Joe and Nicole Naugler, whose story captured nationwide attention this year, received physical custody of their children last Thursday. Final legal custody has not been granted, but they are hopeful that will happen by the end of the family court proceedings. The next court date is expected to be July 27.
The couple bought a prefab home and built a fence near the pond – as required by state officials — and plan to continue living off-grid, family friend Pace Ellsworth told Off The Grid News. More than $45,000 was raised for the family after their story broke.
“The children are shaken up from eight weeks in managed care with limited contact with their parents and siblings,” Ellsworth said. “They are very happy to be home.”
Ellsworth added that the Nauglers still have plans to build a cabin in the next few months after they acquire the materials and “complete other essential projects” on the homestead. The cabin was in the planning stages when police and CPS took the children.
Off The Grid News broke the story about the family in May.
Nicole Naugler posted an update on her Facebook page Wednesday morning.
“The children are doing good,” she wrote. “We do have some issues we are working out, as Joe stated in the interview he did, they are having some insecurity issues. Their confidence and trust has been damaged, understandably. They are happy to be back on the homestead. And happy to be together again. 8 weeks is a long time for a family as close as ours.”
The Nauglers will build the cabin “as a family,” she wrote.
“We have quite a few small projects we need to focus on as well such as a fall garden, larger rabbit and chicken coop, and a rain water collection system,” she wrote. “We still plan to continue to live off grid. We still have a tiny house plan. We still plan to homestead and I will still have the salon, which is doing quite well.”
She concluded, “I want to thank those who have been supporting us, sending messages and prayers. I can’t always respond but I read as much as I can. You have all been very encouraging through all of this.”
Read Off The Grid News’ original story about the family here. 
Listen to Off The Grid Radio’s interview with the family here .
Follow Nicole Naugler’s Facebook page here .