Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It unfolded as if it were planned

I've been thinking back to previous food preservation seasons and have realized something: I didn't feel as stretched this year.

It has a lot to do with the lack of big tomatoes and tomatillos - I did just one batch of salsa this year instead of the usual 4-5.  And another biggie: cabbage.  An unfortunate blow-out.  Again, just one batch of sauerkraut instead of the usual 4-5.

But I think it also has a lot to do with these guys.

Our oldest: Diego and Truen, ages 9 and almost-7
(Exploring the dry creek bed southwest of our place)

Looking back over the past year, I can see that we have been building up to the concept of Morning Chores and Evening Chores.  I didn't even really realize I was doing it.  It started with the cat litters last winter.  In the spring I added emptying the dishwasher every morning.  In the summer they started folding and putting away their own clothes each week.  This fall they started emptying and refilling the goose and duck water troughs every night.

It has been amazing.  Not only is it a relief to us in the fact that it takes a bit of the load off of our shoulders, but the boys are stepping up to the plate and accepting responsibility.  I am so pleased about it.

In our experience thus far, there have been a few keys to success:
  • Consistency.  They do their chores every morning before breakfast.
  • Teamwork.  I have them do everything together so it doesn't overwhelm them.
  • Dessert!  We made chocolate mousse to celebrate their takeover of the bird water from Blaine.
They are also very keen on the idea of a $50 a year allowance as a reward for their efforts (I can't remember what that breaks down to per week).

So when I look around, things aren't quite as overwhelming as they have been in the past.  Instead of feeling like absolutely everything sitting squarely on my shoulders during the day, there has been a bit of a reprieve.  It is such a relief. 

And by writing this out, I came to realize that the boys have taken over two chores apiece from Blaine and me.  Cat litters and bird water from Blaine and dishwasher and folding clothes from me.  Awesome.  Next on the agenda: cleaning the bathroom sink & mirror and vacuuming.


lil' mama said...

oh the dreaded bathroom sinks and counters. Not sure how they get that much toothpaste over everything but mine do! :)
Great job Mama Shawna with chores and responsibility.

Ashley said...

I adore this picture of your boys.