Dear Internet,

110966-internet-woes-and-life-goalsI hope you’re well, but we need to chat. I feel like we have such a volatile relationship. Some days I hate you, sometimes I think you’re the toxic poison seeping in and ruining all aspects of my life, some days I need you more than anything else and some days I just flat out can’t help but spend all of my waking hours just rolling from page to page without any sense of control (or regret).

As much as I feel like taking the inspiration of Esther Emery’s ‘Year Without the Internet’ (blog β€’ book), I don’t think it would work. But I also am interested in going TV free in our home… as I sit here typing and watching Netflix on my large screen TV….

Internet, I’m in a bit of an unsteady time.

I crave nothing more than a closeness with my husband and kids, screen free and meaningful. I crave a stillness between my heart and God, a pure, distraction free connection. I crave nature, fresh mountain air, paperback books, scratch made everything. I crave realness. Truth. Connection. Meaning.

But…. I also crave creativity. Sharing. Learning. Community that I can take in and be a part of when it’s convenient. I know that everyone havingΒ  relationships and community strictly thru a screen is causing damage to our system and being, but- for a homeschooling mom of 3, girl boss, generally crazed and run ragged… being able to take some connectivity in the slots that I have open are my option.

I want to spend more time here, blogging, sharing, connecting with like minded folk. I love that I’ve created a business that is successful and provides for my family… but it no longer is meeting everything for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond thankful- my bride’s are AMAZING and I just couldn’t be happier with the way our story continues to play out. But the road that living in your business leads to just isn’t a path I’m interested in. I don’t believe in it.

I believe in “retiring” young to live a life worth living. I believe in staying far away from the American dream/rat race. I believe in Biblical focus. I believe in pure, natural living. I believe in self sustainability. In community. In support. In not buying into the ‘who’s the most popular’, ‘who’s getting more recognition on social media’ game that consumes so many.

I know you have to bear with me as I tend to ramble and get off track, but this is my letter to you. I want to engage more with your world wide structure, but in a meaningful way. A way that can actually connect me to the true passion/drive vs. eating up my life with obsession and negativity. I want to share our journey, my story, my insight… not because I think any of it is better than anyone else or that it’s anything special… but because it’s fun to share and connect with others.

So here we are. You and me, Internet. I hope that this collection of my ramblings, stories and $0.02 may one day, possibly, lead to something fulfilling and exciting. Until then, it’s me and you and I’ll continue to use it as a place for my passions and interests with the hope of connecting to others of the same. Thank you for that, what a world we live in huh?

Yours truly,

Heidi, a fellow millennial

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Want to retire young?

keep-calm-and-retire-young-2.pngI do. Heck, some months I think I’m half way there already. I feel like some people judge me that I just want to be lazy, some people picture us as being overly successful and rolling in the moolah, and others just chuckle at how our immature brains could think that is an option.

Let’s say this- retiring isn’t quitting work, it’s quitting mandatory work.Β  I do not have any sum of money worth bragging about, and you’d laugh if you saw my savings account, last point- go ahead and laugh at my ‘silly idea’. In case you don’t know this– I THRIVE off people doubting us. 😈 #truestory

Being fed the story that we have to work for someone until we’re in our 60’s or 70’s to be able to take out last few ‘golden years’ off is ridiculous. If you’re drinking that water- and buying it, I’m sorry. And please stop. YOU control what YOU choose to do. Prayer always, but you hold the ability to make each and every day what it is.

I am turning 30 this December, and I am actively working on my retirement. I don’t call it that necessarily, we call it “our future”, “life worth living”, “the gift of the present”. Follow my thought train if you will–

Why do we work? Ok, we work to pay bills, buy food, pay off debt, have money to go do fun things, buy stuff we want, to live. That’s probably the majority of where all working man money goes, right?

So what if we get to the heart of those things– what if you didn’t have bills? (or had very few) What if we were more self sustainable? What if our home and vehicle were paid for? What if we realized the act of accumulating stuff doesn’t bring true happiness?

If we handled some of those things, then would you have to work? Or work as much as you do today? If you only required even a few hundred bucks a month, a few thousand a year, to live off of- what could you do with all the other time? Working is essentially an employer purchasing your time- what if your time was yours again?

I don’t have a set time frame- God will lead that path, but I’m actively working on my retirement. My plan isn’t as fancy and detailed as a financial advisor would create (and I used to be one of those, created many retirement plans, this is different), but it works. And I think it sure as hell beats being in my 60’s and 70’s counting down for time to be my own again.

