Category Archives: Adventures

Adventures we have that don’t have much to do with homesteading, but are how we spend our time.

A little bit of winter fun

Every winter, we look forward to the right conditions to use our old fashioned runner sled.

Check out our YouTube channel to see a short video of Flower Girl and I going for a ride.

While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to our channel. We don’t post videos very often, so you don’t want to miss a single one. 😄

Goals for the New Year

We’re not so different than most people this time of year. We eagerly make our goals, we start out with determination, we work hard to accomplish them.

Besides the obvious goal of completeing the house (which barring any more major set backs looks totally doable by summer time), we have quite a few other goals for the homestead and in our personal lives.

One of our goals for the homestead is to get rid of this junk wood.

It’s right at the entrance to our property and looks uuuuugly! I want it gone!

One of the personal goals I have is to work on getting my legs back in shape. I want to start backpacking again and right now, my knees could not handle that. Especially with the injury I sustained this summer.

Remember that?

Laid up with a bum knee in June 2018

Yeah, not fun.

So, I have mapped out a one mile route from our trailer, around the house, up the upper driveway and around Castle Rock and back.

The girls and I will be walking this route every day for a while, then we’ll find a way to extend it and build up our miles as our muscles build up. We will also be taking longer hikes once a week, and this summer I want to go on a couple of backpacking trips.

And while this goal is not specifically about homesteading, I love, love, love that I can walk an entire mile on my own property (well, mostly – part of the driveway is technically on our right-of-way on the neighbor’s property). Also, staying in shape is going to help out with gardening and animal care, etc as we get back into that. Especially on this hilly property, and especially as we get older (I turned 40 last month, so I’m feeling my age a bit). It’s the only way to be even somewhat sustainable here. We gotta stay in shape!

Also, I share this with you all to help hold myself accountable. As all the success gurus tell us, writing a goal down and sharing it with others makes you more likely to follow through.

So, there we are. Building a house. Daily walks. De-junkifying the property. Oh, and I want to have a small garden this year. And chicks! I need some cute little baby chicks in my life once again. And through it all, teaching Flower Girl to read, taking some fun school outings, working my summer job, a big family vacation in July that’s been in the works for a few years now, and of course, deepening my relationship with the Lord.

I’m excited just thinking about it all!

What are some of your goals for 2019?

Wild places

Rocks and trees, slides and swings, bugs and critters: our homestead playspaces are not soft places.

The other day as I was fixing up our slide for the kids, it hit me that many of today’s parents would take one look at it and shoo their children to something more safe. Maybe the sandbox.

Surrounded by rocks, no soft edges in sight.

Eventually, the terraces will be cleaned up and built up and beautified, but the rocks will still be there. The “danger” will still be there.

Our swings are attached to one of the very few suitable trees near the house, but they are not in an ideal location.

Our property is a wild place.

And it got me thinking. We are not a bubble wrap homestead. Or property is a wild place.

A place where kids can roam. Explore. Be free.

There are trees to climb, rocks to scale, bugs to find, and dirt to get into every nook and cranny.

And I love that about living in the country.

Kids learn to navigate the physical world with confidence when they are allowed to do so. Climbing high in trees, balancing on top of huge boulders, helps them learn balance and coordination. They learn what their body can, and can’t, do.

Sure, every once in a while, there’s bumps, bruises, and scrapes. There may even be a broken bone or two in our future. But bruises and scrapes and even broken bones heal. And you know what the truth is? Accidents and injuries happen even if you live in a bubble wrap world. Flower Girl broke her leg just by falling off the couch. And Princess Girl badly sprained her ankle just by walking down the stairs.

And so, we let our children run and play and explore and they are happy and healthy.

Packing up

Tomorrow (May 18th) begins our three-day moving adventure.


Tomorrow, a friend and I take the filled Uhaul down to Nevada. Then, the following day, we drive back here to Oregon with my mom’s RV. The day after that, we pack our suitcases, camp chairs, and mattresses (the only thing left in the house!) into the van, and ourselves into the vehicles, and off we go.

It still hasn’t sunk in that Friday’s trip to Nevada will the the last one for the foreseeable future. We’re so used to making that trip back and forth that it doesn’t seem real that it will be the last one.

So, today, we’re loading.


And cleaning. And clearing out.

Well, most of us are, anyway.


There are times I will shamelessly use the electronic babysitter. This is one of those times. 🙂

Just think, in three days, we’ll be living on the homestead!

Oh, the anticipation!


“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

Moving along

So this happened yesterday:


That’s my dad’s truck. Hooked to my in-law’s trailer. Gettin’ ready to haul it back to Nevada for us.

It’s one less thing we’ll have to worry about on the day of the Big Move.


Ohmygosh! Three weeks from today we’re moving back to Nevada!

I’m not excited or anything. 😉

In the meantime, I’m finishing little projects here and there. The house is pretty much empty, so there’s really not much left to pack. But, we still had a large freezer full of food that we don’t want to cart back to NV with us.

Like blackberries from two summers ago!


