Thursday, April 30, 2015

Why You Should Be Paying Your Kid

I think most of us would agree that kids need chores or tasks to do around the house. Buy giving kids jobs, no matter how small, it teaches them responsibility and the importance of work. And to quote Dave Ramsey, it teaches them that you work, you get paid. You don't work, you don't get paid.

But shouldn't kids do chores simply because they are a member of the family? 
Yes, but not every chore. Although this is a great thought, kids-especially little ones, lack that intrinsic motivation that motivates most of us as adults. Plus, who doesn't love earning money? As much as I love what I do and going to work, if I didn't get a paycheck I wouldn't keep going back.

What can kids learn from earning money?

  • You work, you get paid. Don't work, don't get paid
  • Delayed gratification. Saving your money to buy something larger and/or more expensive instead of spending it right away
  • The joy of giving. Saving a little of their money to tithe or give back to others
  • A sense of pride from following through with a task
  • Responsibility in keeping your money in a safe place and not losing it
  • They become "money smart." They learn that a penny is one cent, quarter 25 cents, etc
  • Comparing prices when choosing what to buy
  • You can only spend what you've earned which is the most basic level of living within your means
What do we do with our kids?
Since Jack's not even two, he obviously doesn't earn money for doing chores, but we do require him to do small things around the house like pick up toys, throw trash away, etc.

Ben is 6 and the perfect age to get paid for doing chores. We actually started letting him earn money when he was 4, but he has become more interested in earning money and saving it within the last couple of months especially since he is into buying things like lego sets and Pokemon cards.

How much do we pay?
We don't have set amounts for doing certain chores, but for most things we pay a dollar. Some things he gets paid to do are:
  • Helping with Jack (playing with him while I do housework, washing his hair while they're in the shower, etc)
  • Cleaning out the car
  • Vacuuming
  • Organizing/Putting things away (holiday decorations, groceries, etc) 
  • Helping take out the trash
  • Making his bed 
Things he doesn't get paid for:
  • Cleaning his room. But if he does it extra quickly, without whining, or without asking for money, he may earn a dollar 
  • Picking up his clothes/shoes
  • Clearing his plate after a meal
  • Getting dressed/ready for the day
Why don't we pay him for the things above? 
Because they've always been things we've expected of him since he was old enough to do them. Remember that intrinsic motivation I talked about earlier? That's how you begin to build it. Small tasks that are part of the family routine that every family member does without getting anything in return. Remember, I get paid for actually working at my job, but not getting dressed and driving to work. 

Keep in mind. Your kids are not earning an "allowance." They don't get paid for just existing in the house. They must do something (work that's age appropriate) in order to get money. 

Need ideas for age appropriate chores? Google is your best friend and will give you list after list of tasks they can complete.

Now I want to hear what you all do? Do you pay your kids for doing chores? If not, why?

Linking up with Annie for Thoughts on Thursday.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I want to craft & Why I can't

My Pintrest board is exploding with recipes to be cooked and DIYs to be done. So what's the problem? Well we close on our new house a week from Friday and move on the 15th. That means things are slowing being packed up, and I honestly don't want to drag everything back out or make a big ole mess that I'd have to clean up.

You better bet though that once we are moved and probably even before we are all settled in, I'm going to be crossing some of these off my list.



What things have you been dying to make lately? Any new recipes or DIY's I'm missing out on?
Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend Recap

This recap is going up late and it's going to be a quick one so let's get to it!

Saturday I helped out with my work's annual Bowling 4 Autism event. Usually Ben comes and gets to bowl, but this year was our biggest one yet and all of the lanes were completely full. We had a great time watching families get their bowl on and raising money for autism services.

Although he didn't do any bowling, Jack did learn how to finger paint himself with spaghetti sauce during dinner.

Speaking of food, I watched Just Eat It, a documentary on MSNBC about all the food that goes to waste in this country. It was pretty fascinating and definitely makes you think twice about throwing away "old" food or getting take out because there's "no food in the house."

