Thursday, June 19, 2008

Money, Money, Money

We've been using a website called Handipoints for a while now. It lets the kids check off their jobs as they do them and I get to grade the work at the end of the week. It also awards the kids points for their work which they can use to play games or 'buy' clothes for their cat (my sister says that part is like Webkinz). Anyhow, they can also earn other points that are to be awarded by Mom and Dad. Of course, Jake thinks all points should be traded for cash, and lots of it!!
So, we're trying something I read about in a magazine at the Dentist office last week. We bought some play money. For each week, they get play cash for however many points they earned doing jobs - 1 dollar for 1 point. They can spend their money to play computer ($2), watch TV ($2), get off the naughty stair ($3), and buy snacks from our Snack Shop which is open twice a day. The snack shop is my favorite part of this for 4 reasons:
  1. To reinforce healthy choices, carrots, apples, celery, bananas, etc are free. Granola bars, popcorn, cheese sticks, yogurt, etc are $1. Fruit snacks and the like are $3 while the least healthy choice (ice cream) is $4.
  2. They have to tell me how much change I owe them when they pay for a snack so their brains don't absolutely disintegrate over the summer.
  3. I haven't had grazing problems since we started this this week. They think about it if it's gonna cost them.
  4. I also haven't had friends over scarfing all of the pudding cups the day I bring them home from the store. The rule is your friends can have a snack, but you have to pay for them!

One place I need help is the leftover money at the end of the week. Again, Jake thinks that if he can avoid snacks, I'm gonna hand over $60 cash to him on Saturday. I mean, what mom wouldn't? I'm thinking about adding some fun activities like the dollar movie, slip-n-slide, library trip, the kids' gardens, etc but at our house that opens the "we can't agree on which activity we want to do" can. I just had a thought - I could charge them an absurd amount to do their jobs for them. At least the toilets would really get cleaned occasionally (not that they get that dirty in a house full of boys! HA HA)

So, I'm open for ideas on more ways for them to spend their money. Whattaya think?

Friday, June 13, 2008

blowing of steam

Sometimes I really hate computer! Ours has had a lot of ups and downs with the hard drive in the last few months. After several ignored promptings to back up my pictures, it died. They're lost. Sad day. Sad, sad day. You know how I am about my pictures.
We took it in and paid a load of money to get it fixed. Now, after Jared has recovered, I think, 1000 of my pictures, the stupid thing died again. Luckily those are mostly saved online now, but I can't edit any pictures of out trip to Louisiana or add them here ( I know you want to see the gators!)
Manda left her old computer here so we're using it, but I can't download pictures because our software isn't on it and I don't want to fill up her hard drive and I can't print anything. (I know that's a run-on, but it's my blog). Jared says it will take forever to install our printer onto this computer. Do you know how much I detest handwritten job charts when I have so many cute fonts and cliparts ?
I guess I should be happy we still have internet access. OK. I'm done whining. Hopefully, we'll have pictures soon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Yes, they're all ours!

Well, Lib and I made it to Louisiana last Friday night. The most often asked question we've gotten is, "Wow! Are they all ya'll's?" I told one guy at a truck stop that we just pick kids up along the way. We tried to do the mom and nanny act at one store so we could really shock them and say they were all Libby's and I was just the nanny. We've cracked ourselves up trying to find the most shocking way to answer - but the simple truth (yes, 4 are mine, 4 are hers) seems to do the trick. One guy today said, " Ya'll really took the Bible seriously when it said to go forth and multiply and replenish the earth, huh?" !!

We grew up here. My mom has 4 kids. I don't remember so many people asking her if they were all hers. Maybe people had more tact 20 years ago? Maybe we weren't 8 at one time in the Hobby Lobby aged 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 9mo, 9mo, and 4mo? Anyways, I think I'm just a little frustrated with the fact that manners are supposed to be a big thing here and people are proving to be less well mannered than I remember.