while we were out

(We’ve had these parquetry blocks since Seth was little.  They are a favorite.)

The kids and I arrived home from shopping yesterday to discover that Jonny had started to rip out our downstairs bath and laundry room.  Our second toilet is now on the front porch.  I am praying that this project doesn’t take forever because eight people sharing one bathroom (that happens to be in my bedroom) is going to be a challenge.  I am really excited about the prospect of not having to apologize for the absolute horrible condition of our downstairs bathroom though.  When my sister visited recently, she looked at the broken tile, and felt the spongy floor underneath and exclaimed, “Ooooh, this is new!”  The way she said it confused me momentarily, because she sounded like she was commenting on something good, and I couldn’t think of anything good about that bathroom.  Then my brain turned on and I realized she was kidding.  Because I wasn’t expecting Jonny to actually start ripping things out while I was gone, I don’t have any good “before” pictures.  I pray there will be “after” pictures soon.  The previous owners didn’t install the tile correctly, so Jonny has to replace everything, even the subfloor.  This is a big job.

We were shopping for groceries, shoes, and mugs yesterday.  Every single mug we own was broken a couple of days ago in an unfortunate accident, not to be confused with the incident in which every single bowl we own was broken.  We got the groceries, we found mugs at the thrift store (and a little red egg cup!) but no shoes.  Shoes for this many is a challenge.

The granola pictured above is Molly’s grain free granola except we made it with chia seeds instead of sesame, and maple syrup instead of honey.  We omit the flaxseed and the almond extract and add a bit of cinnamon.  It’s great with plain yogurt. (recipe HERE.)



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  5. Would you mind telling me where you got that abacus on the table in the third photo? I’m looking for one but not sure where to find a good one. Thanks!!

    • Hi Sara! It is the abacus that goes with Righstart Math: store.rightstartmath.com/alabacusclassic.aspx
      (I bet you could surely find a cheaper basic one somewhere??)

  6. Jennifer Stuart says:

    You may already know about them…but I’ve found that Merrell’s Jungle Mocs are the best shoes for kids. My kids have gotten some hand-me-downs of them that were then worn daily for years by two of them and finally had to be thrown out. Quite pricey new, but we’ve had okay luck for around $25 on ebay and they are well worth it. Additionally, they are slip-ons which make them the go-to favorite. I just keep watching and buy big when I can…nothing better than pulling out the shoe bin and finding the perfect shoes.

  7. Okay, this is probably too nosy, but I’m seriously intrigued about an all-bowl-breaking incident followed by an all-mug-breaking accident–yikes! What happened?

    This reminds me of my dear friend Stacee, who collects lovely hand-thrown ceramics and lost every piece when one shelf in her kitchen gave way and landed on two shelves below it, all three of them filled with pottery. The kitchen floor was filled with shards.

    Sorry for your loss. The new mugs and egg cup are precious!

  8. I looked at the photos and thought, I must know about the granola, it looks so good! Sure enough, there’s a link to the recipe! You’re so awesome about sharing with your readers, not only is your photography a candy to the eye in each and every post, you share so much more – really, thank you. I feel like I’ve learned so much from you already on top of all the daily motivation and awesome reads! 🙂 So glad I found your blog some long, long time ago!

  9. my daughter has two bathrooms torn apart right now—–not fun with kids! granola looks yummmmmy! and what a great find…..do you actually use your egg cups? I started collecting them, but I rarely actually use them (and I know I NEED to!!!!)

  10. After being without internet since this spring, it is a joy to come back and catch up with your family and all your goings-on. It is always such an inspiration to read your blog and look at the beautiful photos!
    Being sans-internet was caused by a recent move into a yurt without running water(so far), and we are using the above-mentioned bucket system for now(look up Anna Edey, Solviva for the source of this inspiration). Shredded leaves alone, or combined with sawdust have worked the best so far; the only downside is you have to really limit peeing in the bucket, because too much liquid inhibits oxygen flow and aerobic breakdown of the other waste. However, if done right and allowed to compost, when emptying buckets all you see is beautiful, odor-less soil–not even any t.p.! …May be a challenge with young ones. Hope the bathroom’s back up soon!! What a great reminder not to take anything for granted!

  11. Too funny. I cast on some amber trinket legging longies for lucy last night. 😉

  12. Judging from Jonny’s other completed projects, your bathroom will be beautiful when it’s finished! We have a small apartment, with one tiny bathroom. We keep a Baby Bjorn Little Potty outside the door, for little people who can’t wait. And, a old rug underneath it, just in case it tips:)

    Secondly, ebay is great for shoes, though the bidding can be a bit of a bummer.

  13. Do you know how to make a sawdust toilet? Lots of folks around here without running water, and it’s the easiest way to a second bathroom while you wait. Let me know if you need more details.

    Okay. I’ll just give them to you now: 5 gallon bucket, toilet seat, sawdust. That’s about it. Just cover with more sawdust as needed.

    You’ll thank me.

  14. Oops! Sorry, I see the link now to the recipe. I guess I didn’t scroll down far enough. Thanks!

  15. Ouch…looks like he’ll have to replace the floor under the tub too. Not fun. We had our old bath redone & they said we’d be w/o a toilet for a day…turned into 4 days! Liars! And we had ONE bathroom for 4 of us then.

