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!!!
Below is a video tour of our chicken coop. We get a common question that I address in the video. Thanks for checking in! -Steve
Check out the video below on a great venison back strap recipe that I made this weekend. It was absolutely delicious!
What a busy....but fun....time of year. Very little down time, but I was able to have a nice day of rest this past Sunday. We had a wonderful combined service with another church and a luncheon afterwards. We then came home and just relaxed. I don't get many days with down time, so it was great. Hoping to go on a camping trip to get away and unplug within the next month or so. Nothing better than sitting around a fire and doing nothing!
Please keep praying for Janel and our little unborn baby girl. We are getting closer and closer. Almost two thirds there. We are soooo excited! Janel is doing well except for being tired all the time (which is to be expected) but no more sickness like at the beginning. God is amazing.
Also please keep our family in your prayers for some future plans. We are hoping for a couple doors to open and getting excited that they may just open the way we desire. My prayer is that the Lord would open the doors wide open or slam them shut. Either way I will serve Him. But I am praying for Him to open them!
Spring is here! We have had a couple warm days, but a bunch of cold days mixed in. The trees are starting to bud and the grass is starting to grow. I am going to have to mow for the first time this weekend and I am very excited to mow the grass. I love working outside and I'm anxious for the warm weather to get here and stay here. So much to do here around the Homestead to recover from winter.
We had a wonderful Easter celebrating our Lord Jesus and His resurrection. HE IS RISEN! We spent some time with both our families and that is always a blessing. So thankful for family and extended family. I am truly blessed.
Check out my video below and be prepared to drool. Ha! It was delicious.
Take care and God bless! -Steve
Below are some videos I recently did on some electronics. One is a "how to" video and the other two are reviews. The first review is on a new PA system I recently purchased to upgrade our outdoor movie setup. The other is on a new external microphone I purchased for our camera. If your into tech reviews, check them out! Thanks for watching! -Steve
Well sickness has struck the Homestead over the past two weeks. I finally went to the doctor today after battling for two solid weeks. I have bronchitis, and that mixed with my allergies, has caused me misery! I hate going to the doctor, but I was tired of fighting it. I got a steroid, inhaler and a cough suppressant. I also hate taking drugs as they mess me up, but at this point I have tried everything! Most of my family has battled sickness as well over the past couple weeks but it has been a couple days and most are better. Hoping to get up and around in the next couple days. I have a lot of work to do!
We got a nasty storm yesterday and there were some tornadoes that hit close to us. We were under a tornado watch for a while. I recorded some of the storm. Check it out below. I am so happy that I got my vehicles put in the garage before it hit. We would of had some serious hail damage!
On a good note....we are 23 weeks into our pregnancy. Janel is doing much better, although she got a little sick this past week. I am so thankful to the Lord and for all the prayers that were lifted up for her. She really struggled through the first trimester but the Lord pulled her through. He is so good! We haven't officially decided on a name for our new little girl, but we are close. We'll talk about that in our next "Prego Vlog." All I know as that we are ready to hold our little baby girl!
We have some big decisions that we are praying through right now and would LOVE if you would pray with us. Exciting times at the Homestead! We have some potential big news, but are praying for God's leading! My prayer is that God would either open the door wide open, or shut it close and leave no doubt. I trust in the Lord and whichever way he leads, I will follow! My life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6:
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (KJV)
I love the promises of God. I am thankful for His mighty Word!
Warm weather is coming soon and I am ready. I love spring and the beauty of Gods glorious creation in full bloom. I will never understand how someone could look at the beauty of this world and not see the handiwork of the Creator! What a mighty King we serve!
God bless you all, and thank you for those of you who have prayed for us over the years. We are beyond blessed with the messages, and emails from you all. Let us know if we can pray for you as well! We would love to. Thanks again! -Steve
I took my 3 oldest kiddo's and 2 of their friends to see the movie Unplanned tonight. It was powerful. Below is my review.
Steve's Movie Review: Unplanned.
Incredibly powerful movie. Top 5 most impactful movies I've ever seen. Bring tissues and prepare to be changed if you see this movie. Definitely made my resolve stronger to stand for the unborn.
The movie starts out very aggressive and stays that way throughout. Not many lulls in the action. There's a lot of story line, but the theme of the movie never relents. It is in your face throughout and you will be uncomfortable. Stay with it as it is a great story of redemption. The audience at the theater applauded after the movie ended. It's that good.
It has an R rating, but I've seen PG-13 movies that were worse. But in saying that, it definitely has adult themes in it and some scenes were brutally candid. I would say a mature teenager could see this. I took my three older kids (ages 11, 14, and 16) and their feedback was that is was tough to watch, but they could handle it. My kids are already being taught to engage the culture on this issue, so this was a great resource for them.
Not many cuss words, no F or S words. I think there is an A word and multiple P words. No nudity or even a hint of it. The R rating has to be for the abortions as there is nothing held back. You will have knots in your stomach watching it. But it is something that needs to be seen.
Overall Unplanned is a very powerful movie. I don't know how anyone could walk out of that movie and be pro-choice. It is that powerful. I would highly recommend all Christians support it both at the theater and when it comes out on DVD. I will be having a large outdoor movie night when it comes out on DVD and all will be invited. Go see this movie!
Stephen and Janel Cook from The Cook Family Homestead