• Moving…we should be experts by now!

    Just two more sleeps, and we are FINALLY home!

    Home, on our new (to us) homestead.

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    As the day draws closer, quickly, there are many emotions.
    This is it, FINALLY it!

    We are finally moving to a home, a homestead, here on the prairies of Saskatchewan that we can finally call our home. No longer ‘renters’.

    There’s excitement over our new adventure. The more I learn about the property the more excited I become. We will have a real barn. I’ve always loved old barns. In highschool art class, old barns were my very favourite subject to draw. I still have my favourite drawing of the view inside an old barn. I will need to find it. I’m quite positive it looks a lot like OUR barn.

    Then there’s a bit of ‘fear’. Not true fear, I’m not ‘scared‘. It’s difficult to explain, mixed along with SO much excitement! But the reality is, our home back in BC is still not sold. That means we now will own TWO homes. As wonderful as that may sound… It’s not wonderful. It’s very difficult, burdensome, and while that hobby farm sits empty with no one to love it, it’s financially and emotionally draining.

    It dampens our extreme excitement to FINALLY be going home!

    And that makes me sad. I don’t want to feel burdened, emotionally or physically drained, at the most pivotal moment of this entire Long Way Home journey our family has been on.

    I want to bask in the contentment I feel in my heart now that we know where home is.

    I want to ponder the absolute wonder and self sacrifice of friends stepping in to put the mortgage in their name until our other home does sell, so we could finally have a permanent home!

    I want to sit in awe and amazement that in all our times of wondering how we would ever find ‘home’ after being told we would have to move for a THIRD time in one year, in our wildest imaginations we never could have dreamed we would end up at the very homestead we had an offer in on almost two years earlier.

    So, as scary as it is, to be financially responsible for TWO hobby farms now, thousands of miles apart from one another, in our awe and amazement of where we are headed we must swallow hard, dig our heels in deep, and make that final sprint towards that finish line.

    We can finally see it now.

  • Dyeing. This is work?

    CONTEST CLOSED:
    The amount of dyes I used for the 10 colorways was 29! No one guessed 29, but there was one guess that was closest, so the winner is:

    30.

    Congratulations Lynne! Email me at homesteademporium@gmail.com for a coupon code, or simply shop without a coupon code and email me afterwards for a 20% OFF refund!

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    One of the things I absolutely LOVE about my job is that I am able to combine my love of art & all things color, with creating an income.

    We try our best to teach our children to not just love what they do, but to do what they love! The best way to teach it, is to live it out ourselves!

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    One of my favorite parts of creating here at Homestead Emporium is to take a completely blank piece of fabric like this…

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    And turn it into something full of color!

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    It always takes great patience to wait and see how the finished fabric looks!

    Now let’s have some fun!

    While dyeing today, I dyed 15 pieces of fabric, in ten unique ‘colorways’, meaning ten different variations of colors mixed together.

    Here’s a little guessing game for anyone who would like a chance to win a 20% OFF coupon for Homestead Emporium!

    Leave your best guess in the comments as to how many different dye colors I used to create the ten colorways.

    I’ll give you a hint. It was between 1 and 50 dye colors!

    *I will choose one winner who either guessed correctly, or came the closest. If more then one person guesses correctly, I will use random.org to pick a winner from those correct answers. Contest closes in two days! I will announce a winner before Friday’s stocking!

  • Home sweet Homestead.

    Home sweet Homestead. That’s where we spent our afternoon today.

  • Finally… need I say more?

    I shared on Facebook last night that we have a ‘final’ home to got to, finally! There’s lots of excitement at our house now! Shaylah began packing right away. Julia is dreaming of the REAL barn we will finally have. I’m trying to decide what color to paint my sewing room, which actually has a window (my studio now, does not) AND which vegetables to plant! The guys are planning out the use of space in their huge shop!

    The home we are moving to has a lot less land and less square footage then the house we are renting now, but it has dreams, and hopes for OUR future, with roots to dig in and grow. Finally!

    Our hobby farm on Vancouver Island hasn’t sold, so we will still have the added financial burden of paying two homes until it does, but the fact that friends would feel God urging them to step in and help us out by literally buying the home we put an offer in on 1.5 years ago, FOR us, while we continue to wait… this has all just blown our family away.

