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Why My Children Do Chores

Why My Children Do Chores

WhyMyKidsDoChores1Are you one of those moms that does too much because you have children that don’t do very much.  Make it your goal to work yourself out of a job.  If a child can play a game on your iPad, he/she can help with chores.  Now doesn’t that hit you like a ton of bricks?  When I first read this, I was in total agreement.  It’s so true.  Sometimes, we as moms, do way too much for our kids.  You know how it goes, your oldest child might tend to spill too much so it’s easier for you to pour the milk for cereal rather than letting him try, spill, learn, and you’re on your way out of a simple job.  I’m totally guilty of this.  I hate messes, so I tend to do way too many little jobs for my kids just to make sure there is a not a huge mess to clean up afterwards.  But I know I’m just making my job as a mom harder in the long run.  Kids need to learn to help even if it makes a bigger mess.

Confession time…when I was a kid I remember my mom making me and my brother do a lot of chores around the house.  The worst one of all was dusting and I had the lucky job of dusting this curio cabinet that had glass shelves.  I had to take every single little Precious Moments figurine that my mom collected off each shelf and make sure the shelf was dust free.  This job was so awful!  It was meticulous and took what seemed like FOREVER to do.  The worst part to doing a lot of my chores as a child was that even though I ‘thought’ I was doing a really good job as a 10 year old, my mom would always come along after and redo whatever I had just done, because it wasn’t done as good as she would have done it.  It always used to really drive me crazy – I never could figure out why I needed to waste the time doing the chores if she was just going to redo them anyways.  I catch myself doing the same thing to my kids.  Why???  I have no idea, except that I’m a crazy neat freak.  But I’m trying really hard to not redo their work anymore.  I’m trying very hard to remember how old they are and what their actual abilities are and then asses their level of efficiency and effort.  Your kids absolutely should be helping you around your house.  They live there for free – so they should pitch in and help!

So the next question becomes, what chores should your kids do and should you pay them to do those chores?  Here’s what I think.  Yes, yes, yes!  I’m a big Dave Ramsey follower and we love his ideas on kids and money!  Dave believes that you, as parents, are the boss and your kids are your employees.  As a boss your kids work for you, and they should earn commission.  When they work, they get paid.  When they don’t work, they don’t get paid.  Simple as that.  It works too!  It also teaches kids the value of money.  Rather than just paying them because they breathe, this forces them to equate working hard for the money they want to spend on fun things.  This idea works really well when your children are old enough to really understand what their money can buy them.  We have three kids, ages 4, 6 and 9 right now.  We started doing commission for chores when my oldest was 4.  At that age he did very simple chores and was paid at the end of each week.  From his weekly commission earnings he would then distribute that between three different envelopes for Giving, Saving, and Spending.  We have taught all 3 of our kids these concepts and they each have a list of chores based off their ages and abilities that they earn commission for.  This process forces the kids to see chores not so much as a chore, but as a job they can earn money for.  When there is a special toy they want to buy we often have some requests for extra chores in order to earn bonuses, and sometimes they do business deals with each other - getting paid from a sibling to do their chore!  It’s great! To a mompreneur like me, I love seeing business deals happen with my young children (and so far, they have been very fair)!
Just in case you are wondering what type of chores I have my kids do each week here is a quick list:

9 year old:

  • Undo the dishwasher/Set the table (alternates with 6yr old)
  • Shovel the driveway and back patio (in the summer instead of this he cleans up dog poop)
  • Clean room and make bed
  • Vacuum
  • Take out trash

6 year old:

  • Undo the dishwasher/Set the table (alternates with 9yr old)
  • Dust
  • Clean room and make bed
  • Sharpen pencils (in summer instead of this she waters the flowers)

4 year old:

  • Collects the newspaper from driveway
  • Feed the dogs/let’s them out in morning
  • Make bed
  • Collect trash

Bonuses (when I’m feeling generous… I don’t always pay for these things, but sometimes I do, especially when they help without being asked and without expecting a bonus):

  • Clean the bathroom
  • Sweep/Mop kitchen floor
  • Clean basement toy room
  • Clean glass windows and patio doors
  • “Help” mow the lawn and trim bushes
  • Unpacking groceries and helping put food away
  • Prepping/Washing weekly veggies
  • Cooking
  • Pitching in and helping mom with whatever job she is doing without being asked

Do your kids do chores?  What ages and chores do they do?  Do you pay them?  Would love to hear what you have tried and what works for your family!  Hugs to all!

