Friday, February 10, 2012

Accountable Kids

For Christmas, I bought the family a program called Accountable Kids. It is based on the principle of 'you reap what you sow.' It is a system that helps me as the parent clearly communicate what is expected of my children and that also has a built-in system of rewards and consequences depending on how well they obey.

I first stumbled across this program months ago online, and a few factors led me to purchase it and implement it on our home. By way of background, let me start by noting some problem areas that I had begun to notice in our home:

1. We had certain daily chores that we wanted our children to complete, but they hardly ever got done. I could have written them out, but only my oldest can read so I was really looking for a chore chart that included pictures.

2. Because of a lack of clear communication and consistent enforcement on our part, we were left frustrated because we didn't feel like the children were contributing to their ability. They were left frustrated because they heard much reminding (nagging) from mom and dad to get those chores completed.

3. We found that the TV was on more than we wanted. And the TV watching, though still limited, was happening whether or not their rooms were clean. I felt like I was regularly telling them 'no' in regards to the TV (if they would ask me) or turning it off to have them help around the house (if they just turned it on assuming it was okay to watch). In short, I was not in control of this aspect of parenting.

4. My boys were developing an attitude of entitlement rather than learning a positive work ethic.

So: how does Accountable Kids help in each of these aforementioned areas?

1. Each of their chores are on a separate tag with a coinciding picture. My oldest can read the words but my middle son looks at the picture and still knows what is expected of him.

2. Accountable Kids had a built-in reinforcement system. When and only when all of their morning chores are done in a timely manner, they earn a ticket. If they do not complete all of their chores, they do not earn a ticket for that morning. The same is true for afternoon chores and evening chores. The kids get really excited to earn their tickets because they can turn them in for privileges that they really enjoy. No more nagging-they know what is expected from them and they know when things need to get done. Additionally, if the child completes all the chores for a single day (i.e. earning all 3 tickets), he gets a star for the day! The star stickers are put on a card and count towards an extra-special date with Mom or Dad. Once they have 10 stickers, they get their date. So, in this way, the program provides immediate positive reinforcement (through tickets) and delayed positive reinforcement (10 days of a job well done). It gives them a goal to work towards and a celebration of achievement when it is reached.

3. The TV is only on when the kids spend a ticket to watch a program or play a video game. If it's on, it means they have asked me to watch it and that their chores are completed. It means I can be the one to tell them YES instead of no!! It means that I can be excited for them to enjoy the things they like doing instead of frustrating them!! They know not to even ask if there is no ticket that they have earned.

4. Instead of a sense of entitlement, my boys know that they must first do their work. They know that privileges are earned. They know that certain things are privileges instead of rights.

Like any other system that you may choose to implement, the changes that need to take place require time and patience before they are a routine. I will say that the built in rewards definitely helped my children with their excitement to participate with the Accountable Kids program. I would not say (as the video promo for the program claimed) that it takes "all the guesswork out of parenting" but nor was I expecting it to. At the end of the day, every parent needs much prayer for wisdom and much dependency on the Lord to undertake the responsibility of parenting. It is a serious yet joyful responsibility! Accountable Kids is a tool (not the only tool but the tool that we chose) that aids in the task of raising responsible kids. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars!

Happy Birthday--Groovy

This birthday card was for my niece that loves all things that are groovy! It was a fun card to make. I used SCAL for the lettering and for the peace sign. I used Home Decor for the scalloped circle and I used Plantin Schoolbook for the circle and for the card base (by welding 2 circles together with the Gypsy). I ran the circle and the peace sign through the cuttlebug using the Perfectly Paisley embossing folder and then adhered the letters. The finishing touch was the addition of stickles to the letters for that added sparkle!
Thanks for looking!

Sew Glad We're Friends

I found a tutorial for this quilted card on Splitcoast stampers. It does take a fair amount of patience to cut and line up the squares and triangles perfectly. I used my paper trimmer to make the squares but it might be more accurate to use the Cricut.
After it was put together I ran it through the Cuttlebug using the Floral Fantasy embossing die. The heart hanging from the button has a stamp on it that says "Sew glad we're Friends."
Thanks for looking!

