Typically, the best time to start teaching our kids about money and budgeting is when they reach school age and start getting their allowance. Since our girls do not go to a conventional school, we don’t really need to give them money. All their meals are provided for, and they can eat their snacks anytime, without having to go to the store to buy some. There’s really no point in giving them their regular allowance. However, we do realize that our children need to be able to handle their own money — no matter how small the amount– for them to start learning about finances. If we just give them whatever they want at the time that they wanted it, they would most likely grow up thinking that’s how the world works– relax and have fun, and when you find something you like, just ask mom and dad– no sweat! I know this is how I grew up. If I needed something, all I had to do was ask. I didn’t really appreciate the value of working to get money, because there was no need to. I didn’t see the need to budget because in the first place, it didn’t matter how much money I’ve managed to save up… I’d still end up “buying” whatever it was that I liked. Fortunately for my parents (or so I’d like to think), I am, by nature, not so fond of shopping. Fortunately, I was born thrifty, and so I grew up somehow responsible with whatever I was given. Still, I wish I could have learned about the value of work and money earlier.
And so we go back to my responsibility now as a parent to teach my own kids….
Like I said, we don’t really give them a regular allowance since there is no need to. Instead, we have them do some age-appropriate jobs for which they get paid. When I talk about paid jobs, I am not referring to the chores that they have to do as responsible members of the family. Chores like packing away after playing do not count as paid jobs. These are expected of them as members of the family.
Here are some age-appropriate chores that your four- to six-year olds can do ( Though I realize I would soon be adding to this list, since Alyanna just turned seven this month!). It is up to you to decide which category you would like to put them under– the paid work, or the “I’m a responsible family member and I love my family and so I would do my part” expected work.
- Setting the table
- Putting away the dishes after eating
- Helping cut/tear vegetables or slice some soft fruits
- Giving the pets a bath (if applicable)
- Making the bed
- Helping to put away the groceries
- Putting/sorting dirty clothes into the hamper
- Sweeping the floor using a child-sized broom
- Sharpening their pencils
- Dusting and wiping their toys
- Arranging their toys back in their rightful place– beautifully and properly
- Sorting their books and categorizing accordingly
- Wiping their tables clean (wiping off the paint and accidental marks)
- Helping change the linens
- Checking homeschool work (or the siblings’ homework)
- Arranging the shoes
- Arranging their accessories and bags
- Give their little brother/sister a bath
- Be mom/dad’s personal assistant (Help with whatever mom/dad is doing)
- Give mom/dad a massage (my personal favorite!)
There! That’s twenty! Help me add to this list, will you?
One of the things that relaxes me is organizing. I wish I could say that it has the same effect on the other people in my household, but I’m not so sure that’s the case. I tend to get so into it that I could go on and on without stopping to eat or sit and rest. Now, when I forget about food and eating, that’s really saying something!
Anyway, since I had to stay in bed for most of my pregnancy, and now that we have a new baby once again, I have been forced to simplify. I am given no choice but to learn to let some things be. A lot of things, actually… from kitchen matters, to homeschool stuff…the key word has been to “simplify”. As it turns out, homemaking and homeschooling don’t have to be complicated after all! If we are to still have life after all the school matters and household management, then we have to learn to let some things be (for the mean time, at least), and to simplify. There are far more important things than getting everything in perfect order. There are relationships to nurture, and of course, there’s our sanity to keep.
I will try my best (operative word: TRY) to share with you one small thing that we can do each day that may eventually make a huge difference in our home life. Like they say, the difference between a five-star hotel and a three-star one are the little hinges and doorknobs that we might so often deem insignificant. Just because we feel we do not have enough time doesn’t mean we can’t do anything significant with the time that we do have in our hands.
Tomorrow, let’s try and start this thing…
Today was somewhat an emotional day for me. I was going through photos of Isaiah’s birth, first weeks here at home, his hospitalization, and his most recent pictures— and I can’t help but cry. It was only after looking at the pictures that I realized how he went from having really chubby cheeks to losing weight to now being really healthy with chubby cheeks again (plus the double chin!). I couldn’t help but recall how it must have been for Isaiah during those weeks of frequent vomiting and so much discomfort. I also couldn’t help but remember how it was for us, seeing our then three-week old baby having to go through all the horrible episodes of vomiting (a LOT), blood extractions, IV insertions, and finally, surgery.
