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Mud pie kitchen

July 21, 2016

A few months ago, my sister Christine sent me an article about mud pie kitchens. For those of you, like me, who had never heard this name, it’s basically an outdoor kitchen for kids. She told me about the play kitchen my mom had made for her when she was little. I remembered having a great time making mud pies outside even though my hands were so cold.

Jonathan and I had talked about making one for the girls, even discussed where it would go, but hadn’t gotten further than that. We haven’t had any of the necessary resources to take on a project. I’ve been keeping an eye out for things that might work when I was at thrift stores, but just hadn’t found anything. I know we could have just gone to Home Depot and bought wood and made it (assuming we had the time, money and skills to do that), but part of the fun in projects like this is the hunt for the right parts.

One thing I really appreciate about my childhood was that we (from my parents down to us kids) often had to be really creative to get something we wanted. We were rarely in a position to just pay full price for something, so we had to figure out other ways to make or find them. My mom would make clothes for us and then make outfits for our dolls with the fabric scraps! There is a lot of creativity already in my family, but the lack of funds forced it to come out even more than it may have otherwise. When we had dress-up days at school, we never bought a costume from the store. First of all, they were too expensive. And second, they were never as good as the ones we could make ourselves.

There may have been times as a kid when I disliked not being able to just go buy something, but I don’t remember that. I remember enjoying the search, the thrill of the perfect find, and seeing a completed project.

Now, as an adult, I feel the same way. I enjoy getting a deal on something. I enjoy being creative. I enjoy making something that is unique. I rarely have the time or energy to do this, but there are moments when I’m able and it’s wonderful.

Sometimes, as I walk through a store, I ask God to show me the right things to get. I definitely struggle with the feeling of why would He care about a mud pie kitchen for my girls, but in faith, I believe He does. I don’t think God is some Divine Deal Bringer or some Thrift Store Genie, but I do believe that He cares about our lives and how we spend our money. If He knows how many hairs are on our heads, he surely cares about the other details of our lives. And who better to ask for creative advice than the original Creator?

So anyway, all that to say that today, I went to drop some stuff off at Goodwill, and I noticed some items made of wood by their dumpster. I am not above scrounging around, but I admit that I was looking over my shoulder as I drove over to check things out. The two things I snagged were what looked like the top of a long side table and a pallet. I’ve seen people use pallets as the “backsplash” for outdoor kitchens and screw in hooks to hang pots and utensils, and the table top was the perfect width for a counter. It’s also made of wood instead of particle board which would probably fall apart after too much time outdoors. There was another piece that had promise, but I think it would’ve required more carpentry skills than we have in our house. I’m still not sure about the rest of it – we need to find some kind of legs for it to sit on – but it’s a great start and was enough to make me feel like this was actually going to happen this summer.

This is our collection so far. I’m really excited about it. The silver pot is exactly like the ones we had when I was growing up, and Hummel dolls always remind me of my family.

In case any of you should think that I have it so together that I’m building things now, I don’t. I left the house because I couldn’t bear to be around my kids anymore. They rarely all nap at the same time, and someone wants to be on me ALL THE TIME. I knew Jonathan was going to be gone this evening, so I just had to get away. One of the reasons I want an outdoor kitchen in the first place is to get them and their never-ceasing voices out of the house! In fact, a lot of my projects are partially an excuse not to have to take care of my kids.

So there you have it. Creativity is good for my soul. Getting good deals/free things evidently is too 🙂

One Comment leave one →
  1. Adrian Harris permalink
    July 21, 2016 21:52

    Hi Grace – we’re so pleased you’re writing again – Adrian and Naomi Harris (Jillian’s parents)

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