Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Service and Acts of Love

So, I was going to report all the service we have been doing this week, and then it hit me that all our service will be for naught if I tell everyone. I mean, isin't the point to serve and have no one know your good deeds? Hmmm. We have been doing such lovely things together as a family, baking, leaving gifts, making new friends, that I get excited and want to share our good feelings with others. I want others to feel the same joy we have with serving others. There are so many examples in the scriptures, that we need to love and serve one another, and in so doing will be blessed. I have seen the blessings that come from doing good to others, and we look forward to many more days of doing service with a smile.
I must say one thing, the highlight of the week was going to the Fire Department to drop off goodies. It happened to be the first day of snow, and there were alot of calls for the firetruck that day. We came just as a group was finishing a long shift, and they were more than happy to show the boys the truck, and the equipment. It was a lovely experience, and we hope that we have the same feelings of joy and love when we sing at the hospital at the end of this week.
May you all find some small way to serve someone else, and seek the blessings of doing good to others.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fun doing service

The first week is done, and we have had so much fun doing our service with a smile.
This week, we brought donations to the food bank, dropped off toys to the school toy drive, helped cook a dish for our church Christmas party, gave gifts to our basketball coaches to thank them, and sang for someone who is very sick in the hospital. My boys favorite thing this week was when we drove through Tim Hortons, and paid for the order behind us. They were so excited, they asked me to drive slow, so they could watch the people's faces behind us, when they came to the window and the lady told them their order had been paid for. They found so much joy in sharing, and look forward to doing more this week. One day we had to give 5 compliments to people, and really mean them. They reported at dinner time, who they complimented, or helped, and how it made them feel.
I am really enjoying this season much more, when we have something kind to do each day. Tonight we are dropping off goodies to our local fire department, and the boys hope they will get to see the fire truck up close!
They are also starting to talk about getting each other gifts, with the money they have been saving up. This has been a nice change, since most of the time they only think about themselves. Maybe we will conquer this youth entitlement afterall.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Is your shopping under control?

Around this time of the year, we all hit the stores and shop like crazy trying to get everyone the perfect gift. They we buy, and buy and buy some more. If you are like me, I  forget what I already have, and see a terrific item on sale, and think "That would be perfect", and I buy it. My kids do not need much, and we try hard not to spoil them (this is part of them growing up not expecting so much too!)
My sister gave me a great idea last year to keep shopping under control.
Each kid gets something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. 
That is it. We buy 4 gifts for each child. I am finding it difficult as their toy want list keeps growing, but I am going to stick with the plan. Santa brings them their favorite thing, and other family members get them things too, so why do we feel as parents that we have to get every item on the list to make them happy. Does that really make them happy?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Experiment at Christmastime

We are now on to month #4 in the ongoing getting rid of youth entitlement experiment here in our home. Since Christmas is just around the corner, we decided to give the kids a bit of a break. Not much, just a bit!
They are currently keeping their rooms clean, beds made, making meals and cleaning up once a week, and doing laundry without a complaint (at least not too many complaints. I still find some clothes just dumped on a chair in the room, so I just take 2 coins, and eventually those clothes are put where they belong).
 Today we cashed in, and the boys were asking what the next challenge is. I am grateful they are still happy to participate.
For December, we are doing SERVICE WITH A SMILE. Every day on our advent calendar there will be a piece of paper that will say what we are going to do that day to serve someone else. Yes, that is right, every day this entire month.
We created a list of things we could do together, and Mom filled in the rest. I wanted to include things that would really help them to overcome being shy with others. Otherwise, we will be making cookies everyday and dropping them on people's doorsteps and running away. They have to learn to show proper manners when giving.

