I've heard about "Christmas in July" but never really got the point. Until today when a friend mentioned that her family was going to watch a Christmas movie and drink cocoa while turning the A/C down a bit cooler in her house. I loved that idea!
So after dinner, the kids raced to get in their PJs, I made hot chocolate with marshmallows and we all watched The Grinch together. It was fun to do something sporadic and unseasonal; everyone loved it. I mean seriously...it was 108 degrees outside and we're drinking cocoa and watching people in the movie who were bundled up and in the snow.
There's one more day of July if you want to borrow this idea for tomorrow night! Maybe you can even make Christmas cookies to snack on...
If you have other Christmas in July ideas or traditions, be sure to leave a comment.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I've heard about "Christmas in July" but never really got the point. Until today when a friend mentioned that her family was going to watch a Christmas movie and drink cocoa while turning the A/C down a bit cooler in her house. I loved that idea!
16 oz. penne pasta
1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-2 inch chunks.
1 small zucchini, sliced into matchsticks
1/4 pound haricots verts* or regular green beans, stem ends trimmed
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (to sprinkle on each dish)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup basil (20 leaves)
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
1/2 lemon, zested
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
1/3-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (depending on the consistency you like, runny vs. thick)
Cook pasta per package instructions, salting the water before adding the pasta to the pot. After the pasta has been cooking 5 minutes, add the asparagus, green beans, zucchini and red bell peper.
While the pasta and veggies cook, prepare the pesto. Toast pine nuts in a small frying pan until golden brown, then cool. Place nuts, basil, parsley, lemon zest, garlic, Parmesan and a little salt and pepper in a food processor. Turn the processor on and stream in the extra-virgin olive oil until thick sauce forms.
Drain pasta and vegetables, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Combine reserved pasta water with pesto and toss with pasta and vegetables. Serve immediately.
This dish is delicious as-is or you can add diced grilled chicken to incorporate some protein. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.
*Haricots Verts are thin green beans and I've never used them for this recipe. They just sound less ghetto than green beans. :)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I'm soliciting all of your first day of school traditions. Now that Ryan's starting Kindergarten soon (I'm still in shock...) I want to start a few simple traditions to help make the first day back to school special for my kids. Sure, it's exciting NOW, but come high school, most kids dread the end of summer. Fun traditions can buffer the disappointment.
When I was growing up, my mom usually bought me Hostess donuts for the first day of school. I'm not sure she did it every year, but she did it enough for me to remember. Knowing what I know about sugar now, I hesitate to do that and set my kids up for a mid-morning sugar crash on day 1. But rarely-purchased store bought donuts just screams "first day of school" to me, so we'll see. Maybe I can make a bunch of eggs to balance them with protein or something.
For his pre-school years, I've taken a picture of Ryan with his backpack in the same spot of our house on the first and last days of school. Kind of silly, but it works for the school scrapbook I'm making for him. Same picture, same spot, every year.
So what are some first day of school traditions you had growing up? What are some things you do or plan to do for your kids? A special breakfast or dinner? A fun activity after school? A big sha-bang the night before to celebrate the end of summer? I'd love to hear so I can
steal borrow your ideas. I'm not above idea theft - no sense in recreating the wheel!
(Check out this Back to School Bash for older kids...this mom is WAY too creative!!!)
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Not long ago, I had one USB cord. Now suddenly, I seem to have seven. One for my old Olympus camera (that I still use when I'm on the go), one for the new Canon, one for the kids' camera, one for the Leapster game...everything that has an option to download something to the computer has a cord. Seven cords with different plug ends. Ridiculous!
They used to be in a pile on the floor, until I participated in the Spring Cleaning Party. Now they're in a neat little basket above my monitor.
That worked at containing the problem, but the cords quickly began to tangle and I'd need to try one or two cords before finding the right one with the correct adapter for what I needed to download. That's when it hit me: I could LABEL THEM! Yes, I have a handy, dandy label maker, but masking tape and a marker would work just fine, too.
