Let’s Eat!

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Stuffed Bell Peppers with Fresh Whole Ingredients

As Recycled Moms, caregivers, homemakers, moms, wives or friends, we find one of our greatest joys is feeding people. Throughout history, food has been a point of controversy, contact, fellowship and celebration. Back in the Old Testament Bible, a man named Esau renounced his heritage for a bowl of lentil stew that his brother Jacob had cooked. Food can bring us together or tear us apart. We can enjoy making meals or resent the energy it takes to put food on the table three times a day.

Since then, our society has changed greatly and so have our foods. We can dash to a grocery store and come out with prepackaged, preserved convenience foods. These are not healthy options. The way we eat impacts every aspect of our lives. Cancers, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and other illnesses are on the rise in America. It is no coincidence that this has happened as microwaved, packaged foods have become ever more popular.

Our Recycled Kids depend on us to feed them nutritious foods that help them grow up strong and healthy. How can we achieve this in a manner that fulfill this huge commitment? It really is quite easy. One ingredient foods! For a long time now, I have been avoiding chemical laden, processed foods and have been intentional in choosing whole food ingredients for my family. It is not more expensive as we have been led to believe nor is it more time consuming.

Let me introduce you to some friends that will help you on this journey to improve the well-being of your own Recycled family. Meet the slow cooker. This is my most used appliance. I have two slow cookers because I use them so much. Another well used kitchen tool is my toaster oven. I will give you some ways to save time and money with these tools.

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Homemade Oatmeal with Fresh Apples, Walnuts and Cinnamon

Instead of opening a can of corn syrup laden sweet potatoes, wash fresh ones and place them in a slow cooker. Add water to cover and leave them to cook until tender. Remove the skins and serve whole, mashed or in a casserole. A very light drizzle of honey or maple syrup will make them yummy enough for the pickiest eater. The same method will work for white potatoes.

Cook beans, lentils, quinoa, even rice in the slow cooker. Soak beans all day long, changing the water several times. Drain, season and place in the slow cooker before going to bed and you will have a healthful, delicious meal ready the next morning. Clean out the refrigerator and toss into the slow cooker your family’s favorite vegetables. These can be potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, green beans, corn, garlic tomatoes and anything else your family eats. Frozen vegetables can be used and are more nutritious than canned foods. Simmer all days and serve with bread or crackers for a warming lunch or evening meal.

If you have a large family, the toaster oven probably will not work for you. Use your stove oven instead. Wash potatoes, peel if preferred, and cut into French fry sized strips. Rinse well and toss in a colander to dry. Rub with a clean towel to remove even more water. Lay out in a single layer on a lightly greased (1/2 tsp will do) baking pan. Sprinkle with salt, garlic and onion powder and bake at 450 degrees about fifteen minutes or until browned. This is a whole food, healthy option for fast food lovers.

It will take a while to change the way you cook. Make several changes every week and be consistent. When shopping for groceries, stop and think how that boxed, processed food can be replaced with one ingredient options. Black beans and rice in a box? No! Make your own using rice and home cooked or canned beans. Do the kids want chicken noodle soup? Pull frozen chicken breast from the freezer and place it in a stockpot. Add water and seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until the chicken can easily be cut into pieces. Add frozen mixed vegetables and spaghetti noodles. These can be broken into desired lengths. Cook until the noodles are done and serve. You just used one ingredient foods instead of opening a can of chemical flavorings and preservatives, full of toxins. I keep cooked chicken on hand in the freezer, so I can easily make quick meals.

Please leave a comment if you have questions or need more information. By making these changes, we are impacting the health of our children in a positive way for life. They will learn to cook this way for their own families when they are grown. We must be the one to start just as we have by taking on this sacred mission to raise these Recycled kids, so they are not tox–sick!

I also advise against using a microwave to cook and reheat food. The properties of the foods are changed and I firmly believe (do your own research!) the microwave has greatly contributed to the epidemic of cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, and other health issues. 

 

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Made By A Recycled Kid!

Make wise choices for your family and the rewards will last a lifetime. Their lifetime!

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How To Love Someone

Do We Love Everyone? No!

