Monday, January 24, 2011

the chore store

This morning, as I checked emails, facebook posts (because that is a necessity), and downed my coffee---I heard Kaya in the pantry scratching around. She had spilled some cereal and told me she needed to "broom up and mop up her mess."When I saw her, I remembered how much I love our new plan of action---The Chore Store.

I started this at the beginning of the year because I was sick and tired of doing everything around the house. I had used chore charts before (including the one below) but start losing enthusiasm.....don't follow through.....and my kids of course, followed my lead.

But I was done. An enthusiastic housekeeper, I am not. And an enthusiastic housekeeper who was beginning to feel like a maid picking up after everyone, I definitely am not.

So The Chore Store was created.

Each week we decide on chores Zander and Kaya can help with. When they complete the chore the get a penny to put in their Chore Store Jar. If they initiate helping on their own they get a nickel----and I praise them with huge enthusiasm! Whatever house is slowly becoming less of a cluttered disaster..

They love getting their money! Once a week, they can shop at the Chore Store. Amazingly, they stay out of it. They do remember the rule: The store is only open in the Living Room, when mom opens it. It stays in a kitchen corner when it is closed.

There are 3 drawers in the "store". They can purchase items for 10 cents, 25 cents, or 50 cents. I haven't had to purchase anything yet to stock the store.....I found all of the treasures in closets, forgotten boxes, my purse....So this has been great at getting me to sort through some clutter in the house too!

This is great for helping them get some sort of money sense. It is almost impossible to get 50 cents in a week so they have to make a choice: spend now or save. I am so impressed that they do want to save sometimes! Of course, they are 4 and 5, and sometimes instant gratification is what they are looking for!

After many attempts at keeping some order and trying to install some family responsibility, this seems to work for us! And I've stuck with it for longer than two proud of myself! Maybe I should get to shop in the chore store....

Do you have a chore plan you use? I'd love to hear what works for you!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

just a reminder

This morning was one of those mornings where I woke up about an hour before I needed to and thought I'll just get up. My plan was to clean some of the files off of the computer so it can work a little faster and I can read email once again.

I first took a glance at some of my old pictures and found this picture taken exactly a year ago today...

My sweet little boy. Helping without complaining. Ask and he will nicely do---

Boy, I needed that reminder. Because fast-forward to now and YIKES!!! My prayer each day now as I get him ready for school: Please God, give me the patience and strength not to slap that smart mouth. So far, the prayer has worked.....but barely....

Thank goodness he doesn't act like that at school yet. But boy, I have to nip this attitude-thing or I'm afraid he will. Kaya and I will be having a perfect day and he comes in the door and lets us know how much he doesn't like us, how everything is so stupid, how his life is just so horrible.... I feel so privileged that he saves his obnoxious behavior for us at home.

I have ordered the book Have You Filled Your Bucket Today? that a friend suggested and it can not get here soon enough. I just want my sweet child back. I want my child back that realizes that people don't want to be around him when he complains about everything, makes ugly faces at everyone, and just acts like a jerk to those who love him the most.

Until then, I will look at these pictures that seem so sweet. To remind myself-----he CAN be kind, he WILL be kind, and this too MUST pass.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

be still and know that I am

Each year I make tons of resolutions.....a new year is time to get started on a bigger, better me. Like most everyone I'm pretty good at keeping them.....for the first week or so. I am usually still running on adrenaline after prepping & carrying out all of the duties for the holiday season.
But this year, God had other plans.
Of course I volunteered to be room mom for Z's class. Of course I was planning a special holiday party. Of course I took pictures and bought 120 Christmas cards to send out. Of course I was going to make a million cookies for everyone I knew. Of course we were going to have the picture-perfect Christmas.
And then of course, I got the flu.

I'm not talking a simple cough with a low-grade fever. I'm talking high fever for several days, chest congestion and wheezing, a headache so bad it hurt to blink my eyelids. And it would be way too easy for just I to get it---the kids had to get sick also. I was dreading the call to my mom to tell her we couldn't come up for Christmas....but she beat me to the punch and called to say she had the flu.

So everything I had planned.....immediately stopped. But I did get a crash course in prayer and meditation. What else was I going to do? Well besides play Bejeweled Blitz, Fluffy, and Cafe World on Facebook.

I've had a rough year. An emotionally draining year---maybe one day I'll have the heart and bravery to blog about it, but not today---but I made it through. But I never really took the time to be still----and listen----to what God has to tell me.

God told me all right. Be STILL and KNOW that I AM. Everything will be okay. Just look, your presents were delivered late. Your Christmas cards still aren't finished. Yes, you are behind with your Usborne business. You still have not shampooed the carpets. You did not read all of those books to the kids you were planning to read. You have 700 emails to sort through.
But everything is fine. It is okay. Be still.

So instead of making a spreadsheet of things to accomplish, planning a monthly menu, developing a fitness plan, or promising to do something every day: I will be still. Every morning. And focus on what God wants be to do for the day. And if I can't figure out what He wants, I will just enjoy the moment and the life I live.