Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mickey Helper Ticket System

As many of you know our little family has been planning a trip to Disney World for a while now. We put a deposit down about nine months ago and have slowly been paying it off and it is going to be an amazing trip! I've done so much research, and we've talked about everything we want to do and how much fun we are going to have, and the boys are SO EXCITED!
With that being said I don't want my kids growing up thinking we are just going to give them whatever they want without them working for it. This trip is going to cost us a lot of money, and I feel like they need to do their part to "earn" the trip.

Enter the Mickey Helper tickets.

I sat down with the boys and explained to them that going to Disney world was a privilege and that privileges need to be earned. We talked about how they needed to do their part around the house and be "Mickey's Helpers" so they could earn their trip. They seemed to understand and we moved on to developing the ticket system.

I asked them what things they wanted to do when we went to Disney and we built a list of activities like swimming in the pool at the hotel, going to Magic Kingdom, eating lots of desserts, and going to Mickey's Halloween party. All in all we had about 20 things make the list! We then asked them how many tickets they thought they should have to earn to do each thing. They did a really good job assigning the values to things, swimming in the pool got just one ticket, while Mickey's Halloween Party they gave a value of 25 tickets!

Once we had assigned how many points each thing cost we talked about what they needed to do to earn those tickets. We discussed chores and good behavior, made a list, and assigned the tasks and chores ticket values from 1 ticket to 3 tickets. For example putting 5 dishes in the sink earns 1 ticket. helping mop the floor earns 2, and getting through an entire outing without a fuss earns 3 tickets! There were a few things they tried to lobby for more tickets on, such as taking medicine without a fuss which my oldest deemed worth 15 tickets (and the way he fights it it just might be worth it!!). But for the most part I felt they did a good job choosing how many tickets each chore would be worth.

We made little jars for them to house their tickets in during the week, and every Sunday we will count the tickets and fill in the correct number on their goal charts. 45 days before our trip if they haven't earned enough tickets to cover the cost of the trip we will discuss what they have to give up or change to make our trip fit their "budget" and finalize our plans. the last 45 days before the trip they will earn tickets for souvenirs and such. They can redeem them for specials treats, desserts, pressed pennies, disney dollars and standing in character lines (we are doing many character meals, so they will meet a lot of characters doing that, so they decided they had to spend tickets to see others).

They valued the overall trip we have planned at about 250 tickets, and there are 224 days until our trip, so they only have to earn a little over 1 ticket a day to "pay" for the trip, which I think is more than doable for them. We told them that if they have extra tickets left over after the trip they can use them to start earning our next family vacation.

If you are planning a trip to Disney and would like to adopt the "Mickey Helper Tickets" System you can print out the PDF's here: It includes a blank chore chart to fill out (with space on the bottom to put each child's name), labels for Helper jars, and the charts to fill in.

All you need to get started is a Mason Jar for each kid, and a roll of tickets! We are using these ones http://www.amazon.com/2000-Blank-White-Raffle-Tickets/dp/B005NBQ0FK/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1359400253&sr=8-16&keywords=blank+tickets

I still have to put some of our stuff together, but I will update this with a picture of our jars, the chore chart, and the canvas I am mounting the helper meters on as soon as they are finished. It has been fun developing it, especially since the boys have been so eager to help with it!

Be on the lookout for more Disney printables and projects as we start diving into the real planning! We've got a planning night planned for this next month, and you better believe we will be having some fun stuff with that!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Flourish & Fly: Babystep 3

Today we will go over Baby step Three! I know it has been three days since baby step number two, but with all the sickness in our house I just didn't get around to posting. Instead of skipping ahead I am just going to move on to step 3 today on the blog.

Step 3 is mostly to do what you have already done, so let's review! We should be:
  • Shining our Sink!
  • Getting dressed to shoes!
On top of those we should be visiting the Flylady's big tent group and reading our e-mails, that is easy peasy! I think we can all do that! You never know what is going to be the topic, and sometimes they might even make you tear up.

So today I have a shiny sink, and I am fully dressed! My husband even helped me shine the sink last night! I was so thankful for that little help. :) He is awesome!

Today I am also adding something else to my personal agenda that you guys might want to follow along with! I'm starting the couch to 5k program with a friend of mine! I have "Run a 5k" on my 30 x 30 list, so I have got to get going, and since she has been on hiatus from running due to an injury I figured starting while she restarts at the beginning will be a great way to stay motivated!

