Friday, January 11, 2013

A bit of catching up...

Oh, Hello there! It's been such a long time since I've written in this space. My inbox has been filled with sweet emails from people checking in on us wanting to make sure everything was OK over the past couple of months. Thank you. We are OK, better than OK in fact.

 I've come here dozens of times to start this post and I always leave with the page as blank as when I arrived. I lay in bed at night thinking of all the things I want to write down here, funny things, sad things, accomplishments, utter failures, conversations overheard, things I want to remember and I want my kids to see sometime down the road. Somehow I never managed to come up with the perfect beginning, or the perfect pictures so I never put anything down. Well, I'm over that now! Here I am back, after nearly half a year, without perfect pictures or a perfect title or perfect beginning. But here, just the same.

I suppose I'll try to catch up on the happenings around these parts, since in my last couple of posts I told you all that we had finally sold our house on less than one acre, and were in the process of buying a new one on 4 acres. Specifically,  a gorgeous Victorian farmhouse with a turret!! It was exactly like the house I've always dreamed of living in. I was never one of those little girls who dreamed of what her wedding was going to be like, what kind of dress I'd wear, what my cake and flowers or even the groom might be like. No, none of those things ever occurred to me to dream about, but I have always wanted to live in a pretty old rambling farmhouse! I dreamed about high ceilings and glass door knobs, window pane glass wavy with age. Wood floors, and pretty wood trim everywhere. A wide front porch to hang a swing on so I could spend hours out there curled up with a good book.

The plan was, we were going to close on the house we were selling on August 16 and then on August 17 we were going to close on the farm house and start fixing it up and moving in that afternoon, even if it meant camping out on the property for a while! The second appraisal that was required before we could buy the house was delayed almost 2 weeks. And four (very!) short days before we had to be out of our old house the appraisal finally came back saying that the house while beautiful from the outside was nearly irreparable structurally. There where so many termites that you could push through the floors into the root cellar in many spots, (apparently all carefully concealed under furniture and rugs! The foundation was cracked and the house had shifted, and the well was contaminated and we would have to pay for a new municipal water line to be run... plus a myriad of other costly problems that have slipped from my mind right now. Many, many more problems than what we ourselves noticed originally. But the point was, there was no way we could buy that house. And we had to get out of the house we were selling in 4 days! So I was about to find out just how much "fun" being homeless, with 5 kids, 2 milk goats, 15+ rabbits, 2 dogs, frogs, geckos, a saltwater aquarium and a house full of stuff and no-where to put any of it, really was.

I packed up three changes of clothes for each of us and everything else but our mattress was put into a giant storage building, until we could find a new house and start the purchasing process over. We moved all of our animals and ourselves into my parents house. The first night there the 7 of us slept in their living room. My mom was sick upstairs and never even came out of her room to say hello. Rodrigo got up and went to work the next morning and left me with instructions to "find us a place to live!" We moved our mattress out of her living room floor and into her storage room floor. By piling boxes to the ceiling all around we had barely enough room to fit the mattress, and nothing else. We couldn't even walk on either side of the bed, we had to climb into it from the end. Claire's toddler bed was wedged in at the foot of our bed, and Emmett slept in our bed. The big boys slept in the living room on the floor and sofa.

After not having seen my mom one single time since we became "roomies", on the second day I finally went up to her bedroom to find out what in the world was going on! My dad had told me she was sick, but sheesh couldn't she at least say hello?! I mean, really!  Well, turns out she couldn't even get out of bed, I had never seen her that sick. I took her to the doctor and he said "urinary tract infection" gave her some antibiotics told her to drink cranberry juice and she would be fine. Only she didn't get better. Finally after days of this I took her to the emergency room and they figured out that her appendix had ruptured 13 days before and she was nearly dead! She ended up having emergency surgery and had to remain in the hospital for almost 2 weeks. After she came home it was a long road to recovery, but thankfully she is fully recovered now!

During this time we tired our poor realtor out, looking for a place to live. Finally we found something that was not my dream home, but it would work for us. Honestly, I really didn't like this house initially. Rodrigo and the big boys loved it, they kept talking about how roomy it was, how much potential the land had, and I only noticed it didn't have a turret. And there wasn't one single romantic, or lovely detail about it. It was just a house, a sturdy, well built, fine house, but just a house. But it did have good land and lovely woods out back, that would be our own woods and enough space for a big goat pasture, to have chickens, to have a huge garden and orchards and berry patches, and everything we really wanted, so I said yes. Plus the 2+ months of sleeping in the storage room floor with boxes lining both sides of our bed from floor to ceiling was a great motivator in buying another house...any house! For a while though I really did feel like I was mourning the loss of something I never had.

We spent a very long 9.7 weeks (68 days if you're counting, not that I was counting or anything) in that storage room in my mom's house, before we finally were able to close on this house and move in. However as difficult as it was not to have our own place, we were all very thankful to have a place to live during the transition time.