Can We Love Everyone? Yes!

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What?! We are Recycled Moms and many of us are children of the One True God. We should automatically be fountains of love, pouring out on a hurting world. Right? Well yes, but how does that happen? Not everyone is lovable. We live in a harsh, ugly environment where despicable people do horrid things. The daily news always has reports of rapes, thefts, murders, child abuse and abductions and countless more atrocities. I don’t know about you, but I cannot just automatically love a child abuser or a rapist or someone who has just committed mass murder.

Many of us have people in our family or close to us who commit horrible acts or who treat us poorly. Mothers fail us, fathers can be cold or harsh, siblings often bully or ignore us, and lifelong friends betray us. Spouses cheat and children abandon us, leaving us with wounds and burdens. We resent many people. We are flawed human beings and live emotional lives therefore we abhor what makes us feel bad. But Jesus told us to love everyone, didn’t He? Therefore, it is possible. 

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  • And so there remain Faith, Hope, Love–these three; and of these the greatest is Love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

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I will provide a true story of redemption. A young woman grew up with a mentally ill mother who was cold and unable to ever show love. This girl never once heard her mother said, “I love you” and wept to recall that her mother literally drew away when she attempted to hug the mother during a time of distress. It was not a happy childhood. The girl was raped as a young child, sexually abused by family members and grew bitter as a result, holding the mother’s neglect responsible. She left the family and the area when she was old enough and never came back, discarding her family as they had discarded and disregarded her. After decades, she came to know the biblical command regarding love and honoring family. Alas, it was too late since her mother had died, but she resolved to love her anyway even if making amends was not possible.

When she thought of her mother, the negative and bitter memories would be front and center, so she intentionally thought of something beautiful and positive about her mother. These were few and far between, but every single human being has done a few things right and memories surfaced. The girl owned a photograph of her parents on their wedding day and scrutinized it. Her mother had a tiny, tiny, waist and midnight black hair. After that, when she had ugly, unloving thoughts regarding her mother, they were replaced with ones that showed the mother in a positive light. She recalled the beauty of the wedding photograph, the fact that her mother had obviously given her attention. The girl had food, shelter, and clothing. It took many long months and hours of praying on her knees before it became habit but it did and the love was released while hate was imprisoned.

Finally, after all the years of hating her mother, my friend speaks of the woman who gave her life with love and gentleness. Does that mean all the atrocities are forgotten? Of course not. Forgiveness does not require forgetting but the opposite. When we remember what is right in people, we can love them. Everyone was once an innocent baby with God’s life plan open before him or her. THAT is who we love. That is mankind in the image of God.

By choosing love, we can offer our Recycled kids a better opportunity at life. They can grow up knowing forgiveness and walking in it all their days. They can love the one who has been mean or hurtful to them and move past it. It builds character, integrity and strength. It is a hard thing to accept but true. Many grandparents resent the children they have taken in to raise. I have seen it over and over. These adults hold the children responsible for the actions of the parents who chose their own selfish desires and abandoned the kid. By choosing to love instead of wallowing in bitterness, we can build a family and move forward.

Many of you will recall the old Cherokee legend of the Two Wolves 

Which Wolf Do You Feed?

 An elder Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me…it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. “The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. “This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person too,” he added. The Grandchildren thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed…” 

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We CAN love everyone by remembering who they are in Christ. No little girl ever dreamed of growing up to be a prostitute and not one tiny boy planned to become a rapist, murderer or drug addict. See past the physical into the dimension of what could have been and love THAT person. Yes, it takes work and time. It is painful. The outcome for us and our Recycled kids is priceless. The heart is capable of conforming to what we feed it. Choose love, not acceptance as society insists, but real love that refuses to compromise integrity and morality. Only then can we be gentle in word and action, recycling bitterness ugliness and loneliness into peace, beauty and family. That heart of stone becomes a honeycomb of sweetness, providing lifesaving sweetness to dying souls.

Now go love someone. We all can do this.

