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I've been a lurker on your site for a while now. The reason I keep coming back is because of the simple joys in life that you capture through your words and pictures. It is a perfect little dose of re-prioritization for me each day in which I remember how much hope there is to look forward to out in the world. Thank you for that and congratulations on your beautiful, brave family.


Thank you Katurah, that was just lovely. I think you have given your family a wonderful strength and spirituality. I find we fight a daily battle against what is acceptable in our community and what we as a family want for our kids. I do think that is easier when you are an expat because you all know that you are different anyway, with different values.

I think, as mothers, we have the ability to choose the path our children take, even if it's only for a few years. And even if they take a different path later in life, each step has an echo of how they were brought up...their lives become defined by it.

But I think the point you made about how your girls reacted differently to how you would have is really important too. I once had a friend who was desperate for children. I asked her why and she said that she wanted to raise someone to be just like her. Whereas I always wanted to raise my kids to be better than I was...to overcome the things in life that I found difficult. And in so doing, I think we overcome those difficulties in ourselves.

So keep up the good work. Being different is something to celebrate-as long as you are happy with your differences!


We are also back in the States for the summer in between international moves - the commericalism is driving me nuts. In China my kids occassionaly ran into Dora on tv - here she is everywhere we go on everything....along with 1000 other characters. I wish all the relatives got my desire for 'plain' stuff.

Sarah Rooker

I'm de-lurking to say that I've been drawn to your blog over and over exactly because of how you consciously craft a family lifestyle filled with strong beliefs and values. Your girls' reactions with the sticks certainly reveal that you are doing the right thing. It gives me hope to see so many bloggers guiding their children toward a more conscious lifestyle away from our commercialized culture. Your reflections articulate so much of what I hope for my girls and your post spoke deeply to me.

martina botros

Hi there,
I have been reading your blog for a while and really enjoy it. I am German living with my Egyptian husband and 2 daughters in London. We are members of both the Coptic orthodox and the protestant German church. We have very similar values to yours - I can relate to everything you write. But somehow I do not feel that I am so alone here in Wimbledon. I have friends who at least share some of our core values. Maybe it is more difficult for you as an expat, and more of a shock coming back to the highly commercialised Western civilisation.
But I just wanted to assure you that you are not alone!
Keep up that lovely post of your!

Happy summer


I happened upon your blog one day and was intrigued that your family lived in Zambia; the place where I discovered my love for Africa. However, I have never stopped reading or visiting because I enjoy hearing about you and your family so very much. Just the other day I was telling someone about your blog and that when I have children in the future I hope to raise them in a similar way. I want them to grow up to be amazing people who view the world differently and find joy in the "simple" things. You are doing a wonderful job with your children and please always remain different.


I enjoy your blog a lot and I think it's because of those things you were writing about today and which you can sense in every previous post of yours and every picture of your family as well.

christina Gomez

I love this post. Why? Because in it, you are sharing a part of you.As a mom, reflecting and examining her life. I too agree with, and am inspired by you. I agree on all points,as last spring we discussed. Americans are spoiled, and selfish. WEll, alot of them are. Everyone wants to go with everyone else and do what they are doing. Where is there room for personality in that? Why are the parents teaching their kids its a me me society? Why is creativity going out hte door? Why do tvs rule our lives, and live our lives for us,and not we ourselves? Since when is the only beauty blonde, skinny and rich? It just seems far too materialistic, and selfish, and appearance .All of it makes me sick. But thank God there are mothers like us, and you, that are sticking to their guns, and being brave enough to change that. I fear rejection, but at what price Katurah? The price of my kids being who they are, not who or what someone else says is cool. So, you like my brother and family in Romania are super blessed not to be in this country that acts so childish. As if we dont conform, we arent in their group. It starts with the parents is all I can say. It takes guts to be different. Funny that it takes guts to live your life rather than have someone live it for you. Thanks for your blog. It inspires and refreshes. Maybe sometime we can do the swap. Just let me know.
Christina in TExas


Oh, you warm my heart. I love your desire to do right by your children, that you even contemplate your parenting. As a former teacher and now a parent, reflection has meant so much because it has helped me grow so much, teaching me that often my first instinct was correct and helping me to see where I could have done better. I, too, am in a position of parenting differently. Spanking is a last resort, we, too, pray together as a family, eat dinner as a family as often as we can, we do watch tv, but it is usually purposeful, educational, and not often. I can't stand characters on clothes, nor can I stand excess, something some members of my extended family do not understand. We are simple in the best way and do our own thing. but that's always been me. I think I had to struggle with finding a place to belong throughout school so that it would be easier for me as a parent, teaching values that are a bit different than mainstream, often being different than others. And now, I "belong" to an amazing family and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Thank you for your honesty and thank you for sharing what you so value, here.


