Wednesday, July 27, 2011

At it again

No room in my house has been more decorated and rearranged then our playroom/office.  And it's currently going through another transformation.  Here is a sneak peek:

I have a few more details to finish up, then I'll be back with a post about it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chores/Reward system

Our chore system is not perfect. Truth be known, I would rather have my kids just entertain themselves for a bit and let me clean everything. I'm super picky and like things done just so. 

But I have recognized that I am not doing my kids any favors by not teaching them how to be responsible and take care of our house. So this chore system is a work in progress for all of us. They used to receive allowance, but they really didn't have to do much for the money. And that also didn't address their behavior. So we implemented this chore/reward/allowance system and it seems to be working.

We have a weekly chart.  I wrote down all the chores I wanted my kids to learn how to do and assigned them on different days.  I tried to make the work load as even between them as possible. We are just starting on chores so I didn't really assign them anything too hard- vacuuming, dusting, sweeping etc.

This is our reward system.  We use buttons as a way of keeping track of their points.  Each child has their own pocket to keep track of their buttons. 

 I used a behind-the-door shoe organizer, inside of our game closet.  They can count up their buttons and trade them in for cold hard cash.  5 buttons = $1.

They earn 2 buttons for doing their daily chores, without being asked. They can also earn extra buttons by doing something extra nice for someone in the family, being kind, grooming properly, getting up on time and going to bed on time.

They lose buttons for talking not nice, fighting, having an attitude, being mean and all that other not fun stuff.

Occasionally, I will find extra chores that require a little bit more work.  These I assign a $$ amount to and write them on the chalkboard wall inside our back door.  They can choose (or not) to do them and get the cash associated with the chore.

We keep track of their money with a dry erase board. We also keep track of their tithing this way.  (Tithing is 10% of their earnings that we give to our church)

This is the system that seems to be working for us.  I would love to hear about what some of your do for chores/behavior for your children.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Some days, a chocolate chip cookie is in order!!  I use the BEST recipe.  It's from a cookbook that my ward (church congregation) put together when I lived in Utah.  So yum!

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies (by Nick Cutler)
1 lb margarine or butter                        1 tsp salt
2 c. brown sugar                     1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c. white sugar                                  3 eggs
6 c. flour                                         2 tsp vanilla
6c. chocolate chips                                            

Cream wet ingredients and add dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Add chocolate chips.  Drop onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350* from 10-12 minutes.

I usually cut the recipe in half and am still left with about 4 dozen cookies or so. That is a lot of cookies for me to eat.  My family only eats 1-2 cookies a piece and I can't resist them and always eat way too many. 

So unless I share with the neighbors or (gasp) throw out stale cookies, I usually have about this much dough left after cookies my 2 batches.  So I decided to start freezing it!

I scoop it onto a cookie sheet.

Then pop the entire thing into the freezer.

After they are frozen solid, I put them into a freezer bag and stick that in the freezer. 

 So when the next time a craving for choco chip cookies hits, I'm prepared.  The frozen cookies can be placed directly onto a cookie sheet and put into the oven.  Just add a few extra minutes to the cook time.   Very handy to have on hand for a last minute treat!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A wreath framed

I actually did a project!  Go me!  I saw the most darling wreath here at a glimpse inside

and it made me want to make my door something cute to wear.

I used a frame, already painted red, a wreath from another project that didn't work out and some burlap.

I cut the burlap into strips and wrapped it around the wreath, covering up my previous mess!

Then I glued on a chipboard S,

and some fabric rosettes, made from fabric scraps.

I used ribbon to hang the wreath from the frame. (Don't you just love the ugly frosted glass on our front door!! A new door is on the list!)

I just wrapped it around and hot glued.

I then hot glued some ribbon to the back of the frame and hung it from a 3m hook on my front door.  I also added cork bumpers to the back of the frame to cushion it when it bangs into the glass.

And there it is!  A new wreath for our front door!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Fun

At the beginning of the Summer, my kids and I sat down and made a list of a bunch of fun things we wanted to do.  We wrote it on the chalkboard doors in our eating area.

We have done pretty darn good with our list.  We have...

taken swim lessons,

had a taste test party (tasted 3 different kinds of lemon-lime soda to see if we could tell which brand was which.  We couldn't.  It was lots of fun!)

We went to the drive inn, where we saw Zookeeper and Cars 2.

We went to Jumpers Playhouse.

We went to Disney!

We've also done lots of stuff not on the list, like play with Legos,

CHORES!!  I am so mean, just look at his face!  We have a pretty good reward system for chores.  I'll share that in a later post.

We built awesome stuff with marshmallows and toothpicks.

We have almost finished our 72 hr kits.

And we've cooled off with sprinklers under the trampoline.

We only have a few more things to check off.  Hopefully we can finish in the next 2.5 weeks before school starts!!

I hope everyone is having a FUN summer!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We celebrated

I was late putting our decorations up, um yeah, I put them up June 30.  And I'm late getting this post up.  But better late then never right??

Here is our 4th decor outside...

and inside.

We grilled on our new to us grill (thanks Rob and Emily)

ate cupcakes

lit fireworks and watched our neighbor's fireworks.  I hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th!