Babies and bags are w hat I do.
I am a Army wife, a stay at home mother of six, who runs a home business of sewing purses.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Some Things Are Still Cool

It surprises me how somethings that I consider old technology are still so cool. The one that has been in my mind this week is hot air popcorn poppers, We seem to have moved on to microwave pop corn but my kids love to have popcorn popped by good old hot air.

I think that they like to watch it come out just as much as they like to eat it. It tastes great.

What "old technology" do your kids like?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

How to have kids help with Chores.

I recently asked for help on what to teach and now I thought I would tell you what I taught.

How do I get my kids to help with chores?

I believe that chore charts are a great way for kids to learn to help. They can get very elaborate but I like mine very simple. My last one was two circles, one about 9 in diameter and one about 4 in diameter. I drew a "X" on both and on the little one I added a name in each of the sections and on the larger on I wrote two chores around the edge in each quarter. I then poked a hole in the middle of both and added a brad. I turn the circle each week to tell the kids which jobs are theirs.

Another is just a simple list that they need to check things off as they do them. This is how my mother did chores on Saturdays. The list would look something like this.

Assigned room
Kitchen Chore

We had to put our initials next to each chore that we finished. Let me explain each chore on the list. First is bedroom, Every child should be responsible to keep their own room clean. This includes putting laundry in the hamper, keeping toys where they belong, making their bed and vacuuming along with any other clutter.

I assign each of my kids a room in the house that they need to keep clean. Right now they are the Kitchen, living/dinning rooms, Office, Playroom. They need to keep them picked up all week but on Saturday mornings they need to be cleaned, dusted, vacuumed.

Next on the list is Laundry, I do the wash in our house but I do not put it away for my kids. They need to make sure their laundry is put away.

Also Extra, this can be a chore of my choosing. I choose things like sweep the patio or organize the bikes in the garage.

Next is kitchen chore, this is a job that helps keep the kitchen running smooth. In my house these are empty dishwasher, set table, clear table, empty trash. These need to be done daily, sometimes more, for example on weekends we eat more at home so we have more dishes, the table needs to be set and cleared for each meal.

Some people put all the jobs in a jar and have the kids pick out which ones they want to do. First come first pick. I have never used this but I think that it definitely would work.

I also think that having a hubby that helps with chores is a good example for kids too. My sister has a great way to have her husband help. Some times husband want to help they just don't know what chores would be most beneficial for them to do. My sister a a list on the fridge for her husband. It has things on it like vacuum the living room, or clean the front bathroom, but also has things Like Kiss your wife.

Before a child can clean a room they need to know what is expected to be done in that room. Here is an example that my sister has of this.

Cleaning the Bathroom

Quick Clean- Time estimate 4-5 minutes per bathroom
Put dirty clothes in the dirty clothes basket
Wipe down the sink and toilet with Clorox wipes
Spot clean the floor with Clorox wipes
Empty trash if needed
Straighten towels

Deep Clean- Time estimate 10-15 minutes per bathroom
Put dirty clothes and towels in the dirty clothes basket
Spray mirror with Windex and wipe with paper towels until streak free
Take everything off the sink
Spray with Clorox cleaner or bathroom cleaner
Wash sink with cleaning cloth
Rinse all soap off
Dry with a different cloth
Put Soap, etc. back on the sink
Spray all levels with Clorox cleaner or bathroom cleaner
Wash each level with cleaning cloth- starting with the top
Rinse all soap off
Dry with a different cloth
Spray bowl cleaner, let set, wash bowl with toilet brush
Spray with Clorox cleaner or bathroom cleaner- including handles and faucet
Wash with cleaning cloth
Rinse all soap off
Dry handles and front ledge with a different cloth (the rest can drip dry)
Empty Trash, Put in new trash sack
Put new towels on the racks
Move mats to another room.
Mix Pinesol with water (about 4 lidfuls to a dishpan)
Wash down floor with cleaning cloth
Try not to leave a lot of water on the floor.
Let dry

Having a list like this for each room is useful when teaching kids how to clean a room, when Hubby wants to help, or as a reminder to kids of what they need to do.
Also having the time estimate is important info. If it only took 5 minutes to do the deep clean, it probably was not done correctly.

