April has been slotted for yard duty. I’m as hesitant about this as I was about our March meal month… but these kids need to learn the ins and outs of maintaining and caring for the outside of the house as much as the inside. So, in the same way we started our revolution (I use the term “we” loosely), we’re beginning our outside adventure with …. clutter control. Hopefully, we’ll be equally as surprised by the results.

I’m about to bare all (much to my own embarrassment). The good, bad and ugly in our yard. And yes, like the beds, my effort in this area is as lacking as theirs. I’ve decided we’re way too laid back in this house. Not much ever seems pressing. But I’m different now. My reflex “I’ll just do it tomorrow” approach doesn’t fly in my Enabler/Procrastinator/Avoider Anonymous Program. I can do this! (I might need to call my accountability partner, though … maybe later.)

The Yard Game Plan:

Step 1 – De-Clutter. Ever heard of Sanford & Son? … Those boys got nothing on us. Okay, so maybe we’re not that bad, but between all seven of us there are shoes, socks, balls, wrappers, clothes, bicycles, scooters, newspapers …. the list goes on and on! And these chairs! I am SO tired of
looking at the chairs which we’ve had for years and never use. We’ve moved them at least three times. They sit with no anchoring table … taking up room, waiting for the day they might be needed. What they need is a new home. Which leads us to,

Step 2 – Garage Sale. Unlike past sales, this will be a family effort. All for one and one
for all. Everyone organizing, everyone
tagging, everyone cleaning up … and everyone enjoying the plunder, in accordance with the respective effort extended, of course. Looking forward to ending the day with a nice game of ping-pong in a empty garage.

Step 3 – Weed. After all the snow and rain, the pesky plants already hog the beds.. We, like everyone else, have got our job cut out for us getting rid of the green machines. I’m not sure about this one. Jon may kill them all, then have the kids maintain … Anybody got ideas? :)

Step 4 – Odd Job Postings. I’ve been jazzed about the opportunity to use Chuck & Ann Bentley’s refrigerator job posting strategy since he told us about it. Sanding and painting the front porch chairs (that desperately need some TLC) can bring a kid $20. Carefully cleaning the outside of our windows offers the taker$15. Washing the front door & cleaning the porch, well, might get you $10. For a few low dollar items, I’m throwing in sweeping the back porch (something that could almost be done daily), emptying the skimmers, watering the plants. I can’t wait to see how this goes! Hoping I have a few takers.

Step 5 – Flowers. We’ll probably wait for the weather to genuinely warm up … then, Hello Color. What’s better than looking out your window to a view of warm and inviting petal power. Ummmm… I can just see myself sipping a big glass of sweet tea, enjoying the spring and pushing pressing activities where they belong – in the background.

So that’s the game plan. The clutter control strategy needs a family meeting (thanks Dottie – again!) to get a better idea of the action points and responsibilities.

Yesterday offered us a glimpse into how badly we need some edju-ma-cation on ground rules. Slow Walker skirted some very clear boundaries on the trampoline. He was almost instantly busted by his father, who not only had just walked in the door from work, but also found yet another opportunity to say to me, “Do you EVER watch the kids??!!”. Not a good thing.

The consequence loomed heavily on the little guy who mummy walked, whining every scoot, upstairs to receive the punishment. Dad took pity and opted for a new consequence. “Go outside and pick, by the root, ten weeds.”

The relieved kid dutifully headed out the back door to complete his task, followed by his father. After several minutes, lots of frustration, Dad went over to him. “What is wrong with you?!!!”

“Hey, chill.”
With exasperation, he groaned… “What IS a Weed??!!!”

Enough said. Yard .. watch out. We’re headed your way.

Thanks for walking the road with me.


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