My Job Chart

Monday, February 28, 2011

A few weeks back, I came across a fabulous website on another blog (unfortunately, I can't remember which one).  I'm always looking for ways to get the kids to do their chores without me hounding them, and I thought this might be my answer.


After a few weeks of using this site, I must say I'm really liking it! 

The way it works is that you create an account for your family, then create chores and assign them to family members.  You can also assign a point value for each chore, and then translate that into a dollar amount.  Once the kids have completed their chores for the day, they log on to the website and mark them as completed.  They can always see a running total of the number of points (money) that they have earned.  (Oh, and bonus, it will send you an email every night - or however often you'd like - telling you what chores have been completed.)  And because I'm a terribly mean mom, my children also know that it's their responsibility to mark their chores completed.  If they're not marked, I won't know how much to pay them.

Since the kids are very technologically savvy, I thought this might make the whole chore-thing a little more fun than normal.

What I enjoy about it is that I don't nag the kids to the do their chores.  They know what they are (and if they forget, they're right there on the computer) and they have a choice to do them or not.  Of course, if they don't do them, they don't get paid.  Also, if one of them doesn't complete their chore by the time I get home from work, the other child has the opportunity to complete it for them, and bank their money.

Taylor is loving this!  He's always wanting to save up his money for something, so this is really helpful.  He's really connected the idea of working for money in order to purchase something he wants.  In fact, he promptly paid up when I helped him purchase a wrestling match on his iPod Touch.


Ashton, on the other hand... well, she's almost a teenager.  She wants the money to buy things, but she's not yet felt the sting of "if you had completed your chores, you would have enough money to buy that".  It will happen though, I'm sure.

So what about you all?  Did you have chores growing up?  Do your kids have chores now?  How do you get them to accomplish their chores without constantly nagging them?  (Or is that just me? LOL)


12 years.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yesterday I ended up with an unintentional 3-day weekend, courtesy of strep throat and an ear infection.  Luckily, though, after 3 doses of antibiotics, I was feeling like a new person and we were able to keep our plans to celebrate our 12 year anniversary.

Joey took me to dinner at Paesanos - a place that we never go because we could eat anywhere else 3 times before we'd reach the amount we'd pay to go to Paesanos.  But, we had a gift card and an anniversary, so we went for it.

It was a beautiful night so we sat outside beside the pond.

(Please love the "ghost" behind Joey's head.  We haven't had a hard freeze in SA in over a week - and none forecasted - but they still have all of their plants covered.)

Look at the huge fish in the pond!  We enjoyed watching them and tossing in the occasional bread crumb as well.


Of course, we had to take the obligatory self-portrait.

I ordered the Shrimp Paesono and it did not disappoint.


But I have to say, Joey's steak was the best I'd ever had.  Seriously, so good!!


After dinner we went to see Unknown. (Such a great movie!) 

We had a great evening together, just relaxing.  Dinner was wonderful and the movie was great.

Happy anniversary, baby.  I love you!


House updates.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Slowly but surely, we've been hanging a few things on the walls and adding some accessories. Joey and I are both minimalists, so we don't like a lot of stuff. In our own house, it just feels like clutter.

Although we disagree sometimes on what is considered clutter.  Thus the Throw Pillow Debacle of 2011. We shall not speak of this.

Here are a few progress pics.

Let's begin in the dining room. Here's what we started with:


Here's what we have now:

(In case you want to know, the mirror, canvas on the opposite wall (below), and the centerpiece all came from Ross. I ordered the rug online at rugsusa.com.)

I still need to get some decorative balls to put in the centerpiece, but overall, I'm really happy!


Moving on to the kitchen.  Here's where we began:


And what we have now:

(Please ignore the step stool and chips. Decorating makes me hungry.)

All I've done is add the under cabinet lighting and the accessories above the cabinet.  You might recognize some of the accessories as previous wall art in the old house.  Use what you got, right?  And if you don't have enough, then go to Ross!  And Hobby Lobby to shop the clearance section.