Here is our list:
1. Donate a new toy to the school
2. Donate food to food bank (at the church party and craft fair entrance)
3. Donate clothing/bedding to Phillippines
4. Donate an item for an adopted family (Scott’s work and Tyler’s class)
5. Attend the Church Christmas Dinner (make a dish to share)
6.Attend a Christmas Musical (give a gift to one of the performers)
7. Attend the Kids Christmas Active Party (make a new friend)
8. Be Secret Elves to 2 families (wrap all gifts, put on doorstep, ring bell and run)
9. Drive around looking at Christmas lights and leave money donations if they are asking
10. Sing Carols on Christmas Eve to our neighbours
11. Hold an open house and invite the street over.
12. Give gifts to elderly single men and women that we know.
13. Sort through toys and find good condition ones we don’t use and donate to toy bank
14. Make and give cookies to our missionaries and friends
15. Give special German cookies in cloth bag to our teachers and wish them a Merry Christmas!
16. Set up our Christmas Tree and spend time together
17. Make ornaments for the tree (paper/ribbon in glass balls)

18. Record a song as a family and send via email to friends/family.
19. Deliver goodies to our local Fire and Police Departments
20. Sing songs at the Care home.
21. Leave a special surprise for the mail carrier (in the mail box)
22. Serve each other. Do something nice in secret for each other.
23. Go shopping and pick out a gift for a member of the family
24. Smile at everyone you see today, and remember to say thank you
25. Donate warm clothes to our local homeless
26. Invite someone over for dinner that is all alone on Christmas.
27. Drive through Tim Hortons and pay for the persons order behind us
28. Compliment 5 people today and really mean it
29. Do something kind for someone today and tell us about it at dinnertime
30. Make Christmas cards and give to our friends and family
31. Shovel snow for someone else (or take in their garbage if there is no snow)

If you need more ideas:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Moving on to Month 3 of The Experiment

October is done, and the boys were successful in making meals and cleaning up. I really love this experiment...taking it ONE THING AT A TIME. I have to say it works so much better than making a huge chore chart, and me trying to keep track of who did what...and nagging them to get their chores done. They feel more capable, and they see (or don't see) the reward at the end of the month.
They do not make their beds every day (Zach lost 7 coins this month), and they complain when it is their turn to clean up the dishes (everyone loves to cook..but the cleaning up is always tough). Hey, they are kids. I don't expect them to be perfect, or act happy about doing the dishes. Even I don't like doing the dishes! But, the success comes when the boys say, "It is my turn to cook tonight, and this is what we are having..."

November, we are going to tackle laundry. At first, we thought we would give each kid their own day, but it will be difficult for Tyler and Luke (who share a room) to sort out clothes, etc..and we can see potential problems with that. So, instead, I will show each boy how to do the laundry (from beginning to end, both machines)...and then they are responsible for taking their own clothes from the clean/dry pile, folding them and putting them away (on the days I do laundry...usually Wed and Sat). If they don't do their own clothes, I take 2 coins.

So, today...the laundry is done...I ask everyone to come to our bedroom (because that is where the clean laundry goes in our home...on our bed!). I explain the challenge for the month, and say we can do this one all together. So, each person attacks the pile...Luke many times scampering over the top of the clean clothes...and we each pick out what is ours. We have a quick lesson on tucking things right side out, and at least folding the piece of clothing in half, and then everyone races to put the clothes in the right spot in their own bedroom. Laundry done. So fast. So fun.

Zach has already figured out that if he waits until everyone else is done, he can just take the rest (which will most likely be all his) and be done.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More food from the boys

Meals brought to you by Zach, Tyler and Luke:

Poutine Dogs 
(yes...that would be homemade french fries, gravy and cheese on a hotdog)

Sausage, Eggs and Freshly picked garden vegetables 
(they even tried a parsnip for the first time)

Pita Pizza 
(Tyler made it easy for himself and had everyone make their own!)

