Manner’s Party

Here is another post for a Girls Scouts Activity, but could be used anyone.  We had a Manner’s Dinner Party and taught the girls how to set the table, proper etiquette and other good manners.  It was really fun to see the girls trying their hardest to be polite, and I have seen a big difference in my own daughter’s manners since the Manner’s Party.

Part of the activity included a quiz that we gave to the girls.  I thought I would share the quiz, since I put a lot of time gathering the information from different websites.  I hope someone else can benefit from my time and effort.

http://mayhemmanaged.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/manner-quiz2.pdf

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Target Madness Scavenger Hunt

As a Girl Scouts leader, I am always looking for new and clever ideas for fun meetings.  My girls are now Cadettes and every year for Christmas we have gone to Denny’s (or something similar) and bought them hot chocolate and french fries and done a gift exchange.  This year we decided to try something new.

I know that I always appreciate finding ideas on the web and thought I’d share.  I have compiled a few different hunts that I have found to fit my girls and the area we are located.  Hope someone else can benefit from my work:)

http://mayhemmanaged.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/target-madness-scavenger-hunt.pdf

Target Madness Scavenger Hunt

 RULES:

1. Each team will need to complete as many items on the list in the allotted time.  You will start at 4:00 PM and you must meet us back at 4:20 PM at the Starbucks in the front of the store.

2. The teams that are late will receive a time penalty.

3. All team members need to stay with their team at all times.  You may not divide the hunt tasks.

4. Some of the tasks deal with strangers, it’s very important to be kind and respectful.  Also always be on guard and stay safe, use your healthy judgment when it comes to people you don’t know.

5. You must take a photo of each item on the list where specified.  Take turns with your partners being in the photos.

6. Hang items up or place them back where they were before you leave the store.

7. The team that found the most items and the shortest time wins, must be verified

with a digital photo.

8. Please don’t try to take all of your photos in one section of the store, go to a variety of departments.

9. Do not run in the store. You can walk briskly.

10. You cannot leave the store. Check the items off as you find them.

After the hunt you will get time to go spend your Target gift card.

The Hunt Begins

 Search & Find

Find the following items and photograph a team member with each item.  2 points each

  • A price tag whose digits add up to 25
  • A print out from a wedding registry
  • A stranger’s autograph along with words of advice
  • A “Happy 100th birthday” card
  • A salesperson wearing red shoes
  • An animal wearing animal print
  • A coupon (bonus, 2 points for the team with the highest valued coupon)
  • An old sales receipt

Trivia Questions

Find the answer to each of the following trivia questions based on information and items available at this Target location.  3 points each

  • How many stalls are in the ladies restroom?
  • How much does it cost to buy a pizza combo meal?
  • Who is on the cover to this week’s People magazine?
  • How many dressing room stalls are there?
  • What are the store hours on Saturdays?
  • How many checkout stands are there?
  • What year was this Target location built?

 

Glamor Shots

Photograph the following scenarios.  Photographer does NOT have to be in the photos requiring the whole team.  4 points each

  • A team member shaking hands with a bearded man
  • A team member posing with mannequin or store display modeling clothing, both dressed the same
  • Your team wearing something patriotic
  • Your team wearing UGSESASLNS (unscramble the word)
  • A team member that looks ready for bed
  • A team member wearing a t-shirt with a funny message
  • A team member and 3 strangers spelling out “YMCA” with their bodies.
  • Your team posing GYINLAP DIOVE MEAGS (unscramble the words)

Quick Tip: Making Better Decisions

Hindsight is 20/20. –Unknown

Looking back on things, you can almost always see perfectly where you went wrong and how you should have approached the situation.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could see things more clearly before hand?  That we could get the knowledge we gain from the experience prior to finalizing our decisions?

There are a few ways we can have better foresight and make better decisions.

  • Think First, Act Later:  This is advice my daughter gets every week at her violin lesson.  So simple, yet it yields great results, and can be used in all aspects of our lives.  From thinking before you speak, thinking before you commit to taking on something new, thinking before you walk out the door, and so on.  If we take the time to think before we do, our lives will run so much smoother.  Sometimes we have so much on our minds and our lives are carrying us in a million different directions that we think that we just don’t have time to think.  But consider this; how much time is wasted due to your lack of thinking before you act?  This can be done as just taking a brief moment to think things over, or it can be done through meditation and prayer.  I know that when we take a moment to think before we act, it will benefit us in countless ways.
  • Trust Your Intuition:  How many times have you kicked yourself for not listening to your inner self?  Once we start to take the time to think, you can better connect with you intuition.  We have been given this great gift as a tool to use in our decision-making process.  Take advantage of it, I’m sure you won’t regret it!
  • Ask for Advice:  We are not in this alone.  There are so many that surround us that have the answers we are looking for.  Learn lessons from those who have already been where you are.  You can ask people you know and trust, or even search for advice in books, magazines and on the internet.  Just don’t forgot that every situation is a little different and so you need to be sure to use the prior two points as well.  Don’t totally depend on others advice unless you know it is right for you.

