Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dustbunnies begone!

You know, we're just a typical homeschooling family.

The girls rise early, bring me breakfast in bed, and ask, "Mommy, how can we help you?"

"Can we rub your back? Can we rub your feet? Can we clean the bathrooms? Fold some laundry?"

Nary a harsh word is spoken. Nary a frustration between siblings.

No fighting.

No raised voices.

No meltdowns.


We all dance around our home, joyfully cleaning and singing "What a Wonderful World!"

Okay, okay . . . maybe not so much.

I just have to tell, you, though, I've discovered something that gets us close!

I read in a Family Fun magazine (sorry, don't remember which month) about a family using this - it is so FUN! Are you ready?

Daddy Dollars!!

I set out 1 Daddy Dollar for each of the girls first thing in the morning. They have their handy-dandy chore charts to check off as they go. When (and only when) all their morning chores are done, they can pick up their Daddy Dollar. The caveat is that the dollars are only out for so long. If chores aren't done promptly, no moolah. I repeat this at noon and after dinner.

For their chore charts, I blew up a piece of clipart, printed one out for each of the girls, and one for the reward chart. The little circles under the chore have A's, N's, and P's in them. A is for a.m., N is for noon, and P is for P.M. I covered the charts (along with the dollars) with contact paper, so they can mark off each chore with a dry erase marker. I clean them off each night and waalah - they're ready to go again for the next morning.

Now, before you give me a hard time about what a slave driver I am, know that these chores rarely ALL have to be done every day. For example, although the girls have to check the dishwasher 3x a day, it usually only needs to be emptied once a day. They are responsible for checking, though.

Here's Sarah's (6 year old) chart.

And here's Emma's (almost 9 years old).

So, the girls can get 3 Daddy dollars a day, if not more. I've handed out a few "freebies" when I've seen them being extra loving to each other. Once they've got a few dollars, they can go shopping at the Mommy Mall! Here's the breakdown:

This works because, if you notice, I don't have to run to the store, or worse yet, take them to the store as a reward. :) These are all things available at home - and many of them increase that good quality family time.

I made the "biggie" having a friend sleep over. We love to have the girls' friends over, but I don't want this to be an option every weekend. With Daddy's two jobs, all of us being together is a rare treat and I don't want to dig into that time. So far, though, my girls haven't saved up near enough to get close! Just like real money, it burns a hole in their pocket!

Here are the reasons this is working so well for us.

  • I don't have to lose my patience voice reminding the girls over and over and over again to do their chores.
  • Computer time is limited without me being the bad guy. (If we had a tv, I would obviously have put a tv time reward on there also.) The girls have to pay their money if they want on the computer.
  • Candy is also limited without me being the bad guy. On my counter I've got the goodie basket. For $5 Daddy Dollars, the girls can choose one thing out of it. It's full of nothing but dollar store items and a little bit of candy. Playdoh, pencils, nail polish, headbands, etc. Again, usually they don't get any candy unless they pay for it.
  • I don't have to lose my patience voice reminding the girls over and over and over again to do their chores. Yes, I meant to put this twice - this is awesome!!

To make your own Daddy Dollars, or Mommy Money, or whatever you'd like to call it, go to It's very simple - upload your picture, edit as you wish - go to town!

I actually made bills in $1, $5, $10 and $20 denominations. The higher bills were mainly for trading in. So far - this hasn't been necessary yet! I think the most either one of them has had at one time was $5.00, spent on the goodie basket.

There you are! A shining light in my little world - my Wonderful World.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Amazing Grace

Okay, embedding was disabled, so I'm gonna have to give you the link to see this. I PROMISE YOU, it will be very worth your time to just click on over here.

I got an email this week from Mama with the link for this. I have never heard of Il Divo, but I'm a new fan! This is a breath-taking rendition of Amazing Grace.

A happy in my day. . .

Saturday, November 14, 2009

white picket fences by Susan Meissner (GIVEAWAY!!!!)

