Monday, February 25, 2013

Everyone is NOT a winner.

Have you seen this photo circling around Facebook or Pinterest?

photo source

The reason why I post this is because today was an eye opening experience for not only me but my kids.

Mike and I have had this talk that we hate the mentality of, "Everyone is a winner!"
We know alot of people especially parents who feel it's OK to teach their kids that everyone is a winner. In some area's maybe. And that's a BIG MAYBE!! However if everyone is told that they are a winner no matter their effort then how does anyone develop personal drive? How does a person push themselves to be better when all they have to do is sit back and be labeled a winner anyways? They don't.
Someone can't appreciate happiness without sorrow. Pain without feeling joy. Victory without feeling defeat. So when someone says to our kids, "Everyone is a winner" - without apology we will be the first to tell them that this is not true.

And all of this (above) all stemmed from today's activity. About 2 weeks ago our kids received their report cards.
 Hailey did an amazing job! Despite her absences last term she would still do her homework and turn it on on time so she could receive the full credit for her work. That meant some longer nights for her but that didn't matter. She wants to succeed in school. So this report card showed how determine she is.  She received all "3's" (equal to an A) on her report card!

And for Mason he did OK on his markings. He received a few 1's (C's), a couple of  2's(B's) and several 3's (A's). From last term to this term he actually went down on his grades. Which was sad to see Mason lose his drive. He'd goof off and not turn in classwork. Or do his projects the night before they are due so the projects lack that extra bedazzle for a higher grade. Sure Mike and I could hound him to do better but what will that teach him. That Mom and Dad will keep the fire under his butt. Nope- I don't think so.So with seeing Mason's attitude this term Mike and I weren't surprise to see his low grades. So after talking with Mason about working hard in school and how his hard work will equal greater rewards for him I remembered that there's several businesses around our house that reward kids for their grades. Which is always a nice incentive for kids to do better in school. And an even better incentive to show Mason what I'm talking about.

Right after school today I took my kids to Krispy Kreme. They have a promo that they will give a student a free donut for every "A" they have on your report card. So while taking that 15 minute drive Hailey counted up her "A's" and was really excited to see so many donuts. Mason on the other hand he was alittle bummed to count that he only had a couple of "A's".

But great work equals great reward. :-)

When we got there Hailey and Mason handed over their report card to the Krispy Kreme lady who only glanced at the report cards then began to packaged up 2 small boxes of donuts. She gave each  kid 6 donuts.
Turns out the fine print is that the deal is only up to 6 donuts. So Mason was happy for this oversight. He should have only earned 5 donuts but due to over-kindness from the lady she gave him 6. But like I said before Mike and I will be the first to tell our kids that not everybody is a winner. So I took one of his donuts for "parent-fee". He was slightly bummed but not as bummed as Hailey. 

Hailey (and I) were both bummed about this deal. She got the same reward of 6 donuts as someone who doesn't work as hard as she does. Like the photo below equality is not always justice.

photo source

So tomorrow when Mike gets off of work he's picking up Hailey a dozen donuts to compensate for Krispy Kreme's deal. She worked for them so she's getting them.

But anyways back to our after school outing. Next stop was Boondocks Fun Center. They have a promo that each "A" will receive you 3 credits and each "B" will receive you 2 credits towards an arcade game card up to 18 credits. So I was very excited for both Mason and Hailey to be able to see the works of their labors. Hailey should have gotten the full 18 credits with her perfect "A" report card. Mason should have gotten 15 credits.

But yet again....the cashier just glanced and rounded up in Mason's case and gave them each an 18 credit game card.


Mike and I have a Boondocks card from a few months ago that I pulled that baby out and added a few more dollars onto Hailey's card.

I understand that the Krispy Kreme lady and the Boondocks worker want to make kids happy but by what cost? Giving something to someone who didn't earn it. This all might seem extreme for some and that's fine. We really don't care. For our family we want our kids to learn the valuable lesson of working hard. And what would have this taught my daughter? To be lazy in school and to not work hard because she'll earn the same as everyone else?

Wrong lesson to learn my friends. Wrong lesson.

