2015, Growing in the Homestead

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Our family’s 2015 was a year of growing on our little homestead one piece at a time.  We are very grateful for the abundance the Lord brought from all sides.  Jose’s work was steady, our new baby Nathaniel grew into a lovely baby we all took delight in.  We lost a few teeth, gained some and grew a few inches.

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Nathaniel gained some teeth. Here he is displaying his diaper rack in the background.

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Nonstop adventures for Noah and Liberty.

Nonstop adventures for Noah and Liberty.

 

Nathaniel helps Mom work outdoors.

Nathaniel helps Mom work outdoors.

 

Destiny singing as Dad plays the piano.

Destiny singing as Dad plays the piano.

 

Liberty reading.

Liberty reading.

 

Danielle making marshmallows

Danielle making Shiloh’s treats.

 

When we moved here 3 years ago, we were living in camping conditions.  My kitchen was a folding table and a single burner.  Not cold water or sink.  I used the bathroom sink to do all washing.  First came the hot water.  After a year came a temporary sink!  It was a weight off my shoulders.  A year after that, came a full range with oven and real kitchen with a dishwasher as well as a shower!  After a couple of years without these luxuries, I appreciate them.  This year, 2016, came the washer and dryer.   With all those diapers to wash,  what a blessing these machines are.  Most importantly, all these have given me a little more time to focus on teaching my children.

We spent more time outdoors this year.  The chores are never ending but surely enjoyable.

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The spring brings a beautiful mustard field covered with its yellow flowers.

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We were blessed with a big trampoline.  It is an excellent way to get some fun exercise, for me too.  There is our new car too in the background.  Now everyone has their own seat!

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On the animals side, the children had been praying for years for a dog, then Shiloh came but he didn’t belong to us.  Since we were the only ones who cared for him, the owners decided to give him to us, another answered prayer.

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Here is Danielle and Shiloh walking across the creek in the back of our property.

 

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Last February we brought in 27 cutest chicks.  They were a lot of work because we were not fully prepared with a good brooder, a place for them or a coop once they grew.  We really wanted to raise chickens because they are easy maintenance and a delightful farm flock that even little children can handle.  The pastured eggs are simply the best.  We don’t know of any good soy free pastured eggs around here.  We were also happy to provide eggs to friends from our church community.

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The chicks came by mail. The day before we put together a brooder with diaper boxes. It only lasted a few days.

 

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Jose built a big comfortable coop.

 

The coop turned out very nice.  The chickens are very happy.

The coop turned out very nice. The chickens are very happy.

 

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A tribute to our lovely Cheetah who fought to protect his flock to the death.

Happy chickens pasture in the sunshine green field all day.

Happy chickens pasture in the sunshine green field all day.

 

In April came also a cute little milking goat.  She is a mix of Guernsey and Nubian.  She looks and hops like a deer, thus, we named her Faline.  She is still waiting for her Bambi.   We also had a couple of kids born from goat Vana.

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Nathaniel feeding Faline.

 

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This year’s garden was an exciting one because we implemented the wood chips, Garden of Eden style.  I had 5 big loads of wood chips.  I did lots of shoveling with blisters and good exercise.  My setback has been those pesty gophers who ate our blooming fig tree and almost every pumpkin plant growing.  But we had tomatoes, cucumbers, unending chard and kale. We got excited about herbs. I am really happy about our little herb garden.  We took a couple of courses on herbalism called “The Taste of Herbs” and an essential oils course as well.   So I started a small medicinal and culinary herb garden.

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At the end of May, we enjoy going to the War Between the States Reenactment.  What a great way to learn about this war of Northern Aggression.  In September we drove to Southern California to our new friends who had Pastor John Weaver and his wife teaching about this war and a gun training.  We had an amazing time.

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Dressing up is half the fun.

.  Dressing up is half the fun.

In October we held a walnut picking day. We have about 15 walnut trees.  Friends came for the day and gathered as many walnuts as they wished.  After drying them,  we sit during the rainy cold winter days and crack walnuts while listening to an audio drama.

 

Walnut picking with friends.

Walnut picking with friends.

We remembered two martyred queens during Reformation Night at our church.  Danielle reenacted Queen Ann Boylen and Destiny Reenacted Queen JeAnn De Albret.  Their stories were that of self sacrifice, love for our Savior and a zeal to see the Kingdom of Christ grow in the midst of persecution.

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Danielle, sharing about the piety and courageous life of Ann Boylen.

Danielle, sharing about the piety and courageous life of Ann Boylen.

Destiny, as Queen JeAnn DeAlbret.

Destiny, as Queen JeAnn DeAlbret.

Destiny shared about the life of this fearless martyr who like a Deborah, advanced the Gospel in France like no other ruler had done.

Destiny shared about the life of this fearless martyr who like a Deborah, advanced the Gospel in France like no other ruler had done.

The children enjoyed cutting a Christmas tree this year.

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We ended the year, thanking the Lord for His faithfulness and abundant blessings over our family.  Jose and I are grateful for 16 years of marriage and blessed to be best friends.

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 Danielle and Destiny shared Scriptures of our Dear Savior during our Christmas Caroling at church.

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