Retirement Plan:

Don’t accumulate debt. We have a little now, DO NOT ADD TO IT. No credit cards, no loans, nothin’! Pay it off however you prefer- Snowball Effect, let it sit for 7 years, call up each creditor and haggle a low amount pay off. Your call. But do NOT add to it.

Keep working our hustle like there’s no tomorrow- we’ve got 4 main focuses in our plan as of today and we’re going for it.

Keep expenses down starting now. The more you realize that you being marketed to 24/7 in a giant game of every company taking your last dollar… the easier it is to just say no. Stop hemorrhaging cash now, look at your expenses and cut out what’s just unnecessary.

Pay off & own out right as much as you can. Lose car payments and anything else! I can’t wait to own our car outright- and even then, when we had to buy a car we went with a well cared for used car that cost us a fraction of what most end up paying. We will have paid less for our gorgeous, pristine condition Mercedes SUV than we did when we bought our first/only brand new car– a Kia sedan. True story- who’s the one getting played now?

990a88b587e5757dc64f867f50a5f2e0Buy a chunk of land and build a simple home. We are looking for a remote lot, full of nature, and surrounded by God’s creation. As far as the home- I want something we can build using alternative building materials. Think straw bale, cobb, shipping containers, etc… Cost effective and manageable with our skills (none), ability to learn and bribe helpers. πŸ˜„

Continue to up our self sustainability! Grow our own food, buy in bulk, reduce, reuse, recycle. The less we have to depend on the stores and companies, the less we have to pay for. Put in the work up front, reap the rewards. Solar power, your own water source, self sustainability is a lost art. And addictive in the pursuit to reclaim.

Enjoy your time. We don’t know how much of it we’ll get- why waste it? Why do I want to set myself up for a life where I control my time each day? Because I want to be with my kids, I want to have fun, explore, travel, work alongside my husband, volunteer with orphanages in poor countries, lay in a hammock and nap on a hot afternoon, learn to do macrame, grow old and play with my grandbabies all day, to raise our own farm animals and grow our own garden foods. I want my time to be mine. And that is worth the work to set it up, and that is why waiting for someone to give me the ‘go ahead’ just won’t do.

There’s a million stories of those retiring young and pursuing life- you could sit back and count a million reasons why that couldn’t ever be you- or you could throw your arms up and say “Just do it!”

Gotta go back… back… back to schoooool…. AGAIN.

Is it just me that breaks into song thinking the words “back to school”?

Probably… but that’s ok. You should have seen it when Grease went to theater’s– best sing-a-long performance! Man… πŸ˜… πŸ˜… πŸ˜…

Homeschool, much different than Rydell High, for us this year is set. Good to go. It took me one afternoon to prepare. This is a record folks!

Kids being schooled: a 6th grader (age 12 next month), a 1st grader (age 6 here soon) and a tag-a-long 3 1/2 year old

Curriculum: a Bible. This one in fact: ESV Bible on Amazon

Back to school shopping list: 2 Bibles (one for 12 year old, one for mom/dad), 4 notebooks (each kid & mom), pack of highlighters, pack of pencils (to be kept up in a closet, in a box, guarded. Otherwise… they all disappear! 😀)

Total Back to School/Homeschool bill: Less than $25. πŸ’ͺ Yes please.

Plan:

By 10 AM -ish (we wake up slow), Spend 15 minutes in silence. Pray, listen for God, listen to the birds, whatever. 15 minutes of silence. Added bonus: daily practice of self control. πŸ‘

Read the Bible, starting in Genesis. No set time, until we’ve reached a good spot or kids seats are too wiggly. We will watch What’s in the Bible to correlate with our reading.

Journal any special verses that stood out, thoughts we may have or questions of things we don’t understand. A few moments for mom & the oldest to write some thoughts and I’m thinking I’ll provide one of the verses for the 6 year old to copy write.

We will have a page in our journal that we can all add prayer requests to. People we know, people/things we’re thinking about, and we’ll close out time with a family prayer for these things.

The rest of our ‘school’ day? Service.

Taking the wise council of things like Dr. Raymond Moore, the ways of the Amish, books like Cleaning House & that ol’ Bible- the rest of the day will be spent enjoying the gift of the present and serving those around us.

We started this month with the importance of clean rooms & good hygiene. Setting a morning and evening room check for tidyness and keeping the kids in routine of actually getting dressed, brushing teeth, etc… (even on lazy days πŸ™ˆ).