These are the biggest changes that we've made so far, other than the backyard, which I still don't have pictures of.  We've done small things here and there, but I'll hold off on showing any of that until it's more substantial.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I'm spending mine building that media console.



Work bench.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

(Sorry for the lame title, but I'm a little off my game.)

By now, you're all probably aware of my new found love for DIY, home improvements, and wood-working.  I haven't had a ton of time for any of this since we moved, but my next big project is looming... since our living room is in desperate need of a media console.

But before I can build this:


... I needed a place to work.  So dad came over on Sunday and we built a workbench.  He had already built one in his own garage, so we figured it would be pretty easy.

Let me state now, in case you're wondering - Nothing is ever easy.  But we got it done, so let me walk you though it.

Step 1: Drag your husband to 2 different stores to get all the supplies.  Take a picture of how cute he is pushing that cart.


Step 2: Put on your safety glasses.  Safety first, people!


Step 3: Put your power tools to work.


Step 4: Make sure it's level... and hope it doesn't fall on your head in the process.


Step 5: When it's all complete, take a hideous picture in front of the finished product.


Thanks, Dad, for helping me get this done.  I'm super excited to start on my media console!




Illumination.

Monday, February 14, 2011

On Friday I showed you the beginnings of a project that I was working on.  I was frustrated that I couldn't finish it on Thursday, but you better believe that it was totally completed on Friday!

I'm so excited about how it turned out!

So, are you curious about what I did?  I installed under-cabinet lighting in my kitchen! YAY!

Before:

After:

Seriously.  Doesn't that just make a huge difference?!?

This was actually a much more time & labor intensive project than I expected (after reading several blog posts with "how-tos"), but I'm so proud that I did it all by myself.  I absolutely love the way it transforms my kitchen.

What do you think?


I can't do nothing.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Yesterday afternoon, I posted this as my FB status: "Excited to go home, make dinner for the kids, and then do absolutely nothing. I haven't done nothing in quite a while."

Several people "liked" my status and my dad even called and wished me a good evening of doing nothing, but I should have known.

YOU should've known!

I can't do nothing.

This is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that if there's something that needs to be done, it will get done. On the other hand, the curse is that I can't let something sit. I can't rest if there's something that needs to be done. (FYI, there's a lot that needs to be done when you move into a new house.)

Granted, last night wasn't a need, but I have a project that I desperately want to get done, so I gave it a go.

And didn't get it done. That's the worst.

Want a hint?

Yes, that is a giant hole in my pretty, new cabinet.

Yes, that is an attempted hole in my pretty, new cabinet.

I was pretty frustrated that I couldn't complete at least part of my project, but I plan to remedy that this evening so hopefully I'll be back next week with finished project pics.


Stephanie cooks: Banana Muffins

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The last time Izzy came to visit, she made the most wonderful banana muffins.  I've been begging her for the recipe ever since and I finally had a chance to make them earlier this week.  They are so moist and so tasty!  After I baked them and let them cool, I froze them.  They make a quick, easy breakfast - just wrap the frozen muffin in a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.

Breakfast!


Banana Muffins

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large extra ripe banana
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


How you make it:

  1. Heat the oven at 350 °F.
  2. Mix together the yogurt and baking soda and let sit for a few minutes. 
  3. In a separate bowl (or stand mixer), mix together butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and bananas until smooth. (It's ok if you still have banana chunks.) 
  4. Add the yogurt/baking soda and keep mixing.
  5. In another bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder.
  6. Add to the banana and yogurt mixture. (Don't add it all at once, pour in about 1/4 of the flour, let it blend in, and then pour some more.)
  7. Pour into a greased muffin pan.
  8. Cook for about 20-25 min. (For a loaf pan, it's 45-55 min.)



Let's rodeo, y'all!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This past weekend, we took the kids to the rodeo. They've been looking forward to it for quite a while, so when they had finally worn us out with all the "is it time yet?" questions, we headed out.

