2016 Recap Home, Farm, & Blog
So much happened over 2016 and I am just bubbling over to tell you all about it! This post is long, but it is a comprehensive 2016 Recap of our home, farm, and blog. The end of the post is filled with our plans for the new year and what you can expect to see from me as far as posts and products go.
Our year started off with some pretty huge changes. My husband started a new job and we sold our 40 acre property to move onto 6 acres closer to his office. That was a pretty big downsize, but we were able to pay off all of our debt and have a more manageable lot size for the life stage that we are in. During the move we had to sell out of our pigs and laying hens, but we were able to bring our honeybees & horses with us. I was a bit nervous about living in a place at least an hour from anyone that I was familiar with, but God blessed us with some incredible neighbors & a loving church family so we have done just fine 🙂
As I mentioned previously, we were able to pay off all of our debt with the home & land downsize. The move also allowed us to take the dreaded leap to minivan mom status. I was terrified to make the switch from head-turning truck to gas-saving car to milk-stained minivan, but it was the perfect decision for us! With 2 kids in carseats, this mama needed those sliding doors & built in DVD player.
The Q Family grew by a couple of tiny feet in 2016. We added a sweet little girl at the end of July. I nearly drove myself crazy trying to prepare our home & hearts for the change from 2 kiddos to 3. I tried to keep my readers updated on the pregnancy & birth and of course I shared our explosive gender reveal! After she arrived, I fell into my first experience with post partum depression. PPD (or any type of depression) is something that I hope to never go through again. I plan to write a post on it next year to encourage other mamas who might be going through that valley.
We LOVE throwing themed DIY birthday parties at our house.
Q1 turned 8 years old this year! We celebrated his life with a Star Wars themed birthday party.
Q2 turned 2 years old! We celebrated her special day with Horses, games, & cake! I’ll post about her party soon 🙂
Q1 started his 2nd year of homeschool in 2016! We went with a different curriculum set this year. I needed some material that was more independent and less teacher intensive since we were adding a new baby to the mix. We are halfway through 3rd grade now and we are still digging the freedom of homeschool:)
Our homeschool planning had a bit of an update as well. I made sheets for a notebook to help keep our records nice, neat, and up-to-date
We added 5 goats to our little homestead this year. Our breeds of choice were Boer & Nubians so we can get a nice mix of meat & milk in the kids.
Meet the herd!
CT (Chocolate Thunder)-our herd sire who is a stout Red African Boer
FeeBee- a beautiful registered Nubian
Jewel- a feisty spotted Nubian who is about 2x times the size of Feebee (and 3x Greta)
Belle- a little bitty Boer doe
Greta- a super sweet grey & brown Nubian doe
Ginger, The sweet pony that was given to us in 2015, got to make the move to the new house with us. She is a keeper for sure!
She was a bit lonely and my hubs & I wanted an adult size horse so that we could ride too so we bought Pearl. Pearl is a Percheron/Tennessee Walking Horse cross and she has been a great addition for us!
Our honeybees were able to move to our new home with us as well. We were able to add a couple of colonies to our little apiary by catching wild swarms for people at their homes & businesses. These bees gave us our 3rd honey harvest since we started beekeeping. We were able to borrow an extractor from the Beekeepers Association that we are members of and we extracted honey from each of our hives. We were sure to leave enough to get the bees through the winter. Local families and restaurants bought us out of honey pretty quickly and we hope to supply them with our liquid gold again next year.
Faithful Farmwife came to be for a few reasons… 1) I needed a creative outlet. 2) I wanted to use my experiences and knowledge to help other women attain their homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling goals. 3) I love to write. 4) Someone believed in me enough to help me get started. Check out gunblast.com to show my friend a little love!
I was able to launch the blog in April. It has been an incredible learning experience! The blog hasn’t even been live for a year, but I have grown so much already! There is so much more to learn and I am looking forward to improving in the coming year:)
The Free Stuff
I love free stuff and I know my readers do too so I hosted a few pretty cool giveaways in 2016. Some lucky readers received an AromaSense Aromatherapy shower head (best shower head ever!), a jar of our pure honey, and a full level of Math-U-See!
I also created a Member Freebie Library for my subscribers. That page is filled up with planners and printables that are designed to improve organization around the home, homestead/farm, and school!
I created several digital products & a few physical products to sell in my on-blog shop and in my Etsy shop. I hope that you find the products useful and I am always open to suggestions for new products!
7 Popular posts from 2016:
A Look Ahead- 2017
Q1 has been begging to start a Youtube Channel so I created one for him. He will start posing videos in January and he thinks that is the coolest thing ever:)
We will be starting piano lessons online (Hoffman Academy) with Q1 & Q2 this year.
Both of the older kids will continue to improve their horseback riding skills.
Q1 will finish 3rd grade & move right on up to 4th. Q2 will start light pre-k…maybe using ABCmouse or Reading Eggs.
My house needs an organizational face lift. I plan to get my stuff together in the new year. Be looking for my solutions to tupperware & Nerf storage, kids play area in the living room, organizing livestock tack & feed, and more!
Q1 will be 9 in 2017! We are trying to decide whether we should do another themed party or if we should take him on a trip to Legoland.
Q2 will be 3! We might do a themed party for her (maybe Doc McStuffins or Peppa Pig) or take her to a horse race or a jumping competition.
Q3 will turn 1! She will have a little party with close family and friends. The theme will have to be determined a little later.
The Trim Healthy Mama Plan
My family grew this year and so did my waistline! I am giving THM a shot in the new year to try to get my belly back.
I have given my Goat Records an update in the past month and I have those available for subscribers in the Member Freebie Library. I will be writing a detailed post about my record keeping so that you can see how I use the records and you can tweak them to your needs.
We are looking for a couple of our girls to kid in late winter/early spring. After the kids are weaned I will be able to start milking. Goat milk products (soap, bath bombs, caramel, cheese, etc) will follow!
My husband is currently building a couple of extra stalls for kidding and milking in our shop as well.
We will be adding a small flock of laying hens in the spring. The flock will be much smaller than the one that we had before we moved, but it will be just right to keep our family stocked up with eggs.
The kids have their pony and my husband has Pearl, but I have been pregnant pretty much since 2014 so I haven’t bought a horse for myself. We are looking to add a quarter horse for me this year and I am super excited!
Hopefully we will be able to catch a couple extra swarms this summer so that we can add more hives. Honey is our most popular farm product so we definitely want to increase our production.
I am very intrigued by fodder & hydroponics systems and I am planning to dabble with that a little bit this year.
The focus of Faithful Farmwife will be focused on homesteading and caring for the home in 2017. I want to grow my home & farm while helping you do the same.
The Etsy Shop
Faithful Farmwife is up & running on Etsy! I only have a couple of products listed now, but I am working on more so keep checking in on it. If you have any product suggestions or custom requests, just shoot me an email!
I need your help here. I slacked a bit on engaging with my readers in 2016 because we were moving and having babies and it was just chaos here. 2017 needs to be a year where I talk to you and you talk to me. I need you to tell me what you love, what you don’t love, and what you want to know about so that I can focus my posts around your needs.
Whew! I think this is my longest post yet, but so much has happened this year and so much more is planned for next year and I just had to share a little bit of all of it! If you have read this far, then thank you, friend:) I hope you have a very Happy New Year!!