Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Little o' This, Little o' That

I mentioned several weeks ago that I am working on honing my pie-making skills.

With my latest project, I think I've finally arrived.

Who's up for a slice of this beauty?

In all seriousness, this pie served as a demonstration of a simple law of physics: Glass pie plates on aluminum baking sheets are a slippery proposition.

The above picture was what the resultant mess looked like after I had scraped it off of the floor.

Cherry, too.

Well, crumbs.


In happier news, I am finally making progress on my project of decluttering our master bedroom closet to use as a children's-clothing-box storage space!

First up on the list has been to greatly pare down my clothing, a task that rejoices my minimalist heart. Here's how it looks right now:

My entire clothing collection is now down to 12 skirts (including maternity skirts) and 18 shirts. (Besides underclothing, two sweatshirts, and one pair of pajamas.) I love it. I'm itching to throw out more.

I dream of the days when one had one workday dress and one Sunday dress. Mmm.

My husband has likewise pared down his clothing collection, and we can now fit our clothing together on one rack.

On the short side we have our shoe boxes and some squished tablecloths. (Jen, if you're reading, yes - I still have those shoes. Both pairs. The love affair continues.)

And now, with all of this work, I have a long-desired goal - a clear lower half! This is where I am hoping to store clothing boxes.

Only problem - I am now absolutely in love with this beautiful clear space. I want to keep it! (*Sob*)

But the truth is also that clothing boxes are taking over our house. The girl boxes have eaten up my dresser, and the boy boxes are spilling out of every closet (and bookshelf, and rafter) in the house. Something has to give.

But when we start moving grown children out of the house, I want my clear closet space back!

The one obstacle left is my husband's dresser...

.... which is currently eating up much more than its fair share of space.

What to do with this critter?

Stay tuned.

My goal is to buy Christmas boxes on clearance after Christmas, and finish the project next winter. I'll report back with pictures when that happens (which will most likely be sometime in 2027).


In similar re-arranging news, I have discovered a new method of folding clothes, and I love it!!

Check it out! Simple, effective, and super-fast.

Also, check out the book - I am so enjoying this little treasure! (Yes, it has some odd parts, but work around those to find all the great content.)


May and June are one of my favorite seasons - used curriculum sale season! This year I was able to attend only one sale, but I found some lovely books.

Here the are!

Textbooks and Informational Books

Books for Younger Children

Books for Older Children

Books for Me!

I'd provide titles, authors, and links, but I am feeling particularly lazy today - so y'all will have to make do with the pictures. Hopefully the titles are pretty clear in the photos.

I had a great time and can't wait for next year's sale.

As a postscript, I also had an interesting experience at the sale.

I have lately wanted to buy a set of Hardy Boys books for our eldest's birthday gift. At the sale, a friend rushed up to me and said, "I know you've been wanting Hardy Boys books, and there's a lady over there who has a complete set of them!"

Oh, my goodness. Was this Providence, or was this not?

I rushed over, full of enthusiasm. There they were, in all their glory. Just what I wanted. How much did she want for the set?

Ninety-six dollars.

Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. Well, there went that. (She was not willing to sell any of the books individually.)

I left in a state of deep and profound disappointment.

But the first table I approached (rather blindly) had... Hardy Boys books. Twelve of them, for a dollar a piece. I took them on the spot, and they will be the 8yo's birthday present next week.

I was disappointed to lose the complete set. But I was also greatly blessed by something that was much more in my price range.

All in all, it was a great sale.


We finished our unit study on Oregon this past week. We had a ton o' fun with the Oregon Trail and pioneer life (plus forestry, ducks, otters, and beavers), and finished up our time by making homemade strawberry ice cream - the hard way!

The recipe was so good that I have to share it:

1 pint strawberries, cleaned
1 1/2 cups cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt

Puree everything with a stick blender or in a regular blender. Churn in a small ice cream freezer, or do it the long way.

(The long way: Put mixture in a small sealed round container and the small container inside a coffee can filled with salt and ice. Roll back and forth, stopping every 5 minutes to add more ice and salt. We did five or six five-minute sessions, though the recipe said 11-13.)

