7QTs: Introductions

1. The Basics: Wife, mother, Catholic, etc.. I’m 34, which sounds old to me but feels young. Every now and then I’m overwhelmed with the realization that eternity is just a day closer and I feel my immortality deeply. It’s a pretty beautiful age, really.

I’m a fan of Kierkegaard, Rilke, all of the Desert Fathers, most Russian writers, fairy tales, and Joss Whedon. I love night-time, black clothes, eyeliner, and trip-hop.

2. The Box: I totally fall under the ‘crunchy’ label, which is probably obvious: yurt-life, homeschooling, herbs, and homebaked bread. I am that parent who refuses all the shots, who gives elderberry oxymel for illnesses, who’s kids love cough medicine because it’s 90% honey, who gets a little too intense for small talk. I hope someday to grow into that long abandoned wise-woodland-woman role and give herbs and council from my little hermitage.

I believe strongly that we need to “surrender to the earth’s intelligence [and] rise up rooted like trees” instead of playing God with the world around us and that, I hope, informs everything I do.

3. The Family: One of the biggest delights in homesteading is the intimacy it brings to our family-life. This tiny house, homeschooling together, trees, garden, sky all bind us together in such an intense way. My family is the greatest joy in my life, and honestly the most natural thing I’ve ever done.

I mean, look at these people! They’re just so good to me!

4. The Introvert: In college, I had dreams of being a hermit. I still have hermitage-hopes, but in a family sense. It’s one of the aspects of The Benedict Option that I really appreciated. I’m blessed with amazing, inspiring friends and I love them, but solitude is essential to me. “I’d rather be with peopele who know secret things, or else alone,” as Rilke writes. Whenever I take those Meyer’s-Brigg’s tests online I come out about 90% ‘introverted’, but most of the ‘sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come’ attitude makes me . It comes across as more mean-spirited isolationist than introverted most of the time, at least to me. I prefer the hospitable-solitude of the hermit-saints, who welcomed each guest as if he or she were Christ and then sent them away again. The ability to offer a sincere welcome is, I think, one of the most delightful aspects of solitude.

5. The Intentions: Domestic Monastery – minimalist, sustainable, nurturing, holy. I have this lovely vision of a homestead inspired by the desert fathers and those gentle woodland saints like Macarios and Fiacre.

I want to make this little patch of earth something healing, something life-giving, a quiet place against the noise of the world. Its a big goal, but we’re dreamers here, so I think we can reach it.

6. The Distractions: I’m not the best at managing time. This year, I’m working toward intentionality and slowly over-coming those distractions, but at heart I’m self-indulgent and careless with my time. Even within the limitations of our lifestyle, technology consistently sucks time from true engagement. This month I’ve been taking steps to distance myself from unintentional social media: facebook groups, unhelpful discussions, and especially those corners that demand a lot of my time and focus. I’m learning that trying to speak to charity in these louder forums often leaves me feeling disappointed and lonely. So I’m carving out time to write here and on other, less casual forums instead. Hopefully it leaves me more time for the tangibles in life and more focused on growing toward Christ.

7. The Motivation: I’m Catholic. Pursuing sanctity. In love with Beauty, and repelled by mediocrity. Everything I do and am and long for is motivated by this end goal – to drown in the abundance of Christ, to wrap His wild world around me like a robe and the cast it off at the end of the day and step into His Night.

Long-winded, sure, but that’s me! Who are you? I’d love to know. Tell me about yourself if you have the time!

Linking up with This Ain’t the Lyceum today for the whole 7 Quick Takes thing! Check it out!

Tea for Coughs 

Mr. Tenderness caught a rough cough this week. Tuesday and Wednesday saw him sad and sick – trying to run around the house like his usual, crazy self – but ending up nestled on thd big bed, looking at “The Happy Man and His Dump Truck ” and “Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear” while sipping homemade cough syrup and warm tea.

The kids rarely get sick. A few sniffles every know and then, maybe, but having an actual illness in the house is such a rarity for me that I take a while to transition. But yesterday I did finally mix up a special tea for Ilya: mullien, yarrow, chamomile, hibiscus, marshmallow, a little ginger, and dried elderberries. After it steeped I stirred in lots of raw honey and let it cool just enough. 

Between the cough syrup and the cough-tea, I could hear his little cough turn more productive and that night he slept the deep, dream-filled sleep of healing. I was thrilled. 