WhyMyKidsDoChores1

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January 25, 20162 commentsRead More
How To Get Your Family To Eat Leftovers

How To Get Your Family To Eat Leftovers

20151218_184051There is a simple solution to leftover boredom and it’s called…Mystery Dinner!  It’s been a really long week, Christmas is just around the corner and I’ve been sick with a terrible sinus infection for the last 14 days – so as you can imagine, this momma is tried and didn’t want to cook.  I realized that I had cooked quite a bit this week so we had a bunch of random leftovers. While I don’t really like leftovers all that much, I do like that they are  a great way to be economical and save my household some money.  You know me, I love saving 20151218_182101 money!

The average American household throws away a lot of excellent food, in the form of leftovers, just because eating out is a more fun, or because they just don’t like leftovers.  While I completely agree, eating out is a lot more fun, I do love coming up with a ways to save m20151218_182343oney and if eating our leftovers will do that, then I’m all for eating what’s left in the refrigerator. Tonight we had a bunch of things to choose from, but not enough of any one thing to feed us all, so I decided to have a special “Mystery Dinner” like my mom used to do when I was kid!  In fact, my amazing mother still has Mystery Dinners with my kids when they are at her house!  If you have never had a Mystery Dinner then you are in for a real treat!

All you need to do is get out all the leftovers and start coming up with some fun and mysterious names for each dish.  Add them all to a hand-written menu and call your family to dinner!  Have each family member choose a few items from the menu without telling them what they are actually ordering.  It can be pretty funny when their plate is served and it has some pretty interesting items on it!  I pulled out these leftovers from my refrigerator:  homemade chicken noodle soup, bow-tie buttered pasta noodles, Italian sausage and pasta sauce, edamame, taco meat, Mexican rice, sweet potato hash, chips and salsa, yogurt, and bananas.  Like I said, a wide variety of random stuff!  I started trying to come up with some menu items based off what I had and here is the list I came up with:

Main Dish:

  • Frozen Snow Balls - buttered noodles20151218_182427
  • Melted Snow Balls - buttered noodles with italian sausage and pasta sauce
  • Lily Pads - edamame
  • Shoveled Snow - sweet potato hash
  • Frozen Rock Canyon - nachos created from the taco meat, mexican rice and chips and salsa

Dessert:

  • Grassy Field - Key Lime yogurt with banana and a shortbread cookie
  • Sunset - Raspberry yogurt with banana and a shortbread cookie

I g20151218_182153ot everything warmed up then I called my family to dinner!  For special effect I made them go outside and ring the doorbell!  Once they came in, I escorted them to their table (which was just the regular kitchen table) where I placed a menu and a couple card games to keep them busy while I prepared their order.  I got my notebook and pencil and waited on them.  After reading the menu everyone just giggled!  They had no idea what was what!  It was a blast!  I allowed them each to pick three items listed under Main Dish to get the ball rolling.  When their food arrived they all laughed, a few were pleasantly surprised, and one was not happy at all about his Melted Snow Balls!  After they all figured out what each menu item was they asked for their favorite item as a second helping.  Next, they all wanted to order dessert and thankfully, everyone was happy about it!20151218_184328

Overall, the night was really fun!  We ate up a lot of our leftovers and I didn’t have to spend hours in the kitchen making a brand new meal.  :)  We saved money and also had fun creating a brand new family memory.  I can tell you, days later that I overheard the kids talking about how much fun they had at Mommy’s Mystery Diner and they couldn’t wait to do it again!  I dare you to give it a try – pull out those leftovers, put your creative cap on and have some fun with your family!  I’m so glad we did!

Have any of you ever tried a Mystery Dinner?  How did it go?  What did you serve?

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December 21, 20150 commentsRead More
No One Noticed My Shoes

No One Noticed My Shoes

NoOneNoticedMyShoesDoes this time of year make you feel like you are living in a blizzard of people, parties, gifts, cookies, and no one really even notices that you exist?  This is a perfect example: Today, my daughter was very sad when I picked her up early from school (which she knew was going to happen and was soooo excited about before she went to school).  She would not tell me what was wrong until much later that evening, but all day she was not being her normal, sweet, bubbly self. I figured she was just tired because we had a very busy Christmassy weekend of Christmas lights, church events, family events, dinner with friends and ended it all with a ride on a train, hot cocoa and lots of cookies (it was a really FUN, but busy weekend). I assumed she was just tired from all of that. After a full afternoon of her snapping and being short with both her brothers, she finally dissolved into tears and said she was so sad because no one at school noticed her new shoes. We had a nice talk about how it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks and it only matters what God thinks, and that she can’t let something like shoes put her in a bad mood. I also told her that her attitude is her choice and she was choosing to let the fact that no one oooohhhed and aaaahhhed over her shoes to dictate how she treated others. I also told her that I liked her shoes! She smiled and we laughed and we moved on.