The beauty and clarity that you infuse in your words just sparkle like sunshine on water.
I applaud your courage and the crystal clear intent that you put forward for your family on a daily basis. And I am thankful beyond words that you share all this with the folks who read your blog.
What a blessing these words were to me this morning.

much peace,
anna : )


I must admit, I rarely leave a comment and I often come to your site for your wonderful photography so when you said "no pictures" I didn't think I would read the whole post. But when you said "thinking about the choices I have made" I thought: Oh no! She is closing down her blog!
But I hung on every word after that. I felt so proud as your children stood up for themselves and despite our vastly different lives could see the similarities in your worry for your children that I will have for mine (I don't have any yet). I come back to your blog because of what a happy place it is and how loved your children look in each and every photo.

I grew up in a different environment but my parents had similar values that they tried to instill in us: we always at dinner together, spent time together on the weekends etc. And even though I had friends who thought my parents were strict (no going out on school nights) it was never a strictness that felt confining. In fact, a number of my friends who ran wild at home would often calm down and be very happy when they would come over to our place and be subjected by my father's "rules" (like helping with dinner or cleaning up after yourself - you know, "rules"). (Of course I knew none of this as a child but after one friend ran away from home at 14 to live on the streets of a major city my parents informed me of all of this).
Anyway, I am rambling away just to say how much I loved this entry.


Please continue such posts. Your past posts have always had a grounding effect on me but this post spoke very loud and clear to me. Thanks again.


Great post! Would you like to be my neighbor?


We are an American family - and we live the same way as you do. We are part of a Waldorf community of over 200 kids, and most of those families also live the way you do. With three boys, we rarely see any TV or movies, we live as simply as possible - and our summers are all about fishing in our pond and playing outdoors.

We try to live this way nonjudgementally - and as our boys have grown older and are drawn to the outer world, we have tried to clarify why we have made the choices we do - we have tried to teach them that while TV will draw you in, you loose time for other things you enjoy. Our hope is that they too will grow up choosing similar values, and often, they do make those choices. They can be at an overnight, where movies are shown, and decide 20 minutes in they would rather build something in the playroom. I have friends who were forbidden TV as they grew, and then chose TV as adults, as something they had always been denied. We hope to avoid that.

It is hard to live in modern society and be "different" - but we do. It is a tougher task with teens in the home, but one we are committed to. We have managed to grow three boys to ages 14, 11, and almost 7 without Dora, Barney, Blues Clues, Ninja Turtles, superheros, Thomas the tank, etc.


I find it interesting that so many of us are de-lurking because of this post.

I hope you know that you are not alone in your values and in your loveliness. Three cheers for knowing what is real and teaching your children light and truth.

I'll continue to read your blog, delight in your observations, and smile at the simple beauty of your life.


I feel your frustration and isolation. It began for me when I joined a mother's group when my first daughter was just born. I was the only one breastfeeding, and the only one using cloth diapers. During gatherings the other babies stayed strapped in their portable car seats while I "wore" mine on my chest, and I was accused of "spoiling" her. As the year progressed the differences only intensified. As the babies reached their first birthdays there seemed to be a competition over who could throw the greatest party. One mom spent $5,000. USD for her 1 year old daughter's party, which included costumed entertainers, catered food, and elaborate flowers and decorations. I dropped out of the group soon after.

I continue to mother and live life the way that feels best for me, but I admit to being teased for being "earthy" and "backwards," and having potential friendships snuffed out by condescending peers.

My 5 and 7 year olds do sometimes complain that they are the ONLY kids without a video gaming system, the only kids that haven't seen the latest violent movie marketed to kids, and the only girls not allowed to wear high-heeled shoes and makeup to school. But mostly they are happy and content.

