Monthly Archives: February 2012

Kids Will Do Anything For A Puffball

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Even though we have so many schedules and routines it takes a lot of work for things to run smoothly around here. Just so you know….I do not do it all myself. There’s no way I could. I would be a) completely and totally exhausted 24/7 and 2) a mean person. To save us all from the heartache everybody pulls their own weight around our house. There are too many people in this house for one person to take care of everything. And everyone in this house is capable of helping out. This is our home and everyone is responsible for helping to take care of it.

So instead of a chore chart we have a RESPONSIBILITY BOARD. I’m not fond of the word chore because it implies that you are going to get paid for doing it and we don’t do allowance. I’m not going to pay you to pick your underwear up and put it in the dirty clothes because it’s something you should do anyway. It’s your responsibility. Now if you want to pick up dog poop or wash the car then yeah, I may give you a little something. But don’t tell the kids that…I won’t be able to afford it. Our responsibility board has the bath schedule on it as well. Their names are magnetic so we can switch them around at the beginning of each week. There is a list of daily responsibilities for morning, afternoon and evening and each child has a weekly responsibility as well. One lucky kid gets a ‘bye’ week. Only because we couldn’t think of a fifth thing for them to do. Leave your suggestions in the comments below. And don’t say vacuuming. I thought about that but I like my vacuum lines to be a certain way and I know the kids won’t do it right. Wait…when I actually say these things out loud it does seem very obsessive compulsive. Anyway, the weekly ‘responsibility’ is also magnetic and we’re thinking about adding more but I can’t let any of the kids do anything else around the house without going behind them and doing it over again. There it is again, did you hear it? Anyway, the board comes in really handy. And it’s super cute too, which as we all know, is what matters the most. Am I right? We also have a reward system to help motivate them to take care of their daily responsibilities. They each have their own jar and they receive puff balls for completed tasks, when they do something super nice for someone or help with something that’s not their responsibility. They’ve all set goals and when they reach said goal they receive their chosen reward. Gary and I had to give them guidelines on what a reasonable reward is. Chalon’s first goal was 20 puff balls for a PlayStation 3. Try again buddy! In the end, they did pretty well.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter how many schedules or responsibility boards we have. If we don’t work together it just doesn’t work. I am only one person and there are 7 living here. It’s just not possible for me to do it all by myself. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m not Super Woman. Thankfully I have a husband who knows that. Gary sees what I do for our family and he values that and appreciates it.

My job in this house is to submit to my husband. I am to put his needs above mine and serve him. Ephesians 5:22-24 says 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. It continues on saying 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.t28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

As I submit to Gary and act as a servant to him he in turn desires for my happiness and loves me with the same sacrificial love that Christ has for the church. He also puts my needs ahead of his own and longs to serve me. It’s this kind of love and obedience that keeps things running smoothly around here. As I said before, the reason why it works for us is we put God first.

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Tissues, Soap, and S’mores…or How To Make Memories

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I grew up as an only child even though I have two brothers. Actually all three of us grew up as only children. We each have different moms and share our biological father. So technically we are only half siblings but let’s not split hairs. I actually didn’t meet my brothers until I was an adult. I knew they existed but had never met them. How we met and grew to know one another is another blog for another day. And this ain’t the day.

I was kinda spoiled growing up. And by ‘kinda’ I mean extremely. I was the first [and only] child for my mom and the first grandchild for my grandparents. Plus, my mom and I moved in with her parents when I was about six months old after my biological father left us. We lived there for 5 years. Needless to say I ended up becoming very close to my Nana and my aunt and uncle, who were both still kids themselves when I came along. At five years old my mom married my new dad. A wonderful man who loved me like his own and proved it by legally adopting me. He’s my daddy and I’m his little girl. I am so blessed to have him as my dad. And as a Papa to my kids. Between my parents and my Nana, who am I kidding…my aunts and uncles too, I was spoiled rotten. The thing is that even though I totally enjoyed all those things that I got I cherish all the memories that I have even more.

I grew up out in the country on a dirt road that only my family [and some family friends that are family too] lived on. We didn’t have cable tv or the internet. We had four-wheelers, a dirt road and the woods. My best friend Brian and I actually used our imagination and played outside. We were ninja’s some days, veterinarians on other days and then we were scientists one day. But only one day. We blew up mom’s bathroom and that was the end of that. So we went back to being ninja’s. We had chickens, horses and pigs. It was my job, at least occasionally to collect the eggs and I learned that roosters aren’t exactly the nicest creatures. The pigs were pretty cool. I would feed them scraps over the fence and I think I even named them. Then one day a big truck came and they loaded the pigs up on the truck. That’s the day I learned what the word slaughter meant. Sad day. I look back on the days of me and Brian exploring the woods, almost killing ourselves on riding the four-wheelers, climbing trees and building forts and wish that my kids could have those same experiences.