    Our friends want to remain anonymous, and we will respect that. They feel God is the one who has blessed us, and surely He has!! We praise Him for bringing forward help so that our family can FINALLY be HOME!!

    But… at the same time, they have also truly blessed us. They have blessed us more then words can possibly express!

    We finally get to go home!

    I think my mom said it best:

    Finally there will be peace on the prairies. Bless the Lord.

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  • DIY Elderberry Syrup – it’s SO easy!

    DIY Elderberry Syrup – it’s SO easy!

  • Waiting to go home

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    And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)

    Thinking hard on this as I fight what must be a slight ‘anxiety’ attack this morning about this whole moving again thing.

    GOD brought us here. The way Graydon (dh) landed his job, right when we needed it most, how it all came together was nothing WE did or could do. Both our eldest kids landed good jobs right away here! Our church family in our new community has proven over and over again that we are richly blessed to be here through their help and support.

    So this time, with this move, I am expecting GOD to provide us with a home. Right here! One we can afford, either through rent to own or through our home in BC finally selling! I am asking that this time it be a home we can OWN, where we can dig in real roots! A home where I can finally plant a garden, and the kids can feel settled. Where they can have chickens again, and Shaylah can have her sheep.

    Going through all this, you can’t help but wonder if you’re on the wrong path somehow, we question and discuss this all the time as a family! We don’t ‘waver’, we simply continue to seek God’s direction. We have not closed our ears to hear any direction God points us in. We know also, that others wonder, and question, if we’ve got it all wrong. If we’re on the wrong path. It’s confusing, why all these moves etc.? No one has any way of knowing. We only rest in the facts that God knows, and so far each move has brought us to a better place. We’ve spent the last 8 months enjoying a beautiful huge home, with good landlords.

    The first place we rented here on the prairies taught us, and our children, how to deal with persons who say they are one thing, yet prove to be something quite different! The kids learned, by watching us, how to confront lies, false testimony, and to stand up for yourself.

    The home we’ve been in these last 8 months may not be home for good, but we’ve had a rest after a very difficult start with the first rental. We have been able to rest, to enjoy, to live, to meet others, to learn about our community. We’ve had peace being in this home. It was shorter lived then we had hoped, but it’s been good. We needed the rest.

    We have remained faithful and have not wavered from our faith in Him. We don’t ‘expect’ because we feel we deserve it, we are asking God to provide a ‘final’ home this time because we know He is faithful, much more so then we are.

    I don’t know if God will give us a home here, to buy, to keep. I can only hope. But hope is what I will do!

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  • We did it! We survived… and thrived!

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    You know what I realized this morning as I reflected on this pretty March day outside my kitchen window?

    We made it, we did it! Our family survived paying TWO homes through an entire winter, along with high heating costs, utilities, upkeep, etc. halfway across the country!

    We didn’t do it alone, it wasn’t just my husband and I. Our children helped tremendously by working hard when needed, and being by our side!

    But it doesn’t stop there! Support from family, friends, church family, and even our great customers!

    We made it, we did it, with help from
    ALL of you!

    Spring is coming. We have no idea what will happen from here, if our property in BC will sell, where ‘home’ will finally be…

    Yet… knowing that we’ve made it through the worst part, through the winter months, and we didn’t just survive, but we thrived!

    thrive:
    verb: thrived, throve, thrived, thriv·en, thriv·ing.
    1. to prosper; be fortunate or successful.

    Yup! That’d be our family!

    Knowing we made it, makes it that much easier to keep on keeping on!

  • Honey garlic meatballs

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    I promised a photo and recipe for honey garlic meatballs.

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    I believe this came out of a magazine years and years ago and I can not remember which one. I feel bad not being able to give credit where credit is due…

    I have made this recipe so many times that I don’t really follow it, I use no measuring utensils, and just throw it all together as I go, tasting along the way.

    It always turns out the same…DELICIOUS!

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  • Strength, to have or not to have…

    It’s Friday March 1st 2013.

    On Monday, the home we are renting, in which we had hoped would be our final home, will be back up for sale.

    Over the past week since receiving the news, I’ve been fighting a battle within myself. I’m going to be brutally honest, and bare my soul for the ‘world’ to see and hope that none of you hold my thoughts against me.

