Oh my goodness, life has been a whirlwind for the last 2 weeks!  A quick recap:

I spent several days doing laundry, packing, and cooking for the freezer, then prepared everyone for our quick cross-country trip back to Red Gate Farm.  We left for Red Gate on Friday afternoon, drove through the night, arrived Saturday morning, and immediately set to work on our planned projects.  We moved a large raised bed, cut down a faltering tree in the orchard, mapped out and flagged where the trees and bushes were going to be planted, and S and his brother, Uncle M, spent the day digging holes for the orchard.  I installed an electric gate to keep the sheep out and complete that section of fence.  On Sunday, we went to church, rested, and made our usual trip to a friend’s farm so the kids could play with the animals.  On Monday, S’s other brother came in, so while S, Uncle M, and all the kids drove up to pick up his middle brother, I stayed at the house and installed our window blinds that had arrived the month prior.  Monday night, the orchard plants arrived, and the entire family–us, as well as S’s mom and both brothers–spent the evening getting the trees, grapes, and berries into the ground.  Due to some paperwork with our CO housing situation not going through as planned, we then had to cut our trip even shorter.  We spent Tuesday morning wrapping up the orchard stuff, and then we all loaded up and headed back to CO.  We arrived early Wednesday morning, grabbed a couple hours sleep, then went to our final closing on Wednesday.  That was a nightmare of a whole different story, but God provided, and we walked away with a key.  I made a trip to Home Depot to pick up some necessary items in preparation for the next day.  Thursday morning, we dropped off the children at a church friend’s house, and S and I went to the new house to set up for the volunteer “cleaning crews” of the day.  With the help of over 30 volunteers in different shifts, we spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning cleaning and painting the new house.  Saturday, S had a seperate crew come to the old house to help with the actual move.  Saturday night, we spent our first night in the new house.  Sunday, we decided to focus more on resting after our exhausting 2 weeks, so I left to pick up the goats (I had to drive about 2 hours one-way for one, and 1/2 hour for the other), and S led a family worship time with the kids. Sunday night was my first milking session.  Since then, I have been working on getting unpacked and settled in.

Because the house was a foreclosure, we have had our fair share of challenges along the way.  We had no water for most of the weekend as new leaks were discovered and repaired, then we had a power outage on Monday (which reminded me that no power equals no water when you are on a well!).  We finally got our phone and internet hooked up after more issues, just to discover the main phone line for the upstairs (main part of the house) was severed–probably during the water line repairs.  We still have no phone on the main floor.  We’ll figure that out later. I also had the challenge of milking a goat twice a day and having no fridge.  They weren’t able to deliver until Tuesday (yesterday), so I had to get really creative.  All I can say is the Lord provided and sent snow for the two days we were without the fridge.  It was literally the perfect temperature outside for us to store milk (and other perishables) in a cooler on the back deck, and it to be cold, but not freeze. 

All in all, though, it has been a great couple of weeks.  If anyone feels sleep deprived, just join us for a bit, as you are guaranteed to sleep well after a day or two with us! We are thrilled to be in our new house, taking the next huge steps toward our big goals.  Despite the stresses that have been involved, this time has just been full of elation as we begin living our dreams, watching our children play outside on the 4 wooded acres, being able to let my dog in and out at will with no leash, and, of course, starting our animal projects.