About Halfway Homesteaders

 

My name is Laura. I am a small-town country girl and will never stray too far from my roots. My parents lived across the road from my grandparents. My Grandpa was a farmer and I grew up taking care of chickens, horses, dogs, cows, pigs, goats, and various other farm animals. This was way before the time when information was readily available on the internet. We learned through experience and through information passed down from generations before. I enjoyed life out there and didn’t mind the chores that came with it either. We lived simply.

Throughout the years, we would go many days, sometimes weeks, without electricity because of power outages. My brother and I would play games and read by kerosene lamps. I loved it! I think sometimes it was God’s way of telling us to disconnect for a bit. In fact, my parents were hit by the ice storms of 2021 and went without power for 17 days in the holler! 

I was pretty sheltered growing up; my mom made sure of that :).  She had us in church from the time we were born. I got saved at the young age of 5 and continued to be very active in church my whole life, despite a few bumps along the way. We remain very active in our small community parish. 

I attended Marshall University where I majored in journalism and public relations. I loved Marshall and I loved working for radio and television stations on campus. I even worked on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. I know, I know – controversial! After college, I developed mono and as I laid in bed reflecting on my life, I decided to attend beauty school. Truth be told, cosmetology was my life long dream. I wanted to follow in my aunt’s footsteps as she owned a little beauty shop in town.

I attended Huntington School of Beauty Culture where I took the hair, skin, and nail programs. It wasn’t a requirement to take all three programs, but I did. I also graduated from Mountain State School of Massage therapy. Little known fact outside of my inner circle, I owned my own cosmetology and massage business for years. I specialized in pregnancy and infant massages. I taught childbirth classes at my office and the local hospital and also offered services as a licensed Doula. 

I eventually married a very handsome Army Soldier. I am so proud of his selfless sacrifice for this country for over 20 years. It was a wild ride, but we are still very plugged into the military community. It was a great life and we were incredibly blessed over the years. I love sharing our journey all over the world, which is why I also love to travel! It is also how my Christmas Around the World book was born and many other materials that we have produced here at HalfwayHomesteaders.com! 

Instant Pot Coca-Cola Ribs

I have been very blessed to be a military wife, mom, blogger, author, life & business coach, homemaker, and homesteader for all these years of marriage. My passion is my family. I am also enthusiastic about homeschooling. There is nothing better than seeing your child grasp something that comes so easy to me, but seems so difficult to them. I am currently homeschooling all 3 of my boys (17, 14, and 12)! They are busy and keep me on my toes, but it is so worth it! I feel I have a lot of guidance on raising a child and home educating them through graduation. I currently have one that is in his last year! 

I’ve spoken at numerous conventions all across the country about our journey homeschooling! I have won many mentions and acknowledgments for the printables and educational materials that my husband and I create. It is truly a blessing to be able to share our knowledge and experience homeschooling our kids with the world.

We even have parents who do not homeschool but enjoy our materials and trust us to bring them quality curriculum and supplemental aids to assist their children on their educational journey. I have written many e-books and educational books, printables, and more, as has my husband. Two of our most popular are our Christmas Around the world Book that was developed after our love of learning about different cultures throughout Clay’s time in active duty in the Army. Clay also wrote our very popular e-book on the Fruits of the Spirit. This book came from lessons he personally developed to teach our own children. 

I am a licensed cosmetologist and have been for 20 years now! I loved my experiences as a cosmetologist. I was part of the Wella crew and enjoyed being a part of the hair shows and having the opportunity to travel. Sharing my passion and experiences for hair and skincare nationwide has been an honor.

I am a certified life and business coach. I have certificates for various cooking etiquettes. Although my knowledge of cooking was shared with me by my grandmothers and mom, I am mostly self taught, but I enjoy taking cooking classes and learning new techniques from cake decorating to making the perfect sourdough bread to learning to cook more plant-based meals in Fork Over Knives Style. 

Living a simple life on the farm as a child shaped me into the person I am today. I have been gardening since I could waddle around. I have been canning, cooking, and baking since I was in elementary school. My recipes have been shared all over the web on many websites including Buzzfeed! Cooking, creating recipes and content for others gives me joy! I love performing cooking engagements, helping others with meal planning, and teaching others through hand-on learning. Make sure you check out my new cookbook on low-carb meals! 

Recently my husband and I purchased a homestead! I am sharing everything I know about homesteading with you now! So how do I know these things? It was a way of life growing up for me, clear into adulthood! My husband is retired Army and he brings a ton of expertise to our homestead from skills he learned for survival throughout his Army career and his experiences with woodworking pre-Army and during his experiences while serving. He does a lot of work from making firewood, making mulch, handyman around the house, building raised garden beds, and the list goes on.

Speaking of my husband and his career, Clay is diagnosed with severe PTSD, combat-induced anxiety, and many other injuries and issues that came from multiple combat tours. I have also traveled all over speaking at conventions on our life with PTSD and through our ministry tried to help as many other families as we can. 

