Friday, March 23, 2012

A few new items...

If you are in the market for a fun gift or just something new and fresh in your life, I have a few new items for you. (I need to freshen my craft blog before I direct traffic there!) 

Aprons- Child's $8, Adult $15.
I have a wide variety of fabric choices available.

 Carseat canopies. $20 to start, more if you want fancier fabric.
You can choose if you want ribbons to tie the cover to your handle, fabric ties, button straps or Velcro.

I also have many other items to choose from, especially baby items: hooded towels, Boppy covers, diaper pouches, pacifier straps, burp cloths, and more. Contact me if you are interested and we can find just the right thing for you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Job Chart Time

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. These are the times that try men's souls. Wait, that's not from the same guy. It was time for a new job chart. Let's leave it at that. 
After we got settled in our new place, it was time to restore some semblance of order and routine. From July to January, I had been trying to keep order without much help from the four little destroyers that live here too. It was time to whip them back into shape.

My kids had been getting away with the bare minimum while I kept the house ready to show and then when we moved to the rental, things were so unorganized that they mostly just had to empty the dishwasher and set the table. It was just easier for me to do the rest. I knew they might resist having new responsibilities.I also have to be prepared for the "I always have to do that job! She never has to!" What I ended up with was the following. (Honestly, I feel like it was inspired. I had been praying for help to restore order to our home and to help keep the peace as well.)

The day is divided into three parts, with one "job" to be done at each time. Each time slot also has responsibilities and expectations that everyone has to do every day. There are consequences if they choose not to do the jobs by the designated time. Our consequences involve additional jobs. They can also negotiate with me to do extra jobs to earn money when they have something they are saving for. My kids don't get an allowance- just room and board. Allowance is a headache I'm not ready to take on any time soon.

There are three lists- A, B, & C. Each girl rotates through each chart during the week, so everyone takes a turn doing each job. I know my 4 year old won't do every job as well as the 9 year old, but that's OK. Anytime there is whining about jobs being unfair, I remind the whiner that everyone has their turn to do each job. You can't argue with that.

I also have a page explaining EXACTLY what each job entails and how it is to be done. I think clear expectations are important for everyone. I also don't have to nag or explain the same things over and over.

It isn't perfect, but we have been using the chart for about a month now and things are so much better. It has even helped Tim to enforce the jobs because he can see exactly who should be doing what when he comes home. Now that we are in a good routine, I have a few tweaks to make in our chart and then hopefully I can figure out a way to make it more aesthetically pleasing. It's time!!

(I have the charts saved as a pdf. If you would like a copy, I am happy to share. Leave me your email address & I'll send it over!)

Monday, March 12, 2012

There's a fine line between conserving and hoarding...

If you hadn't noticed, I have four daughters. They wear lots of clothes. Every day. Lots and lots. While I would love to buy them a new wardrobe every year, that is not realistic for us. I try to take good care of their clothes and shoes so that we can pass them along to the next girl. I dread the rotating/storing process, but it is a necessary evil. We are blessed to have plenty of clothes and shoes for our kids and I want to use what we've got. (I know sharing shoes is frowned upon. We chuck the worn ones, but some of their church shoes and other shoes are hardly worn.)

During our months of selling our old house, being in a rental and finally moving to our new home, off-season and out-grown clothes got dumped into totes and all the sizes were mixed together. Snow boots and shoes ended up in diaper boxes and a random suitcase. It was disaster and I could not find items I knew where there somewhere. Time for an intervention!
 Armed with a Diet Coke, a sharpie & some tape for labeling, my laptop and Netflix, I headed downstairs.
 These totes look harmless enough, but each one had at least 3 different sizes of clothing inside. No bueno.
 Eliza thought I should be holding her instead of organizing her next 8 years of clothes. Seriously.
 I spread a sheet on the floor and dumped out most of the totes. (I still have 12mo- 3 T to go through.)
 I lined up the totes, which are labeled with each size from 3T through 10-12. Eliza was never far away.

 After the sort, everything was neatly folded in the right tote. (Thanks, Court, for helping!) I feel much better about the whole mess. I know there are clothes in their closets that need to be rotated, but it is not so overwhelming anymore. Organizing helps me take the crazy down a notch!
 Ta-da! Pile gone!
The shoes are next on my list!

(And off camera, there's a whole separate box for yard sale/ donation items)

Leap Day

Hope your Leap Day was memorable!

I embarrassed my big girls by making them leap off the back porch while I took their pictures. Yes, their friends were outside leaving for school.

I tormented the baby with little tiny pony tails.
Lydia was Lydia.

I thought I'd have a treat after dinner- something we've never had before.
 Found out only Tim likes cherry pie. Good to know.


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