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Just Walk Away

Just Walk Away

 

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Yes, I know I disappeared again. Unlike my last promise, it will NOT happen again. I am committed to this blog and to the continued mission of raising grandchildren. I will write here even if I am the only one to ever read it. How does the title, Just Walk Away, support this statement? Let me explain.

I have decided to walk away from several things in my life. Those include discouragement, stress, obesity and people who are toxic. I am in an exercise program called Walk Away the Pounds by a lovely lady named Leslie Sansone. She has greatly encouraged me though I have never met her. Visit her website or YouTube channel to access her videos. I am resolved not to be fat, let’s be honest, obese, any longer so I am walking away from being unhealthy and toward the woman I want to be. I look in the mirror and become even more depressed because I do not recognize the face looking back at me.

For seven weeks now, I have not missed a day of exercise. Some days the workout has been more or less strenuous, but I am indeed building a routine and habit that will enable me to meet my goals.

I am also walking away from being an observer and toward active participation in life. My Recycled son is in Civil Air Patrol and loving it. He plans to remain until he ages out. With that in mind, I signed up as a Senior Member so I can chaperone, be of moral support, a mentor, etc. It caused a chain reaction which resulted in this weight loss plan. All this walking away and walking toward has me feeling more like myself than I have in years. I ask YOU, Recycled Moms what can you walk away from that will allow greater joy in your own life?

Let go of whatever binds you. Grab onto some new thing that will open doors that lead to positive life paths for you and your own Recycled children. Challenge yourself and relax at the same time. All this will draw your Recycled Family closer together. To see pride on those young faces we adore, pride of their own accomplishments and pride for us, is an awesome reward.

Resolve to walk away and walk toward whatever is in your personal life. When that stranger in the mirror tries to peer out, smile at her and let your new-found strength push her away. Only then will we be strong enough to care for these children who have been placed in our care. WE must be physically, mentally and spiritually healthy, so we can raise our Recycled kids to be the same when they are adults.

“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:7

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The Blame Game

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My heart is heavy. I feel sorrow, compassion, grief, righteous anger and disbelief at the state of the American family and society. Like tens of thousands before me, I wonder how we ever got to this level of chaos and insanity. Fractured is a great word to describe it. The trickle down (or up) effect is huge. Individuals are broken, therefore negatively impacting their families and friends. Those people continue the cycle in their communities, workplaces, families, political parties, and so on and on and on until an entire country is infected and plagued with lack of common sense, failure to exercise moral conscience and insists that everything is right. Everything that is unless it is not what they want.

What causes such an outrageous explosion of idiocy? The blame game. For several generations now, especially the last two, people have been told nothing is their fault. One is violent because of one’s childhood, a rapist is created because of a domineering mother and not because of personal choice and accountability. Someone once told me that she was not responsible for her actions because “I have an addictive personality.” That one came straight from a rehab facility. She had been taught there to pass on the responsibility for her actions and blame someone or something else. Do alcoholics drink because they have an inherited gene? No, it is because of personal choice. That gene does exist however it does not force the elbow to bend and the mouth to imbibe.

Blaming anyone other than self goes back to the beginning of humankind. In the garden of Eden, two people lived the perfect life. They had everything they needed and wanted, including a personal relationship with God Himself. Then everything changed. Eve was approached by a sinuous deceiver and she decided that she wanted more; she wanted to be God. She was already made in His image, had His love, protection, provision and everything else she needed and wanted. He even gave her an amazing husband who adored her. That man, Adam, was the first being ever created. He was the original, everyone who came afterward has been the copy. Adam was with Eve when she made a conscious choice to do wrong. Afterward when they were lovingly confronted by God, Adam was the first living creature to play the Blame Game. He created it. He blamed his beautiful, beloved wife and God also. “It was that woman YOU gave me. She gave me the fruit and I just ate it. Not my fault. The blame lies with her and with You.” Then Eve blamed the serpent. All these thousands of years later, we still play the Blame Game and have perfected it.

