Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kids In Charge Day

Saturday was "Kids In Charge Day."   I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but it was Bill's idea therefore it probably was crazy.  There were only 2 rules; the kids all had to agree on what they decided to do and it had to be safe.  They knew a couple of days in advance so they brainstormed some ideas of what we would be eating and what we would be doing.  Interesting stuff, really.  

Here's our day in a nutshell.  Bill took the kids shopping with a limited budget and they returned with food for the day.  Breakfast consisted of donuts and bagels with cream cheese (cream cheese is totally a protein, right?!).  The girls chose to paint their nails while Carter decided to play video games.  Now I really should explain what I mean by video games.  We don't own any new or fancy video game system.  When Bill and I got married 14 years ago one of our wedding presents was a Sony Playstation, I'm talking old school.  What makes it even more old school is the fact that the games we have are the Namco SUPER retro Ms. Pacman, Dig Dug, Pole Position and the like.  Carter thinks it's a special treat to play these video games since there is very little gaming in our house.  Poor Carter. 

Lunch was very classy with Chef Boyardee beef raviolis, fruit salad and root beer floats.  I have to admit I did not partake with the canned raviolis although they are a favorite with my brood.  That would all be thanks to my husband who loves himself some Chef Boyardee.  Really?  Not sure what that says about my cooking that he loves so much, but I digress.  Nickel City was where we headed after our amazing carb filled lunch.  We played some more video games.  Mia amazingly hit the mother lode of tickets by dropping some ball in the Jackpot hole.  They all decided to combine their tickets (the older ones can be so clever) and walked out of there with a water gun each.  I think Mia's broke before we even made it to the car, but whatever.  They gambled away their nickels for some tickets and left with an awesome prize, okay awesome may be on overstatement, but they didn't leave empty handed.  I mean, it's great to spend some money and bring junk home instead, am I right?!

Once we returned home the girls went outside to play on the slip and slide and get in the spa.  Carter continued to play his video games.  He did venture out for awhile, but no sooner had he got wet than a bee landed on his finger and stung him.  Needless to say, he decided he was done playing outside.  The girls, on the other hand, continued to play while daddy proceeded to kill the bees hoovering around them. 

Yakisoba noodles were what we ate for dinner followed up with some apple pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert.  We ended the night by observing a family of raccoons (a mama and 5 babies) crawl out from under our deck and look for food.  They were super cute!!!  Although according to Bill they would take down Mia in a second.  Apparently he's had a run in with some 'coons in the past. 

Here's what I learned from Kids In Charge Day:  my kids love carbs, sugar and more carbs (alright, I kind of already knew this one),  Carter would be addicted to video games if we let him, although he really is pretty amazing at Ms. Pacman, my kids can actually agree on doing some things, they really enjoyed spending the entire day with us, we really enjoyed enjoyed spending the entire day with them as well.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lessons Learned

It's official, Summer of Work has begun!  The kids eagerly awoke and started picking up and making beds.  Teamwork, amazingly enough, even took place with Carter and Mia each helping the other make their beds.  Ava was so into it she even went above and beyond and organized 2 of her desk drawers.  While Carter decided to make everyone his delicious pancakes from scratch! 

It was even Ava's laundry day (once a week the kids do their own laundry) and although she balked a bit she eventually tackled the job and did it well.  She sorted, washed, dried, folded and put away her clothes. 

I learned that my kids are really quite capable.  Crossing fingers it lasts more than a week. 

Alas, for every positive there is a negative, and the negative was quick to come.  Today "hike" was chosen from our Summer of Fun jar.  Most were excited although it was supposed to be a hot day, mid 90s hot.  So we decided to take our hike in the late afternoon.  The kids were playing Jenga and I was doing something really important, okay so maybe checking Facebook isn't that important, but still I was busy.  The next thing I know there's crying and two kids are running to me, eager to be the first to tattle.  Long story short, one of my kids lied to me.  Not only lied to me once, but continued to lie clinging to their story.  So once I found out the truth, which mom's have an amazing knack for, that child was sent to their room for the rest of the day.  A babysitter was found and the hike was still on, minus one child who I hope learned their lesson. 

Thursday, June 07, 2012

I'm Back

Well, it's been a long time since I've been here.  Life got so busy I blinked and years have passed.  After rereading all my old posts I'm sad I haven't done a better job of writing about my children's silly, complicated, endearing, exasperating, humorous, and exhausting lives.  I'm making a point to write at least 3 times a week, hopefully more.  If I write it here, then I must stick to it....right?!  So here goes. 

The last day of school is tomorrow, we have the summer in front of us, and I'm on a mission.  A mission for fun and work.  I know they don't seem to go together, but they both feel so important and valuable.  Here's what's shaping my thoughts:

Right now I'm reading "Cleaning House A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement," by Kay Wills Wyma.  I can't tell you how much I'm LOVING this book.  I totally agree with her, that work creates self worth and self esteem.  My philosophy has always been to raise respectful, independent, and kind children.  However sometimes I lose sight of the independent part and do too much for them.  I still remember the first time each of my children cleaned their rooms by themselves.  They were each about 2 and I stood and told them where the items went, but did not do anything to actually help in the process.  I remember the fits, crying, yelling and how they said they weren't going to do anything.   But once they finally finished (for some it took much longer than others) they had this look of pride on their faces that I will never forget.  Although they don't have set chores, when asked, they help with the laundry (sorting, washing, and folding), emptying the dishwasher, loading the dishwasher, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, helping to cook, pulling weeds and more.  However I feel that I don't ask very much and I'm not very consistent.  So I'm making it one of my goals this summer to expect more from my children by making them work.  Wish me luck!!! 

One of my friends went to a workshop and the woman leading it asked this question; When was the last time you had fun with your kids?  It's one of those questions I had to ponder.  I mean I feel like I have fun memories, but really what pops into my head is the nagging to get them ready and out the door in the morning, the constant reminding to pick up after themselves, the never ending refereeing of sibling bickering and fighting and the list goes on and on.  My children are only young once and I know how fleeting their youth is.  While I feel it's my job to create the independence I talked about above I do still believe that I want them to have fond and playful memories as well.  So we are calling this The Summer of Fun!  We, the children and I, have brainstormed many fun ideas to do over the summer.  We have a daily jar that we will pull from and a weekend jar as well.  Every day we will do what the card tells us.  Every Monday we will pull from the weekend jar too so that we can do the necessary planing that the weekend task might entail. 

This is going to be one interesting summer.  I'm looking forward to all the memories, hopefully more good than bad, this adventure has to bring.  Wish me Luck!!!