One of my favorite biggest joys in homesteading is tending and preventing family illnesses at home. Having a small apothecary within reach and adjusting it for each person, the intimate and personalized care that only family can give.

I know the cough-cold oxymel, while it works wonders for the early stages – is a bit too vinegary for me to convince a sick 2 year old to drink. But honeyed tea was delightful! So delightful that his sister wanted her own cup: and herbal-tea medicine is generally meant to be shared!

We’ve also made a big pot of garlic-ginger chicken soup! Just to make sure no one else comes down with the cough, and because, doing Whole 30 has me cooking up a storm.

It isn’t super heavy on the ginger, enough to be noticed, but not enough to overwhelm young palates. The kids loved it, which totally non-Whole 30 biscuits to dunk and a little pile of greens on the side they went to bed full of love and healing. 

Cooking, tea-making, and tending sicklings in my little nest reminds of my grandmother and her beef-barley soup with the shimmering fat that made each bowl gleam in the light: matriarchal, wise-woman building in the child’s imagination a picture of living love.

Off-Grid Whole 30

So I assumed I’d never do another whole 30 after my failed attempt to complete one in 2016. I mean, no beans? We eat beans all the time. And no rice?! Rice is pretty much the backbone of our meals.

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It’s seems like such an expensive way to eat, honestly. And I really couldn’t afford to be running to the store every other day for perishables like meat and fish. Nope. I lasted about two weeks, and to be honest, apart from feeling all-meated-out, I did feel great! But Whole 30, off-grid, in June, is a lot of work and a lot of money – eggs and greens get kinda boring after a few week!

But here I am, jumping back on the Whole 30 bandwagon.

I’m really kind of excited about it.

See, I have asthma, and this winter, with it’s deep cold and harsh winds, has been hard on my lungs. I’ve got a lung tonic and mullein tea to help strengthen them back up again, but rumor has it, a month of uber ‘clean’ eating can do a lot to help! And since one of my big health goals for the year is to be intentional about healing my lungs, I’m going to try it.

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I’m taking 30 days – starting today! – to eat all ‘whole 30’ clean, nourish with herbs, calm breathing, and essential oils (eucalyptus, basil, rosemary, and cinnamon leaf is pretty nice), and hopefully get myself one step closer to my 2018 ideal!

But, we’re not exactly rocking the average Whole 30 grocery budget, so my month will be heavy on the eggs and goat-meat, vegetables, and soups..very light on the almond-meal meatballs and whipped coconut cream.

We’ll see how it goes!

Have you completed a Whole 30? Are you in the middle of one? Please, give me all your tips for making this work!

January Schooling

It doesn’t feel like January today. The stoves are burning low and the rain is pouring down, washing away feet of snow in a day. It’s warm enough to be out without a jacket, except that the rain is chilly and soaking.

We’re all indoors today. Even the goats refuse to step out of their shed. So this morning, we made a big pot of tea and set to work reclaiming our homeschool-schedule!

Structure is good for us. The kids like order – in moderation – and we get more done when we have a rhythm to our days. But in the deep cold from Christmas through Epiphany, we lost our rhythm. The days were full of at-home celebrations and desperate attempts to fight the cold weather and cabin fever. 

We didn’t do much schoolwork; so this week we’ve been easing back into it with lots of readibg aloud and a little bit of math. Today was our first day back on track entirely!

Our school-days involve lots of reading aloud. We start with Scripture in the mornings: Proverbs right now, which pairs well with the Psalms Seth has been reading at night. Then we chose from a selection of books and subjects. Today we read “If You Lived with the Iroquois” and reviewed “American History for Young Catholics”. We read poems in Spanish and English from “The Tree is Older than You Are” and worked on remembering “arbòl” and “blanca” as vocabulary words. We read Tomie dePaola’s St. Patrick, the Catholic Faith for Little Ones, and Yarrow narrated from the story of Noah in their children’s Bible.

Our morning reading is the primary school-time. Depending on the day Yarrow could be narrating from the catechism, history, the Bible, or a saint’s life. As well as reciting a poem from one of our favorite collections. Ilya works on ‘listening without interruption’ and remembering little bits.

Afterwards they have playtime for at least an hour before we sit down to work at the table: math and copywork, possible drawing and painting as well. Today, with all the rain we drew and colored and wrote and worked sums. So far we’ve been loving Saxon Math because Yarrow loves the repetive work that helps her build confidence as she challenges herself with new aspects of older lessons. Her copywork right now is from the Gospel of John. Ilya is tracing numbers and letters because he desperately wants to be as big as his sister!

