The First Week In Virginia

Well guys, we finally made it! The rv got moved, and the younger kids and I made the two day trip to Virginia!

It has been a whirlwind of emotions over the past two weeks, to say the least! Packing and leaving Florida was not only physically draining, but was also emotionally rough as well! We said our goodbyes to our family and friends, loading everything up and began the first leg of the trip, which was from central Florida to Cartersville, Georgia (which is in the Northwestern part of the state).

Our “adopted” family (longtime close family friends) The Langford’s (Bill and Renee) hosted us, as well as “Nana” (Renee’s mom).

We stayed the night there to recharge and reboot for the second half of the trip.

BUT… we couldn’t leave on Sunday before having some of Bill’s famous BBQ at his new restaurant “Fire It Up BBQ and Grill” in Cartersville. If you ever find yourself in this area of the state, you have to visit Bill’s new family-friendly, down-home, southern-cafeteria-style restaurant. It is absolutely the best BBQ in the state! Not to even mention the mouth-watering peach cobbler or the heavenly macaroni and cheese!

I was so happy that my little brother,Mike, was able to drive over to visit with us. The kids and I were so happy to see him!

After lunch and fellowship we began the last half of our trek to Virginia. This second leg was much more exciting than the first since we’ve made the trip through my home state of Georgia many times, but we’ve only visited Virginia once (about five years ago).

Our excitement grew and grew as the roads began to twist and turn and we went higher and higher in elevation.

We finally arrived late in the evening, just as the sun was going down over the horizon. Since the rv was delivered the night before our arrival, Kris and Mike had already set up and unpacked it for us! We don’t have a vehicle able to pull our travel trailer just yet, but our sweet friends at Sonshine RV Rentals (in Deland FL) offered to haul it from central Florida all the way to its new home in Virginia. Speaking of home, it is such a great feeling to move to a whole new state, open the door, and already be “home”. It makes moving such a breeze! As many times as I’ve moved I really wish I would’ve gotten hip to RV life much sooner! It really cuts down on the hassle and stress of relocating multiple times.

This week has been so enjoyable! The first full day of our arrival we visited our property, which will be the land we are clearing and preparing over the next few months.

This place is pure heaven on earth! It is so beautiful and robust with life. The peace felt here is indescribable. And my imagination runs wild and free with everything it could be.

Over the last half of this week we explored one of the nearby town, Farmville. It is so cute and country!

The people are very friendly and polite, a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle city-flow of central Florida. We have enjoyed long slow drives through the rolling hills and beautiful scenery of country homes and farms in place of stop lights and honking traffic. I feel like I can finally breathe again!

Sitting on the front porch, listening to the birds and frogs chirping and croaking, I realized how much I have truly missed this slow life. I spent most of my teen and young adult life running as far from the country life as possible, but I’ve had such a deep desire the past few years to return here and take it slow! In some sort of sixth sense, or Devine revelation, I have felt the call back to the earth- to get close with nature again, and to SLOW DOWN! I honestly feel like there is something healing in this place that my intelligence can’t explain, but I can feel that truth deep inside myself.

On the other hand, there has been one bump in the road: we don’t have any cellular reception. Of course, this has many positive repercussions that we have enjoyed, but when it comes to this blog and our YouTube channel, we are struggling to figure out a work around. Please give us some grace in this area as we come up with a working plan to remain consistent.

Today, we are driving to the nearest town library to use the WiFi to download our photos and videos and uploading some content. God willing, you will be reading this post sometime Thursday evening! – And even more hopefully, we will have our newest video uploaded to YouTube by Sunday.

We are so excited to share this new journey with you! I hope that you will come along with us as we navigate this new life! (to read more about what we are doing, please click here)

Much Love,


Simple Devotion: How I simplified my faith

I can’t go in depth about my philosophy on living simple, or our choice as a family to transform our life into one of intention, without sharing some of my convictions in faith.

‘Some thing’s dramatic end is another some thing’s dramatic beginning’

In our case, everything was falling apart. Every single aspect of our lives was tossed in the air all at once. Some were completely destroyed while others just needed some rearranging and repair. My health, our income sources, our bills and assets, homeschooling…everything turned upside down.

