Saturday, March 24, 2012


FlyLady always says toss, toss, toss.

So I try, honestly I do. I just gave away two bags of Jenny's outgrown clothes and I just went through all my sewing patterns and put about 50 in the Goodwill box, adorable little girl patterns of all sizes, and dress and jumper patterns from the 80s and 90s. I can't let myself look in the box because I'm afraid I'll think I just have to have that bodice pattern after all, or that sleeve, or that skirt with buttons down the front.

But no. Toss toss toss. FlyLady is right; it's freeing.


I can't bring myself to toss books.

And every bookshelf in the house is full and overflowing.

So I had a decision to make: brutally cut back or get another bookcase.

I decided there was room for two in the hall upstairs where I had one up until now. I found a matching set on Craigslist. Paul got them yesterday. They are nice and big.

That's where the children's books are going to go. Already the big picture books, Richard Scarry and Dr. Seuss and the old National Geographic books about tigers and sea creatures are standing in a neat row along the bottom. Jenny and I are working on putting Amelia Bedelia and Jack London and Beverly Cleary and all the others on all the other shelves, in alphabetical order by author's last name.

Which is a lot of bother, but I've done that for a few years and believe me it's worth the trouble if someone wants to borrow Ramona the Brave and you know right where to find it.

Last night Emily and Jenny and I sat on the floor in the hall upstairs and read the old picture books they grew up on.

"One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish."
"One spring day Chris and Matt went to a pond to catch a tadpole."
"No backsies on this."

Barney Beagle Plays Baseball. Prayers for Children. Going to Sleep on the Farm. Bears on Wheels. Mother Goose.

Sam and Dudley catching thieves. Blackfinger Wolf riding the shopping cart down into the lower part of town, down where all the robbers lived. Ping getting the spank on the back. All the little books where everyone falls asleep at the end, which always put me to sleep as well.

Books are wonderful things. And so are memories. And memories of reading books to children are just precious beyond all describing.

So I'm keeping the books for the grandchildren. And for me.

Quote of the Day:
(from before Ben left, since we all miss him)
Me: It needs to be ironed. Do you know how to iron shirts?
Ben: No.
Jenny: Ben! I know how to iron shirts!
Steven: Dude! I ironed shirts when I was like seven!
Ben: Am I the only one in the family that doesn't know how to iron shirts?
Everybody else: Um...yeah.
Ben:Well, I can solve double integrals so take that!


  1. I love the quote! I ironed for about a week in college till I met Alice! I had some perma-press shirts and likely was there 4 days till I needed to do laundry, so likely I only ironed once! So it goes. Maybe I'm now getting paybacks since I do all the grocery shopping!

  2. Good to hear from you, Marland. And good to hear you do the grocery shopping for Alice. Every so often I think of you two and how you met a week into college and got engaged so soon after. Such an interesting story, and now from my perspective as a mom...if my children did that I'm afraid I would be very upset. But obviously God was in it.

  3. Ben is a fellow after my own heart!

  4. A house is not a home without a place for books. I took my children to the library every week for a fresh supply of books. I can't imagine what mothers do with children who do not like to read.

  5. Dorcas Byler3/25/2012 5:11 AM

    I just quoted half a book about hair to Maria yesterday. I had read it to her "hundreds" of times and we both had it memorized. I wish I wouldn't have gotten rid of so many of our children's books. One consolation--I passed them on to someone who has little children.

  6. Always told my children "books are your friends" you don't leave your friends on the floor and step on them and you can't ever give them away!!

  7. The titles and catch phrases you named bring back good memories of reading to my children. I very much agree...good books need to be kept, even if the grandchildren are not on the scene yet! For now, I love pulling out the old favorites and introducing them to my nephews.

  8. My favorite children's book is Richard Scarry's "Cars, and Trucks, and Things that Go". My oldest son received a copy from his aunt at age one and my two boys wore it out. I still have it, but it's held together with a lot of repair tape. I've given copies to many new parents, one to my oldest granddaughter and just purchased one for my first grandson who won't arrive until July!! Many Pinewood Derby cars and birthday cake ideas came from those pages. "Dump it there!" and "Where's Goldbug?" are two memorable lines.

  9. A great idea to save all those children's books and put them on a bookshelf.
    I read Ping more than once to grandchildren just the other week, by their request!

  10. I HAD to winnow out my collection of books before moving to Argentina. BROKE MY HEART. I gave away 2/3 of the books I owned and it was like cutting off one of my arms.

    When we got back after this last furlough I discovered the people who'd used our house while we were gone had *gasp* packed up all the books! Yikes! They were practically the first things I unpacked (right after finding some plates and cups so we could eat sandwiches -- it took 3 days to find the silverware since nothing had been labeled). I didn't feel "at home" until all my books were safely back where they belonged on the shelves :)

    Seeing them all lined up on the shelves gives me such a great feeling of joy! Only fellow book lovers can understand that feeling.

    I'm just starting to make baby and children's clothes for friends who are at that child-rearing stage. I brought back one pattern for a little girl's dress, and have found a lot of simple patterns online for free. I'm constantly amazed at what you can find on the internet! Which is a good thing, since patterns are not available here. If you want to sew clothes you're expected to take a course and learn how to make your own patterns too! It involves a lot of math, which makes my head hurt :)

  11. I also LOVE books, and find it very hard to get rid of any. I think I saved every one of my boys' books from their childhood, through several moves. Some would consider that foolish, I know. Recently I went through the boxes of books and gave them each (or am in the process, since two live out of state) their own books. I HOPE they are treasured enough to justify me keeping them all these years. As for my own books, oh my! I do need another bookcase!

  12. Just read Ping to my children tonight before bed!

    I'm a book lover, but I admit I'm a little ruthless with books because the library is down the street. . .

  13. I try, I really try to only have books in my home that I truly love. But I find I love far too many books. And I keep going to the library book sales and finding all these wonderful old books that the library is pitching and I just have to find a good home for them!

    Glad I'm not alone!