I wore my new Old Navy dress for the first time and love it. It literally feels like wearing pajamas and was $15. For that price I also picked up a black one. The dress runs pretty tts and I'm wearing a medium.  

 Other things that I didn't snap a picture of were Ben's baseball practice and dinner out for my dad's birthday Sunday night. Happy Birthday Dad!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Linking up with Biana for Weekending.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crockpot Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup

Although Spring is here and Summer is quickly approaching, we've still had a few cool days around here. I adapted this recipe to create the perfect soup for when the weather is a little brisk or a storm is rolling in.

What You'll Need:
-1 lb chicken breasts
-1 cup basmati rice
-1 cup finely chopped carrots
-1 cup finely chopped celery
-6 cups chicken broth
-1 tsp poultry seasoning
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/2 cup butter
-3/4 cup flour
-2 cups 2% or whole milk

Add chicken, rice, carrots, celery, broth, poultry seasoning, and onion powder to the crockpot. Cook on low for ~8 hours.
30 minutes before serving, remove chicken, shred, and return to the crockpot.
Next, melt the butter in a pan on low. Once melted, slowly add the flour to the butter until well combined. Add milk and whisk until smooth.
Add the rue to the crockpot and stir gently until well mixed. Add additional milk if it is too thick for your liking.
Heat for another 15 minutes and serve.

Linking up with SusanAlesha, & Kate.
Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekend Recap

This weekend was perfectly unplanned. The only things on our schedule were an autism walk and baseball practice on Sunday, but both got canceled due to the rain.

Friday night we attempted to watch Frozen...again. But our apple t.v. was being a little diva. Thank goodness 2 minute Youtube clips on repeat were enough to quiet Jack's incessant "Ola, Ola."

It got into the upper 80's and I officially broke out the shorts and blinded everyone who saw my legs. They aren't going to get tan(er) by being stuck in jeans all day. #havetostartsomewhere

After too much Youtube and a less than delicious Dominos pizza for dinner, Ben and I made a run to Smoothie King for a late night treat. 

Saturday we hung outside as much as possible before the storms rolled in.

Once the boys went to bed J and I rented Wild with Reese Witherspoon. I had a general idea of what the movie was about (hiking, journey, etc), but the actual storyline itself was not what I was expecting. Have any of you all seen it? What did you think?

Sunday morning came early and the only way Jack was getting out of his crib was if he snuggled with me on the couch. Which really means I forced him to lay with me until he broke free of my hold.

Once I was forced to actually get up, I made two new recipes, Raspberry Cake Squares and Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup. Recipes coming to the blog soon.

Sunday afternoon we headed to Mexican for lunch. Cheese dip for the boys, margarita for the momma.

I also popped into Old Navy and grabbed a few new things for Spring, but was too busy keeping my kids from destroying the dressing room while I had one leg in a pant to take any pictures. They just wait for the perfect moment don't they. 

Hope you had a fabulous weekend. Can't wait to read all about it!

Linking up with Biana for Weekending.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sweet & Scary

You may recall that I started organizing and packing up my office last weekend for our move.

In doing this I came across lots of old cards, letters, and pictures, but I really hit the jackpot with these two little gems.

The sweet. A letter from J's grandma. This is extra sweet because all of my grandparents have passed away so I cherish the fact that when I joined J's family I inherited his.

The scary. Circa 2010. I mean, what was I thinking taking my first born to see this particular Easter bunny. And what manager at the mall approved this costume choice? #mommyssorry

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Easter Bunny Dirt Cake

I know that Easter has come and gone, but this cake is just too darn cute not to share. Make sure to Pin this adorable cake so you're ready to go the next time that little bunny makes his way into town.

What You'll Need:
-1 large package instant chocolate pudding (+milk)
-1 tub Cool-Whip (thawed)
-7 oz shredded sweetened coconut (it come's in 14 oz bags so use half)
-green food coloring
-1 pkg regular Oreos (do not use the double stuffed)
-2 packages different colored Peeps
-candy eggs (whichever kind/brand you prefer)
-9x13 in. pan

Begin by making pudding according to the directions on the box. Place in refrigerator until set. While pudding is thickening, crush Oreos in a food processor or by hand. I didn't want to lug mine out and do the clean up so I crushed mine in a ziploc bag.

