So much waste...

Lately I've been really convicted of our eating habits, waste, and (my own) desire to buy more and more "stuff". This post may be a bit blotchy, but bear with me as I try and write out my thoughts.
*please note as you read the following, that I am not being "new age-y", becoming a vegetarian, or any type of activist. These convictions I believe come from the Holy Spirit. God has given us only 1 earth, and 1 body...and we need to care for it to the best of our ability.

I've been reading this book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver. It's basically a challenge to grow and consume locally grown foods, as opposed to contributing to the "petroleum-driven industrial food wagon". What she means is that "the average food item on a US grocery shelf has traveled farther than most families go on their annual vacations". If you really stop and think of the food you get from the grocery store, where it was produced (most likely in mass production), how far it had to travel and everything that goes into the process in-between, it makes sense why we are where we are in America (need for more petroleum, obesity, governments debt issue, etc.).
So really, I have 2 soapboxes, if you will, that I'm going to discuss: 1.) how is that affecting the big picture (our nation) and what can I do about it (i.e., start buying more locally - Farmers Markets, garage sales/thrift stores, etc.). and 2.) how much do we waste compared to what we consume.

In Kingsolver's book, she has many reasons of why it's important to grow your own food, or if that's not possible, buy from your local farmers as much as you can. One of them is that it's obviously so much healthier, but another is that the food you buy did not have to waste a lot of gas to get to your kitchen (along w/ many other environmental issues that go with that). Another point that I really like is that she believes our kids' generation have lost the art of knowing the whole process of agriculture and our dependence on it. She gave an example of a kid who was watching her husband pull a carrot out of the ground and the boy was in shock. He did not understand that's where some of our food comes from. I grew up on a some what farm in rural Kansas. And although I hated working in the garden, I always anticipated how good it was going to taste. I am also proud that I have a small understanding of how things are grown and can appreciate farmers who work so hard. Something Kingsolver really believes in, is only eating things IN SEASON! Wow, I don't think I had ever thought about it. Due to our gardens in the summer as a kid, I kind of know what's in season, but could only give a short list. The fruits are a little harder for me. One thing she says about this is, "the most difficult requirements are patience and a pinch of restraint". Because it is so easy to walk into a grocery store and pick up anything you want in the produce section, whenever you want it, it's a completely new concept to restrain yourself from buying something if it's not "in season". To understand why it's important to buy in season...check out the movie, "Food, Inc."
I do not foresee us having a huge garden next year, mainly b/c we have SO much yard work to do before we can do that. But I hope we can grow a few things, and also teach B some biology of plants along the way. I want him to know (someday) that food does not just come from the grocery store! I really do desire to become more acquainted with what is in/out of season for produce and try and stick to it as close as possible. It may require some major changes in our diets.

So this brings me to my next conviction...how much do we waste compared to how much we consume. Oprah had a re-run on this the other day. Check out this video to learn more about people called "Freegans". I'm not gonna lie, it intrigues me, yet not sure if I could be gutsy enough. ?? Even in our own house, on a weekly basis, we throw out way too much food. Some food does not hardly even get touched before it spoils. I hate that. Not only will it help our budget if I restrain buying the extra things/too much at the grocery store, but again, it impacts the bigger picture. One of the couples that were interviewed on Oprah (I don't think they were shown on the video above) said that she only prepared meals based on stuff that was on sale for that week. She had it down to where she could prepare an entire meal for the whole family for under a couple bucks $$. Wow!!
To be honest, this conviction does not just stop in the kitchen. I've been thinking about my desire/lust to buy other "things". Yes, it would be amazing to have an IPad, or a newer phone, or splurge on some new shoes, but I know I don't need any of it and it's just more clutter. All of this ties into where I am I laying my treasure? In Heaven or here on earth? (Please know these are MY convictions and I am not trying to guilt anyone else)

So what kind of changes are we making?? Here's a list of what we have done/hoping yet to do...
  • be more consistent in utilizing the MANY local farmers markets here in Denver
  • buy more organic food at the store, along w/ buying food that I know are locally grown to help support our farmers
  • try and eat 1-2 vegetarian meals per week
  • re-adjust our grocery budget and make some major cut backs
  • start preparing an area so we can have a small garden next summer
  • try not to waste food we've bought and eat more left overs (I hate leftovers, so this a stretch for me)
  • begin learning which produce is in/out of season - and try to ONLY buy those in season
With all that to say...I am a huge hypocrite! I made Eggplant Papoutzakia tonight. It looked pretty!

