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!)


Canning tomatoes.

June 2020

Cecilia got a haircut!


Weston found this young cardinal.

Pulled out newborn things – I didn’t keep everything from Laura but I did keep most of our newborn neutral items. So excited to pull these things out and think about the sweet baby who will be wearing them soon!

I love  summer time and the beautiful fresh cut flowers that I get to enjoy at my kitchen sink. 

Weston found another bird. 

23 weeks.

Some of our beautiful homestead products. Soap, kale and lavender.

Our lower garden. It’s not perfect but it’s green, producing and is beautiful to me!

Love this beautiful dill plant!

We had our anatomy scan on June 25th. Baby is growing perfectly and everything looked great. So thankful for a healthy baby. 

Paxton’s cabbage that he grew in his little garden. 

I tidied up the school cabinet and this corner was clean! I love this view.

May 2020

May is one of our favorite – an busiest month’s as far as celebrations go. We celebrate Laura’s birthday on the 12th, Mother’s Day, our anniversary on the 27th and John David’s birthday on the 31st. We love May!!

With my precious children on Mother’s Day. So thankful to be their mama!

Her last night as a 2 year old.

Laura is 3!! We celebrated with Mimi and Papaw and also had a little party at our house. The big kids put their money together and bought her a little Lego Duplo farm set. So sweet!

We gave her a ‘look and found’ book which she adores right now…and I love she calls them look and found instead of look and find!


Our upper garden on May 25th. Things are growing!!


April 2020

April means it’s time to start planting!! Cecilia was my little gardening helper!

The local school system has been providing free ‘school lunches’ for pickup at various schools in the county. The drop point school in our area is less than 5 minutes away so we’ve picked up lunch a few times. It’s a big treat for our kids since we rarely eat out and don’t purchase packaged/convenience foods. We enjoy eating our lunches outside on our picnic table.

I stopped in one of our local thrift stores and was able to snag a bread machine for $2.50!! It was priced at $5 but everything was half off. Worth every penny!

Our family on Easter Sunday. 

Cecilia has been loving wearing her ‘prairie dress’. I adore this shot John David got of her and Buttercup with Copper and the chicken coop in the background. 

Paxton turned 10 this month!! 

One of his gifts was this little kayak. They boys have been loving it in the pond and the pool!

Cutie pie Laura. She’s such a little ray of sunshine!!

March 2020

Baby chicks. We are friends with one of the local high school agriculture teachers and she hatched some of Weston’s eggs as part of her classes. Once the chicks were hatched, we were able to get them. Everyone loves sweet baby chicks!

Laura is my little kitchen helper!

My birthday was March 4th and John David surprised me by building this greenhouse! So excited.

Getting seeds started. So excited about gardening!!

I feel like this is a fitting image to use for noting that on March 12th, the world basically screeched to a halt. Thursday, March 12th was a normal day for us – we went to my ladies small group that morning and then went to the library to watch Frozen 2 that afternoon (our library frequently has movie afternoons and evenings!)

When we arrived home that afternoon, we started hearing of school closures and the library closing due to Covid-19. It really was the last day of normal. Our church decided to go online and life changed. 

On week after ‘the shutdown’ our washing machine died. It had been having some issues with spinning water out properly so we knew it was slowly dying but it decided to die by cracking during a wash cycle and flooding the laundry room. That was a mess but thankfully we caught it right as it happened and were able to get things cleaned up fairly quickly.

The death of that machine led to the purchase of a brand new machine. We had been talking about purchasing a Speed Queen thanks to their amazing warranty and the fact that we do so much laundry as a cloth diapering large-ish family. It cost a pretty penny but we were able to pay cash and are thankful for a new machine that actually spins all the water out of the clothes!

Cecilia turned 6 years old on March 20th! We celebrated quarantine style with just our family. 

Our new normal – church in our living room. The girls have been enjoying bringing their baby dolls to church!

Dad’s bike shop. 

My girls. So thankful for these two. 

My seed babies are really growing!!

Our garlic is looking amazing!

Enjoying the beautiful weather during quarantine life. So thankful we have lots of outdoor spaces to enjoy during these times.

