Carlee Farm Recipes
- What's Cooking!
- Not Yo Mama's Puddin!
- Chuckwagon Chili
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Hummingbird Cake
- Kickin Baked Beans
- Granny B's Vegetable Soup
For those who have a love of cooking, you have ventured to the right page! I personally love the challenge of just opening the fridge and pantry and having my on cooking challenge! I often surprise myself! Now, to be totally honest, I do have fails too… John doesn’t seem to mind at all, he has a stomach of steel. Funny thing, while he is eating he compliments my efforts and after he is done, he politely says, yeah, you don’t have to make that again. Good try!
For my daughter’s wedding, I made 100 lil’ jars of banana pudding! By the end of the night, folks were coming and asking for more. They asked for the recipe, and this makes my heart smile!
- 1 (12 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups milk
- 1 (5 oz) box instant French vanilla pudding mix
- 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
- 2 bags chessmen cookies
This is how it’s done!
Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This chili packs a punch! It is hearty and savory and will fill a grown man! I won a chili cook-off at John’s office a couple of years ago. I have been told that not only is this chili delicious, it is also very pretty!
- 3 lbs. lean ground beef
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large each- red pepper, green pepper, orange pepper and yellow pepper diced
- 1 medium jalapeno, pulp removed and dice very small
- 1 can each- black beans, dark red beans, cannellini beans, drain and wash thoroughly
- 3 cans of petite diced tomatoes
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 1 bag of frozen corn (or fresh if you have it!)
- 1- 12 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbs. sea salt
- 1 ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2 tbs. chili pepper
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp sugar (gotta balance out those acids!)
- Optional Ingredients
- Green Onions
- Sour Cream
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Sauté the ground beef with red onions and garlic until cooked. Feel free to season with salt and pepper to taste during this time. Drain the excess fat from the pan. Do not rinse, you need the juices to add flavor to the chili. Add 2 tbs. chili powder to the mixture. Throw in the peppers, all of them, and let them cook just before they are tender- about 3-4 minutes. In a crock pot, yes it will have to be a large one because I do large quantities of this recipe to freeze for later, pour in the cooked meat mixture along with all the beans and corn. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot. Give it a couple of turns in the pot but not too stiff, you don’t want to break down the beans and have “mush”. Add just enough chicken broth to make it all a “lil” soupy. You don’t want it watery, you want it just enough to where the ingredients aren’t becoming a congealed mess! (Personal space in the pot my friends!) I turn on the crock pot to auto and let it cook for about 4 hours, stirring in between. If I am going to work, I put it on low and head out the door and have chili cravings all day long! Once the chili is complete, ladle into a stout bowl. You can add your favorite toppings such as Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream and throw a lil cut green onion on the top (give little flavor, but a lot of color!) I also make corn fritters to dip in the yummy sauce!
Enjoy my friends! Send me feedback if you make this!
This has to be one of my families favorite comfort foods of all time!
Back in the day, my Aunt Nannie and Grandma Moseley used to spend hours making batches upon batches of chicken pastry strips. They would lay them out on a long table on wax paper which was laid on cookie sheets. Once filled they were placed into the freezer for future cooking! Now, we have many companies that have pre-made pastry strips ready for use. I feel the one on the market that is the closest to my heritage is a brand called “Auntie ann’s”. Now, I have an Auntie Ann, however she is not the one that made these noodles! Guess she should have spent more time in the kitchen with Grandma Moseley! Aunt Nannie and Grandma Moseley have both passed away, but their traditions live on! Today, there are many items that are available ready to use. I say you have to at least try them to see if they work for you. Sometimes, it is just as easy to make them yourself, and the results are always better if you make them. No one will know unless you tell them otherwise! Another thing to consider is what ingredients are really in the prepared items. Cream of Mushroom or cream of celery soup is so easy to make and for some reason, I feel that when I make it, it is healthy. I don’t use all the additives they do. I just use wholesome ingredients. Enough talking… Let’s get to cooking! Ready, set, start those pressure cookers!
