I have a pickle jar next to my "desk" (the dining table) that I like to keep filled with sharp, yellow number 2 pencils not yet deprived of erasers. I often find that they disappear as quickly as I add them, prompting cries of "I can't find a pencil!"
I enjoy the immediate gratification of giving up my personal pencil to an appreciative child who is despairing of ever beginning (and therefore eventually finishing) math. This often leaves me pencil-less, and so I have begun the habit of harvesting.
I find pencils on bathroom counters, under beds, used as bookmarks in schoolbooks, in the carpet crevices next to the baseboards, in the deep-down-bottom of my five year old's little desk. (I think she hoards them-- she who holds the pencils holds the power over the sisters...) On a routine trip to the laundry room I spot one choking in the lint atop my dryer. Pencils fall out of suitcases and backpacks after a trip, or else slide between the van seats, where we are virtually guaranteed an emergency pencil for a forgetful child who must address grammar on the way to the auto repair shop.
Clearly, we are not a family in the habit of putting things back where they belong. And so I continue to glean, finding pencils here, pencils there, pencils nearly everywhere. I may eventually teach the kids this trick of harvesting pencils... but maybe not. They are already figuring out Mama doesn't know everything. It's kinda fun to wow 'em occasionally by pulling pencils outta thin air.