We just finished up incubating some baby chicks! Check out the video below.
We are entering week 42 of pregnancy! Janel is ready to go. For those of you who don't know, we do home births. We have an awesome midwife named Jen. She checked out Janel yesterday and said everything looks great and that she is ok going another week if need be. Most of our pregnancies have went over the due date. Sebastian, our youngest, went 17 days late! Our midwife had to start the process last time and I'm sure she will this time. If we go another week, we will probably have to break her water to get her started.
God is good and we are excited to meet our little girl! Pray for a safe and healthy delivery for mama and baby. Should be within a week.
In other news around the Homestead, we just finished up incubating some chicks (video coming soon). We have lost a few chickens over the past few weeks due to old age. They usually live 3 years or so. It was time to add to the flock. It takes about 18 weeks for the chickens to start laying eggs, so we wanted to hatch them now so they will be laying by the end of the year.
I am also getting ready for archery season that is fast approaching. I can't wait. Below is a video I made this weekend of my tree stand project. It was almost a disaster, but the good Lord was watching over me! I did get the project complete.
Thanks for checking in and I will blog again once our baby is born to keep you all updated! Thanks and God bless! -Steve
Baby watch is in full effect! Any minute now we could be having our little baby girl. We are beyond excited and Janel is ready. We can't wait to meet her. I would be surprised if we make it to the due date of Aug 19, but it is in the Lord's hands and we are praying for a healthy delivery for baby and mama.
Some other updates around the Homestead....we finally purchase our first farm tractor! It was an exciting week. God is so merciful and we give Him praise! It took us 6 years to finally get a tractor, but it was worth the wait. It is perfect for the Homestead. I have been doing some projects around the Homestead with it over the past few days and it is amazing. We bought it locally from a older gentleman and he was a great guy. I don't have time to tell the whole story, but it was definitely from the Lord. It was incredible and we got a killer deal on it. It is a 2001 Cub Cadet 7360SS with a bucket. And it only had 882 hours on it! Check out the video below where I buried it today in the mud! Fun times on the Homestead!
A week ago Sunday was a very special day for our family. Three of my kiddo's were baptized! It was a beautiful service as we had our church service at the beach and we baptized them in the lake. I was able to be the one to baptize my kids. I can't even explain the joy that I had in my heart as my beautiful kiddo's made their public profession of faith in Jesus and I was able to baptize them. It was amazing. I am so humbled that the Most High God has blessed me in this way. I am beyond blessed. I am so thankful for His wonderful mercy and grace in my life!
Things are busy here at the Homestead. With a baby on the way at any minute and hunting season starting in a month and a half, there is a lot of stuff happening. Stay tuned as we will be adding some animals to the Homestead this fall. We are also incubating chicks and they should be hatching in about a week. I will have a video on the whole process coming out when they are hatched.
Thanks for checking in and be sure to click on the video below to see how I "broke" in the new tractor today! God bless! -Steve
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. -Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (KJV)
As we have been progressing building our Homestead over the years, I have really been thinking a lot about building community with like minded families. Lately I have felt more of an urgency to community than ever before. Let me explain.
We believe that Biblically we are to prepare. Not just for ourselves, but for others as well. God has really laid it on our hearts to start preparing for hard times. Throughout Scripture the Lord has used famines, pestilence and the sword as judgement. We see those things in many places around the world now and in Scripture we see those things becoming more and more common as the end approaches.
So are we to live in fear? Absolutely not! But we are to follow the Lord's prodding. Tonight we read James chapter 4 during our family devotions. The chapter ends with the following verse (17):
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
There has been a stirring in my heart for many years and it has gotten stronger over the past year. I know that the Lord wants me to prepare, not only for our family, but to help others as well. This is something that I know the Lord has laid on my heart. To not pursue it would be sin. That is why I will be actively pursuing like minded families. I will be starting a Homesteading group over the next couple months. This will be first and foremost a group of believers in Jesus Messiah! We will be focused on helping one another and to provide for each other. So what does that look like?
God has given each one of us talents. Those talents come in different forms. Together as a community those talents can be magnified. Imagine being with like minded believers preparing and helping each other. What a blessing that would be!
