Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This morning the girls and I were putting the finishing touches on one of my latest projects. The girls were using modge podge and I wanted to take a picture of them doing there project. I went to get the camera and the girls started screaming for me. I came running back in to find Brayden had decided to help. He had popped himself out of the bumbo, landed face first into our plate of modge podge and was sucking on the paintbrush covered in the modge podge. Not knowing how toxic modge podge could possibly be I decided to take the brush out of his mouth, wash around his mouth and then take my pict. Isn't he cute??? One of my many latest projects involve a new chore chart/reward system for the kids. It's amazing to see how excited my kids are about this. Obviously it's been a little too long since we tried a chore chart with them. We have tried several different ways to get the kids to do chores and nothing has stuck. I'm hoping with the rewards this one will stick.

I have created chores for before school, before dinner and before scripture study. The 1st set of chores include making there bed, brushing there teeth and brushing there hair. For these things there is no reward except for good hygiene I guess. As of now I do have a real chore of emptying the dishwasher before school. This way once the kids get out the door this lucky mom can do the dishes. Yeah for me!!!
The chores before dinner that don't have a reward is doing there homework. The chores with rewards are putting the folded towels away and Brayden's clothes on laundry day, setting the table for dinner and washing/ putting away the eggs that I have collected out of the chicken coop. For some reason our hens keep pooping on their eggs and I would much rather wash the nasties off before I need to grab an egg out of the fridge.
Most of our chores will take place before scripture study which we have every night at 7. They include clearing the table (everyone clears there own mess but this leaves pots and pans), a clean bedroom for all, picking up Brayden's toys, vacuum if needed, sweeping, emptying the garbage and cleaning the bathroom (wiping the toothpaste smears away from the day, putting bows and piggies away, wiping down the counters, etc.)

The girls got to decorate their magnets this morning. Hunter will get to do his tommorrow. Every monday during family home evening we will rotate the chores for the week. I'm going to leave some of the magnets black and they will mark the things that everyone will be responsible for. I'm sure we'll have to make a few changes but for the most part I'm hoping it will work. Even though our chart hasn't been completely ready the kids started doing there chores this past monday. They are liking it. HAHAHAHAH. We'll see how long that will last for.
Kory and I have talked and we are not ready to give the kids an allowance or pay them in cash for doing things around the house. Some things are just expected for being part of the family. However, being the oldest is only 6 we do feel they need to be rewarded somehow. So I saw this on someone elses blog and this is what we've decided to try. It works for them so we're hoping it will work for us. Introducing our Family Store....

Each chore (excluding everday hygiene activites and homework) is worth 1 point. Any time I see good behavior I can also reward with a point card. Earlier today my 5 year old wanted to play on the computer. I said yes. She wasn't on for more then 3 minutes before little sister came asking for a turn. Without hesitating big sis said sure I'll share what game do you want to play. She brought the game up for little sis and let her play while she left to find something else to do. That deserves more then 1 point in my book!
Having about 5 possible points a day plus extra points for good behavior 30 points should be somewhat easy to obtain. The rewards that cost 30 points are pretty simple. I have created cards with different rewards that can be chosen like, plan a play date, go to the library, plan a family walk, go to the park, play a game with mom or dad, read a bedtime story with mom or dad. The 30points are things that are free besides gas.
They do have the option of rollover points (hehehe) so 60 points could be reached in 2 weeks. Some of the rewards are on cards that can be chosen like go with mom or dad and get a candy bar, with mom or dad go get a shake, with mom or dad go get an ice cream, rent a redbox video your choice. I also have a book of stickers, a mini fuzzy poster to color, bubbles, etc. I just happened to have 2 foam crowns and a foam hat in my craft drawer so I threw these in there too for them to decorate. These rewards are about a $1 or less (not bad for 2 weeks of chores). I also wanted to create a way that each child has an opportunity with mom or dad by themselves.
The 90 points will definetly take more then 2 weeks to earn. I'm hoping that each week they will spend some of there points on the above rewards so that these will take about a month to earn. I have 3 different boxes of candy, a dress up necklace, mini TMNT's, a new Jonie B Jones book. I want the kids to earn these but not to easily.
The 120 point rewards are special. These will take a lot of effort and saving to reach. I have a 550 piece puzzle (something my kids have wanted for a while now),and something similar to a Polly Pocket. I have 2 reward cards 1) buy a book from the scholastic paper they bring home monthly and 2)rent a WII game. I know my kids would love to do these things but it will be intresting to see how long it will take them.
For a few days now I have rummaged around my closet to see what treasures I have picked up on the clearance isles with the intent of saving them for a future birthday present. These are what I used to fill our bucket. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the kids to get there rewards and what they like the most. I want them to learn how to save up for something they want without doing it with real money right now. As it starts to get warmer I'll be adding some out side chores. So I'm curious to read your reply's. What have you found that works for your kids?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kid Advantage

