Friday, June 28, 2013

Mom's Store

We had our first official "Mom's Store" grand opening today.  Joseph was gone the first two weeks of summer so he didn't earn any money then, but he did all his chores and music everyday before noon this week and so he had as much money as all the other kids had earned during their first week - they all slacked off the 2nd week and hardly did anything this week either.  So today, Friday at noon, Mom's store opened.  The crowd was ready to break down the door.
I had different bins priced at 10 cents (stickers and hair bows), 25 cents (small toys), $1 (a few toys from kid to kid and garage sales), $3 for the fun sized candy bars and $10 for the big box of candy (supply and demand made the price of all treats rise dramatically, the kids were offended at the $10 price, but it worked for my plan of it deterring them from buying them, hahaha.  $5 would have been a more appropriate price, but then they would have been gone.)
The sword was $2, coloring books $1 (I went easy on prices for Wes and the little girls, especially since this was the first time the store was open).  The kids all had enough money to buy something, and I smiled as I heard Ethan say "I'm totally earning all my money next week..."  That's what I wanted to hear, my master plan is working.
Abi said "Mom!  Thanks for all the stuff, you're store is WONDERFUL!!"  :)

---- Update ----
To answer Kristen's questions: This is all fake money.  I printed up the bills from the image on this post here, and the coins are ones I got years ago from Oriental Trading Company (I'm guessing they're still for sale from this link here?  Not sure if they still have the six colors they had when I bought them... I wrote on the coins with permanent marker the following corresponding currency - Gold $1, Silver .50, Copper/Red .25, Purple .10, Blue .05, violet .01)

The biggest amount of money they can earn at once is the $1 buck they earn by doing all their basic chores before lunch, which includes:

  • Bedroom (make bed, bedroom clean, closet clean, clothes put away neatly)
  • Their assigned Room is cleaned (kids each have an assigned area of the house)
  • Music practice (1 hour)
  • Read for 30 minutes.

The kids have to do these chores before they can play with friends, and these things are expected from them, so they don't get paid for doing these chores in and of themselves, but if they do them right away each day, they get $1 buck for being prompt and putting it first.  If they aren't done until 2:00 for example they don't get paid anything.  But after basic chores are done, even if it takes them until 5pm, the kids can earn money by doing extra chores and things from things from the "I'm Bored" List, an idea a friend gave me that she got from this post.  Here is my list right now:

Earn money by:
Reading a book for 10 minutes (10)
Exercising 20 minutes (jump rope, jogging, basketball, dancing etc) (10)
Memorize a poem (15)
Try a new food (5)
Write a story, poem, or report (15)
Serve a friend, neighbor, or family member (5)
Spend 15 minutes playing with or reading to a younger sibling (10)
Work on a project (sewing etc) for 15 minutes (10)
Practice a skill (crochet, cooking, sewing)
Work on “The Plan” (points depend on skill passed off)
Memorize a scripture or Article of Faith (10)
Choosing to respond in a kind way to a sibling (15)
Working on Faith in God/Personal Progress/ Scouting/Duty to God (15)
Write in journal (10)

Other ideas?  Ask mom and we’ll decide the points it would be worth

Of course those are smaller amounts of money, so it takes longer to save up, thus again encouraging the get up and get started with your chores idea.  :)

This is only play money that they can spend at my store, but they can order things from me and have them shipped.  For example there was only one sword at the grand opening and Ethan bought it, and Wesley has requested for a sword to be there the next week.  Ethan has asked for lego sets, and I might buy some of those, but I told him that lego sets will definitely be more expensive (like little $5 lego sets from Walmart would cost $20 in kid cash, a $30 lego set would be $100 kid cash).  And I also told the kids it's okay for them to buy and trade things between each other or try to sell their services with their kid money in an effort to save more if they want.  If Joe's got a lot of money and wants to pay a kid to make his bed or something, he's welcome to see if there are any takers and what the price ends up being, kinda a fun way for them to learn how to barter and trade.  :)


The kids set up a zoo in the backyard for the game Wesley made up called "Zookeeper".  I thought it was pretty cute.  Of course he had to wear the giraffe hat.  Here Wesley is feeding his snake a white Webkinz mouse...
The baby giraffe eating leaves... (she was born a preemie, that's why she's so little)
Hyrum taking care of the geckos...
Hyrum showing Abi the proper way to feed the monkeys in the trees, do you see both the monkeys?
and the tiger on his rock and the lions warming up in the sun...