Other things that I talked about. Age appropriate jobs. My 3 year old can help empty the dishwasher. I have a friend that has all of her dishes that are used for setting the table in the lower cupboards so that her kids can reach them. The older the child the more they can do. They can also help teach the younger kids by having them help a younger sibling with a chore.

Which brings me to my latest things that I have been doing at my house. Having kids work in pairs. Who wants to work alone? I don't and I have found that my kids work better when they work in pairs. But if one is doing more of the work, or one is not working on the chore they get to finish by themselves.

The Last thing is rewards. Should I pay my kids for jobs done around the house? I don't. I believe that they need to contribute to the workings of our home. But there are extra jobs that can be done after the assigned ones that can earn money. An example of this would be Ironed shirts is worth 50 cents. This is not to say that I don't think rewards are a good thing. Family activities are a great reward, "when the Saturday chores are done we can go swimming or have a picnic" are great rewards and motivators. I remember Saturdays as a kid when my Dad would hand out heresy Kisses to those that were working. Another sister has a marble jar that she adds a marble to it when she sees kids working with out reminders or when kids helping others with their jobs. When the jar is full they have a Ice cream party. I think that the best reward is just to say Thanks and give your kid a hug.

I hope this helps, or gives you things to try. Remember it is a work in progress, teaching kids always is.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Military Wife

What is a MILITARY Wife?

They may look different and each is wonderfully unique, but this what they have in common.


Lots of moving---



Moving far from home.

Moving two cars, three kids and one dog----all riding with HER of course.

Moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house.

Moving curtains that won't fit.

Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours.

Moving away from friends, moving toward new friends.

Moving her most important luggage; her trunkful of memories.

Often waiting-

Waiting, waiting, waiting for housing; waiting for orders; waiting for deployment; waiting for reunion; waiting for phones calls; Waiting for the new curtains to arrive; waiting for him to come home for dinner----AGAIN!

They call her 'military dependent', but she knows better.

She can balance a checkbook.

Handle the yard work.

Fix a noisy toilet.

She is intimately familiar with drywall, anchors, and toggle bolts.

She can file the taxes, sell a house, buy a car, or set up a move, -- all with ONE Power of Attorney.

She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her.

Reinvents her career with every PCS; locates a house in the desert, the arctic, or the deep south and learns to call them all 'home'.

She MAKES them all home.

She is fiercely IN-dependent.

Military Wives are somewhat hasty.

They leap into decorating, leadership, volunteering, career alternatives, churches and friendships.

They don't have 15 years to get to know people.

Their roots are short but flexible.

They plant annuals for themselves and Perennials for those who come after them.

Military Wives quickly learn to value each other.

They connect over coffee, rely on the spouse-network and accept offers of friendship and favors and record addresses in pencil.

Military Wives have a common bond.

The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands, his commitment is unique. He doesn't have a job, he has a 'mission' he can't just decide to quit. He's on-call for his country 24/7 but for you, he's the most unreliable guy in town!

His language is foreign:






And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his.

She is the long-distance link to keep them informed the glue that holds them together.

A Military Wife has her moments----

She wants to wring his neck, dye his uniform pink, and refuse to move to Siberia...

But she pulls herself together.

Give her a few days, a travel brochure, a long hot bath, a pledge to the flag, and a wedding picture.

And she goes.

She packs.

She moves.

She follows.


What for?

How come?

You may think it is because she has lost her mind.

But actually it is because she has lost her heart.

It was stolen from her by a man...

Who puts duty first.

Who longs to deploy.

Who salutes the flag.

And whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military husband,

She will remain his Military wife.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


My 5 yr old has learned the word redundant at school this year. I think her teacher does not like kids to ask redundant questions or repeat themselves over and over.

Last night for FHE we attended my oldest, band concert and while we waited for it to start the band teacher said over the mic. "violins please get your instrument ready and place your case to the right of your chair." Which was a good instructions except that for about 20 minutes he said it every twenty-five to thirty seconds. After a while My little girl turned to me and said "Mom that man is being redundant."

Tonight is the 10 year olds concert and I hope that we don't all come home saying some line about trombones.