I've also bundled the cords so they're not as long and don't tangle in the basket. My mom taught me this trick with lamp cords. Now I bundle the slack on every cord I can - it looks nicer and there's less risk of kids/pets/husbands getting tangled in the slack.
I mentioned this during the Spring Cleaning Party posts, but I also took the time to label my rechargeable battery cords. This has saved me TONS of headaches - they all looked the same to me!
Now when I go to grab a cord, I look at the labels first. This also works for all of the cords coming out of the back of your computer. I have several of the cords back there labeled, so when I'm problem solving or replacing something, I don't accidentally unplug the wrong cord. So go...label some cords to save yourself some time!
Monday, July 27, 2009
We had our 3D ultrasound today and our baby boy looks so cute and healthy already! Mike's ready to induce labor to get this show on the road. Sure - why not? Technology can help his lungs and brain continue to develop normally, right? :)
(Does anyone else notice that he's fashionably wearing his umbilical cord like a man-shawl?) The kids didn't come with us this morning, but I showed them the 7 minute DVD when we got home. They were thrilled and captivated for all of 2 minutes...it's a good thing they were playing and swimming this morning instead of waiting around for an hour and a half for 2 minutes of excitement! I'm off to take a nap - I'm sugar crashing after my lovely 50g sugar drink from the glucose test this morning. Wow, that was quite the buzz!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
And if you need a laugh, you need to check out this site. Don't forget to read the captions below the pictures! Some of the funniest ones are a few pages back, so be sure to click "older entries" at the bottom.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I've blogged a few times about my frustration that Ryan doesn't yet wake up dry. I didn't plan on blogging about this, but every time I post something that seems like a personal struggle, I end up with comments and emails of people thanking me because they are dealing with the same issue and got ideas or encouragement from my post.
Most potty training parents wait until their child wakes up with dry Pull Ups or diapers for a week before transitioning to underwear at night. Ryan has only ever made it 2-3 nights in a row dry, and that's with huge incentives and help from us by waking him up in the middle of the night.
None of this has been particularly concerning to me since we have two different friends with boys a year old than Ryan and both still wear Pull Ups at night. Last year, they were 5 and Ryan was 4, so I wasn't worried. Now this year, both are still in Pull Ups, just like Ryan - I was in the clear. They were sort of my gage for when to concentrate on eliminating the Pull Ups. Even when Kaylin was able to wake up dry just a few weeks after becoming day-time potty trained, I wasn't concerned about Ryan. We've all heard that "boys are slower" with these things, plus, we have the two friends who are a year older. No biggie.
Then a few weeks ago, I had a conversation with my aunt who is a Psychologist. She mentioned that the Pull Ups people are in the business of making and selling Pull Ups. They don't want my child to wake up dry...they want to keep him as comfortable as possible so we continue to buy Pull Ups. Yes, some kids have accidents into their elementary years, but that should be the exception, not the rule.
Yeah, so? What do I do with that information? Ryan is still waking up with a soaked Pull Up, sometimes to the point of it overflowing onto his sheets. He is a very hard sleeper and is definitely not able to hold it all night. I tried putting him in underwear, often per his request, only to end up doing extra loads of laundry full of soaked sheets, PJs and underwear. Now that I'm moving along in my pregnancy, changing sheets isn't only frustrating, it's exhausting.
She suggested that this is the perfect season of my life to put him in underwear. I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night myself, so I can go in and wake him up to go potty, too. Even if I need to continue to wake him through the night after the baby is born, I'll be getting up to nurse anyway. I decided to do it.
Sure enough, Ryan has woken up dry an average of 6 nights/week. And I'm noticing that the nights he doesn't make it are after long days of swimming, where he's likely swallowed a few extra gallons of pool water.
I've gone from waking him 3 times a night to once just before we go to bed (around 10:00) and once when I wake up in the middle of the night. There have been nights that I don't get up until 5am to go to the bathroom, and even though I'm nervous as I enter his room, he's been dry so far.
