WFMW — And Now a Word from Our Readers


It’s backwards day at Rocks in My Dryer. Instead of sharing a tip or helpful pointer, we’re supposed to ask a question. The readers provide the advice. Visit
Works for Me Wednesday
to see if you can help some other poor bloggers.

I can barely think where to start, I have so many questions and areas in which I need help.

Menu Planning – I’m terrible at it. I never seem to get my act together. I copy down recipes, circle amazing dishes in my Taste of Home magazine and then end up making the same old boring dishes.

Chore Organization – again, a disaster for me. I’m great at handing out candy bribes and convincing the children to clean the house for me, but don’t have a system for keeping up with the regular chores.

If you have any advice or wisdom for me, please, please, please share it!! Point me to links, blogs, articles, magazines. I’ll take any and all advice. Do I sound pitiful enough?

Since Tim and I share this blog, I asked him what question he would like posed for the Works for Me Wednesday request. Here is his inquiry:

Loving Your Children – How do you show your children you love them? What is the most effective way you’ve been able to communicate love to them? Share specific examples!!

love that mountain

Of course, there’s always expressing love through hiking.

Thank you! I can already tell this post is going to yield all sorts of amazing responses and we will become a totally organized, well-fed and loving family in no time. :)


Some other Duckabush WFMW Posts

Grocery Lists Devotional Books for Little Ones
Homeschooling Faves TopBlogSites
Laundry Organizer Giant Whiteboard
Travel Outfits

Join us for our Tuesday Tips for Parenting

Calling Your Child Creative Use for the Timer
First Time Obedience Sermon Notes
Thorough Job Paper Dolls
Walk-Away Meal Times
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19 thoughts on “WFMW — And Now a Word from Our Readers”

  1. Ever since mom and dad started having each of us kids plan and cook one meal each week, variety has hit our house like some kind of missile. Timothy kindly tries to make a different kind of steak every week or two (and he has come up with some very inventive side dishes), Samuel makes fairly simple but tasty dinners, and I’m usually eager to try cooking something new. Dad makes a meal about every other week and proves very creative. And then since mom is cooking less she can make the meals she does cook more creative. Anyway, so I think having kids help plan the meals does introduce some variety. We sit down each Sunday and make a two-week meal plan.

    For chores mom just makes an excel sheet for every month listing what each kid has to do each week for a month. That way mom doesn’t even have to know what everyone should do. She just says, “Go do your chore,” and then we have to go check what it is.

  2. My sister in law introduced me to They give you a week at time email of a menu with recipes, grocery list, and about how much it each ingredient should cost.

    You can also sign up for an email that gives you a task to do in your home every day to help with organization.

    I don’t have kids yet but as how to show love to your children, I know a family that either does a “date night” with a parent or a set aside time in the home that is just their one on one time with that parent. They have said when their kids are getting really orney and such, alot of times all they really needed was some one on one time with a parent to help them feel loved and secure.

  3. Here is a good chore tip we stole from our time at bible school. Each student had a work detail to do each day, and at each chore location, there was a detailed list of what was expected out of each chore. We have adapted that to our home. For instance, in each bathroom, there is a numbered list the in great detail numerates what I consider a clean bathroom, when each item can be checked off, the job is done, and not before.
    We used to have the kids rotate through various chores, but have become lazy about it here. We do need to go back to that though. We also have some ‘extra’ chores with similar ‘to do’ lists that can be done for spending money.
    Then of course for dish detail we rotate three jobs by week, but I know you already do that! :)

    Hope you get lots of tips my friend!

  4. How do I show my kiddos that I love them. I…
    -make them eat their vegetables but I try not to cook ones they don’t like
    -make them clean their rooms but I give them a hand (sometimes)
    -make them take out the cat box but I hold the door for them
    -make them be nice to their siblings even when their siblings are being little toots
    -take them to church and help them behave by putting stickers and mints and such in my purse for them to find
    -read them a book and tuck them in (even the thirteen year old, don’t tell his friends!)
    -call them knuckle heads and give them a kiss
    Isn’t that love?