(yes...made at home, from scratch...Zach is very ambitious)

Vegetable Soup
(all the boys want to do this one...because it involves a lot of chopping...but we have to spread it out)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mom lost two coins

Yep, the boys called me on it...I lost two coins today. I guess that a really angry/scary face means I am yelling...at least they think so. I got upset today, getting the kids in the van, and asked them all to sit down now...with a very angry face. Zach piped up and said, "Mom, you lose a coin for yelling"..then...I shouted, "I was not yelling". Opps. They got me! HAHAHAHA! I can laugh now, because they took two coins, and I am learning fast how to keep my cool in front of them. I was on such a good streak..oh well..all I can do is try harder tomorrow, right? No one is perfect..but it doesn't mean we can't try hard to be close.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Clean up your diet in 5 weeks

Clean up your diet in 5 weeks!

I saw a cool poster of this online, with neat pictures, but did not attach it to my blog, because of inappropriate language. I really want to keep this blog clean too... to help people focus on the positive.

Here is the summary of the poster:

Eating clean means whole, natural foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. It also means staying away from the junk that typically makes up our diet. So, no more man made sugar, bad fats, preservatives, white bread, and any other fake unnecessary ingredients.

Week 1 - Add REAL fruits and REAL vegetables to every meal.
Week 2 - No more fast food
Week 3 - Give up white breads and grains. Switch to whole wheat.
Week 4 - Use a fruit or vegetable as the base of every snack.
Week 5 - No more soda or sugary drinks

After 5 weeks, you will be feeling cleaner, and more energetic. Challenge yourself and start today...don't make the mistake of waiting to start until the beginning of the week..or month...just start today!

Monday, October 7, 2013

So, what did we eat?

When the Friesen boys make dinner, here is what it looks like:

Luke - Quesidillas. 
He used leftover Asian chicken (from the previous night), and shredded cheddar cheese (from a bag). He picked out green tortillas, and put everything on himself. We did two large circles on a cookie tray to make it easier, and just put them in the oven to heat up. Then, he cut up (yes, with my help!) mushrooms and peppers to eat raw. For dessert, he served pumpkin pie (since there was some leftover too!) He loved the chance to do everything himself..no brothers around..and he was so proud to serve it to his family. Everyone praised him so well. We even got sour cream for Zach, because he knew that his big brother liked that "white dipping sauce".

Tyler - Spaghetti and Meatballs.
No short cuts for this guy. He wanted to make the meatballs from scratch, and he did. He loved getting messy with the raw meat, and was thrilled to make each ball (some bigger than others..and he made sure those were on his plate!). He was amazed at how easy it was. The pot full of hot water was heavy for him...especially when trying to strain it, so Mom stepped in there. He loved using the timers, and even more enjoyed it when he got to do something else while waiting for the beeper to go off. He served raw carrots for the veggie. He liked peeling, but was worried about cutting them. I replied that he could cut them however he wanted...even big chunks and we would eat them. He heated up the tomato sauce from a jar, and even put it in a gravy boat to serve it. He chose popsicles for dessert.

Zach - Mac and Tac.
That is what he calls it. My creative son, created a macaroni and cheese mix with Taco ingredients. He made the Mac and Cheese no problem, grill the ground beef, and put in whatever spices he wanted. He loves the experimental part of cooking. He added lots of garlic and onion powder! Then he mixed the two together and called it MacNTac.  Cold veggies from the fridge were served, some that were already cut up (he is a smart kid), as well as a salad (he chopped up the greens) and he served cookies for dessert (frozen ones that were made weeks before). At first he was going to put sourcream, lettice, and salsa on top, but once the food was made, he decided against it. Instead, he put out the toppings to let everyone chose for themselves. No one did but anything on top the MacNTac, but he wasn't offended, because he didn't want to either!

Each boy set the entire table, served the meal, poured the drinks, and clean up afterwards. The best part was actually hand washing dishes with each son. Most of them went in the dishwasher, but there always a few leftover and it was great fun to stand together at the sink. They washed, and I rinshed/dried (that way super control Mom could make sure they were clean!). HAHAHAHA! It also gave me a chance to thank them for the meal and praise their efforts.

So far, I am loving this experiment.

