Saturday, April 9, 2011

Unfolding a Chore Chart

Years ago I was trying to find some easy way to assign chores to my three children.  I came up with the following idea:

I purchased the wooden board at a local craft shop and the hooks and metal tags at Wal-Mart.  I just hand screwed the hooks into the wood and wrote one chore on each of the tags.  I separated the board into 3 sections, one for each of my children, and put their initials in the blocks on the left side.  They each have 5 hooks for a maximum of 5 chores a day.  The far right hook is where they put the tags once they have completed the chores for the day. 

Most days I do not give them 5 chores.  It will usually depend on the state of my house and how long it has been since those things have been done.  I used to try to give age-appropriate chores to Paige when she was younger, but she is capable of doing all of the chores now.  I need to buy new tags so that I can update the chores and add new ones since the kids are older than when I started this.  They can now do things like load the dishwasher or clean the inside of the refrigerator.

Some days I let the kids pick their own chores, within reason.  They even like to switch chores sometimes, which I will let them do from time to time.  So long as it gets done, I don't usually care who does it.  I have been quite lazy lately with giving them any chores besides unloading the dishwasher and gathering the garbage.  Maybe this will be the impetus I need to get them busy again.

I had a friend tell me I should sell these.  That is a great idea, but I am giving away all my secrets here on my blog.  However, if you would like me to make you one, I can do that.  Just let me know.

Unfolding Amazing Moms

My post the other day about reality caused me to think about those whose realities may be difficult, which led me to think about friends I have who are moms with children with disabilities of various types.  This, in turn, led me to think in general about the amazing moms I know, not just moms with children with disabilities.

I have said that God knows what He is doing when He chooses parents for the children He creates, especially the children with disabilities.

I used to work for the W.I.C. program in the mid '90s.  Women would come in with their children under age 5 to see if they were eligible for help with groceries.  I remember a mom who came in with both of her children; her older son was a teenager who had cystic fibrosis.  As they entered the exam room, she attended to her son with CF in the most loving way.  She made sure he was sitting securely in the chair.  She helped him walk even though he was much bigger than she was.  The tender way she cared for him has remained a very vivid memory for me.

I have a friend who has a son with autism spectrum disorder and OCD.  Her daughter has a genetic heart condition.  This friend of mine is one of the most tenderhearted people I know.  The love she has for her children is so evident to me.  She is always driving them to the doctor's office, rearranging her life to be sure they have what they need.  I think about all she deals with in her life and am amazed by the strength she has.

I have another friend who has a child with some psych issues, but when I think of her and the way she loves her children it is more than the way she loves this child of hers that makes me call her amazing.  She has a handful of children; she treats each one like he/she is her favorite.  She is always striving to find out what the best thing is for them.  If she tries one thing and it doesn't work, she tries something else.  She never gives up no matter what life throws at her, and she has had some hard things to deal with in her life, her family comes first.  She will put other things on hold so that her children have what they need.  I think a lot of us could say, "I do that.  I make sure my family has what they need."  We do do that, but there are just some really special things about these friends of mine that makes me want to mention them.  I could go into more detail, but I don't want to reveal their identities any more than I already have.

I think about my friends who have or who are adopting children from other countries.  It amazes me when I think about the things they have to go through to finally get their children into the U.S.  I'm not sure I would have the patience to deal with that.  They have so much love for others, and I am blessed to know them.

There are moms who don't work so they can be at home; there are moms who work at home so they can be at home but still work to help provide.  There are moms who have to work outside of the home, but they still find ways to have the best quality time with their children; their love is no less evident.

There are moms I know who have recently lost a child.  Their strength to deal with their grief and keep on going amazes me.  I pray I never lose a child but, if I do, I pray I would have the same strength.  Those who go before us are an example to us when we face the same situations in the future.

I know so many amazing moms.  I have only mentioned a few but that, by no means, diminishes the amazing qualities of the ones I haven't mentioned.  If I know you and you are a mom, there is something about you that makes you an amazing mom!!!

Word of the Day

When my kids were studying for the spelling bee, we came across an interesting word.

tchotchke: knickknack, trinket.

It is a Yiddish word.  It sounds like choch-key.