The poor boy is so tired when I wake him up that he's often delirious and confused. I have to guide him to the bathroom and often remind him to make sure he gets it IN the toilet. Once he just stood there with his pants around his ankles and peed on the floor in his sleep and another time he curled up on the floor at the base of the toilet and fell back to sleep.
Last night, I stopped to pick up a toy off the floor before following Ryan to the bathroom. When I got in there, the room was empty. I looked all over the upstairs before hearing a huge *THUD* which I thought might be him falling down the stairs. Mike was watching t.v. in our room and apparently Ryan wandered in there, stopped in front of our mirrored closet door, stared at himself for a minute, then walked directly into it at full speed. THAT woke him up!
So we've been pretty successful with this process over the last 3 weeks, and I was very skeptical. And in the meantime, I think we've discovered that Ryan might be a sleep walker, just like me. I don't do it much anymore, but I remember waking up in weird places as a kid. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the mega-pack of Pull Ups in his closet!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
- Heat a small nonstick skillet on medium and spray with cooking spray. Add 1/4 cup batter and allow it to fill the pan to the edges. Cook on one side for 3 minutes before carefully flipping (crepe will be very thin - this takes some practice) to finish cooking 1 minute more. (I tend to use 2 pans to speed up the cooking process, otherwise you're standing over the stove for an hour)
- Stacking crepes on a plate until you're done cooking will keep them hot so that everyone can eat together for a change!
- Top or fill with fresh berries, powdered sugar and honey, whipped cream, bananas and chocolate sauce or Nutella, the possibilities are endless!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Thanks to everyone for your comments, ideas and encouragement after my near-breakdown yesterday. I'm better today. And many have asked what I'm going to do next, so I'll share.
Before our Bible lesson this morning, we reviewed our House Rules. I stopped at each rule that was broken the day before, discussed what happened, how it should have been handled differently and how the rule WILL be followed today. (my sanity depended on it) Nearly every rule was broken by one or both kids. Multiple times throughout the day. I tried to keep my emphasis on how similar situations should be handled in the future.
Ryan immediately asked what was going to happen to the bag of toys. I said, "I don't know yet. I'll let you know in a few days." I really appreciate your thoughts on this one, ladies. I didn't warn the kids that all toys left on the floor would be thrown away because that was never my initial intention. But since I'm not yelling anymore, my rage needs an outlet somewhere, I guess! Good thing the cheap mom in me squashed the rage. All that said, donating the bag would be unfair, so next week, we're going to have a Bible lesson on grace and mercy and then we will put the toys away together.
I also think I need to keep a closer eye on the clean up process in the future. Several of my friends have kids the same ages as mine who hear, "go clean up" and they do it all by themselves. I assumed my kids should do the same, but obviously they need more supervision/direction at this stage in their lives.
Today they picked up when asked and I think the lesson yesterday was learned. Maybe not forever, but at least for now.
In the near future, I like Kara's idea of a "Friday Box" where anything left on the floor after clean up time is over will be taken away until Friday. I generally have the kids pick up their toys before naptime, before bedtime and anytime it gets so out of control that they're stepping on things because the layer of stuff is too thick for their feet to reach the carpet. I'll continue instructing them to clean up, will begin monitoring them more closely and will incorporate the Friday Box as needed. I think this is a good plan and I'm sticking to it. For now. :)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I can't get that song out of my head. Today was so rough on me that it brought me to tears after dinner. These kids have run me ragged and I'm beyond drained.
I'm not sure what went wrong today. I feel like I responded appropriately to meltdowns, toy arguments, disobedience, bad attitudes, you name it. But no one cared what Mom had to say. Nothing I did made an impact.
After a horrible trip to CVS, I put the kids right to bed when we got home. (granted, it was 12:50, only 10 minutes before naptime, but they didn't know that) I was so exhausted from the experience that I crashed for a solid 90 minutes. I woke up in the exact position that I'd fallen asleep and the whole left side of my body was numb from lack of circulation. But I was rested and ready to tackle the remainder of the day with a better attitude.
