Monday, May 31, 2010

Chore charts

well much to their dismay, chore charts and 30 min cards started back up today with a little twist. i tweaked some of the chores, but also, instead of saving cards for webkinz, each card is worth 50cents. sooo they can either use them for tv, video games etc... or on saturdays they can turn them into money. now since we rarely have cash on hand, i decided to use it to our advantage. i took two check registers and have one for each of them. they have a starting balance of $5 in their checking and $1 in their savings. on saturdays they decide what they are turning into money. 10% goes for their tithe (which they will be given hard cash for, and 10% gets moved into their savings (also kept track of in register). registers will be kept in my purse, so if we are out and about and they want something, they can see if they have enough money in their "account" and if they do, then i will buy it for them and it gets deducted from their account. also if they use up all their cards and need to give one to us for discipline reasons but have none, it comes out of their account (again 50 cents per card)
now in order to encourage GOOD behavior, i have made us all the electricity police. if we catch one of them leaving a light on or tv, radio etc... (not including fans) they give us a 30 min card, however if they catch us doing the same, we give them one. they just are not allowed to police each other.
also, to encourage physical activity, they can earn a card for 30 mins of activity. such as if they go swimming for 30 min or more, they get a card, if they go walking etc... but i set a limit of 1 card per activity per day. and made inside and outside activities, such as the wii fit or my stationary bike (they can reach now) so if it's raining they can still earn them .
my hope is, like last year to get ourselves in a routine and practice self dicipline.
i also have "specials" that if they work will carry over into the school year. we have a different focus for each day. however they know some days things may come up where these things aren't possible, but on good days this is what we will be focusing on, monday is library and bowling, tues is learning day, i want to work on teaching them things like cooking, sewing, laundry etc... wed is setting goals, checking on our goals and organizing, thursday special craft project, friday journaling our week, saturday payday/banking, sunday family game day.
sooo this is my way of practicing for the school year yet making it somewhat fun for the kids. plus teaching and training them for life. i'm sure some days will work better than others, but we have a plan. now if we can just stick to it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

quick funny

this just made me laugh. i decided to be nice and get some steaks to grill out with. i had stuck them in the freezer until the night i wanted to cook them. i had them on the counter to defrost and my kids, being very excited to see steak out had written a little "thank you" on them in the ice on the meat. cracked me up when i saw


mother's day 2010

I was not expecting much. i ask for the same thing every year and never get it....the kids to not fight. however, this year the day started off with a wonderful smell of waffles in the air. my assumption (You know what they say about assuming!) was chris got the kids up to help make me breakfast. NOPE, a little later, gracie heads into frankie's room to wake him up, now this was like 7:30 in the morning! a minute later, in they come with "breakfast in bed". no sign of chris. i asked gracie if her dad helped her, she said no he was still sleeping. i could not believe this girl who had never even turned the stove on, had made me waffles, eggs and toast all by herself! AND it was tasty! she had also made me a picture card and frankie had typed me up a poem. we then headed to try another new church. i had been getting so discouraged as of late, but what a wonderful mother's day suprise to not only finally attend the church we think we will join, but to see familiar faces there from our old church FBC!!! later, i took a long nap and then we taught the kids to play clue and decided to implement family game night! and the cherry on top was the kids did NOT fight all day! this was truly the best mothers day i have ever had!

Going Organic

Call me a fanatic. Most of my family and friends know, with me, it's usually all or nothing! I usually throw myself into something or am not interested AT ALL! i am now becoming one of "those" who goes for organic! i used to be the one who looked at the "healthy" food section at the store, roll my eyes, and think, ya, go spend twice as much for a smaller package, ya right! Now i find myself amazed at what i can find at the local Kroger, even if it's in the "healthy" food section. such as hormone free, no antibiotic chicken nuggets! (that was a very exciting moment! ) As you all know, I started my journey in gardening last year. Learned lots of lessons in what NOT to do, that's for sure! (if your interested check out that blog). I have stuck with this desire for longer than most interests i have... (Squirrel!) . i still want to garden for the same reasons, ie. save money, pride in what you've done, less But i am now finding even more reasons, such as all the chemicals on/in grocery store food, not to mention the poor quality. but after watching the documentary Food Inc. it's also to quit encouraging and "voting" if you will to the big companies that are bullying the farmers and producing par quality food at a higher and higher cost to us and not just monetarily. They are destroying the soil so the food will not get any better, yet the raise the prices. They also use so much chemicals and pesticides, the food isn't even natural in the seed itself! Don't even get me started on the meat in the stores, restaraunts and fast food places. I am disgusted with myself for feeding my kids that for so long. So now i am on a quest, to find LOCAL farmers who grass feed their animals, to buy my meat and dairy from, and to grow, can and freeze all my own produce so i know it's fresh and the best quality i can provide. until i get better i will have to subsidize my homegrown with someone else's so i have chosen to go to farmer's markets, and question them on what they use. Luckily the downtown market, has mostly organic vegetables, so i can buy them. in the meantime, i am encouraged with my own harvest thus strawberry patch. they are the most beautiful strawberries and i grew them myself. my small little patch has put out quite the bounty so far and still has many growing! my family and i had been saving the cartons you buy strawberries in from the store, so i can REUSE (my new favorite thing to do) with my own. Today i picked 4 cartons full from my little patch. i can hardly keep up with them! we plan to extend the patch so i can freeze and can a bunch. it's crazy how much food we can grow ourselves just in our backyard....IF it all does as well as my strawberry patch!

and yes, the camera still needs a new date set....

Anne of Green Gables

Gracie's end of the year book report was done on Anne of Green Gables. Anyone that knows me, knows this is my ultimate favorite book and movie! So obviously, I was tickled pink, err green, she chose that book! she did her report, a poster board and dressed up like Anne (as best we could with a modified goodwill dress, old apron and braids! lol). I was very pleased with her.

The kids were given options on what they could do with this final project. Some chose a power point presentation, some gave oral reports. One child chose a model from a scene from his book. Now I must say I am one that loves lots of bright colors and the effort put in was great! However, for many reasons, especially since it was a young boy's project, I think I would have coved the bottom of the box with some construction paper or something! HAHAHAHAHA!

And yes i know the date on the camera needs to be fixed big time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I have been trying to find ways to reuse things and come up with homemade alternatives for as much as i can. Luckily my friend Jenifer, the Martha Stewart of all my friends, taught me a wonderful "craft" if you will, that does both. We have 2 firepits in our backyard. Chris usually starts the fires in them, however I attempted to the last 2 fires we had. Needless to say, I am thankful I will now have these firestarters to help me along! They make "reuse" of dryer lint, cardboard egg cartons, and if you want, crayons. However if you are unlike most Americans with kids, and don't have a ton of old crayons that can be melted, you can always buy some wax. You can also use either coffee cans (espcially if you do this over an open fire, like a firepit) or like we did, you can use glass jars, which also were recycled from spaghetti sauce, mayonaise, etc....
Fill the jars with the wax and set them in a pot of boilling water. Stir until melted.

Careful not to let water get into the jars. But if you do, just wait for it to harden and then you can pour the water out and melt the wax again.

Once the wax is melted, pour it over the egg cartons/lint. Let dry then just tear off as many as you need to place under the sticks to start the fire with. The cardboard and lint catch fire easily and the wax keeps it going for a long time so as the wood has plenty of time to catch fire.

Just a note, old spatulas, get brittle and break easily! hahaha!


Made by Lena