Friday, April 29, 2011

Frugal Friday

Alrighty, I'm back for another frugal post. Hopefully everything will stay uneventful so that we can catch up and maybe, just maybe get ahead! 

The other day I got a call from my friend, Melody.  She said that there was an opening in the produce co-op she belongs to.  I told her a little while ago that I was interested in it, but there was a waiting list.  So I pounced on the opportunity to try it out.  Every Wednesday a lady goes down to the farmers' market and purchases a bunch of food in bulk.  She then divides it up between the number of co-op members.  We get what ever is in the box for $20. 

This is what we got in our box this week:
1  package of strawberries
1 package of purple grapes
4 oranges
3 large tomatoes
4 cucumbers
about 1.5 to 2 pounds of green beans
7 potatoes
2 heads of ice burg lettuce
3 heads of broccoli

Not bad, not bad.  Seeing as how I had bought two bags of grapes for a snack at the store the other day and it cost me $10!!  I would say we got a great deal on the box of food.  There is no way this will last us a whole week, so I am hoping that at some point we may be able to buy another share. Not sure if we are able to do so, but I will look into it.

There are other ways that you can get great produce at reasonable prices.  One of the most common is to join a CSA (consumer sponsored agriculture).  It will be most helpful to our future food production to sponsor local farmers.  Preferable sustainable farming.  Our local farmers market is very expensive.  It is mostly organic, but very expensive.  I have heard of people who get together (a co-op) and purchase large quantities at the warehouse that distributes to grocery stores.  Of course there are also places like Costco, that I heard has a lot of organic produce.  That requires a membership, so you would need to see if will come out ahead with the amount of food you purchase.  We personally belong to BJ's.  I buy large quantities of bananas, apples, grapes and lettuce on a regular basis.  I also purchase large bags of frozen blueberries and strawberries.  We found out, not too long ago, that there is a Trader Joes in the city, right near where Jeremiah works. I was reading about someone's purchases and was surprised at the wonderful prices the store had for their produce.  We will have to take a look see!

What are some of the ways that you are trying to save?  I also think that there are savings to be had even if one purchases all organic food.  In the immediate sense it is more expensive, but most certainly cheaper in the long term as far as health costs go.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's birthday time!

Another birthday girl in the family!


I tried to make her a cute little sign in PE, but just as I was about done it crashed!  Oy!  So my youngest girl is now a big 7 years old!!!  Insert: shed tears.

For her birthday dinner she requested ham, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.  In the morning she and Flannery made a cake.  In the afternoon Isabella and Moira made a cake.  Yes, she had two cakes for her birthday!  She will be going out with Jeremiah tomorrow for some special time and to pick out her birthday present.  Tonight Moira gave her some homemade trading cards and Isabella gave her a transplant from Selina, her spider plant.  She had to make do with a make shift container. But if Syina grows as well as Selina we told her that she could upgrade to a better pot.  Here are a few pictures from her birthday:

Dinner time!

 Yummy, yummy.

Homemade trading card.  I think this was a border collie.

 Another trading card, a dragon.

A gift from Isabella.

Her plant's container is a sour cream container that Isabella colored with a black permanent marker.

 Syina.  Here's hoping to a bright and long future :-)

Cake time!

 Seven years old! So hard to believe.

 If she looks a bit apprehensive, it was because we were singing.  If you've ever been here when we've sung "Happy Birthday" then you know what I am talking about!

 About to blow out the candle.

The girls made up her birthday sign.  I used to be the designated sign maker, but the girls have taken over.

Saiorse posing next to her sign, holding her Syina and birthday candle.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jed tells a joke

This is so funny.  You really have to see it for the funny effect, but my explaination will have to do.  The joke, by Jed, goes like this:

A person has a cupcake. He tells another person not to touch the cupcake. The person touches the cupcake and he falls down dead, like this.  (He then proceeds to fall off the couch, hang out his tounge and make a 'dying sound') 

Like I said, you would have to be here. But the fact that Jed is trying to tell a joke that *he* made up himself is down right impressive.

