I’m blogging from my living room… on my BRAND NEW LAPTOP! Mom got a good deal on it and gave it to me for Christmas! I’m so shocked! I LOVE IT!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about children and chores. Why must it be such a chore to get them to do their chores? We use incentives as in allowance… *I* use nagging *blush* Doesn’t work too well, really. So, after reading a book and chatting w/ a friend I’m coming up with a new system.
They will each have their daily required chores. Then there will be ‘extras’ that they can choose to do. All chores are worth 10 cents, so they can earn more or less depending on how many extras they do. Then, for extra bonus, if they do it promptly & w/out arguing about it, they get a sticker for the day. Once they earn 10 stickers they get 100 “Mima’s Moolah” bucks. (Something my MIL invented) They can then use those “Mima’s Moolah” bucks to “buy” something from the “Mima’s Moolah” box.
I talked to them about it this morning and they all said it sounded like a good plan. It puts them more in control of their chores and attitude about their chores, so we’ll see how it goes…
Parenting is definitely the hardest job I’ve ever had. I struggle with allowing my children to develop their God-given personalities, likes/dislikes and wills. Some days (A lot of days) I’d rather them all be quiet, genteel, meek children. I remember that when I was growing up there was a lot of talk about “breaking the will of the child” and “spare the rod, spoil the child” (Which interestingly enough I thought was a Bible Verse, but it turns out that it isn’t!)
Anyway.. some days I wonder if parenting that way would be better. Spank for every misconduct. Discipline for every little wrong doing and don’t ever back down until their will is broken.
But then I think… where did they get that will? What if I break the will that God was going to use for His glory one day? And if I do break that will, what is going to happen? Will that child, when s/he comes of age, use the will however s/he chooses because s/he was never taught that it was ok to have that strong will if they are using it to glorify God? I have seen this happen in a lot of the “strong willed children” I knew while growing up.
So I truck along… doing what I’m doing and praying that it’s what the Lord wants me to do. Still… at times… I think that the appearance of ‘perfect’ sounds wonderful.
Day 2 of Christmas Vacation! I love it! No arguements about schoolwork AND it’s so much easier to keep the house cleaned up when I have the morning free! WOO HOO!
Shhh!!! Don’t tell the kids, but we’re having Christmas at our house tomorrow! They don’t know… They think we’re going to be opening our gifts here on Friday, so it’s going to be fun surprising them! DH is getting home from work early & then I’m going to take the kids somewhere: either outside or for a drive & while we’re out he’s going to set up all the gifts. When we get home, we’ll have present time!!! And I’m making Christmas Dinner for us too: Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Taters, the works! I’m kinda excited about starting our own family traditions. I felt a little silly doing it before because the kids were too young to care, but this year it’s going to be fun!
We recently decorated for Christmas… our tree is filled w/ homemade ornaments and the kids keep adding to it
Topic 1: It snowed a lot last night, so we made sure to get some good outside time after school was done. It’s not too cold, thankfully. It’s much easier to enjoy the snowy outdoors when it’s not below 20 degrees. Even Alyssa was happy out there. My goal is to get some outdoor time daily, but that’s difficult to do in the winter, especially when it get below 0, so I’m trying to get out as much as possible now cause I know we’ll be cooped up later.
Topic 2: I was thinking the other day how much that we, even as adults, need our parents. I know some of us have “shunned” our parents in a way, but many of us still call them for various reasons. This hit me because of Sammy’s tonsillitis. Who did I call when his fever hit 105? Not my Dr… I called Mom. And the time we were at my Moms house and Beth fell down and passed out? I called my step-dad to come help cause I was too scared. Over the years, tho I’m married & have children of my own I still find that I rely on my parents to keep me reassured when things are a bit scary… or to offer advice when I’m not sure what to do. I know it’s not like this for all families, so I feel blessed that I am able to still have a good relationship with them.
Topic 3: Why can’t children just do their chores w/out complaining? They have a chore chart, they are required to do the chores daily… and still it’s a daily hour (or more!!) of complaining and me redirecting them back to doing their chores. (Cause they get distracted while doing them.) Case in point: Right now it’s chore time. I’m sitting in the kitchen because James and Levi tend to bicker if I’m not w/ them. Annoying phase, but hopefully will be over soon… anyway. James’ shirt is wet, so he needed to go change it. That was 3 minutes ago and he’s still not back. Beth is cleaning the living room, but what she does is pick up one book, look it over for a while, then put it away. Then she picks up another book and does the same, etc, etc, until it’s done. *sigh* I think part of my issues w/ it is that I just want it DONE. I don’t see why they have to dawdle… it just needs to be done.
