Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Settling In

Four years ago to this very month, we made the choice that changed our lives.  It was very intentionally called an adventure, because it was.  Because we needed it to be.  Dreams hung on this adventure.  Dreams of land, gardens, animals, grubby children coming to dinner from a full afternoon of work and play outdoors.  Time would only tell if it would ever happen, but if the dream had a chance, debt needed to get out of the way.  So we lived in a trailer, the six of us, for almost a year.

When the time came and debt was all but gone, we found a two-car garage that was converted into a home in 1960.  It sat on five acres, had two barns and a view that we couldn't get enough of.  Everything was in ruin, but we saw it for what it could be and we fell in love.  It was three times bigger than the trailer and didn't wobble when we walked in it.  We gutted it and painted it and it was home for almost three years, all 950 square-feet of it.  The plan was to only be in it for a year before expanding, but it didn't work out that way, as plans sometimes go.
We got our sheep, our chickens, our barn cats and our dogs.  We even had our fifth baby in it.  It was our home, our school, our labor and delivery room.  It was very cozy.  After we became a family of seven, it got a little too cozy.  Enough funds came in and we worked with a blueprint.  I held my breath.

One day last May, we moved out and the little Christmas Cabin was gutted.  It was exciting and also a bit uneasy for this mama.

Fast-forward seven months later and our home finished growing.  It has been six weeks and I still walk around in a daze.  It actually happened.  I don't share all this to brag.  Not in the least.  I want to share hope and encouragement for those considering that thrilling jump into the unknown, closer to their dreams.  The past four years haven't been glamorous.  There have been incredibly sweet moments, profound moments, and very hard moments.  There has been unexpected provision and so much supernatural grace.  If there is anyone out there itching to be free of debt and ready begin their journey that leads to adventure, I hope you find our story encouraging.  

The new shower, complete with rocks collected from our land.
I believed in what we were going after so much, but I also lived under a chronic state of embarrassment.  Not many people do what we did.  Not everyone understood why we would "put our family through" that.  It was nearly impossible to keep such a small place clean with so many people living in it.

The new kitchen, complete with floors made from century-old barn wood and trip from our own old barn wood (which has since been re-faced with much-needed fresh lumber).
Moving six times over the summer while the house was expanding was no cake walk either, but the provision that sheltered our big family was miraculous, and we were so very grateful.

The new kitchen table made out of our old, dilapidated deck.
Then, one surprisingly snowy day, it happened.  We moved into our new/old home.

Sunset in the living room.
Our barns needed new facing so we used it's old lumber as trim around the new doors and windows.  All the rock work in and around the house was with boulders we collected from our land.  Our living room table (pictured above) was made using lumber from our dilapidated deck outside our old bedroom.  It's true that we like to use restored lumber and things, but for us it was so much more.  It's a remembrance of what was and now is.  Our ugly, eye-sore of an aqua blue-painted deck that was once an embarrassment became our table; the crowning jewel of our living room.  I am humbled and so thankful as I go about my days and look at these reminders of our journey to dreams fulfilled.  What a journey.  What an adventure.

As we settle in, we feel our bodies allow themselves to let down.  We have been very tired, and in turn seemed to have caught every bug out there this season.  So much beauty and wonder, not without some mess.  We don't regret it though.  Not for a second.

Now, for the first time in what feels like half of eternity, we get to establish routines, host family and friends, set up new chore charts, and feel something close to normal.  Needless to say, we are very much embracing this new season and I can't wait to share it with you: stories of family, gardens, animals, new recipes, and all.

Are you ready for an adventure?  What does yours look like this year?  
Whatever you do,  align yourself with the One of unending strength, love, and guidance and just do it.
You won't regret it.


  1. Your home is absolutely beautiful! We are setting plans to build our garden on the "forgotten" land to feed the hungry people of our town. We are but two mere people with lofty dreams, and God's love thwarting us forward. Our little house will stay in its humble state for now, as He has called us to the field. So we cram towels in windowsills and sleep around the electric fire during this frigid winter. And then we plan over coffee and with fervent anticipation, we wait for spring, when Humble Farms will see its first planting.

    Bless your home and the people in it.

  2. This is definitely a goal of my husband's and mine! Congratulations on everything! The house looks gorgeous! Can I ask where the trailer was located when you guys were living in it? I could totally see our family doing something very similar, but we'd have to have some land to put a trailer on first. And then there's the fact that it's only 3 degrees outside right now- we might not survive a winter with all 6, soon to be 7, of us crammed into a trailer... :)

  3. Some friends of ours were gracious enough to let us park on their 10 acres. They do have 4-season trailers, but that's pretty cold! And 6 was our max for the trailer we had. Seven would be TIGHT! :)

  4. perfect encouragement for the pursuit of a dream. love this story. thank you.

  5. Wow! Congratulation on your beautiful home. I'm so moved by your families determination, self control and hard work. Can't wait for more to come from your blog.

  6. Awe-mazing! Our family has been tracking along since first reading about your move into the fifth wheel. Thanks for sharing the inspiration!

  7. So incredible! Thanks for sharing your journey with the rest of us dreamers and adventure seekers :) xo

  8. Thank you for sharing your courageous and life giving adventure with us. Knowing your beautiful husband in his childhood, we could see then his determination, talent and integrity which is well shown in your beautifully handcrafted home. We have been pondering this lifestyle for ourselves as it resenates deep in our hearts, even in our later years. You Katie are a Psalm 31 wife.
    As I read your story I was reminded of Luke 6:36.We bless you and are grateful to our heavenly Father who has given you a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and now running over! So excited for all of you! Congratulations!

  9. Love seeing how your story is turning out Katie! Very exciting and encouraging to see all the blessing and joy unfolding for you guys after so much hard work and challenge. Looking forward to continuing to read your blog and get great ideas from you.

  10. I love following your adventure!!! God is so GOOD!!

  11. Thanks for sharing these pics and this story. Although my dream is in a very different area of life, your story reminds me that IT TAKES TIME FOR DREAMS TO BE FULFILLED!! and sometimes IT WON'T FEEL LIKE THE DREAM!!! ... So, thanks for the encouragement!! I needed that today!

  12. This was so great to read, thank you for sharing!

  13. wow, love your story! Such an inspiration! This Year my husband and I are going to try and get pregnant with the assistance of a fertility doctor. After going through treatments for cervical cancer right after we got married, I was told i would never be able to carry a child. But the Lord has given us faith and we are riding on a promise...and we're going to try anyway! Cheers to adventures and the beauty that comes from our ashes!


  14. Dreams coming true..... I love this. Congratulations!

  15. Thank you for being so open and honest about your adventure all along. It has definitely inspired me to take the leap into the unknown. I love seeing how stories unfold when God is the author and finisher of our dreams : )

  16. Yay! I was finally able to leave a comment. I am ecstatic to have found your blog!!!! Thank you SO much for sharing this adventure and your lives. I have so been wanting to hook up with like-minded people. Your new house is gorgeous. How you used re-claimed items and things from the land. The radical steps you guys took to get there. I don't know you but I am SO PROUD of you! I am in a new and different season. It's not an easy one. But I too have certain dreams and I wrestle to know whether or not I am being crazy and foolish, or that it's ok to follow my heart and my dreams, even if it looks totally foolish. I want to take the step of building a Tiny House, but I want it to be wise, legal and it be a good investment. Thank you for sharing your dreams and the walking out of it. Bless you guy!

  17. This is sooo inspirational!!


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