Thursday, September 18, 2014



I finally read an issue of Taproot.

I've wanted to for quite some time, but partly due to the price tag...and partly due to the fact that I live in Alaska and no one carries it, I just kept putting it aside.  Until...last Sunday I was dropping Laurel off at knitting class at the local knitting shop, and there was a small stack by the register for sale. 
At $9 a copy, it's not an easy yes for me...but I really wanted to experience a whole issue. So I indulged this time.  (sometimes a girl just thinks it's worth it)

I should back up, in case you aren't familiar with what Taproot is.  It is a magazine (though, I'm not sure that sums it up well), without the horrible ads, or superficial crap of a normal modern magazine. As much as I appreciate the beautiful and tempting pictures and headlines of Martha Stewart and Shape...and have at some point in my life been a subscriber to both...I am simply not in that stage of life anymore.  My living room doesn't have to look like a spread from Southern Living, my stomach doesn't have to rival Angelina Jolie's, and I truly don't care what celebrities are wearing or who they are dating.  Are there 200 ways to tone my thighs...sure.  Are there 800 family friendly crockpot recipes...yep. Can you organize your house in 7 minutes a day...probably.  But I don't care about it, and I'm not paying you to tell me. 

 Taproot is about what I am about...slow living, focusing on my family, becoming the person I want to be, simplifying, making stronger connections with people, the earth and myself.

I took it one story at a time.  That's what they are...stories...not articles.  They are someone's real thoughts and opinions and life...with a little crafting and cooking thrown in.  The issue I have talks about leek-kraut and patching up old clothes to make them new (and cute again)...but not in the keeping-up-with-the-jones new strange hobbies kind of way...but in a real and meaningful way to connect with what life should really be about. Love, happiness, kindness, being a better human...and teaching your kids all of those qualities. 

Granted, we have grown crunchier in our 30s...and as we approach 40...we are getting crunchier still.  We are trying to live slowly so that we enjoy as much of this stage of our lives as possible.  We homeschool, we live in a tiny house, we try to live very consciously...and as such I really enjoyed Taproot.  Amanda Blake Soule's hubby wrote a piece (sorry, I forget his name...maybe Steve?) and it touched a part of my soul and brain, and gave a voice to the same feelings and frustrations I have with our world.  There was another piece about a small farming family, who almost lost someone due to their farming life...but instead used it as a wake up call to cherish every moment. Ben Hewitt is also a regular contributor, and he's another spokesperson who gives my own opinions a run for their money and pushes me to think even harder about how to live this one life we have the right way.

I believe they only publish 4 times a year, but as I will be framing some of the artwork's kind of a steal.  Give it a try...if you're anything like me, I think you'll like it. 

How small is TOO small?

I remember when we thought that our 1400 sq foot home was too small.  Funny.  It's easy to say that we were different people then...and I guess we were...but really we weren't.  We were us. but without a clear vision of who we wanted to be. 

We began scratching at the surface a few years back, trying to figure out who we wanted to be...but it had to do with a nicer house, better schools...though our first taste of understanding ourselves was wanting some property so we could have a hobby farm.  From there it grew, sometimes accidentally, and then eventually into a very purposeful look at ourselves and who we wanted to be.  To begin to learn who you are and what you really want, on a deeper's like solving the mystery of life.  There is a comfort that comes with knowing what you truly gives you the confidence and integrity to withstand just about anything. 

Living small is part of our journey.  Realizing that we didn't need (or want!) more space has allowed us to pare down our lives to a very manageable level.  Financially speaking, we have always lived below our means. We carry no debt, we budget, and we save.  We did not need to downsize on a financial level.  We did it to remove the useless weight on my shoulders, cleaning and organizing all the time...and never winning the battle against mess or clutter! And we did it to be closer together, I hated having everyone in a different one was happier or kinder for it. And we did it to save even more money, rather than just tossing it away...between rent and house upkeep, we're saving over $2000 a month!  It's also less stress on our lives...being so safely in the financial black, not having much to clean, and being so close together has changed our lives so profoundly.  It's given me time to focus more on being the kind of parent, wife and human that I want.  I am calmer, kinder, more fun, less stressed and more actively involved than I have ever been. small is too small?  I guess that's up to you...but we're in 250 sq ft...and I have never been happier.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to Home-school pics

Unlike kids that go to school, most homeschool kids don't have the opportunity to do yearly school pictures.  That is, unless one of your homeschool friends is an awesome photographer.  

Luke & Laurel Fall 2014
1st and 3rd Grade

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