  5. I’ve already given you my menus, but Tim’s question made me want to answer even before coffee! Our 5 are now between 45 and 52.

    Children need to feel that they’re loved unconditionally. That’s the most important thing. They need to know deep down in their hearts that their parents love them more than anything else. They will test you to see if you really do love them unconditionally. (It doesn’t stop when they grow up.) If parents don’t accept who the children are, mistakes and all, they fail the test, and those children will feel unloved.

    What comforts me most is to know that God loves me, no matter what terrible mistakes I’ve made. Without realizing it, I’ve tested God, but He’s proved He loves me unconditionally. That’s what we have to do for our kids.

  6. In the past, I’ve loved the Fly Lady ( You can either get a daily email or several “reminder” emails daily. Helps you get on track with cleaning and organizing. Kind of fun too.

    Also (seen on Fly Lady’s website) is Saving Dinners (.com). I’ve bought some of the “kits” and the kids and I shopped and made 20-some freezer meals. It was totally fun and great to open the freezer, grab a bag, and try something new for dinner–we ate some stuff we’d never dreamt of eating before.

  7. Argh – Not sure if I already posted this—I sure tried. and – Both great sites. The Fly Lady has helped me get organized in the past – she’s a hoot too. Your email box gets quite full of the daily reminders, but usually the RE: Part of the email tells you what to do and you can just delete them.

    The kids and I have made some of the dinner kits from Saving Dinner – Made 20-30 meals in one day, threw them in the freezer, and enjoyed a variety of foods/dinners that were new to us. Lots of fun.

  8. As far as weekly meal planning, I use an actual calendar I’ve printed off of my computer. As soon as I’ve written in my menu I make my grocery list from the recipes. This way I have to stick to my menu so the food doesn’t go bad. Plus, the food is usually fresh, since I’ve just bought it.

  9. Okay, I’m working on a post for menu plans that hopefully I’ll finish in a week or so. Laura, The Organizing Junkie has posted one, if you check out her site. Visit me in a week or so, and I’ll try to have you some good tips for menu planning :)

    Chores – these always have to be parent-driven is what I’ve found (of course, my oldest is only 7, and I’m convinced chores get easier with age :). I use a write-on/wipe-off board to keep track of all the things that need to be done that the kids can do. We have a specified “job time” each afternoon during the week, and I read off the jobs to the ones who can’t read and expect my 7-year-old to read his own list and get it done. Head over to my site and read about 5 at 5 – it’s a great clean-up tool for the end of the day.

    Love for your child . . . that is a tough one. I think you can never tell them too many times. Spending time with them is definitely a winner in my book too. We love to snuggle and read to them as well. Hugs, pats, tickles are all great ways to communicate your affection for them.

    Hope some of this helps!!
    Hope that helps :)

  10. Hi Kathy -

    For me the key to menu planning was taking the time to discover a repertoires of about 30 recipes that taste great, are simple to prepare, and take less than 30 minutes from start to finish. It took some work and experimenting initially, but it has paid off. I have them on 3×5 cards that I pull on the day before grocery shopping and then stick in the front section of my recipe box to prepare for the week. I re-file them as they are prepared. I also make sure I have two ‘emergency dinner’s planned that take no more than 10 minutes from start to finish for busy days or days that become overwhelming.

    The housekeeping – I’m no help there : P Like Stephanie, I like Flylady and through her website I am slowly getting my act together.

    For loving your children- Always keeping promises no matter how inconvenient, being willing to apologize to them and admit when you are in the wrong, and telling them – aloud and often. Actually, your blog is a perfect example of how to do just that – it reads like a love letter to your family and to God : )

  11. For menus, I fall back on menus4moms.

    I’m horrible with chores, so I’m loving all the advice here.

    And for showing children love, I read the book “5 Love Languages of Children”. My daughter’s love language is time, so we plan special mom-daughter slumber parties and dad-daughter dates. My son is a physical affection loving kid, so we do lots of wrestling and running around.

