…that I love corn mazes more than any other fall-inspired activity. This particular one we went to this season was cut in the shape of a rider on a snowmobile. I think I got lost right around the handlebars.
Snapshot Saturday

…that I’ve never met as many leaves as gathered on our property this year. At first, I was alarmed at all the raking in my future. Then, my children who are normally perfect angels, started misbehaving and leaf raking became the highlighted consequence. Is it bad to secretly wish for naughty behavior in order to deal with massive amounts of leaves? Even with hours of “timeout” raking, it still took several Saturdays of family workalongs to get those rowdy leaves (and children) under control.
Snapshot Saturday

…that I’ve probably used at least 68 chore chart variations over the years, namely to help with the after dinner chaos. None of them have really stuck (and some required in insane amount of craftiness and hot glue to put into action) until this simple chart came along. I think it’s straight out of the 80′s. We’ve been using it for almost a year now and it’s here to stay. Simple concept – four varying sizes of circles are connected with a brad. The middle circle has the kids names. The 2nd circle has a dinner job, the 3rd circle has a bathroom job (this is one they have the whole week to complete) and the outer circle has a room job (which they have to get picked up before/after dinner). I rotate the kids’ names each week and sometimes rotate the outer circles, but mostly they stay the same. It works like a dream.
Snapshot Saturday

…that this is one of my favorite walls in my house. While I’m much more comfortable photographing chocolate chip cookies, I snap a new picture of my kids each year and slap them up here on this wall.
Snapshot Saturday

…and that because I end up with mostly photos like the ones you see below, I take about 500 shots of each kid in order to get a decent smile (and is why the composition and lighting and blah blah blah is different in every picture). Amateur pics that still make me smile every time I walk past.
Snapshot Saturday

And that’s what I’ve been meaning to tell you. Have a great weekend!

52 Responses to Snapshot Saturday: I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You…

  1. Gaby says:

    That post made me smile :) Have a nice day Mel! xx

  2. Kelly says:

    I love the pics of the kids! Where did you get the sign?

  3. Charlotte Moore says:

    Love it!!!

  4. Susan Kuntz says:

    Miss Mel you have such a beautiful family… God Bless!

  5. peggy says:

    Beautiful! The wall of photos reminded me of the line of my and my five siblings’ high school graduation portraits lined up on the wall in my parents’ den. With six of us (five separated by only 4 years) and my dad away in the Navy a lot over his 20 years, we did not have many photos of us that weren’t behind a baby gate and hardly any where we had a whole outfit on. I’ll never forget her referring to that wall as “My Trophy Wall”.

  6. mary lou says:

    You have a wonderful family and you take great pictures. But with 5 kids how do you have time to give us the great recepies and ideas? I have 6 kids which are grown and starting their own families now but I would never have been able to do what you do

  7. Carrie says:

    What a sweet family :) I hated raking leaves growing up… And now that I have a house of my own and no kids yet, I see why my parents had 5 kids: to help with all the leaf raking each fall ;)

  8. Sheila says:

    Absolutely love this post!! I hope the truth of your message above the “professional looking” pictures of your children sinks into the heart of every wife and mother. I, also, hope the wisdom of teaching our precious little ones to be disciplined, work hard, learn to be a part of a team and carry your fair share of the load, and that there is negative consequences to wrong behavior will encourage every woman to “go full steam ahead” in their work within the home despite the exhaustiveness of the daily routine.

  9. Sally says:

    I have to admit – from the surprised look on your son’s face, and the title, I totally thought you were going to say that you were expecting #6!!!!! :)
    We have a decent system of chores (though I really like the colored wheel!)… I learned long ago to pay the kids ahead of time (for the week, or for the month now for the older boys) and then have them pay US BACK at the end when they fail to do their chores. I just never felt right about “paying them for chores”. This way it’s an expectation that they contribute/do the chores, that they are supposed to as responsible family members (and later, as responsible citizens in society) and when they don’t, they owe.
    Meanwhile, Thank goodness for digital, eh? I take so many photos of my 4 kids it’s ridiculous…some day I will print them out and finish up their albums… Everything is extremely organized on the computer with multiple back-ups, I just need to get them in the scrapbooks.
    Enjoy your weekend!!