Army Party Invitations and Honorable Discharge

I love that the Cricut enables me to create custom cards for any occasion! I made these for my son's birthday party. The soldier and the word 'party' were both cut with SCAL and the stars were cut with Plantin Schoolbook. I distressed the card with Tim Holz' ink.
I made these certificates to hand out to the kids as part of their party favors. We played games like 'search and rescue' (aka find the hidden army men scattered around the living room) and 'pin the soldier on the parachute' (also made with the Cricut). For participating in and completing these activities, each child got a medal of honor and this 'honorable discharge' with their names written in calligraphy. I used Plantin Schoolbook for the certificate and for the lettering (had to scale sizes and weld with the Gypsy) and used the markers instead of the cutting blade.

Thanks for looking! Have a wonderful day.

Monogrammed gift card set

I like to make sets of cards for personalized gifts. This is a set I made awhile ago but never posted. The cards are 3x3 and simple to put together once I found the look I wanted. I used my JustRite monogrammed stamps for the image. I cut the circle out with Plantin Schoolbook and the scalloped circle behind it with Home Decor. Then I just cut out some decorative paper that I liked (slightly smaller than 3x3), glued a ribbon around it, and mounted it to a 3x3 square of coordinating solid cardstock. I made the envelopes as well and lined them with paper--some with the decorative paper and some with the coordinating paper.

This card shows the same card but with a blue scallop and ribbon and with the envelope lined with the decorative paper.

I made a drawer box to hold the cards. The directions are from Splitcoast Stampers here, but I did have to modify the measurements to fit my smaller square-sized cards.
Here's the box and the envelopes. I think this makes not only a nice personalized gift but in a way that is packaged nicely for presentation and storage. Hope you like it!

Thanks for looking! Have a great day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advent-Day 14

Day 14
Person: Samuel
Theme: The Beginning of the Kingdom
Scripture: 1 Samuel 3:1-21, 7:1-8:22, 9:15-10:9

Cartridges/Software used:
Plantin Schoolbook: circles
A Child's Year: crown

Also used:
Stickles for the jewels on the crown

Thanks for looking!

Advent-Day 13

Day 13
Person: Gideon
Theme: Unlikely Heroes
Scripture: Judges 2:6-23, 6:1-6, 11-8:28

Cartridges/Software used:
Plantin Schoolbook: circles
My World: clay pot

Thanks for looking!

Advent-Day 12

Day 12
Person: Joshua
Event: The Fall of Jericho
Scripture: Joshua 1:1-11; 6:1-20

Cartridges/Software used:
Plantin Schoolbook: circles
SCAL: trumpet
Paisley: music notes

Thanks for looking!

Advent-Day 11

Day 11
Person: God
Event: Giving the Torah at Sinai
Scripture: Exodus 19:1-20:20

Cartridges/Software used:
Plantin Schoolbook: circles
SCAL: tablets

Thanks for looking!

Advent-Day 10

Day 10
Persons: Israelites
Event: Passover and Exodus
Scripture: Exodus 12:1-14:31

Cartridges/Software used:
Plantin Schoolbook: circles
My World: Lamb

Thanks for looking!

Advent-Day 9

Day 9
Person: Moses
Theme: God's Providence
Scripture: Exodus 2:1-4:20

Cartridges/Software used:
Plantin Schoolbook: circles
SCAL: burning bush

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent-Day 8

Day 8
Person: Joseph
Theme: God's Providence
Scripture: Genesis 37, 39-50

Cartridges/Software used
Plantin Schoolbook: Circles
SCAL: bag of wheat

Thanks for looking!

Advent-Day 7

Day 7
Person: Jacob
Event: Assurance of the Promise
Scripture: Genesis 27:41-28:22

Cartridges/Software used:
Plantin Schoolbook: circles
Graphically Speaking: Clouds
SCAL: ladder, but this could easily be done on Design Studio as well

Thanks for looking!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent-Day 6

Day 6
Person: Isaac
Event: Offering of Isaac
Scripture: Genesis 22:1-19

Cartridges/Software used:
Plantin Schoolbook: Circles
SCAL: clip art ram

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent-Day 5

Day 5
Person: Abraham
Event: The Promise
Scripture: Genesis 12:1-9; 15:1-6

Cartridges used:
Plantin Schoolbook: circles, stars

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent-Day 4

Day 4
Person: Noah
Event: The Flood
Scripture: Genesis 6:11-9:17

Cartridges/software used:
Plantin Schoolbook: circles (the rainbow is made of circles of 1/4 increments)
SCAL for ark

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent-Day 3

Day 3
Persons: Adam and Eve
Event: Sin Enters the World
Scripture: Genesis 2:8-3:24

Cartridges used:
My World: Apple (bite cut manually)
Create a Critter: Serpent (birthday hat cut off manually)

Thanks for looking!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Advent-Day 2

Day 2
Person: God
Event: Creation
Scripture: Genesis 1:1-2:3

Cartridges used:
Plantin Schoolbook
SCAL; globe clip art

Thanks for looking!

