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Happy New Year 2022

The sun has set on 2021. It’s been a great year at the Ballard Homestead…a year marked by growth, grace, lots of learning and LOVE. God has continually provided for our EVERY need.

Venison ribs

Mark harvested a buck and a doe at the Homestead this deer season, providing quite a bit of delicious venison. We are well-stocked on jerky, bone broth, sausage, ground chili meat and so much more.

Our freezer and canning closet contain lots of veggies harvested from our 2021 Ballard Homestead Garden. We are thankful for the ability to preserve all this great food and enjoy it throughout the year.

Photo cred: Uncle Lonnie

We celebrated Thanksgiving with the Hickory “Carolina Crew,” visiting with cousins we hadn’t seen in years. The Wachter Compound at Lake Hickory is a great place for a family photo. Uncle Lonnie brought his camera and captured this group perfectly. Noelle & Dave and Aunt Karolyn & Uncle Jim hosted quite a few family gatherings in 2021 and they were always so generous to include us.

Photo Cred: Uncle Lonnie
The Ballard Men

Family and friends came to visit us in 2021, starting with the New York Ballards. Dad, Mom and Steve ventured down this past spring and spent some time at our Ballard Homestead.

Then our sons and their families came to see us. Can’t wait for many more “Leila” visits to Papa and Birdie’s NC Homestead in the coming years.

Mom Johnson visited from Oklahoma and she was able to meet Leila for the first time.

Our friends, John & Bonnie and The Bacons on the Road stopped by for a visit also.

Homestead upgrades have been a constant over the past year and lately we have been painting the black basement ceilings WHITE to lighten up that space. It’s a large space and has a lot of potential.

Mark removed some BAD (unsafe and useless) electrical fixtures outside the basement doors. Sprucing up the basement will be an ongoing project throughout 2022.

It was so much fun celebrating Christmas at Leila’s house in Maryland with Tim, Dear, Grant, CK and of course Leilalynn. Opening presents was a new and exciting activity for Leila.

Princess Leila will be 1 year old this month and she was definitely the sweetest gift of 2021. We continue to thank God for this healthy, happy little addition to the Ballard Family.

If all goes as planned, 2022 will bring a return to RV camping for us. We hope to spend some time in a warm, oceanside location. You should see a post about that coming in the spring.

Old Glory is ready to roll. She has had some routine maintenance and we just need to pack our beach gear and head south. We will bring along our seed starting supplies and hope to get some little tomato plants started so we’ll be ready to jump right back into gardening when we return to the Homestead.

We are so very thankful for our little place to grow and put down roots in 2021 and we can’t wait to see what God has in store for the Ballard Homestead in 2022! We pray you are healthy and happy and may you experience God’s love, grace and provision during this new year.