the garbage… ohhhh, the garbage

I realize that with just 11 days left until Christmas, I could at least START my Christmas shopping. Or my Christmas letter? I could get that thing done. I could file away the millions of gazillions of toy orders still piled on my desk.

Yep. I could do something productive like that. But, darn it, I have at least three regular readers on this blog, and I don’t want to make you wait one more day for a new post! And besides, I have some important subject matter that needs to be addressed!

A few days ago, after I shooed my boys out the door with barely a kiss and into the awaiting minvan of my carpool buddy, I ran into their room and slammed the door. I had been waiting for this day for months! Armed with a roll of garbage bags, I started my mission: To go where many mothers had gone before. To clean their room.

By the time kindergarten had ended, I had successfully filled four large garbage bags with their junk and got it out to the curb just as the garbage truck came rumbling down the street. I had only minutes to spare before the middle child was back home.

What I found stuffed under the bed, tucked behind the dresser and crammed in the drawers of that big storage unit from IKEA would make even the most seasoned mother squirm. Candy wrappers, paper plates, potato chips, laffy taffy, a dead bug, art projects, homework sheets and piles and piles of drawings of stick men holding light sabers. It’s a popular topic and one that can’t be drawn enough in this house.

Here are a few photos of the newly-labeled drawers to the storage unit.

But I have a few questions for you, my dear friends, readers and blog lurkers:

1. Do you think that after the LEGO vehicles have fallen apart piece by piece and all the tiny little headlights, miniscule walkie talkies and teeny helmet visors have all been collected in one drawer that there is ANY CHANCE in this lifetime that those projects will ever be reassembled?

2. If so, how exactly does one store these teeny, tiny pieces?

3. AND, on the topic of LEGO, do you keep the boxes and instruction manuals so you have some hope of ever putting them back together?

4. The next question has to do with art projects. How many do you keep? How do you store them? And for how long? Now, please keep in mind that because my children go to a Christian school, that some of their art projects include things like a paper mache canopic jar and a replica of the Ark of the Covenant. How can I possibly throw away the Ark of the Covenant?! I’m sure the teachers don’t realize that by sending home these works of art, parents like me will have to leave the projects sitting on the shelf in my child’s room for the rest of time because I am too frightened to even think about throwing them away!

5. Finally, the school assignments. Same question as before. How many do you keep? Any? And if you keep them how and where do you store them?

I would like to thank you in advance for your help in this important matter. Now, I’m back to the Christmas letter (which will be a web site, by the way) so please check your e-mail in a few days for the link. Merry Christmas.

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  1. Once the original Lego design has built, it will most likely NEVER be built that way again. But you aren’t supposed to build it the same way every time. All those little pieces will become something else. Cars with a whole row of headlights are much more interesting than a car with just two.As far as storage goes, take a piece of medium/heavy weight fabric, cut it in a large circle, add eyelets every 8 or so inches around and thread a clothes line through them and make a loop. This provides a great play area for the Legos and when cleanup needs to be done, draw up the rope to make a huge sack, Santa style.I saved the instructions (and cut apart the boxes to save too). My girls love playing with my old space lego collection, but I’m not sure they have looked at the instructions I saved. I’ll have to get those out sometime for them.

  2. The new LEGO sets are cool, but I liked LEGO better back when we were kids and it didn’t have such a predetermined play path. You pretty much built everything from your imagination, rather than instructions.Nice idea on the storage bag! When we only had a few sets, we were trying to sort the pieces in a tackle box, but now we have so much of it that we definitely need a better system.

  3. School projects: take photos of the 3-D ones or pictures of the creator with their object(then my instinct would say to pitch it). Then have your children select their favorite papers from the semester (if they are capable of this, some kids are just too indecisive for this too work). Then buy each child a school scrapbook and over Christmas break help them put their prized pieces and photos of pieces on pages. We don’t do much to decorate the scrapbook pages since we want the schoolwork to stand out, but I do add a bit of embellishments and labeling here and there.Just a thought.

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