The past 4 weeks has been a total whirlwind for our crew! Our family of eight, along with our two pooches, loaded up the U-haul once again, and headed back south!
For those of you just tuning into our ever evolving saga, we were living just outside of Birmingham, AL for the past 3 years.
We left all we'd ever know and loved, and headed north under the prompting of the Lord. There we built our unit stronger and tighter that I could have ever dreamed possible! We attended a local Bible College and spent the next three years living life, adventuring, raising and welcoming babies, as well as deconstructing our faith. Ultimately with the purpose and outcome of truly understanding what we claim to believe based on Scripture and not pulpit teachings.
This past winter hubs and I both felt the release from that season and the prompting to return 'Home'. We've decided to forego life in the suburbs or city to be a part of a 40ac family compound. Essentially, pinnacling the top of any "I will never" lists I've written and declared for myself. (Funny enough, God's had me never-ing all the "I will never's" like never before; so far not too shabby.) So we listed our home in the 'Ham and packed it all up heading home, to our roots.
While we've learned to make plans, but hold on loosely when it comes to walking with God, we've somewhat come up with an idea of what we anticipate this next chapter to look like.
For starters, we will still home educate our kiddos. In fact, we've already begun. Even though there is a small remaining portion of the home not unpacked accompanied with several outdoor *musts* do's, we've decided to jump back in. The decision to jump back in so quickly was solely to provided some familiarity in routine and rhythms while we adjust to living so close to the people we love to spend all our free time with! We do try our best to school year round taking breaks as needed. I discuss this in other posts. So if you're curious on our why, what, how's and goals with that be sure to follow along on that blog series!
Those *must* do outdoor projects are kind of our largest hurdle at the moment. We are having to be creative with how and when we do them since we are still waiting for the right buyer or tenant for our home up north. Carrying two mortgages with rates at their current standing is not for the faint of heart or anyone unwilling to be disciplined in their spending. It is really easy to slip into doubt and worry over that house being available still. However, I and hubs remind me almost daily the Lord does not forsake us and is true to His Word. We only need to be obedient. So I am making conscious choices daily (sometimes several times daily) to rest in that. Those projects begin with clearing underbrush from trees on our property. I was initially really excited to have a ton of yaupon holly to harvest for teas, but after a super scary brush with a BIG copperhead on week one, I decided not having covering for them to hide and nest in was really the best and most beneficial thing for our group.
This coming week, we will be installing gutters on our home. We opted for a double wide that offered a great floor plan (which means big bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms) for our large family. Is it my dream home? Not a chance. However, this route is going to allow for us to be completely debt and mortgage free in less than 10 years (prayerfully even sooner). And at that time if I haven't become too attached to my trailer mansion and all the love and sweat equity I will have poured into it, we can build that dream home then. Since our goal is total financial freedom before our kiddos start flying the nest, we went with THE most basic option we could and unfortunately, gutters are considered high class when you shop mobile homes.
Being on some acreage has opened the door for enlarging our gardens from our 8ft beds to a much larger 25'x50' plot. This will allot for roughly 1000sf of growing space. There is going to be a bounty of fresh produce grown in this space as we plan to do it all vertically! We will try out hand at a fall garden in just a few short weeks and prayerfully, we will also be expanding our food preservation skills. My hubby has the greenest thumbs of anyone I've ever met to have not grown up gardening or farming; or to have not gone to school for it. It's amazing and I am so thankful.
I'm sure chickens, bees, and milking goats will come soon as well. While I'd love to jump in right away and do all the things, I need all the things to be alive and healthy. So we will be taking baby steps. But you better believe, I have chicken and goat names already picked and the most elegant coop and pens you could imagine on a sweet little Pinterest board for when the time is here!
A couple other projects we will be undertaking will be expanding our outdoor living space to include a covered and screened LARGE back porch (at least large enough to accommodate an outdoor seating/lounge area and a 20ft table for all our family get togethers and fellowship nights we plan to host) and a workshop where we can start tinkering with aquaponics and indoor green-housing. These timelines are very loose. And while we would love them sooner, we are also patient enough to wait for later- if necessary. That's mostly all we can really plan for the moment in the great outdoors.
As I mentioned, there will be indoor renos going on. However, my goal is to funnel efforts and attentions to the outside projects. I really want to create space to just be outside and enjoy it. Inside isn't what I would deem 'pretty', but it is done. So I am finding solace in the fact that there isn't anything that NEEDS to be done indoors. But yet again, those Pinterest ideas are in full fledge go-mode when we get ready to pull that trigger also.
As far as our family goes, we are intentionally taking time to just re-acclimate to the area and new rhythyms this chapter is bringing us. We are looking forward to all God has for us here. The dreams fulfilled and new dreams birthed. The adventures we will explore together and all the things we cannot yet fathom.
We are excited!