And, they’re off!

Clark started school today.  Grant starts tomorrow.  Natalie starts next week.  I tried really hard to be as organized and ready as possible, and so far, so good.  Look how grown up my sweet Clark is.  He lost his front tooth just in time to start 2nd grade.

So I turned over lunch-making responsibilities to the boys for their own school lunches.  I made these boxes of different food categories.  They take one of each, make their own sandwich, and put in the fridge for the morning.  Then I don’t have to worry about it.  It’s part of their evening routine, along with laying out clothes for the next day.  They’re excited, I’m excited.  Hope it works.

And our new schedule/routine is up.  Thanks to Allison for her cool, free people clipart.

Also, about the backtalk problem we’ve had around here, I’m moving forward on a suggestion by my dad while he was visiting.  We just give them a hard-labor job when they are disrespectful.  Today Natalie had a sassy-fit and ended up outside in the yard with a hat and some gloves and was told she could come in for dinner when the bucket was full of weeds.  Just seeing her out there in the yard picking weeds kept the boys on their best behavior for the rest of the night.

I just want to say that, despite my expressions of deep frustration in the past, we have had several weeks in a row of really nice Family Home Evenings.  We still do a lot of policing (“Sit down.”  “Don’t touch each other.”), but we’ve had good gospel discussions, we’ve shared testimonies and experiences, and we’ve felt the Spirit.  I don’t say this to rub it in; I was hoping it might give people some hope that there is life after death-by-Family-Home-Evening.  I’m guessing we’re in a temporary “moments of joy” stage that Elder Ballard testified would come amid the frustrations.

In other news, I had the opportunity to speak at my ward’s youth Standards Night fireside last night.  A couple thoughts about the experience:  1) When you plead with the Lord to help you do something that feels a little overwhelming, He does.  Help you, I mean. 2) While I was studying For the Strength of Youth’s guidelines about Entertainment & Media, I felt the Spirit telling me that he’s been trying to tell me for quite a while that a couple of my favorite shows have gone downhill, and maybe it’s time to let them go.  So I am.  Yes, I’ll miss them, but my life won’t be empty without them.  I only had 2 or 3 shows I followed anyway, so maybe I’ll have time to work on some more important stuff now.  Since I committed to drop them, I already feel something different.

Anyway,  have a great week.  And best wishes to all you back-to-school moms.  We will survive.  Right?

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15 thoughts on “And, they’re off!

  1. I think the quality of television is one of the reasons why I just don’t watch much tv anymore. But I LOVE your schedule idea! I am going to make one up tomorrow!
    My husband’s parents never really gave them an allowance. Instead, they gave the kids lunch money for the entire week, but kept the kitchen stocked with lunch items. If they would make their own lunch, they’d get to keep the money for other uses. We may start this practice when the kids get a little older. And if I can get my act together, the kids are going to make many of their own lunches. They are certainly capable of doing so!

  2. All the best with the new hustle and bustle of morning routines! (oh to sleep in again!)

    My kids have been contributing to make their own lunches for a while now (I think I may have already told you). As they get older, they move up a responsibility.

    My 10 year old makes the rolls/sandwiches/pita bread pizzas for everyone
    My 8 year old puts the snacks/crackers/cookies in everyone’s lunchboxes
    My 6 year old puts the fruit out for everyone.
    This is all done in the morning.
    I’m usually on hand to cut up fruit, and help out where needed.

    Your routine sounds great! My friend used to do the lunches the night before too.

    I have recently started some routines (to combat chaos!). I am just trialing them, so I can tweek what works and what doesn’t. (It always looks so good on paper, but actually doing it ALL is another story!)

    How are you finding the daily homework with multiple children?

  3. Love your ideas! I want to learn more. We started a great chore routine this summer, but now that school has started, there isn’t much time for chores in the morning. What chores do you have your kids do before school? And I’d love to know what “ticket time” is. Thanks!

    • I don’t have a chore schedule yet, and I’m not sure if I will, but so far I just ask them to do a job for me that I need to have done. This morning Clark unloaded the dishwasher and Grant cleaned the downstairs bathroom.

      “Ticket time” basically means media time. They used to earn an actual ticket to turn in for 30 minutes of TV or computer. I don’t actually use the tickets now, but the name stuck. If they get all their morning preparation and chores done then they earn their after-school ticket time. If not, they can finish the jobs after school instead of ticket time.

      I also ask them for help around the house in the afternoon as needed. Today they had to put away their basket of clean laundry and clean up the kitchen counter after snack, for example. Hope that helps clarify.

  4. My girls have been making their own lunches since first grade. We use the Main dish/sandwich, fruit, drink, snack approach for the lunches. As they have gotten older, the teachers all have microwaves and will let the kids heat up leftovers in their lunches. the girls love that one! I love your way to handle sassiness. I am so implementing this one when I get home next week. Hopefully, I will get lots of help done around the house!! (Heaven only knows they are sassy enough!) Family Home Evening always has ups and downs, although now that they are getting older, it is mostly full of ups! That is what makes it so wonderful.

  5. We still have a couple of weeks until school starts. Luckily for me, all my kids start on the same day. How frustrating to have three different first days of school!

    Love the idea of hard labor for back talking. I’m going to start that, I think. Except our big problem is whining.

  6. I think I’m kind of in love with your idea for lunches. Hmmmm…………..

    Love your schedule, too. And the back talking labor. You are just so smart!

    Happy first days of school! We still have a couple weeks, but I’m kind of glad about that because I’m getting all kinds of great ideas from the blogosphere. 🙂

  7. TV shows? What is that?! 🙂 Just kidding, about 8 years ago, I was watching TV with my kiddies and realized that the adverts in between were really not appropriate for my kids. Then dh and I realized we were watching stuff that was not appropriate as well…so we haven’t had TV since then.

    Last year it was music and DVD’s…I can only guess what we will grow to realize as we finish this year… 🙂

    Good luck with school. If only I had that system when my kids were in public school…maybe I would have liked lunch better.

  8. I must be back talking all the time because it seems I have hard labor duties all day long. 🙂 Sometimes I wish I could just be in time out, but my children can’t leave me alone long enough for me to do that.
    And about FHE, I’m grateful we are asked (invited, encouraged, commanded) to have it weekly because there has been a total of about six minutes in our entire 14-years- with-children-FHE-existence that I have actually thought that MAYBE there is Love At Home. (So I exaggerated a little . . . five and a half minutes). My husband, bless his family, had FHE once. ONCE!!! After that experience, his father said, “NO MORE!” So Kudos to all of us who do it week in and week out . . .

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