Homestead: garden · Journal · Renovate · Update

Laboring in the Breeze

It’s officially fall! Fall is easily my favorite season. I love the crisp days and even cooler nights. Apple cider and soup become staples in our home and the rich smoky scent of fire always seems to be in the air. I love that fall draws me out into its bright and colorful world, but also inspires me to get wrapped up in a good book while cuddled in a comfy chair! Ahhh… Fall!

Though it’s gorgeous outside and the days have been perfect, it seems that every weekend Jay has to remind me that we’ll have three or so cold months to work on indoor projects and right now we should focus on getting a few things done outside so we have less clean up to do in the spring. It’s kind of hard to ignore all the things that need to be done inside but I’m enjoying the progress we are making outside!

Jay has been working on clearing out all the random brush and trees that have sprouted up around our fruit trees along with a few other areas along our property. The kids have had quite a bit of fun “helping” pull the trees to the brush pile and burn old stumps.

Our huge ride on mower is getting a lot of use since we don’t have a tractor πŸ˜‰ It works well for pulling the trees though!

During the weekdays I have been clearing out a couple of areas that use to be flower beds. We’re not huge flower fans, we like them but we don’t really want to bother taking care of them or have them taking up a lot of space. However, the beds are perfect for an herb spiral and vegetable garden. It’s been fun getting my hands dirty and playing with the kids while being productive. They’re really enjoying this weather.

This is our plan for the space next spring.

Brydon is such a great helper 😊

These two have become expert frog spotters. They don’t seem to understand that frogs don’t like being chased though.

It’s been great to be outside these last few weeks and hopefully the weather continues to be great because there seems to be a never ending list of things to do! And honestly we kind of love that! The indoor projects I’m ready to be done with, but being outside is one of the main reasons we moved out here.

 We have made a point, however, to do fun things not centered around projects each weekend as well. This past weekend we got to visit where Jay works and he showed the kids all the large equipment he gets to play around on. The kids had So much fun! 

Desmond and Etta both got to drive the remote controlled dozer, Des was actually really good at it! It’s amazing that someone can control that big of a machine with a remote!

You never really realize how big these things are until you get up close!
 As I write these posts I can’t help but be super grateful for the life we have. Too many times I get so caught up with my own plans and desires (which tend to not get done)  and I miss the joy all around me. We don’t have a glamorous life or a super easy one, but we have the perfect life for our family. I’m still learning that daily. 

Until next time,



Journal · Random Thoughts

Here’s to a Another Year!

Twenty-seven.. man that sounds old. Late twenties! Three years away from thirty! {And everyone in their thirties shakes their fists and yells, “Thirty isn’t old!”} I think I’ve had at least three people tell me today that I’m getting old, all in good fun of course πŸ™‚ The funny thing is I feel younger than I have in a few years!

Something about having a newborn and or toddlers can really make you feel old and tired. I don’t get out very often and when I do I’m home by 10 and most likely I did something relaxing while I was out… or I was chasing kids and wishing I was relaxing at home πŸ˜‰ But now that the kids are a little bit older I feel a little more energetic and the fog has somewhat lifted from my brain…Yes, I will still most likely forget whatever it is you told me two minutes ago. I just mean I can think in complete sentences most times, let’s not get carried away. But, now that I only have one little one that relies on me for even the basic things like moving from one place to another {Girl, it is time to walk!} I feel a bit more like myself again and am excited to see what this year holds! I actually have some dreams and goals that I feel I can accomplish this year and because of all of this I have a little pep in my step πŸ˜‰

So, twenty-seven. Ya, I think I can get on bored with that πŸ™‚

Today I celebrated with my little family. Jason got to stay home and I got to sleep in πŸ™‚ We went bike riding and ate junk food at a park. I did a few projects and things I had been wanting to do for a while and I relaxed. It was a pretty good birthday πŸ™‚

 Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! It was so sweet to see all the warm wishes from people I haven’t seen in a while! 