 We moved in this house in the end of October, the woods were just starting to turn and there were beautiful acorns dropping all over the place. There were busy little squirrels and toadstools everywhere. It was lovely.

I prayed a lot about my crummy attitude towards this house while we where in the process of buying it. It was not love at first sight, me and this house. We came out often and walked around the land and through the house while we were waiting for realtors and loan people to get all of their ducks in a row so we could finally move in. I asked God to help me see the good and the lovely, because this really seemed to be the house that He was pointing us towards. There were struggles along the way, but things kept working out and eventually in the end of October we were able to sign on this house and move in. 

By the time we had been here a week I was so happy that we had bought this house and not the other. It is a GOOD house for our family. We have been busy painting, fixing, re-wiring, fencing since we've moved in. We have made so many plans for our little "homestead" .

During the time in my parent's house I didn't do much at all in the way of creative crafty stuff. However since coming here I have been sewing, painting and making all sorts of lovely new things that I can't wait to share with you. 

P.S. The pictures in this post are mostly unrelated to the posting... but I simply could not have a post sans pictures now could I?

P.P.S. The pictures of the houses are related to this post! 

P.P.P.S If anyone has trouble seeing my blog at this new width would you mind letting me know either in the comments or via email? I am hoping it will make my pictures bigger and everything easier to see. I think I'm going to have to fiddle with it a bit more. My email is up there on the right. Thanks!


  1. what a scare with your mum, i'm so glad shes ok now! I can see why it would have been difficult finding a house after the gorgeous fairy tale one, a shame it didn't work out. Sounds like you dodged a bullet though, and the place you got sounds perfect for you all. Its lovely with all the gorgeous green woods around it. I love the big pictures

  2. Thanks Karen! We are all really happy with this house. And the woods are a wonderful place for the children to play!

  3. Hi Rachel
    I am so glad you are back!!!! I know exactly what you mean about the house ( yours by the way is much, much nicer looking than ours). We have a red brick house ~ large & practical, but by no means pretty or romantic ( sigh). I am so glad that you have been able to find a place & some land!!! I know you've been dreaming about it for quite a while! I look forward in seeing what you've been busy making & what your new land looks like!
    Have a wonderful day my friend
    God bless

  4. Oh & I meant to add I love the new blog look!!!

  5. Renata, Thanks!! It is so good to be back here again!

  6. So glad to see your blog back! (-: I have been pregnant with our fourth baby(a first girl!) and haven't blogged in several months, but hope to get started soon again. I've just had so much to say, I haven't been able to get started!
    Your new home is beautiful and you will make it your own. We built a home 2 years ago and I dreamed of an old Victorian as well, but our home now is big and roomy and we have 5 acres for the children to roam, so we are blessed(even if it's not my *dream home*....

    1. Tanya, Thanks! It can be really hard to get back into blogging can't it? I feel exactly like that, once I've stopped for a while, it feels like I have so much to say that I don't even know where to begin.
      Congratulations on your baby girl!

  7. How scary for your mother and perhaps without your troubles and you being squihed into her house she might not have got to the doctor in time. And what a bummer about th turret house but I guess life gives us what we need, not what we want! House hunting usually involves falling in love with things you never knew you NEEDED lol.

    1. It was scary! That was the one good thing about us all being there in her house. She is terribly stubborn about not wanting to go to the Dr. usually. And with us there to see just how bad she was getting, I was able to take her before it was too late!

  8. Welcome back!!! I was wondering what happened to you all. So sorry about your mom but I'm glad to hear she's well again! You know, it's so funny. Before we bought this house, the exact same thing happened to us. We found a home, fell in love with it and then the rug was pulled out from under us just days before we were scheduled to close (and after we lost $400 on an appraisal) but we immediately found this house. Not my dream house either but over the last 3 years I have grown to love it and can't imagine raising our children anywhere else.

    So, where did you all end up moving to? Same town as before? Love all the new pictures and congratulations on your new home!

    Amanda S.

    1. Hi Amanda!! It is soooo good to be back again! Since we bought this house and have had a chance to talk to others about the process we went through, it seems like the "house you really want falling through at the very last minute" thing is more common than we thought. At the time it felt like we were the only people it had ever happened to and we were possibly going to be homeless forever!!! Thankfully I was just overly dramatic. ;-)

      We are in the same county as you just a bit further up the road in the next little town over from M.

    2. Ahhh. The T town? Love that place! My husband's family is from there and most still live there today. I will have to pick your brain about goats soon. We are hoping to get two goats for milk in the spring, and we also do not want to keep a buck either. I'm currently waiting on a shipment of new chicks and some ducklings. Once they are settled and doing well, we'll focus on our new milk goats! Emmett is getting so big! All the kids are really. My littlest is 8 months old now.


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