Advent-Day 1

It's time for advent! This is the first year that we've used a Jesse Tree in our family, and I made the ornaments for it using my trusty Cricut. I got most of my information from this website but I also thought this one was helpful.
Day 1 was actually yesterday, so I'll post it along with Day 2 today.
Here is the ornament for day 1:
On the back of each ornament I've written the person(s), theme, and Scripture reading for the day (see first link above).
Theme: Introduction of the Jesse Tree
Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Isaiah 11:1-10

Cartridges used:
Plantin Schoolbook for circles (3 1/2" and 3 1/4")
Joys of the Season for the tree (3 1/4") I trimmed the stem a little bit to fit inside the circle.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Monogrammed card

Recently I needed a few simple, quick cards to send. I looked around in my scrapping supplies and found a nice double sided paper-a solid green on one side and a striped print on the other- that I thought could work. Here's the result.
I used my Just Rite monogram stamper (love that they are interchangeable and SO diverse) with one of the Damask borders. The circle was cut with Plantin Schoolbook and the scallop with Storybook. I embossed the green band with Cuttlebug's Swiss Dots folder and ran some white ink over the raised dots for a little more dimension. I bordered that with some grosgrain ribbon from Big Lots. The bottom border is Martha Stewart's Scallop Dot punch.
Here's a closeup of some detail:
Thanks for looking!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


My dear hubby and I recently celebrated our 8th anniversary. I'm a blessed woman; he's so good to me, he's a wonderful father to our 3 boys, he's a willing helper around the house, he's a hard worker, and he's cute, to boot! :) I wanted to make a card for him that simply said "I love you" and this tri-shutter card is what I came up with. Here it is closed:
For you visual learners, check out this video tutorial.
The '8' is cut from Mickey Font. The oval and the scalloped oval are both from Storybook (I made the holes on the scalloped oval with an eyelet setter). I used the Cuttlebug "I Love You" folders on the 8 and for the sentiment and inked the raised images for a little more contrast. For a little more detail, I paper pieced the edges of the patterned paper, like Beate does in the video tutorial. Here's the card again:
So I usually stick just to the craft, but I had to throw in a couple pictures of our anniversary celebration. I surprised my hubby by dropping the kiddos off with a friend and picking him up from work--I told him we had 'reservations to the nicest restaurant Paris has to offer' (our town is called Paris and no it isn't THE Paris! ;) He was totally shocked because we weren't really planning anything special this year. I brought him back to our home, which had a little Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald music playing, the table set with our china and linen napkins (and this card at his place setting and the flowers he had brought me from earlier in the day), and a nice dinner for 2 being kept warm in the oven. What an enjoyable time just to sit and talk over dinner without the threat of interruption. Ahhh! :) Here's my sweetie, before dinner. Told you he's cute!!
Then, after dessert, we went out to the backyard and took a few pictures. Here's one of my favorites. :) I love him so so so so so so so much!
Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Art inspired by Lois Ehlert

Greetings from our new nest in Tennessee! We are slowly but surely getting settled in and adjusting to our new and thus far very humid surroundings! It is beautiful here and all sorts of green.
With all the newness and adjustments and busyness of life, I don't anticipate being able to craft more than about once a week, if I'm lucky! That will be my goal and we'll see how that goes. However, I will be doing more crafts with my pre-schoolers, and I will be adding a new category of posts for this blog...Crafts for Kids. I hope you enjoy it!
Our first craft was inspired by art from Lois Ehlert's 'Boo to You' and is made entirely from things found in the nature of our own backyard! Jonah and I had a blast going on a nature walk and looking high and low for things to put in the bucket for our collection which we then spread out on the table and let our "imashinations" run wild!! Very easy, very fun, very quick, and great for my 4 year old.
Things you will need to complete this craft:
* various leaves, nuts, seed pods, grass, weeds, flowers, acorns, sticks...whatever you find!
* construction paper
* glue - we used Elmer's but you might need something sturdier for big sticks or other bulky items
* an imagination

