Saturday, April 2, 2011

Teaching Tweens Responsibility

I have had some people ask me how I get my kids to help out so much around the house. Well i did start them out early!
I guess when you are 4 vacuuming seems fun!

Even Haley got into it and she was only 2 1/2! Funny how things they thought were fun are a struggle now.

I mean it is so much fun they used to fight over who got to clean NOW they fight over who has to do it!

We trying really hard to not have "boy" responsibilities and "girl" responsibilities. Cody still loves to cook!

Haley used to love to mow! Well now we don't have any grass because we live in AZ so she is lucky but neither one of them are too thrilled about pulling weeds. But they do.

See we still have them cleaning!

Haley even did a fabulous job cleaning the microwave!

So gross (no judging me!) BEFORE


AFTER - way to go!


We have tried many different techniques with the kids from lists, pick your own responsibility, incentives, grab a chore from the jar, all sorts of things. What I have found that worked for our family is that we did have them start early helping out. We are a family, a team, a unit! We all have to work together to be successful.

Now from time to time I feel a little guilty about making them do some things, while I am tanning outback with my fruity drink with my cute little umbrella. Oh wait that is my dream not the truth! We always work as a team.

However, I am a parent first. My job as a parent is to teach my kids how to be successful in life. My job is to teach them skills so when they grow up they can take care of themselves. I often joke if I died tomorrow (I know morbid) I know the kids would be OK. Cody cooks great! Haley can cook some but she is awesome at cleaning bathrooms and they both know how to load/unload the dishes. They both understand coupon shopping and they both can wash, dry, fold, and put up laundry. That's my ultimate job right? To teach and grow them as individuals.

That has always been our philosophy. I am not treating them bad I am teaching them. In life you have to take responsibility for yourself.  I am bound and determined to not have a kid going off to college that doesn't know how to do their laundry!

When my kids were really little like 2 or 3 they like to think they were helping there momma! They were good at putting up silverware (minus the knives), vacuum a little, give them a rag to dust, give them toilet paper to stock up the bathrooms.

As they got older (6-8) they were able to actually vacuum, sweep, put up laundry, sort laundry, match socks, wipe down counters, take out trash.

Now they are able to do it all. Being a perfectionist I had to learn to let a few things go. Just because the dishwasher wasn't loaded exactly the way I like it, well it's OK because guess what I didn't have to do it.

It isn't that we had any special way to get the kids to do the responsibilities we just expected it.  We are a family, a team, a unit. We live together, work together, and play together. We always say that to do the fun stuff we have to get the responsibilities done and the more we all work together the quicker it gets done.

So nothing special, no secret, just the truth, we are all responsible.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Switching Teams

I have been working hard to cook healthier and easier. I bought a Foster Farms Whole Chicken because it was a great price and I thought I could cook it in the crock pot, which you can.

I had NO idea that the stuff you pull out of the middle of the chicken isn't it a cute little neat bag like it's Turkey counterpart!  I thought I might have to be a vegetarian after this experience.

Venture with me through my journey!

So nice and neat

Umm this is ok but still not my favorite but I did get the gloves out

I am not sure what I just pulled out and I was hoping I was done but nope lots more to go!

My FAVORITE friend! I used this so many times

More! I tried to get Haley to do it - told her it would be fun - hope she took pics.
Don't ask because I don't know what that is

Normally I have a fairly strong stomach but I really thought I wasn't going to get through this. Maybe because I haven't been feeling so well who knows but it was gross!

In to the crock pot finally!

Add some simple seasoning

Cooked overnight and Cody tried this morning and love it!

I told Cody that since he loves it if he wants me to ever cook it again he was have to de-gut? de-remove the really gross stuff inside? I mean come on people I am not a crappy mother the boy goes hunting with his dad and they enjoy that kind of stuff.... I hope.

Lesson Learned: Turkey - nice and neat little bag goes into the trash. Chicken - NOT SO MUCH!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Energy Saving Tips Post 2

This week was super nice! For the most part we were in the 70's during the day so the house stayed comfortable and it was nice and cool at night! My favorite!  Today it started getting warmer and by Friday it is going to be 94! Yikes! April 1st it's gonna be 90? I love hot weather but come on April 1st?

Well here are some more tips we do to try to save energy, resources, and money!

I have talked about doing laundry before, but I wanted to show that for most loads I will use the express wash with cold/cold. If it isn't something that needs a super heavy duty cleaning this cycle gets the job done, we are using cold water (gas bill is lower) and less energy is used because it is a shorter cycle.