I wish the potty training was going impressively well (is that a word?).  Not so.  But today I have Jed bottomless and Jonah in underwear.  Jed refuses to wear underwear, and Jonah refuses to go bottomless.  I know that they know when they need to go, as evidenced by asking for a diaper and not one minute later peeing.  So far neither of them has gone in the potty.  But we have all week to devote to this.  I can only pray we see some success soon.  I have Aubrey in cloth diapers.  For the first time ever cloth diapers do not seem like a big deal to me.  Normally they seem like an extra chore, but for some reason they don't this time around.  Wierd.  So if I can get the boys to only be in a diaper for night time only by the end of the week we will be saving big time dollars on the grocery budget.  Some $75 or more dollars go to diapers and wipes each month for the boys.  That got cut back a bit by switching to cloth for Aubrey.  And it will drop by a ton if I can get the boys trained by the end of the week.

Gotta go!  We are in the midst of spring cleaning.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Isabella's apron

Last weekend I finished Isabella's apron.  I think I mentioned that it's about 1.5 to 2 inches shorter than it was supposed to be.  Little mister Jonah was all too willing to help me.  I'm very happy to report that Isabella really loves her new apron. I am sure it will see a lot of wear and tear.  I was a bit dismayed as the pattern gave the incorrect amount of fabric for the bias strip.  I had to cut it along the grain, this means it will wear out faster.  They were short by a little more than a half of a yard!! No small amount!  It will do for now.  But I did buy everyone else's fabric already with the incorrect amount.  I should write and tell them.  Not sure what happened with this picture, it almost looks blurry in my viewer, but it wasn't on my computer.  Oh well, computers :-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Moira's looking better

With some nice weather hanging around the kids have been spending a lot of time outside.  I was ale to snap some pictures while the baby was napping.  I thought these were nice ones of Moira.  Anyone who had seen her before her last surgery knows howm much better she looks.  The tatoo you see is only a temporary one.  We picked them up for her when she was in the hospital.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Silly me

Where is my brain?  Has anyone seen it?  If you have, please contact me immediately :-)  You would think, since we've been down this path before, that I would be more prepared.  Let me give you the scenerio the first time around.  We had two girls, both born in the summer.  Our third child was due in the winter.  So whether we had a girl or a boy we were going to need new clothing.  Not as a newborn, as they pretty much wear all the same type of clothing. But three to six months out is another story.  When Isa and Moira were six months old it was winter time.  So all of their six month old clothing is long sleeves and pants.  But when Flannery was six months old it was summer time.  That meant a whole new wordrobe.  I saw that coming ahead of time, knowing we needed to plan on buying new clothing.  Fast forward a bunch of years and we find ourselves in the same situation.  Two boys born in the summer, and now one born in the winter.  However this time around I wasn't catching on that we were going to need another wordrobe!  I had brought down the 3-6 month old clothing a few weeks ago. And most of it is long sleeves and pants.  We have about 4 warm weather outfits.  At the time it wasn't a big deal as we were still having some chilly weather.  Well, for the last week or so it's been really warm out.  The past few days I've been sitting here and wondering WHERE is all of Aubrey's warm weather clothing???  Um, yeah, brain issues!  I realized this morning that we *dont' have any*!!!  Oy!  Four outfits won't get us too far.  A baby can easily go through three outfits in a day if they spit up and have a diaper leak.  Looks like some shopping will be in order. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Help Wanted

I had lots of helpers for dinner on Friday night.  First, a disclaimer:  We are not currently on the GAPS diet.  I know, I know, you are all probably wondering what is up with being on/off/going to start/can't start, etc.  Well we were enjoying the wonderful benefits of the diet, which have become more realized now we are off of it, and would really like to continue.  But at this point, when the very real feeling of hunger is high in the beginning of the diet, we can't afford it due to a certain someone getting sick and being in the hospital.  Soooo, we make due with what we have.  And I have buckets of wheat, oats, rice and varying types of beans.  All of which are not apart of the diet.  We shall pick it up later when we are able.  But for now we do what we need to.  I was racking my brain to come up with an alternative menu plan and realized that there was no need to reinvent the wheel, or menu in this case.  So I went with the menu structure I had in place before we were on GAPS.  That means Friday is usually pizza night!  Everyone was very excited!  And as such, that meant I had a LOT of help in the kitchen that night.  Come join us as we make some pizza.

