1/31/12 written Wednesday 1/18/12 cont. shoveling…

We went outside to shovel snow yesterday. It took a while even though we have a very small drive, because we had a snowball fight and then threw shovels of snow at each other. We had to keep re-shoveling each spot.

There is one empty house on our street. I sent the girls over to shovel their sidewalk and the front part of their drive. Then the house won’t look abandoned.They also walked through the yard a few times, it just looked too abandoned.

William likes to do all of the finishing work when we shovel. When we get done he will go back and scrape all of the way to the cement. Sometimes the girls do that too, but not today. I like to do enough to get the car in the garage and then let the sun melt the rest.

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1/30/12 written Wednesday 1/18/12 cont. winter plans, church volunteering and the cat’s toy…

We need to make plans for something fun for us to do this winter. Then we will have something to look forward to. There are a lot of free local newspapers outside of the library. I need to get some and see what is happening around town.

We signed up to volunteer at church in the kid area. I am not sure if we should go to an earlier service and then volunteer during the next service, or volunteer first. I am really looking forward to getting to help. We volunteered at our last church. It will help us meet more people too.

Our cat got some toys for Christmas. His favorite is round and plastic and has a ball inside that can go around on a little track. He can reach in with his paw and move the ball, but the ball can’t come out. He likes to play with it, but he doesn’t like us to watch him play. If he catches us watching him, then he steps back from the toy and looks around like he is saying “I wasn’t playing with it, it wasn’t me.” When we leave the room he will go back to it.

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1/29/12 written Wednesday 1/18/12 cont. changing household jobs and books…

We made the kids household job change of the dishwashers on the fifteenth. William finished washing all of the dishes that couldn’t go into the dishwasher. He also washed all of the dishes that had gone in the dishwasher but hadn’t gotten clean, by hand. Maggie is the next dish person and William is now on break. Beth still has the laundry for the rest of the month.

The first day that Maggie had dishes was her day to do the kitty litter and do dishes and she had homework. She did most of the dishes and finished them the next day. She has only been doing the dishes for a few days. We will wait and see how it goes.

The girls and I have been reading a book called “Dateable”. It is advice about high school kids dating. It talks in their language and has a lot of good ideas. It is by Justin Lookadoo and Haley DiMarco. It talks about what kids should put into dating and it talks from the girls and the boys point of view. William and I read it together a few years ago.

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posted 1/28/12 written Wednesday 1/18/12 family tree…

We started to put up the family tree in the dining room. We got out a bunch of pictures of the close relatives, the kids, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins and started choosing pictures to hang up. We decided that if we had a choice of pictures, for an older person, we would choose a picture from when they were middle aged. It took about an hour to go through all of the pictures and to decide which picture of my kids to hang up. We now have three pictures up. They are about halfway up the wall with a thumb tack in each one. We didn’t put names or relationships on them yet. We are not sure how we are going to attach the names to the pictures. We are going to connect the kids to parents with blue yarn, so we can see the relationship against the white wall. Maggie has a lot of the family history. She had to do some research for a school paper. She is going to print it for us. It is so exciting that we have started this project.

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posted 1/27/12 written Sunday 1/12/12 cont. family tree…

We need to start hanging up the family tree in the dining room…I know that it is one more thing that will need to come down when we move. We tried to figure out a way to hang it up without putting a lot of holes into the wall. We are going to use thumbtacks. At least the holes will be small. We are going to try to find a picture of each person and put their name and relationship to the kids under the picture. We will probably only have pictures of people for the first few generations. Then we will hang up names and relationships of the other generatons. We will have colored string or yarn connecting kids to parents. The kids want to know who their relatives are. When the Christmas cards come in they say that they would like more information. We should start putting this together today. We chose the dining room because people won’t see it when they first come into the house.

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posted 1/26/12 written Sunday 1/12/12 cont. posters and baked goods…

One of Maggie’s teachers took some of the maps out of his National Geographic magazines and gave them to Maggie. She has started to hang them in her room. Some of the maps are three feet by three feet so her walls are starting to become completely covered. Beth has pictures of celebrities on her walls and William’s walls don’t have any posters. It is OK that the kids have posters up but when we move they will need to come down. People like to see what the walls look like.

