Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Last night, while supposedly sleeping, Luke wrapped himself up in his special blankets. Cory thought that I must have helped him, but I assured him that I had nothing to do with this half Sumo, half Ninja outfit. [Isn't that a hilarious mental picture? I think it could be a very funny movie: The Sumo Ninja. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.] Luke didn't really like the idea of having his picture taken and wasn't very cooperative; therefore, I didn't get a good shot of him without his shirt on which would have showed just how funny his costume was.

More Money Talk

I invite you to listen in on a conversation that Zane and I had last week while sitting at Target eating popcorn. [I have recreated this conversation to the best of my memory and even took notes of what he said while we were there.]

Mom, can we go to Wal*Mart to get Buzz Lightyear?

You didn't bring your wallet.

You could loan me the money until we get home.

I don't think that is a good idea. If I go to the store and don't bring my money then I don't get to have what I want.

I've loaned you dollars so you could buy Pepsi.

That is true.

Can you beat that?

What do you mean? [I begin thinking that this may be "blog-worthy".]

Can you come up with a better solution than me?

I think you have a pretty good point. [I dig through my purse for scrap paper and a pen and write down what he has said.]

So, I win?

[I become a little distracted as I get back out the paper and pen to add another statement.]

Why are you writing down what I say? [He knows why.]

You're being funny, but also a little disrespectful. It isn't about winner and loser. I am in charge and you are not. You should not be debating with me.

Which one works the most? Which one wins: funny or disrespectful?


I mentioned in a previous post that Cade would prefer to buy gum with his allowance more than anything else. I forgot to mention that he also has a passion for glow sticks. Last week he bought three tubes and begged to go back for a fourth.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Not only did Cade write his name for the first time today, he also got his first haircut at a barber shop. This was Luke's first barber shop haircut too and Zane's second time for a professional cut. After school I went into this little barber shop across the street from HomeSource to see how much a kid's haircut would be. The barber said $5 and I decided to give it a try. [I only cut their hair because it is the economical thing to do. I don't really like doing it and $5 is very reasonable; however, spending $15 + tip really made me feel like a high-roller and a little guilty.] The barber, who I believe is named Don, is a very old man and when we drove up he was cleaning his dentures in the sink [Yes, very gross, but remember -- five bucks!] Don is from Sicily and has been cutting hair since he was eighteen .... SEVENTY (70) years ago. As Zane started getting his haircut I remembered that he and Luke have school pictures for the very first time in ten days. [Oh Boy. Great timing, Lori!] He had a sign posted that said his doctor has ordered him to take more breaks / time-outs and I was truly concerned that he may not be able to make it through three haircuts. After each boy I would ask Don if he was up for another haircut. He seemed okay and all three boys did great. Don changed the TV to cartoons [ones that the boys would not normally be allowed to see] and he also gave me some tips for home haircuts. He was a very nice man and I think he did pretty well.

Recently Luke decided he wants to grow his hair out so that it to be long enough for a pony tail like mine and Lolly's; however, the excitement of a barber shop hair cut evidently outweighed his desire for long hair.

Cade was a little nervous about getting his hair cut. He didn't want Don to touch him.


This year Zane and Luke have started attending HomeSource, a charter school for homeschool students. My main purpose for enrolling them is for social interaction and extracurricular activities. I am still teaching them all their core classes at home. At HomeSource, they are taking two K-2 classes: Forest Exploration and Kitchen Chemistry. So far we have been three times and they are enjoying themselves. Here are a few pictures from today's Chemistry class. They were learning about colors.

Zane is reading to the class a poem we worked on together about Potato Soup.

Parents are required to stay on premises and are encouraged to be in class with their children. I bring things for Cade to do and we get to observe the class. Today I bribed him with a quarter to concentrate on writing his name. I showed him what to do and then he wrote his name for the first time! I think he did great. :-)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Dr. Leman, are you a quack?

