Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Find your joy!

In just a few short days it will be Easter and we get to celebrate the Lords sacrifice on the cross, all because he loved us. US!  Could you imagine what he had to endure those last few hours being beaten and bruised all so that one day we could all join him in heaven? WOW.

I have 3 children. I would do absolutely anything for them and protect them at all costs. To know that we have a God who loves us even more than that, is indescribable.

I have been a christian my entire life, but it wasn't until a few short years ago that I desired a real relationship with our creator!  I devoured every word of the bible, wanting to know more, learn more and be more in Christ. It's amazing how one moment you can just be one person, and suddenly, overnight, someone else.
I was tired of being stressed out and anxious. I was always on edge. I felt like I was never going to measure up, and like I was here spending each day trying to be more, do more, and have more.
The more I had I realized, didn't make me any happier. After every new mountain i'd conquer, there was another, bigger mountain just waiting for me, looking bigger and scarier than ever. I was tired. I realized in that moment, that I would never measure up to the unrealistic goals I had put into my mind, and it was time to find peace. To find contentment.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation. One where you are trying so hard but just feel like you still don't measure up? Do you ever feel like you are not enough? Well don't let those negative thoughts fill your mind up anymore! Do not let negativity steal your joy. God wants you well! He wants to see you happy! He does not want you anxious, and afraid. Remind yourself that you are ENOUGH! Right here, right now, just as you are. Come to him, and trust him and feel the peace that he can bring into your heart, your body, and your soul! 

In life, things will not always go our way. We will have struggles and we will face hardships and heartbreak, but we will also love and be loved. We will laugh, and we will laugh so hard we cry. We will find ourselves in difficult situations, but in God, we can get through all obstacles.

Have a blessed day, and as we approach this Easter, let's remember why we celebrate, and that we are truly loved, and worth loving!

The Vela Homestead

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The chicks are 2 weeks old!

So the chicks are now 2 weeks old as of Sunday and as promised I've taken more pictures of them to remember this day! Baby chicks grow so incredibly fast that a lot happens in just 1 week! Plus with every new chick purchase, I search online to identify them and while you can sometimes fine progression pictures, they are not that comment so here I am!

First up, here are all 4 of the bantams cuddled together for a group shot! I specifically picked out each chick because they all had different markings and wanted to see how each would grow!

Here is chick 1. She still had this beautiful silver and yellow coloring! I've been told she looks like a silver seabright, which means she will be one beautiful, colorful hen as she gets bigger (If she's a she that is!)

Here is chick 2, still our smallest bird! We are sill calling her sushi! (Thanks Natalie!) Her colors are so pretty too! She's so speckled!

Here is chick 3. We are still calling her fuzzy toes. I'm sure we can come up with something better though if she stays a she! She's my most outgoing chick! Look at those feet!! 

Here is chick 4, the last of our new bantam chicks! I've been told she looks like a gold lace, which are truly gorgeous birds too! Look at how long those wings are already! 

And last up is Big Sissy. She is like 6 times bigger than little sushi is! This girl is HUGE. I'm hopeful she will live a happy life on our farm, however long it is! She always looks so unimpressed with me!

So that's it for today! I hope you enjoy watching these chicks grow with us! <3 I can't wait for spring and getting them outside!

Thanks for reading! ~The Vela Homestead

Monday, March 19, 2018

Free Prayer Journal!

Today I wanted to offer up my prayer journal pages to you for FREE! Having a prayer journal can help you stay focused each day on God and spending time with him! Why is it we eat when we are hungry, or drink when we are thirsty because we know without food and water we will die. Yet we skip time with God, forgetting that his word is the living bread that we need to stay nourished and alive in him! When life is busy, and I don't get into the word like I should, I start to hunger for the peace, and the love that he brings to me through his living word! I need it, or my health does suffer!

 God's word helps me everyday and I need those quiet moments with God to just reflect, to grow, or just quiet my mind and remind myself what path he's set before me, and listen to his guidance. I need him to remind me daily that I am enough. To thank him everyday for the many blessings he's bestowed upon me, especially during the trying times of life when my mind would no sooner forget the blessings to focus on the chaos! 

So here they are linked below. Please use them and share them and remember everyday how much God loves you and that he wants you well! 

Thanks for reading! ~The Vela Homestead

Instagram and the ups and downs of the follow, and like buttons!

