I have an ABSURD amount of books from the library in my home right now. So many trips to the library. So much learning. Loving Ashley English.
Because…seriously. Who wouldn’t want to look at this face every day? I may or may not be stalking the #llama hashtag on Instagram. (photo credit.flickr.swaimbu)
After reading Made From Scratch, we took notes from author Jenna Woginrich and headed to the antique store yesterday to search for a few kitchen items that we needed. Her take is that you should first search for older, well-made pieces before dashing off to Target to buy it’s plastic, soon-to-break counterpart. I do this at thrift stores, but it was a lot more fun at the antique store
We found a cheese grater to replace our broken one. And a meat tenderizer, a ladle, a spatula, and…drumroll….a Le Creuset lavender pitcher! Eeeeep! Everything was really reasonably priced. We will be making many return trips to Front Range Mercantile! Matt had to DRAG me out of there
Oh, and I can’t forget my $16 hand crank burr coffee grinder. I would love one of these someday. But this is going to be great for now!
I’m a little bit in love with this new online magazine…From Scratch. Pretty pictures. Great articles. Instant gratification! It’s free and online only…so go check it out!
Speaking of magazines…I ordered up some back issues of Backwoods Home on eBay. OH the joy! Total homesteading/survivalist geekery.
I asked for your advice on Facebook and you delivered! 68 responses to my garden help pleas! As of this very moment, I still only have tomato starts and I’m picking up some alpine strawberry re-plants today. The majority of you seem to like Baker Creek Seeds…so I think I might order up the rest of my seeds from there. I cannot WAIT for the warmer weather to stay so I can get out to the farm and put my hands in some dirt! Next on my gardening list is to watch Back To Eden, which several of you recommended.
My mind continues to be in constant motion. Thoughts of feeding goats, kissing llamas, decorating a new house, and waking up to mountain views all compete for attention with three girls and nursing and cooking and cleaning and packing up our current house. Oh, and throw in working for my parents, stating a new doTERRA business, and excitedly welcoming 10 different guests into our home in April. Woooooo! Life is FULL right now. BUT SO GOOD.
A few days ago in my Jesus Calling book, I was reminded of this big truth (love the words in bold):
Be still in My Presence, even though countless tasks clamor for your attention. Nothing is as important as spending time with Me. While you wait in My Presence, I do My best work within you: transforming you by the renewing of your mind. If you skimp on this time with Me, you may plunge headlong into the wrong activities, missing the richness of what I have planned for you.
Do not seek Me primarily for what I can give you. Remember that I, the Giver, am infinitely greater than any gift I might impart to you. Though I delight in blessing My children, I am deeply grieved when My blessings become idols in their hearts. Anything can be an idol of it distracts you from Me as your First Love. When I am the ultimate Desire of your heart, you are safe from the danger of idolatry. As you wait in My Presence, enjoy the greatest fight of all: Christ in you, the hope of Glory!!
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. ~Romans 12:2
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. ~Revelation 2:4
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. ~Colossians 1:27
It’s so very easy to allow the farm and my busy-ness to become “idols” in my heart. So easy. If I pick up my chicken books and my Backwoods Home Magazine the first thing in the morning before I pick up my Bible…I know that something is out of balance. This week I will be working on RETURNING TO MY FIRST LOVE. Asking for His guidance throughout this process. Walking alongside my Creator, my Father, my Friend.
Have an amazing Easter weekend my friends!
If there is one thing I know for sure…it’s that I have amazing friends. They have shaped me. Changed me. Blessed me. They are each inspiring in their own way. I am so so so excited that a bunch of them are coming to see me in Colorado in April!
Monica arrives the 19th and Sarah will be around these parts for a couple weeks visiting family. Natalie, Jen, Jen, Jennifer, Khrista, and Rachel arrive the 26th from all over the country for one craaaaaaazy weekend. Many of them have never met each other…they only know each other from Instagram, so it will be awesome indeed. Get ready Colorado!
