Welcome Chesney!

On Tuesday, we brought this little guy home to join our crazy homestead.

He is a long-haired dachshund and is 12 weeks old.

Carson turns the big 5-0 this December, and has always said that when he turns 50, he’s going to get a long-haired dachshund. I tried to convince him otherwise, but he was sure.

Needless to say, I fell in love immediately!

And so did the kids!

Even the sheep and the bunbun are fans!

The big dogs don’t seem to have a problem with the baby either.

Cotter would love to play with him and tries to help when he cries… and Moose is just minding his own business so far.. I think he doesn’t know that he’s ours yet!

Here’s Chesney trying to help me with the chickens!

Despite being teeny tiny, he fits in very well around here and we’re grateful he’s ours to keep!😊


July Market Sneak Peek #6

July Market Sneak Peek #5 – Sister & Co. – handmade cards, postcards, and bookmarks

Today’s Sneak Peek (#6) is Sister & Co. Jemma and Max are very good friends of my kids, and we love their family, and are so happy they’ve joined the market – this is their third time, that makes them regulars! 🙂 They have the most beautiful handmade cards, postcards and bookmarks.

Sister & Co. will be at the market from 9 am to 12 pm, so if you’re planning to get cards or bookmarks, come early!

See you on Saturday, July 27th at the homestead 30709 68th Ave NW Stanwood, WA 98292

Market Sneak Peek #2

June Market Sneak Peek #2 – Sister + Co. – handmade greeting cards and bookmarks

Today’s Sneak Peek (Sneak Peek #2 for those keeping track!) is Sister + Co. Our sweet friends, Jemma and Max, make beautiful greeting cards and bookmarks. I can’t wait to see their new dragonfly design!

The market will be open from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday June 29th, but Sister + Co. will be leaving around noon, so come early to see them!

30709 68th Ave NW Stanwood, WA 98292

Walking the Bunbuns

I read that the bunbuns should be getting some outside (their hutch) time and that they like to explore and take walks on leashes. This intrigued me so I bought some leashes with harnesses at the feed store yesterday.

It’s a little (okay a lot) less fun and relaxing than I thought it would be.

The plan was that Braden would play with the buns and I would do some weeding and planting in the garden.

That didn’t work. Rosie is adventurous and Blossom is scared frozen.

Braden tried to get Blossom to venture out.

And I had Rosie.😍

Blossom did get a little bit braver, thankfully, but she got tired quickly!

Here’s Rosie checking out the garden!

And the weeds!

Shaleigh and I tried my you-play-with-the-bunnies-while -i-garden plan. The bunnies tried to go different directions and she dropped one of the leashes.

Luckily we caught them and I cancelled my plan and we played with bunnies together til they got tired!

Turns out it’s a grown up hands on job not a turn the kids loose job… ok, I’ll play with the cutest bunbuns around! Tough job!😍

Picture Updates from the Homestead

Here are some of the latest picture updates!

When the four kids get along and do something together, I need to document it… even if I have shoes and upside down laundry baskets in the background!

Hattie and Nora met the bunbuns!


Shaleigh didn’t want to share, and Hattie wasn’t happy about it… and there’s Nora with her “sassy pose”!


The girls like to be twins when they can… Shaleigh usually waits to get dressed until she sees what Hattie brought.  It worked out perfectly this day… farm girls in fairy dresses!



Notice the rain (farm) boots strewn about (kicked off)!

Here’s Shaleigh and Nora with the “sassy pose” again!

And again!

Papa was “surfing” Nora… The kids thought they would have a turn, too… Nope… sorry!

Some Spring garden/yard updates!

Here’s our grape, um, area!  We don’t know what we’re doing with them…

I think they’re supposed to be trimmed way back, but they’ve come back and had lots of grapes (green and red) every year so far… looks good this year, too.

THis is the view from the sheep shed during my evening farm chore rounds.  I love ths little cluster of trees – apple, plum, walnut, and evergreen.  There’s often a bald eagle in that far evergreen tree in the mornings and evenings.

Here’s the house and yard (and sheep shed to the left) from the chicken coop during evening farm chores.  

The days are long and busy this time of year – and just get longer and busier with watering the garden soon – but this is my reward… the quiet, the beautiful scenery, the animals all being so happy to see me (mostly because I feed them) and they don’t whine at me, like my kids do most of the day! 🙂

I might need to start loading a camelbak or one of those beer helmets (perhaps this one?) with wine for farm chores… (not a glass because I can’t hold it, and if I put it down, it’ll get hay or poop or fleece or feathers in it).  Hmmm… I’m liking this idea! 🙂

The bunnies have settled in nicely!  The kids are doing most of the work for them… sometimes the coordination and oversight by me is more than my actually just doing it though so we’ll have to get better about that.  They are so cute and snuggly and we love to go see them.

