Now, to clarify, this is not a goodbye to the blog, of course—this will just be the last edition that fully takes place in our first little homestead. I don’t know if I will continue the series while we’re staying at my mom and stepdad’s place, but I do plan to start it back up again once we have another place of our own.
But in the meantime, still keep checking the blog as I have lots of other kinds of posts I have planned!
Note: There are affiliate links to products mentioned below, which means I may get a small commission on any purchases made at no extra cost to you.
In the Kitchen
We continue on in the quest of trying to use up as much food as possible so we don’t have to pack/move it, and this week had me recycling used-up cereal boxes and bottles of salad dressing and lemon juice and cottage cheese like a madwoman. I’d fallen off the strict meal planning wagon a few months ago, but now I am back with a definite plan for this next week, including spices I’ll need (so I can pack the rest), as well as which dishes can be boxed up.
I also discovered that apparently I can’t get by without any sheet pans handy (and apparently not even with just one), and I also discovered that eating out of the kids’ bowls instead of the breakable ones (which have been packed away) generally makes me eat less.
(Note: We recently bought these inexpensive colorful kid plates and have LOVED them. Not only are they pretty much indestructible, but they’re also dishwasher and microwave safe, AND they’re actually made from recycled milk jugs! How cool is that?!)
I re-discovered the joy of homemade meatballs this week, as well. It had been ages since I’d made any, but this week I actually whipped up TWO batches of these skillet Swedish meatballs on two separate nights, and I felt like I could have made them two more times this week and still not gotten sick of them. Before, I didn’t really like to make meatballs because I didn’t relish the thought of having to roll them by hand, but I’ve discovered this week that using our small cookie scoop works perfectly AND keeps my hands totally mess-free.
I also watched not a few videos from this YouTube channel, which is inspiring me to seriously meal prep and do freezer meals in the future (and inspired me to at least make Matt some GF bread this week, as well as some more of our now go-to blueberry muffin and chocolate chip cookie recipes from this cookbook, both of which we froze for quick grabbing).
In the Yard
We’re FINALLY seeing some of our tomatoes ripen! Granted, we’ll probably only get a handful this week before we move on Friday, but nothing beats those first fresh tomatoes from the garden. Mmm…too bad I won’t be able to make more homemade GF bread to enjoy them on a BLT!
The squash bugs here have always come out with a vengeance, and this year is no exception–they’re positively feasting on our zucchini plant, which is slowly but surely succumbing to their greedy mouths (and is only being helped along by the fact that we’ve just chosen to let them be since we don’t have time to battle with them due to the move). We also have mini grasshoppers or crickets or something having a field day with all of our herbs and our African daisies, and something else has almost destroyed both our bean plants. In the future, we will have to really be a lot more on top of the pest problem so that we don’t lose so much of our harvest to insects.
We are getting to see a few of the zinnias fully in bloom before leaving, which feels like such a gift. We’ve been listening to the Little House audio books a lot lately (which we LOVE), and I’ve been thinking a lot about the scene in one of them–Little House on Plum Creek, maybe?–where it talks about how the Ingalls family had cultivated all this land for their homestead and built their home with store-bought wood and fitted it with glass windows, and then they just had to up and leave it all. The pioneers were so much tougher than I’ll ever be, but I know it must have been achingly hard for them to move away and leave all that hard work and years of toiling and scrimping and saving and building behind. Now, we didn’t build our home from scratch, but it will still be hard to say goodbye to all our hard work, especially as right now is the time when we’re actually starting to see all the results of it.
But we knew going into the planting season this year that this would be a definite possibility, and I don’t repent of it—we’ve learned a lot and delighted so much in seeing our plans come to fruition, that I’m at peace (mostly) with the idea of leaving it behind.
Harvesting this week: the first tomatoes (grape), blackberries, what seem to be the last of the peas
In the Coop
In March, we added six more chicks to our flock, and this week, some of them started laying! The six chickens we added this year were all chosen very specifically based on their egg colors, so we know that it’s our two Olive-Egger chickens that are laying, as the eggs have been an olive green hue, and then one of our Legbars, we think.
We’ve also been getting quite a few “fluke” eggs (such as a few shell-less eggs), which makes us wonder if some of the other new chickens are starting to lay and just having some issues. We’re hoping that none of our chickens are sick or anything and that it’s all just a matter of inexperienced layers. The overall egg production has also gone down for some reason—maybe from it being so hot outside? Time will tell.
The biggest news on the chicken front is The Big Plan to move the coop today. By far this has been the biggest stressor about our upcoming move, and we ran through just about every scenario to try and determine A) where we were actually going to keep our chickens and coop, and B) how to actually get them there. For now, we’re taking the coop to my mom and stepdad’s (where we’ll be living for the next while), and we’re going to have to remove a section from our fence to do it. (We actually tried seeing if we could borrow some construction equipment to move it OVER the fence, but it wouldn’t have been able to clear it with the equipment our neighbors had available.)
Seriously, I will be SO much less stressed tonight, when *hopefully* the whole thing will have gone off without a hitch.
In the Playroom
The kids are getting REALLY excited for the move—they can’t wait to live with Grandma and Grandpa! They are not, however, as excited about the fact that pretty much all of our time lately (esp. on weekends) has been hijacked by packing and moving preparations. I’ve been trying to make sure we squeeze at least some family time/fun time in when I can, but we are now in crunch mode, so that’s not happening very much. I am really grateful though that they only have super positive feelings about the move–it’s made it quite a lot easier in many ways.
I’m starting to get my homeschool plans in place to teach Raven, and I think we’ll officially start the third week in August. I’m thinking about starting to teach her piano this year too, just since we’ll already be in the habit of one-on-one instruction time every day anyway. I think she’s got the right temperament to start this young, but if it’s not working after several weeks, I’ll just put it away and plan on trying again in a year or two. (In case you’re curious, I’m going to be using this piano curriculum, and I did a whole post on my other blog about all the homeschooling resources we’re using.)
In the Home
Not much to report here, because obviously we’re just trying to pack everything up. Since we haven’t found our next house yet, the packing process has been a bit tricky since most of our stuff is going into storage, but not all of it (as we still are bringing some things to my folks’ house, where we’ll be living for the next few months).
I have taken to marking our boxes with three different colored stickers, just so we can at least try and be somewhat organized—orange for stuff that’s coming with us, green for the stuff that can go in the back of the storage unit, and pink for the stuff that needs to up in front of the unit, just in case we need access.
Should be interesting over the next few months to see how it all goes down.
In the Soul
I wasn’t super stressed about the move until this week, when my stress levels seem to be off the charts. (It doesn’t help that the kids–probably feeding off our stress levels–have been quite a handful.) I’m waiting for the meltdown, but it probably won’t happen until Moving Day since I won’t have time before then to fall apart, ha ha.
The biggest stressor, as mentioned above, has been the enormous undertaking of trying to move our chicken coop, which is happening today. Once that has been successfully done (hopefully, hopefully, hopefully!), I will breathe quite a bit easier. Matt is also taking down a large load of things to my mom and stepdad’s house with the coop, which should help me to assess what still needs to be done, as it will visually clear up a bunch of space.
Moving is stressful, there’s no way around it, and I don’t anticipate the next several months will be easy as we’ll be moving again (once the business does), which will require finding a house and going through that whole process, all while Matt is either commuting for two and a half hours a day or just staying up here in Cache Valley during the week.
I get more stressed just thinking about it.
But I will be okay—we’ll get through this! 🙂