Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Our Kitchen Reveal

We have been in our home now for 5 years and this year we decided to spruce up the Kitchen. Our white vinyl flooring had holes in it and really needed repaired.  We decided to replace the vinyl flooring with laminate which I love. It is so soft and cleans up so nice I wish I could have it throughout my home. (See the hanging light? Well between the flooring guys hitting it three times and the cabinet guys hitting it twice, it is no longer. I think we are going with recessed lighting. I don't want to compete with the large hanging lights over the island.)

The space in the top photo as now been replaced with a custom pantry. I have never had anything custom made before so I love, love, love, this pantry. I now have space for my food and snacks. We decided to splurge on this pantry and not redo the cabinets. We did replace the countertops but used laminate instead of granite. We replaced the sink and faucet. I love the large sink.

The island used to be the same color as the cabinets but we had it painted black to match the pantry and added a new laminate countertop to it as well.
I plan on adding two windows on either side of the stove to let in the south facing light. After the addition for my parents, our kitchen had no natural light so it gets really dark.
I painted our kitchen soffit, added antique plates, and hung this cute sign. Hope surprised me with it the day we moved her to college. It is very special to me.
I hope you enjoyed the new kitchen reveal, we are preparing slowly for retirement. We are in our mid-forties and we want to have everything we need in place before we retire. I would love to know what you are doing to prepare your home for retirement.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Changing Roles

Life has been changing so much for me these days and I'm trying to take it all in stride, but last Sunday in church I couldn't control the tears.
We moved my daughter into her college dorm last weekend and I was in "get it done mode" and made it through the entire day with no tears. Ethan came with Tim and I to help us move Hope to college. He and Hope have a bond and he loves her so much so it was hard for him to leave her. I think with my Mom passing away in May and Hope moving in Aug. it just all hit me at once in the beautiful moment of communion at church, that my two best girls were gone. The music and seeing all the mommies with their little girls really got to me and the tears just kept flowing. My husband kept looking over I'm sure he was thinking, is she going to be ok?
 I finally got it together and made it through Mass. I am now trying to get into the new role of parenting a college student from far away. What are the rules?  I would like her to text me everyday at least three times a day so I know what is going on. But that isn't going to happen. I would be happy to have a text at least once a day .
Ethan is adjusting too, adjusting to having Hope's room while she is gone. He loves it. I guess we all go through adjustments in our lives where things that once were the norm are no longer and never will be. That is when we have faith that God knows what is best and will lead us through and soon we will find a new rhythm to our days. I would love to know how much you communicate with your college kids.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Day at the Beach

Summer is ending too soon and as each year passes it goes faster and faster. I'm learning to stop talking about ideas and to do them. That is why we spent the day at the beach. Only a few short hours from our house and we were there transported to another place of relaxation and family fun.

Since we drove up for the day and packed a picnic lunch it was a pretty frugal trip.

In this place every age has a great time. This is the first time we had been to this beach and wondered why we never came before. So close and so fun. Here are a few pictures, I hope you decide to make your ideas a reality before summer comes to an end and we are inside for the winter. Let me know how you spent the summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stocking up

My freezers are overflowing and it's only the first of the season for preserving food. The meat birds took up all of the small chest freezer in the garage and the small basement freezer is full of meat, newly made chicken broth and berries. I would love to have an upright freezer to store more meat, such as a half of beef or pork. But right now I'm out of room.
We are blessed to have an abundance waiting for us this winter.

Some Amish friends of ours called and had 2- 5 gallon buckets of green beans ready so we purchased them to supplement our harvest. I will snap and clean them today while our new kitchen flooring is laid and then tonight my mother in law and I will can them. 10 gallons will yield 14 quarts of green beans.

Once you have eaten fresh canned green beans it so hard to eat store bought green beans. The flavor and texture just doesn't compare.

Busy season has started on our homestead and school will be in session in a mere 3 weeks. There is much to do from now on. So I will try to keep plugging away little by little, more and more. The new kitchen reveal is almost here. I can't wait to show you how it turned out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Homesteading

The raised beds are doing great. We love them and plan on making more this winter. Although the neighbor's dog dug into one and messed up the green beans that were planted, I think they look great. We have green beans and small pickles in them. Weeding is so easy.

The other exciting adventure we tried this year was buying meat birds and having our own chicken . Some of the birds grew to eight pounds and there is a whole lot of good healthy chicken for us to consume this winter. We wanted to have 50 birds but ended up with 41. We lost a few. We have no place as yet to raise birds (and we are not sure we want to at this point) but my cousin lives just down the road and they raised them and we paid for the feed.

The kids had a ball helping Tim catch them. Owen and Hope were all in on this one.

What new adventures have you tried on your homestead this summer ?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014 Goals

Our Goals for July, August and September:

Home: finish Kitchen project and reveal the final outcome. The reason we are remodeling the kitchen is 1: it needed it and 2: getting ready to have everything as it should be when we retire or slow down our working schedule. Pay down our mortgage as much as possible.

Self: reduce my working hours outside my home so I can be more present to my family and organize our home life.

Family: Take the family on an outing to Lake Michigan for the day to just play and be together before Hope leaves for college and the other children get back to school.

The goals for the last three months went pretty well.

Home: We have almost completed the kitchen renovations, we have started the garden and it's growing.  We will definitely be building more raised beds as the weeds are barely in those beds. And the back patio is beginning to come along although we need to landscape in time.

Self: I successfully completed my Yeast free diet and feel so much better. I have more energy and I'm not as tired.

Family: All the parties were a success. Happy times for us all. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Our Loss

If you have been following Our  Journey at all you will know that my husband and I have been taking care of my parents for about a year and 2 months. This past May in the heart of all our celebrating, my mom past away.

She was having trouble with her breathing and had been put on Oxygen. She came to the point where she was praying to God to take her home. Her mind was good but her body had no more to give.

She died peacefully at home with me holding her hand. What a blessing for me to experience something so peaceful and beautiful happening in my presence. I miss her but I am happy for her that her journey is done here and she is now with God.


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