I'm already in love...we got them when they were a few weeks old and have been keeping them in  the greenhouse and taking them out to hang out in the garden. We just got a sure enough coop and run built for our growing chickens and it will be here this weekend! Yay! In a few months we will have more eggs than we will know what to do with and I will be one step closer to homesteading fullfilment!
The Bama Boys!
There isn't too much explanation needed here...the boys have full access TONS of space outside and now they have a huge playset right in front of the house to play on. They can play outside with fairly limited supervision which makes them feel pretty awesome and grown up. They love going to school and they love their church and life is all unicorns and rainbows for them right now. They are successfully driving their parents crazy though, because they have all reached an age TOGETHER that causes them to become unreasonable, little crazy people....but they are cute and I have wine so we will get through it!

Until next time, enjoy what you have, your kids, nature, family, and friends because if there is one thing that I have learned after moving here it is that whatever your situation is and no matter how stuck you feel there is always a silver lining and God has a plan for you even if you don't know what it is yet. As always, thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to peak into our life. I hope it brings you some joy or happiness or whatever you are looking for.
Thanks for Visiting,
Alexandra Holmes
Junior Pioneer Woman ;)

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