The Homestead Journal ~ Week 34-43~ Stability

The last two months have been busy. We are finally getting stabilized. I don’t think people realize how long it takes to not only build a business but to recover from a few serious setbacks. We’ve had a lot of support and that has been a blessing. I appreciate Blessed Little Grooming Company clients and our Blessed Little Homestead supporters. I’m going to flashback for a moment.. Some have asked what the GFM went to. A quick breakdown, I don’t have exact numbers but $45,000 was raised. GFM took around $4,000. We spent $3,000 on fencing material and some building supplies in the very beginning. We spent $1,000 on a dumpster and clean up day. We spent another $4,000 on tools, equipment, more materials etc. We bought a van $3500 plus repairs $800. We bought the “garden shed” $9,000. We spent about $2,000 on insulation and walls. We spent about $3500 on bedding and such, clothing and other items for the for the children. We lived on the rest for the months of May -October to supplement the salon income. The attorney was paid for with additional funds, as was the motel stay. For our safety we were advised to be out of the county as much as possible. Joe went to the homestead daily to check on animals and take care of things. We often had court, visitation and other meetings, this resulted in a lot of travel and we spent time together  at the homestead on those days, but not much. If you have never had all 10 of your children taken, you can’t even begin to assume how we felt, or the emotional state we were in being at an empty home. Being pregnant and extra emotional, it was in my unborn child’s best interest to focus on other things.

We have moved forward. I’m focused on today. My family is well. We are still healing, but we are ok. As I started out saying, we are stable. We’ve caught back up from the relocation. The business is growing strong, despite some attempts to undermine its growth. The homestead is growing as well. The garden did good but not great. We had fresh veggies all summer and still get a few. We did not plant a fall garden for several reasons, we aren’t discussing right now.

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We are focusing right now on the small livestock. Chickens and rabbits. We have reinforced our cages. The older birds are free range, as is mom and her chicks. Her last clutch was caged and went missing, we don’t know if it  was a raccoon that got into them or a snake. It’s always something tho. We still have two goats, Annie and Marble. We may breed Annie again but the milk production was previously not worth the effort. Marble is strictly a pet. Maggie, Alma and Bandit are doing well. They are good with the animals we have. I am grateful Ranger has found a home and we can have harmony again. As I stated on the FB page the other day. It’s not uncommon for shelters and rescues to put deadlines on red flag dogs. Dogs that needs homes asap. Or what? They get euthanized. So I red flagged Ranger. Why not drop him off at the local shelter? Because I’ve got far more people watching this page than the local shelters do. Because ranger had a far better chance of finding a home here than he did in a rescue. And I was right. He had numerous people looking to help him and he found a good home.Flame me if you like. But I stand by my actions.

As I mentioned in the blog the other day, the children manage their finances. Abigail has worked hard and saved enough money saved up for her horse. She found one that was perfect for her. Beauty is her name. She’s a 5 year old quarter horse. Abigail is in love. The horse is amazing. She is so sweet and gentle. Perfect for Abigail. And yes, we are aware of the costs of keeping a horse. Abigail has been researching and planning for several years and she is capable of managing the upkeep. So let the girl be happy.

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Jacob is working full time, has a serious girlfriend (he said for me to tell you all she is amazing) and keeps up on his homestead projects when he can. He’s not had time for writing his book but says he will be making more time for that. (It’s a western fiction)

Quinten is building everything he can and has been working on his woodworking. He did all the new woodwork in my shop. The self wash sign was stained to match the baseboards he did. I just didn’t get the after pic. We will be updating the window and door frames as well. I’m just happy to finally have some baseboards! We moved the fish tank under the sign now that we finally got the electrical work done. (See my lights are up above the counter and table again) He also built a wagon to attach to his bike and is building the bamboo project. He hoped to be done by now, but we hit a slight delay. Soon tho!

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Isaac is now working with me 3 days a week. He does well as my assistant. He enjoys working with the dogs. He has a recent interest in Lego’s and has been using his money to buy them.

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Since we have had beautiful weather, the children have been keeping busy outside.

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Gabriel turned a year old this last week. Gabriel has a very bright personality, he’s always going around and exploring. He keeps trying to walk, he’s only taken one step once.


This last week he had been staying home and having a blast, although I do miss him at the shop, and so do the clients. Daddy wears him out and he’s usually crashed when I get home. He still nurses several times at night and we play a little before I leave for work. This is him crashed on “our” pillow when I came home the other night. He doesn’t want his own pillow. He insists we use the same one.


Olivias been cooking more. The other day she made pancakes in the shape of everyone’s initials. Now that Gabriel is home she only comes to work 1-2 days a week to make bows.

