This post is shared with:
This post is shared with: Sakura Haruka The Jenny Evolution That Suburban Momma
I’m excited to share this post with Tales of an Unlikely Mother today! She’s a very funny blogger who has twin girls the same age as my youngest, so we often commiserate. 🙂 Go and check out her blog, and “Like” her facebook! School normally starts up around here after Labor Day. With the beginning […]
I’m excited to share this post with Tales of an Unlikely Mother today! She’s a very funny blogger who has twin girls the same age as my youngest, so we often commiserate. 🙂 Go and check out her blog, and “Like” her facebook!
School normally starts up around here after Labor Day. With the beginning of school, begins also the morning struggle of getting my boys ready and out the door on time in the morning. I have two kids going to two different school, so it took everything I had to keep my sanity from reminding them of the same things every. single. day. They could recite whole episodes of Curious George, but not remember to brush their teeth in the morning without a reminder. Times two! Fortunately, I instituted a morning chart routine a couple of years ago when my oldest started kindergarten, and it’s really streamlined our whole morning process. Now, instead of me getting frustrated that, yet again, I’m reminding him to go pee and brush his teeth, I just redirect him to check out his morning chart, and he can look and cross off what he needs to do. It’s been a sanity saver, and let’s me make a cup of coffee in the morning so I can get going with my day.
The second thing which also helps in our household is a chore chart. I downloaded a template and laminated the different chores and velcroed it to the chart. I love it because there are things that need to be done such as feeding the pets, practicing spelling, not fighting with their brother, etc. that isn’t necessarily a chore that I want to reward. The template has a “morning”, “afternoon”, and also a “to earn” column. In our household, I give out chore coupons for completed chores in the “To Earn” column. One coupons = one quarter OR 30 minutes of screen time. Each boy gets their own chore chart to complete, with age appropriate chores. It really helps gives them a sense of responsibility, and also gives me a chance to redirect them to being helpful (and in the older son’s case, making sure his homework is completed, he has practiced his soccer skills or tae kwon do poomses). In the long run, kids who *want* to be helpful get to be, things get done, and sanity gets saved. It’s a win, win for everyone!
Template for Chore Chart (.PDF File)
This is the responsibility chart I have for both my kiddos. It’s SO helpful in the morning because I can just tell them, “Go look at your chart!” instead of nagging at them in the morning. The step-by-step tutorial I found on Spoonful.com here. To make your own you will need: corrugated cardboard, paper, bamboo skewers, and a straw.
My older son’s chart reads: wake up, go pee, brush teeth/puffer, eat breakfast, get dressed, pack back pack (includes homework AND lunch). This is simple stuff that needs to be done every day! My younger son has pictures since he can’t read yet.
Here is the chore chart I have for both my boys, I downloaded the template from Home School Creations (it’s a .PDF file, free to download!). I laminated mine, and then put velcro on the backside. I like this template because it has morning, afternoon, and also a “to earn” column, because I want my boys to have automatic things to do that aren’t just for money (such as feeding their pets). It also has pictures AND words so both kids can look at it and understand what it asks.
What the velcro looks like, it’s very easy to adjust around. When the boys are done with a chore, they put it “upside down” on the chore chart to let me know that it’s been finished (easily done with velcro).
Some of the different chore squares the printable template came with! It also came with some blank ones where you can make your own.
In our househole, one chore in the “to earn” column equals one chore coupon. The value is 25 cents OR 30 minutes of screen time, whichever they want.
This post is shared with:
This post is shared with: Sakura Haruka The Jenny Evolution
If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll know that my family and I are pretty active, and love doing activities outside. From playing in the tree house, to hiking in the national parks, to rock climbing; anything outdoors is a grand adventure in our family. A few months ago I ran across this […]
If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll know that my family and I are pretty active, and love doing activities outside. From playing in the tree house, to hiking in the national parks, to rock climbing; anything outdoors is a grand adventure in our family. A few months ago I ran across this great blog post called “10 Tips for Raising Outdoors Loving Kids”, which really resonated with me. The blog itself, The Big Outside, is choke full is GREAT tips for introducing and keeping your kids of ALL ages (from infant on up!) interested in outdoor travels and recreation! I would definitely recommend it, as it’s now one of my favorite new blogs. My husband and I love living in the Pacific Northwest, and are grateful for all the wonderful outdoor and nature opportunities we’re able to provide for the boys.