February 2020

First daffodil of the season was picked by Weston on February 7th! Daffodils are my favorite and Weston knows it!

We woke to a surprise snow on February 8! Everyone was so excited and it was beautiful!!


John David is mastering the art of making mozzarella.

We harvested another pig and experimented by canning sausage. It was a success!

We participated in our very first seed swap! It was a fun thing to do and we ended up with so many seeds and several new to us seeds. I’m most excited about growing luffa this year.

Organizing my seeds. Spring is so close!












January 2020

I always enjoy the month of January – it’s a fresh start after the festivities of Christmastime, a time to set goals/objectives for the new year and enjoy the cozy long evenings.

We started this January with a pantry challenge. With the exception of a bag of tortilla chips, maple syrup and peanut butter, we didn’t buy groceries for a solid 3.5 weeks. We could have gone longer but our Azure Standard order came in on January 27th with fresh apples and we ended the challenge then.

It was a success in that we tried some new foods – like Bulgar porridge from Bulgar that had been sitting in the pantry for months, used some things that needed to be used up and got the pantries/freezers more organized. Since I didn’t buy groceries for the first part of the month, we were able to pay for our Azure order and still had grocery money left at the end of the month. I’m confident we could have lasted the entire month of January and still ate delicious, healthy meals from what we’ve preserved over the past year.

Since it’s January, I thought it was the perfect time to get started on Cecilia’s quilt. I’ve wanted to make her a quilt for a while now and had started cutting out squares from fabrics we had on hand, a few my mom had given us and some from a bag of fabric scraps I picked up at a yard sale a few months ago for $2. These patches were cut entirely from ‘scraps’ – I did not purchase any new fabrics to start this quilt.

I was hoping she’d want to help me sew it but she hasn’t been too interested – it is a time consuming task. She has been excited to watch the progress though! Here she is snuggling with the quilt top when it was about half finished.

We were blessed with mason jars this month. A couple from John David’s parents small group sent us a tote filled mostly with regular mouth quarts, a few pints and jelly jars and a friend at church gave me a box of jars! I’m so thankful for jars – I’m looking forward to filling these up with goodies from our garden this summer.

Our chickens are laying again. My chickens are laying and so are the boys’ chickens! It’s been fun not having to ration eggs.

Paxton enjoys a game of chess – here he is teaching and playing with his daddy. He decided he wanted to learn to play, purchased this book with a small set attached and has been explaining the game and coaching us all as we play with him. I enjoy it but there are lots of rules that I can’t keep straight on my own!

Baby Bright is growing well and looking more like a little beef calf than a Jersey cross. It’s fun watching him grow.

We’ve been reading through the Little House series this school year. It was fitting that it was time to read The Long Winter in January, especially since we were reading it when we had a few days of a cold snap. It was about 18 degrees a few nights – frigid to these southerners! We can’t even begin to fathom the coldness that the Ingalls experienced during the long winter – I’ve never even seen a negative temperature in my lifetime.

Two of the nights that the low was 18, we let the children sleep in the living room. Paxton slept on the couch and the other 3 slept on two crib mattresses pushed together. They loved sleeping in front of the wood stove and they were cozy nights reading The Long Winter all snuggled up in the living room.

One morning, I felt like I had a bit of a cold coming on and stayed in bed to rest. Paxton and Cecilia made me breakfast in bed. A fried egg, toast, lemon tea and garnished with a pink flower Cecilia found outside. It’s amazing having children who can cook and care enough to take care of their mama. Thankfully the rest coupled with my good breakfast helped me fight off whatever it was and I was fine by noon.

On January 25th, I attended a Homeopathy Workshop all day. It was so good. I purchased a small kit of remedies that we’ve already began using. I still have so much to learn but I’m excited about learning more about caring for my family with homeopathy.

Our friends, the Honeycutts, parked their RV here on the homestead the last week of January. It was fun having ‘neighbors’ here for several days. Our kiddos played outside together nearly all day long all week. It was fun watching all of them play together – free play outside is the best play. They left on the 30th to set out on their travel adventures – follow them on Instagram – @thehoneycuttcrew.

