Um, Elsa? The Cold Actually Does Bother Some of Us. | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Um, Elsa? The Cold Actually Does Bother Some of Us.


Today it was -4 degrees when I woke up. Are you wondering if you read that correctly? Yep, you are. I said NEGATIVE. I'm pretty sure that Queen Elsa has taken her ice castle to live across the canal on our ski hill. And the cold is bothering me!!!

I spent all of yesterday morning sitting in front of a grocery store with Chloe selling Girl Scout cookies. Girl Scout cookie booths seem like they should be a spring sort of endeavor, wouldn't you agree? And, since it is technically spring, I suppose it is a spring sort of endeavor. But, not with Elsa around blasting us with ice and cold and snow. We were indoors, but right in front of the automatic doors from outside and by the time our shift was up, neither of us could feel our fingers or toes. And we were wearing gloves and boots the entire time! We sold a lot of cookies, though, so our frostbite wasn't for naught.


Girl Scout Cookies, Girl Scouts, cookie booths, thin mints

I am starting to feel rather negative about it all. And when I think back to last spring and how we had snowstorm after snowstorm all the way through April, I feel very depressed.

But, I'm just going to have to let it go (see what I did there?) and try to find the will to keep going.

After all, the snow on the trees can be quite pretty.

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I had to drive Bria about 12 miles to an orchestra rehearsal on Friday, and while I don't love driving in it, I did have to admit how beautiful the snow is.

And it's pretty to watch it fall quietly from the sky.

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Also on Friday just before taking Bria to orchestra. I came out of my house and was surprised to see the snow falling so heavily (it had been nice and clear the rest of the day). Bria looked at me and said, "Yeah, Mom. It's snowing here. Shocker." 

But, then again, buds and green leaves on the trees can also be quite lovely. And blue skies are nice, too. With nothing falling from the heavens but rays of (warm)(very, very warm) sunlight.

Ah, well. Hopefully Anna will be along soon to save us all from winter. Until then, I'll try to stop complaining.

And, just in case you think there's no possible way my Sunday photos can be any crappier lately, here is what I have to put up with:

IMG_1743 Sunday Photo web

Happy Sunday!

45 comments :

  1. These are great tools. 2013 was my year for finances. Going okay but can always be better. My brain is a sponge I always have to be learning.

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  2. Have you tried the app Good Budget? I haven't yet but it looks simple you have spending envelopes. I have tried and didn't like Mint I don't like programs having that much control of my financials. Just makes me feel weird! I don't know why.

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  3. Sigh, I have been horrible at this lately. And years ago I used to count it to the penny. Ikes. I need to restart now I see.

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  4. I agree. That is why I don't use Mint. I'm really happy with YNAB. I've tried the spending envelopes systems, and I'm not so good with those. I feel like YNAB has a bit more flexibility. But we all have to figure out what works best for us! :)

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  5. This seems like a LOT of micromanaging to me. I'm not sure how this is teaching them to be independent.

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  6. ....all i am going to say...this was the stupidest thing i have ever heard....this is why kids these days are brats...

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  7. This doesn't seem to teach independence. It's a list of ways to micromanage kids who are old enough to do things on their own. Maybe if the kids picked their own books from the start, they would have actually read them. Teach the kids how to be responsible with books, snacks, etc and you won't need a bin for everything.

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  8. Hi Sarah, Thanks for your comment! The great thing about parenting is that there are literally hundreds of different ways to accomplish the same thing, and what works for one family may not work for another. This system has worked wonderfully at our house to teach my girls responsibility--you can't teach responsibility without first having rules, and the bins and chore lists have been a great way for me to implement the rules. The girls are then completely independent on how they follow those rules.


    As for reading, they also choose plenty of their own reading material. The reading bins are to help expand their options. I'm all about reading everything I can, and I want my children to have access to as much reading material as possible. The greatest thing has been seeing that they usually like what is in the bins, even if they might not have chosen it for themselves.


    Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

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  9. This system has worked really well for us in teaching our children responsibility and self-reliance, which is slightly different than total independence. It may or may not work well for your kids, and that's okay, too. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!

