Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meet Ben Schneider, an Alaskan Yurt Dad

Ben SchneiderHere's a quick introduction to our manly guest writer Ben Schneider from Eagle River, Alaska--give him a warm welcome and take a peek at his interesting life.

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So what is a man doing blogging for a motherhood magazine? Well, I’m a man doing his best to wallow his way through a woman’s world. I have a degree in elementary education and have been a preschool teacher. I know how to knit (sort of), sew (sort of), and am a stay-at-home parent--cooking for my family every day and making my big break into the crafting world.

Ben SchneiderI do, however, make attempts at clinging to my masculinity. I ski (or try to). I build stuff (see www.eagleriverpuzzles.com) and I hang out with other stay-at-home dads where I begin every statement made about parenting with the word “dude.”

“Dude, I just started potty training my oldest and it’s rocking me.”

But, I think my most manly characteristic is that I built and live in a yurt which is a 30-foot diameter tent. It houses my whole family: my wife, Nicki; my three and a half year-old son, Leo; my baby baby daughter, Kaya; two dogs, and two gold fish. It’s cozy but we all fit. Having a yurt as a home is our attempt at simplifying our lives.

Okay, not too simplified--there is a dishwasher inside and a two-car garage beneath. But besides being a fun, offbeat abode living in a yurt has also taught me that you can raise a family with a lot less square footage and a lot less stuff than I previously thought (you can see what I mean by visiting our family’s yurt-blog).

Ben SchneiderWe have been in Alaska for two years and think it's the best place on earth, where else can you easily ski six months out of the year and start summer hikes at 10:00pm?

Being outside with our children is how we feel time is best spent; big excursions are great but small walks in the woods are just a meaningful and fun. We hope to be here for a very long time.

Thanks for letting me wallow and I hope I’m able to add some unique perspective to motherhood. And if you ever need someone to help you pick out some cute baby outfits . . . I know some moms who would love to help.

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Congratulations to our five Anchorage winners Tammy, Laurel, Amanda, Michelle and another Michelle (all of Anchorage, obviously) who have picked up fabulous movie packages with tickets to the Despicable Me sneak preview! See you at the movies. . . .

Sponsored by Dimples and Dandelions for Serena and Lily baby bedding.

10 comments:

CountessLaurie said...

Welcome, Ben. My husband is also a stay at home dad so I look forward to reading more from you. And learning about your yurt. (Can't say that fast.)

Patricia L said...

You had me at "dude"...it happens to be one of my most-used words too. :)

Stephanie said...

Hi Ben! I totally love that you live in a tiny yurt in Alaska. We're big proponents of simply living (and of spending time in the outdoors as a family). In fact, I often say to my husband, "Let's move to a SMALLER house next time we move." :)

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

handmade toddler clothes said...

Quite the yurt. I don't know if I could do that.

Jules said...

That's pretty amazing. I would love to hear more about life in your yurt. You should write a book.

Daisy said...

Fabulous. Simplify, simplify, but keep it realistic. I'll be checking out the yurt-blog!

Ben Schneider said...

Thanks for the encouragement every one. Down sizing our home was one of the best things we ever did. There is nothing more freeing than getting rid of all your clutter!

Kim said...

Year-round in a yurt . . . wow! I look forward to reading more!

bigguysmama said...

Hmmm a 30' Yurt? Dude, I don't think so. Your wife is a better woman than me!Your kids are going to have the most amazing experience!

Can't wait to read more.

Sincerely,

Mimi

Kim said...

Hi Ben,

I love your yurt. We live in a yurt on 5 acres on North Idaho. Trying our best to live a sustainable lifestyle. You can check it out here..http://imaginationboxco.com/?main_page=wordpress&page_id=37