Our afternoon swim date was postponed, so I planned to bake with the kids and do a fun craft to curb the disappointment. They were unusually gracious about the change of plans, all they needed to do was pick up the playroom and we'd make brownies together and start the craft.
While they cleaned, I started dinner. I'll admit I was a bit distracted, but poked my head into the playroom to make sure things were progressing now and then. Every time I did that, they were playing. (*sigh*) I set the timer for 8 minutes and said that when the timer went off, I would start baking by myself if they weren't done. Sure enough, 8 minutes later I found them body slamming themselves against the couch cushions that had been thrown to the floor. I explained that I was going to start the brownies without them and that the next time I found them playing instead of picking up, there would be consequences. At the time, I had it set in my head that they wouldn't get a brownie as their punishment, but as I put the brownies in the oven, I peeked back in on them and found them giggling and wrestling AGAIN. Consistent with the rest of my day, they were ignoring my instructions and disregarding me completely.
After the day I'd had, I was done. So I grabbed a trash bag and put everything that was on the floor into the bag while Ryan sobbed and begged me to stop. Many of their favorite items were on the floor, including Ryan's pirate and fireman costumes and Kaylin's prized pink princess costume. There's over $100 in toys and costumes in that trash bag that is sitting in the garage awaiting its fate.
We have friends whose kids clean like a tornado every time they're asked to pick up their toys. When I asked what their secret was, I was told that they "threw away" (in actuality, they donated) everything left on the floor of their kids rooms one day and it's never been an issue since.
My problem is that I can't do it. I can't get rid of items that I know my kids cherish and play with and dress up in every day. That's why they were out on the floor to begin with...because they had been used and loved recently.
I never said I was throwing anything away. In fact, I never said a word...I just walked into the room and silently started stuffing the bag. Ryan assumed; and rightly so. He didn't know that I grabbed a trash bag because I figured it was the biggest thing that would hold all of the items on the floor.
So I'm conflicted. Never seeing the toys and costumes again would prove a major point, but many of the items in the bag are less than a month old - Ryan's birthday gifts. I have no problem donating toys that aren't being appreciated, but things they use and love? I seriously just...can't.
I think what I'm going to do is put the bag away and allow them to earn back a certain number of items from the bag and donate the rest. Maybe 3 or 5 things each and they can choose their favorites.
I don't know what to do. I'm at a loss. I just want to curl up in bed and erase today from my memory. If you have suggestions, I'm all ears. I won't read them until tomorrow - I'm sure I'll be less raw by then and open to ideas.
Do you hate laundry? Most people do - it just never goes away. It's almost as bad as dishes...our families just keep using dishes and wearing clothes and getting them dirty and they run out of a necessity and it all falls on you and me and it's a crazy, never-ending cycle.
But I don't hate laundry. Not anymore. And I'd love to share some tips with you so that you can get to the point where you don't dread it, either.
Option 1: DO A LOAD A DAY (for large families or if you have a newborn) - When Ryan was a baby, we had daily occurrences of him either spitting up all over me, or all over himself, or both. Or worse...we'd have an out-of-the-collar-of-his-onesie blowout diaper. At the time, I didn't have a laundry room...I had a laundry closet, so space was limited. And soaking stains in Oxy Baby was done in my kitchen sink, which was always in the way. It quickly became necessary to do laundry daily, but once I had a routine, I didn't mind it so much. I got in the habit of doing light clothes one day, darks the next. If there was a really light load day, I usually threw in either a load of towels or sheets. I'd toss everything in at night, wake up and throw it all in the dryer, then quickly fold the load after breakfast. That system worked for me for years.
Option 2: DO LAUNDRY TWICE A WEEK (for smaller families with less clothes to wash) - I strongly recommend NOT having "laundry Saturday." 5+ loads of laundry in one day is just too much. And if you choose to cram all of those clothes into 2-3 loads, things probably aren't given enough room to get clean, unless you have the amazingly coveted mega-washers they have nowadays. (and I'm so jealous if you do...) Now that everyone in my house uses the bathroom and we no longer deal with spit up (for the next few months, anyway!) I'm down to doing 2-3 "medium" loads twice a week: Wednesdays and Saturdays. It's still not overwhelming to me because remember...I no longer hate laundry. The loads are smaller, faster, and easier to sort, fold and put away. It's very manageable.
