Marbles To the Rescue!

So I have one VERY bright boy. But he’s a handful. And not just a little handful, but at GIANT handful. He always has something to say in response to anything I have to say to him. Anything. Seriously, that kid will be either one of two things when he grows up: a lawyer or a hostage negotiator. He can talk himself out of anything.
As cute as this may be at times, its is honestly very, very tiring. I find myself getting more and more upset by the moment at times and shamefully resort to yelling often. I HATE this. Really, really do. I am always asking him, “Why aren’t you listening to me?!?!”
So I’ve pretty much had it and decided that something must be done. Especially since Brandon is gone so much, I am in this on my own. And I refuse to be the mom that is run over by her kids. Refuse. I am a teacher after all. A college educated one. ha. I’ve had all the training in the world on how to deal with kids, so surely I learned something in that training to use on my crazy one.
And this is what I have come up with…
I call this the Marble System. I’m sure many of you have heard of this or do this yourself. It’s a very simple and powerful discipline/character building tool. I used this often while teaching 4th grade as a reward system for the class…if everyone finished their work, they would get to put a marble or two in the  small jar from the “mother” jar. When the small jar was filled up, they usually were given a reward of some kind…extra recess, stickers, sometimes even a party of some sort.
As I was thinking over a positive reward system I could use for Jake, I just couldn’t settle on one that wasn’t too confusing for his 4year old mind or too difficult for for me to maintain. I remembered that my sister used the marble system for her kids so I thought I would give it a try. But first I needed to get a reward that Jake would be happy to work for. So cue Target….
I buckled Jake and Evy into that amazing double seated cart and drove him up and down the toy aisles. I told him he could choose whatever he wanted, and he chose this Thor helmet and hammer. He was so excited.
{side note: Evy choose a GIANT doll shopping cart/car combo that she insisted on holding in her lap, the entire time while in the cart and then of course when we arrived at the cash register there was no price tag on it, so we had to wait while they looked for it. The girl behind us finally found the price on her iphone. classic, ha.}
So all I needed at this point was marbles, since Target didn’t have any. Thank God for good friends as I asked on facebook where I could buy some marbles and my teacher friend Suzanne came to my rescue with a big bag of them that she left on my doorstep {thanks Suzanne!!}.
So here’s how I’m working my Marble System: every time Jake does something I ask to do without screaming, kicking or yelling, he gets a marble. If he automatically says, “Yes, Mommy”, he gets two. If he does the opposite, he gets one taken away. If he hits or does something inappropriate, he gets two taken away. When he fills the jar up to the brim, we will have a Marble Party where he gets his “treat”. I figure it will take at least a week. The next “treat” will be picked out by me and much cheaper. :)
And he’s such a happy camper…seriously, this is working so very well! He LOVES it!!
I will keep you all updated on the progress. Do any of you use the marble system? What do you use to help your kids stay on track?

Giveaway Week 4: Winner

Hello everyone… I have to give a HUGE thank you to all of you out there who worked so hard to share the Evy’s Tree love this past week. We FINALLY reached 5,000 facebook fans just today… a big thanks to Forty Toes Photography for that last push that put us over the 5,000 mark! I have very lofty goals for the fall/winter season, I would LOVE to see Evy’s Tree facebook page reach 10,000 fans by the beginning of the year! I know thats probably impossible, but I have to confess, with some of you, I think it will be very possible!

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A Weekend To Be a Mom

I have had a lovely weekend. Brandon left for a week on Friday morning and the kids and I have been on our own. After a full day of work on Friday, I picked the kids up and we started our weekend together. I have to confess that our lives have been so crazy as of late {as you all know :)}, and to be honest, I cannot remember the last quiet weekend we have had at home alone. 
So, on Saturday we did fabulous things like sleep in, stay in our PJ’s, eat whatever we wanted, play whatever we wanted, took a long nap and then met Brandon’s parents for dinner. It was so fun.
Evy pretending to bake with my cupcake wrappers.

…and we made funny looking Mr. Potato Heads 
…eating popsicles with utter delight
And then on Sunday, after church we again went out to eat with Brandon’s parents and brother and sister in law, came home and napped. When we woke up we had fresh strawberries from the strawberry stand with a *little* bit of sugar…
And the sugar ended up everywhere….

But what a wonderful weekend! I decided one major thing this weekend…I am a working mom and that means that on weekends, instead of running around like a crazy person, I really need to focus on my family. The kids were so very happy to be with me, as I was to be with them. 
And I loved that.
I ignored emails, tried to not look at my shop/facebook/twitter pages, didn’t chat on the phone and didn’t think about myself. I loved it. It was wonderful. And after this weekend, I hope to have many more just like this. It was exactly what the doctor ordered for my crazily insane life. Even if it was without my husband {who we all miss terribly}…it was still fantastic.
Hope you all had a great weekend!

DIY {Do It Yourself} Friday: Mod Podge Photo Box

Good morning and Happy Friday to you all out there in Blogland! Sarah here for this exciting DIY Friday. :) Today I made a mod podge photo box. I’ve been wanting to up-date these boxes {I have a few} for a long time, so I jumped on the opportunity. I have done a few projects with Mod Podge and thought this would be a darling little thing to add to my collection! Ha! It’s so easy to make and you don’t need many supplies. You will need:

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WWWW {What We Wore Wednesday}

Hello everyone, Amy here! Yes, I know surprise, surprise..but Sarah and I swaped this week, she is going to do DIYFriday for you all and I wanted to share with you some pictures of my kiddos in Evy’s Tree…of course. :)

This past weekend we attended the Wings Over Wine Country Air Show outside of Santa Rosa with our good friends, The Rivas’. It was super fun and brought back tons of memories…my dad kept his plane at the Sonoma County airport my entire life and we spent countless hours at that airport. It was fun to take the kids and show them places where I hung out. Jake was so funny, he kept telling everyone, “My grandpa, Gramps, used to keep his plane here!” ha. Jake LOVED seeing all the army vehicles and getting into a fighter jet. He was thrilled beyond words…it was so cute.

