11 December 2012

Chore Jar & Rewards

Just before Annalyse turned 3, we decided that Annalyse should start doing a chore chart. The chores were simple and easy to complete. I made a chart that had photos of what needed to be done. For each chore she earned a ball, which was placed in a jar. Once full, her reward was that we would go bowling as a family. Her chores were making her bed, setting the dinner table, gathering the laundry, picking up her toys, straightening her book shelf, and helping load the dishwasher. She had one chore each day of the week--except for Sunday. In addition to her assigned chores that she did to fill her jar, she also had other family chores that weren't specifically assigned and she didn't get paid for. There were times when she was extra good or did something without being asking we gave her an extra ball.
 The full chore jar

Little did Annaslye know, her family bowling reward turned out to be a full-blown PARTY!! That's right folks...Ma, Pa, Aunt "Sumi", Uncle Tom, and Luna all came down to celebrate the full jar and Bowl the night away! We also went to see the Festival of Lights at Franke Park

This was Miss Luna's first bowling adventure

Together we had so much fun!!! We had a total of two lanes Annalyse was the high scorer in her lane and Uncle Tom won in our lane. Annalyse LOVES to bowl...she gets so excited!! Lucky for us, when we went to the Home Show this spring we won 50 free games of bowling to Crazy Pinz we can bowl and bowl and bowl!! We love Crazy Pinz its a great bowling alley!

10 December 2012

Ellie's Adventures

Ellie sure has been busy lately! We've had so much fun.
Day 5: Ellie wanted to help out by getting Bug's cereal but made a small mess

Day 6: Getting Millie's Dog Food

Day 7: Playing with Blocks
Day 8: Working hard at the Computer

Day 9: Sitting on the couch reading the Ensign

Day 10: Putting together Annalyse's favorite puzzle

Day 11: taking a Cotton Ball Bath

Day 12: All ready to take Millie out to Potty

Day 13: Coloring a picture of Roudolf

Day 14: She tipped over the change jar

Day 15: Hanging out in the Office pen holder

Day 16: if she's lucky, maybe she'll catch Elf on Netflix

Last night, Annalyse stayed the night with 'Ma' & 'Pa' last night and word on the street is that Ellie went to the farm this morning instead of coming home.

27 November 2012

Deck the Halls!!!

I know that Elf on the Shelf isn't everyone thing so I also wanted to post about our Christmas decorating. The first Saturday after Thanksgiving we always put up our Christmas Tree and we always have alot of fun doing it!!! We really wanted to get a real tree this year, but decided to let our tradition stand and use our $10 artificial tree at least one more year. We love this tree...even though it always seemed taller in our apartments than in our house.
Each year, I always put on our bride & groom ornament from 2007

Annalyse's 2012 ornament
We also took a photo of our family room, which we added a smaller artificial tree, some lights wrapped in garland and stockings, but those photos are on my phone. As much as I LOVE having an Iphone, which has a decent camera, I sometimes forget to take photos with our digital too. The outside of our house got Icicle Lights, which are pretty cute too! It wish it looked like Christmas threw up in our house, but we don't have enough decorations for that yet. Decorating a WHOLE house is so different from decorating a small apartment.
As the 2012 Christmas season quickly approaches, I hope everyone has fun decoration for and celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It's really hard to keep from getting caught up in the recent black Friday, small business Saturday, and cyber Monday maddess and still keep yourself grounded in the real spirit of Christmas, but in our house we try to do it in both small and big ways.
We keep CHRIST in Christmas as much as we can. Even when we do silly commercial stuff like elf on the shelf  or go Christmas shopping. 

First few days with Ellie

I really do think that the creators of Elf on the Shelf really did this so that the parents could have fun! Ryan and I LOVE setting this thing up each night!! Mind you its only been a few days but we aren't getting sick of her yet. Before we go to bed we get so excited!!

Annalyse is havinng a hard time buying the magic of Ellie sometimes. Even though she knows we're going to tell her that Ellie did it by magic, she still asks us how each morning after finding Ellie's new spot. First thing in the morning she RUNS to find Ellie. She had a really, really hard time this morning and was concered that for some reason Ellie didn't make it back home. Yesterday, I whipped up a felt skirt and Annalyse was really excited that Ellie was going to be able to show her new skirt to Santa. When Ellie made the mess with the toothpaste, Annalyse laughed but also scolded her too.

Day 1-Ellie makes breakfast
Day 2: Ellie finds the Fishfood
Day 3: Ellie gets into the toothpaste
Day 4 Ellie Climbs the dinning room light

For our home, Ellie has become a major hit.  Annalyse has called up grandparents, aunts, and uncles just to tell them what 'silly' thing Ellie did that day. 