The wisteria in the front yard has started flowering!  Just in time for Mother’s Day!

The Farm stand has been a success so far.


We have alpaca poop tea, and lots of veggie starts out.  We’ve gotten to meet a few of the people who have stopped by and I’m pretty sure they’ll be back when we have veggies and fruit.

I’m in the process of planting our garden so watch for updates on that on the Our Garden page, here.  I love this time of year… and I really love when we can harvest things… the time between now and harvest is really hard for me, but I’m going to try to be more patient this year.

Thanks for reading this far!  🙂



Some cuteness!!!

Here are a few picture updates from the homestead.

Nolan the Rooster is now allowed to be with the hens and he is quite pleased about it!

He wasn’t so pleased that Phoenix was checking things out though!

Taleggio and Phoenix eating their breakfast before eating out to graze in the field!

Braden catching some baby ducks at the farm up the road!

Our new Bunbuns – Blossom and Rosie

Rosie resting on Shaleigh’s knee.

Rosie and Braden K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

Braden helped with farm chores tonight and filled up the alpacas’ water!

Zoe likes to put her foot in the water IMMEDIATELY after we fill it with fresh water… mostly just this one (we have two)… it’s maddening (and hilarious!).

Meet Rosie and Blossom

A few days ago, our neighbor’s aunt contacted me about her Mini Satin Angora Bunnies. She loves them but her dog wouldn’t leave them alone. She’d built an amazing hutch for them and had all of the things they needed (hay, pellets, bedding, etc). She just needed to find then a home where they could be happy and not be scared by the dog all the time – or have the dog in trouble all the time for doing what he’s supposed to do.

Donna said she read our blog and thought that we would make a great family for her bunnies.  She homeschooled her four children and she really thought the bunnies would be perfect for homeschoolers.

All of our animals have come from homes/families where they were loved but needed a new home for one reason or another.   The bunnies fit right into that.

We set up a time to go over to meet the bunnies and see their set up and what they might need and how to take care of them.

Donna gave the kids such a great lesson, starting with what everyone needs to survive (food, water, shelter, love, and brushing!)

The she brough out the bun buns!!!  Oh my goodness, they are cah-uuuuuute!

And we learned how to clean their hutch.

And, the moment Shaleigh and Braden had been waiting for all day… they got to hold the bunbuns!

Shaleigh’s holding Blossom and Braden’s holding Rosie!

And so did I!  I held Rosie!

Carson even got into the action!  He’s holding Blossom!

You might have guessed by now that we liked these girls and that we decided to bring them home to the homestead and add them to our farm!

Donna gave us the hutch… she found it on craigslist and completely revamped it, even adding a roof and shingles.  These are some lucky bunnies to live in such a fancy place – another reason that they fit perfectly on our farm… our animals have very fancy shelters! 🙂  Donna also gave us some hay, pellets, straw and other accessories.

Here’s a look at the hutch in its new home on the Homestead.

We put it right between the chickens (on the left) and the sheep shelters (on the right – it’s the fanciest sheep shelter around!).  This is perfect because they have some shade and some sun, and because when the kids and I do farm chores in the morning and in the evening, it’s all in a row.

Braden has been doing some woodworking in the barn with Carson and he made the box you see in the picture above.  He didn’t really know what he was making it for but, it turns out, it’s perfect size for the bunnies to have some outside time and still stay safe, and for the kids to get in to play with them!


We are so in love with these little girls!  And we are so grateful that Donna thought of us as their new family.  Looking forward to more visits with her both here at our house and in her beautiful garden!

First Makers and Growers Market… a great success!

Yesterday was the first Makers and Growers Market and it was amazing.  Everything went so well, all the work we did to get ready and make connections completely paid off.  The weather was nearly perfect – the sun was out most of the time… there were a few crazy wind gusts that caused the tents to leave the ground for a moment, a potting stand to blow over, and some of the metal yard art had a little fall – but no big damage.  We started off with a bang when there was a car accident right in front of our property four minutes after we opened… I think everyone was okay, though and it was cleaned up pretty quickly.

We had 10 booths with tons of awesome products, and we think there were between 200 and 300 shoppers throughout the day.  It was so great to see friends and family and to meet so many neighbors and people passing through. Lots of fun stories were shared and connections were made.  We even had several people asking to be part of the next market on May 25th.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures, and the ones I took weren’t great because I was busy chatting and selling and checking in with everyone… and trying to be responsible for my kids and property, too.  Here are the ones I took and a few that I copied from others who shared pictures (Thank you, Wayne, and Heidi!)

