Therin lies the problem...
Clockwise from the top:
1) a math game (school with the 2 younger kids)
2) remnants of a snack (eaten while I read aloud to them)
3) a part of a balloon animal (the rest got popped by the cat)
4) papers for schooling
5) label maker for organizing supplies
6) sketching pencils in case from our nature study (we were sketching the Blotched Tiger Salamander that we found in back of our house that morning )
7) binoculars to keep an eye out across the road for wildlife - we see animals every day!
8) a coloured rainbow picture done just for me by sweet as pie 8 year old
9) liquid paper because she slipped and wanted to cover up a little mistake
10) school books
11) pea pods - we were shelling peas and eating them raw while working on school :)
12) our beloved Emma Bridgewater Speckled Hen plate - snack eaten
13) water cup
14) said peas
15) and dead centre - candles from last night's supper (what a lovely touch, don't you think, lol)
So - the table pretty much looks like that (or variations of it) all day long. We clear it, it gets full. We clear it again and it fills up. I have nothing against that really, it's all good stuff that goes on there - learning, eating, conversation, art, fun and lots of laughter... It's just that when the table is constantly full of stuff, my mind feels so cluttered and I feel stressed and unorganized. Serving meals becomes hard... rallying everyone to clear it and set it for supper...
I did a little experiment today :) I figured that if I instigated a little bit of seasonal table decorating, the kids would be more likely to put things away immediately when finished. I also bet that "I" would be motivated to do the same :) So, I started to work on putting the fall display together for the table this morning and the kids excitedly joined in. Crabapples are a favourite fall snack, the wee pumpkins are from our garden and the darling pinecone candles were bought in new condition months ago for pennies at the thrift store. I had them squirrelled away until today! We all (inspired) cleared the table, put everything away and wiped it down well.
If they only knew.... :)