When I woke up this morning, it dawned on me… For the first time since spring, I don’t have anything going on. No big plans, no holidays that require lots of work, just peace and rest for a time. It also struck me that it’s almost the end of another year, which means it’s time to look at 2021: a year in review.
However, before looking back, I’d like to note that it’s not like we’ll be doing nothing until it’s time to tap trees. We’ll still celebrate the New Year, soon Miss Lady turns 10, my birthday isn’t too long after that, and by the end of February, Gideon will be 3! Of course, there’s St. Valentines and other feast days we’ll probably celebrate, but this is a time for schoolwork and getting the house truly in order. This is the time of year where we bury ourselves in books and craft projects, and it is when we start thinking about the garden for the upcoming spring.
In truth, there’s always something to look forward to, especially with the homesteading lifestyle. We’ll always be planning for the next garden, the next round of animals, the next farm project. The work and the planning always continue. I don’t think we’ll ever stop thinking about what we’d like to do next year. But this season of “rest” is just as important.
(I haven’t written recently because I was busy preparing for the holidays, but I’ll have an update for you at the end of this post. It’s a longer post since we’re reviewing the whole year.)
Even though we kept ourselves busy during Advent, it was still a restful season compared to what we were doing prior to December! But that’s getting ahead of myself. Let’s start back at the beginning.
We rang in 2021 with some of the cousins and grandparents at my brother’s house this year. The kids were thrilled to be staying up so late with their cousins and actually having permission to do so. The year started off nice and slow. We relaxed, enjoyed Christmas gifts, celebrated Adeline’s birthday, and I worked to finish crocheting a blanket for one of my Godsons.
Not long into the month, everyone came down with what we assume was Covid. We lost our sense of taste and smell, and some of the family was just incredibly tired. Overall, it was mild, and we were glad to have it done and over with. The worst part of it all was having no sense of taste or smell. It took weeks for my sense of smell to come back fully, and even when it did, things still smelled “off” for months. In fact, it was only in the past two months that I feel like things completely regulated in regard to my sense of smell. But the rest of the family didn’t experience that as severely.
We had only just fixed up the sewing room in December of 2020, so I was eager to spend time working in the sewing room. I finished up some odd projects, and Adeline and I started to make some dresses for ourselves. Shortly after I finished the blanket for my Godson, Aaron asked me to make him a blanket as well, so I started working on a blanket for him.
Scott and the boys spent a lot of time in the laboratory together doing odd projects through the winter.
Around the time of my birthday, we started to get some more substantial snowfall. The first part of the month, we had a lot of hoarfrost, and the snow stuck around, but we had about an inch on the ground for a long time. It seems like the bigger snowstorms always begin mid-January. The kids and I were able to make an ice rink on the back pond in January, and we went back a few times to skate. We would have gone out more, but being sick took a lot of our energy, and it’s a hike to get back to that pond!
Of course, we spent lots of time reading, cleaning, and doing schoolwork, too.
By the beginning of February, I had Aaron’s blanket finished, and I immediately began on two others. One I had actually started the winter before with yarn remnants from other projects. I ended up completing that one for Elijah. The other one I worked on was a blanket for my sister-in-law.
The schoolwork and cleaning continued into February, and in an effort to get the house into better shape, we decided to fix up two of the bedrooms. Adeline was getting tired of being woken up by Gideon, and since he was almost two, we figured it was about time to move him out of her room. This meant tripling up the younger boys. Paul and Elijah had been sharing a room, but it was in rough shape from their abuse. We had to clear everything out, paint it all, and then I went to work building bunks.
I wasted no time jumping into fixing up Adam’s room as soon as I was done with the younger boys’ room. His room is connected to theirs, and I had everything I needed already out and set to go, so I just went right to it. Adam helped with the painting, and he helped me construct the shelves for his room.
