A Simple Approach to Living With Less

21 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

I thought it might be nice to share a little more about myself today and tell you about a special project I’m working on. I always like to be the real me here on Minimalist Moms and I’ll continue to share the ups and downs of my journey to minimalism. So without further adieu, here’s my list of 21 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me:

  1. I met my husband online long before it was normal and accepted. I used to be so embarrassed to admit that to people because they looked at me like I was a crazy loser.
  2. I have an incredibly irrational fear of going to the dentist. My normally low blood pressure goes through the roof and I get physically ill the day before my dentist appointment.
  3. I homeschool my three kids. I’ve never had any of them in school and I don’t plan to change that. I like the flexibility in our schedules and I love that I’m not making lunches at 6:00am and sitting in a line to pick up my kids everyday.
  4. Currently my favorite song is Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star sung by my daughter even though she only knows the first two lines and repeats them over and over again. (Aren’t her pigtails cute?)
  5. My husband, three kids and I live with my parents because we wanted to focus on the important things in life, family being the primary one. It wasn’t a financial decision but it does have certain advantages in that area.
  6. I really can’t stand kid birthday parties and the goody bags that are apparently a requirement. Parties have become ridiculously expensive and why do we feel obligated to give kids junky toys to thank them for coming. When did cake stop being enough?
  7. Both my sons were born at home with midwives and my daughter is adopted. My first son was 11 pounds, 2 ounces at birth. Yeah, huge….tell me about it.
  8. In fifth grade I landed myself in a neck brace by trying to do a back handspring in the front yard. Not my best idea ever.
  9. I’m a Christian and I was raised in the church since I was a week old. We’re currently searching for a new church because unfortunately we learned recently that some churches kinda suck the life out of you.
  10. I quit halfway through a Master’s degree program for Marriage & Family therapy and have no desire to go back because I no longer have a desire for a traditional type of job.
  11. I love reading books, making homemade gifts, and hand stamped metal jewelry. I also learned how to paint landscape portraits when I was in elementary school. It just seems like it’s harder and harder to find time to fit those things into this season of my life.
  12. My father is an Emergency Room doctor, the smartest man I know, and I still love to hear him do all the voices to characters in “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
  13. I am deeply fascinated with American Sign Language and have tried to learn it at various points in my life. It brings me to tears and one day I’m going to do the work to finally become fluent in it.
  14. I also want to learn Spanish and teach it to my kids so our Puerto Rican family members won’t disown me.
  15. I am a total introvert. I love quiet, being alone, and taking naps even when I’m not tired. Living in a household of 10 doesn’t provide much of that though. This year for my birthday I asked for a weekend by myself and it was awesome!
  16. There are over 8,000 books in our house and most belong to my parents. Even though I tease them about it, I also think it’s pretty cool. It won’t be the same when a lot of the books are cleared out of here.
  17. I LOVE chick flicks! I will even sit through bad ones like stuff with Keanu Reeves in them. However, I get really annoyed when there’s no happy ending.
  18. I have a dry sense of humor and I tend to be sarcastic. I read once that being sarcastic was bad manners or a bad habit or something but I just couldn’t live without it.
  19. I keep my disposable contacts in a lot longer than I should. My eye doctor once told me I could go blind by doing that, but it hasn’t happened yet. That reminds me, I need to buy more contacts.
  20. One goal I have for our family is to create a business that provides us the finances and the flexibility to travel with our kids and take homeschooling on the road.
  21. I truly love minimalism and think it’s the answer to today’s epidemic of tired and frustrated families. That’s why I’m here and why I keep telling everyone I know about it.

I am in the process writing an e-book. It will be a guide for parents who are tired of living in clutter and chaos.

Since the book is meant to help you, it would really help me to know what you’re interested in. Minimalism is really a broad playing field to me so pretty much anything goes. I’m sure you’ve found yourself saying “I’d really like to know more about ________.” or “I wish someone would write about ________.”

I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section or you can use my Contact page to email me directly.


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Article originally published on 10/11/2010

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  1. So glad to have found you! I’m just starting my own journey to minimalism as I battle depression and a sense that my life has spiraled to out of control. I enjoyed getting to know you here and look forward to reading more.

    • Faith Janes says

      Thanks for reading, Christine. Life certainly has a way of getting out of control. Making deliberate choices that take back that control is definitely a good feeling. Best of luck on your journey to minimalism.

