Monday, May 18, 2009

Summer Break has started

The boys are officially done with Kindergarten. It is hard to believe that it went by so fast. I had whip lash as it zoomed on by.

During the school year, the boys are very structured. All of us are. We get up at the same time each day. We go to bed at the same time each night (they are usually in bed by 7:45 since the bus comes at 7:05 in the morning). They have their rituals of making their bed, brushing their teeth, eating breakfast, and their afternoon rituals of reading, backpack cleanout, and putting everything away. We just have a routine that we go through.

Kevin and I have talked at length as to what this summer should look like for them. We want to make sure of course that they have fun, but it is very important to us that they learn responsibility and that we don't shy too far away from our school time routine. The boys' teacher next year is a wonderful educator, but she is also very strict. We want to ease their transition time by making sure they are ready to have structure next fall in school.

We had discussed the boys helping around the house this summer. They already do quite a bit. They help with the laundry, they work on the dishes, they pick up the living room and their room and the toys, and help Kinsley with her room; they are also GREAT big brothers!!! I wanted to do something that would not only encourage them to help, but would also reward them when they help. So I came up with the Chore Chart for each boy. There are 20 different things on the list. The things are varied in nature. Somethings, like brush your teeth, happen more than one time per day, while others like dusting, happen weekly. There are simple things on there like ride your bike for 30 minutes or run 10 laps around the house. There are things that require more effort like Make your bed or fold laundry.

The point was to get them off the couch and give them something to look forward to this summer. For each chore completed to Mom's approval, they get a star. When they get 25 stars, they get 1 gold star. After 10 gold stars, they get to buy a Nintendo DS game, or something equivalent. Right now, they are outside helping Dad build fence. They get a star for every hour they spend with him outside.

It is not that I am organized or scheduled to the point where we can't have a day of relaxation or fun. Trust me, if you could see my house right now, you would know that I need a chore chart too; FlyLady may just become Mom's New BEST Friend!!! I just wanted something to keep them busy, be able to reward them from time to time for a job well done, and in the process, keep the house somewhat decent with five people in it for the next three months.

Now before anyone starts screaming child labor and all of that, they are getting to do fun things this summer. Both boys are participating on the swim team in Kingfisher. They will also be spending time at the library because they have book goals they have to reach before school starts. Reading a book is something that is also on the chore chart list.

And since we aren't planning a big vacation this year (hopefully we will go someplace BIG next summer), we are planning little day trips to places like Frontier City, White Water Bay, the Zoo and so on. These day-cations are also part of their reward for being Mom and Dad's helpers this summer.

People have raised their eyebrows, questioned my motives, wondered if the boys are too small to do these things and so on....So I felt it was important to set the record straight. I know most of the people I have told about my chart read my blog, so I wanted everyone to know where the chart idea came from. It is less about whether the house is clean or if I have built in slaves all summer, but more about teaching my children independence and responsibility.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I have spent most of the day cleaning our house (and I am still not done, but it looks better). I used to think when Kevin and I were just Kevin and I, that the house couldn't possibly get any worse. There was no way that we could ever have more laundry or more dishes to do. That this would be the worst of it.....Then came twins!

When the boys were born it was survival mode. I did what I had to do, and nothing else matter. If the dishes were dirty, they were just dirty. If the floor had toys scattered about, it just did. If the toilets went more than a week without being cleaned, it just happened. You get the idea. We did that out of necessity. Kevin was working on the farm and building his spraying business. I was fully devoted to the boys and had to be. I didn't always like the way the house looked or felt, but it was part of it.

Then we moved and doubled our square footage. We moved into a almost 2000 square foot home with an extra bathroom (we now have 3) and two extra bedrooms, as well as a massive living area, dining room, kitchen w/nook, and a nice sized Master bedroom. I loved it. And it was so new, that I kept it clean. We had gotten rid of so much before we moved, and didn't have furniture to fill it. It was simple, but happy living.

Fast Forward five years...We have added our family's jewel, Kinsley, and a lot, lot, lot of other things. We have a dining room set, a breakfast table, furniture in our room, nice living room furniture, the boys bedroom stuff, Kinsley's stuff, and TOYS, TOYS, TOYS and TOYS! Did I mention TOYS?

The simplistic nature of those first couple of months in this house are long past. And while I love the way our house looks when it is cleaned, I hate the way it looks when it is not. There is nothing inviting, warm, cozy, or nice about a messy house. Toys rule the roost, along with Kinsley, in our house. She even got mad this weekend as the four of us worked to clean house. She threw a constant fit, and finally had to go to bed. I know from experience it is just part of having a toddler. They move onto the next thing quicker than they can think about what they left behind.

My question is how do other Moms do it? This question is mainly geared at those that have children at home still. Before you have kids or after they are gone, it is not the same. It isn't like a woman with no children is going to find a poop pile where her daughter went after her bath last night on her new carpet (that was this morning's discovery in the dining room), unless she has a dog:). Do other moms just live with the mess? Do you obsess over cleaning? How do you do it? Do you do How does it all get done? I am curious and if you are brave enough to be honest, post a comment or email me:) I appreciate it!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009


Hello Family and Friends,

Kevin's uncle, Gene Henderson, and his family need your prayers right now. As many of you know, he was diagnosed with Leukemia last summer. His battle has had many ups and downs along the way.

They were recently preparing for his stem cell transplant only to get word that his diagnosis of a Chronic type of Leukemia was now being defined as an Acute Leukemia. The treatment is much more aggressive, and Gene is currently in the hospital. His Daughter, Elisha Basford, created a Caring Bridge site for her Dad to keep everyone updated on his progress. He should be in the hospital for chemotherapy for the next 4-6 weeks.

You can visit his caring bridge site by
clicking here. The link will also be listed under my favorite links.

Thank you for remembering Uncle Gene, Aunt Marilyn, Eddie, Jordan, Josh, Adam and Elisha in your prayers during this difficult time!