We were so overwhelmed by everything! But isn’t that where the Lord Jesus gets us to anyway?- the absolute end of yourself!?

I laid in my bed for four months, bedridden for most of the time, in intense pain. I got to a point I had trouble even picking up my phone that all I could do was cry. So I started listening to the Book of Psalms audio through YouVersion.

Over and over, for weeks I heard David and other writers lament, worship, rejoice, repent, cry out for justice, and give glory to God. It was so simple, so pure. It started a flickering inside of something ready to catch fire at any time.

The end of myself was the beginning of Him

Transforming our life wasn’t as simple as binge watching the KonMari method or mass-pinning minimalistic motivational posters on Pinterest. In fact, we’ve talked about this life for many years. The dreams of homesteading, herb gardens at my fingertips, crocheting all my own washcloths and dish towels, getting debt free, and living a simple life… these dreams didn’t come over night. It’s been a slow creeping vine, entangling us and weaving into the very fiber of who we are.

It may have always been on our minds…But it took a mighty big shove to get going!

I guess, in a very deep sense, it first came to us from reading the Word of God. Through that time of great affliction, I had a chance to really hear the Word. Reading what it says, and believing what it says, is quite a completely different thing than actually living and loving what it says.

Family Devotion Time

Having a family devotion time on a regular basis has been transformative in our lives.

We’ve done it a bunch of different ways: Reading the cute little kid Bible stories in it. You know, filled with absolutely adorable cartoon character art work and explained in an easy-to-understand, age appropriate language. I actually love those little books. We’ve done so many of the popular Bible studies available at any Christian book store.

But after hearing the Bible for months in my bed, I had heard some things I’d never heard before. I shared a lot of those things with Kris and we began discussing these things with the kids . You see, a few years before this point we had started a journey to find out the truth about church. What was the first church like? How does God want church to be? What was it meant to be according to the Bible? So now we started intensively digging to find the truth.

We decided to do our devotion time differently. Instead of using Bible studies or apps, or other products that were just man’s opinion… we decided to use the Word.

We took everything we knew about church and what being a disciple is and threw it all out the window. Instead of the pick-a-verse style devotionals that are so popular, we would either read entire books or letters, or look at all the scriptures on one subject with everyone, even Elijah. We would take turns reading each night together. This wasn’t a five minute check-the-box Bible study.

It changed our life!

Just simple. Easy. No special formula. Just read it, discuss what it means and how you can apply it to your own life with your whole family unit.

There is something different about reading the New Testament in such a simple way. Read it as it was meant to be read. The first four books are first hand accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus. Everything about our faith, from the New Covenant with Christ, is covered in those first four books. The greatest sermons ever preached are there. The outlines for how we should live our lives are there. Then take what Jesus taught and use that to filter everything else after. So just read it together and choose to DO it!

Whatever Jesus says or does, simply choose to live it!

Then we moved on to the letters to the churches. Read these whole, as one thought, just as they were meant to be read. They are letters written to the new church and explain the basic tenets of faith and how the church is supposed to be. Isn’t that you and I? Aren’t we the church? Don’t we want to know how it’s supposed to be? So read it like that-a letter written to answer your questions. You wouldn’t get a letter from someone important and just pick out one sentence to read and study. You would read the whole thing at once! You might even read it more than once if it was really important!

I must warn you now, that if you do this you will never be the same. It’s devotion so simple, but it will change everything.

We didn’t necessarily go in order, we started with some of the smaller letters at first. Reading them, listening to them over and over and then discussing them. Believe me, there’s a whole lot to discuss as you realize that there’s no possible way that your lives can stay the same after truly understanding what it’s supposed to be.

This is what began our great adventure. So to understand how we got here, you’d have to read what we read. You’d have to decide to begin with simplicity: just read the Bible as it was meant to be read, not cherrypicked verses with 5 minute self-help devotions. Whole letters, whole topics.

When someone asks how we got here, it’s not easy to explain. It was a journey. This is how the journey began. Are you ready to dig in deep? Are you ready to dare to radically be the church, no matter what that looks like?

Until next time!