...but tasted nasty. I believe Jamie was able to finish his, but I couldn't handle it, I was gagging the entire time. We ended up throwing out the other pan. :(

But I was happy with out these turned out this afternoon. I made Root Vegetable Chips.
I obviously used a root vegetable, a sweet potato. But you can try potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, beets, kohlrabi or turnips. I cut them in slices, then tossed them in Olive Oil, then lightly put salt and pepper on them, then put them in the oven (400 degrees) for 10 minutes. I flipped them over and then did another 10-12 minutes. So healthy - yet so tasty!! I even dipped them in hummus, which was good.

So here's to say that I hope we can make some changes in the George household and stick to them. I am not making any promises, but we do hope to try. We'll keep you posted...


No longer unemployed

I have a job!! Praise God, that's all I can say. I'll be working at an Oncology/Hematology office (next to Swedish). I will most likely be starting next week. In this job market, it truly is all about networking. Of course, the Lord opened those doors, but I am thankful he used certain people. It's just the hours I want too. I'll be there around 24 hrs a week, which will be 3 days/week. So I'll get to be home 2 of the days w/ B.

In other news, our dear friends/family (my dear friend and cousin got married - very convenient!), Jeff, Jennifer and Ethan came to visit us. They actually came for a Scentsy convention, in which Jennifer is a consultant. But we're definitely enjoying their company. They're our first guests in our home!
B and Ethan are having fun. They really enjoy "watching" each other. B is at that age though where he's just starting to become a little obsessive w/ his toys. So the concept of "sharing" hasn't really sunk in. But we're learning...it's a work in progress!
And what is a sleepover w/ out taking baths together. There's just something about babies taking baths together that's so cute. !?!

Oh, and the "1 nap a day" was short lived. We're back to 2 again. It was a good try, right?! Although, I think playing w/ Ethan has been exhausting and fun, so he gets worn out faster. Which is a good thing!



Today B and I went to lunch with a sweet friend, Becca. Becca's husband, Joe, has been in Papua New Guinea for the last month doing mission work, so it's been fun doing girl things (movie nights, dinners, and now lunch).
B was good, even with him being so tired (you can see his lazy eye when he's tired). In the last few days, I've been adjusting his nap schedule so he's down to 1 nap a day. Although I thought when he went down to 1 nap, he would nap for longer than he does. He still never goes beyond an hour and a half. Oh well.


Before and after...the new do

I finally cut my hair today. I got a sweet deal from LivingSocial via my e-mail. I basically got a $50 haircut (massage, wash, cut and style) for $15. I got it cut at Bliss Salon. It's a great place if any of you are looking for a salon.

So Before and After pic's always crack me up b/c they are always so exaggerated. So here is my before and after...

Before: (i know it's hard to believe I can look this horrible!!? *sarcasm*)


In the end, I'm pleased w/ how she cut it. To be honest, I was flirting with the idea of going much, much shorter and going pretty drastic. But the stylist wouldn't let me go any shorter and encouraged me to keep it at this length.


So disappointing

This afternoon I decided to take B to the pool close to our house at a nearby park. It's pretty cool b/c they have a baby pool separate from the "big kid" pool. So, I packed him up, lathered him with sunscreen, changed his diaper and then got myself ready. I had to then blow up his floaty and get his diaper bag ready. We finally got out the door and we drove to the park. After we went to the bathroom and I checked his diaper one more time (no I haven't bought the swim diapers yet), we finally got to the poolside.
I was lucky b/c the girl didn't end up charging me the $3.50 for me to get in b/c I didn't have cash on me (they don't take debit). Which I am glad b/c...right as Breeson and I were (LITERALLY) about to put my foot in the pool, the lifeguard yells, "Lightning - pool closed". Oh man, talk about disappointing. I think I was more sad than the kids. I was really looking forward to sitting in it and cooling off. Plus, I knew B would have a lot of fun splashing around and watching the other kids.

