For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-14


Monday, January 16, 2012

More than a little behind....

I've been meaning to post for months, been thinking about it....but life just keeps on moving at a pace that leaves me little time, or brain power at the end of each day. SO much has happened in the past 6+ months....where to start?!? Let's see if I can recap since last June....
  • Summer here was not all it was supposed to be, our garden did little to nothing and I was left to purchase most of what I was able to can for the year at the local produce stand. This year, we pray, will be much better. 
  • Planning for Brandon to start the Running Start program at the local community college was hard on this mama's brain. Adjusting to the schedule was another challenge, but got it down for the first quarter in no time. Winter quarter started a week ago and I am praying we can adjust to this new schedule quickly. 
  • Planning the school year for the younger two was a bit more tricky this year and has involved MUCH more planning and a lot more record keeping on my part. You see, we completely separated from the local school district and are doing high school for Alyssa completely on our own. MUCH more involved....but the direction we feel the Lord would have us go. 
  • My work with Gling has been busy, though the past few weeks have been a challenge for me. From adjusting to the New Year, Brandon's schedule change and just trying to get on top of everything after the Christmas break it's been a challenge to find the time and mental energy to get it all done. 
  • Our homestead has been progressing, though we have had a rough go of it since New Years. just before the end of December, our Nigerian Dwarf doe gave birth to a baby that was far too large for her and the baby died. Cookie, we are almost certain, suffered from a broken pelvis and we had to put her down on New Years Eve morning. It was hard for me to see her suffer so much, this was her first kidding with us. We had heard that kidding had been a challenge for her in the past, though nothing like this. We had hoped that breeding her to our very small buck would work well. Breaks my heart that she had to go like she did. It's sad to look down in the barnyard and not see her sweet face.
  • Daisy Girl, our mini Jersey heifer, will be ready to be bred in the next few months. She is growing nicely and is such a sweet girl (most of the time). I am looking forward to seeing how she does milking next year. Fresh milk from our own cow is something I've looked forward to for a long time! 
  • The first week of the school year, the pump went out on our well. After having a pump company come out and do some looking, it was no wonder we've struggled with our water over the years. Our pump was compacted in feet of dirt, rust and minerals. The old pump was struggling to pump water through it all. While we've never lost water, our water has always been heavy in minerals and the pressure has always been extremely low. We couldn't even run a sprinkler. Now we have a lot of water and will be able to run a sprinkler in the garden without a problem. Expanding the garden this year is top of our list. 
  • Early in the fall, my dear husband lost his job (got laid off, but really lost his job). We were sent into a tail spin, trusting in the Lord to provide and doing some serious evaluation of our finances and expenditures. My work took on a whole new meaning for me, and my frugal minded ways kicked into high gear. It was a wonderful time, having him home so much. God truly blessed us with odd jobs for him to do for different people, and meeting all of our needs. In the time that he was off (just under 2 months), not one bill went unpaid and we never had to touch our savings. Thank the Lord! 
  • Wade started a new job, really got the job he had been wanting for some time. It has been a good move for him, though it's required a lot of adjusting in our family as his commute is much longer (some evenings it's taken him nearly 3 hours to get home), he is gone more and often works Saturday. All in all, it's been a good move and he is happy. We've got much to be thankful for! 
Needless to say, we've had a very busy and life changing 6 months. My focus has changed a bit, I am more determined than ever to provide for more of our needs from our own place.  Given the improvements to our well, we are going to work to expand our garden area and add more berry vines and fruit trees as well. I cannot wait to see how much we can grow of our own.

Another focus for me lately has been my sewing room. I was able to save money over the past few months and purchase a new sewing machine. Given the rising cost of new clothing (along with everything else) we've been shopping more than ever at thrift stores, but there is often little to choose from...kind of hit and miss really. To supplement what we can find used (or on sale somewhere else), I'm working to sew more for myself and Alyssa. I have no thoughts of sewing everything we wear, but plan to try to sew much of it. If it will save us money, I am willing to try.

All in all, it's been a half year of change and seeing first hand how blessed we truly are. I'm excited to see what this new year will bring. So many changes, new focus points and new goals.

While our winter has been far from "wintry", we are finally seeing some snow this past weekend. Puts me in the mood to sew even more than ever. I'm loving this winter weather, and hope we see much more of it between now and spring. It will give me more time in my sewing room, while I am not able to be busy out in my garden. :)

More posts to come....Lord willing....full of pictures, updates and tidbits of news from our homestead. Life is super busy, but I'm hoping to be able to keep up here more. :)


Mountain Home Quilts said...

Wow Valerie!! You guys have reallly had A LOT going on. Praise God for His provisions for you while your husband found a new job!
I can't wait to see what you sew up in your sewing room. Please post lots of pictures so we all can see! :)
I'm sorry to hear about your goat but excited about your Jersey. What a blessing.
Looking forward to your future posts!

Valerie said...

Thanks for the lovely comment....I've missed hearing from my blog friends.
:) Yes, we've been through a lot, but it has shown us just how incredibly
faithful God is and will continue to be. It's also shown me areas that I
really need to focus on...that's a huge blessing in and of itself. :)

I'll be sure to post pictures as I have them. I'm hoping to have some
pictures of our first winter snow (that fell over the past two days).

Have a wonderful week! Thanks for stopping by. :)

The Hayes Zoo said...

You have a BLOG!!! How did I not know this????


Valerie said...

:) YES, I have a blog....not one that I have kept up on much of late, but I do intend to get better. Always something, you know. So glad to read about how well Charlotte is doing! She is such a cutie. :)

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