Monthly Archives: March 2011



I hope everyone enjoys Spring Break. I’ll be in Cancun for a week soaking up the sun (it’s 28 degrees currently in Indy–brrrr!).  I’ll chat with you all soon.




Whatever You Do, Don’t Give Her Any Chores!


This article tickled me and made me recall the numerous chores I had growing up.  My kids got a kick out of this, too.

But on a more serious note, I wonder what kind of chores she had to do?  Sometimes as parents we don’t do things with age appropriateness in mind. 

Nicholas has a few chores: keep his room decent, load and unload the dishwasher, empty all the trash cans in the house, and help with seasonal yard work.  Che, well he’s a sweet baby and all, but he hasn’t volunteered to go get me a diaper yet, lol, maybe I’ll try asking him tonight!

Here’s an article I found on the web site Lots of Kids with suggested chores for each age group.

Age Appropriate Chores

It is important to teach responsibility to children in the home. They need to know that they have certain things that are expected of them. Responsibility and work ethic are important things to instill in your children, in order for them to feel they have worth and to gain skills necessary to succeed in adulthood. Also, it has been shown in studies that children, including toddlers, who have household responsibilities have greater self-esteem and less overall behavioral problems.One of the biggest questions that is asked by parents is what chores are appropriate for a child at what age. Well, there is no set answer to that question. All children are different, and some develop physically and mentally at a different rate than other children. However, for most children, you can expect them to do something within a certain age-range, meaning if you have a five year old, it’s very possible they can accomplish tasks that would be expected of a 2 to 3 year old, and may be able to accomplish something a 7 year old could do. Just keep each child’s individual abilities in mind when assigning chores and be ready to adjust them if needed.

Another hint for chore assignment is a buddy-system. Have a younger child help an older child (or you) do the chores for a few weeks. Once they have learned the ropes, so to speak, allow them to try it on their own. Remember, as with any new job, there is a period of adjustment and learning. Don’t expect a perfect job the first time out. Over a few week period, you should see improvement and, hopefully, mastery of the job.

If you are still unsure what a child can accomplish at a certain age, here are some general guidelines as to what chores/tasks are appropriate at what age. As mentioned before, these are just suggestions and you may find your child can do these task earlier/later than mentioned. These skills may also be dependent on motor skill development, so please keep that in mind for your child’s safety. Remember, ultimately, you are the best judge of what your child can do and when.

9 to 24 months

  • Simple errands (using easy directions), such as: “bring mommy a diaper”, “put this is the trashcan”
  • Putting dirty clothes in a basket/hamper.
  • Simple help with groceries, such as: putting items in shopping cart, helping put items on the check-out conveyor, handing items to you to be put away at home.
  • Picking up toys and putting in toy box (don’t really expect them to sort and organize too much at this age)
  • Yard work, such as picking up trash and toys.
  • Wiping up small spills and messes with a napkin or washcloth.

Two to Three Years (in addition to chores previously mentioned)

  • Putting shoe/coat in proper place
  • Slightly more complicated errands (continue to use easy directions), such as: “throw these clothes into the hamper”, “put this dirty cup in the sink”. Child should be able to attempt a chore when asked to.
  • Toilet training
  • Wash hands with help
  • Brush teeth (may need assistance)
  • Helping with laundry, such as: helping sort dirty clothes by color, handing clothes to mom to put in washer, transferring clothes from dryer into basket.
  • Picking up toys and books, beginning skills of learning to put items in their proper place
  • Cleaning up after himself/herself after meals (i.e. taking dishes to sink, helping clean-off table)
  • Carrying light-weight groceries in from car
  • Put books and magazines in a rack.
  • Helping to set table (napkins, plates, and silverware)
  • Help feed pets
  • Dust with socks on their hands

Three to Four Years (in addition to chores previously mentioned)

  • Helping to water plants/garden
  • Wash hands (without assistance)
  • Brush teeth (without assistance)
  • Pick up toys and put in proper place
  • Put dirty clothes into clothes hamper
  • Normal daily routines (such as getting dressed, breakfast, etc. in morning; bath, prayers, bed in the evening)
  • Simple but regular responsibilities, such as getting the mail, keeping room neat, putting their dirty clothes in hamper
  • Helping wash the car
  • Helping put up groceries in proper place
  • Help cooking and preparing food (with adult supervision)

Four to Five Years (in addition to chores previously mentioned)

  • Dust
  • Assist in making bed
  • Feed and basic care for pet
  • Put away clean clothes (children may still struggle with folding “properly” as this is an emerging skill)
  • Set out clothes for the next day
  • Simple vacuuming/sweeping.
  • Share toys with friends (practice courtesy)

Five to Six Years (in addition to chores previously mentioned)

  • Sharpen pencils
  • Make bed/change sheets (with minimal assistance)
  • Set table by self (at this age, they still should not be handling sharp knives, etc.)
  • Set out backpack, shoes etc (whatever is needed for school)
  • Learn to be polite, courteous, and to share; respect others.
  • Help clean out the car
  • Keep room tidy

