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February 2017 Goals Recap

February 2017 Goals Recap

In this blog post we recap our goals from February and give you an update on our progress towards our homesteading dream.

Overall I think February was a very productive month for us! We had several days of nice weather that we completely took advantage of. Besides the goals we had for February, we accomplished a ton of stuff around the house including:

  • Cleared out a TON of honeysuckle in the back corner of our yard where we hope to build a shed this year
  • Repaired some fencing that has been down since we bought the house, 4 years ago…
  • Stacked a TON of firewood from 4 trees that were cut down last fall

Alright, so here is an update on our goals from February!

Get this blog up and running

We started this blog at the end of January to share our thoughts, our goals and our adventures as we chase our homesteading dream of providing for ourselves, being less dependent on the system, and learning skills that have been forgotten in our generation. So we are about 1.5 months into this blog and so far I’m pretty happy with it. I’ve been trying to get at least 2 posts out per week about things I find interesting, things we’re working on, etc.

We hope you guys find this blog to be interesting and we THANK YOU so much for reading it! There is still a ton of stuff that we want to add to the blog, so check back frequently and subscribe! We hope this blog is a great resource for you (and for us) and we hope that others find the inspiration to start homesteading as well 🙂

Finish the chicken coop

I made a TON of progress on the chicken coop in the last month. It is not quite completely done, but it is just about there. Inside the coop I still need to setup the roosting boxes and the water/feeding stations. Outside of the coop I still need to setup the run, the water/feeding stations, and the quick access doors to the back of the roosting boxes for easy egg retrieval. Overall I’m loving the way the coop turned out and I’m excited to share the building process with you once it’s complete.

Sew some outfits in preparation for the birth of our daughter

Believe it or not, our new baby girl is going to be here in just 4 short weeks! We’ve been busy preparing for her arrival and my wife was able to make some cute outfits and blankets for her 🙂 It’s weird seeing pink in the house as we currently have 3 boys, but we are so excited to meet here! A lot of friends and family have also been extremely generous and have bought outfits for her as well.

Finish setting up our homeschooling room

The homeschooling room is about 95% complete! We had transitioned our (underused) family room into a homeschooling room last month because we wanted a centralized place for all of our homeschooling stuff, other than the dining room table! We are really happy with how this turned out and it has been extremely functional. We have organized bins of all the supplies, we have an area to hang the children’s artwork, we moved all of the books (that were scattered over the house) into the room, and it’s all just working out so good. Pictures to come soon!

Figure out how to make less trips to the grocery store

I think we just about nailed this one on the head as well! As long as we can remember we have been going to the grocery store once a week. To cut down on unnecessary trips and to have more food stored on hand we decided to only go every 2 weeks to the store. We are not completely where we want to be quite yet, but we are a lot better off than we were. One of these days when we start producing a lot more of our own food, we might be able to cut this down to once a month! 🙂

In the next couple of days we’ll be posting our goals for March… I know we’re already a week into March, but stay tuned!

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria

Identifying Our Dependencies on Other Stuff

Identifying Our Dependencies on Other Stuff

In this third and final post of the series “Identifying Our Dependencies”, I’m going to touch on the other parts of life that we are dependent on and how we plan to break free from them.

Animal Feed

Rabbit

We currently have one rabbit but we plan on getting more. Rabbits produce great manure for the compost and they are great pets for the kids. Additionally down the road we have started looking into raising rabbits for meat. With that said, rabbit food, just for our one rabbit can get pretty expensive! We currently buy it rabbit pellets to eat but we want to start giving the rabbit more organic food to eat. We plan to feed it a lot more vegetables that we produce ourselves as well other feed that is produced by us.

Chickens

The plan is to get chickens in the spring and the chicken coop build is currently underway. After doing just a little research we have found out that chicken feed, let alone organic chicken feed, can be quite pricey! We haven’t gotten around to doing a lot of research quite yet, but just like for the rabbits, we want to start creating our own chicken feed as well.

Schooling

As you may know, we have 3 young boys, ages 5, 3 and 1, and we have a new baby due in a few months, a GIRL! We chose to homeschool our children for multiple reasons, which we will go into more in another post. By homeschooling our children we are able to be less dependent on the system, on schedules, and whole lot more!

