Who We Are

Easter 1999 was like any other Easter with my family, except for one thing. I saw a glimpse of my future when I saw the church’s new bass player for the first time. Man is he hot! I thought, but little did I know that was the beginning of a lifetime love.

Several months later our (Papa and Mama’s) friendship began and in November 2004 we had the most fun and joyful wedding. After our honeymoon to Ireland we settled into our home under construction.

Our first baby (“Buddy”) came into the world in the fall of 2006, our second (“Girlie”) arrived in the summer of 2008, our third (“Pal”) followed in the early spring of 2010, and our fourth (“Chap” or “Chickie”) is due to arrive in March 2012.

2011 was a year of adventure: Papa was unemployed for 11 months, we began the foreclosure process on our house, moved off-grid into our camper, officially started our home school, and otherwise experimented in homesteading projects. The word we used to describe our impending adventures was interesting, but now that we have settled in and Papa has a new job, “interesting” just doesn’t quite do it.

For the coming year of 2012, we see ourselves becoming established and growing roots. We will be expanding our garden, finishing our addition to the camper, and working the land to prepare for the building of our forever home. We have been working hard to play our cards right and move toward meeting our long term goals of off-grid and self-sufficient living, and not depending on a weekly paycheck to survive. As I said last year, how we get there is yet to be seen, but with creativity and drive it will happen.

On a more basic level, what do we value? We are very passionate about a number of things, as you’ll quickly discover if you read our blog, but some things are especially close to our heart -

  • Our family is a unit. We are anti-daycare, pro-homeschooling, pro-child training, our kids don’t live at their grandparents’, and we do almost everything together. A family that lives together, stays together.
  • We want to know what we believe and why. We are both Christians, but coming from a charismatic background we did not have very strong theological beliefs. In the past couple years we have been learning a lot and are now leaning toward a Calvanist perspective.
  • Consitutional liberty. We are die-hard libertarians. The government is corrupt and the slate needs to be wiped clean. Freedom and justice is where it’s at, not a two party system. And let me get this one thing straight, America is no longer home of the free.
  • We can trust ourselves. One of our pet peeves is that everyone wants to put the responsibility for their choices on everyone else. If the kids fail it’s the teacher’s fault, if they turn from God it’s the pastor’s fault, if we don’t have money it’s the employer’s fault, if our health fails it’s the doctor’s fault, and so on. Live boldly and decidedly. Trust your gut, learn where you have little understanding, make choices, and take responsiblity for them!
  • Birth: every home should have one. As a doula and student midwife, the state of birth in America is very important to me. Two of our three children were born at home, partly because we trust birth and partly because maternity care is a mess. Hospitals cannot provide women with a healthy, safe, empowering birth when their focus is on fear, pride, and greed. For most women, home is the best place to give birth.

Thank you for visiting American Family Now. We write this bog for you, our readers. We hope you find our ongoing story inspiring and that it motivates your family to prepare for whatever comes, and to grow together to enjoy life as a family. We love comments so please join in the discussion, and subscribe at the bottom of the page to receive email updates about new posts here. Thanks for visiting!

27 responses to “Who We Are

  1. Mariah and Irving Colburn

    Wow, I just go ton today and read some posts. I am amazed at all that you guys do! Irv and I both are dreamers and work very hard with very little to be happy and comfortable. I am a stay at home mom and he works at night. So both of us are home during the day to raise our 13 month old Seth Ronon. We are very interested in how you guys make it all work, preparing for anything that may happen, raising three children all without a million dollars.

    • Welcome Mariah! You must have found us through Laura? I’d love to have you visit the blog again and share your thoughts! I hope we can inspire you and Irving!

