Front Porch

One of the things that attracted me to this house when we viewed it was the front porch. I could picture late night talks on a porch swing. Getting lost in a book while curled up in a large wicker chair.  Conversations with friends while drinking tea or lemonade. Haircuts. First snowfalls of the year and hot chocolate. Music being played by friends and family members on a warm summer evening.

Our porch is not large but perfect for intimate gatherings. I love that it has so much potential and that it is easy to extend it as a part of our home. Another room if you will. It is not complete by any means, like most of our home but it is growing with us and slowly coming together.

After dinner tonight it was still too nice to be inside so we decided to go outside  and read our bedtime story on the front porch. Tonight we read the first chapter of My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. At first there was a bit of resistance but then once the words come to life for them they never want to stop. I love it! I hope that all my children will develop this love of reading.  While we were curled up and cozy in our old wicker chairs, getting lost in the pages of our story one of our cats was trying to sneak into the house, making the story seem even more real to us.

The kids have already asked to read out there tomorrow and I think we just might. Maybe we will even watch part of the storm that is headed our way. Thankful for a house with a front porch.IMG_1559

Beginning of Spring Break

An unexpected but welcome week off for the husband means that we moved our break up to get a jump start on spring cleaning, or in our case cleaning in general. We started yesterday and here is what we have accomplished so far:

  • several notes on tasks that still need to be accomplished and ideas for future projects
  • rearranging the living room-moving couches, piano, adding and removing bookcases and storage
  • cleaning walls and trim, and dusting, lots of dusting
  • we have gone through most of our books and purged close to half
  • many items tossed and donated
  • began sorting boxes of paper work
  • sorted pens, pencils, and markers

We are hoping to accomplish many things this week and have some fun too. For now the house is messy and chaotic as things are moved around and sorted but there is a dim light at the end of the tunnel.

Welcome to our beginning

Welcome! I feel like this is where we are, beginning again. Nothing has changed but everything has at the same time. Here is what got this ball rolling.

This summer we lost a few people very close to us. It has taken awhile to process and there are still days where it is hard to just keep it together.All of the people we lost this summer happened to be farmers. It is a big loss and the holes they left can’t ever filled. The loss of these people made us realize how much we miss this community and lifestyle. This is how we want to raise our children, what we do as a family, what we are passionate about.

So the next step/ thought: how do we begin, where do we start, what do we want to accomplish, what do we want our focus to be? So many questions. We both miss raising cows. That is what we want to do raise cows. Well we can’t keep a cow where we are now, not enough space. What about mini cows? Research mini cows… They are ADORABLE!!! Not to mention more practical for us and getting our kids involved. However they are expensive.  What breeds? I favor black and white. I would love to raise Galloways or Belted Galloways, my husband wants to raise mini Herefords.

The next big question: Do we stay or do we take a chance putting our house on the market. It was an agonizing decision but we decided not to put our house on the market right now. Too many things were left undecided and we didn’t feel that now was the time. So the decision to stay for the time being has been made. Next question: can we keep mini cows here? We don’t know. It is something that needs more research and cost analysis. Is it legal?

Okay so cows are still on the want list but not a feasible option right now. Shift gears a bit. If we could have a farm right now what would our goal be? What can we do on a smaller scale to hone those skills that we will need later? What do we focus on? What do we do first? No clue. We are reading, talking with others and watching videos to help us make the best decisions.

Wait a minute, we want a farm but our house is that house on the block. The one that needs a lot of work. Both inside and out. It is not ready for the projects and ideas that we have in mind. So in the midst of dreaming of having a farm reality has set in. Getting the house in order must come first. So we have been kicking ourselves into gear and little things are getting done inside and out. New light fixtures, clearing  pathways, getting rid of stuff. Tomorrow we are hosting an early Thanksgiving and yet again there is stuff everywhere because we have been cleaning and really trying to find out who we are and what is important to us. So this is our beginning, the mess, the unknown, the moments of learning to say yes and learning to say no. The dreams and the planning, the family that we are becoming. Welcome to our story and I hope you enjoy coming on this journey with us.

 

 

Feeling domestic

Feeling quite domestic tonight. Bread and cinnamon rolls rising. (Not gf, still working on recipes for those). Prepped for early morning appts, the house is semi clean. I am about to start on Christmas presents and watch some more homesteading videos while my house sleeps. After several stressful weeks this is just what I needed.

