The Elves and the Homemaker (Or “Getting Chores Done While You Sleep”)

I recently read the Brothers Grimm tale, The Elves and the Shoemaker, to my kids. It’s one of the Grimm boys’ less intense stories about the poor shoemaker who goes to bed having cut the last piece of leather to sew his last pair of Jimmy Choos before he goes broke.  And that evening two little elves sneak in and sew the most beautiful Manolo Blahniks that he is surprised to find on his work bench the next morning.  He sells them for a huge profit, purchases 2 pieces of leather to cut for 2 more pairs of Louboutins and the little elves come and sew more.  And sew on…  (All shoe references are credited to random, useless knowledge of celebrity fashion and not my closet.)

Though this is a sweet little tale about helping those in need and being grateful for help received, the elves eventually moved on to other pursuits.  Making cookies in a little tree perhaps.  But it made me wonder how I could get me some little elves.  (And I don’t mean that slightly creepy Elf on the Shelf that took this Christmas by storm.)

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The “(Not So) Organized Mom” Binder

Univenture – All rights reserved.

I had an FMOO (Freak Moment Of Organization) before starting homeschooling this year.  (My son is in kindergarten and the younger daughter is in preschool.  My oldest daughter is in 3rd grade at a Spanish immersion charter school.  Love dem kids!)

I created a binder with (most of) my important stuff in one place.  So brilliant, no?  And I even got all nerdy by using those clear plastic sheets so nothing gets wet when my daughter spills her drink on it.  (Already happened.)

You must know that I am hit and miss when it comes to organization, but I figured I’d share this in hopes of inspiring other organized wannabes, as well as hearing what you OCD ladies do…

The Great Compost List

In all of my adult life, I’ve somehow managed to live in places where I’ve never had me own plot o’ land to tend.

 After four years in a concrete college dorm, I moved with 5 other girls into a charming condo where we unknowingly planted sun-loving flowers in our shady 12 foot square dirt patch.  That led to five years of “black thumb discouragement” which got me through more years in the college dorm where gardening didn’t even enter my mind as a Resident Director at Biola University.

Once my hubs and I moved to DC and started having kids, fresh green stuff growing out of the ground started to sound more appealing.   Continue reading

BOOK BITES: The Practice of the Presence of God

 I have lost too much of my attention span over the years to write a really succinct book review.  But because I can’t read without a pencil to mark up my tomes, I will periodically share a list of quotations or summations from whatever I am reading in hopes that it will be an encouragement to you.  This particular book is a wonderful example for those of us who spend a great majority of our lives doing simple, repetitive, unenviable tasks.  (Can I get a witness?!)

(Imagine peaceful picture of Bro Lawrence or his book which I can’t find anywhere for free without all these crazy copyrights.  Help?)  

       The Practice of the Presence of God

by Brother Lawrence 

Lord of all pots and pans and things, make me a saint

by getting meals and washing up the plates!

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The Laundry Quandary

Mount Washmore

I’ll be the first to admit that though I feel skilled at “making a home,” I am terribly deficient at cleaning one. In fact, one of the major reasons we used to host our weekly church homegroup was so that we’re forced to clean our house. We honestly don’t do this in an attempt to impress people (we swallowed our pride on that a long time ago), but so that our friends don’t break their ankle slipping on tiny blocks, get queasy seeing pre-chewed crumbs ground into the couch, or have to sit on a toilet decorated with toddler pee.

People have been kind in trying to excuse my uncleanliness because of the Tasmanian Devil-esque mess that comes with this season of life. But as my mother and college roommates can attest, I’ve just never cared to spend my time on cleaning. Plus, horizontal surfaces in particular tend to get dirty a few milliseconds after you’ve cleaned it, so why all the fuss?

But despite my impurity impairment, I do feel like I am unusually underwhelmed by laundry. Continue reading