To the pudding, fold in the Cool Whip. Spread Cool Whip/ pudding mixture on top of the Oreos.

Next place coconut in a bowl and add a few drops of food coloring while mixing gently with a fork. You want to fluff the coconut as you add in the color so you don't smash it and it clump together.

Spread the coconut over the pudding mixture, then add your candy eggs. I ended up using Whooper eggs, but as long as it looks like an egg you can use whatever you like.

The final step is to place your Peeps in the "garden." You may need to wiggle them down in the pudding a little bit to keep them from leaning. I recommend waiting to place the Peeps right before serving as they could become soggy if they sit in the pudding mixture too long. 

*PS: I know coconut isn't for everyone and many people either love it or hate it. I'm thinking you may also be able to make this cake with shredded white chocolate, but I haven't tried it yet. Let me know if you do and how it turns out.

*PPS: You can also sub out the eggs and bunnies for candy worms and serve this cake all throughout Summer.

Linking up with SusanAlesha, & Kate
Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday friends!

Another weekend has come and gone and this one was a little extra special because we are officially under contract on our new house! Of course after being on the market for awhile, the sellers got our offer and another one at the same time. After several counter offers back and forth, we finally reached an agreement Saturday night. I'll post pictures of the new house once we get a little closer to the closing date, but we are SO excited. God is good!

Speaking of closing dates, ours is May 8th, as in less than 30 days and the moving trucks are scheduled to pack everything up on the 16th. Agh! To help deal with all this anxiety I started sorting, selling, donating, and packing my office late Saturday night.

Besides all things house, our weekend also consisted of a quick, but weird looking storm

And this caesar salad minus chicken from Pickelmans. Pickelmans is only in select states, but if you have one near you get this salad. Everything is fresh and homemade and delicious. I could seriously eat one for every meal.

And last but not least, Ben got new baseball cleats for his first practice which officially kicked off baseball season for us.
When did he get this big?! It's amazing how far he's come as a player these last 2 years.

Brother had no problem entertaining himself throughout practice. Who needs toys when you have bleachers to climb?

After practice, we grabbed dinner and then headed home for baths and pjs, but someone just couldn't keep it together long enough.

And while the boys both crashed early and J got some work done for clients, this momma got caught up on wine and blogging. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week and just remember

Linking up with Biana for Weekending.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easter Weekend 2015

This easter post is a little late as I've been busy picking up every last strand of that darn easter grass. And the foil off those chocolate covered eggs. Whoever created these things obviously doesn't have children. Or they hate parents everywhere.

We started off our easter festivities earlier in the week with an egg hunt at a local park. We were also supposed to do a flashlight egg hunt, but it got rained out womp womp.

We tried a new tie-dye egg kit this year and they turned out pretty cute. Ben was able to help out with every step of the process and Jack was old enough this year to help with the dying, but not before he managed to sneak a lick of the color tablet while I was getting the eggs from the kitchen. You know he's a second child when I didn't immediately call poison control. btw, those kits are non-toxic.

You would have thought Easter morning was Christmas with how early the boys got up. 

Of course Jack immediately went for the food...and Olaf paraphernalia.

After baskets and a low key breakfast we headed to church where I let both boys stay upstairs for the sermon. They did pretty well overall, but ended up playing (silently) on the floor of the pew towards the end.

We hosted lunch for my side of the family and I served this cheese tray as an appetizer. I have wanted a chalkboard tray like this forever and was going to DIY one when I found this gem for a $1 at a charity garage sale!

Later we celebrated with J's side of the family including dinner and another egg hunt. J's aunt lives in the country so the kids roam all through the yard making sure they didn't forget a single egg, especially since the eggs always have money in them:)

And this is what we're left with after all the eggs and baskets. Who wants to come trick or treating in April?

Linking up with Annie for Thoughts on Thursday.