Shouldn't be too hard to warm up since it's 100 plus everyday this weekend, yikes!
And here are all the zoo employees.  Acutally, Lily might just be a guest.  Cute game kids, I'm impressed once again, your creativity amazes me.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Popcorn at the Movies

Yesterday Corey's parents invited all the grandkids to experience a special treat - a movie (Monsters University, cute flick), but it was not just a movie, it was a 3D movie, and not just a 3D movie, (and this is where my kids got excited) for it was a 3D movie WITH popcorn and a soda!!  It was a lot of bags of popcorn for toddlers to balance, but we made it safely to our seats with no spills and then they went to town.
Lily was cracking me up with her 3D glasses and popcorn consumption.
They didn't spill too much as they munched, but I was still glad I was not responsible for keeping those floors clean.
Corey felt ill around dinner time ~ all that mindless eating of popcorn...  But it was a dream come true for Ethan.  Corey asked him if popcorn at the movies fulfilled all his wildest dreams.  "Well, I didn't really get to experience it, cause my popcorn was gone before the movie started..."  I had been sitting by Ethan and yes, he was distraught when he finished off his bag during the last of the previews.  Too bad for you Ethan, that might be as close as you're going to come.  Corey just laughed.  "Well, let me help you... eating popcorn during a movie is a lot like eating it during the previews."  You're sitting in the dark... looking up at a big screen... putting popcorn into your mouth over and over again... yup, that's about what it's like.  It was a fun movie, thanks W&J!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Wesley

Happy Birthday (yesterday), Wesley.  
Cake, ice cream, doughtnuts, and more cake and ice cream, and now we're done for a while with that.  There will be another birthday soon on July 8th, but we're gonna skip the cake and ice cream for her.  (Just 12 days!)  I've mostly been posting pregnancy things on my exercise blog, but I'll be overloading this one with every minute detail of her new life soon enough.  We're almost there!  One more doctor appointment to go next Wednesday, then the induction scheduled on Monday the 8th.
Anyway, Wes had a good day.  He got his one requested Star Wars lego, plus a lot more legos and clothes from his kind grandparents.  Didn't get around to ever planning the friend party, but that's okay. 
Happy Birthday Wes!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Lily!

Lily's birthday was on Sunday.  (Isn't she so cute?)
And Wesley's is tomorrow.  So the kids have been indulging in cake and ice cream everyday.  Saturday my mom came over for a birthday eve for Lily (pictured below in her pjs)...
...then we did it all again on her real birthday.  Lily sang her heart out "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEE!"
Joe made the cake (love having helpful teenagers!) and I love getting pictures of the birthday kid blowing the candles.
Corey's parents came over to see the birthday girl on Sunday.  So we went outside.  And lost 3 of the 4 balloons. Sophia was so sad when hers floated away, but she would not let us tie it around her wrist (she's getting a little feisty and opinionated about things).  She held it by the very tippy end of the string, we said she was a big risk taker and liked to live life on the edge.  When she lost hold of it, (which was exactly as we had forseen) it broke everyone's heart to see her cry as she pointed up at the quickly disappearing spot of pink happiness in the sky.  We used our parental executive powers to seize the right to all balloons gave her the last one, which Lily briefly protested, but she had new toys, come on Lily, Sophi needs that last balloon.
(Sophia before the loss of the balloon below, pure childhood happiness on that face)
And she was happy once again.  And we made her go inside.  The balloon is still here.  It's lost it's float though, so maybe we'll just have to do it again for Wes tomorrow.  We'll see if blue balloons hold the same magical powers.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Indiana Joe

Well, he's home again.  And this time he might stick around for more than few days, perhaps even a week!  This boy's summer has been packed full of fun and adventure since day one.  First was a band trip to California and Disneyland for 5 days, then the day he got home from that trip he had 2 hours to switch gears and then was on his way to Moab for a church youth conference and river trip for 3 days .  That was week one.  This week he was off again on a 4 day scout backpacking trip in the high Uintahs.  Now he's home and as we get to know him again I must say he looks taller, tanner, and bit older.  He's growing up too fast.
We didn't know what time Joseph would arrive home today, but luck had it that Corey had just bbq'd some steak and we had a hot dinner ready for him when he walked in the door.  They were able to sit and eat a man's meal and talk about our little Marco Polo's tales of adventure (50:35-ish for the lead in to that).
I am content to be a homemaker and feel very happy and fortunate to be able to stay at home all the time and nest and let these men go find the adventures and fight the battles and endure the daily grind.  Glad you're back safe Joseph.  Mel's off to Young Women's camp next week, and then we'll maybe have one week of summer together as a family before a baby comes to turn things on their heads.  I don't expect our Bonus Buck summer work schedule to survive past that 2nd week of July as the task master (me) will be slacking off and sitting on the couch 24/7 kissing a newborn.  I'm sure she'll be calling for the attention of all the other kids and neighbor kids too, so we'll figure that out.  Life is good.

Friday, June 21, 2013


This is a little game Sophia likes to play.  When I put her on the bed, she scoots herself over to the bottom side and slides her little torso down until she's tightly wedged between the matress and footboards.  She thinks it's pretty funny.  We ask "Are you stuck?" and she says "Ya".
We're trying to expand her vocuabulary by teaching her to say "Help me!" as her request for being removed.  Then we pull her up and she is slowly sucked out of her predicament.  Then I'll go and try to finish brushing my teeth and she'll do it again.
Silly baby.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Smiley Faces

I spend a good chunk of my time everyday drawing smiley faces for Sophia.  She'll find a paper and pen somewhere, and then come push them in my hands and then point at the paper and say "DA!" which is toddler command for "You know the routine, do it right there".  Tonight she caught me with my own paper and pen, which also happens frequently, so instead of planning the two upcoming birthdays that Lily and Wes have, I drew smiley faces.  And I thought I'd get the rest of the family in on the action, so I drew them big.  That made it more fun because Corey was on the couch next to us and he obeyed Sophia's commands as she pointed to the smiley face we were doing.  Interactive smiley faces!

