Archive for August, 2011

Chore Chart Share

August 25th, 2011 , Posted in MiaBella Phtoshop Products, my family, Personal

Over the summer I made a chart to help the kids remember what they needed to do to help around the house. Damian and I feel that along with free playtime, it’s very important that our kids learn to be a contributing member of the family. Whether that means simply helping me sort laundry or cleaning up after dinner or caring for the animals, we want them to help out. We also want them to know what is means to work hard and to appreciate their ability to accomplish tasks.

The chores on this chart are ones that (for the most part) I expect them to do daily during the summer. During the school year I ask them to do less because I do want them to have time to just be kids. We also assign larger chores about once a week such as clearing out dead plants in the garden, cleaning the van inside and out, cleaning out the stalls and so on. We typically pay them for these larger chores instead of giving them an allowance.

I had trouble finding an chart that I liked so I thought I would share the one I made here. I have boxes beside each chore that we fill in with a dry erase marker every week. Each child has a color; for example Garrett is blue, Chris is green and Bella is red. At first I let them pick chores, but after a while (and some arguing about who got which chore) figured out that it was better if I just assign them weekly and try to mix it up. It worked great this summer and for the school year I plan on just assigning 1-2 easy chores per day. The extras will just stay blank and Damian and I will pick up the slack. Although having the kids gone all day makes for less mess.

I had my chart printed as a 12×18 dry erase board at a professional photo lab. For those of you who aren’t photographers, I’m certain there are plenty of other places that will print a dry erase board as well.

I hope you like it!

Download Link

Please note that the file is a layered file (so you can change the chores) and you will need Photoshop to edit it.

The chart is free, but I would love a comment to hear how you handle chores at your house.

big skies

August 21st, 2011 , Posted in Personal

One of the reasons we moved out here.

You can see it a little bigger HERE.

the simple life

August 20th, 2011 , Posted in my family, Personal

I used to think I needed to keep up with everyone, to have amazing clothes, the perfect hair style, nice cars, live in the best neighborhood, etc. But over the years I’ve learned that I love the simple life with all of my heart.

I love the early mornings with my baby cuddled up beside me as we play and watch the sun rise. I love the sound of my boys thundering down the stairs (and the occasional sleeping bag race down as well). I love the walks through the woods in the fall. Our family gathered around playing a game in the winter. I love the smells of a good, home cooked meal floating through the house.  I love making our house a home that they WANT to come home to, a place they feel safe in. I love the daily challenge of raising my children to be confident, respectful people who love God with all of their hearts. I love the reward of working hard with my hands and growing the food that we eat. I love being there when my children get home from school.  I love the simple moments I find each day.

So while I’m normally found in a t-shirt and jeans, have crazy curly hair that is never perfect, drive the typical mom mini-van, live in the middle of nowhere in the country  and my house is often full of loud, messy kids, my heart is beyond full.

A simple evening last week.

Little Lilly in a big world.

Silly Lilly

Silly Lilly face.

Practicing standing!

He is sooo good with babies. He’s going to make an amazing dad someday.

She takes after me and is fascinated by big, beautiful skies.

What happens when I try to photograph my brood.

*all photos edited with the Peach Fuzz action from the Lilly Set.

Lilly’s Birthday!

August 2nd, 2011 , Posted in Lilly, Personal, Uncategorized

She’s one! I can’t believe it. My beautiful, tiny little baby is heading into toddlerhood. She has brought so much joy to us with her inquisitive, sweet and feisty little personality. It’s quite a sight to see all 5 of us gathered in the family room, watching Lilly’s latest antics (of course, followed by her squinty eyed cheesy smile). This little girl is loved to the moon and back!

I had so much fun planning and decorating for her party. Lilly has such a bright little spirit and her party seemed to steer naturally toward happy, bright colors. She also ADORES fruit so of course that had to be included. The girl will choose fruit over ANY other food. I made nearly everything with fabric and paper that I had on hand so her party ended up being pretty inexpensive. And the decorations can double as decor for her room.

If anyone wants tutorials on how I made anything, just let me know.

Now for the prettiness!

I made the bunting and paper circles. Lilly’s initials were made by a sweet friend before she was even born.

Torn fabric ribbon garland.

Lilly saying “wow” about the giant balloons.

Individual lemonade jars with blueberries, lemons and raspberries. Yummy!

She loved these cherries!

I made these out of scrapbook paper, fabric that I ruffled and elastic.

I was so worried this cake was going to be terribly hard to make, but it was amazingly simple. I wish I had taken a picture of the inside-it had raspberry filling.

The happy birthday girl.

Her cheesy grin.

That is one big balloon!

Everyone needs a kiss on their birthday. Bella is such a great big sister.

Why is everyone staring at me?

She was a little unsure about getting messy…

…but she got the hang of it. She wasn’t thrilled about how it felt though. A bath soon followed, lol.

Happy Birthday my Lilly girl!