Thursday, September 20, 2012

Busy Hands...

...are Learning Hands.

The children and I keep busy every morning...starting with chores/breakfast/prayer/catechism. Then we move on to our schooling...

Jaxson began (of his own doing) making a leaf book...

We use our Ideaboard as our traveling whiteboard. This makes it nice for us to do our schooling in the dining room (rather than being in the schoolroom with the chalkboard)...

I have kept all my teacher books on a shelf in the school room. This works just fine...but I don't have room (on the table) to bring all the books out at one I end up using a couple teacher books with the children...then taking them back in the school room and then bringing more out. It got a bit ridiculous. So, I decided to use a basket to keep them in during the school year so I can set them right beside my chair at the table. They are organized by grade and use...

After schooling is finished for the day, I spend time checking my to-do list (in my planner) and making up our weekly dinner menu, meat list and grocery list...

Also, when schooling is finished for the day (and we are done at the table), I like to wipe down the table and set out (and light) a sweet smelling candle. This one is a yummy pumpkin candle which is perfect for these cool, fall-like days!

Most sunny days, clean laundry hangs out on the lines...

Our wood shed is getting filled up! There is a row of stacked wood behind these rows too!

And we still have lots (and lots) of wood left to split and stack (with grateful's such an inexpensive way to heat our home as we only have to pay for the electric that runs the wood stove!)...

And now (as I sit with my cheeks flush with embarrassment), I have a confession to make. Due to some things (that I am not going to post about) Chris and I don't think we will be able to do the vasectomy reversal (although we believe if it is the Lord's will, things will fall together as they should). So...even though I am a fan of doing things simply and more old-fashioned in life, Chris and I *are* contemplating getting a dishwasher. The idea of *cheating* with dishes bothers me...but at the same time, I remember that I do use a washing machine for our laundry...and it is still work to make my laundry soap, switch the loads of clothes and hang them out (so I don't consider my washing machine usage as cheating). So...maybe using a dishwasher isn't really cheating....? I will still have to load and unload it and put things away. The biggest attraction to me is that I won't have dishes constantly in my sink or on the counter. Plus, it *may* save water to only run a dishwasher once a day rather than the 2 or 3 times a day I wash dishes (in new water).

We are not 100% sure yet....we'll see what we can do. I just wanted to share that, because honestly, I feel a bit embarrassed. I claim to be a fan of simple living (which is actually a more difficult type of living) and now here I am contemplating a dishwasher. I'm sorry if I disappoint anyone with all this!?

Thanks for stopping by...I hope you are enjoying your week!



  1. Good Morning, Katy!

    I LOVE my dishwasher! And, here is how I think of appliances in the home - as my household servants just as the Proverbs 31 woman had. Remember, she gives portions to her servant girls? So, I am really doing them a favor giving them their portion of work (grin) but seriously I do think about it when I hear the whirring of the machines in the home - my servants are busy at work while I am spending time with my children or homeschooling!

  2. Your home is just lovely. What a great idea to use a basket for all the homeschooling teachers guides - I need to do this! It would save me a lot of hassle. :)

    As far as a dishwasher goes - I don't think it's cheating! I agree with thehomesupunheart - it will free you up to be busy about the house serving your family more!

    Have a lovely day!

  3. You made me chuckle this morning, Katy. I certainly don't consider it "cheating" either, but most importantly, you have to do what is best for your family so don't ever worry about disappointing someone else about something like that. :) I run my dishwasher once a day and I use homemade dishwashing detergent in my dishwasher. :)

    I know how it is juggling those homeschooling books. I keep part of mine in the pantry (with a certain section devoted to books instead of pantry goods) and a basket in my dining room with other books. This works for us since we do most of our schooling at the kitchen table, or sometimes the dining room table. :)

    Enjoy your day!

