And The Homestead Is Bought…

Well, if you can consider a 30 year mortgage ‘bought’ that is.

And no closing papers signed yet.

We are so stinkin’ excited.

Life y’all, it cracks me up.

If you watched my video from the last post, you heard me talk about the land we were trying to buy.  It was a beautiful 3.3 acres with a gigantic house.  We have been waiting and waiting on it to hit the market.  We were excited about it, making our plans anxious for it to be ours.

The thing is, something in my spirit felt like we weren’t ACTUALLY waiting for THAT house.  I had some concerns, and something just didn’t feel ‘right’.  But I loved it, and I chose not to say anything to the family, but to bring it to God.   I think over the last 8 months or so, since we considered moving in the first place, my most frequent prayer has been , “Whatever is best for our family, Lord.  We don’t want it if it’s not right for us.”

And so I kept praying that prayer, but planning for that particular house.

Then Thursday night came. Now, I get updates from all the home sites whenever something matches my search criteria.  I had no emails of new homes popped up, but I scooted on over to my favorite site anyways, expecting to see the same 30 houses I’d gone through hundreds of times.   {It’s like opening the frig when you KNOW there’s nothing different than 5 minutes ago…and we had a house we were going to buy anyways!}…

And there it was.

It wasn’t especially stunning or remarkable from that first picture, but I felt my self getting ridiculously excited.  Something felt right about it.   I texted my agent before I had even read through the full description and asked her if it was active.   She checked, said yes, it had literally just been put on.   I asked her to make an appointment for my husband to see it the next day after work. {He is working up there, while the kids and I are living 3 hours south}.

I called him to tell him and he could hear in my voice how much I liked the place.  After a bit he said he thought I should just drive up in the morning and see it myself while he was working. I called the agent, changed the plans for 12:30, and piled the kids into the car the next morning.

We went to see the house, and I felt good about it. It was just what we had been wanting in property, without some of the issues the other property had.   We also drove over to the other property to compare.    I asked all the kids when we climbed in the car which they’d choose, and while some of them preferred the huge house on the ‘other’ property, we were all in agreement that the house we’d driven up to see was what we all wanted.

We wasted a few hours and then went and waited outside hubby’s work for him to get off, hoping we could scoot back over and he could see it too.    Only 2 problems, the agent called and said she’d tried to set up a second appointment but that it was booked solid the rest of the day, and hubs informed me he had to stay super late anyways, and wouldn’t be able to see it anyhow.  In the meantime, they were already getting an offer in from the people who had viewed the home after us.

With my husband’s blessing and blind trust, I told my agent we’d meet her at her office a 1/2 hr away to put in our offer.  I had to figure all the ‘numbers’ for our offer myself, praying my husband would be okay with the choices I was making. I crunched numbers, figured out what I could manage, and sat in the office filling out paper work while my kids ran like hooligans outside the poor real estate office’s yard and parking lot.  An hour+ later,  we grabbed some dinner, and headed back on our journey home  {the kids having been rewarded with Chick- fil-A for their long suffering day}.   I prayed and prayed God’s best for us, whatever that looked like.

At 1 am , my husband came home, exhausted after trying to sleep in a car for a few days and bone weary from his new job.  I woke up, turned the computer back on and showed him pictures of the house we’d just put an offer in on, and told him how much I’d offered, etc.

Thank God he approved {I really wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t been sure he would, but it was reassuring nonetheless}.

And Saturday afternoon, I got the call that our offer was accepted!

So to the mini-homestead we go, I can’t wait to share more once it’s officially ours!

Blessings,

Mandy

Well, here we go again…

Um, so…you know how we’ve moved twice in the last 6 months?

Apparently we are looking for expert status.

We are moving!  Again!  For the third time in 1/2 a year!

Ya’ll, God is good.

He is ALWAYS good. I say that a lot, I know.

When God opened the doors for us to move here to Idaho, He had a plan that was pretty hard to see with human eyes.  When He then proceeded to move us to another location in Idaho, with 2 weeks notice, we took it for a ‘better’ position for my hubby, but it was not ideal.  We took it as a blessing, knowing he was in a ‘safer’ position {from getting laid off eventually}, but we really didn’t feel like this was ‘home.’

Now…hubs has been offered a great opportunity to move into a totally different position.  I can’t even begin to tell you the miracles of this all playing out like it did, but let’s just say God moved.  We had a pretty good chance of ending up in Utah {which I fervently prayed against } IF he even got this position, which in and of itself seemed unlikely.  Then he gets the position AND he got to pick where.