 There can never be enough hands in the dough!  Nothing is wrong with Moira in this picture, she just happened to have eaten some frozen blueberries right before this picture was taken.

 Not bad, not bad.  Moira is getting good at rolling out the dough.

 Flannery being a bit dramatic with her dough :-)  She did a good job as well.  I think Saoirse pinched off a small piece to practice on.  There was, of course, negotiations for the rolling pins going on.  Everyone wanted to use one, and we only have two.  Two rolling pins to 5 kids helping.

   Jonah keeping track of the progress.  Quality control in it's finest.

 Jed was really enjoying messing with the flour, can  you  tell?

 He also wanted to show off his tummy to me everytime I pointed the camera at him!  Too funny.

 Now only if we had a cleaning crew.  Notice how vacant the table is after the fun part?  Everyone scrammed when the fun part was over. 

A round pan waiting to go in to be prebaked and some rice cheese sitting in the background.  I still can not do dairy.  Although I would say that for Aubrey, wheat isn't too far behind cheese in it's ability to bring him misery.

 Now that is some yummy pizza!  Can't wait to dig in.

 This is the girls' pizza as they all enjoy a sauceless pizza.  Crazy girls!

The big girl hanging out in the kitchen with me, chatting.

The rest is history.  Lots of munching and chewing going on after these pictures were taken :-)

Moira is doing so much better these days.  It is great to see her getting more and more normalized.  We had a great visit from Dziadzi and Grandma Jo this weekend as well.  There was soccer and the scary storms.  Thankfully we were not hit too bad, just some power outages around here for a few hours.  The same can't be said for the city though.  Lots of damage done in our state.  Some 62 tornado touchdowns!  That is just insane!

I finished another apron last night.  I made up Isabella's.  I finished it after she went to bed.  When she wakes up I'll get pictures of it.  I had to make it a wee bit shorter than inteneded.  I had Jonah "helping" me.  Let's just say that he's really fast with the scissors!

Our week will hold the normal life happenings.  We will need to find another bin to expand the chicks room to roam.  They are getting cramped in their present quarters.  Chicks will start to peck each other if they don't have enough room.  So that will be a priority today.  Other than that we will be battling some colds.  Mine and what appears to be Jed's.  He keeps telling me 'he's fine'.  But he's been coughing and stuffy sounding.  I'm brewing a batch of my garlic lemonade as I type.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Frugal Friday

This week I didn't have time to prepare my own post about being frugal.  So I will link you to someone else's.  She links to a few other people's as well.  Their topic is on frugal and nutritious food.  I have enjoyed reading some of the recipes.  Please check out Kitchen Stewardship for some inspiration.

I will say this:  There is nothing frugal about having your child in the hospital!  I suppose it would have been much better to have had some freezer meals put aside each month that would have seen us through some of these past dinners.  I will have to make sure to do that next month.  It would have been a lot cheaper to pull out a homemade freezer meal than to have made runs to the store to grab 'just something' to eat.  We live and learn.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

They should be home any minute!!

Moira had surgery yesterday afternoon to drain the abscess.  Things went well they told us.  However they did not put in a drainage tube.  So we do have the possibility that this could come back.  Thankfully it was encased and was not spreading freely inside her abdominal cavity.  But, that being the case, we are not looking forward to any repeats! 

Moira sounded and looked great yesterday.  A much different experience than the last time.  I am assuming that they may have 'wounded' her throat the last time, because this time she isn't in agony.  Over all a much better experience.  Do continue to pray for her healing and for her system to be able to handle the antibiotics. 

We are all looking forward to getting back to normal.  Our normal is crazy enough :-) 

Monday, April 11, 2011

URGENT- Please pray for Moira

Moira has an abscess!

If you've read a couple of my latest posts then you know Moira's pain started to get worse.  Goodness knows after three weeks she still shouldn't be in pain.....anyways Jeremiah took her to the ER last night.  A CT scan revealed that she has an abscess.  As the doctors put it-it's in a difficult place to treat. 

At this point I am an emotional basket case, meaning that I am feeling a ton of different emotions.  The most obvious, is my concern for Moira's well being.  The other is anger.  Yes, I know anger is wrong, but it's there.  My sister, who I talk to a lot anyways, was walking me through the various stages of this illness.  Things are looking scary, to me that is.  The surgeons want to go in through a delicate area instead of through her abdomen.  This area could very likely spread more infection, and cause other complications. Moira also told me her hip was hurting her the other day.  However, if you saw the way she's been walking you would have assumed it was because of her posture.  Now it looks like it could be the infection in her bone!  I am so upset at this point. 

Believe it or not Moira is at peace.  She said she prayed to God for peace as she was scared. She said that He talked to her and told her that the physicians are trained and skilled and that He would be guiding their hands.  Puts me to shame!!  I'm over here all freaking out!  I'll have to take her cue.  It's a good one :-)  Moira sounds great actually.  A bit tired as she didn't get much sleep last night.  But she said she is feeling better as they have given her pain meds.  I am soooooo thankful that they are working this time around.  She is supposed to go into surgery sometime this afternoon/evening.  Although is could be as late as tomorrow morning.  Pray that it will be at the proper time.  She has to be without food and drink until the surgery.  She hasn't had anything to eat since dinner last night. 

My concerns at this time is that it's been three weeks for  this infection to grow.  It's also been three weeks of weakening for Moira.  She will have to be on antibiotics, which she is concerned will cause her all the pain like it did the last time.  And of course there is the dreaded intubation tube.  Pray her recovery will be quick AND COMPLETE. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

another apron finished

Saoirse's apron....check!  With the help of Jeremiah holding the sick baby I was able to finish up Saoirse's apron.  This is her first apron, so she's pretty excited about it.  I think it is cute.  I only wish I had matching thread for the top stitching.  Oh well.  It just adds character :-)

It's very colorful!

Hanging on the line.

She wanted a picture of her standing next to it.

And of course we need one of her in it!

While I was taking pictures Jonah was checking out the garden.

Jonah, Jonah, how does your garden grow?

Never enough digging.

Today we had some visitors.  Both of the human and animal variety.  The other day as we were heading out we saw a puppy trotting down the road.  So we picked it up, as Jeremiah thought he saw someone walking it on the street down the way.  Ends up it was our front neighbors new puppy.  He has a very large fenced in yard.  Not to much later he was visiting again.  Clearly there was a hole somewhere in the fencing.  Then we had some kids over that are on one of the girls soccer teams.  They brought their dog over.  They left her outside when they came in to play.  When they went out to check on her, she was gone. So the whole crew went out to search for her. They found her pretty quickly.  Jeremiah was the last to return.  However he didn't return empty handed. He found two more puppies on the side of the road. This happens to us every spring it seems.  Oy.  This round it was puppy pit bulls.  Isabella is very fond of them.  Of course!

She named one Caramel and the other is named Cookie.  And NO we are not keeping them!  They will stay here until we can take them to the pound or have animal control come and get them.  We have enough animals, thank you very much :-)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

busy days

Our days are full.  There is so much that I want to accomplish, yet not enough time in the day!  Jeremiah and some of the girls were out in the garden finishing up the beds.  The new soil needed to be added in.  Isabella planted some veggies that Jeremiah brought home the other day.  The girls are excited that we are planning on extending the current garden fencing out so that we can put in two more beds.  Each girl will share a bed with another sister, giving them each a 4x4 garden space of their own. 