One thing I am really thankful for, is that he doesn't realize what he was missed out on today. I know there will be a day when he won't understand why he can't swim and I'll have to deal w/ a crying child b/c he doesn't want to leave. But today, I am glad he didn't understand and that he didn't mind when I put him back in the carseat to drive back home.


Family Day

Saturday morning we started the day off w/ taking part of our neighborhood trash clean up. Well, actually Jamie and B helped, then I later joined them after I tried to get some more ZZzz's.
It was a great way to get to know our neighbors and clean our neighborhood, thus helping the environment. Which I think is biblical b/c we need to take care of what God gives us.

This last week has been HOT, HOT, HOT. And the bad part of it is...we don't have AC. Yesterday we had a family day, so we headed to where there is water!

This is City Park (notice you can see the mountains and downtown from here). It's a beautiful view:

We headed to Denver Museum of Nature and Science. They have fountains open to the public. Breeson didn't like it as much as I thought he would. He basically liked to stand on the outer edges and yell at the other kids! When he wasn't doing that, he would run around and pick up all of the trash. It's like he's magnetized to stuff he's not suppose too. Why do kids do that?! :)

Then we headed to Cherry Creek Mall. One of the cool things about this mall is that they have an awesome play place in the center of the mall. Everything is made of that soft rubber so it's fun (and safe) to climb on. Breeson loved this much more than the water fountains.

I think he could've played for hours. I need to bring him here more often. Anyone up for some play dates??
If I could only drop him off while I shop around...hmm!?!


Pie vs. Cobbler - Pie wins!

Last night, we had some dear friends over for dinner. I had several peaches that needed to be used up. On FB I wrote on my "status", Peach Pie or Peach Cobbler?. I think I got 15 responses and everyone voted I should make Peach Cobbler. Well, I had already started making the pie when Jamie informed me about this. So, needless to say, Peach Pie won out in the end, even with everyone voting for the cobbler. I felt very Betty Crockerish.
The crust was even made from scratch too! In the end, the pie was/is pretty tasty, if I do say so myself.

In other news, here's B sporting different looks...


Who writes these??

I bought Breeson a book of "favorite bedtime rhymes" today at Walmart (thanks to his Auntie sending him belated bday money), but I think I'm going to take it back and get something different.
I read it and was like, "really?"
Here's an example...

Goosey, Goosey, Gander

Goosey, Goosey, Gander
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs,
And in my lady's chamber.

There I met an old man,
Who wouldn't say his prayers,
I took him by the left leg,
And threw him down the stairs.

**it was the last 2 lines that really got me on this one.

Girls and Boys, Come Out to Play

Girls and boys,
come out to play,
The moon is shining
as bright as day,
Leave your supper
and leave your sleep,
And come with your playfellows
into the street.

**is this teaching kids to go out and play on the street at night?

And then we all know "Rock-a-Bye, Baby" and how awful that is.

So that's my soapbox. I think I need to start writing fun, uplifting nursery rhymes. However, it's hard to change history now.

In other news...
I got a great deal on a loveseat via Craigslist ($60 to be exact!!). Because the layout upstairs is limited we had to put our Family room/Living room downstairs. So the only thing to sit on upstairs is the dining room chairs and bar stools. Not very comfortable!
Typically I'm a big skeptic on buying couches from previous owners. But this guy was selling it from his vacation home that wasn't used very often and it was from a smoke-free home. He said he had a small dog, but it was never allowed on the couch. Everything looks great on it and it has no smell! So all that to say, we have a loveseat in our front room now!


almost there

Here's our weekend at a glance...

