Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Whole Birthday!

Before Todd and I got married I didn't have TV service. I thought it was a waste of money because frankly, I didn't have time to watch TV and only turned it on once or twice a week when folding laundry. After some mathematical deduction I realized it would be cheaper to rent a movie than to turn on the TV, and if you use the library {which I do} FREE movies are infinitely cheaper than TV service.

When Todd and I got hitched he felt compelled to introduce me to the world of "The Office." It really is its own little world, and now I have many friends there. Jim and Pam {can we get an eyebrow raise at the camera here?}, insanely obnoxious and inappropriate-in-every-way Michael, Dwight {beets anyone?}, crazy cat lady Angela, and the list goes on. I was hooked. Every night after putting the kids to bed, Todd and I would grab a snack and cozy up on the couch for an Office session. I think we watched 5 seasons in a month. Actually, I wasn't keeping track of time but that sounds about right.

Is anyone wondering whose birthday it was yet? Well, it was mine...back in August. Todd got me this great card that was so funny I couldn't bear to throw it away, but the time has come. This card is too good to live in my paper pile for none to enjoy. I still had a hard time letting go of that card so I decided to pull one of my genius mom tricks on myself. "Let's take a picture of it! Then you can always remember it. Say goodbye to the card!"

I forgot to take a picture of the inside of the card, but I think it said, "Happy WHOLE Birthday!" Not sure though, cause I threw the card away. Yay for less clutter!

So what about you...Do you have any genius mom tricks to share? How about tips for keeping down clutter? Or maybe just a TV show that you can't live without?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Child Labor

I am a woman of many titles. So many that I made a list of them {what? a list? that's so unlike me}. It just so happens that on said list you will not find servant. I love my kids way too much to do every little thing for them. I expect my children to pick up after themselves, and that includes scrubbing their precious little fingerprints {and other souvenirs they leave behind} off the walls. Doesn't this look like fun?
Not only do I provide these fun opportunities for my chidren, I don't pay them to do their chores. I know, I know. I bet every kid wishes they had a mom like me. But really now. Nobody pays me to cook supper and do laundry. We are a family, and families work together for the good of the whole. We help each other without attaching a price tag to our service. Before you think I'm cruel and unusual {okay, there's probably no swaying your thought on unusual, but cruel...let me try to explain that I am not} I do give my children opportunities to earn money. We have a list of things that they can do to earn money. If they are done with their regular chores they can choose a paying job to complete. Because this is a job, it has to be done extremely well to receive payment. Sloppy job = sloppy pay.

Before I get busted for gloating posting about my children enjoying chores, I should admit that such is not the case. They often like to mix in some groans and complaints just to keep me well versed with the phrase, "Because I said so." But every once in a while there is a miraculous moment that must be recorded. Hence the picture above and the following story about my eldest child, Tate who is eight {has a nice ring to it, huh?} He really is eight by the way. So anyway, on with the story. In an effort to get Tate into bed quickly last night, I challenged him to a race. I bet him that I could put away all the folded laundry on the couch before he got out of the shower. Well of course my sweet daughter distracted me with something terribly urgent {she's six and pretty much everything in her world is urgent}.  Tate hustled his clean and freshly clothed little buns out and came racing to the kitchen.

Tate: Did I win?
My deflated answer: Yes, I got distracted.
His enthusiastic reply: Did you put away my clothes?
Me with a smile: Nope.
Tate with all the enthusiasm of a boy who just beat his mom: Good!

Then he grabbed his pile of clothes and rushed to his room to put them away. Bless his sweet little heart! Moments like that give me hope.

So what chores do you give your kids to do? Do you pay them? Come on now, spill the chore lovin' beans!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bring it!

I am determined not to be bored out of my gourd the next time it rains for a week straight. I live in the Tacoma Washington area so I have a feeling it just might definitely happen again. Soooo, I am compiling a list. Some people say I'm a bit of a cheapskate, er...thrifty. On that note, here are some FREE things to do.
  • Have an indoor scavenger hunt
  • (When they're done, they can race the timer to put everything back - two games in one!)
  • Have a pillow fight
  • Pull out all the pillows and blankets, grab some snacks, and read a long book together
  • Build a fort out of all those blankets and pillows
  • Build a fort out of sugar cubes, popsicle sticks, or toothpicks. What else could you build...a whole city?
  • Visit Union Station (1717 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma) - historic & has some Chihuly art work
  • Hands-On Children's Museum you can check out a pass at the library to get four people in free. Follow link for other free days if you don't have a library card
  • Puget Sound Navy Museum - a bit of a drive, but always free
  • Washington State History Museum (only free on third Thursday of the month from 2-8 p.m.)
  • Museum of Glass (free days/hours same as above)
  • Visit Cabela's - fun any day of the week with all the stuffed animals (sorry, no cuddling allowed) They also have several free events on weekends and morning story time for the kids on the first Saturday of each month.
  • Visit Ikea (ok, pretty sure this one's not going to be free for me, but it could be if I only had an ounce of will power)

 And now for the not so free list. But they are wallet friendly ideas and won't break the bank if you just choose one (still probably cheaper than a "free" trip to Ikea):

When it rains I ache to go outside, probably just because I can't.  But now I have places to go and things to do, so bring it on, rain! Give me your best shot!
Oh, and don't forget to tell me what you do to combat the rainy day blues!