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Fall Preview and Giveaway Week 4: The Stragglers and The Comebacks

Hi all….thanks so much for your patience in getting this post out to you. I had hoped to have it up yesterday, but as Sarah and I were prepping the hoodies for pictures we realized that one of the hoodies we were going to preview today was stuck at the seamstress’ and we wouldn’t be able to get it until around 7PM last night: way too late to take pictures of it. Sooo…here we are. :)

Did you miss the last previews? Click HERE, HERE and HERE to see all three of them. Are you new to Evy’s Tree? Welcome! We are anxiously preparing for our fall line and website launch which will happen September 2.  Time will be announced next week so keep checking the Facebook page, twitter and this blog for updates. Also, if you haven’t already, I would suggest requesting the email newsletter over on the sidebar to the right.

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Sometimes the Bad = Good

Hello everyone. I have been so very absent again. Life has just been insane as of late. There have been so many things that I wish I had time to blog about, but I just can’t find one spare moment to do so… between my husband’s crazy new schedule, Evy’s Tree fall line and website launch, Jake starting school, etc, its just been super hectic over here. I’m sure you all understand and probably feel similar with school starting up for many of you as well.
One of my dearest friends on the planet texted me today. Normally her texts to me are LONG {ha!} so I was shocked when this one simply said, “Are you doing ok?” I simply responded, “yes, why?” And her response was, “Ok, well even if we can’t chat all the time I ‘keep tabs’ on you through FB/Twitter/Pinterest and you’ve been absent for a couple days so I got worried, that’s all.”
HA. oh boy. I started thinking maybe I should do an update or something so people don’t worry about me. :) 
Sooo…I’ve been thinking a lot about “bad” things that happen to you and how they affect you, usually for positive. I’ve spent a lot of time the last couple of weeks thinking back on my life and remembering going through some really tough, frustrating times where I was wondering where in the world God was in all of it. I’ve been connecting the dots and coming to conclusions….
Bad often equals good. 
Isn’t that crazy?!? But it’s so true. God sometimes allows us to feel pain, frustration, confusion, etc to STRENGTHEN us and help us in the future look back and realize, “hey, that turned out alright, I’m a better person because of it!” Thinking this way really brings “all things work together for good…” {Romans 8:28} into perspective and remind us that ALL THINGS really do work together. It’s an amazing thought.
I thought about this specifically in reference to my dear friend Heidi. I’ve mentioned her before on this blog, but I’m not sure if I ever mentioned that she dated my brother for 4 years during college. During those 4 years, Heidi and I became like sisters. My mom became her mom. She became part of our family. When she and my brother broke up, I was heartbroken. When she married someone else, I was so sad…not because I wasn’t happy for her, but I felt we never be able to be close like we once were. 
But over time, our friendship reconnected. About 6 years ago, she and her husband were voted in as pastors of my mom’s church {so crazy, I know, especially since Heidi wasn’t even from Santa Rosa!!}. My mom became her Ladies Leader and Heidi started becoming part of our family again. My husband her husband have become very close over the years and our kids ADORE each other. In fact, Jacob will tell you he is going to marry Emma Love and that Joshua is his best friend. We are that close. 
What I thought was a horrible thing, way back when my brother and Heidi broke up, was really not. It turned out just fine in the end. It really is “good”. Amazing, I know.

Heidi, my mom and me.

To be honest, I’m talking about this incident because I have a picture of us all to go along with it! Ha. But really, there are so many other things in my life that I realize bad has turned into good. It’s quite amazing, if I do say so. Maybe you know what I mean?
Big hugs to you all. Thank God for His love, mercy and grace and His ability to make ALL THINGS work together for good, yes?

WWWW {What We Wore Wednesday}

Hello Friends and welcome to W.W.W.W… on Thursday! How fun, right? {I hope you aren’t too disappointed} Were you able to catch last weeks post? If not, it’s all good ;) click HERE.

Here is an amazing Polyvore from our dear friend, Heather :) {See, we told you they were fun, check it out for yourself!} She took the new “Winter White” Diana Wrap and created this lovely little Polyvore! Insert “shout out” here: You Rock Heather! For some reason, I can’t get it to show the picture! EEK! But CLICK the link, you won’t be disappointed, it’s adorable.

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Balancing Business and Family: Why I Work From Home

Hello everyone and happy Wednesday to you all! I believe Sarah is going to get our WWWW up later tonight so make sure to check back as we have a little “guest” polyvore for you, which I think you will enjoy! :) In the meantime, I would like to share a little bit of my heart with you all if that is ok? :)

A couple of weeks back, I shared my view on balancing business and family and what I did to “try” to make my home business jive with my loved ones here at home. I had several lovely comments from you and I enjoyed interacting with you! {BTW…that is the VERY cool thing about wordpress is the reply in the comments section, don’t you think?} I had several of you ask me if working for yourself and from home is so much trouble and still takes me from my kids some, why do I choose to do it? I thought it was a wonderful question and since it was one I didn’t cover much in the first post, I figured I should fill you all in on that! :)

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