Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Instant Gratification...or...No Long Range Plan

Sometimes you just want to scream and force your children to make the right choice instead of the stupid one.  They need to learn that in real life every choice has a consequence and it's not always a fun one.  But, sometimes it takes a lot of tongue biting to keep from making the choice for them.

Certain children in our home make EVERY choice based on what makes this moment better...don't care about later even when they know what will happen later for that choice...I want to scream 'Plan ahead!'  'Think Long Term!'

I can talk until I'm blue in the face about consequences and thinking before they act, and they will STILL choose five minutes of pleasure now over hours of suffering later.

A teacher who works with ADD kids explained to me how children (and adults) who are very right-brained, creative types have a problem with the concept of later.  The right sides of our brains have no concept of time...time is kept on the left side, so if you are in your right brain, there is need to worry about the random concept of later, because right now is all that exists.....

I still don't get can you be given a choice-one you have all day to ponder-not some spur of the moment didn't really think it over thing....and STILL choose the choice that makes the next few days easier, but the whole next year difficult?  Don't you care?  Do you think it won't really happen? 

We've been listening to a parenting series called 'Loving on Purpose'. It's great.  It really makes me strive to be a better parent.  But being a better parent does not mean saving my kids from their mistakes, it means loving them even when they make mistakes.  It's about letting them learn from the choices they make, not trying to control their choices for them.  It's about trying to be more like the parent that God is to us...providing us with every opportunity, but allowing us freedom to make good or bad choices and walking with us no matter what mess those choices lead us into.  It's not easy.  And the author of the series swears that our kids will surprise us with their genius ability to make better choices when they've screwed up once...but so far, I'm not seeing it...

Please, please, please listen to our advice and learn to make choices that are good for the long run instead of providing yourself with instant gratification!!!

I will love you no matter what, but the choices you are making daily make no sense to me and I am not going to bail you out when they cause you to sink.  You will have to live with the consequences.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

They don't get out much....

We went on a mini vacation this weekend.  Stayed in a hotel overnight with the kids.  We don't stay in hotels...EVER...we camp...

You would have thought they had never been in a bedroom with attached bathroom before...or seen a front door...because basically that is what a hotel room is.

Within 30 seconds, Noah and Alex had opened every door/drawer in the place.  Exclaiming joyfully the entire time....

Then one of the kids discovered that the door had a peep-hole...we don't have one at home, but they really are not that uncommon...are they?  We got at least 10 minutes of excitement over that discovery!

Then Alex was concerned (called me into the bathroom with his pants still down!) because there was no soap to wash his hands with...he's just not used to finding the soap wrapped in cute little packages!  Faith was also thrilled with the little soaps and brought the unopened ones home with her.

Two of the kids asked me if the free continental breakfast cost anything.

The rest of our trip consisted of a trip through Wildlife Safari, Visiting Noah's Ark and a life size replica of Moses' Wilderness Tabernacle, Dinner at an all you can eat Chinese buffet, shopping in Bandon, miniature golfing, and a picnic.  Very fun-filled two days, but I'm glad to be home...and to sleep in my own bed tonight!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Oh, the quantities of food we consume...

I knew that we buy massive amounts of food each week.  I knew that the majority of that food was consumed each week.  I knew I buy in quantity.

I didn't know we had a reputation at Grocery Outlet....

Last night we were in town for our weekly haul, and as usual, we started at Grocery Outlet to scope out the deals.  Anything I need that isn't on sale elsewhere, I look for first there.  Usually each week, we get half our produce, most of our bread/buns/tortillas, margarine, yogurt, some cheese, a few canned things, and any markdown meat. 

The markdown meat section is where we apparently have a reputation....

Last night they had close-dated ground beef marked down $5....this made the cost less than $2/ we grabbed all six, 5lb chubs....a few minutes later an employee noticed we had it in our cart and exclaimed,

"I knew it must be you when I was told someone was checking out my markdown meat!"

She went on and on about how she'd marked it down some last night, more this morning, and further just before we came in, trying to sell out.  Then at the register, the cashier and bagger both commented on how they couldn't believe we took it all.  And the lady in line behind us wanted some--sorry we got it all! :)

It's like we always buy massive quantities of markdown meat or something....oh, wait, we do! 

Last week we bought 54 packages of hot dogs for 75 cents each....a few weeks before that, we bought about 40 pounds of bacon (maybe more?!) for 99 cents/lb.

Hey, it's how we keep the freezers full of meat without completely breaking the bank!  It just seems like an odd thing for people to know you for!

Friday, April 13, 2012

No One Died!

Alex was in a foul mood this afternoon, as his two big brothers ganged up on him to fetch the baseball that he didn't catch....not sure why he didn't think it was his to get, but totally understand that he hates when it's two against one.  In order to act tough and keep from crying, he had to put on his grouchy face and refuse to be happy. 

I don't particularly appreciate grouchiness and when he fussed, "I'm bored and need something fun to do," somehow I ended up suggesting that he TP his brothers' room.  Grouchiness immediately gone.  Much giggling and grinning ensued. (Cody & Jared were out of the house for band)

I laid down the ground rule that if he did it, he would also be in charge of cleaning it up.  We both expected Cody to arrive home first and I was a little concerned that Cody would threaten life and limb to whomever had done the deed.  I was also sure that I would be laughing so hard, I would be unable to stop the massacre.

I was also not sure if Alex or I would be able to keep our poker faces on and not make the victim suspicious.  We managed to keep semi-straight faces, but unfortunately, Jared arrived home before Cody.  His reaction was not nearly as rewarding as I expect Cody's would have been. 