Kind of a weird picture but I wanted to show that when we need extra sun light I turn the blinds open. I love lots of light in the house but others in my house not necessarily. But if you open too many blinds then the heat from the outside heats the house up. So normally I will only open the window for the room I am in. It's plenty of light to read, do chores, etc.

Weird picture? Well this is my shower and if you look close enough you can see the reflection of my window in the mirror. Now, I only open the blinds enough to let light in and I make sure they are tilted in a way that the passers by don't get a free peep show! This time of year it is getting lighter and lighter earlier in the morning and I don't need LOTS of light to shower myself (I am pretty sure after 33 years I know where everything is at I need to wash lol).

Well I have unruly hair so to get it sleek and shiny I do need to blow dry it or I walk around with terrible bed head (and not that hot sexy kind the Victoria Secret models can pull off). So when I am blow drying my hair I also keep my lights turned off in the bathroom. I have 6 light bulbs and they put off a lot of heat (makes me need more AC) they use energy, and honestly I can brush and dry my hair without all the extra light. Now putting my make up on is a little different but this normally doesn't take long and I have already kept the lights off for probably 20-30 minutes between the shower and blow drying. For the record I try to not blow dry every morning - cuts down on energy, help save my hair, and helps on time.

More to come! We are working on going as green as possible in our house!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

GREAT Grocery Deals!

Hey all! If you live in Arizona check out this blog! There are the Fry's Grocery Deals listed out for this week starting today! No need for me to do more work when Kellie at Dashing for Deals has already done all the hard work. Check it out! She also has posts for other stores like Safeway you just have to click on the Stores tab at the top.

For those of you that shop at Krogers please check out Coupon Divas and they have a posting about the Kroger deals.

For Safeway Deals please visit

I hope you get some great savings!

Two Peas in a Pod

Remember when you were a kid and you had your brother or sister and you just thought one minute they were the worst person and then the next minute what would you do without them? Well I have an older sister and there were many times I thought me might not make it out of our teen years without killing each other. One time when I was really little she made me eat a bar of soap (gag), there were many screaming battles with each other.

However, the older we get the closer I think  know we are. Since I turned 18 we pretty much haven't lived in the same area, pretty much not even the same state. The first several years she was in college and I was living the young married life so we didn't get to talk too much. Then we both started having babies. One a year for 4 years.

We probably talk almost every single day at least once, on the phone, via text, or email. Back in the fall we were planning a girls weekend to Scottsdale with some girlfriends and we were able to get her flown out from Kentucky to spend some time together. One of my other friends (Tess) went with us and we had a blast.

Brooke flew into Tucson and got to spend almost 2 days seeing my kids and spending time with Michael and me. And then we headed up to Scottsdale to enjoy some relaxation!

Brooke and my kiddos at our community park

My sis works so hard and she is also going to graduate school while running a household, helping her husband through graduate school and raising to kids herself! I decided since it was girl time we would stop at Ulta and have a makeover and get our brows waxed.

Nice Southern Arizona

I took Brooke down to Tombstone, AZ (yes the REAL Tombstone)

We went to the cemetery in Tombstone which is a must do stop if you ever visit. It's a donation to get in.

My super awesome man took us down to eat some awesome Mexican food! Yummo!  Talk about the real deal, we could see the border from the restaurant. It was delish!

On the way to Scottsdale we first ran into a BIG monsoon and then we ran into this dust storm (for the record I am terrified of dust storms and I was driving)

Our resort

It is so beautiful and the service is unbelievable! And I snagged a super good deal on priceline for $50.00/night

Living the life!

We headed out for some awesome Japanese food and entertainment at Benihana's

Ever hear of Sprinkles? Well Brooke hadn't - so we had to make a stop!

They are unbelievably delicious!

This was how my sister started her relaxing mornings.

What's vacation without heading to the casino and checking out their awesome food!

Oh yeah did I mention we stopped to get pedis?

I told everyone to step outside the box and go for a crazy color!

More yummy goodies at the casino

This is me at Dave and Busters - super good food and fabulous games!

We had a great weekend! I had to take her to the airport and drop her off and I sobbed teared up as we said bye. It has been 6 months since I have seen my sister. I hate living so far away but I am grateful for technology and the fact we get to talk and provide support to one another. I can't wait till June when I get to see her again!

I hope each of you have a brother or sister that you get to experience life with as I do!