As you may know, I'm an avid clothesline fan. I *love* to see the rows of shirts, dresses, petticoats and underbodies flapping in the breeze. I've hardly missed having a dryer at all except for two Sundays ago when I forgot to wash the girls' good white socks for church and, since it rained for a few days together, we missed church due to cold sockless toes. ;-) So, this weekend, Mr. G is going to rig up a contraption by the woodstove. I want two chains hung from the ceiling two feet apart and then I can put dowels through the links to dry apples on. Can you visualize that? I can also hang socks and undies on the dowels and they'll dry quickly by the stove. I could also hang dresses and shirts on hangers and hang them in the chainlinks. It won't be very pretty but it certainly will be handy!
I have also been using my own soap to do laundry with, so far so good. I like washing the littlest girls' things by hand, it is such a pleasant chore. I also wash the church socks by hand with my glass washboard. To stand at the sink and rub the clothes, smell the pleasant homemade soap smell, to think of each child as I do the work I've been blessed to have been given....... It makes me thankful.
Below is a picture of our entire toy collection. Almost. We do have some Schleich animals that are made in CHINA! But we no longer buy anything made in China and we don't buy plastic toys either. The children don't seem to tire of this meager selection, but then again they don't spend much time in the house these days either. They use the blocks to make houses and barns for the animals to live in, use the wooden fruits and vegetables as tables and chairs in addition to their intended use, play "hide-the-button" with them, make a store and sell their merchandise, cut out paper dolls to live in the houses, sew toys for each other and the list goes on! I actually think that having too much stuff is the worst thing you can do to encourage creativity and thankfulness. None of the children have very many wants; they don't see the advertising that encourages consumerism, so they are grateful for every plaything that they get. We instituted the rule when our oldest was young that when we are out, "if you ask for it then you don't get it", this very effectively stops nagging and whining in public. They are, of course, encouraged to tell us what they would like to have, but not in stores! This picture doesn't include the outside toys like the wagon (best purchase we ever made!), picnic table and a mini teeter totter. For a while the teeter totter was strung up in a tree and the children used it as a bull to ride! They like to put up swings and climb trees, go berry picking and leaf hunting..... all the things that children will be drawn to if they are allowed to be children.