Friday, August 10, 2007

Steps on the Road to Simplicity

Well, part of the purpose of this blog is to share with you the steps our family is taking as we endeavor to simplify our lives. I'm not really sure I can come up with the words to explain what I'm going for here. I guess I'm just trying to distance myself from the worldview that I have to submit to so much advertising. That I find myself dependent on outside sources to the extent that we do now. I'm not expecting to become a hermit, living fully off the land, but I would like to not have to go to the store if I don't feel like it. I'd like not to feel so disconnected from the world God gave us. I'd like to have peace, not chaos in my little sphere of the world.

Here's an update on some of the things we are doing:

Our vegetable garden is underway! Hubby bought all that I needed for the soil and I got all of our transplants in the pots on Tuesday. This includes two varieties of tomatoes, plus a cherry tomato bush, a bell pepper plant and several herbs. Other things will have to be sown from seed - a task that's on my list for this weekend.

I am a water snob. You can't get me to drink tap water, unless it's got Crystal Lite mixed into it. So we have gone through tremendous amounts of bottled water over the years. A lot of bottled water. Then recently I started hearing about how bad bottled water is for the environment. Now, I'm not particularly a tree-hugger. I'm not sure where I come down on global warming. But I do believe that God calls us to care for His creation here. Many water bottles are filling our landfills, rather than being recycled. Plus the amount of fuel that is consumed to get the water from its source to the store. Then when I learned that most are taken from local municipal sources and filtered and bottled, I decided that was enough. I bought a Brita water filter pitcher and we have been happily bottle free ever since, saving us quite a bit of $ and saving the world from thousands of plastic bottles.

I've begun to do quite a bit of my cleaning with simple, non-chemical products, most notably vinegar and baking soda. The baking soda worked particularly well on my shower door, which even chemicals couldn't get clean! I'm planning on switching to homemade laundry detergent once I make sure it won't harm my HE washing machine (though that might be a blessing in disguise!! I hate that machine!).

Through using my 8 Week Menu Plan, I have been able to considerably reduce the amount of visits to the grocery store I have to make each week. I can't tell you how nice it is to not have to continually think about what I'm going to do for dinner. This menu is planned, the shopping list is ready, each day is assigned a meal. All that's left for me to do is do the shopping and the cooking - the fun and easy parts for me.

I'm working on spending more time at home - having days where we never even get in the car. Usually we run out and do something as soon as we think about it. Now, I'm trying to discipline myself to wait and run errands in groups or on certain days. There are two reasons for this. One, to be more disciplined in our schoolwork. Two, to use less gas in these days of outrageous gas prices.

I invested in divided laundry bins for both the kids and Hubby and I. This has made laundry so much easier for me to do - no more piles of sorted laundry all over the house! Now I just say, bring me "X" load and they grab it out of that specific bin. No muss, no fuss.

So that's a few things that we are working on here. I'd love to hear ways that you have added "simplicity" to your life!


JavaMama said...

Lori, I am so sorry! In my mind I had mailed your book off and then I saw it yesterday and realized that I never did. And, I some how misplaced your addy and then your email was eaten by hotmail... Can you email me again your addy. Please forgive my tardyness....

JOYfully in Him,

JavaMama said...

I just read your post! I commend you on your simplicity attempts. I read an article the other day about plastic and now have become a non plastic enthusiast, I am slowly turning greener and greener :0). I just printed out August and September calendars to make an 8 week menu plan! :0)

Great post, I enjoyed it!

JOYfully in Him,

Melissa said...

For us, simplicity means just enjoying staying home and being together more. We intentionally don't join things that require out of town trips (such as many of the youth sports in our area) or practice on Sundays. I have turned down things to do in the evenings in order to spend time with my family. It's being spontaneous and sitting out in the yard and inviting neighbors over just to talk, not issuing fancy invitations and overdone parties (hey, I can be Martha Stewart with the best of them, but that's not the norm). My kids don't do a bunch of after school activities. They have time to do NOTHING. Works for us.

TrainingHearts said...

Thank you for visiting my blog this week and leaving me a sweet comment. I'm so far behind on visiting other blogs but I do read and treasure each comment and try my best to return the blessing.

May you enjoy the weekend!

queenbusick said...

Thanks for inspiring this - I've been thinking about this a little bit too...


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