happy things

A few weeks ago I mentioned using weekends to catch up and clean up after the week.  One of you commented (was that you, Tara?) that you use weekends for relaxing after the week.  I immediately thought, wait-I want to do that too!  I’ve got things all mixed up!  I want to relax on the weekend!  Starting this week, we will have baseball tournaments nearly every weekend through the first of June.  If I kept the mindset that I have to have those weekend days to get ready for the coming week, I’d be a mess because baseball weekends tend to be about baseball, laundry, and food.  And fun.  We mostly like the whole baseball thing.  So, I have a new plan.  It’s huge.  Are you ready?  Monday mornings are going to be for cleaning up and regrouping.  I’m going to make a little checklist of the weekly tasks I want accomplished that morning and we’ll all team up.  Then we’ll be starting the week with a clean house and I’ll be happy.  I only mention my own happiness, because no one else seems to care if the house is clean.  But my happiness ultimately translates into everyone else’s happiness.  We all know how that works.

Speaking of my own happiness.  The gigantic trash heap that has been occupying a large area next to our house for, oh I don’t know, a year maybe?  It’s gone.  The boys have been dragging metal of all kinds from barrels, to large sinks, to copper tubing from old dumps in the woods surrounding our property for years.  Jonny takes it to the metal recycling center so the boys can make a little money selling it (right now it’s five bucks/100 pounds for mixed metal-copper pays significantly more.)  Jonny’s truck stopped being street legal about a year ago though, and while he keeps meaning to work on it, he hasn’t had time.  So that pile, it kept growing.  And it wasn’t pretty.  At one point I offered to pay the boys to take the metal back to where they found it.  No one liked that idea but me.  Last week, Jonny finally pulled the seats out of the van and over a couple of trips, he hauled all the metal away.  I think that pile, sitting in my front yard for many moons netted about ninety dollars between all the big boys.  It doesn’t sound like much.  But then again, when I think about all the work they put into dragging all that metal home, I have to admit that the lesson they learn is worth far more, and worth my having lived with the trash pile out front for so long.  There’s already a new pile growing, but it’s off in the woods a little ways so I don’t have to look at it every day.

Saturday evening I took Keats and the girls to a concert put on by our local homeschooling musical group.  There was a choir, band, and orchestra, all quite talented.  My original plan was for Keats and I to go alone.  Then Larkspur mentioned wanting to go, and I thought she could surely sit through it.  When Beatrix asked to go too, I asked her, “Do you think you can sit through the whole thing without talking the entire time?”  She put some obvious thought into it before answering, “No.”  But then there were tears, because she really wanted to go.  She ended up dancing through nearly the entire concert.  It wasn’t a big problem because we were sitting in the back.  At one point she turned to me and said, “I know I should be sitting still, but this music is just so good for dancing!”

While we were at the concert, Seth and Gabe went metal detecting at a friend’s house.  Gabe found something pretty amazing, a Spanish cut silver coin from 1788 (a quarter of a 4 Reales coin)!  It was pretty lucky that the piece he found had the date on it.  These coins were cut to make smaller denominations, and this is where the phrase “pieces of eight” originated from.

In other news, Job has graduated to riding on my back (photos by Keats).  He doesn’t like riding on the front, and I had hoped that he would be content on my back for short periods of time.  He mostly isn’t.  That’s all right, before long he’ll be too heavy for me to carry him that way anyway.  My right shoulder still gives me trouble, and sadly, baby wearing aggravates it.

I want to stitch that little clump of white clover.  I think I need to make myself frame the two cross stitch pieces that I have had finished and ready to go for quite some time first.

Oh, and finally-there’s this:

A collective groan went up from the big boys when Jonny and I announced that the new license plate would read,  “Yarn Over.”  I will admit, their dismay just made me like it more.  I think they were nearly as incensed as the time I confessed that the real reason that Jonny had turned the van around ten minutes into a road trip was that I forgot my knitting not the “secret girl stuff” that he alluded to in order to save me from questions and possible mutiny.

p.s.  Thank you for all the encouragement you left on this post.  I truly appreciate it!

p.p.s.  The cross stitch is from a book called Wild GardenCross-stitch Embroideries


  1. OMG it was me!! I feel famous! I love your new schedule, what a great idea.

    That license plate is the coolest license plate I’ve ever seen (and I normally don’t love personalized license plates). But yours is SO YOU! I love it!