It’s been three weeks since our plight with Isaiah’s Pyloric Stenosis. Pyloric Stenosis is when the opening from the stomach leading to the intestines is thickened, thereby inhibiting food to pass through. Since the stomach has to be emptied in one way or another, milk ends up leaving it by going back up and out through the mouth (and the nose!).
Isaiah’s vomiting started December 28th, just before 2012 officially ended. As the days passed, the vomiting increased in volume and frequency. On January 2, what was just an unscheduled visit to the pedia became an unexpected hospital confinement for us.
We somehow managed to take a few photos that I’d like to share with you here. The first photo, I’m afraid, might gross some of you out. It’s a picture of Isaiah’s vomit, which I took to be able to show the doctors. Obviously, since I managed to get my phone and take a shot (actually, I got to take two shots), it means these were not the worst episodes. These were the tamed ones. Anyway, for the first photo, maybe you can just imagine that it’s scrambled egg….
Oh dear. I just made it worse for you, didn’t I? I shouldn’t have associated it with a breakfast staple. My bad! *grin*
If the milk wasn’t that curdled (as the picture above), Isaiah would vomit around five times continuously (imagine a tiny fountain of milk).
On average, the curdled milk would come out through the nose, too, causing him to have difficulty in breathing since the consistency was too thick. Thank God for aspirators. I never got to take any photos of those– no time to even be able to think of grabbing my phone.
Doctors confirm or rule out Pyloric Stenosis mainly through ultrasound. In Isaiah’s case, all three scans were only “highly suggestive” of the Pyloric Stenosis, since his was not a classic presentation of the condition.
Usually, this would take only about five to ten minutes. In our case, it took us two hours…and three days.
Another way to better rule-out or confirm the initial diagnosis is through the Upper GI test. Isaiah was made to ingest a dye that would show up in x-ray scans like contrast. Supposedly, this would be very definitive already. Again, in our case, it was not a classic presentation– only “highly suggestive”.
Normally, the dye would be seen travelling from the mouth down to the intestines in about two minutes. For Isaiah, transit time was 15 minutes before a small amount of dye passed through to the intestines. However, the amount was too insignificant and the dye didn’t progress any further once the little amount “escaped” the stomach.
Finally, we had to decide to push through with surgery with only 80-85% certainty that it was Pyloric Stenosis. The risks of NOT having the surgery ASAP were far more than if we pushed through with it already. True enough, by the time Isaiah was being wheeled into the operating room, and while he was being prepped for surgery, he already had projectile vomiting which were blood-stained. God’s timing is always, always perfect.
On the way to the O.R…
I could tell you more details of our hospital stay since they are all still very fresh to me, but I’d rather not. I could vividly describe how it was for us physically and emotionally, or how I would guess it was for Isaiah, but I’d rather not. I’d rather take this time to turn your attention towards our Heavenly Father. From the time of admission (well, actually way before that), it was God’s hand evidently at work, already orchestrating everything for us. Seeing how God placed people in our path at just the right time gave me so much assurance that this really was all in His hands. I know it wasn’t His desire to see our baby in pain, but I do know that He allowed it for a purpose. It is really true that our God is able to make everything work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Our son is loved by God and is called according to His purpose. I have resolved that whatever the outcome of all the tests, God would use our circumstances to serve His purpose alone.
I can say that those ten days of seeing our baby having a hard time were the longest days I have had so far. I haven’t fully recovered from the labor of giving birth and we were barely getting any sleep, when all this happened. To say that it was tiring would be an understatement. To help alleviate Isaiah’s discomfort, I needed to place him on my chest and stay in an upright position the whole time. The sleepless nights at home during his first two weeks were restful compared to the sleepless nights in the hospital. Despite the lack of physical rest, however, we were not restless. In fact, God’s peace and comfort were so real and abundant during those times.
It’s funny how Dennis and I would try to hide our tears from each other, both of us trying to be strong for each other. Of course, we were genuinely trying to stay strong and not just appear strong. But honestly, to see your newborn go through all that– helpless and unable to express himself, and as parents there is nothing we can do to alleviate the pain/discomfort either– it is just heartbreaking.
Perhaps most of the time God looks at us the same way– helpless and usually unable to express ourselves. Only, unlike us, He knows exactly what it is we need even if we don’t, and He is always more than able to be who we need Him to be. He is the great “I am”, after all.He is all we need Him to be. I don’t have to hide my tears when I come to Him. I can be weak before Him because He is my strength. I can be sad before before Him because He is my joy and comforter. I can run to him with all my questions and confusion because He is my peace and my answer. He is our healer, our ever-present help, our counselor, our stronghold, our deliverer, our redeemer, our savior…He is our all-powerful God.