Who says that you need to eat cooked vegetables at dinner?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Healthier Halloween

Halloween is quickly approaching and we all know that it is traditionally all about candy...which can mean lots of sugar, fat, and calories. If you are hoping to keep your kids healthy during this sugar-heavy time of year, consider trying some of these tips.

Have children pick their five favourite treats from their bag, then use one of these suggestions below for the remainder of their candy.

- Switch out some of the treats they've collected for ones that are lower in calories and fat. Some favourites are dark chocolate, red licorice, or hard candies.

- Provide the option of trading in some or all of their candy for a toy or book they've been eyeing.

- Stock your own trick or treat bowl with healthier choices such as raisins, pencils, stickers, or passes to a local community centre.

- Provide an opportunity for them to earn back their treats through activities that can help burn calories.  This helps teach them that if we burn off more energy, we can splurge on extra treats.

And, if you are looking for something different to hand out this year...try some of these on the chart below. If you can't read it, click it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

No Yelling

I forgot to mention how the first month went for me. Remember that I also took on a challenge to work out every day? Well..I almost did it. I kept 27 coins, and felt a real habit forming. So, along with the kids, I get to add to my experiment...work out everyday and no yelling. If I yell, they get to take a coin from my jar. And, I can lose more than one coin a day! Every time I yell, I lose one! Yikes. What have I gotten myself into? I seriously want to stop raising my voice though, and I know this can help.
So...here we go, Mom joins the experiment...work out every day and no yelling allowed. I will keep you posted! Join me, if you think you can go 30 days yell free.

I found this to help me stay motivated...
Or this...
How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Month 2 - Make your own Meals

Oh yah...this is going to be good!
When we announced this month that we are doing a new challenge, the boys were actually excited.
Yes, they still have to make their bed and keep their floor clean every day...and they still get 30 coins in their jar. But, this month we add to the experiment. They make one meal a week from beginning to end.

They each chose a day of the week (Luke = Tuesday, Tyler = Saturday and Zach = Thursday).
They decide what they are going to make, give the list of ingredients to mom (so she can make sure we have everything), and then on their night, they set the table, make the meal (with limited help from Mom), serve the meal, and clean up (yes...not just put things in the dishwasher...but wash all the dishes and clean up the kitchen!).
All my kids like to cook, and they already have experience in the kitchen, and have been taught safety around the stove and knives.
If, for any reason, they are unable to complete this part of the experiment, they lose 5 coins. That is right...if they make the meal, and don't want to clean up....5 coins. This is a package deal. It is all or nothing.

Who knows what we are going to eat...that is totally up to them. Hey, I serve things they don't like...now it is their turn. HAHAHAHA

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cash In and Curve Ball

The 1st Month of The Experiment is over and the boys were excited to cash in. Final scores were Zach 23, Tyler 28 and Luke 15. Not bad. Tyler was disappointed that he did not get all 30, but was so proud to have earned the most. During our family meeting on Monday night, we sat down at the table, had them count out their coins, and praised all their hard work, because they all did work very hard with this challenge.

Then, Scott threw them a curve ball. We had discussed it before, and both agreed that they need more guidance with the use of their money. Now that they make a whole lot more each month, we really want to motivate them to save...and not just think about spending every cent they get.

So, we thought back to when they were young, and we began their financial education...we talked about Save, Spend and Share. These are the three categories that we have always wanted them to focus on. Each month, they Share 10%, Save 40% and Spend 50%. Scott even drew a pie chart on the chalkboard, so they had a visual. We made if fun, and opened up online bank accounts for them right away..so they could see their money go in right away. We wanted to make it clear that the money still belongs to them, it is just in a different location.

Everything went smoothly. Whew. Now they are even more determined to keep all 30 coins!

Now that they have their money (the 50% they can spend right away) I constantly hear, "Can we go to the store now?", "How much is this?". Oh boy..here we go. I just take a deep breath and take the changes as they come, and try to remember that they are becoming more independent and responsible, right?

