September 15, 2009

Meet The Wipe Board

When we bought our house we had to paint everything before we moved in as part of the cure for a house that had been occupied by smokers for thirty years. After renting for so long, it was a treat to choose vivid colors for all the rooms.

Except the kitchen. The kitchen was going to receive an immediate remodel and over haul, which would include new cabinets, new flooring, replacing the ancient appliances and new wall color. With that in mind, I didn't spend any energy, time or concern on choosing a color for the kitchen.

Five weeks after we moved in, my husband was laid off. The kitchen moved to the back burner. We would do it as soon as he was back at work.

Two months after he returned to his new job, I was expecting Aedan. The kitchen moved to the back burner until the garage could be turned into a school room and bedroom.

The day after the garage was finished. I gave birth to Samuel. It became clear that we would need to add on to our little rancher. The architect drew up plans and we were excited to get underway. Now the kitchen could not only be remodeled but would be expanded. Since we would have an entire second floor we would no longer need the little bedroom next to the kitchen.

So while waiting to do the addition, we remodeled the bathroom.

And the basement.

Allen moved his office into the school room for a short six month stay while the work got underway in the basement. Two and a half years later we are still schooling at the kitchen table.

And, incidentally, five years after we were going to start the kitchen, we were now expecting Elisabeth. And my kitchen was still the pasty eggshell white my husband had chosen that long ago fateful day.

As a consolation for not remodeling the kitchen for a while longer, ( I was not up to moving out of the house during a very troubled pregnancy in order to add the upstairs) my husband hired a painter to paint the white living room and kitchen for me. How exciting!

I labored over choosing just the right colors and left on vacation. ( I am allergic to paint and can't be around the fumes) When we returned, I instantly knew the terracotta I had chosen was the perfect shade for me. I eagerly bought table linens to match and designed a fall centerpiece for the table. We deliberated and planned the wall hangings to finish the space.

Two years later, my wall hangings consist of a wipe board and three bulletin boards. I fought it for a long time. I didn't really want my dining room to look like a class room. But the day came when I could no longer conduct school without my boards. I gave in and cringed as Allen put nails in my beautiful walls.

And so, today, I would like you to meet...drum roll please... my wipe board.

It is command central in our home. Here we post to do lists for Pa.

Do some quick math.

Perfect our art skills.

Keep games scores.

Mama’s to do list.

Share what we saw on someone else’s blog.

Mama’s even longer to do list.

Count down to vacation.

Leave instructions for the kids.

Play jokes on each other.

Draw more pictures. There are a lot of kids here, ya know.

And post love notes to each other. The letters under that picture stand for, “To Mama From Aedan.” Isn’t that sweet?

In the end. Everyone found my white board so useful that I had to put one up in Allen’s office so that I could reclaim my board for its intended purpose. In case you forgot, everyone else has, that would be school.

As much as my homemaker brain dreams of beautiful paintings and pictures on the walls to complement my dining room. I have come to terms with the wipe board.

In fact, my teacher’s heart thinks this is the ideal place for it. In the school room it never got so much attention.

Actually, my mother’s heart couldn’t bear to part with my wipe board now, either. It keeps our family moving. It keeps our family organized.

Well, and truth be known, it is just too much fun.


  1. Kat,

    There are so many great uses for your wipe board. Surprisingly we don't own one, but really should.

    We homeschool in both our kitchen and sunroom aka conservatory. I have a blackboard that we use.

    Enjoy your time away. It will be grand.

    Hugs & Blessings,

  2. Wipe out boards are a wonderful solution for keeping track of things. So glad to hear that you & your husband managed to get your kitchen painted at last. I can relate. I've lost count on all the many "let's do this or that" ideas that still haven't been completed around my house.

    This must be one of those kind of days whre great minds think alike. Today on "Inspired Room" Melissa has posted a picture of a empty wall with a big chalkboard and simple frame that looks great in a kitchen. I thought to myself, would that work or not? It may be just too much black in all white kitchen, so I'm still riding the fence on that decision.

    One of my neighbors painted the inside panels of her kitchen pantry doors with black chalkboard paint. This solution was a hit with her family.

  3. We love our too, and could not imagine not having one. Our's is in our kitchen too(center of activity after all)!

    Have a wonderful time away...we will waiting for when you get back around in October.

  4. What a great idea and how sweet for the family to use it to leave each other notes. I love this!

  5. How cool! I don't have a white board yet. We havent reached that point in our schooling... But I know how handy it will be and am scoping out yard sales for a used one. BTW.. Hope you all have a very happy and safe vacation!!!

  6. I love your WHITE BOARD! WE have one of those in the youth room at church and I'm always, always, always finding new things on it. Sometimes our church janitor leaves us great little notes or drawings.

  7. you are so sweet! I love this btw--makes me want to go out and get one!

  8. I need a wipe board! Really bad! LOL

  9. What a great house central organizer! we use post it notes that ususlly get lost or thrown away!

  10. Kat,

    We got a giant white board from Lowes. I never knew you could walk into the lumber department and get a 5 foot by 3 foot piece and we used to use it for everything like you stated above. Now it is nicely tucked behind the couch, waiting for the next family game of Pictionary or for some creative art work from my youngest.

    I am still waiting for pictures of the kitchen!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  11. This sounds like my house growing up. I was home schooled so we had a very big white board right in our dining room and it got used like yours does!

  12. I also have a huge white board hanging in my kitchen :) I love it! It has mostly my favorite Bible verses of the moment. Also the occasional drawing or greeting to/from house guests. One of my favorite uses for it was when we had a lovely young lady staying with us for a few days; she started a "virtual hangman" game on it. She'd draw the hangman stand and blanks where the letters should go. Then every time anyone walked by and wanted to, we'd write on there a letter we were guessing. Next time she noticed, she'd mark it in the proper space . . . anyway, a number of hangman games took place over the course of the next few days. It was a great, fun use for our board :)