April 2021

April was an exciting month for us all here on the homestead. Birthdays, births, new cows, garden prep and Easter!

Easter Sunday 2021

Getting ready to hunt eggs at Mimi’s. I cherished this moment knowing that this may very well be the last year Paxton is excited about easter egg hunts. 

Sitting up unassisted for the first time on April 10th…4 days before 6 months old. Growing so fast. 

Milking time. Haddon was my little assistant. Weston was too he just didn’t want his picture taken!

Paxton turned 11 on April 16th. We celebrated with family on his birthday and then on the 17th we had friends over for a little party.

April 16th was a very exciting day on the homestead. We had 2 new ewe lambs born and also bought a new milk cow and calf!

One of Weston’s lambs. She’s beautiful. 

The other sweet little lamb.

Our new Jersey milk cow. Her previous owner called her Stumpy because she had a docked tail. Stumpy is not pretty at all so we have renamed her Brevi which means short, brief. 

Brevi’s calf. We have yet to name him but have been calling him Little Guy. 

Baby snuggles are the best. Some nights Haddon’s just not quite ready to lay down when he’s finished nursing and needs some more snuggle time.

6 Months. Amazed that we’ve already reached this boys half birthday. What an absolute joy he is!

Cecilia and her new to her doll Kit. Cecilia has been saving her money for a few months now – we made a savings chart for the fridge for her to color in as she saved. She finally saved up enough and was able to buy a Kit Kittredge doll. We read Kit’s stories earlier this year as part of our homeschool and we all adored Kit’s stories and Cecilia wanted a Kit doll. I’m so proud she saved so diligently and know she’ll always remember saving up her money to buy Kit. 

Weston’s Kune Kune sow, Red, gave birth to her first litter of piglets on April 24th. She was very distressed during the birth and tried to attack her piglets so Weston stepped in and acted as midwife. As she delivered a piglet, he grabbed it, dried it off with hay and put it into a box with a heating pad. Once all the babies were born, John David and Weston managed to get the sow calmed and get the piglets nursing. Once they started nursing and crawling all over her, she’s been a good mama! We’re so thankful she accepted them!

The labor, delivery and getting the piglets to nurse was a several hours long process. Weston was absolutely wiped out by the end of it all. He showered, ate a bite of dinner and went up to bed without even telling anyone goodnight. Poor little guy was physically and emotionally exhausted.

Sweet baby pigs.

This was a litter of 7 piglets. All female. They were all born alive and well but one was laid on the next day and sadly passed away. Everyone else is alive and healthy still!

Happy Haddon loves the grass!

Our new garden is coming along! It’s looking so good and I’m so excited to get this space finished up, fenced in and planted!!

March 2021

March – my favorite month of the year! March 4th is my birthday, Cecilia’s birthday, daffodil season and the first day of spring! We begin doing a lot more work outside to start prepping for the gardening season and we just spend a lot of time outside since March days are typically lovely. 

How does one fall asleep like this? I don’t know but it sure is funny!

New garden shed in progress! John David salvaged wood from our play set and a little bit of other wood we had around, salvaged metal from a friend and purchased salvage rafter for the roof. Total cost was about $80 for this shed. 

Five months. 

Evening chores with mama. 

Daffodils. My favorite flower. Weston knows I adore them and he enjoys picking me bouquets as long as they’re in bloom!

Cecilia turned 7 on March 20th! Oh, how we love this girl of ours.

She wanted a lemon cake so I made a lemon pound cake with a lemon glaze and topped it with dum dums! Such a fun looking cake!

John David went out of town one weekend. So, when the cats away the mice will play or in this case when the farmer is away all the animals decide it’s the perfect time to get out of their fences. Buttercup enjoyed selective grazing. 

And the little piggies did too!

 

February 2021

We started February with a light, light, light dusting of snow but it was just enough for us southerners to ooh and ahh over (and hope for more!)

Sweet kiddos eating breakfast at the play table. The girls were feeding their babies. 

Howe we’re currently getting our lessons done. Haddon is content if held!This is what our table looks like by noon every day. A happy mess!

Pioneer girl Cecilia with her rag doll made by her great grandma. 

Sweeties. 

4 months old.

My new shelving in our little pantry! John David salvaged this wood and made a few shelves in the back of the pantry to maximize the use of the space. 