  2. I love Beatrix’s comment about dancing! That’s pretty much how I got into dance myself, I just can’t help but move around to good music. And I absolutely agree that Monday is a good day for cleaning and resetting everything for the week. My boyfriend and I do performance and event production for a living, so we often devote long hours on the weekends to doing shows, and then use Monday to clean up and get ready for a week of gearing up for the next production.

  3. Kate Talley says:

    Ginny, I am wondering how the Boba carrier fits Jonny? My husband is a big guy…6’5″ and 215 or so.
    Thanks so much, love, Kate Talley
    p.s. Tula baby carriers sells a toddler size! I just ordered it! Check it out for Silas!

  4. Sabrina Hauber says:

    Remember this? 😉
    Wash on Monday
    Iron on Tuesday
    Mend on Wednesday
    Churn on Thursday
    Clean on Friday
    Bake on Saturday
    Rest on Sunday

  5. I agree , Mondays just make sense. If I were to clean all weekend I would still have a mess on Sunday night after everyone is all tuckered out and snoozing away. After all, aren’t the weekends for making the fun(mess) anyways? Time spent together with everyone home, the getting and going to games (soccer for us), and all the happenings of a big family, is anything but neat and tidy. Throw in a baby and toddler…..does it all ever really get done? And if so I want their number!

  6. What shoes are your girls wearing? I am on a perpetual quest for laceless shoes. They probably don’t make them in grown-up sizes? 🙂

  7. YES,baseball season,I miss it!!Enjoy it please.I am now 54 and would do anything to go back to it.Love the picture of Job,he has gotten so big,cant believe he is ready for backpacking!!!Have fun while they are litttle,there will be plenty of time to clean the house!!!!Hang in ,your doing great!!!!

  8. Baseball Season!! Traveling baseball/softball is a huge family commitment. It also creates fantastic memories. When my brother and sister played, I was in college. Saturday mornings I would drive across the city and plant myself in the bleachers. Sunday afternoons….more bleachers. I applaud your changing thing up to make room for baseball. May there be more cheers than tears.

  9. As someone who has recently created a schedule for myself, I cannot say enough positive things about it (despite the fact that it’s a bit off at the moment). I have a lot of unstructured/open time around my work schedule. I finally realized that having (or thinking I have) endless amounts of time means that I keep putting things off because…I have time. So I’ve scheduled everything from when I clean the floors to when I write to when I go to yoga, and it’s made a difference in both how much I get done and how I feel about the chores. And when I say “schedule,” I mean putting in the actual start and end time of each activity. Run out of time? Too bad; time to move onto the next task.

    As for no one else caring about the clean house, they may not realize it, but a clean house can unconsciously lower the stress levels of all inside.

    • “As for no one else caring about the clean house, they may not realize it, but a clean house can unconsciously lower the stress levels of all inside.”
      I completely agree.

  10. I love the honesty of chaos that you write about. I feel like I can commiserate. I think the idea of cleaning up on Monday’s brilliant. That gives me more time to go hiking with the family on the weekends.

  11. I love reading about the concert and Beatrix dancing. She sounds like such a free spirit:) I hope you can baby wear a bit longer…My daughter got so big so quickly that it became really hard on my body to wear her past a year. Blessings.

  12. I love the license plate. My great-aunt had one for the longest time, I can’t remember what it was exactly, but something about sewing – she was a seamstress and made curtains. Then when she retired, she changed it to SEWNOMO. she was such a funny lady.

    My little guy never took to the back carry. He loved being on the front, even as a 30-lb 1 year old. I loved it because he would randomly grab my face and give me kisses.

  13. you too have to keep winter and summer clothes nearby, isn’t it ?
    it was only 10 days ago that you were in snow and thick clothes, and now everything short,
    quite a lot of clothes when you count for seven !!!
    I was just thinking about that when I saw your girls outside …(on the photo’s)

  14. Love the new plate!

  15. LOL over the license plate and the “secret girl stuff” 🙂
    I love that boba wrap and I wonder if it would be easier to carry my 30 lb 11 month old in that than in my babyhawk??

  16. *LOVE* the license plates! So many good things happening at your house. I am thanking God that it is spring–it seems that everyone is feeling happier, more productive and lighthearted. I like that little clover you plan on stitching soon. : )

  17. I love the new license plate, it’s perfect. I preferred back-babywearing. I was really glad when we graduated to it because it seemed safer during times of kitchen work and outdoor tasks. I missed being able to look down at them in front of me, though.

