Simplicity: The Gods Must Be Crazy



We spent some time with my in-laws this week and watched this movie. Have you seen it? I don’t really recommend it; I didn’t enjoy it. But there was a bit of a life lesson in simplicity found in it that I found refreshing. But first let me give you a short synopsis of the film in case you’re not familiar with it.

The movie opens on Xi (pronounced Key) and his family, a group of tribal Africans who are just living their lives with no outside interference or Western influence whatsoever. One day, a “large, loud bird” (an airplane) flies overhead and “the gods” drop a gift on our unsuspecting main character and his tribe: a glass Coke bottle tossed out the window of the plane by the pilot. While the tribe was perfectly happy before with nothing stronger than wood or bone (not even rock), they’re now fascinated by this “thing” that they’ve been blessed with. They use it for everything: as a rolling pin for their dough, as a weapon, as a musical instrument . . . the list goes on and on. They soon realize that because of this “gift,” they’re no longer happy just being . . . well, just being.  The scarcity of the bottle – there’s only one – has caused jealousy and strife to enter their previously peaceful existence. Xi takes it upon himself to take the “evil thing” and toss it over the edge of the Earth so that his family can go back to their “normal” lives.

There are a couple of other plot points, and while the whole thing seems like a muddy mess for a while, eventually the pieces come together and everything is resolved. Those other points don’t matter that much for what I want to talk about today, though, so I’m not going to go too much into them. I will mention just one of them, very briefly, for reasons that will become clearer as we go here.

Just a few hundred miles south of where Xi and his tribe live is the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg, South Africa. (And that’s really all I’m going to say about that particular plot point. Told you it’d be brief.) The comparison between the two cultures is where the meat of what I want to talk about comes from today. I’m going to start with this quote from the film, said by the narrator:

And here [South Africa] you find civilized man. Civilized man refused to adapt himself to his environment; instead, he adapted his environment to suit him. So he built cities, roads, vehicles, machinery, and he put up power lines to run his labor-saving devices. But somehow he didn’t know where to stop. The more he improved his surroundings to make life easier, the more complicated he made it. So now his children are sentenced to 10-15 years of school, just to learn how to survive in this complex and hazardous habitat they were born into. And civilized man, who refused to adapt to his surroundings, now finds he has to adapt and re-adapt every hour of the day to his self-created environment.

How deep is that? I know it was included in the film (made in 1980, by the way) for comedic effect, but my oh my, how fascinating those thoughts are.

So true.

And therefore so sad.

We consider ourselves to be “civilized.” But how much are we missing out on because of that? We suffer from depression. We work so hard to support our lifestyles. We get bored and angry.

Imagine a simpler life, like that of the Bushmen. Before the Coke bottle dropped in on them – the only thing they’d ever seen of Western civilization – they were just people living a simple life with not a care in the world. They were very gentle people. They never had to punish their children, because there was no misbehavior among the children. There was just life. And it was a beautiful life.

Now, I don’t really want to live a life in the African bush, and I’m not suggesting that we should do that. But we should strive for the simplicity and contentedness that the characters in this movie had. They didn’t have any stress in their lives. They weren’t worried about money or food or shelter. They trusted God (albeit the wrong god) to provide their food and water for the day. We should do that. We should quit stressing and working so much to support our lifestyles. We should take some time, at least a little bit, to just relax, to enjoy our families. We should get outside and enjoy our environment – and by that, I mean the natural environment, not the one we’ve adapted to meet our needs because we didn’t want to adapt ourselves to the environment.

We should learn some lessons from the African bush.



Poppins Book Nook Update

I wasn’t able to do the Book Nook this month, but I wanted to give you guys the opportunity to read the other awesome bloggers who did!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~  Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Picture of the Week: Brushing My Teeth

I know I already made a post today, but it’s been a couple of weeks since I did a picture of the week, and I wanted to do one today. This is just too cute not to share!

brushing teeth

Small Fry loves having his teeth brushed. But  he loves doing it himself even more!

Have a great weekend everyone :).



Around the World: Italian Chicken Cacciatore (Recipe)

chicken cacciatore collageBuongiorno! Benvenuti in Italia! (Good morning! Welcome to Italy!)