I canned 6 quarts of applesauce from the apples from our Azure order we received on the 27th just so we’d have a few more in the pantry and so the rest of the apples could all fit in the fridge!

January was a good month and we’re looking forward to February and starting to prep for spring – garden planning, plans to purchase chicks, working more outside and looking forward to warmer days!


December 2019

I officially ended the 2019 canning season at the beginning of December. My goal was to can 150 jars (quarts, pints or jelly jars) this year and I ended up canning a total of 308 jars!

The pantry is full of foods for the winter and early spring while we’re waiting for the garden to begin producing again. I learned a lot about canning and am looking forward to canning in 2020!

We’re loving the cozy evenings around the wood stove. This evening, Paxton was was grandparents and John David was working late so the rest of us ate our chicken and rice soup in the living room beside the stove.

Making cheese. We’ve been making all of our cheese – we haven’t purchased cheese in weeks. We haven’t started making hard cheeses like cheddar yet but we’re using soft cheeses in place of cheddar right now. This cheese pictured is an easy farmers cheese that I just love – especially when it’s warm.

Making cheese is almost magical – add vinegar to warm milk, stir it in and then all of the sudden the curds have separated and you have cheese and a pot of whey.

My sweet little loves. This was our Christmas picture this year.

This is what milking on Sunday mornings looks like for me. I wake early, milk then dash inside to shower, get the kids up and get their breakfast ready. Then I head back down to pour up milk and wash up the milking equipment and then come back inside to dry hair, get myself dressed and Laura dressed and make sure the big kids are ready to go. Whew.

Laura wearing a sweet little Christmas dress that belonged to her Aunt Jill.

I enjoy snuggling up with a good book. Radical Homemakers did not disappoint – I highly recommend this book! Such a thought provoking read.

Laura is such a helper. This day we were picking up sticks and other brush all around the property to burn in our fire pit to clean up and enjoy a little fire.

This gal loves ferments and pickled foods. She’s gobbling up sauerkraut and had been eating pickled okra.

I rendered tallow for the first time and made tallow candles and tallow soaps. It was easy to work with – no bad smells from rendering at all! The tallow candles are lovely and burn nicely without bad odors and the tallow soap is so soft.

With my love at his work Christmas party. We rarely take pictures together so this one is a treasure.

What my sink looks like most days now that we’re milking – there’s always several jars to wash! This particular day we amassed all these jars after feeding the calf, skimming cream and making cheese.

Sunday afternoon naps for these two.

Weston turned 8 on December 22!

It was another birthday to remember – he woke up during the night throwing up. Thankfully that didn’t continue all day but it’s no fun to throw up on your birthday and we had to miss church too. And, then his lemon birthday cake was in the oven after it had been iced and decorated and the oven was turned out. So, candle wax was all over it.

I managed to salvage most of it and it tasted very good but he was a little bummed especially since I didn’t have eight candles. We improvised with a number 5, 2 and a single candle because 5+2+ 1 single candle = 8!

Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning with my sweet little ones. Christmas morning is magical with children. We keep our Christmases simple with just a few gifts but they still are so excited and thankful. Here they are each opening their art boxes – they each had a pad of paper, a notebook, color pencils and markers.

The boys received a few small Lego sets, they all received books and card games and the girls received baby dolls from us this year.

Cecilia and Laura with their Bitty Babies.

The girls just wanted baby dolls for Christmas this year – they’re both such little mamas! Bitty Baby dolls are high quality, beautiful baby dolls but with a $60 price tag, they’re way out of our price range. I’m so thankful for the second hand market! I was able to purchase 3 dolls (one of Laura’s is not pictured) for way less than the $60 price tag of a brand new one!

Some may say it’s tacky to give secondhand items as gifts. For us, secondhand means we’re able to stretch our money even farther and the items we consume have a smaller environmental impact. (I should write another post on this…)

We ended the month – and the year – with chickens laying again!! We’ve been rationing eggs lately because we didn’t put any artificial lights on them this year – just letting them rest as nature intends.

We’re all excited to not have to ration eggs – fried eggs make such an easy breakfast! And, Weston is excited to get his egg business going again.

We’re looking forward to what 2020 holds here on the homestead.