Saturday, May 4, 2019

A New Season

If you are new to our blog, welcome!
As many of you who have been following our blog know, we have ten children, our oldest four are grown and have already moved out and are living on their own.
At home we have six kids, two 18 year olds, an 8 year old, two 7 year olds, and a 6 year old. Our youngest six all have special needs. We adopted our now 7 year olds as infants in 2012, then in 2014 we adopted our 18 year olds when they were 13, and then in 2016 we adopted our now 6 and 8 year old at the age of 3 and 5.
9 of our 10 children +our second oldest's daughters baby *our first grandbaby* +our third oldest daughter's fiance

Our oldest daughter was unable to make it for the picture, but our second oldest was able to fly in to visit and bring our first grandbaby with her <3
Our third oldest daughter is engaged and we were so happy they could both be there to take pictures with us. One of the biggest challenges when you have grown children is finding a time when they can all go take pictures. With everyone's busy schedule it can make getting everyone together for pictures a challenge.  

In life we have many seasons. It is that time in our lives where we as parents are thinking about what our future will be like, and what the lives of our children will be like as well. 
We have come upon a season in life where we have been taking a really hard look at what we are putting into our bodies, asking ourselves what we can do to eat healthier, live healthier, and also asking what is important in our lives. 
We have decided that we want to live life with purpose and we are getting tired of watching our money go down the drain. Literally. Turn on water when you live in the suburbs and every single drop that goes down the sink is another penny you are spending. Every time you turn on that light, you are watching money go down the drain. 
While we were in Ukraine for our adoption in 2012, people did a LOT of walking there. WE did a lot of walking while we were there. Here, we are driving to a store which is less than a mile away. WHY??  While in Ukraine and Latvia (in 2014) we were walking at least 1-6 miles, PER DAY. We felt good, our bodies felt good, we had more energy. 
We have become lazy. Lazy in our lifestyle, lazy in our eating and we are tired of it. In Ukraine and Latvia we ate foods that were not processed. I remember thinking how fast the foods went bad, bread lasted a week at best before they started to go off. Here, you can make a cake using a box mix and it will last a month, what is in that box???

So, what has our answer to those issues been?
We have decided on a five year plan. There are some experiences we would like our children to have since at least two, but possibly more, will never live on their own, so this would be their only chance, to have. But then, at the end of the five years, we hope to move to the midwest, where land is MUCH more affordable - it is way too expensive here- and live on our own permaculture farm! 
We have SO much to learn between now and moving. So we have gotten started with building a garden and we will learn as we go. Watching youtube videos of others who have gone before us, learning what grows best with what, companion gardening and things like that. We will also learn about building, animal husbandry and just soaking up as much knowledge as we can before we move.

The picture below shows a path we built from our front garden gate to our front door. We plan on putting a path just like it in the garden to make a path from the side gate to the back deck

We are so excited on this new adventure of learning about permaculture and hope you will follow along! 
We are STILL working on homeschooling and that will be the main focus of this blog, however we will also update with things like our plans and how they are progressing.

Our kids are working VERY hard on learning to be more independent. For their 18th birthday, our oldest girls were given the gift of Raddish Kids from their grandparents which is an easy to follow recipe club that comes with a little cooking tool each month. We are hoping this will get them excited to cook and help me break out of the box of our same go to things we cook. My husband, who was born and raised in England is very adventurous when it comes to food.  However, I am not, so I am hoping this will help me try new foods and add more foods to our meal plans. 
 My amazing and talented husband was able to decorate some basic white aprons for our girls so they could have unicorn aprons. The girls LOVE them!!
opening their Raddish Kids kit
So, our 5 year plan goes something like this...

2019 - Learning and Exploring with lessons like swimming and music lessons.  Fun activities that  like camping and Great Wolf Lodge. Work on getting healthy, start gardening, reading books and learning along the way. Start working on improvements for the house as money allows.
2020 - Last big fling trip to Disney. No classes that cost money. No monthly memberships but maybe a membership to places like the the Zoo, which is a one time fee.
2021 - Super buckled down to saving. No memberships at all. Start going to places like the zooonly if they have a free day, go on walks, hikes, library for story hour and free events like that.
2022 - Same as above, take classes online or in person for learning things like growing crops and Permaculture, learn things like soap making and candle making and any thing interesting like that if it would be useful to know how to do on a homestead.
2023 - have house ready to go on market with any fixes done. Pray it sells within the year.
2024/2025- have house sold, move and check out land, buy land, find a local job or an online job while working on the farm to get it built and set up.

So there it is in a nutshell! Our dream for our future. Our long term plans would be to help our kids who we know will not be able to live on their own to be able to have their own little business making things like candles, soaps, or selling crops they grow or things of that nature at farmers markets or online that way they can feel good about making things and having their own money to buy things they like.
One day I would like to have a little farm school where kids and their families could come and visit a farm, feed animals, and learn to make things. With as talented as my husband is he could make so many things. While we were raising money for our adoptions my husband made SO many things, he made crosses, children's blocks, Montessori material and so much more. 

But that is for another day and another time. Right now our focus will be soaking up as much information and knowledge as we can before we move. Once we move we will still have a lot of learning to do, but at least we can get a head of a start while we wait until we can finally move.

The kids are VERY excited to hear we plan on having our own land, they love animals. They are very excited about having chickens one day, and maybe some cows. They love animals and I love the idea of them being able to grow up on a farm environment, being able to climb trees, and so much more. They wish we could move now, I do too, but we have to take our time, and make sure we are ready before we move. Also, our youngest daughter has many more surgeries before we can move. 
She currently just had surgery on her nose, lip, and the back of her throat. (she was born with a cleft lip and palate) There are several more she must have before we move. 

So, in the mean time let me leave you with some new pictures...
Learning to ride a two wheeler!
Making a path in the backyard from the back deck to the garage
She wanted to paint her nails so I thought we should do it outside. She had never painted her nails before, I was super impressed!!

Learning to ride a two wheeler! We found some adult training wheels. This is the first time she has ever been on a regular two wheel bike. She has used adaptive bikes before but never a regular two wheeler.
Sisters make the best friends
Painting Van Gogh's Starry Night
Happy 18th Birthday!
More Starry Night painting

 Have a Blessed Day!