This is our booth – we sold the double chair but the single ones are still available!!   We also have some dryer balls and photo greeting cards.  Email us if you’re interested! 🙂

BriAnn and Melissa had the booth closest to the road 

Christopher’s “Glassholes” were very popular!  And Amy is there with her beautiful smiling face (and lots of beautiful wood decor!)

Kris and Wayne’s booth is just past and behind Carson

Our kids had a great time passing out cookies and lemonade, and giving farm tours, and they had lots of help from other kids passing through with their parents.  

A much better view of Kris and Wayne’s booth

A view of the market during a quiet time… Becca’s booth is on the left, and Wild Roses’ booth on the right.   

Another veiw of Wild Roses’ booth and Kim’s booth just past it.

Very cute and sweet kids at the beginning of the day!  So fun to see Ella Jo! 🙂

When the cookies were gone, and Shaleigh was ready to go play with the kids, she thought it would be good to let everyone know that the kids’ booth was closed (or closd)… 🙂

Here are the things that we got to keep at the end of the market! 🙂

A welcome sign made by Kris Wendell

Bear juggling fish by Freeborn Metal Art

Wood decor with a farm theme by A & R Decor

Suet bird feeder with suet eggs by Rebecca Pratt

Cotton scrubbies by Kim Erickson

A book from Rebecca Pratt that we’re both looking forward to reading

Bird house by Wayne Wendell


Thank you to everyone who helped make this a wonderful day!  We’re already looking foward to and planning the next one on May 25th.  We hope you’ll join us!

Early Spring on the Homestead

We’ve had some really nice weather lately – temperatures in the high fifties and sixties and sunshine, glorious sunshine!  We’ve been able to spend A LOT of time outside.  My kids have freckles and I’m even getting tan!

The kids have been helping with farm chores and loving the animals.

Here are the sheep – Taleggio and Phoenix – waiting for breakfast and to be let out of their sheep shed in the morning.  I’m sure they are baa’ing at me!!

Here’s our greenhouse!  Our neighbor, BriAnn, planted up a storm.  Mine are the ones on the far table with the multicolored popcicle sticks…

which, by the way, are painted and the paint does bleed into the dirt.  Rainbow seedlings!   The rest are hers! I planted broccoli, cucumbers, and two different kinds of tomatoes – cherry and beefsteak.

BriAnn has peppers, corn, carrots, beans, zucchini, some lettuce, and cabbage… and a few others I’m sure I’m forgetting.  She’s hoping to have some starts for sale at our farmstand, and Makers and Growers Markets  (see link for details).


The alpacas have been happy with the sunny and warmer weather, too!  They’ve been grazing a lot and eating less hay.  They still are not interested in cooperating with me about getting their halters on and being handled… but they will come and stay close to me while I clean up their poop.  Sometimes, they even stand single file.

When the wind blows through the hay feeder in the alpaca field, it blows the lighter pieces all around the feeder.  Now that the grass is finally starting to grow again, we need to rake up the hay so that it gets sunlight.  Braden helped me get it into piles… sort of.

He loves to help!


When Taleggio and Phoenix first got here, they were totally comfortable with me… but nervous around kids and men… they didn’t get much exposure to either on the sheep farm.  Now they love the kids.  Partly because the kids know not to RUN at the them, even if they’re excited, but also because they’ve had good experiences with scratches and loves.  Here are Hattie and Nora getting some sheep love.

Awww…. Taleggio… I love your face! 🙂 


Phoenix came in to get some love, too!

Nora loves to say hi to the alpacas, too.  They love kids, and are skittish around adults. 

Zoe is so sweet with the kids. 🙂

See???!!! Spring Really Is Coming! 🙂

Sidewalk chalk on the patio.  Hattie added some special dandelion touches.

And here’s Braden… fixing his truck.  

Nora is the 3rd redhead child to love this truck.  It came from a very good friend who has a redhead boy who outgrew it… Braden loves it, still, and now Nora, too!

Here’s Hattie’s drawing of an alpaca! 🙂

And Nora just wanted to have her picture taken!  How can I say no to that face?! 

Lunch outside?! Alpaca lunch! 🙂

More signs of Spring! 🙂

Cute cousins!  Both 2013 babies, nine months (and several inches, and lots of pounds!) between these two.  I hope they’re this close forever.

And… one of the sweetest monents in that day!  My kids, all snuggled up with Becca (Taleggio and Phoenix’s mom) in the sheep shed, looking at pictures of sheep and hearing sheep stories, with Taleggio and Phoenix in the foreground having their snack! 🙂