Summer on the Minter Mini-Homestead…And a few deeper thoughts…

So our little place in the city is slowly becoming our “practice homestead”… I say practice because *we hope* it is temporary, and that we will one day be able to do it for real and more large scale on a farm house with land…

Our little chickens are growing up…DSC_8297-2Our lady hens are all finally laying together again, so we currently get 6 eggs a day. Those promptly get eaten…lol…I can’t wait until we actually have more layers!DSC_8369.JPGLook though, they even smile at you! Chicken smiles make it the wait for eggs worth it…sort of.DSC_8370We have beauty all over the place and some of these pretty things have been teaching me things in simple ways. For example, this blossom… it was the ONLY thing left on the entire branch after one of the chicks went “leaf eating happy”…and yet, it was still there, holding on…or rather, the branch was holding on to the blossom. Sometimes I feel like I’m all alone and grabbing on to anything and everything just to stay afloat, with nothing left to give, but I know that I can stand strong because God has given me the strength… because God is holding onto me…DSC_8313.JPGThere have been moments over the last few weeks that I have become overwhelmed by everything: laundry, cooking, cleaning, nursing, cuddling babies, yard work, diapers, going out in public (apparently I’m anxious about that now?), missing my hard working husband… The list could go on actually, there is so much going on in our lives that I won’t even go into all the details here…

So, some things have slid by the wayside…Healthy food was a big one that flopped several times this last week. And if you know me, that right there should tell you something is wrong…Because I’m pretty strict about what I feed myself and my kids after learning (continuing to learn) the effect food has on our bodies -immune system function, the way food actually affects hormones & mood, etc….DSC_8391.JPGThey didn’t taste good anyways…not worth it!

I think I’m dealing with postpartum depression (easier to admit behind a screen). But it doesn’t look like I thought it would. I don’t know. These clouds describe my feelings in a way: a great darkness attempting to cover the joy…and yet, struggling to peer through the clouds at the same time. Dramatic, I know…DSC_8428.JPGPeople will probably just say we bit off more than we could chew, why are we trying to “mini- homestead” right now anyways?…

But actually it is giving me relaxation and teaching me so much, so I’m pretty sure that’s not it…DSC_8427.JPGI have been cruel to myself with thoughts of failure, guilt of  lowered immune systems in my family (due to bad food choices), blaming myself for all three kids coming down with some sort of viral rash with low grade fever (due to said lowered immune system), guilt from letting my kids watch WAY too much TV (my husband even asked if we could go no TV like we’ve done before because we were more intentional with our time together), low self esteem from neglecting self care, and  in serious need of words of life..Anyone with me???

*This picture is just the beginning this was Callie Grace on the second day after the dew drop looking lesions formed, and before a few have since scabbed over…I think it is chicken pox and so does our family doctor. It looks identical to when my older two had mild cases of chicken pox before, but who knows, rashes are hard to tell… Each kid is spotty, itchy, and feverish… I’m glad they have it as kids and not as adults if that is what it is, so fingers crossed it is chicken pox, build up immunity and all…And they aren’t acting like it really bothers them other than itchiness, so that’s good…*13713344_10154367509768833_528817909_n.jpg

I have had self guilt, self pity, self doubt… self, self, SELF… yeah… I see a pattern here. I am so thankful for the Lord gifting me with a husband who points me towards Christ and away from these selfish actions, despite how uncomfortable those conversations might be. And I’m SUPER excited that the I have some Essential oils in the mail coming from Young Living that are seriously going to be helping me work through those emotions! (Yes, I’m all about me some essential oils-God gave us different senses for a reason).

I was so thankful for the encouragement several friends gave me over the past few weeks, without even knowing the need… this picture only captures a few of such kind acts…I was reminded again that I need to give myself grace. I am only 4 months postpartum after all…DSC_8393So my challenge this next month for myself: Determine to speak words of life and preach the GOSPEL to myself. Change my focus from inward (selfishness), and focus outward (on what God is doing in my life, on my family and time spent with them, blessings God has given us, and being intentional with friends), and to change the things that I can control (Food choices, self care, Remove and SERIOUSLY limit Screen Time-In fact we sold our Living room TV set today!, no self blame, etc.)…

To cause myself to be kind with my inner and deepest thoughts…Take a moment in the busy day and  read scripture, the very WORDS OF LIFE I so desperately need… and to simply breathe deeply– God is holding me and knows exactly how I feel! He is using us in His own way… and if I am willing to be encouraged by Him, he will show me grace in the simple things. And maybe…just maybe I can grow a little bit… My husband gave me this encouragement from the Word, a verse that seems to keep popping up everywhere:

