Thursday, May 29, 2008

The End of the Schoolyear, and the Start of Another

Tuesday was the last day of school here. I spent my morning at my son's kindergarten graduation, and then my afternoon at my first grade son's awards assembly. Lots of smiles and fun that day, although I was also a little emotional. I just love and appreciate the teachers my children have had. They have really been wonderful, and I can't help but get a little misty-eyed to say goodbye to them, knowing that we won't be back at school in the fall.

Here I am with my kindy son, and the next photo is my first grader is showing off one of the certificates he received.

The next day, guess what arrived? Our Sonlight order!

My kids were so excited and wanted to get right down to school. :) Well, I managed to put them off, but only until today.

My grand plan had been to take the rest of this week plus some of next week to cement our chore system. Having some kids at home and some kids at school has made it hard for me to get everybody consistently doing chores every day, and it is one thing that is important to me to get under control.

My three youngest boys are 5, 6, and 8, and haven't really had chore areas like the older kids have had. I've tried the buddy system for chores (pairing up an older and a younger child for an area) but it always ends up causing more trouble than it's worth. ("He isn't helping!" "I'm doing all the work and he's just sitting there!!") So I knew the younger boys needed areas of their own. And I finally figured out what those would be.

One son (my Power Ranger) will vacuum the stairs and landing every day.

The other two kiddos are my "Floor Men" which means that they will be cleaning the upstairs floors on hands and knees daily.

All the younger boys are excited about their new jobs and did them happily. In fact, they were so excited about both job options that they had a hard time choosing which one they wanted. The good news is that I might just have managed to work myself out of needing to mop, which would be absolutely wonderful, wouldn't it?!

Another thing we did today was to get out a large jar of coins that we have been adding to for years. We first started it as our "Disney fund" because the kids said they wanted to go to Disney World. Today I got the kids gathered around the table and we sorted, stacked, and counted all the money, and then put it into coin wrappers.

Before we got started we wrote down our estimation of how much money there would be in the jar. Guesses ranged from something around $8 on up to $60. We were all pretty excited to see that we ended up with $82 wrapped, plus a lot more that we had run out of wrappers for!

Now we plan to take a trip over to the bank to open a special savings account for our Disney trip. $82 down and thousands to go......

My daughter has been using Horizons math this year, and although she is able to do it, she does not enjoy it. When we found out about Teaching Textbooks this year, we were very interested. This math curriculum comes with computer CDs that feature a human voice speaking and teaching the lesson, with graphics and words to teach the student. All of the lesson problems can be entered right into the computer program (which is great because the consumable text is quite large), and the student gets immediate feedback about whether or not their answer was correct. The student can also choose to get an explanation of the problem if they did not understand it, and can get hints if they need help.

At the end of each lesson there is a cute little celebratory animation, such as penguins doing the limbo, or animal characters dancing in a conga line. Very cute and entertaining.

The best part of all was that my daughter LOVES the program. She was so excited about it, squealing "I just LOOOOVE this! It's so fun! I want to do math like this all the time!" She did 7 lessons in a row. :)

It was really easy to install, and best of all, it works on our older laptop, which is a major plus since she won't have to get onto one of the computers that is in use more often.

Somewhere along the way a few of my younger boys wanted to get into their new workbooks. Who cares if it's the second day of summer break? I let 'em.

Here is my now-kindergartener, and new second-grader, enjoying their books.

Who knew handwriting workbooks could be so much fun?

We also made a treat...

Went to the library to get a bunch of books....

And somewhere in there I managed to get dinner into the crock pot. Potato Corn Chowder..yummy and kid-pleasin'! (easy and cheap, too)

And now it's time to eat!

What did you do today?

This Teacher Takes the......

What would you think about a kindergarten teacher that encouraged her 5 year old students to "vote out" a peer with Asperberger's? I call her The Worst Teacher of 2008. Watch an interview about it here.

