We have been busy! With all the stuff going on in this world, I am thankful that we live in the country and have a bunch of land. God has been good. I will post an update in the next few days here on our blog. But for now I wanted to show you some fun projects I did here at the Homestead! Thanks for checking in and stay safe! -Steve
As most of you know, we had a mink get into our chicken coop and kill all of our egg laying chickens a few weeks ago. I have since "mink proofed" the chicken coop and we ordered new chicks. They arrived this morning! Check out the video below! -Steve
Well that was a quick February! That month seemed to fly by here at the Homestead. We had a lot going on from weather to sickness! But the good Lord brought us through.
A few weeks ago, we had a mink get into our chicken coop and kill all 28 of our egg laying chickens. It was terrible. (see video below). I have since done a bunch of work on the coop (video below) and "mink proofed" the coop. We ordered 24 chicks that are due to arrive on this coming Thursday, March 5th. We are excited. We order our chicks from Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohio. We have been very happy with the chicks we have received from them over the years.
I'm actually surprised that we haven't lost chickens over the past six years. We have a lot of predators up here on the Homestead. We have coyotes, fox, fishers, minks, and hawks. I'm sure I have had weasels and other things in the barn, they just couldn't find a way into the coop. Check out the video below and see how small of a hole that mink got into. Mark my words....I will avenge the chickens and get those minks! (I put a video below from my game camera of one of the minks. I have a bunch of videos of them)
In other news....Payton turns 6 months old today! Wow does time fly. She is growing fast and we love her so much. She really completes our family. Children are a true blessing from the Most High!
Sickness has struck the Homestead! I have not gotten sick yet, but 4 out of the 6 kiddo's have and so has Janel. I'm hoping to avoid it. I have had a pretty healthy winter so far. I usually have a couple colds during the winter, but so far, so good. I'm hoping to keep it that way. Hopefully we are at the tail end of this thing.
Although we have had a pretty mild winter so far this year, we got hammered with a good storm this past weekend. Lot's of snow and very cold temps. With the lake not freezing, we get dumped on with lake effect snow. Looking at the forecast for this coming week, it looks like it will be melting as temps will be in the 40's.. I'm ready for spring and outdoor activities! Tired of being all cooped up in the house. Ready for fires and outdoor movies! Who's with me??
Stay tuned this week and I will post an update when the new chicks arrive. But until then check out the videos below.
Thanks for checking in and God bless! -Steve
I am out in the welding shop this morning and I just finished my devotions. I love starting my mornings off with the Lord (and a nice cup of coffee)!! It really gives you perspective. I have noticed in my own life how easy it is to get off track and try to figure things out on your own when you get away from being in the Bible and prayer. Morning devotions is a great way to prepare you for the day ahead!
Just a couple quick updates from around the Homestead.
Our little Payton just turned 5 months old! Wow does time fly. Last night I was looking through some of my hard drives trying to find something from 6 years ago and I came across a bunch of my older videos of the kids. Janel and I watched a few of them and it makes you realize how fast time goes by. We need to make every moment count as time is something that we can never get back. I am so thankful for my beautiful kiddo's!
Job update....I had an interview last Monday (see previous blog post). I didn't get the position. I was bummed at first, but after I thought about it, I am totally at peace with it. It was the good Lord leading! When the recruiter had called me first to set up the interview, he told me a bunch of information about the position and we even agreed on compensation. When I arrived at the interview, the job was completely different than what the recruiter had told me! I was very disappointed, but I didn't rule the job out. When I got home, I talked with Janel and we were debating turning it down if I was offered it. I was one of 5 candidates, and they went with someone else.
This was only the second time in my life that I went for an interview and didn't get offered the position. I always pray that the Lord would shut doors in my life to make it clear, so when that happens I am at peace. In this case I am totally at peace and thankful for the leading of the Lord!
My long term goal is to get to the point of being 100% self employed. We have money coming in, but just not enough to live comfortably. My goal is to get the welding shop to bring in some income and to homestead full time. That has always been what I wanted to do. That is what brings me the most joy! Praying the Most High opens the door for that to happen.
Other updates around the Homestead....we are having a very mild winter. Very odd for us. This has got to be one of the lowest snow totals we've had in a long time. The temperatures have been milder as well. It seems we will get a snow storm and then in a week it melts. Then we'll get more and it melts. We haven't had a long spell of cold to keep the ground frozen so it turns into a muddy mess. Usually it is cold out and the ground is frozen for the winter. We've been dealing with a mud pit here at the Homestead!
Thanks for checking in! Let us know if we could pray for you, we would love to! Check out the picture below I took of God's beautiful Creation here at the Homestead!