Most of our reading is review right now. We’ve read through these books in September and October, but after an Advent full of exciting library books, we’re reviewing our regular texts before moving on. January seems like such an ideal month for reviewing and reclaiming.

Along with all this though, Yarrow is devouring books herself. St. Nicholas gave her a book about stars and space for Christmas and she is reading it herself as well as The Lord of the Rings – her favorite books at the moment.

At bedtime, Seth reads aloud and as he makes his way through The Lord of the Rings, Yarrow follows after on her own, reading through the tale and reliving it all again and again.

She also reads aloud to Ilya! Everything from The Happy Man and His Dump-Truck to The Hobbit. I love seeing the two of the cozied up together in front of the wood-stove with books and laughter. 

Monday Reflections: Countercultural?

I’m reading one of my favorite of Rilke’s journals again. In it, he begs us to “be for a single day unfashionable and you will see how much eternity you have within you.”

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Being unfashionable, out of step with the culture, is isolating. Our world is full of pseudo fulfillments – things to buy and have that with make the exterior of our lives look acceptable; things that promise to organize the interior as well if only we can follow the rules. We buy into them and live in a world of friendly neighbors, all nodding their heads to tell us we’ve done the ‘right’ thing, made the appropriate choice, built a successful life.

But eternity, the wilderness of life outside the crowd, is something lonely and beautiful. There is something intimately satisfying about learning to be entirely ourselves..to step outside of the self formed from advertising and entertainment and become a being of eternity, earth-bound and staring up at the sky.

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When we moved out here, some people saw our decision as a judgment. A way of pushing against them and their choices, instead of what it was, a pursuit – entirely our own, of beauty and intimacy and Christ. An attempt to hear Him better by listening more in the quiet, not an attempt to tell others how best to hear Him. We’re building our little monastic homestead on dreams and faith and magic – impractically, because we are almost always impractical – as are most people who make something unconventional out of their lives.

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The world is so quick sometimes to accuse the countercultural, the radicals, the wild dreamers who follow their hearts of trying too hard to be something they’re not: poseurs. But most of the time, we’re just trying to be that eternal self, the one hidden under all the things we used to do to hide her. And we’ve been formed by a world that values conventionality over truth, so she’s sometimes hard to find. We dress up in aspects of her, we play with ideas she might love, in order to draw her out, and so we look flighty sometimes, and altogether too earnest for society’s approval.. but we’re moving closer to something real.

I’m all rambly, Rilke has that effect on me. Tell me what you think? Are you living somewhere outside the mainstream? What do Rilke’s words mean to you?

New Year: 2018

The calendar year is new and fresh and full of anticipatory dreams out here in the snow-filled woods. We weathered our first big storm of the year, but not of the season, yesterday; and today we’re trudging through feet of fresh snow in heavy shoes – carrying in wood to pile around the stove, hauling hay closer to the goat-shed, and planning for a bitter-cold tomorrow.

We’re also reading seed catalogs and looking forward to longer days..because January is the month for dreaming.

I’ve been filling my new bullet journal with reminders of all the ways I want to see our life improve in this new year! Homesteading, ethical consumerism, homeschooling, writing, reading, minimalism..my word for 2018 is ‘Intentionality’ and so far, applying it has been challenging, but delightful. I’m feeling more and more joyful in my daily life, less distracted by social media or other outside stressors, and more nurturing within my little homestead.

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I’m determined to get more writing done, more consistently, and to have a slightly more ordered homeschooling routine. I am also working on altering my attitude towards things, growing in detachment and learning to want less. I’ve purged and konmari’d my house a couple times, I think I could do more with another round, but my goal in ‘abundant minimalism is to want less, to care about the things of this world less and less with each passing day.

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And to make each day just a bit more beautiful with the lovely, transient gifts of nature. Also to get our budget in order – transitioning to a more self-contained lifestyle has a huge adjustment curve. In part because to transition, we needed to leave the conventional work-world behind – it’s impossible to go half-way to a homestead-based income while my husband was driving over an hour twice a day to work and back, but now that we are working primarily at home, we are still transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle and repairing from the less-sustainable lifestyle – car repairs, building materials, etc.. it’s a tough balance. I’m not sure exactly where we’ll find ourselves this year. I have hopes that freelance writing will be an option for me, and that Paperwine Industies  will grow abundantly this year.  But we might also sell some of our beloved trees to a environmentally respectful lumber company to ease the transition.

