Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Barn Door!!

If you happen to enjoy my mishmash of photos on Instagram (@mama_m) then you've likely already seen this news. However, for those of you that don't peruse Instagram...boy, have I got a treat for you in this blog post!

The remodel. Yes, I'm working on a "Before and After" post...I'm dragging my feet a bit because there are a few things we still need to do, but I think I'll do it anyway and hope that maybe you won't notice our missing backsplash or lack of appropriate floor transitions.

However, in the meantime, there IS something I want to show you (missing floor transition and all)...remember the barn door plans I talked about? Well, it was something I tucked away on a wish list when we realized we had worked ourselves into a custom door. But then, we need more wood work stuff done and we decided, what the heck. Let's just do it.



And it was like Christmas ALL. OVER. for me! When I came home from work the day this beauty was installed, I was like a kid in a candy store!!



Oh my friends. I love it. I love its practicality. Its functionality. And its sheer beauty. It turned out magnificently.

And I am one happy mama.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Large Family Chore Checklist...for Kiddos That Like to "Check"!

Have you heard of this thing called "Pinterest"? Oh...you have? Silly me. ;)

Anyway, the Mr. and I were trying to find a good chore checklist to help with our kids getting their chores done. We're terribly inconsistent about making them stick to their duties and there is so often a "it's not my kitchen night" battle happening, that we decided we needed something in writing.

And a little positive reinforcement.

Back to aforementioned Pinterest...I scoured Pinterest, trying to find just the right checklist...but they were all just...well, not right. Pretty, yes. Some organized by day, some by week, some by room, some by the phase the moon was in, or the correct alignment of the stars...but nothing that was quite what we were looking for.

So, I took it upon myself to create a little something that worked for our family. And this is what we came up with (for winter, anyway...summer will be different chores...like, no shoveling snow, for instance!), which seems to be working quite well for our large family:







 

I don't know about your kids, but our kids LOVE checklists. We've found that a checklist will not only help to keep our kids on track, ensuring that their assigned chores are getting done fully and completely, but it also gives them a sense of on-going accomplishment. How great is it to see the progress you're making, by being able to check items off a list?!

One of the problems I had with the "other" checklists on Pinterest is that they would say, "Kitchen" or "Bathroom" but not list out the actual chores that needed to be completed. It was important to us to list out what, exactly, we expect to be cleaned in those rooms.

And the icing on the cake? The carrot to keep them going? A weekly incentive drawing...ranging from $5 to a night free from kitchen duties to one-on-one time with mom and dad. The incentive keeps them going during the week and we've found them frequently talking about "what do you think this week's incentive will be?!". They now know that chores must be completed in a thorough and timely fashion to be included in the drawing.

The weekly chore day is more of a "suggestion" as the deadline for being included in the incentive drawing is Friday at 6pm. Chores MUST be done by then to be included.

What have you found works well to keep your kids on track with their chores?


Monday, January 5, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wow. I have been SERIOUSLY remiss in documenting the goings-on of our home on my blog! It's been over three weeks since my last post?! Why, I never...

Anyway...can y'all believe another Christmas has come and gone? I can't. It makes me sad...Christmas is my most favorite time of the year and it goes by SO STINKING FAST!! In fact, my Belle said, the day after Christmas, "Mama, Christmas is so slow to come and goes by way too fast!". Yes, my love. It does.


But, go by too fast or not, it was wonderful! I absolutely love the traditions, the big, loud, crazy Christmas celebrations, the fun and family and getting together and ALL THE CHRISTMAS EVERYTHING!



One thing I did not love...missing "midnight Mass". Somewhere along the line we missed the memo that my beloved, cherished, most looked forward to mass was changing from midnight to 10pm. I had always been SO PROUD of our church for continuing to celebrate midnight Mass...for honoring sweet Baby Jesus at the VERY START to his birthday and when I found out it had changed (at 10:10pm on Christmas Eve, mind you...), well, my heart broke a little. It actually makes me a little teary to know that this tradition is gone.

Gah. I can't think about it any more or I'll be cryin' all over my keyboard!!!

Okay! Moving on...*wipes eyes*...so, New Year's celebration. Yes, let's move on to that...we turned down to very tempting, incredibly fun offers of a night out in exchange for? A quiet night in with our brood! (Well, most of 'em, anyway...two were away...) We had a dance party (and ohmigosh...check out this link of my hubby shakin' his booty to Just Dance!!! I die.), played Qwirkle, had some plain old "simple" fun, and rang in the New Year with champagne (us) and kid booze (sparkling juice) (them). It was delightful!



And we woke up feeling like a million bucks!

Now...we cherish the remnants of another Christmas gone by, the start to another year, and the simple prayer for "health and safety" for our family (and yours!).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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