Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thou Shall Not......

Recently, on a long family drive, Joseph and I pulled off the highway to grab a sandwich. Not wanting to wake the gals who were happily in the middle of a much needed nap, Joseph parked in a Subway parking lot and sent me in for our sandwiches.

I stood in line waiting for my sandwich among the construction and farm workers of the small town. As I looked out the window of the sandwich shop to the town's only stop light, I noticed a women dressed all in black getting out of her black, fancy car.

"She's clearly a traveler as well," I thought to myself.

She stepped up to order her sandwich and pushed her sunglasses from her eyes to the top of her head, tucking her hair behind her ears. The silver on the side of her glasses caught the sunlight. As I was admiring her glasses, I realized the silver on the side was a label: Dolce and Gabbana.

"That figures," I thought to myself. I always see something I love and then find out it's a designer, top of the line, top dollar item. When I first started driving I kept seeing certain cars on the road I would fall in love with. Upon doing some research, I learned the 2 cars I was coveting were BMWs and Saabs.

And there is the magic word: covet.

"Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's goods," reads the 10th Commandment.

Coveting was exactly what I was doing. Fancy and lovely as this women was in her Dolce and Gabbana shades, and as much as I would love to be wearing a pair myself, I recalled how blessed I was. Waiting in the car for me were two sleeping angels and their daddy, a better husband then I ever dreamt of. I thought of how blessed we were to now be able to pull off the road and purchase sandwiches and sodas, something that was not possible in the beginning of our marriage.

Today I found myself in another restaurant at the lunch hour. As I sat waiting for my friend I decided to dig into my purse for a pen and some paper. I pushed my $10 sunglasses to the top of my head, unbuttoned my giant "mom purse" and began searching for a pen. I pulled out diapers, a half eaten granola bar and receipts from a recent family vacation. Just as I was thinking, "I've got to clean this purse out," I pulled out a pair of sunglasses.

Seeing as I only own one pair of sunglasses, my curiosity was peaked. I've always thought of my mom purse as a Mary Poppins bag of sorts, but this was the first time the thing had created an item.

I turned the glasses over in my hands, hoping to trigger the memory of where they came from. As I touched their smooth surface I noticed a silver label: Dolce and Gabbana!

My jaw dropped! I looked around the restaurant half expecting an answer to be written on the walls or for someone to jump out and tell me I was an unknowing participant in some Christian version of a PUNKED or CANDID CAMERA type show.

I hadn't told anyone about my encounter with the fancy lady in the sandwich shop. I don't even think I've ever mentioned to anyone how I love this brand of sunglasses. I recalled a fancy store we had stopped into on vacation and almost started hyperventilating at the thought that I may have somehow, unwillingly, stolen these glasses. Did the girls pick these up and put them in my purse?

Grasping for some explanation, I called my mother. We had visited her last week, maybe she had some knowledge of these glasses.

Sure enough, my mother is missing a pair of sunglasses. My eldest daughter (2 1/2), who loves sunglasses, must have stolen them from grandma's bathroom and put them in my purse.

My mom thought this was hilarious. I on the other hand, was not so pleased. Although I am happy to have an answer, how do you reprimand a 2 1/2 year old for something she did 4 days ago? Did she pick up the glasses thinking they were mommy's? Did she knowingly steal them from her grandmother?

Since we just can't know for sure, we'll take this opportunity to teach her, and remind ourselves, of the 7th Commandment: Thou shall not steal.

We'll also spend some time on how breaking the 10th Commandment: Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's goods can lead to the temptation of stealing!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Organize the home - organize the mind!

I heard once (from a completely reliable source such as the television, Internet or women's magazine) that the state of your external living environment is a reflection of the state of your internal environment.

Complete generalization in a magazine headline used to convince the average women waiting in the check out line that her life is a mess and the purchase of this magazine and the contents it holds will change her life before it completely falls apart: YES!

A grain of truth at the center of this theory: YES!

I have many idiosyncrasies, as we all do. I do however; have one that is quite unusual. I love to shop for/buy organizing materials. The office supply and storage aisles are my favorite nooks and crannies of any local retail store. Now, as a wife and mama of two under age three, this gift could be used as an asset to my vocation and my family.

Unfortunately, what makes this idiosyncrasy unusual is that I am the least organized person I know. Ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but most of these "splurge" purchases sit in shopping bags in the corner of my living room until I "clean" and then they sit in the corners of my bedroom. In other words, I'm all talk (shop) and no action (organization)!

Maybe I'm lazy. Maybe I'm too busy, stressed out, tired or full of excuses. Maybe I'm such a perfectionist about things I care about; I can't bring myself to organize until I know it will be done perfectly. Don't worry about me, I'm working on that - and will be until the day I die. I'll more than likely have to work that one out with Jesus.

Regardless, trying to make a small place a home/office with two little girls, 86 dolls, 5 billion books, 98 1/2 pairs of shoes and many other countless unrecognizable toys is enough to drive any women crazy - and to organization! Well, all those things and a trip to IKEA on a much needed "girls weekend" away with her college girlfriends.

So, for the sake of documentation, and the intention of promoting some of my favorite products for you to look for on the clearance racks of retail stores, please enjoy the following pictures of the gals' room!

if you've got children, you MUST have a handy and cute storage area for baby dolls, animals and all things "stuffed" that tend to multiply in your home the second you bring baby home!

This frog is from IKEA and was $9!
my advice: put the ones that sing or cause fights in the top pockets!

These toy bins have saved our home from being completely taken over by our children and those who like to buy for them! May I add, I think we have purchased a total of 2 toys since the day we became parents! We don't bring things in, we only take things out. The bins have been a great system for teaching the girls to clean up after themselves (everything must go in a bin before we ------ (fill in the blank with something little girl friendly). Also, Joseph and I have a rule that if there are too many toys to fit in the bins - then there are too many toys and we purge!

We waited for this system to go on clearance at Shopko for $26.

The flower stickers are wall appliques. They have them at Dollar Tree! These all came together in one sheet for: you guessed it - $1!

We placed a coat hook on the wall right by the door to the gals' bedroom. This hook can be easily accessed from our main hallway. Now book bags and sweatshirts can be hung up and their contents can be kept out of the bathtub and sweatshirts don't have to be washed 5 times a week because they were found in the corner of the kitchen floor with macaroni on them!

I found this wall hook hanging at Hobby Lobby or $3

We have a low book shelve that the girls can reach. This way we are able to keep the same rules as we do with the bins! I don't care how the books go on this shelf (they'll just be all over the floor again in the morning) but they MUST go on the shelf!

Cost: FREE from the garage of my MIL via the college apartment of my SIL!

This is my favorite organizational tool of all time! As a mama of little girls, we do a lot of crafting over here! And, our crafting involves glitter and sequins. As hard as you try to contain these things, know it is impossible. I once noticed glitter in Joseph's hair from a project we did earlier that week - while he was at work!
These items need to be easy to access as to encourage me to get them out and use them with my littles - yet out of reach to prevent marker on my sofa. These pouches, hanging right inside their bedroom, are perfect!

This was found at IKEA on sale for $3. I loved it so much I bought one for a friend who is a homeschooling mama!