If you haven't yet, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on our journey to live life to the fullest! Click HERE to subscribe! Take care and God bless! -Steve
What a busy time it has been at the Homestead. A lot is going on and it is an exciting time around here. We had a mini snow storm (see video below) last week and it has been cold. But that is expected here in January.
The family is doing great! As most of you know, I left my job at Schwan's at the end of 2019. It has been a true blessing to be able to spend time at home with our new little baby girl these past few weeks. I have been enjoying the family time and I have got a ton done around the Homestead as well.
But lately I have been getting fired up to get back into the job market. My juices are flowing again and I'm ready to go! I needed this break to get re energized! I opened my part time welding shop, but that will just have work trickling in here and there. I'm looking forward to getting back out there!
PLEASE pray for me this coming Monday (1/27) as I have my first interview at 10:30 AM.
This week was the first time I have applied for a job in a long while. I updated my resume and sent it to 4 different companies. I was very picky on what companies I sent it to. I don't want to make the mistake of sacrificing my home/work/life balance. I am relying on the Lord's leading and am content to where ever He leads me!
The position that I'm interviewing for on Monday is the one that is most appealing to me, so I am trusting in The Most High for His guidance. If this doesn't work out, He will provide and I am perfectly comfortable with that!
In other news, it looks like we will finally be able to get some cows this spring! We expected to have some by now, but it has taken us a while to get everything in order to raise them. I went and looked at a friend of mines cows and he raises Lowline Angus (see pic) and that is the breed that we are going to raise. You don't know how excited I am for this. I have wanted to do this since we started out on this path to be more self sufficient 6 plus years ago! We have almost pulled the trigger on sheep and goats over the past year, but we just haven't been ready yet. (fencing, stalls, etc.)
As I have recently posted on YouTube, I am slowly learning to enjoy the ride. I was always trying to make things fall into place on the Homestead and was getting impatient. I expected to have a gigantic garden and tons of animals by now, but it has been a slow process. Things cost money. Life happens. There are a lot of ups and downs that can slow you down. But you can find joy in the midst of the journey and that is what I'm going to do!
I want to enjoy this "modern Homesteading" ride. That was my "resolution" for 2020. So far, so good!
I did my first welding project and you can see the video here. It has been a joy getting back into welding. I was a certified welder for 13 years and enjoyed many aspects of it. God has been gracious to help me get back into it with my own little shop!
The chickens are doing great and they have started getting back to laying eggs. Every year when it gets cold out they slow down. After a while they start laying better but nothing like when it is warm out. We get an insane amount of eggs in the summer. I'll post a video below that I recently made about raising chickens in the cold.
Finally, Janel has been busy with her knew Cricut machine. We have been kicking around the idea of opening up an Etsy store for various items. We still aren't sure yet, but we are thinking about it. We would have a ton of home made items for sale, from t-shirts to metal art. We are still praying about it and trying to figure out if it would be worth it or not.
Thanks for checking in! We appreciate all of you who pray for us now and who have in the past. I am thankful that you would take the time out of your busy life to follow our pages and read our blogs. We are truly blessed. Thank you and God bless! -Steve
What an amazing first week of 2020 it has been here on the Homestead. God has been good! Psalm 150:6 says:
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
What a wonderful God we serve!
There is something about a new year that brings a newness to life. I can't explain it. I'm not really into New Years Resolutions for myself. I don't particularly think they are bad, I just never have been able to follow through on most of mine! This year I have made a semi-resolution. I have decided to slow down a bit and enjoy life. I actually started that this year, but am carrying it over into 2020.
As I look back on the blessing of this land that the Lord gave us, I realized how quickly 6 plus years has went. I have been so busy doing stuff, that I haven't enjoyed the process. Time to enjoy getting there!
In other news.....Payton is doing great. She just turned 4 months and she is a blessing to our family. She is beautiful and healthy. It is amazing how fast time goes by. It just seems like she was born! Mama is doing great as well. Janel works from home for a few hours each morning so I usually get up with Payton. It has been amazing to spend those times alone with her. I am so thankful for this beautiful baby girl!
Our daughter Hannah is about to have her first book published! We are soooo excited. We will offer it on the website once it is out. It will be for sale on Amazon and other retailers as well. I am so proud of her. She worked hard on this book and the publisher should have the final copy done in a month or so. The name of the book is called "Rebel Heart". I can't wait to see the first copy in book form. She is 16 years old and is an outstanding writer.
Finally....here is a little encouragement! As we look around us, there is a lot of turmoil in this world. So much hate. So much pain. Watching the news or scrolling through social media can be depressing. To see the vitriol that is out there can be very disheartening! To see the nations rising up against one another, or rumors of wars, those things can bring fear.