Friday, September 27, 2013

'Pornography is sexually traumatising an entire generation of boys.' Martin Daubne

Experiment that convinced me online porn is the most pernicious threat facing children today: By ex-lads' mag editor MARTIN DAUBNEY

I read this on a facebook post, and had to finish the article. Having three boys myself (and yes...I know it is not just a boy issue)...but something really hit me. I always thought that porn was a issue that we were going to deal with later on...like when the boys are 16...but not so. I found that after reading the article I went directly online to find ways that I could keep them safe as they navigate our online world. I really like what these two sites had to say..and how we do control what happens in our homes.

He ends the article with this (and I agree with him):
Like many parents, I fear that my boy's childhood could be taken away by pornography. So we have to fight back.
We need to get tech-savvy, and as toe-curling as it seems, we are the first generation that will have to talk to our children about porn.
We have to tell our kids that pornographic sex is fake and real sex is about love, not lust.
By talking to them, they stand a chance. If we stick our head in the sand, we are fooling only ourselves. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nearing the end of Month 1

We are nearing the end of the first month.
I hear a lot of, " When is the end of the month?", "When do we get to spend our money?"
But, that is okay, because every morning my two older boys wake up, make their beds, and continue to keep their floor absolutely clear. I love it. I do not have to nag them, or remind them. Luke, who is 3, is hit and miss. His big brother has stopped making his bed for him, and always reminds him...but Luke is in charge, and will not be told what to do. HAHAHAHA! So stubborn, just like his mom.
I can't wait for the cash in on Sept 30th...which will also be our next family council meeting where we release the news that in October they get to make one meal a week from beginning to end.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week 2

Overall the experiment is going well. Week 2 complete, and the boys are thinking about how they will spend their money at the end of the month. I find that Luke is still too young to grasp the concept of making a bed, and still needs some encouragement. Mom did well at not reminding them, but I still feel the urge to talk to them the night before. I have been doing that for so many years, it is hard to break the habit. I just have to remember the wonderful surprise it is to see them do it themselves, and to know I trust them and have faith that they can do it on their own. I also like the feeling that no matter if they make their bed or not, I love them, and I do not have to nag them...if they want the coins, they make the bed...simple as that. If they don't, I don't give them a hard time, I don't put them down, and I don't yell. They have more control, and I am beginning to have more peace.
More good news: Mom has not missed a workout, and so I still have my 30 coins. Yippee!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

School lunches revised

So, after a week of trying out our school lunch bins...we found that the boys will never choose a fruit or vegetable when given the choice. Hence, our revision. Now, we have three bins. One for dairy/meat, one for fruit and vegetables, and one for snacks (crackers, seaweed, pudding, fruit cups, etc). They can take up to two from each bin to help balance out those lunches.
Parenting has to be flexible. You have to be willing to go through the trial and error each day to find what works best for your family.
What do you do for school lunches?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Change up the morning workout

I totally love the bodyrock.tv and am grateful for their free motivational workouts... but I am getting tired of watching Lisa's body. I liked her better before the breast enhancement, I really did. For small breasted women, like myself, I prefer to see someone love their body for what it is...rather than change it to impress someone else. Sorry Lisa..you still rock...but I have to change up my workout routine.
So..enough said...now when it is raining..since I don't have a treadmill...I put in Supreme 90 DVD's and get the workout done. In fact...after doing the same 10 DVDs so much..I don't even have to look up, I just concentrate on the workout, and feeling better about myself.
It is a great 10 disc set, that Scott found (very similar to P90X...but way cheaper!). You know us...Frugal Friesen Family. And, I can do it when and where I want to..though it is usually at 6am, before the kids wake, up, and just before Scott leaves for work. Yes, it is possible to fit in the things you want...you just can't be lazy (even when I want to stay in bed...I know the workout will never happen, no matter how many times I say to myself, I will do it later...it won't)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 1

