Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ticket to a Clean House

We've stumbled upon a system that works for whole house cleaning, that involves everyone, and actually ends in a clean house and no one being grumpy or fighting!

I've been doing this method for about 6 months now and it has yet to fail me! 

We call it ... Tickets!

The premise is that there are jobs in the form of tickets.
There is a movie, snacks or some other award that the children value and would like to earn... they earn it through accomplishing a task on the tickets they apply for.

Step 1 
Divide your house by zones that need cleaning, you can group up areas like hallways or stairways into larger areas.  Ensure that jobs are as equal as possible. For example, the kitchen is always by itself, but the living room and dining room are together because they are less work. 
Write the jobs on paper or index cards.

Someone lost their "car" ticket and so they made their own replacement

Step 2 
Divy out the cards. We do them in rounds. Round 1 is the hardest jobs, round 2 easier and round 3 easiest. And typically there ends up being three, sometimes 4 tickets per person. Sometimes we put things like, "read to a sibling" or "do a page of math" in our tickets just to get other things done and to mix it up a bit! Sometimes jobs are person specific like "clean your room" or "do you own laundry".

See, it's fun! I often help on bigger jobs like this one!

Step 3
Tell them the prize they are working to earn... 
Today it is a Thanksgiving themed movie and popcorn!!!

Then give them a time limit. In our house today they can work until 1 pm when the movie starts. 

And lastly be present and check in with them often so they don't get stuck or side tracked. I require them to tell me when they are done with a ticket and I check their work and take the ticket and write their name on it. 

Lovely room cleaned by my lovely girl!

What To Do With Littles?

Most often I assign easier jobs for people under age 5. 

They get jobs like:
- Pick up your room
- Make your bed
- Play with baby
- Spray off all the door knobs with germ killers (essential oil mix) and wipe down
- Put away your clothes
- Or the ever popular: Help a big kid with a job like cleaning out the car.

A Few Helpful Hints:
- Don't make it too hard at first... work up to it!
- Be involved, unless you have bigger kids. Work along side them.
- Keep their eyes on the prize! Yell out... "Only 1 more hour until MOVIE time!" 
- Put on some motivating, upbeat music... but nothing visual to distract them.
- Remind them that they are a team, but I generally keep each ticket a personal accomplishment (one kid per area/ticket).
- When someone is struggling with motivation I bring them aside and ask them how they need my help.
- Often the children want me to close my eyes and surprise me with the space. I act it up big time and then give a few suggestions. 
- Praise and instill how their work benefits them directly, "Oh my goodness! Doesn't it feel great to have a clean room? I bet you will wake up tomorrow and feel so good when you see that it's still clean!"

Good Luck and God Speed!

(Forgive the janky photo layout... for the life of me I can't get them to go where I tell them!!! Huff!)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

Silly Notions & a Bunting for Birthday Girl

I am not big on going "over the top" on birthdays... but I wanted so badly to make something fun for our lil' Whitty's 1st birthday.

So... I made a Bunting ~ Banner ~ Tassel ~ Thingy! 

The crazy thing is that it cost me NOTHING!

Not one dime!

Basically, a few years ago my great aunt went through all of her sewing notions and her sister-in-laws. 
She gave them all to me. Hundreds of spools of thread... every color.
Buttons galore! Oh, the buttons!

And Notions! 
Bias tape.

I've considered selling them on etsy... but who has time for that?

For years I've kept this ridiculous amount of bias tape, lace hem, ric rac and scrap fabric that I never really intended on using or had a plan for .... until it occurred to me just how lovely the gold, pink and teal that comprised the majority of the notions would look together!

I wonder what they were making with that gold ric rac? 
Wise man Christmas pageants come to mind! 
Tacky tacky tacky!

And I wonder over and over when that $25 ric race was made! 
Wright's brand.

I looked to see if it said... nope.

Then there is this beauty... Baby pink raw silk used to make the skirts for my brides maids.
Don't ask why I picked pink... I don't know. 
I don't even like pink that much! 

But it all worked together to make this lovely ... dare I say... Beautiful!

That lace on the end with the daisies KILLS me!

And it was the perfect back drop for a birthday girl!

Don't you think the gold ric rac is the BEST? 
Just so perfectly girly!

The moral of the story...

