*I had alluded to one more giveaway today, but that has now been postponed until next Monday, so look for it then!*

It’s been a long time since I gave you an update on our family and all that is happening around our home!

First of all, we’re in the midst of moving. We are surrounded by boxes and it feels like the more we pack, the more we realize how much more we need to pack! Our oven is also broken, so between that and having half of my kitchen packed up, I feel a bit like I’m doing camping-style cooking. It’s actually sort of fun (yes, I’m one of those people who truly likes camping cooking!).

Our move date is June 27th, which is less than a week away! We are so excited to get settled into our new place. It’s near where we currently live, but the house is larger, the backyard is better fenced for the kids, and my husband will be able to set up a music studio (more on that in a moment).

My pitiful garden a couple weeks ago!

The one difficulty with moving this summer is my garden. I began preparing and planting up our garden here shortly before we made the decision to move. I planted it up quite heavily, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get back and harvest it even after we move.

At the same time, I began the garden at our new home, so now I have TWO gardens to care for! The new garden is not in a great location, and it is not as large. I will post later in the summer about my garden and how I’m trying to adapt and work with what I have the best I can!

My garden is definitely suffering this year. Partly because we’ve been having lousy wet and cool weather so far this summer, and partly because I’ve been so busy that the extra time required to care for two gardens has just been a real struggle. I will do my best to redeem the rest of the summer, and I’ll make an effort to share more with you how my garden is growing!

Johanna at the zoo in May

Johanna at the zoo in May

Speaking of growing, our kids are growing up so quickly! Sweet little Johanna is a definite go-getter and even though she just turned 10 months, she’s already walking with furniture and starting to stand on her own. She’s a busy girl and she just motors around the house, following her beloved siblings! She has recently learned to clap her hands, and use sign language to ask for more milkies. She’s such a doll. Can I just tell you that the love you have for your children only grows and expands with each new baby?

Caden opening his Thomas the Train sheets

Caden had his 3rd birthday recently. It was a very Thomas birthday, as he has recently decided that he is in love with trains! He is such a darling boy, and his health has definitely improved a lot since we did the GAPS diet this spring!

Abbie holding the model of the body she made this year!

Abbie at 5 1/2 has just “finished” her first year of kindergarten (although we still do some homeschooling in the summer time), and we’re preparing now for getting a bit more serious for next fall. We’ll start studying History (Story of the World), Geography (Leagues & Legends), studying Biblical character qualities, developing her reading and writing skills further (First Language Lessons, A Reasons for Handwriting, Explode the Code, Rod & Staff Readers), continuing with piano lessons, etc.

It’s wonderful to see her truly reading simple books now, and doing a lot of independent writing and spelling and trying to sound words out on her own. She is so creative and constantly coming up with elaborate pretend play, writing letters and cards for people, and has become frightening adept at maneuvering all over the swing set out back!

We’ve also had some special visitors… Kimi of The Nourishing Gourmet and her precious family came to visit us! We had such a wonderful time getting to know them in person (though Kimi and I have been blogging friends for over 2 years!). If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out her amazing ecourse that will teach you to cook delicious, nourishing food on a budget!

In business news, I’ve started my new blog, Saving Naturally! Between finishing up and self-publishing my book, Real Food on a Real Budget this spring, and now the new site, work has been very, very busy for me.

I’ve actually ended up taking on far more blog work that I intended to back in the winter, when I was considering taking a step back. That is certainly still my heart’s desire, but my husband and I have made the difficult decision that this is a season where my business is important to our overall vision as a family. We don’t “need” for me to work, but it helps us to meet some of the goals that we have set and we feel that this is the right thing for us, right now.

Though this has been one of the most personally challenging seasons I have ever walked through, the Lord has been so kind and gracious to me through it. He has given me the opportunity to serve my husband and our family as I run a business that I love (writing for women that I love!).  I could stop at any time if I truly wanted to, but difficult or not, it is my joy to work as a partner with my husband in this way!

As for his business, it is going well! He has just signed an important 1 year contract that we feel is a very big step for his music school, Resound School of Music. He also continues to oversee other music teachers who teach in student’s homes, as well as doing a lot of teaching himself. He has discovered just how passionate he is about teaching music (not just running the business), and so we have been investing in his ability to do more and more teaching. In fact, our upcoming move will allow him to create a music studio where he will teach from our home, which is so exciting!

And lest you think I do this all by myself (run two blogs, publish and market a book, while caring for 3 young children and a home!), my husband has joined forces with me significantly! He helps me with marketing, with our advertisers, with emails, with technical details and so much more. I now have a wonderful mother’s helper who comes one morning a week so that my children can be well-cared for while I get in some concentrated writing time.

I also now have an administrative assistant, Abby, who helps me with emails, book sales and marketing, deal posts at Saving Naturally and many other things. What would I do without her? She may answer one of your emails one day… be sure to say hi!

Lastly, I will be taking a short hiatus starting tomorrow. We have our move coming up in less than a week. A week after we move, I am headed to the Savvy Blogging Summit in Beckinridge, Colorado! I am so excited to spend some time learning how to be a more effective blogger, and to get together again with some of the fantastic ladies I met at Blissdom and to connect with bloggers I have never met as well!

For the next 3 weeks or so, I have put together an incredible schedule of guest posters, in addition to my regular contributing writers who will be writing a little bit more often. I’m pretty sure you won’t miss me at all. :)

I’d love to hear how you are all doing! What has been going on in your homes and families lately?

Image by james.thompson