Home Repairs

When something breaks around the house, either the water heater, the boiler, the pool, etc., there is nothing worse than having to call someone to repair it for you! Having someone else do it for you will cost you twice as much! I’d imagine that everyone by now has heard of YouTube, instead of just having funny cat videos, it has videos on how to repair pretty much anything! In the past couple of years we have been pretty good at trying to fix things ourselves, but we want to get better and we are trying to depend on service technicians less and less.

Vehicles

Talk about money holes, vehicles are near the top of the list! We currently have 2 vehicles, a commuter car, and a van to transport the whole family around. I would love for us to be able to get down to 1 vehicle, but I’m not sure if that would happen, unless of course we were able to start a home business where we wouldn’t have to leave the house for work (more on that below). However, whether we have 1 vehicle, or 2 vehicles, one of the best ways that we can save money and become less dependent on the system, is to do the repairs ourselves. This is an area that is going to require a lot of learning and hard work, but it’s definitely possible.

Money

moneyAnd money, yeah that green stuff, the root of all evil. Unfortunately these days everyone needs money, it’s just the way it works. My wife and I both currently work, my wife part-time and myself full-time. Working takes away from so much family time that it should be considered a crime. We’ve been tossing around some ideas for the last couple of years of how we could both stop working and start some sort of home business, but we’re not quite there. Thinking about the possibility of us both working from home, including the whole family in the business, just seems like the perfect scenario. We will continue to purse what opportunities we have as we follow our homesteading dream and will be sure to update you as progress is made!

Well we hope this series was beneficial for you, I know it was for us. Listing out these main areas of life that we are currently dependent on certainly was an eye-opener. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to a lot of the things that we had listed out, and if you have any tips you could provide us, please leave them in the comments below!

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria

Our Homesteading Goals for February

Our Homesteading Goals for February

It’s hard to believe that February is almost upon us, I feel like it was just Christmas!

At the end of each month we plan to post our goals for the coming month. We are going to do this to help keep us on track as well as to share our progress with you.

For February, our goals are the following –

Get this blog up and running

Getting this blog up and running is a big goal of ours as we believe it will help us to achieve our other goals and especially help us reach our homesteading dream. We want to make this blog informational, inspirational and hopefully a rat race escape route to be used by others.

Finish the chicken coop

In January we started building our chicken coop, something that we have been talking about since at least last year. Where we live we can only have up to 6 hens, no roosters, so the plan was to build a chicken coop with a run but have them out free ranging when possible. Last weekend I was able to get some of the framing done, but in the next month I want to get it completely done and ready for some chickens come spring. I’ll create a separate post with more pictures, total cost, and placement in the yard once it’s done, but here is the progress so far –

Goal: Chicken Coop
Chicken coop framing.

Sew some outfits in preparation for the birth of our daughter

My wife is a fantastic seamstress and in between homeschooling, working, and everyday household chores she is hoping to sew a handful of outfits and blankets in preparation for the birth of our daughter. With 3 boys in the house, my wife (and I of course) are super excited to be having a girl! Sewing is one of those great skills to have, and luckily my wife has been sewing for quite a while now, always learning new techniques and always keeping her skill fresh. Below is one of the outfits that she has produced –

Goal: Sewing

Goal: Sewing

Finish setting up our homeschooling room

Another project that we had started last month was our homeschooling room. For the last 6 months or so we’ve been using the dining room table as a makeshift homeschooling area but it just wasn’t working out with all of the stuff that comes along with homeschooling. What we had decided was to convert our family room into the homeschooling room. The family room was one of the more underused rooms in the house, so it just made sense. We have moved a lot of the books and school supplies down there but there is still a lot of work and organizing to be done. We hope to get this project finished in the coming month and will create a post of the finished space. Here is a sneak peak –

Goal: Homeschooling Room
Our new homeschooling room.

Figure out how to make less trips to the grocery store

Lastly, groceries has always been an area of our lives that could use some serious simplification. We have been grocery shopping once a week for as long as I can remember. Just recently we started realizing how dependent we are on the grocery store… Our long term goal is to grow and preserve the majority of our food, but we aren’t quite there yet (not even close).

Some questions we are asking ourselves are – Would we be able to survive without trips to the grocery store? What if the grocery store doesn’t have what we need? What if a big store or some other natural event cuts out the grocery store for days? For weeks? So this month we want to figure out how we can improve our dependance in this area. Are we able to cut our trips to the grocery store in half? Stayed tuned and we’ll let you know how it goes!

So there you have it, our first goals post! We plan to do this each month to help give you guys some ideas. It will also help keep us on track in order to reach our homestead dreams!

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria