For your viewing pleasure and my scrapbooking purposes, here are the current Russell Rules:
Rule #1: Russells do not complain.
Rule #2: Russells work harder than anyone else.
Rule #3: Russells ask if there is more work to be done.
Rule #4: No Tortugas.
Rule #5: Number 5 is alive.
Rule #6: There is no rule number six!
Rule #7: Painting.
Rule #8: Do not say, "Nucular."
Rule #9: Act and do not watch.
These have morphed over the years into inside jokes and funny memories, as you can probably tell.
Rules #1-3 are self explanatory. The kids understand our work ethic, and often will ask what they should do next. If they break Rule #1, we simply say, "Rule Number One is in effect," and they ask for more work.
Well, most of the time it works that way.
Rule #4 comes from my days as a waitress. The majority of the cooks were Hispanic and spoke little English. If it was busy in the deli and we felt like they were moving too slowly, we would simply draw a turtle with an X on it and say, "No Tortugas!" (Spanish for Turtle). Now when the kids dawdle, we use this expression to remind them to work, walk or eat a little quicker.
Side Note: Gabe has combined 2 different eras of my life and thinks I was a waitress in France. I cannot convince him otherwise. And for the record, I was in France, and I was a waitress, but I wasn't a waitress in France.
If you aren't from the 80's, Rule #5 might be lost on you. It has morphed very recently; it was, "Don't hit your head on the wall." That's a hold over rule from when we often wrestled with the kids on our bed and they, you guessed it, smacked their heads on the wall. Now it's our funny way of encouraging the kids.
Gabe side note again: He doesn't get it. He always says, "I have never been number 5. I was number 7."
I have no idea why there is no Rule Number Six. There never has been one. It makes us smile though.
Rule #7 is the first Rule that baby Juliana contributed. At eighteen months she wanted to be a part of this fun process, so she simply shouted out the first thing she could think of: Painting! And it stuck.
"Don't say Nuke-U-Lar" is one of my personal favorites. My kids have picked up a few bad habits (NOT from me! This is my pet-peeve!) of saying certain words incorrectly. They said lie-bare-ee for library, am-bli-ance for ambulance, and veNge-ta-ble for vegetable. Oh, and clearly, Nuke-U-Lar instead of Nu-cle-ar. Now when they mispronounce a word I have previously corrected, I simply say, "Rule Number Eight is in effect," and they stop and correct themselves. The best part about rule # 8 is you have to break the rule to say the rule :o)
Rule #9 is recent. For some reason unknown to me, when something goes wrong my kiddos stop and watch it happen. For instance, if they drop a jug of milk, they watch as the rest of the gallon pours out onto the floor instead of grabbing it and saving the rest. If they spill a glass of water on the table, they observe the flow instead of reaching for a towel and saving the rest of the table and the floor. It boggles my mind and it seems to me that it could lead to problems within a true crisis, where there is perhaps bleeding or drowning taking place. So now I shout, "Rule Number Nine!" and everyone springs into action.
And Rule #10 is really for one particular child who has a particular bad habit, so I am not going to embarrass that child here.