Unfinished… *long post alert*

And then I turned the page…

Only to find the story I had thought would be told in the end, had been dramatically changed. It hadn’t been the best story so far, but it was one I’d had hopes for…one I’d dreamt up the ending to…one that despite all the pain and sorrow had amazing dreams, and even some amazing moments tucked in between the struggles…

…but there were also many very sad and broken hearted times, and the story continued winding down a path I didn’t recognize and wanted to get off…a path I so desperately tried to shield everyone (especially myself) from the reality of…Painting pictures appearing to be happy…to be loved…coping…untitled-8766.jpg

And then the chapter ended, like a door slammed shut.

Everything I thought I’d known about the characters in the story would be challenged…

Everything I’d thought about the Author, I questioned…

How could the Author of this story have my character’s best interest in mind when she had been broken into tiny little pieces? When other characters were broken as well?

img_2762

But it was unfinished. I turned the page again to only find a few pen strokes…

What was to be written?

“Now faith is confidence in what we have hoped for, and assurance of things that are not yet seen.” -Hebrews 11:1

IMG_2502.JPG

Then suddenly the pen started writing again…

Difficult things…More painful moments….More fears, thoughts, questions, saying goodbye, expectations and hopes changed, difficult decisions,  required but unwanted actions…exhaustion and confusion…more betrayal…more hurt…

untitled-8777ds.jpg

But the Author didn’t leave my character alone in those frightening things that had been written…People surrounded her, prayed for her, sacrificed for her, loved her…from close and from afar…The Author had stepped in, placed his hand in between her and the hurt declaring “NO MORE!”

untitled-8828.jpg

And I saw her getting stronger…

IMG_2690.JPG

In each circumstance where there was great unknown, the Author ALWAYS provided. Always giving  hope that there was a better ending than I’d thought up originally for her, even in her fears or simple worries…

IMG_2623.JPG

But there were also many moments where the she was looked upon by other characters with grave disappointment… Because they also couldn’t see the pen strokes or writings, they showed their great judgment in her presumed failure or disobedience. But they didn’t understand….how could they?

And so I saw her struggling to find the meaning of true reliance upon the Author…not caring what others thought…and grasping at everything within her to persevere…to cast off the hurt and judgement of others…to breath…to SURVIVE!

untitled-8970-2

There are still unfilled pages…Pages that I fear will be less of the fairy tale that I’d hoped for her, and more of a story of learning how to trust the Author fully…

And if it is so…HE IS STILL GOOD…

untitled-8949.jpguntitled-8953.jpguntitled-8979untitled-8969-2

————————————————————————

This is my story and I don’t know how it ends yet. I do know that it is UNFINISHED (I am still breathing after all)…

This is how a deeply sad portion in my life looks to me…and then the stands the TRUTH: unknown…UNFINISHED…desperate…SEEN…lonely…NOT ALONE…untitled-8859.jpg

This painful path is FULL of opportunity for me to do one of these Two options:

-Give up, Despair, Wallow in my sorrows and pain forever…tempting

-OR-

-Grow, Trust  that the Author knows how the story ends, Persevere…harder

I’ll just be real here and say I have felt all of those options…I’m twenty-seven years old, with three beautiful children under the age of four… I’ve had many thoughts like-“It’s not fair to my kids! And what about me?- I wasn’t supposed to have to go through this! What’s the point when others view me so worthless? How can I protect my kids? This hurts too much! I can’t do this!”

untitled-8886.jpg

But where will I stand? Hopefully not in those desperate anxious  thoughts… Hopefully I  will hold onto the JOY that is deep inside my soul only through His grace…and take each breath knowing that the Author isn’t finished writing…

There IS PURPOSE to the pain in our stories…

“These trials have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” -1 Peter 1:7

untitled-8850d.jpg

Sometimes we don’t always understand someone’s story. We heap on judgment without understanding. But what we fail to remember is that God is FULLY sovereign. And sometimes divorce is a failure kindness. I’m NOT just another statistic (although that was one of my first thoughts/fears/shame after a thoughtless comment from another)…

I am a daughter of the King of Kings, an Image bearer of God…That is where my identity lies…That truth is what I will choose to cling to…regardless of the judgment that will most likely continue to be thrown my direction… OR the feelings of despair that come my way…

I am deeply heartbroken. But God is the healer above all healers… He is the Author after all…And He is EL ROI- The God who SEES me!