She really liked his mad smiley face and pointed to that one over and over, each time giving herself a good laugh as she saw her dad's awesome facial expressions.
And that picture above also captures what a multi-tasking Dad looks like: making faces for Sophia, being a jungle gym to climb on for Lily, and also tickling Abi, whose hair you can see beneath Corey, with her arm being held above her head ready for some armpit torture.
Corey being scared at Sophi's mad face.  Fun stuff.
Showing Corey her scream face (top right corner).  Sometimes I run out of faces to draw.  If she catches me at the computer, we'll do an image search for "smiley face" and that satisfies her for a while.  I don't really have anything that I have to do at the computer anyway.  :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Go For A Walk

The lovely summer weather and the beautiful cool evenings that we're enjoying right now are just the right combination for evening walks.  I don't know why the kids love it so much, but if we say "I'm going to go on a walk, anyone want to come?" ~ then you hear the thundering of feet as the kids drop whatever they're doing and each shout several times "I'm coming!  Wait for me!"  You'd think we'd just announced we're gonna go buy a puppy or that we're going to a birthday party.
It's cute cause it's such a simple thing,, and this simple thing seems to have equal pull as the major productions that we stress in pulling off once in a while.  It's easy and we could do it everynight for free and it takes just 15 minutes and all the kids are happy as clams.  Awesome.
The last walk we went on was fun cause we hooked up Sophia to her little toy and the kids took turns pulling her with the jumprope contraptions we made. Even Lily got a turn.
The scooter would vere left or right, so we'll just use the stroller next time.  But it did help us go nice and slow for my increasingly slow pregnant waddle.  Yes, 3 weeks left and I'm definitely at the waddle stage.
And I didn't have to bend over to do help correct her  her out cause as I slowly came up the rear I'd call to the kids to help get her back on the straight and narrow.  Lovely evening, I enjoy our family walks too.
(That little bunny your holding has big brown eyes that could compete with yours, Sophi.)
She's such a cutie.  Only got 3 more weeks of being the baby of the family, so sad.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pogo Stick Cello

The kids have been playing in the backyard all week, and they leave a constant mess out there to prove it.  Costumes, dishes, socks & shoes, stuffed animals, paper... you name it.  Whatever they need for whatever game they're playing, it's out there.  Last night I did peek out on their game and had to get a picture, and here it is:
That is Hyrum playing the cello.  Now I, having lost much of my childhood imagination, don't think I ever would have thought to make the pogo stick into a cello, but the kids pulled it off pretty convincingly.  The game went like this:
1) Press play on the Piano Guys 2 CD - track 3.
2) Kids run around here and there as mission impossible secret agents and you have to make it back to base before being caught (or something like that)
3) Switch stations
4) Repeat.
 The kids all took turns playing the background music to the game.
 A big tree pot or a upside down garbage can was their piano.
Abi was totally getting into the music, Jon Schmit-ing and Steven Sharp-ing her head to the rhythm.  I love it.  Love the Piano Guys and I love that my kids love their music.  What a great start to summer, these kids are having a perfect childhood, it makes me so happy!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Melodie In Wonderland

Last week Melodie had her first ballet performance.  Last October she was able to join a dance class at the Utah Artists School of Ballet in the level 3 class even though she's never taken ballet or dance before - I think her natural felxibility helped.  She didn't join in time last fall to be ready for their Christmas performance, so this summer show was her debut.  She was one of the "Very Good Advice" dancers - 
I think she had fun.  She threw me off though ~ I wasn't sitting close enough to really tell which one was her, so I assumed the girl with the dark rimmed glasses was her.  Then halfway through her number, the girl I'd been watching didn't look like Mel, and I looked at the other dancers and Mel had taken off her glasses, so I was watching the wrong girl.  So, I missed the first part of her dance but then figured it out and was able to see her moves after.  She did great.  She said she doesn't plan on ever becoming a professional dancer, she's rather be an illustrator, but she still likes it the classes and thought the performance was fun.
Mel's behind the white rabbit in the picture below.
Abi giving her a hug after the performance.  Abi seemed in awe at seeing Melodie all decked out, like she was meeting a Disney princess or something.
I was a soccer girl growing up, and we signed Mel up for soccer along with the boys a few years ago before Costa Rica and tried a few seasons of that, but I could tell it was not her thing - did not click, and that's ok, there was no pressure from me for her to be a soccer star.  I'm glad that she's enjoying ballet, it's definitely more her style.  Great job Mel, you're a natural.
(And Ethan, here's your picture of your beloved Mary)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...