23 November 2012

Ellie the Elf

We have a new temporary house guest! Her name is Ellie (unless Annalyse changes her mind) and she is visiting from the North Pole. Ellie came to us in the mail straight from Santa himself. Annalyse and Aunt Melody (Jared's Fiance) walked out the mailbox to get the mail and the box from the North Pole was in there!  The package included a personalized letter from Santa explaining Ellie's job (that she's to silently watch Annalyse during the day and report back to Santa at night), Santa also warns that Ellie can get herself in to mischief too and that Annalyse needs to be a good example. Ellie also came with a Book that also helped to teach Annalyse about Elves and how their magic works. At the end of Santa's letter, he bore his testimony about the TRUE meaning of Christmas & the greatest gift of all, the Savior. We didn't get a photo of it, but Ellie sat on the doorbell chime for the rest of the evening. 
Each night after Ellie goes to the North Pole to report to Santa, she comes home and finds a new place to sit and watch. Ellie just returned from the North Pole and apparently Santa forgot to feed her a snack before coming back!!!  Stay tuned for more of Ellie's shinanigans until Christmas Eve when she returns to the North Pole until next year.
Stay tuned this Christmas Season to see what kind of stunts Ellie pulls! 
Why Did I give into the commercialism of the Elf on the Shelf? Last Christmas on pinterst I kept seeing the Elf on the Shelf & I really thought it was cute and that maybe this mischievous little elf could bring some extra Christmas fun into our Christmas festivities. I wanted to try to make my own, but i decided I didn't have the Patience. So, this year for black Friday we went to Hallmark and got elf on the shelf for $10 off its normal price...it was on sale PLUS I had a hallmark coupon!!

Our Belated Halloween

This year we had so much fun for Halloween. Annalyse was SO excited!
Our Ghostly Ghoul
The whole family: Annalyse the Ghost, Ryan the Great Pumpkin, Mille, and me (a BSU fan)

The girls had matching ghost cosutmes.

Happy Turkey Day

This Thanksgiving, we had a lot of fun! We chose to drive down Wednesday night to visit Mamaw (my "step"Mom) for just a little while and then we headed back up to the Farm to spend time with Ryan's parents and the rest of his family. This year was kind of bittersweet. While I enjoy spending time with Ryan's family...knowing that all my siblings are all out of state made me really "homesick" for them. Sometimes, I miss the holidays of my childhood.Though I'm sure that I'm looking back on them with rose colored glasses and an obvious sense of longing, I still miss all of being really young and cousins all getting together and singing (even though most of us were bad at it) and playing cards. Even as we got older & holidays got harder for us, there were still some good times to be had.

Anyway...we all seem to have a pretty good time when we're at the farm. The two little girls, Annalyse & Luna, are without a doubt the cutest ever. They definitely upstage the food :).
Visting Mamaw just be fore Thanksgiving
Family photo before swarming the Thanksgiving Feast
The two Turkeys, Luna & Annalyse. It's nearly impossible to get a photo with both girls looking at the camera
Mommy & Annalyse!
Luna. She's just so dang cute!
I know that we've missed SO many major events lately. We didn't post anything about our trip to Reno, Halloween or Luna's Birthday.  We've been really busy. I honestly think its the time of year. I'm teaching Seminary (an early morning Bible class for high schoolers), which seems to take up a lot more time than I ever thought and it seems like I'm always doing something. Blogging just doesn't make it on my list of things to do....or if it does it doesn't make it on my DONE list either. Maybe I should pawn some entries off to Ryan??

In our household we do have a lot to be thankful for this year. Our beautiful new home, our new dog, we're blessed that we're all healthy, and the list could really go on and on and on. It is the time of year where our hearts (should be) increasingly aware of how abundant our blessing are.

21 September 2012

Annual Johnny the Appleseed Festival & Fort Reinactment

In our house we have very few 'traditions', but one of them is that every year we attend Fort Wayne's Johnny the Appleseed Festival. This tradition started not long after Ryan & I were married. Each year, our niece Kirsten comes up to visit and we go. We always get at least one delicious treat, meet John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed), meet Abraham Lincoln, and get our faces painted. In fact, we've used the same face painters each year!  The first year that we went, Kirsten kept calling Johnny Appleseed Johnny the Appleseed & it's kind of stuck. We have posts from last year on here too, but I don't think we've posted about it every year.

Did you know that Fort Wayne has a historic fort? Well it does and we really enjoy going every year and attending the reenactment of the Siege. This year was the 200th anniversary of the Siege so they really went out and the reenactors were even better than last year! They had TONS of folks there...for those of you who are from Indiana, it's kind of like Conner Prairie, but about the city of Ft. Wayne. The fort isn't open all the time, everything is run by volunteers so they have a pretty short schedule, if that makes any sense. Ryan is a history buff so gets really into it.
It's been a year since we moved up here and we LOVE it! We have really enjoyed all the things that Ft. Wayne offers our little family. We have been incredibly blessed!