Not my fault, not my fault! So now we live in a country where people do what they want, what is right in their own minds and not what they should be doing. Our culture is saturated with ungodliness. Women kill unborn babies because…. just because they desire to kill unwanted or inconvenient babies. Parents change the gender of a child because they want a boy or girl or genderless offspring. Men live as women and vice versa. Then they demand to use restrooms that fit their own definition of who they are and refuse to accept nature’s designation. Then when something awful happens, it is not their fault. Meanwhile children are involved and that is always my first earthly priority. God remains first in my life.

Our children are being raised to play the Blame Game and they are expert at it. Recently a teenage boy I know became angry and shouted to the full volume of his voice at a teacher. Others who witnessed the incident thought he was going to strike her and he was removed from the classroom. He felt justified because she snapped at him. After days of counseling, his first response to the question of why this all happened was “she snapped at me” with no accountability or admission that he had interrupted her over and over.

My point of all this is to remind us all that we have choices to make and will feel the consequences. Those often last a lifetime and affect future generations. It divides families, friends, communities, societies and individuals from God. Divisionism causes fractured relationships, broken people. We must stop blaming and accept responsibility. Together we all have beauty, gifts, talents and potential. However, we must look to the great Composer of life so we can live with one accord to create a harmonious symphony. Acts 1: 14 and 2:1 (The Holy Bible) states that hundreds of people were of one accord. That is an amazing place to be.

Let us, Recycled Moms, strive to be in one accord while maintaining integrity of conviction that comes with knowledge of God’s plan for our lives. Do not play the Blame Game. Let us take hold of our failings, our mistakes, our responsibilities for our children and all people in our vicinity. Never compromise. Never blame. Love in a godly manner and not according to what the world declares love to be and it will all end well.

I am aware these are controversial words and not politically correct and I do not care. Truth is always true and it is time we be strong and of good courage. Speak up for children, for God and for what is right. I have chosen to do just that and I blame no one for this post. I accept full responsibility and pray it brings glory to God, the truth speaker.

Times! They Are Changing!

 

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Life is simply amazing and wonderful. As the few remaining loyal followers of this lonely blog can attest, my attention has been elsewhere. I promise (and mean it this time) that will not happen again. I sincerely love this blog and enjoy writing content for here. Being a single Recycled Mom demands a great deal of time and I have allowed that, and work, to keep me away. But as the title of this post states, times are changing.

July 31st will be my last day at my job. That will free up my days and allow me to devote more time to my fast growing boy, our home, and this website. I will work some twelve hour night shifts in another position to provide for our expenses. That will be perfect. As a night-time caregiver, my clients will sleep most of the shift, so will my boy, therefore it will not seem I am away from him so long. Also, I can write at night and keep up regular posts here. I am currently writing a historical fiction novel along with a greatly exaggerated memoir of my childhood. I will have time to work on those at night also. I tell you people, God is GOOD. All the time!

I want to give an update on my young man. He is no longer a boy. He looks, sounds and smells like a man! Yes. He has a stubbly chin, a deep voice and sweats something fierce. He has life plans and is putting those into action. He joined the Civil Air Patrol (I highly recommend it for young men) and plans to earn entrance into the Air Force Academy from there and then go directly into the Air Force as an officer. All this at age fourteen! I admire him and am proud of him beyond measure. I give God all the credit and glory. Our Pastor deserves credit also. He has sowed much time and love into my young man.knows he has to be physically in shape to make his dreams a reality. Every morning he appears fully

S. knows he has to be physically in shape to make his dreams a reality. Every morning he sleepily appears from his bedroom fully dressed with his running shoes on and we drive to a local park where he runs a mile. We do it again every evening. He is so dedicated that he never misses his runs. His time is almost at the goal set. He runs in the pouring rain, in 102 degree weather and when he does not feel well.

Can this really be the boy who was unfocused and griped because I forced him away from the television and video games? No, it is not. This is a more mature young man who knows what kind of life he wants and intends to achieve that future. He is a godly man in the making, respectful, courteous and kind. He hugs me goodnight and goodbye, tells me that he loves me and makes me proud to be a Recycled Mom. Few days go by that I do not think of the ones that cast him aside and left me to raise him. They will never know the joy they have missed or the incredible gift they bestowed on me. I am grieved and full of pity for his birth parents; the feelings of confusion and anger have long been dead. They will never be resurrected.

