Sunday, April 20, 2008

Our "new" reward system--starting tomorrow.

For a while I've been rewarding the girls for good behavior by giving them "gems" (little glass beads). When they earn a certain amount, they get a reward. First they were working together to earn dishes I bought at IKEA. I didn't want to just give them to them, I wanted them to take good care of them because they had worked hard to earn them. That system worked well...and continues to work well--although I've now made it so they're not working together but on their own for their own rewards (it seemed like Savannah was doing all the earning and Abby was doing all of the losing!).
Anyway, I've collected a nice little selection of items (puzzles, glow necklaces, balloons and other cool stuff) from the Dollar Tree and the $1 section at Target. When they earn 20 gems, they get to choose something. If they do something naughty, they can also LOSE their gems. It's working okay, but I wanted a way to make it more effective. So this is what I've come up with:
I'm going to make a list of all they things they can do to earn gems. Basically it's doing anything to bless another person. Whether it be obeying quickly and cheerfully, getting up in the morning quietly and not waking me (that's a great one!), clearing each others dishes, etc. I just bought them each a piggy bank at Dollar Tree. On Monday, I'm going to give them each $2 in nickels. Every time I have to pick up something of theirs, ask them more than once to do something, nag about anything, yell about anything, etc...they lose a nickel. I'm tired of losing my temper and getting frustrated because they're NOT developing good habits. This way they'll get positive AND negative reinforcement. They can earn the gems for toys and earn money to spend on whatever they want. We'll see how it goes, but I'm rather hopeful. I'll post back in a week and update on how this is working...wish me luck, and prayers are ALWAYS welcome!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

At least I have a "B.F.F."...or two.

Everytime I talk about a friend or a neighbor, Jeremy jokingly says, "Oh, is she your B.F.F.?" (Best friend forever for those of you who are totally out of it!). I was commenting tonight about how I don't have a B.F.F.. The Lord has seemingly taken away all of my good friends that I've had in the neighborhood (the only kind of friends at this stage in my life that I have ever been able to spend any amount of time with). Perhaps He's telling me to lean more heavily on HIM instead of people?!?! Hmmm... Anyway, Savannah looked at me and said, "Mommy, I'll be your B.F.F.!" sweet can she be? Then my darling little fuzzy headed Abby chimes in, "Yeah me too...and I want to marry you!" Of course Savannah snickers and Abby says, "Oh yeah, you're a girl, okay...I'll marry daddy!". Awwwhhhh. Honestly. What sweet, sweet little precious blessings we have. That really cheered me up...afterall, those are the BEST B.F.F.'s any mommy could ever ask for...and I pray that when they get older they still want to be my B.F.F..

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ey, Ey, Ey....

Luke has a new little quirky habit. When he wants something, he reaches for it and says, "ey, ey, ey" (like I, I, I)...think obnoxious seagulls on Finding Nemo, though rather than "Mine", he's saying "Ey". Hahaha...yes it's cute, but also SUPER obnoxious because he starts out wanting one give it to him, he throws it down and reaches for something else. He's working on tooth #2 now and had me up for a good portion of last night...please pray for good sleep all around. I'll get to updating more soon...right now I'm just trying to stay afloat...why is it that life goes in cycles like that? Maybe it's because those times when I feel like I'm not drowning I take a break from all of the stuff that stresses me out...and then all of a sudden I have to make up for everything I've put off and I feel like I'm drowning as a result...Hmmmm...seems as if I could use a bit more consistency too, Sage! *wink*
For that reference you'll have to visit my friends blog at
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Still working on the "perfect" picture...

I've been chatting with an online friend of mine who does professional photography. Her website is here: Natasha Chalker Photography. She does some really beautiful work and I've been getting a few basic tips from her. I don't know anything about actual photography, other than I really like it and it's definitely something I'd like to pursue. Anyway, I'm going to try to learn some more of the photography basics-thankfully Jeremy also took a photography class in high school, so he knows a bit of the basics-and will work on getting some good shots--hopefully they'll get better and better. For now, here's a couple more I took of the cutie pies.

Note the drool on Luke's chin...he's getting another tooth

This is Savannah's future husband, Ethan. She says she's going to marry him because he's the only Christian in the neighborhood...I guess at least she's got that part right!

Friday, April 4, 2008

One More Photo...

I really like this one, it's just precious

Thursday, April 3, 2008

My Artistic Photos....

Abby perched in the tree

Savannah wanted in on the photo-taking action

My handsome young fella

Daisy kitty--isn't she pretty? Even if she is responsible for that scratch by Luke's eye.

We have 2 digital cameras. One takes FABULOUS pictures (it took these ones), but it's horrible for action's WAY too slow. Our other one takes better action shots, takes great quality video and can zoom way in and has a great image stabilization feature. I need a camera that does ALL of this in one. I need recommendations!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Twinsies... doesn't get much cuter than this! (Okay, now let me extract my tongue from my cheek!) Hahahaha!!

We have a tooth!

Yesterday I looked into Lukes mouth and saw that the tooth was RIGHT there, just under the gum...lo and behold, this morning it's popped through!! So finally at 1 year, 1 week and 1 day old, he's got a tooth (on the bottom left)!!

Here are some photos from his birthday party. We had it on Saturday the 29th. We had Lynne, Mandy, Josephine and Felicity over to celebrate with us (those are all neighbors, by the way). Luke got $15 from Lynne, Mandy and Josephine, a play cell phone (which the girls have commandeered), a set of keys that make fun noises (using money from Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma Simpson) and a shovel, bucket and car for the sand (using money from Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma Troyer). So Luke is now set. We had chocolate cake with sprinkles and I don't think he was too terribly fond of it...but he did like the Chicken Parmigiana that I made. He ate lots of that.

I have to make a note here that I've discovered Lukes favorite food: BLUEBERRIES. He eats them hand over fist...he loves, loves, loves them. It's funny because a while back I gave him a strawberry and he really liked it, but last night I gave him strawberries AND blueberries and he threw all of the strawberries on the floor. He also loves mango. The other day I took him to Whole Foods with me and they always have samples of their produce sitting out, cut up and all...he could not get enough of the raspberries, blueberries and mangoes. Yes, actually raspberries may be his absolute favorite, but they were $2 more per pint, so I didn't buy any. Next time I see them at Costco, I'll have to snatch them up.

Today Savannah got a new bike. Abby has gotten too big for her bike and so we gave Savannah's bike to Abby and got Savannah a new one (trying to make the biggest bang for our buck). I told Abby if she wants, we'll get her a new one for her birthday. Now we can get back into taking our walks...we've been having so much fun, but Abby didn't want to ride anymore...I can't blame her, poor thing had to turn her little legs around about 12 times before she went a foot!

Luke just looked up at Jeremy and said, "DADA" super clearly! Awwwhhh! This age is so fun, there's always so much stuff going on. I was just thinking today, "Man, I'm tired all of the time, what's the deal?" And then I realized...I'm the mommy to a little BOY! EEK!! Yes, he's definitely embracing his boy-ness lately. He's into taking things apart, checking out how they work...he loves balls, wheels, cars, tractors...and is very interested in how all of the pieces go together. And he's discovered the stairs, and how fun they are to climb. Every chance he gets these days, he jets for the stairs. Unfortunately he hasn't learned how to come down too well yet, so I'm nervous letting him go up...unless of course I'm right behind him.
So yes, that's why I'm tired all of the time these days. Gone are the days of plopping him in one spot and letting him play happily for hours. Those days were wonderful while they lasted.

So that's what's new for today. I'm off to enjoy this beautiful, slightly overcast but warm afternoon!