So I made Blackberry Syrup. I think I’ll write a post on that. I only took the one picture above during the process, but it’s a simple enough process that it doesn’t require a lot of explaination.

Other than those little projects like cleaning out the freezer, we’re just soaking in the green beauty around us and biding our time.


A cool thing happend last week when my man and I went out for date night. We went to a movie theater we’d never been to before and had about a 30 minute wait. So we walked around to this beautiful lake that was right next to the shopping center where the theater was.


And got to watch a couple Bald Eagles flying around!


Right there in the middle of town. It was such a cool experience!

So, to re-cap: the trailer is on it’s way to Nevada, the house is nearly empty, and we are eagerly awaiting our move out date in just three weeks.


Not excited at all. 😉


“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

More Delays

We traveled to Nevada this past weekend for a convention we go to every year. We used it as an opportunity to get some work done on the homestead.


The previous hole we tried to dig (but couldn’t get deep enough with the backhoe we rented) was still full of water from the last rains a week ago. This did not bode well for perk tests.

But we decided to rent a bigger machine to dig through the hard ground for our test trench for our septic system. My parents coordinated renting an excavator and Pops dug the hole while we were on the day-long drive down.


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Got down significantly deeper (7ish feet) before hitting bedrock, but still not as deep as we needed to go (13 feet).  It took Pops all of 30 minutes or so to dig the hole, and since we had the excavator for a whole day…


Pops used it to do some leveling for us.


Our house pad is significantly larger and more usable now.


All of the scraped earth in the pic and even back behind the trailer is new usable space!


The next day, Hubby was able to be there when the inspectors and engineers came by. The news was decidedly not good. The ground doesn’t “perk” at all.

Which means we have to start all over.

Meet with the engineers.

Find a likely looking spot.

Rent the equipment.

Dig the hole.

Do the tests.

And pray it works!

And we’re only in Nevada this one week before we go back to Oregon.

And then it snowed 9 inches.


I’m so frustrated with the roadblocks we keep running into with building this house!


Why did you send the snow NOW?

Why this week?

Don’t you know how important it was to get lots of work done while we’re here?

And then I remember all the times he has taken us in a different direction from they way we wanted to go and it has turned out better than we had ever planned.

So I hang onto God’s promises that it’s all gonna be alright, and instead of asking God “why”, I am now saying, “Ok, God, I’m excited to see how you’re gonna work this one out!”

And in the mean time, I am enjoying the fact that we brought our snow gear with us and the girls had a great time playing in the snow today.


And knowing That in just a few months, we should be living here full time!



Daily Life #’s 19, 20, and 21 – Last candle tests, a day off, and some actual work on the homestead

On February 13 (day #19 of my month of Daily Life posts), in amongst the daily tasks of cooking, cleaning, and caring for family, I did my final burn tests on the candle wicks.

Unfortunately, the wicks still fell over, even after being carefully centered, held in place, and kept straight while pouring the wax. So that theory of mine was busted. Very frustrating.

But I decided I did like my new method for reusable wick stands and keeping the wicks straight. Paperclips and rubber bands. In fact, I also used the same to use a completely different kind of wick. A popsicle stick! In the picture below, you can see how I used the paperclip to hold the popsicle stick. I did the same thing with the wicks I tried. Theoretically, once the candle is burned, you can get the stand out and use it again.


Then, I wrapped some rubber bands around the jars and put the wicks in the middles, using the rubber bands to keep them centered. I was then able to pour in the wax. I did it in two pours this time. The first time I poured just enough that the wick base was submerged. I let that cool for a bit to solidify so that the wick wouldn’t move around when the jar was full of wax. Then I poured the jar the rest of the way with wax. This worked great to keep the wicks straight and centered till the wax firmed. Well, kinda.

One thing I learned is that when the wax cools, it will create a depression in the middle. This is no big deal with the small little jars I was using. However, when I tried to make a candle in a pint jar, the wax well was so large it pulled the wick down into the candle and rendered it unusable. This was not a problem with the popsicle stick since it is so rigid. With that one, I just filled the depression with more wax and let it solidify. I think if I was going to do a pint with a regular wick again, I’d have to keep it extra long and secure it somehow so it wouldn’t be sucked down into the well.

BUT, I don’t plan to fiddle with making any more jar candles in the near future. I was not impressed with the results. I’ll stick with tapers if I need to make my own candles without store bought wicks.

And the popsicle sticks weren’t really the answer either. True, they didn’t have problems with falling over, and they stayed burning for nearly 12 hours! So in that sense, they were great. And if you’re using the candles for ambiance or aroma therapy, then there you go. Use popsicle sticks as wicks. However, my reason for doing this testing was to know how to make candles in the event I ever HAD to make them for daily life. In that case, I’d want them as a light source, and in that area alone, the popsicle stick wicks were lacking. They burned steadily, but not very brightly.

I didn’t get any really good pictures of the burn test this time since there wasn’t anything to show. The picture below is of the popsicle stick candles (a small jar and a pint jar) when we were about to blow them out. They had been burning just like that all day. And since they burned with such a small flame, they hardly burned any wax.