  2. Mariah and Irving

    Yes. Actually our son and I are living with Laura and Ray while Irving works in town to save up for a apartment. I saw your Christmas card and your website so I thought I would look it up. Also the Demers had their baby 10 days before Seth so I have heard a little bit about your work as a doula. I actually just got a older computer and have your blog bookmarked for me to read every night! :)

  3. Mariah and Irving

    I shall be reading that one also! And today’s blog entry really hit home because my 14 month old is as I would say spirited! He has his ways of thinking and playing and emotions and I can tell every one of them but I would not diagnose him with anything! I also want my children to be expressive and not conform to some idea of what a perfect child should be because in my eyes Seth is my perfect child! I think i nthe next few months Irv and I are going to start towards baby number two! So I am excited to look into Birth A Miracle Services Blog and I will take any advice on Being a parent to mor ethan one child! Thanks again,
    Mariah!

  4. Cool. I enjoyed snooping around on the back pages.

  5. Hi, Naomi…I’m just leaving Renee’s and come to yours. Nice blog…love reading your family documentations. Im from indonesia, sorry for my bad english;-)

  6. Thanks for your blog and you tube videos! We are in a very similar situation. We lost our home to foreclosure in 2008. We had purchased 4 acres of land in another state in 2005 and went there to camp out,shoot the guns and just be outdoors more. Well we have been renting from friends. Until we found and rv large enough for the four of us and two dogs. So on December 1,2011 we will be at our land full time. I have home-schooled both my children 18 and 10 for 10 years and we plan to be off grid and self sustaining. Keep up the good work for you are an inspiration! Sandy

    • Nice to meet you Sandy and thanks for sharing! Our hope is that we can inspire folks to prepare for unexpected situations that lead to foreclosure, and even family break-ups. To be able to take what you have and make it into something beautiful is such a blessing, and with more and more families facing homelessness, we need to stick together and inspire each other to move on. Feel free to share your thoughts and experience anytime!

  7. Hi! I found your site today and after checking it out, I’d love to have you consider writing a guest post for me sometime! You can send me an email at admin (at) littlehouseliving.com if you are interested!

  8. Just found your blog today thanks to a reference on facebook from Frugally Sustainable…Love it! Ours is a bit of a long story, but short version is we moved from Alabama to Alaska hoping to live a similar dream, spent 9 months there (mostly in a “dry” cabin), and decided to come back here. Currently renting from his parents and working and praying towards our own dream that is much like your own. I don’t get to blog often since we are on dial-up currently, but I’m over at http://idlewildfarm.blogspot.com/
    Thanks so much for sharing all you do,
    Missy

  9. I love your blog! Please check out mine and let’s be friends! I hope you Facebook?

    • Thanks for visiting Joanna! I love reading other blows, but unfortunately my internet time is very, very limited. No cb either! Sorry! I will check out your blog though. I appreciate you visiting and sharing!

  10. I just started reading your blog. Love it so far. I look forward to reading more. I wish I could go back in time and be more of a stay at home mom. I did have to use daycare a few times, not long though. My kids are now 18 and 19 and all of this homesteading, frugal, off the grid has just caught my attention. Ive always been thrifty and tried to save money, but I am learning so much more. Have a great weekend!

    • Now is as good a time as ever to jump in! You can apply many off-grid and homestead ideas right from your current home, and maybe, as you mentioned before, your enthusiasm will win over your hobby! Welcome to AFN.

  11. Tileguy Ofthenorth

    Near on 40 years ago my family moved to our Summer cabin in the fall due to job loss where we were immediately thrust into the business of Surviving a Hard northern winter. As a teenager much of the work fell to me including cutting 24 loggers cord of firewood to heat our uninsulated 28 x 36 log cabin. Mornings were cold, even if someone stoked the fire in the middle of the night. Catching the Bus to school at 6:15 was no picnic either, but the Fresh Home made Bread at breakfast i can still smell…I look back and can honestly say that the experience brought our family closer together and provided us with memories we cherish.It was a hard existence but very satisfying to the soul.
    Now, that said, while you await that dream house you Need a couple of outbuildings first. Get a garage built that doubles as a SHOP. Add a Lean to storage area to this.
    Build an Open air shed ( Search Pallet buildings for inexpensive ideas) large enough to hold Building materials and salvage what you can & buy them on sale as you can afford them as prices will only go up and up and , yea you guessed it…
    Later the open air shed can become Firewood storage, Hay storage or perhaps even a Mini barn with a little remodel work.
    Look for old buildings to be Moved that you can buy cheap or get free..
    Your adventure is just getting started, I envy you the journey~~