We are friends with some Mennonites. I also know a bunch of Amish as we live close to a bunch of Amish communities. One of the things that I have always admired about those wonderful people is the sense of community they have. They meet each others needs. It is so refreshing to see them helping each other out. That is so lacking in most churches today. We have become a self centered culture.
I will be doing some videos on this and will be adding some posts periodically. Check out our Facebook page HERE for more updates. I am so excited to see what the Most High will do with this group! If you are from north western Pennsylvania and are interested please send me an email. I would love to connect with you!
More to come.....
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
I love that passage from Philippians 4:7 (KJV). Have you ever met someone who was going through a storm in life and they just seemed to have an unexplainable peace about them? I have experienced that peace in my own life. It is an amazing promise from God. Here's the good news....you can experience it too! You can have peace through a relationship with Jesus Christ!
Jesus Christ (Yeshua) died on the Cross for yours and my sin. He took the punishment for us. We were guilty but were justified and forgiven by His sacrifice. Accept that sacrifice, repent and turn to Christ. Trust in Him. The Most High is so merciful! Run to Christ. Embrace Him. Lay your burdens at His feet and be free. Experience a peace that no self help book ever written could give you. No amount of psychology could replace the truths that are revealed in Scripture. A burden will be lifted and you will understand what freedom truly is!
If you ever need prayer, or if you need a Bible, email me and I would be honored to pray for you. I will send you a Bible if you need one. Don't delay if the Most High is calling you. Heed His call and turn to Jesus!
Below is a video I made while out playing in the woods this past weekend. There is a peace that only the Most High Father can give us, but there is also a peace the comes from being out in His creation! If you don't get out much, you're missing out! Check out my couple minute video below.
Thanks for checking in and God bless! -Steve
It was a hot day out so the kiddo's wanted to help the chickens cool down! Check out the video below.
I had a "mini" vacation of 6 days that I am finishing up. It was a wonderful time with the family and I got caught up on a lot of stuff around the Homestead. I even got to get away by myself down to camp for a night. It was a great time to get away and spend some time alone and with the Lord. I had a lot of time to think and pray as well as journal and spend some time in the Bible.
I can honestly say that I feel totally refreshed after these 6 days. It was a rough month at work leading up to this time off. There is a lot of uncertainty with my job right now and it was causing me some stress. I really needed to just give it all to the Lord and lay those burdens at His feet. The Bible says in Psalms 55:22 (KJV):
Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
I feel such a peace and I am perfectly content at where the Lord will lead me. I am so thankful to serve a mighty God who gives such peace that surpasses all understanding! The Lord has always supplied my needs and provided for our family and I can rest comfortably in that! I am also very blessed to go through this life with a wonderful woman of God who loves me and provides such encouragement to me! She lifts me up in prayer and is always there encouraging me. I am a blessed man!
I must say that I am in a very good place in my life. I needed to take a step back and look at how blessed I am. Janel and I were out staking up some plants in our garden the other day and we just took some time to look around at our beautiful Homestead that the Lord has given us. We took in the scenery and talked about our wonderful family and our new baby girl coming soon. We talked about how far the Lord has brought us in this simpler lifestyle that we had prayed about for years. We talked about how wonderful our marriage is. We have so many things to be thankful for and I was letting worry and stress blind me to those things.
Our Homestead is a true blessing from The Most High! He has provided us with abundance that we could of never imagined 10 years ago when we began praying for this way of life. The Most High has been so merciful to us and I had let that beauty escape me due to stress at my job. That stress and worry ended this past week. I needed to be awakened to the blessings that surrounded me. I needed to be reminded of the wonderful promises of God. He has ALWAYS sustained us. He has ALWAYS provided for us. He has ALWAYS loved us. And He will CONTINUE to do those things as we draw near to Him.
So I am LOVING the Homestead life! Each day is a gift from the Most High and I will not waste them with worry!
In other exciting news....we are about 5 weeks from the due date of our precious little blessing that is about to enter our life! Janel is at the tail end of the pregnancy and we are getting everything prepped. Some precious friends of ours are having a baby shower (even though this is our sixth) and the response has been overwhelming. We are so blessed to have a great church family and tons of friends who support and love us unconditionally.