Oils · Update

Oil #2

I am not what you would call a germophobe. I wash my hands before I make food or eat. I wash them after using the restroom or if I was out digging in the yard. Raw meat gives me the heebeejeebees  and anything that touches it must be scoured, but other than that I don’t really find myself fighting the urge to clean every surface or disinfect every item that comes into my home. I never forced others to put hand sanitizer on before holding my babies, not even my first-born. And I don’t cringe at the thought of using a public bathroom unless it’s visually disgusting. I get it though, the desire to keep everything clean and keep everyone healthy. It’s not something I scoff at or ridicule others for.  I’m just not as on top of it as some are πŸ˜‰

However, now that I have kids we see our fair share of gross things. Etta picks up any bug she deems cute, Des is all boy and splashes around in our small pond or mud puddles, and don’t get me started on what Brydon finds to play with! 🀒Honestly, kids are disgusting. Not only do they pick up gross things or play in filth but they also put everything in their mouth.

“Hmm a shopping cart handle? Looks like a good place to rest my mouth..wide open.”

“I wonder what this door handle tastes like?”

Forget kids eating dirt! That’s probably clean compared to some of the surfaces they come in contact with! I myself don’t worry about touching doorknobs or handrails, but I also don’t put my mouth on them or stick my hands in my mouth fifty times a minute.

But on the other hand I haven’t been a huge fan of all the products that kill 99.9% of germs. I had heard enough statistics and stories about people using those so much (hand sanitizer being a common one) that they ended up getting sick more often simply because their bodies weren’t prepared to fight off any germs that did make their way into their body. We all need a little dirt in our diet πŸ˜‰

This is one reason I was interested in Oils. I had heard about all these great ways to use them for cleaning and building your immune system. To me it is a lot more important to build up your bodies natural ability to fight off sickness rather than using all kinds of crazy things to kill bacteria, unless of course someone could find a way to kill literally every bad strain of bacteria while keeping the good around… that I could get on board with. But, since that hasn’t been discovered yet I’ll just whip out my Thieves and Purification oils to tackle my germ problems πŸ™‚

I’ll stop boring you with all my personal feelings and opinions and just get down to the facts.

Let’s start out with Thieves today and move on to Purification tomorrow, that way I don’t lose you with too much information. I’m not just writing this all down for others to read or to create a sales pitch (trust me I am no sales person) but for my own research and use. I remember things better if I write them down πŸ™‚

Thieves; a Young Living blend of lemon, clove, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary. The first time I smelled this blend I was not a fan which is odd because everyone raves about it. My aversion to it was simply because of the strong notes of clove. The year before I smelled this synergy I had a rather awful experience with dry socket after having my wisdom teeth taken out. The remedy for that is having gauze -which has been soaked in clove oil- packed into the hole. The first couple of times they do that feels like they’re shoving a stick in your already throbbing mouth. But even worse than that (for me) was the burning taste of clove. It literally burned my tongue while numbing my gums.. it was an odd combination. Anyways, once I got past all the horrific flash backs I came to love the smell. It smells like fall and christmas all wrapped into one. So if you want a fall smelling candle you could try diffusing this instead! And since the oils have purifying properties they not only make your house smell great but they clean up your air too! Win Win!

* And for just $9.99 all of this can be yours! Offer ends in the next 10 minutes so call now!*

Sorry, I feel like I’m turning into an infomercial, which is what my husband said my last EO blog post sounded like. But seriously, I love these oils and I love the science behind them. So let’s keep going.

The blend’s break down:

Lemon, Cinnamon bark,and Eucalyptus Radiata – All have properties that are used for cleansing and disinfecting. The oils are antibacterial and lemons have been used in cleaning agents for years. Now-a-days cleaning products have synthetic lemon scent but no real lemon extract in them. Kind of pointless really if you can use the real thing. I guess they figure the fake stuff is cheaper… but with the real stuff you know what you’re paying for.