Their blogs and Instagram feeds are on my list of “daily check-ins”. I know you’ll love them too…so I just have to share! I could write LONG, separate blog posts on each of these women. Yes, they are all that cool. Click the photos below to be taken to their little worlds…
We’re on the move again! No, not back on the road. Just down the road.
The one year lease at our current house expired a few months ago, and we were free to explore other options. We really do love our current home, but it’s on a super busy road and we’ve known for quite awhile that this was not where we would stay. But try as we would…we just could NOT find a house that felt right. We looked and looked. Set up many, many appointments to go see. But we would continually come home discouraged.
We agreed that God was urging us to pursue contentment for the time being. To become OBSESSED with being content. And all that comes with it. We cultivated hearts of gratitude. We focused on the things about our current house that we LOVED. We rearranged. We painted. We downsized. We waited.
Waited for God to show us HIS plan.
A month ago, Matt showed me a house that seemed perfect for us. Too perfect. But alas, it was for sale and we were looking to rent. I jokingly said we should “see if they want to rent it instead”. We forgot about it and went along on our way.
Then, a week later, Matt showed me the same house. Again. This time…it was up for rent.
We sensed a shift.
God’s hand at work.
It’s been quite the process, as we were not the only family who thought it would be perfect. But it turns out God’s plan is pretty amazing!
Today we signed the lease for a 1.3 acre farm, just southeast of Longmont. It’s only 5 minutes from downtown, but is perfectly pastoral and rural. An oasis of quiet…with expansive mountain views. We’ve been looking for something like this for about 6 months (and for much longer in our hearts)…a place to grow and learn new skills. Somewhere with outdoor roaming possibilities. A home that is completely different than what we have experienced before.
And this is definitely DIFFERENT! Let’s get to the most exciting part first…we get to have ANIMALS! The farm comes with 25 chickens. TWENTY-FIVE. They lay beautiful eggs…enough for us and for friends and family. I am over the moon. I have wanted chickens for so long. SO LONG!
It may or may not be because I want to wear these purple boots while I feed them.
Next…my friend Michelle has 2 adorable Nigerian Dwarf goats for us to adopt. Their names? Cloud & Clover. I’m in love. Have you ever seen one? Here they are in all their glory:
Here they are (upper right) just after they were born.
This is our cute little barn…where the goaties will live:
And lastly, I’ve already been looking for a llama to join our crew. Her name shall be Gypsy. Llamas make me so happy. Did you know that they will protect/guard your goat or sheep herd as their own? They will. Check it out.
The gardens are magnificent. Raised beds in lovely shapes. I’ve never gardened a day in my life. Well, except when I was young and my parents used “weeding the green beans” as punishment. My dad was an amazing gardener back in the day. I’m so thrilled to carry on his gardening legacy. Of course, I’m going to put him to work weeding green beans as soon as he arrives this summer! I can’t wait to stand next to him with the sun on our backs and discuss tomatoes and garlic.
Now…on to the other goodies:
- 1700 sq ft…just the right size.
- 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath (do you know how excited I am to have an extra toilet?)
- solar panels + passive solar
- open concept with wood burning stove
- stone-floored sun room for art and office
- five burner gas range / dishwasher / huge fridge / granite counters
- real hardwood floors
- clay walls in some rooms
- lovely patios and outdoor dining opportunities
- apple, cherry, and peach trees
- a trampoline! the girls will tell you this is their favorite thing…
- …and a wood-fired hot tub!
We have felt the pull to open our home up to more hospitality opportunities…from overnight guests to impromptu dinner parties and bonfires. It’s been a challenge in our current space to do that, especially with families that have a lot of kids. This home will allow us to spread out a bit more and will be perfect for hosting.
There is also a fair-weather stand alone studio with a bed, kitchenette, and desk for guests. LOVE this. They have hosted many WWOOFers in the past and we would love to continue that.
The property is large enough to house our fifth wheel, and also visiting friends with RV’s! We can’t wait to have “insta-neighbors” again. Come see us y’all!