For the Chicken
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 8 cups water
- 2 tbs. sea salt
- 1 tbs. pepper
- 1 tbs. Italian Seasoning
For the Cream Soup Mixture
- 4 celery stalks- dice small
- 3 large carrots- diced or sliced small
- 1 large white onion- diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 8oz. package fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 bag frozen sweet corn
- 1 bag Fordhook Lima Beans
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbs, flour
- 2 tbs. butter
Chicken Breasts- I use the pressure cooker to cook the chicken until it is tender. You can also use a crock pot and leave on high for about 4 hours. But considering I usually am in somewhat of a hurry when I cook, I use the pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high for approximately 30-40 minutes. Let cool until the locks open alone without force. Use a slotted ladle and remove chicken then use a fork to shred it then return to pot and leave boiling. (Make sure there is at least 8 cups of broth after pressure cooking. At this point, you may have to add some low-sodium chicken broth to the pot.) Saute’ the celery, carrots and onions until they become tender then add mushrooms and corn to the mixture. At this time, you can add flour to the mixture and it will begin to thicken. Once this starts, ladle into into the broth along with the chicken. When this starts to boil, you can start dropping the pastry pieces into the pot. Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Pull a piece in half and drop the halves into the simmering soup. Repeat. Do not stir the chicken once the dumplings have been added. Gently move the pot in a circular motion so the dumplings become submerged and cook evenly. Cook until the dumplings float and are no longer doughy, 3 to 4 minutes. To serve, ladle chicken, gravy, and dumplings into warm bowls. If the chicken stew is too thin it can be thickened before the dumplings are added. Simply mix together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water then whisk this mixture into the stew. I know this seems intense. It is much easier once you cook it a couple of times! You can add to the ingredients, or you can omit some of the ones I have added myself along the years! The important thing is to have fun, and enjoy!
This is an all time classic! I make this often! It is a comfort food for sure!
I used to use the normal lasagna noodles that you have to boil and they are thick and wavy. However, a few years ago while my daughter was studying abroad, we went to visit her in Ireland and Italy. In a small restaurant in Florence, I had the best lasagna in my life! In fact, my youngest daughter ate there 3 times during the 5 days were there! The lasagna there was thin layers and straight flat noodles. Sometimes, I am forced to use the regular noodles, but will make a trip to the Italian Grocery store just to get the flat ones! I hope you enjoy! It is a process that takes some time to make the sauce. If you are in a hurry and want to cheat, use can use a bottled spaghetti sauce.
- Lasagna Sheets- I use Barilla Flat Sheets
- 2 lbs. Hamburger, 97% Lean
- 1 lb. Sausage (Jimmy Dean’s Original)
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 3 ea garlic cloves (whole)
- 2 fresh thyme leaves
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 2 cups of fresh diced tomatoes
- 2 tbs, olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tbs. Italian Seasoning
- 1 bayleaf
- 2 cups mozerella cheese
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 8 oz. Ricotta Cheese beat with 1 egg
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh shredded
This is how you do it!
In a large pan, I use a cast iron pan from my Aunt Nanny brown hamburger meat. Once cooked, drain well, but do not rinse, you want all that flavor! Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil and 1 bayleaf. Let this simmer on medium heat until the onions are tender. Add 1 can of tomato paste along with 2 cups of diced tomatoes. This can simmer for about 30 minutes. You may have to add some broth or water if it becomes too thick. Don’t forget to take out the bay leaf! Once the meat mixture has cooled off, you can start to assemble the lasagna. I make a double batch so I can cook one, and freeze another! Unless of course, I have company and they end up eating some, and taking left-overs home! I use a 9×13 pan and ladle some sauce on the bottom, sprinkle mozerella, and Parmesan, I am tell you to sprinkle, but honestly I pile it in. Cheese is what really makes this soooo yummy! I cut the cream cheese into lil’ cubes and throw every 3 inches throughout the layer. I also spoon in the ricotta/egg mixture randomly throughout. Place a lasagna sheet over and continue to layer until you almost reach the top. I usually make 3 layers. The top is all the meats and cheeses which is the loveliness!! Bake in a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes. It will be bubbly and golden brown. Take out and let stand for about 10 minutes. During this time, you can throw in some garlic toast and serve right away! My children love to add a dollop of sour cream on top!
This is the best of the best cake ever! For those who love a dense, super rich and moist cake, this is the recipe for you! This is a perfect cake for large crowds, because you only need a small slice to enjoy its delicious flavor!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
- 2 cups chopped bananas
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Shortening or coconut oil to grease pan
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
This is how you do it!
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium-low speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high,and beat 1 to 2 minutes or until fluffy.