  4. Hi Katy!
    I know I rarely comment, but having struggled with the dishwasher thing myself, I decided to throw in my $0.02. In my blog readings, there seems to be a certain *pride* in saying "*WE* don't use a dishwasher." You can almost hear the disdain, as if those who stoop to using a dishwasher are somehow lazy, or that loading and unloading aren't real work, and how can you say you live simply if you're allowing some machine to do all the work for you? So, we have a choice to make: Do we follow our own silly pride, so we can be one of the voices saying "*WE* don't use a dishwasher", or do we humbly say "At this time in my life, it is more important to be with my babies than to fuss about hand washing dishes?" Hard as it was for me, we got the new dishwasher. I don't regret it. I agree with Monica: One of my "servants" can help me out whilst I am being Mama to my babies!

    Bonnie (who needs to go load the dishwasher ;0) )

    P.S. I am not trying to say this is a pride issue for you! Just sharing my thoughts and experience. And also, don't worry about what everyone else thinks if you get one or not. If they are that wrapped up in what goes on in your house, they have bigger problems than just being upset about your dishwasher!

  5. Bless your heart...don't feel bad about getting a dishwasher. I do have one rule in my house tho (which has helped me not to feel so bad about having one) is that my dishwasher only runs once a day! So I do still end up washing some dishes by hand :) My Grandma (which grew up in the depression) told me once NOT to feel bad about having a dishwasher, (she also had one too, believe it or not)she told me to spend that extra time I would have spent doing the dishes for reading the Bible!!! Have a Blessed Day:)

  6. Katy, no way or form do I think it would be cheating for you to get a dishwasher, don't be embrassed for admitting something like that as being a luxury. I feel it gives you more time with your children and husband, plus in the long run it is more ecomony savings for the fact that youre only doing them once a day, not 2,3, or 4 times, mainly during the canning season and such, so nice for steralizing your jars etc. What is important is that you follow the way that the lord has guided you, you try and do as much as possible for savings in your home so look at this as a way to save....
    As for the reversal.. I know you desperately wanted another child, but maybe this was just meant to be, and look you've gotten yourself healthier and happier in the process.... Hugs to you.. You are doing a great job..

  7. Having a dishwasher is absolutely not cheating! I know my life is certainly made more simple by having one. I love using mine for washing/heating canning jars as is mentioned in a previous post. It saves a lot of time!

  8. A happy Thursday afternoon, Katy.. I just want to say that there is more to life than washing dishes by hand.. I'm thrilled that you may be adding one to your home.. YOu really deserve it..
    I'm 71 years old and have washed many a dish by hand. There is such a good feeling (my own) to have loaded the machine and turn it on and be able to do something more fulfilling. Sometimes it is relaxing to stand with my hands in warm soapy water and be able to think about life, but a dishwasher is so nice to have..
    I hope you'll be able to get one and thoroughly enjoy it with no feeling that you're not doing the right thing..
    Blessings always,
    Charlotte in Va.

  9. Good Afternoon Katy,

    I spent more than 35 years gazing out kitchen windows while washing dishes by hand until last year when we moved across the country to an already remodeled farm house that has a BEAUTIFUL automatic dishwasher. I was worried that I'd feel guilty about using the machine. I never thought about how useful it would be. As mentioned in previous comments, using it for washing and sterilizing canning jars this season has saved quite a few energy dollars. No more heating pot after pot of water & jars on the stove to boiling point (for sterilization) BEFORE beginning the canning process. I fill the entire machine with canning jars - they are washed and sterilized at the same time.
    Since our new home is more than twice the size of our previous, I am able to utilize the machine while working in other areas that need my attention - multitasking you might say.
    Just the other evening I was thanking God for the luxury of an automatic dishwasher. It has been a blessing.
    If you decide to get one, I hope you also find it to be a blessing.


  10. I agree that a dishwasher can be a tremendous blessing! Just one word of caution, we replaced ours and cut a few corners and bought for lowest price. What a mistake. The dishes pretty much have to be hand washed anyway before they can be run through the machine because it does a very poor job of cleaning them. If you decide to get one do plenty of research to see which one will be the best, otherwise you have purchased a very expensive dish rack like we did. God bless my friend and do not worry about if you're living simply enough for anyone else. What matters is your life and your family. Think about it this way, we use washers, driers, vacuum cleaners, stoves, computers etc...these things do make our lives easier and make time for us to do other things. Like read books, take more pictures and spend time with the kids. Enjoy!

