Front and Center

We have been slowly cleaning up from Thanksgiving.  Usually this is a quick job for me, but I had so much other work to do that I left it to the kids.  Kids’ cleaning time is measured in something like dog years.  How long would it take me?  30 minutes.  That’s 3 hours in kids’ cleaning time.

Yesterday a friend stopped by and as I was escorting her into the house I realized we had developed a trail between the incoming Christmas decor and the outgoing fall decor.  It looked like we were living in an episode of Hoarders.  Am I the only one with a love/hate relationship with that show?  I am fascinated yet disgusted at the same time.

Anyway…..we needed to clean it up.  So I called out, “Everyone front and center!”  The masses came rushing in from all directions to see what was going on.  I don’t call front and center very often.  I quickly explained that Mommy was not doing well with the big mess in the house and we were all going to work as hard as we could for 15 minutes.  When I say “GO!” just start putting things away until we are down to a pile of Christmas stuff on the school table.  I clapped my hands and we went into action.

In 15 minutes it was done.  My burden was lifted.  I’m pretty sure I heard angels.

Today I will be putting the finishing touches on the Christmas decorating and list making.  Gift lists and cookie making lists and party lists and general what-we-need-to-survive-the-holiday-season lists.  Just thinking about it is enough to make me call front and center again.

Plus I have the kids’ gift exchange to work on.  They draw names, but don’t tell who’s name they drew.  It’s all very hush-hush and I have to find the time to take each child shopping without the others knowing where we’re going or who we’re buying for.  It isn’t easy to go on 9 individual shopping trips plus do my own secret shopping in less than 4 weeks.

Now that the fall has been swept away I’m ready for the challenge.

But I may need a nap first.



  1. Lisa, I know what you mean about that Hoarders’ show! My living room was a gigantic mess the last few days – it just about killed me to leave it that way, but I can only do so much Christmas decorating for so long before I’m tired of it…then come back and do a little more later. I made the kids do a TON of Christmas decorating – after the second tree, Rachel asked if she could stop cause she was tired of it! But, we finished up last night and I can start taking pictures today! Can’t wait to see yours, too!!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  2. Like Becky and YOU, I am fascinated with Hoarders, too, LOL! Emily can’t quite figure out why we Americans would make a show like that!
    I decided to decorate the basement cafe’ first — we have a party this Saturday for Pacific Intercultural Exchange, the organization that brought Emily and us together. I think something like 8 more exchange students will be here, plus their host parents. Ugh.
    I also decided yesterday to paint my dining room. I’ve cut in half of it now. Rolling should go much more quickly.
    Which leaves the music room next to it still red. Which makes me have to paint that room, too.
    Which then makes me wanna rip all the toile paper out of the foyer.
    Which makes me too tired to decorate that floor of the house.
    But, I must, because Hyojin has never seen Christmas decor before. Sigh.
    So, I will just have a very colorful downstairs this year.
    Front and center, huh?
    I think I have just found a new phrase.
    Thank you!
    LOVE, me
    P.S. I may call you before the end of the 21st century….

  3. P.P.S. I just had an espresso, can you tell?

  4. Lisa,

    Have you considered offering some of the kids a chance to shop online for their sibling gift? I’m doing as much as I can online. Most have free shipping and no tax and I save on gas and snacks too! Enjoy:)


  5. Someday my kids will be that capable of helping! Today when I asked them to pick up all their toys, things looked better when I came back to check! Whoopee! I hope your nine-plus shopping trips go smoothly.

  6. Oooo, I so know what you mean about the whole mess thing! It is amazing how much can be done in ten or fifteen minutes when everyone gets busy! And you nailed the cleaning in kids’ time!! 🙂