So, we are heading back up where we began in Idaho, only a short time ago.  Timing wise it was perfect.  Our home in Oregon just sold,  which means we will be now searching for our own little mini-farm to buy and start.  I am over the moon in awe of this whole plan taking shape.

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photo property of me.

I have never been one of those Christians that think that because they follow Christ things will always go well.  Quite the opposite in fact.  While I am not outwardly a pessimist in any way, I am constantly awaiting, expecting trials.  I am a realist.  I know they’re coming, will always come, and that I can’t avoid life’s obstacles.  I kinda live waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak.

 I know  I deserve nothing more than what He has already bestowed upon me.  His grace alone is enough to be , well… enough.

So, I know God is good all the time, but it kinda takes my breath away when He is so obviously lavishing me with His blessings.   He has heard our requests and has chosen to leave me in awe of His tangible goodness.  I  see His hand in this whole thing, I understand why He did things that didn’t make sense to me.  He is so good you guys.  He is good ALL the time.  But when He chooses to be extravagant beyond expectation?  It humbles the spirit.

I can’t wait to take you all along on the journey to find the perfect ‘farmette’ for our family!

Blessings,

Mandy

How to Make a History Timeline for your Homeschool

Hey guys!

In this quick video I show you how we made a timeline project for history in our homeschool.

Thanks for watching!

links for items I mentioned:

http://homeschoolinthewoods.com/thein

http://bfbooks.com/Timelines

https://simplycharlottemason.com/stor…

* I am NOT an affiliate or representative of any of these companies. I purchased these items at full price and receive no compensation for sharing them. *

Blessings,

Mandy

Further From The Dream?

Before I start, may I say something?

{of course I can!  It’s my blog!}

I am NOT whining or complaining.  If you read it in that voice in your own head, that’s not the voice I’m using 😉 Sometimes there’s a fine line between complaining and being super honest.  So I just want to put it out there.  I am not depressed.  I am not miserable.  You don’t need to feel sorry for me.  Got it?  Okay, moving on…

We’ve been in this new town for a month. If you can call it a town.  There’s not a whole lot here. We do have a grocery store…

We are renting a big house, bigger than we’ve ever been in.   I am not sure the square footage, but it seems huge to us.  The house we owned in Oregon was 1500 sq ft and one bathroom, the rental in Sugar was 1,000 sq ft and one bathroom.   The one bathroom never bothered me a whole lot, but I was looking forward to having more!  Now we have 3!  The bigger home has been nice in many ways {exception being the utility bills}.  I am super grateful for that.

But the things going through my head …well, I still feel like we’re ‘floating’.  Not sure where we are going to end up or how.

I know the Lord knows, and I take a lot of comfort in the plan He has set before us.   I am just feeling like everything’s so temporary.  {It is , I know!}

The 2 major motivators for picking up and moving away were job security, and affordable land. Now we find out, even with the new position, that hubby’s job is still not as ‘safe’ as we thought.  And we are in a place that feels further from the dream of owning land. Yes, we can afford it.  But will he lose his job?  Will we transfer again?  We don’t know the answers to those questions, so buying land is out of the question as of now.  And even IF his job is safe here…well, we don’t WANT to buy in this town.  We don’t see a future here at all.  We liked the last area we’d moved to much more.dec2015 002.JPG

So for now, we are renting a home, surrounded by apartments in a tiny town.  We have met nobody, the closest homeschool groups are 30 minutes away and are all of a different faith than we are.  My kids are going NUTS to get out and do things, but the truth is, there’s just not anything to do.  Like I said, I am not upset or feeling sorry for myself.  I am just answering the questions we get so often in the most honest way possible.

So right now it feels as if we’re moving quite further from ‘the dream’ of a small homestead.  I don’t know where we’ll end up, but I am glad the Lord leads.  In the meantime I’m trying to enjoy the journey…even if it looks a whole lot differently than I would wish…

Blessings,

Mandy

Because God is Hilarious…

So…just when things seem to settle down,

God sends us another curve ball.

No, I’m not pregnant.

We’re moving!

No, you aren’t reading last month’s post, nor is it groundhog day. It’s the day before Thanksgiving.We’ve been in the Rexburg/Sugar City area for a tad over a month{ eta:  actually, we’re at 2 months}.

