Shalom Readers, Family and Friends!
We have had a busy month here on the farm and my "Jots and Tittles" have suffered for it. So I thought I would catch you up on some of the things (list style) that we have been doing in that time. it is our hope to get pictures and post things more fully...but our schedule is not looking anymore light, until oh...say...... THANKSGIVING!!!! So I will do my best. :-)
In the last month-
The Farm: So many projects are getting planned (and replanned and planned again!, as well implemented. (I stick to reviewing things that are currently happening - to keep the post brief).
* We have had Amish help here the past week putting repairing, changing, moving and putting up fencing. We are preparing for more animals this year and "thinking ahead" with fencing to grow into. It requires a lot of capitol investment...and we are thankful to have help with the labor. It will continue into next week. He has doubled our sheep pasture by finishing fencing on the wooded side and adding some gates and repair. Is moving fence across the street to create a couple zones. One for goats (in the woods and brush) and the other for cows. After that we will be building a Turkey run with 6 ft fences and a brooder house...so I am guessing they will be around for a couple more weeks. One of two brothers will be here on any given day. It is neat to watch their methods and tools! They have also been eating lunch with us..which is equally interesting!
* We will be bringing in another team of Amish help (2 men - I believe) this week from the other side of the highway. :-) (Different church/Bishop) They have helped us with other building before. They will be building lean-too's onto the shed for starters.
* We started building our garden with fresh compost and wood chips and our new (used) tractor clutch fried. So that went away to the shop and other things took place and that job sat - started - but unfinished. It is our hope tomorrow to place the rest of the compost we have and order the second load on Monday. The weather is good and we are VERY ready!
* Ben built a couple shelves and made some lighting/heat on the porch for some seed starting and we started some seeds a couple weeks ago. It seems so slow going, but we are sprouting!
* We had added Purple Martin houses to the property in the hopes to attract some to the farm for the first time this year. Ben did his homework and we have learned that they migrate up here from Brazil in March to search out their northern home. When they find it, they come back to it each spring there after. We are hopeful. I hope to post more on this later!
*We have started drawing water from our well and drinking from it. However it is not plumbed into the house/barn yet. We have sent it off the lab for testing (125 things!) and are STILL waiting for the results...but couldn't wait..it tastes great! We pump it by hand. The kids enjoy doing that! We'll keep you updated.
The House: We have finally finished our upstairs! It is so exciting! After 4 weeks of construction...and 2 years of living in a ROUGH second floor - we were able to move the kids upstairs again on Friday. I hope to post more on this too and do a video tour. We still have yet to dig pictures our of storage and the kids are itching to "decorate" there rooms after so long of having an insulation decor over by sheets and plastic! I am so happy to have it done for them. It also means that we have our own bedroom back, we were sharing it with 4 other children and a newt during construction! The children are upsatirs but I am left wiht thie newt. Elijah would like to finds it a new home and I don;t want that home to be my bedroom!! Does anyone want a newt? It comes with a small tank and the fixins/food!! He brought it from PA - it was a wonderful opportunity for animal stewardship when we were on 1 acer. Now that we have expaneded...well, my son is ready to move into larger livestock! :-) (Does Goodwill take Newts??!!) I digress......The recent move upstairs after constrution also means we don't have wall to wall bunch beds in our den any more and that I finally got to CLEAN both of these downstairs rooms which was put off because they we so crammed with furniture and people! The kids were so gracious and patient in the process of their wait for finished bedrooms in the last couple years!
I have been painting trim downstairs and freshing things. I feel like I am doing a very thorough "spring cleaning" this year...there is always MORE I COULD do....but then...i can only do so much right now. :-)
Also - I now have a linen closet!! I am still pinching myself! It is so wonderful! Closets make this momma happy! :-) We still have lots of rearranging to do downstairs and it is a good time of reassessing some things in storage again...we continue to choose and simplify. We keep our local Goodwill and Christian store house in business with donations! :-)
We plot and plan the summer kitchen - which likely have to wait another year - because of the budget. But it might be just as well, because we have moved it about 6 different places in our minds so far! So apparently ...it is a "process" that must be worked out. :-) I think we just came to a really good plan we are ready to settle on though! :-) (just in time to wait!)
We have converted an upright freezer to a fridge and moved it inside. It is so nice to have a FULL size fridge in the kitchen. I am LOVING it. I hope to post more on that later too. :-)
The Livestock: We started butchering our sheep. We have 6 more left, it is our goal to have that finished before our new breed arrives on the 19th.
The rest is plotting and planning still.