In Defense of Subway

There has been a whole lot of flap among homeschoolers about the Subway contest for kids the explicitly excludes homeschooled kids. This is one of those situations where I'm embarrassed to be in the homeschool group.

Listen up, folks: This is America. Any business can have a contest for anyone they want. It can be for people with brown eyes only, for women only, for men only, for kids in a certain age range, or whatever. If Subway wants to offer a contest just for kids that have a school to share the prize with (the prize is $5000 worth of exercise equipment for the winning child's school) then that is their right. For homeschoolers to put up a big fuss, boycott Subway, send a zillion letters, and stomp their feet is, to me, ridiculous.

You can find me at Subway, enjoying a 6 inch turkey sub on honey oat, with pepperjack, tomatoes, carrots, cukes, pickles, and lots of black olives......

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Today our chickens are going to their new home. Although we've enjoyed them, the time has come to move them along. Fortunately, we were able to find a family that has 12 other chickens and a good spot for a few more. They promised not to eat 'em (my daughter's main requirement) so hopefully our girls will continue to live a long and happy egg-layin' life.

Bye, girls. We'll miss ya. (but not the poo...)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Camera Fun, and Odds and Ends

Since I have a camera now, I guess I owe you a recent picture of myself. There you go.

Also, I've been meaning to show a photo of the beautiful ring by husband bought me a few weeks ago. I've been wanting a sparkler for years, and am loving this one. Unfortunately, it's really hard to take a good picture of something as detailed as a ring (at least with my camera) so this is as good as I could do for you. Trust me--it's mighty pretty. :)

Tomorrow is the last day of school for three of my kids. We'll be enjoying the kindergarten graduation in the morning, an awards event in the afternoon, and being DONE after that! I have already ordered our Sonlight curriculum and it is on the way, so that is exciting. We'll be busy for the next couple weeks, but will probably dig in to homeschoolishness after that. I really like doing school year-round. Partially because it keeps the momentum going and the kids don't forget stuff while taking a long summer break. Partially because I like being able to take off a day of school any time. If we go year-round, there is plenty of time to drop everything and take a field trip or whatever strikes our fancy. Usually whatever we end up doing is educational as well, so it's not like we're completely off the wagon. It just helps me to have that flexibility.

Also....guess what's coming up on Saturday??

The Highland Games!

We have been looking forward to this since last year when my husband and I went for a little getaway for his birthday. (photo is of hubby at last year's event) This time we're taking all of the kids, complete with kilts for all the boys, and a coordinating dress for my daughter. (I'll be in regular clothes....not into plaid too much) Have no fear--photos will be shared. Unfortunately, the music lineup for this year is nowhere near as great as it was last year, but our favorite group (Need Fire) will be there, so that's a BIG plus.

Friday, May 23, 2008

In my travels around the internet today I found Caleb Chapman's web site. I hadn't known that he is a singer and songwriter himself. You can go to his site and hear some of his music. I found the lyrics to be quite ironic, considering the tragedy the Chapman family is going through right now. Caleb is obviously a very talented young man and it seems like he has a good foundation. Keep praying for these dear people.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Progress for FLDS Families

Finally today there is hope that the courts in Texas have still got some brains. Here is an informative link about the decisions by the court that the children were wrongfully removed from their homes. Of course, nobody has returned the children to their homes, so justice hasn't happened yet. But I have hope that it will be.

Frankly, once these children are home safe and sound, I hope that CPS is sued in behalf of every single child that was taken. They deserve millions for the damage that has been done and the scars that these families will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Horrible News--Please pray for the Chapman Family

This morning I happened across this tragic news story. Steven Curtis Chapman's son accidentally hit his five year old sister with the car, and she died. I cannot imagine the deep, horrible level of pain this entire family is going through. Please join me in praying for them.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

check this out

I don't know if I've mentioned it here before, but The Songwriter's Experiment is a neat place to visit once a week. This blog was set up by the wife of a songwriter with the purpose of sharing a song each week and getting honest feedback on it, without having the song attached to any famous person. So far there have been some I've loved and some I haven't, but it is fun to listen and know that they are actually interested in our input. Right now there is a neat song that is appropriate for Memorial Day, and one that is about women (belated for Mother's Day). Check it out!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Warning: Missing Body Parts

A friend of mine that is in my book group was kind enough to alert me to this terrible situation. I thought that it was the least I could do to let you guys know about it too:

You've heard about people who have been abducted and had their kidneys
removed by black-market organ thieves.

