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  • March 8, 2010 10:30 am

My daughter can’t seem to remember to bring her lunchbox home from school.  It’s not a big problem, but a problem nonetheless.  And I can see it growing into a bigger problem-lunchbox today, binder, textbook, projects, SAT testing the next.  We’ve nagged, reminded, and yes-even talked angrily to her about this situation, but it still wasn’t on her radar.  Finally, we came up with a solution.  We threatened to pack her lunch in a Cars lunchbox-the only one left in our pantry.  She was agast at the idea.  It was awesome.  Never before had a consequence made such an impact, and frankly, I was surprised it even mattered to her, but it did.  I was so excited to find a bit of currency to use on her-to Love and Logic her with a natural consequence of meaning.  Sometimes it’s hard to come up with those “natural consequences” of behavior, but when you do-it’s truly a golden moment.

And, she hasn’t forgotten her lunchbox since.

www.emealz.com-revisited

  • March 5, 2010 8:00 am

I am on Week 2 of my www.emealz.com plan, and I’m on the verge of saying that this system is life changing-for me anyway.  In the past week, I’ve had a true dinner plan most nights of the week, had the ingredients in stock for said plan, had the time to make a nice dinner, and had the benefit of my family sitting down around the table to chat and eat that dinner. And, as an added bonus, my checking account isn’t as depleted as it normally is at this stage in the month.

New year’s resolution of family dinner planning?  Check!!  You must check out this site.  I promise it’s worth the time and $5 service charge.

Delegating

  • February 9, 2010 8:24 pm

I tend to drop the ball every now and then when it comes to some basic life skills for my kids.  I don’t do it intentionally of course, but for example, when it came time to teach my oldest how to tie her shoes, the idea just beat me down.  I procrastinated the lesson, and found some super cute velcro Sketcher type shoes she could wear instead.  She eventually did get the skill, but wasn’t at the top of her shoe tying class.  This past weekend, when the Girl Scouts prepared food for the Ronald McDonald House, I pondered the idea of giving her a knife to cut some veggies.  I inquired to my fellow moms to see if they had introduced the knife into their daughters’ food preparation habits, which they hadn’t, so I was good there…but it got me thinking.

What else am I dropping the ball on?  Am I still doing too much for my older, wiser kids?

The answer?  In the words of one of my genius friends, yes.  Her children (6th and 3rd grade respectively) make their own lunches everyday.  EVERYDAY!  What an amazing gift of time that would be if my kids made their own lunches!  My husband and I passively aggressively hand this chore off to each other, both of us dreading the factory line of sandwiches, apple cutting, chip baggying, etc.  I’ve also procrastinated delegating this chore to the kids because the idea of peanut butter on the counter, and chip crumbs all over the floor made me cringe.  But, the key to this genius is another element of genius.  It musn’t make more work for the Mommy.  If it does, that’s a problem, and problems have consequences. So, I have handed that chore off to my oldest, with the Mommy Work Rule in place.  She is now responsible for all kid lunches.  Everyday.  At first she balked at the idea, citing Cinderella cruelty, but I quickly squashed that chatter by reminding her that I gave her life.  I’m telling you, it’s a necessary phrase in your everyday life.

The result?  Tonight after dinner, I had the boys getting ready for bed, my daughter making sandwiches, while I finished up cleaning the kitchen.  Because of this little element of delegation, all kitchen duties were done early and we had EXTRA TIME to hang on the couch before bedtimes.  It was a gift, and a gift I look forward to receiving over and over as I realize my kids can take on these additional big person responsibilities.

Maybe they are on their way to functioning members of society.  Who knew?

Standard Response

  • February 2, 2010 8:15 pm

“I gave you life.”  That’s my standard response for a variety of situations.  So much so, that the kids nod their head knowingly when they know it’s coming, but it works with everything, I promise.

For example:

Kid 1:  “But I don’t WANT to fold the laundry.”

Me:  “I gave you life, can you give me folded clothes?”

Kid 2:  “MOM, you ate my last GOLDFISH!”

Me:  “I gave you life, can you give me one goldfish?”

Kid 3:  “Do I HAVE to clean my room?”

Me:  “I gave you life, can you pick up your toys?”

 

See?  It’s a good one, don’t you think?

A quote to brighten your day…

  • January 6, 2010 10:57 am

The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed. — Martina Navratilova

My mom sent me this today, and it made me laugh out loud.  I just had to share.

the CUTEST thing ever!

  • December 7, 2009 9:13 am

www.santa-clues.com

I just heard about this website on the radio driving to work, and I think it’s pretty much the cutest thing since snowman poop (miniature marshmallows-fyi).  The kit is $20, and includes all kinds of clues of Santa’s arrival in your home-from a torn piece of Santa Suit to a sleigh bell.  How fun would it be for the kids to wake up Christmas morning and find EVIDENCE of SANTA??

