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Friday, June 29, 2018

Family Complete

Today we added another Royal to the family! We are so happy that Sophia will be part of our family forever!



We were so happy to have a representative from the
Moore side of the family join us!
And now it's time for us to take a break from foster care for a few years. We have full hearts but also full hands and a full home. Time to focus on these four children and attempting to train them up with love, discipline, and a heart for Jesus.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Animal Updates

Our farm continues to grow. Lightning, Skittles, and Chocolate Chip are doing fabulous, except they can't keep up with the wildly growing pasture! Sometimes one will call out fearfully because she has lost the other two in the towering grass. We chose sheep because we wanted something that would keep the pasture down, would be low maintenance, wouldn't cost a fortune to over-winter (feed during the winter), and wouldn't escape continuously (like goats do). Sheep seemed to be the right choice. Plus we have a couple sheep-farming neighbors so we can share resources and bounce ideas off of them. We're starting with three ewes and will get a ram eventually. We are hoping for some adorable little lambs next spring. We will keep the ewe-babies to raise up and sell the ram-babies. We chose Katahdin because they seem do do well in our area and because they are hair sheep! They develop a woolly undercoat in the winter but shed that for an entirely hair coat in the summer- no shearing required!!

The belly scratch
Don't think you can walk through the pasture without a herd of piggies running to greet you!
Last month we picked up our weaners which we will grow in to hogs and to whom we will say goodbye in October. Their names are Happy, Tinkerbell, Cow, and Balloon-Ear. Have you figured out yet that the children choose the animal names? The pigs are such fun creatures, very friendly and love ear scratches which quickly morph into belly scratches, just like when petting a dog. They have a way of getting you to rub their belly whether you planned on it or not. Of course they are growing quickly and outgrew their initial pen within a few weeks. The other day I moved them to pasture also. What an experience! Training pigs to an electric fence is a startlingly LOUD experience. We didn't quite research the "how to" process well enough initially and the pigs jumped right OVER the fence instead of back from the fence. So we had to corral them, return them to enclosure, and spend another week training to hot wire. Within a week though they had a healthy respect for the fence...however they were also pretty attached to their hog-home. They weren't too interested in leaving it in order to move to open pasture. With some treats, coaxing, and corralling they finally made it to open pasture. They were rewarded with a mud pit and donuts.


Pig and sheep, unsure of each other

After living in a temporary home for 8 months, the chickens finally have be a beautiful new chicken coop. We debated adding an enclosed run but they are so happy having free reign of the acreage. We decided it's worth the risk of losing one here and there in order to keep the entire flock happy and healthy. Currently we have 9 hens but I think some chicks may be in the works in the fall. Shhhh, don't tell the kids, they will never stop asking about chickies.
These guys built

These guys painted

I added the finishing touches and Capper tried out the chicken door

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Weekend at Royal Acres

What a weekend, what a life! From Fun Friday with Friends- mud and lawn tractors and trailers in the field...laughter and sun and a few bumps and bruises. To Sunny Sunday with our newest homestead addition- SHEEP. And in between?? Well lots of digging, and weed-eating, and mud soaked laundry, and fencework, chasing sheep who escaped and sore muscles to boot...church and Minecraft, and kids spending the morning with grandparents. What a weekend, what a life! Welcome to Royal Acres folks!
Frog Finding Friends

The sheep had to spend the night with the chickens after their wild run last night...and three adults chasing them...it must have been a rather silly sight! By morning they were calm and ready to eat grass out of our hand.
Finally Skittles, Chocolate Chip, and Lightning are released to pasture!
Oh, we also finally have a trampoline again, thank you generous strangers!!
I shall leave you with this classic.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

What I want to remember about today 10 years from now





Tired legs remind me how I worked on the fence-line with a dozing baby on my back. The smell of exhaust in my hair, how I laughed riding in the mini dump trailer as Capper sped around pulling me through the field. The shape of his body proud and serious maneuvering his machine in and out of gear using the clutch...a glimpse into his future. This scratch on my arm, it's a reminder of how the girls and I filled his trailer with sticks and branches while he drove along and brought the brush to the burn pile.


