I came across a hot pepper that I hadn't heard of before, and since it had a warning on it being really hot, I figured I had to buy it.  Now that I've learned it is the hottest known pepper in the world, I have to wonder -- what am I ever going to do with it?

The cashier mentioned that she had done some research on it, and found that it was being used for weapons in India.

Sounds like the perfect thing to eat...

Posted by Jon Daley on September 28, 2010, 2:23 pm | Read 3019 times | Comments (3)
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Inspired by an article in Family Fun magazine, I developed a fun motivator for bedtime cleanup that really works.  Before, there would be lots of complaining, dilly-dallying and nagging.  Now the house is clean every night before bed and the job is done quickly!  Here's how it works.

We have a jelly jar to fill up with colorful glass gems (which we call "beads" though they have no holes).  Each evening at clean up time, we set a timer for fifteen minutes.  For every minute left on the timer (rounded to the next whole minute up) they get to put a bead in the jar.  A bonus of five beads is awarded if the whole house is clean before we even start the timer (motivating clean up before the evening even arrives!).  A penalty of three beads is subtracted if the parental inspection reveals that the house is not clean despite the boys' statement that it is.

The reward for a full jar of beads is a special treat selected by the boys.  The most recent one was to watch a VeggieTales movie.

This works so well for our family.  Now, even if it takes the whole fifteen minutes and they get no beads, the job is done in that short time - in the past sometimes it would take until they were falling into bed and still not be done, really.  The past several days they have gotten most of their beads and even the bonus twice!  The jar is now half full again though it was reset only a few days ago!  The house is noticeably cleaner (ask my Mom who just visited!)  I know I'm using a lot of exclamation points, but I am so happy that this is working out.  Everyone benefits and it is turning out ot be really fun.  (We even get some math in as Noah counts out the reward for the evening and Jonathan divides them as evenly as possible for the three kids to place in the jar.)  (:

Posted by Heather Daley on September 25, 2010, 6:32 pm | Read 2725 times | Comments (4)
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I'm definitely feeling the baby now!  Movements are most noticeable when I am lying down.

9/14 - Jon had mentioned that the next time Jonathan got sneakers, they should have laces.  Jonathan had never learned to tie his shoes because he never had tie shoes.  At almost seven years old, we figured it was time.  It took him an afternoon to get the hang of it and now he's an old pro.

9/17 - At a friend's house, Noah found a small pedal, no-training-wheels bike and successfully made a large circle without falling down!

9/18 - Despite our not being too into sports, Jonathan knows at least something about Pittsburgh.  We were visiting our friends who live on Mt.Washington and the mom turned on the baseball game on TV to see when it ended so they could go up and watch the fireworks.  Jonathan's comment, "The Pirates are winning?!?  That's weird!"

Sometime in the middle of September, Faith added the /k/ sound to the end of "milk".  Now we can distinguish between "more" and "milk"!

9/23 - Faith said "poke" sounding like "boke"

Faith hurt the pinky toe/right side of her right foot on the evening of 9/22 while running around.  She continued to limp and cry about it until 3pm the next day.  I considered calling the doctor, but she was walking on it without complaining that evening.  She still needs to be careful of it because several times since then she has mildly re-injured it.  It was rather strange to me to watch her crawl around after she has been walking so long.

9/24 - As I was falling asleep for my nap, I could hear Jonathan humming to himself - an eclectic mix of hymns, praise songs, Christmas carols, and the Imperial Death March.

Today, Noah asked me to check his shoes to make sure he put them on the right feet.  When I told him they were not, he let out an exasperated sigh.  He had tried really hard and still gotten it wrong.  Poor guy.  But I encouraged him that he'd get it soon.

Posted by Heather Daley on September 25, 2010, 6:20 pm | Read 3561 times | Comments (1)
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8/31 - The boys were making octopuses out of their banana peels. Jonathan called his a "cinctopus".  It had five legs.  His reason, "Because uno, dos, tres..."

9/6 - Faith's second birthday!  When you ask her how old she is, she will answer, "Dew!"  She also answers that for what her name is, and other questions, so we have fun asking things like, "Faith, what's one plus one?  What's four divided by two?"  She opened presents in the morning and we had our church picnic in the afternoon/evening.  It was a fun day for us all and she enjoyed all the festivities, singing, opening, blowing out, etc.  But she only ate the frosting part of her cake. (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on September 11, 2010, 8:32 pm | Read 6672 times | Comments (1)
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