Clove- I found it really interesting that oral care professionals use clove oil still to this day. As I said earlier it helped relieve a lot of pain in my gums. The oil is used for relieving pain, cleansing, protecting and soothing. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties along with antioxidant properties. It’s a powerhouse! I love that I got to experience what this oil could do long before looking into essential oils. It made it all the more believable to me.

Rosemary: This oil is also known for its cleansing properties, but it also is known for amplifying and boosting immunity. This is where the “good for you” part of Thieves comes in! The oils kill off bacteria but they also aid in your body’s natural ability to overcome germs and sickness. I don’t know of any bleach products that claim that?

The reason behind Thieves name is based on the story about what robbers used on rags that they put over their mouth and nose while robbing the dead during the bubonic plague. The disease was very contagious and obviously deadly, yet these people seemed unharmed! I remember learning in history class -way back when- that the physicians at the time wore masks that had spices in them, one of which was clove. The guys looked creepy with their bird beak masks, but apparently it helped!

Now I’m not claiming Thieves is the answer to all your germy problems. I’m not a Dr or expert. However I’ve read enough information and have seen enough results to come to the conclusion that this stuff works. It’s wonderful for cleaning and it smells amazing!

I love that Young Living has a full cleaning line with Thieves in it, but I also love that you can make your own stuff with just the oil. In fact just today I made a hand sanitizing spray for my littles. And another great thing about it? If I use it to clean toys or our hands and then my kids put  them in their mouth it wont harm them! If anything it will boost their systems! 

We also have a roller bottle with thieves and grapseed oil that I roll on every so often to help boost their immune systems and kill off any yucky stuff.
I apologize if my on going gushing for Thieves is driving you crazy (Though you could stop reading at any point, just sayin) but I’m crazy about it. It’s all natural and effective. Sometimes something being effective is more important than all natural when it comes to cleaning (Mama’s can I get an amen?) but thankfully oils give you the best of both worlds πŸ™‚

If you have any questions about this post or thieves, or oils in general feel free to ask! I can’t promise I have the answers, but I’m willing to research and ask for you πŸ™‚



*All information was found either on Young Livings website, The EO Bar app, or the book The Essential Oil Truth, The Facts without the Hype- written by Jen O’Sullivan.




Journal · Random Thoughts

Taking life (not so) seriously.

The past couple of weeks have not been super productive as far as projects go. I keep making plans to paint the ship lap Jay finally ripped for me or paint trim that needs to be finished. The fireplace needs to be fixed up, and the front yard landscaping could use a LOT of work. I’ve gone into the last two weekends with specific plans and an idea of how the day would go. Of course, as life often shows us, the plans didn’t quite go as I had hoped. However, I’d have to say we ended up doing much better things πŸ™‚

You will always hear older (read- wiser) parents and grandparents say, “Your kids won’t remember if you had a clean house, perfectly organized shelves, or the most amazing decor. They will, however, remember the times you spent together as a family and all the adventures you took!”

I won’t claim perfection in this area. Most days I resort to a temper tantrum as I throw my to do list to the wind and go chasing after kids. Embarrassing but true.

These past weekends I had every intention to declutter, clean, and fix up things around the home but instead we ended up having adventures. And I’m learning to be just fine with that πŸ™‚

The first week Jason’s Dad came down from Maine to spend time with us and enjoy the holiday weekend. We had some BEAUTIFUL weather and ended up doing a few projects around the house (I know, I know, I just said we weren’t productive πŸ˜‰ ) and hiking around Starved Rock. We had a really good visit with Grampie and wish he could be around more often!

Since our dog, Pepper, has taken it upon himself to become the homestead greeter after discovering the gap in our fence Jay and his dad worked to clear out the brush along the edge of the ravine and put up a I mean… temporary fence.

The kids and Pepper did their share of the work too πŸ˜‰


The guys finished the temporary fence in a day leaving us plenty of time to hang out and enjoy eachother’s company. We had a picnic and hiked a couple of trails at Starved Rock one of the days.