  16. Those blocks look like so much fun, I think my 5 yr old would love them! And homemade granola..mmmm.

  17. Hi Ginny,
    We only have one bathroom for 8 people (plus little Emmy) – we do have the oldest off to college now – so that makes 1 bathroom for 7 people on a daily basis….
    There are many times where we have had to rush people along and pray there wouldn’t be an accident.
    We also get mugs regularly at thrift stores – 25 cents each is nice when we seem to loose at least one a week due to a break:)
    Thinking of you,

    • Tonya, thanks so much for sharing that! Puts things in perspective for me. I am realizing that we will adjust quickly to having one bathroom. I am still trying to figure out how we are going to do laundry.

  18. Oh man, the bathroom situation. When we were renting last year the sewer pipes broke (they were from 1910) and we ended up having to drive over to the port a potties in the park that just happened to be there because of a music festival that was going on. Going to a port a potty at 2 am is a little scary. I wish you new bathroom happiness just as quick as can be!

  19. New floor? Exciting!!! We are getting ready to paint our bathroom but I have to choose a color. Decisions, decisions……

  20. Wow, that’s a big project. I hope it goes well and soon you can be showing it off to your guests.

    it’s definitely granola time!

  21. Good luck with the bathroom. We only have four of us, but one bathroom is still a pain some times. Can you share that granola recipe? Is that what it is? It almost looks grain free.

  22. I remember those colorful blocks. Love those and haven’t seen them in years! So inspiring with their bold colors and geometric shapes.

    Of course, all of your other photos are great fun, too, but those just brought back a flood of wonderful creative memories for me 🙂

  23. Incidents with destruction of kitchenware is right up my alley! Hope you enjoy the new mugs and hoping the bathroom re-do does not take too long. What an awesome Jonny you have!

  24. *sigh* (((hug)))

  25. Hope your bathroom redo goes well – and quickly!

  26. I love those parquetry blocks. My four year old loves puzzles. So, he would love them! Off to order some now… Best of luck with the bathroom : )

  27. good luck with the bathroom project. so exciting to get it all together the way you want it. 🙂

  28. I love those pictures of Silas at bedtime, so sweet! Good luck with the bathroom project, I will add a few prayers for it to go quickly too! Can’t wait to see it. 🙂

  29. I love the blocks. I’m wondering if the bucket of blocks we have is the same size as yours and would work on the pictures? I used them when my first three were young with building thinking skills books. Can you believe I’ve been having to re- purchase home school materials! That’s what happens when you think you dreams of having more children are just that, dreams. My youngest was 16 when God opened the doors again! I love all of your mugs and can’t wait to see your new bathroom!

  30. Oh yay! (not about having to share one bathroom or the broken mugs-been there with the one bathroom thing…no fun with so many) but, Thanks for the granola link. I’m back to doing another major food overhaul again…and this is totally one missing breakfast item that would be helpful right now.


  31. Oooh – a new bathroom! How exciting. (Or, you know, it will be when it’s done. Fingers crossed that doesn’t take very long.)

    Love the thrifted mugs! xo

  32. Thanks for the toy suggestions. I bought the imaginets magnet set and the fatacolor junior pegboard set for my kids Christmas last year based off of your recommendations. They are both BIG hits in our home. Thanks so much.
    I guess they will be finding the parquetry blocks this year 😉

    Thanks again
    P.S. Good luck with the bathroom renovation. I have one of those I need to undertake as well

  33. About fifteen or years ago, my younger brother decided to re-do the ONLY bathroom in my parent’s house. I was still living at home at the time and so were a few of my siblings. All total there were seven people in the house.

    It took him just over a week to re-do the bathroom. Want to know what the first thing he removed was? THE TOILET!

    So, yes, seven people without a toilet at home for a week. I would go into work early in the morning and spent a lot of time at my then boyfriend’s (now husband’s) house so I had someplace to use the facilities. There was even one night that I woke up during the night and had to drive to rest area on the highway to use the bathroom. What made the whole situation worse is that I have a medical condition that requires me to go when I have to go or else I will end up with really bad UTIs.

    It’s for this reason that there are 1-1/2 bathrooms in my house.

    So, although it will be a pain in the butt to be reduced down to one bathroom, at least you have the one. 🙂

  34. Bathroom projects are always fun. (sarcasm) I love thrift stores for dishes. I tried the link for the granola recipe but it took me to an old post that doesn’t seem to mention granola. : )

    • There’s evidently some weird glitch–because I went back to check and my link was entered correctly–I have no idea why it was directing to that old post! I added a new link at the end of the paragraph, and it seems to be working. Sorry about that!

  35. What a cute little egg cup that you found!
    I hope your bathroom redo is a quick one, I am still waiting for mine to be complete and it’s been awhile, ahem! I really need to nudge Mike along.
    We have the same blocks in my home and they are loved by every child that comes here.

  36. That granola looks divine, I must try it.

    Shoes for four kids was tough enough! I feel your pain.

  37. Love Molly’s granola! I’ve everything to make a new batch sitting on the counter right now, except I think I’m going to try to incorporate some pumpkin and spices in for Autumn. It’s that time of year they tell me!

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