I'm not sure if they'd have reacted as admirably as Bella and Ana -- I think mine would be the first to suggest "moving on" and getting away from such an encounter.

You are doing a great job as a mother, Katurah. Keep strong with your convictions and continue on your path, even when it seems lonely. The world needs more mothers like you!


I think you are doing a great job with your children, don't change just to be the same as everyone else. I hope you like your next posting, my husband says that people there were so friendly after what he'd experienced in Kenya and South Africa, he enjoyed that stint in Africa the most.


Hi. I'm just delurking to tell you that this is a fantastic post and I really relate to it. I've read your blog for quite some time now and what keeps me coming back is the way you raise your family. I love all the non-commercialized things you do. (The themed birthdays, the sewing projects, the crafts, etc.) It is all so wonderful. I often come for inspiration or to find things I can make or do.

My parents tried to raise my siblings and I similarly. We always played outside, and read, and did crafts...they tried hard to not let commercialization rule our childhood. I have a one year old son now and I want the same thing for him. Did you see they have baby Einstein dvds for babies? Let's get our kids hooked on tv before they can talk. No way! Somewhere on my blog I wrote a post about how much commercialization stinks. I don't want my kids wrapped in Disney Princess, etc. Why can't they make up and be their own princesses/characters?

Anyhow. I just wanted to say I enjoy coming here and you are doing a great job. Your children are very well rounded and will grow to be lovely people.


Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I feel privileged to peek through this little window into your lives.

My daughter is only two and not yet into full-fledged exposure to all of the aspects of popular culture that my husband and I detest. We can shield her from it for only so long, we realize--it's out there, and she'll see it eventually. The best we can do is give her the tools to ask good questions and make wise decisions. Thanks for offering some examples to guide the way.


Thank you for this post! I hung on every word.

I found your BLOG as a result of researching life in Zambia. We are moving to Ndola in six weeks. But I found so much more.

I love your site and your mother's heart for your children. I too feel very alone in the way I raise my children.

Although I've read and enjoyed your BLOG for months now, it was this particular post that made me respond with a comment.

Your family is blessed to have each other.


Jenny Rebecca

I'm saving this for inspiration as I look forward to raising my 3 week old daughter!


I know that people across the US are all so different. I'm sure you know that the people that you saw at the park do not represent all of us. Your daughter showed how well you have raised her. Her ability to be polite and still stand up for her self. It is hard to live in this country and keep things balance. We have a society that pushes consumerism. It is a real effort to show my girls that we are lucky to have what we have, and that we do not need MORE. I have read your blog for a while. You guys live an amazing life. Enjoy your summer.


I came across your site a few weeks ago and was struck by the many things that are common to us both. I was brought up a Bahai,but have not delcared myself,was educated at a waldorf school, and have a baby daughter called Bella! We are trying to bring our daughter up in a gentle and wholesome way, which is not always easy, but very rewarding. After visiting relatives last week who only had electric toys and who's child had zero concentration I am more convinced than ever that what we are trying to achieve is a small contribution to creating a happier future for all of mankind. Thank you for your journal I enjoy it tremendously.


If only we could all raise our children as wonderfully as you raise yours. At least living where you live your children get to experience things a lot of other children never do. I wish I could give my son and daughter those life values too, although living in a suburb you do seem to go with the flow of everyone else and there isnt much individuality. I think the way you raise your children is absolutely brilliant and who cares if you arent "normal". Maybe you are more than most others.


Thank you so much Katurah, for this beautiful post. Your children are so blessed to have a mama who is is raising them "different" and with such intention. I loved to hear how your girls responded to the peer manipulation. I too would have caved at that age, and it is heartening to hear that they have been raised to be both strong and kind. You are giving your children, and therefore, the world, such a gift. Thank you for the continued inspiration!

Erika Hastings

Dear Katurah,

I see so much courage and strength of heart in your being able to open up and share all of these things with others. I think that your parents did an amazing job of raising you and your brother and now you, in turn, are carrying forward the advancement of civilization by educating yourself and dedicating your time and love to raising your children. There is no other more important work than this. I often times feel alone or frustrated that people do not recognize its importance as well, but I am so fortunate to live in the same house with Juliet, so we get to raise our children together and inspire each other. We are really striving to raise our children like you have and it is in contrast to most of what we are around as well. It's wonderful to connect with kindred souls like you. Although, since your kids are older than mine, I see your blog as a good place to learn from! Isabela starts school in a year, so I've started researching all about the different options. But one thing that you said about only doing one extra curricular activity was a good lesson for me because I'm so conscious of the fact that she'll be in school all day, that I didn't want her to do more school-like things after that.