Next month, and with the start of our school routine, we’re adding cooking for your family & cleaning the kitchen. Each week all three kids will be responsible for picking out one meal they want to make, creating the list of needed items, and then shopping for said items. On Monday we will all prepare & serve the meal together, then each kid has a set day that they will get to provide dinner (with some help of course), serve their family (8 of us total), and properly clean the kitchen after. I think we’re all pretty excited for it!

Each month an additional area of service will be added in to what we’re already focusing on, with the morning routine of silence, Bible, journaling and prayer to remain the same. I am super excited for this year! 😍 No, my kids may not know the things that most 6th graders are learning… my 1st grader may be a little off… but that’s ok. I’ll take a lack of fact reciting to a year we spent growing closer to God and serving all we come in contact with. We can always work on fractions next year. πŸ˜‰ Here goes nothing- September, we’re ready!

 

P.S., Thanks for being so easy on my pocket book! 😘

What’s for Dinner? Episode 2

WFD 2Sometimes you’re broke. The moolah has run out. And fraudulent charges to you account left a big ol’ hole and cards that are useless. Welcome to my day. 😎

But, you may not want to sacrifice the quality of food and the organic-ness of it for something cheap and full of things you can’t pronounce. (Why do we consume ingredients that we can’t pronounce let alone understand?!)

Enter- The Poor Man’s Dinner! Organic, wholesome, clean burritos!

Homemade, from scratch tortillas, grass-fed organic beef, refried beans, some toppings- Voila! Even enough for a delish dessert! All for literally a few bucks, what you have already laying around… and I feed 8 people. (5 adults, 3 kids)

Homemade Tortillas

Needed:

{ALWAYS choose organic as much as possible!}

3 cups of flour (unbleached) — Plus extra for rolling

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup oil ( I used sunflower)

1 cup warm water

Bowl for mixing

Rolling Pin

Griddle or pan

 

Step 1:

Gather all ingredients. Turn on some cookin’ music! Put on aprons! πŸ˜™

Step 2:

Mix all dry ingredients together. Then add in the wet ingredients and combine. Turn on the griddle or pan on the stove- I use an electric griddle AND pan on the stove to speed up the process- just medium heat.

Step 3:

Pull dough off in 1-2″ clumps- sprinkle a little flour on the counter, sprinkle some flour on the rolling pin, squash your dough down on the flour in a circular shape, roll out until tortilla thin. (Not so thin that there’s holes, but not too thick- experiment to find your fave!)

Step 4:

Turn the oven on to warm/250. Take a plate, and a tea towel that’s been run under hot water & rung out. Make a bed on the plate with the towel for the tortillas to be set in. This will keep them warm and moistened while you cook the meat!

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Step 5:

Put the tortilla on the heated surface- cook until you start to see some bubbles/it starts to become transparent, then flip! Once done- add to the center of the towel set up on the plate.

Step 6:

Continue rolling, flipping, rolling and flipping until you’re done. I average 12 or so tortillas with each batch.

Step 7:

Put plate on a cooking tray and place in warmed oven- turn oven off.

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Taco/Burrito Meat

Needed:

{ALWAYS choose organic as much as possible!}

1 pound grass-fed organic beef

seasonings of choice (I sprinkle in some minced onion, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, pepper, paprika, onion salt, garlic powder, oregano… whatever I’m feeling!)

refried beans (SUPER easy to make- cheap & healthy, but I wasn’t prepared, so we had to do canned. Always read the ingredients list and choose the option that has ideally 5 or less ingredients & they’re all REAL food that you can pronounce!)

 

Step 1:

Gather ingredients, brown meat, add your spices.

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Step 2:

Add beans! Mix and heat.

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Step 3:

Pull tortillas out of oven, add whatever toppings you like/have. Lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, pico…

BONUS: Cinnamon Chip Dessert!

Needed:

{ALWAYS choose organic as much as possible!}

Homemade tortillas

Real butter

Sugar

Cinnamon

 

Step 1:

Rub butter on both sides of the tortilla(s). Preheat oven to 350 or so.

Step 2:

Take a pizza cutter and slice up!

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Step 3:

Put all pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with sugar & cinnamon!

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Step 4:

Lay all pieces out on a cookie tray. Cook for 10 minutes or so- will depend on how many you do, once you start to really smell the cinnamon cooking and they look crunchy, you’re good!

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Step 5:

Eat ’em all up! Perfect with a little vanilla ice cream or a fruit salsa! Mmmmmm!

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This entire dinner can be made in no time flat and for literally a few bucks, you probably have most all of this in the house anyway! πŸ˜‰ Enjoy!

1 book homeschool?

