Monday, December 22, 2014

How to Get Your Kids to Hand Scrub the Tiled Floor

Yep!  You read it right.  I actually found a really "fun" and successful way to garner help for my kitchen floor.  It goes month(s?) without getting mopped because, well, it's hard work.  And it's one of the jobs that isn't the kindest on my back, even when using a mop.

Yesterday, I found my sweet daughter having a creativity/generosity explosion.  She was doing all sort of things (without asking).  When I found her with a washcloth, Christmas towel, and I-know-not-where-it-came-from bucket of water cleaning the glass doors of the entertainment center "for Daddy," I had an idea.  "Hey!  Sweetie!  I have an idea.  The perfect job for you.  Do you really want to clean something?"  ::winkie face to self::  "Follow Mommy...."  ::sly grin::

I set her up to scrub the kitchen floor.  She was in heaven!  But how was I going to make sure each tile got clean?  And I knew she wouldn't last long, so how would I know which ones had been done?

Beads.  What else?  It would only add to the colorful "fun" of scrubbing the kitchen floor.  And it definitely did.  I got down on the floor with her, and we worked together.  When my middle son found out what we were doing, it was all he could do to make himself sit and finish his schoolwork so he could then come clean the floor, too.  Score two for Mom!  :-D

I told EA that he would get $0.05 per tile he scrubbed.  I gave him blue and yellow beads to put down as he cleaned.  Since Eden and I had put down beads, he knew which ones were already clean and could simply go to town.  Using beads also allowed us to create a line of red beaded tiles so we could break halfway for lunch and more school (and once we had the red line, we picked up all the other beads so we wouldn't have to keep dancing across the floor then counted out his beads and added up his earnings...bonus: Math!).  Later, EA and I went back to work, knowing exactly where to start and finished that kitchen floor!  It was great fun to spend time with him and watch him have so much fun working AND earning money.  He's so proud of his $4.45, which I will HAPPILY give him for scrubbing my floor clean.  It looks and feels beautiful!  And I'm pretty sure he'll do it again because he knows that's it's a fast and easy way to earn money.  And he loves beads and water!  Win, win.  Done.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Best Simple Hot Choclate

For a while, we've been making our own chocolate sauce for ice cream and hot chocolate.  Recently, however, I wanted to try a Food Network recipe for "The Best Hot Chocolate."  It was good - but it was quite rich!  So the second time I made it, I tweaked the recipe.  The kids and Hubby LOVED it!  I did, too, because it was smooth, mild, and perfectly chocolaty.  Try it!

3 cups whole milk
1 cup half and half
1/8 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)

Heat milk and half and half in saucepan (don't boil).  Combine cocoa and sugar in a small bowl.  Spoon out some hot milk and mix with the cocoa/sugar until it's a nice slurry.  Add this into the saucepan and stir well.  Continue to heat and stir about 2 minutes until everything is incorporated.  Add vanilla, if desired.  This makes 4 good cups of hot chocolate, 5 if you have slightly smaller servings which is what we do.

Don't forget the smosh-mallows!  My little Eme calls them that, and I refuse to correct her.  :-)