Dear Katurah,

Hello, I'm delurking to say how much I love sharing the joys your family has with you. Thank you for writing about them.
I'm a 21 year old living in Seattle and I would like to say, as a woman who was raised by parents who didn't like conforming to society, and who encouraged "being different", it's so liberating when you grow up more. You realize how silly it is to center one's existence around being the Prom Queen, or most beautiful. I've never really fit in anywhere until I became older and understood you don't have to.
You children are so lucky to have had an experience of coming from a foreign country, into this crazy America, and are exposed to so many things. I didn't try sushi until a couple of years ago, and while I'm not super enthusiastic about it, it's important, crucial, to try something new each day.
Sorry for rambling. :o)
You and your family are amazing! Please tell your girls I think they rock! (and sweet Asher too!)

Thank you, and keep up the excellent work!

Anna C.


This post was wonderful. I wish I was as courageous and strong as your daughters. I hope you are still in Oregon by the time I get there. I would love to say hello. Take care!


I have been loving the beautiful pictures you post to this blog, and now have loved reading your equally beautiful words. I feel you are so right in your instincts about your children, and am always happy to read about those not following the sarcastic, smoking herd.


You're inspiring everyone to delurk with this post, myself included. Perhaps you should write more about your parenting choices.

It's so hard to swim against the tide, but it's worth it because your children are so calm and grounded. Well done to you and your husband for the wonderful job you are doing.

I have noticed that Waldorf-educated children are special. They are able to entertain themselves without recourse to the mental, visual, edible rubbish that the rest of the world feeds their children.

Mine are not in a Waldorf school yet, but I am considering it. One of the issues that I have to get over is that in my part of Germany, Waldorf schools are considered places for "troubled" children. That would be the hurdle I would have to leap, but I believe it's worth it.

Please let us have more posts like this. You write so well about your family and your choices.


Hi, Katurah, thanks for sharing this post - it has obviously touched a lot of people. I'll just say that these days with the decline of the family, 'different' is GOOD.


i wanted to say that i love this post, and i admire your way of raising your beautiful children. i'm not a mother but hopefully one day when i become one, i would know that you can retain the beauty that comes within a child through the kind of upbringings you have given to yours.

love your blog.


i am also a delurker....thanks so much for this gentle reminder to be mindful of our parenting chioces. i use your blog almost as a meditative respite and today's post is just as beautiful as any of those glorious photos you share with us.


you know, we are very similar you and i (except for the prayer and the tv watching).

i just don't understand the glamour in having a bunch of stuff and designer labels. i just don't understand.

Richard Hastings

I was thinking, as I read your post, about your sweet mother, and her efforts to raise you and Lukas, and how she had to defy even the Baha'i community to do what she felt was right in her heart. You have your father's gift for expression, but you have your mother's vision. Your mother was always our compass.


Another lurker coming out of hiding to say hello and thank you. While I don't yet have children, I admire people like you (a small but hopefully growing group) who take the time to really raise their children. In a sea of families that seem to treat children more like accessories to decorate and entertain, I think you are not only doing an amazing thing for your family, you are also helping future parents see that there are different ways to raise children.


Thank you I was feeling a little discouraged myself after taking my children to a birthday party that went against everything I believe in for my kids. I was feeling very alone in my way of thinking/values and then I read your wonderful post. You are an inspiration and your children are beautiful.


I haven't checked in here lately but just happened to today. Great post.

I couldn't agree with you more, and given the fact that my family is now being forced to move from our very isolated small town to an area with a high populace of yuppie-materialism, I am worried about these very same things.

The blonde girl who rules the lunchroom was my nightmare growing up and I hate to think of my own children receiving that sort of scorn, too. Nor the values.

I am so thankful to hear that there are other families out there that wonder why they are so different and wonders at the "typical" lifestyle so many others are living. I, too, do not look at these lifestyles with judgement as much as wonderment and not quite understanding it all.

