Welcome to the Blog Plantation Y'all

Our family welcomes you and thanks you for stopping by to visit. We are delighted you have taken a few minutes out of your day to spend with us. We are Joe and Jessica. We have two children and one very regal beagle! We post often and it usually includes details of our Christian faith; life here in the South; entertaining our family and friends; tales of our travels; as well as the daily adventures of having two children. Oh, and our passion for Alabama Crimson Tide Football!
Grab a mint julep, relax, and enjoy the site. Don't forget to leave us a message. You can click under any blog entry to do so. We love to hear from our guests.
(Also, please remember that all writings and pictures are the sole property of the blog plantation and it's authors and may not be duplicated, unless otherwise noted. )

Thanks for dropping by Y'all!

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What time I am afraid I will trust in thee
Psalm 56:3

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Readers are out there! Lots of Pictures

Olivia with Capt. Crenshaw
Olivia flying the chinook helicopter
Olivia and George Washington

Olivia with her surrogate Grandparents Bob and Jo Thomas. Olivia in the stocks, see what happens when the children misbehave.

Olivia at her Great x6 Grandfather's memorial
Olivia with Aunt Kay Ivey, Alabama State Treasurer
I am actually just posting mostly to share pictures of Olivia at the Memorial Day Celebration @ American Village. We are all doing well, and just came in from swimming. Interesting enough, I met a very nice woman tonight that ACTUALLY reads our blog that we had not met before tonight. She recognized the children and I was stunned. Thank you to all of you who are visiting us and reading about our family.

We had a scare thinking that Orren had the chicken pox, it was a false alarm THANK GOODNESS! Enjoy the pictures and we hope to be back to full time blogging very soon!

God Bless you all,

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

Our day once again included being involved in the blue star salute @ American Village. Olivia had the honor of laying the wreath on the Monument of David Lindsey, my 5 great Grandfather, Olivia and Orren's 6 great Grandfather. ( guess where the Scottish blood started. lol well, we can trace it back even further, all the way home to Scotland.) He is one of the ancestors we are proud to honor today that fought for the birth of this great Nation. He is only one of the patriots of the Revolutionary War that made it possible for membership of our family in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Children of the American Revolution. ( That is who Olivia represents today, among being his granddaughter) We tend his grave every few months (he is buried in Maylene and I suggest anyone who can ride out that way, straight past Publix and look for it on the left as you come into Maylene not far at all.) David Lindsey is the OFFICIAL STATE Revolutionary War soldier of AL

We also honor my Grandfather Warner A. Lindsey (great great great grandson of David Lindsey) who fought in WWII. He stormed the beaches of Normandy under General Patton. We lost him in 2000.

It is an honor to call these heroes family. They are not the only ones we have to honor today that have given so much, My Uncles on both sides, cousins, and friends.

I am thrilled to hang my flag and salute it. I sob at every bugle that plays taps. I am an American and very proud to be! I want my children to know what sacrifice is to be made for freedom. We come from a long line of freedom revolutionaries. We are descendants of the Lindsey that signed the Scottish Declaration for independence with William Wallace.

Joe is Scottish as well, he is a descendant of Robert The Bruce. Together we are Braveheart LOL!

Seriously though, THANK YOU to all of those who fought and died so that we may be free. No matter what land they were on!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A sad day.

Due to how much sun the family got yesterday and how badly we all felt this morning, we were not able to go to Six Flags with our friends. So I spent the day on the computer trying to work out details of our travel next year. We are so excited about "the gathering" I can't wait to show the children where they come from! We hope to take them to England and Paris as well. At least for the highlight attractions!

We are all resting today and giving Olivia's wrist some TLC, we are hoping it isn't broken! YIKES!

It is miserably hot today and although the yard is screaming for attention, I think it will have to be this evening before we can tend it! It might even be too hot for a glass of wine in the gloaming.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Too much sun today!

* Olivia and Chief picnic in the back yard.

We spent the day out by the pool. Well, we all have too much sun. Joe and I both are burned. The children had a blast. Orren had his first taste of fritos and grape koolaide! Mommy let him stay in this huge bath tub all day to! (pool) He loved it and Olivia is obviously going to have her first summer as the object of affection for a couple of the boys up there! She is a dark as the coppertone baby! Oh my goodness!