About a year ago something phenomenol started happening around our house. Hunter my then newly 6 year old started wearing holes into the knees of his pants. Having not experienced this before I was becoming quite annoyed that almost every week I discoverred a different pair of jeans with holes. Pretty soon he was down to a single pair. Being summer was just around the corner I took my nice stack of holey jeans and cut/ hemmed them into new shorts. The new shorts lasted all summer. As summer was coming to a close I had to start picking up a few pairs of jeans for the school year. Hunter's school has a strict policy of no holey jeans and they can only wear shorts the 1st 2 and last 2 months of the school year. I was able to pick up several pairs of jeans at some thrift stores and 2 pairs came from 80% off racks at different department stores. I never paid more then $6.00 a pair. When school started he had 6 pairs of jeans. By the end of August I was totally disgusted. All 4 pairs of jeans that came from the thrift store had a hole in them and the other 2 were becoming qute worn and I knew it was just a matter of time before they too got holes. I can not fathom what this child of mine does at school to cause so many holey pairs of jeans. I was complaining to my mom about how we don't have a money tree in our back yard therefore I can't keep spending money on this kid's jeans. At the same time I can't send him to school pantless!

My mom reminded me of Sear's Kid Advantage program. If your child puts holes in his jeans or shoes you can take them back and exchange them for the same brand/size (must be identical) for free. Let me tell you, Sears and I are best friends lately. Back in August I bit the bullet and bought Hunter 2 pairs of Levi's for $21.99 a pair. I have NEVER spent that much on a pair of pants for my kids. Six months later I have replaced these jeans 6 times. Becuase Levi's are sold elsewhere I have to keep the receipt. I have created a file folder for each of my chilren that holds there birth cetificate, ss card, etc. so this is where I keep my receipt. Sears has never given me a hard time about this and each time I ask if there is a limit of how many times I can exchange my holey jeans and they always reply there isn't one. To buy pants for Hunter in season elsewhere there usually about $10-15 unless I can find a pair at a thrift store even then they're still $5.00. I figure I've saved about $60 these past six months on not having to buy jeans for Hunter. Since these 2 pairs of jeans are all Hunter has had he wears each pair 3/4 times a week. Maybe this is why he's putting holes in them so quickly. Recently while I was making one of my monthly exchanges the jeans were on sell for $18.99 so I went ahead and picked him up another pair. I'm hoping having three pairs will help extend the life on his pants. I will definetly continue to buy Hunter's pants from Sears. I figure the last time I replace these pants after Hunter outgrows them I will put them in my 5T bin for when my next little guy reaches that size. I will then contine on the exchanges in size 6 until my soon to be 7 year old quits wearing holes into the knee's.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


We're home. This morning this smiley boy had a bright and early appt. (7 am) in Tempe. He and I left the house at 4, arrived at 6, taken from mom at 6:58 and was back in moms arms by 7:10 and back home at 10. Thank goodness this surgery was a lot quicker and easier on the both of us. Brayden has had 5 ear infections in the past 12 weeks. His last ear infection the doctor decided that since the oral antibiotics were not working we got to do shots. For 3 days in a row I had to take him to the pediatrician for a shot in each leg. At that time we were given a referral to a ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat specialist). Unfortunatley no one local takes his insurace hince the trip to Tempe. We were seen by Dr. Chuang last week and I was very surprised to hear he had an opening this week for tubes. I jumped on it not wanting to go through another round of shots when ear infection #6 decided to rear it's ugly head. For a week now I have been biting my nails awaiting for the awnery, sick, high fevered ear infected baby to return. He didn't. Last night I was complaing to Kory how I didn't want to go through another surgery again. It hasn't been long enough for the last surgery memories to fade yet. "This is the longest he's gone without an infection (in the past 12 weeks). Maybe we're done with this. Maybe we should wait and see if he gets another infection? I don't want to go through another surgery. I don't want to go. He's not sick right now. He's happy." All things I mentioned yesterday trying to talk myself into cancelling his appt.

So this morning after the tubes had been placed the Doctor was telling me how everything went, I was told Brayden had very sick little ears. BOTH ears were infected and drained a nasty thick elmers glue fluid. Gross! I'm still surprised he had another double ear infection as we haven't had any of the regular signs. I'm so glad I followed through and didn't cancel his appt. I hope these tubes really help this little guy. Hopefully we won't have another infection for a long while. He's acting a little clingy this afternoon but otherwise is acting normal. He's been crawling after his big sister's to let him play with them. This surgery was much more smoother then the last. Yeah!!!!


Growing up I always looked forward to the holiday's, even the more simplar ones. My mom always did something fun in acknowledging of the holiday. Usually it involved fun foods. I'm trying to carry on her tradition. Valentines morning the kids were greeted with HEART pancakes, strawberry syrup and fresh whipped cream. The pancakes lasted long enough to be oohed and aahhed over and then quickly devoued. The kids woke up to red and white streamers, balloons, and a red tablecloth with individualized chocolate boxes. Brayden was pleased with a sucker!

For dinner we had homemade heart shaped raviolli, garlic bread and a fun 3 layered jello cup for everyone. Dessert was followed by homemade cream puffs which were gone before I could take a picture. I don't know if I'll ever make the raviolli again. It was good but a lot of work and not having a dough maker the noodles ended up being a little thicker then I would have liked. Oh well!