Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

For now, this will have to do. Taken with an iPhone camera. Not everyone smiling. But, we really DID have a wonderful day at church and with our family.

"Was God really making everything sad come untrue?
Was he making even death come untrue?

"Now everyone can come home to God," Jesus said. "Death
is not the end of you. You can live forever with your Father
in heaven because I have rescued the whole world!"
--excerpts from The Jesus Storybook Bible

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Personalized Banks for Kids

We recently had a speaker come to our MOPS group and she talked about teaching our children the value of money. A few key take-aways from her message include:

*Have on-going, natural conversations about money with your kids
*Open bills together (once they are school-aged) and talk to them about how much water, electricity, gas, trash, mortgage, cell phones, TV, Internet, etc. cost. Also a great time to do mini-math lessons and see how the amount varies each month.
*Teach your children to write checks; show them how it's done. Our speaker's girls (ages 10 and up) write all the checks for the bills and she spot checks them and signs them. She said her girls LOVE doing this. I love that they are getting exposure to this early and are seeing what a great responsibility it is to pay bills and manage money.
*Per the above banks above, children have the freedom to chose how to give their money and spend their money. The savings is untouchable until high school or college (though this is not a college fund); she said she sees her children taking ownership of the savings (which they eventually transfer to a bank account in each child's name) in late high school.
*Start chores with children as early as age 2 (many older 2-year-olds can throw own diaper away, get shoes, clean up some toys, etc.).
*Allowance for a 2-year-old might be 3 dimes (one goes in each bank above); a 9-year-old allowance would start at the base of 3 dollars.
*Her children get a simple, small base for doing their weekly chores and can earn extra money for doing extra projects around the house. Our speaker, though, was really clear about saying that children shouldn't be motivated by money to do chores; doing chores is part of being in the family and making the family work. I love this.
*If a child borrows money from a sibling or parent they are charged interest (if at Target and a child sees a toy he/she wants and does not have the money on hand, and really wants it, he/she will have to weigh the immediate gratification vs. being charged interest for borrowing the money).
*The speaker shared that she and her husband tell their children, "We are giving you a weekly amount of money to manage." GREAT perspective

We had a follow-up (awesome) craft at our next MOPS group and made these "Save," "Give," and "Spend" banks for our kiddos. We simply cut paper and decoupaged these beauties. Easy! And Maggie insisted on sleeping with hers the next day when I brought them home (we just put them next to her bed).

One of my favorite mothering blogs, Simple Mom, had an excellent post about teaching the value of money to your children, though specifically focused on teens. One point that stood out to me was discussing up front with them what you will continue to fund since they are still in the home(school fees, haircuts, some clothing, etc.) which takes the guess work out of items that will be purchased. I'm all about good communication and managing expectations so this article was right up my alley.

I already enjoy talking to Maggie about money and look forward to hopefully giving my kids a strong understanding of how to manage it well and to God's glory.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Many joys abound in the midst of another busy season of life for our family. Aron and I enjoyed a wonderful date night last night and ate for the first time at Cafe Rio. Be. Still.My. Beating. Heart. That food is to die for. Seriously. Their sweet pork barbacoa salad was killer. I keep hearing people talk about it and we finally tasted and we will never be the same. I also got my nose re-pierced. Love.

Another few happies pictured below.

Book club breakfast at yummy Plum Cafe eating this amazing, amazing Belgian berry waffle. Great time discussing Barbara Kingslover's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma.

Curren doing amazingly well in his big boy bed. I found him asleep like this a couple of weeks ago

Spring planting! I just love foxgloves!
Bathtime in the sink.
First haircut and not happy about it at first!
Disneyland with friends: meeting several princesses for the first time, first roller coaster rides for Maggie (who cannot stop talking about how much fun they were!), delicious corn dogs and ice-cream and overall, so much fun with our seminary friends, the Schultzs!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kate Evangeline: Month 8

Sweet, sweet Katers:

*4 new top teeth in at once! Yes, all 4.
*Rolling and scooting everywhere, though no true crawling yet.
*Loving solid foods of every variety (except meat in a jar; really, who invented that!?)
*Hilarious silent laugh
*Loves to swing at the park