We are headed to Six Flags early in the morning with our family friends the El-Fallahs. Lots of fun and adventure in store for us. 5 children from 11 months - 9 years of age four of which are boys, and four adults packed into one suv headed for the GA line. Aren't you jealous! LOL We will post when we return.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back from the land of the sea and sun

Olivia and Orren sword fighting Pirates!* Olivia showing off her hair wrap.
It looks even cuter when her hair is
turned under like it is usually

* Orren playing in the bubbles while eating

Wow, we are home and finally have a minute to catch our breath! whew. Joe and the children and I had a fantastic visit with my parents at the beach. (Joe got to stay the entire time!) We think we have everything moved, at least the Gulf part, into the new house. It is so beautiful and my parents are going to be so happy there! I could have lived on the back porch. It is completely screened in and runs the entire length of their home. It is outfitted with enormous Palms and a large stone fountain. The fountain echos off the tile floor and the white wicker swings beckons you as the palms dance in the breeze.

Chief, Olivia and Joe went fishing on Chief's boat (his little boat as he calls it, it only sleeps six and has two bathrooms on board). They had so much fun and Olivia got to experience true high seas adventure as they had almost 10 ft surf and the bow of the boat went under a couple of times. She really got to play "Jack Sparrow"

Olivia got her hair wrapped as her souvenir and Orren got a pirate ship. We can't wait to go back.

The best part is we got to have birthday cake with GrandMaMa before we left! Happy Birthday!

We returned home and we have been running ever since.

Last night we attended the comedy club with a group of friends for Michelle's birthday which is tomorrow. It was so fun and the comics were hilarious. We made the mistake of ordering three orders of nachos between the group. OOOOPS! We could have fed a small country with one order!

The children stayed at home with our precious Elizabeth. She is the BEST babysitter in the entire world and the only one I would leave the children with! Olivia loved that she spent the night with us too. We put her on the road this morning headed to the beach! We pray for her safe travel and stay.

I train the pool monitors tomorrow and open our pools Saturday morning! YEAHHHHHHH summer has arrived!

We are eager to spend some time in our backyard this weekend, dining out with our friends and hopefully relaxing a bit

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wed. strange day of events!

Good Evening

We had a strange day today. To begin with one of our precious friends the Hayes boys, Andy the youngest, fell and severely broke his arm. It was excruciating for him and his parents. We took him over some balloons, a puppy cupcake, and a card shaped and that looked like Huckleberry to make him feel better. It did not help very much I don't think. We are praying for him and hope he avoids surgery which we should find out about Fri.
Every one we spoke with had some odd or blah thing going on today. Maybe it was because England released it's UFO files today.

My little family had a day of artistic pursuits. Olivia did creative writing most of the day and Orren well, he was just himself today. Sweet and funny as always.

We got the pomegranate tree and in the ground today! We are so excited and can't wait for it to fruit! We will have lots of afternoons under the willow tree eating them!

I still have not found a gnome that is dressed in a kilt or playing the bagpipes. Olivia is so distressed. I have searched EBAY and every website I can find, but to no avail. There is not a Celtic gnome to be found. Maybe the next trip to Scotland.
We did purchase a small gnome for the backyard to appease her. We named him
Eye of Newt we call him Newt for short. ( he looks like the travelocity gnome)
He has moved himself around the yard and even tripped and broke his leg. We found him layed out in the courtyard. A little of Daddy's glue and he was good as new. Olivia who no longer believes in Santa, the Easter Bunny or the tooth fairy, believes with all her heart he is coming to life at night.
Of course she still believes in fairies and magic.

We had meatloaf for dinner and Joe has requested a meatloaf sandwich for lunch tomorrow so I need to go get it together. Check back tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I had forgotten how humble this makes me feel

I wasn't going to post today, but I had a fellow blogger comment on an older post that got me to thinking. Many of you may not know the story or the reason why behind Olivia's dedication and continuous donations to Locks of Love. So I wanted to share the story, even as her Mother this example of unselfish love for others amazes me.

We start our story in Sept. of 2004, Olivia was 5 years old.

Olivia had a friend, Davis, a 4 yr old that was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma. He was not expected to live through Christmas. This was very difficult to explain to her. Why wasn't Davis going to be in school anymore? Why does Davis hurt? When will he get better?

My precious little girl had suffered the first blow to her innocence and cruelty of life. We prayed and I explained that was all we could do for him. That God loved him and would do what was best and that God knew better than we did. Still a lot for a 5 year old to take in.

Little did I know that she had a plan, she would in her innocence consult someone with the ability to "fix" it. Santa. After all, in her 5 years on this Earth what had he not granted her that she wanted.

I was stunned as the following events unfolded, as were the other Mothers and Santa.