What do you think of when you think of a white picket fence?

A little white house?

With 2.5 children and a dog?

Maybe the "perfect" family?

white picket fences by Susan Meissner is a story of the Janvier family, a family that seems to be living the perfect life. When the family decides to take in Tally, their niece and cousin, the threads of perfection begin to unravel. Meissner effortlessly weaves in multiple story lines that keep the reader enthralled - I literally could not put this book down!

A father that has disappeared, tragedies not forgotten, secrets uncovered, and stories of the Holocaust - will Tally's appearance bind the family closer together, or will their white picket fence protect their facade no more?

white picket fences is a clean, dramatic, and uplifting novel. Although the main characters don't seem to have strong, thriving relationships with the Lord, they learn that they can ALWAYS turn to Him - nothing we do can keep us from His love!

One of you lucky readers can win a copy! Just leave me a comment on this post telling me what your all-time favorite book is. I'll draw on Friday, November 20th sometime after noon.

If you don't win, you can purchase this book here.

These (2) books were provided for review and giveway by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let's Talk about Romance . . .

Let me hear it, ladies. I KNOW you love getting some pedicure action on. Okay - there may be a few of you out there that don't want anyone touching your feet. But, alas, I am not one of those women. I would be one happy woman if I could just have my feet rubbed every night.


I've asked Ivan like 1,000,000 3 times in the past week or so if he could rub my feet. Actually, I asked if he could "do" my feet. When I ask that, I'm leaving it up to him as to how much or how little he does . . . beggars can't be choosers, right?

Let me just say this. I'm a blessed woman. My man can paint toenails as good, if not better, than I do. And I went to beauty school. So, I was hoping I'd get a new paint job, after some lotion and maybe a little foot massage. But, again, I didn't ask for specifics.


Two nights ago, 10:00 rolls around, and I've all but given up. I'm laying in bed, telling myself that I WON'T ask again. It's just not quite so enjoyable when I've had to ask numerous times. To tell the truth, in a perfect world? I wouldn't have to ask at all. He'd be asking me, "Honey, can I do your feet?"

But I digress.

So. Ivan had spent the day reorganizing his workshop. Getting his tools and bags just how he wanted them. He was so excited. He pulled me back there and showed me a big, empty bag. "This is my project bag. When I've got a project to do, I'll just put everything I need in here, and it's all together. When the project's over, I put everything back and the bag is empty again. Isn't that cool?"

I was so glad to see him excited about organization!


Back to 10:00 - I've given up. I'm laying in the bed working on some Sudoku puzzles. Lo and behold, I hear him rustling around in the hall closet - he's getting my nail stuff! Yay!!


He gets started. I've got numerous foot filing thingies. You know, the glorified nail files, for your heels? He starts there. Yay! I'll have pretty feet again!



Where are you going, Ivan?

He's gone like - 5 minutes.


Here he comes.

With this.

Yeah. That there on the left? His project bag.

That there on the right? What was in it.

Let's look a little closer, hmmm?

Yeah. That would be a sanding block, a wood shaver, and yeah. His drill.

Even closer.

Yeah. That would be the sanding bit. FOR MY FEET!
Be still my heart.
You think maybe that's why I had to ask 3 times?
No wonder he's not asking me if he can pamper me this way! :) Methinks a professional pedicure should be on my Christmas list.
P.S. Guess what? They didn't work. None of them. That 'ole foot filer did the job, as always.
P.S.S. I love my husband! I'm sure if this were our first year of marriage, I would have been just a little offended. Now I'm just. . . tickled. You know somebody loves you if they're not afraid to put a drill to your feet!
And my feet may still not look good (no polish), but they sure are soft!
What a fairy-tale, romantic life I live!
What's the most romantic, or misguided romantic thing your husband's ever done for you?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh

* My apologies to Multomah Publishing. I *thought I had scheduled this to post 11/6, but apparantly I was mistaken! So, here's my review, 1 day late and a dollar short. :)

As my first read by Tamara Leigh, Leaving Carolina was a delightful foray into the life of Piper Wick, a southern girl who has done all she can to rid herself of her heritage. Having grown up in smalltown USA, (Pickwick, NC) with an eclectic and conniving family, Piper escapes to L.A. to make a brand new life for herself. 12 years later, her uncle's health scare and concious bring her back home - home to keep him from spilling all the family secrets.

