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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

By passing Bickering

In my blogger heading I mention that there is a 30% chance for tantrums in our little slice of heaven here, but lately it has been more like 50% chance OF FLOOD. Now don't get me wrong. Usually my kiddos get along great and show respect and love toward one another but there are those days that the bicker bug runs rampant in our house biting everyone in sight.

For instance:

"He/she took all the good chores!"

"I never get to be the first to read."

"How come we are having THAT for breakfast?"

"But we had the kind of sandwich already this week."

"It is my turn to use the remote!"

"Why can't I pick the movie for movie night?"

"He/she got to say the meal prayer last time." (I know the irony is thick here.)

"But Mom said that I get to help cook, today."

"If you unlock the doors today, I get to the rest of the week."

"How come so-and-so got to do what-ever-it-is-that-i-don't-get-to-do-right-now?"

"Is his/her turn up for the computer so that I can play?"

"You sat by mom last time."

"But I never get to turn the lights out!"

"He got to the door first and it is my turn!"

"No, I get to carry the library card, Costco card, receipt..etc."

"But said sibling is standing in my spot!" (These are imaginary placements at the front door before we head out...not sure who started this but I want to pull my hair out with retraining them with the fact that the floor, all of it, belongs to me.)

And on and on and on...just think about your own childhood and I am sure you are siding with one of those comments above.

So in the trenches of sibling rivalry here, I came across a unique idea that is mind boggling in an article written in, A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion,by Diane Jeppson: give each child a day for all the privileges. There is no keeping track minute to minute, instance to instance, wracking my brain trying to remember who did what when and how long ago that it was.

We labeled it, "Kid of the Day", on our new chalkboard wall.

This has been revolutionary. Granted there is still the little skirmish here and there, but all I have to do is add my two cents of, "What does the board say, who's turn it is?" Like magic the fighting stops immediately. Because each child agreed to it, and knows the consequence of throwing a fit on their off day...they lose a turn, they usually take it in stride and sometimes seem genuinely good with it.

We are currently on the second week of testing this out and so far so good. The kids wake up and run to the board to see whose turn it is today and are amazingly happy for that individual. I make sure to vary the particular day with each kid as well. Some days are just more fun than others at our house. It would be a downer to always be the Kid of the Day on say, Tuesday. I'll be honest not much happens in the adventure department on Tuesdays. I mean how exciting is laundry day?

Just like anything I am sure it won't always work but for now we love having a Kid of the Day!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chalkboard Paint is Great

Yes, chalkboard paint and I are now friends. I want to paint every flat surface with this stuff.

I had way too much fun working on my big organization/magnet/chalkboard wall this week. Finally, I have everything that goes on in our house in one spot! Plus I get a little kick out of writing on the wall. :)

Before paint...

Painted and the long three days wait begins.

Now, rockin' it, organizational style with top right weekly menu, calendar, shopping lists, chore chart, Family Home Evening assignments, and room for all the other things that go on in our house.

Of course, this makes me want to put together cute glass magnets.  And eventually, when I am in my own house, not a rental...I will glue down some fabulous molding for a chic framed look to hide the screws.  But for now, I love having a place for our life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Latter-day Homeschooling, Are You Next?

Latter-day Homeschooling

You thought I was going to challenge all of you to homeschool, didn't you?  Don't worry you are safe. ;)  Actually I wanted to share this blog with others in the hopes that the fine ladies who run Latter-day Homeschooling would be so kind as to include my blog on their blog list so that I can be more integrated into the blogosphere of those who choose to join this amazing, yet crazy journey of keeping your kids home and still get them educated and maintain all those things that go with raising a family and keeping a home intact.

It makes my day to see an update on my blog roll for Latter-day Homeschooling when I check my blog.  I always come away after reading with something to better in my own homeschool, or reassurance that I am not insane, or an aspect of homeschooling life that I hadn't thought of and then can ponder upon.

My homeschooling journey started over ten years ago and feel that I have much to learn still, but realized also that I am breaking into new ground and will soon be considered a "seasoned homeschooling mom" as I approach schooling with a teenager. Some how I feel more like a good piece of stake. Well salted on the outside but some what rare and squishy in the middle. ;)  But I have learned much along the way and would hope to be useful in saving someone else from my mistakes. Besides passions are to be shared!

Monday, April 4, 2011

My New Guilty Pleasures

Apparently I excel at losing weight from the hours of 6am to 3:30pm.  After that, all bets are off. 

My Weight Watchers meeting/weigh in always give me a half hour at least, to ponder, sometimes steam about, and to reflect upon what I could be doing better so as not to repeat the same old habits that got me where I am today.  (i.e. to many fruits and vegetables are not the problem.) 

So in order to beat the bulge, stay on track, and not blow the benefit of the 2 1/2 mile run for the day, every day, I succumbed to, what I hope will be, three diverting reads. 

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Water for Elephants, and The Postmistress.  

Honestly, I wanted The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, but refused to spend full price on a hardback and in so doing spent more on three paperbacks. 

Shhhh, don't tell Mister. :)  

I know nothing more about these books other than that they are best sellers, prominently displayed at the book store, with glowing recommendations by people that I have never met.  Hopefully I will be delightfully pleased, maybe even touched.

Now these three lovely distractions sit upon my nightstand, far away from the kitchen, waiting to be devoured, and the chocolate chips are safe for at least one more week.

Good bye 13 pounds, never to be seen again.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saturday Morning Session

This is what I woke up to early Saturday morning (notice the light is on in the back which means the sun is barely up).  The bigger kids planned and schemed all week long on how, what, and where to construct their traditional tent for conference.  It was cozy and a great way to snuggle together while listening to the excellent words of this last LDS General Conference.  With the waft of warm strawberry scones hot out of the oven and the sweetness of the morning, I think it was just about the perfect way to start a fabulous family weekend.

P.S. Thank you Sugardoodle for the quiet saver conference packets for all the ages!  The treat bingo was a HUGE hit. :)