Excuse this House

Excuse This House

Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there—
Ours boasts of it quite openly,
The signs are everywhere

For smears are on the windows,
Little smudges on the doors;
I should apologize, I guess,
For toys strewn on the floor.

But I sat down with the children
And we played and laughed and read;
And if the doorbell doesn’t shine,
Their eyes will shine instead.

For when at times I’m forced to choose
The one job or the other;
I want to be a housewife—
But first I’ll be a mother.

(Author Unknown)



May I recommend:

The Singing House

spoonful of sugar
No Children!

Whole Foods for the Whole Family

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Rotate Your Toys

Toys are the tools of little ones! I learned in college how stimulating a child’s brain led to higher intelligence, so I always wanted to have as many as good toys as possible at my house, feeling like they would help my kids brain develop. I was on the lookout at yard sales when I was a young mother, and pretty soon, the house was littered with toys. And the kids got bored of them. I got a big toy chest thinking I could lasso the toy mess but it just became a black hole—it seemed toys from the bottom were irretrievable! And you could break them just trying to yank them out.

Then I came up with the idea of rotating toys. I got some empty apple boxes with lids from the grocery store, and labeled each box with a number: 1, 2, 3 . . . Then we gathered all the toys onto the living room floor. The kids thought this was great fun and ran to search out toys from under the beds, in their closets and everywhere else they were hiding. We sorted toys into piles: dolls, cars, baby toys, purses, balls, board books, etc. (Sorting is a great kindergarten math skill—could we count this for school?)

Next we divided the toys into the boxes. We took our pile of dolls and put 2 into each box, for example. Every box had a similar assortment of toys. I let the kids keep their favorite car collection or doll in their room, but the rest went into these boxes. On with the lids, and all the boxes, except box #1, were stashed out of reach in a closet. The children still had toys to play with, but not an overwhelming amount.

Saturday night, I had the kids gather all the toys and put them back into the apple box #1 and I put it away. Then Sunday afternoon after church, I pulled out box #2. The toys were all new to the kids and they were excited and absorbed in playing quietly, giving two tired parents a much needed rest and time for scripture reading.

By the time we rotated around through all the boxes and back to box #1, the toys truly were brand new to them! My children enjoyed the toys much more this way, and my house was much less cluttered. Everybody’s happy!


May I recommend:

Toy Night

That Indispensable Gift Box


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Doing the Little Things

We are so busy as moms! It isn’t possible to do all that our children ask us to do. I heard this heart-stirring poem when I had 3 little rambunctious boys —Daniel (5), Mark (1) and Nathan (3)—that kept me busy morning ’til night. It made me want to slow down and listen to their little requests to “look at me, Mom!” It made me want to read the stories and play with them more. Now that my sons are grown, I have discovered how true this poem is! Take a moment right now, if you can, and “do the little things he asks you to”. You won’t regret it!


To My Grown-Up Son


My hands were busy through the day

I didn’t have much time to play

The little games you asked me to.

I didn’t have much time for you.

I’d wash your clothes, I’d sew and cook,

But when you’d bring your picture book

And ask me, please, to share your fun,

I’d say, “A little later, Son.”

I’d tuck you in all safe at night,

And hear your prayers, turn out the light,

Then tiptoe softly to the door.

I wish I’d stayed a minute more.

For life is short, and years rush past,

A little boy grows up so fast.

No longer is he at your side.

His precious secrets to confide.

The picture books are put away,

There are no children’s games to play,

No good-night kiss, no prayers to hear.

That all belongs to yesteryear.

My hands once busy, now lie still

The days are long and hard to fill.

I wish I might go back and do

The little things you asked me to.

       —Alice E. Chase


My grown-up sons now: Ammon, Daniel, Nathan, and Mark



May I recommend:

Excuse This House

To My Grown Up Son

Jumbo Checker Game

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