Scott and the boys continued their projects in the laboratory, and Gideon turned 2 just a few days after we finished working on getting the boys’ room set up for him to move in. He moved into his first big boy bed. He struggled with the transition a bit, and he ended up falling asleep on his glider chair a lot. In fact, he spent months rocking himself to sleep on that thing! He never complained, he just wanted to rock to sleep.
We had lots of snow in February. A big storm came through at one point, and we had lots of snow drifts that were several feet deep throughout the yard. The kids and I made a whole fort system off of the east side of the garage, despite the biting cold. We also made multiple trips to St. Nazianz to sled. Suicide hill was a big hit for the kids, but there are other hills that aren’t quite so massive that are still a blast to sled down. I took the kids by myself when the weather permitted, and we went as a family and with friends several times throughout the winter.
If we haven’t begun to tap trees by the end of February, we know it’ll be time when the beginning of March comes. We’ve usually got a big batch of syrup completed by St. Patricks’ Day. I absolutely love the start of our time outdoors. There always seem to be projects we didn’t complete that are buried under snow that we can begin to dig out. Again, we worked on burning rubble from the coop fire a couple of years ago. We were able to clean up a lot more of the mess once the snow was gone because our friend had helped scrape things up in the fall and get the mess more condensed.
Not long after our tax return came, Scott bought a dirt bike for himself. He and the boys had started to ride bikes together a lot the year before, but he was using their bikes which are tiny, or he had to ride a heavy motorcycle. Since it’s a hobby they’ll continue long into the future, it was time to get him a bike he could actually use with them. It was a great investment for him, as he used it often after a hard day of work or when he was feeling especially stressed as a way to blow off some steam. Of course, he and the boys had a blast riding together, too.
While we worked on various projects around the property, we realized we were either going to need to rent a skid steer multiple times throughout the year, or we could buy a tractor with a loader bucket. Initially, we were going to use some money we had to put the wood stove in the living room and take care of a few other projects, but we realized that getting a tractor with a loader bucket would be the right move. After spending some time researching, we ordered the Bobcat.
The weather was pretty nice throughout the month, and we spent a lot of time enjoying the warming of the earth. Gideon was thrilled to play with the trickling stream, the kids enjoyed chasing chickens, and the house got messy from all the dirt being dragged in and the new distractions of outdoor play.
Even though we were spending more time outside, I still had time to work on things in the house, too. I finished making a dress for myself, and then I made a shawl to go with it. The kids and I were able to dive deep into homeschooling, and they wrote a lot of letters to friends and family.
At the end of the month, Scott took the kids on a mini vacation up to Iron Mountain. They needed Dad Time, and I needed time alone. I’m pretty sure I spent my entire break from the family cleaning the house, but it felt good to go through their closets and purge, and I thoroughly enjoyed a bit of silence!
I did a lot of reading in March. I think I was feeling a little panicked… We sort of had a homestead plan, but I hadn’t done a lot of research or planning. I buckled down right about this time and really dug into my research. What supplies would we need? How much of everything did we want? I got my seeds ordered, cleaned up the seed starting area and began prepping for the garden.
I also started reading Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family in March, and it really motivated me to start bringing our faith more fully into our home. The kids and I talked about making a home altar, and Adeline helped me make altar cloths.
We ordered two greenhouses in March and they arrived at the beginning of April. We set them both up right away, but unfortunately, I have to admit that they were both a poor investment. Neither held up well to the wind that we get on our property. We live in a low spot and even though we do have a lot of trees on the land, most of them are small, so it creates kind of a wind tunnel through our property. Not ideal for a light-weight greenhouse! It lasted a few months, but because it didn’t hold up well in the wind, I wasn’t able to use it properly. I had to keep the windows open on it to keep the wind from carrying it away, but we had a cold snap partway through the month that killed all of my plants. It started out exciting and quickly turned into a disappointment.
