Living simply in the wild

Raising Boys

Teaching kindness: What’s in a name.

We are always teaching kindness to the Jr’s and as parents we never really know quite how we’re doing. This topic is always in the forefront of my mind, like it was here at the parade and here where they are so tender We can teach and teach until we are out of ways to teach then we must wait. Wait for the day when we start to see if we did something right or if we failed miserably.


Today we got a little glimpse….
A conversation between the Jrs and another little boy (whom i’ve changed his name to retell this story):



“You like President Business?” the little boy asked the Jrs who were were Lego movie t-shirts.

“oh ya, we like President Business.” the Jrs said in unison.

“Cool so do I. What’s your name?”

The boys quickly stated their names and then asked him what his was.

“Jackson. I don’t really like my name though.”

Jr fired back saying, “Oh, well I think that’s a cool name.”

No the boys aren’t winning any prizes or medals for this tiny gesture, but as a mom it was a proud moment. There was no one around, in fact they didn’t even know I was listening. I can only hope that they continue to make small gestures like this to everyone they meet. Spreading kindness and lifting others up. In this world, that’s a big deal.


On Raising Boys: Don’t eat poop

In order to explain this title I must rewind to the beginning of the day.

7:15am I hear the creak of our bedroom door open and 2 tiny feet skurry in and rush over to my side of the bed. “Mom, hey mom. Are you awake?”. “Yes son, wide awake. This pillow over my face and warm blankets wrapped around me should show that I’m wide awake”. I dont think he comprehended my sarcasm. “Ok good, can we have breakfast?”.

7:32am A cold tongue swipes itself across my arm, over and over and over again. I’m praying in my dreams that this isn’t one of the children. I pry open my eye just enough to see a giant hairy beast staring straight at me telling me she’s ready for the day.

7:45am Coffee….dear coffee. Thank you.

9am We air up the tires to the bikes, throw them into the back of the truck and hit the road.

The weather was incredible. Nothing but blue sky’s as far as you could see. The sun was just hot enough to keep it comfortable with jackets. We rode 4 miles of the discovery trail today. It’s a beautiful paved trail that any bike tire would swoon over. We started out beneath the rocky cliffs of Beards Hallow and wound our way out to the Dunes. Dune grass surrounds you on both sides. It’s straw color is highlighted in the sun and it sways in the breeze. The ocean sits just on the other side of the Dunes and the crashing waves bellow at you to keep peddling. So we did.

Beach Ride

2:34pm Back home. Seafood stock is simmering on the stove. Laundry is folded. I’m sitting in a lawn chair in the back yard reading an amazing book while the boys try out their new Bow and Arrows with breaks in between for sword fighting. All seems right in the world

6:19pm “Mom, I think i’m so smart at math because i’m mixed with brown.”. Great, how did this kid learn what racial profiling is already! Make note to correct this train of thought.

7:46pm After asking the boys 12 times to GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH, they finally slithered to the bathroom. immediately I hear gagging and “EWWWW”s and “What is that?” I immediately knew this wasn’t going to be good. Our lovely pup had been in the bathroom unsupervised and had done her business in there and afterwards she thought she may get into trouble for it so decided to get rid of the evidence by eating it. Or so Ranger thought.

8pm Upon further investigation, or as I would like to call it…Me cleaning it up. I noticed that she had in fact NOT been the one who did her business in the bathroom. But one of the BOYS had done it and forgotten two very important steps. 1. Flushing & 2. Closing the lid. I’ll let you fill in the blanks from here on out.

8:32pm Dear dog is outside…for the night. Kids are in bed…for the night. And I’m officially done…for the night.

Ranger said this is a very valuable lesson to learn; Don’t Eat Poop!

I on the other hand have another lesson to be learned;

Do NOT skip step 1 & 2!

Always flush and always always put the seat down. I will be, from here on out, making sure those two steps are engrained in those tiny little heads.

Raising boys, you’ll never be able to predict what your day has in store for you.


A Childs Joy- let them play


Let the Children Play.

Kids are not bread to be be in a box.

Let them play.

Children are made to run and hide. Sing and dance. Yell and fight.

Keeping them in the lock box of your sight doesn’t keep them safe.


Children are meant to get dirty.

Rolling in the dirt, stomping in the mud, dashing through the brush.