Our 12 year old did a great job and once the concert started we all enjoyed the music.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I love to watch cake decorating shows and see them work with fondant. So yesterday I tried it. I loved working with it. The cake was simple but very cute. All white with a pink border and flowers on top. I will definitely use it again, maybe I will flavor it next time.

My Baby is 12

I know she is not my youngest but still she is my baby. My oldest turned twelve yesterday. Such an important day in our church, it is when you move from the kids to the teenagers and to top it off they have a group activity today Hiking.

I remember when she was born and how little she was, OK 9lb 8 oz is not what most would call a little baby but she was little to me. How she has grown into a young woman. At twelve she is 5'5" still not so little but them she is a Mack.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reading Closet?

My 10 yr old has cleaned out her closet and put in a pillow and blanket. She has decided that this is the best place to read and do homework. Its quiet, and no one sees you there with out first coming in her room then closing the door as the closet is behind it. I am thrilled that she has found a place to read, as reading is not always the first thing she wants to do. But I have discovered a down side. The other kid closets have also been emptied and turned into cool places to read a book, even if it is after bed time and the lights have been turned out.

But how can you tell a kid Don't read. I love to see them reading.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Productive Mondays, not so Tuesdays

I Haven't been able to figure this one out but it seems to be true on more often then not.

I wake up Monday and get so much done, For example yesterday I cleaned the kitchen that included all the dishes from Sunday, Floors and even both trash cans, 4 bathrooms, worked out, played tennis, put puzzles together with 3yr old, finished the baby quilt I was quilting, finished sanding the dresser I am refinishing, got 4 kids to and from school, Vacuumed and dusted the living room, office and dinning rooms, plan and had Family home Evening and watched kids play out front.

Now it is Tuesday and there are still things that need to be done, laundry, bind the quilt and another one, vacuum bedrooms, workout, and the list goes on but I don't want to do it. I don't want to do anything, OK maybe finish the dresser, I am ready for 7 yr olds clothes to not be in piles or should a say pile in his closet. We didn't bring his old dresser when we moved last December. But the modivation just isn't there.

OK ,OK Ill get up and do something, I cant get dressed until I work out and I can't go buy the stain until I'm dressed. so I guess it is work out. Maybe that will motivate me. LOL

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Need Help

I was asked to teach a mini lesson on having kids help around the house, Brian laughed and I said OK if you really want ME to. Brian's next comment was along the lines of "is this one of those lessons that is really for the one giving it?"

Well I need your help. How do you involve your kids? and what have you tried that doesn't work?

Any thoughts are welcome.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

American Flag!!!

You remember playing punch bug as a child? Trying to find them before your sibling did as you rode around town. My kids have come up with a new twist. They don't look for a certain type of car, they look for American flags.

I am surprised at all the places they find them, on homes, MacDonalds, hotels, in windows, on the city buses, at schools, fire stations and so many more. They also have memorized where they are and are calling them before we get to them. Try looking for them. They are everywhere.

I am so proud that we live in a country that displays our flag so often. We live in a great place.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Big Debate

What to do? When a 8 month old who hasn't napped much falls asleep at 7pm instead of 8:30-9pm. I let him sleep, He stayed asleep to until 4am. when he was bright eyed and ready to play. I think we will both be taking a nap later today.

Friday, May 1, 2009

100 % Whole Wheat Waffles

You know I love my man if I will make waffles from scratch, that take multiple bowls. But they are good.

100% Whole Wheat Waffles

2 c ground whole wheat flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 egg yolks
2 c Rice milk
3/4 c Applesauce/safflower oil(use half of each to make the 3/4 cup)
2 egg whites

In a large mixing bowl mix Flour, baking powder and salt. in small bowl beat eggs with a fork. Beat in rice milk and applesauce/safflower oil. Add to flour mixture and mix until slightly lumpy.
In a small mixing bowl beat egg whites with mixer till stiff peaks form. Gently fold in egg whites. Do not over mix.
Pour batter in to hot greased waffle Iron.
Makes 6-7 Belgian waffles

I enjoy these also and the kids will eat them which is a big plus. They are great with fresh sliced strawberry.
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