These are also all fantastic! My mind and heart are ALIVE WITH POSSIBILITY. So much to learn. So much to plan. So much to love.
The countdown is on. We will move out of our current house in 5 weeks, into the RV. And then will move into the house/farm on June 1…just in time for a beautiful Colorado summer!
So there it is. Another life change. But really…
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
* Helen Keller
Rainbows. I love them. Color! Happy! Yes. About 3 months ago, while walking through Home Depot with Matt and the girls…I exclaimed: “I WANT A RAINBOW FENCE!!”.
I have a really great husband and he said, “OK honey. Pick your colors”. But being that we rent our home we couldn’t paint directly on the fence. So Matt brought home a scrap piece of fence that he rescued from a tear down and screwed it to the existing fence. And finally this morning, with a project high of 72 degrees and sunny…the girls and I got busy and added some color to our little backyard.
For all the paint geeks out there, here are the Behr exterior colors we used:
Red: Red Velvet
Orange: Marmalade Glaze
Yellow: Saffron Strands
Green: Retro Avocado
Purple: Darkest Grape (this purple is delish!)
My little helpers. After some sisterly squabbles earlier in the morning, they came together and had so much fun with the process. A little fresh air and paint does the trick every time.
Emma was a trooper…she slept for most of the project, which lasted exactly 2 hours. And yes, I am totally in my pajamas and slippers. When I decide to do something, I don’t like to waste time doing extra tasks like getting dressed
And so…this is the new view from my kitchen window! It makes doing dishes a lot more fun…and it will tide me over while I wait for the colors of spring to arrive!
My “egg girl” Michelle delivered my eggs this week…in the most splendid pink carton EVER! I squealed. It’s been awhile since I’ve had super fresh farm eggs. Oh the joy!
I really LOVE my coffee time every day…made in my trusty Aeropress. Almond milk caramel latte. Mmmmm….steamy goodness.
Matt accidentally “stole” this from my sister’s house when we stayed there last weekend. I’m only a bit obsessed with this book now. So full of awesomeness. For those of you who ask me to blog about home design, etc. Get this book! You won’t be sorry.
The little things make life worth livin’!
I’m so thrilled to announce that Matt and I are now consultants for dōTERRA essential oils! After hearing about them for the past year from several friends, we finally decided to really check it out and now I’m wishing we would have started using them sooner. I’ve always kept EO’s on hand for making cleaning supplies, etc. But never delved into it much further. Until now.
We decided now was the perfect time and signed up with Tara and Justin. It certainly aligns with everything we believe and is a perfect fit for us. In just the past few days, we have used them for so many things with great success:
After traveling 14 hours in the car yesterday, here is a re-cap:
DigestZen after road food upset tummy. A few drops in water. Felt 100% better in just a few minutes.
Lemon in my water bottle for taste. Yum!
Lavender and grapeseed oil on Emma’s diaper rash.
Peppermint diffused in car vent during drive for alertness.
Lavender diffused in car vent at the end of our drive for relaxation.
Lavender on all of our feet before bed to settle down and sleep well.
Deep blue for muscle ache.
Peppermint, frankincense, and lavender for headache.
These oils are so much stronger and higher quality than all the others I’ve used before…my nose knew as soon as I opened my first vial I’ve also had sensitivity issues to some oils in the past, but have not experienced that with dōTERRA.
After having some sort of sickness in our family since October 1, I’m ready for some serious immune boosting! The frankincense and onGuard oils are out of this world! I’m also so excited to try out their facial line and vitamins. I will be sharing more about the oils we are trying and will post videos and interviews as well!
If you’re interested in taking control of your family’s health, check out more at my website. We started with the Family Physician kit and I love all that it comes with.
I would also LOVE to welcome you to my already growing dōTERRA team. It’s a fantastic way to make a part-time or full-time income and enjoy the oils and products at a discount. You can get started today!
