December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

I know I have been missing from the blog world for quite a while.  I hope to be back soon, but I didn't want to miss wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  This is what we have been up to this year:

Greetings to our dear friends and family,

2012 was another busy year with BIG changes again for our family.

Joseph began the year starting his second semester at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.  After a summer of reflection, he decided to re-focus his career plans and enlist with the US Army.  He completed his basic training at Fort Jackson, SC on Dec 6th.  We were thankful to have his girl friend of a year, Rachel, with us for his graduation.  He is now at his individual training assignment at Fort Gordon, GA studying to be a radio operator/maintainer.  He did very well during basic training and qualified as an expert marksman.  We are proud of Joseph’s decision to serve our country and we pray for his safety.  Needless to say our outlook on life, being thankful and praying for Joseph have all reached new levels.  We look forward to spending some time with him during the Holidays.

Judy continues and enjoys her association with Leigh, King & Associates as a staff accountant.  She is currently studying for the IRS Enrolled Agent Exam and has passed the first test for her certification – two more to go!  She enjoys antiques shopping and photography as her key hobbies.   Finding time to blog has been a challenge this year but you can still learn of some of our happenings and events at  We grew a larger garden this year and we enjoyed the fresh food right out of the garden and were able to freeze some for the winter months.  Judy was able to travel with Charlie to the National RC&D Meeting held in Madison, WI in June.  We were able to squeeze in a quick visit to the historic “shack” mentioned in the classic book, The Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold.  We also enjoyed a visit to the Leopold Center, which highlights renewable energy and “green” technology. We also visited Southeast MN to get another state on Judy’s list visiting the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN.  The bluffs along the upper Mississippi River are captivating.  Other stops for our trip included the Decorah, IA Eagle Cam and a sheep farm in Iowa for Charlie to feed his sheep farming addition during our travels.  Late fall we visited the North American Livestock Expo in Louisville, KY with two dear friends.  Judy is rapidly adjusting to the role of an Army mom.

August 31 was Charlie’s one-year anniversary being “officially” retired from USDA-SCS/NRCS.  Charlie is as busy as ever, but most days don’t feel anything like retirement. Charlie is continuing his part-time employment with the Northwest AL RC&D Council as their Executive Director.  2012 continued his 7th year of service as the minister of the Hawk Pride church of Christ in Colbert County.  The shearing side-business continued in 2012 (6th year) assisting clients in TN, AL and MS (sheep, llamas and alpacas).  New for 2012 was planning and hosting a Farm Day for a group of home schooled students and their families.  Staff from the Florence USDA-NRCS office assisted and several special friends attended as well, we had a total attendance of 50 special guests. Charlie enjoyed shearing for the group to share our love of raising sheep.

Our small farm continues to not only feed us but also of equal importance give us wholesome experiences such as a glorious sunrise or majestic sunsets.  Seeing seeds pop out of the ground and chart their course to harvest and making trips to the barn during the wee hours of the morning and seeing steam rising from a new lamb and hearing its first bleat of “hello world” sure make the world seem right!  We continue to be thankful for our jobs, great coworkers, great neighbors and two church families that love and support us more than one could dream.  We cherish communication with our family and friends and seeing them when our paths cross which is NOT enough!

We pray this letter finds you and your family in good health and best wishes for 2013.  May God Bless each and everyone!

Happy New Year,

Charlie, Judy and Joseph Meek