Eating: I consider myself to be a potato chip connoisseur. I keep a running list in my head of good brands and what to steer clear of. For a while, Panera changed their chips from the brown bag to another, subpar brand and I almost wrote to management about it, but they brought back the chips in the brown bag so they’re back in my good graces. I was recently at TJMaxx and found a new brand- Deep River Snacks. Their chips are a tad salty but the thickness and crunch level are top-notch.

Another snack discovery is Bobo’s oatmeal snack bites. Warmed up they’re a good snack and taste a little like pie. Annabelle has turned down her nose at them but I like them. I got them in the TJMaxx snack section which is our poor-town version of Trader Joes.

Filling in: some gaps in education. Annabelle recently said something to me about “when cows lay eggs”. I didn’t know that was a gap in her knowledge! I thought she knew they didn’t come from eggs! Later that day, we are walking across the parking lot and she said, ”Do you think it was a good idea for bombs to drop on Hiroshima and Gagasnaki?” We have two VERY different ends of the educational spectrum here.

Dreading: the family presentation we have to give at the homeschool group in a few weeks. I know it’s coming up soon but I haven’t checked the email for the exact date because once I know I won’t be able to stop the countdown clock in my head. This morning my friend asked me if we had done it yet and said, “You say you went to visit your friend a few weeks ago but I thought you might have skipped out because it was your day.” That does sound like something I’d do and may or may not be planning to do on our week. Annabelle told me, “Mom. I’ll teach you how to give talks.” How much can I pay her to do the whole presentation while I sit in the corner cowering from the secondhand embarrassment of our family being the center of attention?

Trying: a new allowance/job system. I strongly believe in not paying children to do everyday chores. I will never hand money to my child for making her bed or cleaning up after a meal. She needs to learn to be a productive member of the family and society. I don’t want her growing up thinking she lives in a hotel or that she needs to be paid for hanging up her backpack. However, I will occasionally have Annabelle do a job, such as sweeping the garage or washing all the doorknobs in the house, that is beyond her normal chores and give her a few quarters. I want her to learn to manage money so I started a system I heard about on a podcast. Every day I write three chores/jobs she needs to complete that day. When all three are done, she checks the box for that day. If she does all three things every day for the week, she will get two dollars. If she completes all the jobs for every day of the month I will give her an extra two dollars. I told her some of it will be in quarters that she’ll have one jar for saving some long term and another jar for tithing at church, but beyond that, she can save or spend the rest. It feels silly to pay for getting goggles out, but I’m hoping this will help her get in the habit of checking her list and learning she needs to be responsible if she wants to earn money. 

We’re two days in and it’s worked well so far. Come back next month to see if the momentum has stayed. 

Wondering: when someone will start paying me for all the chores I do around here.

Reading: so much. I had a bit of a reading dry spell but I’m back in the reading game. 
House Rules by Jodi Picoult. I’ve only read one of Jodi’s books that didn’t suck me in and this was no exception. I read it by the dying light from the fireplace like Laura Inglass of ye olden prairie days.

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer.  I downloaded this on the ipad but since I seldom read books that aren’t actual books I forgot about it for months. I’ll never turn down a good WW2 book.

Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austen.  I’m only two chapters in so I haven’t fully developed an opinion, but the title caught my attention at the library and the subject matter is not one I normally read. 

On the Bright Side by Melanie Shankle.  I’ve often spoken of how much I enjoy Big Mama and her blog so I won’t wax poetic again, but I will say that I’m really enjoying this book. 
“These days, so many voices tell us what to do, what to think, and what kind of parent or friend or spouse to be that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated. Somewhere in the midst of online arguments and crazy politics and the ups and downs of life, we’ve lost sight of the gifts that are all around us: kindness, love, mercy, and joy.”
As someone who always tries to look on the bright side of life, I enjoy reading someone else’s perspective on trying to do the same thing. She always makes me laugh and I’m a little offended she hasn’t asked me be my friend or started texting me memes yet.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.  Michelle said to read this book months ago and I finally started it on Saturday. I don’t know why I waited so long. Michelle seldom steers me wrong in books so I should have checked it out the day she told me about it. I’m slightly concerned about falling and hitting my head and not remembering my life, but other than that it’s great.

Always giggling at: dad jokes. 

Not a dad joke but so accurate because it happens seventeen times a week at my house. I can almost see the cat rolling her eyes.