Saturday, September 24, 2011


If you were around when I was growing up, you know that my mother tried a vast array of chore charts to motivate us to help with housework. We never got an allowance, but we were able to earn money by helping with housework. When we were young, we had different jars to help us to "manage" our money. I remember a Jesus jar (tithing), a savings and spending jar. When we got a little older, we were responsible to buy some basic toiletries and clothing for ourselves.

All that to say, we have tinkered around with different ways of earning rewards. Sticker charts never seemed to matter to Tyler - even as a toddler with potty training. He could have cared less about earning stickers. And a chore chart working toward earning money didn't have much of an impact either. Perhaps that is due to his age. I have found it difficult to give Tyler an allowance. I tried and it lasted a whole 2 weeks or so. I think because of the way I grew up, it seemed like something he should earn. An incentive always helps when we're working on learning a new skill or helping around the house.  I wanted a way for him to be able to learn the value of working toward a goal and not just have things handed to him. So, after a little trial and error, I think we stumbled upon a little method that works pretty well for us.

Tyler helps to pick out a toy, with my guidelines/suggestions. I make a chart (with lots of boxes) for him to earn that reward. He earns x's for doing things that are asked of him. For example, I was tired of him leaving his tooth brushing supplies and blobs of toothpaste around the sink. So, if he cleans up after brushing without a reminder, he earns 1 x. This has come in quite handy as a motivator for doing things he doesn't really want to do - and he will do it without complaint, especially if he is earning x's. We keep the toy on the refrigerator. He likes to pull it down and read the package with excited anticipation, often asking for what he could do to earn x's, and counting down how many more x's he needs.

Tyler's currently earning this Bakugan set.

What motivator do you/ have you used with your kids that has worked well for you?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Grandpa Henry

Well, I've also been meaning to write about the health ups and downs of my Yoder Grandparents, Henry and Polly. Both of them suffered from a stroke last summer. But Grandpa has been having a lot more difficulty lately. My aunt Kathy wrote about it today on her blog.

Wayne B. Stuckey

Grandpa Wayne Stuckey went back into the hospital on September 11. He was discharged under the care of hospice, and died Friday, September 16. When I learned of his passing, my initial reaction was shock. I realized that even though he had been in and out of the hospital over the last several months, I had let myself believe that we might see him again at Christmas.

One of my favorite pictures of Tyler with Grandpa and Grandma Stuckey.

Grandpa Wayne will always hold a special place in my heart. He was kind, loving, and easy to get along with. He loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren dearly. Ever since I started dating Wayne, Grandpa Wayne, he got teary with goodbyes. He had a hearty laugh and twinkling blue eyes. He made me feel so welcome in the family and loved on us all. He will be sorely missed.

Rachel posted a lovely tribute to Grandpa on her blog.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Learning to Ride

I can't remember how long it's been since Wayne took Tyler's training wheels off his bike. None of us can remember whether it was last summer or the summer before. Suffice it to say, it's been a long time and Tyler has not ridden at all since then. Wayne had great intentions to teach Tyler to ride. But they never ended up giving it a try. (Likely at least in part due to the fact that Tyler resisted the idea of it - I think he was a little scared...not that he would admit that or anything...and not that he inherited that timidity from someone either).

In contrast to the unbearably hot summer temperatures, this last week has been beautiful. So, today we made a trip to the park to give it a try.
They started on the hill...

and practiced rolling...

And before long, he was pedaling alone. His seat was a bit it hadn't been adjusted since the last time he rode.

Aubrey and I watched.

But mostly, she ran all over the place.

When we got home, Wayne adjusted the seat and Tyler got a little more practice.


Soccer Season Begins

Yesterday was Tyler's first soccer game of the season. For the next couple of months, he'll have a couple practices a week and a game on Saturdays. Wayne opted out of coaching this year and the new coach has a ... different coaching style. I'm sure it'll all be fine and I'm glad that Tyler will have some built-in physical activity and a chance to learn some new skills. While he wasn't so excited about it last week, today he says that he likes it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Toy Story 3 on ice

This week, we went to Toy Story 3 on ice with friends. We all enjoyed it!

Tyler said that his favorite part was the aliens skating to Star Wars music.

I also kept telling myself not to take pictures, because it would never do it justice...but I did anyway. AND I posted them. Ha! :)

Labor Day Weekend

So, last weekend, Mom and Dad came out for the Miller reunion. I took Friday off so that I could enjoy a little more time with them. That afforded me the opportunity to take Tyler to school for the first time since he started 1st grade. We walked in with the herd of little people (his school has only kindergarten and first grade classes ). By "we," I mean that Tyler and I walked in...followed closely behind by Mom and Dad, both carrying their video cameras. I carried my camera. I think it is safe to say that the start of Tyler's day was thoroughly documented.

Here he is choosing what he wants for lunch on the Promethean board.

Here, he gets to work...flanked by paparazzi. :)

Saturday and Sunday (and most of Monday) was the Miller reunion in Partridge, Kansas. For those of you who attended the Yoder reunion a couple summers ago - we were at the same place.

Eating breakfast on the first day.

Monday, Aubrey, Tyler and Dad took a little ride with Ellis on the tractor to do a little "work." ;)

We had a great visit!

I'll part with a couple of random pictures that just make me smile. :)

Aubrey loves chocolate. And is a little goof. And has a snotty nose. (She is saying "cheese" and really isn't about to attack, like it looks).