So my final thoughts on all this: if you ever need to make candles in a survival situation, use a regular cotton string (no need to treat it with anything), and dip it in melted wax over and over till you have the size candle you want.

Experiment done!

On to Day 20 (February 14th). After church, we drove some friends out to a resort near the coast (they don’t have the transportation), and decided that since we were going to be so close anyway, we’d just keep going and spend some time on the beach.

Well, as usual on the Oregon coast in winter (or any time of the year really), the weather did not cooperate. But we came prepared and still had some fun.


Once it got dark, we stopped at a seafood place for dinner. Normally I stay away from breaded items since wheat affects my arthritis, but as a once in a while treat, I can tolerate it. We were going to get their clam chowder since we know it is dynamite, but they had run out. 😦

But let me tell you, The Fish Peddler has some killer fish and chips (well, fish, anyway. Their fries are good, but normal)!


I love the breading on the fish. Mmmmm…

It was sooo delish. And so far from what I typically eat that it really did feel like a treat.

It was a good day.

Day 21  (yesterday, February 15) was a momentous day, but also filled with frustration.


Know what this picture is?

That’s a backhoe.

On our property.

In Nevada.

Work has commenced!

We were so excited to finally be getting something done. My dad rented the hoe and tried to dig us our needed trench.

“Tried” being the operative word.

We knew it was rocky up there, but sheesh! He worked for a while with that thing and wasn’t able to get deeper than 3-4 feet deep. The trench needs to be 13 feet deep. Grrrr….

So now we have to have some engineers come up to the property, take a look around, and help us figure out what to do. And by “us”, of course, I mean my parents. Stinks to live so far away! But awesome to have such a wonderful support system down there.

So that’s where we are with the building. Can’t get our plans submitted for our permit until that trench is dug, and can’t dig the trench till we figure out how to do it.

Waiting, waiting, waiting…

In the mean time, I’ve started the project of documenting our food consumption.


I figure if we’re ever finally in a position to finally grow most of our own food, we should know what we normally eat and how much. It’s staggering to look at these lists and think of producing all that ourselves. And the picture above is just the veggies! BUT, aside from the olives and avacados, I was pleased to see that we can theoretically grow all that food (eventually) on the homestead.

My next step is to start quantifying how much of each item we typically eat. Some things, like asparagus, we love, but only eat it when it’s cheap at the grocery store. So it shouldn’t be too hard to grow as much as we might eat in a year. Other things like green beans and especially onions…yeah, we’d have to grow (and successfully store) several hundred onions to keep us in a year’s supply. Definitely worth more data collection.

And lucky me, I love that kind of work. 🙂 And it helps me feel like I’m actually working toward our goals for the homestead, even while sitting here in Oregon.

So that’s it for the last couple of days. It’s now been three weeks of me blogging about my everyday life. Only one more to go. 🙂


“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

Daily Life #8 – Wetlands Field Trip

My first guest post! The report below is written by Princess Girl, age 10, about our field trip to a wetlands park (photos are mine). It’s really tempting for me to edit her post for grammatical and spelling errors, but I will resist! It’s more entertaining the way it is anyway. 🙂


February 2nd is world wetlands day . Me and all the family went except daddy. So we went to “Smith and Bybee wetlands” .

The Author

Ready to explore

We went there so we get a good walk and explore the area and have a picnic in the sun.


Lunch time


Picnic in the sun

So I saw some cool animals they are ,Bufflehead  ducks ,mallard ducks ,coots ,nutria , chickadee, humming bird, spotted towhee or robin,Hawk, but the best of all a juvenile Bald eagle!


Watching the coots and bufflehead ducks out on the water


A nutria (kinda like a beaver)  and coots (a type of duck) seen through the binoculars


Inspecting (and photographing) an old beaver log


Woodpecker holes in a dead tree

my favorite was the juvenile Bald eagle , it was so cool my first time knowing that it was a bald eagle [I was seeing]!

So on the way back flower girl fell asleep exhausted from our adventure in the wetlands, I tried to go to sleep but I could not and got motion sick, it was not fun .



So that was it for this adventure I’m sure the next one will be fun too!


Meet the Author:


Princess Girl is 10 year old and lives with her parents, grandparents, and little sister in the Pacific Northwest. She loves horses, watching youtube, playing with her firends , and gymnastics. As well as anything to do with My Little Pony. She has been homeschooled her whole life and likes learning but hates having to write. Though she did enjoy writing this, her first article for publication.






And a few more pictures that I wanted to include by didn’t have much to do with the Girl’s report:


First signs of spring

Daffodils about to bloom!!! I have seen several plants peaking their heads up here and there, but nothing this far along. February 2nd and blooming flowers! I think it would take me a couple more years living here to get used to how early Spring comes in this part of the world.



“Take time to listen to the chorus of nature; it is the music of life itself.”

I find it ironic that this quote is at the entrance of a park which is right on a very busy trucking route. The sounds of traffic never faded completely, even though we walked 3/4 of a mile to the end of the trail. But I do like the quote. And maybe when we go back again this spring/summer as Princess Girl begged to do, the animals will be more plentiful and loud enough to provide that chorus.