Work For It!

My weekly deal with Chase is that when I check his grades at the end of the week his ability to play video games that weekend depends on whether or not he’s passing all his classes and/or missing any work. His grades looked great this week in all of his classes but one. That one class took his games away. He’s been doing OK with the loss, but he and his friends do a weekly “game night with the boys” on Saturday nights and today he bargained with me…. “I’ll do all the chores you want if I can at least do my game night with boys!”
I’m sorry…. Call me weak… but I just had to take advantage of that offer.

First I made him prove he did the work to bring that grade up (the beautiful part of online learning). Then I made him WORK for it (and told him if I heard one complaint the deal was off)! He did dishes, laundry, scooped poop, gathered and took out recycling, vacuumed the entire house including the stairs, hung things up for me outside, cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed his bathtub and my shower (score!!)… all with a “yes, ma’am” attitude.

Totally worth it.


Well, the kids are going to go back to school in-person tomorrow, so I thought I’d recap some of our quarantine experiences.

We built a mask collection (thanks to my mom)!

We did some baking:

…played games:

…got into escape rooms:

…played volleyball (until they shut the court down):

…read books:

…did some art projects:

We invented a new type of Ping Pong called “PE Ping Pong”. The rules:

  1. If the ball is on your side of the table, use whatever means necessary (using the paddle) to get it back over the net (even if you have to hit it 10 times).
  2. If you’re the reason the ball goes off the table, you have to run in place while playing until the other person hits it off the table.
  3. Add some dramatics where possible.
  4. Laugh a lot (though in this particular photo they are in deep concentration mode lol!):

I also learned how to cut Chase’s hair (not very well, but good enough for quarantine). Check out the before & after’s!

We learned how to do everything online, setting up our workspaces and even virtual Tae Kwon Do spaces!

Chloe and I started running again:

We did a lot of “drive-in” and “drive-by” activities: Drive-in movies, Drive-by last day of school, Drive-by birthday parties…

I did some organizing (in addition to my big home projects):

And the kids did what they do best:

It has definitely been (and continues to be) a strange time, but all that time “trapped” in the house together actually came at a great time for us. After the kids’ dad died, life was a whirlwind. This forced us to slow down a bit and just enjoy our time together. Man, I love my little family….

First Day of (Virtual) School!

The kids started school today, virtually. I went back in July, as is normal… but our district’s students will start school virtually as well.

Here are their “first day of school” pics this year!

And then, just for fun. I decided to do a side-by-side comparison to last year’s first day of school photo. I almost fell over. What happened to my babies?!?

Science Fair

Chloe did a cool experiment for the Science Fair this year. She wanted to figure out if dogs had color preferences. So she set up different colored papers across the room with a treat on each paper. When she released the dogs she noted which colors they went for first, switching the color order each time. Amazingly enough they did show they both preferred orange and purple! She was very proud of her experiment this year!

Chloe’s Special Christmas Experience

Chloe’s school counselor chose her (along with 15 other kids) to be a part of their feeder high school (Hendrickson)’s “Adopt a Child” program because “she needed a little sparkle”. Chloe got to fill out a Christmas wish list (which included a skateboard, stuffed puppy dog, and a neck pillow), the high school students fundraised to get gifts, and she got to go on a field trip over there this morning for a special Christmas party. I expected her to come home with a handful of gifts but instead I picked up TWO FULL TRASH BAGS of stuff. She definitely got some sparkle today. Her school counselor has been AMAZING and I am so grateful for her!

Happy 13th Birthday, Chase!

I officially have a teenager, y’all!! We had a busy birthday night. Chloe had a soccer party while Chase had his school Karate (KickStart) belt ceremony. He’s now an orange belt in Karate in addition to his almost-black belt in Tae Kwon Do… so he’s officially my bodyguard. Oh, and his old belt makes a great scarf, doesn’t it? (Chase wasn’t amused.)

After his belt ceremony he needed food so I told him I’d get him whatever he wanted for dinner. That meant Chick-fil-A (a place I refuse to go because I’m way too liberal)! *sigh* The things you’ll do for your kid sometimes lol!

Afterwards we grabbed a cake at Baskin Robbins and met Chloe back at the house for candles and presents!

Happy 13th Birthday to my “little” goofball, who underneath all the crazy has a heart of PURE GOLD.