Leaves in their hair, snow in their eyelashes, dirt between their toes.


Children are meant to run.

Backsides planted in chairs for hours a day dims the spirit.

Feeling the wind rush past them as they dart here and there.


Children are meant to imagine.

To live in make-believe worlds.

Ones adorned with magic portals and abilities to fly.



Where trees turn to towers and puddles turn to oceans inside their wonderful minds.

Places where they forgo their given names and take on pseudo names such as Superman, Huckelberry, Wild, and Brian.


Children are meant to learn.

Playing does not stunt learning, it supports it.

For it is in play that they learn the most.

They learn negotiating, problem solving, empathy, and creativity.

They learn that life is fun and that they have the ability to be who they want to be.


Children are meant to be bored.

Out of boredom comes ideas and plans.

Mischief is sure to follow.

Finding their way to and from from predicaments they wind up in is just another way to learn.


Children are meant to Play.

Their souls long for it. Their bodies where made for it. Their hearts seek it.

Let the children play.


Raising Boys: The Tender Soul

Lately I’ve realized something profound…my Junior Rangers are more like me then I ever had hoped. This is not a bad thing but it’s not particularly a good thing because they seemed to have received a lot of my dents.

1) I noticed this the other day when they laughed at my jokes. Normally this wouldn’t be anything to write home about, but my jokes are aweful. So this is not something to brag about. Ranger, now he can make me laugh. He has an awesome sense of humor…and he rarely laughs as my jokes. So that tells me something.

2) The poor kids run into things….a lot. Tables, Walls, doors, it doesn’t matter. I always thought my sister was the clumsy one growing up, but looking back I was the one hanging by my underwear during an intense game of hide and go seek with all the neighborhood kids. The pants ripped, I tumbled to the ground face first and had to do a walk of shame with a mouthful of dirt.

3) They are tender. The soak up other peoples feelings. They feel their feelings to the fullest. When they are mad their MAD. When their happy their happy. They feel.

Every few months we will have a spell of crying at night. Not a few tears, but what is known as the ugly cry. You know the one where you’re eyebrows go crooked, your mouth gets wider.  The cries are from things that have happened years ago, things that stirred up dust once but have settled since then. But we have to rework through those issues as if they have just happened.

So how do you go about raising boys with a tender soul, someone who feels so deeply. Trust me, I write this for my own reminder, not because I have it figured out.

The world we live in is extremely harsh. We have to be tough, thick skinned, and withstand blow after blow. We must force ourselves and our children to be tough to deal with the world.  I believe we were all born sensitive, with all these feelings and emotions. Through the years we realized that it hurts, it hurts to feel so much. So we force ourselves to toughen up, to close off. And then we teach our children.


We should be strong, we need to be strong in the world to face it. The balance is being strong and staying open.

So how do we raise boys with a tender soul?

1) We must be tender ourselves.

If you have ever paid attention to any child in your lifetime you will see that all of them take on actions and words of those adults they are around. In our house we use the word ridiculous quite often. Sure enough the other day Junior Kman came huffing and puffing out of his bedroom after getting dressed. His jeans were unbuttoned, shoes untied, he had skipped about 12 buttons on his shirt. Little man sat down on the stairs, crossed his little arms, stomped his foot and said very clearly and angrily, “I look widiculous!”. In fact he did look very ridiculous. So i hugged him, explained how we could remedy the situation and make him look a bit less ridiculous. I too get angry at my clothes, way more often then I should. Thankfully I have stopped yelling at my clothes because i’ve realized they don’t listen. So I understood where he was coming from.

Whether it is the words you use or the actions you put forth, they are watching and soaking it all up in their beautiful little brains. In traffic their watching you, at the grocery store their watching how you react to the people around you. If we keep ourselves tender, if we pull ourselves away from being so tough to the world around us we will look at the world a bit differently. Our children will start seeing us deal with others with kindess and tenderness and in turn they will, hopefully, do the same.

2) We must be open. A side effect of being tough is being closed off. We stop seeing what is around us.

It never fails when playing with legos. Little Junior will work so hard on building the perfect contraption. Sometimes it is a plane, sometime is it a double decker plane, but whatever it is it’s huge…and top heavy. Apparently we haven’t learned how this effects things but i’m hoping we will learn this lesson soon because a lot of tears are shed. He will be concentrated so hard on building and then i’ll hear it. A shatter across the wood floor. And then i’ll wait for it, and it always comes. A defeated sigh, the look of complete heartache in his eyes, and then the tears swell up. He’s defeated. Completely and utterly defeated.

