Home Sweet Home

So we decided to leave 2 days early from vacation. Why? 4 little kids were ready to come home and honestly so were we. 

Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time. We made a ton of new memories. But if any of you have small children, you know vacation can be exhausting. They had just had colds the week before so we were also working with them healing from all that and building back up those immune systems. It wasn’t until Thursday night after Zach and I said we had had enough running around everyday, and decided to do a movie night in. Best. Day. Of. Vacation. The kids loved it. That’s when I knew our kids could care less about the beach. Sure they love going down, the ocean, new scene, you get the idea. What they love is the things we do at home….the quality time we spend together. I love that about them. They are very grateful for everything we give them, but mostly the time we put into them. Sure it’s exhausting. We are tired most days. But it’s worth it. When those little ones snuggle up to you on the couch and want to spend time with you and talk with you. It’s worth it. 

So when our children tell us they are ready to go home, we listen. Everyone’s opinion matters in our home. 

It’s Wednesday.

The weather has been beautiful down here. It started out rough.

Last week, we all got sick. The kids were able to bounce back, but Zach got really sick. Bronchitis to be exact. It landed him in the hospital  two times the same day! Luckily, the medication they gave him he is back to normal with just a lingering cough.

Then it was the storm. Hermine was coming through and was trying to foil the first 3 days of vacation. It would mean I would miss seeing my friend and her family since they could only come down on days one and two. Luckily, the storm pattern changed and we were able to come down right on Sunday.

Because of those extra days down here, we have been able to visit Assateague, the park, go crabbing, fishing, and also do some mini golfing. We have been able to have rest time for all in the afternoon so everyone feels refreshed and no meltdowns occur. All in all its been wonderful.

Today is Wednesday. Beach day. I can’t wait to see my little guy Solomon play in the sand. He’s another year older this year so he will really enjoy it!

I absolutely love the beach. I love to relax (as much as I can with 4 kids)!! But, I’m always ready to come home. I miss our easygoing lifestyle. I miss the garden. I miss my chickens!! 

Being away always make you appreciate what you have….

Updates from our homestead.

It’s been ages since I’ve posted. Sometimes life gets a little crazy, but here I give you the up to date on what is going on at our homestead!

As I type this, we are leaving for the beach in 30 min. I plan to document our journey via Instagram and hopefully through some vlogging. 

We have had a busy August. We started homeschooling again and harvesting. We also planted cabbage and broccoli for the fall. The chickens that we raised since day olds are now laying! The kids are so excited about this, and it’s neat to see it all come full circle. Sadly, we had to put our rabbit Rosie down. She was old and appeared to be in pain and struggling. She served our family well and fertilized many gardens. 

When we get back, I’m going to do our homeschool haul on curriculum this year. Normally we unschool, but I found some amazing books that if like to try out with the kids. 

Keep checking back regularly. We have a lot of upcoming things that are going on this year! Can’t wait to share them!

Wish us luck, we have a 4 1/2 hour drive with 4 kids!!! See you at the beach 😊


Why Living with Less is Best.

living with less

I remember like it was yesterday…I owned at least 10 pair of stilettos, a huge wardrobe, and probably every hair care product on the market. We had a brand new car, spent money on things we didn’t need, but it was okay because we were both working and only had one child.

Fast forward 9 years…. I own 1 black pair of stilettos, a wardrobe from the salvation army, and a brush, a few bobbie pins, and coconut oil for my hair. Our car is used (nice, but used), only spend money on things we need, because I now stay home and raise our four children.

That’s a huge difference in 9 years huh? Not really. It was gradual. I’m a pretty impulsive kind of person, but with scaling back on things? Not so much. So you ask, “well why did you scale back then”? I got tired of being able to buy whatever I needed whenever I needed quite frankly. It is so easy to say you need something and pick up a computer and buy it. It doesn’t even give us a chance to think if we really need the item.

So we stopped buying new and started shopping thrift stores and yard sales. I really liked it!! I liked the challenge of not knowing what treasure you were going to find, and when you did it was more than half the price. This began my journey into the frugal world.