Sourdough sandwich bread rising. 

And baked. So good!

Paxton’s romper says “Rise and Shine It’s Farmin’ Time”. We were gifted this romper and it’s one of my very favorites!

Nothing spectacular but the fog on the mountain was lovely this morning. So thankful for our little mountain view here!

January 2021

We’ll start the recap of January with a picture of our pantry since we did a pantry challenge the entire month of January.

We didn’t got shopping at a grocery store a single time in the month of January – we shopped our pantry and freezers. We ended up spending $100 out of our grocery budget. $88 of that was a small Azure order (stocking up on dish soap, corn meal, a few pantry staples and some seeds) however we didn’t use any of those items in January! The other $12 was spent buying eggs from Paxton.

Most of the money we saved went into our grocery envelope for bulk food purchases in the future and some of it went towards a mortgage principal payment!


We butchered pigs in January so I rendered fat on butcher days and made several batches of soap to stock up.

Sweet little ones enjoying early morning snuggles. 

Making sauerkraut. Such an easy and inexpensive way to get probiotics.

Sausage and potato soup made entirely from foods from the homestead. Sausage, potatoes, cream, chicken stock, cheese – it’s still fun when we make a meal comprised only of things we’ve grown!

Laura wanted to match Haddon with her star shirt. Love these littles. 

One of the things I typically do during the winter months is bake. It’s cold out and we want hearty, comforting foods. I did some experimenting with sourdough this month with success!

Snuggle, snuggle, snuggle.

My sweet little kitchen helpers. 

Haddon wearing his homestead pajamas! I adore these pjs with fruits and veggies all over. 

He’s the sweetest.

Living his best life. Paxton loves reading. This is my idea of a relaxing evening.

This is what our bed looks like most mornings. Laura typically finds her way in between us in the very early morning hours and Haddon wakes between 6-7 to nurse and then he goes back to sleep for a couple more hours.

Sweet, sweet 3 month old baby.

December 2020

Oh, how we love December!! The girls were so excited about their new holiday dresses for their dolls that my grandma sewed for them. 

The best gift of 2020. So thankful for this sweet baby boy!

Merry Christmas from our crew.

Weston turned 9 years old on December 22! It’s hard to believe this boy is half grown. We celebrated with family. 

Haddon’s first time milking with mama.  Loving these sweet baby snuggles.

Winter evenings are perfect for playing cards. 

These two. 

I spent some time inventorying and organizing our freezers. They had gotten a little bit sloppy from the past year of me dealing with morning sickness, not caring about details like organized freezers due to pregnancy and tiredness and then having a newborn. It as time to get them back in order – plus we’re planning to do a pantry challenge for the month of January so I needed to know exactly what we have on hand.

Anytime I’m outside doing work (or a lot of times when I’m in the kitchen), this is what I look like with Haddon snuggled up. 

I spent the last week of December planning for our spring semester. I always enjoy sitting down and planning the things we’re going to study in the upcoming semester. Looking forward to learning alongside my children.

We’re looking forward to 2021 and all the things we’ll grow here on the homestead.

November 2020

November was full of lots and lots of baby snuggles. 

Our sweet little farm girl. She loves helping her daddy milk.

Laura loves “squeezing the teats”. 

Sweet baby Haddon and his first cow.

This sweet baby who doesn’t even really look like a baby – he looks like such a big boy!

Haddon was 1 month old on November 14. 

I picked up this precious little gown for Cecilia at a local consignment sale. It’s such a classic, old fashioned gown. 

Love these five children.

We still had zinnias blooming on November 24th! These were sheltered by our mailbox and never had frost damage them. I was just amazed!

 

 

October 2020

October was baby month!!! The countdown was on. My due date was October 11th but my last three babies were born 9 days, 11 days and 9 days early so I thought it was likely that the baby would be born at the beginning of the month. We were all nesting. Almost everyday Laura wanted to look at baby clothes!

We had all of our newborn neutral clothes in the dresser but I had 2 boxes of baby clothes we’d thrifted – one box of boy things and another box of girl things that the girls loved looking through – especially the baby girl things!!

The kids and John David spent time in late September and early October helping friends chop silage. While the kids were in the fields, they ‘salvaged’ ears of corn. They borrowed a corn sheller from them and had a shelling operation going on! It was fun watching their work/play.

