Author Archives: carishumaker

About carishumaker

We are trying to live The Good Life with our 3 kids out in the woods. We strive to be as self reliant as possible, with a great amount of leisure time to Live The Good Life as best as we can. We work hard so we can play hard and want to teach our kids to love life and love people and love learning. This is our journey.

Chip Gardening – How To Make Chips FAST!

Back To Eden Chip Gardening We recently learned about the Back To Eden style of chip gardening. At our old homestead, we used a permaculture method in our huge gardens. We were lucky, though. We had chickens and 1.5 acres … Continue reading

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A Couple’s Yearly Vision Quest ENVISION #wholemama

envision #wholemama Every February for the last 16 years, Isaac and I have celebrated our anniversary with a few rituals. One of which is going over our goals for the year. It is the beginning of the year and the … Continue reading

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Homeschooling and Our Project Freedom

Our boys are taking a few months completely off of academia (book learning) to be part of our off-grid homestead building project. I’ve written plenty before on the involvement they have had in designing our gravity fed water system and, … Continue reading

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Off Grid Cooking For A Crowd

We had lots of great help these past few weeks which means I’ve been feeding a crowd. These guys are working so hard and without fuel for their bodies they wouldn’t be able to keep on keepin’ on as well … Continue reading

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Winter Time Gumption

Winter Time Gumption and A Positive Attitude It’s cold and wet outside, so cold and so wet. So wet that, really, it’s ice. Everywhere.  Maya and I both slipped in the parking lot and fell while trying to run errands … Continue reading

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The Daddy Is A Real Hero!

The Intruder   We had a really, really scary night the other night. My husband is a hero and so are my boys. They are protectors. Especially Isaac and my oldest son, 16.  I know that we, the human race, have … Continue reading

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Ram Pump Off Grid Water System

Pumping Water Uphill WITHOUT Electricity! I know I won’t be winning any fashion awards with this one, but it was really, really cold out and we’ve been working all day! Anyway, here is my RAM PUMP video. Thanks to Engineer … Continue reading

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Making The Leap To Off Grid Living

We sold our dream house to follow a new dream of FREEDOM! We call our project Operation Freedom.  We sold our dream house so that we can be debt free and live within our means and in a way that … Continue reading

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Gazeebo

Our Off Grid Gazeebo and Outdoor Cook Area The boys built a sweet gazeebo! They used logs from trees that we had cut down when we cleared for our building site. Izee had designed the structure from one at our … Continue reading

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Waste Not, Want Not?

I believe this is the reason there are still hungry people in this country. So. Much. Waste.  I also believe that we are on a planet of abundance, that we’ve been given all the tools we need to thrive here.  … Continue reading

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The Good Life Summers

Enjoying the beautiful day, just the 3 of them.

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I Want This Outdoor Kitchen!

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Going Off-Grid: Developing our off-grid power system

We live in the Pacific NW.  We are planning on solar power, which is definitely a risk in this weather.  We knew we were going to, eventually, add in a small hydro system.  We have a spring fed creek, it’s … Continue reading

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Developing Our Off Grid Water System

We are well on our way with our Off-Grid plans for our property.  We’ve designed our gravity water system.  This is a 2 part system.  This is part 1.  Here is a picture of our potable, fresh water spring.  It’s … Continue reading

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Homeschooling Teens Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These 7 Tips

It seems man-boys need to conquer something. Isn’t that what has gotten our world into so many wars? Maybe conquering the useless is the answer! Continue reading

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Time or Money?

I’m almost 40.  I don’t want to wake up when I am 80 and discover that I have spent the majority of my waking hours with good energy making money so I can buy stuff I don’t really need that … Continue reading

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Gazebo Posts

I am peeling logs for our gazebo.  Hopefully it will be built this Spring.  I am thinking April.  I’m not aloud to tell Isaac that, though, because he doesn’t like deadlines!  I have LOTS of posts to peel.  My shoulders … Continue reading

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The Great Maple

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Progress

We are making some progress out at our property.  We’ve cleared the spot for building our shop.  The kids, Isaac and I have chopped and stacked so, so much firewood!  It gives The Props a nice, cozy feel to drive … Continue reading

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Firewood, Lots and Lots of Firewood!

As you know, we have been clearing out our little building spot.  It is a ‘perch’ with great Southern & Eastern Exposure.  Just what we’ve been wanting for so long.  It’s hard work.  Cutting down trees, stumping them and burning … Continue reading

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What Does It Mean To Pledge Allegiance?

Last night, visiting after dinner, our family started discussing the Pledge of Allegiance.  Certain members of my family were saying that it seemed like serious brain washing to have kids stand and say it every morning.  That we shouldn’t pledge … Continue reading

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A New Phase

We’ve entered into a new ‘phase’ of our life.  We’ve sold our house, you saw that it was for sale a while back?  Well, we are now renting in a little town close to lots of our relatives.  It’s so … Continue reading

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She Turns 8

  Maya and BFF in matching dresses, with their babies, on their way to a tea party with me and Grandma!  So Fun

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Earth-Lovers Vs. Jesus-Lovers

Learning To Evolve I know we are all evolving, not from fish to man, but our minds are always growing and learning new ways.  We humans are very adaptive creatures and have found ways to adapt to our changing world: … Continue reading

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Teens’ Internal Compass

Raising boys, who become teens, can be challenging. Helping their internal compass to point towards nature is one way to Continue reading

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Find The Homeschool Lesson In This:

I was just remembering a day not too long ago my kids and I were at the Grocery Outlet, or, as my BFF calls it, the Used Food Store. I shop there because I’ve found I can get some good … Continue reading

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Raw Vegan Ranch Dressing

Oh my, this is good stuff.  It’s kind of sour creamish.  Yes, it’s raw vegan sour cream!  I’ve used it in it’s thin state as a salad dressing, today at lunch I used it on baked potatoes.  Then again at … Continue reading

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Zooming Kids

  Just look at that smile on her face!  I wasn’t into the idea of my youngest on her own motorbike, but after a long safety lesson and careful practice with her dad, she got ‘1st gear only motorbike certified.’   … Continue reading

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Our Garden and Greenhouse

We do a lot of gardening around here. And, as I’ve mentioned, my 15 year old is an avid gardener.  So, we’ve built a greenhouse!  He has been having such fun with it.  We have as well.  We’ve started all … Continue reading

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My Support Group

Wow! Here is a picture of our field trip to the big city! We all live in the woods. We all homeschool our kids. We are the best of friends and our kids are the best of friends. And we … Continue reading

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The Good Life Book

So, you know how my blog’s name is The Good Life?  Our inspiration comes from Scott & Helen’s wonderful book, The Good Life: Helen & Scott Nearing’s Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living. I just can’t recommend this book more highly. … Continue reading

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ON BEING A HAPPY HEALTHY HOMESCHOOLING MAMA!

How can a homeschool mom stay happy and healthy? It’s so easy to get caught up in the hundreds of things we have to get done in a day, this is true for all moms, but especially true for homeschool … Continue reading

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Homeschooling Rhythms & Anchors

How we organize our days and our homes makes a huge difference in how our homeschool days go.  I have found that I need to Make A Plan Work the Plan Schedule Accordingly As much as I believe in the … Continue reading

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Travels

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Middle School Homeschool Language Arts Recommends

Here are my top pics for homeschooling middle school.  Remember, I don’t subscribe to one certain school of thought when it comes to homeschool.  Have you heard of eclectic style homeschooling?  That’s us.  We take months off at a time … Continue reading

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Keepin’ It Real!

I think it’s fun to post cute pictures of our cute life, where everything has a place and all things are in their places.  Neat and tidy we homeschool moms are.  Right?  Mandy days that’d be a lie over here.  … Continue reading

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Homeschooling Teens & Pursuing Passions

One great thing about Homeschooling through the middle school and high school years is that the kids are really able to pursue their passions.  It takes a while for them to explore different subjects and activities for them to find … Continue reading

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PMS

Why, oh why am I so afflicted with this?  Why do I find myself  acting as a martyr when I don’t REALLY feel like one?  Why does my husband bug me so this week?  How can someone I love so … Continue reading

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Keeping The Peace

With a first grader, sixth grader and ninth grader all in the same room doing school, the energy in the room can get . . . loud . . . frustrating . . . silly . . . ridiculous . … Continue reading

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Middle Schooler’s Homeschool Schedule

Here is my first year Middle Schooler’s schedule using curriculum I posted here. Daily Homeschool Schedule   Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Shurley English 30 minutes Lesson 1 Shurley English You don’t need to do Vocab Lesson 2 Shurley English … Continue reading

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Curriculum I have experience With

This is a random list of curriculum/resources I’ve used over the last 7 years homeschooling Shurley English levels 1-5 Story of the World books 1-4 Usborne Interlinked Encyclopedia Wordly Wise Teach your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons Hooked … Continue reading

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My Middle School year 1 Curriculum

  The following is what I am doing with my 6th Grader. Shurley English, Level 5.  Each chapter is 5 lessons.  The first lesson introduces a new concept, lessons 2-3 are review of new and old concepts, each lesson 1-3 … Continue reading

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It doesn’t get much simpler than this!

We just got done living in our 8.5 ft camper for 2 months.  We had to REALLY think simply to fit all we needed into that camper without having stuff shoved here and there.  We had to be organized and … Continue reading

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More than half way through 9th grade!

So, after taking 2 months off for our Mexico adventure, we are back at some academia here at home.  We are back into the swing of things and the kids just jumped right into their books.  Our unschooling time on … Continue reading

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Full Moon Night

The full moon at our camp this month was spectacular!  We found a huge, dead sea turtle and our friend and the boys had a little full moon burial ceremony.  I made yummy food and we just had an all … Continue reading

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Christmas en la Playa!

Christmas Eve Eve! We are lucky enough to have evaded a potentially huge problem. As we rattled down our way back the long bumpy road from Campo in Bay of LA, our hitch broke! It must haave been on the … Continue reading

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Tis the Season!

We woke up in the night to RAIN!  I’m not sure the last time it rined here, but it has been a long, long time.  I laid awake worrying about the arroyos we have to cross to get out of … Continue reading

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Desert Crossing

Day Five: (Monday 16th of December) A long desert crossing.  We woke up a little later than we had planned but were on our way by 7:30.  The BIG SURPIRSE – waking to Orcas super close to our beach.  Big … Continue reading

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Border Crossing

Sunday morning we left LA at around 7:00 a.m.  Once again, we skipped all of San Diego traffic by going around to the East.  We were to the border by 9:00, they just let us right through after having a … Continue reading

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2nd Day on Road

Today was long.  We went from Yreka to Gordon, just outside of LA.  We had a good lunch break, but other than that, if was just an uneventful day.  Here are a few pictures of the day.  Nothing too exciting.

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