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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!

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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

Let’s see…. Lily turned 3 in January, which means it only took me 3 months to finally take her 3 Year pictures! Really though, it wasn’t for lack of trying on my part. She’d seem agreeable to the idea, but then by the time I had things set up, or we were at the studio (starting in March), she’d always shake her head and say “Nah.”.


I’ll tell you this, as a photographer I have a much easier time getting other people’s children to listen to me, than I do getting my own! Getting the boys to sit for even 30 seconds requires heavy bribing (or threatening, which isn’t fun for anyone obviously), and Lily couldn’t care less about bribes still. Basically, unless it’s super, super important to get a picture right then, I don’t push it with my kids anymore. If they say “no”, I drop it. It’s just not worth the drama!

So I waited her out. And waited her out. And waited her out some more.

Oh boy though – all of that “waiting out” was SO worth it! We were at my studio together last week, and were about ready to leave, when I asked if she wanted to wear a “princess crown” and have her picture taken. To my surprise, she said “yes”, and what happened in those next 5 minutes was just magical!

Pretty sure these will be some of my favorite Lily pictures for a looooong time to come.

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Yep. Definitely some all time favorites! Can you all believe how big my little munchkin is getting?!

Don’t forget to sponsor us for our March for Babies walk! It’s next weekend and we have a LOT of ground to make up for our goals of $1,000 and/or a donation from all 50 states. As of this posting, we’re at $305 donated, and you can see where we’re at on our states goal here. Do you have even just $5 to help inch us closer to our goals? The boys have been so excited each time I’ve showed them a new pin on our map!

Sponsor my adorable little preemies here!

  • April 23, 2014 - 3:10 pm

    Amy - Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous! So many amazing shots! Love her personality shining through.ReplyCancel

  • April 23, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    Helen - Thanks, Amy :) ReplyCancel

  • April 23, 2014 - 3:53 pm

    RoseAnne - You’re right – the already beautiful pictures are even more beautiful here than they were on Facebook. Although I love the bottom one, my favorite is the top one – it has an ethereal quality, like a painting.ReplyCancel

  • April 24, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    Cindy in San Antonio - You definitely worked magic in 5 minutes!!!! Beautiful images ! And, no, I can’t believe how big she is getting. So grown up! Thanks for posting these!ReplyCancel

    • April 25, 2014 - 8:31 am

      Helen - Thank you, Cindy! And thank you so much for sponsoring our walk ;) ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    Essie - She is so pretty! You know, I adore my boys, but it is so darn much fun having a girl to do princess things with!!!

    Added Wisconsin to your map. :-) ReplyCancel

I’ve noticed that as the kids get older, life seems to “get away” from me a little quicker. That fact that I finally got around to blogging pictures from July in March would be an excellent example of this.  Anyway, I figured now was a good time to put together a blog updating on all of our randomness. We’ll start with the kids!


Three Times the Giggles

My handsome man Jackson is excelling in school, both in his Kindergarten class and in the 1st grade class he attends for reading and writing each morning. The few times I’ve seen him at school, he’s been quiet, respectful, but also popular among his classmates. When I stopped by his room during Valentine’s Day parties, one of his classmates said “Are you Jackson’s mom? Jackson is really nice!”. Made this mom’s heart quite proud!

Jackson still loves his electronics, and his current obsession is with checking March Madness brackets. Not just his, but his brothers’ brackets, my bracket, Nick’s bracket, Lily’s bracket (yes, we had her do one, see video below), brackets of strangers, brackets from last year’s tournaments, and on and on. He was pretty bummed when I informed him yesterday that no games had been played while he was at school, and therefore no brackets had changed!


Three Times the Giggles

Ty-Guy is also doing well in Kindergarten and the 1st grade room. He seems to be a bit of a ladies man, based on how often he has notes from girls in his backpack! I saw the girls flocking around him when I was in his class for the Valentine’s Day parties too. Cracked me up!

Ty’s developing quite the love of sports, especially basketball. He’s the one that most often asks me if we can go out front to “shoot some hoops”. He loved soccer last fall, and he’s really looking forward to baseball starting up in a couple of weeks!


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Ah, my sweet, cuddly Chase! Chase is doing fantastic in Kindergarten & 1st grade as well, and seems to be well-loved by his classmates. Twice now he’s been picked by his peers as one of the two Star Students of the semester (something only his teacher seems to do). Apparently the kids all vote on who is kindest and most helpful. My sweet boy:)He also is a ladies man, and brings home lots of notes and “gifts” from a few of the girls in his class.

Chase also is quite athletic! He loves playing soccer in the front yard, playing basketball when Nick is home, and is super excited about baseball. He has great hand/eye coordination, and just seem to be a natural when it comes to any of these sports.

Oh, and did I mention he’s still just as snuggly as ever? I still think back in amazement to that NICU nurse predicting he’d be my snuggler!


Three Times the Giggles

Crazy, silly Lily! This girl is 90% fun and silliness and still only about 10% three year old, which is a relief. She’s only at her very worst when tired or sick (which she’s been quite a bit, in the last couple of weeks). She has her moments where the silliest things will send her over the edge (like a banana, which happened earlier today), but after stomping off and crying, she’ll usually come back in 5 minutes or so, ask for a tissue and say “I feel better now, Mommy”. Whew! I am slightly concerned how this emotional stuff will play out in 10 years, but I’m trying to focus on soaking up her cuteness for now instead.

This year the boys asked if Lily could pick a March Madness bracket in our little family challenge, so Nick obliged. Video is below (or here, for you e-mail subscribers)! While in these 30 seconds she only picked the 2nd team, I can assure you there were many other times she picked the first team Nick said. Her random picks were quite good for the first couple of days of the tournament, but then it went downhill from there. Her final pick? George Washington beating Duke, by a score of 5 to 2. HA!

The Adults:

Nick is busy, busy, busy with work, and still loving his job at our church. It’s so hard for us to believe it’s now been just over 9 years since we moved to Kansas City! He also built Lily a twin size bed this winter! I promise I’ll tidy up her room, make the bed, and post some pictures soon. I’m impressed with his emerging skills!

I’ve been busy with my photography business, Faces You Love Photography. In January I happened upon a great little studio space that was for rent, and decided to look into it. It ended up being perfect for what I need (a space to photograph newborns and babies, primarily), and in a location I loved, for a price I could afford. So guess what? On March 1st it became mine!

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Needless to say, moving in & doing finishing touches pretty much consumed my first couple of weeks of March. It’s still not 100% to where I’d like it, but I can shoot there and I love how it feels already. One afternoon, I sat in that glider, with Lily on my lap, and just looked around and soaked it in. It’s just so warm, and bright, and cozy! Totally my new happy place, and I absolutely cannot wait to hold my first newborn session there!

So that’s what’s been going on!

Have you read about our March for Babies goal this year? Donations from all 50 states, whether those donations be big or small! Read about it here, and please consider donating!