Chore Chart Update

This summer we started Joshua’s first chore chart. You can read about how this was born here.

Just under a month later and Joshua is SO close to reaching his 100 points!


And it has gone really well. Joshua still cares about earning his points and, for the most part, wants to do his chores. He has been feeding the dog for over a year now so that chore has just become part of his day and he always does it. If he does need a reminder he always responds, “Okay!” and does it right away without complaint.

Clearing the table section should actually say “Misc chores” because he gets points in that column for doing little extra chores that Dad and I ask of him. He is always happy to do a chore for his points when he ask him to and never fights us on it.

He will pick up the dog poop if Nathan and/or I are outside working in the yard. Then he is happy to help out with us. He’s also gone out a few times on his own to pick up after Sage.

Making his bed and cleaning his room…well…

…yeah. These are the chores we’ve received the most push back from. He doesn’t always want to clean his room or make his bed anymore. I will remind him that he will earn more points and he’ll say, “that’s okay I will do it later.” Nathan and I haven’t talked about our plan for this but Joshua still cleans his room a couple times a week so at 5 years old I’m okay with that.

Joshua is really excited to be so close to his goal. We got on Amazon so he could start choosing which track pack he wanted. He picked out this building set:

Last night he asked his dad what will happen when his chart is all done and Nathan responded, “You will start a new chart!” Joshua’s voice fell a bit when he responded with, “Oh.”

I piped in, “And you’ll get to choose something new to earn.”

Ear to ear grin with that. “OKAY!”

Summer Rut

It happens every summer. I get too much time off and start to fall into a rut and become bored. This boredom leads to laziness and not wanting to do anything productive. Laziness leads to guilt which leads to cranky. In fact, you can read about last year’s summer rut here.

I wake up each morning and my first thought is, “What are we going to do today?” I want to do fun things for the boys but yet the rut leaves me lacking energy to do anything. I get SO tired of cleaning the house! I’m constantly doing laundry, making meals & snacks, washing the dishes, picking up after the boys and acting as a referee to a handful of fights. Day after day.

Which means it’s time for a focus check. I need to change my focus. I am so fortunate to have all this time with my boys. Our mornings together are priceless. Full of cartoons, chocolate milk, coffee, cuddles, and taking our time to get moving. We get a lot of time to swim and play at park dates. I get down time almost every afternoon for iced tea and Netflix while the boys rest. I can cook dinner creatively and casually as I have all the time I need. None of these things are possible during the school year.

I also have TIME. How often do you hear the complaints of not enough time? Well, now I have all this extra time and I’m grouchy about it? Come on sister! Reality check. I’ve decided to make a July goal list of all the things I want to accomplish with this extra time.

Organize hallway closets: the closets drive Nathan CRAZY! He always gives me a hard time for just shoving things in a closet and shutting the door. Out of sight, out of mind is my motto! But really, I need to clean up the closets because they are a disgusting mess.

Organize boys’ clothes: ugh, it makes me so sad every time I have to go through the boys’ clothes and take out all of the pieces that are too small. It is especially sad to go through Grady’s clothes because I know that the bin they go into are to be given away. With Joshua’s clothes I know they are being put away until Grady can wear them someday. And I love pulling out a new box of Joshua’s old clothes for Grady because I can remember Joshua in them. But I get tears in my eyes getting rid of my baby clothes.

Study Unit 1 of new reading curriculum: our school adopted a brand new reading curriculum and I’d really like to get a good grasp of the first unit BEFORE the craziness of back to school hits.

Go to my classroom at least twice: I’d also really like to get out to my classroom a couple of times to start making my to-do lists and begin organizing. This will take away a lot of my August stress.

Eat clean for 4 days: I’ve made a plan to eat clean so many times and then I ALWAYS cheat! I am determined to eat super clean for 4 days in a row to assess how I feel when all the junk is cleaned out.

There are my goals. Writing them down and sharing them with others are the first steps in accomplishing them. I already feel the rut disappearing. 🙂

My Green, err…I mean, Black Thumb

Every summer I say, “This is the year I’m going to grow some shit and not kill anything.” And every summer by August everything is dead. I put in a really good effort but I just can’t keep up with everything. Every plant needs something different. Lots of water, little water, too much sun, not enough sun, clip this, trim that, fertilize this. And I can’t keep it all straight so I treat all my plants the same and eventually they all lack something and die.

So, here we ago again. I planted jalapenos for Nathan. All by themselves in a pot. I read online that jalapenos do well in a pot. So fingers crossed with these.

I also planted some strawberries for the boys. My moms are doing really well in a pot at her house. We have one almost ready to pick!

And I put two early girl tomatoes in my big barrell.

But I’m already annoyed because the ONE tomato I have has this ring around the middle and I’m worried there’s something wrong.  I did read that with tomatoes you should clip all the extra stems and leaves below the first bloom so save energy for the fruit so I did that and a few days later like 5 new blooms came on. We’ll see if I ever actually get to harvest a ripe tomato.

My flowers…well, it’s frickin hot! I’m making sure to water every morning and check them again in the afternoon with our 100+ degree temps.

I LOVE our backyard this summer. Nathan’s dad generously trimmed a bunch of our stuff back for us this spring. It really helped things out.

The front yard is looking pretty good as well. SO much better after things got a good haircut.

It’s time for another trip to the Home Depot for some more weed killer. I’m slowly learning this yard work stuff. 😉