  18. I used to have the same idea – weekends were for catching up, especially Saturdays. I would spend most of the day on Saturday cleaning and putting away while my family played outside. I would lay in bed on Saturday mornings and not even want to get up. It seems that it takes years to find your own “groove” for housekeeping. I finally have found what works for me at this point in my life, but it will probably change again in the future as our family changes/ grows.
    Mondays we do nothing but pick up – we seem to leave piles of everything all over the house from the weekend. Tuesdays we take 1 hour and clean, concentrating on the main floor only.
    Wednesdays we quick clean upstairs and change bed sheets.
    Thursdays are Homeschool Co-op days, so we just clean out the car that day.
    Fridays we clean the main floor again so we can have a clean house for the weekend.
    We start school at 9 everyday, so we can easily get all the cleaning done.
    It sounds great, but rarely do we have a week that this all gets done on the right day….but if we set goals, at least we have something to work towards.

  19. Bahahah! I love the license plate! Now, if I see you on the roads, we can pull over to the side and knit together! My brother is moving to Berryville this week, so I hope to get down that way more often and visit all those lovely yarn shops in all those lovely little towns that totally fool everyone into thinking that they are an hour away from the hub of the whole free world. Ah. I love Virginia.

  20. what a fun post, full of spring and hope! I loved the concerts I attended that my children were in way back when. I took my son back to his campus and now it’s quiet and dull. When the kids were home I tried never to do chores on the weekend. It worked most of the time, good luck with your freed up weekends!

  21. So much love for everything in this post!

  22. Aaaa! I love your idea to shift your rhythm to make Mondays a prep day. Going to give that some serious thought, as we have been working away on weekends with cleaning, planning for home learning, food prep, etc. It would be lovely to shift at least some of that to Monday, and work it into our home learning. These are things that I am teaching the kids anyway – why not make it official!?

    As usual, your photos and words are so inspiring. Thanks!

  23. Oh, that Bea sounds like the fun just follows her! Some people are like that…you know a good time will be had if you are in their company. Those cross-stitch samplers ~ can you share where they came from? I love love them! I don’t even cross-stitch, but they make me want to learn.
    xo Jules

  24. I LOVE yrnover!!!!

  25. what a lot of fun things! and I love the license plate!!! 🙂 I love the ideas of regroup Monday… Mr. Husband and I had a huge family planning meeting last night with Google doc spreadsheets and everything. Kind of like cleaning in a way, getting everything the next while needs to happen down so we can see it and understand how to do it/triage.

    God bless and keep you…

    and make this Monday a peaceful one…

  26. You always have such lovely photos. My girl and boy and I were out in the sunshine yesterday. Bees are buzzing in the blooming plum trees near our house. I thought of your bee adventures but I’ll have to live vicariously and make do with mason bees for now. I am intrigued by the cross-stitch patterns. It’s so lovely! Where did you get them? I’ve always wanted to browse these but my craft stores never have ones as beautiful. xo

  27. I recently bought a lotion bar that has a slip on the inside with this quote from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, “I will continue to freak out my children by knitting in public. It’s good for them.” I had a good laugh when I saw that! At least your husband understands and supports your need to knit. He’s a good man.

  28. weekends=fun! i was trying to do lesson work on the weekends as my husband works one weekend day but it was dragging us all down. i concur!

  29. It’s great to see all these nice things, all of them made me happy and brought a sweet smile on my face 🙂

  30. I just very recently figured out that Mondays are for staying home and re-grouping for the new week. I’d love to see the plan you come up with! Your spring photos are beautiful, we’re far from spring here. Moved junk always makes things much better 🙂 ….and pieces of eight – I had no idea!!

  31. I love it! All of it made me smile.

  32. Everything is so right about your family! It is exactly what a family should be. And the scrap metal pile for the boys just tops the cake. Love it all. If I had a do-over I would want my family to be just like yours. It’s what I always envisioned. Mine just didn’t go quite that way. But I do have two great kids.

  33. I cannot wait until my little guy graduates to being back-carried in the boba. Hopefully Job gets accustomed to it soon. What a great license plate!

  34. Was “YRNALNG” taken??? hee hee That is a fantastic license plate. Everything sounds so upbeat! I do all the catching up on Mondays just like you explained above. It works wonderful for me!!!

  35. “I know I should be sitting still, but this music is just so good for dancing “. Probably the best quote I’ve ever heard. I love that your boys scavenge metal for cash…ours liked to collect returnable bottles…it all adds up!

  36. All very happy things! I love the license plate. If we didn’t have to pay extra for personalization, I think I would have mine say doula or brthmatrs or something equally as embarrassing to my household of boys 🙂

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