Please feel free to call or text me at 515-720-7139 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have! If you’ve been looking for something like this…I’d love to talk oils with you!
In July 2012, we purchased a 2003 Keystone Laredo fifth wheel to use for our family vacations and other random gallivanting around the U.S. We spent about a week remodeling it, and have been enjoying it since. At 30 feet long, it’s currently tucked in next to our house and serves as our “guest suite” for our Colorado visitors. This is probably my favorite of all of our remodels…I love the wainscoting and all the colors together. Pure happy. Perfect layout. Just big enough. Love it.
We pulled out the old couch and put in a queen futon…so easy to do in a fifth wheel. Curtains are from Urban Outfitters (as are all of the adhesive quotes).
There are three twin sized bunks in the rear of the fifth wheel (in this photo, there is no mattress on the bottom). This was a HUGE selling point for us. Three girls = three bunks. Fifth wheels are very family friendly if you can find the right model that works for you. Curtain is from Urban Outfitters.
Here is where you will stay if you come visit the Happy Janssens in Colorado! And because I know you’ll ask…we are NOT going back on the road Just love having a “getaway”! We’ve actually been in Colorado for TWO years now and in the same house for one. That’s a record. We adore Colorado and love being settled. Come and see us!
Purple in bedroom: Dutchess Lilac (Behr)
Green in kitchen: Lemongrass (Behr)
Blue in slide/bathroom: Catalina (Olympic)
Yellow in bunk: Lions Mane (Olympic)
Congratulations to Rhiannon from Love Wisdom Motherhood! She is the winner of the free spot in Erin’s Eyes Open Creative Photography Course. For all the rest of you…be sure to go and sign up for the course! You don’t want to miss it!
Are you a blogger, amateur photographer, or someone who just got a DSLR that is looking to take their photography to the next level? Do you find yourself getting frustrated with your photos because you just can’t get them to look like you want?
The Eyes Open Creative Photography e-course is a 6 week course full of information, inspiration, and everything you need to take your photography to the next level! Erin Wallace, of a love supreme photography, has written six lessons packed full of information from the basics of photography and understanding your camera, lighting 101, creative living and nurturing the artist within, creative photography, portrait photography, and creative editing!
With personal assistance from Erin, an interactive forum to share photos and discuss the lessons from the course with other participants, weekly videos, giveaways, and inspiring guest posts by other creative photographers, this is one 6 week course you do NOT want to miss!
Once joining the course, the lessons will be available to you at your leisure for 10 weeks. There is no pressure to hurry through anything. Take your time and enjoy the experience of transforming your photography!
Where are you finding your greatest inspiration these days?
My photographic inspiration comes from our life! I recently bought and renovated a church in Maine, and the light inside is unbelievable, which has really inspired a lot of my daily photographs. I also love researching photographers and images from the 20′s through the 70′s, so I always add a little bit of that into my work day. In terms of creative inspiration, my fiance Mark really inspires me. He puts so much thought and intention into everything he creates and I really learn a lot from him. Although he says I’m the one that inspires and motivates him! I think we’re a pretty good creative team.
Entries for this giveaway will be accepted through midnight (MST) January 29 (Tue).
Please leave one comment below…and tell me what inspires you when you are taking photographs! And don’t forget to go “Like” the course’s Facebook page.
My heart is breaking wide open as I share this news with you. After 5 years of fighting brain cancer, our friend Mauro passed from this world on January 1st around midnight…holding his sweet Rebecca’s hand as she nursed baby Isabel.
Quietly confident and deeply spiritual…he was loved by friends around the world. He and Rebecca taught capoeira in Des Moines…and it was always such a joy to watch him completely immersed in his passion.
He was known in the capoeira world as “Professor Xara”…here is a beautiful montage of his skill and grace.
We will be leaving here on Thursday to head to Iowa for the memorial service and gathering. Please continue to pray for Rebecca, Bianca, and Isabel in the coming weeks and months.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and love over the years. I have so much more to say, but not the right words. Love to you all. xo