I've been reading over a book called, "Design-It-Yourself Clothes".  Wow!  Who knew how 'simple' it was to make your own patterns!  I am so very excited about this.  I am praying that the Lord would send me a fabric stash so I can try my hand at pattern making.  In the meantime I have some aprons to be working on.  I am hoping to do so when the baby isn't so fussy. He's still sick, all stuffed up, and he is not a happy camper.  Makes getting things done a whole lot harder.  I got a few other pattern making books out, mostly on children's clothing, at the library the other day.  Plus I got a book on how to fix knitting mistakes.  I've read about how to remedy mistakes, but none so far have been least for me.  This book really made the light bulb come on!  I got it!  Now I know which way the stitch is supposed to lay on the needle.  I'm quite excited.  I am really hoping to go in with a friend on some sheep.  We don't have the land to support sheep, but she does.  We both want to learn how to shear and spin our own yarn. 

Moira is still not doing ok.  She's had some pain return, and it is very discouraging.  Nothing that makes us believe we need to take her in (not yet anyways).  She really wants to get back to normal.  I believe the pain is intestinal.  But again, we are in a vicious cycle.  Although she is eating more than she was a week or so ago, it's still not up to where she needs to be. So I've been praying for a solution.  Not sure if this is our answer, but it won't leave my brain :-)  A couple of years ago I was plagued by sinus infection after sinus infection, plus a constant swollen eye lid (allergies), and a few other smaller issues.  I decided to do a juice feast...yes, feast, not fast.  The idea is to maintain your current, or close to it, calorie load, but with only consuming freshly made veggie/fruit juices.  It totally knocked out a sinus infection in progress, and my eye swelling went away.  Even after the feasting, my eye stayed normal and it was a long time before I had another sinus infection.  I'm thinking of putting Moira on a juice feast for a week or two and see if that won't help her body to heal.  I've read of people, long ago, being sent to the sea shore or some other warmer, relaxing area to recoup from an illness.  I thought it almost silly.  Now I know better!!!  Moira would be that person, needing to be sent away to regain her strength.  I'm serious.  It has now been three weeks and she is a long way off from being herself.  Those who know her in real life have commented to me how different she is.  And that isn't a compliment!  She looks sickly and weak.  So I may have to change things up for her to get her body the best nutrients, all raw juices.  Then work our way up with all raw foods.  Then add in cooked items, like broths.  Keep up the probiotics in the meantime and see where this might get us. 

Jed is continuing to amaze me in how he is acting now a days. He's like a real boy!  I know that sounds weird, but it's the only way I can describe it.  He pretends, talks and acts like a normal boy.  Amazes me daily. He started to tack on the words, "you know", to almost every sentence.  Too funny. 

Well, it's time for bed.  I wanted to read about how to make a pattern for pants before I hit the hay.  Oh, and if you need a little fun, and whimsy in your life you have to check out Wordle.  The more times you type in a word, the larger that word will be in the final piece.  I did one for our family.  I'll have to take a picture of it sometime.  I am hoping to put it in a frame.  I want to get some extra frames to hang up some of the girls drawings. We need some liveliness in here and that should do the trick :-)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Frugal Friday

Let me start by adding a few more websites that are dedicated to helping you match store deals with coupons.  I acquired these from another frugal mommy at Jed's speech.  She finds some amazing deals!

The Krazy Coupon Lady

Stretching a Buck

Totally Target

The other resource is for those who have Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance.  There is a program called Blue Points where you can earn points from wellness programs or exercise and use those points to obtain gift cards to various stores (Amazon, Lowes, etc.).  I don't know the ins and outs of it yet, as I just found out about it, but it looks neat. 

For some reporting in, I was able to make both boys their tool belts.  Next I will make Saoirse's apron and work on copying the pattern for the rest of us on some cheap white fabric.  Since it will be used multiple time, I thought this would make the pattern last much longer.  You can see pictures of the tool belts below.

