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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What's Working, What's Not

Jules here-

Time for a little self-evaluation to see what things are working in my daily life- and what things aren't....  We have lived in our home for five months now; we have developed daily routines that will soon be changing as school approaches.  I plan on tweaking our routine to help me with the crazy school and work transitions.
My Little Middle is heading to Kindergarten next week!! AAH!
Daily Chores- Working!!
The kids have been doing really well with making their beds, straightening their room, clearing their plates, brushing their teeth, etc.  Even garbage day is going better as they are responsible for emptying the small cans and re-lining them afterwards!  No snacks, desserts, or screen time is given unless chores are done.
Sorry this is so blurry....James is so efficient with chores, that he decided to do them the night before. Of course, once you are dressed and your bed is made, the only thing to do is sleep on the floor.  I'm a slave driver.
  Bonus Chores-Working!
Grace, in particular, is saving to buy a goat for a child in Africa. We read a touching tale called Beatrice's Goat, and the children have saved $34.56 towards the $150 cost of a goat. Through selling homemade potholders, lemonade, and now doing "extra" chores they have earned quite a bit. Grace has reached the age where she likes to earn things and feel independent.  Lucky for us (ha ha) we have a WALNUT tree in our yard... and for those of you who don't know... this is what James looks like on walnuts:
So, I am paying Grace 5 cents a walnut to gather them up. Now, James won't touch them or ingest them outside, but I also don't want to lawnmower-blast them into the air either...

Daily Chore Whining- NOT Working!! But starting too....
Consistency is paying off and the dramatics, whining, and the "hard-knock life" songs are dwindling; however, I still have to deal with my middle one's dedication to avoidance of work. I have found a recent solution that I have implemented:  The Cinderella Project.  When my children begin to complain, whine, or shirk their work, I simply refer to them as: Drusilla, the wicked stepsister.  I say phrases such as, "Oh, you want your Mommy Cinderella to clear your plates, make your bed, and clean your toys? O.k. Drusilla," or, "You didn't get the plate color that you wanted? Are you going to drop it on the floor and refuse to eat your food, Drusilla?"  They are starting to understand how their whining is really making them into Ugly Step-siblings... let's hope the empathy training is working...


Living frugally is my lifestyle, and though I have had to repair my dryer, get new brakes on the van, and buy an exorbitant amount of school supplies... I have budgeted well!  Every week I review my spending and I have a very rigid limit, but I put a "buffer" zone that is really helping. I budgeted over on almost every item to help me pay for the many incidentals of life...

I wish....

Saving Receipts: NOT Working!
Honestly, I saved receipts for about 3 days until they were littering my already paper-strewn car... I couldn't handle it.  I am just no good at keeping track of all the receipts (or even looking at them again).  Plus, looking at receipts didn't remind me not to spend either...

More the Merrier with Kids: Working!
 This month, I have been blessed to babysit friends and family-- and I had a little taste of what Em's daily life must be like... I had 8 children under 8 years of age for 3+ hours.... LOTS of fun!!  Though, I must admit, I would want a bottle for the littlest one next time... I felt really bad that her mommy was dentist-delayed and I just had to hold her without feeding her!!  We also had a water fight that escalated....really escalated....

Nicely reading stories
Um.... filling a bucket with the water dispenser...
Trying to call Mom to get her away from this crazy place.

After water fight, craft time with new clothes....
 I also got to babysit my darling nephew, Charlie, so his Mommy & Daddy could enjoy one last night out before little Sam arrived this week!! Yes, I am an Aunt again!!!  Congrats Aunt Betsy!!!

 And finally... my favorite....

Hand-me-downs: Working!!
Our biggest fan, Chrissy, has her hands full with a precious newborn, but she still managed to package me up beautiful dresses for the girls!! We LOVE Sophie hand-me-downs and they have sustained us for years (see, budgeting is easier when you don't have to buy clothing!!).  So before you pack up clothing or ship them to goodwill...see if any friends could benefit! You'd be surprise how much use I get out of clothing!!

 Make sure you take the time to evaluate what's "working" and "not working" in your daily life. Don't throw out your whole plan (budget, exercise, chores, etc.) if one stage isn't working. Re-think, re-organize and try again!!

Easy Rule #434- It's never too late to start a new regime in your home.

Easy Rule #43242- If regular discipline doesn't work, use fairy tales to terrify or mock your children. It can really work.

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