December 30, 2011

The End Of the Season

When Christmas season approaches each year we get super excited about our Christamas tree.

This year Josh and his dad went out and found our beautiful tree the day after thanksgiving.
We put it up, decorated it and loved it.

But it didn’t particularly like us and our warm dry house.   As the days pasts the amount of needles on the couch for me to vacuum grew.  The beautiful green branches also started to go from a pretty green to brown.

So sadly we had to take our tree down the day after Christmas but as we took it down we laughed that our very dead tree would have new growth all along the south side of the tree closest to the sun.   Oh the joys of a live Christmas tree from the woods. 

December 29, 2011

For some reason Abigail has a fixation on things she is not supposed to touch.  One of those things is the fire extinguisher that is by the refrigerator.  

The other day I was watching Abigail while Kathleen went for a walk to the mailbox.  During that time, Abigail spent several minutes watching the extinguisher.  She knows not to touch it, but has thankfully not learned why.  

Her usual process is to crouch as close as she can and stare at the extinguisher.  When she thinks the coast is clear she attempts to touch it, which results in a stern 'NO' and a swat on the hand.  For some reason, that does not deter her ambition to figure out what it is.  I'm just hoping not to come home one day to find the kitchen coated white.

December 28, 2011

A Christmas To Remember

Even though this wasn’t Abigail’s first Christmas, it was by far super memorable as the first Christmas she really enjoyed it.

Since she has experienced her birthday, Josh’s birthday and now Christmas all in one month this girl knows what presents are and gets so excited.

And this Mama was so excited that her stocking, minus any extra bling, was finished at 9pm on Christmas Eve.

What a fun and simple day we had.  You saw from the video Josh posted yesterday that Abigail was full of ahh at her gifts and loved all of them, from the hair clips to the new toys.

And fitting with our tradition of years past we parents enjoyed a quiet evening of putting together a puzzle as we reflected on the joy of the day.  We hope your Christmas was memorable and full of those moments where your breath was taken away as well.

December 27, 2011

With the excitement and anticipation of Christmas behind us, now is the time to enjoy the fun things we received.
Kathleen and I gave Abigail some Little People for Christmas.  This was how excited she was about getting them.

December 24, 2011

The Christmas Spirit.

In preparation of Christmas we went on a family adventure the other day

to the north pole

There we talked to the reindeer about their preparation for Saturday night.

Abigail was bummed that they were taking a rest and that she couldn’t ride on one.

We visited with some very big stuffed animals that were both scary and

slightly awe inspiring.  

We imagined what it would be like to join Santa’s work force year round.

And we visited with the big Jolly man himself as he took a short break from all of this preparations.

As fun as it was to go to the North Pole, Abigail was just as happy to come home again.  Yes, it would be fun to be part of Santa’s team but I think this little girl is content just to have her stocking filled this year.  Maybe being an elf will have to wait for another year.

December 23, 2011

A Birthday Celebration

Josh’s birthday was a success.

We celebrated by going to a local restaurant for lunch where the birthday boy ate for free and then on to a family adventure. 

At home we all enjoyed a big ham dinner before the presents were brought out.

And what joy the presents brought.  This woodworker gets so excited about new specialty tools. 

And Abigail got excited about a new box to play in.  Thank you to all who helped make Josh’s birthday super special.

December 22, 2011

Celebrating The Head of our Household

Today is a very special day at our house. 

Today is Josh’s birthday and even though we love him each day of the year this day is a day we can honor him, celebrate him and show him how special he is to us.

 We are so thankful for this past year of Josh’s life and all the adventures it has brought.
 He is so much fun, loving and supportive of his family.  He is a brilliant woodworker and chemist and he never passes up an opportunity to have fun and be goofy.
How blessed we are that he is part of our lives and that today we get to celebrate the start of a new year with him.  Happy birthday Josh, we love you.

December 21, 2011

FIghting Off The Shortest Day

Today is the shortest day in the northern hemisphere.  So this means we have about 3 hours of daylight to enjoy today.  
 Not to get discouraged Abigail and I are out and about, in a snow storm, running errands, visiting friends and enjoying the lights of town. 
Tomorrow will come and with it a few more seconds of sunlight will be added to our day.  We can do this short day because yes, tomorrow is coming.

December 20, 2011

A Start

There has been a lot of planning and starting of projects at our house recently.

The supply of trim for the house has been all hung.  This doesn’t mean the trim project is done but instead means it is now on hold until more is purchased.  So with a little break in house work Josh has been super busy in the basement designing something new.  His project will be built out of the birch wood Josh milled from our very own trees.  So for the past week he has been cutting and preparing the wood for just what he needs.

Meanwhile upstairs I have been finishing up on birthday and Christmas gifts.  I have been working for months so that this time of the year wouldn’t be too stressful and for the most part that plan has worked.  Except for the small matter of Abigail’s Christmas stocking.  She was so little last year that I didn’t make one since hey, I had an entire year before she needed it, I would have plenty of time to make it “later.”  Last night I realized I am down to only 5 evenings left before Christmas Eve when that stocking needs to be hung for Santa, oh boy.  So with some mix match of yarn from my stash I too have started in on a very important Christmas project that my girl will hopefully have for many years to come.

So each night after Abigail goes to bed you will find us busy working here at home.  Not so much on “house” projects but more on the projects that fill this house and make it our home.  I promise progress reports and additional pictures will come.

December 19, 2011

Face Trim

Even though the days are short there has been a lot of work going on around the house.

So much work that different ways to get it done have been found, such as having Abigail contained and covered in ear protection so that trim can be hung right behind her during breakfast.

