How I almost melted, and other bits of trivia

Flowers (640x254)

Today the little girls and I went to play with Ranger and Erika.  First we accompanied them to Erika’s midwife appointment, where we chased Ranger up and down the stairs, with him giving us kisses through the railings now and then– what a charmer–  and then hearing that sweet little baby swooshing around inside Erika– only 7 more weeks!

Then we were off for an adventure thrifting where we found a sweet slip-covered rocking chair for Erika ($20) and some great wicker shades for me that turned out to be too narrow for the windows I had in mind.  (Hm…anyone have cool uses for wicker shades?  I can’t stand the thought of not using them for something!)  Later we did a bit of furniture-moving at Erika’s house, then some birthday shopping for my son who turns 19 Saturday (fun secrets) and a tiny bit of grocery shopping before heading home.

On the way home in the heat we were positively melting.  Basically we’d spent most of the day in and out of a hot vehicle running errands, punctuated by furniture-moving at Erika’s house, not exactly a cooling endeavor.  And a black van takes a LONG time to cool off in 100 degree weather, even with the A/C cranked.  I had just hit my limit of heat.  For a bit I was feeling sorry for myself, so tired and just wishing to be home lying in front of a cool vent.  Then I started listening, really listening, to my little girls, and they were chattering about friends  (how all of Emily’s are chatty and know interesting factoids) and tooth fairies (apparently ours forgot to show up last night) and what we will do in heaven someday (Emily thinks we won’t play games because in games someone always loses, and how could that be allowed in heaven??)  And pretty soon the air was blowing colder and I was enjoying my time after all.

I saw the other day a meme on  The Homemaking Cottage that looked like something I’d like to write about.  And so I picked out a few questions from it to answer, and made up another question or two of my own.   Feel free to play along in comments, or on your own blog if you wish.

Two recent meals:  Shepherd’s Pie was Tuesday evening, and this evening we had barbecued chicken (BBQ’d by my son, since I was unable to bear the task in my semi-melted state) and cabbage slaw.  Both meals were yummy.

A recipe I’d like to try: Jello Peach Pie or Easy Chickpea Curry with Coconut Rice
What I’m liking around my home:  I’m adoring a big planter that Amanda (Eldest) and her husband Ben gave me for Mother’s Day.  I put it on my back patio, in a shady location right in front of my kitchen window.  You can see it above.  It is blooming hugely and I enjoy it every single day.  ALL the other years of living here, I put my flower pots on the front porch to be enjoyed by visitors, and gradually to wither away in the heat of August.  This one I decided to place where I could see it from the kitchen sink and I am enjoying it SO much more.  It is a revelation to me.  (Also, guests, sorry about the no-flower thing on the front porch.)  But really, why not put them where the people who live here can enjoy them?

What I’d like to improve:  I need to help Em and Julianna sort out their room.  It’s a clutter-bomb again.  They just have too many things, and we need to do some weeding out so they can breathe in there.  I read a post on Living Well, Spending Less about a mom who took away almost all of her kids’ toys.  I don’t want to go quite to that extreme, but I can completely see her point about having space to breathe and think.  I am toying with the idea of helping ALL the kids declutter during the next few weeks.  We’ll see how far we get.

Cover, with snaps

What I created this week:  a new style of diaper cover that a friend says works well for her babies.  Hoping it will work well for Erika’s new little one too.  Isn’t it cute?  It has double elastic at the leg, and the absorbency is provided by lay-in diaper liners, which means the cover itself (supposedly) does not get especially wet, and thus rarely leaks.  We’ll see what Erika thinks.

Diaper cover (closeup of leg edge)

Favorite job around the house:  probably cooking dinner if it’s not too hot– I really do like cooking.  (I know, I’m strange.)

What I’m reading: Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World.  I’m going to blog more about it next week, but for now I’ll just say it is excellent and a great reminder to keep working on this task in a warm and nurturing way.  Kids really need to learn this skill.

Quote of the week:  “Our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.”Augustine.    So often as a human I can get caught up in doing, or in feeling like this or that project is the solution to problems that bother me.  I am so comforted by the reminder of the source of all rest: Jesus.

I hope you have a blessed weekend.  And if you’d like to answer some of the above questions in comments, below, I’d love to hear a bit about your week.  I really do appreciate everyone who takes the time to read here.




  1. Mary, Would you say that this book would be appropriate for a mom of children ages 8-12? We have been working on the four R’s (Respect, Responsibility, Resourceful, and Reciprocal) since returning home from an attachment treatment center in May. Attachment therapy has worked wonders in helping my youngest son attach and settle in to the family more, but there’s still a lot of work to be done as a family unit (I have four adopted children from China) since my husband’s death last year. I am looking for more resources and the book description on Amazon looks good.

    Thanks Kimberlie

    • Hi Kimberlie,
      Absolute yes it would be helpful for the ages that your kids are, and very in line with attachment parenting. I went over and visited your blog to see what’s been going on with you lately, and want you to know your family is in my thoughts and prayers. I’m so sorry for your loss.


  2. Wicker shades would work fantastic for placemats when cut to the right size. Because they are NOT placemats would have to have a binding tape along the sides but my daughter made me some and they are so pretty. Use the ‘dots’ from a three hole punch, and hot glue them to the new placemats and even use colored glue putting each person’s name on one. They are fun and easy for any child to do!

  3. Ruth Hansen says:

    Mary, I am working on a fun project at our house that you might enjoy with your toy decluttering. It is a “Toy Catalog”. We are moving most of the toys with small pieces, games, and other random things to a shelf in the garage. Pictures are being taken of each fun item and we will have a little photo book so the kids can “shop” for what they would like to play with for the day. I am hoping it will help by adding uncluttered space and less toy mess. We’ll see.

    I think I saw you and your cute kiddos today at Savers. I was in a rush and didn’t stop to say hi but just wanted to let you know I have sure enjoyed your blog and books. I come from a family with 11 kids and have seven kiddos of my own – so I sure enjoy your large family perspective, fun creative activities, family-friendly recipes, and the memories you make with your family and share with us. Keep it up! 🙂

    • Hi Ruth, What a fun idea! Yes, I was at Savers today, with 6 of my kids plus my sister’s 4– it was our third store in 2 hours, so the little kids were getting squirrely, but we were having fun anyway. Next time, please say hi! Thanks for writing.


  4. I come from a family of packrats who never get rid of anything. ANYTHING. I alternate between that ingrained mentality and the “I’m tired of all this clutter and we don’t have space for it and nobody uses it anyway so why is it here? I’m just throwing it all away today.” The keep it all part wins much too often, but the past couple of days have had the “clean sweep” feeling growing. I just have to find the time to be home long enough to do it!

    • I find that being cranky helps me declutter more ruthlessly. It also cheers me up– makes me feel like I am improving my life and working my way toward serenity. 🙂 Good luck with your project!


  5. Now you’ve got me thinking about ways to repurpose those wicker shades! Some random ideas:

    1. Hang them from the ceiling as a room divider.
    2. Use them to cover something else…lamp shade, decorative boxes, etc.
    3. Hang them to cover the front of book shelves.
    4. Bind two shades back-to-back as a floor mat. (Not sure if that would be comfortable underfoot…)
    5. Paint them a fun color and hang them on the wall to frame a 3D object mounted in front of them.

    Eager to see what you come up with! 🙂


  1. […] this week’s wrap-up, I thought I’d go old school. Mary posted a meme earlier this week that she found over here; it reminded me of the old days when blogging was so […]