You can’t make this up! My son actually said that to me one night this week. We have a chore chart that rotates each week and some weeks are done better than others. My son is by far the best at doing his chores without being asked and he is only 9. This week his chore was dishes and he made sure they were done! I even found the dishwasher going the other morning to my surprise because I don’t remember many dishes in the sink. Of course when I opened the dishwasher there indeed were only 4 dishes in there and it was going! Too cute! I had to explain to him later that he can load the dishwasher and wait until the end of the day when it is more full to run them.
So back to the title. After doing the dishes one night he decided to clean off the kitchen counter with the cleaning spray. He then moved to the table. Then just started cleaning things around the house like the shower doors, sinks, bathroom counters, etc. That is when we said it was bedtime and he said “I’m not tired can I stay up and clean? Oh if we could only bottle that type of enthusiasm for cleaning! I am still trying to figure out if he really was having fun cleaning or if he just thought that would allow him to stay up later.
We have tried to make our children understand the importance of work as well as the need to help around the house because they live there too. This education and experience will hopefully follow them when they leave home. Their rooms are their responsibility, however most days it looks like a bomb went off. Their idea of cleaning their room is find the closest area to shove something under or into and now that it is “out of sight” it is clean. We are still working on that! We started with chores when they were younger and of course they were more basic but have progressed to larger responsibilities or ones they are required to do without help now that they are older. Our chore chart now consists of 3 different major chores that will rotate each week so they each get a chance to do something different weekly.
- Pick up all laundry around house on floors and from baskets
- Sort laundry
- Fold laundry and help put up
- Pick up dirty dishes from around the house
- Load dishwasher
- Empty dishwasher
- Clean counters and dining table
- Clean trash from floors
- Sweep and spot mop floors
- Take out the trash
- Clean bathrooms once during the week
What chores do your children do around the house?
Photo Credit: grouprecipes.com
My husband’s family grew up loving Red Velvet Cake which quickly became a favorite of theirs for birthdays or special occasions. I had never tried one until I had married my husband. The recipe is said to be the actual Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake served at their hotel and after trying it you could certainly see why. Although if you search it online as Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake you will find a few variations of the recipe.
I have tried to make cakes from scratch before and they have never turned out as tasty or easy as this one. I have to admit that if I am short on time I have cheated and made a store-bought red velvet cake however I will not cheat on the icing. This icing is to die for! It is not like a traditional cream cheese frosting you will find on many Red Velvet Cakes. This one is almost like whipped cream but is very rich. It also is fairly simple to make as long as you follow the instructions and make sure the flour mixture is completely cooled before preparing the remainder of the icing.
This still is the cake my husband loves for his birthday and of course being red it is perfect for Valentines too. I am never so fancy as to do multiple layers as shown but I have cut the cake in half and put a layer of icing in the center. Although I have never done it before these would make really fun cupcakes for Valentines parties too. If you have never had red velvet cake, or never had this recipe you HAVE to try it! Click HERE for the recipe:
What is your favorite cake or frosting?
Valentines Day costs consumers nearly 16 billion dollars a year. That is almost 1.1 billion boxes of chocolates. Jewelry and dining out average 3.5 billion each in dollars spent and flowers bring in around 1.7 billion. We spend almost a billion dollars on greeting cards alone. The average man will spend around $150 and women around $75 for their significant other. All to show our love for others on this special day.
Remember in elementary school where children exchange Valentines with classmates and how paranoid you were that someone would think you liked them because of what your valentine would say. Inspecting each candy heart to verify what it said before it went into the envelope? Maybe the goal was the opposite and you wanted to profess your love for someone by reserving that special Valentine just for them and maybe giving them a few extra candy hearts too!
