I haven't done much on my computer lately. I was on such a roll last month, and this month has been so sparse.
A few weeks ago was the Smyth family reunion and I took this picture of my two boys with three of their cousins (Spencer's kids). Richard's family wasn't able to come, so we were 3 cousins short. The five cousins pictured are very close in age and have a lot of fun playing together. I wish, and they wish, that we lived closer so they could get together more often.
I spent the morning doing a quick clean of the whole house and ended with mopping. Mopping is such a chore - I have about 1000 sf of laminate flooring and it is such a workout. Now, 5 hours later after mopping I am still tired. I remembered why my good intentions of mopping more often never happen - it's too much work to mop more often. I really want to put in carpeting in my family room - that would eliminate a fair amount of work. I do love when my house is all clean. I'm trying to get into better routines so that it doesn't pile up and become such a huge chore to clean. In efforts to get my children more involved in daily cleaning I've set up a point system that they have to earn a minimum number of points just to be able to play and then they can earn even more points if they want to do something big, like go for and ice cream or go swimming or such. They earn points not only for doing a chore, but also obedience points for doing it when I ask (ie, not dawldling and telling me just a minute 500 times) and they also get attitude points when they do it with a good attitude.
It's been great so far. Last week when Charlie asked if he could go outside and play I asked him if he had earned his daily points yet, he still had to earn one more point, so he asked what he could do to earn that point, and then he quickly did it so that he could go outside. I also like that this way we can focus on one or two big activities for the week to work towards "remember, we are earning points to go swimming on Thursday", etc. It helps keep them motivated and it helps so that I don't have to tell them "no" all the time when they ask to do this or that.