The body that held a womb that God blessed with life somehow did not also host a heart selfless enough to put that life first. The man God designated as a father, mentor, trainer, and leader chose to step aside and let another guide this child. I feel incredible sorrow for those two human beings who failed to grasp the amazing bounty of parenthood. And I thank God for thinking of me and having faith in me. He placed His tiny, precious creation in my hands and has sat on His throne watching all these years. I have many regrets and bitter repentances; have pleaded for forgiveness from Almighty God and my boy when I have been mean spirited or petty. I could give many reasons why. I was exhausted mentally and physically; I had a multitude of worries, yadda, yadda, ad nauseam. Those would be excuses but not reasons. I have finally overcome those failings and continue to work on many others.

That brings me back to the title of this blog post. I needed to change my life so I can spend these last priceless years with my boy; yes MY boy. Very few rare people get to be Grandmother and Mom (Recycled Mom) to a child. To a young man. To a soldier. To a man of God. I shall forever treasure my titles and my experiences.

Thank You God for changing times, redeeming lives and boundless blessings. I pray that one day, You will look at me and say, “Well done Recycled Mom, well done!” To my beautiful young man, I hope you will one day remember me as the one who loved you enough to fail in many ways but never in the act of loving you. Those times never, never change.

 

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The fireworks are for You, God

Father, Redeemer, Healer, Provider, Teacher, Maker of Time.

Look what the Lord has done!!!

 

More on Homesteading to Protect Our Recycled Kids

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I hope all of you have thought more about homesteading. I kept the first post short and unfocused for a reason. The decision to remove one’s family from the addictions of society is huge. Just to remove video games and/or television likely will create a family crisis. I know a family whose son attempted to run away from home when he was told his Xbox would be taken away for a month. Another family’s daughter threatened suicide and tried to jump out of a moving vehicle when her cell phone was taken. These and many more stories reflect the influence of technology on children and young people. It should cause us to be very, very concerned.

I will continue to state that electronics be removed from one’s home regardless of lifestyle. If one chooses the simpler choice to homestead, there is reason to make it happen even sooner. We cannot work hard to garden, raise livestock, prepare for winter, keep our home clean and organized, raise children and all the other work that goes into a self-sustainable lifestyle while spending hours in front of a screen. These things steal the minds and life of our kids and indeed our own. Being entertained instead of keeping busy is a copout.

Another small step to becoming more independent is water retention. Water truly is life and we will quickly die without it. Rain barrels placed beneath gutters is a simple way to start. This water can be filtered and used for drinking and cooking or to water a garden and animals. It is fun to see children get excited about such a foundational issue as water. Scour resale stores, flea markets and yard sales to find some barrels. Also five gallon buckets will be needed to carry water to the garden or wherever. These can be purchased for only a few dollars or for free by asking at restaurants and other places.

When we give our children these back to basic physical things to do, their brains develop differently than when simply being entertained by television or video games. Other people invented those things, the shows and games are the product of another’s intelligence. Our kids have their own gifts and we, as parents, are responsible to see they develop them. Another benefit is that our kids will become more fit physically. As they work in the yard raking leaves, mowing or just picking up sticks, they get the exercise that most Americans are missing. Building muscle as fat deposits are burned off, gives one more energy and common afflictions decrease. Diabetes is better controlled or even eliminated by losing weight and exercising.

There are many, many benefits to living a more self-reliant lifestyle. One does not have to pull up stakes and go off to liv in a tent in the woods. My goal is to help people see that relationships are strengthened when we spend time together in worthwhile pursuits. I have always detested the term “quality time” because it suggests other, non-quality, time is acceptable. It is not. All time spent with our Recycled Kids must be quality even when we are laying games, preserving food, chasing a chicken or whatever.

Another huge benefit is that kids will eat what they have grown. We were at a meeting just last evening where a local teacher handmade authentic eggrolls. Literally half the children refused to even taste them. One had never had eggrolls but declared she did not like them. I was appalled. For years, I have seen kids refuse most foods. They have been spoiled to eat only processed and fast foods. These same little ones probably would eat the tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes, etc. that their own little hands heled grow if given the opportunity.