If you are given some "silly notions" save them... 
One day you will find the inspiration and figure out exactly what they were made for!

~ The End ~

~ Non-Biblical “Christian” Baby Names ~

I love baby names! 

It's for sure, one of my favorite things about having a new baby (other than the baby, of course)!

Often people don't desire to use Biblical names, but may still desire to pick a name that is rooted in the blessing of God's providence through history. 

Here are some (generally) non-biblical, yet still, distinctly Christian names... mostly after saints, missionaries, theologians and heroes of our faith!

Enjoy looking up these people and seeing the hand of God in their lives and how they were used in their time for His glory and the good of others!

~ Girl ~
Adelina - Princess and missionary to Germanic people
Agatha - Saint
Agnes - Young girl martyred under Diocletian
Amy - Amy Carmichael
Anne - Anne Askew
Bernice - Saint
Betsey - Betsey Stockton, former slave and missionary to Hawaii
Bridget - Founder of Irish Monasteries
Charlotte “Lottie” - Lottie Moon
Clare - of Assisi
Corrie - Corrie Ten Boom
Edith - Edith Schaeffer
Elisabeth - Elisabeth Elliot, missionary, speaker, writer
Evangeline - Evangeline Booth
Florence - Florence Young or Nightingale
Gladys - Gladys Aylward missionary to China
Harriet - Harriet Tubman
Helena - Saint
Margaret - Queen of Scotland
Susannah - Susannah Wesley
Theodora - Saint

~ Boy ~
Adoniram - Adoniram Judson missionary to Burma
Ambrose - Saint doctor
Augustine - St. Augustine of Hippo
Birch - John Birch missionary to China and martyr
Bonhoeffer - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Boniface - Early missionary to Germanic people
Calvin - John Calvin
Carey - William Carey
Carver - George Washington Carver
Clive - C.S. Lewis
Edwards - Jonathan Edwards
Elliot - James Elliot, missionary to South America and martyr
Foxe - John Foxe
Haddon - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Hudson - Hudson Taylor
Jerome - Jerome Savonarola 
Knox - John Knox
Patrick or Patricus - St. Patrick
Ridley - Nicholas Ridley
Spurgeon - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Tertullian - Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus
Tyndale - William Tyndale
Wycliffe - John Wycliffe
Wilberforce - William Wilberforce, abolitionist

Friday, September 25, 2015

Birthday Fun

We had plans... a party with friends, but then life happened. 
People got sick and we simplified. 

But, we still had fun! 
Such fun.

Happy day, sweet one!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

One Sweet Year

Oh goodness!

How can I express the joy and love this little bundled has given to us?

Here is her 1st birthday letter...

~Dear Whitley~

A year ago you joined us. Calmly. You entered the world peacefully, opened your eyes after a few moments and just simply joined us. 

You are such a joy!

So beautiful. 

I've enjoyed being your mommy and I can't wait to see you as your grow!

Thank you so much for making a momma a 6th time! 
What a gift.
You are such a delightful addition to our lives.

One Month
Twelve Months!

Be who God made you to be.
Love others. 
Be brave.

Look to Jesus in all things!


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Is Sugar Drunkness a Sin?

It all started off as a nice, calm, lovely evening celebrating Allan's 4 Forever Family Day... 

Traditional Ugandan stew, g-nut sauce, rice, Irish potatoes, pineapple, avocados... And Coco Cola.

We are pretty tame folks... Nothing too fancy or wild.

Everyone is enjoying their food. Thea, we notice is particularly fond of having her very own bottle of Coke... 

Maybe a little bit too fond? 

Um, yes. Far too excited about it!

Then the sugar starts to hit her... 
Oh, no! 

Eli tries to pat her to calm her down... Maybe not wise?

Uh oh! 

Yes. Yes, she is growling here. Frighteningly intense! 

Oh wow. Hilarity distracts from the intensity and breaks things up! Thank goodness! 

She seems impared... In fact, they both do. Is sugar drunkeness a real thing?

Back to more soda... Licking the bottle. Oh my!

Should we cut her off? I really think it might be wise...

Don't Eli... Just don't! You might lose your hand! 

Aw! We're sweet again, just like that! 

Happy Forever Family Day to us all! And many more hilarious, silly, crazy days to come!!!