Happy New Year!

Wow! Hello 2008! Last year flew by for us... I *think* I can contribute that to having an addition in the family? We were richly blessed in the past year. I think the theme of 2007 was Family for us. We are very grateful for our family and love them very much! In this next year to come we have a couple resolutions we'd like to stick to. Justin has a some personal ones and I'll do my best to encourage him along... For me, personally, I'd like to have more of a routine. With two young ones that can be hard, but lately I've really felt like I'm missing out on something. My prayer time has been suffering as I get going in the morning taking care of the boys and the day just swallows me from that point on. I want to be more intentional this year with getting together with other moms and growing friendships with them. Also, as a family, I want for us to be more green. Ya know, more environmentally conscious...

So how does one start living differently?! I guess I just jump right in and begin by going to bed earlier and waking up earlier to get a jump start on my day. If I were to wake at 6am and have a shower, breakfast and prayer time, that gives me until 7-7:30 when the boys wake up. I've already had a huge headstart. Secondly, I want to begin going to a Mops group (Moms of Preschoolers). My friend Lisa goes to one and has invited me on many occasions. It's time to get it together and go! There are a few mamas that I go to church with who have been on my heart often and I plan to get my act together and make some phone calls!

My last resolution is to live more green. We've already made some changes in our home by changing most lights over to CFL's. As the regular ones dye out we replace them with the more energy efficient lights. We cloth diaper Liam to reduce the impact a) non-decomposing diapers in landfills and b) no chemicals against his skin. We're trying to "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" more as Jack Johnson's song says. And when I grocery shop, I use totes rather than getting plastic bags, but I'm not very good at that... Half the time I forget them in the car, and then during check out I remember them, but there's no way I can run out to the car with 2 kidlets to grab them real quick. I love using them when I remember them and it's awesome that I get 5 cents off for each bag I use at some stores! I was browsing one of my favorite blogs, 5 Minutes for Moms, and low behold there's a contest for really cool and stylish shopping totes from minusbags. I hope I win these! You should try to enter to win too, and if you don't, get some totes anyway to reduce your affect on the environment! According to the EPA, more than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. annually — and an estimated 100 billion are thrown away each year. Most clog landfills, but many end up snagged on trees and fences as an ugly reminder of our disposable society. And most plastic grocery bags are not biodegradable. They actually break down into smaller and smaller toxic particles that pollute our oceans, rivers, lakes and soil. Every year, thousands of animals, particularly marine mammals, choke to death after mistaking discarded plastic bags for food. You can enter to win a chance for 3 totes. I think if I had more stylish totes I'd remember them! The other thing of it is the green totes I bought from my local shopping market are made in China. I'd much prefer to support US Made products from here on out...

Speaking of US Made versus China made makes me remember how I wanted to note that we are also trying to support non-China made toys in our home. My dad sent me a clip with a smart warning against lead in children's toys. Though it's a little late for Christmas, there's still a good message to be taken from this! Thanks, Dad, for caring for your grandkidlets the way you! :)

In all seriousness, ever since the recalls from this past summer, I've really begun to rethink the toys in our home for our boys. Liam is a bit of a mouthy one, and has me more concerned. Jackson was never the mouthy type, but I still want "healthy" toys in our home. So we gathered up the plastic-y made in China baby toys that Liam typically goes to, boxed them up and stuck them down the basement. For Christmas we asked for more wooden toys (made in US or Germany) and tried to avoid anything from China. I think it's hard to avoid it in some circumstances, though. For instance, Jackson is 3 and has more preferences, so to speak, than Liam does. He also doesn't "eat" his toys, so we kept some things in his room that are off-limits to Liam. I think we are in a good place now with our toy selection being more safe now. So in the spirit of New Year's resolutions, I want to more carefully select what toys come in to our home and assure they are not toxic. ;)


  1. Sounds like you have some great goals for the new year!
    As I was reading your comments about China vs. US toys it reminded me of this great website I came across this year while Christmas shopping online ...
    It's a very helpful resource for buying toys made in America. Just thought I'd pass it along!
    Hope to see you soon!
    ~Sarah Herr