Grampie also helped us out with getting a few of the higher apples in our tree πŸ˜‰

By the end of the long weekend I think we wore Grampie out.. he may need a vacation from his vacation πŸ˜‰



This weekend was much of the same, we made a somewhat last minute decision to go to Wildlife Prairie park and just enjoy the gorgeous day on Saturday. I got a few things done at home but that pales in comparison to playing outside.

“Don’t woowy mom, I be weel caweful!”

On Sunday, I got a few things done after we attended a friend’s baptism but I ended up taking advantage of the girls napping and Desmond being out with Jason at the old house. I’ve recently discovered audio books (yes, I knew they existed, I just never bothered listening to them.) and though I can be fairly productive while listening to a story I also enjoy doing some yoga or – eh hem- laying down while listening to the plot unfold πŸ™‚

(Photo credit: Meg Quinn- Art by Moga)

I guess in all honesty we found a bit of a balance between productivity and relaxing. It’s hard to look around at all the things we need to do and yet choose to rest or play.

But, like Jay said tonight after I pointed out that our house really needed new siding and shutters, “Abbey, it’ll get done. Maybe not until we die, but it will all get done.” πŸ˜‰


Journal · Oils · Update

One down, potentially thousands to go!

Image result for there's an oil for that


It’s been about 4 days since I -finally!- got my oils kit and I am obsessed! Ask Jay, any complaint he has I automatically pipe up with extreme enthusiasm, “there’s an oil for that!” He’s still not convinced despite a few successes we have had… it could be because I attempted to smother him with my hands after rubbing peppermint on my palms. But to be fair it was to help with his sinuses and he had refused to try it for himself. Conclusion; don’t force oils on someone 🀣

I, on the other hand, am finding that there is a lot to the whole essential oil hype. They smell good, they clean the air, and they’re actually good for you. I’ll admit, I am a candle addict. Especially in the fall and winter months. So far I’ve been diffusing Thieves and lemon and it is just as good as any fall candle (accept maybe a crisp apple scent, but there’s probably an oil for that πŸ˜‰) but the best part is it actually has a purpose other than just smelling good, unlike a candle. Thieves boosts immunity and cleans up all the junk in the air, especially when mixed with lemon.

Sorry, I got off on a bit of a tangent there. The actual purpose of this post is to talk about the oil Copaiba, though as you can tell I’ve been using quite a few oils for various things!

Copaiba, pronounced Ko-pay-buh. 

I was drawn to this oil because of a teething balm you could make for your babies. Poor Ry girl has had 8 teeth coming in all at once for the past month or so. Four of which are molars, OUCH! We had been treating her pain with ibuprofen, but it was a huge elaborate battle to get that syringe in her mouth. She fought us Every time.

During the day she is usually ok, she’s grumpy but she will eat and play like normal. At night she was a screaming, crying mess. We have actually given in and started giving her a bottle in her bed at night since she has never liked a pacifier. Her pediatrician said, “well there are worse things you could do.” So for now she gets a bottle at naps and bed. However, she was so upset that we’d have to give her 8 oz of milk then a bottle (sometimes two) of water after that! Needless to say she ended up with a full diaper by 3 AM and was awake again screaming. It’s been a fun month.

I was willing to try anything at this point. I even considered getting an amber teething necklace which I have yet to believe actually works (who knows, maybe that’s what is next for us? πŸ˜‰ ) The friend who introduced me to Young Living tagged me in a comment in our facebook Oils group that gave a solution to teething pain. A roller bottle that contains lavender, copaiba, and a carrier oil. It was one of the first things I put together after getting my kit.


I rolled it all over Ry’s jaw about 20 minutes before bed, along with putting lavender on her feet (which I have been doing) and I sprayed monster spray (Cedarwood and orange I believe) on her favorite stuffed animal (Which I have also been doing.)  That night we had absolutely NO trouble with her going to bed! That is literally the first time since we have moved. She didn’t even need a bottle of water, just her milk. She slept through the night all the way until 6:45, which for her is really good. The second night I used it she didn’t lay down quite as quickly but she wasn’t screaming like before, she was actually just talking and acting like she had all the energy in the world πŸ™„ But again she only wanted the one bottle. The third night was as good as the first, though she did wake up at 5 AM for some reason. I’ve used the blend a couple of times throughout the day as well and have seen some improvement.  Though for the most part her bad mood during the day is because she wants to talk and walk but hasn’t quite mastered those yet. She lets everyone know she’s not happy about it.

