Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back to School Time!

It's that time of the year again!



This is such an exciting time to me and always has been. I remember as a child that I couldn't wait for school shopping- I love school supplies, new pens and paper, crayons, markers and notebooks. But when I was a kid I did not like shopping for school clothes. 

I grew up in a family of 6; I was child #2 of 4, with an older sister and a younger sister and brother. My parents did not have a lot of money, so they mainly focused on making sure we had all of our school supplies and then two, maybe three new outfits and a new pair of shoes. And of course, the three sisters shared clothes when possible. I dreaded going into the department stores and watching my parents flinch at the check-out register, both because of the high total and the fact that such a high amount bought so little for 4 growing kids.

I remember one year in particular: 7th grade. You know that awkward age-nowadays we call them 'Tweens'. It was a very tight year financially for our family and we were blessed to even get to shop at all. But as a 12 year old girl going into Middle School wanting to impress her friends (and the boys) I wanted more and better than what I was allowed that year. I wanted the American Eagle and not the Wal-Mart. But Wal-Mart is what we could afford and Wal-Mart is what I got. (I'm not dissing Wal-Mart in any way; my family today shops there at least twice a month!)
Anyhow, a fellow classmate mocked me one day and pointed out, in front of everyone, where I bought my school clothes. 
"Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, it's our store! People shop there if they're poor!". 
Yes. She sang this little diddy in the hallway one day after history class. I will never forget the embarrassment and the hurt that I felt. I know now that we are not defined by our outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7), but in a child's mind, especially in that moment of pain and hurt, remembering that truth can be hard.

Our daughter Aspen is going into the First Grade this year! So this is our second "Back to School" shopping experience and as  parents today, we are so very thankful to be a part of a company that can help parents (and their kids) in these situations. Rhea Lana's Consignment Sale has been a huge part of my life for 5 years now and without it, especially this year, my husband and I would be flinching at the register just like my parents did.

If you are unfamiliar with this consignment event, it is for children's clothing, toys and equipment and it happens twice a year. Everything is in excellent condition, name-brand and is priced so low that I stock up for an entire 6 month season when I shop! 



Not only do I shop the sale, but I also volunteer and consign, which earns me early shopping passes before the store opens to the public! It is such a fun event, even when volunteering to work a 5 hour shift because the people are a hoot and the work is so rewarding! It's almost like a girls' night out! These events are great opportunities to meet other moms who hold the same values as you and your family. Many of my friendships began at Rhea Lana's of Conway and continue to grow there! 

If you can't volunteer to work a shift or two, do not pass up on consigning your gently used items to earn some shopping money! At the end of the sale, you pick your check up along with any items that didn't sell or you didn't want to donate. At almost every sale that I have consigned, I made more money than I spent! That is a great feeling, to pretty much trade clothes and walk away with a little extra change in your pocket :) That reminds me, Rhea Lana's donates items that consignors don't want to take back home with them, to local charities at each event! So families that truly cannot afford to shop, are still provided with clothing and other items for their children. Just another example of how awesome this event is! 

One last thing that I would like to mention is to quote from the Rhea Lana website a couple of things that set this event a part from any other and keep me involved and coming back season after season: 

"Mission Statement: 
To serve with love and integrity, families everywhere with inviting, 
excellent and valuable children's consignment events."

"Rhea Lana's Priorities: 
Faith-God First. We are a company based firmly on Christian Principles. 
Family-Family Second. Family is vital and it is the reason we work. 
Work-Work is Third. A career with RL, Inc. is an amazing job, 
but only as other priorities are in order."



It is safe for me to say that we will be able to provide a fall wardrobe for our daughter (and our 2 year old son!) without breaking the bank and we will be spending our hard-earned money in a store that shares the same Christian values and views as we do. 

As I mentioned before, this consignment event is a huge blessing to so many families nationwide!
Rhea Lana's Consignment Event has grown to over 16 states and is still growing! So check out their website to find an upcoming sale near you and get involved! 

HAPPY BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING TO YOU! 

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