And here comes Fall.

Fall just happens to be my favorite time of the year- I just love fall. Tooty decided to start decoration for Halloween- and we have so much more to decorate! With fall comes pretty flowers-

wp-1474413264743.jpgMums that the elementary school sells for music every year- so now that we have the house I can’t wait to find a space to plant them to keep them coming back every year! They are so big and are beautiful!

wp-1474413248605.jpgThe lonely Geranium I saved before the dog got it- and have been trying to nurse back to health- it will be planted some time soon…

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Front door décor- I painted and sealed the monogram- and that stays up year round!

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Part of the front porch- we do happen to love the birdies- and love leaving food out for them- I do have a little more work to do- but here is the start of the front porch decorations.. I am so happy I just had to share. So watch the progress- and look out for some more updates,

Do you have any Fall friendly plants, share some pictures in the comments? What is your favorite part of Fall?

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More weekend fun…

I bit the bullet and bought one…

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So I bit the bullet and bought a chicken coop- I am going to use this for babies after the big coop is built- this is to test to see how Dixie- who has some kind of hunting dog in her- will do.

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The girls had so much fun helping Daddy build it- and we can’t wait to finish it off next weekend by adding a few chickens.. They are so proud of it!

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Some weekend fun…

Weekends sure do come fast when you work in the rat race…they just seem to fly by, and I certainly do wish they were longer. Here is to one day I will be a full time homesteader not working the rat race..

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The dog and the kid are a bit wiggly- so it is very hard to get good photos- I have to use my phone right now and it is just not fast enough for my friends..

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We bought and built a nice dog house for Dixie, she is so old she deserves something nice, which yes I could have built one for cheaper- but this was on sale from $149.99 to $54.99 and I just couldn’t resist. It is cedar and smells oh so wonderous, and the kiddo wants to use it for a club house. It has taken Dixie a few days to get used to it- but it will be much warmer in the winter- as she is graying and I can tell the cold is bothering her more every year. It did not take long to build- and I just hope she enjoys it.

Meet the girls…

Both of my girls are completely different- and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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Sheldon!

This is our oldest. She was born in April- and is 10 this year. She is very smart- in the gifted classes in school. She is not the pink and girly type. Truth- we just got her to wear jeans a year ago- this is my picky child.  She is very particular and intense. She loves to read, art, music, school, archery- and xbox/youtube. The dreaded game system- we don’t like when mom limits our screen time.  She has learned to crochet and is pretty good- so we have been buying yarn- good for when we have rainy/cold days and they don’t want to be outside.

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Tooty!

This is our youngest, she will be 6 this year. She is definitely all girl, if you can’t tell. This is from dance recital this year. Although she will get down in dirty- she just chooses to wear a dress or skirt. She is very curious, friendly, loves to color, dance and loves music. She would rather be outside playing with someone. She loves to help and loves it when she can be in the kitchen with me.

Both girls are so different- and they each have their own personalities. They are an integral part of our lives- although Tooty has boycotted chicken until recently. And if we do want goats- well that’s another story for another day! Come join us on our journey- I’m sure I will have some funny tales to tell with these two!

Meet the animals…

Right now we are starting on the hoard of animals we will have.. building up..

I have 2 indoor cars- named Shrek and Gingy- and our outdoor dog named Dixie…

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This is Dixie. She is over 10 years old- we got her as a stray before our eldest was born. She still plays like a puppy and wants attention all the time. As for breed- don’t even ask the vet- we’ve tried. I just hope she does okay when we bring home the chickens- she has a tendency to bring us “presents,” in the form of dead birds, and chipmunks.

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This is Gingy and Shrek. Shrek is the orange kitty, and Gingy is the torty. Shrek is male and Gingy is female. We have had them for 2 years- we adopted them as kittens from the animal shelter to try to rid of mice. They have killed quite a few- none in the new house- but they do search for them. We quickly brought them over because we saw a field mouse- and we have not seen once since the cats have been here. They are both completely different- Shrek is a loud mouth, annoying, lovey boy- Gingy is quiet- not so lovey and runs the halls. I’m pretty sure she is the hunter- but Shrek does follow bugs and kill them. If you can’t tell by the picture of their attitudes- haha- look at her eyes! They both love to lay with me at night- they each have spots on the bed. I was surprised to get this picture because normally you can’t get one of both.

