Arrow Hill Homestead

Our dream to live on a small farm or homestead goes back to the very beginning of our marriage. We met through the FFA right after high school, married soon after and studied agriculture in college. We both grew up on family farms and had a desire to raise our children on a farm.

While preparing for graduation and entering the workforce, we still had that desire to have a little piece of land that was our own. Our first house was on an acre and we were able to garden there. After moving to Georgia, the second home we purchased was also on an acre. We had plans to garden and have chickens.

We soon learned that it was illegal to have any livestock in our county if you lived on less than 2 acres. After learning this in mid-2013, we were so ready to move. It was frustrating that you could live on an acre and not have a few hens in your backyard!

In 2014, we found a home on 7 acres that we really liked and even put our home on the market. We prayed and prayed and prayed some more but realized it was not the right time. That was hard. Then in early 2015, we found another home on several acres that we really liked and we submitted an offer after much prayer that was promptly refused. We stopped looking and in 2015 and 2016, we focused on making the most of what we had where we were – we gardened, planted fruit trees and did what we could. We still were dreaming of our own little piece of land but we were content where we were.

In early 2017, we felt a restlessness again and started browsing the real estate listings frequently. We looked at a couple houses that fit into what we were looking for but they weren’t right.

Then in late March, we found a newly listed home and property.  It wasn’t perfect, the house was a little weird to me and there was not even a complete driveway but it was in area we wanted to be in, less than 20 minutes from my husband’s office, was in our price range and at 1,800 square feet it gave our family room to grow but wasn’t too big. (We didn’t want a home over 2,000 square feet.)

We made an offer which was accepted and then worked hard to get our house ready to go on the market. We listed it and accepted an offer within 5 days! Everything just seemed to fall into place and we were confident that little piece of land was the place we had been waiting for all of these years.

We closed on May 2nd ( when I was 37 weeks and 2 days pregnant) and started working on making this house and land into our little homestead. Our baby girl was born in our home just 10 days later.

In the 10 months we’ve lived here, we’ve added chickens, pigs and sheep. We raised a batch of broilers (meat chickens) and have processed them. John David has an older tractor for pasture management, we’ve planted a small orchard and have two garden plots. And, we’re having a blast!

We decided to name our place Arrow Hill Homestead inspired by Psalms 127:3-4 “Sons are indeed a heritage from the LORD, children, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth.”

I am so thankful everyday when I am able to feed animals and gather eggs – I can’t believe this is our reality, we are living our dream!

If you’re interested in following along our homesteading journey, we’ve started a family blog that will be covering everything from daily chores and baby chicks to butchering pigs and gardening.

Arrow Hill Homestead Website

Arrow Hill Homestead Facebook Page

Arrow HiIl Homestead Instagram



Catching Up on the Past Few Months

It’s been so long since I’ve sat down to write anything that it’s hard to know where to start. So, I’m just going to write and share a bit of an update of life with our family.

We’re slowly settling into life as a family of 6 – moving and having a baby in the same month has been hard for me – my personality doesn’t naturally like change. We’ve been in our home 10 months now and I still don’t feel quite settled but this house is starting to really feel like home which I’m thankful for. (I just need to paint, put up pantry shelving, organize several spaces and so on!)

Having a 4th baby has been both easy and challenging. She is a such a sweetheart and we’re all enamored with her – the new hasn’t worn off for any of us! She is a pretty content baby girl but has not been the best night time sleeper which leaves me tired but I know this won’t last forever. The biggest challenge has been adapting to the management of life with 4 children – the laundry feels absolutely endless,  I’m learning to buy and prepare much larger quantities of food and we need more structure in our daily life.

The past 10 months have definitely been a time of growth, change and excitement. We’re still pinching ourselves that we have realized our dream of living on a small homestead and that we have chickens, pigs and sheep, plenty of land to grow fruits, vegetables and flowers and ample space for our children to roam and explore.