“Whether for correction, for the course of the world,  or for His LOVINGKINDNESS, he causes these things to happen.” -Job 37:13 

untitled-8822-2.jpg

I am NOT worthless…I’m NOT a victim…

I refuse to have those labels any longer!

I AM  A BRAVE WARRIOR! I AM A SURVIVOR! I AM AN IMAGE BEARER!

STAND FOR TRUTH, and end the silence that we so often stay in. And realize that in ruin new things can be built… Ruin is a gift…

IN CHRIST LIES MY HOPE…I can do hard things…You can do hard things…

untitled-8907.jpg

*Disclaimer- This post is not attention seeking, or meant to bash the other people in my life story… I felt compelled to write about my REAL because so many times we (I) stay silent in our pain…we hide behind smiles…we pretend… But the reality is we all have moments (or lifetimes) of brokenness, pain, and sorrow…And we need to speak truths to ourselves, to others… we need to be real so that others know it’s okay to be real… We need to learn that we have value and worth because we are made in HIS image & HE knows our sorrows, our pains, our hurts like no one else does. It’s also a request for prayer…for ALL the people involved in this painful season… *

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”– 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

(Combination of my cell phone pics & my camera photos- I know the style of pictures are not consistent through this blog post, working on it…lol… )

It lies open before the King…

So thankful God has brought to memory a few songs I wrote when I was in high school…

I pulled out my dusty, out of tune guitar…I fumbled as my fingers struggled to remember how to play….it’s been a while…WAY TOO LONG…

…(this is where I should technically enter photos of my beautiful guitar, or my song book with scribbles and chords…haha!…Instead this blog post will probably hold pictures that might not make sense to you, but are my reasons and encouragements)…

…it was not the most beautiful sounding attempt,  but it brought tears to my eyes and comfort to my worried heart as the lyrics rolled off my tongue…

1d4cfdf29fa2af3319cedf839561fc52

I realized that God gave me the songs, the tune,  the lyrics…all those years ago just for this time in life when I couldn’t remember… When I am unable to see light at the end of this dark tunnel…DSC_7885

Sometimes God gives us gifts in the form of prior things. He brings things back into our lives to keep us going.untitled-8913

Because we MUST KEEP GOING. No matter how much we don’t want to go on with the hard stuff in front of us…we must keep persevering… praying…seeking…untitled-8918.jpg

I’ve been reminded again…

All my dreams, desires, longings, sorrows, hurts, fears, inadequacies….IT LIES OPEN BEFORE MY KING… HE isn’t without understanding, He cares for me….He KNOWS…He FORMED ME.. He made me for his OWN… and He KNOWS MY NAME…

untitled-8731.jpg

IT AIN’T OVER YET…He’s got a hold of this…

He who hath led…

There are so many times we  question the One who gave us life…

The One who holds each moment…untitled-8655

The One who has it ALREADY recorded when we were to be born and when we will take our last breath… The One who has given us SO many wonderful blessings…

WHY ON EARTH would I question Him??? Why do ANY OF US?untitled-8737

At some point we all cry out- “This is NOT what I had planned God, so…WHAT are you doing???”

Simply put- I’M HUMAN, YOU ARE HUMAN… We can’t always see before us very far, and that sometimes gives us an uneasy feeling…We want to be able to see around the bend, through the brush, beyond the dark alley…

untitled-8755

But God… He always shows up in BIG ways! In small ways too, but those small ways are so amazing and always take my breath away at the details he puts in… I’m so Incredibly thankful- we are all blessed beyond anything we deserve…

untitled-8753

One of the favorite things I have had scribbled on the inside flap of my Bible since I can remember, comes from Amy Carmicheal’s mother. It reads:

“He who hath led you, surely will lead

All through the wilderness.

