These are all the ways I have tried to make my existence a bit less acrimonious with the environment:

-organic food for the kiddos always, Tyler and me when it's most affordable or necessary.
-seventh generation supplies over all others: cleaning supplies, garbage bags, paper towels, even diapers from time to time (okay, not the laundry detergent...I love Tide and Dreft, but I do buy only double concentrated jugs)
-use more Tupperware and less baggies
-I suffer the heat a bit more than I used to by turning our AC up a bit
-gdiapers--this is the biggest change by far. They leak from time to time and are expensive, but they are guilt free since they are flushable, compostable, and break down easily if they must be tossed
-don't drive the royal blue FJ Cruiser I'd love to have (okay, I can't afford it even if I decided it an acceptable mode of transportation, but that's not the point)
-we recycle
-tossed my nalgenes and donated my plastic bottles to be replaced with titanium water bottles for Liv and me and glass bottles for Jude
-recently bought my first two herb plants (sage and oregano)
-never use hot water to wash my clothes
-shop locally when possible over the big bad corporations around town
-along with a few other less significant ones like being sure to switch the ipod off when I leave the house for a while.
-walk instead of drive to places like the park, market, and nearby restaurants

This is a pretty big deal for me even though they are pretty minor things to be doing. I am of the persuasion usually that asks, what difference is going to be made if I decide to put forth the effort to make changes in this area--probably none, or at least not enough of one to warrant any considerable work on my part. On the other hand, I have an easier time complying with and being more mindful of the needs of Mother Earth if I allow it to be the spiritual/moral issue I think it is now, rather than just a political/activist one.

I'm no naturalist, that's for sure. (I mean, I fill up my watering can at least three times a day for a few piddly flower boxes on my balcony and I LOVE eating at Outback still, along with In-n-Out. Did I mention that I still drink 1-2 cans of Diet Coke every day? And I appreciate nothing less than a solid, quick-absorbing role of paper towels right now.) On the other hand, I am making more of an effort to be mindful of the small changes that will eventually add up to some bigger lessons that I can teach my kids about using our resources wisely and methodically, certainly not wastefully or negligently. Some of my changes come from guilt, others are rub-offs from our church community and my brother, and still other changes are more a matter of my heart. More than anything, being eco-friendly, simple, and mindful is hard and unnatural for me. Plus, it's freakin' expensive. But like I believe about Wal-mart and why it's so evil: the cheapness of a product comes to us at someone else's expense. In this light, I don't mind paying an extra $.99 for a russet potato that's organic or an extra $1.50 for a gallon of Horizon Milk. Like I said, it's a Jesus issue with me now and it comes from asking the question of how to make Jesus a bit more present in the day-to-day affair of raising kids. I feel like these are things I have the energy and commitment to tackle now--not that I'm any master of it.

Two goals Tyler has for when we are at last home owners:
-solar panels on our roof and

When I talk about loving God and loving people more, this has surprisingly (to me) grown to be a way for me to make it a practical reality in my family's presence on the Earth. (That's it. Just sharing something that I've been processing the past several months.)



Tyler and I have been catering a new shared addiction to the HBO TV series ROME. I bought him the first season for Christmas, and he made us put off beginning to watch it until last month--good thing! We have to make ourselves only watch one episode at a time, and only a few a week so that we don't wear ourselves out on it or find ourselves too addicted only to run out of shows before we could finish the weaning process.

I have been trying to figure out why I like the show so much. It houses everything a good drama is supposed to have, thick plot, adventure and action, sex, quests for power and love, even a bit of suspense. But sometimes the violence and female objectification is even a bit too much for me; yet, I can't wait for the kids to get to sleep so we can pop the next episode into the dvd player. (This is all aside from the fact that Rome follows suit with other notorious HBO programming in that the writers are masterful at wrecking your assumptions of the next episode in the last thirty seconds of the current one.) So I think I keep returning to it because it is really bringing to life a new, or ancient rather, way of life. Despite the fact that there are lots of western influences in the show (my brother commented that he couldn't watch beyond the first episode because something about ancient soldiers using the F-word didn't really strike him as authentic), there are also lots of culture practices that were similar in the time of Jesus that are portrayed well.

I'm understanding better the freedom that Jesus offered women by noticing them for more than their bodies and even encouraging them to speak. I am intrigued by the power plays between rulers/emperors and I wonder how Jesus squeezed into this, and I can't believe Rome's foreign policy was so inconsiderate-to put it mildly. Yet their devotion to their gods was astounding. The show doesn't spend much time on this, but they couldn't escape it either. Before every battle, every relocation, every important deed time is spent in supplication. I get more the significance of a monotheistic religion now. And mostly, the show does a great job showing us how narcissistic and wretched the culture was. They had a blatant disregard for human life or the worth of any individual unless you were noble. A lot of how it's portrayed is Hollywood-hyped up a bit, I'm sure. Nonetheless, Roman culture was brutal and cut-throat. All the more radical Christ's message of peace, restoration, and dignity. They crucified people like it was nothing; so even this too, makes me wonder how Scripture has embellished the story of Jesus' own experience on the cross to make it stand out a bit. All this to say, it's a pretty interesting show.


Photo Project

I just found this photo blog through another blog that I visit fairly regularly on style and design. The pictures are from a project the photographer did on mega churches. Some of the photos are really interesting, and some of them show how the church can just as easily fall into the trap of being excessive, not unlike we do in our homes. Check it out; unfortunately, i can't cut and paste any of the images here.