And now? We’re heading a bit further south.

We’ll still be in Idaho, but the Hubby got an offer for a different {slightly better} position.

I’ll be honest, my head is spinning.  I had just made nice with this town.  I have made 2 good friends here already that I could have seen as lifelong BFFS.  {I work quickly, what can I say?}{And I actually deplore the term BFFs, but it worked ;)}

More change, more expenses, more change  {did I say that?}

I’m not sure quite what God is doing here, but I do trust Him.  I’m just not sure about His sense of humor 😉

Blessings,

Mandy

p.s. now accepting prayers and stray hundred dollar bills

& please, nobody should feel slighted that we didn’t tell them personally, we’ve only talked to our moms.  Our heads are about to explode…

My Heart…

Well, it’s almost been a month in Idaho.

I started this journey off trying really hard to trust that this is where the Lord has us.

And I do, I know there is a purpose in bringing us here.

But where my heart truly is?

Honestly?

I’m hoping that this is just a season He has for us here.

I know it takes a long time to settle and find your ‘groove’ and your ‘people’.

But this just feels so wrong to me.

I really don’t like it here.  Oh, it’s been fun to explore Yellowstone and all that.

But still, my heart is Oregon.

I am asking God to change my heart if He really wants us here long term.

I know the heart is deceitful above all things. {Jer.17:9}

And I know it sounds trite, but I just can’t come to terms with never having an oak tree in my yard one day,

or walks in the rain, or the tiny birds that graced my yard.

Our goal for acreage now seems unimportant.

I just want my little yard.

The cold is settling in, snow is supposed to come this week.  I despise snow.  I always have.

I knew that coming here, but now I’m panicking.

Cooped up for months at a time?

Ugh.

I realize I’m whining and being ungrateful, I’m just trying to be real & honest.

I DO see the different kind of beauty here, I really do.

But it’s so opposite of what I have always wanted.

I just keep thinking, “we’ll be back in Oregon in awhile.”

The kids are doing fine,as in never complaining or saying they miss Oregon.

They will say they miss their friends, but never in a truly upset way.

That said, everyone’s tempers are short and the anger is very just below the surface.  I’m not even sure if they understand WHY they are feeling it, but I see it.

The hubby seems to be the only one perfectly content, though as much as he hates snow, it may be short lived.

Anyways, I don’t really know what the point of this post was, other than to answer the questions everyone keeps asking about how we’re doing.

That’s it in a nutshell. I am trying to remain positive, and it works about 80% of the time.

I’m just praying a lot that God would reveal where He wants us long term, and that if it’s not here, we avoid the ‘big’ stuff, like buying a house and all that.

If He does want us here forever, well, I need to feel that conviction deep in my spirit.

I don’t want to be an Israelite whining and complaining and not being aware of the goodness awaiting us for following Him.

I want to obey, and be content in all circumstances.

I want to be in His will, and not out of it.

And I feel like I can be content here, for a season…

I’m just not sure long term…

Blessings,

Mandy

Easy Crock Pot Applesauce…

A few friends asked me last year how I make applesauce.

It’s so easy, I felt a little ridiculous telling them.

A new friend here in Idaho shared her apple bounty with me and I whipped up a batch.

It’s SO easy.

#1}  Get a crock pot.

#2}  take some apples {preferably organic, and I’ve used whatever kinds I can get my hands on!}, peel them mostly and roughly chop.  You may need to cut out/around wormholes, don’t let that scare you!  It’s still good!

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check out these gorgeous, HUGE, unsprayed apples!

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I am NOT good at uniform chopping.

3#} toss them in the crock pot with enough water to cover about an inch or so on the bottom.   Sprinkle with cinnamon.

This is the brand I like, I order from Amazon.  Make sure to get organic as nonorganic is often irradiated!  And I use Ceylon, rather than your run of the mill Cassia.  You can read more about why Here .oct.2015 001

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If your apples are super tart, or just kind of blah, you can add a bit of maple syrup and vanilla at this point.  I usually don’t, but every once in awhile I get a fairly tasteless batch of apples and it is better with the additions.   I didn’t do it this time.

#4} cover and slow cook on low for a few hours.

#5} get a potato masher and mash up the apples to your liking {I like chunky applesauce}

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#6} Let cook down for another hour or so.

#7}  You’re done!  Just get a bowl and eat up!  Yum!

Blessings,

Mandy