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Balance is so important. And we’re finding it, slowly, as we greet this beautiful year, “new, untouched, full of things that have never been.”

Tell me, friends, what are your hopes and dreams, goals and intentions for the new year?

Winter-Yurting

It’s been a while! Merry Christmas all!

The season of Christmas has been a very focusing one for us. It’s been cold – very cold – for a long time now. This weather doesn’t usually hit us until mid January, and then it stays for only a few days. But we’ve been fighting off this deep-freeze for a while now, and it’s been pretty exhausting in a lot of ways.

It’s also been our best and coziest cold-spell yet! I think we’ve learned a lot in 7 years. Our first few cold-spells were just us huddling ’round the stove and waking every couple hours to feed the stove, because it had to burn hot the whole night through! Super exhausting!

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This year, the deep-freeze has lasted longer than ever, and we’re weathering it so well! The house is warm and  comfortable, the stoves don’t have to work hard day and night, and we can spend the frigid days reading, painting, playing, planning, and baking – all yuletide-y and fun!

So what changed?

Well, primarily, our yurt is tighter and better insulated. 

When we first put up the yurt, the outer skin was way too baggy – and I’ve noticed this in other yurts as well. Sometimes, your skin is not going to fit your lattice very well. Fix it before winter! We didn’t fix it until this last summer, because we were so busy with life and Seth’s work and we were just a bit lazy. But this summer, Seth slit the skin in two separate areas and glued it to fit the lattice. And it helps so much with keeping the warm air in and the mice out! We also re-adjusted the lattice and insulated some of the areas that were less weather-tight.

Essentially, we realized that since we are planning to keep the yurt as our home, instead of using it as some sort of transitional house, we should treat it like one. We aren’t living a nomadic life, and our yurt doesn’t need to be easy to tear down and put up. So seriously insulating has begun, and next year, we’re planning some additions too!

We also have a new door!

The door that came with the yurt was sub-par, and while we were able to make it work for 6 1/2 years – having a new, solid, exterior door is a life-changer! I love it.

Water Storage

Since we have livestock, we need access to lots of fresh, non-frozen water every day. More than just washing and drinking water for us, because those goats get thirsty! So we have a big, food-grade, metal barrel in the house. It used to store honey – mmmm, 55 gallons of honey, can you imagine!!! – now it stores our goat/chicken/dish/washing water. Not human drinking water, that’s stored in a bunch of empty wine jugs. So no matter how cold the night has been, our animals can start the day with warm, fresh water!

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Indoor Fun

Our kids do actually get pretty stir-crazy in this weather! They’re used to being outside a lot, but when it’s this cold, they barely do more than walk to and from the outhouse. So inside life in one room gets a bit loud. I have remember to focus on being understanding and patient, and I try to give them some outlets for their energy. We do a lot of reading aloud, a lot of bouncing on beds and playing “the floor is lava” or “Buffy and She-ra” (seriously, they love being Buffy and She-ra!). We spend time baking and drawing and painting as well.

Making the house a fun place to be, makes staying inside so much way easier, on everyone!

Saying No

We don’t go to parties right now, or if we do, one of us stays home to keep the house cozy while the other takes the kids and enjoys the fun! Because it’s just too cold right now to shut down the stoves and expect the house to stay warm.

If we had all the extra money to spend on extra yurt-insulation, we might not be fighting the weather so much, but we just have basic yurt insulation – and so we stay home in sub-zero temps. Believe me, it just isn’t fun to come home at night to a chilly house with tired kids and have to spend half the night getting it warm again! In ‘normal’ winter weather, parties are not a big deal, we can easily kick up the stove afterwards and have a cozy house within a few minutes. But in all these sub-zero nights with even colder wind-chills, we’ve learned to just say no.

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So that’s how we’re getting through right now! Lots of firewood. Lots of staying up late and pulling icicles off the side of the house to throw in wintery cocktails. Lots of books and paints and lazy mornings..

I can’t wait until the weather turns into normal wintertime cold again, instead of the deep-cold; but thankfully, we’ve learned how to weather it well!

 

Off-Grid Living: 3 ‘Don’ts’ for Making the Homesteading Life Work

Are you thinking of making the leap into off-grid homesteading? Longing for a cozy cabin just outside the reach of rampant materialism and the current cultural ennui, but don’t really think you can cut it?