Six to Seven Years (in addition to chores previously mentioned)

  • Make bed/change sheets (without assistance)
  • Wash dishes with help from mommy
  • Fold and put away clean clothes
  • Set out clothes for the next day
  • Set out backpack, shoes, etc (whatever is needed for school)
  • Clean room
  • Unsupervised responsibilities (washing out trash cans, etc.).
  • Make pour own drink, get own condiments, etc.
  • Simple help with younger siblings (changing diapers, watching him/her while mom showers, helping with bath)
  • Dress on own and choose outfit for the day.
  • Learn to tie shoes.
  • Answer the telephone and begin to dial the phone.
  • Pay for small purchases.
  • Hang up own clothes in the closet.
  • Pulling weeds and simple raking
  • Carry own lunch money and notes back to school.
  • Start remembering to do homework on own

Eight to Ten Years (in addition to chores previously mentioned)

  • Care for self and simple first aid, such as: putting a band-aid on their cut, icebag on bump.
  • Prepare simple meals, such as: sandwiches for lunch, salad for dinner, preparing drinks
  • Learning to use washer/dryer with supervision
  • Increased responsibilities for younger siblings (dressing infants/toddlers, entertaining them for longer periods, helping with school work)
  • Complete responsibility for their room on a daily basis
  • Cleaning yard
  • More difficult cleaning projects (scrubbing floors, etc.)
  • Saving and donating (if children receive an allowance)
  • Bathing on own (do check on child, but constant supervision should not be needed)
  • Help others with their work when asked
  • Help make decisions when shopping for self and household
  • Fold blankets
  • Simple sewing (buttons, hemming rips, etc.)
  • Clean up animal “messes”
  • Pick fruit off trees
  • Assist in household projects/repairs (painting, etc.)
  • Write thank-you notes
  • Feeding baby and younger siblings
  • Cross streets unassisted
  • Do chores without a reminder
  • Handle self properly when in public places alone or with peers

Eleven to Twelve Years (in addition to chores previously mentioned)

  • Join outside organizations, attend meetings, follow rules, etc.
  • Being responsible for own schedule (homework, appointments, etc)
  • Help put siblings to bed and dress them
  • Respect others’ property
  • Help with yard work, including use of yard tools
  • Buy own “treats” with personal money
  • Help with car maintenance

Thirteen Years and Older (in addition to chores previously mentioned)

  • Help in making decisions about self, such as how late he/she should stay up during the week, what time he/she should come home from friends’ house, etc.
  • Responsibility for preparing family meals
  • Social and health awareness (exercise, hygiene, etc.)
  • Replace light bulbs and vacuum cleaner bags
  • Wash windows
  • Clean out refrigerator and other kitchen appliances
  • Prepare grocery lists

Article © 2005

Tied Up






So I’m trying to learn how to tie a tie. I’d like to be able to teach this skill to my son. Not to mention the fact that I want to learn for the sake of knowing how to do it.

Three of my coworkers (vice principal, school police officer, and the media specialist) were gracious enough to humor me with vp supplying an extra tie and his neck.  I wanted to learn the full windsor because I like the way it looks.

After the lessons I received on my lunch break (pictures above), I practiced at home on myself and voila!

Weigh In


Topic: Alcoholics

Question: Is it true that a drunken mind speaks a sober heart?

My Opinion: I do believe that people under the influence speak freely as their tongue is “loosened” up.  Besides, they must have some basis in which to say the things that they do.  Here is an example that I found online:

Saturday my husband and I went to a party and he was drinking all day. We were getting along great at the party but on the way home we were talking and all of a sudden he got really nasty. He started bad mouthing me, my family and my friends. We have been married for a little over a year but have been together for about 5 1/2 years. He told me that I haven’t made him happy in the 5 1/2 years that we have been together and I don’t act like a proper wife and all I care about is myself. He was saying a lot of really hurtful things especially about my family, which I do not tolerate. He told me that my friends and family are worthless and I’m not allowed to see them unless he is there. I was so confused and had no idea where this was all coming from especially since we were having so much fun together at the party. I was so furious that when we got home I went for a walk around the neighborhood for about an hour just to think. When I got home he had the door bolt locked with a chair up against it so I couldn’t get in. Thankfully I had my keys and after a few tries pushing on the door I was able to move the chair. He was passed out drunk on the sofa. I have only said about a dozen words to him the remainder of the weekend and he has not apologized once for the hurtful things that he said to me. I haven’t been wearing my wedding ring either but I don’t even know if he notices. This isn’t the first time that he has bad mouthed my friends and family when he is drunk. I am seriously considering leaving but I am scared. I just don’t know how to leave and I am afraid that I am going to regret leaving but I can’t stay in a relationship like this. I just don’t understand why he says such mean things when he is drunk. Is it because he is thinking it when he is sober?
What are your thoughts on this subject (if you can take a drunk person’s words to heart)?