Week 1 

Last night... before bed, the kids all had stuff on their floor. It was so difficult for me to walk over it to say good night, and not to say anything about clean up. I just held my tongue and pretended like I did not see it. I thought for sure it would be there in the morning when I checked. My boys surprised me. When I woke up (yes, I got to sleep in until 8am this morning! Thanks Scott!)...I went directly to their rooms, and all beds were made, and all floors were clean. No joke. I was shocked. I came down the stairs, Scott and I looked at each other...thinking...he/she must have reminded them...but NO, neither of us said a thing. SUCCESS.
And, Tyler did not complain about cleaning the floor himself...he even made Luke's bed for him. What a sweetheart!

Lessons Learned:

I have seen a change in the relationship between Tyler and Luke (who share a room). They are playing much better together, and helping each other. It is true that when you serve someone, you start to love them more.

Mom has learned to keep her mouth shut. They have proven that they understand and don't need to be treated like babies. No reminding. Talk less, and they will learn more.

Don't make a big deal out of taking coins. When Zach asked me if I had taken a coin for a container left on the floor, I said yes. He replied that it wasn't fair, and he didn't know it counted. I responded that it was on the floor. He went and picked it up, and asked if he could have the coin back. I said no. He did not melt down...he understood the rules, and I stayed consistent. He did not leave anything on the floor for the rest of the week!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Our 6 Month Plan for the Experiment

Many people have asked me what our plan is...and yes..knowing us, there is a plan.

Here it is:

September - Keep bedroom clean.
Beds made and floor clean/clear every morning. They lose one coin for an incomplete day.
October - Meal Planning. 
Each kid gets one day a week. They get to plan dinner, shop for the food, make it and clean up everything afterwards. My boys already love the kitchen, so this one is going to be a winner. They will lose 5 coins for an incomplete day.
November - Laundry.
Each kid picks a day to do their own laundry. The boys that share a room can do it together! It is going to be exciting teaching them to use the machines. They will lose 5 coins for an incomplete day.
December - Service with a Smile. 
We are going to think of as many ways possible to serve others, and do it with a cheerful heart.
January - Toilets and Home Repair. 
This will be our month of Saturday helpers. They get to fix things, clean bathrooms, and generally hang with Dad, making trips to Home Depot.
February - Party Planning and Manners
We want to teach them time management, etiquette/manners and proper planning. Each kid gets to host a party. They will have a budget, pick a day and time, and do everything from invitations to refreshments and thank you gifts!

Kay's list is 12 months long, and has more tasks..that I either left out, or combined, knowing it would be easier to keep them on task. For a reward at the end of February (if everything goes smoothly), they get to plan our Spring Break Holiday (that will be the working together part).

Each month they will get 30 coins in their jar...but it is going to get harder to keep the 30 coins each month...with rooms, meals and laundry. Wow...this is really going to be a challenge, but I know they can do it!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mom joins the Experiment

The boys think they have it figured out. I am a stay at home Mom, and they are wondering now that they are doing all the work, what is left for me? RIGHT....they are doing all the work...they have no idea! This experiment is going to be awesome.

So, Mom decided to join the experiment too. My first challenge is to exercise everyday for 30 days. I have a coin jar too, and I am accountable to them each night. If I don't exercise, they take a coin from me.

This will help me towards my goals, and keep the kids happy. Now they have more control and feel like we are all working on something together.

(No, I did not lecture them on how much I already do..and continue to do for them everyday).

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sometimes the posts on facebook are awesome..and I was so glad to view this one:

If you're a teenage girl

Love, love, love this post...by a mom with three teenage sons (and one girl!). I agreed with her totally..and want the same thing for my three boys. I am going to take her advice and make our accounts link..so that whatever is sent to them...is sent to the whole family. Nice way to keep in touch, and to keep things clean and appropriate in this new world. The best part is that she encourages the girls to keep their standards high...because this is what her boys are looking for.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

No reminding!