We've been going through the book of Proverbs this week for our family devotions. One of the verses the kids picked out when we were in chapter 16 was verse 9. The verse says:
A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
It was interesting how well the kids understood that verse. Think about how many times you have made plans, yet what actually happened was totally different than what you had planned. No matter what men may plan or scheme, The Most High God is in control. He directs our paths.
That brings me so much comfort and peace. It is so easy to get caught up in the "rage of the day" that is sweeping through the news or through social media. But knowing that our King is sovereign and rules this world is amazing. Don't forget that. We do not have a spirit of fear as Christians. We serve the Creator of all things. That should bring us so much joy and peace. Rest in the beautiful promises of God!
Below I posted a couple video's I just uploaded. One is a "how to" video and the other is a review. Check them out! -Steve
It was a beautiful 2019 here at the Homestead! We are looking forward to 2020. May you all have a blessed New Year! Check out our last video from the Homestead of 2019. God bless!
It was a very nice Thanksgiving here at the Homestead! We ate a big dinner at my in-laws and then spent the evening at home. We did a little shopping but not as much as we normally do. It was truly a time to count all of our blessings. Today at church we had a message from Psalm 100 about being thankful in all circumstances, not just when things are good.
It was a very powerful message and my older kiddo's really liked it as well. We do have so much to be thankful but we are a complaining people. I am going to make an effort to be more thankful and to give the Most High thanks everyday for His wonderful mercy and grace. What a blessing it is to be forgiven! All praise and glory to the King of Kings!
In other updates around the Homestead.....I put my notice in at work. It was an agonizing decision, but one that I needed to make for my family. I will be working until the end of the year. I had always planned on working there until I retire, but there was a big shakeup about 7 months ago and it has gone downhill rapidly. What was once a thriving culture has now become very rigid and a grind. For the first few years I was there, I felt like I was part of something....that I had a part to play. Those days have gone. I never realized how critical the vision of a dynamic CEO is until he is gone. We had one of the best, but he is no longer with our business.
Now some major decisions have to be made and I would love it if you would pray for me. I have no idea what I will be doing in about 5 weeks! I have put out some resumes, but nothing is exciting me. I am praying and trusting that the Most High God will provide the right position! He is in control and I love that He will lead me. What a comforting place to be!
Finally, my prepping series is still coming! I have been trying to find the time to put out these videos. I need to film a little more and do some editing. I think the information will be helpful to many out there, especially to those who know that things are getting worse, but don't know where to start. We NEVER have to live in fear as Christians, but the Bible is clear that we are to know the signs and prepare. Trust in Him and His mighty Word!
Check out the video below of us cutting down our Christmas tree! It was a fun time. Thanks for checking in and give thanks to the Lord today! -Steve
What a wonderful few months it has been! God has been so gracious to us and I praise His Mighty Name! The Most High has blessed us beyond words.
As many of you know, I have had the opportunity to take some time off from work due to the birth of our baby girl Payton. I get 12 weeks of paid Family Medical Leave (FML) and it has been a true blessing. Not only have I been able to bond with my beautiful Payton, but I have been able to spend more time with my family as a whole! It has been amazing.
I am truly blessed. I have a wonderful wife who loves Jesus. I have beautiful children who love Jesus. What more could a man ask for in this life. The Bible says is Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV):
"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them"
Payton is doing great. She is growing and has a ton of people who love her. She is beautiful and we are so thankful for her!
So what else has been going on around the Homestead? Well, we have gotten a ton of projects done! We did a ton of work in our basement, remodeled our disgusting spare bathroom (I'll post video below), we installed a dishwasher and new sink in the kitchen, we hooked up a generator to our home in case of emergencies, and we've done a ton of odds and ends.
We were also able to get away for a few "mini" vacations. We went down to camp and we took a visit to Niagara Falls. (See videos below)
We have also gotten the Homestead ready for winter. This is the most prepared we have ever been for winter. Even our vehicles are ready. I am actually excited for winter and the holiday season. It is my favorite time of year! It seems every year I am scrambling to get everything ready, but this year I am ready to go!
Stay tuned for a major announcement coming in a couple weeks. We are excited....The Most High God has been so good to us and we praise Him! Thank you for stopping by and check out some of our recent videos below! -Steve
As we see the horrible wildfires in California, I am reminded of the importance of being prepared or having a plan in case of emergencies. Recently, Lebron James tweeted out that he had to leave his home in LA due to the fires and couldn't find a place to stay. Think about that....he is worth almost a billion (literally) dollars and had problems finding a place to stay.
Stephen and Janel Cook from The Cook Family Homestead