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Welcoming Autumn & Embracing Our Simple Life

There is something truly magical about Autumn. I love to bundle the kids into soft sweaters and run around outside once the heat of summer is gone, and then cozy up under a warm blanket with cider and a story. Of all of the seasonal changes, Autumn is the one universally loved by myself and the kids. We have been looking forward to the first day of Autumn since last year! In our home, we celebrate the first day of each new season by cleaning out the house, buying fresh seasonal produce and spices from the farmers’ market, and exchanging our toys and books from storage. We keep all of our books and toys separated into 1/4th’s (other than our favorite blocks, grimm’s rainbow & art supplies) and we exchange them for more seasonally appropriate items. This keeps our messes down to a minimum, creates a rhythm in our lives, and helps the kids see old toys with fresh eyes. Since…

Minimal and Natural Kid’s Art Supplies

Buying natural art supplies is perfect for downsizing if you want a minimalist lifestyle. The best part? It is more beautiful, smells better, and is more environmentally friendly. Downsizing our art and craft supplies for the Tiny House move was a little bit overwhelming. Since we homeschool, we have had boxes and bags and jars of glitter and sequins and fabric scraps and so many broken crayons. At one point, we had an entire walk-in closet full of art supplies. I wish I had a photo. It was probably 1/3 of the square footage of the entire tiny house and it was just piles of stuff. To be honest, once I got over the fear of downsizing, and stopped thinking things like, “but I might need that jelly jar full of felt scraps or that box of half finished origami. If we throw it away, it’s just a waste.” It was really, really freeing. Who really needs 10,000 broken crayons? Here is a step-by-step guide to…

Christmas in August – Peppermint bark

Andes Mint Bark and Peppermint Bark Christmas Candy and Wooden Peg doll Nativity toys!  It has been dark and dreary and flash flooding for several days. The kids and I have spent a lot of time coloring and painting and storytelling, and even a fair share of moping around because we can’t go anywhere. I was trying to cheer them up, and Selena asked to listen to Christmas music… and one thing led to another. So, even though we missed Leon Day, we celebrated Christmas in August! Since we’re moving, all of our stuff was easily accessible, so we even got out our stockings, a mini tree, and this little peg doll nativity set by HereComesBrotherSun! One thing I always do on Christmas is make lots of candies. Since this was last minute and we couldn’t drive during the flooding, I looked for things I had around the house, and I had the supplies to make some simple 2 ingredient bark. It…

My Book Tour lit a fire under me about our Tiny House

Financial Freedom, Book tours, Travel and Building a Tiny House. This month has been full of travel, adventures, and a couple of big steps toward the tiny house build. Almost every single weekend this month, I have been on a stop during my book tour. I think being away from Tashina and the kids so much has really lit a fire under me as to one of the many perks of having the tiny house! Traveling with kids can be expensive with hotels, eating out and entertainment. But the tiny house will bring the ability to cook at home and have lodging no matter where we travel to. For me, one of the major points to tiny house living is all about spending more time as a family and doing activities outside of the house. Visiting museums, parks, and so many other adventures. While on my book tour, I think it really drove home for me how many people desire the…

We went on an adventure this weekend and made money while traveling.

Making money and passive income using eBay while traveling.  . What do you do with a weekend baby sitter when you are working on building a tiny house, filming a documentary, and managing a book tour? You have an epic weekend video shoot, book signing, and romantic getaway, of course! With three little ones, it is hard to find couple time and sometimes that means we’ve got to be working when other people might consider it time to play. Fortunately, we actually enjoy working with each other. That is why we do what we do! Something we always try to do whenever we have a travel weekend is that we give ourselves enough time for adventure. Even if that means getting up a couple of hours early and hitting the road before the sun comes up. There aren’t many feelings as horrible as passing by an amazingly unique antique store along the highway and not having time to stop. We always try to give…

Blueberries for Selena and Gideon.

Kira spent the weekend with her grandmother, so we decided to make it an all weekend date with the littles. Selena decided that it should be blueberry themed, in honor of the summer solstice and blueberry season. So, we decided to visit a pick-your-own blueberry farm. Actually, it was a fully functioning farm, with bees, chickens, lots of various veggies and fruits, and a wonderful little farmer’s market with jam and homemade ice cream. We got our hats and sunglasses and cameras and started to make the trip over there… and it started pouring. Selena said, “Dad, I asked if you checked the weather!” She’s five going on seventeen, in case you didn’t catch that.  We panicked. What else could we do in rural Alabama? Nothing. Well, stop and look at cows and soybeans, but that was about it. It stopped raining, so we headed out to the blueberry area.   Gideon stopped to visit the chickens. This baby is such…

Our 10 year old just became skeptical about tiny houses.

Our biggest advocate about moving into the tiny house has been our oldest daughter Kira. Every morning, she wakes up and asks to check the crowdfunding site to see how many books have been sold. She has produced us with concept designs for interior and exterior layouts. There was even that time she attempted to bribe the tooth fairy for funding. However, this week, things took a turn into skeptical-ville. One of the major themes in the comments that people have left us have been threats of how difficult life will be once our children are teenagers. Well, Kira is definitely knocking on the front door of teenagerhood, and with that comes dramatic highs and lows of emotion. Today, while driving home from an event, she posed a bizarre question: “Will my room have a ‘real’ bed in it?” Being a really stupid dad, I walked right into that with my defenses down, not yet fully equipped with the jaded armor…

Our kids’ first tiny house tour

Something I have been asked several times since we launched this campaign and tiny house project is how my kids feel about it- especially the oldest. The truth is that the kids have been our biggest cheerleaders. Kira, my 10 year old, wakes up every morning and asks how much we’ve raised, and Selena, my 4 year old, asks every day how many more books we need to sell until we can build our ‘tiny little bitty house. They had never actually seen a tiny house in real life before… so a few days ago, I panicked. What if they liked the idea in theory, but not in practice? I decided it was time to take them to tour one. It just so happens that we are lucky enough to have met a few people here locally who are a part of the tiny house community, so yesterday we were able to tour a 21 foot long house with the kids.…

As a Homeless Kid He Always Dreamed of Going to Disney World…Then This Happened.

The boat approached the landing where we would soon dock in a foreign land of magic and mystery. My wife leaned over and held my hand tightly, our four year old resting snugly on her hip. The laughter and joy was happening in slow motion around me. In just a few moments I would join the thousands of others in the reverie, but first I had a funeral to attend. When I stepped off of that boat and onto this sacred ground, I would be burying the broken parts of my childhood, and yet at the same time reclaiming something special. “Simba didn’t have a home, but he was king, Cinderella rose from the ashes, and a pauper named Aladdin had his wishes granted… maybe there was hope for us after all?” When I was a child, my father lost everything and our family became homeless nearly overnight. The heartbeat of my normal childhood came to a sudden and hard stop.…