Monday, November 12, 2007

Rotate, Teach, Get a Rock.

Warning...this post is LONG...but worth it. Come back and read it in parts if you must.
Ug, toys. Where do I begin? I think it started with an obession and leftover from childhood. We didn't "get" much...but what we did get we took care of. So, feeling a little "jipped" as a child if you will, I went overboard, a little. Okay probably a lot. And it only looks like so much now because it is nicely organized into these bins, with labels and all. Thank you Leisha! When we moved, I decided that it was either time to get organized or get rid of it all. I got rid of a ton, and frankly would like to get rid of more, but that will have to wait I guess. For every new one we get, one is given away, and eventually that will become less and less and we give away more and more.
So, on to the Great Toy Rotation... See these bins? They are located in "the scary room" of the house. The room that is unfinished and houses the heater, (and is soon to be my new studio, HOLLA!). So, basically the kiddos are too afraid to go in there alone, hence they will leave these toys ALONE! Which is nice. So a few weeks ago, these bins were in their rooms, under the stairs and everywhere, and we gathered them all up and put them here...and every Monday night after Family Home Evening, we put away the bins from the week before and the kids can each choose two bins and one "big" toy box, (we have three of these which contain big trucks, stuffies, dressups etc...) and the key? They have less to play with and they actually do. play. with. them. I am not even joking. They play and they enjoy them as if they were new. I can't take full credit for this idea. I got it from a dear friend in my old ward who is a genius and a wonderful mother and example to me. Hi Katrina if you are out there, THANK YOU!
I hope I can explain this and share the power of this topic, but sometimes I lack words or thoughts, so I will do the best I can. This definition comes straight from
Family Home Evening
"Church leaders have instructed members to set aside Monday night as "family home evening." This is a time for families to study the gospel together and to do other activities that strengthen the family spiritually, create family memories, and increase unity and love."
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I feel very blessed to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I have seen many powerful effects on my life, and one of the greatest has been the blessing of Family Home Evening. I can remember when I was very young having a few lessons from my mother. Shortly after my parents divorced, my extended family, (grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc...) began having a weekly FHE. From the time I was nine until I was 21 we had this gathering of family and love and teaching. It was a great strength in my life then. Once the family became TOO huge to house a weekly FHE, it fizzled out and I have to admit that it has been four years since we have had a regular family night in my home. A few months ago Hubbs and I decided to implement it again into our little family, and I can tell you that it has made a world of difference.
The most wonderful thing about FHE is that you don't have to be LDS or a "mormon" to have your own night to spend with your family. What better way to show your children or your spouse how much you love and adore them, then by devoting a night a week to them, for them, spending time with them, teaching them, and showing them how important they are to you, and how loved they are. Our evenings are usually spent with a short lesson (thank you four years of Primary Presidency lessons), an opening prayer, a closing prayer, a song, and of course a treat! Sometimes we aren't so formal, we will take the kids to play at the children's museum, walk around temple square, go out to dinner, but generally there is a purpose and we invite the spirit of our Heavenly Father into our home. It allows us time to be together, and when that time is devoted to Him and to one another, the week goes better, our house stays cleaner, and we fight less. There is more patience and love. I have witnessed this, and I encourage everyone who is reading this to implement this into your lives and schedules and let me know how it goes!

From our lesson tonight, one of my favorite Bible stories about Joseph in Egypt. Can you say, "Technicolor Dreamcoat" anyone?

And finally, if you're still with me, our little Toddler chores:

Brush your teeth.

Wash your hands before eating and using the bathroom.

Get yourself dressed (as best you can).

Pick up your toys.

Take your vitamin.

And that is it. They can earn 1 "pedra" or rock for every job they do without having to be asked more than once. We have been doing this for a little over a month now and it works! Right before bed we hand out the rocks, they put them in their little jars and they are SO excited about it. Even the little two year old screams, "Pedras! Pedras!" And FLIPS out if that word is said and she doesn't get to put the rocks in the jar at that very minute.

I let the kids choose their reward. Obviously Miss is a little too young to understand the concept, so her reward is putting the rocks in the jar, (and sharing a bit of Mister's rewards too.) While Mister, he chooses to get a pinata for each jar filled. Not sure why he loves pinatas so much or why that is his choice...but it is. And happily for him he filled up his first jar in time to have a dinosaur pinata for his birthday!

Seriously these little things help keep me sain and keeps our house a little cleaner with four little hands helping.

As for me...well that big jar is mine. Hubband has one too, and seriously, it has been a great motivator for me to do MY chores. I give myself one WHENEVER I do SOMETHING. I know that seems silly, but it helps me make a good dinner, load the dishwasher, fold a load of laundry. When mine gets filled I get to have a scrapbooking night with one of my friends...I can't wait!
So, that's it from the Simply Me house. Hope everyone is doing well, can you belive Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK? I am dying with how fast time is going by. And that my baby isn't so much a baby anymore, but that is another post ENTIRELY!


Leisha said...

You know now that I will be asking you every day if you've done those chores :-) Scrapbooking here we come! I need to start this with my kids too to see if they will get the concept that things can go INTO the bins just as nicely as they come out when they dump them.

moosh in indy. said...

Aw man, just when I thought I was getting my life together.
FHE at your house.

Amanda said...

Such great ideas! I think I need a jar for myself!

Amy and Josh said...

Great advice Kim, I wonder if Josh would go for the jar thing-I already know what his prize would be.

Olivia Singleton said...

What a great idea! I know that I don't have kids to motivate with putting pedras in a jar, but I think I'm going to make a jar for myself!

By the way, when are we going to get together?!

mommyoffour said...

great ideas, thanks for sharing! I love the toy rotation thing as well. I am not as consistent at rotating like them, we usually do it monthly. Maybe I should try weekly!!!

Also, I love the chore idea. We use to have a sticker chart and when it filled up, the girls got a fish! It was awesome! They had to earn a lot of stickers, but they got stickers for a lot of things (like being nice to each other!).

Maybe I will fill a jar too! I don't think it is silly! Then, you can look at the jar and know that you accomplished so much! Sometimes I feel like I am going and going and yet, it doesn't look like I accomplish anything!

Thanks for the ideas, this was a great post!

Lace said...

So funny we must be on the same wavelength! We have been doing FHE the last little while too...for us it's just the best way to spend quality time together with no tv, visitors, or meetings going on. Ayla loves those nights. I like your jars with ROCKS idea, when I was babysitting we did it with fishbowls and skittles and the kids loved it but they wanted to eat the skittles!!! So rocks are great, and so pretty and uneatable! So glad things are going so well!

Barrett said...

Love the ideas! I have been doing/trying to do these things but I haven't been very dilligent! Maybe if I worked harder to be consistant I would see better results! (I see good results but they could be better if I tried better!) I made a wooden sign at Super Saturday that said "Try a little harder to be a little better-President Gordon B Hinkley" I like that quote because it reminds me to try a little harder to be a little better! :)

Amy said...

Okay...loved that post! You've inspired me!