Last night while I was trying to make dinner and help with home-work simultaneously, Tori told me that when she grows up, she wants to be an evil scientist. I said, "really? an evil one?" She shook her head and said, "no, not evil, just a scientist." Julia chimed in, "well, when I grow up, I'm going to be a karate." Then she quickly changed it to "no, when I grow up, I want to be a Girl Scout... they have cookies." I told her I'd buy her a box of cookies and she could dream bigger for adulthood. She then said, "OK, then I can just be a karate". Tori chimed in that the Girl Scouts aren't allowed to eat all the cookies anyway, they have to "give most of them away". They all provide good entertainment!
I'd like to share two house-hold tips that are working very well. Much to my dismay, I have previously shared that we have a select number of field mice that move into our house each and every winter. Although we use almost every imaginable means to keep them out, we often see evidence of them. This year, after throwing away too much mouse-sampled food, we put everything cardboard in Rubbermaids, (other than the oatmeal and cornmeal, but that's coming too). Anyway, after initially trying cereal containers for cereal and crackers, it was too hard to make things always fit in the sizes I got, plus I was constantly re-labeling things. My brilliant discovery is these clear containers that are only $5.50 at the Dollar General by my house, (they are $8 at Walmart). I group all cereals in one, all crackers in one, all pasta in two, baking in another two, etc. What has been so wonderful is the cereal. We previously always had five to six open boxes - the kids stood them on the table, fought over who got to see the box and when the boxes frequently tipped, the cereal flew out on the floor.
Now I take out all the bags from the boxes, instantly recycle the boxes and this container holds about six bags. The whole box comes out, sits on the table, doesn't tip, no one fights over it AND it takes up far less room in the pantry and keeps longer. I'd recommend one of the these for anyone's large family cereal crises. (Of course, I'm going to get some comments about how big families are supposed to eat community oatmeal, not cold cereals, but that just hasn't worked for us yet.)
If it weren't for the mice, I wouldn't put all my pasta, etc, in these boxes, but it is really helpful for cereal, chips and crackers.
My next tip is the items I constantly have around to give back to people or return to stores. If I tucked them away, I'd forget about them entirely, so usually they were piled on the table or counter. I finally figured out to hang a little board on the back of the door and write the reminders on it. Now I check it whenever I'm on my way out the door.
And the stuff that needs to go with me waits in this big basket on our cubbie shelf near the door. It's out of sight, but not out of mind.
Lastly, our exciting news is that our dear friends are finally in Ethiopia and have passed court for their daughter, Tigest. On our trip in November, we got to meet her and tell her that she had a family as well as show her the first pictures of them. Here I am with her and yes, I was crying....couldn't help it.
Here she is with her new Mommy and Daddy - we are so happy for all of them! As an extra blessing, they took pictures for Brooke and are going to make the trip to Nazareth to meet her and reassure her that we are still working to bring her home. It will be the first sign of hope she will have received since our visit in November.
It's such a blessing to see the little face of an orphan have such instant hope when they are told they are loved and wanted!