Sweet Treats


Yesterday Starbucks started selling cake pops (Birthday Cake, Rocky Road, and Tiramisu) and whoopie pies.

But if you don’t wanna pay for cake on a stick—make your own!

Cake Pops

(Makes about 50)


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Trim about 1/2 inch from the perimeter of the cake. Working in batches, crumble cake into the bowl of a food processor; process until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a large bowl and add frosting; blend together using the back of a spoon, until well combined, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Roll mixture into 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch balls; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with parchment-paper-lined aluminum foil. Transfer to refrigerator until chilled, about 2 hours or to a freezer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Begin to shape balls into cupcakes by rolling balls first into logs. Fit logs into a 1 1/4-by-3/4-inch flower-shaped cookie cutter. Push cake mixture into the cutter halfway so that some of the cake mixture extends beyond the top of the cutter. Shape extended cake mixture into a cupcake-shaped top. Push cake from cutter to remove. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Transfer to freezer until chilled, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Remove cupcakes from freezer and dip the bottom of each cupcake into the chocolate; transfer, bottom-side up, to prepared baking sheet. To make lollipops, insert a lollipop stick into the bottom of each cupcake. Let chocolate set, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Melt white chocolate or pink candy melts in heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the chocolate and place right-side up on prepared baking sheet or stick lollipop sticks into a Styrofoam square. Place a candy-coated chocolate in the center of each and top with sprinkles. Let dry completely.


Cupcake Pops and Bites

Read more at Cupcake Pops and Bites – Martha Stewart Recipes

Oh, Had I a Golden Thread


My sweet little niece Jada was born last week.  She is sooooo pretty!  All I could do was stare at her delicate face as she slept.  Jada was also born with Down’s Syndrome.

A week before her mom went into labor the doctor informed them that there was a possibility the baby could have it and that her labor would likely be induced to prevent a stillbirth.  There was also a chance of her being born with deformities. After I heard the news I immediately prayed and asked others to pray with me. 

When they told me she was fine I felt relief.  I had to see for myself so we went to visit her as soon as I got home from work. And she looked perfect to me. She did not have the signs of a baby with this genetic disorder–no flaps of extra skin, the flattened nose, or the almond-shaped, droopy eyes.  I immediately thanked God.  Jazmine was sooooo excited and was talking a mile a minute as she paraded around the hospital room telling me all the things she was going to do with “her” Jada. 

A couple of days later the results came back and it was positive. My heart deflated like a balloon.  What in the world would those two do with a baby with mental challenges? I  already help them out a lot financially.  More importantly, how would they handle it emotionally? 

So I thanked God that she was at least born with life.  But this diagnosis still feels so heavy.  When her mom told me I didn’t know how to form my mouth to offer some comfort.  What do you say in a situation like this?  All I was able reply was that it was going to be okay and that they had my support. 

I asked her how they were coping.  She said “I’m okay with it, she’s still my baby girl.”  She said my brother had accepted it as well after a few tears.  At that moment I felt such utter gratitude and respect for them both.  I doubt that I would have welcomed the results with an ounce of their graciousness.  Jada is lucky to have parents who love her unconditionally.

Since then I have contacted the local Down’s Syndrome chapter and requested information for them, did some research for myself, and I plan on buying them a book for parents of children with this condition.  There is no way I can “fix” this so I did the only thing I know how to do–help them become informed.

However, I am still struggling with this. Why them?  We get so comfortable assuming that all children will be born completely healthy and that is not always the case. Now I must find the strength to pray that God may equip them both with knowledge, patience, and diligence required to raise a child with special needs.

Oh, Had I a Golden Thread (Eva Cassidy version)

Oh, had I a golden thread
And a needle so fine
I’d weave a magic strand
Of rainbow design
Of rainbow design

In it I’d weave the bravery
Of women giving birth
In it I’d weave the innocence
Of the children over all the earth
Children of all the earth

Far over the water,
I’d stretch my magic band
To every city,
To every single land
To every land

Show my brothers and my sisters
My rainbow design
Bind up this sorry world
With hand and heart and mind
Hand and heart and mind

Oh, had I a golden thread
And a needle so fine
I’d weave a magic strand
Of rainbow design
Of rainbow design

Don’t Worry, Be Happy


*Today’s post inspired by this post.

How many of you would describe yourself as “happy”?  Is happiness even possible in this lifetime? 

Happiness is transitory.  I can be happy one minute and deeply saddened the next.  I want to have joy which feels more lasting  and less fleeting than happiness.  Perhaps that’s why James says:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

James 1:2-5

When you have joy, you can still experience peace and contentment in the midst of problems.  Happiness is a fickle teenager while Joy is a seasoned senior citizen

What are your thoughts about happiness?