It has been a few days, and I here is what is sounds like at our house...I can't help it.

Night before, Jenny says, "Don't forget to clean up", "Opps, there are some things on your floor...remember to clean it up, or Mom will take a coin", "I see a few things on the floor, better make sure those are picked up before tomorrow"

In the morning, Jenny says, "I hope everyone made their beds", "I am going to check today once you are in school, I hope you get to keep all your coins", "Luke (my 3 year old), do you need help to get your bed made?", "Okay, we are heading to school..last chance to check your rooms"


Scott gently reminded me that part of it being an EXPERIMENT, is for us to back of completely, and see if they can do it ALONE. The best way for them to learn, is to say NOTHING, and let them realize at the end of the month, once they count their coins. Also, how proud do you think they will be when they keep all 30 coins, and did  not need any prodding from Mom? And how much better will they do the job the month after they lose a few coins?

Let's try again...this time...NO REMINDING. I am keeping my mouth shut.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

School lunches...do it yourself!

As we begin the EXPERIMENT to get rid of youth entitlement in our home, the topic of school lunches came up. I have been in control every day since they started school. Sad, I know. It was just easier to do it all the night before, and then hand them as they went to the van. Ouch. I have really been taking away some great opportunities for learning.

Question is: Can they do it all by themselves? Should I expect that of them? In what way can I make it easier for everyone, and still have the kids be a part of packing themselves a healthy and balanced lunch everyday?
So, like always...we did a bit of research. 

There are tons of ideas, but knowing me...it had to be truly organized to work. Here is the best one in my books...we will see if it works!

There will be one see bin in the fridge (keep cold items), and one in the cupboard.
Every Saturday, we will shop for the lunch items (or at least they help me make the list, and I shop alone...oh how I love grocery shopping alone!). Then we cut them up..or make them (like hummus)...put them in bags and small containers, and then have them ready for Monday morning.

All they have to do it pick two from each bin and put it in their lunch bag each morning.

Sandwiches are tricky....but who says they need a sandwich everyday? Besides, that is easy to put together in the morning, when breakfast is being made. They already know how to make a sandwich, and they said I could help with the spreading. If they want something hot, they can help me make it in the morning...or we can heat up leftovers and put them in a keep hot container.

Here are our favorites..but there are tons of great lunch ideas out there.

Fridge Bin Ideas
Cut up veggies (carrots, peppers, celery), veggie dip, hummus, yogurt pots, yogurt drinks, cheese sticks and grapes, hard boiled egg, sliced meat, pasta salad and pickles. All other fruit in whole form (apple, orange, banana), they can grab from the fridge.

Cupboard Bin Ideas
Pudding, Fruit cups, Applesauce, granola bars (nut free of course), bear paws, fruit snacks, roasted seaweed, graham crackers, pretzels, beef jerky, raisins, sunflower seeds, muffins, mini bagels, pepperoni sitcks, and crackers. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Kay Wills Wyma...the outline of her 12 month experiment

This is the basic outline to her 12 month experiment....from her book.
These are the things she wants her kids to know and to be able to do by themselves when they leave her home. She introduced one a month for a year. The book is a great read. She is honest about her experiment outcomes, and her stories are hilarious. She makes me feel like we can do this too, and after reading her book, I know it is the right thing to do for my kids.

  • Clutter Control (Bedrooms clean)
  • Kitchen (Meal Planning)
  • Outdoors (yard work, and planting)
  • Working for Money (Part time jobs)
  • Dirty Jobs (Bathroom)
  • Laundry
  • Home Repair
  • Party Planning
  • Working Together
  • Errands
  • Service with a Smile
  • Manners

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The experiment begins

The Friesen Family Experiment begins on September 1, 2013

Scott and I read the book  "Cleaning House...A mom's 12 month experiment to rid her home of youth entitlement" by Kay Wills Wyma. , and have decided to try out the author's experiment on our own children.