My thighs were stolen from me during the night a few years ago. I went to
sleep and woke up with someone else's thighs. It was just that quick. The
replacements had the texture of cooked oatmeal. Whose thighs were these and
what happened to mine ? I spent the entire summer looking for my thighs.
Finally, hurt and angry, I resigned myself to living out my life in jeans.
And then the thieves struck again.

My butt was next. I knew it was the same gang, because they took pains to
match my new rear-end to the thighs they had stuck me with earlier. But my
new butt was attached at least three inches lower than my original !! I
realized I'd have to give up my jeans in favor of long skirts.

Two years ago I realized my arms had been switched. One morning I was
fixing my hair and was horrified to see the flesh of my upper arm swing to
and fro with the motion of the hairbrush. This was really getting scary-my
body was being replaced one section at a time. What could they do to me
next ?

When my poor neck suddenly disappeared and was replaced with a turkey
neck, I decided to tell my story. Women of the world, wake up and smell the
coffee !! Those "plastic" surgeons are using REAL replacement body
parts-stolen from you and me !! The next time someone you know has
something "lifted," look again...............was it lifted from you ??

THIS IS NOT A HOAX. This is happening to women everywhere every night.


P.S. Last year I thought some one had stolen my boobs. I was lying in bed
and they were gone !! But when I jumped out of bed, I was relieved to see
that they had just been hiding in my armpits as I slept. Now I keep them
hidden in my waistband......

Friday, May 09, 2008

Zoe Children's Homes

Here's a little article about one of my most favorite organizations--Zoe Children's Homes. You can learn a little more about how the founders got started in their quest to rescue children from human trafficking.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"I'm Claiming This Verse as God's Promise to Me"

I recently had a friend here whose husband is currently unemployed. They have seven children and are really struggling and praying for him to get a job.

In the course of the conversation she mentioned something from the Bible and told me that she was claiming this verse about God wanting men to work and to find satisfaction in their work as a promise to her about her husband's situation.

And I've been thinking about that. For quite some time now I've wondered if this way of approaching the Bible is maybe.....pretty screwed up.

If we are reading along in the Bible, which is basically an ancient book full of stories, does it make sense that we just start plucking out the parts that we like and then try to twist God's arm behind His back with "claiming this verse as a promise to me."

I'm a parent. If one day I took my child out on some errands and ended up buying him a treat, and later another one of my children finds out about this, can they get away with blackmailing me in order to get the same treat? Have I created a precedent that I am now obligated to? I don't think so.

It's not that I like one kid more than another. It's more like: maybe I had some extra money or extra time the day that I got the first kid a treat. Maybe the second kid isn't going to get a treat because we're in a hurry, or that kid is already going someplace later that night that will have some sort of treat. Whatever the reason might be--I don't think I have to do the same exact thing for each kid. I'm fair. But I don't always give equally.

I suspect it's the same with God.

I know I've heard dozens (or more) stories from people with cancer (or with loved ones with cancer) that were claiming God as their healer up one side and down the other. They can come up with verses ten miles long to support their belief that God is actually obligated to heal them because of supposed promises in the Bible. In almost every one of these cases the person with cancer dies. So it seems like we have a short multiple choice list of possibilities:

A. God doesn't keep His promises
B. God never promised us what we think He did
C. Other

I thought about asking my friend about her belief that she could just go claiming random stuff in the Bible as a specific promise that she could latch onto, but I quickly realized that this would just come across as a harsh challenge to a belief that is giving her some sort of comfort and strength. Even if I don't really agree with her, neither do I want to take that away from her.

