Sunday, June 15, 2014

Book Review: "Notes from a Blue Bike"

Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic WorldNotes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's been a long time since I had a book that I found so inspiring! Seriously, I related to so much of what Tsh says here and kept thinking "yes, I want this life too!"

It is such a chaotic, busy life that we live in and it's almost impossible to NOT be going in a million directions at once. Her family's choices and goals to slow down and live simpler are so in line with what I would love to be able to do.

They have prioritized travel, books, and time together over expensive material things. She talks about her time living all over the world and encourages her readers to make sure their families get out of the US at least once. She's also very realistic about the finances (and financial sacrifices) a goal like that takes and references how they turned their life around with Dave Ramsey's advice.

She also talks a lot about shopping at the local farmer's market while living in Turkey and how she wanted to continue that fresh approach after moving back to the states. It's a lot harder, but can be done. She definitely sparked my interest in more local farmer's markets, the slow food movement, etc.

I so appreciated her style (honest, autobiographical) and could relate to her life...

"I cannot remember one day in five years when my to do list was completely finished. Not one." (For me, it might be closer to 4 years - Micah's age - but yeah!)

And here's one of my favorites - perfect justification for my obsession with children's books and the library...

"According to the US National Commission on Reading, the most significant factor in a child's educational success is an introduction to books."

Tsh asserts that the most important things we can give our kids are "books, open-ended toys, and access to the outdoors." Open-ended toys = LEGOS, art supplies, train tracks, cars, etc.

She shares many valuable lessons that her family has learned and what has worked and not worked for them (home schooling vs. public schooling, for example), and I just highly recommend this for any family that wants to really start simplifying and re-prioritizing life.

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