Whistle While You Work

Whistle While You Work

So on the last post I was talking about monthly menus.  I actually just made up our May menu.  Have a look-see:

We’ll stick to that unless something unexpected happens.  This month, we have Mother’s Day, mine & Evan’s birthdays, and in a few Tuesdays I’m taking the kiddos to see my parents.  Those nights (and days!) we’ll wing it.  Other than that, this is what we’ve got.  You probably noticed that Thursdays are kind of lazy days.  You’d be right.  Gabe has speech and occupational therapy on Thursdays and I’ve started walking with a friend.  So on those days, quick and easy trumps most anything else.  The kids love breakfast for dinner, so Wednesday is our designated day for “dinfasts” (I’m working on a better name, I swear).  Some of the meals you see are family favorites and I’ll be sure to put the links at the bottom of the post if you’re so inclined to take a gander.

Anyway.  A few Fridays back I searched for a chore chart that I really liked for our little family.  For now, anyway.  We’re relatively fluid people, so this may change.  But for now this, from the Vintage Mother‘s blog, works great.  Gabe’s been doing this ever since and has been doing a fantastic job with it — hopefully it won’t backfire.  He’s five, after all — almost six! — and it’s time for him to hunker down and help out around the house.  He’s always been helpful, but because of time and other factors I’ve never taken the time to set up a chore schedule.  Now when he gets home, he knows he has homework, then playtime while I start dinner, chores, and dinner.  He can have 30 minutes of TV while I’m giving Connor his bath, and then it’s bath time for the Gabester, story-time, and finally (finally, finally) bed.  His chores are not super extensive or time-consuming, but what little he does saves me between 35 minutes to an hour depending on the kind of day we’ve all had.

Apologies for the shoddy picture.  It’ll do for the time being, I suppose:

chart

On Saturdays he has what I call “Wildcard Saturday”.  In addition to the chores he already has (excluding bathroom trash), he has to pick three more easy to moderate chores from our chore jar.  The chores can be anything ranging to helping me put up clothes, pulling weeds outside, wiping down counters, helping clean the yard, etc.  If he completes all of his chores at the end of each day, he gets a token for being a good helper.  Those tokens can be used for one-less a chore (to be used only on Saturdays), earn something special from the prize box, or pick a meal for the monthly menu.  At the end of the week, he gets a few quarters if he’s done all of his chores well without complaint.  And at the end of every month, he gets a special pizza night (hooray for a no cook night!).  Since it’s a new system, I’m sure I’ll do some tweaking at some point.  But for now it’s working and it’s been nice not to have to run around the house making sure everything is done by midnight every evening.

...Gabe DID ask for a pet the other day...
…Gabe DID ask for a pet the other day…

Connor is not excluded from this new system, although he’s still too little to have his own chart.  He helps me sweep (holding dustpan.. I always have to redo it, but it’s cool); he helps me put clothes in the dryer; and he picks up his own messes.  He even cleans off his own high chair tray after dinner (again, I have to redo it.  but whatever).  Maybe my house won’t look like such a man-cave sooner than I’d hoped!

Look below for recipes from our monthly menu!  Hope you find something you like.  Bon Appetit!
1) Honey BBQ meatloaf, Six Sisters Blog
2) Honey Baked Chicken + Potatoes, Cravings of a Lunatic
3) Sweet ‘n Sour Chicken, Favorite Family Recipes
4) Sausage Pasta Skillet, Dinners & Desserts
5) Chicken Milanese, Kraft Recipes
6) Cheesy Garlic + Brown Sugar Pork Chops, SkinnyMom
7) Chicken Broccoli Pockets, Chef in Training
8) Bacon Cheeseburger Quiche, Cupcakes & Kale Chips
9) French Dips, Yellow Bliss Road, + Homemade Fries, I Heart Naptime
10) Easy Jack Chicken w|Bacon, Oh Sweet Basil
11) Ham & Cheese Pinwheels, Chef This Up
12) Mexican Casserole, Noshing with the Nolands
13) Mississippi Roast + Gravy over Rice, Table for Two  (also great without the rice and on a hoagie)
14) Pork Carnitas, Aldi US
15) Ranch + Cheddar Chicken, Buns in My Oven, + Rolls, Instructables
16) Pepperoni Pizza Pasta, Kevin + Amanda (can be made vegetarian or with any other meat, I’m sure)
17) Rodeo Burgers, Julie’s Eats + Treats
18) Ranch Pork Chops, Hidden Valley

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