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It can be a challenge, but you see – that’s one of the joys of going off-grid. Once you cut ties with conventional conveniences, you get to decide what your life is going to look like! Want to live on a mountain-top without cell service or solar chargers – you can totally rock it – just stock up on beans, rice, water (melted snow makes awesome dish and bath water!), and vodka for those long winters. More of a ‘lazy homesteader’ like me? Those little, backpack solar chargers can power your phone, tablet, even a little rechargeable record player without an issue! You can come in from tending your little flock of chickens and watch YouTube videos until your battery dies if you want!

Point being, there are so many options for living the off-grid life in style! We’re not living in the 70s anymore, you don’t have to be a hippie baking oatmeal, sunflower-seed bread and singing protest songs around the campfire to go back to the land! I mean, if you want to, more power to you – and I have a tasty recipe to pass on for sourdough oatmeal-seedy bread too! Not to mention tapes (yep, actual cassette tapes!) of protest songs from the early 20th century labor movement you can totally borrow! But then you’re need a tape player that runs on batteries…

  • Don’t be afraid to jump in, mess up, try again, and work out the off-grid life that fits your family! And don’t be afraid to start small and grow into something more intense! When we first moved onto the land, we got way too much Chinese take-out, and spent way too much time playing Parcheesi by lamp-light instead of building up our homestead. It was fun, it made the transition slow and easy and gentle. Sometimes planning too much and trying too hard to get everything ‘right’ makes it impossible to every get started. Planning is fun, but it’s not everything – jump in with all your ideals and enthusiasm and see where it takes you!DSCN7130
  • Don’t feel like you have to compare yourself and your homesteading to me or to the super-homesteaders who make their own toilet paper, distill their own liquor, and still find time to write all about it for Mother Earth News. You’re homestead is your home! It’s your little monastery and it’ll look like you, not like anyone else. That means if you want to have a vegan homestead with big gardens and no animals, don’t worry about all the naysayers who insist you’ll need a flock to fight ticks and manure your garden; and if you’re certain your homestead needs a sauna out by the stream, build that thing! Nothing inspires you to keep going on long, cold winter nights than the knowledge that this is – or will soon be – your actual dream home!DSCN8551
  • Don’t get stuck in a rut. Sometimes, we start out being lazy homesteaders and end up moving towards something more intense. It’s hard to do that when you’re just doing the same thing day after day though. Leave yourself open to change! Be willing to give up the un-essentials (even just for a little while) to “see how it goes without..” something; and be willing to add something knew as well! Life, whether on or off grid, is richer when we give it space to grow and develop. Recently we’ve decided to be more intentional about our meals, to plan them better, prepare them slower, and use more local ingredients than ever. It’s been a challenge – remember our love of take-out Chinese? – but it’s been so beneficial, and it ways I didn’t expect. Slowing down our meals has led to a more intentional day overall. I’m more focused and engaged with my children, they get to help with more of the food prep, they get to eat meat from animals they knew and loved more often, and we’re all more tuned into the cycle of life and death that fills the world around us. When we limit ourselves by setting boundaries around what we will and won’t do in our homesteading journey, we end up stagnating. Don’t stagnate – grow!IMG_20171116_144159_730.jpg

Tell me, if you’d love to go off-grid, or start homesteading..what holds you back? If you’re happy living the life you have, tell me what makes it beautiful to you! Blessings!

Winter Balm and Gingerbread

Today we woke up feeling all wintery and fresh. Frost coated the windows and the dome, the walk to the outhouse was bracing, and the goats, who had woken up with the sun, were calling out their dissatisfaction. I fed them, let out the birds, and ran back inside to make coffee and muffins.

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But not just any muffins. It isn’t a blackberry-muffin kind of day at all..even coffee-cake muffins seemed lacking somehow. So we pulled out the ginger and molasses for something with a little bit of a kick.

I’m all out of cloves, but we have an abundance of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. I mixed them all together – heavy on the ginger and the vanilla. And searched around for an easily-to-alter recipe while the oven heated up and the first pot of coffee sat steeping in the press.

Our old, falling to pieces Fannie Farmer cookbook had a nice little coffee cake recipe:

1/4 cup butter, softened. (I melted mine on the stove because the butter was too chilly from the pantry, and the stove was too hot to just soften it.)