  10. Danelle says:

    You have the most adorable family! As for the leaves, I don’t know if this would work for you, but my 13 year-old has been raking leaves to earn money, and he did one really big yard where they used their riding lawn mower to blow all the leaves into one spot. Apparently if you take the bag off, it turns into some sort of leaf blower. So I’m thinking it could also work with a regular lawn mower. Of course, then you’d have to come up with a new consequence! And family workalongs are a pretty great thing too. But you know, just in case you get desperate. :)

  11. I love the wall of photos! I bet you’ve got some good outtakes too :)

  12. Mariann says:

    Your family is adorable. I love the corn maze picture and I think you should enter it into an Old Navy photo contest. You couldn’t ask for a cuter advertisement for ON sweatshirts.

  13. Erin says:

    I love your site, love your recipes, love your stories. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  14. Teresa says:

    I love this! You have a beautiful family, and it’s so fun to learn more about you and your family. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  15. Yeah, I thought there was a 6th on the way… sweet post Mel!

  16. Aww. I love every part of this post. Corn mazes are blast. We did a HUGE one this year. Had a lot of fun and never did figure it. :)
    The chore chart…Genius. I must try it.
    The kiddos are adorable!

  17. k says:

    The chores! How funny… I was just telling my husband this morning before we even got out of bed that I HAVE to do something different for chores. Can you send me a close-up of your whole color wheel chart? I think it’s exactly what would work around here!

  18. Brinestone says:

    I’m gonna echo k. This is the second time today that I have thought: That’s why I’m so overwhelmed all the time! I’m asking WAY too little of my children. While they play with Legos and make messes in the basement, I do pretty much everything. I need an easy way to assign chores to help them learn responsibility and get them to pull their weight.

  19. Susan says:

    Your chore chart looks just like mine,just different colors, and four different boy names!

  20. Nicole says:

    That chore chart?? Amazing! I need that in my life. As a fellow mom to 4 boys one girl (and I think by the looks of it their ages match up pretty well!), I think you are doing an amazing job. And I’m totally stealing your hallway photo of each child idea. LOVE that. Thanks Mel!

  21. Nikki says:

    Girl get yourself a couple ( or 4 ) leaf blowers for those boys. They will have a ball gathering leaves. My 2 boys are responsible for our 2 acres of leaves and they just blow them into the woods. Your family is just darling, I love the framed photos on the wall.

  22. Joan says:

    Your family is so beautiful. Every last one of them. Completely adorable! Your greatest recipe are the ingredients of your family, mixed well and savored each day!

  23. Kendra L. says:

    I love this post! You have a very rich life. :) And I have a feeling that chore chart is something I’ll need desperately in my future. I’m pinning it.

  24. Julie says:

    Thank you! I feel uplifted and motivated to do better (love that chore chart!) without feeling like a crap mom. Thanks for the recipes and especially for keeping it real.

  25. Lindsay G says:

    your kids are sooooo cute. Love the silly pics!

  26. Amy says:

    I love that wall too! I love the idea – I think I might have to borrow it!

  27. heather bell says:

    I have been contemplatking job charts instead of just telling my kids what to do every day and you got it!! I am doing this like now!=) So,thanks.=)

  28. Lacee says:

    My mom always made us weed the garden when we were acting up. Thing is, it worked. It calmed us down and it helped the garden. :)

  29. kari says:

    Love your Harold B. Lee quote!

  30. Kelli says:

    I love these glimpses into your life! Such a beautiful family!

  31. Lynne says:

    I *definitely* need a close-up shot of your chore wheel! Or could you please tell us what all the chores are that you’ve listed (some are cut off in the photo)? ;)

  32. Kim says:

    I love Snapshot Saturdays! Thanks for sharing! Your blog is my favorite (in case you were wondering!!)

  33. Allison says:

    Love the pics and I might have to try out your chore chart since none of my 57 have worked…

  34. Kenna says:

    We have the same job chart in our house and like your house, it is the only one that has stuck. I love it!

