“Now, she is not being kind.” -Noah

I will start this blog post by saying that my son, Noah, really blows my mind every single day. I consider myself a crafty gal and one day Noah and I were out and we stopped at Hobby Lobby for some scrapbooking paper. We were in the aisle browsing and there was also another mom and her daughter who was clearly about the same age as Noah. This little girl was in hysterics; you know how kids do sometimes when things do not go their way? Well, Noah was starring at her and I really thought nothing of it. Until–this little girl was so upset that she was taking a large inhale during her hyperventilating and during the mere moment of silence, Noah says (LOUDLY), “Now, she is not being kind; she will not be getting a treat.” Gulp. Gulp. Gulp. This girl’s mother looked at me like I was chasing her with an ax. She was embarrassed and so was I. However, I was proud, too. After I backed our cart slowly out of the aisle because my face was so red I could hardly stand it, I explained to Noah that he had been right. He was 100% right. He does not throw fits in stores because he wants things. He understands that “things” and toys cost money and if he doesn’t bring his money, well, he isn’t getting it. How have we raised a child like Noah who does not throw these fits? Well, it is a commitment and I’d be happy to share with you what worked for us:

1) Implement a chore chart at home. Make it very simple. As I mentioned in a previous post, Noah actually is to the point where he enjoys sorting and putting the silverware away from the dishwasher. He also will “help” dust and shake out the rugs. Why? Because he knows he earns $1 and he knows that he gets to choose where to put his dollar when he is done.

2) Make three banks. You can use peanut butter jars, baby food jars, or really anything. The important thing is to have them labeled and make sure your child knows the difference between each bank. You can use labels, stickers, or tags to differentiate between the three. For Noah, we use the kit Dave Ramsey has designed for children to learn lessons about money. He has a complete set of materials for teaching financial concepts to children, beginning as young as three years of age. Noah has the Junior’s Adventure Bank. This bank has three compartments; one for saving, one for spending, and one for giving. Noah loves being able to decide where his money goes. And I will say, when he chooses give, it melts my heart and I get chocked up every single time. You can purchase these banks HERE!

3) Talk to your child about what they are saving money for. Help them understand that the items they save for can cost more than the “smaller” items that they buy at Dollar Tree. Saving money is a spectacular lesson to teach your child.

4) Every time you go to the store, ask your child if they want to bring their spend jar just in case there is anything that they are interested in buying. Noah enjoys the freedom of making the choice to spend his money.

5) The give jar has been great. There is nothing in this work more rewarding to a mommy than to watch my little 3 year old empty his give jar into the gift basket at church or bring the money and give it to the SPCA. However, the one “giving” experience that I remember so well with Noah was when we went to the store and used his give money to buy some diapers. Then, we drove across town to a local pregnancy care center and Noah completely understood that he had bought the diapers with his give money to GIVE to the babies that needed them. It is critical that we raise giving and kind children that know about money. I feel lessons about money are just as crucial as potty training them before they are 17.

It is imperative that we not just buy our children everything they want. This is setting them up for financial failure later on in life. I would love to hear about YOUR experience with implementing these money management strategies in your home. How did your children react the first time you told them NO at the store? They don’t easily take NO for an answer?  Try explaining to them, “My money is for food today.” It will be an adjustment, but a critical one. A few times in and out of the store with them screaming their head off because they want the newest La La Loopsy doll will be well worth the seed you are planting. I’d love to hear stories.




Learning to just BE…

“Dear God, I am not asking for much here. Just five kid-free minutes to myself. I’m not asking for a good shower–the one where you shave your legs and pumice your heels and slather you limbs with sea-salt-lemon-mimosa foaming body scrub and exfoliate whatever bits need exfoliating. Nothing like that. Just five minutes under a stream of hot water so I can shampoo the ick out of my hair, slop on a little conditioner, swipe my face with a wash cloth, and just be.” – Tracy Mayor, Mommy Prayers. Just be? Hmmm…this prompted my blog post for today.

