M for Married.

12 years. This weekend we celebrated 12 years of marriage. We both have to think hard to remember how many years we’ve been married. I like that. He’s my best friend. He knows me better than anyone else – all my faults, all quirks, all my dreams. He is compassionate, gracious, and the man I dream about. And I am thankful to spend my days by his side. I hope and pray I get the gift of being by his side for many, many decades.

We had dinner over the weekend at my parent’s house to celebrate our anniversary and my grandpa’s birthday. My dad grilled enough chicken and ribs to feed an army. My army. Wahoo. While the meat was cooking, I impulsively decided to show my oldest daughter my wedding dress. It was just hanging in my old closet and had never been cleaned, so getting it out wasn’t a big deal. That led to her trying it on, which led to my sister getting hers out for her oldest daughter. The inside lighting was terrible, so we carried the girls outside and plopped them in the grass. Lesley’s dress was all tulle. Mine was a simple A-line. The tulle made the pictures extra fun.

Cutie little girls.

I wish I had my dslr with me when we did these, but the iPhone worked. We’ll just have to take them again with my ‘good camera’! Whenever FireCracker looks at these she says, “Mommy, that is when I got married!” Needless to say, she loved putting on my dress.

This weekend I also decided to wrap a metal bed frame in fabric. I got the frame off Craigslist. It was black. Then I spray painted it yellow. Then I decided it needed something more, so I wrapped it in fabric. Chris just shook his head once he saw me wrapping it in fabric after I spent a day painting it yellow. I’ll post more on it later this week, I need to take some pictures of it not with my phone.

You can see it ‘in progress’ here…fabric on some of it and yellow on other parts. And a little boy who has replaced carrying Lightning McQueen for a football. It’s true – they grow fast.

Wrapping was a bit of a task. I took lots of breaks and the girls thought it was fun to wrap me in fabric. They’d cover my eyes and then jump on the bed because I couldn’t see them. They make me laugh. Here is a glimpse of the bed…it is upstairs in our ‘studio/homeschoolroom/craftroom/guestroom’.

We start school today. Trying a bunch of new stuff and I am a bit overwhelmed with it. If you see me today, feel free to hand me an iced coffee or sweet tea. I’ll totally take it. Or I might go lay on the studio floor and let the girls cover me in fabric while I avoid reality. Or not. Off to school…

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  • Jenny L. - It was my anniversary weekend too – 34 years. I have been following your blog for a long time now and I have always thought that Chris is very special. He seems like such a decent human being. I have also loved watching little one respond to him.

  • Sarah Wolfe - Us too! We’re starting school today. I’m a little in denial myself. Congrats on 12 years!

  • Karen Davis - If you come down here to OKC, I’ll treat you to a yummy coffee!!!

  • Meagan - Ahhhhh! im starting my very first day of homeschool today and I am terrified!!

  • Lyn - Congrats on 12 years!. 20 days to go for us. I had to be reminded how long we have been married. Hope this year another blessing.

  • amber - Congrats on 12 years:)! That’s so, so great. The bed looks awesome…I saw it on instagram & showed my husband. I think he saw my wheels turning;). And homeschooling…have fun! Homeschool moms are rockstars in my book.

  • Izzy - Fun post… I just saw your wedding picture post a while ago actually. I love photo of the girls in your dresses! And when they tried to wrap you in fabric, that just makes me laugh!

  • angie - Happy anniversary! Also, that bed.. love! All that color amongst a sea of white…. just so so beautiful!

  • Crystal Prychidko - Ahhh first day of school!! Our second year of homeschool officially starts next Monday, but today starts review! Have fun with it!! I love it and I’m excited for this year!! @Meagan don’t be nervous!!! Or terrified!!! Homeschooling is AWESOME!!!! Good luck ladies!!! I look forward to seeing your homeschooling adventures Ashley!!!!

  • Becky Pitcher - I know this probably seems a strange place to post this, but your post was just so sweet- especially the line about wanting to spend more decades with your husband- but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka, the Mormons) teach that marriages can last forever- and that if you’re married in the right place and with the right authority, you and your family can be together for eternity, even little girls who didn’t come from your own womb but are yours nonetheless. ;)
    It’s the best and most beautiful doctrine of the atonement of Christ, in my opinion. He didnt just die so that we can live again, but that we can live again with our families. Look it up. I think you’ll like it.

  • Roganne - Congratulations on 12 years of marriage! That is awesome!!! Love the fabric covered bed, so cool :). My daughter is about to get her big girl bed and we are going with some washi tape stripes since I loved your last one so much. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Amy @Fig Milkshakes - It’s a lovely post, and I very much congratulate you on being married 12 years!!!! No small feat.

    BuuUUuuuuUUuuuuuut…ARE YOU GOING TO BLOG ABOUT WHATEVER CRAFT WEEKEND ALREADY?!?! ;)

    Hm…maybe I missed a post…checking….now.