PRE-SORT COLORS - I have two large baskets in our laundry room: one for lights, one for darks. When I bring dirty clothes downstairs, I sort them immediately so I don't have to mess with it on laundry day.
PRE-SOAK - My washer has a setting where it adds the water to the soap and clothes, then sits for anywhere from 15-30 minutes to pre-soak. Since I began using this feature, I hardly have to treat for spots and stains. Sitting in the soapy water for a little while before washing does wonders for keeping clothes stain-free! I recently told a friend about this trick and, since she doesn't have the same setting on her washer, she stops the agitation cycle after the water is added and sets her kitchen timer for 30 minutes before turning the washer back on. I highly recommend pre-soaking!
WHITE VINEGAR - Adding a 1/2 cup of white vinegar to your washer (with the soap) eliminates odors during washing and you won't need to use dryer sheets in the dryer. I'm sure there's an amazing reason why this works, but I don't know what it is - I just know it works!
FOLD IMMEDIATELY - I'm sure most of you reading this either let your dried clothes sit in the dryer or in a pile on your floor until you're in the mood to fold them. I have never understood this concept. First of all, this creates so much unnecessary ironing! And even though I don't hate laundry, I'm not a fan of ironing. At all. Folding the clothes straight from the warm dryer reduces tons of wrinkles. Secondly, leaving a pile of clothes in a heap is about as productive as unloading the dishwasher and putting all of your dishes in stacks on the counter. It won't take long to confuse what's clean and what's dirty. Even if you keep the clean, unfolded clothes contained in a basket or something, they're just sitting there in a wrinkled mess.
I understand the times when you're in a hurry and need to rush a load out of the dryer if you need to rotate in a load from the washer. When this happens, I tend to pull out shirts and pants and fold them, then leave the socks, underwear and hand towels to fold later.
SORT LIKE ITEMS - If you're family members are different genders and vastly different sizes, like mine are, you may need to sort very little. I tend to make piles of socks, underwear and dish towels/washclothes so the process of folding like items goes faster. If you have all boys, all girls, or kids very close in age, consider sorting the clean clothes by family member so that the folding and putting away task is more streamlined.
GET THE KIDS INVOLVED - I don't have my kids help fold the clothes yet, but they both put their own clothes away. For elementary aged kids and older, don't hesitate to get each of them a laundry basket and have them fold their own clothes.
SEPARATE ITEMS THAT NEED ATTENTION - I have a small bucket in my laundry room with buttons that end up in the lint trap and (if I happen to notice which clothing the button popped off of) I'll safety pin the button to the shirt/pants to sew on later. (okay, let's be honest: I ask my mother in law to sew them on...I'm pathetic and can't properly sew a button!) I also have an area where I pull clean clothes that are too small and need to be packed away for future children, plus a basket for items that inevitably need to be ironed before being worn.
Tips from friends:
- Hate sorting socks? I know someone who hated the process of sorting socks, so she got baskets for each family member just to hold their socks. They kept them in the laundry room (which was by the main entrance to their house) so everyone found their own matched pair before putting on their shoes to leave for the day.
- Do you suspect that you're washing clean clothes? I'll never forget the day my cousin added a pile of folded laundry to the washing machine. It was at that moment that she realized that for her 9 year old daughter, "clean up your room" meant tossing the clothes - ALL clothes - into the hamper. Even if they were folded and waiting to be put away. My cousin purchased one of those inexpensive shoe hangers and had her kids put their ONE dirty outfit from each day into one of the shoe cubbies. This also magically eliminated the washing of the "it's clean but ended up on the floor because I changed outfits so many times this morning" issue. Those clean clothes were getting re-washed, too. I thought this was a genius idea!
- Do you air dry your clothes? If you either line dry or flat-dry some of your clothes, consider putting them from the washer directly onto hangers. This eliminates a step altogether and, once the shirts or pants are dry, they are already hung up and in the closet (or at least ready to transfer to the closet).