Seriously readers, when I was a child, it never occurred to us to refuse the food that was put before us. We just ate what Mama prepared. My own child and Recycled Boy do also. Sure, there are a few foods we are not crazy about and that is natural. This phenomenon of kids dictating food purchases and meal planning is out of control. Back to basics on the homestead can curb this and allow parents to once again run the home. Rant over!

Safety is yet another benefit of turning off or severely limiting television, internet, social media, etc. In or own area, an eleven year old girl, a fourth grader accidentally got on an inappropriate website. She was playing a game when a link popped up; she clicked on it and found herself on a pornography site. The perverts there immediately pounced on her and eventually convinced the girl to disrobe in front of the video camera on her laptop. They of course captured screenshots and now her nude image is forever out there on the internet for pedophiles to stare at and imagine perversions. This sort of thing can happen to your child, to my child. Kids are naïve and easily manipulated. We must protect them in ways that were not even imaginable when we were young.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Think of ways to protect your Recycled Kids and also to get them involved in a hands on way of life. They will thank you for it one day. I keep telling myself that (insert laugh here). Seriously though, they really will. Get your thinking cap on. Plan your future and lay one more brick in the foundation of life for your children. We will be ridiculed for being different, for pulling out of the rat race. The strong, confident, healthy child we raise into adulthood will thank us though so persevere on to victory! We can do this. We are Recycled Moms and are strong and courageous!

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Homesteading With Kids – Baby Steps

Good day Recycled Moms. I did not post last week because we have been working hard, making plans and putting them into action. I watch the world we live in, see society become even crazier, people more perverse and know I do not want my children living like that. So we will be separating ourselves even more from the ways most Americans live. How is that possible?
Cut back on screen time. Most people, kids and adults, are addicted to television, tablets, computers, video games and telephones. Cut the cable. Little on there is worthwhile anyway and the time spent in front of a screen is out of control. These figures are from 2014 and likely have increased since then.
“In the United States, people spend an average of 444 minutes every day looking at screens, or 7.4 hours. That breaks down to 147 minutes spent watching TV, 103 minutes in front of a computer, 151 minutes on a smartphones and 43 minutes with a tablet.” (Source BGR)
Imagine what could be accomplished if that time was spent growing food, building a home, preparing for winter, etc. The physical and mental health of every child and adult would improve. Relationships grow stronger when parents and children spend time together so hours spent on the homestead bring families closer. We have not had television for years now and my Recycled Boy lives without video games. We play board games, cards, Bible study, plan our future and the hours fly by.
Sit down as a family and decide how you want to live. Some people go totally off grid, some stay connected to electrical power and city water. That is okay. Not everyone has resources or ability to purchase a hundred acres and live off the land. I don’t. It is possible to homestead while living in an urban environment. I do recommend leaving the city for country living if possible at all. There are just too many hindrances, influences and temptations in a city environment. We owe it to our children to remove them from that polluted place. The pollution is spiritual also and contributes to depression, poor behavior and even suicidal thoughts.
Learn to be self-sufficient wherever you are. Grow food even if it is just a few items. This allows the new homestead family to learn through trial and error. Research how to garden, to can, dehydrate and preserve foods. Get the children involved. The more they learn and stay busy, the less they will miss video games, etc. Also they need these skills so they can survive in the future.
I do not want to sound like a conspiracy theorist BUT I truly believe society as we know it will cease to exist. The power grid will go down and it may be months or even years that we will have to survive on our own. So many people depend on grocery stores for every bite of food and my own family did too. We are working to be more self reliant.
It is possible to live without electricity, running water and all the gadgets we take for granted. Eliminate them gradually and get accustomed to doing it manually. Our latest life change is to not use the clothes dryer at all. I grew up in an era where we hung clothes on a line. If it rained, well they got an extra rinse. If they froze, they dried at some point. No one went without clothing in the meanwhile.
I will be posting more about homesteading in the future. I truly believe going back to a simple way of life can benefit our children and ourselves. Stay tuned and make plans to unplug!

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