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas, and 1 cup chopped toasted pecans. Spoon batter into 3 well-greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes our clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour). Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup Cream Cheese Frosting over cake layer. Top with second layer, and spread 1 cup frosting over cake layer. Top with third cake layer, and spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Arrange toasted pecan halves in a circular pattern over top of cake.
Again, nothing is hardly ever done small at Carlee Farm! This recipe was modified from a show I watch on Pioneer Woman… Let me tell you, Ree Drummond is my hero! I have always watched her show and thought, dang, she can cook and live on a farm… I wanna be just like Ree! And by George, I am!
Seriously, I did get the recipe from her, and as I do with anything I cook, I always a lil’ of this and a lil’ of that, and come up with a great meal!
Ingredients (Serves up to 18)
- 1 package of bacon, I use the Black Label original flavor
- 1 medium red onion, diced small
- ½ medium green, and red peppers each, diced small
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper, pulp removed and diced small
- 3 large cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans
- ¾ cup barbecue sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup distilled or cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard or 2 tablespoons Dijon
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Fry bacon in large, deep sauté pan skillet until bacon has partially cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Add onions and peppers to drippings in pan and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans and remaining ingredients bring to a simmer. (If skillet is not large enough, add beans and heat to a simmer then transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients). Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by 9-inch (or similar size) ovenproof pan. Top with bacon, then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.
Grandma Barham used to make the world’s best soup and homemade biscuits. I remember looking at the ingredients and trying to figure out what she put in her soup. She didn’t want anyone in her kitchen when she was cooking, and she almost always had the soup ready when she knew we were coming. She had rather sit and “Visit”, than cook and clean up.
I can tell you, I never got the recipe from her. Every time I asked, she would just say, Honey I just threw some vegetables from the freezer in a pot of chicken broth and added a can of corned beef, and a little bit of love. I have come up with my own variation of her soup, and I must say I think it is pretty damn close!
My reflections on 2016.
My thoughts about New Year’s Resolutions…
Think about this, it’s not like you wake up on January 1 of any given year and your life slate is wiped clean. Everything is still there… Your mistakes, your triumphs, your love, your hate, your bills, your life. It will be there just as it was a minute ago on December 31. No magic fairy is going to come down and make it all go away. And, if she does, can you PLEASE give her/him my address. (OK some of you may throw in the Jesus card here, and I agree… but not for this blog!)
I say, make every day a new day! You have the opportunity every single day to make a change. Make a resolution each and every single day for the rest of your life to make a change. We are not talking dollars. We are talking sense! My life goal, and I mean every single day, is to make one person smile. I do that quite well, I think. Go out, make that difference, NO… Go out and BE that difference! It doesn’t matter how big or small. This is not about others. This is about YOU! YOU can be the change in someones day, someones decision, someones life. Don’t get upset that you cannot make enough change in people… because you know what I have learned? Some people just don’t wanna be changed!
In my current dream job, I am still making a difference in people’s lives all the time. Yes, for now I am hosting weddings on the farm. That is not my end goal. My other goal is to host educational field trips here on the farm. Educate others what farm life is all about. Teach children, parents, brides and others what they can do and most importantly, how they can do it. I am not out to make millions of dollars (but that would be nice, and donations are accepted!), however, to educate one mind, make one smile, make one memory… my goal is complete. I am going above and beyond every single day. I can honestly say, I make that difference, do you? Stop what your doing right now, and commit to making a change!
I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff…
Not many people realize that John and I lived I an RV for 2 ½ years while our dreams kept evolving to what we have now. We shared a small living space with two full grown labs. We were totally OFF the grid for 2 ½ years! ! We used a generator as needed for power and begged our friends and family for water! We also invested in a couple of rain barrels that we used to catch water off the top of the RV to use as well. We have to give a huge thanks to Joe, Erin, Rasha and Josh for putting up with us during this time. They did not believe that I would be able to survive this long without the luxury of a house. Boy, did I prove them, and myself wrong!!! Gotta tell ya, there were some days I questioned my sanity, multiple times!
During this time, I found the solace of time. I learned that I didn’t have to fill the generator to run unless I absolutely needed it! I would sit outside until sunset, or if it was too hot or too cold before going inside. I wanted to save money on gas. I would sit outside and read or work on projects for Rasha and Josh’s wedding. During this time, John was working out of town, sometimes 2-3 nights a week. So, I was left alone, left to manage the home front. Now, let me tell you… I have always been a survivor… However, this was different! I learned that if I don’t use the generator, I don’t use gas, or have to fill it up! I also found out that where my comfort levels were and how to stretch them. In the summer months, I was able to sit outside and look around and enjoy the land. I would sew (stuff for Rasha’s wedding) or just look around. I waited until it became dark to go start the generator and go inside.
