Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Creative Time Out

I know everyone is busy, but I just can't seem to catch my breath.  I'm taking a little time out - a week or two, to try to get ahead of some things.  I'm tired of just putting out fires instead of being able to prevent them.
I've got about 3 projects always circulating around my home.  I can't wait to share!  See you in a bit.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Grateful Sunday

Twig & Thistle
 Have I ever mentioned that I work with the Young Women (girls ages 12-18) in my church?  I am so grateful to get to be around them so much.  I am impressed with them.  I love teenager girls and I think they get a bad rap.  They are not what the TV and movies portray them to be - self centered, emotional, and mean.  I find that they are helpful, willing to serve, friendly, and kind.  I love it!
I also love working with the other Young Women leaders.  They are exactly the women who I would want to be teaching my daughters about values and being a women. 
I am so grateful for this opportunity to be surrounded and supported by such amazing people!

If you haven't entered the little giveaway, you still have time!  The odds are pretty good!

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Little Giveaway!

It's Friday - the sun is shining (as always in Colorado), I'm having a girls night with my 2 favorite little girls, I ran 2 miles straight today - the first since getting plantar fasciitis, the fabric for my office drapes is perfect, my hubby is super cute . . . I'm in a good mood!  Let's have a little fun!

In August, I interviewed Dr. Jennifer Salzer, a renowned dentist.  How fun it was to hear that she is also one of the creators of BRACED-LETS!  These are fun, durable, and wearable bracelets made entirely out of real orthodontic materials.  Braced-lets have become all the craze with the younger set this summer with kids and adults alike collecting the new colors, coming up with new color combinations, etc.  They are not only chic fashion accessories, but great everyday reminders to take care of your teeth (a message Dr. Salzer champions)!

Lucky us, they sent us a set to try out and a set of 7 in random colors to giveaway!  My daughter has gone crazy over them, as have all her friends.  When I told her that one of the sets was to give away, she told her friends that she could give them away.  They 4th grade girls were very disappointed to hear it was a giveaway on this blog!  They will snatch them up in a heartbeat if there is not a big turnout for this giveaway!  They are super fun and make me smile! 

It's little - but fun.  Just perfect for this weekend.
To enter:
1.  You MUST be a follower to enter - so click on my sidebar if you aren't one already!
2.  Leave  me a comment!

How simple is that?  Good luck - have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Schoolwork Memory Bins

Our kids have been in school for over a month and I'm finally updating their schoolwork bins.  I thought I would share, but since I'm a little protective about my kiddos names, you get to see the backside.  Rest assured that the bins are properly labeled!  I thought I had already written a post about this years ago, but I can't find it.  I think it was a guest post somewhere else.  Sorry if this is old news to you!

I have three of these bins, even though my little one isn't in school yet.  There is nothing fancy about them - they are just hanging file bins.  I chose legal-sized hanging files.  When my kids are little, the artwork they bring home is bigger.  A letter sized file wasn't going to do.

Each file has the grade and the teacher's name.  On the front of each file, I glue a picture of the first day of school.  I also have them write their name and glue that to the front (but I peeled it off for the picture).  I'm not a huge saver, especially when it comes to school papers.  I. is in 4th grade and she has only filled up about half  her box, maybe a little more.  I'm hoping that these will definitely last through elementary school and then some.

My girls get bows and my bow gets a belt - G. doesn't do bows.

These have worked so well.  It is easy to file papers, it is easy to get papers out and look at them.  We keep these in the basement.

This is how we conquer the school work papers.  There are a lot of papers that we look at, give high fives for, and then toss them in the trash - a lot!  My daughter is a gifted artist and makes beautiful drawings, but there is no way that I can save them all!  She makes at least one a day!  She's getting old enough to help me edit them.

How do you organize your children's school papers?

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Ikat Drapes

When we first moved in our home, I hung these drapes on our sliding glass door leading out to the backyard.  I had purchased them off eBay and they were never what I wanted.  BUT . . . there were so many other things to do in our brand new home, that these just stayed.  They are a creamish color with a floral print.  I hung them on a double rod with sheer drapes behind.

When I took them down and told Tom that I never like them, he had no idea.  Why did I have them up for so long?  What's wrong with them?

But, on a whim, I purchased some black and white ikat fabric and just sewed some new ones!  Suddenly, it became very clear how much I didn't really like the old ones.

They give this room just a pop of personality - not much, but enough.

They make me smile from every angle!

And although, I hung them up and my husband told me that they are way out of his comfort zone and they don't "match anything else," I'm confident that they are awesome!

I'm still not sure if we'll keep the sheers - probably take me another 4 years before I make that decision!

I love them!  What do you think?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grateful Sunday

How do you like my one time a week posting?  Seriously, where do the weeks go?  How do they go by so fast?

Source: google.com via Laurel on Pinterest

I remember this day with exactness.  I was teaching a classroom of first graders, but couldn't take my eyes off the TV. School that day was optional, and parents kept coming to take their kids out.  My husband had been excused from work that day and went straight home and put rabbit ears up on our TV so we could watch more.  We were glued and in awe.
I am grateful for the life we now have - that my children really have comforts that many didn't think would be able to enjoy.  I'm grateful for peace and security.  And definitely, I'm grateful for those who fight to keep it that way.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Allowance - MacDougall Family Style

Yes, we give our kids allowance.  And we have been doing so for over 2 years.  Before we started, I read a lot about allowance and teaching kiddos about money.  There are a lot of different opinions and thoughts regarding the matter.  It can be quite controversial.  I'm not trying to stir up a pot- this is how we do it and it works for us, so I thought I'd share.
 At the beginning of every month, our kids get allowance.  They do not have to earn it, they are given it.  Chores are an expected part of being in our family, piano practicing is part of being in this family - you do not get paid for it.  Tom and I had different opinions on this at first, but I think you have to figure out the purpose of allowance.  Our purpose is to teach our kids about money.  We use other things to teach about working hard or about responsibilities.  Allowance is about money and I think it's hard for a little one to budget and plan when you don't know how much to prepare for.  That can come later in life.  Right now we are just working on the basics.
Anyways, we give them $1 for every year.  My six year old gets six dollars a month and my nine year old gets nine dollars a month.

I stop by the bank every month and get ones and rolls of dimes.  They have to pay 10% tithing and 10% savings.  Everything left over is theirs to spend.  I use the roll of dimes so they can trade dollars for dimes - it's easier for them to count and make change.

Tithing goes in their tithing jar and savings goes in their piggy banks.

The rest goes in their wallet, aka a pencil pouch.

They are responsible for recording every penny that comes in and comes out.  I like them to be able to see what they are spending their money on.

Because they get their own money, we don't buy things/stuff for them unless it is for some occasion.  If they want books from the book order, they have to use allowance. 

My oldest can not save money - it burns a hole in her pocket!  But, she is learning how long it takes to save up money and how fast it can go.  While we were at a gift shop the other day, she was shocked that it would cost $4 to break open a rock.  She knew that if she wanted to do it, we would tell her to spend her own money.  She has "wasted" a lot of money on little silly things, but I think she is finally getting it and money is becoming more valuable to her.

There is nothing fancy or elaborate about our system.  I even hand write their register!  If it gets too complicated, it isn't long-lasting in our home.  It is simple and it works.

Do you give your kids allowance?
Please note - I do answer any questions that you leave in the comments.  I usually just email you back.  I apologize that the answer isn't up for everyone to read.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Grateful Monday

Happy Labor Day - have a great weekend and be grateful for this amazing life!  I'm off playing with my family!

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