Much Love,


First Month In The RV- living in a tiny house with chronic illness

The month of April has come and gone. We’ve survived! We finished the house remodel, moved into the rv, celebrated Elijah’s birthday, and finally got settled in where we’re staying (a sweet friend is allowing us to park on their beautiful property that is in the city, but feels like the country. It even has a private pond and lots of running space!)

The Lord has been faithful and we have been able to rest and relax a bit. (You can see more about how everything went by clicking this link.)

April was very busy, and a little stressful, but has rounded out quite well. We are so grateful for how everything came together!

How Are We Doing In The Rv?

Well, let me explain first by letting you know that it is NOT a big luxury rv… no, it’s a modest 26 ft pull-behind travel trailer , but it serves us well!

I’m sure that not all of us feel the same way I do, but honestly, I LOVE IT!

Yes we’re cramped.

Yes, our bunkhouse got messed up (read about that here) and we had to adapt and overcome.

Yes, the “kitchen” is the tiniest thing ever, lol.

And Yes, the “living room” is also a bedroom at the moment.

So why am I enjoying myself so much??

  1. We spend a lot more time together! Living in a small space forces us to interact with each other more. There’s not enough space for kids to hide out in their individual bedrooms with their noses stuck in their devices. (That goes for us adults as well 😊). Plain old boredom has been a useful tool in helping us connect, and I’m loving it!

Who wouldn’t be happy spending time with the best kids ever?!

2. In the “old house” I would walk out of my room, past two of the kids’ rooms, down the hallway, past the guest bathroom, and through the living room-just to get to the kitchen. On really bad days that walk was impossible. I would be trapped in my room while life went on without me in the rest of the house. Not only that, but on bad days that I could manage to get to get to the kitchen I would be so overwhelmed by all the things I would see that needed to be done… and the negative self-talk would begin. There wasn’t much I could do to make it better and the rest of the family already had to pull most of my weight on house duties whenever I would have a flare up, so I would eventually get so frustrated with myself that I would just try to ignore the mess and do what I could, which wasn’t always much.

Here in the travel trailer no matter how bad I’m feeling I can at least make it the four steps from my bed to the couch everyday! (I haven’t had a severe flare up yet, PRAISE GOD).

But the thing I love the most…..

I Can Keep It Clean! It only takes about 30 minutes to deep clean this baby! (I’m doing a little dance every time I say that). But seriously, I feel like I got a new chance to feel accomplished about something….

Living with chronic illness can really get you frustrated with your life and truthfully a little judgmental against yourself. Again, in the old house I would get overwhelmed by the sheer size of it. It had nine rooms all together (you can see the house here if you’re interested)

In the smaller (much smaller) space of the travel trailer I can get everything cleaned (well cleaned!) in a short amount of time.

Each morning, after breakfast, I send the kids outside for about a half hour to get out their energy before school and so I can tidy up. I do the dishes, clean the counters, stove and sink. I am able to straighten up the bathroom and couch and sweep the floors! Granted, it is only like 300 sq ft, I think (don’t quote me on that). In just a few minutes I can get the house looking amazing, whereas after thirty minutes in the “regular house” you wouldn’t be able to tell I had done anything!

This has really helped my self esteem and sense of accomplishment!

I am so grateful for this little house on wheels. I have so much more peace here. Last week I told Kris that when we plan the cabin build that I 100% DO NOT want it to be big! A tiny house is exactly what we needed…. maybe not this tiny… a few more square feet on each side would be just enough!

And for the last reason I’m loving this trailer…

3. It forces all of us to get outside. No more bumps on a log watching the big screen all day!

In such a small space, we are forced to have the world as our front yard.

And that makes this momma’s heart oh so happy!

-Life is good-

I pray that you too can fill your day with less stress, more family time, and a stop to smell the roses!

Much Love,


Ps- this has been about what I personally love about the tiny home lifestyle, but stay tuned to hear about some of the not so pretty things that come from living small. Comment below if you’re interested in hearing the kids’ opinions as well!

update: Check out the not so good things that I dislike about rv life in my post The Ugly- RV Living

A Natural Antibiotic

On Saturday Elijah started sneezing and sniffling. Last night my nose was feeling a little stuffy. I am pretty sure it’s due to the high allergen counts from spring being sprung here in Florida.

