Cleaning the pantry

I’m not meticulous when it comes to cleaning the cracks and crevices of our home, but when I sweep the kitchen, I always poke the broom bristles under edges of the cabinets and appliances. I even pull the bottom drawer out of the stove periodically to clean the floor beneath.
Today, on impulse, I decided to dig a bit deeper under the 18″ x 24″ pantry cabinet. Remember the scene when Mary Poppins is pulling possessions out of her carpet bag, and each is larger and buried deeper than the last?
Aside from the expected bits of dirt, food, pet hair and paper, I found:

  • a small baby doll
  • 2 straws
  • duplo block
  • spoon size shredded wheat
  • pen
  • lid to a pen
  • crayon
  • pencil
  • beads from a broken necklace
  • plastic bubble from a vending machine
  • lego
  • ladybug button in a sealed plastic bag
  • napkin
  • milk cap
  • wad of plastic wrap
  • butter knife (I wonder where the rest are hiding…)
  • fork
  • 2 water bottle lids
  • rubber carbonation saver doohicky for a 2 liter bottle
  • cup
  • double-ended car crevice cleaner (well, that’s what the children say it is. I’ve never seen it before.)
  • water bottle
  • wire coat hanger
  • dowel rod
  • metal leg bracket to a folding table
  • large blue plastic dog dish

Yes, I have cleaned under there before. When? As the dwarves say on Snow White, “recently.”

Toddler chores

Lauren aked the following question:

Kim, I have a mommy question for you about chores for little ones.

My 19 month old has one very important responsibility: putting away all the toys and books he drags out. He does a really good job with this, even doing it when we don’t ask. He seems to enjoy helping out.

He seems to be ready for a new “task” but I have no idea what could possibly be age appropriate. He’s been picking up books for 6 months, yet I’m at a total loss about what to do next. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

I’m sure this goes without saying, but I’m not looking for something that’s necessarily “helpful” but just rather something that gives him a taste of helping around the house.

We do have a couple of toddler-appropriate chores, but if you encourage them to tag along as a helper for you or an older sib then your options expand enormously. In addition, they are becoming familiar at a very early age with the chores that they will be handling in the future.


  • empty small trash cans into the kitchen trash
  • pick up bits of trash on the carpet
  • feed a pet
  • push in chairs at the table
  • wipe cabinets and appliances


I hardly know how to start a list in this category since the choices really are unlimited. Here are just a few way that our toddlers help out:

  • rotate laundry (Big sister hands them the wet clothes, they put them into the dryer)
  • “fold” dish towels and wash cloths
  • put away plastic kid plates and bowls (which are kept low for this very purpose)
  • move small pieces of furniture while an older sister vacuums (footstool, chair, etc)
  • put away own laundry

Would anyone like to help out on these lists? How do your toddlers help with household chores?

God’a amazing works!

How can anyone watch a video like this and not be amazed at the power and creativity of our Creator?
The girls and I watched it over and over with mingled sounds of ugh, ooh, and !!!

Last chance to enter the contest

The contest to blog about our site and win a free 400 year old Framed Geneva Bible Page ends tonight at midnight – there’s still time!
Just post to your blog about our site and about the contest, using any of the banners that I have posted to my blog. Make sure you link back to Geneva Bible Pages.
Then email me at the address given on the website to tell me that you are entered.
There are surprisingly few entries so far, so if you see this in time you’ll have a fair shot at winning!

Shannon for class president!

My blog-friend Shannon of Rocks in my Dryer, with whom I TIRLED just the other day (Talked In Real Life), is a finalist in the 2006 Weblog Awards in the Best Parenting Blog category, and our girl is blowing away the competition!
I have to admit that there are two other blogs I read in the list of competitors (hi Lisa, hi Chris), and I’m sorry, but I have to back the candidate who uses the word Y’all the most. After all, I’m in Texas. I don’t want to get lynched or something.
So y’all go vote for her and help her keep the amazing lead. Can’t you just feel the love?
BTW, daily voting is allowed and encouraged, so don’t be shy.