I think I am a bit of a strange cookie because I have never been one that was big on a specific day set aside to profess my love for someone or them for me. I think we have that opportunity “every” day and frankly getting flowers, cards or other gestures out of nowhere on a regular day says more to me then a set day on the calendar where you feel the pressured to profess your love. There are some that have expectations on Valentines day. When those expectations are not met they often become angry or hurt because they did not receive what they specifically wanted or feel they deserved. True heart-felt gestures of love should be accepted for what they are, a gesture of love. I think expectations can put pressure and stress on your significant other to “perform” and then it no longer feels like a true gesture of love. That said I understand that it is a fun day to make sure we are letting all those important people in our lives know that they are loved and frankly just having a whole day set aside to focus on love itself.
So what gift ideas are trending for Valentines Day this year?
- Lingerie (is that really for her or more for him?)
- Aroma Candles (lets set the mood)
- Music Players or Equipment
- Mood Music
- Digital Reading Device
- Books on Relationships/Marriage
- Romance Gift Basket (PG all the way to X rated!)
- Romance Gift (also PG all the way to X rated)
- Handheld Organizer
- Accessories (belt, wallet, gloves, etc)
- Grooming Products
- Alcohol & Candy
- Bar Set (so they will drink at home I guess?)
Gifts are a fun way of celebrating but they really are just material items and it is the time we spend with loved ones that shows our true feelings. Just as the Beatles song says “All you need is love”. Happy Valentines Day!
What are you planning for Valentines Day? What was your best memory?
I work as a customer service agent and one of my biggest challenges is when a customer calls in with a unique name and doesn’t spell it for you. We are required to verify spelling even if your name is John Smith but I was assuming having a unique name you would understand it would need to be spelled in those circumstances. This certainly is important if you are one who has every letter of the alphabet in your name! How about those with common names that have unique spellings? I get that on calls too where I will say “do you spell that Alison” and then find out it is actually spelled Alesyn. This can often make a typically easy name hard to pronounce phonetically when seen on paper. That name looks like it would be pronounced A-el-sin not Al-ih-sun.
How about those children growing up with a name their parents thought were either funny or unique but really are just awkward and weird. Nosmo wouldn’t be my first choice but alone it is okay, however if your last name is King then your name spells out “no smoking”. How about the mom who had twins whose names are pronounced “or-ann-jilo and leh-man-jilo” but spelled out they are Orangejello and Limejello. Orange and lime jello? Really?
We had picked unique names for our daughters and although my son’s name is more traditional we don’t find many peers with the same name. The spelling of their names is easy enough that most pronounce them correctly and they have beautiful names.
I was in the store the other day and heard a mother yelling at her kids and calling out their names on the next aisle. This took me back to when I had to realize when at the store I might know someone on the next isle when I am speaking in a raised voice to my kids. They would certainly know it is me because who else has those names?. Of course I also realized I just shouldn’t be yelling at my kids in the store anyway!
So what are some of the pros and cons of a unique name?
- You are probably the only one with your name or maybe only one of a few so you are easily identifiable.
- People may find it easier to remember you when you first meet because of your unique name.
- You will find more compliments on your name because it is not common and may be the first time someone has heard that name.
- You are all set to become a celebrity with a stand out name if you choose a life of fame. You could be known by your first name only, like many famous people.
- You don’t have to be identified by your first “and” last name. Remember in school where there are 3 Adam’s in one class and each had to go by their last name or last initial to be identified.
- There isn’t any products with your name on it at the store.
- Your name can be difficult for someone to spell or pronounce.
- There may be more teasing associated because of a unique name. But let’s be honest, kids will find anything to tease each other about.
- Could others be confusion of your gender with a unique name? If your name is Jennifer or Steve on paper it is obvious who you are but with a unique name someone may have difficulty when having to addressing you as Mr. or Mrs. on the phone or in a letter.
- If you are named after a celebrity with a unique name are you going to always be identified back to that person? “So your name is Keanu like Keanu Reeves the actor?”. This also would apply if you name your child after a character like Thor they certainly will be always answering that question “from the comic books?” or ask “where is your enchanted hammer?” for the rest of his life.
- Some unique names just don’t fit in a professional world. It can be hard to take someone serious in business when they introduce themselves with a funky name!
What unique names have your heard? What experiences have you had with a unique name either for yourself, your child or someone you know?