We all want the best for our kids. Every parent would agree on that. (Well, dear lord I hope so at least) But sometimes shouldn’t we stop and question what THE best really is? It’s not a one size fits all, of course. But some things we do make me wonder… I won’t go in to all of those things (that’s too many posts to count) but I have a discussion about one- Homeschool. Specifically for believers of God.

We homeschool. Our oldest went to public school for Kindergarten and 1/2 of First Grade. He had AMAZING teachers (who we still connect with and love) and went to a wonderful, American suburb, picture perfect school.

We pulled him out, and have struggled with figuring out the “right” homeschool groove ever since. He starts 6th Grade this upcoming September. And from any time spent reading homeschool blogs, Pinterest searches, etc… the struggle for the “right” homeschool plan is a common struggle.

With years of struggling, changing, growing, success and failure- I have a new thought. (New to me, I do not claim creation of this way too basic idea.) What’s the point of our current ‘view’ of children’s education? What is it? To educate our children so they can grow up to be successful adults, good citizens and to find good jobs/get into a good college. Something along those lines, right?

As followers of Christ and believers of God (be it Christian or whatever label you prefer), isn’t our #1 concernΒ  to be sure that we are focused and center on the word of God and constantly striving to follow the footsteps of Jesus? I think we can all agree if we are honest with ourselves, we know that to truly be one with God and following as best as we can, we need more than just a weekly church service. A 10 minute devotional. A memorized prayer before dinner time. What do our children need then?

Bible2What if our children’s education consisted of just one book? What if the Bible was TRULY the center of your child’s (and your) day? Week? Life? Imagine no stress over curriculum, over worksheets, over quizzes and non stop feeding information that could or could not ever be needed in their future life. (How much of your 13 years of schooling do you ACTUALLY use in your day to day life? Come on… it’s a small percentage.) What if that time was dedicated to something that we as believers know is a HUGE part of the core we all want to see more of? I’m not going for crazy, sheltered brainwashing of children across the world. But a focus on building a solid foundation based on the Biblical knowledge vs the “normal” school curriculum.

With this one book, you kids will learn to read, learn to spell, learn history, critical thinking, math is everywhere. Morals, character, the list goes on! The best way to learn and understand more about what you’re reading- honestly? For the kids AND adults– What’s In The Bible by Phil Vischer! Not kidding- this series is AMAZING! We buy them digitally on Amazon, can watch on our TV and the kids have them all on their Amazon tablets! The hubby and I can sing you most all of their songs. And we have learned more from those videos than a lifetime of church services and private Christian schools. I’m not kidding.

For those of you thinking that discarding our current view of curriculum and schooling, I strongly recommend you pick up some books by The Moore’s and read thru them! You can get used copies for pennies on Amazon, they’re sure to open that path to transform your thinking.Β  I’ll have to go more in depth on just those books alone one day, we’ll wait for now though. (Your welcome)

So, abandon everything you’ve thought you need to do to homeschool your child. Everything. Instead, read the Bible together. Ask questions, pray, meditate, teach your child to spend silent time thinking over what you’ve learned or just keeping your heart and mind open to hear the Lord (even if it’s just by way of hearing the birds sing) and watch What’s In The Bible together. (You can even watch the creator of the show’s podcast to give you more insight to faith & culture- such an amazing podcast!)

What do you do for the rest of the day? If you spend 30 minutes- 1 hour in the Bible, another 30 minutes – 1 hour watching What’s In The Bible, a bit in meditation… well- that leaves a TON of the day to play outside, pull out the board games, bake, garden together, cook a homemade meal, have a multi course lunch, nap, catch fireflies, paint your nails, blog (haha) and force your husband to do podcasts… you know. Stuff like that.

Maybe this will be the first time that YOU actually read the word of God from start to finish? Maybe this will open your heart to see what the Bible ACTUALLY says vs what we’re kind of blanket taught to believe. Imagine that… imagine all that could come by ACTUALLY putting the Bible as your core- in theory AND practice.

Worse comes to worse, your kid isn’t so hot at multiplication drills or fractions and the periodic table of elements but they can quote the Bible and pull examples from the lessons from the Lord to reference their day to day life. I’m not the hottest on all math or periodic elements but I created and run a 6 figure business while keeping a full home- I think we can manage without those tidbits.

We’re taking the summer off, we’re enjoying other things right now. Come September 1st- our only plan for curriculum is the Bible. That’s it. And I’ve never looked forward to a school year as much as I am right now! Thoughts? Been there/done that? Standing up to tell me how ridiculous this is and I’m going to ruin my children’s futures? One way to find out… 😜