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  10. I think in order to teach kids how to be independent, you need to show them the right way to do things. Ibet, this summer, they won't need as many guidelines. Or, maybe they will -- but I bet they'll progress. Mine always do. Great ideas Lara! :)

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  11. I guess I don't understand your comment. Do you mean to say kids these days are brats because their parents don't yell at them? I respectfully disagree.

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  12. I have done the snack boxes for a few years. I thought they would eat all the snacks on the first day but they don't! I spend way less on snack foods than before I started this system. I like the idea of a book tub for each child. So going to use that one!

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  13. Exactly! When they have to manage their own food, I have found that they do a pretty good job and then we save money! Win-win.

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  14. Do you do anything to hold the kids accountable for their reading? My 6 year old is turning into a good little reader, but if I turn him loose, I'd be wondering if he is truly reading the material and comprehending. Thanks!

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  15. Good question! I have done a few things to help with this:

    1. I have them write a book report or draw a picture about the book. My middle daughter in particular likes doing these and does them without my asking.

    2. We talk a lot about the book while they are reading it. "What did you read about today?" "What is happening in the book you are reading right now?" "What is your favorite part of the book?" Etc.

    3. When they are just learning to read I have them read the books to me, which I think is good even for young readers who are starting to do well on their own. Find a good balance between having them read to you and having them read by themselves.

    4. I have them each keep a vocabulary notebook. If they come across a word they don't know, they can write it down and either ask me or look it up to find out the definition, which they also write down in the book.

    5. This summer, I am planning on a points system where they can earn experiences/privileges by reading. I don't have the logistics worked out in my mind, but it will be either for minutes read or books read, and they will earn points to go towards things like a day trip, screen time, or new books! I will be blogging about it soon...look for it. :)

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  16. wow!thanks so much for all the great ideas.I have two boys at home and I homeschool through the year, but was looking for something less scheduled for the summer.I like the idea of the snack box and the book bin.keep up the great ideas,it sure does help me out!

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  17. You HAVE to micromanage kids. They are kids. They have to be taught to be responsible, they aren't born that way….as we all know! :)

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  18. Lara, we take care of our 8 year old granddaughter all summer and I can totally relate to a everything you have written here. We had a chore list that failed miserably last year - no consistency from me. She has chores, reading and practicing. And, the summer eating is unreal - every 15 minutes she thinks she is hungry... thanks for so many great ideas. I am definitely going to try a couple of them....

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  19. Summer is hard in many ways--I think I just plain have to be more involved. And the eating just amazes me every time! Did I do that to my mother? The snack bins have really been a great thing for us.

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  20. Question: what are the cups in the book tubs for?

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  21. Hi Becky,


    The little buckets were for reading rewards. I didn't actually get around to blogging about them that year. Basically, they collected little reading rewards that I printed off. Some were for minutes read, and then they got a different one every time they finished a book. They were each worth a certain amount of points and they could be redeemed for various things (a trip to the bookstore to choose a new book was the biggest reward, plus little ones like an ice cream cone or extra electronics time). The buckets in the bins was where they kept the rewards so they didn't lose them.

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  22. Most of these sound like good idea's, however I think the chore list would have made me feel incredibly subservient as a child. I wouldn't even leave a list like that for my cleaning lady, and I pay her. Have you ever read the book 'Heaven' by V.C. Andrews, where the girls adopted mother uses her as a servant and leaves long to-do lists for her every day? This list sort of reminded me of that.

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  23. I wouldn't leave a list like this for my cleaning lady (if I had one), either. I would assume that a person who makes a living cleaning houses already knows how to do a great job. However, it is my responsibility to teach my children how to clean and keep house, because nobody else is going to teach them. The lists are detailed to help them remember how to properly clean a bathroom or the dining room or whichever room they have been assigned that day. The actual jobs take them about 30-40 minutes, depending on how messy their own rooms are and how much they dilly-dally while cleaning. Believe me, they have plenty of free time for fun activities every day and do not have to do chores all day long.