We celebrated Easter with the cousins like we usually do. It was so warm out that the next day, the kids ended up going fishing over at the lake! The garlic started to grow like crazy, and I began work on redoing the flower beds in the Secret Garden. The chickens started to lay a lot right around this time, which is always nice since they don’t lay in the winter because we don’t use artificial light with them. The snow finally cleared out of the ditches enough, and I started to take regular walks again!
We had planned to get pigs, but in March, decided against it. But in April, we changed our minds again. In the middle of the month, I threw together a shelter for the pigs, we bought and set up a feeder and waterer, and we started looking for a place to get pigs. Within a week, we had two pigs added to the farm: Bacon and Sausage. It was a complete game-changer.
The grass was really greening up a lot at this point, and we had an unusually warm April. We had a bonfire in the middle of the month to help clean up some of the stuff we needed to get rid of from around the property. Scott and the kids split and stacked wood on the porch in anticipation of the woodstove we hoped to install before the end of the year.
Shortly after bringing the pigs home, we had a cold snap, but it didn’t take long for things to warm up more again. The grass was nearly completely green by the end of the month. Elijah turned 5, got his first 2-wheeled bike (it looked like a motorcycle), and learned to drive without training wheels. He was upgraded to a larger bike by the end of the warm season, and was even trying to do wheelies!
The new tractor arrived on Elijah’s birthday, and it was a huge deal to the whole family. Scott and I played around with it immediately, and either the first or second day, we were already digging with the bucket. Scott and I dug up the flower beds in the Secret Garden, and what would have taken me days or weeks took less than an hour. It was a great way to wrap up the month.
Adeline learned to use the lawn mower in May! Cutting the lawn is a sure sign things have warmed up.
Scott and the boys immediately took the tractor and started to make jumps for the dirt bikes and work on their trails. The younger kids helped me to cut up and break sticks to fill in my hügelkultur beds in the Secret Garden. Scott dug out the stream in the Secrect Garden, too, and we began collecting rocks to line the edges of the stream. We had it all done by the end of the month, but did a lot of the work on Mother’s Day. It was the perfect Mother’s Day gift, as I’ve been trying to get that project done for years!
Scott plowed the garden with the old tractor, and I set out to mark out the new garden beds. My friends and I ordered a bulk order of cattle panel together so we could all set up lots of trellises for the massive amounts of gardening that we do. We got multiple trailer loads of manure from a work friend of Scott’s, and we worked to further prepare the garden beds ready for planting.
We scrapped our old van in May. It had just been sitting around, it had way too many problems to make it worth fixing, and we could use the extra cash as we were dumping a lot of money into moving homestead projects along.
The older three bought bunnies and chickens in May, so we had some housing and feed things to take care of immediately. We also got our first round of chickens for the family in May.
We did lots more cleanup around the yard, and we used the tractor frequently to make those jobs easier. I don’t think I can properly explain just what a difference it made to us to have the loader bucket this year. It absolutely changed everything to have this as a tool we could access any time!
The kids and I began going to regular park days with friends in May so that we’d be sure we had some time with friends during the busiest months of the year.
We dug out more of the stream on the other side of the driveway, cleaned up more of the ground from the coop fire, finished setting up the garden beds in the main garden, helped friends and family plant gardens in the community garden, had cousins sleep over, prepped the kids’ gardens, and built a proper hutch for the rabbits.
The main garden was all planted shortly after Mother’s Day. Elijah helped me plant a row of potatoes and some of the corn.
May was a very action-packed and productive month! Between the warming weather, the greening of everything, and all the clean-up getting done, it was starting to look very, very different around the homestead!
By June, it was next to impossible to get the kids in the house to do anything. They were riding bikes or playing with animals non-stop, or asking to take walks on the road, on the trails, or to go over to the lake.
We were all loving having the pigs around and the baby chicks, and then we added more chicks and the turkeys for meat as well. Scott worked on converting an old animal trailer into a mobile chicken coop for the egg layers we purchased in May so that we could make space for the new birds in the brooders.
