Jun 21, 2012

Spotlight CJ Armstrong

Hibiscus House is proud to present our
Spotlight of the Week
C.J. Armstrong

                                         photo credit C.J. Armstrong 

Now In Her Own Words: 
My oldest brother, who is 13 years older than me, tells me how he remembers the day when the minister of the church brought my mom home from the hospital in his big black car, with baby sister in her arms...me, of course.  I was brought home to our family farm in southwest Colorado, where I spent my entire childhood, growing up as a true-blue farm kid.  I have two older brothers, two older sisters and one younger sister.  We raised cattle, sheep, and more laying hens than we could count.  We had a horse named Ginger, a Chestnut Bay Mare, that we rode bareback to school.  Of course there were always cats (my younger sister and I dressed them in doll clothes to play with them and, when they tired of it, they'd run off and hide under the grainery, still wearing the doll clothes) and dogs of every description.

photo credit C.J. Armstrong
The hay field is part of our family farm, I live just up the road from there a few hundred yards.
Even though our family no longer owns it, it is still "my Mountains";

My dad raised potatoes until the market deteriorated too badly it wasn't profitable.  He also raised all of the feed for our animals which included alfalfa, oats, and field corn (for silage for winter feed).  He was an expert orchard man and raised sought after apples, peaches, and cherries, and the best homemade apple cider ever (nope, not "hard").  There was other fruit such as apricots, pears, and plums but not in as large a bounty as the others.

My mother was the ultimate example of a farm wife, raising six children, teaching them everything they needed to know about gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, canning, everything possible....and practicing the piano.
She raised a HUGE garden every year and had the art of canning, freezing and preserving down to a science.  We as her children, were expected to work, do our chores and not complain about it, but be grateful we had a home, a loving family, and food to eat.  My mom was also instrumental in teaching her children about the Bible, loving the Lord and nurtured in us the desire to pursue a Christian life and walk and to serve the Lord.

photo credit C.J. Armstrong
My hubby and I just this past December, after our 43rd anniversary.

My husband, Bill who was born and raised in the mining communities of Arizona, and I have our house built on three acres of part of the farm that my dad deeded to us.  My parents have both gone to their heavenly home and the farm is no longer in our family, but I can look out my living room window and see the farmhouse that was my childhood home.  I can traipse around in the woods the same as when I was a kid. I can look at and still enjoy the very same mountain views on three sides.  I can look at the alfalfa fields, the fruit orchards and smile with incredible joy that I am here and I live right where I grew up and where I learned all about life, family, hard work and God's creation.

My "honey" and I will celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary this coming December.  We have a grown daughter, Robin, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, has a family and is a teacher...something she is passionate about and does with grace, beauty and tremendous talent.  She is also MY best friend, companion and ....well, "partner in crime".  We enjoy traveling together, working on projects together, going "tent glamping" together and working on breast cancer events together...but then I could go on and on about my relationship with her.  It is a priceless treasure and one that I thank the Lord for. 

We have a grown son, Jeremy, who was born with Down's Syndrome and lives with a 24/7 caregiver in a town just five miles from here.  He needed his own life and we made the decision to let him move into a residential program that also provides some day program activities.  We see him, at least every Sunday, and frequently other times.  He has been a true joy in our family.
photo credit C.J. Armstrong
 My children, Jeremy and Robin
I am currently semi-retired but have been a medical transcriptionist, college course instructor, piano/vocal/organ instructor, middle school registrar, medical supply customer service representative and caregiver for an individual with a traumatic brain injury...and that's just to name a few!  I enjoy photography, gardening, "glamping", camping and go on "power" walks every day.  Music is my heart, soul and passion and I play a "mean" piano!  I also sing, have played organ and directed numerous choirs and taught classes, private students.  The ONLY thing I've been doing longer than playing the piano is breathing...I started to learn the piano before I started school.

photo credit C.J. Armstrong
 My daughter, Robin and me, with my sweet dog, Bramble, an Australian cattle dog.  Robin is also on Farmgirl Connection and Sisterhood as "birdie71".

MaryJanes Farm

I have been a "sister" with MaryJanes Farm for three years and have enjoyed that more than I can describe.  I was honored to be chosen as FarmGirl of the Month for November 2009 and then totally honored, humbled and surprised when I was chosen as MaryJanes Farm Sister of the Year for 2010....what an awesome honor!!!

photo credit C.J. Armstrong 

My current goals are to slow down, enjoy life more, enjoy my family to the utmost, take more road trips and travel more, see and do things I've not been able to yet....cross things off my "bucket list".  But most of all I want to LOVE and SERVE the LORD and see Him manifest in my life!

. . . barefoot farmgirl from Southwest Colorado

Thank you so much for this wonderful story C.J.

1 comment:

  1. HI C.J.,
    It was really a joy to "meet" you hear and get to know a bit about your story. Wow, I can imagine living on a farm must have been such a precious time growing up :) :

    I'm also part of the MaryJane's Farmgirl Sisterhood. I'm Sisterhood Membeer #2176 :) :) :

    Have a great day :) love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)