I remember one day, sitting outside, here on 53 acres of land. I thought to myself, you know, you could probably grow a garden. With the money we will save in produce, I can buy more gas to use the generator. I could also sell some of the product and make a profit. (Yes, apparently, I am always thinking of ways to save and make money!)
John, poor John, came home and I told him about another one of my “bright ideas”. As always, he said, honey, what a great idea! I will get a roto-tiller from one of my friends (Brian) and we can make it happen!! True to his word, he made it happen! He spent hours one Saturday tilling the garden. He was able to get landscape blocks off of one of his job-sites to make it even prettier… My best friend Terri came and we went to Southern States and spent a small fortune on gardening supplies, seeds and plants to kick-start my garden! Stan gave me pointers on what and where to plant things. In short, I planted, peppers, of all colors, eggplant, potatoes, okra, tomatoes, green beans, butter beans, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, scallions, parsley, basil, mint, oregano, and many other items. I was going to save a small fortune this summer! I was going to can, freeze and sell my wonderful vegetables! Great idea right??? (I didn’t even consider I didn’t have a freezer at the time!)
All was well. Every day when I came home I would take the watering can over to a cleared spot at the pond to get water to feed the garden. This was also a way for me to get much needed exercise. I weeded it, because apparently weeds are not good for a garden. (who knew!!!) Since I was so good at this, at the time, I branched out and bought some potted plants with hangers to hang off the porch. I also planted spinach and lettuce on the bar, and we ate from it almost every night (well, maybe 5 nights).
Then, hell broke loose on the farm!!!
One day I went to get water from the pond for the garden. It was late May, 2014. I walked down by the safest side of the pond, to allude any snakes, or other critters that may be trying to make a home there. I had even made John use the weed-eater there because I didn’t want to walk up on anything I wasn’t expecting! Needless to say, you have to always expect the unexpected when living on a farm! There was a commotion going on, in the water and I suspected it was the big fish that we saw several times before breaking water. John and Josh had tried many times to catch this fish. I ran back and grabbed my phone to take a video to send to John to show him there was a really big fish out there! To my amazement, it wasn’t a fish at all! It was a snake, with a big fish in its mouth!!! It was at the safety spot I usually get my water for the garden from!!! It was then I made a decision. I decided that the garden would die! I couldn’t get water from that place ever again! I had to use the water that we had in the RV to take a shower and wash dishes. So, good-bye garden.
One Sunday evening in June 2014 we were sitting outside trying to enjoy the weather. It became unbearable and we were forced to start the generator. To our disbelief, the AC would not come on. We had to go the remainder of the evening without AC. It was about 98 degrees that day. John called Stan, who is an expert in HVAC, and lives 3 hours away! Stan suggested that since we were about to build the house (he had no idea we would not start then!!!) it would be best to buy a stand alone unit and not get priced gouged by the techs that would come out to people living in an RV! So, My Dear John took his word. He also went out of town for 3 days. Leaving me, and 2 large labs alone. We had people offer for us to come over and stay and I also thought about going to a hotel. However, I had 2 dogs and it was not an option. I had fans and thought that would be fine until John came back. I am patient, I can get through this. Its all a part of the dream, I kept reminding myself….
John came home with the unit that we had to install. I was thinking before he came home that it would be a simple, small unit that we could just plug in and be cool. Well, I didn’t realize it was almost a 4th the size of the RV. It had to sit out 26 inches from walls to vent itself, and we had to use what looked like a dryer coil to release water outside, and bring air back inside. Do you all understand, we live in an RV… We do not have standard windows… We had to use duct tape to construct what appeared to be a normal window, and it had to sit in the middle of the floor? Well, we did it. We started the generator. We turned on that large contraption, and John looks at me and says, in his Hell Yeah, I Did It Tone.. How Does That Feel!!! Before I could answer, the generator turned off!!! The breaker tripped, and we had to restart it. I had to walk over, lift up my ass over the counter, and reset the breaker. He restarted the generator, and in 5 minutes it did the same thing, all over again!!! I looked at him, and asked, Let me get this straight, so every 5 minutes I am going to have to lift up my ass over the counter to reset the breaker and go outside and reset the generator. He looks at me with one of his stern looks and says, well do you have any other suggestions.