Nothung much is new with Zachary, Urijah, Ezra, Lucas and Mosiah. Although Mosiah is getting chattier everyday. All 5 of those boys are busy outside from sun up to sun down playing hard and helping with chores. I keep meaning to do a video with them, it should be fun.


Weve been trying to complete some general homestead projects. We had been watching this Woodstove which was going up for auction. One reason we hadn’t split wood (we have plenty of logs cut) is that we weren’t sure which wood stove we would be using. This one uses smaller logs, so I’m glad we waited and don’t have to cut and split twice. We have to reconfigure the set up, but we should be good for November 1st!

Hope you had a good few months, I will post an update again next month. I also wanted to add that we are expanding our bow selections for the holidays. Check out our FB page as we add more items each day.



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27 Responses

  1. Commenter

    Can I ask? Why did you all decide to have so many kids? Usually it’s only religious families…. Also, do you have photography classes for sale? I thought I saw some where you did?

  2. Comment

    You all have a beautiful family! Not too many people are brave enough to have such a big family! I hope God continues to bless you all.

  3. BlessedLittleHomestead

    Im not sure how fast shes gotten her, we are mostly trails here.. Yes, the horse needs a place for shelter. They eat grasses and we supplement with hay and grain. A new feed store opened up so with sales and coupons we’ve gotten the grain/feed at a good price. Most of the stuff wasn’t that expensive.. Ive seen others say what they paid but that is not what we paid. You can but the fancy expensive stuff, and Abigail wants to save up for a nicer bridle, but you can get them at a fair price. She bought a used saddle earlier this summer for $150.

  4. Sue

    Always praying for you guys, all the way from California! Love the new stove, so cute!

    A horse, how exciting! That is amazing for her. Oh! Has Abigail got her running yet? It is the best feeling ever, to ride a running horse, so freeing! I am curious, does a horse need a barn or shed to sleep in? And do they just eat grass? Wish we had the land to keep one on, but we dont have a barn or a ring, or any of that expensive equipment.

    Have fun over there, stay safe!!

  5. Helen Barnes

    I think the garden shed she is talking about is the one they live in. Love looking at your blog. we have alot of the same likes

  6. Francesca

    I have owned horses all my life. I am glad Abigail was able to get a horse and I would encourage her to learn all she can about them. They require hay during the winter(15-20 lbs a day – about 3.5 tons per year), vitamins, regular trimming every 6 weeks, vaccinations yearly(flu-rhino, West Nile, Tetanus among others) and their teeth checked once a year. They also need safe, secure fencing and a place out of the wind and rain. Please do not allow her to tie the horse to trees or other objects in order to contain it. This is dangerous and can lead to severe injury or even death should the rope get twisted around the horse or whatever it is tied to(my neighbor’s horse broke it’s leg and had to be put down because she tied it to a large cement brick. The horse shied when the brick moved and while running out of control the brick hit it’s leg and broke it).
    I assume she has set aside enough money if she needs to call a vet. Vet calls start out at $75.00 where I live and that’s just for driving in the driveway. Feet trimming is approximately 45.00 every 6 weeks
    Just an FYI…a horse’s ribs should not be protruding. It’s OK to show what my vet calls, “a ghost of a rib/s”. Anything else means it’s not getting enough to eat.
    I am going to be very blunt here because I care about all animals. You have a history of not caring for your animals properly. I hope this is not the case with Abigail’s horse. You can get really upset that I said this or you can learn from it and make sure the horse is cared for properly. It would go a long way towards people thinking you learned from your mistakes.

  7. Rachel Espino

    Constantly amazed at how well rounded the kids are. They are extremely talented and so responsible. I have no doubt that when situations get hard, your kids will know how to survive while other kids in the world will be wondering how in the world life can go on.

  8. Annie

    Nice post! So happy things are coming along in spite of all the nastiness you deal with. I can only imagine what you’d be able to accomplish if you weren’t being bombarded by harassment constantly. Congrats to Abigail on the new horse and Jacob on the new relationship. Young live is wonderful to experience. Thank you for the newsy post.

  9. Lucy

    Abigail loves animals and they seem drawn to her. What a nice investment she’s made. Thanks for the update on projects and kid’s interests. Wow, Jacob is growing up! Happy he’s found someone he cares so much for. I love the new stove, it should work out nicely. I like your blog it’s interesting and safer to comment on. I’ve seen family and supporters raked over the coals for having an opinion so I don’t read your regular pages much. I am happy your family is back on track, enjoying life, and getting things done that will make your acreage more comfortable to live on. Keep the blog posts coming.

