The Last Of It…

We have three teenagers in our home. They are witty, intelligent and caring of others. They are also moody, self absorbed and lazy. Not knowing which attribute we will see around the house is a fun game. A game I am not always prepared to play.

The worst part of this game is as a parent, I’ll ask a question of them. A question that I’m not expecting an answer to. More a rhetorical question that I want them to think about. As I grow older I realize that this is a typical “Dad Thing” to do. And my kids do the typical “Teenage Thing” as a response.

Here we see an example of what our kids love to do. They don’t quite use up everything. Just enough that they leave it for someone else to find/replace/change/throw out… a roll of toilet paper with one square… A carton of juice with five drops left… Sour cream with half a spoonful remaining… When I ask, “Who finished…?” I get the usual, “Not Me.” And sometimes, “It’s not empty…”

If I didn’t have to supply nourishment to them, there are some days I’d leave the fridge barren to prove a point. which I am tempted to do this weekend. Leave some lemon juice, a yogurt, pickled pepperoncinis, salad dressings and condiments- see how well they’d survive before asking for real food.

The joys of being a parent to three teenagers brings out my immaturity.

Utilizing The Weather

It’s another beautiful day on the West Coast. I decided to make the most of it and get some “winterizing” done. I headed to the gas station and filled a large jerrycan for future use in our backup Generator in case of a power failure. Our one daughter filled six yard waste cans with leaves and our other daughter cleared off the roof and driveway.

Then I did the unthinkable.

I put up our Christmas Lights.

I figured I might as well do this chore while the weather is warm instead of waiting until December. The lights won’t be going on until then. But why not put them up ahead of time? I’m also not the type of person who leaves the lights up year round.

Either myself or my daughter are up on our roof every couple of weeks blowing leaves and pine needles off as it is. So taking a few moments today made sense to check the downspouts and put up those lights. I was able to enjoy a bit of quiet contemplation time on the roof. There’s something calming about autumn when you get to enjoy a few hours of beautiful sun and crisp air.

Now to head back inside and pour a nice cup of tea while we listen to music.

Summer Clean Up

Our kids have already been enjoying over a month away from school. We’ve kept them busy and active for the most part. Or at least tried to. Somehow they always resort back to playing on screens both big and small. Ask them to get off the computer, straight to the iPad. Ask them to put down the iPad, off to the iPhone. Then the PlayStation or the Nintendo Switch. The kids need to be occupied with something.

Today my wife and I are going to keep them occupied with a massive cleaning of our home. Inside and out. Our kids’ responses: GROAN. That was to be expected. But our lovely home has fallen into some disarray. It’s time to get things back on track and try to keep it that way.

Hahahahaha… I know the house will get messy again. Of course no one wants to do chores. But we all love living here. So…

GET TO WORK!

Hopefully the weather stays calm and we can enjoy our first night at the Drive In. You know- reward the kids with the biggest screen of all!

Yard Work, Yard Work, and More Yard Work

I have been tackling our yard over the past couple of days. Yesterday I was working on trimming our rhododendron bush when the rain hit. Today, I cleaned the green moss/mold off the front edges of our roof’s flashing.

Then I formed our boxwood bush using bailing wire and my electric hedge trimmer. Followed by planting some Hostas and Helleborus in a shady part of our front yard. I figure by the end of next week our front yard will win back it’s curb appeal.

Having an acre is difficult to maintain. It’s also difficult to figure out how to decorate and keep the flow going. We have a few spots that are overgrown or ignored. I’m hoping to change that this summer (on a budget!). Lots of work to do for the family.

Having three teenagers around can either be useful or frustrating depending on their attitudes of the day. Hopefully they will enjoy the fruits of their labors. I figure by the summer our home will be easier to maintain. Only time will tell.

Blanket Fort or Chores?

While my wife and I were away for the weekend with our son, we left our two oldest at home alone. At age 16 and 14 this was a good opportunity for them to earn some more trust from mom and dad. They are both well behaved and smart girls, so we really didn’t have too many concerns. Read as: No Parties.

Before we left, we gave them a few chores that they needed to do. Usually it takes my wife and I a bit of hounding to get the kids to do stuff around the house. Perhaps we should’ve been more diligent this weekend while we were in another province. When we returned home- it looked like they were expecting servants to clean up after them. (Aka mom and dad). None of their dishes were cleaned and their pizza boxes and lasagna tray from a few dinners before were cluttering up the counter.

Did they do the extra chores you may ask? Why, certainly not.

What they did do was this:

Our middle child made a blanket fort with loads of encouragement from her older sister. It stretched out from one end of our theater room into our main foyer, through to the disaster of a kitchen and around the corner into the dining room.

Our 14 year old daughter had done the entire thing on her own. That’s because she got bored while her sister was at work. Why couldn’t she just do her chores? She is very proud of her accomplishment and since there is another week of Spring Break- she will likely need that long to take it all down and re-fold the blankets and put everything away.

She was inspired by watching re-runs of Community. Growing up doesn’t mean losing sense of childish fun. But there is some grown up responsibilities to be had as well. Hopefully our examples of how to be adults will rub off on our kids.

If you’ll excuse me- I’m off to play some video games and then take a nap before working my night shift. See? Having fun and being responsible is possible.

What do you do to keep the childish fun inside of you alive? How do you balance responsibilities and fun?

Let me know in the comments.

Breaking up the Doldrums

Spring Break has been treating us to some wonderful sunshine and warmth so far. We’ve taken full advantage of it. From washing cars to yard work- our kids have been doing chores without complaints! I know, crazy talk but it’s true.

Here’s the thing, they do the work so they can have the freedom later. Our kids get to play some video games in the morning before we start on the chores for the day. If we get the chores done in a timely manner- the kids then get to play some tabletops games before dinner. Win-win for all of us! Plus a clean yard and car.

I love the fact that they also want to play their games outdoors. They put on some music in the background and proceed to play nicely together. They’re even getting some D&D characters made and shall depart on a journey that will likely last a few days. Seeing our children do their part around the house without a battle and getting along with one another makes me super proud.

What motivates your kids? How have you been spending Spring Break?

Busy Busy

Today's post is short. I've been rather busy picking up some of the chores my wife usually does. I don't usually do laundry, but today was an exception.

We both have certain things that we do to keep the household running smooth. We have a good understanding of the shared responsibilities. Tonight I also prepared a dinner for some friends coming over. We went to meet our friends up the road at the Krause Berry Farm for a glass of wine before coming to our home for some brisket and mashed potatoes.

The kids helped to take down and fold most of the laundry. They also helped make dinner and set the table for our guests. It is nice that our kids are helpful without any fights.

We ate dinner outside with our friends and… I forgot to take my underwear off the laundry line. So now our friends know my brand of underwear…