Monday, February 23, 2009

Confessions

When I got up this morning, I had every intention of going to the gym right after the kids left for school.  I got all dressed to work out.  I had my gym bag packed and ready to go, waiting by the door.  My iPod was fully charged.

Then, right after the kids left, the phone rang.  Then I remembered I had some bills to pay.  Then the phone rang again.  My time was tight at this point.  OK, I thought, I'll just work out at home today.  I pulled out a DVD workout and was ready to go upstairs and turn it on.  Then, I remembered I had one piece of cheesecake left in the fridge.   That called my name far more than the DVD.  So I sat down with my book in the kitchen and ate the cheesecake, savoring every bite.  

I never got around to the workout.  

There's always tomorrow, right?

Friday, February 20, 2009

A New Method Of Madness

With three kids and busy schedules, our home can go from neat and tidy to tornado in the matter of a few minutes. Since we are all part of the family, and all live under one roof, Steve and I feel it's important for the kids to learn to take responsibility for the upkeep of themselves and the home. Developing a good work ethic starts early...and will determine their success later in life.

For months, I have been struggling with an effective way of getting the kids to do their chores. I’ve tried all kinds of things. Mostly, there’s been a lot of nagging and yelling. Which hasn’t worked. And hasn’t made me feel like much of a success as a mother.

My cousin Michelle has come up with a set of chore cards which she swears by. I decided to give them a try.

I made my own chore board - I wanted to separate the chores into “Daily” and “Weekly”, along with a place for recognition. Down the line, the "Bonus" column will be used for extra chores (the ones they can actually get paid for!).  


We’re now in our second week of using the board. Nagging has decreased significantly. There is definitely more enthusiasm on the kids’ part - they love turning their cards from “To Do” to “Done”. Both Jack & Olivia check the board without being reminded. There’s a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day when there are no undone tasks. And they LOVE seeing the “Great Job” star of recognition.

I’m hoping that the novelty doesn’t wear off too soon, and that this will continue to make our household a more pleasant place to live. For all of us.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Playin' In A Winter Wonderland

We spent our President's Day weekend up in the snow, thanks to an invitation from our good friends Wes & Stefanie and their daughter Mallory, as well as our friends Frank & Holly and their baby Bella.

We drove up after school on Friday, which happened to work well in our favor...Wes & Frank had the driveway all cleared before we arrived!





The cabin had all the comforts of home, and plenty of room for all of us!

Saturday morning, we woke up early and headed up to Bear Valley Ski Resort. Grant stayed behind with Stefanie, Mallory, Frank, Holly & Bella (thanks guys!).  Jack & Olivia each took a lesson, and we skied for the morning.

Jack, all suited up and ready to go!

After lunch, the kids didn't want to hit the slopes any more, so while Wes and Steve skied for the afternoon, we opted for some serious snow play instead.

We found this giant hill at the top of the parking lot, that went down into this huge field of 2-3' deep fresh powder. The kids started sliding down it, while I watched from above. They were able to climb back up with a little effort. After one ride down, Olivia got stuck in the powder, and when she tried to pull her leg out, her foot came right out of her boot! I quickly jumped over the berm and started my own adventure down the hill to try and help her and rescue the boot. We almost lost it for good, as with each dig down, more snow was falling on it. I eventually was able to get it out of the hole, and managed to shake enough snow out of it for Olivia to put it back on. After that, we tried to stay on the more packed snow!

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Sunday, after a yummy pancake breakfast, we all bundled up and headed outside for some sledding fun.  Steve crafted a trail right outside the door, and hours of fun were had sliding down.  
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Even Grant braved the trail...with some casualties!


The kids built their very first snowman (or should I say snow-woman) right outside the house on the deck.

Grant & Mallory, in their matching jammies 
(not planned...we discovered it while we were there!)

We played games, watched movies, talked, laughed, napped, ate way too much and enjoyed the time together. It is a rare thing to go away with another family (let alone 2 families!) and not have any moments of tension or irritation. I can honestly say I enjoyed every moment, and wasn't ready for it to end. On the drive home yesterday, I was reflecting on the blessing of friendships, and feeling incredibly fortunate to have such wonderful friends!

Wes, Stefanie & Mallory

Frank, Holly & Baby Bella

Thanks for a wonderful weekend...one we won't soon forget!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Graduation

I'm a month behind on my digi-scrapping class. The second class in the series started 2 weeks ago, but I felt like I needed to finish the first class before moving on. Line upon line, you know? The beauty of an online class is I can do it late. And there's no grade associated. Another bonus.

But tonight, with Steve out of town, and the kids all tucked in bed, I decided to play catch up. So here's the two layouts completed in the final two lessons of class #1:





I can officially say I've graduated from the beginner class, and am moving on to intermediate. We'll see if I can complete that course before the "advanced" one begins. Don't hold your breath.

But regardless of how long it takes to finish, I'm having so much fun...learning so many cool new tricks and skills, and fulfilling a goal to catch up on our family's memories. I'd say that beats a diploma any old day.