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hello Kitty Card Set

Here's the group of cards I made for my son's physical and occupational therapists. They did such a great job working with him over the past couple of years and we are so thankful for the progress he has made. I used the Hello Kitty Greetings cartridge on the "card" feature for all of them. To make them thicker and to hide where the fold lines are, I also did a basic black cut to adhere to the front of each card. They are all made to fit an A2 envelope. I used stickles on all of the images except for the butterfly card.Rainbow, cut at 3 1/2"

Heart, cut at 3" and embossed with Swiss Dots

Sun, cut at 4 1/4"

Hello Kitty, cut at 5 1/4" (her whiskers need a slight trim to fit in the envie)

Cherries, cut at 4 1/2"

Flower, cut at 4 1/4"

Strawberry, cut at 5"

Butterfly, cut at 4 1/4"

and a homemade gift box to wrap them in, courtesy of Splitcoast Stampers' resource page.
Thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

baby boy card

My husband's cousin just gave birth to a precious little guy about a week ago and this is the card that I made to congratulate her and her husband. The cut is from New Arrival. You can either weld 2 together to make a card or, if you don't have access to Design Studio, you can cut 4 blackout shapes. 2 will be for the front and back-then you will need to glue some strips of paper to those pieces to act as a hinge for the card. My hinges are where the bow is tied and at the wheel. The other 2 blackout cuts are glued to the inside of the card. They serve 2 purposes. The first is to hide the hinges. The second is to make the card sturdier.
After the card is assembled, it's time to decorate the front. You'll need to cut out another baby buggy-this time without the blackout feature selected. Your last cut will be the baby buggy with the shift on. For finishing touches, I added a string of pearls, a bow, some skittles on the wheels, and the heart above the buggy, attached with a small gauged wire that was shaped by wrapping it around a pencil.
Thanks for looking!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ventura Beach and some exciting news!!

Here's another layout of Ventura Beach. I used a sketch from Page Maps for it. I love the clean lines of it and the balance that the squares give to the row of photos. I used SCAL to cut out the title and Life's A Beach for the sandals and dolphin.

Now...for my exciting news...thanks to Joy over at Obsessed With Scrapbooking, I have won a Cricut Gypsy!!!! Woot woot! She announced yesterday that she would give away a Gypsy when she reached 1,000 Facebook fans--which she reached and then WAAAAY surpassed yesterday and today. In fact, the last time I looked, she had over 1,500 fans! Check her out--she always has the latest and greatest in Cricut products to demo on her personal blog as well as the blog that she co-owns, Everyday Cricut. Thanks, Joy! I cannot wait to receive it and start playing!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

fire engine

Jonah had a Drive-in night at Cubbies last week, and each kid was supposed to make a car to sit in during the movie. Since he's very much into firefighting right now, (dressing up, making siren noises, and putting out fake fires all over the house) we thought we'd make him an engine that he could sit in for that night but also continue to use at home to "spark" his imagination. Scott designed, cut, assembled, and painted the entire engine but he tasked me with the job of cutting out a maltese cross with my trusty Cricut. I found the cross here, on the Quilling Patch.
It was a big hit with Jonah, and we are sure to hear plenty of siren noises throughout our house for a long time!
Thanks for looking!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dig dig dig dig...

One of the things that Scott enjoys most about being a daddy is the excuse to do fun things because the "kids" like to do them. The truth is, Scott loves to dig. He likes to dig BIG holes. But it would look kinda funny to see a grown man dig big holes in the sand by himself. He is thrilled that the boys are at the age where they are also interested in doing things like this. When they were finished with this hole, it was big enough for 2 people to sit on beach chairs inside. I couldn't even see Jonah and Noah inside unless I was standing over the hole. I'll let you guess who had the most fun that day. :)

The journaling reads:
"Q: What do little boys* do at the beach?
*{big boys too}
A: dig dig dig dig dig
dig dig
dig dig dig dig.."

Here's a closer look at the first page:
and page 2:
The words were cut using a variety of ttf's on SCAL. The silhouette on the first page is from A Child's Year. The shovel and pail are from Life's A Beach. I used stickles for the sand and also added a little bit of "sand" to the corner of the shovel. I feel kind of silly mentioning Printing Press, but I did cut the two asterisks from it! :)

Thanks for looking!