Saturday, March 23, 2013

Month 3

Month 3 has had great intentions!  But might not be so great when it ends.

When people talk about spiritual gifts, lots of women have the "hospitality" gift.  That gift passed me by!  We never have people over to our house.  I don't even like signing up to cook a meal for someone. It's kind of depressing because a right of passage in "Christian Circles" is signing up for the "meal train".  Heck, I have gone and cleaned someone's house (toilets included) to avoid having to cook a meal for them during their time of need!

But, I was convicted that it isn't really about the house or the food, but the fellowship.  1 Peter 4:9 says "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."  Ouch.  So I decided to do something about it.  I planned two 'events' for the month of March.

The first event included my small group from my MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) group.  We have about 11 people and 5 could attend (sickness kept several from attending.).  I didn't really intend to do a whole lot of cleaning but since homeschooling keeps me from EVER sweeping, I thought I should tidy up!  Trader Joe's is my new favorite place to go for 'party food'-prepared cheesecake and peppermint cookie cake.

This was a relaxed event where we wore our PJ's, drank coffee, and had some great desserts! We just sat and talked and for the 5 of us, it was a great reprieve from all our responsibilities!  It was fun and really was rather low stress.  Of course my 9 yo son did allow his little Hex Bug to crawl into the dining room and caused several women to scream.  All of these women have kids that are 4 and younger so it was pretty funny for them to experience such a 'boy' interruption.

But the next day my son came down with the flu.  And the next day my daughter.  And the next day, I did.  Ugh.  Luckily, no one at the party caught it.  (Thank you God for keeping them all healthy!)  But the "Flu epidemic of 2013" caused us to cancel our second event.  We are still recovering.  And in this week of sickness, I had great hospitality poured on me.  Several people delivered groceries, prayed for the family, and even offered to bring movies or things to keep us busy.

So I've learned that hospitality doesn't have to be an event.  But when you extend yourself to those that you are in relationship with, it reaps many rewards!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The end of month two

So we are at the end of our 'recycling' month.  We won't stop though.  The hardest thing to deal with is the things that can be recycled but can't go into our city recycling can.  These include fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, and plastic grocery bags. The fluorescent light bulbs haven't gone out yet so when they do I'll have to take those to Lowe's.  I put a small plastic container in the laundry room to slip used batteries in.  Then I can take them to Lowe's also.  I also have a large bag of grocery bags in my car that need to go to the grocery store.  I tend to reuse these for different things but they multiple in my sleep.  I have also read that you can recycle toilet paper plastic wrap and such at the same bin as grocery bags.  I do wish that it was all at the same location.  It would make it easier!

Our goal was to reduce our city trash by 50%.  We have accomplished that and more!

Next up: Hospitality!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Going well!

This month's recycling project is going well.  We have already reduced the garbage by half.  We may have to make the big kitchen trash can the recycling can and the little recycling can the trash can.  Cardboard boxes seem to be a big part of our recycling.  So much packaging is such a waste.  The other day I bought my hubby two button-downed shirts.  They were on deep discount and were only $8 each.  There was about $7 worth of packaging in each shirt.  Took me 10 minutes to unwrap them.  I saved the pins for my sewing but there was a ton of stickers, cardboard, and plastic to keep the shirt looking like new.  It was just crazy.

The kids and hubby are doing well with recycling too.  The kids will ask if something goes in the recycling.  I occasionally find something in the trash that should go in recycling but mostly everyone is remembering.  Hubby has said it's a lot easier to dump the recycling than the garbage since the garbage needs a trash bag.  I'll take making it easier for hubby to take the waste out.

I'm now working on turning out the lights.  It's just a bad habit to leave them on.  We all do it.  I'm trying to just be more conscious about what we are using in our house.

Which brings me to our water bill.  I realized that our water bill had been really high the last two months.  So I went on a detective hunt.  The monkey helped with her little magnifying glass.  I turned off every water source in our house.  Toilets, ice maker, and washer.  I checked the water meter.  It was still 'ticking'.  I found a faucet that was slowly dripping outside.  I believe that was the source.  I turned everything back on, checked the numbers on the water meter, and left for a few hours.  When we returned, the numbers where the same.  I'm hoping we found the problem.  I talked to the kids about making sure the faucets were turned off tightly.

We are making a dent in our impact on this gift of the earth that God gave us!