The homestead, caring for a baby, homeschooling, adjusting to life as a family of 6 and keeping everyone fed fills up my days and I have neglected some of the things that I enjoy – like writing. But, as I study more about my personality and know myself better, writing/blogging is one of those things that is worth making time for – it recharges me which makes me a better wife and mama. 
Our children are growing so fast. I am in awe of how much they grow and change in such a short period of time. Laura is nearly 10 months old, has 2 little teeth, is standing and cruising and looking more like a toddler everyday. Cecilia will be 4 this month, is such a big helper to me, loves to cook and is full of personality and sass. Weston is 6 and is our resident farmer – he owns several chickens and the sheep on the homestead belong to him. Paxton will be 8 next month, is in 2nd grade and in the past couple of months has turned into an absolute bookworm – I’ve been reading to him since he was a baby and he’s always loved books but since his reading abilities have gotten beyond easy readers, he can’t put the books down. And, I love it! 

I’m doing my best to just soak up this baby girl! Babies are a lot of work but they’re so sweet and such a gift. And, after 4 babies, I know how amazingly fast they grow.

Cecilia is loving having a sister and I love that they have each other. They have a few matching shirts and a pair of matching pajamas and she loves matching her sister. This picture was taken recently – they both were wearing matching pajamas and Cecilia pretended to be a baby in the crib with Laura that morning. 

It’s nearly spring so we have some baby chicks! These babies will grow up to be laying hens. We also have 3 baby piglets that were born last week. If you’re interested in the homesteading aspect of our life, I’ve started a new blog, Arrow Hill Homestead. There’s not much there just yet but I plan to use it as a journal of life on the homestead. 

I celebrated my 31st birthday yesterday. As I’m getting older, birthdays aren’t as eagerly anticipated as they once were but they’re fun – especially with kids who love celebrating. My boys picked out this cake and brought it home after church yesterday – they were so excited about it and I love that they know me so well – it was strawberry shortcake (I love strawberries – my birthday is typically celebrated with a strawberry cake or strawberry pie!) They also picked me daffodils that were growing on the edge of our property. 

When you’re grown up, sometimes you buy yourself your own gifts! I bought these daffodils as a gift to myself because they’re beautiful and I love daffodils since they’re always blooming on my birthday.


The More of Less

The More of Less

If you’re a reader of Intentionally Simple, I’m pretty confident that you’re a fan of simple, minimal, intentional living.

I also enjoy reading other simple, minimal, intentional living blogs that encourage and inspire me. One of my favorites is Becoming Minimalist, written by Joshua Becker. I’ve been a Becoming Minimalist reader for 6+ years now and I thoroughly enjoy Joshua’s writing and practical encouragement.

I have enjoyed reading his previously published books (Simplify and Clutterfree with Kids) and was excited to read his newest book, The More of Less. It is a small book but it is packed with inspiration and encouragement for minimal living. After reading many books in this genre, I wasn’t expecting anything life altering from this book but I was really surprised that I was inspired to let go of even more material possessions.

In this book, Becker shares his story as well as the stories of others who are living a minimal lifestyle. He points out through these stories that minimal living doesn’t look the same for everyone. There is no right way to do minimalism, you find what is right for you. There is great freedom in knowing your minimalism doesn’t have to look a certain way or be like anyone else’s.

For us, minimalism is contentedly living in a small home and intentionally living with less by only purchasing things we need and limiting clothing, toys, homeschool related items and such to the space with have within our home.

There is a chapter called ‘The Fog of Consumerism’ where Becker writes about how, in America, consumerism ‘surrounds us like the air we breathe, and like air, it’s invisible.’ This is a very insightful chapter, too often books about living with less never touch on the fact that continual consumption will never allow you to break free from your clutter.

The More of Less adequately explains the philosophy of minimalism as well as practical, how-to advice such as questions to ask yourself about your possessions, experiments to help you realize whether you need things or not and how donating your unwanted items (versus selling) empowers your generosity.


Reading The More of Less, has already inspired me simplify my home even more. The day I finished the book, I filled up two boxes of extra stuff that was lingering in our home and have plans to tackle our garage. (Time to give away more things to friends and donate, donate, donate!)

This is a book I will read again, there’s just so much information, inspiration, encouragement and practical advice that it’s nearly impossible to soak it all up in just one reading. My plan is to read it with my husband very soon and hopefully he’ll be as inspired as I am to take yet another step in our journey of minimalism.

If you’re tired of feeling like your stuff is stressing you out, leaving you overwhelmed and taking over your home and life, I highly recommend The More of Less

*Disclosure – I was provided an Advance Reading Copy of The More of Less in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links that help support the maintenance of this site.

