Monday, June 22, 2009

Homemaker Monday: A Chore System That's Working! and... Chocolate Zucchini Cake!

Welcome to the 46th weekly edition of...

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YOURS: This week's "YOURS" again goes to Sweet Pea over at The Newlyweds! She posts a recipe for chocolate zucchini cake. I decided I HAD to bookmark this recipe because we've got zucchini coming out of our ears. With all that bounty (more than I know what to do with) I'm in desperate need of zucchini recipes, and to me, zucchini + chocolate = LOVE. Here's what this amazing cake looks like...

Thank you so much, Sweet Pea, for this recipe. I can't wait to try it! For The Newlyweds entire post and, as always, tons of great instructional photos, click HERE.

MINE: There is a new word my kids don't like....JURISDICTIONS. I learned about jurisdictions from the Duggar family. You know them, the ones who put me to shame by having currently 18 kids and counting. I once heard Michelle Duggar speak about assigning each child a "jurisdiction" in their home, a place they were to oversee and keep clean throughout the day. This idea fascinated me at the time, and I have finally decided to put it into practice. I have to tell you that it is working out beautifully. For instance, the 12-year-old boy is in charge of keeping the family room clean. In the family room is a large laundry basket full of baby toys that become wildly scattered about every 45 minutes. This is hard for anyone to bear, but we have simply become used to it and have chalked it up to the joys of raising twins. However, when the 12-year-old boy realized that it would be his duty to constantly clean up these toys, he came up with a plan. He asked if he could put all of the small toys in their toy box upstairs in the playroom and just leave a few big toys downstairs. It was a stroke of genius and I immediately decided to support his idea by agreeing with the plan. He is now reaping the benefits!

Another example is the 14-year-old girl's simple act of closing the babies' bedroom door when she's finished cleaning it. If they don't see an open door, they don't go in, and thus, don't wreak havoc. I love, love, LOVE that the kids are finally coming up with ways to improve and, at times, fix the way things are run in our home.

We usually go over our jurisdictions about three or four times a day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon, once before dinner and once after dinner. The kids have learned that if they keep their areas clean during the day, they won't have much to do when I call for jurisdiction check-up time. The appearance of our home has completely changed, and instead of having piles of forgotten moving boxes and other belongings heaped down hallways, along walls and in unused playpens, we now have clean, open spaces and can enjoy our new home! Instead of hearing friends make excuses for me when showing our new home, saying, "She doesn't have a maid. She and the kids try to do all this by themselves. Can you believe that?" I can now show our home without embarrasment!

During the week, everyone just has to do a light cleaning, such as picking up toys and sweeping if necessary. One day during the week however, the deep cleaning takes place, which includes dusting, sweeping, mopping, cleaning toilets and the like. The extra chore, referred to below, is anything I deem necessary to accomplish that week, such as cleaning the windows of the french doors, cleaning the microwave, cleaning out the fridge, or sweeping the cobwebs from the front of the house. Here is the run-down of how we do it....

Me, the Mom:
-Kitchen (except after dinner)
-Laundry (except for folding and putting away the older kids' clothes)
-Laundry Room
-My Bedroom
-My Bathroom
-Water Courtyard Plants
-Sidewalk and Porch Outside Kitchen Door

The 14-year-old girl:
-Front Porch
-Toddler and Twin's Room
-Her Bedroom
-Girl's Bathroom (on even days)
-Her Dog and Dog Doo
-Extra Chore

The 12-year-old boy:
-Family Room
-Formal Living Room
-Bedroom Hallway
-His Bedroom
-Boy's Bathroom (on even days)
-Extra Chore

The 9-year-old boy:
-Guest Bathroom
-Guest Hallway
-His Bedroom
-Boy's Bathroom (on odd days)
-Extra Chore

The 7-year-old girl:
-Babies' Playroom
-Her Bedroom
-Girl's Bathroom (on odd days)
-Extra Chore

So there you have it. If you try this, let me know if it works wonderfully for you, too!

OURS: Okay, now it's your turn! I'm excited to read what all of you homemakers have for us this Monday. Thanks for joining us today and I hope you have a great one!

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Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

That chocolate zucchini cake sounds great! My neighbor usually gives me a bunch of zucchini each year, and this will be a nice change from the boring 'regular' zucchini hubby and Princess Nagger are chocoholics, so there ya go! :)

Great idea on the chores/jurisdiction breakdown - even though there are only 3 of us, it just might work to make sure both hubby and Princess Nagger pitch in so I'm not doing EVERYTHING (and feel like going on strike every so often...*grin!*)

alessandra said...

I think you are a volcano of good ideas,(my kids don't like zucchini ;D) love your blog, read it every day, thank you for posting.
(never thought about writing a book?)

newlyweds said...

Yea thanks for linking my Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe, it is a good one and excellent way to use some zucchini. They also freeze great. I think this is the count it 4th time I have been and Your's participant, and I love it. Thanks again. Also I love your jurisdictions, that is so excellent, I will keep this in mind when the boys get older.

JUST ME, THE MOM said...

Yum! That chocolate zuchini cake looks delicious. I think I need a few more weeks before I'll have fresh zuchini in my garden:)


siteseer said...

I love your 'jurisdictions'. I was raised with 6 brothers 2 sisters and my mom and dad. I must also add that we lived in a house about 900 sq ft. Very small - one bathroom. There was no leaving anything out - there was no room. Everything that came into the house went straight to our room. There must have been some sort of order, because it really wasn't messy.

Melinda said...

GOOD IDEA! i like that.

findingtrueserenity said...

I love that every time you add a new post I learn something new!!! The jurisdiction plan was a fantastic idea to try! We are all learning and teaching each other! I know we'll be trying this in our house!

Have a wonderful day!