  11. Don't feel embarrassed. Do what is right for your family. A dishwasher can simplify things so that you have more time for things that really matter. As an older woman, I've found that we often have to determine how ideals mold to our family not just how we mold to ideals.

    Of course, I don't mean spiritual things. The Bible is the Bible and it's the truth. I'm talking about things that are more lifestyle choices.

    Blessings to you from Harvest Lane Cottage!

    No, I don't have a dishwasher.

    Yes, I do have three children old enough to help with the dishes!

  12. I have a dishwasher and I love it. I also wanted to comment on your woodshed. I love it! We have been using wood heat for the last 3 years and it has saved us at least $6,000 in those 3 years compared to what we were paying for propane. I'm going to save this picture of your shed so my husband csn maybe build one like it.

  13. Oh Miss Katy! No need to be embarrssed. Although I do enjoy handwashing dishes I will admit that I love my dishwasher. I am able to do other things like mop the kitchen when I have to run it in the afternoon. I also enjoy being able to load it as I go. I dislike having dishes in the sink.

    I will echo what other have said ~do what is best for you, and your family. :)

  14. you have very nice hand writing. I really enjoy your blog. It is so down home.

  15. Katy, you are just the sweetest! You have nothing to apologize about ~ you certainly aren't letting anyone down if you decide to get a dishwasher. I would definitely vote *yes* and hope that you will decide *yes* as well. There are so many other things you could be doing while your dishwasher is running and, as you said, it would actually save water (as well as the expense to heat that water) so I hope you go for it!!

    As for the vasectomy reversal, you didn't say too much about it, but I can imagine you must be disappointed that it may not work out as you had hoped (I so understand your wanting another child ~ I always wanted another, too), but sometimes we have to focus on the blessed little ones that we have and be content with that. I will keep you in my prayers, though, that this will work out for the best for all of you and that He will pour out His blessings upon you. Much love and hugs to you.

  16. Hi Katy,
    Thanks so much for all of your ideas! The basket idea is wonderful as just this week I found myself running between the dining table and school room (: I started using Christian Light this year with my first grader and love it! You are such an encourager - please keep it up. I know I'm not the only one that really appreciates you! I'll continue to keep you in my prayers about your baby wishes - I do understand....I was never able to bear a child, but God graciously gave me two beautiful baby boys through adoption. He hears you. God Bless.

  17. I LOVE my dishwasher Katy and there is nothing to apologize for!! I feel it simplifies my life and it will yours too, there is nothing wrong with making life easier any way you can!! you know you can make dishwasher detergent too?!! I came across a site saved it and then my old computer crashed! so see you can make the soap for that too......I say DO IT!! :0) On another note I hope all is well with you and Chris I know how heart broke you must feel, but your right if God wants it to happen HE will make a way!!! God Bless you my friend!!!<3

  18. Be of good courage, fear not embarrassment! The Lord will always lead if you seek Him, in your home, and in your family! Bless you, and your kind loving heart!

  19. You need to do what is right for you. Don't worry about what other people think. I love having a dishwasher for the canning jars. Ours broke, I bought a new one and it just does not clean anything. So, now I have a lovely dishwasher that is used for putting dishes in to drip dry after I hand wash them. At least they are off the counter. An expensive piece of drying rack.

  20. Dishwashers rock!! I LOVE having one!

  21. Hello! I just have a question about your memory journal. Which magazines do you read and get your picture clippings from? I love the pictures of your journal and I always wonder "where can I get magazines like that?" lol

  22. Hi Katy!
    I love that traveling white board, I will have to remember that for my home school journey that is ahead of me :-) I love seeing your kids so into learning, that is encouraging!

    AS for a dishwasher, we dont have one either, if it works out I say go for it! There is still work to be done even having one, you are right.



I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy