Monday, April 23, 2012

For my mom

I have an awesome mom.

(My parents and four older siblings. Isn't my mom beautiful?)

All moms are pretty fantastic but did your mom make you matching pants for you and your younger brother? Don't forget the matching hair bow.

Besides her mad sewing skills my mom could also cook. Her birthday cakes were the best. My favorite was the butterfly cake for my 6th birthday. (My teenage sister styled my awesome bangs)

Okay, sure maybe your mom could sew and bake, BUT (I am determined to win this Best-Mom-Contest), did your mom own her own motorcycle?

Okay, okay, maybe your mom sewed, baked and road a motorcycle, it's not unheard of, but did she spend her weekends in a cave?

My parents were cavers. On the weekends they explored caves and surveyed them. As children we tagged along on the easy caves. I loved finding tight spaces and squishing myself into the smallest cracks. 

I'm probably 8 here in the red helmet, with a family friend and his sons.

My parents have slowed down a little, instead of roughing it in a tent they recently purchased the smallest camper know to mankind, a Scamp. They love it. They also traded their motorcycles for 4 wheelers. Totally weenies. 

A couple days ago for my mom's birthday I made this picture for her, I couldn't fit in all her amazing characteristic. It focuses on my parent's love of the outdoors, but how they always had time to clean up in time for church.

As a child I didn't go to carnivals, theme parks or even the mall a lot. My parents didn't like big crowds, they preferred the quiet outdoors, and perhaps I thought I missed out a little on what my friends were doing. But I look back and realize what a lucky and pretty fascinating childhood I had. 

Being a great mom isn't about amazing sewing skills, or baking gourmet cakes, or even racing your kids on motorcycles. What made my mom great was how she made us kids feel. 

I remember winning the creative writing contest in 5th grade and my mom made such a big deal out of it, you would have thought I won the Pulitzer Prize. 

I remember those horrible years in jr high when I came home feeling ugly and a social outcast and it was my mom who pulled out her secret stash of chocolate and made me feel better. 

I remember holding my first baby in my arms and feeling the weight of the world combined with the most pure love I have ever felt and asked my mom, "You did this 6 times?" Never have I felt so grateful for my mom. 

A mom is a giant bandaid who can put her arms around you and tell you "Everything is going to be okay" and you believe her because she is your mom. 

Moms are pretty special people and if I can be half the mom to my kids that my moms was to me, than they will be in for a real treat. 

I love you Mom - Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

sticker chart & warm fuzzie jar

What is it about stickers? Doctors obvious know their power since every doctor's office hands them out like bandaids or candy.

I have a little girl who is a people pleaser, all I have to do is ask, and she will do, my little boy on the other hand has no desire to please . . . BUT for a sticker he will do anything!

Here is a chore chart I put together for my little ones.

If this works for you feel free to use. (Click on picture and save to computer, make sure it is scaled to correct size before printing)

Hopefully the pictures are self explanatory, but if not . . .

BED - Make bed / clean room
CLOTHES - Put on clothes / dirty clothes in hamper
PLATE - Try everything on plate / put dishes away, and that cute bear is a vitamin
TOILET - PLEASE oh PLEASE flush and wash your hands
GIRL/BOY - We unfortunately have a thumb sucker and a potty mouth in our family. The potty words are seriously "potty" words like "You're a poopy head!" She/he earns a sticker for not sucking thumb and no potty words. They have very few stickers on that line. (If you don't have a thumb sucker, the girl looks like she is saying "shhhhh - no bad words" hopefully you have potty mouths in your home too, for this sticker chart I mean) 
TOYS - Pick up toys and crafts
HEART - Be kind, especially to each other.

When the whole chart is filled they earn their goal, recently it is the dollar store (whoot-whoot, oh ya we know how to spoil our kids in style. Actually I admit, there are some pretty weird and cool things at a dollar store, like car parts, seriously!)

But sometimes the stickers loose their desire. So we made these Warm Fuzzie Jars.

What are warm fuzzies? They're
 technically pom poms you can purchase at a craft store or walmart inside a large mason jar. We call them warm fuzzies because they are good acts performed during the day that hopefully make my children feel all warm and fuzzie inside.

I actually like the warm fuzzies jars more than the sticker chart because the "chore" doesn't have to be on the list. Through out the day I can say, "Whoever picks up all these blocks in under 5 seconds gets 2 warm fuzzies." And once again our little boy will do anything for a warm fuzzie!

Before bed the kids beg to know how many warm fuzzies they earned that day, and then they pick out their favorite colors.

If you like this idea here is a template with 8 different child faces. I left the hair blank so you can color it your child's hair color. (Click on picture and save to computer, make sure it is scaled to correct size before printing)

These warm fuzzies could be used for your children or your classroom. 
Below are some attached to small mason jars. I use tape or hot glue to attach the card stock. 

And if these two ideas do not radically change your child's behavior . . . well then . . . sorry, they are only stickers, pom poms, and stick figures, not magic beans. Although I wonder what magic beans would do to your child?