Little does Piper know how much her trip home will change her life - and her heart. Tamara Leigh brings her characters to life with a potpourri of wit, sarcasm, and true-to-life struggles. I can't wait to read more of her work!

This book was provided to me for review by Multnomah Publishing. To purchase this book, click here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Gosh, ya'll, do you ever really think about how blessed we are to be living in this nation? It's really overwhelming -

We're free to worship.

Free to school our children how we choose.

Free to blog. :)

But that's not all I'm thankful for - nosireeee bob!

I'm so thankful for my family. Had either my husband or I chosen the wrong path this year, my family probably wouldn't be intact today. By the grace of our God, we're still here. And, aside from some financial difficulties, we're blissfully happy!

We're closer.



I'm thankful for the opportunity to help bring some moolah into our home. I watch a friend's baby 3x a week and that little bit of cash has really helped carry us through some tough weeks! One downside of this - I've seen that I can handle 4 kiddos, (2 of which are 1 and under), so I'm struggling with wanting to go for #4! :)

Speaking of which, I'm thankful I can have 4 children if I so choose.

I'm thankful for farmer and hunter friends who think of us when they are overflowing in cow and deer meat.

I'm thankful for church families, past and present, who love us unconditionally. Who seek to meet our needs. Who long to minister to us.

And, on a serious note, I'm thankful for Key Lime Pie and Caramel Creme flavored yogurts. They're seriously da bomb, ya'll!

For more thankfulness, go see Iris at Grace Alone - you'll be glad you did!

Happy Birthday, my sweet baby!

I have been dealing horribly with mommy guilt all week. Aubrey turned 1 year old this past Sunday!! How can that be? I wanted to post Saturday. I wanted to post Sunday. I wanted to post Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday - so here we are today. This WILL get done tonight! :)
Oh, Aubrey. I don't know if I will ever be able to convey to you what a joy you are! You always have a smile on your face. You love to squint your eyes and put a silly smirk on your face. You love to make others laugh!

I really can't believe that you have already lived a full year. The time goes by so quickly! You can take 7 or 8 steps at a time now, but you still prefer to crawl. You're really a speed crawler, which is probably why you still do it so!

You pretty much eat whatever we eat now. I've tried feeding you Gerber Graduates, but you're just not interested! You see what we have and that's what you want! You have 3 teeth on the bottom and 4 on the top. You're really working on getting some others in, though. They are making you miserable!

You go to bed between 6 and 6:30 and wake up by 7 or 7:30. You still take 2 naps, at 9:30 and 1:30. You LOVE your bed, so you have a very difficult time going to sleep when we're out of town.

The picture above shows what Sarah wanted to give you for your birthday. It's her "old" Bible, but she wanted you to have it so she and Emma can read it to you. Your sisters just adore you! They have never seen you as a frustration, imposition, or problem. They still fight over who gets to hold you and play with you. I LOVE it!

The nurse said you are ahead of schedule on your speech! You say "Mama", "Daddy", "Good Girl", (to all the animals) "no", "Night Night", "Uh Oh", and "Pretty". We just love hearing you talk!

Some of Mama's darkest days have happened this past year. You, my sweet angel, have been just the cure I needed! I began to notice that when I really found myself in a funk, you would be asleep. I wouldn't notice, though, until you woke up and I found myself joyful again - cherishing you. You are such a gift, in so many ways! You have brought so much to this family of yours - things we didn't even know were missing. I love you, Aubrey Claire. Mommy loves you for always.
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