Today is my first planned run, and I am already dressed and ready to go! Of course I won't be actually running until my husband gets home from school and work this afternoon, but the fact that i am prepared should make it so I don't come up with an excuse to not go out and run. Removing obstacles in our way makes everything easier!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Flourish & Fly: Babystep 2

I'm back today with more on the Flylady's beginner babysteps!

But first I wanted to do a little recap of how yesterday went for me. Day one was to shine your sink, and I have to say I did pretty well! We are ALL sick around here with a croupy cough so just shining the sink was a HUGE challenge for me. I even let my little ones "help", as in I filled the sink with hot soapy water and then let them come splash in it. It seemed to cheer them up a bit, which is good! We ended up with one shiny sink, and I got FOUR loads of dishes done. Yes, you heard me right, I had four loads lying around. I blame it on having New Years guests and then sick babies and sick me! The great news is that I now have all the dishes in the kitchen done, minus a few handwash things, and a beautiful clean shiny sink!

Now on to today's challenge! Not only are we going to continue to shine our sink like Flylady wants (It's her way of hugging us! And who couldn't use more hugs!!), we are going to....

You can find Flylady's lessons on it here, and here.

This is one I struggle with and I know some other ladies do to. A dear fried of mine lamented on her blog that her lace-up shoes didn't always match her outfit.Me, I just really don't like shoes. Well, I do, I like to BUY shoes... but wear them? FORGET IT!! I have at least two pairs of shoes that I have never worn, not even once. I have a problem, and I have been getting rid of some shoes, ones that don't fit well, ones that are damaged, etc... but with all the shoes I have only one of them are lace-up shoes, and I pretty much only wear them when I know I will be doing a lot of walking, or when I exercise. Put them on everyday? We'll see.

For today I am wearing apair of sketches slip-ons that have little straps over the foot. They are harder to get off than a normal slip-on, but comfortable and stylish. They work for me, for now. I swear I am trying Flylady!!

But shoes are only part of getting dressed. There's the clothes, the hair, the make-up, etc. It can be really hard when you are a stay at home mom to take the time to get all of that done. I hate to confess this, but when my husband was gone 17 hours a day five days a week and I didn't have money for bus fare, most days I would stay in my pajamas. I could literally go five days straight without ever getting fully dressed. I was pretty much a shut-in, leaving the house maybe once a week. Sad but true.

But all that is changing, and I am proud to say I have been fully dressed every day this year! Today it was even before six am!! I even have proof I am dressed today! See my fantastic self portrait? You can't really see it, but my hair is even curled!! i thought ahead to the fact that I wanted to look nice today to post my picture for you guys and did the fantastic hair tutorial for no heat curls below yesterday! It is one of my favorite things to do with my hair. It is fast, it looks pretty good while it is drying and making the curls, and who doesn't feel better about themselves when they have fabulous curls?

So I have one more thing today I would like to share with you! Today's beginner babystep says that in order for us to change ourselves, we need to remind ourselves of what we are doing. The Flylady did that with post-it notes, but around here beauty trumps easy. So I've got a little card made up for you guys to print out and put on your mirror to remind you to get dressed and make yourself up in the morning. I have it sized at 3x4 to be able to print on a project life card (you can find blank ones here on Amazon). I have plans to use more of these later in building my new Control Journal, because I like my things pretty AND functional. There is a tutorial here that shows you how to print directly on one of the project life cards, which is what I used to print mine. You can also just print the pdf and trim to size.

I designed the card with my blog's color scheme, but if you would like it in another color scheme let me know in the comments and I can try to accommodate! I like to make people happy! You can download the card here. https://www.dropbox.com/s/zhpghb32gw6j8d5/neverfullydressed_MFMD.pdf

I hope you all have a wonderful day! I sure am having fun starting back at the beginning of Flylady!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Flourish & Fly

The last few days I have really been pondering what it means to "Flourish" and how I can begin the process of flourishing this year. One of the things that kept popping into my head was that I need to spend more time doing the things I enjoy and love, and less time doing the tasks I hate.

This to mean, means getting everything organized, decluttering, and setting up a system of shared chores that works for our family. I often spend so much time cleaning and caring for my family that I lose sight of me, and chores become a resentful thing, since I seem to be the only one cleaning up sometimes. Spending hours cleaning and cooking, bathing children, etc gives me little time to pursue anything else. Some of this is my own fault, but my family could be stepping up a little more than they are at times.