He who hath fed you, surely will feed,

He who hath heard thy cry will never close his ear.

He who hath marked thy faintest sigh,

will not forget thy tear.

He loveth always,

faileth Never,

So REST on Him, today-forever.”

untitled-8603

Isn’t that just beautiful? So wonderful, and almost embarrassing that I forget it so easily… that I have to remember that my God will NOT stop what he has started.

Be encouraged… God WON’T stop what He starts in your life or mine!

Philippians 1:6- “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you is faithful unto it’s completion.”untitled-8742

*A huge THANK YOU to the Bobo family for making  it possible to keep blogging after my computer broke.*

Magical laughter…

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play IS serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood” – Fred Rogers 

dsc_8538“Play is the highest form of research.”-Albert Einstein dsc_8540“They are much to be pitied who have not been given a taste for nature early in life.”     -Jane Austendsc_8539-2“Think left and think right, and think low and think high. Oh the thinks you can think up if only you try.”-Dr. Seussdsc_8551“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They ARE the most important work.” -C.S.Lewis dsc_8548“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” -Albert Einstien dsc_8561“Every experience God gives us is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see.” -Corrie Ten Boomdsc_8571“The process of shaping the child…shapes also the mother herself. Reverence for her sacred burden calls her to all that is pure and good, that she may teach primarily by her own, humble, daily example.” -Elizabeth Elliotdsc_8563“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.” -Jane Austendsc_8568“Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.” -Fred Rogers

Things that have brought me encouragement in this season of my life…

(If you follow me on facebook- you will probably see a few repeat images/shared moments….I’ve got to stop doing that- I forget to place it here and in my excitement of the moment I upload things to facebook…  Some of these pictures are cellphone pics and then some of these are from this winter, so there’s that…I’m working on it- there is no perfection in my life…lol)


It’s often easy to get caught up in sharing the highlights of life… I’ve tried to be open about some of the struggles (with parenting, homesteading issues, postpartum depression, etc..) But there are still struggles that we go through in life that we keep private. We all do for different reasons… some are going through harder struggles than what others face, some are less difficult than what others face…Regardless, we all desperately seek encouragement and answers from some place. Where that encouragement comes from is so vital in making it through.

And while pretending to be happy and hiding everything is my normal preference, I’m learning the importance of genuineness. No, that doesn’t mean I will always share details, or even that I’m required to give any explanations of my situations in life…But I will try to be honest in saying (and this takes courage regardless of who you are)- “I’m going through a difficult portion in my life, and would absolutely love your prayers.” DSC_7739.jpg I’m so thankful that the people who have surrounded us in our deepest struggles, have continuously shown God’s love and been the hands and feet of Jesus. Even if we are in the beginning still, I am trusting that God knows what He is doing.  Even when we don’t understand why things are allowed to happen, or what is going on- GOD DOES! And who are we that we question him? He created us for HIS purpose didn’t he? Surely HE sees us and our struggles…He is God. He is GOOD! And He SEES US WHERE WE ARE.

These  specific scriptures have been so encouraging to me lately:13977783_10154432648723833_1581476366_o.jpg

“Whether for correction, or for the course of the world, or for His loving kindness- He causes these things to happen.” -Job 37:13

“I know that you (GOD) can do ALL things, No plans of yours can be thwarted.” -Job 42:2

“The LORD of Hosts Himself has planned it; therefore, who can stand in its way?”           -Isaiah 14:27 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” -2CORINTHIANS 12:9

With my WHOLE HEART I seek you, let me not wander from your commandments. I have stored up your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”        -Psalm 119:10 -11DSC_6770.jpgAnd when my heart fears situational things…things that might fall to the wayside and we can’t keep up…GOD PROVIDES…even in ways that might seem small to others…like a mowed yard by a stranger, or a close friend.

