Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Chores: You are NOT Doing Them All By Yourself, Are You?

When I was a kid, I remember telling my mom once, "You just had us so you'd have servants!" Now that I'm a mother of four, I think ... well, yep, that sounds about right. Those kids make great servants! Plus, they're cute to look at while they work.

But the biggest reason to teach them while they are little is not so you can get out of the work yourself, but because if you don't teach them, adulthood will be that much harder.

I have a friend who was pampered as a child and not taught to do any cleaning or cooking. She is now the mother of four preschoolers and has the hardest time keeping her home. My friend recently found a bag of flour in her cupboard.  Her mother had left it after visiting one day. My friend didn't know what to do with flour; she had recipes, but didn't know how to follow one! So she called her mom to ask what to do with the flour.  Guess what her mom said?

"I am so sorry I never taught you those things you need to know."

Don't you wait until your child is an adult to teach him or her!  Teaching can begin today. 


The kids don't need to add to our burden. They can be little helpers! Don't dustpan the floor after you sweep, get your 5yo to do it. Don't wind the vacuum cord after you vacuum! Call him in, tell him it's a race track and he gets to drive the cord around the track, winding it up.

Think of yourself as a manager. You are delegating the small stuff so you can work on the big stuff.  You will enjoy the little breaks that you receive and you will be less stressed. Your children will be filled with pride. But their real reward is later.


When they grow into adults they will know how to take care of themselves.


(Sometimes we just don't realize what chores our children are capable of.  In the below posts, you will see my lists of chores that my children can do at ages 2, 5, 7, and 9.) 

Chores: What 1-2-year-old Walkers Can Do

1-2 year-old walkers can...

• Load the clothes' dryer as you hand over the items one by one. Say the names of the colors of the clothes as you hand them to her, so she'll learn her colors at the same time.

• Empty the silverware container from the dishwasher. My 2-year-old dumps the silverware into the drawer, so we have to straighten it, but at least it is in there!

• Take the silverware to the table for setting it

• Sit on the counter as you make cookies and dump the cups of ingredients into the mixer as you hand them to her

• Wipe the table (not in a sanitary way, but still!)

• Clear her items off the table after she eats

• Dust empty surfaces, like the coffee table.

• Fill the dog or cat dish with the food that you give her

• Pick up her own toys (if she can pull them out of the basket or drawer, she can put them back in!)

Chores: What a 3-5-year-old Can Do

3-5 year-olds can...

• Pick up an assigned floor (our little guy is in charge of making sure the living room and the library room floors are clear all day long)

• Dust low areas

• Sort socks (call it the "Matching Game")

• Wind up the vacuum cleaner cord after you vacuum

• Use the mini-broom and dustpan after you sweep the floors into a pile

• Clear the table after meals

• Empty the clothes' dryer into a basket

• Get the mail (if your mailbox is in a safe area, of course!)

• And he can do all of the 1-2year old's list, in the above post

Chores: What Elementary-Aged Kids Can Do

Elementary kids can…

• Drill the preschoolers on numbers, colors, and letters. We keep flashcards, chalk, a Leap Pad, and dry-erase boards for this reason.

• Fold clothes from the dryer (Start them out with just towels, then shirts, socks, and finally Daddy's looooong pants. Nobody folds anyone's underwear! Those just get :::eww!::: tossed into the owner's pile)

• Clear and wipe the table after meals (our 9yo Brenden does this at supper; 7yo Brittany does this for lunch)

• Sweep the kitchen floor after meals (9yo's job at lunch; 7yo's job at supper)

• Vacuum a room or two

• Be in charge of keeping the floors of two rooms clear all day long (9yo does the boys' room, foyer, and hallway; 7yo does the girls' room and kitchen)

• Window clean

• Give the baby her bath (I'd wait until she is well old enough to sit, and your elementary-age child has to be trustworthy enough to do this!)

• Clean the bathtub after the younger ones use it

• Make a basic recipe (our 7yo can make French toast if I assemble the ingredients first. She also makes cinnamon toast; our 9yo can follow the directions on a box)

• Fill the cereal bowls of the younger children in the morning

• Fill the baby's sippy cups or bottles, or the preschooler's cups, as needed (our 9yo doesn't always want to do this for his 5yo brother, but I always say, " I was filling your cup when you
were his age, so you're going to do it for someone else now!")

• Open and close the window blinds/curtains each day.

• Do everything on the lists above, for 1-2-year-olds and preschoolers.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Today, June 24, 2005

Returning... from our trip up North, to Chicago, over to St. Louis, then back to the Gulf Coast.

Wishing...that our 9-year-old boy would not have decided to turn 10 years old last week.

