I'm Tonia and this is my family. There's Hubs, my wonderful partner; Bug, my darling daughter; and Boo, my charming son. We are the Collins clan. We are a homeschooling family who try our best to live out God's will for our lives every day. There are lots of stumbles along the way, but we love each other and this little life we're carving out for ourselves. Recently we found ourselves called to make some big changes in our lives so we're packing up the McMansion and moving out to a little farm in need of a lot of TLC. We have tons to learn and tons to do and we invite you to share the journey as we turn our not-so-new heap into a home.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beauty and the New Babies

It's absolutely beautiful out here right now. Well, as long as you ignore the trash and the run down and the stinky....then, it's really, really beautiful.

I know, I know....it's been way too long since I posted anything and you're dying to know what we're up to out here and I'm going to tell you all that, I promise, but first just look....and breathe. Trust me on this- sometimes you just need to look around and see the beauty. So, today I did.

I love autumn, it's my favorite season. I love the colors, the way the air smells, the cool nights. I love layering on jackets and sweaters, and exchanging the flip flops for a sassy pair of boots.

I love the leaves on the ground. I love hearing the kids playing joyfully outside again after weeks of hiding from the heat. I love pulling out the cozy blankets and stocking up the hot cocoa and marshmallows.

God willing, someday soon autumn will mean harvesting and canning and getting ready for winter. I look forward to those days. For now, though, I'm just enjoying the view and basking in the fact that soon winter will set in and many of the outside chores will be on hiatus, exchanged for inside work and nights of knitting and snuggling with the kids.

It's been a long, hard summer, with a lot of ups and downs and more work than I ever thought I could handle. We are so blessed and grateful for everything we have, but we are also happy to see a bit of mandatory rest settling in on us. God knew what He was doing when He created the seasons, didn't He?

Thank you for sharing that moment of rest with me....now I will reward your patience with a little bit of Heap news....we have 3 new babies!

First up is Jess. She is a 3 y/o border collie who joined us a couple of weeks ago. She is very, very sweet and very, very timid. We've been working hard to get her used to all of us and accustomed to our land. At the moment she still spends nights and any days we are gone in the dog run. She has been able to run free while we are working and she loves that. She is very much like a toddler and likes to be able to come back and touch base with "Mom" every now and then. When I allowed her to run free while I was inside she became very nervous and ended up straying too far from home so we've had to slow down and give her boundaries again. She has bonded strongly to me, and I to her, so I pray we'll be able to get her comfortable with living here. I don't want to let her go, but I will if she can't handle farm dog life. Time will tell, I suppose.

Then we have Myra (the gray one) and Kai (the black one)....our new barn kitties, who, of course, are not living in a barn, or even outside, yet. We aren't sure of age, but are guessing they are about 8 weeks old or so. They came to us only partially tame so they are living in a large dog crate and getting lots and lots of snuggles and loving. We brought them home a couple of weeks ago and already they are doing so much better. They start to purr as soon as you touch them and they know exactly what feeding time means and do not dart off immediately anymore, but stay close, hollering loudly about how hungry they are. They are ridiculously cute. They are also absolutely disgusting. Kittens do not know to clean themselves yet and they have some pretty gross habits, like playing in the litter box and sleeping in the leftover food that's in the food dish. They have added a whole new element to our days since we now have the chore of feeding them twice a day and completely cleaning out their cage once a day. Thankfully, this is a temporary ordeal- soon enough they will be outside, catching mice, and we will just need to feed them once a day and pet them when they come around.

I'm starting to see just how busy I will be out here, taking care of our expanding menagerie...I'm not going to lie, I'm a little bit nervous!


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