Just a quick garden update! We are having a great year of growing other than my corn which got crushed by the deer! Check out our garden tour vlog below!
Life is good around here! I have gotten more done around the Homestead this year than the previous few years combined! I think I am getting a severe gardening addiction. I LOVE being out in the garden.
We have been adding a lot to our garden over the past few weeks and it is really starting to come around. We have had our gardens in the past, but this year we really wanted to expand it and next year we will be adding a green house and a large fence to keep out the deer. We have a ton of deer around here.
Our meat chickens are already on week five! Three more weeks and it will be time to butcher. Time goes by so fast. When we purchased the meat chickens, we also purchased a single egg layer to raise with them. Check out the video below to see the difference in growth between an egg layer and a meat chicken after five weeks. It is incredible.
I mentioned this in our last blog, but we are very excited about our online store that we will be opening next month (July). Janel and I have been working hard at building stuff and have already sold some signs. We are so thankful that the good Lord has blessed us with this opportunity. It has always been a dream of ours to live this lifestyle full time. Modern Homesteading is such a wonderful lifestyle that brings much fulfillment and peace. Stay tuned as I will be updating our website in the next couple of weeks. I will be upgrading to add the store. I will blog about some of the items that will be available. What an exciting time here at the Homestead.
In other news, we will be adding some sheep to the Homestead next month. I just built a new stall in the barn for the sheep. We are looking at some purebreds that we can shear and we will be adding those products to our Homestead store online. I can't wait to get into shearing and spinning wool.
We finished up the homeschool year last week at the Homestead. Janel is such a blessing to me. I love her so much! She is a wonderful wife and mother. The amount of work she puts in homeschooling our children is amazing. She is also a certified evaluator for the state of Pennsylvania, so she does a lot of required evaluations for many other homeschool families.
Finally....we know a lot of people who are going through hard times. There is a lot of turmoil out there! We count it a privilege to pray for those in need. If you need prayer, please reach out via our contact page. Even in turmoil and tribulation, you can experience peace. It comes through our wonderful Savior Yeshua! Consider this beautiful passage of Scripture from Philippians 4:6-7:
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
What a wonderful promise from the Most High God! We can have peace in the midst of this crazy world. Trust in Him and lay your burdens at the Cross!
Thanks for checking in and God bless! -Steve
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. -Psalm 16:11 KJV
With all the turmoil in this world, I have been filled with much joy! The Most High has been gracious to us. I am so thankful for His wonderful mercy and grace!
We have been extremely busy, but it has been a fun busy! We have done a ton in our garden. It is something that we have wanted to do for years. There is such a joy in gardening. Preparing, planting and watching it grow is such a blessing. We have put in six large garden boxes this year. That along with our normal garden has been so much fun. I put in another large plot of sweet corn as well. We are going to have a pretty nice harvest this year....as long as the deer don't eat it all!
We have also finished our barn project. We doubled the size of the barn. I will put a video down below of the new goat pen I put in. It turned out great. One of my passions is building. I love to work with my hands. I am so thankful that the Most High God has allowed me to stay at home and has provided us with an income. He provides so much and we are thankful.
That brings me to some exciting news to share....we are starting an online store next month! We have been working towards this for months and are almost ready to open it up. We haven't officially named it yet, but it will be on our website. We will be selling many custom items such as home made pictures, frames, wood work, t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts and eventually we will be selling home made goat soap (from our goats) and home made knitted products from our own handspun yarn from our sheep. We will have tons of items available over the coming months. We are extremely excited as this has been a dream of ours for many, many years. And to see it start to come to fruition is amazing. God is good!
In other news, our beautiful Hannah just got her drivers license! We are so proud of her. And in a couple of weeks her first book will be published! We will be offering it on our website as well. It will be available on Amazon and most other retail sites. It is a "Christian thriller". She is an amazing 17 year old girl. She is already working on a second book.
Our little Payton turns 9 months next week! Wow does time fly by. She is motoring around the house and it is a full time job keeping up with her. She is such a wonderful blessing to us. God has truly blessed us with wonderful children!
Stay tuned for our store opening announcement as well as our many update videos on our YouTube channel. If you haven't subscribed, click HERE and subscribe. We would love to have you follow us on our journey.