So instead I toss this out into cyberspace. I was going to ask what you think. And you can tell me, if you want to. I think I've already come to my own conclusions, though.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Creative Kids #1: Save a pair of pants

My kids do so many cool, creative things that I've decided to start a little series about it. Today I'm featuring my daughter's pants. They had a little yellow marker stain on the leg, and I was leaning toward just getting rid of them, when she asked if it was ok if she used marker on them to see if she could work the stain into a design. Sure! Why not?

Out came the sharpies and this is what she came up with. (pretend you don't notice the *other* stain there on the leg....ok?)

She did this all by herself, and it came out absolutely adorable. And now she has fun, funky cropped pants to wear!

Monday, May 05, 2008

How does this make you feel about Texas foster care?

I happened across this interesting video that explores the situation in Texas foster care where something like 60% of the children were on psychotropic meds, even as young as 2 and 3 years old.

I do not know when this report came out, and I did check out the web site that put together this video and that looks mighty weird, but the information in the video certainly gives me concerns.

Response to a comment about the Texas FLDS situation

This comment was left here about a week ago and I thought it deserved a response. I've just today had the time to get to it. I have the comment in italics, and my responses in bold, just to make it easier to read.

Having been in Social Work, I can testify that almost every Mother loves her child-many for reasons other than ones the Court considers normal. I have seen Mothers allow their boyfriends to kill their child-and testify that they loved their child. I have seen children bruised and broken and had to sit through a Mother's lamantations of true, deep love and motherly feelings. Remember James Jones-those Mothers undoubedly would profess their love for the babies as they held them up to REVEREND Jones for the killer dose! I am somewhat familiar with the CULT (notice NOT "religion") in Texas.

First of all, I would be interested to know what your definition of a cult is.

Would you marry off your beloved fifteen daughter to a fifty-year-old man to be his seventh spiritual wife?

No, I would not.

Nor would I take my 14 year old daughter to get on birth control pills, as I have known some "normal" mothers to do.

Nor would I provide condoms for my teenage son, as many "normal" parents do.

Nor do I allow my children to go to friends' homes for overnights, as most "normal, good" parents do.

Nor do I think it acceptable to let my children become obese, as is very common in this country.

What I would do or what you would do isn't the point.

Read yesterdays news-there are many, many cases found-even if the Colorado person is a publicity-seeker who made a false call, nothing justifies child rape...not the religious belief of the Mother or the sperm donor that they need seven wives and fifty-seven children to get into Heaven-NOTHING.

Cases of what? I'm not sure which cases you refer to. I have not heard of a single proven case of child rape with this FLDS situation yet.

To "new to the game" I can't imagine the pain that those girls went/will go through. Conceived by a Mother who KNEW she was raising a daughter to be married as a very young person to an old man-denied schooling at an early age and instead groomed to be raped, no choices in life-and that doesn't even start to include the nine other polyg colonies that these young girls are traded with. "I LOVE you, darling, but tomorrow is your fourteenth birthday and you are menustrating now, pack your bags, your Daddy needs a new wife so you are going to live with Winston Blackmore in Canada as his thirty-first wife. We LOVE you and want only the best for you and Winston is the best, your Daddy's life will be enhanced by the relationship. Go, have sixteen children, you have a fifth-grade education, you have never had anything that daughter's in the outside world have, be happy.

As I have stated before, I am not in favor of young teens getting married. I am not a proponent of polygamy. However, what I think is worth considering is that we ALL have our own "brainwashing" in our lives and in our society. We all have ideas about what is good and true and normal, about what our expectations can or should be. Through all of civilization and through all cultures there is a huge, wide range of standards for what is good and normal. 150 years ago 14 and 15 year old girls commonly married and had children in this country. It is not automatically evil for this to happen.