She sat in Santa's lap at Brookwood Mall and told him she did not want him to bring her anything for Christmas. She had a friend that was very sick, she crinkled her little nose and looked at me and said"what's that Davis has Mommy" I was so choked up I could barely speak and I looked at "Santa" and whispered terminal cancer. She continued on, she said if he would make Davis better she would go without any toys and he did not have to bring her anything. Santa through his tears told her he would do what he could, but that God was the only one with the power to grant such a beautiful Christmas wish. He went on to tell her that lots of children that are sick like Davis often ask him for hair because they lose theirs. He stroked her long beautiful hair and said you and I together could give them that. We made the appointment the next day. She cut off her hair, her trademark that everyone admired, in honor of her little friend Davis. Who by the way did see Christmas that year, and all that followed. He beat his cancer.

Olivia grows her hair out and cuts it over and over as a promise she made to help her precious friend. Every time it starts to get long again and becomes difficult to manage and the tangles take so long to brush out, I say we are going to get it cut and we have done this enough. Olivia reminds me that she suffers for just a short while until her hair is short again. The child that it goes to suffers a long time and her hair makes them feel good. If only we could all have the unselfish love of a child. Thank you so much for letting me share. I had forgotten or rather taken for granted what an awesome little girl and story this REALLY is.

In Him,


Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday in May

*Uncle Jarrod and Aunt Katy snuck Olivia to the New Year's Eve ball in her PJs. Our poor Nanny has yet to recover from them "breaking" into our hotel room!
But, oh how much fun Olivia had dancing with her Uncle Jarrod!

We had another wonderful day!

Olivia and I worked very hard with her school and are about to finish up for the year. She is growing too fast and I wish I could slow it down. Who is this creature in my house these days? As we speak she has her hair in a clippie headed upstairs to soak in her tub while she reads and enjoys a glass of concord grape juice (in her purple wine glass mind you.). I am in so much trouble in the years to come.

Orren, well his bed is now in his room and the guest room is back to being a guest room. BIG milestone. He is still eating like a big boy and learning so many new things everyday. It is so exciting to see him changing and growing. Just a month or so until he is a one year old.

Joe seems to be somewhat under the weather and I hope he gets better soon.

Michelle and I have been planning out the summer and upcoming events. Our children think something is wrong if more than a week goes by that they don't see each other, so we have been trying to coordinate schedules.

My friend Janean from New Orleans called, and Joe and I are now the Godparents to her precious little boy Gage. We will be going down in Nov. for his Christening and we are so honored. I have not been back home to New Orleans since before Katrina. It will be fun to show the children where Mommy "grew up" They see Daddy's all the time.

Well, it's time for the gloaming, the wine is chilled, and the fire is burning so I had better run for now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What a great Mother's Day!

The children with GrandMaMa and then with Chief while they visited last week!

Well, this is my first Mother's Day that I have 2 little ones. It was so special. My Mom was here to share in it with me, it was priceless. It started off by the children, assisted by Daddy of course, making breakfast for me and GrandMaMa. It was quiche Lorraine and a quiche Florentine, scrambled eggs, bacon and mimosas. YUMMMMMMMY! Then the gift giving.... I got a gorgeous broach that is 2 o's, One yellow gold O and one white gold O. It is beautiful. I also got an iron pic nic set, we gave GrandMaMa one to. Also beautiful. Precious cards and drawings and THE DAY OFF!!!!!!! The laundry was done and the dishes and all the children's needs were met without one "MOMMY" interception. I read, played on the computer and quietly looked at a magazine.

We all sat outside together and enjoyed the somewhat chilly afternoon and the cold gloaming. We lit the outdoor fireplace and watched the children play in the pool. BUT it was wayyyyy to cold for Joe and I, YIKES!

I also wanted let everyone know(it got lost in the shuffle) Olivia cut her hair for Locks of Love again on Thursday. It is so cute and short! It will be great for the summer.

The children and I will be getting ready for the beach this week. We are so excited! At the Buck Creek Festival yesterday we got the children the cutest (never seen any cuter) beach towels with the monograms and appliques! Orren's is a crab and Olivia's is a seahorse. We can't wait to use them. I really can't describe how precious they are!



PARVATI won survivor we are stunned! POOR AMANDA. NO ONE we ever want to win does!!!! : (
oh well, it was an almost perfect day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back to blogging!

I know it has been a while since last I blogged. Please forgive me. Orren's surgery went very well. We could not have been more please with results. His esophagus has an elliptical shape which is causing some of the issues. It does taper and narrow slightly. The surgeon does think that as he grows the airway will as well and there is no need for any further surgery. PRAISE GOD!!!
We will most likely have some bouts of croup again, but at least now we know why and how to handle it.

