Second & Third Chances
“The homesteading life to me is about living simply. It is about being grateful for the gifts God has given us and using those gifts wisely. To put it in tangible terms, it’s baking fresh bread, growing and harvesting your own vegetables, witnessing the miracle of birth whether it’s baby goats, ducklings or chicks. It’s watching the wonder in my children’s faces as they realize it was their time and labor that helped put dinner on the table. Providing for my family with my time and efforts rather than a quick trip to the store. It’s teaching my children the homestead love and life so that they can be confident in their ability do anything!” -Julie
Homesteader Profile: Julie lives in a suburban home in Oregon, but will be moving to her dream home on 8 acres in Washington. Julie is author of Pleasant Mountain Farm.
Julie’s Homestead Journey
My name is Julie, I am a wife, mom to 6 kids (3 still at home), hospice nurse (on the weekends), homeschooling mom and homesteader! We currently live in a nice big home in the middle of a beautiful but crowded neighborhood in the Columbia River Gorge. We both yearn for a small house and big outdoor spaces where we can be self sufficient and live more simply.
My husband and I were married 13 years ago after a year of dating and I remember the moment we both realized that we had the same dream. We were both coming out of failed marriages and we each had 2 children from those marriages. He was explaining how his dream had been to purchase some property and live on a farm, but his ex wife did not share that dream. I looked at him and told him that was my dream too and that I wanted nothing more. I remember him looking at me in disbelief…”really?” he said. That was one of many surprising blessings that God had for us when he brought is together.
Since then, we have been through a lot, had 2 more children together, both with special needs, making for a total of 6 kids. We have changed jobs, moved around a lot, but always, that dream of creating a homestead together has stayed.
In 2006 we thought we had finally achieved our dream. We had the opportunity to move onto 5 acres with a manufactured home and an owner contract. We were ecstatic! We spent three hard, but wonderful years there. We raised chickens, goats and dogs, and endured feet and feet of snow! We learned that homesteading life was hard but oh so rewarding! Unfortunately after 3 years there, we had the property unjustly taken from us. We were heart broken but moved on. Since then the Lord has taken care of us and blessed us, but we have been trying to get back to the homestead life ever since.
On my farm blog, I have documented our search for the right piece of land for the past several years. There are many posts and many pictures! My husband, kids and I have spent hours driving and looking and submitted more than a few offers that were turned down. Until finally, this past fall, we found our land! A beautiful 8 acre parcel with a well, and it is OURS!
Now, we find ourselves merely 1 year from moving onto our land. We have a plan and are counting down the days! Through all of this, we have been homesteaders in our hearts, and have begun to live the homestead lifestyle right where we are.
This past year has been tough, it became necessary for me to quit my week day job to stay home with my kids due to their special needs, so I now home school. But because of this, the homesteading life has become so much more important and necessary! Both for financial and health reasons!
I have taught myself how to can fruit and vegetables in addition to other methods of food preservation. We have a small garden that is growing cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and onions. I make my own laundry and dish soaps. I bake our bread. We take our children out on hikes and places to enjoy this beautiful world that God has given us.
I have discovered a wonderful community online of like minded people, and am very thankful to The 104 Homestead for allowing us all to share our stories!