First, we hit up the carnival.

Ashton chose the first ride (the giant swings), but Taylor wasn't too sure about that, so he waited with us while Ashton rode.


Then Joey and Taylor headed to one of Taylor's favorite rides, which he remembered from 2 years back, The Himalayan.


Ashton and I used the wait time for a photo op.


Then, of course, I had to make the kids pose for me. It's just classic carnival, right?!?


Next, we had a much needed break with the most important part of any carnival experience: Funnel cake!


Once we refueled with some good 'ole carnival food, Taylor found the bumper cars.


Ashton was pretty brave and rode quite a few of the classic carnival rides.  You know, the ones that as adults, you're certain will not make it through a complete ride without falling to pieces.  However, I put my fear aside and let Ashton ride, and no children were harmed in this carnival adventure.

Funny though... I think the kids' favorite part of the carnival were the Fun Houses.  They went in every one, multiple times.


When we could no longer feel our fingers or toes (because it was FREEZING!) we headed in to see the actual rodeo.  The kids had a blast and Taylor loved the bull riding.

Lady Antebellum was the feature concert and they were good, but I just don't think the venue is very good for concerts.  At least not when you're sitting up near the ceiling.  And since they didn't go on until almost 11, I knew we wouldn't make it through much.  Taylor was fading fast, so we headed out after about 5 songs.

And Taylor declared it the "best day of his life!"  (Ashton enjoyed it too - a lot - but she's too cool to make such a public declaration.)


Inside.

Monday, February 7, 2011

So, last week I teased you all with some pics of us moving into the house. I wasn't intending to tease, I just didn't want the post to go on forever, so I stopped before adding any of the inside pics with furniture.

We've been in the house for just over a week. We have nothing on the walls and still lack some significant pieces, such as a coffee table and end tables. However, if I wait until we have everything done, there may never be pictures posted.

So, without further adieu...

Living room - looking from kitchen.  The breakfast room is to the left. (I have grand plans to make this for under the TV.  It won't be turquoise, of course, although I do love it.  I'd also love to hang some really tall curtains on the outside of the windows, but you know, they're expensive.  So they must wait.)

Living room - looking from master entryway.  (We still need to get a coffee table and end tables, but haven't really found anything that we love.)

Kitchen - looking from living room.  Breakfast room is on the right. (Those bar stools have since been replaces with shorter black stools.)

Breakfast room - looking from kitchen. Living room is to the right. (Sorry it's so dark.  This area rug will be under the table as soon as it comes in.  Although it makes for some dark pictures, one of the things I love most about this house is all the windows.)

Master bedroom - looking from the entry.  Bay window to the left, master bath to the right.

Master bedroom - looking from master bath.  (My jewelry armoire has since found a new home in the closet.)

Dining room - looking from foyer (that's sound so formal, which it's not, but I don't know what else to call it). (Again, sorry it's so dark.  This area rug will soon be under the table.  Also, the light fixture will be moved and centered over the table.  I'll never understand why the builder chose that location to hang the light.)

These are all the pics that I've taken so far.  I didn't take any pics of the kids room or kids retreat, or the study.  So I guess I need to do that!

And feel free to toss out any decorating ideas.  I'm all ears!


let's get acquainted

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THE Stephanie
I’m Stephanie - wife to one extremely handsome cop; mother to two extremely silly kids. The hubs and I have been married since February ’99. I love him more each day and simply can’t get enough of him. My daughter, Ashton, is 12 going on 17. She’s beautiful, creative, smart, and oh, so sassy. Taylor, our son, is 8 and is so much like his daddy it’s scary. He makes me laugh all the time with the silly things he says and does. He won’t remember what you told him 5 minutes from now, just like his daddy. I love to laugh and spend time with friends and family. I’ve also recently discovered a love for cooking and enjoy sharing recipes. I love finding new blog friends, so be sure to leave a comment so I can do the same!
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