Also, given that I worked in a school the last couple of years (and this was a small, kind school), I think children learn scorn for self-preservation from other children that have learned it from their own scornful parents. There's plenty of that out there, unfortunately...


Hi! I read your blog all the time but just had to comment on this post. You very eloquently summed up what I believe too...and hope to one day teach my children when I have them. Its hard to imagine raising my children in the U.S. when there's so many styles of parenting around me that just dont fit with my style. I often wonder how that will rub off on them and whether I should choose to raise my kids in another country. I hope that what I do in my home, and what I teach them, will be enough. Even though outside influences will one day affect them....when they get older and we have less control over what they experience. All we can do is hope that they will be ok. Your kids are precious...and youre a great mom!


i've been a lurker on your blog for longer than i care to admit but this post has forced me out of hiding.

Thank you for your post. It was truly a thing of beauty. I struggle with the same issues with my three children -- it is encouraging to read your post and all these comments and know we aren't alone. Peace.


I'm with you Katurah, except I live in the middle of a subdivision with very nice but much more mainstream people. I envy your closeness with nature. When I go out for a walk in my neighborhood, I have to walk in the street because all the yards are covered with danger flags from pesticides. I even saw a big birthday party yesterday smack dab in the middle of a yard with pesticide flags still there from being sprayed a few days ago. I guess as long as the yard looks pretty! I never expected as a mother to have to shield my kids from so much!


wonderfully, beautifully said.

you should definitely be one proud mama! as a parent i think there is no better feeling than your heart swelling with pride, seeing your children becoming the amazing, kind people you know they are, taking their love and kindness into the world, and growing happily into the lives that you most wish for them to have.
keep up the love and good work!
this truly is the stuff of life.


There isn't much I can add to the comments that have been made other than I agree whole heartedly. Thank you for such a beautiful post. Like others have said, you are not alone, I am also blessed to live in a community within the commercialized world that values families and morals and avoids well- meaningless persuits. It's a fulfilling way to live. Congratulations on raising two daughters who are rational, know thier self worth, are kind, and know what is important.


Katurah, thanks for summing this feeling up so perfectly. I often feel the same way, especially about the not having a television. The reactions of children are what shock me the most- it's as though they think I'm abusing my kids.

I'm praying for you and your little crew with your upcoming move. You're right- the peace that surrounds your family will follow you there, and no amount of outside judgement could ever sway it.


Amy Curran

I have been reading your blog for some time now. I am raising two boys of my own...I found this post refreshing.



Thank you for this, Katurah, thank you! Thank you for being you and thank you for raising such wonderful human beings.


Oh, I just love your blog...your pictures are so beautiful and your children seem to have so much fun! Thank you so much for sharing so much of your families personal life in this post, it is as inspiring as it is beautiful...it is so hard sometimes to go against the grain and feel like you are doing a good job (small rewards from the outside...huge ones from within)I am also so excited to hear about parents reactions when they observe their children...sometimes I have known people who just don't see their kids when they're with them...Keep up the amazing work and all of the inspiration...is it ok to say that I would like to be like you and so many of the other inspiring women who are choosing to be different with their families when I grow up?


what a heartfelt post, and what an incredible response it has received.

imagine how difficult it is to not just be visiting here and feel this way ;)

jack and i struggle to keep our children's family culture more valuable and influential than their peer culture, and we are often criticized for it. knowing and enjoying your family helps me see just how important it is...keep up the good work!


Well said. I think you are doing an awesome job of raising your kids.


A wonderful, thought-provoking post, thank you. I had my first child in my early twenties (and fifth in mid-thirties) so they have grown up with CBeebies I'm afraid to say. I have been trying for a while to get them to be less materialistic and hardly ever give in to pressures for "things" anymore. It's very hard to take a step backwards and undo the effects of tv when it's so much a part of their lives rather than them not having it from birth. I am determined to turn it off and get them out more though. (But I'm afraid Dr Who and Harry Potter will always be in my heart!!)....

