Category Archives: raising boys

Teach Your Kids To Do Laundry (Even Before They Can Read!)

Lately when visitors to our home have noticed our chore charts on the wall, many have been surprised to see “wash laundry” and “fold laundry” listed on my boys’ charts. That’s right. My 6 & 5 year olds are in charge of their own laundry, and the younger one isn’t yet a reader. 🙂 It is possible! When I added laundry to their lists several weeks ago, I was optimistic, but still had doubts that it would actually work. I have not been disappointed!

So how does it work?

My husband has said for a long time he wanted our kids to do laundry when they were old enough, but I was terrified of my “lay flat to dry” items ending up three sizes smaller from a trip through the dryer. To avoid that, I decided the boys would just do their own for now, especially since only one of them can read.

First, I got one laundry basket for their room, and assigned them each a day – Monday and Thursday. My boys are about the same size and share pretty much all of their clothes. This made the chore a bit easier. I also have a front load washer and dryer set. That definitely makes the process more doable for kids.

Next, I drew stars on the washing machine to show them the correct settings. Yes, it’s that simple. Little black stars beside each setting show the boys which buttons to push whether or not they can read it and make remembering each time a non-issue.
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I rinsed out an old stain remover bottle, marked it for them, and filled it with laundry detergent. I did this because I use larger bottles which are too heavy for them to pour.

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Then I just gathered the boys in the bathroom, and showed them how to do it. Of course the first couple of weeks, I walked them through the steps each time and helped them remember which opening to pour the detergent in, how much to use, etc. They caught on quickly though!

After washing and drying each load, they are also expected to fold and put it all away. For items that belong in their brother’s drawers, they fold them and lay them on his bed.

And that’s it! Now I only have to occasionally remind them to switch their load if they aren’t around to hear the washing machine end, and make sure they do put it away, not leave it in the basket in the living room for 2 days. But who would do that?? 😉

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Filed under children, cleaning, organization, raising boys

Tball Begins & a Call for Slow Cooker Recipes

Our schedule got a little more hectic in the last couple of weeks with the start of tball. Our two sons are playing on the same team, and last night was their first game!

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Daddy has turned into an extra coach. With 3-5 year olds, it’s all hands on deck.

But with the extra time being taken up by games and practices, meal planning has become a bit more challenging. That’s where you come in. 🙂 I need more slow cooker recipes or easy prepare-ahead meals! Pinterest is full of ideas but I’d like to see what my readers love for ball game nights (or dance or gymnastics or piano or church – whatever your kiddos are involved in). Leave a comment with a link to a yummy and easy meal your family enjoys.

And here are a few more pictures for you to enjoy.

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Filed under daily adventures, Food & Drink, raising boys

T-Ball 2014

My little boys are super excited. Monday marked the day they had been waiting for and talking about for weeks – their very first t-ball practice.
It went surprisingly well, especially considering just a couple of days before Stanton wanted almost nothing to do with playing t-ball in our yard with his daddy. It was a different story on Monday though, and they were both excited to be there.

 

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How did this happen?

I’m not sure what it is about t-ball that makes it seem so different, makes them seem so much older all of a sudden. Lincoln played soccer last Fall, but it wasn’t the same. Maybe it’s because they’re both playing? Or maybe it’s because  they’ve been practicing with their daddy in the front yard while I watched from the porch this past week. Either way, I feel like my boys really aren’t babies anymore.

 

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I think it’s going to be just as much fun for their mama and daddy as it is for the boys. I had to laugh when I realized that my boys made up 1/4 of the team, and we looked like a traveling circus by the time we got to the field. 🙂

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I think little sister is going to love spending the next few weeks at the ball fields. She sure didn’t have any complaints on Monday evening.

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PS – Sorry for the not-so-great pictures. It’s not easy nursing a baby and being a photographer at the same time. 🙂

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Filed under daily adventures, raising boys

I Put Peanut Butter on my TV

Today I put peanut butter and bathroom cleaner on my plasma tv.

No, I haven’t lost my mind, though I almost did when I saw that my four year old had stretched his bubble gum across the screen of our 42-inch plasma television. Yes, this post is about bubble gum removal. I have no idea what the boy thought he was doing, but his reasoning was, “I was trying to have fun by myself.” How is this the same kid that was out of bed, dressed, and making his bed at 6:45 this morning? I have no idea. Nevertheless, bubble gum is not an easy thing to remove from any surface, much less that of a television screen.

After my attempts to pull off the larger pieces were only somewhat successful, I decided to consult my trusty friend Google.
I found this helpful article on ehow.com.

The article said I would need creamy peanut butter {check}, bathroom cleaner in a spray bottle {check}, and a clean microfiber cloth {check}.

That’s right. With a little creamy peanut butter, a spray bottle of bathroom cleaner, and microfiber cloth, you can remove smeared gum from a plasma tv screen. Some of the worst spots did require smearing the peanut butter in really good with the cloth prior to wipe off, and a few tiny spots had to be scratched off with my fingernail, but overall it was a pretty simple process. Thank goodness for the Internet!

I didn’t get a before picture, but here is a during and after of the process.

 

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television after gum was removed

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Filed under daily adventures, food, funny, raising boys, tips & tricks

ALWAYS lock the fridge

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Why am I posting a picture of a bottle of mustard? Just hang in there with me for a minute.

A few nights ago, I was needing to make an important, work-related, phone call, and Steven wasn’t there to be on kid duty. I did the normal mommy things: got the boys snacks and drinks, lectured on the importance of being quiet, reminded them I would be down the hall, turned on their favorite cartoon, and quietly slipped into my bedroom. I forgot something on my list though. Something VERY important. About halfway through this phone call, I needed to return to the kitchen to get something, though I’ve now forgotten what. I was definitely not prepared for what I found. That little mustard bottle? It was in the hands of my 2 year old. The contents of that bottle were all over my kitchen and dining area, and laundry room.  I had forgotten to lock the refrigerator! The floor, the table, the chairs, the oven, the cabinets, the dirty clothes, the washing machine, both my sons…oh, and the couch, the carpet, two tote bags, a library book, and the dog – all decorated with spots, splashes, smears and puddles of yellow mustard. What’s a mom to do? I’m not even sure what I should have done. I couldn’t even give him a stern look though. I laughed. I told the woman on the other end of the phone what was going on. Thankfully she laughed with me. I then cleaned it up as I finished the conversation. Ah, you’ve never fully multitasked until you’ve undressed two little boys covered in mustard, cleaned up a ginormous mess, and carried on a business phone call at the same time!

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Filed under children, daily adventures, funny, raising boys

Lazy Sunday

This morning, before anything else, Lincoln had a rodeo in the kitchen. 🙂

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Then the dinosaurs arrived. Don’t worry, the black stallion kicked some t-rex butt.

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Filed under daily adventures, raising boys