But it didnt stop there. I wanted more by having less. What I mean was, I wanted to learn skills I had never learned before such as gardening or changing a cloth diaper on a wiggly baby (yes, that is a learned skill folks). I wanted more time with my family too. When we surround ourselves with “things”, it takes the focus off of the people in our lives. For example, my brain goes insane with clutter. I shut down. So I decided one day to revamp the kitchen (really donate a bunch of things I didn’t need but revamp sounds so HGTV right)? I started there because that was the biggest headache. I only kept things I needed. Ice cream maker? Gone. Extra plates so when we have 100 guests over ( um, we never)? Gone. Stuff on the counter that was just cute but served no purpose? Gone. What I kept were cute mason jars filled with spices, and different grains, etc. Everything I have in my kitchen was there because it needed to be there. I wasn’t stressed anymore. In fact, it was great. I went on to do the other rooms in the house. I sold or donated things we didn’t need and it was cleansing.

So what did I learned from all of this? When we got rid of “stuff” it opened my mind to calm. I spend more time with the kids because I’m not constantly stressed about what needs to be done. I did less housework (that right, that is enough for me to have a spriritual moment!!), I was happier. Then I began to think “what if we decluttered every aspect of our lives”? So we did. Instead of having something planned everyday, we took breaks in between. We let the kids have downtime…we had downtime. Instead of going to an amusement park, we went to the lake and fished. We saw a difference in our kids. They were calmer and happier. Not that we don’t do fun things like that with our kids, we just scale back and let them enjoy nature around them. They learn so much about themselves through that.

And I’m not finished there. I would love to live off grid. Or in a tiny log cabin house and have only what we need. That will have to be someday. To everything there is a season. But when we get to that season, the possibilities will be endless!


How we healed our dogs scratching naturally.

We had tried everything for Maggie. Our Lab/Weimaraner mix has suffered from allergies since we got her 7 years ago. We adopted her when she was 1 from a local shelter. She was on medication at the time for lymes disease, but aside from that, she was a healthy, happy puppy.

Then, in her second year with us we started to notice her breaking out with yeast all over and scratching. She would scratch so bad that she would tear open her skin and she looked miserable.

So on the steroid she went. And again. And again. She was gaining weight, lethargic, ate more, and was miserable. We didn’t know what to do for her. She stopped itching, but her quality of life was slim and null.

The vet would take her off and put her back on the steroid which we were not happy about, but we couldn’t find what was wrong. We switched her food to grain free and made sure she didn’t eat table scraps. It helped, but she still scratched.

The vet put her on a low dose of steroid and she still scratched. It was heartbreaking. I knew something had to give. I went to the holistic pet store that opened in our town and talked to the young man. He knew his stuff. He told me how canned dog was actually the better of the two (dried vs. canned). I put her on venison because I know beef and chicken make her itch. Then talking to two different friends, one suggested flax meal for itching and the other Greek yogurt. Both would reduce itching and put good flora back into her gut. Last, the yeast overgrowth. I did some reading and saw that apple cider vinegar aids with that. So, I tried all of them. And…….it worked!!!! After about a month, I noticed a HUGE difference. She no longer was scratching, she stopped sleeping so much, and she looked happy. She has been eating this way for about 6 months and looks fantastic! Here is what I give her:

1 can Nutripe venison (1/2 morning, 1/2 evening)

1 tbsp Greek yogurt plain (each meal)

1 tbsp ground flax meal (each meal)

1 capful of apple cider vinegar (each meal)

Direction: Add to dog bowl. Yogurt on side. Dog food on other side with apple cider vinegar on top and then ground flax.

Always make sure your dog has fresh water and plenty of exercise.

As for the cost? It costs about 80.00 for the canned food. About 20.00 more than the dry food we had her on. The other medicine the vet wanted to put her on cost 80.00 a month and all it did was block her system from feeling like she has to scratch and came with a ton of side effects. To us, this is money well spent.

Maggie is now a healthy and happy dog. She no longer scratches. Her immunity is back up. She lost weight. She is happy. All from doing it naturally.

Back to Basics

Well, mainly a yard sale to some. We realized we have just entirely too much stuff. We really just want to get “back to basics” and only keep the things we need. When you keep things “simple”, life is just that. All that added stuff in your life acts as luggage and it weighs you down. 

This “experiment” if you will, is freeing. It gave me a lot of time to reflect. I was disappointed with myself, with us. Here we sat with years of stuff we “needed” on a beautiful day that we could be spending by the lake.

On the other hand, we did have stuff that we used quite a bit. Selling it was closing a chapter of our lives, waiting to embark on a new one.

What I learned from this experience was it’s not the things in life that truly make us who we are. It’s that little smile I see in the morning, or the “mommy watch this”, and the trust of my kisses for a boo boo to make it all better. That, that right there is all I need.