    In our house, you are required to do your part. The kids live here, too, and they need to be contributing family members. The title of this post refers to teaching my children self-reliance. These chore charts have done that--I wrote this post 2 years ago, and they don't usually need the detailed lists anymore because they have learned how to clean each room thoroughly. I want my girls to go out into the world knowing that work is required and knowing how to do it. It's my job as their mother.

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  24. I absolutely LOVE this!! This is what I've been attempting to do but didn't really have a name for it. My kids are 7 & 9 and I hope to work in the morning and keep them occupied with little help from me.

    Afternoons will be fun outdoors but we've got to take the mornings! I'm making a list of "fun" things to do that I will publish for my kids to "accomplish" this summer.

    LOVE having them home, but sometimes the days can be l-o-n-g without a plan! :)

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  25. Yes. I have a daughter who's much older than yours, I think, but doesn't know how to clean. Her job this summer, when she's not off to some camp we paid for or on a long European vacation I helped her earn the money to take, will be cleaning the house. She cleans her room and bathroom and sometimes cleans the kitchen because she's part of the family and that's what families do. The other stuff that she'll do is because we are at work all day to pay the mortgage and stuff still has to be done at home. Since she's not old enough to drive to a job, she can do the job I'd have to do after work. I'd love to get paid to turn the music up, the air down and clean for a few hours a day. I wish I could trade places with her. It's a pretty good gig. Personally, I think children should be subservient, which means "to obey unquestioningly", but they rarely are.

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  26. How would you advise doing this or a similar system for children that aren't reading yet?

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  27. Amen that kids have it good to just clean for a couple hours a day! I appreciate your comments, and I love the way you think. :)

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  28. Good luck with this summer. I feel the same way--I really do look forward to having them home and having a change of pace, but it's not always as easy as it sounds!

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  29. For chores, I would choose simple chores that are age-appropriate and use pictures on a sticker chart or something similar. When the child earns x amount of stickers, she gets x reward.


    For snacks, probably no different. The bin idea has worked excellently for us!


    For reading, I would just make sure I am reading to my child every day and talking about the books that we read. You can also have them draw pictures about the book after you read it. If it has been made into movie form, it might be fun to watch the movie.

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  30. I love your positive response to those not in favor of your approach. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading this post, and chuckled when you thought it was getting too long! I really appreciate ypur ideas and plan to incorporate them into what I already have going for this summer. Kids definitely need training, just like any new employee would, and learning how to clean properly and maintain a home is a job to be learned. I am glad to hear that your girls don't need lists so much anymore; I can't wait for that day with my five kids:) Also, I have a list of books that I took off a classical education site to help guide my children's love of reading in a purposeful direction, although they will have free reign (almost) over their recreational reading picks from the library. Thanks for the post! I read one other by you (I recognized your reference to the Maestro), but I will be adding to to my regular reading list now:) Oh, and we have listened to The Penderwicks on CD- so good!

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  31. I absolutely love the detailed chore list. My step-children have very different rules between their Mom's house and ours, and it is exhausting trying to help them do things to our expectaions when they are with us. If I write it out in detail, they can read it, and be reminded that cleaning the bathroom at Dad's is WAY different than the bathroom that never gets cleaned at Mom's. It seems like the perfect way to eliminate nagging, and I do so hate nagging.

    My husband and I both work, and we do a weekly shopping trip. It seems like every summer we struggle with the babysitters allowing the kids to eat way too much, and we run out of food 1/2 way through the week. I can't believe I never thought of the bins before now. I'm so excited :-) Thanks for the great ideas!

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  32. As a daughter who was never taught HOW to clean a house and had to figure it out after she was married to a man whose mother was the clean house goddess - I leave lists like this for my kids too.

    Growing up - cleaning the living room meant: get all the junk out of here, use some pledge and vacuum those floors! In my husbands world cleaning the living room meant: Clear the clutter, organize anything that is supposed to be in here and make sure it's neat, vacuum the floor, vacuum the couch/chairs/etc..., clean the windows, clean the window sills, clean the baseboards. End result? His mother's house was much cleaner and more appealing that my mother's house.