So meet the animals we have now- we look forward to adding to the bunch- but that is for another post- another day!

Memories and a little bit of beauty…

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This is what I saw one day when I came home- we had 2 or 3 butterflies just hanging out. I love watching butterflies- and they are so beautiful. They remind me of my Grandpa. He was always quick to give great advice- and whenever I see a butterfly I think of him. I seem to believe he is visiting me. It is great to remember him. The memories just flood in- and it always seems to come in when I am down. It has taken me awhile to get over the fact that I missed his funeral because I was pregnant with my youngest.

Seeing a butterfly always makes me think of the small things- enjoy the little things. Life moves too fast- enjoy the smiles- and the beauty. Even though my front walk has overgrown with the weeds- the butterflies enjoy it- so no- I am not weeding it right now. I would rather enjoy the butterflies- and then rip it up later. Take it slow- watch nature- think- slow down- enjoy being outside!

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So here is to some beauty in life- ENJOY!

DIY- frugal clothespin bag…

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Project this weekend- took me about 15 minutes total to make. This is an afterthought of my clothesline- who doesn’t have a nifty little bag to store them in?

Can you guess what it is made of? It didn’t cost me a dime! It was everything we had on hand! I love frugal quick projects!

My string is a too short shoe lace from my daughters shoes. I am going to use it as a bag for over my shoulder, and it pulls tight to close and becomes a drawstring. I carry it over my shoulder while I use my line.

The bags is actually part of my yoga pants leg. I cut them down to make board shorts, and decided to keep the legs for a project- not knowing I would be making a clothespin bag. It was perfect one side is already sewn- so no need to hem or worry about it. I just turned the leg inside out and sewed the bottom shut- the bottom of my bag was the uncut part- so I didn’t have to sew a hem. Work Smarter, Not harder, right? The top part was perfect because the edge of the pants was hemmed with enough space for me to cut a slice down the hemmed part. It became my hole for my drawstring! Genius!

The nice thing about this- it is washable- and didn’t cost a dime! What kind of frugal projects have you done lately? Let me know!

Project Homestead- clothes line

wp-1473104758449.jpgDon’t mind the roof- that is my outside porch- it is in the works to tear down and fix! Project Homestead- Clothes line

One step to saving some money- especially while it is soo daggum hot still down here- is to decrease my dryer usage. I can definitely take advantage of the heat. This is our quick fix until I figure out what kind of permanent fix I want. What I like about this one is that it retracts so I don’t- pardon the pun- clothes line myself on the clothesline! I do eventually want to get the best of both worlds- retractable and a pulley system- we will have to think on that one! I do want to give a big thank you to my hubby for “installing” my system- by the way the retractable cord is about 3 foot too short- so we had to rig up a rope that we had on hand so I can hook my line to hang it up. I love the smell of fresh dried laundry on the line- and it didn’t take long to dry either!

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Besides I like seeing the cute hello kitty sheets floating in the wind! Do you use a clothesline? If so what is the best part about it? Or if you don’t want one, why not? Share with me!

One step closer to being debt free!

This month we paid off the last of our student loans. I had one and my husband had one. His was paid off last month. We have worked for a little over a decade to this step. We started off in not much debt- but got ourselves in a pickle when hubby got laid off from Caterpillar- at that point we were raking in the dough and spending like there is no tomorrow. It is hard to admit, but we were stupid. We spent money because we had it, and didn’t think about saving or emergencies. We were slowly headed into a downward spiral- credit cards were our best friend. It took a lot of time to get out of the hole we had dug. He got laid off- then I had a car wreck- then we moved back in with his parents. The house we were living in was falling apart and he was driving about an hour to work every day- it was costing A LOT in fuel. When I finally got my settlement from my wreck- we started working on paying off debt. I realized there could be no tomorrow- I could have died. I understand you can not take money with you when you go- but it sure is nice to have it when you need it for an emergency. I guess you could say the car wreck was my epiphany.

