A weekend to remember for the Shenk household. Well in reality it was 5 day endeavor so maybe weekend is the wrong term. Either way, it was a fun time and I have to say I think we left feeling blessed from our time.
Wednesday we took a 15 hour car ride to Arkansas to visit our friends with the Whispering Willow Farms. Jill and Nathan invited us out to see their homestead! Jeremy works with Jill so this was a fun time being able to just get close with friends, work and start some projects on their homestead. But once we finished the drive we parked the camper and got settled in for the night as we all realized we were not night owls in any way.
Thursday we woke up and were working against the impending storm. There was some fun winds and rain predicted for the day so we decided to work outside for as long as we could until the weather said we had to stop. The big project for the trip was to build a high tunnel on their land. Along with some of Jills friends, we helped build the frame work on the structure and managed to get it placed into the space before the storm. While we were working on that though, the gentlemen helped with a pig pick up that took a little bit of time because the trailer continued to be stuck as they tried to get to the pigs. After using a tractor and a truck (they were connected to the trailer), the guys managed to get the trailer out of the yard! The ground was so soft that it just continued to get all vehicles stuck into it. Also while this was all going on, their mama pig had 8 beautiful babies out into the pasture. We ended the day eating dinner together before turning in for the night.
Friday was another day where we continued to work on the high tunnel but this time Jeremy and Caleb (one of Jill and Nathans friends) worked together to put the supports at the top of the high tunnel. It took a bit of time as they had to shuffle down the entire high tunnel path on top of tables and ladders to be able to reach! It was definitely an arm work out for them and I could see how that would be one tiring project. During this time we heard some baby piglet squeals in the pasture and we all were surprised! In the morning we checked on the piglets and because of how cold and how wet the storm was during the night, we thought all of the baby piglets passed. But by the afternoon we heard some squeals and knew it was time to step in! For the next week it looked like the weather wanted to be cold and rainy and it was time to step in and take the baby piglets to keep them alive. With 5 of us together we got the baby piglets and brought them inside to be bottle babies. The best part was to watch as they instantly clung to Jill as their new momma! I attempted to help feed them but they would not latch for the bottle at all. But when Jill tried, they worked with her like a dream! I was so thankful to see that they took to Jill so well that she can now do the bottle feeding with no issues. We ended up taking the rest of the night to work inside as now there were more mouths to take care of for feeding!
Saturday was the chill day. Jeremy helped set up a space for their sheep as 2 of the 3 were due any day. They set up a new fenced area so the mommas could be comfortable with labor and not feel like they are bugged with the other mommas. But the chill day was topped off with going to one of Jill and Nathan’s friends house for a little cook out. We met some new people and had a blast getting to know everyone. I still randomly say to Jeremy how much I absolutely loved the conversations that were made that night. I learned so much from others on topics towards the homeopathic medicine realms and it truly opened my eyes that I am really just scratching the surface. It made me realize that there is so much more information that I haven’t heard of yet in the homeopathic medicine that I look forward to just taking time to deep dive into different medicinal options. Isn’t it always just a wonderful time to hear what others are passionate about and just learning everything they are will to tell you about? I just loved being able to see that passion in their eyes and to hear it in their stories.
Sunday we woke up, packed up, had breakfast with Nathan and Jill and then went on our way to driving home. We managed to get home by midnight but we thankfully made it home safely. The kids had such a crazy weekend that they actually slept most of the drive home. I think Bentley was awake maybe 1-2 hours of the drive. Otherwise he was asleep the entire time. Sky may have been awake for like 4 hours of the drive. It definitely gave Jeremy and I time to just relax and enjoy the view. But by the time we got home we were ready to hit the hay and go to bed!
This trip was genuinely one of those trips that we originally went in to this planning to work our butts off and surely we did but we also had some of the best fellowship time. We were able to vibe with like minded people and grow by working together. Everyone welcomed each other like we have been family for years. To which we have actually only known each other for a little over a year. But to get together and show love to each other, speak some truths, help each other, it was truly a wonderful trip. We surely wish the distance wasn’t such a factor, otherwise we would take the trip a few times but for now, we will see each other again in June for the next festival!