I went outside, poured myself a red solo cup of wine, started sweating as he was trying to figure out what was going on… I started to “Google” what issue was, and get suggestions. I mentioned to him that we could call the repairman, and have them come out to take a look.
He started weeding the garden. The same garden I had already announced would surely die, because I was not going to fight Sammy the Snake for a place in the pond!
We started to bicker back and forth. He said, Hey, are we on the same team here? I said, what team is that? He said you have wasted my time by not taking care of this garden after I spent hours tilling this for you and now you want to call in a repairman to fix the problem after I spent my time going to Lowe’s buying this unit, installing it, and now you have the solution. Why didn’t you just call someone while I was out of town!!!
He was pissed. Well, I was more pissed than him! Considering I was the one that stayed here alone in 100 degree weather, while he was away in a hotel room. He had the solution before he left, and that was not the “solution”!
He walked inside. I followed.
I got another red solo cup, and I am sure he was thinking I was going to get more wine, but that was far from my thoughts!
John has a motto that he uses all the time. He always says, “If you take away the issues, then there won’t be a problem!!”
The issue to me at the time, was the garden! It had to go!
I walked out to the garden, pulled every plant from its root and drug over to the fire pit. I took the hanging baskets, the lettuce and spinach boxes and threw them in as well. No plant was allowed anymore! They were potentially a part of a problem that I would solve right away!!
John walked out just as I had filled the second red solo cup with gasoline. I doused the garden remnants and looked him in the eye as I lit a paper towel, threw on top of the veggies and smiled. “Hey, I took care of the issue, so the garden will no longer be a problem!!!”
Fast forward to the following day, and $1600.00 later. A new HVAC unit was installed. I guess he too, took away the issue, and there was no longer a problem with cooling me down!
Or, he finally realized, if I piss her off again, she will huff, she will puff and God only knows what she will take down!!!
Carlee Farm is a special place for many reasons! We are a wedding and reception venue on a working farm in Oxford, North Carolina. This story is near and dear to me and I want to share just how special this place is, to John and I , and for so many others who will start their lives here as a married couple, and continue to visit us for future family photos! Remember, you may come as a client, but you leave as family!
The Senecal family has a little history with us. Ken, the father of the soon to be bride works within the construction industry with John. He was a part of our building process when our house and barn were being built. He told his wife about the barn we were building. When she knew Tyler was going to propose to her daughter Kailee, they knew Carlee Farm would be the perfect place. They scheduled a tour, months ago. At this point Tyler and Kailee aren’t engaged, but they knew they wanted to get married in October 2018. The day they came out for a tour, Kailee wasn’t able to make it. So, her boyfriend and her parents came to the farm. They loved it, signed a contract and the date was set. Again, Kailee hasn’t been to the farm, and they aren’t engaged. They have a wedding date…
In December 2016, I received the sweetest email from Tyler. He is now ready to propose. He feels that Carlee Farm is a magical place and he wanted my help in getting Kailee to come out so he could do it in the loft of the barn. The wheels in my head started spinning! Suddenly, I had a great idea! First, I emailed Tamisha Diaz and Jordan Piper as well as Kelli Battista and Sarah Midgette. We had to set this up! They were all on board! I mean, who wouldn’t be, its an engagement that we would be a part of! Who doesn’t love a good cry right! (Found out later, this was always a part of Kailee’s dream to have it captured in pictures and on video!)
I then sent a fake customer appreciation email inviting Kailee and her family. In the email I stated we would have a customer appreciation with a small token of appreciation and they would need to RSVP as to how many people would be attending. After a couple of days, I was emailed Carie, her mother and Tyler because I didn’t get a reply from Kailee. So, Carie told Kailee that John called Ken and we were doing a special piece for a magazine article and wanted to make sure they attended. I got the reply. They would be here on January 8, 2017! (God forgive us all for the lil’ white lies we had to endure!) Tyler came out on the 3rd and brought me the balloons, pictures of them and the ring. I had the ring! He gave me instructions on how he wanted to propose and gave me full reign on how to decorate to pull this off. As you may recall, we received about 8 inches of snow on January 7th. So, I sent yet another email and cancelled “Customer Appreciation”, and rescheduled for January 15th. It was fortunate we had 2 scheduled styled shoots that Saturday as well as Sunday, in addition to this proposal!