Zucchini Pizza

This is a very easy recipe! We have a lot of zucchini coming in right now, so I need to get creative so we don’t get tired of it. For this recipe all you need are 3 thing:

Zucchini Pizza

Zucchini sliced

Cheese ( I used parmesan)

Spaghetti sauce

Directions- slice zucchini and bake at 375 for 10 min. Pull out of oven. Add cheese. Continue baking until cheese is melted. Serve with sauce.

That’s it! I keep it simple in my house because my kids are not a fan of a ton of stuff placed together! But you could add whatever you wanted. You could even make a taco one! How do you make your zucchini pizza?

My Must Have Essential Oils For Summer.

When summer is in full swing the possibilities of fun just seem endless. They’re picnics, swimming, vacations, hiking, the list goes on. But with summer comes scratches, cuts, bee stings, sunburn, this list goes on as well.

If you know me, it’s no secret our family likes to do things as naturally as possible. This is where my essential oils come into play.

Let me start off by saying, I’m very stubborn. Set in my ways of you will. I thought the people who used essential oils were strange. How could this tiny bottle of highly concentrated lavender get rid of poison ivy, or even better, get my kids to sleep better? I saw no problem in popping some ibprofen and calling it a day. Then my daughter got sick. Really sick. She was so sick and we tried everything except holistic medicine or essential oils. So I started to research and found some things that could help her. And almost like magic they did.

I spent years of research checking out different ways to treat things naturally. Essential oils were a part of it. These are my go to in the summertime.

Lavender– because being one of those “strange people”😊 now, I would be strange not to have it. They always say, when in doubt, put lavender on it. It is antibacterial, anti fungal, it aids in sleep, heals cuts, sunburn, even poison! It’s great for earaches, tummy troubles, depression, and so much more!

Immune Strength– This is great for colds and sickness. It’s great diffused to cleanse the air in your home. It’s even great for cleaning. It is antibacterial and anti fungal like lavender. I always have this on hand. I use this closer towards the end of summer when the season starts changing and sickness comes to town.

First Aid– This is the first summer I tried this out and I’m glad I did! With 4 children now, I feel I need to take a loan out on bandaids!! Let me just say cartoon bandaids are genius! They are making a killing. This oil helps heal “boo boo’s” really fast. I have seen it cut down on the healing time by days. I add it to some unrefined coconut oil and use it as a antibiotic ointment on the cut. Then we stick a bandaid on it and the kids are good to go. 

When using essential oils you want to be aware of some things.

1. Buy from a reputable company. I buy from Native American Nutritionals (no I’m not getting paid). I like the products and shipping is always free.

2. Get yourself a guide on essential oils. This will help you on what oil you need for what problem. That way your not spending a ton of money on oils you may not use.

3. Not every oil can be used on everyone. Some oils should not be used on children, pregnant women, people with allergies. Always educate yourself.

If you were looking to try essential oils, start with lavender. Again, as the go to oil, you will get the most bang for your buck!

Processing Day.

I woke up to a dreary day. It’s so humid your skin becomes clammy the second you walk out the door. Zach was in the garage getting it ready. The tarps were down and outdoor cooker we got at an auction was starting to heat the water. The water on our stove was working on boiling, and he was sharpening the knife.

Today our meat birds are ready for processing. They have lived happily for 7 weeks eating organic feed and roaming around like happy little chickens should. They have not seen pain or suffering, nor, have they been stressed. These chickens have been….well, chickens.

We often forget where our food comes from. We forget that the farmer gets up before dawn to start his day. He feeds his animals long before some of us have a cup of coffee. We forget too, where commercial meat comes from. Many want to not think about it and put it out of our minds. I can’t. After years of research, I wanted something different. I wanted my kids to eat differently and I wanted to know where their food came from. So we knew we needed to take matters into out own hands.

I’m not saying that it’s easy. We are not excited about taking a life. You should have compassion for this animal.  You can enjoy farming without enjoying all of farming. But, is the life we chose, and we need to take all of it. We are always thankful by the amount of meat we process and store in the freezer. Nothing gets wasted….nothing. When you grow your own food or raise your own meat, you have a greater respect for everything. My children eat all their veggies because they picked them and helped prepare them. They eat all their meat because they know a life was taken so they could eat healthy food. My kids are young, but they get it.

So we were able to process all of the meat birds. All done humanely. All done with the upmost respect for them. We are grateful for the circle of life. We are grateful that we know that because of them, our family can eat healthy.