Today I whipped up a new batch of my elderberry syrup and put together my first line of defense for the sniffles—

Homemade antibiotic blend


Why Garlic?

flora flowers freshness garlic

Photo by Pixabay on

Garlic has been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-septic properties.

Richard S. Rivlin wrote in the Journal of Nutrition that the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (circa. 460-370 BC), known today as “the father of Western medicine,” prescribed garlic for a wide range of conditions and illnesses. Hippocrates promoted the use of garlic for treating respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion, and fatigue. – check out this article from MedicalNewsToday

Garlic has been used around the world to treat various illnesses and problems for thousands of years. I must caution you on this though, DO NOT use garlic as an antibiotic for serious ongoing infections that truly need medical care.

Why Honey?

According to an article from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, honey is a powerful antibiotic as well. “Indeed, medicinal importance of honey has been documented in the world’s oldest medical literatures, and since the ancient times, it has been known to possess antimicrobial property as well as wound-healing activity. The healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection. Its immunomodulatory property is relevant to wound repair too.” You can read this article in depth here.

close up photography of honey

Photo by Three-shots on

How to use it:

I try to use raw local honey, but I haven’t made it to my local produce market yet, hence the store-bought honey and garlic in the picture. 😦 You gotta do what you gotta do, don’t judge me 🙂

Anyway, I take a few tablespoons of minced garlic and cover it in honey. Throughout the day I take 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture. The honey really helps make the garlic palatable. It’s much easier just to gulp it down than trying to chew, unless of course you just love chomping on garlic bits…you do you boo.

We give this to everyone in our house, even the 5 year old. Yes it was a battle at first, but now everyone knows the drill. Just try singing “A Spoon Full of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down” 🙂

At the first sign of sniffles, cough, or runny nose go ahead and start this regimen. We have noticed that in the case of the common cold it helps to alleviate symptoms and reduce the duration of the sickness by a few days. Combine this with the Elderberry Syrup Recipe and you’ve got a knock-out punch for the mucus gobblins!

sambucus elder elderberry

Photo by Kaboompics .com on

I pray that this helps you take the plunge into natural treatment for you and your family. If you have any questions let me know in the comments!

Much Love,



Note: This is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any diseases. Please seek medical attention when necessary. I am not a Dr. My comments have not been evaluated by the FDA…and I don’t think they ever will. You do you, boo.


Best Natural Cold Medicine DIY

Tired of giving your kids medicine full of ingredients that sound more like a pesticide than something you should ingest?

Most folk fall into two categories on this topic.

Either skeptical- they don’t believe anything natural will actually beat their cold compared to over-the-counter meds,

or intimidated- they hesitate in thinking they can actually pull off making a medicine.

Let me tell you- I was intimidated. I saw all these words that I didn’t understand. Tinctures, elixirs, and extracts …..I had heard of these things, but didn’t know what it meant. I thought that it would be so difficult to do and I was scared to try something new. We’ve all been there right?

two crystal clear bottles

Photo by Eneida Nieves on

I started out in my natural medicine adventure trying different medicines at the health food store. If we had a cold, I would get different remedies and we would try them out, noting what worked, what didn’t, how we felt, etc. The best experiment was when all six of us got the flu. Seriously! Kris and I decided to try an expensive natural medicine that we had heard worked great from the sweet lady working behind the counter. This little bottle of dark grape-colored juice had the hefty price tag of $20 for a bottle that (maybe) was 20 oz! Not cheap.

We decided to split us up to get a good control group, lol. We gave half of us elderberry syrup everyday and half of us an O.T.C med that I won’t mention (Ahemmmmm quill something or other, wink* wink*). Every night at dinner we discuss how we felt and how we personally thought it was working.

The Results Were IN-

Not only did the people who took the expensive natural medicine feel much better overall than the ones that took the over-the-counter stuff, but the cold duration was THREE DAYS LESS than the well known brand. I was impressed! No bad side-effects. No weird disconnected head feeling…….and it tastes good.

So what am I talking about?


black round fruits at daytime

Photo by Pixabay on

We spent the last two years buying that health food store brand before I decided to try to make it myself. I researched researched and researched. I saved so many Pinterest pins that I look like I might have an obsession problem with the elderberry plant or something.