Some might read this and think I'm being harsh on Mason. And if you think this then you don't know our family very well. I've worked too hard with him to get him where he is to have this experience reverse everything I've taught him. He was jealous of Hailey's extra donuts and game credits. He was upset that I didn't give him more stuff. But you know what.... he's made a promise to us that he's going to work harder this term. He's already talking about doing this month's book report and next month's all before his birthday. He did his Math homework by himself last night without anyone having to remind him.  And he packed his backpack up last night before he went to bed. So harsh is not the word I would use. Valuable life skill better fits the description.

And on a side note when Mason and Hailey came home with their report cards Lily asked me where her home-school report card was? Ummm.... I didn't realize home-school had one. I explained to her that she would need to complete a test first and based on her grade would determine her reward. She was excited to have a test.

So I made her a test based on the things we've been working on. She passed off all her upper case letters, numbers, colors, and her name. She knows about half of the lower case letters. I know she knows more than that but I think the font just confused her.
 So for passing her test I gave her this medal necklace that says, "Star Student". She loved it!

But she was more excited that she earned herself 2 Krispy Kreme donuts and a $3 Boondocks gift card. She's really excited for next term's test.

Monday, February 18, 2013

President's Day

Today is a great day for our family. 
No school. Only 1 person has a cold. And I get to spend time with all 4 of my kiddos this weekend. 
With it being President's Day I told Mike on the phone that I wanted to do something fun with my kiddos but on a budget...hahaha :-) I know- bad president joke! 

First off we went for lunch since I was too lazy and ill to make lunch. Mason asked if we could go to McDonald's so he could use his gift card that he got for Valentine's Day. Hey- works for me! 
Afterwards I took everyone to the Hill Air Force Aerospace Museum
I took my kids here a couple of years ago and didn't have much success. So I thought about it and decided to give it another try. My kids are older so they might enjoy it more. 

Plus it's FREE! :-)
They loved it!
Everyone was running around trying to find the bombs. I don't think the old vets liked that my kids were so interested in the bombs, guns, and bullets.
They enjoyed themselves.
Ducati showing me the "baby bomb".

Here's Ducati showing me the big behind of the plane. Not sure on the technical name but that's what makes it so much fun.
Now alittle outside fun.
Oops! Watch out-dead bird. Gross!

Lily is trying to stretch her arms out like this plane. hahaha....Nice try Lily
Hailey is much closer with her pick of plane at least.
Ducati told me that she can't find a baby plane so she'll measure to a plane wheel. Crazy to see that she's the same size of a wheel.
After a few hours of playing, exploring, and learning we were pooped and all wanted to take a nap. But I couldn't leave this area without a stop off at Krispy Kreme.
One of Mike's friends gave him a stack of Valentine's day cards that we're able to redeem for free donuts. Yummy!

My kids were so fascinated with the how-to's on making donuts. So for an entire day of fun all we paid for was $7 and the flu for the next week. :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day

This year Mike and I were planning on having our kid's Valentine's party for all the neighbor kids but with my broken toe and a serious cold being passed around in our home we cancelled all plans and just kept it within our family. But it was still an amazing Valentines Day. 

First I want to post this picture of the gift I made Mike. I made him this scripture dog tag with Song of Solomon 3:4 on it. 
"......I found him whom my soul loveth...."
Mike liked it alot :-)
 After he went off to work I set things up for our kids. Each holiday is special in it's own way so this year I made them some Valentine's bags and Mike brought each daughter a pink rose in hopes they would keep their hands off my flowers (-:
 And nothing like balloons everywhere to add some extra holiday flare ♥ :-)
 Ducati was the first one up. She was so happy to come out and see this wonderful Valentines display that her squeals woke everyone else up.

Mason- he loved that he received "older" kid things. His favorites were the gift card to McDonald's, a painting project, a few candies, and a pair of cuff links.
 Hailey- her faves were a new journal, a nickname bracelet, a box of candies, and these candy earrings that I made her and Lily.
 Lily- she loved it all. She loved the owl socks, the candy earrings, the box of conversation earrings, and the "Lilly flower" coloring project.
 Ducati- I made her a candy necklace since she doesn't have her ears pierced. She didn't mind- she was happy to have a candy necklace. But above all she loved her craft kits.

 For breakfast I surprise my kiddos with GF cinnamon rolls. Mason loved his "Love Monsters" Much more boyish than hearts.