Thanks to my parents I was quite the traveler. My dad was in the military until I was in high school and even though we didn’t travel the world we did live in Colorado several times. And I’ve seen most of the United States. I’ve road tripped across the country several times and it was amazing!! From what I understand my grandmother was less than pleased that my parents did such a thing to me. I believe that’s because she was just mad that they were taking me away from where she was. Which is understandable. I’m extremely thankful to have had the opportunities that I had though. I had driven across the country [at least twice], skied the Rocky Mountains, spent the night in Vegas, went deep-sea fishing in the Pacific, saw the Hollywood sign, been to Disneyland [and Disneyworld], went to many Braves games, went to a home Dodger game and went camping in the Rocky Mountains [and lots more]. All before my 16th birthday. How many sixteen year olds can say that? Ok, I know I’m not the only person who’s done that much by that age and I know that some have done more than that. I’m just thankful to have been blessed with the opportunities my parents [and the military] gave me. Those memories will be with me forever and my kids are going to hear amazing stories of things I’ve been able to do and things I’ve seen. I’ll never be able to give my kids those kinds of opportunities. My plan is to give them everything I can. Not material things that will rust and break. But memories that they will cherish forever. I want to give my kids stories to amaze their kids with some day.

Soap Carving


We haven’t road tripped across the country. We have been to Disney World though! Just for a day. But it was the best day EVER!! We don’t need lavish vacations to make memories though. We build fires and make s’mores in the backyard. We fry candy

Best day EVER

bars and Oreos and pickles. We buy bars of soap and carve them into soap sculptures. We tour our State Capital and feed the birds and squirrels [we were mistaken for a school group when we went in for the tour, I took that as a complement about my organizational skills]. We do fun science experiments too. One time we made ice cream in a zip lock bag. Another time we made Mentos fountains and a cool video! We have the coolest kids and we love making memories with them.

Here’s a video Gary made of one of the memories we made with the kids. We bought 8 boxes of tissues, moved the furniture and told the kids to have at it. You can see the confusion on their faces turn into sheer bliss. And one day over Thanksgiving dinner they’re going to say “Remember that time our parents got us all those tissue boxes…….”

Fun With Tissues from Blending Chaos on Vimeo.

Come And Get It

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As I sit here thinking about what to write about dinner at our house I realize that it probably does look crazy and chaotic from an outsider’s perspective. Gary and I fixing plates [side note: that’s what we say in the south. The plates aren’t actually broken just so you know], the kids coming in and out of the kitchen, the fridge opening and closing. I see it all in my mind, sped up just enough to make it comical and the Benny Hill song playing in the back ground.

Our dinner routine has evolved over time to suit our needs. When we were first dating there were only 4 chairs at the table so we had to use a bar stool as well. Which caused arguments over who was going to sit on the stool….and our first schedule was born! Everyone had ‘assigned seats’ at the table [alright, alright…I might be a bit OCD] so the stool just made its way around the table giving each person a turn to sit on the beloved stool. Which I don’t know what the big deal was. It was too high for the table and you had to lean over to take a bite of food. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, dinner routine. The table was only large enough for four, five with the stool, so Gary and I would feed the kids first and play waiter while they ate. Once the kids were done we could enjoy a peaceful dinner, and I use the term peaceful very loosely. This routine continued on for quite a while. We still use it when we have our friends over so the adults can sit together and converse over the meal and the kids can run off and play. However, we now eat together as a family every night!

Our first meal as a family was on Memorial Day. Gary had made the best looking ribs, I made potato salad and baked beans…the whole nine yards. The food looked fabulous!! Gary looked at the ribs and then looked at me and said “We’re all eating together today. There is no way I’m going to sit and watch them eat these ribs and have to wait on mine.” So we had our first meal together as a family, all at the same time! All joking aside, Gary and I truly value our faith and family and we decided that we needed to start eating our meals together as a family to reflect that.

Our dinner routine runs rather smoothly I think. When dinner is almost ready we call one of the kids to set the table. Depending on the type of dinner we have we either go ahead and fix [prepare for you northerners] the kids plates and put them on the table. Usually the child that sets the table helps with this part too. Sometimes we put all the food on the table “family style” and serve them there. If we have tacos or something like that we either call each child to ask for their preferences or send a child to take orders just like a waiter. Don’t laugh, it works. I even write their names on the edge of the paper plates with my sharpie sometimes to keep track. Those of you who know me are laughing now because they know all about me and sharpies. You are aren’t you? Once all the plates are ready and everyone is seated we say the blessing and enjoy our time together. Sometimes the discussions are silly, sometimes intriguing. Some nights we have wonderful discussions about right and wrong, our faith and how great life is. And we almost always learn something new about each other. One by one the kids finish and ask to be excused. We have to be a little strict here because we have a few who like to inhale their food so they can return to their xBox game or television show or drawing or whatever. They know up front that if you finish first you will have to sit and visit for a little while before being excused. So you may as well slow down and actually taste your food. Everyone clears their own spot putting their cup in its spot on the counter (yes, I even have a certain place for their cups to stay), trash in its place and the dishes in the sink. Then a child wipes down all the place mats and puts them away, wipes the table and pushes in all the chairs. Gary and I are left to clean the rest of the kitchen but together we knock it out in no time. Plus, it gives us time to chat and I really cherish that time. On the weekends, school holidays and summers we do the same for breakfast and lunch except I’m doing it alone sometimes. Those meals are a little more laid back but still pretty much all the same rules apply.

Our friends are amazed at our dinner routine. They watch in awe as we float around the kitchen, and each other, as we spoon food onto plates, pour drinks and herd five kids to the table. The real challenge is finding something everyone likes to eat. Especially when you’ve got two picky eaters in the family. One day I’ll share with you the many ways to serve pasta with butter and plain hotdogs. I’m sure you can’t wait to share those recipes with your friends and family.