Beth needs to take in a baked good to school on Tuesday and one on Wednesday this week. She is going to make brownies. On the first day they are having a baked sale. On the second day a friend is leaving to go to another school.

The calendar for next week is blank. Nothing going on. There is so much opportunity there to do so much, or to do nothing and rest.

We got home tonight from the kids concert at church and watched “Once Upon a Time”.

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Sundaposted 1/25/12 written 1/12/12 quiet weekend and dish person changes…

We don’t have anything planned to do today, besides church this morning and the girls have a church concert to go to this evening. The concert is for the junior high and senior high kids. The band plays Christian rock songs and the kids sing along. It is nice to have a weekend where there isn’t much planned.

Today is the last day for William to do the dishes. Tomorrow he is on break until the end of the month and Maggie is the dish person. If you are new to this Blog, look back two posts to see how this is set up. Beth has the laundry for the whole month. So far this plan is working well.

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posted 1/24/12 written Saturday 1/14/12 movies and the library…

Today was mostly a quiet day. We had gotten movies from the library yesterday. We watched movies and the kids also did homework and played. Maggie and I went to the downtown library. She has a big project that is due in a month or two. She got twenty five books. She only needs ten, but we can take back the ones that she decides she doesn’t need. They were heavy. We had to carry them to the car. Later we all went outside to play. We have about an inch of snow. The girls took out their soccer ball and kicked it around.

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Wednesday 1/11/12 kids household jobs…

We changed the kids jobs at the house again. At first we had a rough time setting them up because Maggie had so much homework. We were trying to get the kids to have dish nights. With three kids and seven nights a week we finally settled on Beth doing dishes on Monday and Tuesday. William had dishes on Wednesday and Thursday and Maggie had dishes on Friday and Saturday. Then I would take Sunday. It didn’t work. Having those days of the week worked with Maggies homework, but nothing else worked. The dishes would be started too late for two loads to be done, or all of the things that couldn’t go into the dishwasher wouldn’t get washed. Everyone could remember who should have done what dirty dishes and it was never theirs. So the next person wouldn’t do the dishes because the person before them hadn’t finished theirs, etc, etc, etc. That was plan “A”. So we moved to plan “B”. We added in laundry. Remember that my kids are in college and in high school…and I am trying to teach them some responsibility and skills so that when they go out into the world, they can survive.

In plan “B” we went to a more monthly approach. One person did the laundry all month. This is really only one or two loads a day.( I cam already hear everyone panicking) The other two kids split the dishes. They go every other day. The laundry part worked. No-one is thrilled with the laundry, but there is no pan scrubbing involved. The dishes didn’t work. We had the same problems that we had with plan “A”. Now, we have just started plan “C”. The laundry part will stay the same. Here is the plan for the dishes. The kids will still switch jobs each month. This month Beth has laundry and William and Maggie have dishes. From the first to the fifteenth William has the dishes every day. Maggie has a break. She had laundry last month. Also…she has less homework this year. Maggie will have dishes from the sixteenth to the end of the month and William will be on break. Next month William will go to laundry and Beth will start the month on break while Maggie will have the dishes from the first to the fifteenth. This really isn’t as complicated as it sounds.

This is our first month on plan “C”. So far the dishes start-up was slow. William wasn’t doing the dishes , or wasn’t doing all of them. Then he realized that no one else was coming to do them the next day, and if I was going to make dinner, we needed clean dishes. It has been going better this week. I hope that this plan works because I don’t have a plan “D”.

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1/21/12 written Sunday 1/8/12 cont. pre making lunches…

Another time saver that we used to do was to pre-wrap the snacks for the kids lunches. I would put the chips, crackers etc. in individual size amounts in sandwich bags and put them into a large plastic container with a lid. The kids made their own sandwiches on the weekend and put them into the freezer. Each child has their own type of container. One has a square container, one has a round one and one has a butter container.

Each night the kids would pick a snack and put it in their lunch box. In the morning I add the sandwich and the juice box. Some mornings as we are about to leave, we realize that we didn’t pack any lunches. Since everything is pre-done, we can get the lunches together as we leave. I don’t pre-wrap the snacks anymore. Each of the kids likes to do their own.

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