The gardens needed maintenance, so there was regular weeding being done. I picked up more plants from the nursery in town, particularly herbs, and I planted them wherever they needed to go. Lots were planted in the Secret Garden, and those will permanently be herb beds now.
We went to the beach with family and went swimming with friends at their grandparent’s house as a way to cool down and get out of the house. Partway through the month, Scott, the boys, and some of our closest friends went on a motorcycle trip together up north. While they were gone, I planted significantly more garden space, because I just kept feeling like “We’re not done, it’s not enough! Plant more!”
Paul and Elijah gave Gideon a haircut partway through the month, and I basically had to shave him bald! Which ended up being okay, because the summer was pretty hot, and the boys always feel better with short hair that time of year.
Adeline and I made some crafts to fill the produce stand with, and towards the end of the month, we had crafts and produce to sell. The gardens were thriving, and there was lots of weeding to be done. The animals were happy and growing quickly!
With the annual Independence Day party coming up, as well as the Tea Party, there were lots of projects to try and wrap up. We started to gather flagstones from my brother’s that he no longer wants, and we began working on walking paths into the secret garden. More landscaping was done, and the rabbit hutch and the kids’ chicken coop got a coat of paint.
July kicked off with a bang. Our Independence Day party was probably the most fun we’ve ever had, thanks to having some organized games and having some extra friends come to celebrate. Some of our friends provided a few fireworks for us this year, and the kids had so much fun playing games in the dark!
My sister-in-law and I took our girls out for a girls’ night. It was the first time we’d been out to do something like that since pre-covid. It felt good to finally be doing normal things out and about with the kids!
The garden started to produce extra early this year. We planted earlier than ever before, but we also had just the right weather to make things flourish. July 14/15, we had a massive rainstorm, and woke up to a flooded yard. Thankfully, it didn’t damage the crops or hurt the animals, but we did get quite a bit of rain after that for the next month. I was harvesting turnips at this point, and began pressure canning.
I love eating garden-fresh meals at this point in the year, and the timing of all of the fresh produce couldn’t have been better. I was struggling with some health issues in July, and I began doing Whole 30 again, I had a lot of problems throughout the time I did it, and somewhere around day 20, I had to change course. I was pretty sure that I was struggling with some gall bladder issues after noticing I was having some particular triggers. I did some research into how to deal with gall stones naturally, and once I started to work on that, I started to feel better and within a week, was no longer having issues anymore. I was taking magnesium, milk thistle, and garlic, and it seemed to do the trick.
At the end of the month, my brother-in-law brought the jeep over that he and Scott have passed back and forth over the years. Scott and the boys got it running, and they had some fun taking rides around the property and giving rides to cousins and friends.
Adeline and I hosted our usual tea party at the end of the month, and it was a huge success. The girls had so much fun wading in the stream in their dresses and catching frogs! They also thoroughly enjoyed looking at all the animals, climbing trees, and playing around the yard.
I have to admit that I barely had the energy to get through the tea party this year. I was so exhausted by the time our Independence Day party was over, I just petered out on projects at that point, and rested as much as possible until the harvest began. We relaxed a little and I turned my attention to the house for a time.
The wasps became terrible in August, and between August and the end of September, there were many, many stings. I used a lot of bentonite clay to help draw out poison!
At the beginning of the month, we had my sister’s 4 kids spend two nights with us. The kids had a lot of fun, and my nieces enjoyed making dinner with all of our purple foods! They really enjoyed helping my harvest, especially the younger of the two, and she asked me if she could have some of those veggies at some point during the summer. We delivered a few large boxes of produce to family about a week later. And one of my nephews helped me make garden fresh personal pizzas for dinner their second night at our house.
