summer plans

Whew!  It feels like I’ve gotten to a place this summer where (hopefully) there will be a bit more breathing room.  I’ve finally made it through orientation to PART-time (2 days/week) work. The home-school conference is done.  And church camp is behind us too, including that part where I supervised 5 days of meals for 80+ people. It went well, and was actually not hugely stressful, but it is nice to have it successfully done.  Lots of fun was had by all, so much that the kids today are all going through camp-withdrawal.

Cousin fun at camp

Coming in July is our son Jared and his fiance Erika’s wedding and all those attendant festivities. Since we are parents of the groom, not the bride, there is not quite as much planning for us to do. But we are greatly looking forward to it all!

In August the four youngest girls and I will be traveling to Ethiopia for a visit, meeting up with my sister Sophie who will be able to help us with translating and navigating.  Along with spending some time in Addis, we are planning to visit Wollaitta, where Emily and Julianna were born, and Harar, where Lidya and Zeytuna were born and spent the first decade or so of life.  We applied for their passports a few weeks ago, and Sophie and I are just starting to figure out the best use of our precious 12 days of non-airplane time. Exciting, exciting!!

Except for reading, we’ll be taking the summer completely off school, so I think that will be nice.  I am hoping to have some pool days with friends, as we usually do.  I’m also hoping to do some major closet de-junking.  I have been inspired by this book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way to Banish Clutter Forever.

It is a bit new-agey to suit me–the idea of thanking inanimate objects for their service makes my eyes roll. But a core idea of the book– to surround yourself only with what you love—  is a powerful and intriguing one. I have always found clutter to be a joy-and-energy-thief.  So this week I’m taking some of the ideas from the book to heart, starting with my bedroom closet and my bathroom drawers, and hopefully moving on from there.I will try to keep a tally of the total number of trash bags produced by this particular effort.

Have you read this book?  Done any good de-cluttering lately?  Feel free to join me in a de-clutter challenge of your own if the idea suits yours fancy.




  1. Oh I want to read that book! And dejunk everything!

    • I actually have it on my pile of books to loan to you, so don’t buy it or anything. 🙂

  2. I read another blog today – Mama Needs Coffee – and she had the same reaction to thanking inanimate objects – she turned it to thanking God for the things we need. Maybe if my favorite bloggers are talking about this enough it will motivate me!

  3. That book! So inspiring! Can’t make myself get rid of everything that doesn’t really spark joy but we might need later(books the kids might read in 10 years….. maternity clothes…. all the clothes that don’t fit kids now… )but it’s definitely inspiring to look more closely at stuff and see what is just in the way and look at some stuff and realiize that I hate it every time I have to touch it. Oh, and huge for me- having books for the sake of having books is not valuable, you have to like the books or all they are is dust catches.

    Anyway! I’ve been having so much fun getting rid of stuff. I’m not getting anywhere near the quantity of dejunk that she aspires to for her clients, but it’s a good start. 🙂

  4. Shannon says:

    I think I’m number 207 in line to loan that book from out library system!

  5. That book literally has changed my life. (Thanking an object that brings joy, as opposed to the Giver of the gift, makes no sense to me; I believe the reason the principle “works” is that practicing gratitude for what we have is life changing.) That being said, the practical tips in this book have really made a difference in how I approach “stuff management.” I bring in far less, and am gradually working to “tidy” my home. It has been overwhelming, but that is because all of the “decluttering” I’ve done in the past just wasn’t cutting it, and my big family has just flat accumulated far too much stuff! The belongings that bring joy are often hidden beneath way too much stuff that doesn’t! The author’s approach really works for me, and I’m thrilled with what I’ve learned and applied from reading the book. I’m with you in the ongoing process!

  6. Heather says:

    I love that book! So far I’ve done my clothes and my books. My husband and daughter also did their clothes, and we’ve all kept them up for several months now. At first I didn’t think I would keep up the precise folding, but I’ve found that the extra time it takes me to fold my laundry pays off when I don’t have to dig through my drawers to find clothes every morning. I can’t wait to do the next things on the list — papers and miscellaneous stuff.

    My favorite thing about the book is how prescriptive she is. In our world of overwhelming choices, I find it refreshing to be told, “this is the one best way to do this.” And then I just do it that way, and it works.

  7. Sometimes God just needs to hit one over the head… I saw this book in Costco a while ago. I’ve been wanting to clear some stuff out (daughter of a pack rat family, some habits are truly hard to break, and having a small house without enough places to put things makes it even worse) so I took a picture of the cover to see if the library had it. Then I promptly forgot about it. Not 20 minutes ago, I was flipping through photos looking for something and saw that book cover again. Oh yes, still want to do that. Found my needed photo, did what I needed to do, thought I’d check a few blog posts before doing some more things i need to do, and lo! Here it is again. Different cover design, same author and title, but the same “hello, get busy throwing things out” message. Perhaps I need to get off the computer and get busy!