Topic 4: Dairy is extremely difficult to avoid.
Good morning! I got SLEEP last night… Alyssa & I were asleep by 9:30 and she didn’t wake up for her first nursing until 4:35!! That’s 7 hrs of sleep! Can you believe it?!?! Then she nursed in a sleepy way and zonked out for another 3 hrs. It’s shocking, really! I’m sure it was a fluke… but it was soooo nice.
This morning we woke up to 6+ inches of snow! The kids were so excited that they were bundled up and ready to go out by 8:20! We went outside to play, but it only lasted about 35 minutes before Sammy was complaining that he was too cold. It was pretty chilly… but SO NICE to finally get outside. I feel like we’ve been cooped up for too long. Unfortunately the snow wasn’t good snowman snow, but kids seem to be pretty resourseful and have fun in it no matter what. They made snow angels, tried to do snowball fights, ate the snow and made tracks all over the yard in it. They had a really good time.
While I was out there I realized how nice it is not to be pregnant. Even with Alyssa in the sling I was able to move around the yard and play w/ the kids so much easier than I could when I was pregnant. My hip and back problems are correcting themselves now and it’s so freeing to be able to move with minimal pain again!
OFF TOPIC: (This is becoming daily.. maybe I should make it a daily thing! Lol!) I realized that Smart Balance has dairy in it! So I really haven’t been off dairy yet at all. *sigh* So… Today is the REAL day 1 of being dairy free (hopefully) Alyssa’s skin was starting to clear up just w/ cutting back on the dairy, so hopefully her other problems will resolve themselves once our bodies are clear of dairy for a few weeks. This is more difficult than I remembered it being.
We’ve been having issues here lately w/ the children being unkind to each other. They just seem to get on each other’s nerves easily and blow up at the smallest things. I’ve been talking to them about being kind to each other. Then last weekend I had an idea for my family. We are to each draw a name & do something special for that person. I mentioned it to the kids & James decided to do it now and he decided to pick Beth. (he he… not exactly the way it works, but oh well). So today he’s been doing special things for Beth. He drew her a picture, let her choose a movie and even offered to help her clean her room!
I think we’ll draw a new name every day and spend the day making that person feel special up until Christmas. I know it could continue past Christmas, but I want it to be something special and not get to be ‘old hat’.
Side Note: I’m so sad… my crock pot died! That thing is a life saver and now it’s dead.
This morning Alyssa melted my heart. I crawled out of bed before she woke up and made bfast, lunches, etc. Then I peeked into my room and there she was, laying on the bed looking around. I said “Well, good morning sunshine.” and she gave me the biggest, most heart warming smile she’s given yet. Then we were dong school and she started ‘talking’. It was so cute… she sat there looking at Nathan and making baby noises… so sweet.
Now, Sammy on the other hand, has been a complete pill this morning. He keeps throwing fits about EVERYTHING! I know he’s not 100% healthy yet, but it’s very annoying to hear his screaming.
However, I’ve been very thankful for Beth’s help…. Lately she has had quite a knack for helping Sammy get out of his bad moods. She encourages him or distracts him. It’s been so wonderful to see her growing and learning to help out more.
And despite the fighting we’ve been doing, I think that James is doing a little better too. He still fights and complains over E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G, but I’m realizing it’s 6 y/o isms & that helps me because I realize he will outgrow it. So I try really hard to view each arguement as a teaching session. I also have decided not to tolerate any disrespect, so once he starts going off in a disrespectful manner he is put in his room until he can control himself. Once he gains control he comes out, apologizes and things are better. Phew. It’s exhausting tho… I’m not saying it’s easy. It takes a ton of patience and a lot of time to deal w/ him when he gets on his rampages, but I’m hoping & praying it will help in the end.
We were given a few unexpected blessings of cash over these past couple of weeks and I am SO THANKFUL for them…. because that means I can pay all the bills this month despite Matt’s small paychecks. What a blessing!!!