You are doing such a wonderful job, it may seem lonely at times as others have said but there are lots of mothers out there aspiring to do as you are doing so be safe in the knowledge you have listeners if not neighbours who are with you!


ah, your heartfelt words make this world seem like a warmer, cozier and truer place.
thank you for sharing.
it feels so good to know that so many of us share similar values and are making similar choices in the way create family.
now if only we could all meet up at that State Park, library or in the thickets between our homes where our children play.


My goodness... you have a lot of blog friends! I just want to say: Your convictions are good ones, and I admire your style. Maybe you are not as alone as you think.

Jodi Renshaw

Great post. I wrote one very similar about a month ago. We feel very similar on many occassions. Yet, my child plays with plastic toys, watches Elmo, and wears the occasional Yoda shirt. BUT we raise very tender children and we work VERY HARD to PRESERVE THEIR CHILDHOOD and that is the main difference between "us" and "them". And I feel sad about that. Anyway, I hope you visit here to see my thoughts on the same subject: http://thishandmadelife.blogspot.com/2007/06/letter-to-my-son-re-what-we-do.html



Good job, mom and dad, good job. Things like this reaffirm us as parents, eh?


Thank you for sharing, Katurah. I think there are far more like-minded souls out there, just perhaps not in direct proximity. Those women and their children are cringeworthy. What wonderful girls you have and what a wonderful mom they have. I echo your sentiment - it is not in the glittery, name-brand "stuff" but the real "stuff" of life and love that we measure up.



The differences you describe are what make me want to read your site everyday. Having grown up in America, but lived in Africa, I understand these culture clashes well. And if someday I can write such a post about raising my children this way -- respectful of the earth, faith, family -- I will know I have been successful.
I am so proud of you and the choices you have made!


Thank you for your encouraging post. I love reading what you have to say. And I think that there are more us out there than you will ever realize. I too pray that my children will grow up to embrace that values that my husband and I are trying to teach them each and every day and I pray that they are very thankful that Mom and Dad took the extra care and time to teach them how to be a "better different" that what the rest of the world thinks we should be.


You sound like a Waldorf mama to me. I grew up attending a waldorf school and very similar values surrounded me at home. No TV etc. I was drawn to your blog (been reading for months) because of how wholesome your children are and how rich your homelife seems.

Sabrina (Brina Bat)

I've commented many a time on your postings and find that the more you share of yourself the more I have come to admire you, your family and your brave lifestyle choices. I just turned 29 last month and do not have any children. (I think we are about the same age?) I have a fiance - and we have agreed to not have children - at least in the foreseeable future. Perhaps that will change, but for now I have much to many doubts about myself being a parent to be able to bring a life into the world. Part of the reason is that I have seen my college friends grow up, get married and have children. 5 of my closest friends have toddlers right now they already know and are very much addicted to TV - and all their toys have batteries and lights and sound. Not that they don't have books and play time - but It makes me sad to think children are being denied the use of their imaginations right off the bat - they have to be entertained - or made into little zombies just to keep the quiet. I don't like it - but I think its so easy to slip into the commercialization of having a child - the latest gadget and craze - because that's what popular society teaches up to want. It scares me that little girls are wearing makeup in grade school and listening to crap on the radio and being denied their childhood.

When I moved to Alabama from Florida 5 years ago I discovered trails and caves to explore and a much more focused life without a movie every week and TV in the evenings. And I can say that I am all the happier for it. I don't feel like I've wasted hour upon hour of my life staring at a plastic box.

Your children's actions and reactions are your reward for your - going against the commercialism grain decisions - you can be very proud of them. At first i thought part of it was because you were in Africa - but know I know that is not the case - although I do think it helped - helped your family to be able to slough off a lot of the commercial aspects of American society that are deemed "important (ie. the blond well-tanned gimmie that stick girls")

I only hope that if ever decide I am ready to have kids that I can be as brave as you, and make the decisions that give them more life and more time to enjoy it. They are very lucky to have you as their Mom Katurah. Bravo!

One question though - what's Waldorf school?


