Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Healing Field

Yesterday, Memorial Day, I drove the kids down to see The Healing Field. It was breath taking. It's hard to see all those flags and know that they each represent a life that was lost. I think the photos speak for themselves.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


These ugly, fascinating, creepy buggers have invaded our city. Their noise is so loud most days that you have to yell to be heard outside. My son, Elvis is fascinated with them. He has spent many hours studying & examining them. They have been a great lesson in science & entomology. That being said I am counting the days until they die off & hibernate for another 13 years.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rewards & Consequences: Day 1

Our new rewards & consequences system went into full swing this morning. I tried to start it last week but too many things got in the way. The kids were excited about the various rewards they can earn. I'm hoping this will last for awhile being that there is variety & lots of anticipation.
Bugsy was the first to be "caught" being good. He was proud to draw from the "Caught Ya!" jar.

Elvis worked hard on his schoolwork. No having to chase him down today!

Boo was right on the ball. She sat down to catch up in her spelling book & got her chores done lickity split!

Bugsy's reward? He drew 15 min. of computer time!

Elvis was the second to earn a chance at the jar. Here he is drawing his reward. No peeking allowed!

He read the paper & then did a little happy dance. His reward was 1 McDonald's point.

Our station is all set up. We have our "Caught Ya!" jars with the rewards inside. In the middle of those is the "Extra Chore" jar with chore sticks. In the tissue box are the yellow & red consequence cards neatly stored in a Ziplock bag. Included in the tissue box is one envelope for each child. This is where they can store their rewards until they are used. For instance, if they earn the privilege to stay up late it's there to remind us. They can store up their reward points for various prizes as well. For example Elvis earned 1 McDonald's point. He needs to earn 9 more & then he will get a trip to McDonald's for a treat off the Dollar Menu.

Boo earned a draw from the girl's "Caught Ya!" jar too. She earned a Dollar Tree point. She will store this in her envelope while she saves up her points. Sweet Pea earned one too. Hers was computer time. There was only one consequence card given today. It was a yellow card & was accepted without a fuss. I'm happy because the rewards have far outweighed the consequences.


Dave, Elvis, Bugsy & Boo went strawberry picking. They actually ended up going twice. That is because after putting up the first round we realized we needed more if we wanted to try our hand at making jam this year. The berries are amazing! Big & juicy!

This photo cracks me up. She couldn't get enough of those sweet berries!

6 gallons

Yum! Yum!

A bowl of red delight.

Mama hulls the berries.

All ready for the freezer!

Some are mashed, some are whole & some are sliced.

Elvis is proud of his hard work.

This pan is all ready for the freezer.


Now for some relaxation time.

Bugs couldn't stay awake. It was a big, full day.

Boo kicking back.

They ended up picking 10 gallons in all. We snacked on some but most were put up in the freezer. We plan to make jam & the rest will be for delicious treats such as strawberry shortcake, strawberry pancakes & ice cream toppings.


This is what I was able to get for FREE this week!
Two bags of chips & 36 boxes of pasta. I'm super excited as this goes a long way in feeding hungry tummies. Hooray for sales & matching coupons!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Today I hit the jackpot with savings today at Publix.

I bought 8 bags of Tidy Cat litter, 4 jars of Paul Newman's salsa, 2 containers of Heluva Good! Dip, 2 pkgs. of Kinkoman's Stir Fry mix & 4 cans of 100% Old Orchard Juice. My total? No, not what it would have cost full price which was $44.59. Nope, I only paid $13.15! Yes, that's a savings of $31.44! That averages out to 66 cents an item!

And to boot they gave me a free Mother's Day balloon. I am loving Publix more & more every time I shop there! Their customer service is excellent, I never get a hassle over my coupons, their sales are fantastic & their shelves are always fully stocked. Oh, and they bag your groceries AND bring them out to your car for you at no extra cost! What's not to love?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rewards & Consequences

I've been working on a new reward & consequence system for the children. I'm sure you moms out there know that no one system lasts forever. It was time for a change again. The children need something new & I need something simple and quick yet effective.

Using ideas from various sources I combined them & added some of my own. I typed up a list of rewards & printed them out.
Next I cut them into strips.

I folded them all up & separated them into 2 jars. One is for my boys & the other is for my two oldest girls. My youngest is not old enough yet to need a system. The reason I divided them was because some of the rewards were a better fit for my boys while others were a better fit for my girls. This is due not only to gender but for interests and even more so because of their ages. I decorated each jar & then filled them up with the rewards paper slips.

The idea is that I will be on the look-out each day to "catch them" being good, obeying, showing kindness, and doing their work. If they are "caught" then they will be given permission to draw a reward from their jar. Some rewards are points towards a big reward while others are instant. I plan to make a chart or pockets to keep track of what they have earned. (The girl's jar is a little "girlie" but they were the only stickers I had. I plan to get more age appropriate ones soon. In the meantime my girls said they didn't mind. Good sports!)

A friend of mine spoke of making "Consequence Cards". In the past we have used posters from Doorposts. This is the same type of idea. I made up my own consequences & again typed them up. After cutting them out into strips I taped them onto index cards. I outlined each card in either yellow or red. Yellow is for the minor discipline. Red is for more serious discipline or consequences. The craft sticks have extra chores glued on them. This way I can either choose a yellow card, red card or extra chore stick depending on what I think fits the offense. I like that I don't have to spend time thinking up new consequences & they will be at my finger tips. At the same time I still have a variety of choices. I made copies of several consequences as I have 5 children, 4 of whom will be using this system.

I hope to start using our new system tomorrow. If you'd like I'll update in a week or so to let you know how it is going.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Bugs was due for a haircut so I took out the clippers tonight. BUZZ!

Two BEFORE photos.

And two AFTER photos!

My handsome little guy is all set!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fun Experiments

When Mom & Nana were visiting the boys wanted to do their science experiments with them. I bought them these for Christmas at the Dollar Tree. My Mom has been a science teacher forever so it was extra fun to do these with her.

This one was Elvis'.

This one was Bugsy's.

We followed the directions & then waited for them to grow. See how tiny they started out?

Elvis was super excited!

Marbles growing.

Crystals growing.

Boy did it make a lot! I can testify that the box was correct in saying these things do indeed bounce. I accidentally dropped most of them trying to transport them. They were all over the place! Lol!


They were HUGE!

After a couple hours Elvis decided to experiment again. He added the grown crystals in the jar with even more water. His guess what that they would continue to grow. He was absolutely correct!

These experiments were lots of fun. We are looking forward to doing more soon.