No big deal, it’s just legos. Get over it, build it again. But if I stop for a minute and see how much of himself he poured into building that masterpiece i’ll see that it’s not just legos. If i’m open enough i’ll see that it meant something to him, he was proud of it, and now it’s destroyed.

So every time I go and I sit by him.

“I know you were working so hard on that. I know you are not happy that it all fell apart.” A nice long hug here will usually stop the tears. He realizes that I understand, that it is a big deal, that he is upset, that I am here…open.

I ask him if he knows how he put it together and if we can work to put it back how it was. A few wipes of snot on the sleeve and we’re back to building another masterpiece.


3) Give them tools.

I wish it were as easy as going to the hardware store and loading up a tool box, but it isn’t. This part really depends on belief systems and what works for an individual. Trial and error play a big role with this part.

The good news: there are so many tools out there!

Tools can be anything. For one of our Rangers a hug is the best tool. When he’s frustraited, annoyed or just in a pissy mood recieving a little extra love will have him smiling in no time. In fact just yesterday he was in a less than happy mood. I asked him what was the matter. His response? “I just need some lovin”. He’s getting it.

For our other Ranger it’s talking. He’s one to keep things inside and when I realize something is bothering him we will sit down and talk and spend some one on one time together. He will walk away in a much lighter mood.

Religion is a huge tool. Whether it’s God, Brahman, HaShem, Allah, or Buddah. Having a higher power that can help you along your journey is an excellent tool and one that most find very comforting.

Meditation, yes even for children. This is a tool i’m trying to equip our boys with. There are many types of meditation and there are a lot geared towards children. Mostly it is guided imagary which can be very fun and very powerful. It fosters many things within them and I hope it will be something they keep growing because it will always be something they can reach for.

Herbs and suppliments.   Being a tender soul isn’t a flaw, it doesn’t need fixing. It may need a little tuning and adjusting, but it is a gift and doesn’t need cured. There are so many wonderful herbs and nutrition based diets to really help your body become balanced. These are wonderful for kids as they are gentle on their bodies and natural. Seek out someone experienced in working with children and herbs together for their advice.

So how do you raise a tender soul? I’m not sure any of us know. But I bet that if we ourselves stay tender and open and we are able to supply these beautiful children with tools to help them along on their lives journey, i think that is a great place to start.


<sorry, yes=”” i=”” am=”” aware=”” of=”” the=”” typo=”” in=”” quote=”” on=”” photo.=”” it’s=”” been=”” a=”” brutal=”” week=”” and=”” thought=”” trying=”” to=”” re-edit,=”” save,=”” convert,=”” upload=”” one=”” more=”” thing=”” is=”” too=”” much.=”” so=”” <span=”” class=”hiddenGrammarError” pre=”So ” data-mce-bogus=”1″>i’m asking for a little mercy on this one. Thank you 🙂

Ancient Art of Flint Knapping

We let our children play with knives.


There I said it. You may have had your suspicions up until now, but now you know. And by play I mean use responsibly. So please don’t call CPS on us just yet.

They each have their own pocket knife that they are allowed to use should they feel the need to whittle a stick, carve some bark, cut some grass, or whatever else a knife should be used for. They are being taught strict knife safety rules and if they abuse those rules or if they are irresponsible while using one then they will lose the privilege of being able to use use knives. So far they have been incredible responsible and cautious.

So letting them break and cut a stone that could easily cut through skin, well of course as a mom I was a bit nervous but knew they were going to be cautious and responsible. Plus the fashionable gloves and goggles they are sporting added to the safety measure required for the activity.

Our goal is to foster their interests. Everywhere you look there is history to be seen. It’s in the buildings, in the trees, in the formations on land, the rocks, it’s everywhere. They are becoming quite interested in the history of the things we encounter.

So what better way to show them history then by doing a little history ourselves. We took the Juniors to go see and try out on of the earliest forms of tool making.

Fint Knapping


The Interpretive Ranger that held this class is a wealth of knowledge. He actually makes and hunts with his own handmade tools.


