KY to MI

KY was a great adventure, full of new terrain (literally and figuratively), plenty of character building (don’t think I was ever going to get use to no cell phone service for a radius of 10 miles or the poisonous snakes) and got a few more tools in the tool belt (literally). Kentucky launched us into the next chapter…back to Northern Michigan.

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Kentucky provided humbling experiences, living among history of our great country’s’ beginnings. There were rock walls on the property that were built by slaves, muck boots became a required piece of apparel, copperheads and rattlers could be lurking near by, seasonal swarms of lady beetles, and stepping in a cow pie on the way to your car door – were all commonplace. All of this provided perspective, acceptance, strength and growth.

IMG_6040 Jackson station at Gusty Branch

We had a great opportunity to work and live in the same place. Jackson got to work on a historic replica of a Toll House, located in central KY, about an hour and half south of Lexington, in the rocky, hilly hollars. A gorgeous home built down the creek, .5 mile up a nob and back into the woods. He acquired tools of the trade, on-site education and became quite the craftsman. He did everything from finish plumbing and electrical, to creating his own trim, bead board and solid wood doors.

IMG_8651 Jackson wood working; processing wood paneling

If the job itself didn’t keep him busy enough, he also started a farm. The job-site property was set on hundreds of acres, providing the chance to start what Jackson has been waiting to start for years. If not now, never? Right?! So it was. Farming, here we come! We raise hair sheep, goats, turkeys, cows and pigs. Fencing mishaps, runaway goats, disappearing turkeys, and plenty of births provided more than a few stories along the way.

IMG_1206 raising hair sheep

Oh, and we got pregnant and had a baby too!

One of our biggest life lessons Ky provided was “you can’t do it all.” It’s better to invest your time and resources into a few things and do it really well, rather than be eager to achieve, spreading yourself too thin. So, we downsized and re-prioritized.

While we built friendships, two church families, gained experience (and some farm animals), we decided at the end of the day what’s really important to us: investing in sustainability for our  future generation and being close to family/community – in a place we feel like home.

Leelanau County, here we come!

moving back to MI_truck gusty branch KY_IMG_1584

 

welcoming Levi James

We welcomed Levi James Jackson to the fold November 4th, 2015!

He was born at our temporary home, on Gusty Branch Road, by the creek, near the hollows and rolling green hills of central Kentucky.

The labor came on strong and fast, giving us nearly no time to use any of our at-home preparations. Our midwife was on her way over, on speaker phone, as Jackson and Madre competently delivered the new baby, with our other son Abraham at my side. Fortunately, she had prepared us for such a scenario. Before we knew it I was loudly announcing….”This baby’s coming!”

Gods grace and provision surrounded us – I believe due to my surrender and obedience, to be open to a home birth experience. Everyone is healthy, happy and flourishing!

FYI – We are heading back home to northern Michigan to live, work, give and love very soon!


#homebirth #naturalbirth #livewell #thelandrovers #rockwell #thejacksonshouse

Ruth’s new parking spot 3.0

After having our Rover released from potential Government seizure, plus a planned trip to MI, we decided it would be a good time to welcome our Land Rover Defender (aka Ruth) to the Kentucky countryside we reside in. Kevin’s brother Andrew was excited to have his basketball court back (the driveway) and we’re glad Mom didn’t turn the Rover into a really expensive flower pot.

Since we started this blog, got the Rover, and made big life changes – paying off debt and being good stewards has been an ongoing goal and priority. Kentucky has provided a great opportunity for work that’s launching us into achieving some greater goals. We decided it was time to walk into the bank and payoff our remaining debt on the Rover – giving us freedom and an asset. (Cheers and Praise!)

“With God, all things are possible.”  ~Mark 10:27

“Much like Indiana Jones, we never know what’s going to be around the bend…”

And thus is life. Believe for the best and don’t get bent out of shape with challenges arise and things go less than smoothly. While we envisioned driving the Rover with no problems all the way to KY from MI, we also anticipated the possibility of, well, anything.

After a few breakdowns, phone calls with Safari H.P., some attempted repairs, an extra day in Ohio with family, we played it safe and had to tow Ruth into her new parking spot – at Gusty Branch, in the hills of Kentucky.

Some say we should just sell the Rover. Although this Defender is just an earthly object, it represents something deeper, something bigger. While the world would have us give up on Ruth and go another direction – their direction – we’re inclined to fight for her. It’s kind of like following Christ that comes down to one simple decision and conviction of the heart. The challenge is to be ok with uncertainty, what lies ahead, and choose to follow Him, no matter the resistance.

#proudparents #expecting #oneontheway #thelandrovers #livewellrockwell #storyofRuth #follow #thedefendersreturn #hedrickrover


Looking for genuine Rover parts? Need customized service and restoration? Please check out Safari Heritage Parts! They’ve been amazing to work with (even just over the phone) and are thankful we were referred to them! > Visit Safarihp.com | Like + Follow on Facebook


 Morals of the story…

• Abraham is always up for the adventure.

• Do what you gotta do, but make sure to slow down and intentionally enjoy the journey.

• 3 year olds are smarter and more capable than you think. Take everyday life moments (and challenges) as opportunities to teach them – they’re listening and watching!

• Surrender what’s out of your control. You don’t have as much control as you think.

• It’s good to have someone reliable and non-judgmental to call in an emergency – no matter your location.

• Be passionate and persistent.

• Instead of driving the quickest route possible, take your journey through small town America and off the interstate. You’ll see who America really is – and have a better perspective because of it.

• Road trips/Travel give you experience, perspective and education that can’t be found anywhere else. You’ll connect with people you never normally would – making friends for life.

• Drive a Defender – then you might understand 🙂

Related stories:

• Seized Defenders – Our Story

• The Defenders Return

MI to KY

Five years ago dear friends of ours were trying to sell their property and partially finished home in KY. Curious as we are, we ventured down south and camped on the property for a weekend to “scope it out.”

Fast forward to 2014, we needed to find a new direction to move in and were offered an opportunity to work, live and start farming on the very same property in Kentucky.

Jackson is now the sole general contractor and property manager of Gusty Branch. Since we moved to KY last Spring, we’ve also partnered with the owner to begin raising animals. The variety and numbers continue to grow and we’re excited to start living out some of the sustainable lifestyle farming has to offer.

#Kentucky #thejacksonshouse #livewellrockwell #sustainableliving #farming #family