Progress. Such a sweet word that carries so much meaning. It's the continuation of dreams blossoming into life and the tangible reality that we are really doing this. Sometimes, as I gaze over all that we have done this year, I still can't believe that we're here. That we took that leap of faith into the unknown, fully trusting God and knowing we'd be ok, no matter what. I am thankful for D and for his ability to help me to come to those places of peace, and for pushing ahead when I wanted to drag my feet. He could see this as reality before I could, and though has always been my dream first, he has jumped on board and taken the reigns whole-heartedly. He is right along next to me, building this dream that he's now taken on too, and together we've accomplished so much.
Finally, the homestead is beginning to take form! This past week we had some major progress as the basement was dug and poured. We all excitedly hurried over to the land to watch the digger as it easily removed the stumps from the ground and prepared the area for the basement. Day by day the clearing began to take form, and now the basement is there, standing beautiful and ready for our house to join it soon.
With the sight of the basement it's easier to envision the home that will soon become ours. We are so eager and excited as we go through this process, and it has helped me to grow in patience. I've never been one to enjoy waiting for something, but I've been trying to recognize the positives through the process as we go along, and I'm finding many things to be thankful for. The time with my parents is one of the major blessings of this whole journey, and though we're all eager to have our own spaces once again, I know that we'll miss our dinnertime conversations and the interactions of daily living once the house is complete. For now, I'll enjoy the laughter at dinnertime, the happiness of movie night, and the joy both my parents and children have to be with one another.
Another exciting bit of progress is that we've added more gravel to the driveway, which may not sound that exciting to some, but if you've driven on the straight-run that had been there before you'd see why I am excited! Earlier this fall I had attempted to bring water to the chickens in a 5 gallon pail (that's another exciting bit- the well is going in next week!) and I didn't have a cover. As I drove up the driveway, the water sloshed all over the car and about 1/4 of the way up I had enough, left the bucket at the driveway, parked the car by the chicken coop, and preferred carrying the bucket of water the remaining 400 feet rather than continue to get the entire car soaked with water, not to mention lose the water! That's how terribly bumpy it was! But, it's better now, and D spent the weekend getting it leveled and smoothed to be more driveway-like than random-logging-road-like.
Tucking Away the Garden
Thank goodness there's no snow because it has given us the time to get over and tuck away the garden for the winter. Our plan is to expand in the spring, as we know that we need more room to grow enough food for the entire year. Our 40 tomato plants have provided us with hopefully enough tomatoes for the year, but we are definitely in need of more space for more green beans, more potatoes, and we'd like to add pumpkins, and squashes.
Our goal is that the spoiled hay cover will act as a protector of the soil over winter, preventing weathering and keeping the ground cozy under all of the snow that we are bound to get eventually. As the hay breaks down, it will feed the soil and through that, the plants that will feed us, while also hopefully helping to minimize the weeds by blocking them from the sunlight. I know this won't work against my arch nemesis the quack grass (seriously- the root system and evolutionary survival techniques of this beast...), but it can't hurt and is worth trying at least.
The changing of the seasons always amazes me, specifically how it affects our bodies and minds. At 7:00 p.m. in the summer, you would probably see our family outside enjoying the evening with no sign of sleep anywhere near. At 7:00 p.m. in the winter, our family is beginning to settle down, get our pajamas on, and prepare for rest. It's interesting how our bodies adapt for the season.
We've continued to enjoy getting outside when we can to explore and go on walks. We found a small little pond that served us well as an ice-skating pond behind my parents house, and we had fun for quite some time on that the other day. Though we didn't have ice skates, it was the first time "ice skating" for our kids and they really enjoyed sliding and slipping, and their giggles filled me with joy.
I spent some time making homemade Christmas cards for some friends, painting some and upcycling the others. I have a hard time throwing away the beautiful cards that I've received each Christmas (it just seems so wasteful), so I've gotten into the habit of cutting out pictures and sayings from my favorite ones and saving them to make my own Christmas cards for future years, or to serve as gift tags for presents. They'd also make pretty ornaments to hang on the tree if they were cut and placed in a canning jar ring. I really like Christmas cards. Though some say they're a thing of the past, I like the sentiment and always enjoy receiving a hand-written message and knowing that you were cared enough about to be thought of on that day. I think they're special, and I always look forward to getting one in the mail.
And, of course, with Christmas approaching the magic has filled our house. I've been trying to teach the children the reason of Christmas while still keeping the magical part included. We talk about the gift of baby Jesus, the greatest gift of all, and we recognize that we give because God gave to us so long ago. We give out of love, as God did with the gift of our savior. Santa gives, too, because he loves us and wants to bring us joy. He gives, too, because of God's example in the gift of Jesus Christ. Our handsome C has just the sweetest spirit, and he's spent lots of time creating gifts out of love for his family. He's taken the time to draw a picture on a toilet paper roll and carefully wrap it with paper and a bow, to find a beautiful rock he thinks my mom might enjoy, and to use what he can to create gifts out of love. To me, that's what Christmas is all about: sharing love. It's about sharing the love of God with others through the gift of joy. I'm so proud of his spirit and who he's growing into. How lucky I am to be a mom to these three wonderful little gifts of my own. I thank God everyday for these gifts, which is more than I could have ever dreamed for this lifetime.
Well, if you've made it this far in this lengthy post, thank you for reading and following along on our journey. I appreciate you and wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!
Take care friends,
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