He is also our sweetest, sweetest Abba Father.
The night before the surgery, Dennis decided to turn on the TV. We’ve prayed all the prayers we can think of, and he said he needed to be distracted to be able to sleep. I said I wanted to sing and worship. When we turned on the TV, it was on a channel that was showing one of Hillsong’s worship concerts. At the exact moment that we turned it on, this is what we heard:
“Find rest, my soul, in Christ alone.
Know His power, in quietness and trust.
When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with you above the storm.
Father you are king over the flood.
I will be still and know You are God.”
…..That’s our God. Beautiful. Faithful. Powerful.
Sovereign. Lord of all. Maker of heaven and earth. Creator of the Universe.
….And yet, He knows us by name. He knows our lying in and our going out. He is mindful of us. He knows our deepest thoughts and emotions.
And He responds. He saves.
Beautiful, beautiful God.
I remember telling God at the beginning of the year that I wanted to know Him in a deeper way this year. I was in faith that God had exciting plans for our family for 2013, and that He would do greater things in, through, and for us. I was looking forward to getting to know Him in a deeper way. I was all set to say yes to whatever it is He would be pointing out to me that He wanted to work on and mold in my character.
I had no idea He would give us this privilege of experiencing His power, presence, and grace in a greater measure this early. I had no idea He would answer my prayer so quickly.
Truly, this year is a blessed one already.
After surgery: very tired, yet very thankful…
Because you are my God, I will ALWAYS have a reason to sing…
I would like to once again thank everyone who stood with us through all this. Random messages from friends and even from people we didn’t really know that well greatly encouraged us and lifted our spirits. Thank you to friends who always made sure we had something to eat and brought food early in the morning and even until late at night (yes, very important to me, obviously!); to friends who braved the traffic just to pray for us, who visited us right before surgery to encourage us, during surgery to keep us “entertained” and help keep our minds off whatever was going on in the operating room, and after surgery to keep us company while waiting for the outcome and to keep us company while waiting outside the NICU….that is the love of Jesus in action. Thank you to those who woke up in the middle of the night/early morning to pray fervently for Isaiah. When I learned about this, I know it was God who woke you up, and that gave me so much assurance that God really was moving on our behalf. Thank you, thank you, thank you….for being generous to us and really overwhelming us with your support and love. Thank you for showing us God’s love in tangible ways. We are blessed to have each of you in our lives (You know who you are).
Posted by Thammie Sy on Sep 10, 2012 in Child Training, Everyday Life, Faith, Family, Fathers, Homemaking, Homeschooling, Marriage, Mentoring Women, Mothers, Parenting, Personal Faith Journey, Personals, Random Inspirations, Relationships | 0 comments
For the past week, God’s been reminding me of this passage:
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-41, ESV)
It is so interesting to note here that Martha herself was the one who welcomed Jesus into her home. She invited Him in. She wanted to be with Him. She wanted to spend time with Him. Yet, with all the things she felt she needed to do for Him, she failed to do the very thing she purposed to do— to spend time with Jesus and enjoy His presence.
“Mommy, Mommy, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
As wives, moms, homemakers, homeschooling teachers, there is always something more that has to be done. There will always be an area of the house that needs decluttering and organization; There will always be lesson plans that need to be prepared; There will always be something noble that we can do to serve our husbands and our children. I find it funny how I don’t really “work”, yet I often feel there’s always so much work to be done. I guess it’s true what they say– “All moms are working moms”.
With so many hats to wear, it is so easy to be distracted with all the preparations that have to be made. There is no question that we do all these things out of love, just like there’s no question Martha did all that she did out of love for her Lord. And note that Jesus did not correct Martha for having much work. What Jesus pointed out was not the busyness of Martha’s hands, but the busyness in her heart. In short, there’s nothing wrong with working hard. We just need to make sure that while we do things for the Lord and for our families, we don’t neglect the more important part— that we do things with our Lord and with our families.