Scott’s car died right around this time, and we decided to hold our breath and buy him a new truck. Apparently, this was the year we’d buy our first new vehicles… a new dirt bike, tractor, and now a truck. I’ve got to say, it was really hard to spend so much money, especially when buying the tractor and especially buying the truck would make our budget tighter and tighter. That being said, it was the right call. The truck has been incredibly helpful to have around and has been used a lot.
Aaron turned 11 this year! Grandma and Grandpa took the older three to Bay Beach around that time, and Scott and I took the younger kids to the zoo in town.
In August, we decided we’d finally begin building a “new” building for some of our equipment. The barn is not suitable for storing equipment as it’s unstable, and the granary doesn’t have enough space with some of the new vehicles. We had an opportunity to get free posts for the structure if we could collect telephone posts from the other side of the block, so Scott converted on of our trailers into something he can haul logs with.
Scott figured out how to attach the mower deck to the new tractor, and he taught me how to use it. We both feel a lot safer with the deck on the back of the new tractor than the Massey Ferguson.
The peaches were ready to harvest in August, and Scott and the boys worked to get them canned. The beans were coming in steadily, so I had something to can on a regular basis at this point in the month.
The last day of August marked the 6-year mark since we moved to Spring Lake Homestead! It’s been quite a journey, and it’s really incredible to see all of the changes we’ve made in that time.
We started to harvest apples at the beginning of September, and before long, we were pressing apples with a friend.
We had to buy a new refrigerator in spring, and in September, we had to buy a new chest freezer so we’d have enough freezer space for veggies and for when we would do the butchering.
We cancelled our cell phone service sometime during the year, though I don’t remember when exactly, but my phone stopped working completely in August, so I had to switch back to using the Canon if I wanted pictures of things. That was fine, but I didn’t take as many pictures because of the change. Somewhere in there, Scott got a new phone for work, and I began using his old one to take pictures because I need to figure out better file storage than my laptop before I unload too many pictures from the chip permanently, and the chip is too full to take more pictures right now. I ended up being a little light on pictures the second part of the year because of this, so I don’t have as good of a record of what we all did during this time period.
Paul and Scott both celebrated birthdays in September. For our anniversary, we ended up taking the kids to The Little Farmer in Fond du Lac. We weren’t there for the experience so much as to have Scott get a chance to look at how they run their orchard and gather more ideas of how he wants ours to be set up.
I was initially going to just wait until October to begin school with the kids again, because things get so intense this time of the year, but by the end of September we were back in the swing of things. We were all desperate for some routine again by this point.
But the majority of my time in September was spent harvesting food and preserving it. We made salsa, tomato sauce, canned corn, dried corn, picked pumpkins, pressed tons of cider, made everything apple… By the end of the month, most of the plants were done producing. We did have another early frost this September, but not as early as last year. The frost didn’t affect everybody or everything. Our yard has lots of climate pockets where it’s cooler or warmer, so some areas get hit with frost sooner than others. By the end of the month, I was praying for a hard frost so I could wrap things up!
October, things sort of slowed down. The garden wasn’t producing so much anymore, though it lasted longer than any year I remember in the past. I took advantage and harvested as much as possible, even though I was nearly desperate to be done, I was so exhausted. I spent a lot of time the first two weeks of the month just finishing canning veggies we had in the house waiting to be processed.
In October, I also hosted a Rosary Rally with a couple of my kids and my sister-in-law. We went outside one of the Catholic churches in town and prayed the rosary, and while our group wasn’t big, we were far from alone. There were thousands of Rosary Rallies held around the country that day, all praying for the country. I’m really glad we did that, and I hope we get the time to be able to do more in the future.
We butchered the chickens and turkeys, and I canned meat for the first time! It was such a relief to be nearly done with all the canning and preserving. I knew November would bring more, but the veggies were done, and the broth and meat were the last things on my list of things to preserve.
On the whole, October was spent focusing on the house and schoolwork. The kids and I worked hard all October to get back into a good routine. We knew what it needed to look like, but getting the kids on board wasn’t easy. Once we did, however, things started to feel a lot better in the house. We were able to work on things like getting the basement more organized and doing some deep cleaning in the house.