Enter Flylady.

Many of you who follow me already know about Flylady, but if you don't go there right away!! The times I have had this system working well in my home have been some of the times I have had the most time to just enjoy life. it is a cleaning/organizing/fly-washing system that helps you to "Fly" which stands for "finally loving yourself". What better way to flourish than to love myself?

While I set about discovering what flourish meant and how I could flourish this year I found this graphical chart on this website. http://eugenieteasley.com/a-good-manifesto/
As I looked at it I realized that "Finally loving Myself", hits so many of these Flourishing features. Self-esteem, positive emotions, purpose, and you could likely make good cases for a few more.

So my first step to flourishing in 2013 is to start at the beginning with the flylady system! Back to the basics, and stick with it all through the year (but not get mad at myself if I fall of the flywashing wagon, that isn't positive!) I also plan to start a control journal later in the process, and will be sharing some free printables with you throughout the process.

Without further ado let's jump in and start off 2013 with a bang! Head over here to find the Flylady beginner babysteps so you can follow along!

Beginner baby step number one is to go shine your sink!
I absolutely love this one! It feels kind of like "If you give a mouse a cookie" for me. If you give your kitchen a shiny sink it is going to want a shiny counter to go with it, and the shiny counters will see the dirty appliances and want to have them clean, and then it starts to spill over to the rest of the house! But for now, don't feel like you have to do it all, just go shine your sink!

Follow the Steps Here.

Or watch this video

And then you are off to a great start! Let's flourish and fly!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

One Little Word: Flourish


[flur-ish, fluhr-] Show IPA
verb (used without object)
1. to be in a vigorous state; thrive: a period in which art flourished.
2. to be in its or in one's prime; be at the height of fame, excellence, influence, etc.
3. to be successful; prosper.
4. to grow luxuriantly, or thrive in growth, as a plant.
5. to make dramatic, sweeping gestures: Flourish more when you act out the king's great death scene.

I had an incredibly hard time picking a word this year. I started thinking about it in November, and I didn't actually pick on until yesterday! The looming new year forced me to come to a decision, and I ended up with a word that hadn't even been on my list of possibilities. To try and help my decision I had started listening to the reading of the words from last year on Ali's Blog. They read the word "bloom" and the word flourish just popped into my head.
I knew it was the one. It just felt right. It encompassed several of the things I was hoping to capture with my word. 
2013 is going to be a big year for our Family. My husband is graduating form College in May, We are taking our first family vacation (to DisneyWorld! More on that later), my oldest son will be starting Kindergarten, and we are likely moving, depending on where my husband can get a job after graduation. It's a lot of change, a bit of uncertainty, and a lot of fun. 2013 also comes with my husband being home more, which gives me more time to focus on other things, especially with my oldest going off to school later this year. 
It seemed like the perfect year to work on "Me", but the word "me" seemed too selfish. I thought about what it was I wanted to do with that "me" time and found myself entertaining the word "community". 
I wanted to spend my time working on more craft projects and getting more involved with the crafting/designing/blogging "community", building a network of people that I could take with me wherever I might end up. I also wanted to socialize my boys more, with no car, and a husband who worked 16-17 hour days I hardly ever had the energy to participate in local play groups, as most of them have activities in the midst of suburbia, involving lots of walking, in who knows what weather... I wanted to help my children build a "community" to, and get to know more people in my area. I wanted to start going to church more regularly and be part of that community. That word stuck around as my word idea for a while, but it still didn't seem right.
And then came "Flourish".  I wanted to flourish in my community, become a real part of things, feel like I belong and am needed. I wanted to flourish in my relationships with my children and husband, make them stronger, and create new memories. I wanted to flourish wherever I might end up by the end of this year. I wanted adventure to flourish in my life, explore new possibilities, places, and experiences.
So flourish is my word. And hopefully I will be flourishing in 2013! 
I've started a pinterest board on my personal account that focuses on my one little word, quotes, books, others posts, items, etc. It is a work in progress right now, but I hope to add more. You can find it here.
I also hope to sign up for Ali Edwards class at Big Picture Classes that helps you explore your chosen word a little more each month of the year, and keep it in the forefront of your mind. I think it is an excellent idea, plus it helps me to build a community, as a few of the lovely ladies I met at the Smash Ball are taking it as well.
So excited for 2013! This is going to be an awesome year! How could it not be with my Lucky number 13 in it!