  12. Tileguy Ofthenorth

    Oh, one last item, Calvanism is a slightly younger version of reformation theocracy first begun by Martin Luther ( See Lutheran ) and Like all reformation denominations is Basically Protestant
    These are the Main groups and while there may be some variation in how a service is performed or the wording of its tenents, they are all Basically the same. The slight modifications seem to come from Regional Influence of the times on Martin Luthers initial call for reform to the Catholic Church and his reasons for wanting that reform……..
    Anabaptist and Baptist
    Anglican / Episcopalian
    Calvinist / Reformed and Presbyterian
    Lutheran
    Methodist / Wesleyan and the Holiness movement
    Pentecostal and Charismatic
    Quakerism

    I was born a Lutheran but have been to services of almost all of the above and have found little to no differences beyond music preference and a few order of service items. knowing this makes choosing a church for membership becomes more a feeling of comfort with its membership than a real Need to stick to a specific denomination. I doubt Jesus would get upset over a lutheran in a baptist church or a methodist in a lutheran church.
    If the Spirit of the Lord really moves you, choosing a more charismatic membership might fit your needs best. The Alliance Church comes to mind for leanings of this nature….Every Individual is different and their needs vary. The Alliance church does have the basic Core of protestant beliefs in place but go beyond this core. Call it a more finely Developed Sense of purpose within the spiritual community & a strong sense of a life of the continuing missionary… I think they took a chapter from the Mormons there and while I am not a believer of the mormon theology, I will not discount many of the favorable works that they do in this world.. A Very good people as a body but IMHO originally misled by a man with a well thought out agenda that had little to do with true christian ethics and doctrine. The book of Mormon is Very unbiblical depending on how you interpret the last bit of Revelation since it is used along with the Bible as an addition too it…..But then again, it is not my place to judge these things, I can but form an opinion for myself and share that opinion with others and let the spirit move them as God see’s fit. And i think John says it best anyways…..
    Rev 22:18,19
    I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and [i]from the holy city, which are written in this book

    • Thanks for sharing your input! I love the ideas about storage. We built a small shed with shelves to hold most of our tools, and have a second camper to hold household storage, but a barn sure would be nice for salvaging parts!

      We don’t currently attend a church. You are right, most churches are about the same, but we do have stronger theological beliefs than most of the churches we have attended, including the Alliance church. They are great people, but it is bothersome that the values the Church holds have grown so similar to the world’s, and that has significantly influences our beliefs and practices of faith.

      • Jen Flickinger

        Just passing through, will definitely be reading your blog again. Not sure if there are any near you but the Soverign Grace denomination is both charismatic and Calvinist. :) finding a good church is a near impossibility. I can seriously relate.

  13. Thank you for creating this blog! You are inspirational and share so much helpful information.

  14. I hope you don’t give up on the charismatic movement because of the lack of theological training. Vineyard churches respect and teach both the Word and the Spirit and the movement has some rigorous theologians. Also I recommend “When Heaven Invades Earth,” by Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, CA. It opened up a whole new dimension in my spiritual life.

    • Thanks for sharing Beth. There are some very intelligent people in the charismatic movement, and yes, the Vineyard is run by Bible-believing folks. We do believe in the charismatic movement so far as the Bible confirms its tenants (speaking in tongues, etc.), but there is so much wrong with the movement (being run by philosophers who take pride in being flexible about what the Bible says, for example) that we really needed to take a closer look at our beliefs and values. Please visit us at our new website, http://americanfamilynow.org.

  15. Just read through your “Who We Are” writing. Do not have time to read through all the comments from readers right now. Just wanted to say a big AMEN to all that you believe in. I will be sharing your blog with my daughter and hope to come back and read more as time allows. God Bless!!

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