The Secret of Our Afternoons ::: One Hundred Things

Afternoons can be difficult.  They can be long, hot and tiring.  
Every mom develops her solutions. Today, I am going to show you mine. It looks like this:

 See that metal pan?  It is one of my hundred things.  
Inside that pan is something very special.  
It takes time to peel.  It stays fresh outside.
It keeps the boys full and focused.
It can be quiet, but it can also be wild.
It is best utilized outdoors...can you guess what is in the pan?

Peanuts.  In the shell.
Cheap, Healthful, Easy, Filling.
A pan that lasts for a week is a wondrous thing for long, hot tired afternoons.

Now onto those hundred things...
Do you ever wonder what "things" you would keep if you could only keep a hundred?  Let's not count people, pets, even pictures, but simply the daily things that keep you "going" each day.  The things of life.  What are your top 100? Here are my One Hundred Things and today I add two more to the list.

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Those pans.  Did you notice that big metal pan that held the peanuts?  I have 4 in various shapes, one is a large metal stockpot, one is a slightly smaller version of this oval one and one is circular.  I picked them up for $1 each at a garage sale and they have paid for themselves over and over and over again.  Why?  They are virtually indestructible, but look great at the same time.  They can transition from holding peanuts to serving as a concrete mold at the snap of a finger (really!  Craft tutorial coming soon!)  They are huge enough to collect the husks from corn in one and boil up those ears in another.  They don't lose their color like plastic pots do.  They can be scrubbed with bleach.  They can be filled with bubbles or bubble wands or to wash up a small cat.  They are the humble servant for a busy household and worth their weight in gold.

Number 4

The Picnic Table.  We bought two at our old house and 2 were immediately ordered for our new house when we moved in.  They are absolutely essential to our lifestyle.  Every day that it is warmer than 60 degrees and the clouds have withheld their rain, the kids eat breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner on one of these plain jane wooden picnic tables.  They shell peanuts here, they make art projects, they climb trees from its solid base and they plan games, businesses and riots from the picnic table.  The "chairs" cannot be moved or left out for mommies to trip on.  The table weighs a ton and a half so children aren't forever moving it to suit their whims.  It also doesn't flip in the wind like lightweight versions of the same.  It is solid, stalwart and a must on the Hundred Things list.  (We get ours for $99 from Lowes and stain it ourselves.  There are cuter, square versions available and DIY tutorials are everywhere.  We haven't found a better price though for the sturdiness.)

...and now the afternoon begins...

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