As much as I really intended to keep up on this blog better than I have, it just hasn't worked out that way!  With homeschooling a houseful of kids (the oldest of which has behavioral issues, Jacob with his medical issues, the youngest has legal issues, and the other two have ADHD!), a big, old, house and semi self-sustaining farm to take care of, and several old car restoration projects, there just doesn't seem to be any time to dedicate to this website and blog, as much fun as it has been!

I do find myself with a little more free time these days, though, as we now have a chore system set up!  I entered all of the most important things I want/need done every day (make beds, laundry, put clothes away, water plants/trees, chicken scraps, feed/water pets, meal prep, garbage, tidy bedroom, vacuum, set/wipe table, dishes, etc., and my personal favorite... 1/2 hour of homework!) onto a free, online, Bingo card maker, which randomly placed each chore in a different location on each card, which I printed about 50 of, to have a different one randomly assigned each kid, every day!  They get to choose which Bingo they want to try for on their card (by doing those chores), as long as it includes the MAKE BED square!  Each Bingo gets them 1/2 hour (supervised, of course,) use of the of computer, TV, WII, Nintendo, Ipod, etc., with only 1 Bingo allowed on the days we have to go out, and two allowed on the days we will be staying home.  They all love the fact that they have some control over which chores they will to do everyday, which keeps it interesting.  It's pretty funny watching how hard they work at coordinating their chores like tidy bedroom with vacuum, or laundry with put clothes away (with each pair being counted as TWO chores!), and avoiding the unpleasant ones like clean the bathroom and pooper scooper!  We are always tickled when we hear something like our 11 year old son saying "Thanks mom, for letting me clean your bathroom!"  After the other kids had already cleaned the other two!  Now, that one just makes me all sorts of happy!!

And speaking of amusing, we had a pretty odd situation here a couple of days ago.  Our house sits on a hill and the master bedroom is on the 2nd floor, facing our neighbor's property, so we have a pretty good view of what goes on over there.  Well, that house, which sits on 6 acres at the end of a private road, has been empty for a couple of months now, but there's still been a fair amount of traffic in and out.  My husband had gone to take a mid day rest and had only been gone a few minutes when he came trotting back down the hall asking for a pencil and paper.  After nearly 32 years of marriage, I could tell he had something on his mind, so I knew better than to even ask what was up, at that point, so he wouldn't lose his train of thought, whatever that was!  He got his shoes on and headed out the door, hopping into his truck and taking off!  He got back about 20 minutes later, saying that he had heard a lot of racket and looked out the window to see two men unceremoniously unloading a pickup and trailer full of trash, next door!  He thought they must have seen him when they jumped back into the truck and took off, with only half of it dumped.  He followed their trail of trash, catching up to them about 6 miles away, took down their license plate number and description of the vehicle, before passing and forcing them to stop.  He got out and told them that they had two choices... to get their you-know-what's back there and clean up their mess, or he was calling the Sheriff's office with their information!  After a few lame excuses and a little grumbling, he followed them back in, where they cleaned it all up!  The kids were all in AWE of their dad's bravery and insight!!

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