    It's hard to learn this stuff as an adult - I wish it was as natural to me as it is to him, his sisters, my nieces & nephews... so I'm doing my best to teach my kids too - by writing detailed lists!

    Love your other ideas too! The snack box is coming to my house soon!

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  33. Sounds like a lazy mother. I bet your kids hate you and can't wait until the day they move out. Picking their books for them is ridiculous. I understand monitoring what they read, but this is a bit much. Nice that you have your children doing your chores. Seems like their every move is controlled and they don't have much time for creativity. Get a grip lady.

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  34. It is important to teach our children how to clean, I agree. I want my girls to have it come second-nature to them and consider it an important responsibility as their mother!

    I hope the snack boxes work well at your house! They've been a life saver for us. Or, at least, a budget saver. :)

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  35. Wow. Normally I appreciate dissenting opinions on my blog because we can all learn from each other as parents. Your comment makes a lot of assumptions based on one blog post--a tiny bit of our lives. A lot of people haven't agreed with my methods, and that's totally cool (lots of parenting methods out there!), but to say that my kids hate me is taking it a bit too far, and getting unnecessarily personal.

    The girls just got their reading bins for this summer on Friday and were super excited. My children LOVE to read, and they pick most of their own books. I do not actually require them to read what's in the bins, though they usually do anyway. Any mention of requiring was made tongue-in-cheek, and I guess I will have to be better about that when people are coming straight to this post and don't know me well as a blogger. :)


    As for chores, I don't have them do MY chores. I have them do THEIR chores. Big difference. Especially since my chore list is four times longer than theirs is. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I take my responsibility as a mother very seriously, and part of that responsibility is to teach them how to work and to become functioning adults.


    Finally, if you were a regular reader of this blog, you would see that my children have plenty of time for creativity, and are, in fact, some of the most creative children I know. Creativity is something else I take pretty seriously as a mom, and I'm glad to hear that you do, too.

    Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully you will stop by again and get to know me and my family a little better. :)

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  36. It IS a great way to eliminate nagging. It has worked very well for us! I actually got the idea from my mother-in-law when she told me that she used to tape these types of lists inside the bathroom cupboards for her kids to know how to clean the bathroom correctly. And I'll tell you what, my husband can really clean a bathroom!

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  37. Hi, Lara and thanks for the post. I notice the age of the post and bet it's bittersweet when you still get comments because you can see how much your girls have changed and grown!
    In this post I particularly like the list of how to clean the dining room. I'm not the best cleaner myself (it just doesn't seem to come naturally to me) so it's easy to set how helpful that would be to someone just learning to clean. Did you by chance make lists like that for the other rooms? If you still know where they are and could share I'd be grateful!

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  38. I do have the other lists and I am sending them to you via email now. Thanks for asking!

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  39. Great ideas, and I love that you have a Bria too! :)

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  40. Thanks!

    There aren't many Brias in the world...it's a great name. :)

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  41. That was a rude, uncalled for and judgemental comment to leave on Lara's post. Shame on you.

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  42. I wish I would have had your example years ago when my boys were younger. I think it's important to have children share in the running of the house as they live there too, and when both parents work full-time, it's difficult to try and do everything yourself. It's all coming back to haunt me now. I enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for sharing!

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  43. I totally wish I'd read this like...a year ago :) Summer is almost here (school starts Aug 11) but it's not too late to start teaching them some self reliance.

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  44. I am implementing our own 'habit' lists this summer. I have 2 boys 5 and 7 and they are going to have some things they are going to have to do daily (make sure their shoes are by the door, and do a 10 min pick up of their toys every night), to things they will do weekly (they get to pick 1 night a week to help meal plan, cook a meal (with my help of course) and do a load of their laundry, etc..). We are enrolled in a summer reading program at the local library and plan on doing 15 min of fun worksheets M-F to help keep up on their skills they learned at school all year. I think it's great you have this for your kiddos! It's teaching them how to grow up and be responsible adults! Keep it up!

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