Hi Katurah. It truly warms my heart to see what a wonderful mother you are. I remember when we came back to the States from Africa, and we went to visit some good family friends. Their little girl was showing Bahji (they were both 4 years old at the time) all her shoes, and telling her that she needed some black patent leather shoes. Bahji said in her quiet voice, "Mommy, she doesn't *need* some black patent leather shoes, she just *wants* some black patent leather shoes. I was so glad that she knew the difference. Although my grandchildren are wonderful, sweet children, I don't know if any of them know the difference between what they want and what they need. There is just waaaay too much available in this country! Bahji refuses to have a TV hooked up in her house, but they do watch movies that are appropriate. Her kids do a lot of reading, too, which they probably wouldn't do if there were a TV in the house. They also have the entire neighborhood over for children's classes (15 - 20 children & youth) every week, so that's realy cool. You are doing a great job as a mom (and you too, Erica and Juliet), and there's no greater responsibility in the world than parenting!


It appears you have struck a chord! I wholeheartedly agree with what you are saying and feel you have every right to be proud of your lovely girls. (The irony of demanding a stick from another child while outside surrounded by sticks...) A co worker (without children) the other day couldn't believe that I wouldn't let my kids watch Harry Potter. I explained to her that I believe that when you open a door, it can't be shut again and preserving their childhood and their innocence far outweighed any impulse for me to take them to some movie. She stared at me, scoffed and walked away. My kids also do not have video games , or gameboys though they can play the occasional educational game on our computer. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep our kids on the path we want when so many of their peers are allowed things we won't consider. What do you do when they start to realize they are the only one without a nintendo DS? It is so difficult here to keep them "pure". I go back and forth a lot wondering if this is where we should be living. But then I wonder if that place I want to take them to even exists anymore.


I am standing and giving you applause right now (can't you see it??). You are the mother that I want to be, but at the moment I am very very much not. We all watch too much tv, don't play outside enough, don't create enough.


That was beautifully said! Our family is also different in many of the same ways as yours (and different in many other ways). We stand out as a family, and our kids stand out amongst their peers. Sometimes it is hard, and yet, I wouldn't have it any other way.


I am delurking, too, to say:

My life is very different from yours (a single scientist working on her Ph.D. in the middle of city-scape Seattle and very much the American busy bug). But your blog always inspires me to bring a bit of gentleness to every day, to love my life and appreciate the beauty there is in each little moment, even as a scientist in front of the bench, miles and miles from farms or outdoors or kids. I have no idea why that's the case, but there you go. :)


I loved this post. You are not alone, that is clear from all these lovely comments. I am trying to live this kind of life too. The balance and the confidence are hard to find some days, but the rewards are great.

"I want our home to be a place of comfort and peace, of joy, safety, beauty, curiosity and creativity."

This is exactly what I hope for as well. Keep the faith!


keep on keeping on - what a gift you're giving those sweet little ones of yours, and yourself along the way. they're beautiful, and so is this heartfelt post. Thank you for not going to sleep when you had all these thoughts to share. ;)


So much of what you said resonated deeply within me. I have similar longings for my children, even if the way it 'looks' is different. I applaud your efforts for they are clearly having an impact on your three and undoubtedly a couple of other "Boss" types. Thank you for sharing something so personal---


in my part of France you wouldn't be an alien...
and I wish more people were...hmmm... different !


This was a wonderful essay. I remember my mother telling me that she raised us to be "the kind of children people want to be around." And it sounds like your children are also very nice to be around. They seem intelligent and kind and thoughtful. Who wouldn't want those kids? Whatever you're doing, you're doing it right, so I'm glad you won't let anyone ever make you feel like you're not. Although, 68 comments, my goodness, you've got quite a fan club, haven't you? Get on with your bad self, K! ;)

:: Suzanne ::

You said "My children do not watch tv, wear clothing with any visible labels or characters, eat processed foods or play with plastic toys."

Wish you lived closer - our kids would fit together nicely.

Fortunately, I've always been a bit imperious (oblivious) to other's opinions. Sometimes this is not good, sometimes it is a great blessing.


what a thoughtful post. i can not agree with you more and you gave me the encouragement i need as i live in suburbia and try to remain true to how i want to raise my family....

Jim Smith

I am so happy to read your thoughts about your children. I have a unique perspective about the courage that you may be passing on to your little ones.

I met your father forty years ago. I will never forget his courage when we were waiting in a line to get tickets to a movie!

He did something I have never had the courage to do. When one person "cut" in front of us in the line, he confronted that person. He presented the person with the concept of justice. He reinforced his argument with what his feelings were concerning the time he had waited in the line. He was not angry in his words. It was a marveous "I" statement.

