Friday, November 17, 2017

Is this a Treat?

Reposted from Matthew's blog -

My daughter is extremely cautious regarding what she will do with her one allotted treat per finished meal. When we do pizza, we usually get a free two-liter soda with it. Each time we do, she asks before she imbibes: "Is this a treat?" If you say yes, she won't drink it--her notion of value places it lower than a piece of candy. If you say no, she happily guzzles the soda.

Last night, my wife made orange rolls. They are delicious. However, in my eager desire to dispense with dishwashing for the night, I washed the mixing bowl that I mistakenly thought had extra left-over dough in it when it fact, it was the icing for them. They still taste goood, they just don't have the additional icing. So, my daughter finishes her dinner and wants an orange roll. That's perfectly fine.

She asks: "Is this a treat?" I answer: "Yes."
She thinks, and then nods, alright. She goes over to the cooling racks upon which the rolls are resting and picks which one she wants. Then she notices something is amiss.

"Where is the good stuff?"

"What good stuff?" I answer.

"The good stuff that makes it taste good. The icing?"

"I don't know," I reply, with a sinking feeling in my stomach that I put the icing down the sink by mistake.

"Then I don't want it," she puts the roll back. Not worth it. Delicious orange roll + icing = treat. Delicious orange roll - icing = not worth it. I'd rather have a measly small piece of Halloween candy.

It's amusing and a little awesome watching her value different treats.

Monday, November 13, 2017


A few weeks ago we decided the babes were ready for additional responsibility. Now, in addition to cleaning their room, they are responsible for clearing and setting the table in preparation for dinner everyday. Despite explaining that I do my job in making dinner and Matthew does his job of cleaning the dishes afterwards, there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth at the change. I wouldn't say the allowance is a bribe for these new jobs, but it may have been the impetus for the institution. That and I want to teach my children about tithing and savings.

Last week I put 10 dimes in a jar for each child. I explained that at the end of the week they would get those dimes, but if they complained about any of their jobs they would lose dimes. Boy Howdy still complained about his new job but with the threat of losing money he begrudgingly held his tongue. Cheeks was good until Saturday when she was supposed to clean her room. She lost $0.30 in the course of an hour. It was a sad morning.

Tonight for family home evening we reviewed how many dimes they had left and the concept of thanking Heavenly Father by paying tithe. We also discussed the merits of savings. To induce them to learn to save, we have opted to pay $0.01 per dime they save per week. Free money, is how we labeled it. With the promise of that "free money" at the end of the week they opted to put all their remaining money into the savings jar. Color me a proud mama. I'm not sure how long we'll be able to keep up with our current interest rate of 40%, but for right now, I'm just happy to start teaching my children the concept of saving and tithing.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Mama has a Birthday

Be still my mother's heart. At bedtime Boy Howdy asked for art supplies so he could make cards for my birthday. When I came to bed I found these two cards on my bedside table. Seeing Boy Howdy's writing "mom" melted my heart (he's just learned how to spell it) and Cheeks' portrait of me makes me so happy.

The next morning the kids were so excited to show me the rest of their creations they made me. Boy Howdy made some adorable cards with hearts and his own portrait of me complete with crazy hair and crown.

At one point after bedtime, Boy Howdy called down the stairs to ask about my favorite animal. I answered that it was the elephant. The drawing is Boy Howdy's rendition, the other is Cheeks'. Both make me so happy.

And here are my sweet girls' creations. She is such an abstract thinker that it makes sense that her artwork takes on the same form. I might not keep any of this but I love my jewels and smiley face with random bits of tape thrown in for good measure.

Boy Howdy put all of his "cards" in a suitcase. Cheeks' couldn't remember where she put hers. She was so very distraught. I tried consoling her that we would find them eventually but she was so eager to give them to me right then (first thing in the morning) she got back in bed crying. Hero mom to the rescue finally found them and boy was she so excited to show me each individual item she had created for me.

I felt so loved. For sure the best way to start my birthday. The rest of the day was just as lovely. Rain poured the night before leaving beautiful blue sky and a rainbow in the morning. Melissa, Jared and Charlotte met me for brunch while Cheeks was in preschool. My friend Danielle took Cheeks in the afternoon. I made a super yummy dinner with an even better cheesecake for dessert and had Danielle and her family over to help enjoy it with us.