These devices are best used in our decision-making process, but don’t be afraid to use them even when you have already made decisions that don’t seem to be working to your favor.  All of our decisions are investments into our lives.  You wouldn’t keep throwing money at something that was obviously failing, right?  Likewise we shouldn’t waste time on something that isn’t benefiting you and your family.

When we use these three tools, this mayhem that we call life will be easier to manage and result in happier people.

Here’s to Achieving Our Goals

“A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it.” — Scott Allen

After starting several posts this month and not finalizing one, I thought perhaps I should focus on completing projects.  I like to start each of my post with a quote and while I was on the search for the perfect quote, I found this article and thought that it summed everything up so nicely.

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/why-youre-not-reaching-your-goals-and-what-to-do-about-it/

An idea is nothing if you do nothing with it.  So hears to achieving all our great ideas.  Good luck!

 

Quick Tip: Paperwork Solutions

What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork. — Pearl Bailey

I am a bookkeeper by profession, and I am often asked what is the best way to handle filing paperwork.  Really, it depends on how your mind works and how you can easily retrieve the information you are looking for.

I have three different methods that I recommend.

  • File by Date of the Record:  This is the method that I generally use for financial records, just because when you are dealing with financial information, it is nice to keep paperwork together by tax year, so you can easily archive and then depose of paperwork when needed.  I make separate folders for bills, deposits, bank statements, insurance/medical records, tax agency records and so on. For those files that get overwhelmed with paperwork, I sub-divide either by month or quarter.  I find it easy to access these records by looking at the date of the transaction in my check register.
  • File by Type of Record:  This is the method I like to use for any non-financial record, but it can also be used for financial paperwork.  Personally, I just find it harder to archive financial records with this method, but again, it all depends on how your mind works.  I prefer to use this for records I will possibly keep indefinitely.  For example, paperwork of important medical records, school records, car repair records and so on.  When using this method for financial records I recommend keeping like-bills together, ie your utility bills, phone bills, etc.
  • File by Project Related to Record:  This is a method sometimes used in filing financial records when you deal with clients that you are doing a short-term project for.  I don’t generally recommend this type of filing system for large companies because it can become really complicated, but I find sometimes that small business owners prefer this type of filing because frankly, it is just how their mind works.  For non-financial records, you could use this filing type for construction projects at home.

Which ever method you prefer, just remember the most important part is keeping up so you don’t get buried underneath your paperwork.  That is one of the things that stress me out most.  I hate to see a pile of paper staring at me, begging to be taken care of.

A couple other tips to keep in mind when dealing with paperwork;

  • If you wonder if you really need to keep the paper, you most likely don’t.  Don’t be afraid to let go, especially now that you can access most records online.  Sometimes it is really liberating to let go!
  • When filing financial paperwork, I have found that keeping the most current papers in the front of the file makes more sense than in the back.  You generally look for your most current bills/papers, so it is so much easier to just have them up front.  But if you can’t get your mind to switch, just remember, you have to do what works best for you!

Back to School Craziness

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.  ~Edgar W. Howe

Now that my oldest is in 6th grade, I feel very comfortable with our school routine.  Looking at my calendar for the next few months might be overwhelming to some, but to me, it just feels right.  I love my colorful calendar, even if there is little time to add any new events!  Maybe it makes me feel important, or perhaps makes me feel like I’m actually being productive, whatever it is, it just feels right.

My key to success is keeping my calendar up to date so I don’t over-schedule myself. With smart phones, it is very easy.  I love that it reminds me and can even sync with my husband’s phone to remind him where I’m at when I’m unavailable.  The one thing I haven’t quite figured out yet, is how to fit my blogging in, hence the huge gap in posts.  Perhaps I should add it to my calendar.  No need to worry, I got plenty of Mayhem Management ideas in the works.  Now if I could only find some extra time in my mayhemic life to implement those ideas into reality:)   Maybe it’s time for me to do some weeding.

Have you been able to get back in the swing of your school craziness?  What works for you?  Carpooling?  Limiting your children’s activities?  Please share, I’m sure others would greatly appreciate your input!

Quick Tip: Meal Planning

It pays to plan ahead, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. — Unknown

This is my absolute favorite organization tip!!!  It is super easy, only takes about 10 minutes tops and saves money, time and headaches.  What’s not to like about that?

