Monday, February 20, 2017

5 Steps to a Simpler Life


2017 has had it's up and downs...yes I know it's only February. But as a family beginning our journey to a simpler life it hasn't been a rose garden. We started the year with the best of intentions jumping head first  into simplifying our belongings. Then we were hit with three weeks straight of sickness that put a complete hold on our progress. This brought great stress as the house in my opnion was in "shambles." I began to feel defeated and frustrated. There has been a lot of trial and error in this journey, and I'm not saying that we've got it all done, because we still need to make a few more trips for donations and the dump. 

Although my intentions were to simplify our belongings it was laid on my heart that life itself was way cluttered and not by just belongings. I wanted to stop and take time to cultivate a deeper relationship with my children. It's hard to accept that I have five years to instill the values we want them to have as a foundation. Once they start school they will have complete strangers "raising" them as they will spend more time during the week with our children then we will. My husband and I have talked about how we want to make the most of the time we have by teaching them responsibility, respect for others and nature, cultivating what they have been given, and love. These are things that aren't evident to us in today's society. We want our children to grow up knowing how loved they are but knowing that they aren't entitled to anything and that honesty and hard work will get you somewhere. 

Even though we are in the beginning stages I have found five steps that have helped us get a foot in our goals for 2017 

1) No Technology
We do not own iPads, tablets, or gaming systems. We encourage them to use their imaginations by lots of time in their playroom and outside time. We have limited television time way back from what it has been in the past. They are allowed two sessions of controlled television time. 

2) Family Projects
You can make this as simple as you'd like. We started by baking cookies together and washing dishes while having a kitchen dance party. We made a volcano as a family yesterday from mud and grass. You would have thought that we were at Mount Vesuvius by their excitement. This also goes along with don't be afraid to make messes. I was told by a mentor mom that she wishes she would have realized that all messes can be cleaned up and to enjoy the memories being made instead. 


3) Practice Compassion
As a ranching family we have plenty of avenues to teach our children compassion. From loving one another to caring for all the animals on the ranch. We care for the horses as family. We feed, groom, and ride as a family. We also have cats and dogs that the kids are very hands on with. Pecos Jane loves that she has the responsibility of feeding and watering the cat. We all know how nice it feels to have a job and be appreciated for it. 


4) Be Adventurous 
The weekends have been devoted solely to family time. Even when it was cold we would spend time making paper airplanes and having contest with them. On these warmer weekends we have been fishing, hiking, riding ponies, picnics, and even having naptime in their tent and teepee in the yard. We are going to start a wildflower and bird watching journal this spring as well. 


 5) Spending more time at Home
I seriously have left the house about three times in the last three weeks. Spending more time at home is a huge help for us financially and in return we are more creative with our time. We always look for the adventure in our days and enjoy the simple things. With summer coming we have already began working on our spaces for our family garden. We have been picking weeds as a family. We talk about how much fun it will to be growing our own fruits and vegetables. Pecos says we will be like our own grocery store. I love to see the excitement we all share for this project. I can't wait to teach them more about hard work, responsibility, and cultivating what you have and multiplying it. 


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