If you are like me, you love Instagram! Facebook is cluttered with so many things, I like to keep my homesteading adventures on just Instagram. It's fun to scroll and see all the great pictures of chickens with a funny mohawk, that new coop that was just built and still looks oh so fresh and clean. The sun blazing somewhere, while i'm living in my winter wonderland that is Michigan. Seeing a garden start to produce food, and what people do with the food they do grow! It's just so much more fun! It's easy to scroll through and like all the great content from the people I follow. You can make connections, learn new things, or just follow each other on this fun adventure that is homesteading and farming! I learn something new almost everyday from my little IG community!!

Now the reason I'm here today blogging. I want to talk to you about building an authentic Instagram account, not about the number of followers you have, but one that is about relationship and community! Who cares if you have 1000 followers but they don't actually like your brand and don't interact with your page, when you could work less to have just 100 that actually like what you do, and you them!

For me, i'm interested in homesteading so I follow back all the homesteaders that follow me. I want to engage in their posts, as much as I want them to engage in mine! Now I know I don't have a large following or anything, so that could change when you no longer see what you're looking for, but to me, it's about authenticity and relationships. It's about seeing pictures and watching short clips and getting my animal fill in a short amount of time and going about my day without getting sucked in for hours! I however, don't follow back profiles that don't have anything to do with homesteading, or I am not interested in.

However, the downside. Because there is always a downside. Small businesses. I love following them, I love seeing their products. But some days I notice I get say 5 new follows from the same company with the same type of name. You know the type, they all post the same exact t-shirt photo 5 times a day on every account. Before I realized this, I did follow them back, because hello, homesteading stuff I can BUY! Yes please! However, those pages follow you, only to unfollow you a day, or week later. They are just building their page count by tricking you into thinking that they enjoy your content when really they want you to see their stuff and do not want to interact with you at all! That's NOT the type of feed I want. I'm a busy person and well, I just can't stand that!

I've read that those using this strategy, justify it by saying they want to basically send you a notification that they see you, and to come check them out, but why see you to just unsee you? You can do the same thing with the like button, by liking posts by people that aren't already following you! I follow tags like #NigerianDwarfGoats and click, click away because I LOVE following goats, but I don't want to go around following every goat owner there is on IG! There is still a way to still be seen!

Or there is the person that follows you and likes a ton of your stuff, and you think to yourself, "sweet they like my stuff! I want to see what they are about!" So you end up on their feed, enjoying their stuff and giving those likes back! but then... THEN a week or so later, they delete, YES DELETE all their likes and comments! What? Why? HUH? But, they still follow you? It appears they like a bunch of your stuff in hopes that you will go like a bunch of theirs, and then, they delete it all! Crazy right?

I only started noticing the tactics of these business owners when I would lose a LOT of followers over night. Check out who it was (Thanks to the Unfollow instagram app!) And see that they all have something in common. They all are now only following a handful of people.  I do end up blocking some of them as I've noticed a few weeks later they are now again liking and following me again, which I know will lead to yet another mass unfollow and delete, and the cycle only continues! Beware though, this app says you can pay to see who has blocked you, and through my research, people who disable their accounts do show up on your block list! I wouldn't purchase it as it's inaccurate, however the ability to see who's unliked photos, deleted comments and unfollowed you, is really very helpful to keeping your IG a community!

Now I know this post is long but I wanted to share it with those of you unfamiliar with this in case you wanted a more authentic type feed too. So many of us are past the days of growing followers and likes and are looking for community and authentic communications. If you're interested in my journey, i want to be interested in yours! You might think differently and that's okay, but for me, I'm tired of social media being a place only to stroke the egos of someone else. I don't want to waste my time telling you how great your stuff is, and encouraging you, if you don't want to do the same for me. That's just how I've always been and i'm not beneath deleting all my likes back because I'm petty like that and don't like to be used!

There is one more tactic I'd like to mention. A lot of these places that do these things mentioned above, grow the feeds, then delete all the likes and comments, so that they can now sell the page, or change the content. Have you ever looked at your feed one day and wonder why you are suddenly following a page that you have never followed before? In the settings of instagram, there is a place where you can see what you've liked and commented on to delete it later. I had no idea this option was available but it makes it really easy for them to unlike everything.

Here is a screen shot of the option! 

