Meet Ella

by Ella Rose, age 8

Hi! My name is Ella. I go to 2nd Grade. So far, I have had the best teachers.

Me on my 7th birthday

We have a creek. I love to go there and get into the water past my rain boots. Then run around with all the water sloshing inside it. I think it drives my Mom crazy. Sometimes we look for salamanders. We had a pet salamander from the creek but sadly he\she died.

At the creek.

This year for Halloween I think I will be Mal from Descendants. Grace and I both like those movies.

For Christmas, I think I want my own kitten but my Mom has two reasons she doesn’t want me to have one…

  1. She does not want two cats
  2. My sister, Grace, is kind of allergic to cats.

Now, I want a cat or a dog . Once our dog Jack ran all the way down the neighborhood. My Mom had to drive in the car to get him. I think he ran down the neighborhood because he was looking for his toy (it got stuck in a tree). When we got it down for a second he did not recognize it, then he was so excited.

Our dog, Jack.

I like playing outside when it is warm because when it’s cold and I have a jacket, I get hot take, it off and get cold, then put it back on again. It’s annoying.

I think bugs and worms are cool. My Mom asked me to help make out new cut flower garden so I did but then I saw lots of bugs in the dirt and wanted to watch them instead. I also like pulling weeds in the garden. I like flower gardening and vegetable gardening because they both include pulling out weeds.

I like to paint and craft with my sister, Grace. I also like to make paper Airplanes. Last summer I did an acting summer camp and was in the play, Winnie the Pooh.

I love cooking cakes and cookies with my mom. For Christmas last year we got a cool old cookbook. I can’t wait to make cooking videos. I like making muffins and eating them. I have never made cupcakes and don’t like their icing. One time I made a chocolate layer cake.

I love 💕 BUTTERED BREAD more than anything in the world!

I like raising chickens. When Penny peeps I get scared and put her down. Penny is growing so fast. Since there is a couple more months until she is full grown, I am going to miss her fuzziness.

My best friend Ava lives next door. Our family and her family share the big garden. I like living next door her because we can play almost every day. Im the summer, we have picnics and tea parties.

We also throw a Galentine’s party every year for all the girls in the neighborhood plus a few special friends!

*Posts are proofread by Mom for some spelling and punctuation.

Meet Grace

by Grace, age 5

*This post was dictated with an app by Grace and edited for spelling and punctuation (and a little bit of clarity) by Mom.

Hi, I’m Grace and I’m 5 right now! Soon I’m going to have a birthday in a 150 something days. I should be able to take the chicks out on my birthday and I’m sure I’ll get new batteries for my Barbie car so it goes faster. I’m gonna go to kindergarten next year after Mommy teaches me pre-k. On ABC mouse, which is my school work, I have a learning path and my pets on there too. I even have a chick that has Easter eggs that she called an Easter egger.

I kinda like gardening sometimes. Last year, we planted a big garden and we had to plant vegetables with Mommy. I like going out to play with Jack, our dog and I like playing with all my friends.

I have a best friend, Vivian. She has a very good house. I cannot wait til we can have a sleepover again because I got my own toothbrush from dentist. You should go to the dentist, it was so much fun! They gave me floss and toothpaste. The floss tastes like bubble gum and the toothpaste tastes like mint. A girl stuck a thing in my mouth and they took a picture of my teeth, that really kind of hurt when they put the thing in my mouth to take the picture, but I didn’t even tell them about it and I didn’t yell and scream.

I was born in Texas and now I’m at Ohio. I like playing with my brother, his name is Brian, and sister, she is Ella. We play puppets and Xbox, adventure, and we have a rock band. I am the drummer.

I have a creek but it’s behind Ava ‘s house. We go there and play, it’s SO fun! We have a pool too and sometimes it gets really really dirty.

I’m sure you’ll love the things that I’ve been typing, I’m sure it’s a lot.

I love making pie with my mother, Cory Camp. My favorite food is chips and salsa. Sometimes I fart a lot. My Dad cares about my Mom. I love my Mom every day, I love her so much.

OK, bye!

Meet Brian

by Brian J. Camp Jr., age 10

*Posts are proofread by Mom for clarity and some spelling and punctuation.

This is when I was 8 years old.

Hi I’m Brian. I’m 10 years old right now, and I was born on a Columbus Day. Some things I’m interested in are football 🏈 ,baseball ⚾️,basketball 🏀, 2K MADDEN, and WWE WRESTLING. My favorite WWE wrestlers are THE MIZ, UNDERTAKER, THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR, JOHN CENA, KANE, and ADRIAN NEVILLE.

My favorite football teams are the Cleveland Browns and the Green Bay Packers. Baker Mayfield is of my most favorite football players of all. I had fun playing football for the first time last year, even though we only won 1 game against Johnstown. We still played in the playoffs because every team gets to play in the playoffs. My mom yells and cheers a lot from the stands during my games and my Dad is a coach.

Me playing QB
Me and Coach Dad

In baseball I have 3 trophies, and 6 metals. My favorite baseball teams are the Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros.

