Collecting Days

by Stefani on 8-August-2007

My kids collect a lot of stuff. Some of it is intentional, some of it not so much, but valuable to us, all the same.

There are the natural wonders –


Feathers of all sorts.




Heart-Shaped Rocks.


Insects and Fossils.

Add to these other, less tangible collections of natural wonders, like fantastic ways to annoy your mother with bodily noises (latest addition being the armpit fart – I’m sorry, there’s no gentler way to say it.) A host of smell related memories (tootsie rolls = that time we all got sick at Halloween. waffles cooking = Daddy on a business trip), sounds we love (an owl in the middle of the night, train whistles, our thrifted cookoo clock).

Then there are the unnatural variety –


Bottle caps, an ode to public park-going litter bugs. I did not consume all that beer. Not because I’m opposed to alcohol, but because I prefer mine with a cork.


Pez dispensers.


Flattened pennies.

And others – near swears to say while driving (“Mama, what’s a moron?”), days full of creativity, stories and exploration, Library fines for books lost to our home’s black hole ($65 which I refuse to pay because I know they are here, SOMEWHERE!), foreign money from Daddy’s travels, maps of all 50 states, vintage books, recipes that they can make themselves; minutes, seconds, hours, days of invested time and attention from loved ones, dreams, hopes, ambitions and confidence.

Combined net worth of all those collections? Depends on your currency.

Dollars and cents = nothing.

Heart and Soul = all of it.

Sarah Jackson August 8, 2007 at 8:52 pm

Love the collections. We have a collection of “wish rocks” – what grandma calls the rocks with rings all the way around them. And I guess you could say we collect playmobil people – we certainly have enough of them!

Thanks for the reminder that it’s time to go to the library this weekend now that the long lost book unearthed itself.

Molly August 8, 2007 at 9:03 pm

We have a similar collection of beer caps, but I can’t say we got them at the park. We just went through my collection of stationary to pick out thank you cards for the neighbors, who like to contribute to our collection of toys 🙂

Sarah August 8, 2007 at 9:38 pm

oh look at all those treasures!! just out of curiousity, how do you store all that stuff. do you display it or keep it tucked away in drawers? my boys are always bringing things home and (i’m embarassed to admit) i get rid of those things when they’re not looking, simply for lack of creative ideas about what to do with it all!!

Ellie August 9, 2007 at 3:38 am

I love your insect collections. All your collections are amazingly clean + dust free – what’s the secret? My creature + nature collections sit in little bowls, vases, cups or drinking glasses (all of these collections in themselves) collecting that other stuff called dust!

Heather August 9, 2007 at 3:55 am

Glad to see someone else’s house is filled with loving clutter!

Eren August 9, 2007 at 5:04 am

Loved this post Stefani…like I love them all. My boys have definitely inherited my collecting bug as well. Hmmm…how can I work a collecting post into this encyclopedia meme somewhere…hmmm…

dana August 9, 2007 at 5:12 am

My girls and I love to collect things from our days as well. Perhaps I should post about it as well. You got me thinkin’ for sure.

dana August 9, 2007 at 5:12 am

My girls and I love to collect things from our days as well. Perhaps I should post about it as well. You got me thinkin’ for sure.

Sarah August 9, 2007 at 5:33 am

Oh, I love the insects! And it has reminded me that I picked up a perfect butterfly for Jack in KY and it is still tucked away in the van.

Angela August 9, 2007 at 6:29 am

What a great post! You crack me up. (And you totally busted me thinking, “Man, she must really like beer” before you explained the origin of the bottle caps) We used to collect heart-shaped rocks when I was growing up…thanks for bringing that memory back to mind.

Visty August 9, 2007 at 8:56 am

My kids have these wonderful old cigar boxes their grandmother gave them that we call “trasure boxes”. They are filled with this kind of stuff. Added in are tiny things they find on store floors: beads, lost earrings, strange pieces of metal.

Molly August 9, 2007 at 10:31 am

Flying dog brewery! I haven’t seen that beer cap in a long time. I like mine with a cork or a cap. We’re snobs when it comes to our consumption though; we often brew our own.

Good luck on the library books. I just gave in and paid my fine this week (house cleaning before the honeymoon, I guess) and I don’t even have any children to help me lose things yet!

leslie August 9, 2007 at 11:11 am

oh man you are good, if i didn’t read it i wouldn’t have believed it: you are a true mama poet! or poet mama? either way, nice post!

Dallas August 9, 2007 at 8:52 pm

What great treasures! By the way, I have that same plate with the blue flowers in my house.

Stacy August 9, 2007 at 8:58 pm

Another great post…sweet and funny all at once.

Stefani August 9, 2007 at 9:23 pm

Thanks everyone! My boys are tickled pink to know that their collections have impressed so many people 🙂 As for how we display all their treasures, we have some nice big display boxes that I bought at Hobby Lobby during one of their half off sales. Our insects, fossils, shells and rocks go in those. They are the ones that have a hinged glass topped lid. They are expensive though, so we’re working on another less costly solution that I’ll post about in a few days. We have a big, flat, hammered wooden tray where we line up all our feathers. Pez dispensers line a window sill. Then they each have little wooden boxes for the various bits and pieces that line their pockets at the end of a day.

They come by it honestly, this junk collecting 🙂

TumTum August 9, 2007 at 10:11 pm

sooooo…you and soulemama have the same plates?? everyday i read her blog first, then yours…i had to double back and check out the blue flowered plates. i believe they are the same…it wigged me out a bit!

Leigh-Ann August 10, 2007 at 8:37 am

i’m pretty jealous of your cool family! hope i can have one like it one day. good job SuperMomma!

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