Monday, August 24, 2009

I Came, I Saw, I Conquered

With everything that's been going on this summer, including me starting to teach last week, some things at home have fallen by the wayside. I give you exhibit A:

Some people tell me how organized their children are and how they love to clean up and straighten their toys and have everything just so. I would like to meet these children. Then again, maybe not.

Did you note the bookcase? The best thing to do is just yank a book off from the middle so that 14 others fall down with it. Look around the floor in confusion and wonder why you're standing in a pile of books. Then shrug your shoulders at the baffling nature of gravity and run off here to pull out some dress-up clothes.

After several weeks of this, plus me nagging and cajoling every day for them to clean up, only to discover that they just keep dumping everything in the closet, I finally snapped.

I figured it would take me at least 2 hours to clean everything up, including organizing the inside of their dresser drawers, which I did not take pictures of because I don't want you to think any worse of me than you already do.

FIVE AND A HALF hours later, we have this (note the gleaming floor, that you can actually now see):

I took every book out of the bookcase. I put all the ones that we rarely read into two boxes and took them to the basement. Now when they're playing downstairs and want a book, they can grab a "new" one out of the box. And scatter it on the basement floor. But at least I won't see it that much.

The coup de grace (and portion that took me the greatest amount of time):

The dress-up clothes and wicker basket that is supposed to contain them (along with Polly Pockets, Barbies, McDonald's Happy Meal toys, et al) is also in the basement.

I then gave them a long talking-to about how summer is over and they need to be responsible for their room. They were excited by how clean it now is and seemed to take me seriously.

Then this morning they woke me up by showing me themselves smeared head to toe in lipstick. Apparently they'd gone through my closet (where the "cloppy shoes" are), found an old purse that had no less than four old lipsticks in it, and had a great time.

I guess if your own closet is boring, you've got to look in somebody else's. I'll accept any volunteers who want to help me on my own room next weekend. There might be a Happy Meal toy in it for you. Or an old lipstick.


Melanie said...

Ah, Alice, you gave my eyes a much needed restive. Now, I just need to get some energy to follow your lead! :)

Danny Lucas said...

Pictures number 1,2, and especially number 3, were a blessing to my soul this day.

This blog has always posted people, places, and home at their best. There is not so much as a dirty cup of tea on the kitchen counter before, or a speck of dust on the furniture OR floors, in the past, or a crumbled cookie on the rug!

This has really bothered me Alice!

In one fell swoop, you have posted not ONE, but THREE, count 'em, THREE pictures of absolute chaos and delight.

You have no idea how much enjoyment those pictures bring to Pennsylvania.

You have no idea how much God was delighted to see these shots!
Does he not swell the mighty Mississippi River at the Missouri River to stir up the muck, and present it at New Orleans? This is the God who brought order out of chaos, but STILL knows how to make a mess in His creation.

Praise God you have found the same talent.

Um, could we see your basement next? Oh the wonder of a filthy furnace filter. Black and white or color is fine.

Do you have some weeds outside we could glimpse? The Lord has created volumes of varieties, and they are holding an international reunion at my place this year.

This post made my day.
I just love it!
If you can find a blue Smurf at a garage sale, buy it, let the girls toss it at the wall, and photograph it wherever it lands!

I assure you that when your kids are grown up, or even in their 40's still, THIS will be among their favorite posts on your blog. :)

It is truly, one of mine!
Thank you for this gift.
Um, do you think I could blow up picture number three, mat and frame it, and toss it into my living room as a reminder on the way a house should be lived into a home?

You're the best!

Kacie said...

well, it looks gorgeous. I'd like to see a follow-up photo to see how much damage one week of life with children can do!

Shannon Popkin said...

Hi Alice. I'm here by recommendation of my friend, Chris Brauns, from Brick in the Valley. :)

I can totally relate to this post. Only my room to conquer recently was our kitchen. In the four years since we moved in, I hadn't cleaned or reorganized anything. I should've taken a picture of the huge mounds of food, enormous piles of dishes, pans, and bakewear.

I completely reorganized everything, putting the most commonly used items in the most accessible places.

My son, who is the dishwasher emptier, and my husband, who wasn't really good at finding things in the old arrangement, are struggling. But I am very pleased with crumbless cupboards and the new reachable, spacious order of things. We'll see how long it lasts... :)

Great to 'meet' you! Looking forward to more.

Shannon Popkin said...

Re: my last comment... that is NOT to say that I haven't cleaned my kitchen at all in the last 4 years. (I am a slob, but not quite that bad!). Just not inside the cupboards!

Mae said...

This brings back memories! I often wondered how quickly a room could get messed up when I had just cleaned it.

I did get a laugh out of the lipstick. Your two beautiful daughters have a genius for finding things to get into. It lifts my day to read your blog.

Juliet said...

I just hoping that the book shelf will hold one more book from me.:)