Now that I’ve been making it myself for a while I can’t believe I EVER bought that stuff for that price *insert face palm here*. I figured that I can’t be the only one trying to find natural safe products for my family, so I decided to share with you all what I do and where I get the elderberries from- side note, I can’t wait to get the garden up and going in Virginia because I am DEFINITELY planting some elderberry (among all the other plants I use for my family’s medicine)


But first- a little on herbalism and why you can trust it

*The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. According to the WHO, approximately 25% of modern drugs used in the United States have been derived from plants. (More on that here)

*Pharmaceuticals are prohibitively expensive for most of the world’s population, half of whom lived on less than $2 U.S. per day in 2002.[15] In comparison, herbal medicines can be grown from seed or gathered from nature for little or no cost.

*Herbal remedies are very common in Europe. In Germany, herbal medications are dispensed by apothecaries (e.g., Apotheke). Prescription drugs are sold alongside essential oils, herbal extracts, or herbal teas. Herbal remedies are seen by some as a treatment to be preferred to pure medical compounds that have been industrially produced.[29]

*(links to wikipedia, although not a verified reliable source, the links will bring you to legit organizations and their data on the issue)

So if the rest of the world rely on medicinal plants why do we, as Americans, fear anything that doesn’t come from the pharmaceutical industry? Well, #1 BigPharma is a huge cash cow that is much too large now to take to the butcher, and #2 We’ve been duped into feeding that cow.

Check out this short clip from Dr. Otis Brawley, Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, who discusses-rather candidly-how the drug companies work with your Dr. to give you meds that you don’t actually need, all for the “Almighty Dollar”.

There are so many plants that work just as good or BETTER than synthetic drugs. Keep a lookout in my “Natural” section for new posts on this.

Ok, Here It Is-

It’s as easy as making your favorite herbal tea on the stove! How to make your own elderberry syrup to treat colds NATURALLY for your family:

  1. 1 ¾ cups pure water
  2. 1/3 cup dried elderberries
  3. 1 Tablespoon ginger (freshly grated or dried)
  4. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ¼ teaspoon cloves
  6. 1/3 cup raw honey (local is best)
  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil.
  2. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45-60 minutes. When the liquid has reduced by about half, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, mash the elderberries using a potato masher, spoon, spatula, or similar utensil.
  4. Pour mixture through a mesh strainer into a bowl and allow the liquid to cool to lukewarm.
  5. While the liquid is still warm, add the honey and stir well.
  6. Pour your finished syrup into jars or bottles and seal with lids.
  7. Store in the refrigerator, and put any extra in the freezer.

………………………………   and that’s it!

To see the lovely blog that I got my recipe from click here. She also has some really good information on the ingredients and why they are used…as well as LOADS of info for making other medicinal blends.

Oh yea- and here’s where I get my elderberries. I get the 1 lb. wild-crafted organic option for $27 and it makes about 4-5 jars of syrup! That’s 4-5 X’s more syrup than the $20 bottle from the health food store!! (Get them straight from the vendor at the link -Amazon is about $2 more for the same thing, unless you have PRIME and save on the shipping)



Alright friends-You CAN do this! Try a little experiment of your own and let me know the results in the comments. I hope I have given you the inspiration and tools to jump in and make it for yourself. If you do make it please post a pic! Can’t wait to see you guys whipping up a batch of your own.

Much Love,


I have to add this for the irresponsible folks (insert eye roll here, SMH):
I am NOT a healthcare professional and I am NOT giving you advice on how to treat or cure any illness. Before using any medications please consult your healthcare professional. If your baby isn’t eating honey yet don’t give it to them. If you’re nursing or pregnant please do your own research because I have no knowledge on those specifics…..,,,. Don’t sue me. I am NOT responsible for your own personal decisions. The FDA hasn’t evaluated these comments and I’m sure they won’t anytime soon. I’m sorry for cluttering up things, but I gotta put it *shrug*.
But seriously, use common sense. Don’t take my word for it, do your research whenever you make other people’s recipes for this kind of stuff. I love using natural stuff, but I don’t just read one article on it and neither should you. There’s lots of good ingredient substitutions you can use. You can also use other bases besides water so check it out and read from more than one source.