My hope is that this space in the interwebs will serve to bring each of you joy and most of all, bring the most high glory.

From my Homestead to yours,

________________________________________________________________

 

My name is Clay.  I am a Christian and do not hide it.  I am an Ambassador of Christ.  A husband to my beautiful wife.  Father to my 3 precious boys.

I was a  Soldier in the US Army by profession for over 20 years.  Retirement from the Army was just a few years ago and I am still filled with emotions.  Being a Soldier was the only life I have ever known in adulthood until recently.  It is a blessing though to be home and not deploy or leave constantly.

Soldier to Civilian (Part 1) - The Decision

I am using skills I learned in the Army right here on our homestead and will be sharing that information with all our wonderful readers here. Survival skills and many used in homesteading are important skills to carry out when you live off the land. I was an expert in my field, including expert marksman, and I am enjoying passing on those skills learned through 20+ years in the Army to my own family, and to yours. I also have shared my skills with many young men through Boy Scouts, Trail Life, and Awana. 

I have received a lot of awards during my time in the Army, but I truly don’t like to talk about them that much. Too many others cannot speak of theirs as they have gone on to a better place. My wife and I use our experience from my time in service to now, dealing with a broken Vet to help others hopefully find some peace in this life. 

Homesteading helps me tremendously as it gives me a focus. Animals are a good outlet for someone who lives and battles PTSD daily. My wife has spoken all over about our experiences. 

I am an electrician by trade, that helps out a ton on a homestead. While serving in the Army, I earned my Associate of Science in Business Administration along with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Technology. I also went on to earn another Associate Degree in engineering. Since I have all these degrees as my wife says, I use those here on the business side of the interwebs with editing, writing, and also on the homestead. 

I am currently attending Baptist Theological Seminary.  My course of study is a Master of Arts in Christian Ministries – Pastoral Services.  My next stop on the educational route is a Master of Divinity in Christian Ministries and Pastoral Services.  The Ph.D. is years down the road, but still an option. 

I love discipleship and that starts with our own household, that is why I wrote and designed our Fruits of the Spirit Study. 

I am the editor here on this website and actually anything my wife and I produce. My wife says I get that duty because I have so many degrees, I digress, someone has to do it and I enjoy it. I also am the voice behind the emails that are sent out to our thousands of readers. I am a professional taste tester too for all my wife recipes, that is a hard job but again, someone has to do it! The boys and I will take one for the team. 😉 

 

Here are the numerous awards and accolades throughout my military and personal life that I will talk about.  My greatest accomplishments if you will:

  1. Laying down my life and becoming a new creature in Christ.
  2. Marrying my beautiful bride.
  3. My oldest son.
  4. My middle (sometimes forgotten) son.
  5. My youngest son

My goal is to work in the ministry of Christ.  I have fought the Lord for many years because of my past.  I was a sinner that carried a heavy yoke and bared many burdens.  However, God placed it on my heart years ago to pursue a profession of sharing the gospel through pastoring His flock.  Although the Spirit was ready, the flesh was weak.  As Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 10:27, Jesus destroyed that yoke!  Not until recently did I accept His calling and take the first step.  His will is my will.

Don’t get it twisted.  I still have yokes because that’s what the enemy does to us – he yokes us up and adds heavy burdens.  But Jesus says in Matthew 11:30, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  What a wonderful message and a wonderful gift from Christ.

God Is In Love With You!

 

Before we go, there is one thing I do want to mention:  how you can share the recipes off this site. There is a common misconception that recipes are “public domain” and that you can do with them whatever you wish. That’s simply not true. Keep in mind that, before a recipe lands on this site, it has gone through testing, creating and testing again. Not to mention the photography! (remember, photos are copyrighted by the owner and it is against the law to take someone elses picture!) It takes a lot of time and hard work to create a recipe, so please do not copy and paste any recipe found on this site. I would LOVE for you to share them, so here are some tips on how you can do that:

  • It’s Not Okay to use a photo off this site without my permission first. This includes sharing it as your own on any social media platform.
  • Ingredients are the only thing not protected by law. But, please, do not copy the ingredient list unless you absolutely have to.
  • It’s Not Okay to copy any part of the directions. That is copyrighted text. Please include something like “get the full directions here” with a link to the recipe.
  • If you are planning to adapt one of my recipes, please change more than just one or two things. Make it YOURS. And, remember to give credit to who inspired you. (you can simply say “recipe adapted from Awe Filled Homemaker” with a link to the recipe)
  • PLEASE contact me if you have any questions or want to share my recipes on your site! You can also email us directly at awefilledhomemaker (at) gmail (dot) com. I will be very thankful for the exposure, but I want to make sure it’s done in a way that will not get either of us in trouble!

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Halfway Homesteaders