Friday, March 3, 2017

Chores Chores and more Chores

Chores are an never ending battle. And for years I switched up how we addressed chores, and was the reward basis was.  In fact I'm writing this post now because I haven't been on my blog in almost 5 years! and my last post was regarding chores. And to tell you the truth, all though those chore tokens were fun, they ended up working for just a few short weeks... they ended up in the kids play food. It wasn't for lack of trying. I DID TRY. But it turns out when it comes to chores, I need something that is EASY for both me and my children.  I don't want to have to count up tokens, and remember to move them back to "to do" when complete for the week.  In face any time I've decided to incorporate a system similar to this it fails QUICKLY. I've been using the same short chart since my last chore token attempt failed... that's right! I've been using this chore system for nearly 5 years!! And it works!! It has been the only thing that has worked for us! I've had to update it to 5 kids and add more chores once my little man was old enough to join in, and now that I have 6 I'll have to update it again in another year or two. But other than updating it, it's a permanent fixture on our fridge.

It is a simple Chore Wheel! Each morning I rotate the kids names clockwise and they have their two chores they are responsible for for the day, and it also lists their dinner duty for the evening.

And I've taken away rewards for doing chores completely. They aren't optional, they have to do chores. And lets face it, I don't get rewards for doing chores, and I don't expect rewards for doing chores, and I don't think my kids should either. They still get to play computer/wii once a week for an hour, but we don't count it as a reward for doing what they need to do.

The chore wheel was just made on Apple Pages program. It's not my favorite program to create with but it works. I much prefer Microsoft Publisher when it comes to creating this like this, but you gotta work with what you have. I'm looking forward to the day when Apple has a program comparable to Microsoft Publisher!

There's my chore rant for the day! What works for chores in your family??


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chore Tokens

Ah, Chores... it's that never ending battle (usually with yourself) of whether or not it's worth it that day to get your kids to do their chores.  I'm sure this is the case in most homes, we tend to change our Chore routine, rewards, plan of attack, etc, every so often.  We went with the sticker reward chart for a long time, which the kids liked... for a while.  Stickers can only be so exciting... especially when baby sister LOVES stickers and takes them all off the chart.
We have tried a few other ideas but nothing seems to really get the kids motivated.  So I decided to revamp our chore routine.  This is not a brand new idea, but for us, parts of it are new. What is most exciting for me, is that the kids LOVE this idea, which of course is bonus for me.
We have a designated "Computer Day" (Wednesday) and "Wii Day" (Saturday).  Generally they would get 30-60 minutes to play, 30 if they weren't 100% in to all their duties for the week and 60 if they went above and beyond.  They usually landed somewhere around 40 to 45 minutes.  There were always extra ways to earn minutes, and of course ways to lose minutes.  It was hard to keep track after a while... in came the new plan.
Tokens.  They HAVE to do 3 Saturday Chores drawn randomly from the Chore Bucket, and for each chore completed they earn 2 minutes (up to 5 minutes for the nasty chores like Cleaning the Toilet) of Electronic Entertainment of their choice (come designated days). They also have a chance to earn more minutes by doing more token chores.  Then of course there are there Daily Morning and Evening Duties that they are required to take care of.
They also earn minutes by doing these (I haven't created the tokens for these yet... I ran out, I have Popsicle sticks so I may use those instead), however, not for each individual duty, but rather if they finish all the "Morning Duties" they will get a token/popsicle stick with a morning picture on it, well that's the idea anyway.  They are more often than not really good at taking care of these simple morning and evening routines so they always get at least 28 minutes of brain dead time, once a week.
 The Chore Can in on on fridge at the moment, not sure for now where it will end up, but this will do for the time being.   I covered a pint size paint can with scrapbooking paper that I've had since 2002 (does anyone scrap book anymore??) and then mod podged over it for durability.  I love mod podge.  The "tokens" are 1.5" wooden discs that Joann sells, I had these left over from another project so I used them.  Just printed off clipart onto slightly smaller circles that I created in Microsoft Publisher and glued them on using Tacky Glue.  Then Mod Podged over them as well.
 I haven't finished making the kids cans to put their tokens into once their chore is finished, but they are all really excited about it.  Honestly, so am I, how easy it will be to change the reward when something entices them more.  This would be so easy to adapt to any child of any age, video games, TV, allowance, time with friends, earn up to a certain amount and get a sleepover or late night, Trip to the children's museum, anyway, you get the idea, the possibilities are endless.
With our children computer games are the key right now... to prove that, I woke up to this sign this morning on the table...
and a PERFECTLY picked up and straightened house.  Denver didn't forget any of the rooms.  It is Wednesday... think she was trying to earn extra minutes today?? ;o)
We also have a Dinner Duties chart that the kids follow, I considered adding minutes for these, but these are established so well already that I didn't want them to think it was an option ;o)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tate's Quilt

I finally finished Tate's Quilt the other night.  It feels so great to be done!!! And it is so nice to know that she is snuggled up at night under her quilt rather than many random baby blankets :o) I am pretty happy with the finished project as well.  Making the pattern for the square was fun.  I have never followed any quilt patterns before, just come up with what I wanted to see.  In fact I didn't even know their were quilt patterns until recently.  It's been fun to come up with new ideas for each quilt.  I loved the one this one turned out, and I love the colors!  Happy Quilt Day Tate!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kids Church Bag / Library Bag