 And the girls got cinnamon hearts. From the looks of the photo you can see Cati couldn't wait to grab them.

 But after the kids were gone and off to school Lily ,Cati, and I went to the library for story time. They love going to story time. It's a great outing for us to add a small mix into our home schooling lessons.
 After story time and checking out tons of books we went home for a very special Valentines day lunch. Yesterday I made these heart ♥ shaped pizzas for everyone.
Mike, Mason, and Hailey all had these packed in their home lunches. It was a nice touch for this special day. All I to do was make the crust then use a heart shaped cookie cutter. Easy but very special :-)

When Mason and Hailey came home from school they tore open all their Valentine cards. Soon afterwards Mike was a home and we enjoyed some delicious gf spinach lasagna rolls. So yummy that I didn't even take a picture since it's so goooodddd!!!!

But to keep the evening calm and easy we had a great family movie night.

I know some people who just don't like Valentines day. It's commercialism, materialism, or some other sort of "-ism's" but honestly I've learned to love Valentine's day.
It's a day to celebrate those you love. Granted I love my family but today it helps me kick it up a notch and go all out to ensure that my family knows without a doubt that I love them. And after today I'm sure they do know. ♥ :-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Balloons

Being home-schooled I don't want Lily and Ducati to miss out on all those kid activities that regular preschools have like parties, field trips, etc. So for Valentines day we made these balloon Valentines for all their neighbor friends. 
 I found these heart shaped balloons at Wal-Mart. So to make these Valentines gifts extra special the day before Lily and Ducati wrote out their Valentine cards and we stuck them inside. Along with some candies. So when the kid popped them they would get a special surprise. The girls loved the idea!
And you can tell since they are all smiles while we were walking around the neighborhood delivering their Valentines balloons.
We love Valentines day! ♥

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wheel of Love

The last time we came to Lowe's Kid clinic my girls absolutely loved it. So this will now be a regular thing that we long that I remember to register in advance. The spots fill up fast.
Anyways this months activity was "Wheel of Love"

Lily was Miss Independent. She didn't want any help from me. She read the directions all by herself. Thank goodness for picture directions or she might have had a different tune about receiving help.
 All by herself :-)
Her finished product. She's so proud of herself. 
 Ducati on the other hand was alittle silly today. See the face....
 Half way through the project she wanted me to do it and she'll decorate it. Umm... so not happening. She wants the end result she's got to work for it.
 So she kept on trucking and hammering. Until finally she was done. She was so happy with herself for not giving up. And so was I. :-)
 In fact Ducati was so happy with herself that I couldn't take a picture of her with her wheel. So she put it on the table so I can take a picture.

I love attending these kid clinics with my girls. It goes to show that not only boys can build. That chicks with hammers are just as awesome....maybe even more :-)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blue and Gold Banquet

 Last night was Mason's scout Blue and Gold Banquet. These are always fun.
Since there's so much to write I'm just going to follow the photos.

Hailey enjoys going to Mason's scouting events but she's usually bored since it's all boys. But tonight she seen her new BFF and had a chance to play with her.
 The scout leaders had a western theme banquet so the leaders were making cowboy hats from paper. Ducati really wanted one so we told her if she wants one she'll have to mustard up the courage to get in line. So she did...
 and was so happy afterwards. She kept saying, "Woo hoo. I'm a cowboy"

 Lily and her cowgirl hat
 Mason and Mike. Mason was just talking with Mike on finding the perfect bandit name for him. Black foot Brown I think is what they settled one.
 Now Mason is trying to the most scariest bandit face he could do. I think Mike looks more scary just by squinting his eyes.

Ducati. She's such a cutie pie.

 Hailey and I. She had so much fun playing around with all the kids. Which is good since I am still limping around with a broken toe.
 After a potluck dinner it was time to pass out the awards. Mason was really excited. He might not be showing it but he is. He's been looking forward to this day for a while. Especially since I kept forgetting those pack meeting dates.
 He's pinning on the mother's pin since he recieved his Webelos badge. He kept saying, "I did it Mom! I did it!" Melt my mom heart why don't you.
 Mason receiving his 9 pins from his cubmaster.

 Showing off my pin. That's right- Mother Pride.
It was a great evening that we all had a chance to spend time with Mason with his fellow scouts.