This is the final recipe I have for you this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed the series and that you’ll try out some of these delicious recipes! They’re way cheaper than a plane ticket to all these exotic locations :).

One day a few weeks ago, Will wanted Italian food, but “not pasta.” So I went in search of something that fit the bill, and Chicken Cacciatore was what I came up with. All of the recipes seemed complex and/or took hours and hours to cook, so I adapted this one from Giada De Laurentiis to fit our needs. Enjoy your trip!

(Oh, also, I forgot to take a picture of the final dish, that’s why I’ve made a collage to showcase the sauce and chicken separately today.)


Chicken thighs – enough for your family

Salt and Pepper

Flour, for dredging

Oil, for frying

1 bell pepper, any color, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (28 oz) or 2 (14 oz) can(s) diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Italian seasonings of your choice (oregano, basil, thyme, etc)


Preheat your oven to 400 F.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. While you’re doing this, heat the oil in a large skillet. Sear the chicken, skin side down first, until brown and crispy. Move to a baking dish. Do this in two stages if you have to.

In the same skillet, saute the onion, garlic, and bell pepper until they start to soften. Add in the tomatoes, broth, vinegar, and spices. Simmer for just a few minutes to combine the flavors. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 45-55 minutes to finish cooking the chicken through. Serve over egg noodles and/or with a nice loaf of crusty bread for sopping up the sauce.


Thank you for joining me on my trip around the world this week! It’s been fabulous. And please, if you try any (or all) of these recipes, let me know. I’d love to hear how they turned out for you.



Make sure to visit my friends and their five day series, too! And for even more five-day fun, click the banner at the end of the post.

Ellen @ Grace Tells Another Story ~ Making Homeschooling Fun!
Marcy @ Ben and Me ~ Helping Children in Uganda
Melanie @ FinchNWren ~ Finchnwren’s Fabulous Family Movies
Sarah  @ Delivering Grace ~  learning about England
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart ~  Connecting with the Creator through Nature Study
Joanie @ Simple Living Mama ~ 5 Days of Charlotte Mason Preschool
Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas ~ A Happy, Peaceful Home
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses ~ Homeschooling 4 FREE resources

April Blog Hop

Around the World: U.S. Chicken Fried Steak (Recipe)

Happy Thursday, friends! We’re over halfway through the week :). I hope you’ve enjoyed these recipes as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you.

Today, we’re in my home country, the United States, and making one of my all-time favorite meals (who am I kidding? All of the meals this week are high on my list!): Chicken Fried Steak!

This one’s quite a bit more complex than the others have been up to now, but totally worth the effort.

Here we go!

cfs final
For the steak, you’ll need:

Steak (any kind will do, even a cheap cut)

2 eggs, beaten

1-2 packets of Shake-n-Bake for chicken

Oil for frying

Cut the steak into smallish pieces. You don’t want nuggets, but you want each piece to have plenty of breading, so you don’t want them as big as if you’d be grilling the steak.

Crack the eggs into a dish and beat. Pour the shake-n-bake into another dish.

While you’re dipping the steak, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat.

Dip the steak first into the egg, then into the shake-n-bake. Fry in the hot oil until cooked to your preferences. It doesn’t take more than 5 minutes a side or so for medium-well.

Once you’ve cooked all the steak, pour off all but a couple of tablespoons of the oil. Add in enough flour to make a roux, then stir in milk and/or chicken broth to make a gravy. For 2 tablespoons of milk/flour, you’ll want about a cup and a half of liquid.

Serve with mashed potatoes and the gravy and some corn for a truly American meal!



Don’t forget to hit these other great blogs for fabulous five-day series!

Ellen @ Grace Tells Another Story ~ Making Homeschooling Fun!
Marcy @ Ben and Me ~ Helping Children in Uganda
Melanie @ FinchNWren ~ Finchnwren’s Fabulous Family Movies
Sarah  @ Delivering Grace ~  learning about England
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart ~  Connecting with the Creator through Nature Study
Joanie @ Simple Living Mama ~ 5 Days of Charlotte Mason Preschool
Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas ~ A Happy, Peaceful Home
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses ~ Homeschooling 4 FREE resources

April Blog Hop