    • Mel says:

      Hey everyone – thanks for your kind words and comments! For those of you who want more info on the chore chart and wooden sign:

      1) My chore chart is really basic. The picture shows all of the areas except for the outer (yellow) circle that is slightly cut off. That is the circle you want to personalize to your home anyway. Those are the room jobs the boys have to do. On our chart there is a) living room, b) loft, c) mudroom and laundry and d) basement.

      2) I’ve had the wooden sign above the five pictures for years and made it myself a long time ago when a friend cut out the vinyl for me (and Brian routed the edges of the wooden board). So I’m sorry I don’t have a great resource for that. If there is some type of etsy shop or online vinyl service that can cut out personalized lettering, you may be able to order it that way. I have a vinyl cutting machine but unfortunately don’t have the vinyl/time to cut the lettering out for all those who are interested. Sorry!

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  35. Michelle says:

    LOVE your chore chart Mel…pretty sure I am going to have to steal it:)

  36. Katie Ray says:

    totally going to make myself a chore wheel! Thanks for the inspiration. Your family is beautiful.

  37. katie says:

    LOVE the job wheel idea. This is how we’ve done my family’s Christmas exchange list for the last forever and forever and it’s worked great. I’m sorely lacking in the kid chore area, I’ll give this a try!
    And I love the quote from Elder Lee above your kids pictures…I think I’ll be making myself a sign soon and copy your idea. Cute kiddos :)

  38. Katheryn says:

    Love the quote you had over the kids’ pictures. It’s one of my favourites. I also like the chore wheel and might steal this idea as I’ve determined I don’t have my children do enough around the house.

  39. Andrea says:

    Cute post. Your family is darling, and I think I’m going to steal that old-school chore chart idea. I had forgotten about that little number from my growing-up years:). Thanks for the reminder!

    Your blog always makes me smile:).

  40. C M says:

    Cute family Mel. More recipes less snaps. Hate losing a day of your creativity. Such a fab cook u are.

  41. Jenny Z says:

    Thanks for sharing! I LOVE your picture wall – it makes it even better that you took the pics yourself. =) (I like the varied backgrounds too.)
    We might have to give that style of chore chart a try!

  42. Danyelle says:

    I love the sign you have above their pictures. Where’d you get it/

  43. Jamie says:

    I adore the quote on your wall. One of my very favorites!! Pres. Lee is my great grandfather so it holds a special weight for me, especially as a mom. :)

  44. Holly says:

    Mel, you are awesome! Love the chore chart! totally going to do it. Also love the wall. The only decor I have in my house is pics of my family and a few sayings. I’m jealous of your yard (I live in a stupid tiny Townhome with no yard…..someday :) I will be able to rake leaves lol). I love all your posts, but try to not to comment too much because duh you are busy and I was astonished that I got a reply a long, long time ago when I posted for the first time. So thanks for the reply way back when! You truly are a super woman! FYI #3 came for me and I finally got a girl and life couldn’t be better :)

  45. Ali says:

    Hey! I just love that chore chart idea. Thank you for sharing. I have tried so many things and nothing sticks. Your yard looks awesome too!

  46. Kim in MD says:

    You have such a beautiful family, Mel!

  47. Cerissa says:

    I love it! Your picture wall is adorable and your little girl just makes me smile. I commented to you a couple months ago about our little girl on the way after 4 big brothers so very similar to your family and I loved your sweet response. Thought I would send you the link to our pictures in case you were interested. Our sweet little girl was born one month ago :) http://urbanrosephoto.com/blog/?p=7075&fb_action_ids=10201848132839146&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210201848132839146%22%3A202711176583650%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210201848132839146%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

  48. Anona says:

    I love that quote above your kids pictures! What a great inspiration and reminde as you go about your daily routine as a mother!! The chore chart is great and not complicated!

  49. My two-year-old looks anywhere EXCEPT the camera when we take pictures. Love your wall idea and I may steal it in the beginning of next year… Great reminder of the important things in life!

  50. Cammee says:

    We had the same chore chart when I was growing up….in the 80′s. It was the only thing that worked and curbed fighting. Your family is so adorable. I can’t believe how big your baby is. I always hate when people say that to me, sorry!

  51. kensi says:

    Loved it!!

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