cleaning & shopping together


Well, part of the reason why I went to Mom and Dads was to help Mom out with some spring cleaning.  We ate eggs and the homemade pumpkin bread that we had made the night before for breakfast and made a list of what our Saturday would entail.  Could we do it all?

We cleaned for hours and hours and then when we decided we had done enough we headed out to visit some of our favorite places and one new place.  Dad had plans with Uncle Brian so it was ::girl time::.  (whenever Sarah and I end up alone we sing to each other “GIRL TIME” and give high fives.)






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(“vintage” grocery store, LOL) Just like when I was a little, it was so small!  Why are grocery stores so big these days is what I want to know.


Perry’s ice cream is the best because it’s what I grew up on.

Perfect way to end the day.


It was A-MAZE-ING how much we accomplished!


Things I bought, in their new home:


Over the master bed I’ve been collecting flower prints that I love.  The second one from the right is the one I purchased with mom for only 8 dollars.  It’s an old framed print of Irises.


wire egg holder shaped like a pig!  Perfect for me in many ways.  5 dollars

(filled with eggs from my flock)


Mom had told me once that her Grandma suggested brown glass bottles for rooting plants.  So I bought this old one with the paper label charmingly almost gone for 6 dollars.  She sent me home with a begonia stem to root.  It’s on my kitchen windowsill and I can’t wait to see the roots start to grow.


Striped fiesta round platter (bigger than a dinner plate)

Fiesta salt and pepper shakers, and a small souvenir plate from the factory.  I can’t remember the exact prices of the fiestaware but it was very good because it was half off.


Last but not least, all that cleaning inspired me to come home and clean my own house.  I’ve been itching to deep clean the pantry (one of my favorite little rooms) and I tackled it this morning.  I wiped down all the shelving with yummy smelling Method cleaner, pulled the freezer away from the wall and cleaned the filthy floor under it, washed the dusty windows, and rearranged the foods and other items on the shelves.


I wiped down the glass doors on the hutch and moved it away from the wall, too.


You know that feeling when you clean one room spotlessly and then realize how messy every other room in your house feels?  That’s the feeling I have now, but Jacob told me to get over it because it’s not a very nice one.  And the house is clean enough.  😉

thrifting finds


This picture doesn’t go with the rest of the post but I wanted to slip it in.  I am enjoying the birds every day, and yes we had snow on April fool’s day.   It’s all gone now.


I drove to Vermont on Friday to get Ethan from college.  He is home for the week.  You may have seen the photo I put on instagram of all seven of the children.  I’m glad the older ones are starting to do their own things but there is nothing like those moments when all the family is together again.  It’s been even busier than ever at my house, hence not as much time to be on the computer.

This morning after getting the kids off to school and cleaning up spilled evaporated milk from all over the fridge, I had to go to the Post Office.  I asked Ethan if he would like to go along with me.  He insisted on waking up Jake and the three of us went.


We went to the coffee shop first and I read them trivial pursuit questions while we enjoyed lattes and Jacob had a sandwich.  It brought back good memories of homeschooling.  I could sense myself slipping into that “mama teacher” feeling.


We walked to the Thrift store to see if I could find any treasures.  The boys didn’t just walk, they jumped up on bridges and things……


They can finally do what they wanted to do when they were five years old *but Mom would stop them so they didn’t kill themselves*.  I kept having flashbacks.  (By the way, Jacob is currently 20 and Ethan is 19).


BACK HOME after thrifting and mailing books out to my friends…..

…..and here are some photos I took of *some* of my thrifting finds from today.  I was most excited about the framed needlework that I found, which I promptly added to my collection (after hunting house and garage for a nail.)  I used a rock as a hammer.

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The collection is growing slow because I am very particular.  Not only does it have to look right, the price also needs to be right.

If you are observant, you can see the word “mom” written in red by my bedroom door.  What you can’t see is the “X” next to it.  When I asked little Seth why he wrote “X mom” by my door he said, “Because you weren’t in your room.”  Made sense to me!  I can’t tell you how many smiles I have gotten out of that simple red sharpie “X mom” scribble by Seth since he wrote it a few years ago.


Ceramic Bunnies!!!  They say 1983 on the bottom and the woman’s name, Eve, who painted them.  The lady at the thrift store said ceramics were a trend during that time period and there used to be a ceramics place in town.  Aren’t they so cute and perfect for this time of year?