  2. Faith~ I am also a newbie to minimalism and am working on the total declutter and living with less. I really appreciate your blog and mission. I have had the feeling of losing control of life with my children and house and all the STUFF that comes from it. I started with toys, then moved to clothing….4 kids and clothing was taking over my house. Now they have those hanging cubbies with 6 spaces-and an outfit for each day….Im a work in progress, because I am also a “crafter”–so for me–it makes me move towards more consumable crafts-like knitting and crocheting-and cooking.

    I look forward to reading and following you!!

    • Karen (Scotland) says

      MostlySunny – I hear you! Just before my fourth child was born (we didn’t know the sex), I felt totally overwhelmed with the amount of children’s clothes in this house – boy and girl, and extra donated from cousins and friends (oh, and the maternity clothes!). Three days after SHE was born and knowing for sure she is the last, I got stuck into the ROOM full of clothes and it was such. a. good. feeling.
      I got rid of almost 6 big black bags (donated to other friends with boys or freecycled or charity shop) and that was the spur for my husband to get stuck into some boxes in the attic and for us to have a cull on the teddies etc. And so began our path to minimising/simplifying.
      Also, yes, I like my crafts to be “useful” now – knitting, sewing (repairs, mostly), the kids’ memory books.

    • Faith Janes says

      I’m going to be talking about kid clothing on the blog tomorrow. It sounds like you made GREAT progress with the hanging cubbies ideas. I love it. I think I’ll have to mention it tomorrow.

  3. I love your blog and the fact that you take a real life approach to things. You are open and honest. And a lot of fun tot read.

    So here is my two cents – I would love some insight for women who work outside of the home. For those who do send their kids to conventional school. How do you find the time to declutter? How do you go about prioritizing needs vs. wants?

    Also what is the best way to get rid of the excess? Craigs List, free cycle, donate? Those would be appreciated.

    I am beginning the process of minimalizing our lives. It is challenging when I don’t have a lot of time. And I am sure working at home or outside the home, time is a problem for everyone.

  4. Karen (Scotland) says

    This is a really nice post – made me smile and made me think. I’m with you on the goody bags, the dentist, chick flicks, dry sense of humour and time to yourself.
    Not sure what I want to hear next as potential topics. Maybe how to evaluate whether and how a child actually plays with toys and when to decide if a toy has had its day (at least in this household).
    Maybe a green angle on when to hold on to craft stuff (cereal boxes/ribbons off old clothes/other “junk” that kids use to decorate art/balls of wool) and when to just buy for the projects as they arise. I have a HUGE amount of stuff squirrelled away but, over the years, I am finding a purpose for them and it saves me a fortune not having to buy supplies. I really struggle to throw out paper and have actually got a bundle of coloured papers given to me when I was ten that I have lugged from home to home BUT I am now using for my children and other crafty projects. 🙂
    Maybe also how to have cosy but uncluttered communal living areas – how many sofas do you need for such a large household?! Do you have one large communal living room or lots of little noooks and cranny rooms so everyone can have a little bit of privacy/space. Just curious.

    Thanks for all the little insights into who you are.

  5. Marcia Drummonds says

    Hey, how do you homeschool? With a purchased curriculum or one that you have worked out on your own? A few pointers on how you do it would be helpful.
    I have just found you, so I haven’t fully explored your site, but I like what I’ve seen so far.
    I applaud your decision to move back home! That’s something that most husbands wouldn’t go for, sounds like yours is a keeper! I think that the decision to maintain separate households is a symptom of the entitlement mentality that is so common today. I stayed with my dad with my two boys (17yrs and 2yrs) this summer while my husband was deployed to Iraq; I really loved being able to cook dinner for him so that he didn’t have to. And he got to be close to the baby for a while before we had to move 16 hours away.
    Good luck in all that you pursue, I’ll keep dropping by, Thanks!

    • Faith Janes says

      We use a combination of things for our homeschool curriculum. For the first four years I tried something new every year. I can’t stand to be bored by books and I know if I’m bored then my kids definitely will be. Last year I finally settled on a pretty good combo. I like Winterpromise “curriculum” (www.winterpromise.com) because it teaches with a large collection of real books instead of textbooks. Their products teach a nice age span so I can teach the boys the same thing. Then I add in age appropriate math and English. That’s it in a nut shell. 🙂 If you want more info just let me know.