About polygamy, yes, it is illegal. However, polygamy has a long history in this world and I do not believe it to be automatically evil either. Whether or not you or I would prefer, accept, or recommend it is beside the point.

My understanding of this type of plural marriage is that only one wife is legally married to the husband, and the rest of the relationships are by an alegal agreement. Which is none of the business of the government or yours or mine, in my opinion. There are so many men with multiple women and families and kids hither, tither, and yon in our society and nobody is bothered by that I guess. But people that live together in a peaceful community and mind their own business are a big problem....why? That doesn't make sense to me.

Listen closely to the escapees and read their books. It is really true. And what say you about the "Lost Boys" who were kicked out because they represented competition for the girls-oh, I forgot-they were "bad boys"-listened to music on a contraband radio, did they? Assure me that it isn't a game of numbers-one man gets eleven women, do you see ANY young married couple there? ANY courting? Must be there aren't enough girls for boys AND men!

Again, my posts are not trying to defend the FLDS practices. I barely know what they are. (though I have watched two seasons of Big Love. Does that count for anything? ha ha) And I do not know any of the people involved. I do not doubt that I would find some, if not many, of the FLDS beliefs and practices to be ones that I would not agree with or might even find alarming.

What I am concerned about is that one anonymous phone call that has since been proven false has opened the door to the government completely overstepping reasonable bounds. If children can be removed from their parents because the government does not like what they are teaching them, something is very, very wrong.

What if the government decided that families that go to conservative Baptist churches are too dangerous because their kids might not realize that it's ok to not wear a dress to church?

Or maybe Catholic children suffer too much from all that Catholic guilt. Psychological damage!

Then there are the Orthodox children being forced to attend church services that go too late and start too early, and they have to stand a lot. And sometimes they have to fast from certain kinds of food. Oh no!

And if we went after them, we might have to think about the Muslim families that also do a lot of fasting, and who knows what kind of can of worms that would open up.

And of course the Muslim women dress too modestly. What if their girls mistakenly think that modesty is a good thing, and they do not realize that normal girls get to wear low rider jeans with their bellies showing, and words across their rear ends?

We should definitely take away all the kids that have racist parents. Who knows what those people are teaching their kids.

What about stupid people? Maybe their kids would be better off elsewhere.

What about people that lack common sense? Or empathy? How about the kids with emotionally distant parents?

We already have governments that have laws against spanking. Which is interesting, since spankings seemed to work just fine when I was growing up.

The Amish are a pretty weird lot. Don't even allow buttons on their clothes. All those straight pins sure could cause some damage to those little children. Maybe CPS should head out to buggy country and start rounding up those kids until their parents agree to sew buttons on their clothes.

They also have a lot of kids, and get married young. And only go to school until 8th grade. So maybe this is a bad thing as well.

Also, although Amish teens are technically given a choice about whether or not to stay Amish, it's done in such a way as to make it nearly impossible for them to be able to go out on their own away from their Amish community. Conservative Mennonites do this to. Should we snatch all of their children away so that they can have a "normal" life?

Homeschoolers--their kids are in real danger. Right? Who knows what those kids are being taught. And the government doesn't get to filter and approve and control that. Maybe we should round all those kids up too. (plenty of efforts happen every year with attempted legislation to "crack down" on homeschoolers)

Families with lots of kids...not only have they already damaged the earth by "overpopulating" but maybe they will teach their kids that it's good to have more than the "normal" amount of kids. If those kids grow up and have lots of kids, and those kids grow up to have lots of kids....just think how bad it could be for society as a whole! Tons and tons of procreators......dangerous!

The point is--it is none of our business what those kids are taught. If the girls grow up to think that it is normal to get married fairly young and to hold motherhood and homemaking in high esteem, then that is what the vast majority of them are going to be ok with. So leave 'em alone and mind your own business.

IF there is actual domestic abuse and rape going on, then YES, certainly that should be dealt with through the justice system.


