Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Miss C's Beauty Shop

Miss C has been doing my hair for the last half hour. I love the look of intense concentration on her face. Both her & Mr Q stick out their tongues when they focus their attention on something. 

Looks great sweetie. You'll be a pro in no time. :)
Here's the finished 'do. :)

Friday, 19 July 2013

Mother of Invention

We love to camp. Not the 'roughing it, sleep in a tent with rocks & tree roots digging into our backs' type of camping, but the 'sit around a campfire, enjoy nature & the lake being together as a family' kind of camping. 
This is the cabin Grandma & Papa just built for us on their lot at the lake. They put some Murphy beds inside so we can have a spot to sleep when we come camping & they can keep their outdoor stuff inside when we aren't here. 
There is a double & 3 single beds inside. It might be a bit hillbilly, but I'd take it over a tent ANY day. My parents are awesome. 
The kids and I spent the last week camping with Grandma at Meeting Lake while Matt has been working so hard at home & Papa is making hay back at the farm.
 We love spending time with Grandma. She always makes us feel special and loved. 
The kids have been looking forward to this camping trip for a while. The park offers swimming lessons in the lake, so we signed the girls up. The lake has been pretty cold, so they have both been really excited for lessons & dreading them. Monday it was only 15*C & they had 2 hours of lessons between them. Brrr. It was cold & windy for me waiting on the beach, so you can imagine the little Popsicle girls who emerged from the lake when they were done.  Today is the last day of lessons. I'm so proud of my little swimmers. Good job girls!
There is a little mini golf course at this campground. Grandma took us for a round yesterday. I'm glad there wasn't any other players because the kids were all over the place. No injuries with the putters this time, thank goodness. 
Our favorite camping treat is s'mores. The messiest treat is often the best one. Yum.
Have fun camping everyone!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Singing in the Rain

"Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” - Gordon B Hinckley

It was a gorgeous day today. It was 25* C and felt perfect. We spent the morning at the park, playing with a bunch of friends. This afternoon, the girls & I made Rice Krispie squares while Mr. Q took a nap. 
Matt got home earlier than he has been lately & we ate supper together on the deck. The gils were so excited about corn on the cob. 
Miss A did pretty well since she's missing her 3 front top teeth & told us at supper that 3 more are loose...
I think corn will be out of the question if those fall out before any grow in.
After supper the kids started playing their made up Umbrella Game in the yard. One child has the sprayer & the other two have umbrellas. 
The point of the game is for the Sprayer to get the other two wet. The other two try to protect themselves. Every once in a while they trade positions. 
Thank goodness for Dollarama umbrellas because they were completely bent and wrecked by the end of the game.

I loved hearing the giggling voices, and seeing the smiles that were plastered on their faces. Today, we were riding along the top of the most beautiful vista, and I am, indeed, THANKFUL for the ride.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Water Bombing

I woke up with a migraine. The kids were being super noisy, so I thought I'd send them out to play.
I filled a bunch of balloons I had bought at the Dollarama a while back & sent them out to play. 
It lasted all of 5 minutes. 
At least they had some fun.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Jar

Our kids are like most kids. They are quick & happy to comply with instructions when we ask them things like, "Miss A, could you get the tub of ice-cream from the freezer, so I can make you an ice-cream cone?" Or, "Mr. Q would you please pull the sprinkler into the middle of the yard so you can go running through it with your sisters?"
Those type of requests bring swift obedience and acknowledgement. When asking them to put their toys away or to turn off the TV or get their PJ's on, we are often met with deaf ears. We were getting to the point where this selective hearing was driving Matt & I crazy.
My sister attended a parenting class where they suggested catching your kids doing good things, then acknowledge them for it. This is where THE JAR comes in. 
We started off with a family meeting, where we discussed different ways of reacting when we are asked to complete a task. We talked about doing the job thoroughly & quickly, doing it while grumbling and dragging our feet, putting it off for a later time, and ignoring the request completely.
The behavior that I expect from my children is:
1st To vocally acknowledge that I've requested them to do something
2nd To either get the job done or explain why they aren't able to
3rd To keep a happy voice, rather than whining 

We explained that Matt & I would be watching for their reactions over the coming days & weeks. If they are quick to obey, we take a teaspoon of dry rice and pour it into THE JAR. We drew lines on the jar & told them that when the jar was full to each line, they would earn a prize. We let them choose their rewards. They came up with:
1. Ice-Cream Sandwiches
2. McDonalds Playplace & Happy Meals
3. Movie at the theatre & popcorn
I, for one, was glad they didn't pick something outragrous like Disneyland. :) 

They reached the first line and ate the Ice-Cream sandwiches after about 4-5 days. It's so nice hearing the kiddos say, 'Yes, mom. ' when I ask them to do something rather than having to repeat things 13 times. 
They got to go to McD's after another week had passed. This was almost 2 weeks in to our Jar experiment, and at this point I really think their behavior had greatly improved!!
Today, they finally reached the last line on the jar. Yippee!
We saw Dispicable Me 2 this evening. It is such a cute show. They loved their popcorn, and getting to watch the "huge TV" as Miss C said. 
Tomorrow, we dump out the jar & let the kids pick new prizes to receive at each level. Although they are far from perfect, they do listen much better than they did a few months ago. THE JAR works!!!

Do you have any suggestions or experience in improving behavior?