Sweet Life

Quarkinies are life. They are much denser than American doughnut holes because they are made with quark. No filling: just a sweet ball of fried dough sprinkled with sugar, and only made this time of year. Perfect — absolutely perfect — with coffee. Ahhhhhh.

They are so good, I sing three notes as I give them to the kids. Jaz asked why I do that.

“That’s not me. That’s a choir of angels singing their praise.”

My Little Piano Man

I got to sit in on Jaz’s piano lesson this evening. The three older kids all take music lessons in the same music school. This was the first time I was able to attend one of his classes, and meet his piano teacher.

She was so patient and kind with him. He was initially interested in the drum set in the room, and she went with it, explaining to him percussion and its role in music. Once they were  He was so focused and eager to show her what he practiced. Continue reading

Chores and Allowance

The girls and their chores. Photo from December 2012.

Our household has been in disarray since the move last month. Martin and I have been cleaning, repairing, painting, and unpacking while simultaneously working full time, and managing the lives and wellbeing of four children — three of whom have been on school holiday for most of the month — all as I’ve been wrapping up my undergraduate program, too.

If it weren’t for our au pair, Wynter, to help us keep afloat, I am fairly certain Martin and I would have lost our minds a long time ago. A lot of things have slipped — chores, bedtimes, and family meetings — but as it stands now, we’ve reached a point where we can begin etching out a family routine once again, and that includes nailing down routine chores for the kids.

In the past, we used a single chore chart hung up in the kitchen or laundry room, in a place where it was seen on a regular basis near our family calendar. But considering the layout of our new house, there isn’t really an appropriate communal space for a chart of chores for multiple people. Plus, with the kids being older, and taking on additional responsibilities while also going in different directions with school and extracurriculars, I wanted to come up with a new way of managing household duties without creating an enormous chart that would soon become an overlooked piece of scenery and not a part of our daily lives.

So I literally put it all in their hands. Continue reading