He showed the boys how to hit the Obsidian with another rock to break off a razor sharp piece. Then how to sand the edges to create the shape i.e. arrowheads. The boys were amazed that they were able to make something and then slice through a piece of leather like butter.


They were able to see and touch ancient arrowheads carved out of a variety of different types of materials, different shapes and sizes.


But slamming another rock into another and it breaking off a piece that was incredibly sharp was the highlight of their day. If I didn’t know any better they were pretty close to strapping on a loin cloth, grabbing a bow and heading off to prove their man hood by taking down a bear with their one arrow they just made.





Run the Gauntlet!

 “Medieval-themed entertainment and games for your enjoyment”

If you’re looking to do a themed week in homeschooling, be sure to add these!

Medieval-themed entertainment and games for your enjoyment

The Middle Ages bring the best elements of fiction to the digital realm with stories full of fair damsels, knights, and the occasional dragons. It was a time when everything was mystical because so many things were as yet undiscovered. Hence, the role of human imagination played a bigger part during the era. Up to this day, the Medieval Period is a favorite historical phase among people who want to escape from present-day reality for a while, with numerous recreational activities themed after it.

Medieval Times, the famous dinner theater and sporting establishment, knows much about folks’ fascination with the period. For thirty years now, the place has provided entertainment through four-course feasts and tournaments inspired by the 11th century. Just as in olden times, guests are to show allegiance to a particular “house” and a corresponding knight that will represent the group in the tournament. Visitors are quirkily urged to dine without utensils and instead use their bare hands, in true medieval fashion.

The medieval theme has found its way into video games and online slots, as well. Dark Souls and Assassin’s Creed are just two of the many popular video games that use a medieval backdrop. Leading gaming machines manufacturer and Castle Jackpot proprietor IGT has also created medieval-themed digital slots as part of its venture into the online world. Dungeons and Dragons – Treasures of Icewind Dale brings players to the mountains of the cold north as they seek out riches, whileLady Robin Hood involves going through the mysterious Sherwood Forest and hitting the winning marks.

Moreover, some familiar games of today have their origins in the middle ages. Billiards was a highly regarded game in the 14th century, although it was played a bit differently than it is today. Players competed on a level portion of the ground while striking wooden balls using mallets and hooked rods. Backgammon, one of the oldest games in the world, was also quite popular during medieval times. The game was played on a panel with 24 points, similar to present-day backgammon.


For several people, the Middle Ages signify magic, mystery, and romance, which is why it continues to be a favorite backdrop for many of today’s leisure activities.

Kids are sure to love and enjoy a week of medieval themed fun!

 :::::This was a sponsored post and I was compensated:::::

Natural Dyed Easter Eggs

Whether it’s easter or not log this in your memory any time you’d like to dye things naturally…shirts, soaps, scarves, yarn, children’s hands, whatever’s your fancy. And yes, I did end up with a child who stuck his hand in the beet juice, tinting him the perfect shade of pink.

natural dyed easter eggs

Natural Dyed Easter Eggs

  1. Collect dye ingredients. For a nice list check of natural egg dyes. We used Red cabbage, Tumeric, 100% Grape Juice, and Beets.
  2. Chop veggies into pieces.
  3. Place 4 cups of water and a generous amount of one veggie ingredient in a pot or saucepan. There is no set rule for how much to use, but i figured the more the merrier!
  4. Boil for 15-30 minutes, checking the water for color intensity. The dyed eggs will a few shades lighter then the dye.
  5. Strain the solids from the liquid and set cooked vegetables aside to use later in soups or to compost.
  6. Pour dye into containers and it doesn’t hurt to label them.
  7. Add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar (white or apple cider) to each container. Stir.
  8. Place clean, hard boiled eggs in dye. Make sure they are fully submerged.
  9. We left our in the dye for 1-2 hours. You can leave them in as short or as long as you like. If you have the patience, leave them in overnight!
  10. Rinse eggs or just allow to dry on a dry towel. The effects can vary greatly by leaving the dye film to dry (and crackle, fade or give a tie-dye effect).

So with a quick trip to the grocery store you can have some natural dyed easter eggs, no chemicals, just beautiful colors!

natural dyed easter eggs

And if you didn’t get enough easter eggs here’s the Juniors during their Egg Dash.



Yes, their easter baskets are of the fancy variety. Nothing but the best for these boys.


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