We are back!

As you can imagine things have been moving quickly here now that Iona has joined us. We have been very fortunate to have such a calm, easy to please baby girl.   I have been nursing constantly and as I write this post I feel like I am in a hostage situation hoping the baby will  continue to sleep so I can type.  As we are currently on maternity leave from life I have a very relaxed schedule, however, I am struggling to get into a rhythm with my routine. How about you, have you changed your routine at all this year? How’s your temporary, possibly permanent schedule working out? What are you looking forward to this spring?

Does your Schedule seem off?

As I look at my routine, I like to use bullet journaling to keep track of to-do lists and routines, I have been asking which is the most productive method. The night before the baby was born I  was drawing this page which had a routine for the future, after the baby is born, after we build our yome, after we move out of the cabin….sort of a hypothetical perfect world daily routine. Hygiene, breakfast, home school, animals, dinner.  That seems a little unrealistic since  we are not there yet.  We collecting tools and materials to build a deck for our yome,  but we have been harvesting our own cedar timber due to lumber costs, with the current market maintaining unprecedented high prices, our trees were  growing in our ponds, so they had to go.

The second example is an 8 day spread that easily fits on paper, which is not as pretty but should help me focus on the now rather than the hypothetical. However, this post isn’t a tutorial on bullet journaling;  it is more of a confession of years and years of making these schedules, not keeping track of them, trying again, and  not keeping up with writing in  the schedule. Another strange thing about this post is that it offers no solution, it isn’t a “how to be more effective with your planner” post. I am simply looking at this planner behavioral pattern and asking…why? I guess the only problem I see with this cycle is the guilt I impose on myself when I don’t write in or fill out the schedule.  Why does this have to be so difficult? Leave it to the new mom to write a blog about giving ourselves grace when we look at our accomplishments vs schedules. Why do we feel the need to do the same thing every day, check the boxes and multitask perfectly according to our scheduled itinerary. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you live by the seat of your pants and love it. Let me know in the comments what do you do to schedule or unschedule your routine? How has your routine changed this year?


So, what’s the plan?

We have made some decisions about where to put our Yome, how we plan to live, and our next steps this February.  Now that He has given us Iona, we can really focus on what we need to do together to make our homestead a reality.  With the final frost coming soon we are ready to purchase supplies to build the deck our yome will sit on, nestled next to a row of cedar trees down in  the center 1/3 of our hillside, as you approach the spring.  This space will be less windy and offer a more stable temperature as weather falls on our farm. We have decided to take advantage of the space and privacy we have available on this property, there will be a price, it is further down the hill.  

Future Blog Promises…

Now that Iona is 3 weeks old I am going to commit to creating  2 new posts  each  week, and continuing to improve our website, and update you on our homestead progress. I will also post information about the animals we are raising, random opinions about life as a  mom, recipes, and continue to journal our family’s experience  here in ARKANSAS!


Separate Places for Separate Purposes

During our time rebuilding the spring and setting up our base camp we have been able to study the grade of the land and have a better idea of what we plan  to do with our Yome. The Yome will be a tiny home(19 feet actoss) with a stove and living space for us near the woods, close to the natural water source.  We have a “dig site” which is the same size as the yome dug into the side of the hill higher elevation closer to the road. Our root cellar and kitchen may be an open concept kitchen, with a walk out covered awning to serve dinner at a picnic area with natural stone tile.  We have to build a deck for the Yome first, and raise the Yome this month.  Our new home is currently in boxes in our green house.   I love the cabins we have been staying in at Silver Run Cabin’s in Yellville, AR. We have been collecting all the inspirational details we love from Silver Run, Tyler’s Bend and everywhere along the way in Arkansas to piece together our decisions on moving closer to the woods, using natural stone features, harvesting our cedar from our “holler” and using our spring the most effective  way by locating our shower house close to our natural water source. At this point we are still on target to maintain our home with solar power and natural spring water, we may be able to combine solar and wind  to harvest energy to run the pumps that will move water from our spring to 3 tanks we will place on each of the 3 separate pastures for livestock.  We will test the water for purity before we feed it to our family or animals. With our deck standing around five feet off the ground on one side of the hill we will have space under the deck to build 5 foot tall a crawl space for our composting toilet. By building farther into the property we will really be in the hills but also very secluded from the road.


Josie and Bruce

These two are clearly entering the strange stage that is “being 7,  I recognized it as a grade-schooler, there is an awkward phase 7 year old;s face that includes feeling insecure and awkward which makes me sad for my sweet babies but I have no choice but to watch them grow and continue to face this world we live in together.  With all the changes  we have faced as americans, humans, as a family moving to our new habitat, we have been surprised at how positive, upbeat, and truly motivational these two have been. 

     When we are feeling defeated and doubting ourselves they will loudly proclaim their love for our new life here in Arkansas and remind us of why we came here, and the future we are creating for our family. Who would have thought our 5 and 7 year old’s would be our walking examples of bravery, selflessness, and open-minded easy going little adventurers. They are constantly reminding us of how blessed we are.




Meanwhile, Iona has plans to be a dairy expert when she grows  up, she believes dairy should be everyone’s priority, all the time.


As a teacher, I am excited to learn new material and to share this experience with my family. This farm gives us plenty of new material to learn about animal husbandry, nutrition, behavior. Arkansas also gives us a new set of information to learn about the environment with different plants, soil, weather and culture. I look forward to sharing our story with you and reading your feedback, remember, your feedback is very informative, helping me to understand other peoples perspectives, so don’t hold back!

Donna Ervin, Ervin highland farms