Too much fun if you ask me.  :)

Holiday Pictures

  • December 2, 2009 8:14 pm

Per request, I wanted to start a conversation on where to take some great Holiday pictures locally.  I’ve asked around, and as of this afternoon, I know of only one photographer offering a specific Holiday Special.

Little Steps Photography:  Santa Day Dec 11

There is no session fee, but packages and custom Christmas cards will be available for purchase.  817-456-9445 or email at Sarahs_little_steps@hotmail.com

We are very blessed with some great photographers around Wise County including:

Portraits by Renitta

Artisitic Creations

Wise Photography  

915 Halsell St. Bridgeport
940-683-1100
940-393-1135
Molly Carpenter.  She is running  a 50% off a studio sitting as a Christmas Special.  Hurry!  The deal ends December 30.

I know there are more out there, but these are the few that I’m familiar with personally.  Please leave any hints or tidbits in the comments and I’ll add them to this post for future reference.

And, when you get those pics taken?  Maybe send them out with a great card or letter to go with it.  We’re all looking forward to them.  :)

Happy Cyber-Monday!

  • November 30, 2009 8:42 am

Go Shopping!

www.cybermonday.com

Check out this website for a few of the biggest deals out there on the internets.  :)

Black Friday Success!!

  • November 28, 2009 9:11 am

I was up and shopping at 5 a.m. yesterday morning at the Target in College Station.  Those people are CRAZY!  When I arrived (at 4:50 a.m.), the line wrapped around the building.  By the time I made it through the line and into the store, people were already leaving with their purchases.  As always, the big fights occurred over electronic items.  Good thing I wasn’t going for those, and note to self, I don’t think I ever will.  With my trusty list in hand, I escaped unscathed with a few of my treasures, and then it was off to Wal-Mart.

I walked in, and quickly walked out.  That place was scary.

From there, I stopped by Toys R Us.  I wasn’t sure what to expect since they’d been open since midnight.  I figured most of the hustle and bustle would be gone, and I was right.  What was left resembled a battleground of sorts.  I tiptoed over spilled displays and carefully meandered around the leftovers looking for some spoils, and yes, I found a few more treasurers there as well.

By 7 a.m. I’d knocked out a big portion of my Christmas list, and stopped by Kohl’s as an afterthought.  Big fun.  The lines were still crazy long, but I found some great gifts there, and even one little item for me.  :)

Black Friday is usually a solo trip for me, but it’s way more fun with a partner.  Dividing and conquering is definitely a  more productive way to go, but I was successful, and now just have to do that whole wrapping part.  After I check out the Cyber-Monday deals of course.

Any successes out there on your part?

Grocery Game

  • October 26, 2009 8:08 pm

When we lived in the big city, I got hooked on clipping coupons and grocery store hopping for the best deal.  I became obsessed with watching the sales, and getting the best bang for my coupon buck through that wonderful double and tripling process at Kroger and Tom Thumb.  I excelled at couponing; I really did.  I’d cut my grocery bill by at least half, and sometimes I’d get food and toothpaste for free!  True Story.  It was amazing, and, not to mention, superfun.

But, I can’t take all the credit.  I did enlist the help of an amazing website.  www.grocerygame.com

By subscribing to this website, I learned some tricks of the grocery stores, and when to shop by following the coupon and sale cycles (yes, there is a pattern!).  For example, the best days to grocery shop are Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  The sales are fresh, and the shelves are stocked.  By shopping this way, the goal is to keep a well stocked and cycled pantry to “shop” in for weekly meals.  There was also an array of other money-saving tips at my fingertips, just waiting for me to use.

Then we moved to Decatur, and I mourned my grocery stores and weekly couponing extravaganza.  I tried “comping” the city sales, but without the doubling and tripling part of the plan, it just took some of the pizazz out of the party. 

I still clip coupons.  I just can’t help myself, and I probably save a measley 10% on my grocery bill, so that’s good for a night on the town at the very least.  But, today I got that rush again as I stopped by Kroger on my way home from work.  My initial total:  $308.52; my total after that infamous “card” and coupons:  $195.23.  I’m a little out of practice, but it was still pretty superfun.

And, might be worth the drive.  :)

Edit from Comments:  Yes, I participated in the four week trial, and after that paid $10/month for 2 grocery store lists (both Kroger and Tom Thumb).  I know some Wal-Marts are listed now, and some things have changed on the site since I was a day-to-day member.  I might have to re-sign up for the free trial.  :)