I don't remember whether the offender chose to go to the back of the line or just remained where he crowded in. The result of the confrontation wasn't what impressed me. It was the courage that I witnessed that has remained in my heart. :-)


You are doing a wonderful job raising your children, instilling them with strength, beauty and a moral compass. Keep on doing things "your" way, it is obviously producing beautiful results in your children.


I love your child-rearing ideas and the way your kids react to other children. You're doing a great job! Looking forward to reading your adventures in Malawi :)


you know when a blogging friend writes a post and the whole time you're reading it you're saying, "that's us! that's me! we're the same way!". But if you said all that it might just sound like you're faking it or something...
well, that's how I feel about this post. I was having that 'me too' feeling the whole time I read this, even down to the praying part.
it's funny how raising your children in what I believe to be the "right way" in this day, means that they stand apart from everyone else.
i loved this post. i love what it says about you and your family. and it shows that the beauty behind all your pictures and thoughts on this blog are real and true.
beautiful post, friend!


these are such beautiful thoughts for a mama to have and to share... i had something to say in response to your post, but i then got caught up reading all these wonderful comments on my way to the comment box... i'm so glad you wrote this all and got it sorted out. i loved that whole paragraph regarding a craft room -vs- a tv room, family being the foundation of the community, eating together, etc... you spelled out some really beautiful values. well, it sounds like you've got some great positive thoughts and energy to move forward on your path with your family right along with you. :)


hi! i'm so happy for you and your monkeys, i can feel your fredom...

thanks and have a nice time with your family.


My dream is raise my children in Africa. I even moved to a different state with my husband to save money and plan to live there for most of the year. I admire you so much and my childhood was packed full of goodness and I was still able to hang/live near Hollywood and Rodeo Blvd with the best of them. Character is all that counts. I never had a TV as a child am very well adjusted...even at a pop culture saturated place like UCLA.


you're an inspiration to me, and obviously to so many others of your faithful readers. i'm happy to hear that despite the challenges you face, you know that you've made good decisions that you're happy with. and the fact that your children seem like wonderful, well-adjusted and self-assured children speaks to that!


i love reading your blog, such a fun peek into a lovely existence. your kids are such cute little individuals and you seem to be a very tight knit family. i hope that if i have kids i can raise them in such a safe, loving, learning environment. :)


Even if I am commenter #80 I am still stopping what I am doing after reading that post to say: amen. Tears in my eyes. It is so affirming to read these thoughts about parenting. We are visiting the US from Africa too, and it's wonderful and horrifying at the same time. Thanks for that weirdo-parent (me)affirming post. I'm not alone in making my kids play nice! Yea!


My husband and I often say "Should we move to a small Island?" - with the idea that it would be easier to create for our family a simpler life. But as you have shown it is possible to create a simpler life where ever you are. Your post has really inspired me to work on making things simpler in our lives. Beautiful post. thankyou

Alicia A.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this.

Love to your beautiful family.


this was such a beautiful post. I really think we moms have such a hard job, and moments of clarity in our parenting choices are definitely worth remembering and writing down this way! Thank you for sharing your journey (both literally and figuatively) with us, you are creating a beautiful experience for your children. Such a gentle reminder for us all.

fully operational battle station

Just found your site and love it already.

I like you and your un-Teen Vogue family.

Thanks for the post! I'll be back.



found your bloggy today... thank your for this post. well said. well taught little ones. well done. thanks-thanks-thanks for sharing. hopefully one day your sweet family will be the ones we run into at the creek, the library, or anywhere else for that matter and we'll both smile when we realize that there are more of "us" out there. happy trails!


As another non-mainstream mom, I so, so agree with your thoughts. It can be lonely walking a different path, but I do believe it's worth it, and I have faith that what we're doing is right for our family. Thank you for speaking out--you can see how many people you've touched by this post and by the loveliness of your blog, in general.


What a beautiful, wonderful post Katurah. I'm reading through all the posts I've missed during a busy summer and even busier start to my first year of teaching - today's been at tough day and this made me well up. When I have children, I hope I can raise them with half the serenity and strength of conviction that comes through in your blog. You are an inspiration.


This was the post which made me bookmark you.
I think that speaks for itself.

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