Now for the meat of this post....
I think we need to bring back bartering on a larger scale.  I have no problem with people wanting to make money for the things they do or make.  But for some of us, it just gets too expensive to buy said things.  And not only expensive for 'things' but for learning.  There don't seem to be enough grandmas around to show us how to sew, knit, can, spin, crochet, organize, clean, etc, etc...  The great thing about grandmas was that they didn't charge you for teaching you the basics.  But now, unless you have such a grandma, or a skilled friend, you would be hard pressed to learn such skills for free.  A knitting class will cost $30.  A sewing class, $100.  A cheaper way may be to buy a book, but you still have the book cost and then if you are like me, it may take you forever and a day to figure it out through the printed word.  I do sooooo much better if someone shows me how to do something as opposed to reading how to do it. 

I would love to see small communities come together to pull their resources.  For example we can't have bee hives where we live.  Well, we could, but our neighbor asked us not to as he has a lethal allergy to bee stings.  I don't think it would come across as 'loving your neighboor' if we went out and bought a bee hive and a box of bees!  But maybe someone in the community wouldn't mind getting into bee keeping.  And maybe that person would really love fresh eggs, but doesn't want or can't raise the chickens themselves.  So you make an exchange, honey for fresh eggs.  I would also love to see more people in the surrounding community gardening and sharing their produce.  Or have various people with various skills pick a night at the library, where we can meet for free, to teach us their skills. 

I've used bartering with a good friend of mine.  We would exchange goat milk for homemade bread.  Also, sort of on the same idea was the Trade Day we attended a couple of times.  Everyone made or brought something they had that was gently used.  At the door you would get tickets that added up to the value of the items you brought with you.  Then, when it was your turn, you went inside and 'purchased' items you wanted with your tickets.  This would work great on a small scale within a church or neighborhood.  Everyone set up tables with their goods and then with your tickets you would go around purchasing goods, or even services (oil changes, cleaning, classes, etc.). 

I think our society, even though we are so caught up on the idea of socialization, we really don't pull together to work together.  It's an every man for himself world out there.  I certainly do not subscribe to the notion that it "takes a village to raise a child", but standing alone isn't where it's at either. There is a balance. 

I'm not sure what it would take to set something like this up.  Fliers, word of mouth....?  Maybe have a website where everyone would post what they had to offer.  Maybe have a points system as well.  I mean, maybe I need honey, but the bee guy doesn't need fresh eggs or goat milk (of which we have).  So maybe he gets 10 points for a pint of honey he has to offer.  Maybe I get 10 points for every half gallon of milk I have to offer.  That way I can go to the bee guy and spend my 10 points, he then gains 10 points for selling his honey and he can then use the 10 points on getting his oil changed with the guy down the road.

This would be a wonderful way to be frugal as no cash money would be going out of pocket.  That could be used to put towards bills and larger projects.  What do you all think of such a system?  It sounds neat, even possibly doable. 

Here are the boys tool belts:

Jedidiah's tool belt.  Not that he will wear it!  He wanted one, but is a bit freaked out about tying it around his waist.  Oh well, maybe in time.

Jonah's tool belt.

Jonah, outside today, wearing his.  He really loves his tool belt.  I found the pattern HERE.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Pretty amazing

Two things that are amazing.