God SEES.13698018_10154396480283833_1157012535203484060_o (1)Here are some things that I have found encouraging lately besides Scripture and the godly people that have surrounded us:

This Bible study book, Flowers, Essential oils…13903292_10154416606033833_6835015964649146040_n.jpgReminders of God’s provision, protection, lovingkindness…these beautiful gifts…13920922_10154414153378833_79966577325806904_nReminders of the lone flower I talked about a few blog posts back & God holding me…DSC_8313Joyful reminders of the strong people in my family & the legacy they have given me…(This is actually a flower pot base that belonged to my Great Grandma…So I put boiled eggs in here in the fridge and it’s like a burst of happy in my fridge!) DSC_8536.jpgEven God is teaching me daily through my children…I catch a glimpse of Gods view and help in our own lives…In this picture- Josiah is putting his books back on the shelf, he is overwhelmed and feeling like it’s impossible. I as his parent SEE him, I know how they all fit back together-even though he cries out in frustration, and I step in and help my overwhelmed child…Just like God is our help & I am His child.
13627146_10154397627143833_8053812373900270890_n

These two CD’s have encouraged my spirit in SO MANY WAYS… Especially the songs: “I Will Trust in You” & “Power to Redeem” by L. Daigle, as well as the songs “I Am Here” & “Peace be Still” from the Hidden in My Heart VOL 2 &3  CD’s….13950683_10154432635833833_511480433_oListen to the song: “I Am Here” from the Hidden in my heart Scripture lullabies Vol. 2…It’s amazing. I’ve been playing it as I fall asleep.

I’m SO thankful to be reading through this book right now :

51WMJ-Ubs2L

I also was directed to this amazing prayer Journal by Lysa Terkeurst (apparently this author has greatly impacted my life!)… If you are going through any struggle in your life I HIGHLY recommend going through it! Its amazingly encouraging & a free download on the Proverbs 31 Ministries website:13988641_10154432648678833_878273241_n.jpgJournaling has been such a huge part of this portion of my life too! I had forgotten how important journaling can be & how you can see growth (or lack of growth) in your life just by reading previous entries…I had stopped because of situations, but I have started back at it…  It is blurred because-it’s my journal…haha…and yeah, I’m wordy….13931689_10154432856528833_45122232_oFinding joy in simple moments that otherwise would simply be passing has been important…DSC_8456.jpgSoaking in the little smiles…DSC_8494.jpgAnd relishing in the quiet that comes with the morning hours (IF I wake up before the kids-haha!)…Pondering on the selfless love others have shown me…DSC_8525Enjoying the coffee…DSC_8532.jpgDSC_8528.jpgOne of the things that is helping me most is this-  refuting any and all fears with Scripture, God’s Word- BECAUSE THE TRUTH SETS US FREE… 1d4cfdf29fa2af3319cedf839561fc52

I’m thankful for a pastor who is continuously reminding me of the importance of this vulnerability…I am still learning…It is not an easy thing for me…I know that we all deal with deep struggles, go through deep valleys, have seasons of sorrow- That is why this life is a journey. Journeys are not always easy paths, but they have high points and low points… So let’s learn how to be genuine together, be vulnerable with each other, and pray earnestly for one another…Maybe one day it will become a more natural state for me… In the meantime, this is where I am.

I’m thankful that God paints these beautiful moments  of beauty to enjoy…They encourage my heart that he REALLY DOES have the whole world in His hands. And if He can hold the world, He can hold us in our struggles. DSC_6459

 

Exciting news! *Read to the end for an amazing deal!!! 