  10. BlessedLittleHomestead

    I suppose you have to research unscholling on your own. I’ve discussed it before, but I’ve lost the energy and desire to explain myself anymore.
    Edited to add, my comment wasn’t meant to be snarky. I think I’ve been coming off short tempered.. I hope this ted talk helps

  11. Sandrine

    I also am curious about when these kids are actually learning anything academic, between playing all day outside, doing chores, making bows, helping shampoo dogs, building projects and caring for a horse? If your kids are not spending at least 4 hours a day dedicated to reading, writing, math, social studies, science, and something to round them out (sports/music/arts) you are leaving them ill prepared to succeed in the real world. Or do you want to keep them on your homestead forever?

  12. Eulanda Hibler

    Love ur family. .next spring..we’re ready to fly..the horrible city life..I worked my butt off for a stove like ur..they surely weigh alot..I have it covered outside till I has the option of family member says coal is so clean now will be easy to use..I’m so excited..not sure if there are pieces missing..but two are cracked n I heard u can’t weld ..but not sure..the inside is really clean and all the doors don’t stay hope it will work out in the end..but sure wished we lived thing I have learned. .never talk to ones around..we are looking for land there anything that I need to know off the land that might make it so we’re not harrased..if so..let me know..but in private. .proud of u all..if we ever take a trip across country..we would love to stop by..and camp out..

  13. BlessedLittleHomestead

    Yes, I update the lessons next time. Since it’s usually not set lessons, it’s not as clear cut to Journal. But I will put together some things, especially a book list.

  14. Regina Gorman

    I so enjoyed reading your update! What a beautiful , productive , hard-working family you have 🙂 To get through everything you all have, and still come out shining and functioning as you do… It just amazes me and I admire you so much. As far as Bandit, I think of Him everyday when I interact with our new addition , Cooper. He was a rescue and I have NO doubt that if He had ended up at the shelter, He would have been passed by, time and time again. He’s high energy, anxious and needs a lot of work. And we couldn’t love him more. But a lot of people wouldn’t see his charm. However, WE don’t have farm animals , so we don’t have to be concerned about Him taking them out ! Keep on, Keeping on. Best wishes coming your way 🙂

  15. Brandy

    Everything sounds wonderful! And congrats to Abigail on the horse, and Jacob on the romance. 😉
    One thing that ‘I’ missed was hearing what the children are studying. Are they still doing self-guided studying and what topics are they interested in?

  16. Melisa Hunter

    I absolutely love reading about your family. I wish someday my husband and daughter would be willing to live off the grid. It’s a lifestyle I believe I would absolutely love. Thank you for continuing to blog, you are an inspiration!

  17. Lisa N. Murphy

    Thanks for the update and pics. My big family prays for yours daily on our homestead. I hope someday for my family to meet yours. Lisa

  18. mommylove7

    Looks like a great time! Awesome childhood for the littles. Love the shop…awesome looking! Keep trucking, momma!

  19. Jackie Dupree

    Nicole. Glad y’all are doing well. Hang in there.

  20. BlessedLittleHomestead

    It is expensive. CPS was ok with us living in the cabin till winter( as was our plan as well. We had no intention in wintering a second year in that cabin, and we planned to build when the children came back. But the GAL said in a meeting at my lawyers office she would approve the kids coming home only if we had something else ready. So we dropped the $9k and had the kids home in 2 days. It was worth it to me, but yes, ideally had we had more time, we would have built for cheaper.

    And yes, beauty is all set. And Jacob hasn’t had any trouble. We work the same hours not far from each other.

  21. SueLynn

    I love the new stove! You should get a lot of use from it. I am glad Abigail has her horse. I always wanted one when I was a kid. It sounds like things are moving in the right direction, I am very happy for that.

  22. Joann Fiscus

    Congrats to Abigail, saving enough to buy her horse. That is awesome! Quinten did an amazing job in your shop. Bob the builder since he was 2! Looks like all the others are doing well too. So happy to hear. Hugs all around!

  23. Darcy Dallin

    I don’t care what you spent the money on, but $9,000 for a “garden shed”!? Is this a shed for your garden? Was this a pre made shed you can buy at a hardware store, cuz that’s expensive. Any way you could have built this shed from just “scrap” lumber? I know money is a precious commodity and I would have hated to waste it on a shed.
    You have plenty of grass for a horse. It’s one horse and you won’t need that much hay, maybe some during the winter months. Do you have a barn of some type to put Beauty in when the weathers bad? Teeth and hoof care isn’t that expensive either as long as she takes him regularly. I’m glad for Abigail. I have always wanted a horse.
    Is Jacob working off the homestead? I hope he is doing good and isn’t getting harassed by evil people as you do with your work. Does he drive to work or do you have to take him all the time?

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