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I didn’t even look in the book when I chose it, I just saw the words, “Holly Hobbie” and knew it was for me and added it to the books I already had in my hands…….here is a look inside at some of the illustrations;

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I love them all so much.  Holly Hobbie has been a favorite my entire life.  This book was published when I was a year old.  And I also love nursery rhymes.  It will be fun to read this book out loud to Sarah and hopefully even the boys might listen and enjoy.

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Lastly, a couple baseball books for Seth.  I also bought two books for myself.  The bunnies, the needlework, and the books cost me 3 dollars.


I bought potted hyacinths at Trader Joes last week and they bloomed.  They smell of springtime.


Still watching the geranium buds…..


Kitchen window display of things that make me happy.

“I don’t really collect, I’m attracted to certain things, I get them, and they accumulate.”  ~Natalie Gibson

loving hearts!

(((this was so exciting!)))

Last week, I took Grace along with me to a second hand furniture shop.  I was looking for a dresser for Caleb because his had broken and we had to throw it away.  All of his clothes were now located in the toy box and/or all over the place and it was driving me crazy.

We traveled the back roads, which was fun, and we even stopped at a little boy’s lemonade stand.  Grace hopped out to make the transaction with him and got back in the car after spending 2 dollars on big red cups of warm watery lemonade and brownies that were as square and dry as chocolate hay bales.  But we enjoyed every bite because the little boy reminded us of our Seth and he was sitting so still at his stand waiting hopefully for sales.

We arrived at the furniture store and didn’t make out very well as far as dresser shopping goes.  It had only taken minutes to admit defeat, and because we hadn’t ever been in this particular town plaza we decided to check out the other shops, too, since we were there anyway. I mean, it would have been a waste of gas not to do more shopping, right?   Conveniently, right next door was a upscale consignment shop full of all the things girls like; clothes, bags, more and more clothes, and to a lesser degree, knick knacks and accessories.  Grace found a couple of very cute dresses and I found a shirt.  (Okay, two shirts.)

We paid for our selections but as we went out the door the security alarm went off.  We went back to the counter so the saleswoman could go through our bag to see if there were any sensors left behind in our items.  As she worked, I just so happened to look down through the glass counter into the jewelry case and saw that they had some Tiffany jewelry.

Ten years ago, Rich gave me a Tiffany ring for Christmas.  I still have the photos that he took of me opening the blue box wrapped in red ribbon, with a sweet yummy baby Caleb sitting on my lap.  The ring was my first experience with Tiffany and it was a heavy, gold “Loving Hearts” ring, very lovely.

I had it on my finger the day Grace and I were together.

As I studied the Tiffany pieces the shop had, I noticed they had a SILVER Loving Hearts ring, exactly like mine!

I immediately knew…..that ring was for my dearest friend and daughter, Grace Lillian.  I asked if we could see it.  The lady handed it to me, and I handed it to Grace.  “See if it fits your finger, this one, the same finger I’m wearing mine on!”

She obediently put it on, and it fit!  Thanks to that false alarm (there were no sensors on our clothes) we ended up with a sweet surprise, a ring to match her Mama’s, for Grace.  And it was from a second hand shop, marked at a very nice price, plus an extra 20 percent off!!

We walked over to our next stop (ice cream!) looking at our hands, all smiles.

Well, the ring was previously owned and admittedly, quite grimy with a few scratches.  But no worries, because on Sunday afternoons Rich gets a craving for Pinkberry and the only Pinkberry around is about half an hour away, in a fancy-type mall which includes a Tiffany jewelry store, with guards at the door.  So on Sunday, Grace and I nervously went in past the guards and asked if we could have our rings cleaned.  The ladies cheerfully directed us to the back where customer service was located and the woman there told us that my ring could be done within minutes, but because Grace’s was silver it had to be left there for 48 hours. We reluctantly left the ring with them.  Forty eight hours indeed passed very quickly and yesterday we drove back to pick it up.

It was like new!!!!  I couldn’t believe my eyes, the ring was so sparkly and shiny, just as silvery as could be.   And, come to find out, jewelry cleaning was a free service that they provide for their customers!  We left a dirty ring and were given back a sparkly one in return.

We skipped out the door and naturally took a hand-selfie right there in the mall!

It was all rather like a fairy tale of some sort!


