Monday, November 19, 2012

oops! jar

Every once in awhile I get fed up with my children.  Mostly they are terrific kids and I would'nt trade em for the world.  But sometimes they fight, leave their stuff lying around the house, have to be asked multiple times to do stuff, say unkind things to each other or - the one I dislike the most- say, "I'm bored",  I borrowed an idea from the blog of another mother who must have this problem in her house too.

She has a list of tasks that are punishments that her kids have to pull and then do when they are caught doing any of the above. It sounds so much better to say " go get a job from the oops jar" then a nagging tongue lashing.  And if they start to debate their cause, just keeping adding tasks.

Here are examples of what is in my jar:
Clean out Mom's car of trash and cups
Pull weeds in back yard for 10 minutes

Pull weeds in front yard for 10 minutes
Rub dad’s feet for 10 minutes and do, ‘this little piggy’ to him.

Clean a sibling’s room for 10 minutes
Wipe down a bathroom toilet
Clean a bathroom mirror while singing any song.

Clean out silverware drawer

Wipe down outside of fridge and have a treat afterwards.
You are free but this is a WARNING!
Vacuum mom’s car
clean upstairs bath
Give mom and dad a hug and say,
“I will never leave my stuff out again.”
Wipe down walls by garage door
Wipe down garage door inside and out
Empty all garbage’s
Write a letter to someone who has done a service for you and tell them thank you.
water the plants
find matches in mismatched socks under dryer
Sweep front porch and ride your bike around the block.
 Play with Brady for 10 minutes
clean out a junk drawer
Dust living room
windex glass door

You are free but this is a WARNING!

You are free but this is a WARNING!

Tell all of your siblings 3 things you love about them.

Write 50 times “I will not leave my things out.”

Do 25 jumping jacks while singing, “I am a cleaning machine.”

Run around the house for 1 minute and see how many things you can pick up and put away.

Clean the dining room table with furniture polish.

Clean out the dishwasher

Clean out a heater vent.

Do research on the computer about how to clean with baking soda.

Choose 2 items of yours to donate to Goodwill.

Vacuum the office.

Scrub an air vent with a toothbrush.

Scrub your toilet while singing, ‘whistle while you work’.

Pick up backyard, do a flip on the trampoline and beg your mother for forgiveness.

Sweep back patio

Organize dad’s shoes.

Vacuum stairs

Thursday, November 15, 2012

40% control of our happiness

"People are just as happy as they make
 their minds up to be."
- Abe Lincoln
As I sat at my desk this morning and paid bills, i remembered an article I read once about the correlation between happiness and contentment. 
Did you know that according to a recent research study of 60,000 adults that was published in 2009, genes are responsible for only a portion of a person's sense of well being? 
50% of our happiness is biologically driven.  Some people are just born prone to a happy disposition.   My hubby is this way.  Remember in a past post how he amazed DRs. when he was super sick because he was the ONLY IIH patient they had that wasn't suffering from depression and needing a rx for anti depressants? 
(Me, not so much.  I like to think of myself as the REALIST of our family, the yin to his yang- however, I digress...)
Another 10% of our happiness is connected specifically to life circumstances.
  That leaves 40% of our happiness quotient unaccounted for. 
40% of our happiness, we have control of. 

Some might think that this 40% is greatly determined by income.  But, studies show: not necessarily.  Hope College in Michigan found that there is "little correlation between cash and contentment (for most Americans there is not much emotional benefit to earning more that $75,000.00 a year)". 
I look at that statistic and think maybe once our basic needs are met, having MORE doesn't really bring our quotient up.  
(And now that I think about it, I know alot of wealthy. but unhappy, people.) 
The trick to upping your happy quotient (HQ) is to figure out what things make you feel happy and do them more often. 
Here are mine:
reading a good book
listening to music
being with my family
feeling in control of my surroundings (clean house, organized schedule, living on a budget)
spending time with my best girlfriends
(who, by coincidence are like Brent and were born happy)
date night with Brent
making people feel special
(remembering a birthday or serving a friend)
being productive
and exercising.
(It NEVER, EVER makes me happy WHILE i am exercising but overall it helps my outlook be positive and it is a great source of stress release.)
And although I agree that having more money doesn't make me happier, I LOVE the feeling of being able to pay my bills and then have a little extra for an emergency.  There have been times in our married life when we didn't.  It was super stressful.  I think you appreciate having enough so much more after you haven't.  (And I can also tell you from past experience that -WITHOUT A DOUBT-being in debt does not lend itself to happiness.  It most defintely lends itself to UNhappiness and happens to be one of the top reasons why people in the US commit suicide.  Sad.)
My prayer this Thanksgiving is that we will all reflect on what we have - not what we DON'T have; that we can pinpoint those things in our lives that bring us each, individually, more moments of happiness and then do them more.  Life was meant to be enjoyed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Happy EIGHTEENTH Birthday to this gal.

 Tanner refers to her as the "chosen one" that is going to lead the rest of us to Heaven.  He's only halfway joking.  She really is the most amazing girl.
How lucky are we that she was our first so that she could be a great example to her four younger siblings?  It makes our job as parents so much easier.
We celebrated her big day by eating at FUDDRUCKERS and seeing the latest James Bond movie.  It was fun.
Eighteen things we like about her:
1.  She always has a smile on her face.
2.  She has a great attitude about EVERYTHING.
3.  not a shallow bone in her body
4.  never has to be asked twice
5. uber responsible
6. the peacemaker of the family
7.  takes Tanner's teasing about her driving with a grain of salt
8.  super dependable
9.  everyone's favorite babysitter
10.  smart as a whip
11.  loves the scriptures
12.  beautiful singing voice
13.  not a respecter of persons
14.  My #1 helper around the house and usually without being asked
15.  likes to watch LMN channel with me. :O)
16.  kind to everyone
17.  oozes with compassions
18. a heart of Gold
We love you Jenner Penner Poo Poo!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Turning TWELVE

 Today, we celebrate the birth of our
Beloved McKinley.
She got a few presents
(see em stacked in the background).
She is most excited about the nickel free earrings (she claims it so hard to find cute ones that are nickel free) and the sparkly eye shadow. Twelve is a big hallmark in our house if you are a girl because you get to start wearing a touch of eye makeup.  :O)
 Another fun surprise was that her friend, Caty, KIDNAPPED her bright and early for breakast before school.  Such a lucky girl to have such a sweet friend.  (Caty's mom, Cheri, is pretty sweet too -for being the brains and the driver behind it all.)

Cheers to turning TWELVE.  Young Women here she comes! 
Ready or not!