Thursday, September 20, 2012

I don't have to scrub my baseboards anymore!

I am quite certain all of you are super excited to hear that I have finally come up with a "chore system" in my house.  Am I rocking your world yet?  Here is the's actually working.  It is simple, I can keep up with it, I love it and most importantly I am not scrubbing my baseboards anymore!

So since this has taken me nine years to figure out.  I thought I would share it.

Step #1:  I created a list of chores that my children must do every week.  Their chores range from taking trash out to making their beds.   They are not paid for these chores.  I explained that some chores get done just because they are part of a family.  I don't get paid to do the laundry.  However, when I work an additional job outside of being a wife and mom then I get money for those duties.

Step #2:  I made these:  I purchase these little magnetic bins that hang on my fridge(Dollar Tree).   Each child has a bin with clothes pins attached to it.  On the clothes pin I put a "job" with a value on it.  IF their family chores are done then they can earn money for the additional "jobs."  The beauty of this is I can look around the house and simple write down what is dirty at that moment. They can earn up to $5 per week.  Jobs range from .50 - $2.00 depending on the difficulty. When they have completed their job they take the note and put it in the bin so I can pay them.  They will receive their paycheck  every two weeks.

 Step #3:  I get this.  A child working hard on vacuuming all my stairs.  Look there is even a smile!

Step #4:  Payday we have them give 10% to God, 10% to savings and the rest is theirs to spend.

I know this is a silly blog post. I have struggled to find the right system.  I think this is going to work for my family.  Maybe you can't tell but.....I am super excited that I don't have to clean my baseboards anymore!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

One piece missing!

Today I watched my three-year old put together a puzzle.  I literally watched her for about ten minutes without her knowing I was spying on her.  As a former preschool director I have literally watched hundreds of kids put together puzzles.  Today however, I watched with total amazement as my little girl put the puzzle together.  She was so focused, so driven, so cute!  

Each time she would grab a piece to place into the puzzle I would have a dialog with myself.  "No honey not that piece" or  "sweetie, turn it the other way."  It took everything in me to keep my mouth shut.  I was equally moved each time she fit a piece correctly. I wanted to shout that's my girl.   I had to remind myself to not say anything or the moment would be ruined.  

As she neared the end of her puzzle, all forty-eight pieces (yep, she is a genius).  She realized there was one piece missing.  I saw the frustration, the panic as she looked for the piece.  Again, I wanted to jump in and help her but I waited.  In total disappointment she came to me. Here is our conversation 

"Yes, Brielle."  
"I did the puzzle." 
 "Oh baby, I see you did do it.  It is amazing."  
"But Momma, it is missing a piece."  
"Yes, it is honey. I am sorry about that." 
 "Momma, do you know my puzzle was very hard to do?" 
 "Yes, I saw you working very hard on it. It looked tough."  
"Why is there a piece missing?' 
" Brielle I am not sure. Why do you think it is missing?"  
"Because I am not allowed to see the whole picture." 
"Why aren't you allowed to see the whole picture?"  
"Because I need you to help me find the missing piece."

Oh I know this conversation is not profound.  However, it struck me.  Lately, I have felt like my life is like a puzzle but it is missing pieces.  I have felt frustrated and panicky and even disappointed.  I want all of the pieces to fit together to create a beautiful picture.  I have worked hard to put the puzzle together.  Really hard!  I want the reward of seeing the completion.  

God is so gracious to me as He shows me His love through a silly puzzle.  You see as I have put together the puzzle of my life.  He has lovingly watched.  He allowed me to make mistakes and rejoiced with me when I got it right.  Today however, He just needed to remind me that without Him I am just a puzzle with one piece missing. He is all I need to complete my puzzle!

Proverbs 3:5-6 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him
and he will make your paths straight.

P.S.  I helped Brielle look for her puzzle piece.  We found it and it made a beautiful picture!