Unless I start seeing the old Ry return at bedtime I’d have to say I’m a firm believer in what Copaiba can do! Copaiba is an oil that is distilled from the sap of a tree found in South America. This impressive oil is known for reducing pain and inflammation, protecting against infection, healing skin, and just speeding up healing in general. It works with your bodies natural ability to heal itself as opposed to just dulling your senses. Not that Ry necessarily needs healing from teeth coming in, but I think that’s pretty cool! I also used it on Desmond when he skinned his toe and he stopped complaining about it pretty quickly, though to be fair he is a kid and quickly loses interest once you’ve acknowledged he’s been hurt. Either way he complained way less as I put it on then when I would spray the antibacterial stuff I used before.

This oil is one of the reasons why I love the idea behind essential oils. They work with your body to improve all your systems and build up your immune system. So many things that we use today simply work to dull the pain or kill off bacteria but don’t build you up in any way. Again, I’m all for modern medicine and if my Dr. prescribes an antibiotic I’m going to take it. I just love that I can work to possibly prevent the need of these things.

Along with the teething balm, I’m using oils for skin care, nail care, immune support, allergies, and so much more! Keep checking in to see what we’re up to in the coming weeks!


Oh and P.S. remember how I said Ry really fought taking ibuprofen? She LOVES having oils rolled on her, whether it’s on her feet or jaw. She thinks it’s hilarious. Actually all my kids love having them put on! We say it’s tickle time πŸ˜‰



*design by HolisticallyHealthy can be found at



Another new beginning.

Today marks the first official day of a new journey I am embarking on and am Really excited about! It’s a journey I’ve been slowly looking into, researching, and dipping my toes into for the past couple of months. It’s a journey to wellness. (Que the eye rolling.) Don’t worry, I’m used to all the criticism, doubt, and teasing from my husband πŸ™‚ However, the idea of being proactive and building up my family’s immune system and guarding them from sickness sounds way better than waiting until they come home from sunday school with the flu or a cold that lasts for months!

First of all I ask that you hear me out. I am All for modern medicine and vaccines, along with the use of ibuprofen, Tylenol,etc when needed. I’m not one of those people that is so far gone into the holistic approach of treating illness that I would do everything I can to ignore what Dr’s recommend. I believe in using antidepressants (in fact I’m on them for postpartum depression) and I listen to my Dr. and children’s Dr. because I believe they know more than me πŸ™‚ 

However, why not try something that works with your body’s natural ability to fight off infection or heal? I am all about preparing our bodies for the winter ahead as opposed to being sitting ducks!

So what exactly am I talking about? I’m sure many of you have already put the pieces together, but just incase you’re still in the dark I’ll spell it out for you. Essential Oils – again que the eye rolling πŸ˜‰ I know a lot of people hear that and think, “You mean snake oil!” I too for the longest time thought this. How could an oil from a plant help with your immune system? How could rubbing oil on your stomach help with digestion? It all sounds too good to be true right? So, instead of continuing with my doubt and assuming it’s all made up mumbo jumbo I have decided to dive in and try it for myself!