Do you have laundry tips you'd like to share? Leave a comment so everyone can benefit!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Turkey sandwiches, veggies and dip, fruit salad
Salads for me
Monday - Bean and Cheese Quesadillas
Tuesday - Chicken Pesto Pizza
Wednesday - Chicken Fried Rice
Thursday - Cranberry Chicken with baked potatoes and salad
Friday - Taco Salad
Saturday - Eat out
Sunday - Something on the grill
Sunday, July 19, 2009
What is it with the over-the-top parties? Birthday parties are just some people's "thing," I guess. While many people try to keep up with the Jones', I found a mom who just happens to do great parties. It's her thing.
We went to a Princess Party today that was amazing. I think I'll do about 10% of what this mom did for Kaylin's princess party next month, unless I can get away with borrowing a bunch of this other mom's stuff - she thought of everything!
The guests were instructed to come in their princess attire, so everyone looked the part. There was a castle as we entered that led to the dining room table, which was set to the nines with white chair covers and huge purple ribbons, pink and purple everything, Cinderella carriage centerpieces, glass slipper place holders...Kaylin was in awe. The kids decorated wooden mirrors with jewels and glitter glue before eating star-shaped sandwiches (on popsicle sticks, made to look like wands), glass slipper Jell-O cutouts, chocolate dipped strawberries and pink Princess punch in glasses decorated with roses, ribbon and pink tulle.
The girls played "pass the purse," which was similar to "hot potato" except that everyone wanted the music to stop on them because they got to open the purse and pick a prize. Cinderella showed up as a surprise and, after getting dolled up at the vanity with glitter, star stamps, make up, jewelry and a tiara, each of the girls had her picture taken with Cinderella in front of the castle. The party ended with gifts and cupcakes, and we left with party favors that consisted of a wand and a tiara-shaped sugar cookie. Not to mention the lip gloss, rings and tiara Kaylin got at the vanity station, the glass slipper and carriage with pink M&Ms at her table setting, plus the decorated mirror and the nail polish she won during the "pass the purse" game. My purse overfloweth!
Friday, July 17, 2009
The kids get filthy
They hunt for bears (if you click on the picture below, you will see that some kids have light sabers)
And obviously, they manage just fine without their wives! (that log below was the "firewood" - they just fed the fallen tree into the fire for a continuous burn)
This was 11 of the 14 kids on the camping trip. (age range 20 months to 7 years) While hiking, they all sat down to rest in a perfect row and the guys scrambled to whip out their cameras because it was so cute. Apparently, this picture is unposed.
I have a few more things checked off of my 101 Goals in 1001 Days list and they're big ones for me!
#23 - Keep the desk clutter-free for 1 month - I am not a fan of clutter, but our desk in the office is so spacious that it naturally collects stuff. Plus, it's right at the top of the stairs, so it becomes a dumping ground for all of the things that need to find a home upstairs. Keeping my desk clutter-free for over two months (I just haven't blogged about it) has been such a freeing feeling! I hope I can keep it up.
#84 - Go a whole week without raising my voice to the kids, not once - I DID IT! I actually decided to keep track and grade myself at the end of every day. If I didn't raise my voice at all, A+. Once: A, Twice: A-, you get the idea. If I even snapped at the kids, I docked myself for it. After the first day I started tracking (June 29th - I got an F that day!) I had plenty of B's at first, then some A-'s and for the last 7 days, all A+s! I really attribute this to creating a Family Mission Statement and posting our House Rules on the fridge. Part of our mission is to have a peaceful, kind, joy-filled home and that's hard to sustain when there's yelling going on. So I've reminded myself of that every day, choosing to speak closely and quietly to my kids, forcing them to tune in and pay attention. I'm sick of only getting their attention when they know I'm upset - I'm done! And I will continue to grade myself every day to keep accountable to this higher standard.