At the end of the day, few things will really matter. We will be surprised to know that our husbands appreciate it if we sit and enjoy their presence once they get home from work, more than us running around trying to perfect the house for him. Our kids won’t really be able to tell whether or not we’re able to plan out our homeschooling week really well (or they could, but they are very, very forgiving!) or whether we have well thought-of activities prepared for them to enjoy. What they are keen on perceiving however, and what makes an impact in their hearts, is how much time we spend with them to show them how much we value them and how much they get to enjoy us. And the guests? Well, I have found that it really doesn’t matter to them how polished our houses are. What warms their hearts is the fact that they feel welcomed in our homes.
At the end of the day, few things really matter as we do all these things and live our lives for our God. We are to serve, yes. But more importantly, we are to worship.
I’ve been praying this prayer for myself and for some of my friends lately, and I pray this same prayer for you:
Lord, I pray that as we go about our days, we will not be distracted by many things that in the end will not really matter as much. I pray that we will not become anxious or troubled about the everyday things we have to deal with that are temporary, and keep our eyes on those things that will last for eternity. I pray that as we go about doing things for you and for the people we love, that we will not neglect to do things with you and with the people we love. I pray that you give us the wisdom to know and discern what is really necessary, and the discipline and courage to act upon that knowledge.
Have a great week ahead, friends!
I love dreaming about having nice things for the home. Who among us doesn’t, right? I’m sure if I were to ask how many here have their list of things they wish for, most — if not all, will raise their virtual hands.
A few days ago, I tweeted about finding the refrigerator and vacuum cleaner of my dreams. I wasn’t exaggerating. In fact, I actually left out the fact that I might have found the washing machine and the airconditioner of my dreams, too!
Dennis and I got invited to Samsung Digital Appliance’s Housewarming Event. Let me tell you, it served its purpose of giving a homemakin’ momma that tingly warm feeling of wanting to have all those innovative appliances they had there for my own home! I remember telling Dennis how impressed I was with Samsung’s constant innovation. The invention of household appliances has already been a blessing to homemakers all over the world. Samsung just decided to take home appliances to the next level. Not only do their appliances cut down housework, they also cut down energy consumption up to 70%, with its Smart Inverter Technology.
I was particularly glued to the Samsung Digital Refrigerator. Those who know me know that I have a special affinity with food. It’s no surprise then, that the kitchen is one of the areas in the home that I love cleaning and organizing. I’ve always loved the thought of opening my cupboards and fridge, and seeing it all neat and organized. It has also always been my dream to have “THE” refrigerator– spacious, no-frost, with just the right compartments for my needs, and would not add to my electric bills as much.
I think Samsung Digital Refrigerator is exactly that: it uses a no-frost technology that prevents the buildup of ice (ice buildup, by the way, can lead to cultivation of fungi and bacteria in our food!); It has a Twin Cooling System that prevents food smells from mixing and keeps food and vegetables fresh longer; It certainly has the right compartments to serve our needs; And its Inverter Technology helps those of us who are working within a budget!
Tah-dah!! THE DREAM!!!
(I also love how the freezer is at the bottom and the fridge is at eye-level, since I love checking to see what else I can eat/take from the fridge!)
This is another thing that would be really, really nice to have– the NAVBOT!
You just need to program it to clean your floor, and it does its job of “crawling” around like a giant robot spider, cleaning the dust off your floors! This one, ladies, might not need much convincing on our part before our husbands decide they want one too (since they’d find it so cool!).
It was fun listening to lifestyle icon Daphne Osena-Paez talk about the advantages of Samsung’s digital refrigerator and microwave. Like I said, I heart kitchen stuff!
Amanda Griffin discussed the convenience of having Samsung Digital Washing Machine. It is fully-automated, and can get laundry done with just ONE press of a button. There’s no need to transfer clothes from one compartment to another. All you need to exert energy on is loading the washer and pressing a button! This washing machine also comes equipped with Samsung’s Eco Bubble technology which makes washing more efficient and saves up to 70% more energy.
Rissa Mananquil-Trillo vouches for the new Samsung Digital Airconditioner, that uses Virus Doctor technology that immobilizes and deactivates bacteria, turning it into water vapor for a steady flow of cool, clean air.
Tessa Prieto-Valdes demonstrated for us how the Samsung Digital Vacuum Cleaner works, with its Super Twin Chamber technology that enables it to hold more dirt before needing to be emptied out.
*Sigh* It would be lovely to have these things, all right. When you do have the chance to buy new things for the home, consider these Samsung digital appliances. As for the rest of us who still have a lot of saving up to do, let us remember to be grateful for what we already have, and to make it work for the meantime.