Reformed Chicks Blabbing is up for Best New Blog – give them a vote too while you’re over there pumping up Shannon’s numbers. They have a great blog, and you have to love their name!

And the late great Spunky Homeschool blog is in the running for Best Educational Blog. Even though Spunky has moved on, wouldn’t it be nice to throw her a little going away party and give her a 2006 Weblog award?

Homeschooling links

Carolyn at Guilt-free Homeschooling has given us some real keepers lately. My favorites:

If you’re not familiar with Carolyn’s blog, plan to spend some time browsing her copious archives. She is always good for a fun idea (or 20), an encouraging word or some good hard facts.

And it’s a good thing that Carolyn is blogging faithfully because Spunky has bid bloggerdom farewell. I’m sorry to see her go and hope to run into her someday in real life. I wonder if she would introduce herself as Spunky?

And I want to introduce 2 wonderful homeschool-grandma blogs: I have had the pleasure of meeting both these ladies in real life, and they have also commented a bit here on my blog.
Both love their husbands and speak highly of them, and both are very active in the lives of their children and grandchildren, helping with schooling, spiritual training, and in a myriad of other ways.
These are the Titus 2 bloggers that those of us with young children need to be watching. We have much to learn from these wise and wonderful women!

Little man’s milestones

At 5 months and change, it’s time for an update on our little Perry Boy.

  • He can sit up
  • He has a tooth: bottom left
  • He laughs when his sisters tickle him.
  • He has tasted smushed potatoes, carrots and dumplings from our stew; ice cream and jello; grits and cream of wheat; and bread. He enjoyed them all way too much, and is suddenly obsessed with everything we put into our mouths.
  • He loves peekaboo, and seems to understand when he sees Mama holding him in a mirror. If I set him in front of mirror and peek at him from behind his left side, he looks over his left shoulder to find me. Ditto for the right. Is my boy smart or what?

And size 3 diapers fit him very nicely. This may not surprise you unless you know that none of our others wore size 3 until they were nearly 2, and I have never used a diaper larger than size 3 on any of my children.

WFMW: speed dials

Since it’s Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer (oh, is it Wednesday here too?) I’ll share my system for speed dials in my phone.
I use my cell phone as a phonebook: aside from personal contacts, I store the number of nearly any business that I call regularly: Walmart, McDonald’s, the bank, the county clerk, my midwife’s office, 4 different auto parts stores where we compare prices before buying…
I probably have well over 100 numbers stored in my phone (with capability to store up to 1,000) and I have no expectation of ever memorizing all the speed dials, so I have a system:
My honey is #1. Did you ever doubt it?
My sibs are numbered by birth order. This is very convenient, since I would be #1 in the family and Hubby has that taken. So the single digits 2-8 are dedicated to my sibs who are old enough to have their own phone and/or household. If they have both, the household number is the default, and the sib’s cellphone number is a doubled digit: Brother #5’s house is 5, and his cell is 55. Taken a step further his wife’s cell is 555.
So far, so good.
For extended family, I use 2 digits: the first 2 letters of the last name. So the Smiths, for example, would be 76 (for S-M).
For businesses and acquaintances outside of the family, I always use the first 3 letters of the business name:
WalMart is WAL, or
Auto Zone is AUT, or
You get it, right?

What if 2 numbers would get the same space in my system? I store the less used number at a location just 1 higher: for example, if it should be at 767 but that’s already taken, I put it at 768. You’d be surprised how rarely this is necessary.

I have so many numbers in my phone and so few memory cells in my brain that I often don’t remember if I have yet stored a particular number, so it’s easy to check: just dial the first 3 letters. If it’s empty, I don’t have it. If it’s filled, I check the next spot just in case.

Easy. No memory required. Math skills: I’ve got em. Memory: out of luck. This works for me.
What works for you?

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Free shipping or 10% off at CBD ends soon

Just a head-up to all you procrastinators out there (please, oh please tell me I’m not alone!):
The CBD coupons for free shipping or 10% off are expiring soon.
See this post on my Shoelaces blog for codes, expiration dates, and the low-down on which one to use.