I’ve decided to start a series of posts on our experiences with the oils, how they have worked, what hasn’t worked, what I love and what I hate. I’m forcing my husband to try these out as well, I think having someone that is totally convinced it’s all fake will make these trials a little more genuine πŸ˜‰

Ok! So let’s get started! First off the brand. So far I have tried out three different brands. DoTerra, Plant Therapy, and Young Living. As someone who has not received any compensation from any of the companies I can honestly say without any bias that my favorite has by far been Young Living. I honestly thought their Seed to Seal mission statement was a little silly and overboard. When I looked up the other companies they too said they only used the purest oils etc. etc. However just using them I can tell a difference! I was super excited about Plant Therapy because of the prices, nearly every 10 ml bottle was only $10-$15. That was a huge difference from both Young Living and DoTerra! I actually bought quite a few oils from the company and enjoyed most of them, but I was never wowed. I also bought a few samples from DoTerra  and again was not super impressed. I assumed I was just doing something wrong despite all the research I had done. Maybe I didn’t have the right combinations or something? The oils all smelled good and made my house smell pretty good, but that was about it. I decided to go to a class taught by a friend and see what she had to say about oils. All of the information she gave was exactly what I had been reading about yet she was claiming results in several areas of her life. Of course I had to try them out after that! So I went ahead and ordered the Young Living starter kit. Once I received it I opened it up right away and mixed up my first “potion”, as my husband calls them, a mixture of peppermint, lemon, and lavender for my obnoxious allergies and headache.  The other companies I purchased from had these same oils and they worked after a while and for a short amount of time. But, I kid you not, after I rolled the Young Living brand oils on it was almost instant relief! Again, I am not in any way being compensated to say this and I have no stock in Young Living (yet ;)) This is purely an unbiased review over what I hope will be a huge help for my family. I was shocked by the difference.

I’m not really sure what the difference is, I mean all the companies websites explain why their product is superior, but so far Young Living has been the winner! The oils are more potent and their effects are quicker and last longer. 

  I have quite a few ideas on how to incorporate the oils into our everyday lives. My hope is to be healthier, have more energy, and maybe also find some calm πŸ˜‰ 

In the next few weeks I’ll be checking in and posting results of how my family is doing. As a little teaser for what is ahead here is a list of the ways I intend to start out with the oils.

* Allergy relief

* Sinus relief for Jason

* Helping a teething baby (She has 8 teeth all coming in at once!)

* Helping Etta and Ry fight off a cold they already have.

* Building up our immune systems

* Aiding in headache relief

* Finding a way to aid in sleep!

* And deodorizing a smelly basement (Spoil alert, this one was an easy fix πŸ˜‰ )

If you’re someone that is sceptical about Oils but you have been wanting honest unbiased feedback about them then I hope you check in and follow along with us. I promise to admit when things don’t really work. I won’t be gaining anything by lying, my whole goal is to actually find something that works!

Until next time,


*just as a side note I have no intention of bad mouthing or calling out other essential oil companies. It would require A LOT of personal research to discover if any of their claims are false and so I will not just assume based on experience or others experience that they are lying or selling low quality oils. From personal experience Young Living oils are the best, but I don’t have a scientific reason for why that is. I know they work very hard to develop an amazing product, so with that I will talk them up but will not tear down other companies with assumptions. 

Journal · Random Thoughts

Weekend Journal

Something we are constantly discovering is that doing anything with kids is hard. Be it making dinner, vacuuming, cleaning, and even relaxing! Sometimes you just have to wing it and find a way to get everyone involved in whatever you’re trying to do. This goes for all outdoor chores as well! Desmond followed Jay around our property today with his Tonka truck to gather up the sticks and limbs Jay trimmed off the trees. Etta followed mainly to give encouragement and get in the way πŸ˜‰

I tried to get some indoor chores done but Ry was not having it, and I was not having her screaming cranky attitude! So I strapped her on and we headed outside to mow. I promise we took safety precautions. I made sure the only way she could fall off was if I fell off. I’m pretty certain this is even safer than putting her in her seat on my bike and riding around on the street where there are cars etc. I eventually had to give each kid a ride because it obviously was so much fun πŸ™‚ It was just another reminder of how fast Desmond is growing. When he was on my lap I could barely see over his head or pull back the handles to go backwards! Before we know it he’ll be out there mowing by himself!