Recently, we took our first family canoe camping trip to Diablo Lake up in the North Cascades. My husband had gone last year with some other dads and their kids, and my boys had enjoyed it so much, they wanted me to come up as well. Correction: my youngest enjoyed it so much he pretty much asked about going back every single time we talked about family camping, so we planned it out. It took a bit of planning since we were staying at a backcountry campsite, which was only accessible by boat. Which meant we had to pack everything in and out by kayak or canoe. Overall though, it was a SUPER fun, a great trip, and even I, the person who isn’t thrilled with camping, had a really nice time. I would definitely recommend going up there and spending some time on the water, and just hiking around the North Cascades. The boys even got to become Junior Rangers from the Forest Service, which was one of their highlights. 🙂 And most important of all, we got to create some great family memories!
This is Thunder Point, our camp site.
The astonishing view from our camp site. Diablo Lake is this shade of green due to some sort of mineral composition from the glacier run off. It’s really this green in real life. It is unreal. I spent so much time just staring at it.
There was a trail right next to our campsite to the top of the little hill. My little adventurers!
When we were there, it was super windy. The boys had a blast trying to outshout the wind.
We are so incredibly lucky to live in such a gorgeous area.
We tried for a family portrait, you can see from my hair how windy it was up there. My youngest was not for the family portrait.
We canoed to nearby Ross Dam and hiked up to the top of the dam.
Dad and kiddos hiking up the trail.
On the top of Ross Dam. You can see Ross Lake on the right, and see how it is much more blue it is than Diablo Lake.
Canoeing! Our youngest was in front of of me in the canoe, he loves being in the boat. That mountain is actually named Sourdough Mountain.
The canoe master.
Don’t let the pictures fool you, this was during the more serene waters. It got pretty choppy shortly after this and there were white caps forming when the wind picked up. I put the camera away and rowed for dear life. 🙂
This is the view from the top of Ross Dam, the channel you see below is where we canoed through.
Chilling at the camp site.
My kids were a little sad we didn’t bring any “toys” since we had to pack light for the canoe. So we made our own boats (which really floated!) out of driftwood and vines, and sails from leaves! We even kept them and took them home with us.
Happy little camper!
Happy big(ger) camper!
We had to tie the canoe on top of the dock because the wind kept hitting and bumping it around.
My view of paradise.
I think these faces say it all. North Cascades canoe camping, it may be an annual family tradition from now on! 🙂
This post is shared with:
Normally, my wordless wednesday are truely wordless, but I feel this one needs words. My youngest, above. A Cabbage Patch Kid, below. 🙂
This post is shared with: Wordless Wednesday at The Jenny Evolution Wordless Wednesday at That Suburban Momma Amanda’s Books and More In the Moment
Thie post is shared at: Wordless Wednesday at The Jenny Evolution Not So Wordless Wednesday at That Suburban momma Wordless Wednesday at In The Moment Wordless Wednesday at Sakura Haruka Wordless Wednesday at Create with Joy
For Memorial Day 2013, I asked my husband to plan a camping trip. He picked Curlew Lake, which is in northeastern Washington. He wanted to pick a place that was far enough away so we wouldn’t be crowded with other campers, and someplace sunny (my requirement). That meant travelling about five hours away to get […]
For Memorial Day 2013, I asked my husband to plan a camping trip. He picked Curlew Lake, which is in northeastern Washington. He wanted to pick a place that was far enough away so we wouldn’t be crowded with other campers, and someplace sunny (my requirement). That meant travelling about five hours away to get to the camp site. It sounded fun, we could get there and see some Washington state sites on the way via road trip, right? ROAD TRIP! We haven’t done one of those in a while. Well, things didn’t go quite the way we planned. A bridge collapsed over a major interstate here, one of the main US highways (HWY2) over the mountain passes was closed to one lane, so our trip took a little longer than expected. Once we got there though, Curlew Lake was uncrowded, secluded and looked perfect for some family camping fun. Eastern Washington topography is different than western Washington, it’s more rolling hills and shrubs than evergreen trees and mountains. It was gorgeous though, and beautiful, and the boys had so much fun. I would definitely recommend going up there for anyone in the area. We had such a fun time camping, and having family time with just the four of us.