And what a pretty change it brings to our wall of doors.  The face trim hides the gaps along the doorframes and even though the nail holes haven’t been filled just yet the house looks so much nicer.

Even when Abigail isn’t eating she likes to be part of the home improvement team.  Her daddy is such a patient man to be trying to do what he needs with little girl trying so hard to be right there to “help”.  We start them young in the construction business here.

December 16, 2011

Settling Down For Bed

Usually you would think that before bed we would calm the house down, play soft music and speak in whispers but some times it just doesn’t happen that way.  Since Josh is at work all day his time with Abigail is usually after dinner just before she heads to bed and the new activities he comes up with to do with Abigail never are boring, quiet or calming.  I guess this is why daddy is so very much fun.

December 15, 2011

A Birthday Review

Abigail’s first birthday last week was fun, memorable and super simple.  Abigail was able to celebrate twice since we had a little celebration with Josh’s parents when they were here for Thanksgiving and then we celebrated as a family last Monday on Abigail’s actual birthday.

 I made Abigail gluten free cupcakes with dairy free frosting.  She enjoyed it initially but then wouldn’t eat any others.  On her actual birthday I made her gluten free brownies but she wasn’t interested in those either. 
In search of finding something sweet and fun for her to eat I ended up giving her Jell-O and I don’t think she could have been any happier with me as that red and wiggle treat was eaten and played with. 

 Abigail enjoyed all of her cards and phone calls
Visits from Friends
 And being allowed to do anything on her actual birthday, and she chose playing with the phone and bows.  We had a great day of play but she didn’t really understand the next day when these weren’t toys any more, oh she will learn.
She learned that brightly colored packages are meant for being ripped into, our Christmas gifts are in slight danger now.

 She has had so very much fun playing with all of her new toys, wearing her new clothes and listening to her new music.  Thank you every one who celebrated little girl by sending her such fun gifts.
We all had fun celebrating our little girl’s first year and what a blessing she is to us.  

December 12, 2011

Rear Facing

Did you know that the new law is that all children under the age of two must be rear facing in their car seats until the age of two.  The law used to be that you could be moved into the forward position at the age of one but that changed during the summer of last year.  So while this helps to keep Abigail safer while in the car I think it might be confusing her just a little bit about how we normally travel in a car.

December 9, 2011


I recently started in on a new sewing project.  Abigail has a bib that my grandma made for me when I was little.  I love this bib since it fits over Abigail’s arms, which keeps her food off her clothes better, and it ties in the back, which helps stop Abigail from ripping her bib off when she feel like it.

So I talked to a friend at church and she helped me use the old bib as a pattern to make more.  Since these bibs are made of cloth they have to be washed after most meals and it is really handy to have more than just one.

When I went to find fabric to use this new pattern I realized I could use some of my old shirts that I had in a bag to go to the second hand store.  I cut off the arms and used the main body of the shirt as the fabric for the bib using both the front and back to make the bib thick enough to hold moisture from food.  I used the hems of the shirt as the link needed for the bib to wrap around the shoulders and attach to the main body of the bib and I used the collar of the shirt as the ties for the back of the bib.

All in all they worked out great.  Abigail likes that they are soft clothe instead of the plastic of her other bibs and this mama likes that they stay on and keep our girl clean.  I find it very fun to create something new and needed out of something older and ready to pass on.

December 8, 2011

Christmas Spirit

Last week we decorated our house for Christmas

The entire time I was very reflective about how last year and how I decorated while carrying a baby on my front at 40 weeks pregnant.  This year was no less challenging but a lot more fun since I decorated while carrying a baby on my back.  In keeping our active little girl in mind we put our tree on a table behind our couch, cut off the lower branches and then moved the couch back into place.  This way we can all look at its beauty but Abigail can’t quite reach it yet.

With the new handrail in place we are able to start our tradition of hanging our Christmas stockings between the balusters.   It was hard to convince Josh to put “unnecessary” holes in his new masterpiece but the need for family traditions won.

Abigail got right into the spirit and when we turned our backs for a second she dug right into the Christmas books.  How much fun we have already had reading these new stories together.  

With lights in the windows, icicle lights on the deck (picture coming soon) Christmas music playing and presents wrapped you can feel the Christmas spirit that is surrounding us.  This year it is so much fun to watch Abigail get excited at all the sparkle and shine as she dances to her own beat of Jingle bells.

December 7, 2011

always another thing to make...

Several weeks ago, when Kathleen and Abigail were in NJ, I cut a pair of coves in a scrap piece of black walnut as a toothbrush tray.  Kathleen liked that idea so much she requested a similar item for her sewing desk to organize her thread.  I took the concept and went with it. 

I measured the drawer width and height and choose to use some leftover Hard Maple from Abigails book shelf.  The thread spools are all 1.5 inches or less in diameter so I made the five coves seen in the picture above.  I used some of the scrap MDF from doing the window trim and set a fence on the table saw at a 1.5 inch interval away from the blade at the correct angle to make a one inch cove.  I made four MDF strips 1.5 inches wide as spacers and cut the coves all at the same time wihtout having to move the fence.  To keep from burning the wood, it took approximately 15 passes over the saw to get each cove to about 3/8 in. deep.

With this project I went one step further.  Instead of a simple tray, I am making a second level that will slide back and forth on a pair of rabitted sides that are grooved to prevent the sliding porting from being lifted out.  The picture below shows roughly how it will look when completed.

I will still need to make two stretchers for the top to prevent the "box" from tipping over on itself and to allow the upper shelf to slide freely.  It is amazing how complicated a simple request can get when I get ahold of it.

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