What does it mean for you to just be? I remember when taking my time at the grocery store or perhaps stopping to look at something at the store was easy. Pha! Now-a-days, the cart has to remain in motion at a significantly steady pace to avoid any calling out. Now, don’t get me wrong, my son doesn’t ask for things at the store or throw a fit when he can’t get a toy he wants. At age 3, he knows how we get things that we want. We work for money and then make the purchase. He likes to sort and put away the silverware. Funny? I know. For me to just be, I need peace. I need to have that moment to daydream. When I go to tea, or knit, or sew…I daydream. Or maybe I just stare into the middle of nowhere with my mouth hanging open. It doesn’t matter. Either way, it is pure bliss!

We as mothers need to take time to be. The world we live in is busy, so take time to be you. What do you like to do? What do you do to relax? I ask these questions because I have literally needed to train myself to SIT DOWN. It is HARD. Pre-Noah, I was also always busy; organizing, planning, planning, and well…more planning. I am still this person; however, I have learned to relax. I have learned to find things; like knitting, tea, scrapbooking, and quilting, that require me to be SEATED while working. I am probably ADD, maybe even ADHD. Both of my brothers were and my mom and dad also both have very “hyper” tendencies. I, however, learned to channel this energy since becoming a mom. Down time is a must for us to function 100%. My husband knows the basket case I can become if I do not get my moment to breathe. My 10 seconds when he gets home from work to wind down from my busy day. Yes, I know, he works hard too. I however, work hard in a different way that includes zero adult human interaction. I sing my ABC’s and finger paint. So, I need a break from time to time!

Find your “be” today…and just be. I don’t care if you walk out to get the mail and take 10 breathes in and 10 out before re-entering the house. It feels good. It really does and it is awesome!


What is YOUR cup of tea?

Hi. My name is Amanda Rice and this is, quite clearly, my first blog post. I have decided to create a blog (due to inspiration from my motivating and inspiring husband) to network with other moms, get ideas, share ideas (and many pictures I am sure), and to simply document the everyday happenings in the Rice household. Our son, Noah, is 3 years old and is so much fun! I really enjoy the time I have spent with him the past 3 year exploring, learning, and growing in the world around us.

Why is my blog called, “What is YOUR cup of tea”? Well, because it fits my life right now. I found this little tea shop called Chocolatea in Portage, MI, which is where we live. I fell in love. This little gem has CHOCOLATE, DESSERTS, AND TEA (as well as food, coffee, etc). Less than a year ago, a close friend of mine taught me to knit. We knit at Chocolatea once a week and what a GREAT way to get some mommy time! Nothing explains the person I am more than this next quote from Debbie Macomber’s book, The Shop on Blossom Street, “I love to knit. There’s a comfort to it that I can’t entirely explain. The repetition of weaving the yarn around a needle and then forming a stitch creates a sense of purpose, of achievement, of progress. When your entire world is unraveling, you tend to crave order, and I found it in knitting. In fact, I’ve even read the knitting can lower stress more effectively than meditation. And I guess for me it was a better approach, because there was something tangible to show for it. maybe because knitting gave me a sense of action, of doing something. I didn’t know what tomorrow held, but with a pair of needles in my hands and a ball of yarn in my lap, I was confident I could handle whatever lay ahead. Each stitch was an accomplishment. Some days all I could manage was a single row, but I had the satisfaction of that one small achievement. It made a different to me. A very big difference.” This quote for me goes right along with how I feel about every single hobby I have; quilting, sewing, scrapbooking, crafting, etc. It is all about order for me. I ALWAYS need order in my life.

You will notice in my writing and posts that I “LOVE” a lot of things. It is because I do. I value every moment on this earth and I try not to take advantage of that. I am also emotional and you will notice that as well. My need and desire for order is something else that you will easily note. I label everything. I like to know where things are and I really am a little OCD and a bit of a neat-freak. I will share my personal stories, desires, goals and loves in my blogging and I love feedback and other new ideas. We are moms. We work hard every single day. It makes no difference to me if you work from home or work out of the home…we all share on thing in common; WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN. My cup of tea is very likely to be different from yours. Maybe you like coffee? My literal cup tea is Hot Cinnamon Spice. My parenting style may also be different from yours.

Why do you enjoy being a parent? Why is it awesome? Why, some days, is it not? What is your “go-to” for some quiet time? What do you read? What is YOUR cup of tea?