We butchered the pigs and made sausage for the first time this year! The beginning of November was spent getting everything ready for the big day. Everything went really well, but it was an exhausting process. Thankfully, it was also very rewarding!
To celebrate the completion of the farm year, we celebrated Martinmas this year. This feast day ushered in a new phase of the year for us, and it was a great start and reminder of the reason we celebrate Advent and the coming Christmas season.
Early in November, I was able to get the remainder of the garden cleanup completed, and we got everything tilled in preparation for next year. The weather was pretty warm all the way up until this point, and then around the 13th, we got our first snowfall. It didn’t last long, but to be sure, the kids enjoyed it!
We butchered some deer, and I canned more meat and made more sausage in November. Aaron shot a deer this year, and we helped my brother-in-law butcher some more deer, which he gave us some meat from. I was thoroughly and completely exhausted at the end of that push of work. Every time I felt like things would slow down a little, they just got more intense for a time!
The day Aaron shot his deer was also Adam’s 13th birthday, and the beginning of my time parenting teenagers. I’ve got a lot of years of that ahead of me! That’s definitely a strange feeling. He had a birthday party with his cousins and best friend the day after Thanksgiving, and boy was that an experience! What a rowdy crowd! They had a great time, though!
Somewhere between August and November, Scott started to build the new building. The posts went into the ground and some braces were put in. We had hoped to get further before the end of the year, but we just had too much on the schedule to make it work. Scott was also slowed down because at one point, he smashed his finger between two of the posts pretty hard and he wasn’t able to work on anything until that got better.
Schoolwork was probably the biggest focus of ours this November. We finished reading a book about Christopher Columbus which I found fascinating. We’ve been learning about “creeping animals of the 6th day” since summer, we spent a lot of time on religious studies, Paul made great progress with his reading and writing and really opened up to learning these things where he’s been resistant before. Elijah wants to keep up with Paul, so he’s been jumping right in, too. Gideon wants me to read books to him all the time, so it’s been busy. The older kids work independently on some of their other subjects, but November really brought about a steady school routine.
December was also a busy month, but in a much more relaxed way. I felt like I could breathe a sigh of relief when we turned the page of the calendar. Advent started in November, but we were fully in the swing of things by the first week of November. We wasted no time getting into baking, and the kids and I worked on making baby quilts to donate to the pregnancy center in town.
We were sick the first week of December, but it was kind of nice, because we just relaxed and enjoyed the Adent season. Some of our plans were cancelled because we were sick, and it honestly helped me to just unwind a bit.
After we finished the charity quilts, I began making table runners for friends. Once that was done and when we finally had the money, I jumped into gift-mode. I wanted to do more earlier like I typically would, but I just couldn’t this year since we had to buy the truck and we had some other expenses come up. It was fine, but it meant that I had to cram all of my shopping into one week so that I wouldn’t be scrambling the last week before Christmas.
The week before Christmas, I babysat 3 times. It all went well, and I knew it was coming, so I was able to plan ahead for it, and it did go smoothly. Twice was for a friend who went back to work after having a baby in October, the other time was watching another friend’s younger 3 while she went to visit a sick relative out of state. The kids enjoyed all of it, and we were still able to get a lot accomplished.
In that last week, I also dipped beeswax candles, finished making Christmas cards with the kids, did more baking, wrapped gifts, made something of stained glass for one of the Godchildren, and we got everything together for our Christmas Eve celebration. On the day we had the 3 kids over, we made some decorations and ornaments for the kids to give as gifts to Godparents and relatives.
The Thursday before Christmas, we made decorations for the Christmas tree. The kids used leftover supplies from the day before to make some “stained glass” ornaments out of tissue paper and contact paper, and they used paper to make some chain garland and other decorations like lanterns and snowflakes. Later that day, we had our priest over for dinner, he blessed some things for us, and then he joined us and our friends for Bible study in the evening.