Next up in our state studies... Texas!

This week we're enjoying our first break of the school year. I must admit... I'm tired. But most of that is just family life, not school. Mamas don't really get a break!


We've been keeping super-busy this summer season with swimming at our local pool and attending children's special events at the library.

A few pictures:

Magic show at the library:

Church June birthday celebrations. The 8yo dressed appropriately for the occasion (our church has dress-up costumes for after-service play):

And during a recent visit from Grandma and Grandpa (who always bring Krispy Kreme donuts):

With Grandma's glasses.

Have a wonderful summer season, dear readers!


  1. I've dropped a pie before too - and still ate it. Just put it over ice cream. I love seeing you like that organizing book as it's on my request list at the library and I'm just waiting for them to get a copy in for me (I'm in line with I don't know how many others...sigh). I had heard it was good overall with some odd non-Christian bits along the way on how she relates to things.
    "Our used curriculum sale is next week and I'm hoping to sell some things we're done with and find some treasures. You got some good ones!

    1. Hi, Tristan!

      Okay, okay, you forced my hand! I have to admit it - we ate the pie. :)Thankfully the pie plate didn't break, and the floor was relatively clean, so... the rest was history. :)

      I had to wait for several months to get the tidying book at the library too! It took quite a while.

      Here are my two criticisms of the book:

      (1) Yes, there are some weird non-Christian things in it. Short summary - she talks to books and clothes and houses. But I can see how her worldview goes along with that (Asian religions, etc.), and it doesn't actually detract too much from the book.

      (2) It's obvious (at least to me) that she works primarily with singles and childless couples. Some of her things just wouldn't work with homeschool families, or large families at all. For example, I'm not keeping a lot of this stuff because it "sparks joy," but simply because I know I'll need it (books, clothing, toys). Her policy of severely decluttering books (she says that she herself owns only 30 books) is totally impossible (I think, at least!) for a homeschooling family.

      But there's still great content, and it's easily one of my favorite decluttering books that I've read. I hope you enjoy it!


  2. The pie is lovely, and I'm glad to read that you ate it anyway. :)

    I've missed (by accident) two of the used curriculum sales in our area. There's one more this weekend, but I don't know if I can pull off getting to it. You found some real gems. I hope you enjoy them.

    And that picture of your boy and your girl with her hand on his cheek is a treat!

    1. Thank you, Anne! :) I'm a sucker for used curriculum sales, so it's probably a good thing for our finances that I made only one of them. :)

  3. I have zero organizational skills so I'm totally in awe of yours! That said, we have more books overflowing in our house than we do clothes (as much as I love dresses. I only wear dresses and I absolutely love getting new ones - especially vintage dresses), but we keep the books. We are moving into a new house weekend and one of the bedrooms is being turned into a library.

    1. I agree! I am a minimalist in everything except books. We have thousands. And thousands and thousands. But really, I think that's part of homeschooling. Or even just having children! Children do need their own books. And it's super-hard to find good spiritual books at the library, so those are good to own too.

      I haven't worn a dress in years due to breastfeeding, but I love vintage dresses! Mmm.

      Thanks for checking in! :)

  4. I have zero organizational skills so I'm totally in awe of yours! That said, we have more books overflowing in our house than we do clothes (as much as I love dresses. I only wear dresses and I absolutely love getting new ones - especially vintage dresses), but we keep the books. We are moving into a new house weekend and one of the bedrooms is being turned into a library.

  5. Bwaahahaha! My eyes go to pictures first and then I go back and read the text. I spied the heels of the shoes, and thought to myself, "Surely, those can't be the same ones..." and then I read the text. Long live the shoes! So glad you can enjoy them! I am refusing to throw out my own pair of Target shoes from my pregnancy (now 5 years ago!) because they're so cute and were so comfortable, even though they are now broken!

    1. Yes, yes, I know they're over their appointed lifespan, but I just love them!! I'm always watching out for replacements or near-replacements, but for now... lots and lots of brown shoe polish. :)


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