While mowing I found another apple tree in our front yard. It only had five apples on it, but they were a good size and pretty delicious. Where mom goes, everyone goes…

Because of all our outdoor fun today I somehow managed to burn our second batch of applesauce. Though with all the brown sugar and maple syrup in it (the last batch was really tart!) it more or less caramelized. So I made lemonade out of lemons… er, Apple crisp out of burnt applesauce πŸ˜‰

I think we’re finally done with our apple harvest, unless we get a really tall step ladder soon. But, I had to share this delicious recipe that you can make with really any apples. I do, however, suggest using either slightly tart apples or at the very least flavorful apples (no red delicious here!)

Bacon, cheddar, and apple grilled cheese sandwiches! MMMMmmmmm!!!!

The best part is that it’s super easy to make! Just fry up some bacon, cut up a few apples and butter some bread. Layer the apples, bacon, and cheese on the buttered bread then make it just like any other grilled cheese sandwich! Awesome!!

And don’t forget “apple crisp” for dessert!


Random Thoughts · Update

All in due time

We have had such a great outpouring of help, advice, referrals, and prayers for the sale of our old house that we just wanted to take a moment to say…. SOLD!!! Ok, ok, sale pending, but that doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it πŸ˜‰

We have also had a lot of people tell us, as a compliment I know, that they were totally shocked it took so long for our house to sell. At first I would have said I agreed with them, but looking back over all we have been through and done I’d have to say someone was definitely watching over us and working everything out for perfect timing 😊

Had we sold our house right when we put it on the market way back in February we may not have had a chance to do the renovations we wanted to our new house…. or we would have been doing those renovations while living in the house. Three toddlers, power tools, exposed wires and staples, and endless dust? Ya that would not have been a great mix. Not to mention this Mama would have gone insane quite literally.

If we had sold it anytime between when we started renos and when we moved we would have felt extreme pressure to get everything done by a certain point. We already had a timeline in mind, but if projects took longer than we thought we weren’t stressed about what that would mean for our schedule. Also we weren’t having to deal with having all sorts of inspections done at the old house, which means I didn’t have to stress clean everyday while watching the kids and trying to do work on our new place!

And finally, if we had sold it right after we moved we would have had to get everything out of the house right away. To some of you that’s just the way moving goes. However, for us it didn’t work out that way. Mainly because we weren’t really sure when we’d officially move out, but also because of how hard it is to pack with kids (are you noticing a theme? 😬) We had the majority of our non-essential items packed and stored, but we still had quite a few things that we used on a daily basis. It took us a good 2-3 weeks to officially get everything out of the house, basement, garage, and garden shed. It really only took us about 3 days, but over a 2-3 week period πŸ˜‰

Anyways, to say our house sold in perfect timing is an understatement. We prayed God would help us sell our home and that it would be in His timing. He answered in a Big way. In a way that it was more than obvious He purposely held out until the perfect moment.

Lord willing we will close on September 15th (Which is Really fast! πŸ™ŒπŸ») and we can finally say we have one house and one house payment!

Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement! We are just one step closer to having another thing checked off the to do list!

May God be glorified!


Homestead: garden

Oh the Weekend

I love weekends. Jason is home, we find time to relax and play and we get little projects done here and there. Our big projects are still on the “to do” list, but we’ve been productive in other things and having fun in the meantime πŸ™‚

On Friday we gathered the kids (and the dog) up in the back of the truck -because that’s what farm kids do right?- and we drove the whole 150 ft to the apple tree. Let me tell you, getting to ride around in the bed of Daddy’s  truck (or in Desmond’s case, the roof 😬) and pick apples are the things memories are made of! 

The kids had a blast… except Ry who isn’t happy about much these days.

We picked enough apples to fill a 3 gallon bucket and left at least twice that much still on the tree. Overall we’re pretty excited about how it’s doing.