We started giving the boys allowance about a month ago. I recently re-read a book by Dr. Kevin Leman and he suggested giving allowance in order for kids to learn about money management and decision making. Dr. Leman teaches that "allowance is something each child should be able to spend as he or she sees fit."

We decided to give the following weekly allowance: Zane $2.00, Luke $1.50 and Cade $1.00

I believe it was the second week of allowance we were in Wal*mart and unfortunately went down the candy isle. Zane picked out a package of eight (8!) little Kit-Kats. Cade picked out a box of about one hundred (100!) Mike and Ike candies. I started muttering to myself about how Dr. Leman is absolutely crazy! I was sure the boys would make themselves sick and then wouldn't eat dinner; therefore, wasting more money. Seriously, what was "DOCTOR" Leman thinking!? "Spend as he or she sees fit" -- really? However, I must admit, I was surprised to learn that the boys apparently have more self-control than I do at 35. Zane gave each of us a Kit-Kat on the first and the second day. That meant he only ate two little Kit-Kats. He decided that the next time he would break each little Kit-Kat in half in order for them to last even longer. Cade shared his Mike and Ike candies and then I suggested that he hide them until the next day which he did. The next day he got them out and then after awhile came to me and said, "Mom! I ate too many! What I should do?" I again suggested he hide them and he did. He finished them on the third day. They would have NEVER lasted that long when I was a little girl, let alone now. So, I guess that turned out okay; although, I am hoping that each boy "will learn that it is foolish to be extravagant and to waste his money for the entire week on candy" like Dr. Leman believes they will. [That wouldn't have worked for me, Dr. Leman.] If not, Dr. Leman gives permission to step in after a few weeks.

Regarding allowance in general, I have so far learned:

Zane (7) likes to save his money for something "useful", buy a gift, or enjoy an occasional treat. Money does seem to be on his mind a lot. He can hardly wait for allowance day and talks and talks about what he is saving for. He has asked me if I will give him more money to reward him if he chooses to save his allowance. Unbeknownst to Zane, Dr. Leman actually did that for his children. For every dollar that his children chose to put in the bank, he would also put in a dollar. I am very curious how my 7-year-old could came up with a fund-matching savings plan when he hasn't been taught of such things.

Luke (5) will spend it, save it, give it away, or even throw it up in the arborvitae trees in our yard where they have a fort. I am still wondering if the money will come back down. Luke thinks the birds might use it to build a nest. For another example of his view of money, this weekend I heard him say to his brothers "What do we need money for anyway?" He does really like playing with it which I am not fond of.

Cade (4) is an impulse shopper and loves to buy candy, candy, candy or gum! When he did end up with a relatively large amount of money for his birthday, he thought of a couple toys he wanted, but would have been just as happy with a pack of gum. Like Luke, he really likes to play with the money. And it also seems that he is more concerned about how many things he gets to buy. He may not know what he wants at the store, but he has determined he wants three things. Interesting, don't you think?

Another lesson I have learned: My life was easier before allowance. My boys had been taught not to ask for much at the store and they usually didn't get anything special while we were there, except free cookies from the bakery. Now, my shopping trips seem filled with little ones making "big decisions" as they peruse the isles I go down. I wonder how much time, if any, I should allow them for shopping? I also wonder, even though they enjoy having their own money, is it benefiting them enough to justify the expense of time and money?

As for me, the jury is still out as we continue this experiment in allowance and I would gladly accept suggestions.


Zane asked me, "Does Luke still need his glasses?" Luke responded, "Do you still need to see?"

Luke and I both had the same idea the other day in school. I excitedly said, "We think alike!" Luke then stated, "We don't have very big ideas do we?

The following picture of Luke is from last weekend when we went huckleberry picking. He found a couple red huckleberries and put one in each nostril. I told him that he should not ever do that again and he quickly popped them out. Then I asked him to put them back in just for a minute while I snapped a quick picture. It was just too funny! I must ask: Who wants to pick some huckleberries?