PS, Caleb ended up with a very nice dresser–from Goodwill!  In fact, his siblings are all jealous!  Rich is very happy that he married such a bargain hunter.


It has 9 drawers and a square cupboard in the middle for his treasures.13669756_10154195921476343_2265521028323018262_n

an old house….covered in vines

Grace and Ethan are home sick today and Jacob doesn’t have school.

I woke up feeling optimistic and cheerful for the first time in a long time, praise the Lord!

We watched a little bit of the movie “Newsies” and a little bit of a Harry Potter movie.

I love seeing all the books within the Harry Potter movies….today it made me want to go to the library.

So I did!  After I made my three oldest (who are now 16, 17, and 18 years old) a batch of pancakes and fried eggs, that is.

I paid a typical five dollar fine at the library and left with a nice heavy bag of books.

Then I hopped in my car and drove to the thrifty thrift shop downtown.

It’s gorgeous weather this week, by the way.  Today is balmy.

(Ethan just told me he wanted meat.  Jacob is starting a hamburger for him.  Grace is sleeping.)

I found a dollhouse!

Take a look:


This was where it was discovered.  I took a picture so I could text Mom and ask her if I should buy it.

“Yes” was her reply.

The best part of all is that it’s a Madeline house.  “In an old house in Paris, covered in vines…..”



weekend reading.


I’ve been getting walnuts in the shell for the family, I pour them into a big fiesta bowl,  so when I saw this giant walnut dish while out thrifting, I snatched it up.  It opens.  The kids will love it.


Isn’t it marvelous?



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I’ve been amused by a couple of Kingfishers.  They’ve been so noisy that I wonder if they’re battling over territory?


And this tiny bird’s nest.

There is typically a sense of expectation during every walk outdoors.  But the other evening it was almost completely dark so I wasn’t too expectant about seeing anything (at all).  I went outside to shut in the chickens and the night was so warm and soothing that I took a short walk around.  I stood down by the stream to listen to it and happened to look UP….right at this bird’s nest, which I could barely make out.  I turned on my flashlight to see it and the next day I took my camera down.  So small and sweet that I laughed.  Even in the dark God can show us things.

(It’s quite high up, I’m hoping one of my climbers will be able to collect it for me)





This is where I sit when it’s time for the afternoon bus to come with my young ones.

Happy Friday!

today’s thrifting treasures



A fire is crackling in the other room, David is under a flannel quilt with a cat, Seth is playing with legos at my feet, and I’m sitting in the recliner with the old Audrey Hepburn movie Sabrina on TV.

It was a pleasant Saturday morning.  Grace and I decided to go downtown.  By the time we got ready to go, Sarah, David, and Jacob convinced us to let them come, too.  We listened to a John Denver concert on PBS while I fixed Grace’s hair in two french braids, as she requested.



Saturday morning is the only morning of the week we can be slow, take our time, not rush.  I enjoyed fixing my girlies’ hair.

It was a nice spring-like morning, with temperatures in the mid 50’s.  We parked down at the thrift store and did a little shopping there.  It’s a great shop because they charge next to nothing for their stuff.

Grace and David held hands and skipped down the street to another junk shop.  Jacob and I followed, with little Sarah holding my hand.

We ate pizza for lunch and walked back to the car to drive to two more second hand stores, and the library to return books.

We were a cheerful party of five…….would you like to see what we found?



a little pink bench for Sarah’s dolls.

a barbie.  a pony.



a sweet lace-trimmed pillow with a dancing boy and girl for Sarah’s bed




a “one september” blouse that Grace found for herself



oversized cotton kitchen towel and seven spoons which are currently soaking in bleach water



wooden framed country decorations






The most thrilling; knitting needles, green rick rack and brown lace trim (three dollars)

knitting needles!!




My second most thrilling find; a McCoy Orange cookie jar.  Oh, I love it.  There was a strawberry and a green pepper, but I preferred the orange.




the lovely lid, may it never break




I brought this home for my husband.




“Mr. Great-heart”




“I am always full of good motions.”




“Mercy would be making coats and garments for the poor.”




I’m happy-happy about my new crochet project, with a pattern that I had to figure out, more complex than I’ve ever attempted.  It’s not perfect but it’s beautiful to me, and I’m going to keep working on it now, and then make cookies to put in my new cookie jar, with Sabrina on as well.


“Ah! There you are. You’re beautiful!”  ~Rumi


Happy Saturday my friends!