Monday, January 30, 2012

Modified Kitchen Tip

I read a post from a long while ago by Zsuzsanna Anderson which told of her idea to cut down on the number of cups your family uses in a day. Unless you have some sort of amazing training technique that I've never heard of, then your kids are probably like mine.

A cup with breakfast.

Another cup in the morning.

And a fresh cup at lunch.

I just lost mine, so I need another cup.

See a pattern?

Well, this may not be that big a deal to some. It is a big deal to me though for two reasons: (1) I don't like washing dishes and (2) 3 cups a day x 7 family members = 21 dirty cups ... a day.

Well, here is my solution....

Here's the how-to.
1) Find various cutesy papers. Mine are 2 award badges we use in school, one gold award star from school, two free clip-art images, and 2 with stickers. I preferred heavier paper; I don't suppose it's completely necessary.

2) When I used clip-art, I printed it on card stock and trimmed it out.

3) Add names for the badges. Again, not particularly necessary I guess.

4) Use clear contact paper on the front and back to sort of laminate the badges and shield them from sweaty or freshly rinsed cups.

5) Set them out when you (or the kids) are cleaning up after breakfast and stick them back in the cupboard after the evening meal.

It may not work for you, but it has for us. We have been using this method for several months now. When we use it, everyone sticks to one cup a day!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Homefront Happenings

I had sat down a few times to make a post-Christmas post and ended up getting distracted with everything else on the Internet. So, here I am now over a month from the last post. :-) Everyone here is still alive and (mostly) well. We had a stomach virus around Christmastime. Yuck. And now some of the little ones have it again, about 4 weeks later. What a drag. No one likes cleaning up stomach virus aftermath, but in the end I should be, and am, thankful that they are seldom sick.

We enjoyed our long, three-week Christmas break and are now getting back into the homeschool groove...or trying to. I don't there actually is a groove when you homeschool more than a few kids. We have a routine. We have a daily schedule...sort of a target for the day. But when you are teaching three grade levels with a toddler underfoot and a nursling, there is no such thing as a "normal" day.

Over the past several weeks, Josiah's communication skills have really blossomed. In other words he has become a regular jabber jaws. When he turned two in August, he could communicate but said few words and never used more than one or two word sentences. He was beginning to try to communicate better toward the end of November. Fast forward to today, he is using wordy sentences to tell everything from food, drink, and clothing preferences to tattling on his siblings. In other Josiah related stuff, I don't think I've ever mentioned the adorable cleft chin he has! See?

You know it'll be a great day when big brother takes you out to play.

Little miss Lydia is completely loving the Easy Bake Oven we got her for Christmas. She thinks that she is so awesome when working with a gourmet chef. It's so hard to believe that she is going to be five in a few short weeks. Here are her and Daddy baking some cookies together. Isn't she precious?!

Birthday cake ... I was sort of hoping that she would pick this as a birthday cake.

Looks difficult, yeah? Well, it's not! I got the idea from one of my new favorite stops on the web, Watch the video tutorial for the flip flop cake here, if you want to try it. Promise, if I can make this crafty cake anyone can make it! So much for my bright ideas because she chose a Hello Kitty party themed party instead. The flip flop cake would have been so adorable.

Speaking of adorable. Have a look at this cutie!

He is now a whopping 4 months old and tips the scales at 16 pounds. What a sweet baby he is. Funny thing is that no matter how many times I kiss him, he never seems to run out of kisses!

He completely loves this little book which was a Christmas gift from Uncle Daniel and Aunt Julie (my brother and sister-in-law).

"If I could just get it in my mouth..."

I really love this photo. It's like they're deep in conversation, weighing heavy matters in the what to have for snack or how best to build the latest Lego creation.

My "Daniel Boone."

(Please do not send irritating comments condemning us for allowing him to have a hand pump BB gun. The eight year old boy has killed a total of 5 deer and countless birds and squirrels and is quite a marksman for his age. He is not left alone with a loaded firearm. duh...)

There's always time for a game or two or three or four or... of Perplexus.