I am SO EXCITED to let you know I have joined up as a distributor for Young Living essential oils. I have been wanting to be a part of a business that I could run from home (while staying with and raising my children), that would help financially, but MOSTLY that I could share something that I truly believed in. While I loved doing photography as a way to accomplish this, it took hours away from my children that I wasn’t ready to part with. And I’m not talking about “a little extra income” I’m talking about a paycheck! …Like a REAL one!..DSC_8452.JPGI kept having problems finding a business that I could 100% stand behind and believe in. So many other companies promise good health and even “natural” health, but their products don’t have ingredients I could sell in good conscience because of either misinformation, straight up dangerous products, or lack of quality.

But Young Living is different. Their products are pure, tested, unadulterated- Now that is something I can absolutely recommend!!! My doctor was shocked that I wasn’t already a part of the company because I’ve used (and sworn by!) them, and she gave me the push I needed to get going. I’m thankful that the Lord has put her, and many other wise people including my team leader, in my path to encourage me on this journey.

(These are three FAVORITE oils that are seriously helping this mama of three under three!)DSC_8436.JPGI have been using essential oils for a few years now & our family has loved the many benefits to our health and wellness! They help support the immune system functions on levels that far outweigh other popular methods. I’m constantly learning something new and I love sharing the information I’ve learned.

The benefits I experienced from using them during the labor and delivery of our sweet Adelaide were too numerous to list. (I will ALWAYS have oils during childbirth, and postpartum from now on!)…I am currently looking forward to the “feelings kit” that I have coming in the mail. It will help with my feelings of being overwhelmed, as well as help releasing emotional stress in a healthy way, and overcoming emotional hurdles I have been facing lately. It’s more than just making your house smell great…God gave us multiple senses for a reason, and NOT using them to help you in areas of your life where there is a need is a missed opportunity.DSC_8449.JPGI have found Young Living to be the purest and most effective oils, and I love that they have a seed to seal promise-that is why I recommend them 100%.

I’ll be completely honest and say that I didn’t start off using Young Living oils exclusively because of price. But over the years I found I was having to use more quantity of the other brands because they weren’t strong enough, thus I was purchasing them more frequently than needed. (Basically throwing money at them and hoping they’d be just as effective-they weren’t). And then some brands I’ve learned were using ingredients that weren’t even listed in the advertised oil! Others were using pesticides on the plants, or used seeds that already were formulated to grow with pesticides. These plants would then be used to make the oils, thus the products were spiked with these TOXIC chemicals…YIKES! DSC_8440.JPG(I didn’t actually throw the other brands of oils away- although the thought did cross my mind- I ended up KEEPING them so that you can compare quality if you would like to… You can definitely tell they are NOT the same quality, just by smell!)

Whereas, Young living products are SO pure that just a tiny bit went a LONG way, and I didn’t have to worry about poisoning my body. If you want to use essential oils for these amazing benefits- I definitely recommend using Young Living to actually save money in the long run, as well as see better affects from usage & be worry free of the product and its quality. There are SO MANY benefits to aiding your body’s health in these God given ways!DSC_8444.JPGAnother thing I love about young living is they also have natural cleaners, beauty products, natural supplements, and products for your pets! I recently started using the thieves cleaning solution and LOVE, LOVE it! A little goes a long way, it smells AMAZING, but most importantly gives you a deep clean without the dangerous chemicals that are in so many store bought products. And for people with young children who are crawling and seem to put everything in their mouths, this is a huge benefit! NO WORRIES!DSC_8437.JPGI am SO excited to see where the Lord leads this business and I would LOVE to have you on my team! If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, if you needed to find someone to order through, or if you already use oils but have been looking for a way to be a part of sharing these amazing products with others- contact me. I would love to have you learn alongside me, and I would LOVE to help you get started!DSC_8447.JPG

* The HUGE deal-I’m  offering ONE  $20 OFF coupon when you join up with a premium starter kit- but this coupon is first come first serve-so it will go quick! I am making my next order on August 18th, so let me know if you would like to purchase anything or if you want this amazing discount. (The coupon expires on the 18th, so DON’T miss this chance!)

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