Saturday we did an outing with the young adults via our church, it ended up just being the 4 1/2 of us (the 1/2 being Breeson, although Jamie hates it when I refer to him as that! I say it b/c he's 1/2 our size, not that he's 1/2 a person) :) We hiked up to St. Mary's Glacier, then ate at Beau Jo's Pizza in Idaho Springs
(Meagan and Blaire)

Sunday afternoon, we had our Open House/Housewarming Party from 3-5 p.m. We had a great turn out. Thanks everyone who made it! Because we pushed hard to get alot of stuff done, more pic's up, and get the house clean, I figured I would add more pic's now. I'm sorry I didn't take any pic's of the the party.

Here's the guest bedroom/office before:

and after:

Breeson's room before:

and after:

the bathroom before:

and after:
side note: We decided to paint the bathroom last minute b/c I got the paint for free! In my Pottery Barn catalog, they sent a coupon for 2 free pint size samples of Benjamin Moore paint. So I took my coupon to the paint store (Guiry's to be exact) and they honored it. Well the guy that was helping me ended up giving me 3 pints b/c the machine had a bit of an accident w/ one of the cans. We weren't sure if 3 pints would even be enough to paint the bathroom, but to our surprise, it did! We were able to get all of the touchups, plus a second coat, with only having used 2 of the 3 pints. Uh-mazing!

And I leave you with this...when B's not outside, he wants to be...


I couldn't help it...

Yesterday, I went to lunch w/ a dear friend, Kristy (Allen) Gearhart, who used to be an old college rommate at Kansas State, but now lives here in Denver. It's been fun catching up with her in the last year.
On the way home, we ran into this guy and we couldn't stop laughing. And when we couldn't get the picture...YES we did pull over!
So, I thought I would share it with you all... ;)

You're welcome!


Quick Updates...

  • Well, I finally got my plate of cookies from a neighbor welcoming us into the neighborhood. For a few weeks I had been sulking that no one brought us any. I guess I had assumed and fantasized that everyone would be rushing over to our house when the Uhaul was in the front yard. Jamie reassured me that we don't live in Whitewater (aka Mayberry). Unfortunately, all of our neighbors steered clear until a good week later, then slowly, one by one, our neighbors are starting to come around. Thus far, we have some really nice neighbors! Anyways, the other night I was on my way home from the park w/ Breeson and some neighbors down the street stopped me b/c she had already tried to come over w/ a plate of cookies. I was pretty excited, to say the least. :)
  • I haven't taken any more pic's of the house lately. I'll try and get some this weekend b/c we're having our Housewarming Party on Sunday afternoon. Which means, the house will be clean, and I'll have more stuff on the wall. That in itself has been a bit of pain. Since our house is old, all of the walls are plaster, which means when you hammer a nail in the wall, it only bends and makes a larger whole in the wall. :( So I've had to find other alternatives to hanging stuff on the walls. It makes me nervous though b/c a lot of times sticky stuff eventually becomes unsticky. And I don't want my pic's/frames to break. Plus, you know that kind of stuff only falls in the middle of the night!! So, all that to say, we're getting closer to being a little more settled in.
  • Well, I'm officially Unemployed now. As you may (may not?) know, my job at DFN ended May 31st, due to them moving the main office to D.C. For the month of June I took a temp job at my previous job at a Medical Office. But that ended last Friday. So now, I've been (somewhat) looking for a part time job. I must say, even though it's only been a couple days, I'm kinda ready to work again. I've been working full time for few years now and to all of a sudden be home all day w/ the kid...well it's an adjustment, that's for sure. Once I get settled into a part time job, I hope to get involved with some type of Mom's day out/group or something. We'll see...
  • Breeson's 13 months now. He's working on several teeth now, including some molars. Fun times. He has his good days and bad days. Lately, he's been more picky with his food. I'm a bad mom and don't even try giving him many veggies, b/c he only refuses them. If he could, he would survive on fruit alone. He doesn't like playing in a room by himself. I was hoping when we moved here he would begin to play in his room, thus keeping the mess/toys in his room - wrong! His vocab isn't that big. I'm shocked at some of my friends' babies who are close in age to Breeson who are saying so much more. So I'm trying not to compare him. You can tell he is trying to say words after us though, so I'm sure it'll come soon. He LOVES watching his Veggies Tales and Backyardigans movies.
Well, that's about it for now. I'll try and get some pic's up this weekend...