With my settlement, we started to slowly pay off our debt- I bought my husband a truck- I bought myself my dream truck (which by the way I still have- the transmission went out- so it is on the list to save to fix it- priorities)- we paid off about half of our debt- and we bought the hubby a Harley. He loves to ride and it saves him a bunch in fuel- plus it is something we both enjoy- but that story is for another day. During that time- I found out I was pregnant with the youngest- surprise! That led to a little more dent- hubby was not making a lot of money, but was making enough for us to live week to week. We still borrowed money from his parents when something happened. Thank God that they were able to help us when we needed it- but I am thankful we are now in a place where we don’t really need to borrow.

I started working in the rat race a year and a half ago with the hopes to pay off more debt- and save enough to buy a home. I have always been a little frugal- but started to do a lot more to try to save. Needless to say- we did pay off some more debt- and saved enough for a down payment and to buy the house. We had been looking for over a year. It has been a rough five and a half years- but we are finally at the point where we are not struggling and debt is no longer an issue. The only thing that we will have in debt right now is our mortgage, and I do overpay it every month. I can say Dave Ramsey’s system helped change my view. We do still have A LOT to work on- but as Dave Ramsey says- Baby Steps. I am just ecstatic that the only thing we have now that is technically under loan or owed is the mortgage. We are on a 15 year mortgage- and I keep thinking of ways to knock some time off to be where we do not owe anyone.

I will be checking credit reports soon- just to make sure there is nothing on there owed- and to make sure that there is nothing that slipped through the cracks. We worked hard over the course of the almost six years- and now it is about building some savings and getting to where we are completely debt free. I do things a little backwards. If you have any questions about how we got there- how I budget- or how to help- I would be glad to answer them. Being in debt is hard on the mind- and you feel like you will never get out- it is possible. I can stand up and testify to that!

The Planning Stages..

We had a survey done of the house- who wouldn’t? We definitely wanted to know where our property lines are. So of course, my smart idea for planning the homestead is to use the survey to plan what we want to do with the space we have. We do have some wooded area which is road front, so we may bulk that up a little bit- I do like my privacy some. We have plans, and the thing is I can see them in my head when I picture it- that is the nice thing about using the plans from the survey.

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The picture is not the best, and not quite to scale. It is my rough draft, I will be measuring tomorrow to plan out what will fit best where, and this is why you make plans, so that if anything needs to change- it can! The number 7 is where I would like our fruit/nut trees to go. Right inside out property line- but it would fill out so that we wouldn’t have to see the neighbor on that side. I don’t really want to place a fence up, and there are a few existing trees on the line- which is nice- that’s part how we know where it is. The plan for the garage/workshop for the hubby will block the views from the other neighbor.

We do share a driveway with one neighbor and they are pretty awesome- not that the other two aren’t, I haven’t gotten to know them much. They are very helpful and have a little boy who is a year older than my youngest. They play all the time- which is why the trampoline and swingset are closer to the edge of the driveway, so the kids can play.

Bees, chicken and garden plans will need to be worked out. The compost pile, wood storage and the garden will be one of the first things to come. the chickens will be coming shortly after. Long-term we want to enclose the back porch- for a mud room/ more storage area, enclose the carport, cover the walkways, and build a garage/workshop for the hubby.

The awesome thing about this house is that we have a pear tree, and two rose bushes. Both of which I have to learn more about. Luckily my mother-in-law knows about roses- so I can ask her for some help when it cools off some. We plan on buying a tree package from an existing farm that sells them, so when January rolls around- I will definitely ask them some questions. They have existing orchards, and bee hives.

I just thought I may share a little bit of out planning stages- you will see more of that to come later. Suggestions are welcome- if you think I need to place something somewhere else- please share- I take advice! Long term I would also like to add rabbits and goats. I don’t think we have enough room for pigs or cows. Hit uo the contact me button- I will respond as soon as I can! Thanks for following along our journey!