After a loud, "What!?!?"  He calmly picked up all the paper and re-decorated Alex's room with it.  (He knew who the culprit was by uproarious laughter coming from Alex the minute he had discovered his room!)  I thought it was hilarious that the pranker got pranked!  Alex not so much....immediate return of the grouchy face....which got him a lecture of, "If you are going to dish it out, you had better be able to take it!"  He was then sent to his room to cool off....which he did in admirable fashion, returning after a few minutes pretending to have a super sized tissue.

eek! Can't make it rotate, so tip your head and pretend!

This sparked many jokes about family-sized tissue....and sharing it to blow all of our noses....Good humor was returned, peace was restored and all were happy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Presidents Day

Not the holiday. 
Last Sunday.
Noah and Alex call these their "Presidents Suits".  It's been a while since I've seen them (the suits that is, I see the boys most every day).  For a while Noah was wearing a suit several times a month, even to kindergarten.  So Sunday, since they were both in suits, Alex was the president and Noah was the vice president.  And, they were role-playing it all day.

Tom and Jared had driven the little van to a gun show, so Noah and Alex decided that we would drive the "Presidential limousine" to church.  In case you haven't seen this vehicle, few people would give it such an illustrious title (and I doubt the president would ever be caught near it!)
I of course was the "Presidential Chauffeur". 

They insisted that Cody was the "Butler" (even though he vehemently objected!). 
Really, I think the only reason they wanted a butler was because they are nine years old and really like words that contain the word "butt". 

At one point the Presidential Limo was nearly annihilated
when the vice president was pretending to be Iron Man and threatened to blast it. 
The chauffeur saved the day by reminding him that if the limo was destroyed, the Presidential Chef wouldn't be able to stop at the grocery store for the Presidential Groceries and he might get hungry.

As cute as they looked in their suits, what really made the outfits was their shoes:

Noah's Cowboy Boots

Alex's Flame Runners

I'm going to have to find them bigger suits.
(they only have one complete with jacket)
Alex's pants were just barely long enough,
and his shirt was also on the small side.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Catering to my children

So, we watched "The Middle" this week (if you haven't seen it, it is very funny) and it got me thinking.  The theme of the show was that the parents spent all of their time doing everything the kids wanted and nothing they wanted (for instance, they always bought cheese pizza even though they liked Hawaiian, because the kids hated pineapple).  They also dropped everything every time the kids needed something, (like if they left their lunch at home, or needed something for a last minute school project).  The kids always chose what was on TV, and were expected to do no work around the house.

Of course I thought "I'm not like that."  My kids eat what they are served.  Our rule is "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit."  Then I went grocery shopping.  While trying to fit everything in the fridge, I realized that I do cater to my kids to some extent. 

We currently have four flavors of salad dressing in the fridge, including three varieties of ranch, to suit every ones tastes.  One ranch is Cody's homemade recipe, which is the only one he will eat, one is Hidden Valley (Faith's favorite), and one is Kraft, which no one likes, but I got it on sale so I feed it to the daycare kids who are too young to care.   But I also have the kinds of dressing that Tom and I prefer.

In the cheese drawer we also have a type of cheese to fit every one's likes and every possible situation.  We have string cheese, Velveeta, sliced American, bricks of pepper jack, regular jack, cheddar, vintage white sharp cheddar & Colby jack, three varieties of grated cheese, and cream cheese in plain and strawberry.

I also buy two types of milk-whole and 1% (three if you count the soy milk for one of my daycare kids)

The cracker shelf has about 8 different kinds on it, and we have several kinds of chips in the closet.

I am available to take my kids to many activities:  Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Karate, Band, Ballet, Football, Softball, Baseball and who knows what else.

All that being said, my kids work hard.  They don't expect a free ride.  They know that for Tom and I to have time for their activities, we all have to work hard around the house.  With the five of them doing chores, I never have to vacuum, swifter, dust, take out trash or recycle, empty or load the dishwasher, put away leftovers, pick up toys, or clean bathrooms (including toilets and bathtubs).  They carry in groceries and help put them away.  They help fix meals and clean up afterwards.  They feed and water the pets and scoop the poop.  They keep their own rooms (semi) cleaned, make their beds, and put away their own laundry.

So really, I think I've got it pretty good....I even get a foot rub from them once in a while!

Friday, January 7, 2011

When the Kids Grow-Up

I love my kids.  I love being with them.  But some day they will move out.  And then I'm pretty sure they will no longer vacuum my house.  You see, I hate to vacuum.  It's one of those jobs that would always fall to the bottom of my list and therefore not get done....but that was in the days before kids....Now, I never have to vacuum.  I haven't vacuumed for about five years.  But my floors are vacuumed almost daily (sometimes the kids are all gone on a weekend!)  Maybe that is why that the vacuum I got in 1994 lasted for over 10 years and now one only lasts us about two before dying, it is now over-used.  Granted we usually buy inexpensive vacuum cleaners--wouldn't want them banging an expensive model in and out of the garage daily.  But ours does get a work, dogs and cats bring in lots of dirt!

So, a few Sunday mornings ago, I was reading the paper with my husband and I saw an add for one of those little flying-saucer shaped robot vacuums.  They've gotten cheaper since they first came out, and probably work better to.  So I say to Tom, "When the kids move out...."

He interrupted me with a laugh an said, "That's not going to happen for a LONG time!"

I know that and that's great, but when they do, I'm getting a robot vacuum.  Until then, I don't need one, I have kids!

I'm also hoping that the dogs get old and die before the kids grow-up.  That may sound like an awful, mean, morbid thing to say, but the facts of life are that dogs don't live nearly as long as people, and they probably will die before then whether I wish it or not.....and I don't want to be stuck scooping the poop when the kids move out any more than I want to vacuum!