Monday, July 15, 2013

summer organization

We started a new system this summer. Actually it's one my parents used for me as a child and I remember loving it and so we gave it a go. I wanted an organized summer, lots of fun, but organization!
So we started the "Bean System"  It sounds kinda lame and not exciting at all but it works for our kids because they are instantly rewarded for getting things done. Here's how it works:
I compiled a list of about 50 chores of things I wanted the kids to do around the house. They range from wiping down base boards, to organizing dresser drawers all the way to mowing the lawn.

I wrote all the chores down on individual strips of cardstock with a detailed explanation of the chore if needed and I gave them a "bean" value of either 2,3 or4 beans. I put the strip of paper with the beans they are worth in baggies and put them all in a jar.

When it is chore time the kids get to go pick their chore. THEY decide how many beans they want to earn by picking easy, medium or hard chores. After the chore is done, they come tell me and I check it off (make sure they did it). When it's checked and ok'ed they get the beans they earned out of the baggie and it goes right into their bean jar.
The kids keep a tally of how many beans they have and when they have enough they get to pick a reward from the reward chart.

Each reward group has two options they can pick, for example when they have saved 40 beans they can either have breakfast in bed or a large soda from Burger King. (My kids don't ever really get soda so this is huge to them)
This system is working like a charm in our family! The kids are excited to do chores and try to do as many as they can in the hour they are allowed to do chores.
We also started a slew of other new systems in our house, and to be honest I wasn't sure if they would go over well but it has turned out to be the best thing I've ever put into action!
We have a new weekly schedule.

Every day has a theme. Granted, we have a lot going on this summer and sometimes we don't stick to this chart because we are out of town or have guests. This has been fun for us to get creative at our house and try new things. Love it.
We have a new daily schedule.

As I was making this....I did realize that I was coming across as a crazy schedule lady but after doing this for even a week I was so happy we tried it. Life happens but if we don't have other plans that day we try to keep to this schedule. We did have to
 tweak it a bit as you can see. I found that because of this the kids play outside so much more and are reading instead of watching TV.

We have a new reading system.

The kids have a set 30 min a day to read but can also choose to read at other times in the day. They have a goal of a certain amount of books to read by the end of August and if they meet that goal we get to go to the Redding waterslides.
 After each book they read they do a book report on them. I was hand writing a book report form out for them with their name, book title, Summary of book, favorite part, how many pages, ect.  but then I was at Target and found a reading book log that had all that in it and more!
I posted this because I wanted to remember it for next year and because it has helped our family work together smoothly. They kids stay motivated and things get done!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunset Bay ~2013 Part 2

Sunset Bay is located next to big overlook where sea lions come and sunbathe. If you look close you can see a ton of them on that little rocky island. The kids loved that they all bark together so it got so loud.

Sunset Bay is also right next to Shore Acres. An awesome historical site that was once the grand estate of a pioneer timber baron named Louis Simpson. He planted beautiful gardens with plants and flowers from all over the world. Something is in bloom almost every day of the year.

It was gorgeous! They have an impressive Japanese garden and plants and trees that Scott had on his mission in Chile.  
Macie loved how big the leaves were on this wild Chilean rhubarb. 

 This place has a huge rose garden. This picture does not do the size of this rose justice. It was the size of her head!

It was a beautiful end to our first fun family vacation of summer!
Can't wait to go back. 

Sunset Bay~2013 Part 1

In the middle of June, (over Macie's Birthday), we went camping over at the coast. We stayed at Sunset Bay which quickly became our favorite camping site EVER.

The campground is awesome but the best part is the fact that it is on it's own personal beach. It has kind of a little niche that comes off of the ocean and is surrounded by bluffs and beautiful hiking trails.
 The first day we were there it was a little drizzly. They have all sorts of things for kids to do there. This picture was in front of an outdoor movie screen where they also have activities for kids.
Next to the beach is a little stream where the kids collected all sorts of shells and dead crab parts. Fun.
The kids loved it. And because the waves weren't 4 feet high and there was no undertow I let them go out so much farther than they ever get to. 

More dead animal parts....

 The next day was Macie's Birthday and the weather was beautiful. SO warm. We were on the beach from 9am-3pm.
This boy was so happy.
 Like, SO happy!
We had the whole place to ourselves until about noon.
yet another creepy animal find.

we have a ten year old....

On June 2nd our first baby turned 10!

It is a friend party year this year and Ellie choose to take some of her friends bowling. All the girls were given long silly socks to wear as they bowled their hearts out.

Then they came back for ice cream cake playing outside and presents.
Just to clarify, I swore to myself I had already purchased a number 10 candle...but in my frustrated attempt to find it Scott decided we would make the candles equal ten. It is a 6 plus a 4.


We love our Ellie so much. It is so much fun watching her grow up and become the woman she is going to be. She is really becoming so much fun to pal around with. I use to be a little afraid of her becoming a teenager but I have realized that I am more and more looking forward to it!
She is so caring and thoughtful to her siblings. She tries to be a peacemaker and teaches others to be as well. She is a fantastic helper. Ellie loves to read, draw, swim and she still LOVES to sing.
Happy Birthday Ellie Belly.