I love homesteading because you get to do things outside, like improve a chicken coop. I hate gardening though because I don’t like bending over and pulling weeds until the weeds are all gone. But I will pull weeds for money. 🤑🤑🤑

Me exhausted after my Mom made me help in the garden

I love having chickens because you get to play with them. I also like to eat eggs, so it will be cool when they start to lay them.

Chicks dig me.

I like being a big brother because they always play with me and I like helping my mom with them. One thing that is annoying about them is they never stop arguing some days.

I like living in Granville, Ohio, even though I miss my friends back in Texas–especially my best friend, Jacob.

Me and my best friend, Jacob

At least Ohio is not always hot in the the spring and summer like Texas. I like spring the most because the weather goes from chilly to warm and back and forth.

This is a picture that my Mom drew of me.

Meet Cory

Hey, y’all! I’m Cory and I’m excited to introduce myself! Well, actually not really. I’ve never been great at introductions; I never know what to say and usually end up rambling on and on… so here we go! I’m a wife, Christian, mom, educator, educational consultant, speaker, perfectionist, pie lover, art maker and proud Texan, born and raised. There! Oh, and I also run a half-ass homestead.

I met my husband Brian (also known as Brian Sr. or Sr.) in college while he was in the Army stationed in Texas. We went on one date and didn’t spend a weekend apart despite living nearly two hours apart. We got married less than 3 months after that first date, just before Brian shipped off to the Iraq War for 14 months. We’ve been married for 13 years this year and together we have three children, Brian Jr (10), Ella (8) , and Grace (5). You’ll get to know these guys more in future posts (the kids are planning to create their own pages #ProudMomma).

So, why am I writing about my half-ass homestead? Who am I to talk about homesteading, or half-assing it anyway? Well, I grew up with two of my four brothers in semi-rural home with a couple of acres on a red dirt road outside of Houston, Texas. My parents are DIYers and entrepreneurs and had their own business, which meant they often didn’t have much money to spend and even less time. But that never slowed them down.

At our house, we always had some sort of project happening at home whether home renovations, landscaping projects, or the latest project car of my Dad’s. Now our land was by no means a farm but we had plenty of animals to keep us entertained and busy. It was quite an adventure. There were the poodles and malamutes we bred, and often dressed up; our crazy outdoor cats with extra toes; Blitz our shetland pony that thought he was a dog, liked to swim and had a slight drinking problem; Jake my stubborn Palomino-Welch horse who liked to buck and nearly killed me, more than once; the hens that laid our eggs and lived in the old storage shed; and the mean old rooster that terrorized the coop until one day he attacked my Oma (German for Grandmother) and became dinner. More on these adventures in future posts, I’m sure.

In addition to our daily home, our family always had a home away from home on more land–whether a hunting lease, our own ranch in Eden, Texas, or my Opa’s (that’s German for Grandfather) ranch in the Texas Hill Country. We spent every opportunity we had on a ranch tending to livestock, hunting, fixing fences, working on the camp house, riding four-wheelers, and spending time as a family around a campfire.

At our old ranch in Junction, Texas

I feel these experiences have prepared me well for a homestead lifestyle. I can mend a fence, plow a field, dress a deer, shotgun a beer, ride a horse, assist with birthing a calf, wield a power tool, and shoot a riffle like nobody’s business. I can also can food and bake just about anything. You know, at one point I dreamed of having my own ranch with rolling hills full of livestock and a garden that produced enough that we barely needed to go shopping.

However, that life, at least for now, is not the reality especially on the income of an educator and military veteran with three kids. Regardless, we are living our best life, especially since moving from Texas to our 1+ acre home here in Ohio in 2018. Why move? My husband is from here and begged to leave the blazing Texas heat. Just his luck to fall in love with a stubborn Texan. I even vowed to never leave The Great State when he proposed–a condition he agreed to for the first year or so before the heat wore him down. It took him about 10 years to sweet talk me into moving—though if you talk to him he’ll tell you it was my idea to move (even if this were true, he planted the idea). Despite the stress and anxiety of moving a family of 5 across the country and starting a new job, it was the best decision WE ever made. We’ve enjoyed the more mild summers, four seasons, SNOW, and year-round green grass the Mid-West has to offer. I mean it’s amazing; the plants don’t automatically die here come June! Until recently I could kill anything green with out trying. Now, not only do I not kill the plants, I’ve been known to accidentally give special care to weeds I didn’t know were weeds (I’m still learning).

We’re blessed to have a home in a wonderful neighborhood full of friendly neighbors and younger families like ours with children the same age as ours. We’ve become great friends with our neighbors Tarin and Clint who have a daughter the same age as our Ella and a son a two years younger than Grace. The kids run back and forth between our two yards almost daily, we have spontaneous family meals together, and I can always count on Tarin to join me in a glass of wine or three. Last year, Tarin I started talking about wanting to start a garden. After a few more conversations and a little research, not much money, and no real time do do it all, we were suddenly marking off a not-so-small plot of land on the border of our adjoining properties.

Our city friends refer to our little plot as a “farm” – though it’s far from it. This year we’re raising chickens and expanding the garden crop. We’ve learned a lot in the past few years and more each day. I don’t plan to give you advice but I will share what has and hasn’t worked for us. But more than the lessons learned are the adventures and stories that come from living the half-ass homestead life while raising kids. We can’t wait to share it with you.