Helping a Spender Learn to Save

Helping a Spender Learn to Save

As our children grow, it has been such a joy watching their personalities develop. It’s amazing how children who have the same parents, live in the same home and spend almost every day together can be so different. Our boys are complete opposites, especially when it comes to money.

Paxton (6 years old) is a natural spender. If he earns or receives a money, he wants to spend it. Over the past year, he’s purchased several small Lego sets, random items at thrift stores and even vending machine stickers. Saving his money for a larger purchase is not something he’s naturally drawn to.

Our Weston (4 years old) is a natural saver. If he earns or receives money, he wants to save it. He’s such a simple boy, he has very few wants and rarely purchases anything. Most of the items he has purchased he has saved for or he has found an animal to go with his farm. Lately when he gets money, he tells us to just put it in savings (referring to his savings account) because he’s saving up to buy a farm and a tractor. He’s thinking about the future and not worried about material things in the present!

We want to raise our children to be wise when it comes to finances so they hopefully will be financially free their entire lives. And, we also know that just because a person has a natural tendency, such as the tendency to spend, it doesn’t mean that they cannot learn to change their ways.

Around Christmas, Paxton found a Star Wars Lego set that he really liked but it was way out of his spending money price range at $59.99. He talked about it for several weeks and pointed it out when we would look at toys.

We thought it would be a great item to set a savings goal for and encouraged him to save his spending money to purchase the Lego set.
Lego Savings Goal

We created a savings goal chart as a visual that we hung up in his room so he could glance at it and see how far he was progressing towards reaching his goal.

We set a goal of saving $70 to cover the Lego set and taxes. Each row on his chart represented $2 but we also allowed him to fill in half a row when he put $1 into his Lego Savings jar.

He had some Christmas money that he decided to go ahead and put towards the goal so he started out with $22 which was a great jump start towards such a lofty goal for a 6-year-old.

At the beginning, he started out slow, putting just a little bit of the money he’d earn or receive into his savings. He preferred putting more of his money into his wallet for spending. Every time he decided he wanted to spend money, we would remind him that he could use that amount of money, even if it was only $1, towards his Lego savings and get closer to his goal. Then, we’d let him make up his mind if he wanted to spend his money or not.

He chose to purchase several small things over the first few months and then he started to get more serious. He received some money from grandparents and great grandparents for Valentines Day and put all of that into his Lego savings. Then he earned some money when he, his daddy and brother helped our neighbor with some farm work and put all of that money (minus his giving) into his savings. After earning that money, he started asking about ways he could make money and we gave him some odd jobs to do to earn a little money.

As his savings grew, his spending decreased and he starting putting more and more of his money towards his savings. With his birthday money, he was able to reach his goal of $70 and he was so excited to finally be able to purchase his Lego set.

Paxton's Legos

We completed the chart and then starting looking for the best deal we could find. We knew the Lego set was $59.99 at WalMart and ToysRUs but we wanted to shop around. We first checked out Craigslist, hoping to find a used set (we always try to buy things used instead of new), then we looked on eBay. With no luck there, we saw that Amazon had the best price online at $54 (it was around $57.50 after tax).

I told him that we could go to WalMart that day and purchase the Lego set for $59.99 plus tax or we could order it on Amazon. By ordering it on Amazon, he’d have to wait 2 days but would save around $6. He decided to order online, save the money and patiently wait. We were a little surprised and very proud that he chose to delay gratification!

We placed the order together and he handed over all that cash. Then we counted up what remained and he had $12.50 that he can apply towards his next savings goal (which we’re not quite sure of at this point).

Opening Legos

Paxton was so excited while waiting for his package to arrive. The day that it arrived, the mail ran very early and we were in the middle of our lessons. That was motivation, he’s never done his math faster! He was so excited to open up his Legos and start building.

This was the biggest set that he has received or purchased and it took him a while to get it all together. I sat with him and helped him build for awhile (and he loves when I play Legos with him since his love language is quality time!)

We hope reaching this financial goal will be remembered in the years to come and that he has learned a little bit about the value of saving.

Related Posts:

Teaching Kids About Money

Teaching Preschoolers About Money