Thanks for watching and God bless! -Steve
WE'VE FORGOTTEN. (My thoughts on our pride)
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. -Galatians 6:7 KJV
One day we will wake up and realize that we blew it. We had everything that people could have asked for. Freedom and liberty were ours. But we couldn't handle it. We didn't realize where it came from and we became prideful.
We started to believe that we were the source of freedom and liberty. In our pridefulness we kicked God out of our lives. It was slowly at first, but then it became rapidly. We were in control This was our world we thought.We didn't need God. We control our destiny.
Standards of morality were pushed so that no boundaries existed. Sex with anyone at anytime. And if an unwanted pregnancy came of it, we just murdered our babies. But not just murdered them, we realized we could make a profit selling the parts of the murdered babies, so we started selling them. Millions upon millions of them. But even that didn't satisfy our pride. We even said we could kill them after they were born.
We stole peoples property and money in the guise of "loving our neighbor". We destroyed the family unit. We shuttered churches. Pastors and people fell away from God and even defended those who hated God. The Bible became a "guide" to life with some good stories, but not to be taken literally.
We blotted out our history. We tore down statues and rewrote our books. We burned the books we didn't like. Judges became corrupt. Justice no longer ruled the land. Guns were confiscated in the ruse of public safety.
We made drugs legal. It helped us suppress the bitter depression. We constantly entertained ourselves with violent and perverse entertainment. Everything revolved around us. Social media was our escape. We found solace and comfort in always having a screen in our faces. It helped us cope with our insecurity and pain.
We became arrogant. Puffed out our chests. We know better. With that pride came hatred for those who we disagree with. Love was not in us. We divided ourselves and fought against our neighbors. We hated each other.
Finally, we devoured each other. We killed those who we disagreed with. Each person did what was right in their own eyes. We had no standards. Law and order was gone. We became a lawless society. The love of many became cold.
God had given us over to our depravity. (See Romans 1) He let us have what our evil hearts desired....a life without Him.
We forgot where freedom and liberty derive from. We had forgotten where our rights come from. They come from our Creator. From the Most High God. And with that freedom comes responsibility and obedience. We had once known that. Nation after nation has forgotten this and has gone down the same path we have. Pride is the downfall of men. It always has, and always will be.
Only God can heal our land. We don't realize how good we could have it. We've forgotten.
“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever.” -John Adams
Please pray for our nation. -Steve
We finished our barn build! It was a fun project and we are blessed to have it finished. God is good! Check out the video tour below. Take care. - Steve
It has been a very busy time in life! Even with the COVID19 virus that has shut down the world, I have been extremely busy here at the Homestead. God has blessed us!
I have been planning to build a new barn for the past couple years and I have finally had the time to do it. It is almost complete. We added on to our existing barn and it doubled the size! Check out the videos below of the first two parts of the build.
We purchased 2 baby goats a few weeks back and they will be ready for pick up in about 2 weeks. We also have ordered our first batch of meat chickens for the year and they will be here in about a week. Right now with all the food issues due to the virus, everyone is ordering meat chickens! That is why there was a waiting period.
We also got our first couple of bunnies! The kiddos were excited. We got a male and female New Zealand breed of rabbits. Check out the video below.
Our house is full of plants that my wife started from seed. We will be planting our raised beds soon if the weather would cooperate! It has been a horrible spring so far. Snow, cold temps and lots of rain as well. Hopefully we will be planting in about a week or so.
It has been so exciting to see the Homestead expanding. This has been our dream for so long. We have lived here for over 6 years and to see it all coming together has been a true blessing. The Most High has been so good to us and we give Him all the glory!
Our baby girl Payton turned 8 months old! What a blessing she is to us! Time goes by so fast and she is growing up quick. She is crawling around and is hard to keep contained. We have entered gate stage! Gates everywhere! She also has more hair than any of our other kids had at her age. She is beautiful and a true blessing from the Lord!
Hopefully I will be able to get back on track with blogging and with the website. I have been so busy! And it isn't going to slow down. I love doing projects around the Homestead....it doesn't even feel like work!
Thanks for stopping by and check out the videos below. Take care and God bless! -Steve
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
Stephen and Janel Cook from The Cook Family Homestead