On the morning of the “Customer Appreciation”, John and Joe had set the tables, blew up balloons, helped with the food display, while Kelli and Sarah came and set up a sweetheart table complete with decorations and carefully situated the pictures Tyler brought into picture frames on the table that would face the opposite direction until after the proposal. Tamisha and Jordan arrived and I gave them the directives on how the tour would go, and where they would need to be positioned at the time when he would drop to his knee! We are ready! We are all standing around waiting. We had to make it look like there were more people there than just them, so we were thankful we had more folks! (People, let me tell you, this team was amazing to work with! Homemade Bride, DVOC Photography and Steadfast Light Photography)
They arrived promptly at 10:00 and it was cold. I met them outside and introduced them to everyone and said, thank goodness you are here, so far you are the first ones to arrive! (seeking more forgiveness here) We began the tour. I could see the look on Tyler’s face and almost lost it a couple of times. There was one point, I turned and looked at Carie, she was beaming and tears were swelling. Now, as a mother, I knew how she felt, and when you see the video, you will hear my voice is cracking. I kept holding back the excitement, and jumbled all my words… I pray Jordan covers those parts with music or something! Anyway, we walk up to the loft area, and I send her over to take a breathtaking view below. She was so impressed with how beautiful everything was. I walked over and as I was handing the “token of appreciation” to her and Tyler, she noticed the pictures on the table, she said, they have pictures of us! It was at that point, time stood still, this is the moment this girl has been waiting for and now we are all going to witness it!. This young man dropped to his knee and spoke so eloquently as he asked her to be his wife. These moments were captured by Tamisha, From the moment they arrived, during the tour, the second she saw her pictures, was given a “token” to the moment Tyler dropped to his knee and every reaction, to the final kiss! Thankfully, she said yes! At that point, we all wanted to say yes for her! There was not a dry eye in the barn during this time! What was even cuter was afterwards she asked, wait, is there a customer appreciation? We told the truth. She asked, is this all for me? Truth be told, this was for all of us! We were all appreciative that we were allowed to be a part of something so intimate and feel so connected. So Kailee, the answer is yes, it was indeed a customer appreciation and it was all because of you!
This day was so magical because of friends, family and love. I am thankful I have the family I do have for those we continue to add on to our farm family all the time! I am thankful for friends that will just jump in and be a part of something because they want to be! I am thankful for the love and support from everyone, including those who are simply reading this blog.
Congratulations Tyler and Kailee. May your life always be filled with love and laughter!
To some, it might just look like a cool bridge. To me, it is so much more! Let me tell you the story of this lil bridge…
It all started in October 2009 when John and I went on our honeymoon. We drove to Maine. We decided we wanted to just hit the road with no plan, no itinerary, just the two of us and a tank full of gas!
We knew we wanted to go to Maine, and we wanted to see a moose, eat a Maine lobster and go whale-watching. That is all we had on our must do lists. Anything else would be an “extra” bonus. As a matter of fact, we did see a moose, we did eat a Maine Lobster (well I had a lobster po’boy, because I am lazy and wanted it now!!!) as far as the whale watching, it was rainy and dreadfully cold. I couldn’t imagine going out on a boat for 3 hours just to see whales… So, we went with Plan B, we went on an airplane tour around the harbor! It was breathtaking, and such a better idea than the whale watching!
You have to know that I love to read romantic novels. One of my reads, many years ago was Bridges of Madison County. OK, I know that particular bridge is in Iowa, but I knew Maine and New Hampshire were famous for covered bridges. We used the GPS to find some of the most beautiful bridges you can ever imagine! I cherished the fact that John drove aimlessly just so I could take a picture of these bridges. It didn’t occur to be then that my husband burned an image of each of those bridges and managed to build me my very own with attributes of all the other bridges.
Every time we walk across that bridge, it reminds me that my husband is the most thoughtful, loving, caring and romantic in the world! We both get choked up when telling this part of the dream on Carlee Farm.
Now, I can’t give John all the credit. It was his idea, and he did “help” construct it, but a lot of planning and determination of Joe Singleton also went into that bridge. We could never possibly pay Joe for all the help he has given us at the farm for the past few years, so we decided to name the bridge after his dog, Wookie. So, our bridge of love is called, “Wookies Way”!