#95 - Do a devotional with the kids every day for 2 weeks - This may have also helped with #84 above. Each and every morning for the last two weeks (and every other day or so for a few weeks before that) we've done a Bible lesson at breakfast. Our church sends home 4 daily devotionals for the Kindergarteners, so that helps give us some structure, but for the other 3 days, I've had to get creative and expand on the lessons Ryan's learning in Sunday school. This month's virtue is Forgiveness and his memory verse (that both kids now know by heart...and so do I) is Colossians 3:13 - "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Spending this time each day discussing the Bible and how it applies to our lives has been an awesome experience so far. The kids love learning and I love pulling examples from our days into the lesson to show the connection. I highly recommend doing this...even if your kids are little like mine! I never would have thought we would all get so much out of this time together.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I've watched enough Super Nanny to know that it benefits everyone in the house to put some "Family Rules" in writing. Well, after writing out our Family Mission Statement, I decided to go over it with the kids, so they know our goals as a household. Then I quickly realized it is too complicated for them to understand at this age. So I updated and simplified our House Rules and typed them up to display on the fridge. They align perfectly with our mission statement and are all things we are either currently struggling with or have struggled with in the past. Having this list in print also gives me a reference to go back to when I need to remind the kids of a certain behavior, and it keeps my mini-lecture short and consistent every time, instead of using different words or examples and potentially confusing or overwhelming them.
I thought I'd post these just in case it inspires some of you to sit down and create your own house rules. They will likely mold and change over time, but putting something down on paper gives them much more power than just having them in your head. Saying, "No arguing, Ryan. Remember: it's a house rule," impacts him much more quickly for some reason. It's almost like, he understands the concept of rules being non-negotiable...they are what they are.
- Listen and obey the first time – say “Yes Mom” or “Yes Dad"
- Be respectful – no talking back or arguing with grown ups or guests
- Use your words – no whining, pouting or bad attitudes
- Be honest – no lying, ever
- Love each other – no hitting, biting, pinching or scratching
- Be kind and joyful - treat others how you want to be treated and be respectful of others and their belongings
- Be grateful – you get what you get and don’t throw a fit; no arguing or complaining
- Use manners – no interrupting when others are talking, inside voices in the house, say, "please," "thank you," and "excuse me."
- Be generous and considerate – share and take turns, let others go first, don’t be selfish with toys or games
- Do what is right – even when others don’t or when no one is looking
- Work out differences using soft words – no screaming, whining or tattling
- Look for ways to serve others with a happy heart
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
My sweet girl. The following conversation occurred this weekend:
Kaylin: "Mommy, when you're done having a baby brother for Ryan, can you have a baby sister for me?"
Me: "Yes, honey, we're going to try. But you need to start praying to God now for a baby sister because only He can give us a baby girl."
Kaylin: (sigh) "Well, if God gives us another baby brother after this baby brother than I'm never gonna get a baby sister."
Me: "That's why we need to pray really hard to Jesus. He will give you the desires of your heart, sweetie. I want you to get a baby sister, too."
Bless her! She's not even three years old and has this all figured out. She's been very excited about the new baby, despite the fact that she really, really wanted a sister. There was a moment of disappointment in the ultrasound room, but since then, this is the first time she's brought up a baby sister again. I hope she gets her baby sister because I just love having a little girl! If not, it will just have to be she and I sticking it out with a house full of boys.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I'm so glad I found this online Photoshop class. I've learned so much so far and I'm only 1/2 way through! Some of my practice projects are huge files and won't upload, but here's a "smaller" one I did today. Sorry it's a boring picture that I just posted - it's going in my Project 365 scrapbook. I love the font for the word, "finally." I have a feeling I'll be using that one a lot! One of the biggest things I've wanted to learn was how to put text on pictures. Shouldn't be that tough, right??? Well, I finally have it down.
The only problem is that I'm now near-obsessed with playing with Photoshop. It's probably a good thing I caught myself up on scrapbooking last weekend or I'd be messing around with all of the pictures I needed to print. Speaking of, I should probably go downstairs and hang out with my husband instead of
bragging posting on my blog. Until tomorrow...