The hundreds of babies and young children that have been removed from their parents--there is just no possible way that this is justified in this case. These are not mothers with crack addict boyfriends that are going to harm and kill their children. These are sincere people with some different beliefs. Last I checked, this is America. It's not just for YOUR beliefs or MY beliefs to be respected. Religious freedom is supposed to extend even to groups you may consider to be a cult. Why? Because without that, there is no reasonable stopping point. And that can turn into a threat for anybody. Or everybody.

Glimpse of a Hope Come to Life

These days when I look at my children, particularly the littler ones that go to school right now, I get this warm, happy feeling and I think to myself how lucky I am that I will get to have this adorable, beautiful, spectacular child home with me once we get beyond this month.

I know it probably sounds nuts to a lot of people. You may not be able to identify. But, for as much as I try to keep it real with the downs of homeschooling, I thought it was only fitting that I also keep it real about the moments of inspiration that pop up every here and there, propelling me forward into the adventure of homeschooling my five youngest children.

Those hugs. Those smiles. Those wonderful, interesting, hilarious things they say and do. I'm the luckiest mom in the world.

I remember feeling this way when my oldest child was a little guy. Being the person that taught him to read and add and everything else was just so special. I reveled in all of it.

In the years that I've taken off from homeschooling, and dug myself out from the Great Baby Avalanche of 2000-2003, there were times that I wondered if I would ever enjoy my children like that again. I feared that maybe something inside of me was broken beyond repair. A mother stretched too far and can't snap back.

There were times when I thought that I would never homeschool again. That it was too hard; too miserable a fate for me to consider for me or the kids.

And last year at this time I was feeling pushed, shoved, and cajoled into homeschooling by two of my children, and I didn't feel ready. When my curriculum arrived, I was just about in tears, asking myself, "Can I really do this? Is it going to be ok?"

And it has been ok. Better than ok. Yes, we've had some tears (mostly theirs, not mine. math can sure be upsetting!). Yes, they have asked and begged to go back to school every now and then. But, you know what? I've been pleasantly surprised. Never once this year did I regret homeschooling these two kids. Never once did I think that maybe they would have been better off in school this year. Never once did I doubt that we were doing the right thing.

In spite of all of the work, expense, time, tears, and everything else---I have loved having my kids home this year.

Last year when I felt like I was being pushed back into homeschooling one year too early, I had this little hope that maybe one day I could homeschool some of the other kids just because my heart was open and ready and eager (if I could wish so boldly!) to take it on again.

And you know what? My little hope has come to life.

PS. The other day my daughter told me that she was so glad that I had stuck with it and homeschooled her this year. Go figure!

Pushing the weight down a little more....

My husband and I have decided to try to lose 10 pounds (each) during the month of May. My personal plan to try to make this happen includes:

Doing at least a one mile walk with Leslie Sansone every day (which I think are better as far as calories and muscle use than a walk outside).

Having salad for lunch every day. (I already do this a lot of the time, but will try to make it happen daily)

Avoid obvious junk food and sugary treats.

Avoid drinks that have calories. (I generally only drink water or my healthy lemonade, which has about 25 calories in two quarts, so I don't expect this to change anything, but it's still good to keep in mind.)

No eating after 8pm. (only exception: veggies)

I may throw in some other random good-for-you/low-calorie/extra exercise things as well, but I'm trying to keep my rules fairly simple.

Since we decided this yesterday we did a one mile walk, and this morning I did the two mile walk. Woot!

The Complete Lazy Slob: A Manual for Slovenly Disrepute

This is the book that my family could write. It seems there is no task too simple to do sloppily, lazily, or messily. Stay tuned for various chapter topics so that you, too, can become a Complete Lazy Slob.

(**Hat tip to my father, who accused his own children of 'Slovenly Disrepute' way back in the 1980s. We were just following his fine example, and now I guess my children are doing the same.)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

New Life

We're fortunate to have a bird nest in a tree close to our house where robins come back every year to lay their eggs. (Last year we got extra lucky to have two rounds of new babies in that spot!) Here are the latest birdies in our back yard. Their nest is just a little too high for me to get a close look at them, so lifting my camera up above them worked well to give me this peek.