Once a week or every other week, take a minute and plan a dinner menu (and if you want breakfast and lunch).  I prefer doing two weeks at a time, and have even done a full month.  I just find that I stick to the plan better when I do it every other week.  I print my google calendar for the month, then I can see what activities I have going, this helps me plan which days to eat out.  Then I just write on that calendar what’s for dinner, but even just throwing it down on a scrap paper works.

The perks of meal planning . . .

  • I better use my produce because I have a plan, saving us lots of money!
  • It is a great way to push yourself to try new recipes!
  • You’re not constantly eating the same thing, this makes my hubby very happy:)
  • My kids complain less, because they have plenty of forewarning of what is coming:)
  • It makes it super easy to check if I have the needed ingredients for the recipes I’m using, so I also do my grocery list at the same times, which also saves us money, not buying un-needed items!
  • I can easily pull any frozen meat out the night before to defrost.  I usually pull it out after we finish doing dishes the night before.
  • It saves me from the daunting question of “What’s for dinner?”

Believe me, once you try it, you’re going to love it!

Attitude Makes All The Difference

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life. — Joel Osteen

I think we all need reminders once in a while that happiness is a choice.  We all have problems, no way around it.  It is our response to life’s situations that makes all the difference.

Some days, when I do the same thing for the umpteenth time, I wonder why I even bother, it will just need to be done again later.  Or when I am faced with the same problem again and again, I wonder if I can ever get past it.  Life can be overwhelming.  Very overwhelming at times.  But life can be great too!  It is the hard times that helps us to better appreciate the good times, and so both are needed.

I have often thought about my mom, raising seven children (eight when you count my dad).  She has definitely done her fair share mundane house chores.  I asked her once why I have never heard her complain about housework and she told me it’s because she has found that when you focus on what you appreciate in life, it makes life much sweeter.

So today, I am remembering the sweet things in my life.  I am grateful to have a wonderful family that I absolutely love to serve.  And even if I have to clean the toilet a million more times for them, I am grateful to have good health that gives me the ability to do so.  I am grateful to have freedom to choose if I want to clean that toilet today or not. And lastly, I am grateful to live in such a beautiful world, so when I am done cleaning toilets, I can go enjoy the beauty that surrounds me!

When I get into pessimistic slumps, I often remember Dr. Glenn Latham’s advice, “Today is not forever!”  When we are in the midst of problems, we have a hard time seeing beyond the issue at hand.  Forgetting that we will soon be past this brief moment in our life.  This thought can change my attitude in an instant.  Even when my child is throwing a tantrum, it helps me to remember that this tantrum doesn’t define me or my child.  Someday he/she will go on to do great things in life and that tantrum will be long forgotten.

Though life will surely throw some curve balls my way, I choose and will continue to choose to be happy.

Try, Try Again

Instilling Confidence

Action is the foundational key to all success –Pablo Picasso

I have been around children my whole life and have seen a wide spectrum of personalities and seen different parenting approaches.  I have discovered that though we all are born with unique personalities, most beliefs we develop about ourselves come from what we hear from those around us.

Do you remember the last time you really beat yourself up over something?  What was it over?  Generally we are hard on ourselves for making mistakes, or not being successful enough.  As a young child, these things would have not phased us, but as we have matured, we have learned that these things are unacceptable.  In some cases, our maturity is a form of respect and needed in society, but so many times we beat ourselves up over things that really don’t matter.

Parents have so much influence over their children, even when they are grown.  I still find satisfaction in making my dad proud, and to hear it from him is even more satisfying.  The success of our society depends greatly on the success of our families.  But how is success measured?  Is it because we have raised another Einstein or perhaps another Babe Ruth?  Do our children have to become some famous super stars to be successful?

We live in a competitive world, and it is in our nature to do the best or be the best in whatever we are doing.  Most parents start to unintentionally push their children at a young age to believe that their success depends on how well they do something.  The child’s self-esteem soon is wrapped up in their talents.  When they get to a point where the skill level required is more difficult, they start to believe that they are worthless, and don’t think they can ever overcome their struggles.  Most want to quit and find something that they are truly good at.  Some might say that it is all part of the learning curve, but what if there was a better way to help our children find success?

True success is not the final product, but rather the road that got you there.  If we teach our children while they are young that they succeed by putting in the effort, then when they get to a difficult crossing in building their skills, they will know that even if they struggle, all is not loss.  When we build confidence in how hard they work, and not how well they do something, we will help them to succeed.

When praising a child, let them know you are impressed with how hard they worked, or let them know that you can tell that they took their time.  All too soon they will learn how competitive the world is, but if we have built up their confidence, they will find success, Einstein or not.

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