Posted on January 18, 2016
1 Year of An Island Family By Grace
It is now 1 year since I started this blog! It seems hard to believe, but it will also soon be 1 year since we moved to the island, in the first week of February 2015. Since then I have had a chance to settle in, both to island life, and to blogging! I have also learned how little I know, probably about both!
When we moved in, there was snow on the ground for a week, and it was very cold. In comparison, this winter has so far been very mild, other than the snow and frost this past week. Thankfully, we have not had the severe flooding that other parts of Scotland, and the UK, have had this winter, but then there’s not a huge amount of flat ground here for water to collect on! It has of course been very stormy and wet at times, though.
February and March were stormy and dark, so I was very thankful for spring chickens and flowering things in April and May. Our chickens are now doing well- we have one cockerel and 6 hens remaining from the original batch of pullets which we bought, and our chicks which hatched at the end of July are now almost at the point of lay, and not much smaller than the older ones.
We have done a huge amount of work to the house since we moved, and since I blogged that we have a roof, my husband has now almost finished the ‘dining room’ which is below it. He has been blessed by some extra part-time work at the moment, so that is slowing down the completion of the room slightly, but it is almost done, in terms of the structure.
Unfortunately in December we discovered that the ‘good’ part of our roof needs to be replaced due to water ingress and rot. This was quite a blow, as it had not showed up in the buildings survey when we bought the house, and it all looked sound when my husband was up in the loft a couple of months beforehand. It has put a spanner in the works of our plans somewhat, but we know that God has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11-13), and will provide whatever we need at the right time.
‘And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:19
In the Garden
Some other work that has been completed since my last update on our renovations has been the byre:
My husband built this onto the ruined walls of what would have been the original ‘blackhouse’ on the croft (homestead), using pallets, and the tiles which he took off the replaced roof. Our cats are enjoying their snug home under the window platform, and my husband is enjoying the large workshop space he now has.
One of the most satisfying jobs in the garden for me personally in the last year was starting to grow food in the small polytunnel I was given. Thankfully it has survived the most recent excitement for us, in the last fortnight: our neighbours’ pigs bulldozing their way through our fence. Well, they didn’t need a bulldozer, but they enjoyed a rare old time in our front garden in the dark, including surrounding my husband when he got out of the car from work, and as we discovered in the morning, over-turning our chicken shelter and investigating the compost heap!
The Polytunnel Book I mentioned in what I’m reading this year has been really helpful, and I now have several trays of seeds on the windowsill to germinate.
One the home education front, it has been great to be able to relax into using our own home fully for learning again, after having had our previous house on the market for a year. In our home education plans for 2015- 2016, I hoped to have a quiet activity and reading time for us all, for half an hour each day after lunch, and before other activities. This has worked fairly well, with the exception of December, when we spent most afternoons baking or making crafts and gifts.
I have recently talked about art and maths resources for homeschooling which we have appreciated, and I am looking forward to reading Think Outside the Classroom, by Kelly Crawford this term, with a view to more relaxed homeschooling.
I don’t have any extra homeschooling projects or topics planned for this term yet, but I would like to do another unit study or lapbook before the summer holidays. I will keep you posted on what we end up doing!
We have continued to get to know people on the island, mainly through church, but also through the other activities we have taken part in. I would possibly like to join the local craft group, but I am wary of taking on too many outside responsibilities or interests, which might detract from looking after my own family. This is one of the reasons I only post once a week on this blog (or maybe I am just slow!)
Looking ahead to the coming year, I hope to be more of a blessing to family and friends, to reach out more to others, and to learn and grow spiritually as a Christian, and in practical knowledge and skills. Around our home, we hope to finish the ‘dining room’ (which will really become our living room), repair our roof, plant fruit and nut trees, and grow more of our own food. Hopefully I will be able to write about some of that here!
It really amazes me that already there has been 1 year of An Island Family By Grace. Time has seemed to speed up, and I have become all the more aware that our children are growing up so quickly!
Thank you to everyone who has read and commented on An Island Family By Grace over the past year! It has been interesting ‘getting to know’ you.
What are you looking forward to this year? And do you have any topics you would like to see more (or less!) of on An Island Family By Grace? Please let me know in a comment.
May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Roses of Inspiration, Titus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Hearts for Home , Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up, Faithful at Home Fridays, Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.