I Love You Day 2016

I know I am late posting this but for some reason my posts were hiding and I had to re write this. Last year we started a Valentine’s Day tradition and we were looking forward to celebrating again this year. We had a menu planned, decorations ready,and a scavenger hut prepared but none of it happened this year. Instead we all slept the entire afternoon. As I have stated in several posts our family’s immune systems have taken quite a hit and we are still getting better. Because we overslept, we missed getting dinner in on time and we wouldn’t be eating until 7/7:30 pm. That doesn’t work with kids, especially if you haven’t gone grocery shopping and don’t have any healthy snacks.

We made the crazy decision to go out to eat. We called a couple places first to see how busy they were and they said they were not super busy. So we loaded everyone up and headed to the restaurant.We had they typical wait time and then we were seated. We ordered almost right away. It took almost an hour before we got food. Our kids were at their breaking point and we were ready to just walk away and go get fast food. Our food showed up just as we were getting ready to leave.  Despite the fact that our children were really hungry, they were able to keep it together and use their manners and not throw a fit. (One trick we utilize is to take Maya back out to the waiting area and let her run around until the food arrives).  All the hard work and practice on manners and patience is paying off!

After returning home the kids put their pj’s on and we made s’more dip for dessert. The kids really enjoyed it and were a smiling sticky mess when they were through. The day definitely did not go as planned,and those plans will be saved and tried again next year. (That way it will seem like I am organized and planning ahead.) The kids had fun. We all got some much needed rest. We spent the day together as a family. What could be better then that?

 

 

I Love You Day 2015

Saturday we had our first I love you day. I hope that it becomes an ongoing tradition for our little family. The idea came about after reading other blogs who have done similar things and an episode of the Bates family that I watched on youtube.  The idea is that on other holidays our children receive gifts from so many people we wanted a day where we can give them gifts, and they can give gifts to each other. It is a day where we spend it together as a family. We want to model love for our children everyday but having a day where we think of others and showing them how much they mean to us. We want them to think about how they can serve and care for other members of our family.

This year we were still trying to figure things out and what our plans may look like in the future. We made breakfast as a family and talked about going shopping to buy gifts. We talked about the need and importance for putting others before oneself. We weren’t going shopping so that they could purchase something that they wanted but something for their siblings. They each had a $5 spending limit per person. It was hard for them to understand  but they are still young and it is our natural desire to be selfish. Once they gave each other the gifts it clicked a little more for them. The joy of seeing someone opening a gift that you took the time to pick out just for them. They are still talking to each other about it. I pray that our children will continue to have a heart to serve others and that their lives will be a reflection of Christ in everything they do.

Anthony made dinner this year and next year I think  Kasper will help. This year he helped make the frosting. Analise and I made the cake and next year Maya will be able to help with the baking and decorating. It also gave us an opportunity to dress up and work on manners. I love that we can show our kids love and model how we should treat each other daily and to take one day out of the year and celebrate that is a blessing.This is definitely something that we want to continue.  I am excited for the memories we will make in the years to come.

Learning To Make Do

Inspired by this amazing Blog I have been thinking more and more about using what we have, or as she puts it with what you have. It is hard to know where to start when you have so much stuff and most of it you don’t want but might be able to do something with. When it is all chaos and clutter.

So you start somewhere. Today I took the plunge and just tried it. Instead of making something new for our lunch I cleaned out the fridge. This was a task that I needed to do anyway today but because I was able to do it before lunch I was able to take many of the odds and ends and make lunch. Thus using up most of the leftovers and random fruits and veggies that would otherwise be shoved to the back, forgotten, and then given to the chickens or added to the compost. Only 3 items were beyond saving and were added to the compost. An added bonus to getting this task done early was that when we went grocery shopping we were able to put everything perishable away first thing because there was room.

Continuing with this idea I was able to make our menu for the following week mainly using things that we already have. Using up canning and other stored food so that it doesn’t go to waste. It also helps me to plan our garden for the year. What do we use a lot of? What do we need more of less of? How will we use what we plant?

This simple thought can change a lot and make you be creative.It makes you see things differently. As I continue to clear out the ridiculous amount of excess stuff from our home and our lives it makes me think twice about what I purchase and check to see if I may already own something that will fulfill the need. Making do with what you have.