We have also decided to add some sheep and rabbits to the Homestead by this fall! We are so excited. It will take some work to get the barn ready, but that is something that I love to do. It is my passion. We will need to build a rabbit enclosure and my wife has been looking at designs for the cage, so this will probably be the greatest rabbit cage ever built! It will be fun. (Stayed tuned for YouTube videos of the cage being built!)
We will probably invest in 2 sheep. A male and female so we can breed and sell them. We have the stall all ready, but we need to enclose some pasture space. This won't take a ton of money, but it will be an investment and will take some time to get it all done as we need to clean up the area that we will be using for the pasture.
So these are some exciting times! The Homestead is busy and I am loving it!
Finally...I do have one prayer request. I hurt my back a few weeks ago. I have a large 17 foot hardwood pallet that I use as a bridge over my creek. With all the rain we had a few weeks ago, it washed the bridge out. We used the winch on the side by side to pull it back, but we had to lift it as well. This bridge easily weighs 500 pounds. I was lifting a corner and really hurt myself. I went to the doctor and am now seeing a chiropractor. I had my first session last week and will be back this week. I felt a little better after the first adjustment, but I am still in a lot of pain. I'm hoping over the next couple weeks of treatment that I will feel better.
It is amazing how a hurt back can limit you in almost everything you do. It has been horrible! If you could, please pray for me to respond to the treatment plan. I need to get better!
Thanks for checking in and God bless! -Steve
PS...check out my latest video with the chickens below!
Below are two videos I recently made on how to maintenance a Weed Eater and a Rototiller. You might find the videos useful! Thanks for checking in and God bless! -Steve
Well....we finished up a week of camping. It was a blast. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to camp. It is in my blood. Being around a fire or hiking or cooking over an open fire gets my blood flowing! Nothing better than being outdoors.
This year we took two of my kiddo's friends. They had never been camping! They had fun. My wife is in her third trimester of our pregnancy and she was amazing. We went hiking and took an easy trail so Janel could get through it. We had one day that was completely washed out with rain, but we still had a fun day in the cabin. We played games and ate like kings!
One of the things I love about camp is that I have no cell phone service. It is in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest and there is no reception. I get to totally unplug. I am thankful for that. I need that! You don't realize how much you use your phone until you can't use it. I still would occasionally check it out of habit.
We also made some final decisions on a couple things that we were praying over for the past few months and we are at total peace with those decisions! The Lord is soooo good. He makes our paths straight if we will just trust in Him. We had some things we were thinking of doing, but the Lord didn't open the door. There's a wonderful thing that comes with trusting in the Lord...it is peace! I am actually excited about our future and look forward to expanding the Homestead here in wonderful Pennsylvania!
One of the things we decided is that we are going to expand our livestock. We are going to get some more animals. We've been holding off a bit, but now that we have settled some things, we are going full bore into modern homesteading and prepping. With the political climate in this country, we better get prepared. And that is our plan!
Join us on our journey. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE and follow our website as we will be opening up a Homestead store next year. We will also be getting out of our comfort zone in the next few months. We are going to be investing in our Homestead and plan on taking it to the next level. We are so excited to share this with our friends and look forward to partnering with other like minded people.
I will be blogging/vlogging soon about community. It is vitally important to be part of a community of like minded people. Those who share the love of Christ and love of others. Those who can contribute and help those in need. This has always been a passion of mine and I plan to pursue it. We will need this in the coming days. More to come....
Although we wrapped up another successful camping trip, I am looking forward to the next one (in a month). I will try to shoot some video of the next trip. I took some video, but not as much as I had planned. Below is a picture of my youngest (Sebastian) and myself on the 4 wheeler at camp. What a blessing it was to get away.
Now back to work tomorrow! Thanks for checking in and God bless you! -Steve
P.S. Check out my first live video from the Homestead HERE. I put a camera in the chicken coop. Not bad for my first live video!
A quick update on our pregnancy! Baby coming soon!!!
Stephen and Janel Cook from The Cook Family Homestead