  12. Nice to meet you fellow-Pacific Northwester! I love the photo of Mt. Rainier on your blog header. We used to be able to see that lovely peak from our livingr oom, until a new house was built across the street to obstruct our view. Oh well!

    You’ve asked some great questions. I set aside Mondays to plan my week, and that includes menu planning. I slot in all our fav. recipes on our weekly calendar, and I include new recipes too (usually on Sundays, when I have more time to play around and experiment.)

    As for organizing the chores, I made up checklists on clip boards for each child, and we rotated jobs from week to week… that way no one is stuck with the dirty jobs forever! I rewarded my kids with a reasonable paid allowance, as if they were in the real workforce. Money is always a motivator, especially for my son, and he will do any job if the price is right. Often though, we will negotiate with no money involved: I will do this, if he will do that.

    Loving our children? Wow, the answer is as unique as they are. ASK them what feels like love to them, and then be sure to DO it. This worked well for our kids.

    A fun post! Hugs, e-Mom

  13. For menus I suggest letting the older kids each have a day to plan. Our dds started planning our menus around jr high I’m guessing.

    To show the kids we love them we do little things for them when they least expect it… a trip to the toy store, waking up to one of their chores being done for them, taking them somewhere that they don’t think we’ll take them because of the time and gas $$ involved, etc.

    Chores – each of our kids has their own chores which remain the same all of the time. If they want to rotate to a different chore they strike a deal with someone else in the family… this way *I* don’t have to be keeping track of who is supposed to do what….

  14. Tears came to my eyes as I read your note, Joyce. Maybe because you’re about the only one on this group whom I know. Tender words of loving unconditionally. And MAJOR gratitude to be given that love by the Lord.

    Thanks, Katherine- for stirring us all up!! Love you, AK

  15. To show love to children:
    Lots of hugs and kisses;
    Tell them often;
    Take the time to play with them;
    One-on-one time with child without other kids or other parent;
    Read to them;
    Respect them — kids are people too;
    Listen to their words and listen to their individuality.

  16. I have chore charts posted in the kitchen. I put them in page protectors and tape them to the pantry door–makes it easy to change and very accessable for young eyes.

    I split up the chores into three sections: morning routine, daily work, and evening routine. My kids aren’t allowed to eat breakfast until the morning routine is done. (You don’t work, you don’t eat). They are paid small amounts for weekly work (which I list by day) and the evening routine has to be done in order to avoid punishment. The evening routine is the hardest to enforce, but includes things like laying out tomorrow’s clothes so that the morning goes more smoothly. All I ever have to do is ask, “Have you finished your chart?”

    If my oldest daughter’s room is not clean she has to go to bed at the same time as the younger children. That has been a wonderful incentive and has only happened 2 times in 3 months.

    For my three year old, I posted the chores in pictures.

    I think the hardest thing is writing the chores down and splitting them up.

    Remember to inspect what you expect.

    I show my kids love by listening, snuggling, dancing to praise music with them, jumping on the trampoline with them, and playing Star Wars under a Jay Jay the Jetplane blanket. Frequently, in the car, I look in the mirror and tell them that they are great kids and that I’m blessed to be their mom.

  17. How to love our kids: Telling them you love them daily, praying with them and for them, listening more than talking, surprising them with dates with mom or dad, leading them in the ways of the Lord.

    Chores – well I did better in that department when we were homeschooling. Now that they are in PS they are busier than ever so chores just kind of happen as needed. I know . .. not the best way to do it. :-)

    I don’t cook much in the summer because we are so busy but when school starts so does my cooking. I cook Monday through Thursday’s and the weekend is free for all or we go out. I get very bored cooking the same things over and over so I am constantly trying new recipes . . .I have thousands just waiting in my kitchen waiting to be tried :-)

  18. I am a fan also. She takes all the work out of it. you get a weekly menu plan and grocery list. The food is good and she even gives you side dishes I have been doing it for 2 years and really enjoyed it. I think the cost is VERY reasonable

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