  6. hopeinbrazil says

    I was a de-clutter-er before I’d ever heard about minimalism, but I like the idea of stripping away schedule clutter as well as stuff clutter. I’m still learning to how enrich our lives with less and it’s a great journey. I’m glad to have found your blog.

  7. This is the first post I’ve read on your blog and I feel a strong connection! Many of your 21 things would also be on my list. I’ve just started my minimalist journey and my husband is on board, too. We have 2 very young children (one just turned 7 weeks, born at home…) and I was really wondering how this lifestyle could possibly fit with being a mom. I’m so glad to have found you (…I read your post on Becoming Minimalist).


    • Faith Janes says

      Thanks for writing, Jill. Very cool to have a kindred spirit around. 🙂 It’s also very awesome that you’re husband is on board. It took mine a little bit to get used to it at first because it was such a big shift from how we’d been living. But now he’s hooked and we’re attacking things together with gusto!

  8. I think we could be sisters – I’m also a introverted Christian homeschooling mom of three (ages 3,5,7) and I agree with just about everything you said! I have been on the minimalist journey for only a couple months now, and it’s definitely a process. Toys has been a huge thing for me. When I actually stepped back to look at what my kids play with, I discovered that they actually play with very little toys. They like to pretend, dance, do arts and crafts, and go outside. All the other stuff usually ends up tossed on the floor. I was tired of dealing with “stuff” all day when time is passing by so very quickly. Oh, and I also have the same irrational fear of the dentist with sickness for days before I go. I actually make myself go every six months because if I don’t my nightmares become worse with thoughts of “what if”. It was great to find your blog. I will definitely be checking back!

  9. Love this post! I’m also a homeschool mom to 3 (this year teaching ages 10, 8, & 1.5yo), also Christian and introverted (and I love my naps!) The birthday thing…wow…yes! We throw bday parties and include “no gifts please” on the invites. We do not give out goody bags. We invite everyone, have food/cake, and just informal fun. Buying gifts for bday parties drives me batty, but I don’t really know how to handle it. Do we refuse to go? Do we buy useful things like school supplies or packable lunch snacks? Or do we just buy the obligatory toy and hope it meets with some kind of use? I think that would be a really good topic to address in your e-book. Another thing I am fascinated with: so many moms I know and love collect oodles and oodles of stamping and scrapbooking gadgets. The hobby, by it’s very nature, is designed to get “more stuff”. Afterall, you can’t just stamp with 5 stamps – that’s ridiculous! You wouldn’t be able to make much. I tend to avoid hobbies like that because I do not want the added expense or the added clutter in my life. But I think this might be a sought-after topic for your e-book. (Raise your hand if you scrapbook!) OK, one more: homeschooling. How do you do that without getting that “grass is always greener” eye toward curriculum, hoarding schoolbooks, and collecting all the latest and greatest methods out there? Math alone is subject to lots of experimentation and plenty of little manipulatives (ones, tens, and hundreds blocks every where in my house!) Thanks and God bless!

  10. I found your blog yesterday through Becoming Minimalist. It’s great to see a mother’s perspective on the subject. I’m excited to hear you are writing an e-book! It is all so overwhelming. I am looking forward to continuing to read through the rest of your blog.

  11. Katie kozicky says

    Wow! 11 lbs. I finally met someone with a baby heavier than mine. My son Judah was 10 lbs 8 oz.
    Well, I found your blog through the nester and I look forward to checking it out.

  12. I am very interested in your decision to merge your households! My husband and I are the parents and we are seriously considering moving in with our youngest daughter and her husband. I hope you’ll write more about how you decided and about how things worked out and are continuing to evolve.

    I homeschooled my kids too back in the years before there was much curriculum and before there were many support groups. Now I teach writing to homeschooled kids through several groups in our area.

  13. So glad to have found you! We are getting ready to downsize – our new home will surely be at LEAST 1/3 the size of our current estate! So I am new to the minimalist life, however I am thoroughly enjoying just the beginning stages of it all. It makes me so HAPPY when hubby drives off another truck-full of stuff from our house [this is getting addictive]. I love a house with less clutter. Can’t wait until it is ALL gone. 😀

  14. Faith,

    I am maybe at the other end of the spectrum of readers, we are empty nesters, my husband is approaching retirement from teaching, and I would like to streamline our lives both in possessions and finances to prepare for this change. I would rather not work 20 years after he retires, and so my end goal is to reduce that gap by simplifying our habits now.

    Maybe there are topics that could address that phase of downsizing?


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