maybe build a mock-up box the size of those middy's, put them in place, have her sit on the couch, LaZBoy, w/e, at her normal viewing position, to get a better picture of how big they really aren't. Then tell her there are 3 main criteria with speakers, good quality, reasonable price, and small size. And tell her to pick 2. the least important is where the compromise happens. Good luck. My dad wanted a 50 inch plasma for his 80th B-day... and he got it.
I'm working in Florida, house/wife are in Tennessee.
I left my Klipsch Promedia 2.1's behind for the wife. She plugs them into the 1/8" jack of her Ipad / Pandora and absolutely loves it. The bass bin is kept inside a cabinet and the satellite speakers are on top.
Truth be told, it works VERY well, sounds VERY good and can still get some volume in there (nothing like larger speakers though)
She specificially liked that the bass bin is hidden, that was a requirement. She'll open the doors, place her Ipad in there, turn it on and close the doors.