Category Archives: aboutus

Small steps towards living an abundant life

So I’ve always thought that Little House on The Prairie actually had something to it. I have wanted to live a life in that manner for a long time. What I mean by that is, a simple life. One less plugged in, less busy, destressed, and maybe less medications.

After public school told us they did not have time to teach our daughter to read, our adventures in homeschooling began. As it happened I wanted to teach the kids where food actually comes fom. 

So we started with chickens. The picture at the top of this post is the whole setup now, but we started out with just building the coop which cost $400 in material but is still cheaper than a store bought one. The front half of the coop the chain link fence is a dog kennel we bought for $220 on sale. The other 180 was material to make the coop. We had trouble with chicken hawks so another $60 was spent to cover the kennel. Then we bought the chain link fence for the back of the coop for $50. We have wire that runs across the top of the back part, but we let the weeds grow up high to camouflage the chickens better and so far this has worked well. 

Before anyone comments about free range, I simply cannot do that. There’s a highway on one side and woods on the other, so far we have lost 5 chickens to coyotes, skunks and chicken hawks. 

In a continued effort to teach our kids where real food comes from, we have a large garden and can green beans, make pickles, and try to put enough away for the winter. The tricky part has been to figure out a planting/harvest ratio. 


She thinks we’re just fishing.

Its more than catching fish. It’s building her up. It’s a conversation. It’s showing her how to be independent….it’s about showing her how to trust God and follow him. 

She won’t hear you if you treat her mom like crap. If you always yelling. A leader doesn’t have to beat his chest and holler “follow me” that behavior is a temper tantrum. 

An Evening Drive


Kylar and I had set out to do a little fishing. We both enjoy it and I thought it would be good to just get him out of the house.
Turns out the way to the river was more muddy than I wanted to tackle this evening and the other place we checked out was so full of poison ivy it would have been stupid to try. So, we drove around the country side and just talked.
Which was nice too.
Kylar got excited when I told him we could go fishing tomorrow when we have our picnic in the park.

This Family Circus, or Have Kids, Will Travel

Photo by jason coonscoonsimaging

Nothing strikes fear quite like it, causes more anxiety attacks or sends more men into a flared temper quicker, than a family trip. The destination doesn’t even have to be exotic.

One this particular day, our destination is a doctor’s visit to Indianapolis. As I am gathering the last of my travel essentials from my truck, I hear my wife chime in, “Gotta go! We’re already late!”

These are the words of death for most trips-especially so, when our family is still admiring the scenic view from our driveway.

Food and Travel.

Face it, at some point in your life eating in the family vehicle will happen. Maybe it was due to us being behind, maybe it was that I hadn’t gotten upset like I normally do when we are late, whatever her reasons, Becky suggests that Kylar and I get food from Burger King while she and Kylie and Kyson fill up the truck at the gas station across the street. As the kids and I eat our meal, Becky comments on how good it smells. Part pf me felt a little guilty, part of me didn’t. Then she says, “I chose to have this surgery, so I could be healthy, It’s alright. She then asks for her baby spoon and one once of tuna salad that she had stored in a small cooler.

At 2:06 she began eating. One bite on a baby spoon, chew twenty to thirty times, swallow and repeat. I sat watching my wife eat one tiny bite or a couple shreds of cheese at a time. I thought about all my previous ignorant notions about people who choose to have weight loss surgery. The thoughts rolled around in my head, “If they really want to loose weight, they could.” Or “Oh sure, cut your stomach out all but a two ounce pouch and anyone would loose weight like that.” My thoughts made me feel like a thousand pounds of big ignorant ass, sitting here next to her. My wife. My too have and too hold.

In these few moments I was forced to deal with some things about Becky’s surgery. I said I supported her decision and I said I would be supportive of her, but to be completely honest it’s been hard for me to be supportive. I’m not ready to not eat like we always have. I’m not ready to change. But, sometimes, as a man, you just have to man up and lead your family whether you want to or not. Our whole way of eating is going to change.

Accidents and a Rural Clinic…


I have never raised chickens. Honestly, I wasn’t what you would call a Man’s Man. I prefer to shop at Tractor Supply or Rural King than waste a Sunday watching football. So, axe skills and butchering chickens was a new process for me and I figured it couldn’t be that difficult. One, Two, Three chickens in and I had a rhythm. I was excited because I only had twwnty-four to butcher then the fourth chicken happened. Somehow my left index finger and the axe blade met up in a grudge match that left me bleeding all over and I could see the tendon in my finger going to the knuckle. My wife was in the middle of homeschool and I didn’t want to alarm the kids, so I went next door to my in-laws and asked my mother in law if she would bandage me up.

I ended up at the local clinic. This is the equivalent of a nurse in a brick and mortar building handing out refills for blood pressure scripts. I come in with my wounded finger and the Dr. on duty is the wife of my regular family physician. I’m thinking this is a good sign. Until they take me to the operating room. Which had to be cleared out of the various boxes and miscellaneous items that had overtaken the room. But finally, the Doctor did sew my finger back together and to this day it is fine. It took a little while before I could play guitar again but I did go right back and finished butchering the chickens.


2 incomes are better than 1

I mentioned in an earlier post that my wife Becky and I both were working. And we were. Her degree in early childhood education and  $31,000 salary plus my $20,000 certified nursing assistant job made ends meet for us and we could do just about whatever we wanted. Something kept nagging at us. Between Becky working days and me working second shift I took the kids to school so I could see them, Becky spent 3-5 hours a night with the kids doing homework. Our family just had no family time together. Apparently God was feeling like we needed some togetherness too because all of a sudden, my wife was fired. She did nothing wrong, other than not be liked by her new boss.
So I tried to pick up more hours at work and tow the line.
Meanwhile, Becky got used to being home with the kids a little more but they still spent all day at school and another 3-5 hours of homework at night. Which left zero time for us to enjoy our kids or for them to enjoy being a kid.
The final straw happened while at a parent teacher conference our daughter’s teacher told us,  “Kylie doesn’t know how to read but her reading comprehension is excellent.”
I asked, “how does a kid that can’t read have excellent comprehension, of what she isn’t reading?”
“Well, we read to her,” she replied.
We will skip the other things I said except for I thanked her for being honest and we informed them my children would be attending a private school starting that Friday.

The school demanded we tell them what private education my kids would be receiving and when I stuck to my original answer of privately educated elsewhere the school marked my children as delinquent so they cannot receive a driver’s license until they are 18.

And thus Coons Academy was born. We haven’t looked back.


I’m a writer, a photographer, musician, a reader, a critic, an artist. A hobby farmer, my family and I raise chickens and we garden to grow our own food.

We are a family of hunters and fisherman who enjoy the outdoors and being in the woods and floating down the river. 

We are survivalists who learn new skills by watching YouTube and practicing what we see.

We are humans, and this is our life.  The good, the messy, the unorthodox, we are a faith based family. We are homeschoolers who believe every aspect of life can be a teaching moment and that home is the heart of the family.

This blog serves to chronical our journey wherever we are going whatever we are doing. This is Coons Outdoors.