news on the home front


I’m back.

I think.





I’ve fallen WAY behind on my portraits 😦 This makes me sad because I really like tracking the weekly growth/progress of Piper. I like having a week-to-week record of the goings on of her life. But (personal pep-talk) lets try and get back on this horse!

While I’ve been away, there has been a new addition to our little family. Her name is Bridget and we adore her.





There is more to share, so I may do more than one post today after I’ve eaten breakfast, finished my coffee, and had a nap. Or I might  just catch up this week. I don’t know yet. But that’s the current news on the home front this morning

note to self 1.11.13

Oh, hello 2013. Where did you come from?

Hello often neglected blog. I’ll try to do better in giving you some attention in 2013. I’ll try.


IMG_1347A portrait of my child. once a week. every week. in 2013

Happy New Year everyone out there. So far this year, our little family has been sick, sick sick.

New Years resolution : to be more faithful to this blog.

Topics to cover in the coming…month or 2

  • thoughts leading up to the new baby
  • piper’s birth story in hindsight
  • my breast feeding story
  • more self-sustainability for everyone (bartering, being culturally informed,…)

New features to add

  • weekly knitting (so not to make everyone gag all at once)
  • monthly knit-a-long
  • siblings
  • baby led weening(?)
  • posts by Joe (barbering, gardening, primitive skills, hunting…)

Continuing features

  • Thursday Thanks
  • From the Kitchen
  • animal/gardening posts

In other news

  • we no longer keep rabbits – they became food for our tummies
  • pig butchering is just around the corner (anytime…anytime…)
  • I turn 30 this month. Yep. A wife. A mom. 30 and officially can’t pretend to be a kid anymore. *sigh*

YOU give some feedback! What on these lists will keep you coming back for more??

self-sustainability for everyone #8

passing on our values / /

Something I’m learning is very important to the self-sustained lifestyle is to pass on our values to the next generation. There is so much knowledge and skill that for the most part has been lost within the past two generations, and now as adults we are trying to relearn things that most people learned as children a hundred years ago.

My grandmother was born in 1913 and raised in a home, like all of us. Unlike all of us, she knew how to get by without indoor plumbing and without her family having to run to the grocery store every week. As a child, her family didn’t even own a car. Her father was a butcher and when she grew up she married my grandfather, who was also a butcher. However, her father was the sort of man who raised his own meat, while my grandfather butchered meat off a truck in a grocery store. My grandfather didn’t want his children to learn butchery because he wanted them to get a “good job” and make “good lives.” In one generation so much had changed! Not that there was anything wrong with wanting a better life for his kids, but society’s idea of what defines a “good life” had shifted.

When Joe and I talk I know for the most part he feels like a lot of the stuff we do, or that we have desires to do, that he should already have learned as a child. He is frustrated that the country boys of the 1800’s learned woodworking and animal husbandry and farming as children from their fathers. Young girls were taught very young how to cook and plan meals based on what was grown and fed in their yards, they knew how to sew, mend, knit, embroider, clean, and make a lovely home with very little. Now we live in an industrial, materialistic, hoarding, money hungry, rat race that has left most people feeling empty and unfulfilled.

Joe and I talk a lot about the things we will teach Piper as soon as she is able to put her hand to the task. She is already helping me make the bed by passing me the pillows. Soon I will teach her to bake and cook by measuring ingredients and chopping vegetables. Eventually she will have indoor and outdoor chores. She will be taught to milk the goat, and help plant seeds and then transplant the sprouts. She will one day be allowed to go out hunting with her father when she has developed the patience to be still and quiet. We will teach all our children these things.

But teaching skills isn’t enough. We have to teach them why it is important. If when they get older they see it is easier to push pencils than to till fields, they may abandon the things they are taught as children if they do not have the foundation of values to show them why it is a better life to be self reliant.

the values we teach / /

Everyone pursuing a self-sufficient lifestyle will have different reasons for doing so. I assume health is probably the big one, but the rest of the reasons may vary from person to person. Whatever your values are, explain them in detail and often.

Joe and I believe it is God’s call on our life. We believe that God created the world and left humanity with the responsibility to care for the land, plants, animals and environment. We will teach our children that it is God’s call on their life to continue to carry out that responsibility.

We also believe that parents have the greatest influence on their children. Good parents will have a positive influence and bad parents a negative influence, but either way, it is a strong influence. The more time a parent spends with their child the more lasting the influence. So we plan to school our children at home and keep enforcing the positive influence of our own values. We plan to teach them about the world, but we also plan to monitor the influence that society would have in causing our children to be influenced contrary to our values. Once they reach the age to be able to reason for themselves and make their own life decisions we will let them go. If they choose to reject our influence at that point, it will be their decision, but by then at least they will hopefully have skills and values to fall back on. Or maybe they will choose to carry on the legacy we have fostered for them.