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As I mentioned on our Summer Bucket List post last week, we checked off a really big item this summer – we got a dog!

A little back story for those that don’t know - I have not been the dog-holdout all this time…. no, it’s been my husband Nick! He’s been anti-getting a dog, not because he dislikes dogs (he actually likes them a lot), but because he dislikes picking up dog poo. Really though, who doesn’t dislike that?

For the last 18 months or so, the boys (Chase especially) have been in a full court press with Nick to get a dog, and I could see Nick cracking, so I knew it was safe to put getting a dog on the bucket list this summer.

Our intent all along has been to adopt a shelter dog. Not only would we be rescuing an unwanted animal, but I could make sure it was an animal that was already house-broken! Plus, there’s the obvious fact that shelter dogs are far, far less expensive than buying from a breeder or pet store.

We strayed a bit from the shelter plan though, when a fellow Kansas City photographer messaged me about us rehoming one of their dogs. She’d seen my recent post about the boys’ putting “Get a dog” on the bucket list, and said they’d been considering finding a new home for their 8 month old Welsh Terrier, Gus. He was bouncy, craving attention, and really needed a home with younger kids.

I showed Nick the pictures of Gus, told him all about him (house trained! kennel trained! doesn’t shed!), and I saw him crack more. I gave him a few days to think about it, and then pressed for an answer… He was a “yes”! WOOO!

I set up a little meet-and-greet for Gus and the kids, but they didn’t know that’s what was going on. They thought we were just going over so that Anne and I could chat about photography, and them getting to play with a dog was just a cool perk of the outing.

The kids LOVED Gus from the get go! Lily was a little nervous with all of the jumping, so stayed glued to my lap most of the time, but she wasn’t crying (which I was afraid would happen, considering she cried anytime the little dog barked that we dog-sat last summer).

The next morning, I let Nick tell the boys that Gus was going to come live with us. He told them he’d gotten a text from the dog, asking if he could come live with them. Silly guy! The boys went ballistic, and Lily jumped around yelling just because her brothers were. I had a major tech-fail and messed up trying to record the reaction.

For the next 48 hours, if you saw my boys out in public, whether they knew you or not, the first thing they’d say is “Guess what! We’re getting a dog!”, and before you could even ask a question, they followed with “His name is Gus, and we’re getting him Friday after VBC!”.

Gus has been with us for a few weeks now, and everyone loves him, even Nick;)Lily calls him “My Gus” and says “I love my Gus” quite often. The boys run to play with him the minute they wake up in the morning, and we’re all highly entertained when he runs around the backyard, totally acting like a puppy!

Here’s Gus!

Gus - Welsh Terrier
Gus - Welsh Terrier

Name: Gus

Breed: Welsh Terrier

Size: Medium (he’s 20-25 pounds)

Age: 9 months

Work to do still: Break him of jumping on people, digging holes in the yard, and chewing everything in site – but we know these things will take time, especially considering his age!

Expect to see pictures of the kids with Gus in the future! He doesn’t sit very often, especially if any of the kids are nearby. I’ve caught a few, but only with my cell phone. You can see those on my Instagram feed (which you don’t need an Instagram account to view, via that link there)!

Summer has been here for nearly a month now…. how is time flying past this quickly?! On June 2nd the boys finished up their year of kindergarten. Check out how much they changed in just one school year – top is their first day of school and the bottom is their last day!

Triplets | Three Times the Giggles

After picking them up from school, I promptly took all 4 kids to Sonic for an ice cream treat – the start of a new “Last Day” tradition! Yay!

Three Times the Giggles

We also worked on our annual Summer Bucket List!

Summer Bucket List |

On the List:

Get a dog – Done!

Sleepover at Aunt Laura and Uncle Mason’s – Done!

Go to the Sprint Family Fun Days in downtown KC – Done!

Try the new Sonic Slush with Nerds – Done!

