Weekly Update: 12.31.22

And with that, 2022 is coming to a close. Between the arctic-like weather and the Christmas holiday, it’s been a nice vacation week for us. We all ate too much candy and played lots of board games. It was nice being able to recharge. We feel much more ready to hit the ground running in the new year.

Because we have such a large family, for the last few years, those of us who live together have started purchasing family/group gifts. The family gifts this year definitely have a homestead theme. Bonnie-Jean purchased a gardening book, Propagating Plants: How to Create New Plants for Free by Alan Toogood.

Levi and Erin bought the family two fruit cultivation books, The Fruit Gardener’s Bible by Hill and Perry, and Apples & How to Grow Them by Andrew Mikolajski. They also gifted the family with two apple trees, which will arrive this spring.

While the books I gifted aren’t technically on homesteading, they are related — Mineral Treasures of the Ozarks and National Audubon Society: Field Guide to Fossils. Our property is covered in fossils and has a history in mining, so it will be fun to learn more about the topics.

Our folks bought the family a recurve bow so that we can all learn archery. This has been a dream for us for years, and we are so looking forward to developing a new skill! Our parents spoiled the family with other treats, too — including a beautiful cast iron tea kettle for heating water on our wood stove.

Between all the fun we had, we got a few practical things done as well. We had to special-order our stove pipe from Menards, and it arrived yesterday. Some of it came damaged, however, so we had to exchange it for slightly different pieces locally (we didn’t want to wait another two weeks for another special order). We now have all of our pipe. We just need to find a rain cap that fits it, then we will be ready to install our wood stove!

It’s been an eventful year for our homestead. Last turn of the year, we had accomplished almost nothing. This year, we have an entrance, a well, electricity, a septic permit, a wall tent cabin, and a summer camping area we can return to whenever we like. On one hand, we hoped we would be further along — we would love to be finishing out our bunk house this winter. But life happens, and while you can prepare, you can never truly plan for everything. We feel so blessed for how far God has gotten us on our journey. He has opened so many doors in His own time, and we are trusting Him as we keep moving forward.

Happy New Year, friends! God bless you all in 2023!

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