  I don't know about you, but I like my bag/purse, to be my bag!! I don't like shoving it full of toys and crayons, especially on Sundays! So I made some church bags for the kids.
 It is so nice to say "you can only bring what fits!" and then for them to be responsible for their own things.
 I made these last year and when my sister came up to visit a couple of weeks ago, I made one for her daughter. I had some left over squares from the quilt I am making for Tate (so close to being finished!!).
 These bags are just not complete without these awesome Crayon Rolls (Have you made one yet? Easy and awesome tutorial!!) These bags also double as great Library Bags. They are extremely sturdy, and machine washable.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sewing "Room"

My Sewing "Room" is actually just a nook in my bedroom, which is probably pretty lucky. I can only imagine an entire room devoted to sewing, would look a lot like this...
This is something that is embarrassing to me.  I LOVE an organized space, and consider myself a very organized person.  However, this area always seems to pile up.  It has become a catch all. Mostly because I borrowed my sisters sewing machine so my sewing machine hasn't actually been used in over a year... so I haven't had to open up the desk at all. In fact I've done most of my sewing in the dining room or living room over the last year.  I do clear this area off every once in a while, but it always seems to get back to this.  I don't have nearly enough drawers for all of my stuff, so it's inevitable that things will be on top... but that's no excuse for this disaster... so I tackled it tonight.  I can breathe again. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Waste Not

Tonight was the first night that my baby fell asleep before 11pm in weeks!! And instead of starting (or finishing) any of my projects I cleaned my shower... That can only tell you one of two things, either I have a serious cleaning condition or my shower was really that bad. I do like things to be clean, but seriously... Who does that??!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Running Around Like a Mad Woman

This last week has been insanely in town... birthday... wedding...Easter, not to mention my sewing room (which just so happens to be my bedroom and office as well) is being shared with my ten month old while my sister and her daughter are in town. I'm hoping this next week I can relax while tackling a few projects that have been on the sidelines for a while. But for now, I'm going to enjoy family and just dream of the projects in store... see you next week!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hand Stitching

There is something about a hand stitched quilt that makes it irresistible. Tied don't seem as "finished" to me, so I spend hours and hours hand quilting and get so excited with the little puffed squares, only to watch them disappear with time... oh well... I still think it's worth it. :o) First row down!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Art Display

I asked my husband to make me something to better display the kids art. I had an idea of what I wanted and he took that and ran with it. I love this thing!! Not only does it hold lots(!) but it is also magnetic and so everything goes up and down without a fuss. We have the neodymium magnets which are amazingly strong!! There is usually tons of art on each of these, but I was in a tidying mode earlier this day and took (almost) everything down for the new month :o)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


This tutorial was very easy and quick, I made all my seams french seams for extra durability, after all it is a bunch of kids climbing and jumping all over these. Unfortunately our computers crashed and this was the only photo of the beanbags that was recovered.  But you get the idea... they were awesome.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crayon Roll Ups

I had made pencil roll ups last year that turned out worse than okay, they served their purpose, but not well.  So I decided to remake them following this tutorial from the Pleated Poppy.  Love it!!  Super fast, super easy, and the kids love them!
 I could only find two when I searched the house for them (not really surprised), and one was completely void of any and all crayons (again, not surprised).  Wondering when my three year old will catch on and keep her crayons in the roll up so they are there when she uses it at church. 

Monday, April 4, 2011


This was last Halloween's exciting transformation... trying to turn this little cutie

into this commonly known wizard... you may have heard of Harry Potter before??
 It was a lot of fun and we scored on free black fabric (my husband found) and a free pattern (that my sister in law had) for an adult sized robe, glasses from good will (took out the lenses), a new sweater to keep him warm (this was our biggest purchase, $10 at K-mart) and the tie was sewn from fabric I had on hand (time consuming because of the stripes) with a free pattern from The Pearl Bee. I was super excited about the finished product. The kids want to all be Harry Potter Characters next Halloween... my oldest keeps telling me it's time so start working on the robes... I hate that she is probably right....

Friday, April 1, 2011

Homemade Dolls

It's an odd thing, trying to run around and find things that you've worked on over the last year... not only are they hard to find but when you do find them, they aren't as crisp and neat looking as when you first made them... not exciting to take pictures of! Oh well...
Here are the girls dolls that I made, one this past Christmas and two the Christmas before.  One is definitely more "loved" than they others, as I have had to make a more permanent nose and replace the hair several times.  But all the limbs have stayed attached.  The girls love these dolls and I love seeing them play with them!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tate's Quilt

Tate (child #3) has been looking forward to her quilt for some time now (her 3rd birthday was in November). She went with me to the fabric store and picked out the fabrics a few months ago. It took me a while to get around to cutting (after washing of course) and piecing together, but eventually I got there. This was the first picture I took of the process.
I usually try to take pictures of the process so the kids can see all the cool (hard) work I put into it. Since all this happens when they are sleeping it probably seems like a magic fairy puts it all together. Oh well...

Last week I got it put on the quilting frame YAY! Have I mentioned how much I love this quilting frame??And it's only been sat down at twice since I set it up... I hate being sick... it really cuts into my "me time".

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Skirts for the girls. This was a fun project as I was able to put these cute skirts (from House on Hill Road) together for my girls fairly fast. Here is what the skirt was/is supposed to turn out looking likeVery cute and flirty. Mine came close, but I didn't have the correct amount of fabric (since I was just using any Green fabric I had on hand) so it wasn't nearly and "twirly" as theirs. But the girls didn't seem to mind. I didn't get a great picture of the my finished product, as soon as they were finished they were on the girls and enjoying the fresh air and swing set and mud just like every other article of clothing my children own... but the girls did stop for at least a minute so I could get their picture.