*Orren with GrandMaMa at home after the surgery

I cannot thank all of you that have sent emails, phoned, and come to the hospital to hold our hands! So many of you brought meals, hugs and prayers. Our far away friends and family inundated us with love through the phone and offered just as much love and support. We felt you with us. We would have been lost without you. It is at times like these you find out who your true friend and family are. Those people who take time out of their lives just to be with you and check on you. What a blessing you have all been. THANK YOU! In your time of happiness or need, we will be there for you. You need only reach out your hand and ours will be there.

So that being said, Olivia had soccer this morning, GO STORM! Chief and GrandMaMa will be leaving us in the morning, we are all saddened by this coming event. We are only consoled by the fact that the children and I will be joining them at the beach in a week! YEAHHHHHHHHH! We will miss JOE : (

I will check back tomorrow and fill everyone in on Mother's Day, Olivia is planning to cook breakfast in bed for Mommy and GrandMaMa. I will let you know how that goes.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

countdown has begun

*WOW my baby brother, Jarrod, went fishing and did he ever catch some fish! I miss him so.

It was another leisurely day here at the Breland house. We cooked out and had such a fun afternoon in the backyard! The yard is so green and the trees have begun to mature it is like our own little resort back there! The children LOVE the time we spend together outside.

We are getting ready for Orren's surgery and the arrival of Chief and GrandMaMa! This will be my last post for now. I will get back to all of you as soon as we get home. Thanks to all of you for praying for us and thinking of us.
I have come across a fantastic drink, a French Martini, you know I love martinis! I may need French Martinis by the truck full on Tuesday. If you are interested in a great recipe for one let me know. I am also asking my precious sister (in law technically, but sis all the same) for a really good version. I know hers will be the best.
I will check back in sometime after Wed.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

What happened at the Derby?

*Olivia on her horse

Our family is still in shock over the loss of Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby this afternoon. It is truly a great tragedy of the equine world. She was euthanized right there on the track before the world. Olivia had somewhat of a tough time as she began thinking of her own horse. Then of course all of our thoughts quickly turned to Barbaro. We still had a wonderful afternoon and cannot wait until we can attend the Derby in person.

The children are very excited about Chief and GrandMaMa arriving Monday. Tomorrow will most likely be my last post until after Orren's surgery. This is a quick one as it is time to tuck everyone in!


Friday, May 2, 2008

It's Friday

* all of Helena is very proud to have been named to the top 100 places to live in the U.S.

That of course means taco night at the Breland house. Orren included tonight. He was so cute. After I browned the ground sirloin I took some out before adding the taco seasoning. Put a little grated cheddar with it and turned him loose. No shell obviously since that would not be gluten free, but he was happy just the same. Orren used both hands to shovel it in. We are going to have to work on or table manners. I see serious etiquette classes in his future.

We had a perfect afternoon outside. The temp had dropped a touch and the wind was blustery. The children swung and played. Joe and I sat and gave thanks in the gloaming. We sat until darkness encroached & the gloaming surrendered to night. At that moment we toasted our wine glasses and picked the children up and returned to the warm glow of our home.

Tomorrow is the run for the roses. We have all begun to make our selections and chose a favorite for the Derby. We have all of our h'or derves and we will spend the morning putting together our little party. Olivia has finished "making" her hat for the afternoon and I have pulled out the mint julep cups. We love the first Saturday in May and consider it one of our best family traditions!

We are preparing for the thunderstorms to move in later, so we have our fingers crossed that both children will remain in their own beds!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's May Day!!!

*Olivia feeding the birds at the beach!

Happy May Day!

As we start a new month our family is most grateful for our blessings and for all that our Heavenly Father gives us everyday!

Olivia, Orren and I spent the day running errands and shopping. Although we couldn't find a May Pole, we did get the chance to grab a cupcake and sit under a big oak tree at the park for a few minutes. it was such a pretty day and we had a great time.

Tomorrow we will spend most of the day on school work and weekly tests. It is Friday so here in Birmingham that means thunderstorms. They are expecting tomorrow and Saturday to be quite full of them. So we will be getting ready for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, and Chief and GrandMaMA's arrival.

Orren has now been back upstairs sleeping by himself for a week. I think he is ready to be up there with no parents. It won't matter where he sleeps after his surgery someone will be with him around the clock for a few days.

That is really all for today, we will check in tomorrow.