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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Real Food for Real Kids

 

Hello Recycled Moms. The topic of today’s post is one most moms have wept over. Most children in America are picky eaters and junk food addicts. The processed, chemical and preservative laden foods (and I use the term food loosely) are causing great damage to our children. The rise in childhood cancers, autism, diabetes and even heart disease is alarming. We, as moms and caregivers, must step up and take control of the health and future of our kids. It takes time and great effort but the payoff is beyond measure.

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The typical American diet has not introduced our children to fresh vegetables, homemade pickles, whole fruits and other God created foods. It is time to change that. It is best for a child to eat a large variety of foods from infancy but never too late to start. I realize this will be a shock to most kids and they will rebel. Persevere Recycled moms and you will see victory.

We cannot start by demanding a chicken nugget and French fry addict forsake those and start eating spinach, broccoli, carrots, sweet peppers and other healthful foods instantly. Make junk food portions smaller and add one spoonful of a new God created food. Be strong and encourage the child to “just taste it by eating one spoonful.” Many children will love the food and that one battle can be history.

There are many ways to add new foods to a child’s diet. The entire family should eat the same breakfast, lunch and dinner. In most countries, people do not have the great variety we do in America and have not developed the habit of picky eating. Indeed, when I was a child, we ate what Mama placed before us. It would never have entered my mind to whine about it or to proclaim that I hated a certain food. We can bring this attitude back to our own homes and dinner tables.

I will add the disclaimer that we all have foods we prefer not to eat and that is okay. My own grandson does not like coleslaw so I do not force him to eat it. I also do not plan meals around his or my own preferences. I do not consult him on what he would like for breakfast or any other meal. He eats what is placed on the table with the rare exception of not liking certain foods. Even then, he receives one spoonful and must eat that. A child’s taste buds are not well developed and he or she has no experience with food variety. What one does not like today may become a favorite soon but that can never happen unless the child is encouraged to branch out and taste foods.

Again, this is going to take time and a mountain of patience with most children who have been let eat what they want. These little diet dictators must be overthrown though so they can grow up to be healthy adults. We are the adults, we are the ones who pledged to care for them. That means making tough choices and sticking by them.

My own grandson just had fresh sweet pepper slices with his sandwich and proclaimed them wonderful. They were eye pleasing red, yellow and orange. Make it fun for the children as much as possible. Put your food down if necessary. Lead by example and eat fresh, whole healthful foods. Do not buy junk foods, cookies, candies and other processed items. If they are not in the home, temptation will not be there either.

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To Snitch Or Not To Snitch

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV

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Hello Recycled Moms. Today, I am talking about a subject that recently affected my own grandson “S”. At some point, most children experience this. When one sees another child doing something wrong, he or she has to choose loyalty to the wrongdoer or confession to preserve safety.

My grandson chose to tell me that his friend “J” had done something very wrong, criminal in fact. He knew his friend would feel betrayed and would be angry but concern for his friend’s future overrode the demand for secrecy. His friend indeed was upset and in a rage. He called S. a snitch among other not so nice names.

S. felt awful about telling on his friend and I explained to both boys that being a snitch is simply to act as an informer and information is knowledge. Parents must have knowledge and information so we can protect the children in our care. I must confess that J. never grasped the concept and left very angry and feeling betrayed. The situation still allowed for a teaching moment that I hope will stay with both boys for a lifetime.

While my heart remains concerned for J., I know my main responsibility is to my own child and his training. I applauded S. for his courage. It took a lot to tell me when he knew J. would be angry and maybe not remain his friend.

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Recycled Moms, I tell you all this so you know you are not the only one going through these trials and your kids are not either. Encourage them to never have secrets from you. Secrets are dangerous and lead to disaster. Open hearts keep family members close to one another and increase the protective instinct. So encourage your children to tell you everything. I have taught S. that he can tell me anything. I do not promise there will not be consequences for actions that were wrong. I do promise I will not be angry, that I will support him and will do everything in my power to make it right again.

Let your children know that the child who told them not to snitch is being a bully and bullies are only concerned about their own welfare; they do not want to be found out and reported. As in our case, a child may be threatened if he or she tells, but again, secrets (silence) impede safety. Silence does not promote safety in any manner at all. Let the child know it is okay to feel scared and even feel badly about having to snitch.

We must learn to make choices in life and there will be thousands of them. The best way to know in the future how to choose is to start today in positive ways. Choose right, reject wrong. Choose legal, refuse criminal. Choose morality, say no to immoral behavior.

Also, it is important, vital even, to not promise something you cannot maintain. Never promise any child that you will keep secret what he or she confesses. Let the child clearly know you must pass on the information so they can remain safe and the person they are telling about will be safer also. Let them be present if they wish but never push them to be confronted with a situation that makes them feel unsafe.

Will your child tell you everything and never keep a secret? Probably not. They are kids and will act like kids. That makes us feel betrayed, hurt, offended and perhaps angry. Remember there are degrees of lying. Lying by omission is only one and most children do not have the capability to understand that. Just encourage total honesty and pray for everyone involved. Remain watchful around certain children who might be bad influences on your own child but know we cannot place kids in a bubble. Let natural consequences play out and encourage the right kind of snitching.