1 cup sugar. (I know, right! So much sugar! We cut it a bit, down to 1/2 cup and then added about a 1/4 cup molasses)

splash vanilla (I used about 2 tablespoons)

1 1/2 cups flour

2 Tb baking powder

1/2 cup milk (I used more like 1/3 cup of milky coffee because I upped the wet ingredients with molasses, and because I’m obsessed with coffee)

and then I added all my spices:

about 1 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg…I’m guessing, because I didn’t measure. Sorry!

plopped it into about 8 papered muffin tins and baked at about 300 for maybe 15-20 minutes. In a conventional oven, I’d go for 350 degrees for 10 and then check them. They puff up beautifully and taste exactly liked I’d hoped they would!

Seriously, I felt like the definition of hygge.

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After munching and cleaning up and making another pot of coffee, we started in on Yarrow’s project for the day: Winter Balm.

Our house is so dry during the cold months. So Dry. Two woodstoves sucking all the moisture from the air everyday. We have cast iron, steaming dragon on the stove replenishing some of the moisture, but it’s still dry. And the kids get chapped lips so easily. Yesterday at dinner I promised Yarrow we would make her and Ilya each a little jar of winter-balm to sooth their lips and cheeks and dry, little hands. Something gentle, but with deep moisturizing power.  Yarrow was so excited to help!

We mixed raw honey with olive and coconut oil, shea butter, lanolin, and just a few drops of chamomile essential oil.

Essentially, the recipe was:

1 part honey

3 parts coconut oil

1 part olive oil

2 parts shea butter

1 part lanolin

3 drops chamomile EO

..and just a few small shavings of beeswax

 

We melted it slowly (without the EO) on the stove top, stirred it to mix well. Removed from heat, added the EO, poured it into little jars and left it to cool. 

Since our house has so many chilly places in the winter, I really don’t want to add any more beeswax, it should solidify pretty well as is. But a warmer house might need to add a bit of extra wax for firmness.

The kids are thrilled. It smells ‘like bedtime’ according to Yarrow, and feels so gently on their dry skin.. I need to make some for myself now too!

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And that was our morning! Now I need to get back to work – thawing water for thirsty goats, setting Yarrow up with some math-work, splitting wood, and planning dinner.. It’s a cozy season. Early winter feels so new and magical. It’s nice to be out in it, and in out of it, to smell like woodsmoke and chamomile and to watch the long nights fall before evening has even begun!

Monday Reflections: Technology Intrusion

We came to the woods to live intentionally with nature – to be awake and alive under the trees, to bury bare-feet in mud and leaves, feel the earth seep in, and grow. We came to live simply, but the world sneaks in.

The world is so shiny and attractive, it distracts with promises of long-distance community and meaningful engagement. There can be value to our online interactions – some of my dearest. friendships were formed through blogging and emails, and my husband and I do value the relationships we’ve formed online, but the screens themselves can’t be allowed to intrude on our daily relationships – the people we see and touch each day.

These days, we parents have a tendency to turn to technology to fill in our children’s days: 6 and 7 year olds have tablets all their own, glowing kindles instead of books, video games, “learning tools”, who knows what else. It is an abundance of loneliness though, because what children want and need most: closeness and affection with a beloved person, they can’t get via technology. In fact, too much screen time seems to make actual relating even harder.

I do believe that regular screen time -whether educational or not – is detrimental for both children and adults. But while we are raising our babes ‘far from the maddening crowd’, even our life demands an online presence. This blog, our instagrams, my husband’s etsy shop, all demand screen time. And we love connecting with our far-flung friends! But being available in these ways is insidious, it eats away at time and changes how we focus on the world within reach.

I want my children to see me using technology in an intentional way, and see me casting it aside often in favor of real moments in time and real relationships in the world. Sometimes, I think we rest on our laurels as off-grid homesteaders and end up letting too much tech in despite the limits we’ve set on ourselves. We can do better, and this Advent, we’re going to do better! Here’s the plan:

All tech (phones, tablet, radio) can only be used between the hours of 7:30 and 9:30am; 1:30 and 4:30pm; and 8 and 9pm. At all other times we’ll be unreachable. And in those times, I hope to be as intentional as possible with tech, using it for the platforms we value and avoiding the fillers. Sundays will be tech free entirely for me, and I hope, for our whole family.

 

What do you think? Want to join me in my little, Advent-retreat?