Animals, Food, and Kitchen
After a year of construction, the process is nearly finished. It hasn't been pretty and a lot of things have suffered because of it. The kitchen and our food has probably been the biggest hit. With weeks of no counter space (or tops some weeks) food prep went to what was quick and easy. We've eaten a lot of mac and cheese, canned chili and pizza. Our food budget went through the roof as we hit fast food more than we ever have before (even as newlyweds!). I killed our Kombucha SCOBY and the Kefir grains. Somehow our sourdough starter ended up with sawdust in it (who knows) and thus found it's way to the chicken scraps. Thankfully, I am finding my rhythm again in the kitchen. I'm nearly back to normal, with a starter bubbling on the counter. Even our animals suffered to a degree. We sold our milk goats to friends because it just became too many things to pay attention too. Those girls were fabulous and deserved far more love and attention than we were giving them. We butchered our pig in late October. Holy Cow! We will never have anything but pastured pork from now on. So incredible. The chickens had a hard winter. After a horribly cold snap (-35) we lost 11 in one night. We found them frozen in place in the run. Why they didn't come into the toasty coop is unknown. We are now down to 5 layers. We are getting 3 eggs a day now and they are beauties!
Dean and I Have some big plans for the kitchen. We both are working on some health issues that will result in a lot of play time in the kitchen. Our goals/needs are on the opposite sides of the spectrum so creative cooking is going to be making its way to our very boring (as of late) kitchen. Thankfully we work well together and have opposite talents. It should make the transition period go fairly smoothly.
As I mentioned above, the house is nearly complete. We are left with the final projects like painting trip, touch ups, and finishing off the bathrooms. To say it has been chaos is an understatement. For 1 year we have lived in a state of constant change and mess. With no closets we have shuffled all of our belongings from one place to another every couple days or weeks. With no garage we have had tools stacked on tables, under tables, in corners, and even on the piano. I can't find anything and probably wont be able to for still sometime. Every single surface in this house has been changed in the last year. Paint on the walls, flooring, counter tops, cabinets, ceilings... Everything. This of course has led to severe burn out for us. Projects that should have taken a week have drug on for a month in some cases. Our family has rolled their eyes and voiced their opinion on our state of mind more than once. They all thought we were crazy for buying this place to begin with. The especially thought we were crazy when every single room was a mess for months and months. This house became the snowball that would not end. To start one project we had to start 10 others. The prep time for painting was influenced by wiring updates, or new walls, or flooring. There was no smooth way to change this house while still living in it. Thank goodness kids are resilient!
The great news is our realtor came back with her listing advice. Oh boy do we have it in the bag! We bought this house to stay in for a long time. Shortly after purchasing it we realized we had bigger plans in life and the way to achieve those was by selling this home. Our improvements added with the steal of a deal we got for the house, will net us some crazy amounts of cash to start on our dreams. We are nearly giddy with excitement to be honest.
Yes we are still at it. Our homeschool has changed so much over the years. It's so much more different than the strict Classical Education that we started with. Each year we have relaxed a bit. This year I've noticed some decent gaps in the older kids skills. We will be focusing on those more over the summer after we wrap our year. The great things is the kids are excelling in so many other areas. The two youngest love working on stuff and happily do so multiple times throughout the day. At this point I'd almost call us interest led homeschoolers which is drastically different than my original goal. However, it makes sense for my kids and their goals. And that has always been a goal, to support them in a way they learn best. Caitlin will be in 7th grade next year so I've turned some of my research time to high school. It seems crazy that in two short years we will have a high schooler. She has some specific goals for high school and beyond. It's time to start making a loose plan on how she might achieve those.
The RV trip and the future:
Ahh the future, my favorite place to go. We have so many big plans in store for the next while. We have shortened our big RV trip. Opportunities have come our way and we really want to harness them and go with it. To do this we will have to have a solid home-base. Our trip will be a very specific trip with a very specific purpose. Not as much fun as wandering to and fro, but in the end I think even more rewarding. As that time comes I will share more information. For now there are still many variables that we need to solidify. Now that our life and home have slowed down we can re-shift our focus back to what it was and do some of the things that we haven't had time for in so long.
I won't promise to blog regularly but I do hope that I will return to this space. I like writing and I like cataloging our days here. There is a season for all things and I hope the upcoming one will include this blog.