Watching...the fun Tim, my dh, had while in Chicago, his hometown, with his brothers and his friends. We do need to visit more often...just not ever in Winter! article when I got back for The Old Schoolhouse, a homeschooling magazine. My deadline was Friday and lemme tell you, I do feel "dead" after trying to accomplish that so soon after our long trip!

Wondering...why there was an extra chicken in our pen when we returned home. Our chickens were turned loose during Tropical Storm Arlene, so we wonder if she just somehow found our pack and joined them back in the coop. She's a mystery, but since she's a good egg layer, we're just going to call her "Welcome, Arlene."

Feeling just a little unworthy of all the new members to my newsletter email list. Over 25 just this week! If you want to add to my feeling of unworthiness, send an email to . I send a newsletter out roughly monthly on homemaking topics. If you hate Yahoo mail, just wait a few days and I'll post another invitation to a new listserve I'm going to use.

Missing...the Deep South while I was gone, but missing all of you even more. For some reason, everyone we visited was in the Dark Pre-Internet Ages, and I could not access the 'Net. I feel blind when I cannot see my email.

I'm glad to be back!

Thursday, June 09, 2005


We are heading to Chicago tomorrow morning for a 10-day vacation and time of visiting relatives and friends. Click here to learn more about it.

I'll try to get on the 'Net to write, but if not, come back to look for me around June 20th!

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Each evening, I walk through the house, checking door locks and baby's blankets...and almost every time I feel a wave of contentment sweep over me. When that wave of contentment comes, I hear myself say, "I love you, God," or "I just love this house, these kids, this man You gave me. Thanks, God."

In the past, this wave of contentment was a fragile thing, coming only when certain circumstances were met. For one, there could not be any clutter or unfinished housework. For another, I had to feel as though I did a good job as a wife and mama that day. Also, I could not be upset or annoyed at anyone.

God has given material things to our family and He has taken away. Through the hard times, I have learned that there is only ONE thing necessary for contentment:

Making the choice to be content

In Philippians 4:11, Paul says, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:"

Being content can be a choice and can be learned! Paul learned contentment even in circumstances like living in prison and walking endlessly and speaking to people who didn't like to listen.

Are you focusing on your cluttered closet, the Legos scattered on the floor, on the way your husband reacted to your grumpiness?

Or are you focusing on the abundance you have as a spoiled American to even have clutter, and even have a closet. You have children who are healthy enough to scatter Legos, and you are blessed with enough abundance to give them little plastic toys instead of sticks and rocks. And you have a husband, one who works hard to help you fill the fridge and parent those babies with you.

It's all about perspective.

"Two women looked
through prison bars.

One saw mud,

the other saw stars."

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Heart of the Home

"Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house." Psalm 128:3

She - the wife - who is the heart of the house, making it a home, she is the reward to a man who fears the Lord! (Enough children to fill a table is also part of the reward, if you read on. I'm sure your husband is glad to know that one.)

For some reason, it warms my heart to know:

1. I am part of Tim's reward.
2. God considers me to be the Heart of the home.
3. My place - the point of my focus - is to be at home.

Are you being the kind of gal who makes a good reward? Is your husband really thanking God for this present that was given to him, or is he saying, "Uh, no thanks!"?

Friday, June 03, 2005

God's Vulnerability

"'...But Me she forgot,' says the Lord." ~ Hosea 2:13

God has a vulnerability when it comes to us. He truly cares about whether or not we love Him and go His way. When we reject Him, our great God's heart actually hurts from the loss.

Isn't it amazing that the Creator of all the Universe, where there are billions of other people, would get hurt when little me rejects Him?

He could have the love of the 99 yet still He would mourn the loss of the one. (Matthew 18:11-12)

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Heard in Our House

"Thank you for teaching me how to mop! I always wanted to know how to mop! Can I mop every day?"

~ Tim, my dh

Ha Ha! No, silly, this one was quoted by our absolutely God-Given seven-year-old daughter. Whenever she is antsy and about to drive me nuts, I hand her a bottle of Windex and a rag. I'm serious!

She looooves homemaking. I told her tonight that she is making God very happy with her sweet spirit. We are going to read Proverbs 31 together tomorrow.

It was written with her in mind.

And with you in mind, too.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Homeschool Bloggers

If you have any interest in homeschooling at all, or if you are just a blog-a-holic and want more great blogs to read, head on over to Homeschool Blogger. The Homeschool Blogger just opened its web doors a couple of weeks (or less) ago, and already 200 talkative bloggers are blogging over there.

They sent yours truly an invitation to blog there, so I've started a Keeping the blog, which you are welcome to visit (See my links, to the right).

There you were, wondering what to do with your evening, now that you are broke from spending too much on eBay. Now you have something to do. Go read!