Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How I prepare us for summer.

There were a few summers in a row, that we dubbed "The Summer of Boring." They were... well, boring.  Lame. No fun.  Bland. We had our house on the market three summers in a row as part of that whole boring time, and that stunk too. 

So, this year we made some plans.  Many, in fact.  I don't know what got into me but my BFF would tell you about our many past conversations of being in seasons of being joiners or non-joiners and then she'd look at me and go, "And aren't you the little joiner this summer?"  Then we'd laugh.

We aren't out of school until June 17th but I'm getting us ready now because it keeps me sane to be prepared in advance.  I watercolored three huge monthly calendars (and next summer I will do my best to make them available for you in my shop- I had lots of requests on Instagram when I shared but to be honest, there are just not enough hours in the day.) I slathered them with plans and fun and plans for fun and hung them on the door that opens from the laundry room into the kitchen/hallway.  We have done this almost every summer that we've lived here and it makes it so fun to see the summer-in-a-glance.
My girl Alli is turning 40 this summer.  So I'm squeezing a very rare kid-free overnight into that celebratory event and I'm not sure which one I'm looking forward to more- the 40th birthday party for one of my oldest and dearest friends on this planet... or the overnight without kids.  Toss up. Ha!  There will also be a family reunion where we'll be caravaning over to Idaho with family, staying in a hotel with a pool, and squeezing in a day at Silverwood.  I hear it's loads of fun.  There will be a couple of weeks of swim lessons because one of my hoodlums still can't stay afloat. And it scares me.  (And thankfully I paid for that before the Great Car crisis of 2014. Yeah!)  There will be weekly Friday fun days, already planned out in advance and emailed out to friends and friends of friends. There will be monthly book club meetings for me- let's just call that free mommy escape time.

And finally... there will be weekly accountability meetings on Monday nights with my buddies as we read through "A Heart like His" by Beth Moore- no homework required, just a read on your own as a daily devotional, journal your thoughts then come, sip something refreshing,  and discuss them.  We're also hoping to get the entire 23rd Psalm memorized this summer along with this.  Lovely.   

I'll be working part time this summer at my new job, and I'm crossing my fingers that it all goes well my frist time juggling kiddos and mama's new work schedule. Which leads me to the madness behind this post-  Basically it's my way of getting my ducks in a row nice and early. 

In the mean time, I've got a general schedule up (for the benefit of my Aspie kid who needs structure and order) and ready to go because that's the stage of life we're in.  And I've got a chores for hire DIY project here to share in case you need ways to motivate your small people like I do.  They like to be lazy during the summer... but they also want money for soda.  Well, there's a life lesson somewhere in there I'd say. 

Chores for Hire, DIY: 
 This project took me about five minutes to whip together and then I had to wait for a coat of spray paint to dry.  It's quick and inexpensive and that's the way I like them. Adrain and I have debated on putting actual cash in these clips vs. a ticket for $ or something but I'm leaning toward the instant gratification thing as a motivator. 
 What you will need: 
A thin piece of craft balsa wood (I cut mine to size with a pair of scissors, it was that thin).  I think mine was $2.99 at JoAnn's + a 40% off coupon.
A package of magnets (also used a coupon)
A hot glue gun
Small clothespins (I had mine already but you can get them at JoAnn's or Michael's.)
Printed cards (I typed mine out on the computer, printed, then cut.) with chores you want done, and tickets or dollar bills.
 Line up all of your clothes pins with the ends facing in.  I didn't measure mine but you can if you need to do that for your OCD.  Ha! I just eyeballed a fairly evenly spaced set up and then hotglued them down to the wood.

Flip that over and hot glue your magnets on the backside.  I used six total.
Then hit that with a coat of spray paint and you're done! I hung mine up with our laminated grocery list (you can purchase yours here) and our summer daily schedule. 
 What I like about this, is how easy it is to change the chores according to our weekly needs, and change the monetary values as well.  I'm not gonna lie- there was a buzz of excitement when they saw that "available cash" this morning.

Before I last reminder... have you had a chance to enter the TIKI® Brand GIVEAWAY yet?  If not, hurry on over to this post and leave a comment!!  Their items were so much fun to use and have added such a sweet and festive element to our backyard space, and I'm thrilled that one of you is going to win the package of goodies that I shared in this post! 
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  1. Good morning! Love the Chores for Hire board, what an excellent idea! I think I will add wash vehicles on ours...but we have loonies up here (closest bill money is 5$ and that's too much :) Do you think a magnet will hold a loonie?? I guess I will need to find some strong magnets.
    Thanks for the great idea, love your blog!

  2. Sasha! What awesome ideas!! I love the chores for hire! I think seeing the cash will put a twinkle a kids eyes and motivate them to do a job well done! Brilliant!!

  3. On nights I can't sleep (most nights) I recite the 23rd Psalm to myself. I always started it with "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want" but changed it after reading the Nester's version which starts, "the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need". Much more to the point!

  4. does it sound strange for me to say that i'm proud of you? cause i am. you are such a diligent wife and mama - finding ways to create the best environment in your home for your loves and also working to help provide. you are doing so well, sash, His grace is evident in you. xoxo.

  5. Hmmm the click idea for chores, just not sure how to not make it crazy fighting with 3 kids in the I have to make 3 of them?....LOL Thanks for sharing, I will have to think about this one. :-)

  6. OK...I may have to hack your chores for hire board! Yes, cash is the instant motivator for kids! Love your watercolor calendar, too. You've inspired me to get our summer calendar in order. :) Thank you for all the great ideas as always, and happy summer!

  7. That chore chart with moolah is brilliant. Brilliant I tell ya!!!

  8. What a terrific idea! The instant gratification of cash is brilliant!