The week before baby’s due date, John David and his dad were in the hay field! I drove the truck two days and we were hoping during that time that baby would wait!

October 11 – 40 weeks! This was the very first time I have ever reached my due date – there’s a first time for everything.

He’s here! Our son Haddon arrived on October 14th! Birth story to come!!!

So thankful for this new baby and all FIVE of our children!!

Soaking up some sunshine and newborn cuddles on the beautiful October days!

Everyone is completely in love with this sweet baby. 

Haddon’s first walk around the homestead.

There was a recent trend on social media of “how it started and how it’s going”. This picture of Laura and her daddy popped up on my memories and they just so happened to be dressed alike that day so I couldn’t resist this little comparison. This girl has been a daddy’s girl since day one. 

Aunt Jill made Haddon an Arrow Hill bodysuit.

He’s so little.

Cecilia is loving having a baby in the house. She loved wearing him.

Happy Halloween from our crew. There were no celebrations of parties attended due to the realities of life in 2020 but they still dressed up and had fun! Paxton was Percy Jackson, Weston a football player, Cecilia was Moana, Laura was Cinderella and Haddon was the sweetest baby in the entire world.

September 2020

Love peaceful moments like this when everyone is happily working or playing together. I take pictures and cherish these moments. 

Our back to school picture…taken weeks late! Ha ha! We actually started our school year back in July to get a jump start so we could take a few weeks off when baby comes! September rolled around and I finally took pictures. 

This may be my 5th baby, but it’s still completely amazing! I’m so thankful for the gift of this baby!

Cecilia loves the cats!

I’ve been sewing – have a big stack of wipes ready for baby!

Cecilia and I worked together and made this little apron to go with her prairie dress. 

One of Laura’s favorite books right now is “Little Mommy”.  In this book, the little girl talks about making Ginger Cake so I helped her make one.

Laura’s Ginger Cake. 

The page of “Little Mommy” talking about Ginger cake. 

Love these sisters and their dolls. These two  dolls belonged to my sister and I when we were little girls. It makes me so happy that they’re playing with them now.

Sunday morning before church. Now that kids ministry has started back at church, things are starting to feel somewhat normal. 

Daddy and Laura. These two have a special love for one another. 

I found these color illustrated Little House books at a local used bookstore. I love them! Looking forward to reading these and enjoying the illustrations. 

38 Weeks

We have made several batches of soap this month. The kids helped make a few batches. Here’s Weston with his block of soap.

Here’s Weston’s soap cut. It’s beautiful!!

Cecilia’s Confetti Soap. 

Some more of Cecilia’s soaps. I love how the confetti soap turned out!

Now that September is over, we’re getting so close to baby! October is baby month!!

August 2020

Weston made all of this by himself! I think it may be time to let him start cooking dinner!

Lots of canning happening.

We’re trying out canning potatoes this year. It’s a pretty simple process – especially when I have help. 

Laura is an excellent potato peeler. 

So is Cecilia!

Weston was a big help filling jars. 

I found this Wildcraft game at a local thrift store for $2. Looking forward to using this to learn more about herbs. 

Sweet sleeping girl. She’s wearing one of my t-shirts (that currently doesn’t fit) as a night gown. I love it!

33 weeks.

Weston and I had to milk one Sunday morning when John David went into work early. Thankful for this boy and his help.

July 2020

We started July doing Connect Camp…at home. All of the kids had a box with crafts and activities and really enjoyed the 2020 camp from home experience.

Nature journaling. 

28 weeks. 

Weston’s pumpkin. We actually cooked this one and made pumpkin puree with it. It made amazing pumpkin pie. We have big hopes for pumpkins next year. 

Laura insisted on having her picture taken with the pumpkin too!

Oh how I love July and finding so many yummy and beautiful things in the gardens.

Fresh dill pickles, tomato and homemade mayo sandwich. Yum.

This kitchen works hard in July. 

The boys finally decided to move upstairs. When we moved in to this house 3 years ago, we put the three big kids in the downstairs bedroom, while Laura was in the master with us. We moved Laura into the kid room about a year ago and all four have been sharing and it’s been pretty good but it’s constantly messy with so many kids and their stuff. The boys now have their own space and the girls have the downstairs bedroom to themselves (and their girly things!)

Harvest. 

Canning tomatoes.