The Community: It has been exciting witnessing our friend's betrothal in an up close and personal way. I am helping the groom's mom plan, while he stayed here as a aprt of our house construction crew with other men. It is so neat to watch the (future) groom build his home and call his bridesmaid (out of state) every other night, and write letters on the nights between. His is hard at work building a home for them on the homestead and generating income to provide and communicating with her and planning. Its so romantic! It is neat to hear all the little things he is excited about and his plans for the future and see his attentiveness toward his brides needs. In the midst of his time here he (and other family members back home) broke out with chicken poxs! The betrothal was actually reschedules for that reason. So all that was also exciting. The couple will be officially Betrothed next week here in TN.
It is exciting communicating with dear friends from afar whom are praying about moving into the area and others who have gotten confirmation and ARE. We are so excited to open our home and hearts to others in Yah's family! Now that the kids have moved their closets out of the trailer, we can start setting it up for camping this spring...although it still has their old dressers in there...so we have figure out what to do with them. We have changed the clothes storage in their room to be self contained in the closets (which I LOVE), so now we need to repurpose the furniture or tkae yet another trip to good will! So that is all "unfinished business" that needs to be addressed this week.
Excitement is also mounting as we prepare for the YHVH's Spring Biblical Feasts and time away from the farm as well as company all around that time here on the farm! We are so blessed to have such family in Yah, we love them dearly! We kind of "phoned in" Purim this year. We were hoping to do something grand like we have in years past, but it just wasn't practical. We simply had pizza, popcorn and hametashin, talked about the book of Esther and let the kids watch Esther the Movie (which was recommended by a friend) while Ben and I continued to work on things upstairs to get the rooms ready for the kids to move into.
Health: We were anticipating a chicken pox outbreak in our home by now...but have not yet. We have a few children who have yet to get it and they were well exposed. I have never gotten it either (but have been exposed countless times in my life) so I wonder if they might have some of my "immunity" to it. I think we should know for sure by the end of this week. All is well otherwise. I pray it remains so!
The Chillin's: Hailey (13) is learning to play harp. She just picked it up (it was waiting there for ME to learn!) and just started playing. She has a firm foundation in piano and is picking it up very instinctively. We have a few material to help us and youtube! :-)Elijah (11) is making walking sticks in the hopes that there me a "market place" offered this year at Family Week. He goes into our woods, selects saplings, cuts them, sands them and finishes them and puts little finishing touches on them. He has also Ben dad's Chief helper in Butchering sheep and got a wonderful education in Dry walling and various construction. Naomi (almost 8) is learning to play the piano (with the help of Hailey and Momma) and could sit at it for HOURS on her own accord. She is very self motivated in it...It is very exciting to watch. She has also learned to tell time (and gotten her first watch) and learned how to count money. (Because she is excited about helping momma in (planned) our family store one day.) Gideon (6) has also learned to tell time (basically because Naomi did and he liked the idea of a watch! We will be celebrating his 6th birthday this week. He is also learning to read and pesters to learn Hebrew! The Hebrew is something momma is having a hard time making a regular thing again! He has been inspired by his new bedroom closet and has organized his clothed by color! I would be amazed, astounded and so excited, if this was a lasting thing! Eliana (just turned 5) Is learning the sounds to her letter and how to write them. We have started her in a preschool activity book so she can "do school" like the other kids. She loves it! It is very satisfying for her. She has also learned to ride her bike around our bumpy farm grass. It is so cute to watch because she is so tiny. Just a month ago - Gideon and Naomi would "lap her" as they rode around the house again and again...but NOW she keeps up with them! She is so proud of her self! (as are we!) :-) Chazaq (2) Has developed a love for puzzels, all kinds. He is also a day or two away from bring introduced to his new big-boy-bed in their new bedroom. I am so glad spring is here because He LOVES to be outside and take trips to the barn with the animals. It is need witness him being raised on the farm from the beginning. He has such a strong awareness of where his meat comes from! He loves to visit the animals and take care of them, he has witness the whole butchering process and he loves to eat them too! It is very strange to see such an awareness in a (just)2 year old on such things.
Ben is feeling the pressure to be more active at work from both sides. The structure at work has changed and is tightening his freedom here ont he farm and the farm projects are demanding the resources....He is handling it like a champ - but if he comes to mind, please pray for him. It is a burden that can be great at times.
I have been thinking again an planning my seasoning line, when I can, that is. I have been investigating packaging and tossing names around....it is definitely a process though!
Hailey and I have started soaking our grains more, and are trying to stick to "soaked" breads. Hailey (my chief bread maker) likes making them and we all like eating them, so I think we have a match! It just takes a little change in habits to get it really regular.
Our neighbors has expressed great interest in buying kifer from us on a weekly basis. I think we will start doing that for her and may offer some other products...we'll see.
Sorry no pictures. It is nearing 1 am and I must go to bed - we have a big work day tomorrow.
We have two chapters of Psalm 119 that we have yet to record for you: Would it be ungrateful to ask Yah for a couple more hours in the day???
Its been busy, its been good. It's been real! I Love it! YHVH is so gracious to us!
Welcome to Home Shalom!
Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!