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When Siblings Are Not Together

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Grandchildren are like fine chocolates. We always want just one more. The delicious filled centers of the chocolates are forever a surprise; part of the enjoyment is the fact we never know what we will get. The experiences our precious littles bring is the same. They each have a unique personality and come with surprises. Some of those unexpected circumstances are not pleasant and leave a bitter aftertaste.

Some of us Recycled Moms are raising only one grandchild while others have any number of blessings. But what happens when other grandchildren are living elsewhere? I know of grandmothers who grieve daily because they and the children in their care are deprived of siblings. Due to divorce, out of wedlock pregnancies, drug abuse, mental illnesses and a myriad of other issues, siblings are often split apart. How do we Recycled Moms deal with this?

Each family must decide based on the issues. Some of the grandchildren are not even aware they have siblings. If the possibility of them meeting and having a relationship is basically nonexistent, do not even mention the other child (or children). It simply has not value and causes even more pain especially if the other child is with the absent parent. Having stated this, I add a disclaimer. Never, ever lie to your grandchild. When asked a question you would rather not answer, be honest but with minimal information. My own grandson once asked if his birth mother is dead and I simply said, “I do not know. Let’s pray for her.”

There is no clear cut answer. Almost eight million children live in grandparent households (or with other relatives). Three million grandparents report they are totally responsible for their grandchildren including all needs. This astounding number certainly makes the breath catch and makes us aware there are eight million hurting hearts. The number of siblings living outside these homes are unknown. We do know it presents a unique problem in America and that will continue into adulthood unless our precious grandchildren are given the security they deserve and crave.

Think about this Recycled Moms and have an idea of how to handle the situation. It might occur and to all of us. Remember to always speak positively about the siblings and to love them also. This is important o our grandchildren know our love is unconditional and encompassing enough to include people outside of the home. We never know what the future holds; we might one day find ourselves caring for the siblings also!

You are doing a great job with your little ones and you can indeed handle this is it become a factor. I have faith in you and so does God. He provides all we need and has all the answers.

Children live in a world we scarcely remember. The hardships, disappointments, heartaches and pressures of life leave us with a heart-scar. Children do not have that and see the world through eyes of wonder and color. Let us foster that by including anyone important to them. Our heart has room; it expands to hold just one more and one more and one more…..DSC_1347 thermal

God Writes It All

 

I heard this beautiful song today for the first time and was saddened to learn the gorgeous singer, Joey, died yesterday. She had fought a valiant battle against cervical cancer which spread to her colon. She leaves her grieving husband and a baby girl who turned two years old last month.

The words of this song are powerful and a reminder that my own gift of writing is from God alone. He writes the songs, the poems, articles, stories and books. He gives me the inspiration and guides my hand. I simply hold the pen.

We Recycled Moms hold the pen that guides the lives of our grandchildren. It writes security, love, a future of promise or one of perpetual pain and sorrow. Write well Recycled Moms. The moments spent with our littles can never be relived. Allow God to guide you along this path and He will not steer you wrong.

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This very short post is important to me and I hope, to you. The knowledge of who writes the song and who simply holds the pen is life changing. Grab the Holy Bible and allow God, the loving Father, to write the story of your own life.

 

 

About Time To Say Goodbye

It’s About Time to Say Goodbye!
Hello to anyone left out there who might still follow this blog. The time has flown past. Life just overwhelmed me for a while but now I am determined to resurrect my Recycled Moms writings. Let’s catch up.
My grandson just turned thirteen. My heart and mind are stunned to comprehend such a thing but it is true nonetheless. He is tall and strong; trying to grow a mustache which I promise to shave while he sleeps if he is successful. He is now homeschooled and that presents unique challenges and opportunities.
I work part time which is wonderful and sad because I want to spend every moment with my young man. I see a door opening that is his future and all too soon, he will walk through it and out into this vast world where I cannot protect him.
How can we Recycled Moms prepare for the time when our little ones are not little and they are off living lives of their own? We must teach them diligently the way we would have them go, pray without ceasing and smile as we wave goodbye. We receive promises in God’s Word that allow us to know the future of our children. Isaiah 44:3-4 says, “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring. They will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses”.
That surely is encouraging and lets us know God is always watching over them just as we did countless days and nights. Remember those long, dark times when our littles were sick? We sat beside the bed wiping brows, giving kisses, cleaning up vomit, changing diapers and praying endlessly. God, our Father, was right there beside us. He never left and never will leave. He follows our now grown up children into this new period and stand firm right by their side.
We are God’s children and He adopts us because of Jesus and our faith in Him. Isaiah 43:5-6says, “Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth—Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him” (Is. 43:5-7). Our sons and daughters (grandsons and granddaughters) are also His children.
The world cannot have them. The enemy (Satan) cannot have them. The canopy of protection is over them because we give them to God and trust in Him to forever care for them tenderly just as we have for years and years. The canopy of protection continues over our beloved grandchildren even as they leave home and go off to college, careers, marriage and parenthood.
I shall end this short post by stating that we grandmother’s, Recycled Moms, are a powerful influence on our children and that will not end. Recently my own precious young man came to me and said he is going to save money to buy a mortgage free home “because I am not going to be thirty years old and living with my grandmother.” But he is willing to be thirty and have his grandmother living with him. The power of that love, that seed I planted growing to fruition, is remarkable.
Great love to all of you Recycled Moms out there. I love you and God loves you and honors your sacrifices.

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