School's Out! School's Out!
Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's official!  Summer is here!  The awards assemblies and end of year parties are all happily behind us.

As of today, Dylan has finished Kindergarten, Ryan has completed 2nd grade, and they now consider themselves a 1st and 3rd grader with all the rights and privileges therein. 

I predict a summer of playing in the sprinkler, camping out on the trampoline, and consuming large quantities of watermelon and lemonade.

In celebration of this school year coming to an end, I'm writing today on  A Letter to My Kindergarten Graduate

May your summer be full of giggles and laughter, and low on "Tell her to quit looking at me."  (Already heard that one at breakfast.)

ABC's and Scripture Memorization
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

click to enlarge

We made these ABC scripture books to give out to all the preschoolers and parents at our most recent Trinity Church StoryTime.

All the scriptures were taken from this website; except they didn't have a scripture listed for the letter "X", so I had to get a little creative. 
If you don't have to make 25 of these like I did, I would suggest making it a project to do with your kids!  Make it hand-written rather than typed.  Let your preschoolers write the letters, then look up the scriptures together before you write them down.  Or for older kids, give them the job of choosing which scripture they'd like to use with each letter!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If you attend Trinity Church, consider becoming a Small Group leader for Elementary Kidsplace!

We're looking for new leaders to work each week with a group of 10-12 kids at either the 10:00 or 11:30 service.  We're asking for a one school year commitment - from August to May.  (With your summer off and two weeks off at Christmas!)

How's it work?

1st thru 5th grade students and the small group leaders all attend the Kidsplace worship experience together.  Hear an engaging lesson, see a skit, sing praise and worship songs, and participate in other crazy fun stuff as a large group.

Following the large group gathering, the kids break up into small groups.  10-12 kids will meet with the same leader each week for approximately 20 minutes.  This will be a time for the small group leader to lead the kids in a discussion about what they learned (discussion questions and/or activity ideas provided!), pray with and for the kids, and invest in the life of a child!

At the end of the school year, you can decide if you would like to make another school year commitment.

    It's small amount of time with a huge return!  Asking a 1st grader how a spelling test went....telling a 5th grader you thought about them and prayed for them through the week....celebrating a soccer win with a 3rd a needed hug and smile to a 2nd grader having a tough week.   Easy.  But so important.

    Email to get signed up!  

    Tick Tock Kids. Tick Tock.
    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Our kids have chores that are "have-to", and other jobs around the house that are "get-to"; meaning if they do the jobs with a good attitude they get paid.  Usually a quarter.  *The chores are constants, and the jobs are handed out arbitrarily, or sometimes when they ask "Is there anything I can do to earn a quarter?" (My middle child is quite the laborer. He asks nearly daily.)  For something really toxic and/or hazardous, like cleaning out and vacuuming my van, they get a bit more than a quarter.  I think last time I paid  $.80.  My generosity is astounding. 

    My new favorite parenting trick:

    "Okay guys!!!  You know your chores HAVE to be done.  They will get done one way or another.  Usually you do your chores without payment, but since I'm feeling charitable if you can work together, be kind, cooperate, and finish in less than 10 minutes it will mean a quarter for each of you. If you don't work together and don't get finished in 10 minutes, you'll still do the chores but you won't get paid.  NOW GO!"

    I like to watch them scurry.  It's also fun to see the younger two kids default to soldier status, taking and obeying orders from their big brother, the Cleaning General.   Amazing what they'll tolerate when a quarter is at stake!

    I simply sit back and watch their feverish cooperative cleaning, randomly yelling out the time left on the clock.  Not a bad way to spend 10 minutes.

    * Many thanks to my friends Cheri and Anne for helping me fine tune the allowance procedures.  I had tried chores charts and other systems in the past, and let's be honest - there's no way I was going to keep up with a chart.  This system my friends shared works for me because I get to live in the moment!  The unpaid chores (bedrooms, playroom, bathroom) the kids know they are to do after school before any TV time.  The paid jobs I just give out randomly.  "Hey Ryan, I need you to vacuum.  Good job.  Here's your quarter."  Boom!  Done!  "Hey Lauryn. Please wipe off the table.  Good job.  Enjoy this ten cents." Moving on with my life!  No charts to check!  "Hey Dylan, I need you to windex and wipe down the front and back glass doors.  Nice. Here's your quarter."    So easy!


    Bright Sunshiny Days
    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    Summer is my favorite.  True summer has not fully arrived yet, I know, but I'm making the most of each sunny day.  If I could find a magic swimsuit that instantly makes me look tan and 20 lbs lighter, summer would be even better.  But I digress.

    Oh warm weather.  Such fun times accompany your sunshiny rays:


    Warm weather baseball is fun.  Way better than cold weather baseball.  We've had both this season - give me heat over cold any day.  

    But win or lose, hot or cold,  it's fun for me based solely on how adorable my boys look.


    Summer means picnics outside with my favorite people.

    Picnics now accommodated by the new and much loved picnic table I just got for mother's day. 

    Summertime desserts.  Yum.


    In Lubbock, fishing amounts to pulling perch out of playa lakes.  Still fun.

    The sprinkler!  Love the sprinkler.

    Make the most of these warm days.  May I suggest a little sprinkler-action in your life soon.


    It's worth watching again: It's Mo. With an M.
    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    My father-in-law just left Lubbock after visiting for a few days.  He made a special trip just to watch the boys play baseball.  Unfortunately, my mother-in-law didn't get to make the trip; and though the kids loved seeing their Papaw, their Mo was dearly missed.

    So to let her know her absence was felt and we were thinking of her, I would like to again post my favorite video of all time. 

    June 14th 2008 - Lauryn is two years old, and has an unfortunate "h" for "m" substitution when she says her grandma's nickname, Mo.

    We'll see you soon Susan!  Aren't you glad Lauryn outgrew that particular articulation error?  

    Fun Kid Food
    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    The boys had some friends over last night, and we made Biscuit Pizzas.  They're easy, fun, the preparation kills some time and the cries of "We're bored!", and after all the culinary excitement their dinner is prepared.  What more could you ask for really?  (A pizza delivery guy, I guess.  No fun in that though.)

    Please enjoy this photo tutorial!!!  Also, a tutorial for this meal is ridiculous!!!

    I feel I must share with you the reason for the raucous laughter happening during Step 3:

    E:  "I have to get a new butt."

    Ryan:  "A new butt? Why!?!?"

    E:  "Because my old one has a crack in it."


    I only let the boys make three each. What was I thinking?  They needed about three times that many.  Luckily I had bought biscuits aplenty so we went back and made another batch.

    I now admit to you that this is my second post about biscuit pizzas. (If you click that link, posted right after we moved here, please note how much my kids have changed since we moved to Lubbock!)  I'm either running out of material or I'm too impressed by biscuit pizzas.


    Cliff Familyt

    I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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