Saturday, March 26, 2011

Plain and Simple Living

I wrote and saved the following post the other day, before the "tragedy", I am sorry to report that our laptop, the one that was going to the farm with us, was fried.  It has been shipped away to see if it's under warranty, but even if it is it will be 5 to 7 weeks before we get it back.  For now I can use Danes computer or my Moms but once we get out on the farm I don't know what well do!  We simply don't have the money to get a new laptop now.  I am praying that if God wants us to continue this blog He will provide the means. 
So for the following post there was going to be LOTS of pictures, but those pics are now lost somewhere in an unacessable hard drive.  When we take more photos, I will have Ileigh add them to this post. 

Nothing about my life right now is simple, there are boxes stacked to the ceiling, yard sale piles, wet paint on the walls and the dog and all the paper work that goes with moving across the country.  Needless to say it is pure chaos!  BUT, I do desire a plain and simple life, and that is a big part of why we are moving to the farm.  What exactly is simple and plain?  I know these words will mean different things to different people, to Dane and I they mean a slower, calmer life, not one lived in the fast lane always going, taking children here and there, running, running and then running some more.  It means staying home, working at home, not zipping to the store every time you need something.  It doesn't mean less work, a simpler life often means more work.  But work with a meaning, working towards something lasting not just filling your hours with busy work. 
A plain life can mean many different things as well.  When you say "plain" most people think of the Plain People, the Amish and the Mennonites.  They are plain in every aspect of their lives, from dress, to work, to play, to school, to transportation, to communication.  After lots of studying and research on the "culture" of the Plain People I can honestly say, I understand why they do what they do, and why they interpret the scriptures the way they do, and for the most part, I totally agree. 
Are we going to become Amish? No.
But we are interested on becoming like them, living a plain and simple life. 

Let me give you some examples of how we are trying to accomplish that goal.
I will start with clothes, Ileigh and Elsah and my clothes, we wear and have worn for many years now, dresses only.  We believe women and girls should be dressed modestly at all times.  After MUCH sewing and wearing and discussing we have decided we like the cape dress the best!  So to that end we have been sewing cape dresses for Ileigh and myself.  We are trying to meet our goal of 4 everyday dresses, and 1 Sunday dress each.  Elsahs dresses are very easy to make and she has more than both of us put together!!  We buy our fabric from Gehmanns County Fabrics online, they have EXCELLENT customer service and great prices.  Esther Mae sells great poly cotton blends like Tropical Breeze and Country Rose. They never need ironing and never shrink! 
As far as "accessories", to be simple, we are going with black: shoes, stockings, coats, bonnets, shawls, etc.
Why? Because it's simple and easy!  You don't have to worry if your stockings match your dress or if your coat clashes with your bonnet etc.  Plus it allows you to concentrate on other things, not your wardrobe which, if I may, Christians should not be obsessed with any way, (sorry if I stepped on anyones toes). 
Aside from Biblical reasons for being plain, it is very practical.  As the Mother of 8 children I need things to be as simple and easy as possible.  I am also a bit on the obsessive side when it come to things matching and coordinating.  For example, if Elsah has on a green dress and I put her hair in braids, if I do not have matching green hair elastics, or not two of the same color, I can not stand it!!  I would have to take her hair down!  I know it sounds crazy but that kind of thing drives me up a wall!  So it's just easier on me to buy 200 brown elastics and always have them ready!  Simplifying my life is a priority for me. 

This post got bigger than I anticipated and I really should be painting or packing to cleaning, so I will stop for now but I can't wait to show you the boys wardrobe changes too!


  1. I am so interested in watching your adventure - I hope the laptop is repairable!
    Sounds like you are in for a busy time, but what a wonderful lifestyle you are choosing!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend (not too busy!)

  2. Hello Misty,

    I apologize for taking so long in getting back to you and do thank you for the comment you left on my blog.
    I wear plain clothing, specifically, plain cape dresses. May I ask where you will be purchasing the shoes? I have recently been searching out a place to purchase a new pair of shoes. I'm afraid my old pair, as trusty and kind as they were, are reaching the end of their service. ;)
    I pray that our Father will continue to guide you all on your journey!

    Many blessings,
    Mia Langford
    of My Simple Journey

  3. ohh i hope your blog continues!
    i'm so interested in hearing about this adventure!

    we are mennonite, but i guess you'd call us liberal mennonites from indiana :) a lot of my husbands family still are amish and amish mennonite and wear cape dresses or dresses only.

    i do dress conservatively, but not exclusively dresses. it has been a thought to cross my mind that one day the Lord might be calling me to do so, but right now i don't feel led to do that- although very lead to be conservative and not draw attention to places that don't need attention drawn!!

  4. Sorry Cusion but what you wear and what you do is your business. Your kind hearted to explain all this to people who do not understand. So kind hearted. You are living your dream and following our lord in your journeys. I so admire you for all this.

  5. I completely agree that living simply, off the land and dressing moderately is the Christian thing to do. God gave us the earth to care and replenish it. Not to pollute and destroy it.

    I bought a 130 year old farmhouse last winter and am just beginning to restore it. I am also Mennonite.

    I recently created a website about Mennonite life and living off grid and restoring the old homestead. I hope you will check it out.

  6. Hi! Just to let you know that I sew and sell (used and new) a variety of plain dresses on Ebay and Etsy. I am known as mennonitemom on both.