But isn’t that true of us? You want someone to notice your shoes? Or your new outfit? Or that you just cleaned your bathroom? Or did five loads of laundry?   Or that you made an amazing lunch of chicken nuggets and Cheetos? Or that you single-handedly answered a work phone call while changing a poopy diaper on a squirmy toddler who really should be using the potty? I’m 100% guilty of this. I like to be noticed. I want someone to say “good job”. Let’s be honest, being a stay-at-home-mom, you very rarely hear from your 3 year old that you just did a really good job mopping your kitchen floor.   Often when no one notices all that we do, we feel unloved and unappreciated and then we are guilty of seeking approval from a cup that won’t ever be filled. We are seeking worth from men, who are just as unworthy as we are. WeNoOneNoticedMyShoes2 should instead be seeking worth and approval from the Lord who gives it willingly.  He has a plan for your life, you are unique to Him and your purpose is to serve Him using all the talents He gave you with a sense of JOY.  That’s the key – Joy. Find joy in all the small tasks you are blessed to have to do each day for your kids and family.  The joy is there, you just have to look for it.

“God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.” — Romans 14:17 (The Message)

So when no one notices your shoes, it’s no big deal – your worth is not found in your shoes, it’s found in the Lord.  He loves you more than you will ever grasp and longs to fill your cup everyday with JOY!

If you ever have any questions about whom the Lord is and what He means to me or can mean to you, please ask. I’d be more than happy to share more about the Lord of my life.
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December 9, 20140 commentsRead More
12 Days of Christmas – What An Awesome Way To Bless Someone

12 Days of Christmas – What An Awesome Way To Bless Someone

Seriously this is one of the coolest ideas I’ve heard of yet to celebrate Christ’s birth! An amazing lady from my church shared this wonderful idea with Kat_sonshinekidsour Women’s Ministry a few weeks ago and I think it’s such a great idea! So great in fact, that our family has decided on how we can participate in this idea for our own Christmas celebration this year! I really wish I would’ve have caught on to this idea years ago, but oh well – time for a new tradition!

The idea is that you pick a neighbor, friend, group of people, etc. who you want to bless over a span of 12 days before Christmas, ending with the 12thday on Christmas day. It’s suggested that you pick a family in need of cheering up, or a family that is currently having a hard time, or maybe a family new to the area. Then for 12 consecutive days you leave them little gifts or treats on their doorstep – but the trick is that you have to do this in secret! You do not want them to know how you are! On day 1 you might leave them 1 ornament with a note about the “On the First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me….”  On Day 2, maybe 2 cookies, and on and on up through day Day 12. On Day 12, your entire family shows up at their house with your final Day 12 gifts and you surprise the family you are blessing by personally giving them their 12th day gift. You get to reveal yourself and it’s so fun for the family to finally be let in on the secret. Isn’t that the coolest idea ever? My kids would be overjoyed to have little gifts left on our front door step for 12 straight days!  It’s like being “boo-ed” during Halloween, but so much better!

mx2Our family is adapting this idea to bless the amazing kids we met on our Mission Trip to San Felipe, Mexico last month! Our family, along with all our Mission Trip team members, have decided to send Sonshine Hacienda a huge box full of gifts for all the kids to share! We are going to wrap all the gifts according to which of the 12 Days of Christmas they are for and have the kids open up the gifts on the corresponding days. Quick background, my family and a big team from our local church, spent our Fall Break in October on a mission trip to San Felipe, Mexico to help out at home for abandoned/ abused children. You can read all about it by clicking here.  We had such a great time and met so many amazing kids that we wanted to extend our love and gratitude to them by sending them Christmas gifts. Here is what we are going to send them (a lot of the gifts are things the missionary couple that runs the Hacienda have asked for, and others are fun things we know they all would enjoy):

  • Day 1: One Advent calendar
  • Day 2: Two framed pictures of our group from when we were out there in October
  • Day 3: Three different ready-to-make ornament crafts for all the kids to make
  • Day 4: Four new board games like Jenga, Spot It, etc
  • Day 5: Five bottles of bubbles
  • Day 6: Six new shower curtains
  • Day 7: Seven bottles of body spray
  • Day 8: Eight new Spanish Bible Story books
  • Day 9: Nine packages of Spanish sticker books
  • Day 10: Ten new coloring books
  • Day 11: Eleven loofas and eleven super-hero wash cloths
  • Day 12: Ready to make cups for ALL the kids to make their own cupmx3

The list of things we are sending to them may sound silly, but to the kids that live at the Hacienda, this is going to be exciting! I wish we could be there to see the kids open their gifts each day! You can see that your list of things you might choose to bless a family with can be flexible and can suit that particular family.  Just have fun with it! Be the hands and feet of Jesus and really show how much you care this Christmas! You will be blessed in return!

Leave me a comment if your family have ever tried this idea before or if you plan to try it this year!

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November 19, 20140 commentsRead More