Ryan Hanning Ph.D
Ryan Hanning

Family Blog

The Hanning Homestead

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Family Update #8 - Busy Winter

Wow! It has been a busy and beautiful winter. A few days of snow, lots of rain, and little sunshine. The past few months have been filled with travel (for Ryan), friends, food & random homestead projects. We said goodbye to friends who moved up to Michigan. They warmly welcomed us when we arrived and blessed us in many way. As they prepared to move they passed along kombucha, plants, a trampoline, and more. The wineberries, blueberries, elderberries, strawberries, and black raspberries were quickly transplanted to our property and are starting to emerge from dormancy. We also moved about 2 cubic yards of amazing soil that they couldn’t take with them. 2 shovels, a wheel barrow and a 1/2 mile walk!

The library hosted a Lego competition that our kids participated in. The kids spent many rainy days absorbed in building their creations. They enjoyed seeing all the other entries and Isa even took home the National Geographic certificate. They are already planning what to enter next year.

Kids but no lambs, yet.


Three little bucklings arrived right before a cold snap and a trip to Napa. We turned our garage into a make shift stable, with pallet wood corrals, and plenty of room to keep babies and moms warm and dry. They were very well behaved the first night and then spent the rest of the time finding ways to get into trouble. Soon enough they were back in their paddocks looking especially cute in their fuzzy winter coats jumping all over the place. The black buck we are going to keep as Gideon’s companion.

Now we are waiting to see if lambs are on their way. Dorthy was supposed to have been freshened when we bought her, but that doesn’t always take. If not, we may be looking for more lambs elsewhere. The boys have been doing a wonderful job as shepherds. We are very proud of how they work together moving the sheep around in both beautiful and unpleasant weather.

Tree House #2

After we finished the mini-tree-house in the front yard for the little kids we turned our attention to the forest. The boys and Isa have been busy building a tree house around a big oak about half-way down the trail. They made their plans based on using old oak barn wood and pallets. We cheated a little with buying some wood from Lowes to ensure safety and adding in wood from a fellow parishioner’s unused treehouse that we took down last week.

We added wide benches into the shelter. Now we have a comfortable safe space to rest and plenty of space for supplies if any Tornadoes come our way. The boys have already claimed their benches to sleep on if any guest visit when the weather warms up.

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