give me all the animals

Remember when I told you we were going to re-start the farm this year? Well, we most certainly did. Our farm is bursting with life.

Our Wellsummer and Easter-Egger Chickens are on their second year of laying. We also bought 35 more chickens of every variety that sparked my interest.

Speckled Sussex, Phoenix, Polish, Silver-laced Wydottes, Orpingtons, Favorolles, Americaunas, Brahmas, Whiting True blues and greens, probably more than I can remember.

We also have 5 ducks. 3 Pekings and 2 that I picked up from Tractor Supply…jury is out on the breed.

I am so thrilled to introduce into our area Kiko goats as well. We will be the fourth breeder in Arizona and the first in our county. These amazing meat breed goats have been so fun to have thus far. We have 1 buck and 3 does. We also have a buck and doe for milking. They are Nubian/Apine/Saanan/LaMancha mixes.

All our breeding for goats will be through the late Fall and Winter months. I cannot wait to see some happy wagging tails in the Spring!

We also bought a breeding pair of American Guinea Hogs and one to feed out. We just had of first litter of pigs born last month. They are quite a joy to watch.

I cannot say enough how having a full-fledged farm can fill my soul with pride and happiness. I have often had to go out and take care of animals or the garden only to find myself lingering and enjoying more than expected.

The kind of healing that I can get from taking care of all these amazing creatures that God created is second to none. I have also believed for years that nothing gets the anger of pain out of a person like pulling weeds and chopping wood. I person can sort many a thought out that way.

I am eager to share with you the many more lessons I have been learning through the love and care of this farm.

As a recently separated gal pushing 40, I have many lessons to learn still. I am so thankful to steward this farm that has been such a blessing. My grief will not be processed through drinking and dating and “going off the rails”. Rather, I will struggle more with (and certainly not resist) that urge inside me that says, “Give me all the animals!”

hello there

Hello there. I’ve been gone from this space. My former “happy place” that’s been misplaced for several years. I want to start over here. Re-introduce myself.

I’m Jennee. Full-time working mama, homeschool mama, homesteading wannabe, planner addict, organizing obsessed, knitting machine, crafter, lover of books, amateur photographer. There’s more too.

Like most people I find myself enjoying so many things, yet not at the exact same time.

I want to re-introduce myself since the early days of this blog and the person they represented is altogether different. There are echos of a sameness these people share, but my life is about as different as it can be.

People change and evolve.

Life changes and evolves.

Some things simple happen. Some are choices. Some consequences.

This is where I have found myself the last several years. All of it. Some things happened. Big things.

Life altering things.

Some choices were made, and not made.

Enter the consequences. Enter my need to turn to writing again.

You see, writing has always been the most productive way for me to vent. To process. To cope. When I was in high school, I wrote everyday. Poetry, journaling, anything. I was a broken kid. That was my relief.

When I was raising littles and in the “trenches” of being a stay-at-home mama of 4 (now 5), I created this blog. I document the daily life. I processed the struggles. The was also to pass on any amount of hope I could to those going through the same.

Here I am again.

Turning to writing again as I begin to process a new chapter in my life. This is a chapter I never wanted to write or process. This chapter I have been avoiding. I don’t want to have to enter this.

Here I am.

Today is the first night that my husband will be sleeping at another home. We are separating.

Before you ask, let me answer you.

Yes we have tried. For years. Our kids know. They are doing as well as they can be.

We are both in counseling.

For many, many, many reasons I believe it’s the right decision.

Sometimes our broken world pulls us in a little too much and we find ourselves broken people again. I know that marriage is “forever” in the Christian world. I know, too, that God loves us each individually more than we can imagine. I daresay that Jesus died for us individually. Not as a group or couple. He has some mighty work to accomplish in these two broken people.

We loved our 5 children so much.

We have agreed to be co-parents and we’re working together as well as possible to make this season in their lives as peaceful as possible.

There it is.

Big news. Sad news.

Necessary.

Private. I will not use this space to bash the man. I simple needed to tell you. I know that just as easily as I mentioned him before in this space, I will be needing to mention the alone-ness of things as well.

Hello. I’m Jennee and I have so much to catch you up on.

back where we thrive

We’re back.

Back at our farm. Back to homeschooling. Back to what we love and thrive at.

It is completely where we belong.