After climbing around on the top of the truck to reach the apples we headed home with our spoils and talked excitedly about the applesauce we planned to make. But that was quickly forgotten after we all crashed on the couch and watched the Lion King. It’s the first time I’ve seen it in probably 20 years (I kid you not) and the first time my kids had ever seen it. Thank you digital world! It was fun to watch them react to scenes I remember being afraid of or laughing at. They also Really enjoyed listening to Daddy try to sing the opening song πŸ˜‰ And who can resist singing Hakuna Matata? Yep, we’ve become “those” parents. I really think our kids are going to be embarrassed by us, we just really enjoy being silly and I doubt that will change once they’re teens πŸ˜‰

  On Saturday we attempted a slow paced morning (hahahaha) but ended up going ahead and processing the apples for sauce. These apples are not ones we’d ever try to sell on a road side market. They have lots of holes in them and ugly brown spots. Some of them looked absolutely gorgeous on one side but diseased and disgusting on the other. We don’t know much about apple trees (yet) but we do think the apples were mainly attacked by beetles and other insects rather than a desease. Next year we may try to spray the apples with a homemade garlic pesticide I found a recipe for on Pinterest (For anyone concerned it’s chemical free.) But this year we decided to make applesauce since it doesn’t really matter what they look like once they’re mashed πŸ˜‰ Des and Etta had fun handing Jay the apples so he could core, peel and slice them. Thankfully I found this little gizmo at Farm and Fleet, otherwise it would have taken FOREVER!

 I had to cut out a lot of spots that we didn’t want mixed in with the good apple, but we were pleasantly surprised by how good they looked under the skin. And thankfully we didn’t find any worms, that was my biggest fear 🀒

We used up half the apples we picked and ended up making a little over a gallon of applesauce to freeze. Considering how quickly we go through those little applesauce pouches from Costco, I’d be surprised if that lasts us long πŸ˜‰

Since we had a few other projects and errands to run we made the applesauce in the crockpot. When we got home from running errands our house smelled like heaven! Warm cinnamon and apples is always a welcoming smell in my opinion! To say it was a good first try would be an understatement.  Have I mentioned we really love having an apple tree? πŸ˜‰

To some of you this is probably all pretty droll and redundant from my last post. But for us it is just a taste of what this move was all about, getting to grow our own food and learn new skills. It just adds so much fun and meaning to life for us. We’re just living the dream πŸ™‚





Homestead: garden

Apples and peaches and pears, oh my!Β 

As many of you know I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t have a chance to plant a garden this year. With all the renovations and late start on owning the house it just never worked out. I had hoped to plant a fall garden; peas, beans, some hardy Brussels sprouts I bought just for the occasion. But as it often times goes it just didn’t happen. Instead my large raised bed in the backyard is filled with weeds and little creatures.

  However,as you may also know, we discovered a few fruit trees here on our property. So far the apple tree is doing ok, the Japanese beetles seem to be enjoying them πŸ˜’ And then the pear tree is doing really well. After a little research I discovered you harvest them before you would think. You can’t let them get ripe while on the tree. You let them mature to the right size then pick them and allow them a cooling period. The problem is we don’t actually know what kind they are so we aren’t sure when they will big enough. So we just keep checking them. The kids love taking a walk out to the apple and pear trees πŸ™‚

Tonight we found that our grape vines had quite a few ripe bunches. The plump dark purple fruit is really good, sweet yet sour, but they do have seeds in them. The kids really liked popping them in their mouth and then spitting them out once they got to the seed 😏 oh well!

Etta was very excited about them. We’ll see how hard it is to get those stains out! 

We have a couple of what we think are apricot trees around our property too. The ones outside of the fence don’t really seem to be maturing at all or ripening. They have stayed small and green. But, we found one lone tree by the side of our house that had literally one piece of fruit on it. We believe it may actually be a peach tree. 

Once it’s ripe we’ll cut it open and see if we can officially decide what it is. Hopefully it’s good either way πŸ€—

It’s been fun sort of easing into the idea of having produce growing right outside our door. It makes me all the more excited for having our garden next year!

Hopefully with some studying over the winter I’ll trade my black thumb in for a green one… oh, did I not mention that I kill every plant I touch? 

Ya.. love may grow here, but plants usually dont 😏