Monday, July 27, 2009


i don't need to get into the actual numbers, but let's just say that no matter where we've been lately - home, in fresno, in oregon, etc... its been hot, like well over 100 - so here we are enjoying the most logical recreation activity!!

ps Luke LOVES the water

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Luke still loves riding in his sling, and apparently he likes to carry pooh-bear around in it too... i just clip the back together to make it fit him and he wanders around and plays with his toys, wearing pooh-bear in his sling - its very cute!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!!

he's an amazing father and I am so very blessed to be his wife.

here are some recent pictures of Luke & Greg on the incredible lawn that Greg just put in... he designed and installed the sprinkler system and laid the sod - completely by himself! I continue to be amazed by this awesome man on nearly a daily basis!!

like father, like son!

Friday, July 10, 2009

fire in the foothills

fires where we live are scary - during the summer, stuff is pretty dry and since its a very rural area, fires can spread quickly and do lots of damage ... luckily this one was on the next hill over and didn't seem to be a house, also there wasn't much wind today and the fire departments seemed to be not very busy as the volunteers, the CALfire department, the forest fire guys... pretty much everyone responded!! Luke and Greg really enjoyed watching the airplanes (three of them!) and helicopters (two of them!) dropping stuff on the fire!

plane dropping fire suppressant stuff on the fire
standing on our front lawn watching the flames

Thursday, July 9, 2009

the Green family

much more than just reduce, reuse, recycle... we embrace the idea of:
"use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without"

here's how our family is living green/eco-friendly/health-conscious/sustainably/FRUGAL!

we use cloth diapers all the time!!! (and occasionally cloth wipes)
we use cloth napkins and cloth kitchen towels (no paper towels)
we wash and reuse zip-top bags, tupperware, and foil. we don't use plastic wrap
we use a battery powered (no gas, no oil, no emissions) lawnmower
we use non-toxic household cleaner (vinegar) - (i do use bleach for ickys like the toilet & white laundry)
we use free & clear laundry detergent and we only run full loads
we have not bought clothes (exept for a sun-protective outfit), shoes, carseats, or strollers for Luke (these have been gifts & hand-me-downs)
we are having solar-panels installed on our roof
we use water from our own well
our waste goes into our own septic tank
we primarily drive one car
our organic/green (food & lawn) waste goes to our compost pile (our pot-bellied pig)
we recycle all glass/plastic/paper/cardboard/metal
we are freecycle members
we reuse shopping bags & we have reuseable (fabric) shopping bags
we mend clothes rather than throwing them away & we give away anything we really wont wear anymore
we use PGE Smart AC
we do not run the "dry" cycle on the dishwasher and we only run full loads
we wash our laundry with cold water (except for bedding - hot is needed to kill germies)
we hang our laundry to dry - usually outside, although i have two inside racks too, for if its rainy
we drink our own water - no bottled water here
we made our own baby food - Luke never had a bottle, nor did he ever have a jar of commercial baby food
we buy local, in season produce
we borrow books & dvds from the library
we buy flour, white & brown sugars, rice, dry beans, coffee, & many other things in bulk to cut down on packaging
we cook from scratch
we use all compact fluorescent bulbs for our lighting
we (have all the best intentions to) have our own garden - we had one in selma
at night during the summer we open the windows, turn on the ceiling fans, strip down and sleep without the AC
we are trying to get a CSA to deliver to our town!
we eat leftovers!
we try to use the crockpot rather than the oven on hot days
we use engergy efficient appliances
we run our big appliances during "off-peak" times
we turn down our water heater during the summer
we have a tankless water heater
we have a whole house fan that we use to cool down the house rather than turning on the AC
we don't have carpet
we menu plan and grocery shop on a monthly basis
i'm sure there is more i will think of later :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

cloth diapers...

picture of some of my "stash" - don't worry we have more green & blue than pink!!
we started cloth diapering Luke when he was 4 weeks old - those first few weeks of newborn-hood i had enough on my plate, so i didn't want to have to deal with washing diapers too.
that being said... once we started cloth diapering, we have never looked back!!! why? bumGenius! bumGenius is the brand of cloth diapers that we use the most. when Luke was still small i preferred the "normal" pre-fold cloth diapers with a waterproof cover, but probably around 6-8 weeks or so i really embraced our bumGenius one-size diapers... he is still wearing these same diapers today!!! they fit from around 8 pounds to 35 pounds! Luke is over 30 pounds and 15 months now and i am using the same diapers from the beginning!! they are awesome and have not stained!! i wash them in my washer and hang them to dry outside (you could also use your dryer). we even use them overnight and when we are out of the house.
here is the real testimony for those of you moms skeptical about using cloth diapers:
my dear husband was awesome about changing diapers ... until i recovered from giving birth and resumed homemaker status, so when Luke was about 14 months, my dear husband had not changed a diaper in over a year (and when he was changing them we were still using newborn disposibles) ... well, i got mastitis and could not get out of bed for the first time in my life. Greg called in sick to work and "baby-sat" Luke for his first full day ever. Greg brought Luke in periodically to nurse, but besides that i did not see them at all. now, we have a few disposible diapers for events like planes rides, etc. but Greg did not know where they were, so he used the bumGenius cloth diapers all day and night for Luke!!! a husband, changing cloth diapers, and saying it was as easy as disposibles!! i was so proud of both of them

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