“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2DSC_8337.JPGSo, apologies for the necessary detour this blog took…now focusing my attention back on our family and mini-homestead life:

Our baby is trying to grow up too quickly on me…DSC_8405.JPGAnd I keep finding things that my little boy always has done, but is growing too big for…Baths in the sink will be ending too soon…Documenting it one last time…DSC_8334.JPGAnd several weeks ago our big girl  discovered her ability to twist and loop her tongue. A talent I do not have, but wanted to make sure I documented just in case it was a fluke (it’s not, she does it all the time now). DSC_8316And look, some of our bunnies have turned out lop eared after all…Here is the airplane look before the crown fully developed into a lop…That was something I didn’t know, I thought that if they were lop it would be that way from birth, but not so…DSC_8303And then here it is after a few days…DSC_8380.JPGAbsolutely precious… This bunny I think will be kept as a pet??? I know…not doing so hot on the sustainable homestead part…lol… No, actually I think this litter will be sold as pets…I just don’t think I can eat the adorableness…especially with those lop ears!  I mean, it’s so cute it doesn’t even look real!DSC_8376.JPGWe WILL raise meat rabbits soon. Using the same doe, but a different male who won’t carry the peanut or dwarfing genes…Remember, we thought that one was female, and this litter was an “accident.” Although I’m glad it happened so that we could get in some practice, and these baby bunnies have given us all so much joy…  I think I just got too close to these for them to be eaten…they were born in my kitchen after all… or maybe that’s where the irony is…hmmmm…

Just using the materials we have available to make their colony. I’m excited because we are going to have tunnels & fake burrows, when actually the run is dig proof.DSC_8383.JPG While we were building, look who found herself a new place to nest…haha…We do need to get working on the real chicken nesting boxes, poor things only use a basket right now…DSC_8384.JPGBut it is really for the buns…There is only one out of the litter that isn’t a lop eared bun…Isn’t it adorable? DSC_8300.JPGIt still looks like a mess here… still working on it…I love that this is all right outside the children’s bedroom- they can look out the window at all the animals…HOW FUN! DSC_8388.JPGThe bunnies really love being out in the yard!DSC_8307.JPGBut they are so happy in the colony we built. We have a separate place for the male, but it’s right next to the others so it doesn’t get too lonely… They have even been rearranging the stuff to their liking…But since we aren’t finished & need to add the tunnels, dirt, and actual roof it’s all okay…DSC_8425.JPGWe know the white gates look off, but it was the only materials we had on hand to build the doors with… I will eventually make it look nice- either I’ll replace them later when we have the funds, or I will paint the rest of the run white & possibly just cut off the fence tips….Hey, free materials are always better regardless of looks…Am I right? haha! And that patch of dead grass in the middle is going to be a free for all (Chickens and humans) herb garden with some they avoid (so it doesn’t look demolished), and some they enjoy eating but that grow very quickly…I want it to look nice somewhat, we are in the city after all…*I know it can be done because I’ve seen it*DSC_8423.JPGThe chickens had all just gone in the run because of the rain, so I was able to get everyone in the pictures.DSC_8421.JPGAnd I know the rabbit colony isn’t huge, but we are starting small remember? And there is way more space here than what most people have for rabbits…DSC_8420.JPGAnd what did we do with the kiddos if we were both building you ask? I wasn’t wearing her on my back this time because we were using the saw and I didn’t want the noise bothering her ears, or sawdust to get in her eyes…so, Pinterest Mom hack for the win…The kids played in their sandbox & play house…baby played here…No bugs or sun on baby…Isn’t that an awesome idea??? DSC_8386.JPGWe really have loved the benefits of growing fresh food, even the little tiny bit we have done this year… This year it all sort of feels like a lot of effort for little return, but we are still majorly learning and we still can’t do as much because of our young babies. Next year we are hoping to do a large garden that will take up a third of our yard… Praying that we are able because I would like to get back into canning…I really miss having shelves full of beautiful home canned foods…DSC_8315 We are also going to be growing my favorite flowers that we can cut for bouquets instead of buying flowers…I’m one of the weird ones that always wants fresh flowers in the house…I don’t know why, but it always makes the house feel cleaner.

I know it’s going to be a lot of work, and I’m sure some of you reading are probably thinking the same as stated above, “why are you trying to “mini- homestead” right now anyways? You have so much on your plate…” But this is our dream, and we want it to become a REALITY! DSC_8315.JPG

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