Sunday, March 26, 2017

Meet our Family

Our Family - on the foundation of our old barn.

First, let me tell you all a little bit about us.  We are a family of 7 living on a farm in Eastern, ON, Canada.  Our kids are 4, 6, 9, 11, and 12 years old.  On our farm we have horses, ponies, donkeys, cattle, goats, dogs, cats, a bunny, a sugar glider, and some fish.  This summer we will also be getting some pigs, chickens, and turkeys.

The kids trying to catch a peak of the piggies.

Planting time.

Our lives are busy, but in a good way.  We are blessed with a good life, good family, and friends that support us.

Had you asked my husband or I fifteen years ago if this is where we would see ourselves, neither of us would have guessed that we would be exactly where we are today.

Josh has always been a farmer, but he also worked in the logging industry, and has worked with wood his entire life.  He has a very awe-inspiring talent when it comes to building things with his hands, and making beautiful things with wood.  He built the home that we live in, from the designs I drew.  If it can be imagined, he can build it.  He still wows me all the time, when I see what he is capable of accomplishing.

Josh enjoys farm life, dirt biking, four-wheeling, fishing, hunting, and camping.  He loves cutting wood, and being outside working with his hands, and using old tools.  He loves spending time with his family, and is a kid at heart.

Playing with the pigs.

As for myself, I started out going to university for biology and had planned to be a doctor, but I later switched to psychology, specializing in developmental psychology and family counselling, and one day I may go back to doing that.  I almost finished my degree, taking classes even after having kids. Once we had our three boys though, and they were very close in age it became too much to keep up with school, so I put that on hold.  It's funny how life works out, because of the choices that we make.  Today I get to pursue my passion - my love of art every day because of the choices I made along the way without even knowing this is where I would end up.

I love art - did I mention that yet?  I also love spending time with my family, riding horses, dogs, baking, gardening, camping, and some day I hope to illustrate and publish all the children's books I have written and tucked away.

Farm girls - my little lady and I.

Gardening, and being silly.

My husband Josh and I work together every day, while it's a lot of time spent together, and we have our moments, we wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world.  We are complete opposites in every way, but I guess that's why they say "opposites attract."  It's taken us until present to really figure out how to make working together work, but with confidence I can now say that we finally have it figured out.  It comes down to mutual respect, trust, and a lot of love, and understanding - and let's not forget, a lot of hard work.

Taking some time off to camp.

As much as I'd like to say that every waking moment is spent in bliss merely pursuing my passion, the reality is that we spend a great deal of time working like everyone else, and the hours are very, very long.  

The edge of our garden, and view from our new shop.

Our days consist of looking after animals, our kids (who sometimes act like animals,) looking after the house, the farm, and then our time start in our shop.  We spend our days answering emails, printing orders, assembling, sanding, painting, packaging, and posting.  There is limited time to actually do what I love to do the most - the art part.  But that's okay - because we make the most of everything we have, and all that we do.

Our kids all attend school now, and after 12 years of having babies and toddlers at home with me, it's bittersweet to have them all at school now, but our youngest son still stays home one day a week, and his Great Grandma who comes and spends the day with him.

Super Grandma giving pottery lessons.

She is called "Super Grandma," and is a very important lady in our lives.  She is our laundry fairy, and bless her soul is a truly remarkable woman.  I can only aspire to be as awesome as she is at that age.

After school, and sometimes on weekends, you can find us in our shop, popping in to check on things, sometimes to get caught up, and our kids are right there with us.  When school's out, they'll come in to say hello, and hang out.  They all like to help, and it's all very much apart of their life, who they are, and how they live.  The kids are home during the summer, and will be an even bigger part of our shop-life then as well.

During the summer months when we take our deliveries to the US, our kids come with us, and we make the day of it.  Sometimes we visit the pier and take a boat over to the island, go to a zoo, the movies, or go camping.  That's a little of how and when we squeeze in our family time.   

This fall we moved into our new shop, and it's been a huge adjustment for us all, but for the better.  We now have our house back!  The kids have their playroom back, and we have a definite separation between work and home-life, which is amazing.  

We are finally now settled, and looking to the future for our family, and for Toad and Lily (our other family.)

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