Sunday, June 23, 2013

Spend, Save, Share

Wheeler will be five years old soon and we decided it was time for him to begin to earn his keep!  Just kidding!  We did decide though that it's time he start learning about money.  Teaching children about money;  it's worth, how to count it, that you don't spend more than you make, etc, is so hard for kids to understand (and adults, too!)  We want our children to learn to be responsible with money at an early age.  Currently Wheeler thinks if I have some money in my purse I can buy something.  Most kids think if mom or dad pull out that magic card they can buy something.

I researched the internet for some ideas on how to start on allowance with a four year old.  I didn't want it called allowance, though, and I didn't want him to earn money for things he is expected to do around the house.  I also wanted to incorporate Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace into it somehow.  I looked into Financial Peace Jr. and I plan to get it, but I think Wheeler is a couple of years from that program.  After a lot of thinking and researching, I came up with a plan.

Wheeler has jobs and responsibilities each week.  His responsibilities include those things that he is expected to do each day.  His jobs are those he gets paid for.  John and I sat down after the kids went to bed one night and came up with this:

Wheeler's responsibilities include making his bed each day (daddy has him do it in the morning, mommy isn't always that organized in the morning, especially before summer school!), clean up all his toys by the end of the day, and take is dishes to the sink after every meal and dust bust the floor under the table (he's a messy eater!)

Taking care of responsibilities.

Wheeler's jobs each week are to empty the little trash cans into the kitchen trash twice a week, wipe the table off after each meal, help daddy with yard work such as pull weeds, pick up sticks before mowing, etc, dust the living room (well, the parts he can reach), clean off and sweep the front porch, and clean the window on the screen door (again, the part he can reach which coincidentally is the part that has all the fingerprints on it!)   Each job has an amount he can earn each week associated with it.  After he completes a job we check it off the chart above.  All I did was type up everything and put it in a picture frame with plexiglass so we can use a dry erase marker to check off when he completes something.  In total he has the potential to earn $5.00 per week.

Wheeler was so excited to start this.  We talked it up a few days and made a big deal about how he would begin earning his own money.  During the first week I did a lot of positive reinforcement (and reminding!) but also told him I wouldn't be reminding so much in the future since it was his job to do these things.  Oh, and we call them jobs, not chores.  I just don't like the way chores sounds.  

After the first week, this is what our Jobs and Responsibilities chart looked like.  

He didn't get to help out dad with the yard work because of all the rain we had.  He earned $4.00 this week.  I counted it out to him as we talked about what he had done throughout the week.

Then I showed him this:

 This is where we put the money.  We put 10% in our share container.  He will be giving this at church in Sunday School each week.  We are teaching him about tithing.  He put 20% in Save.  I haven't really decided how much each week should go here.  I'm leaning toward a dollar of whatever he makes.  This will just make it easy each week.  The rest he put in his Spend container.  We talked about how if you save this money from week to week you could buy something big,like a scooter, or you could spend it each week and just get something little.

Here he is getting paid the first time.

I made him put the money in the containers.

After doing this, we had to go to the store.  He wanted to take his Spend money and I agreed.  We talked about the fact he did not have to buy something and could save up for a big toy.  Of course he's four and wasn't having any of that.  We were a sight!  He had about $7 because he put some change from his piggy bank into his spend money.  This shopping trip was the first of many learning experiences for us both.  He didn't understand why he didn't have enough money for the Imaginext Batman house.  I tried to explain he could save for about a month and he would have enough money.  He's four, though, and wanted that immediate gratification of having something.  He finally decided on a butterfly net and saving some money.  It took forever!!!!  I was patient.  Caroline was patient.  There were a few people in the toy department that inquired about what we were doing and everyone was so supportive and a couple of people told me they wished they had started teaching their own kids about money at this age.  I know it's going to be a long process, but it will be worth it.

As he gets older his jobs and responsibilities will change, and of course Caroline will grow into the jobs we have set up right now.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day 2013

I am so blessed to have so many wonderful men, 
not just fathers, but men, in my life who are strong role models.

For starters, my grandfathers.

This is my papaw, my mom's dad.  He loved God, and he and my Granny loved each other and their family so much.  Their love for each other and for all of us could be seen in everything they did.  I loved the big family gatherings for every holiday, or even just because.  I miss them both so much.  My Papaw's love and respect for my Granny is something that I will always remember.  He worked hard and taught not only his children, but his grandchildren to work hard for what we want.

This is my grandaddy with my daddy.  He died when I was fifteen, and had been sick for many years before.  I remember his smile and his unconditional love, though.  Even though I may not have known him as well as I would have liked, I respect him deeply.  He and my Grandma taught my dad how to love unconditionally.  He worked hard to provide for his family, and he also taught my dad this same work ethic.

My Daddy.  

The most God loving, caring, genuine, hard working, loving, respectable man you will find.  I knew I had a wonderful daddy, but in the days after he died, I think the depth of his presence on this earth hit me.  I knew people loved him, I knew he was hard working, caring, kind, and generous.  To hear people talk about the generosity of this man astounded me, though.  He was quiet and humble to the end.  We will never know all he did for his family, friends, and even strangers. 

My dad taught me how I should be treated.  Even though I messed up the first time around (if you've known me a while ou know what I mean!) I got it right the second time around.  He taught me that I should be treated with respect, that whoever I spent the rest of my life with, that I should be his world.  My mom, sister, and I were his world until the day he died.  My husband is always talking about how hard it is to live up to him and how great he was, and he is right.  

Daddy loved his family tremendously and you could see it in his face when he was around all of us.

My Husband

Like I said, I got it right this time.  This man was sent to me by God, I have no doubt.  He puts God first.  He loves me and our children with his whole being.  He would die for us.  He works hard for us, loves us, cares for us, takes care of us.  I am spoiled by this man.

Everything he does, he does with us in mind.

While I may have known the love of a man and his daughter, it is amazing to me to see the love of a man for his children.  He is the best daddy I could have asked for.  Both Wheeler and Caroline light up when he walks in the room.

If my mom did anything right (and she actually did a whole lot right, but to me, this one is kind of important) she made sure there were Godly men in our lives.  

I also believe this man was sent to us by God.
My Stepfather

It's easy to see why my mom fell in love with him.  He works hard, loves God, and loves his family.

He puts God first.  He loves my mom unconditionally.  
He has treated Kelli and I as his own since we met him.  

And these babies love him!!  And he loves them.  
We are so blessed to have him in our lives.  He takes care of all of us.  

Father's Day has been kind of hard for me over the past several years.  I decided this year I wanted to spend some time reflecting on some of the wonderful men in my life.  These are only a handful of those  men who mean the world to me.  I also have some of the best uncles and cousins a girl could have!  God truly blessed me and for that I am eternally grateful.

Psalms 103:13
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.”  (NIV)

Proverbs 22:6
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (NIV)

Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Bucket List

So I was reading blogs a few weeks ago and came across an idea on one of the blogs, Tickled Pink, to make a summer bucket list of activities to do and I thought it would be a great thing for Wheeler and I to do together.  Since daddy just got a new job working all weekend, and he is taking two tough classes this summer I knew we would need a lot of things to keep us busy!

We talked about what a bucket list is in reference to summer fun and believe it or not, he came up with most of this on his own.

This is what we came up with:

As you can see, we will be doing a lot of fruit picking this summer!  Also, we ended the list with Start Kindergarten, since he is so excited about that (see, it's going to be really hard to change my mind on this know, I think we are committed!!!) 

Silly face....that's all we know how to make these days!

We've already marked off make new friends once (we hope to mark this one off a few times), church, VBS, and the milkshake place (Chick Fil A!)  He's also started karate and having a blast!

We will update how we are faring on our bucket list later this summer.

Friday, June 7, 2013

We Have a Graduate!

It's hard to believe my little guy is off to Kindergarten this year!  It's been an agonizing decision to let him go.  One I am still agonizing over.  He has an August birthday and could go next year.  Teaching lower elementary I know how maturity plays such a big role in school success.  Academically, I am not worried.  The PDO he has been attending for the last 18 or so months has prepared him well.  People who just meet Wheeler are always telling me how smart he is.  It's the maturity.  Somedays I truly wonder if sending him this year is the right decision, but then I struggle with the academics of it.  I know he wil be bored with another year of PDO.  

Caroline with mommy, grammy, and grandma at graduation

The Graduate

My Family

I didn't register him during Kindergarten registration because I was still struggling with the decision.  When I (yes John mainly left the decision up to me) decided last month to send him, I filled out the paperwork, turned it in, and told Wheeler.  I knew once I told him that he was going to Kindergarten and going to school with mommy there would be no turning back.  He is so excited!  I love seeing the excitement in him.  He can't wait to meet his teacher, buy his school supplies, and make new friends.

I still reserve the right to change my mind, though!