I shared already about our decision to go back to homeschooling here. We are three weeks in, and I am pleasantly surprised and relieved that things are going very well.

Yes, I still work FULL time and I work outside the home.  I haven’t had a mental break-down or screamed at any precious humans.  In fact, I would say the opposite is happening.

I sat on my porch this morning and listened while sipping that magnificent first cup of coffee. I listened to the distant hum of a center pivot slowly watering a crop of cotton.  Birds of all sorts were chirping and flitting back and forth.  I even enjoyed the birds that were louder and slightly annoying.  You know the sort, right?  The ones that squawk. Yeah, even they seemed nice today.

Coyotes howled and screeched as the early sunlit horizon warmed my face.  Hornets buzzed and floated on the (less warmer then usual) air.   I’m certainly not going to call it “crisp”, “Fall”, or “cool”.  It’s still Southern AZ I live in.

This may sound terrifying to those of you who didn’t grow up in the Southwest.  Coyotes, hornets, squawking birds in September. Fear not! I was in no harm.  I was in my blissful place.

The point is this.  I haven’t sat in such silence for a year. I haven’t heard the sounds of nature and farming country for too long.  Something that refreshes my soul has been gone.  Nature.  I really can’t do too much city.  I feel closest and most appreciative of God and who He is when I see it everyday in this form.

Gratitude and peace overwhelm me here.  I heard, feel and witness that glory of creation daily at the farm.  Maybe that’s what I personally need.  I see so much devastation and destruction in my line of work.  I see the worst people in society, I see the moments in humanity that impacts the future of a family.

A lost life, a mangled arm, a new life.

The most amazing and tragic days are my job. Also, some pretty disgusting humans are out there to grace me with their issues.

I need a refresh. I need a long drive to unwind, and to prepare.

I think that’s why I breathe in the refreshing scenes and sounds out here.  I breathe deeply and often.  Intentionally.

I know I’m not alone.  The kiddos took roughly 30 seconds of living out here to soak it in and get right back to catching toads, frogs, and bugs.  Day one there was a teen eating dinner in the tree.

They PLAY!

I can’t tell you how much having a rock backyard the size of a postage stamp muffled the energy out of these five children.  Their energy was turned on each other- not in a great way.

Now they all have room to spread out and explore, create, have fun.  Together.  They are choosing each other!  It’s like a miracle has occurred here.

Listen when I say this.  They still bicker.  Space doesn’t cure everything.  It just has given them more options.  :)

I love how they can open the door and go outside.  I’m not worried about them getting kidnapped from our yard.  I’m not worried about them getting hit by a car while riding their bikes.  I’m not worried that someone is going to come into our yard at night.  I’m not worried that they are playing too loud.  I’m not worried about my dog barking.   I’m not worried in general.  Some may think that living out in the middle of nowhere is scary.

Isolating.

Unsafe.

I would argue that the more people you are around the more unsafe you are.

We have all isolated ourselves in the “safety” of our city house for a year.  Going outside has been planned instead of organically happening.  You can’t go to the park without an adult.  We have driven around the streets of a neighborhood that is “family friendly” for a year.  You don’t see families in their yards.  The streets are vacant. No one sits on their front porch.  I wouldn’t recognize more than 3 neighbors.  I never saw even a glimpse of them.  They drive into their garages, shut the door, and are never seen.  Seriously!  Who have we been living next to?

If you are a city person, that’s great!  I’m not.  I don’t know how to feel the same things and live the same way with all the crowds.  I’m so thankful that we aren’t being called to that right now.  We have seen what the city has to offer and we have declined.  We have come full circle to the place we have all loved for so many years.  We have grown here, just as lush as a beautiful garden.  We have lost here.  We have become different here.  We have loved it.  Every bit has changed us into the family that we are now.

I feel a stirring again inside.  I movement that causes reflection.  I can hear a whisper of my voice coming back to me.  I haven’t felt like this for so long!

Maybe it was the stress of college, life, busyness of the city, goals.   Whatever it was, it’s going away.  My love for writing has never left me, but my ability to express it faded for too long.  Maybe I just had nothing to say.   This place sparks instant inspiration.

We are simply free here.  We are free to play, learn, refresh our souls.

We are free to thrive in an environment that tells us daily, ” You belong here”.