The next night I got to go out for a yummy dinner and shopping date with my sweetheart. The weekend before I got to go to Time Out for Women with my sister, niece and their sister-in-law and had a completely wonderful experience. From beginning to end of my week of birthday was so fantastic. Yay good birthdays!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween 2017

Halloween definitely ranks very high in the hearts of my children. All year they make lists of what they want to be for the holiday. Boy Howdy finally landed on Blood Monster. He even drew me a picture of him trick or treating in his costume.
I had no idea how I was going to recreate his vision. It honestly kind of stressed me out. Eventually I asked and he agreed to let me make his costume like his ghost from last year. I made it for him, thinking I would alter it to better fit his idea. Nope. No more fuss. He liked it the way it was, but decided he would be a blood bat instead. Not quite sure what a blood bat is but as long as my boy is happy I am happy. Win-win.

Cheeks eventually settled on cotton candy. I found some inspiration on Pinterest. It mostly made it through the trunk or treat at church. She even won a medal (for her pink puffy mystery costume - they were unsure if she was a loofah or a cloud). She wore the medal proudly for the next several days. Sadly I didn't take a picture of her in it because it didn't really make it past that evening. The fluff kept falling off the shirt and I had to diligently follow her around the church with a can of spray glue to put her back together. By Tuesday she had reconsidered her cotton candy costume and decided instead on being a butterfly. I tried getting her to put on some makeup to add credence to her costume but she was against anything of the sort. So my children may look as though their mother doesn't care about them at all; but I promise I really did try.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Pumpkin Carving - 2017

Every year the kids get more involved in pumpkin carving. Boy Howdy actually cleaned out his pumpkin very well. And Matthew interpreted his vision to extreme satisfaction (his is on the right). Cheeks, while excited for the overall activity, was not very interested in the particulars apart from taking the seeds outside and burying them in the yard. She didn't even care to have a say in what face he had. Matthew was left to use his own judgement (hers is on the right). Mine (in the middle) was carved using a drill. My absolute new favorite way to carve a pumpkin. Such nice neat circles and made so fast too. 

Matthew decided to put some undies on his "bumpkin" and call it good. Another successful pumpkin carving family home evening.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cheeks has an Owie

Poor Cheeks has been suffering from a cold sore for the last week or so. It hasn't really healed because . . . well, she is a small child. Last night it started bleeding and she asked to have a bandaid put on it. I couldn't help but giggle at her mustache. She was adamant that it is NOT a mustache but I can't look at her and not laugh. I just can't take her seriously. She tried to take it off this morning so as not to draw laughter from people at church but the pain in taking it off was more of a deterrent than having people ask after her mustache. Oh how I love this little chica.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Boy Howdy Loses a Tooth

Boy Howdy lost his first tooth at school today. They were so prepared. They sent him to the office to get his protective tooth necklace to make sure it made it home safely.

A few days ago when it first became loose the kids told me all about the tooth fairy and how she brings money to children who lose their teeth. I'm pretty sure I have never told my babes about the tooth fairy and yet somehow they became educated on her exploits all the same. That's fine. Whatever. When I asked how much money she paid for teeth, Boy Howdy put up both hands and proudly answered, "Ten!"
"Ten whole cents?" I asked incredulously.

I was amazed at his excessively low expectations. Wahoo!!

On the day the tooth in the necklace came home, Boy Howdy had started to express his doubt in the reality of the tooth fairy. Was she real or just a fairy tale? He even expressed his concern in his prayer that night. I was touched at his sincerity. Though I couldn't decide if I was impressed with his reasoning skills or the lack of magic I have provided my boy.

Without mentioning the tooth fairy (because I just couldn't bring myself to do it, I have similar issues with Santa and the Easter Bunny) I left him 10 dimes (get it?!?) certain he would be so excited that his expectations were most definitely exeeded. He wasn't initially very interested the next morning (being sleepy will do that for you) but once awake he was over the moon with his good fortune. Ten whole dimes. In addition to the money he received for his jogathon, he was pretty sure he was now a rich boy. His enthusiasm for school has finally started to wane, but this excitement had him running to the bus stop to share with anyone who would listen.

My babies are getting older. In some ways it is sad, but I'm pretty in love with this stage too!