It has been very interesting to see that the mother and father birds have taken turns feeding and protecting their babies. We do not remember observing this in past years, so it is very interesting to see this almost equal share in the workload of raising young birdies. :)


In all the time I've been without a camera I've wished I could show you our beautiful, big, white chickens. So today is my chance. Sadly, yesterday one of our four chickens died. :( We have no idea why. All four came out of their coop just fine in the morning, but later in the day I heard some suspicious flapping noises and several of the chickens were making a lot of noise. I went out to investigate and found one chicken making her final few flaps before dying. She didn't have any wounds, no blood. So we don't know why she died. She was only a year old. (thankfully, my husband was home, so I didn't have to bury the poor gal)

Although our chickens can be quite messy, they are entertaining and fun pets. They are very social, and will follow their "mother" (my 12 year old daughter) all around the back yard and cluck away in their chickenish conversations. Lots of character and personality in chickens. Which makes it hard when one dies.

Friday, May 02, 2008

True Confessions #1: Laundry Room

Every now and then I have a little flare up where I realize that it is really not ok for me to let so many things slide around the house. Yes, I have six kids. Yes, I homeschool some of them. Yes, I run some businesses. But, you know, so many things that need to be done only take a short period of time, and yet I seem to regularly lack the ability to overcome inertia to get this stuff done.

Now that I have my camera, I have been thinking about starting my True Confessions series, where I will take a painfully honest photo of some area of my home as a "before" photo, and then force myself (and at least a few kids) to clean it up and then take an "after" picture.

Every time I have walked past my laundry room since I got my camera I have told myself that THIS room needs my True Confessions treatment right away. So today, we made it happen.

My friend Alana once came over to my house (several years ago) and commented on how much she would like to have a laundry room of her own, but then she saw the condition mine was in, and promptly changed her mind. :) So, all of that to say that I do not exactly have a good track record with my laundry room.

It had been doing fine until I changed seasonal clothing back in the fall. The thing is, in Kentucky, when the seasons change, you really need about half winter and half summer clothes at any given time. It's so gradual and back-and-forth that you can't get away with a clean sweep. So that meant that as the months went on, I started a pile on a clear surface for clothes that needed to get put away in our out-of-season/to-grow-into clothing closet. The pile grew, but I didn't get around to taking it to the closet.

Then someone gave us a bunch of hand-me-downs and I didn't have time to go through them. So they joined the pile.

Then we must have had some "oh no! People are coming over! Here! Quick! Throw all that junk into this laundry basket and we'll hide it in the laundry room!" moments, because we had a whole basket of miscellaneous junk in there.

And on and on it goes.

So, for quite some time now, my laundry room was looking like this:

And this:

So I motivated three of my kids to join me on *not only* folding and putting away all of the current laundry in process, but also switching out some seasonal clothes, and sifting through all of the junk on the surfaces and putting every bit of it away.

We went through all of the hand-me-down clothes, and I even managed to be ruthless is sending 90% of it on to the local thrift store because I just don't want to deal with any more clothing right now. Much of it was in sizes that are big enough that they are too big for 5 of my kids, and into the range where most kids do not want to wear hand me downs at all. Gone, gone, gone!

And now, here are the AFTER pictures:

(notice the top of my washer is now all clear of all the sticky, gloopy drips of laundry detergent, too!)

I took my little workers out to lunch to celebrate our victory. :)

Tune in next time for True Confessions #2. (I have so many areas to choose from, it will be hard to decide which one should be next....)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

New Art

I've been a fan of Sweet Juniper for years, and have often enjoyed the photography that Dutch shares. Just recently he opened an etsy shop since people were often asking him if they could buy prints. Tonite I wandered over there to see what he had, and found this cool shot of some discarded paint cans.

What can I say? I love it. I bought it. And I got the last one!