Thursday, December 30, 2010

Every year, by the end of the year, we are slacking off in our scripture reading. Maybe it's because December is so busy. So every year we are motivated to come up with a new plan for getting back on track.

In 2010, we rewarded every month of 25 days or more of scripture reading with a special dinner. Sometimes we went out and sometimes we made something special at home, complete with a dessert we don't normally have. That worked pretty well (up until the last while.) So we are sticking with a reward theme.

For 2011, we are going to earn points for reading every night. We decided to come up with a list of 'prizes' for the whole family that the points can be used toward. We are going to rig the point system so it works out that we can earn about one prizedfrom the list per month.

Last night, we sat around and thought up a list of prizes as a family. Here is what we came up with:

1. Costco chocolate cake
2. Mom's homemade cinnamon rolls
3. The Wii game Just Dance 1 or 2 (the boys highly protested this one, but it got a nomination and a second)
4. Family Holiday where Dad and all children take a day off school and work
5. 2 dozen doughnuts (so everyone can have 2)
6. Dinner at IHOP
7. Homemade candy bar shakes
8. Pizza and soda for dinner (we have pizza just about every Friday night, but not SODA)
9. Unlimited Root Beer floats
10. Everyone gets to pick their own box of sugar cereal
11. One pound of bulk candy of choice from Winco for each family member
12. Trip to the movies
13. Wristband and snack at snack bar at the public pool this summer (wrist band means you get to go on the extra climbing structures not included in the entrance fee)
14. Each person gets to pick out two things from the Dollar Tree
15. In n Out Dinner
16. Everyone gets a treat from Costco food court

Notice how most things revolved around food? I think that's the influence of teenage boys. Of course, some prizes will be worth more points than others (like the IHOP Dinner which costs about $100 vs. homemade cinnamon rolls which is under $5). We are putting in place a plan to randomly get extra points for reading every month so we can earn some of the bigger prizes if we are lucky and save up our points.

The kids were so excited they were ready to start right away. So we earned our first point for reading last night.

I like it and think we will have a pretty successful scripture experience this year, right up until December.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Last Sunday we asked a friend to take a picture of our family for our family Christmas letter. We lined everyone up. As expected, Anna and Jeffrey had a hard time staying still for the camera. But one other family member had a hard time. Look in the upper right corner to see Jacob's many changing faces.
As our friends' Christmas letters and pictures arrived, I noticed their teenage boys didn't cooperate much for the camera either. Several of them had straight, serious, almost angry-looking faces, and one had his Ipod earbud complete with cord hanging down in the ear that was showing. So I guess I should consider us lucking to have the goofy teenager rather than the sullen one. When I asked Jacob why he made so many weird faces, he pointed out that he smiled in at least a few pictures. Unfortunately, that was when Jeffrey was getting bored or Anna was taking off her sweater.

Here is the picture we chose. Jacob didn't love the goofy look on his face, but I told him it was natural consequences. Maybe he will stay still a little better next year...but probably not!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why I haven't been blogging...

This fall we have had three soccer players, one football player, and Josh has been enrolled in a chess/soccer class for home schoolers. I have sat at soccer practice for about an hour and a half Monday through Thursday since the beginning of August. We have also gone to most of Daniel's football games every Thursday night, several of the Varsity football games on Friday night, and three soccer games every Saturday. It's been a busy, sporting fall so far. Fortunately, Katie drives herself to practice and I can just drop Josh off. So I guess that is where all my blogging time has gone.

It has sure been fun, though, to watch everyone compete and cheer them on individually.

Here are some pictures from this week's soccer games. (You can't get a good picture of a football player, and kids playing chess makes a pretty boring shot too.)
Beth's team in a post-game cheer
Beth says she wishes she could play soccer "every day but Sunday."
Beth taking a practice kick at the goal
This is Katie's 6th season playing on the Mad Penguins
Katie's big kick in a big plus for her team
This is Adam's first year. He has played goalie most of the season.
Taking a big jump
Ready to defend the goal

It all comes to an end next month. We only have Daniel signed up for basketball. Hooray! Just in time for the holidays...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Anna's haircut

Last weekend, Anna cut her own hair. I thought she and Jeffrey were playing on the porch outside, but they were doing haircuts. Apparently, Jeffrey made a couple of cuts to Anna's hair, then she took over. Here is the only picture I could find of what her hair looked like at the beginning of August.
Before...and after...After I cried for a while, and got mad at them both, I called the hairdresser. She was able to see us the next day, and she told me she had seen worse. So here is Anna's first haircut in a real salon. Beth came along for moral support (and to play with the toys, if there were any.)

The finished product...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August fun

School started too early here...August 9. But we still had enough time for some final summer fun.
The first week of August, we took a camping trip to the Redwoods with my sister and some family friends. We had a great time!

Jeffrey learned to ride his bike on the trip. Now you can't keep him off it!

Cousins on the root of a fallen redwood. That is Anna in the middle.
Jeffrey, Josh, Ryan, Adam and Anna next to the Smith River. Plenty of sun there.
Katie, Jacob and Daniel took the partly deflated boat down the river with no paddle. They learned the meaning of the term 'lazy river.'

Katie and Beth in the redwoods.

The trees are huge and beautiful.

The view looking up a hollow tree

The view looking down at Ryan, Daniel, Anna, Jeffrey and Adam

Cousins in front of the 'big tree'

Daniel, Beth, Katie and Anna

Muscles!At Crescent City Beach--it wasn't exactly warm. Once the kids figured out to build a fire, we were a lot more comfortable!

Josh chopping wood--one of the great things a boy can do only when he is camping...

Keables, Pettingills and some friends

Josh and Adam on the river

Boogie boarding Beth

Anna Banana

Dads get some fun, too. Here is Rich jumping from the big rock on the river.

Jeffrey, Ryan and Adam

Jeffrey loved the ocean water even though it was cold

Boogie boarding Adam

Anna and Jacob in the sand

Beth and Anna in the sand

Ah, settled next to the fire

The two football teams come together after the big game on the beach.

The Keables Family

Whitney and Brandon kiss Anna Banana goodbye

Katie gives her beloved twin a kiss

Daniel, Adam, Jacob and Katie around the fire

Family picture
Then the fun had to come to an end. Here is a picture of Katie, Daniel and Jacob at 6:25 a.m. on the Monday after our trip, the first day of school and seminary.