The muddy pile of clothes on the floor; a reminder that girls caught frogs today. Filled a bucket with seven frogs, some green, some brown, one even looked bronze. And that bucket, it was next to the canoe that was left in the pond after the 6 year olds' most recent excursion: a bucket of rocks, a bucket of water, two paddles, and a grimy rake its only remaining passengers.







That ring around the tub, well that reminds me how we spilled dirt in Evelyn's hair while planting potatoes. And the grime under my nails reminds me how I filled buckets with dirt, transported them, planted seeds, excited to watch new growth. Excited for the kids to literally scream again, "The seeds! The seeds! They're GROWING!" Excited to watch them "pick" a snack once we have strawberries and tomatoes, and peas in season.

You see, not too long ago I realized I'm living the life I always dreamed. I love working as a family, I love watching my children learn and work hard themselves. I love being outside and enjoying nature. I love that we are creating a homestead. I love Saturdays where we can just be around each other, work alongside each other, and appreciate the many many blessings we have been gifted. I don't always appreciate it, but today I do. Today I am thankful.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Licensing

Our new "Foster Home License" arrived in the mail this week. After silence from the Department of Social and Health Services, I guess they decided to grant us or license after all...next step, petitioning to adopt. I talked to the lawyer yesterday.

This month I have also renewed both my California nursing license and Washington nursing license along with my business license. Quite a month for licenses! Too bad Daniel and I don't have January birthdays, we could take care of our drivers licenses this month too and get it all out of the way.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Life's Hike

Today was a 10 steps backwards kind of a day. There were quite a few steps forward, Capper came back jazzed after his 10 day vacation with Gramps to Canada!! I had a successful day of work. We went to AWANA (which is always fun for the kids, exhausting for the adults). But we also found out we didn't pass our foster care license renewal. And we found out that a rental home we own, which flooded during Hurricane Harvey, which we've invested plenty of money in to renovate after this incident...flooded again today. But it's just money right? It's just stuff, right?

I read a blog post about a dear friend struggling with cancer today too.

I worked with families who are struggling with mental illness today too.

I am sure I drove past individuals who are desperate to pay bills and make ends meet.

And I am here. I am warm. I am fed. My sweet, SWEET, children are tucked in their cozy beds. My husband sits upstairs, and he is faithful. He will never leave us or our family. He will faithfully get up and go to work tomorrow long before the sun rises. And the sun WILL rise...a new day...maybe a 10 steps forward day, maybe not. But regardless of what the day brings and whether or not I feel "blessed" or "cursed" or somewhere in between, I still have plenty to be thankful for. And I still have the joys (and tears) of four amazing children to remind me that life may not be easy but we can still laugh and have fun. So I'll get up in the morning (and likely 5 times during the night if the last few nights are any indicator) and I'll build our community. Our community of 6 in this home...I'll have a friend over for lunch who is learning how to cope with the chronic illness of a child...I'll meet with other moms to fervently pray for our children and the school they attend...and I'll remind myself, be not discouraged. We have plenty to be thankful for!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Word

8 days in to 2018. My word for the year, it's "Community." 

2014, the first year I decided to meditate on one word, the word LISTEN. I still remember individual comments, people I really listened to whom I would have otherwise taken as a casual exchange. I remember a man at the library, I remember a stranger on the sidewalk, I remember them because I really listened that year. I hope what I learned that year continues to carry through into the present and that I listen still.
2015 was the year of BRIGHT which included the unexpected death of a child...yet her light shone as bright as ever that year. 
2016 Trust...we began the year obtaining our foster license...we trusted that God would work through that and bring us the child he wanted in our home for a season...we ended the year with not only a foster child but an unexpected pregnancy...it took a lot of trust.
2017 was the year to GROW, and that we did! I grew by 35 pounds and then lost (most) of it with the birth of our newest member. Our house also grows as we are moving from about 1,000 square feet to over 2,000 square feet. Daniel and I were challenged, our marriage was challenged, we spent a lot of the year not really liking each other, but with all growing pains, we made it through and I'd say we are stronger now!

So here I am, feeling like COMMUNITY is the direction I'm headed. As a friend said, "you're all of a sudden done building your house and your family and are instead cultivating what you have built." We are also sinking roots into this valley. We are so happy living in such a close community, but it's not close without some investment so we're moving outward. Opening up to opportunities around us and relationships to invest in. I'll try to let you know what comes about as a result!