Go blueberry picking

Go on a waterslide

Go to an art museum

Get Sonic 1/2 Priced Shakes

Go bowling

Go fishing

Build a fire pit and make s’mores

Ride the Ice Cream Sundae train

Go on a bike ride and take snacks

Diggity Time with Dad for Lily

Do a FaithWork day at church

Date with Mommy – Chase

Date with Mommy – Ty

Date with Mommy – Jackson

Invent a new popsicle flavor

Have lunch with Daddy at church

Learn how to swim (J, T & C)

Catch fireflies

Go mini-golfing

As you can see, they’ve already checked off a few, and the boys are working hard at that “learn to swim” one!
“Diggity Time with Dad” is something the boys do with Nick throughout the year. Each month one of them gets to go hang out with just Nick for a couple of hours. It might be to play mini-golf, or just going to Dunkin’ Donuts for a drink and donut. Lily’s not currently on the rotation though, because she spends her Fridays with Nick during the school year! During the summer though, she doesn’t get as much (if any) one on one time with Nick, so she’ll get a Diggity Time this summer!

I don’t get a whole lot of one on one time with the boys, and thought a friend had a great idea when I saw “date days” for each of her kids on their bucket list! I’m excited to take the boys out individually some evening for some ice cream and chatter:)

And yes, I’ll post pictures of our new dog soon! His name is Gus, and he’s adorable!


Anyone that’s read my blog over the years knows I’m a big fan of changing things up whenever needed. I may be stubborn in a lot of areas, but recognizing whatever once “worked” for our kids is no longer working and needs to be changed is not one of them!

We’ve had many chore/earning/reward systems over the years, starting with the Star Charts when they were 3, and we did several versions of those. Then we moved on to the popular punch cards, which worked pretty well from about age 4.5 to 6. Late last summer though, the punch cards lost their appeal. The boys just weren’t driven enough to do a job, to get a punch, to work towards 10 punches, which then earned them $2. Hmmmm….

Time to change it up again!

Chores for Kids |

Fun, right?! Those little buttons are magnetic, and came from the Etsy Shop MoreThanAMemoryAK. Very reasonably priced, and quick to ship. Nick and I picked out what each should say, and I found the magnetic white board at Target. Boom! New Chore chart and earning system!

Chores for kids|Three Times the Giggles_0001

We also had the boys decorate (with Sharpies) some big glass containers, to use as their banks. We’d been using envelopes before, and the darn things kept slipping behind the dresser!

So we’ve been using this new system for a couple of months now, and they love it! Every Friday is payday, and Chase is scoring big time this week with his. We haven’t capped their earning potential, but I have told the overzealous one to ease up and leave some jobs for his brothers;)

Jobs can be done multiple times a week. Say Chase unloaded the dishwasher on Monday, and then it needed to be done again on Wednesday – I would write “.50″ next to the “Owe” below his name, and move the button back up top to the available section.

Jobs can also be shared! Things like Cleaning the Closet, Cleaning the Van, and Yard Work can easily be multiple kid jobs, so in those cases we’ll split the money as needed (and write it in the “owe” section, rather than moving the button).

All in all, it’s working pretty well! There’ve been times the boys have wanted to purchase something at school (little fundraisers they do), and we tell them they’ve got money to do it themselves. They also all wanted to pledge $1 a month each (for the next 3 years) in our church’s new building campaign. Each month, they go grab a dollar from their jars and bring it to church.

I’m sure I could have found the materials to make buttons myself, but that Etsy shop had them priced reasonably enough that I chose the lazy route. Plus, this way I was supporting another small business! Win for my laziness and win for a small biz!

Disclaimer: The above mentioned Etsy shop and Target have no idea who I am. I just loved what I bought at each and wanted to share! I’ve not been compensated for my opinions.

  • June 20, 2014 - 5:54 am

    Cindy in San Antonio - Sure have been missing these boys and their little sister! Hope you post an update soon!ReplyCancel