Friday, August 16, 2013

Reinvention of the Wheel

With the start of homeschooling my kids I wanted them to get used to doing work around the house.  Before I had divided the chores by days for myself and did the work while the kids were at school, but then what ended up happening is that I was doing ALL the work.  With my kids being exhausted after 8 hrs of sitting in school, piano, sports, Boy and Girl Scouts...we just didn't have time to enforce any chore activities.  So the first thing I wanted to do this summer was get my kids used to doing chores.  I came up with 2 chores to do everyday; dishes and laundry, and then added 2 chores that would alternate; vacuum and kitty litter and then 1 chore that needs to be done only once a week; dusting, windows, bathroom, clean microwave and fridge, and wipe down floor boards.  (Once Charlotte gets old enough to be assigned a chore I'll have to modify it, until then she's my little helper.) 
I had seen these job wheels before, but I wasn't sure at first how to even make it fit all 4 of my kids. The versions I'd seen had the names on the outside and the same chores everyday that would just rotate through the names.  But because of my weekly chores, alternating chores and daily chores I found it harder to get it organized.  Finally I realized that I needed to put the names on the inside on a smaller wheel to go around instead of vice versa. 
I thought I was even pretty clever with the icons I drew on the wheel, this way even my little who can't read yet will know what their chore is, and they are really cute if I do say so myself. 
I have encountered an odd twist to the chores that I wasn't expecting...apparently all the kids prefer the kitty litter chore and will even bargain with one another so they can get it.  I know why they want to do it, it's because it's the fastest chore!  If it's not a kitty litter day they will try to trade and bargain to get what chore they want.  I had to put a stop to that because it was just leading to fights and me referee-ing WAY more than I wanted to.  The whole point to creating this wheel was that I wouldn't have to deal with the whining and bickering over chores.  But now that I have laid down the No Bargaining Law that put a stop to that.
I'd have to say that I'm loving this idea and I just get all giddy when the kids run to the wheel to see their chore just so they can do it and get it over with without any extra thought on my part.  Love it!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hill Cumorah Pageant, Family Vaca Pt. 2

 So I know it isn't the next day, but I warned you.  I'm kind of just going with the flow of things right now and just post when I can...oh, who am I kidding, I post when I'm feeling it.  I'm finally feeling it, so here is the rest of our trip.

The Pageant was actually the main reason we even stayed with my cousin in Rochester, can you believe Niagara was just a bonus?!  That place was amazing!  But the Pageant was just as awesome, and the site seeing was really fun.  I was afraid that the kids wouldn't do well during the pageant, but they were so mesmerized by the pageant it was never an issue to get them to pay attention, which made it so much more enjoyable for me that I was able to actually watch the show!

Here is the stage right before the show.  The actors were walking around the crowds in costume, which was really neat.  What's even more amazing is that all the actors are volunteers!  The effects had the coolest 'WOW!' factor!  There was a boat that sailed through the ocean, a storm that ripped the sail, lightening, it was unbelievable. 
At the top of the Hill Cumorah.

The Palmyra Temple
Smith House and Barn
While we were site seeing the Smith property a few storms came through.  We thought it would just blow over and took refuge at the visitors center.  It slacked off a little, but that was just the beginning.  As we walked around the stormy clouds started blowing in with lightening striking very close.  My main goal was to walk through the Sacred Grove, but with the erratic storm we weren't sure we would be able to make it.  We walked down the path to the woods behind the property where a nice couple missionaries were sitting under a tent and told us that they are advising people that it isn't safe to go in at that moment.  No big, we just stood there with them chatting as we waited for the all clear.  Once another guide came over the walkie talkie that it was alright to go we headed in.  It was really neat being in there, the trees created this canopy over head so we couldn't even see the sky.  We couldn't see the sky but we saw the flashing of lightening and according on the thunder that followed it was close!  We picked up the pace and practically ran out of the grove, and just in time, when we got to the exit there were workers that were just coming through to evacuate the grove.  I was super sad that we couldn't spend more time walking around.  We'll just have to go back and make sure that we check the weather before heading out!
We also checked out the Printing Press where the first Book of Mormon was published.  They had the same original floors that the Smith's and Martin Harris would have walked on.
This is a first edition Book of Mormon they had on display.  It was a really nice family vacation and I was so happy that I could take my kids and enjoy history that way.