Saturday, November 21, 2009

Our Chore "System"

I thought I’d share the most effective chore system we’ve ever had as this topic has come up on several lists lately. I wrote down every chore I could think of on individual cards. At about 4:30 in the afternoon I sit down and flip through the cards to see what needs done that day. I pull these out divide the harder ones into two piles and put what seems appropriate for a 4 and 6 year in two other piles. I then call the kids in and hand them their pile. They go do all of the chores, bring the cards back when done and I check them and have them redo anything needed.
When the younger ones finish their chores they are free to help the older ones, but the older ones are not allowed to use any coercion methods to get their help. The older ones know that as soon as the younger children are trained they will take on more chores and make less work for them, so they very readily encourage the help and teach them to work. Also, if any of the children are done with their chores they are also free to come and help me with mine. This is most often done when I am baking anything. Kamron gets the most help from the little ones, because he offers time on his bed/fort for those who help him. Aubrey usually just pleads with them, which sometimes works, but we are also working on helping her to get cooperation through other means.
I also no longer pay for extra chores. If there are extra or unusual jobs that need done I write it on a card and hand it to them, during chore time. The kids do get an unconnected allowance for being a hard working member of the family.

A sample stack of chores for the day might be:
Kamron (11yos)
Wash tables and chairs completely
Vacuum all floors
Clean toilet
Clean out old food in fridge, wipe down shelves
Tidy frontroom, look around edges and under things
Change kitty litter

Aubrey (9yos)
Vacuum edges of all rooms with hose
Sweep and mop kitchen floor
Clean entry hall
Take everything, except maps out of car and put or throw away
Take out garbage

Brennen (6yos)
Tidy hall
Pick up room and make bed

Logan (4yos)
Make bed
Use wipe and clean all doorknobs and light switches

During this time I am typically tidying/reorganizing a certain area of the house, folding clothes and making dinner, while supervising or reteaching how to do a chore. That is our simplest, yet most effective method to date.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Overheard at Our House This Week

I took Seth, 2 yro, with me to Aubrey’s dance class. He started talking to everyone. He walked up to a man and gestures to me and says very matter-of-factly, “That’s my sister.” Then he does his fake laugh and says, “Just kiddin’, that’s my Grandma.”

Seth got in the car after church today. He looked at Dad and says, “Dad you are my hero. I understand you.” He has been walking around telling everyone he understands them lately.

I told the kids we were going to have a pie. Four-year-old, Logan jumped up and asked if he could help make it. I took it out of the oven and said it was actually already done. He looked at me and said, “how can you make it so fast?” I smiled and told him I had bought it already made. His eyes grew wide and he said, “Mom, you are so cool.”

Sethie told me a story today. It went like this, “Once upon a time, there was a car. It went fast. Amen.”

Logan asked me today, “If I wash my hands and then they touch each other, are they still clean?”

Three of the kids went to friends' houses, Logan, 4, and Kamron, 11 were left home. Kamron allowed Logan on his bed/fort, where they developed a secret handshake and a secret club. He shared his candy and they played. Pretty soon I hear Kamron say, "Logan, I am so glad you stayed home today, I didn't know how fun it was to be with you." Logan just offered a huge hug and said, "You are my biggest bud."

Aubrey asked me if she was attractive. She then went into the bathroom and came back with globs of gel in her hair. Oh, my. "I want to look really nice today," she explained. Ummm.

Brennen has discovered a new talent-he can burp on demand...loudly. Kamron's friends were over and at first were much impressed, and then after awhile the oldest one said that was enough. See, it isn't just Mom that gets tired of some of the antics of boys.

I taught Kamron's class in church today. What a fun lot of boys! Before class Kamron asked me if I would only be teaching one week or more. The boy next to him, with one of those wrinkled expressions, asked in an undertone if he wanted his mom to teach him. Kamron replied, "Yeah! She teaches me at home, then she could teach me here too, it would be great!" After class, they asked me to teach again next week, Kamron's reply was "woohoo!" It's nice to know he likes having me around.

Crochetted Vests for Fall

My children love to match, so I made the three younger boys these coordinated fall vests. Each vest is trimmed with the color of one of the other vests. I made Brennen's last and didn't realize how tall he was getting, so the stripe got added for extra length as I ran out of yarn, hey it's hard to gauge when you are just making it up as you go=). They love them and have worn them to church for the last three weeks in a row. My oldest asked for one too. He also asked for a suit as he likes to dress up for church. I opted to get him the suit, instead of making him a vest, as I didn't know how it would look on a boy his age. I thnk a knitted vest would look better on the older children, so if I ever learn to knit, maybe I'll make them all another set.

The next thing on the hook is pink... I hope to finish it next week when we are traveling to Utah for Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Kevin and I have been married 12 years! We took a few days to go to Yosemite alone. We had only a vague plan and no reservations. The only thing left was unheated tent cabins which the clerk told us were $100 a night, not willing to pay that we went to the car and called a reservation line and booked one for $50, then went back to the counter and told them we had reservations.

We hiked as much as I could as a six month pregnant lady. Kevin took lots of pictures, getting half dome from many angles. We drove up to a mountain point that overlooked the valley, which was particularly beautiful.

I wish we could have gotten more pictures of the animals. We saw families of mule deer that didn't flinch when we came within ten yards. We had two raccoons come and look at our dinner plates. We saw watched a crow repeat its call over and over in the Sequoia forest, and we saw an animal that had the markings of a raccoon, but the build of a ferret. It was rather nice, slow and peaceful.