Christmas Eve was spent with my family in the afternoon/evening. Gideon seemed to be coming down with something, so I checked to see how everyone felt about us coming over. They were fine with it, so we went anyway, but then Christmas morning, Gideon was miserably sick with some serious congestion. He stayed home from church with Scott, and when we got home, we ate breakfast and then decided to just let Gideon open his gifts and tuck him in for a nap. He slept the day away, poor boy. The rest of the family had a lot of fun with gifts, and we spent the rest of the day playing with them.
Gideon started to feel a lot better yesterday, though he was still struggling badly with congestion, but Adeline felt pretty horrible. It seems as though some of the kids may have gotten this cold, but in a mild form. I had a runny nose yesterday, but it seems to have cleared up. We spent yesterday resting and relaxing, and we finally got around to watching both Christmas episodes from the makers of The Chosen. I especially liked the new one.
The best gift reactions this year may have been Elijah’s reaction to his gifts, and my niece’s reaction to her emergency bucket. Honestly, I thought my niece would think the emergency bucket was unexciting, but she seemed to be really, really excited about it, especially the freeze-dried mint-chocolate ice cream sandwich. Her eyes also lit up when she opened the Bible that I got for her this year, which I didn’t expect.
Elijah though… first he opened his new tennis shoes. When he opened it he said “UN-EXPECTED.” He wasn’t upset, but also seemed slightly disappointed. He said “I really thought it was going to be an RC car. When he did open his RC car, the reaction was “WHAT?! AN RC CAR?!?! IT’S JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED!” and then he proceeded to run laps around the living room holding the box up above his head.
While I really appreciated and loved all of the gifts that we received this year, there were two that stood out in a special way. One of my good friends gave me the Little House printout that just sums up my feelings about life so well. The other gift was a sign made for us by Scott’s employees. Even though he works away from home, it shows that they know that this life that we’re making is what really matters.
Oh, and one last important thing for the year… We’re getting an outdoor wood burner installed! The burner is here, the trench for the piping is done, we’re just waiting for the installation to be finished. We had wanted to get a woodstove installed in the house by winter this year, but we had to make a lot of tough calls this year. The right situation came up for this burner to be put in, and we took the chance. It means having some more debt, but with things being so unstable with fuel prices, we won’t have to worry about how much we spend on LP this winter.
My Feelings on the Year
I know that life can be incredibly hard some years. Sometimes we go through the worst experiences, losing a loved one, a home, a pet, a job… things can be truly rough and discouraging. We’ve gone through our share of rough years since being married. But honestly, even through all the hard times, things have only gotten better and better for me with every passing year. I learn to enjoy things more, I learn to use my time better, even though I may get busier every year, I’ve learned how to slow down and enjoy it.
I’m thankful for all the truly “UN-EXPECTED” things that have happened in our lives that have been a huge blessing, even when they don’t seem exciting, and I’m even more grateful for how those things can make the things we really want to seem all the sweeter when we finally get them.
This year was to me what the RC car was to Elijah after opening the shoes. The blessings I’ve felt, the peace, love, and joy I’ve experienced were unlike anything I’ve ever felt before, and I can’t wait to take those blessings and multiply them for others. The progress we made this year opens up so many possibilities for us and the visions we have for our homestead. We have so much to be thankful for this year.
I’m excited for where we are, and I can’t wait to see what this coming year will bring. I know it’s going to bring more big changes to the homestead, and I think I’ll spend a bit more time planning things out this winter than I did last year so we can get through it all!
Let me know what your biggest blessing was for 2021, and what you are looking forward to most for 2022!
Love and Blessings~Danielle
P.S. If you want to read more about our adventures this year, you can search posts by month in the “Older Posts” section of the website, and search by month. Otherwise, you can always search by topic in the search bar.