Friday, January 20, 2012

Big Helper

We decided it was time for Abby to start earning a little bit of money so that she could learn about paying her tithing. Last week, we talked about a few chores that she can help with, aside from the things she is always expected to help with, like cleaning up her toys. Then, we made a chart with columns of ten circles. Whenever she helps with one of the chores (unloading the dishwasher, folding/putting away laundry and collecting the garbage) she gets to put a sticker in one of the circles. After she fills a column of ten circles, we will pay her a dollar (90 cents for her bank, 10 cents for tithing). These chores are optional. If she doesn't feel like helping me unload the dishwasher, that's ok--she just doesn't earn a sticker.

So far, she has been very excited about helping out and putting stickers on her chart.

On Tuesday, I did some laundry but never got around to folding the last load. Abby remembered this Wednesday morning while I was in the shower and asked if she could help fold. I told her we could work on it at soon as I got out and put some clothes on. While I was getting dressed, she asked if she could start taking the clothes out of the dryer and I happily obliged. Once I got my clothes on, I told Abby I was ready and she responded, "I'm right here." Her response had a bit of an echo. I found out that "right here" was in the dryer.

My first instinct was to scold her but then I decided to laugh, and take a picture. It sure was entertaining to watch her getting out of the dryer. You can't tell in this picture, but the toilet is right next to the dryer. And I mean, right next to it. The dryer door only opens about halfway before smashing into the toilet. She had to do some contortion work to remove herself.

I guess Abby's idea of helping with the laundry is to become one with the laundry.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


If you are a mom, and you haven't read this article yet, do it now! It might just change your life (or a least give you a little bit of perspective.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fabric ABCs

While perusing the wonder that is Pinterest, I ran across these fabric letters and thought they would make a fun project. I made them for my girls for Christmas. Cutting out the letters from scrap fabric was a fun trip down memory lane. However, I had never realized how many letters there are until I cut out 26 of them...three times.

I didn't quilt mine, because 1) I'm really not that awesome and 2) I didn't want to spend that much time. But, I did trim the edges and throw them in the washer/dryer because I still wanted them to have the rag look.

I used denim for the back. I wanted something a little more sturdy and I had a pair of jeans just waiting to be cut up.

It's been fun using them to quiz Abby on her letters--much better that just writing them out on a piece of paper. And, Clara enjoys giving them a nibble now and then.

I has ambitions of doing the lower case letters too...maybe one day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Decorative Touch

As a kid, I would get bored of my room every couple of months. I would rearrange the furniture (or rather instruct my dad how to rearrange the furniture), relocate my stuffed animals, candles and troll dolls into the perfect new places or update the pictures in the frames with my latest photographic treasures.

As an adult, this decorative ADD hasn't subsided. However, with a decorating budget of next to nothing, it's hard to find ways to change things up.

A couple of months ago, I made this ruffle pillow using one of Sam's t-shirts and some batting I already had on hand. I think it adds a nice little touch to the bedding we've had for almost five years.

For Christmas, my sister-in-law made us this awesome frame with maps of the cities we have lived in. When I was trying to decide where to hang it, I thought it would look nice next to one of our engagement photos across from our table. But, when I held it up next to the photo, it felt like it needed something else.

I've been seeing cute, yarn-wrapped letters popping up all over the place. I decided to make a letter "P" to balance out the new frame. I didn't have any yarn, so I used twine instead. I cut the "P" out of cardboard and wrapped it up using occasional touches of hot glue to keep everything in place. It's a little imperfect because I drew the P free-hand, but I kind of like it that way.

Sam finally got around to hanging up the new additions and I think it turned out great. It makes me happy to look over and see something a little different.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Matchy Matchy

My sister-in-law Merrick made the girls matching dresses for Christmas. This is the first time I've dressed them in the same outfit and I must say, I love it. I only wish I had the same cute tights Clara is wearing in Abby's size.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas 2011

We spent our Christmas this year in Arizona.  This was the first time we've spent Christmas at my parent's house with Philip and Merrick. We had a blast being all together.

The first night we were all together, we went to see the lights at the Mesa Temple which was preceded by dinner at Pancho's Mexican buffet. My friend Cassie joined us for dinner and lights. We all stuffed ourselves and then walked around to burn off some of the deep-fried deliciousness.

The kids had so much fun playing together. Their favorite activity was jumping in and out of the pack-and-play and wresting in there. Who knew a crib could be so much fun!?!

Christmas morning was a blast. Abby was thrilled with every gift she received. If anyone asks what she got for Christmas, she tells them, "A new toothbrush holder." She is obviously easily pleased.

Clara liked crinkling the paper and eating the snacks she found in her stocking.

We went to church together and then spent the afternoon lazing around and eating too much candy.

I stayed home with a sleeping Clara while everyone else went on a hike. Sam went to climb on some rocks which made Abby very nervous. This picture is so sad, but so cute. She loves her daddy.

We also drove down to Marana, AZ to spend some time with Sam's brother and family. Abby had a blast playing with her cousins, especially Ella. She is the closest-in-age-girl cousin to Abby.

The kiddos went swimming in the jacuzzi one night.

When we got back to Philly, we had Christmas Part Two. Abby was so excited to get to open more presents. She got Cootie which is what she would tell people she wanted for Christmas.

Abby wrapped a present for her baby. She even helped her open it.

We had an amazing Christmas. We are truly blessed.
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