 The first being our wee baby boy goats.  The little girl (named Pipi), is spoken for.  That left us with four boys.  We were thinking it was going to be hard to find homes for FOUR boy goats.  That just seemed like a lot for some reason. My little prayer was that they would be able to go to a home where they would be loved on.  I just cringe when I think of them as dinner on someones plates.  So this afternoon I went out with my camera to take some pictures of the little boys to send to Jeremiah.  Jeremiah put them up on Craigslist.  I'm not exactly sure what time he posted it, but I'm pretty certain not 30 minutes had elapsed before I was getting phone call after phone call!  And wonder of wonders the very first call was from a lady who wanted ALL four boys!!!  Can you believe it?  Just like that, the first call.  She and her husband came by to take a look at them.  Everyone who called was smitten with Prince, who is the all black with white ears.  I was also pleased that Jeremiah talked them into waiting a bit longer to take them.  They were set to take them next week, after we disbudded and neutered them.  I was a bit sad to think that Honey would be crying for her babies, that she had just given birth to the week before.  I know they are not human, but last year when we sold their babies (at 3 months old) both of the goats just maaa-ed and maaa-ed for the longest time.  They kept walking around the yard looking for them. So sad.  But by then they were already eating regular goat meals, and their mamas were not as patient when they wanted to nurse.  So I am happy that these babies will get to have the next two months with their mommies :-)  Here are the pictures we put up on Craigslist earlier today.  the first three all look like the same goat, but they are not!


Cowboy Smiley
He gets his name from the unique pattern on top of his head that looks like a smiley face!

(Anyone seeing a name theme going on?)

Prince Pepper
He looks just like his mommy.  All the others look just like their daddy.

(Princess) Pipi
The Prince and Princess are brother and sister.

As far as the other amazing thing.  Shelves.  Yes, you read that right, shelves.  I had been praying for some nice, large, sturdy shelving.  And my prayers were answered. A friend was selling all of her shelving.  Shelves that I had once drooled over when I first saw them in her house.  And now two of them are mine, with a possible third to be some day.  How big are these shelves?  I had Isabella stand next to them for reference.  She's about as tall as me, probably 5' 7".  

These have been wonderful, wonderful for keeping my counters clear.  Whenever we do a BJ's run we get a large amount of bananas, as seen above.  All of those, plus a few more that were already eaten would be piled high on the counter next to the fridge.  Plus the three gallons of water kefir, now home on the shelf, and not on my middle counter.  Wonderful I tell ya.  We have this one in the kitchen and the other in the laundry room.

I had a small, very rickety shelf back in the laundry room to put our folded laundry on.  Each night, or close to it, we would pull our bin of laundry out and put it away.  I really loved that set up.  I didn't love the fact that the shelving would collapse every week.  So I had to give it up after it started to fall apart almost daily.  That meant that our living room became the new folding laundry area.  Not very aesthetically pleasing :-)
 These shelves fit the bill.  Underneath, you can just barely make out is a pink bucket.  We have one pink and one blue.  The pink one is for gathering chicken eggs.  The blue is where we put out scraps into for the animals, to be taken out daily and washed afterwards.  So far so good.  The bottom shelf holds the items you see above.  I was able to get rid of the blue bin that was sitting in there taking up an awkward space.

Laundry takes up the next three shelves.  The top laundry shelf holds towels, wash clothes, dish towels and sheets.  The next one holds my, Jeremiah's and the oldest two girls laundry.  The third houses the rest of the kiddos.  Jed and Jonah share the same clothes, so there is only one pile for them.  This is working wonderfully.  I can fold immediately and put everything on the shelves as I fold.  I just have to bring back some hangers for our clothes that need to be hung up.

The top shelf houses bags of beans and rice.  These items were in the blue bin.  I used to have them on our small white shelf, but a mouse got into them!  I am hoping that a mouse will not be able to climb up these. Time will tell. 

It was a very productive day.  Got the chicks all new bedding, and my bathroom cleaned up.  Chicks are messy business.  At least for us.  We have very eager little helpers who like to add shavings and pour food for the chicks.  Those things don't always make it into the box.  Thus the need to clean up my bathroom.  Tomorrow is our crazy day. I think Moira is going to attempt to go to art class tomorrow.  I think it might do her well.  I am looking forward to her being herself again. She still has pain. I think she is getting to the end of her rope with all of this. Poor girl.  I think with all the new life we have around here it is helping to keep her mind off of it.  She really enjoys sitting outside with the baby goats, or in my bathroom craddling chicks.

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