    This was really difficult news. As those of you who have been readers of my blog, my friends, and my family know, after Graydon and I lived thousands of miles apart while he worked here, and our five kids and I stayed in BC trying to sell our home there. After way too many months apart, the kids and I finally made the move out here too. That was last April. We arrived in Saskatchewan April 17 2012.

    We had such high hopes that we were well on our way to being FINALLY home.

    Well I won’t go into all the details since then but it would seem even after two moves, we are STILL no closer to being FINALLY home then we were last April 17th. Here we are, once again, almost a year later in a home that’s for sale and no idea of what our future holds.

    I told Graydon last night (this is the brutal honesty part…don’t hate me) that the thought of living through house showings, in a rental home, has hit me so hard that I feel like throwing up, running away from home, smoking a thousand cigarettes (no, I don’t smoke, but did for years) and maybe even getting drunk just for the heck of it. Just to try and escape the distraught, and anger, and even the fear, that I feel right now over the uncertainty of our future.

    However… thankfully, I try real hard not to listen to the anxious thoughts that flit through my head.

    Instead, I texted a good friend who I knew would understand and she said she would be praying for me. I knew Graydon would be praying for me. I knew our church family has been praying very hard for our family.

    And I fought tears.

    I fought tears for hours as I ate dinner with my family, as I worked, as I packaged orders, edited product photos, and replied to emails. As I spent some time with the kids before bed, and as I said goodnight to each one.

    And I finally let those tears flow as I tried to go to sleep in the half empty bed while Graydon was working his 12 hour night shift.

    Life doesn’t stop because I’m having a bad day. Or even a bad year it seems.

    And with that thought, I can’t even rightly call it a bad year.

    Yes, life has been very uncertain, but bad? No. We’ve grown, we’ve lived, we’ve loved, and we’ve all matured.

    Our hearts are tender, and feeling a little bruised at the moment, but I know we are stronger too.

    The other day I read about Ann Voskamp who witnessed her little sister’s death as a toddler, and how she struggled all her growing up years to find joy.

    I seek joy. I believe we WILL find what we seek in life. If we seek negativity or anger, we’ll find that too. So I strive to seek joy, and peace.

    I seek scriptures to find my peace.

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    Isaiah 41:10 has been a favorite scripture of mine since I was married to a man who was an alcoholic, but then became a new man. A new husband. My living, breathing, daily example of what God can do within us when we allow Him to, when we ask Him to.

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    To help me find my peace, and my joy, I decided to take Ann Voskamp’s advice and write out a 1000 things to be thankful for, right now, in my life.

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    It’s going to take me a while to get to 1000, but it’s a start.

    I’m thankful others like Ann Voskamp are willing to share about their hard times so I can cling to their stories during our hard times.

    This is why I share my story too. In hopes it may help someone, somewhere, some how. In the mean time, sharing helps me.

  • A post totally not suited for Feb. 14th

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    I let Scout, our German Shepard, in a minute ago and as usual, when she strolled past me she gave my dangling hand a big, wet, slobbery lick. She enjoys giving kisses. Don’t bend over to tie up your shoes with her around, she’ll lick your head, or if she can find a way, better yet, she will lick your face!

    Big dogs have big tongues!
    With so much talk of kisses, maybe this post is suitable for Valentine’s Day after all?

    That’s not what her slobbery kiss reminded me of this morning though.

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    It reminded me of an article I read recently disputing feeding dogs raw.
    In the article it mentioned how unsanitary and unsafe it is for a dog to eat raw, then lick their humans. I didn’t think much about that. We’ve been feeding raw for 14 years now, and not a single one of us 7 have gotten sick from a dog kiss. We have 6 dogs now. All of which have spent most of their winter days and nights in the house due to the prairie cold. We can’t really avoid slobbery kisses around here!

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    But as Scout came in this morning, after spending an hour or so outside busily chewing away on fresh buffalo bones, and then came in and gave me that big wet kiss on the hand… I remembered that article and it suddenly dawned on me how silly that argument had been.

    Does the author have dogs?
    If so… do they know how their dogs stay clean? Especially in… certain…’regions’ of their bodies?

    Last I heard, fecal matter isn’t so sanitary. lol

    But who could resist kisses from the overflow of cuteness around here!

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