Saturday, April 28, 2012

Chores, Charts and Rewards... oh my!

As a mom of littles, the constant state of not-so-neatness in my house pretty much crushes my soul. And when something's gotta give, the first thing I let go is the house. Until Brian and I go crazy and clean it on a Saturday morning... and when I say "Brian and I" I mostly mean Brian, cause he lets me sleep in on Saturdays. And then I feel bad becuase he works hard all week and its hard to feel peaceful in relaxed in cluttery chaos.

As parents of littles, Brian and I want to be teaching kids about work, contributing to a family and the importance of saving up for things. Plus our kids are old enough to start helping with chores and I do NOT want to end up with kids who refuse to pitch in becuase they've never been asked or taught to do so. We needed a system...

So, here it is. I found the idea and free printable of the cards on Confessions of a HomeSchooler. I couldn'y find a pocket chart the right size at a price I was willing to pay, so I made my own from felt and vinyl. Each kid has two lines on the chart. Most are everyday jobs (stay in bed until 7 am, get dressed, brush teeth, make bed, put dirty laundry in hamper plus Carter sets the table and Allison helps with dishes after dinner), but a few are sometimes jobs (dust living room, vacuum 1 room, clean the plat room, clean bathrooms). The sometimes jobs are jobs Brian and I help them with during the week and on Saturdays. With the kids having tasks to do, picking up and mild cleaning actually gets done, instead of trying to do it and having it promptly UNdone.

When they kids complete a job, they get a reward card in the slot. Cards are collected and banked at the end of the day, then at the end of the week, the "Mommy-Daddy Store" opens and they can spend their reward tickets on treats and prizes. We're stocked with candy, toys, games & books (yay for clearance hunting!) and experiences (like a trip to our favorite ice cream shop, or the zoo).

We intentionally priced things we KNEW they'd want (the Ariel Barbie and the Imaginext toy) out of one week's reach so that they could also learn to save and work towards earning something. This was our second week working with the system and so far it seems to be a big hit.

They were both pretty thrilled to earn the prizes they were working towards this morning, since they didn't have enough for them last week. So far I think the only tweak we need to make is to raise prices in the "store" a bit. :) And hopefully this is a system that can keep working without huge efforts on my part, except for trolling for great deals on stuff to stock the store with... oh darn!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Apparently no one informed Lindsey that growing up is verboten. She is supposed to stay my itty bitty baby forever!

However this week:

Lindsey "turned" 4 months old...

(so cute and chubby! I made these leggings... had to make them twice becuase someone was too chubby for the first pair...)

and rolled over for the first time...

(no picture yet, but hopefully I can get it on video... although she usually does it when I'm not looking...)

and tasted solid foods for the first time...

(mmm... smashed bananas! Jury's out in this photo, but tonight's tasing got RAVE reviews.)

and SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT for the first time!!! This one I'm not so sad about. If she could repeat it a few times I might be able to sleep a whole night too. :)

*sigh* Next thing I know, I'll have blinked and we'll be celebrating her first birthday...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nerd Chic

Carter picked his own clothes for church yesterday.

I'm kind of loving the plaid on plaid action. Totally geek chic, which works in this family. Get this kid a pair of Buddy Holly glasses! :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Easter

I figured this year was my one ONLY chance to go full matchy-matchy Easter attire, so I ran with it. It took some work to convince Carter that wearing a pink and white tie was cool enough for him (Look! Zig-zags! Just like an Easter egg!), but I had him convinved by Saturday night. :)

I also realized on Sunday morning that the perfect picture of all three kids will probably never happen. Of the ones I took, I got closed eyes, crazy eyes, hair in eyes, and baby eating the dress. And in this one, three of four.

For Allison's dress I used Simplicity 2460 with an added collar and contrast hem band (don't be fooled by the drawings! There is no contrast hem band peice!). Lindsey's is from McCalls 4351 (which is out-of-print... I bought it when Allison was a baby and had never used it!). The collar and midriff sash are added. I liked both patterns, but had to make changes to both of them to make them work with the fabric I used. The pink satin taffeta was in my stash from when a JoAnn's location liquidated nearby (just $10 for a 4 yard bolt!) and I was determined to use it. I love how they turned out with the pink and white... I was concerned that they pink would be too much "wow, pepto bismo puke!" but I like how the white contrast toned it down. Still very pink, but not so pukey.

For Carter's tie I used my favorite online tutorial and pattern and appliqued white chevron's onto the pink. Its pretty thrown together, but I figured it will only get worn once... maybe twice if I can get him to put it on for portraits. But it held up surprisingly well in the wash, so I was pleased. :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and were able to take time to remember the amazing gift of our Savior, His saving, atoning grace and the miracle of the resurrection that we can all look forward to.