Road trip! These wind mills line Interstate 90. From the ground to the tip of the top turbine, it spans 41 stories tall. These pictures were taken from a rest stop, and don’t do justice to how strong, tall, and majestic these windmills look from the highway.
This is a really big rock. No really, see the tiny, tiny boat in the corner? It’s called Steamboat Rock, and it’s the middle of the national park ground.
Grand Coulee Dam! I didn’t even realize this was in Washington state.
Bug graveyard. Or, what your car looks like after a six hour road trip.
The drive was worth it though. The lake was beautiful.
Our campsite was technically a “walk in”, meaning that we couldn’t park next to it. But look at this view!
Little boy in the big woods.
Since we were in eastern Washington, we got to see a lot of different types of scenery than we’re use to, such as this white tail deer in the open.
And boys running in the wild. Yes, they’re actually on a trail.
It was amazing to me to be around such hills and sky!
Curlew Lake is known for its fishing. They had a nice dock for kid fishing. My oldest could have stayed there all day.
Hey look, it’s my picture from Wordless Wednesday! My youngest is not as much into the fishing, so dad had to help him out.
Camping is never complete unless there’s a chess game, or two, played.
The look on my youngest’s face here cracks me up. Angry Preschooler is Angry! Look at those eyebrows!
When camping, you bring along the simple joys. Such as bubbles.
Bubbles bring the bestest smiles though.
Evil villain, complete with bubble wand moustache!
I am so pleased with this capture. It’s been a while since I got a full, crinkle nose smile out of my oldest on camera.
Dirty, happy, camper boys having some fun.
At the end of the day, this was what it was all about. <3
This post is shared with:
This post is shared with: The Jenny Evolution
This post is shared with:
At my younger son’s preschool, we have two sensory bins, one “wet” and one “dry”. This week, in the “wet” sensory bin, the parent in charge had made a huge supply of gak. My four year old had so much fun with it, we decided to try it out at home. Basically, “gak” is a […]
At my younger son’s preschool, we have two sensory bins, one “wet” and one “dry”. This week, in the “wet” sensory bin, the parent in charge had made a huge supply of gak. My four year old had so much fun with it, we decided to try it out at home. Basically, “gak” is a long polymer, or a long strand of connecting molecules. For older (and younger) kids, you can take this lesson a step further by cooking up some spaghetti. Fresh cooked spaghetti slithers and slides all over each other, you can show your children that they are acting like long molecules, or polymers as well. After a while, the spaghetti starts sticking together, and if you’re brave, you can squish it and make it bounce on the floor (just like gak!). In real life, polymers that slide (like wet cooked spaghetti) are more liquid, whereas polymers that stick and bounce (like drier cooked spaghetti) are called elastomers and are used in things like rubber! For the preschool set though, this was purely a sensory and fun science activity in showing how two things combined together would make something called “gak”.
What You’ll Need:
Here are all the ingredients you will need. Easy enough, eh?
Pour all the glue into your bowl. Once it is empty, fill the empty glue bottle with warm water, put the cap back on, shake to get all the glue bits loose, and pour it out again into the bowl. This is also a good step to add in any food coloring (we chose blue).
My four year old was checking to make sure the glue bottle was *really* empty.
Next, take your borax, dissolve in the 1/2 cup warm water, and stir. (it’s ok if not everything dissolved and there are some granules at the bottom, as long as most of it dissolves)
Then, add the borax mixture to the glue in your bowl. You should instantly be able to see the mixture bond together to form long molecules. My four year old looks properly impressed and surprised. (He was skeptical about this experiment only having two ingredients)
Keep mixing, and eventually you’ll end up with a big, flexible ball of gak.
We had gak races, taking a glob each and seeing who could make the longest strand before theirs broke (my four year old always won, coincidence?)
When my seven year old came home from school, he immediately wanted to play in the gak as well. We involved hands AND feet. The best part was the super big smiles all around. Go forth and make your own gak today! This post heartily endorsed by my four year old.