Although it has been quiet here on the blog, life inside and outside of our homestead has definitely not. I originally started writing this post in September, and here I am now, re-writing it, because so many changes have happened since then. The title fit perfectly with what I originally intended to write about as we had experienced quite a few changes within our family and homestead, and now, even more so. I’m going to spare you all of the details though, as it would be quite a lengthy post to write about each update and change that has happened around here since summer. So here it all goes in a nutshell… Well, at least the best I can. I’m not good with telling short versions as I’m a details type of person. But here goes…
This summer, we stayed pretty busy. We got some more baby chicks that are now just about ready to start laying. Our other chickens began laying in July, so we have really enjoyed having our own fresh eggs. We now have 16 chickens! It is like a treasure hunt everyday when the children go out to gather the eggs.
Guinevere, our livestock guardian, is growing like crazy and we have spent a lot of time with her training. Guarding the goats is no problem, but its more challenging when training to guard poultry and will take time, but overall, she is doing great. She is only 7 months old (although she is huge already) so she has quite a ways to go before she is fully mature. We love her though and she has been a wonderful addition to our family and homestead.
Then there’s the goats. They are sooo sweet and we absolutely love having them around. We have 3 now! We ended up having to give Flora (the first one we got) back to the farm she came from (I’ll explain why in a moment), and we have missed her. We do have the option to get her back though when we move so that is great to know. The three we have now are Fauna (Nigerian Dwarf), which we have had since shortly after Flora, Sierra (Mini Nubian), which we got in September, and Sunflower (Nigerian Dwarf/Mini Nubian cross), which we also got in September. They each, like children, have unique personalities and are so much fun to have. We are looking forward to having fresh milk from them next year sometime.
Another big change that happened this summer is that my husband got a new job. There are pros and cons to having this new job. Some of the pros are that he gets paid more and has more room for growth. Some cons are that it is further away from home which makes him home much less and having to commute long drives every day. We also miss the 3 day weekends with having him home where he now has the typical 2 day weekends. It was nice having him be able to be involved in teaching in our homeschool coop on Fridays and with us on field trips, etc. But, it was a necessary change, and we look at it as the next step to get to where we intend to really be.
During the summer, we ended spending almost 2 months working on getting a farm ready to move everyone over to. A friend of our’s had a house that they offered to rent to us as they are moving out west, and with it, came almost 5 1/2 acres including a barn. They heard that we were looking for something that would have more room for our farm, which we were, so we began working on getting it all ready to move to in September. We spent a lot of hours fixing the farm area up. Every Saturday, all day, and at least 3 or more evenings until dark when my husband got off work. We were so ready to be done and finally move everyone over. But then, little by little, things were coming up with the house that needed to be repaired, and then the finale of everything was when the week we were supposed to move in, we found out there was a mold problem with the house. We were definitely not going to chance that and then the owner realized that there was at least 6 months or more worth of work that needed to be done to the house, so needless to say, we didn’t move in. Frustrated, tired, and worn out are probably understatements of how we felt. But, we do realize that it was a blessing and we are grateful that everything turned out the way it did now. After much prayer and discussion, my husband and I decided we would wait to move until we are ready to move permanently to our own farm. That move we were trying to make during the summer was only going to be temporary with intentions of moving to our dream farm later, but now, we will just skip the temporary move, and be patient and wait until its time to move to our own farm. Until then, as long as we can, we will continue having our mini backyard farm.
So because we thought that we were moving in September, we committed to getting our other goats (Sierra and Sunflower), and were planning on having our 4 goats on the new homestead. When we found out that we were not going to be moving after all, we knew that having 4 goats on our small .5 acre patch of land was going to be pushing our luck just a bit. So, when having to decide what to do, we asked the owner that we got Flora from if he would be willing to take her back, and thankfully, he was. He even offered for us to get her back if we desire when we move to our farm. The reason that we chose to give Flora back, was because for one, she was bigger than the rest. She is half Mini Nubian and half Alpine, and we felt that having just minis/dwarfs would be best. Also, we ended up finding out as she got bigger that she had one double teat, which could or could not cause milking problems, so that is what also helped in making our final decision. We know she is in good hands and is happy where she is at so we are at peace with our decision.
Then life as a parent of adult children leaving the nest kicked in. All at once. Our 3 adult children have all left the nest. This was definitely a bitter/sweet experience for me. Our oldest child (son) moved into his own apartment, our next oldest child (daughter) also moved into her own apartment, and then our 3rd oldest (son) left for 2 years to California to serve a church mission. I was okay with everything and holding up well knowing before hand that it all was going to happen, until it all actually happened. At once. Literally within a month. Then this mama kind of got emotional for little while and still does occasionally, but I know that they are all doing well, and I am so proud of each of them. They have all grown into fine, awesome young adults. It’s a weird feeling to have only 4 at home now. At least, for now…
So our final update for our family, is that we are expecting baby Wilmoth 8.0. in May! A joyful surprise for our family indeed! Our hearts are full of gratitude and love. A season of quite a few changes we have definitely had. And… they are all good.