In her experiment to get rid of youth entitlement in her home, she wrote down the things she wanted her kids to know when they left home (hopefully at age 18). You can read all about it on her MOAT blog. Then each month, for a year, she challenges them to take on more responsibility and leadership in the home, she teaches them and guides them, and has to constantly motivate them..but all the benefits we read seem to be worth it.

So, with only a few days until Sepember 1st, we had our first family council meeting tonight.
We put three jars in the middle of the table. Each one has a child's name on it, and 30 golden coins inside. (Kay actually puts money inside...but we have decided against this for stealing/cheating reasons). Then, Scott asks them, "Who wants to make more money?"...all three put up their hands, including Luke who does everything his big brothers do. We write down how much they are making with allowance a month, and then give them the awesome surprise that now they can earn up to $30 a month, of course...doubling what they make now. They are all very happy at this point.
We explain that each jar holds 30 gold coins. They only have one job to do, and if they can complete the job every day, they can keep all the coins, and cash them in at the end of the month. That means, no talking about toys/treats/shopping...until the end of the month...they will not have money to spend until THE END OF THE MONTH.  There will be no more allowance. Whoa...this one was harder for them to grasp. HAHAHAHA!
Then, they asked, "Do we have to can peaches?"...Mom has been doing this all week...and they really don't want to help with this. HAHAHAHAHA!


That means, that there is nothing on the floor, and nothing on the bed..they can choose where it goes...but it cannot be on the beds or on the floor when Mom checks in the morning.

If they can do this, they get to keep all the coins and cash them in at the end of the month. If a bed is not made, or something is on the floor, they lose a coin.

I will not remind them, nag them, or make them go back to do it...they just lose a coin from the jar.

There were lots of questions...how well do we have to make the bed? What if Luke puts something on the floor, do I loose my coin? What if the bed is unmade, and the floor is dirty..is that two coins?

If they share a room, they need to help each other keep the floor clean. There is no..."he put it there"...if something is on the floor, Mom will take a coin from each jar. If they don't make the bed, and there is stuff on the floor..they still only lose one coin a day.

So...each child put the jar in their room, and already started cleaning up...in preparation for Sept 1st. I also showed them how I want the beds made (yes..I am a control freak..and this is going to be hard for me!)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Work for Pay Day

A summer day...raining...no more screen time...bored of building lego...what to do?

Work for Pay Day

I made a list of small jobs on the blackboard. Each job is worth 25 cents. When the kids are bored, looking for something to do, or want to make a bit of money, they can do one. I check for a job well done and they get a quarter. The can do as many as they want, whenever they want, throughout the day. And if they think of their own jobs, I will add them to the list.

Wash one window
Clean one toilet
Clean one mirror
Clean door handles
Wash down front of cupboards in the kitchen
Wipe down kitchen chairs
Fold blankets in bench
Dust piano
Fold laundry
Unload dishwasher
Clean light switches
Take out garbage
Sort small basket of Lego

After screens were shut off this morning...I presented the idea, and right away Tyler wanted to clean toilets (can you believe this is his favorite chore?), Zach started on windows and Luke and I did mirrors together.

Later on in the morning, they started quarelling, so instead of a time out, I had them complete one job, without pay. This only happened once, and they caught on.

While Tyler cleaned the door handles, he asked if he could do the closet door handles too...what a sweetheart..I gave him an extra quarter for such a willing attitude.

Later in the afternoon, I offered a trip to the dollar store. I informed them that we would be making a trip to a specific store, and they could spend whatever money made on whatever they wanted. Yep...this doesn't happen very often in our house (usually we have them wait 2 weeks before spending any allowance/money earned..so they can actually think about what they want to buy).

The jobs were done in no time at all, and every one was happy to have the immediate reward. Luke picked a chocolate bar, Tyler picked a nerf gun, and Zach picked cards. Ah...they are so happy. It won't last long, but they are happy right now.

It was a good day, the house is clean, and I hope they learned just how much I actually do around here.