Now don't get me wrong, you will have people you follow that don't follow you back. There are many feeds I enjoy that I committed to first that didn't chose to follow me back. That's totally okay. The same goes for those that follow me, and are later bored of my content, and just want to unfollow. Those things are a part of the deal and happen! We all go through this! I'm speaking about those places that only follow you so that you can serve them, and grow their numbers.

I hope this has helped some of you! I'd rather have 100 real followers who like my content, then 500 who don't care, or interact anyway!

Thanks for reading! ~The Vela Homestead

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The baby chicks are now 1 week old!

The baby chicks are now 1 week old and just look at how much they have grown! This is the easiest time for them. I just clean, feed, water, cuddle, and give lots of belly rubs! I love how little these bantams are! And that they all look different and have their own little personalities!

Look at those grey and white feathers! She is going to be just gorgeous as she gets bigger!

This is our tinies chick. She is half the size of the chick above! She almost doesn't look real! Natalie has named her "Sushi"! 

So here is little "Fuzzy Toes" As Natalie calls hers. She's so pretty! I love her spotted beak!

And look at those fuzzy feet she has! <3 I love them! 

And just look at those orange and black wings on her! She's just the cutest little thing! She's always fighting pasty butt so she gets a lot of baths! Needless to say, she isn't happy with me when I have to pick her up. I think she's afraid I'm going to get her wet! 

And this girl is HUGE. I had no idea that chickens would be bred to grow so fast they can die after a year old :/ But apparently she is a meat bird bred to grow super fast and most are butchered at 8 weeks old. I'm not sure what to do at this point other than feed her feed that isn't going to make her grow super fast to hopefully prolong her life since we bought her for a pet!

Look at those tiny tail feathers! So cute! 

Thanks for reading! ~The Vela Homestead

Saturday, March 10, 2018

New baby chicks are home!

So today I had to make a run to tractor supply for no other reason but hubby needed to get a welder and I wanted to grab some pine shavings and straw! I had no need to get more chickens but I have wanted other colors and to have a more colorful flock. When this first girl (or boy who knows) was spotted I knew I had to have her! She was the only one with these markings and so adorable!

Than there was this girl, and I loved the marking at her eye! 

And this girl was spotted and I had to have her, but t wasn't until I got home that I realized she has fuzzy feet and now I'm even more in love with her! 

Look at those fluffy toes! 

I really loved her orange markings! And she had pasty butt and I really wanted to get her home and cleaned up! 

And lastly here is "Big sissy" because she's huge next to the bantams! She is a Cornish Rock and will be solid white when she gets full grown! 

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed looking at all our new chicks! I will be sharing progression shots of them as they grow up so you can see what all their markings turn into! It's hard to find information like that online and it would be fun to have some on my little piece of the web here! 

Thanks for reading! ~The Vela Homestead

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March is here and so is the snow!

It's March 1st! Which means I can share my newest calendar stitch! March is such a beautiful design from The Snowflower Diaries monthly free pattern, too bad it's not even close to spring here in Michigan right?

We had a good week of melted snow, and warmer temps but today the snow returned in full force. At least it's pretty because I'm over it! We are getting ducks this spring and it feels like I'm waiting forever for it to warm up enough! 

The twins have been doing really good! I had to laugh at this photo though. What timing right? There is always that one silly sister right? 

Genji girl one of our turkey hens got injured almost 4 weeks ago. She's healing everyday but i feel so bad for her. One side she just keeps re-opening. Our other hen treaded on her like a male would. I had no idea I would even have to look out for this having just 2 females or I may have caught it sooner. There's no infection and I've been keeping her clean. After 2 weeks I was able to reintroduce her to the farm after separating her. She wanted to be out with them so bad. I made her a saddle apron to keep on and I'm still keeping Muffet away from her when I'm not in the pen at feeding time. 

Other than that things have been going great. The flock and the goaties have been really happy to get to play outside again, but today it's back to the coop until it melts! 
It sure is gorgeous though isn't it? 

Also I just had to share this picture. We have these wild turkeys (and a rare white smokey turkey!) But I've never seen the males with them. Only the hens and the poults so I took this fun photo a few days ago and just watched those Toms dancing around all those girls trying to catch them some ladies! They are so funny to watch! 

Well that's it for today. I'm hoping to blog soon on the kombusha I'm brewing. Share some duckling photos and much more. I just can't wait for spring and to share so much more on there! Winter makes it hard since everyone stays cooped up and cold! 

Thanks for reading! ~The Vela Homestead

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