  • Kimberly Locke - We’re doing school too, and re-read two of my favorite picture books, “Stick” and “Violet the Pilot” by Steve Breen. Hit the library for some inspiration!

  • Shelly Cunningham - Thank you. Thank you for saying that you start school today and are overwhelmed by that thought! I am starting (first timer) with my twins today, and I am a little bit freaking out!!! Glad to know I’m not alone.
    Also, your sister and I have the same wedding dress! Fun!
    Happy Anniversary. You two have created a beautiful family!

  • Nichole Young - You should hold onto to those photos to display at Firecracker and/or her cousin’s weddings (or bridal showers!) they will love them :) Your phone took great pics!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Have a GREAT first day of school!

  • cailan - Please, please share some of what you’re doing school-wise this year! We started today as well and I have similar aged children – would love some ideas!

  • Debbie C - Ashley, congrats on 12 years of marriage! I can’t believe 2 years have gone by since you showed us those gorgeous 10-year anniversary pics you took. Also, love the bedframe.

  • kimberly oyler - yay homeschooling!

  • Kristin S - Your dresses look awfully similar. I love that!

    Fun post and happy anniversary!

  • Amy K. - Totally copying you for my guest room bed!! I might even paint it yellow before I wrap it up! Also, I had a dream the other night that we met… I was all, “Hey, Ashley,” on the outside, but even in my dream I was internally hyperventilating to be meeting you. =)

  • Shan - Enjoy homeschooling. I schooled my girls at home for 5 yrs and LOVED every minute of it.

  • sherri ernst - That bed is FABULOUS!!!!!!! PURE BRILLIANCE!! I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of those in this land of blogging!

  • Eva - Happy Anniversary!!! 12 years? Did your parents really let you marry when you were 16? ;)

    Yours and Leslie’s dresses remind me of mine and my sisters- yours is like my sisters, and mine is like Leslie’s with the tulle. Too funny.

    I hope and pray your school year goes well. We start early in Florida- been at it for a month now. We have a lot of new hurdles to jump over this year, as we have added more “non-participatory” students to the “class” and added lots more P.E. I hope you get your groove on soon. Have a great year!

  • stacey - good luck girl! we’ve been going for a month now {homeschool that is, ha!} and i still feel as if i can’t catch my breath. but you’re super woman, i think. you’ll post every day and craft like crazy and homeschool your kids and be like, “what? that’s normal right?” and we’ll be all like, “no. no, it’s not.” …and i mean all that in the best way. you rock. :) have fun tomorrow! xo

  • ashley - happy anniversary! you guys are truly an inspiration!

  • Kiley - I love the fabric wrap! It looks amazing and fun!

    Hope you had a fabulous first day!!!

    Here’s hoping a new email address might allow me to comment… :)

  • kiley - oh my gosh! did my comment really just show up and stick?!?!?!

    i didn’t put the link to my blog or my usual email…hmmm…

    will this comment show up???!!! it’ll be so fun to comment again if it does work!!! :)

  • emily hope - congrats on 12 years! we’re at 13, and I always thank the Lord that our wedding was in the year 2000 … it helps forgetful me to instantly know how long I’ve been married ;) also, we started our homeschool year yesterday … our 8th year. I’m always still nervous. and in need of coffee. but the kids said it was “the best day ever” so that made it pretty much worth it.

  • Katie J - Love the bed!

  • Charity G. - Congratulations on 12 years! That is so many types of wonderful. The pictures of the girls in your dresses are adorable. I don’t have any girls to do photos like that but it is such a fun idea. Knowing I’m not the only one who’s wedding dress is simply hanging in their closet at their parent’s house makes me feel better.

  • tasha roe - you two are the cutest! happy anniversary!
    and the girls playing in the dresses….so precious!

  • NanaBeast - Bless you for homeschooling your children.

    I was not able to so with my three and I regret that. However, both my grandsons were homeschooled until they reached 6th grade. My daughter finished homeschooling her two boys this spring. She planned, taught (and sometimes fought,) went on field trips, performed experiments, read out loud, drove to and from weekly music and fencing lessons, directed, corrected, tested, consoled, encouraged, screamed and laughed – the whole homeschool experience – for eight straight years. And boy, does it make a HUGE difference in the lives of those boys! She just sent the youngest off to his first day of sixth grade at public school yesterday. It has been an incredible commitment. Especially considering other obstacles I won’t enumerate here.

    I want to encourage you. Be real with you. And encourage you again – both you and Chris. I am so happy you have Christ and his strength (you need it!) to see you all through this journey together! Blessing on the schooling year for you all.

  • Chantel - Congratulations on 12 years!!
    Also, I just love those wedding dress shots -I never even got my wedding dress cleaned so I should really pull it out of the bag and put it on my daughter for a few photos!

  • Jacci - Happy Anniversary, again! <3

    8 years into this homeschooling gig, I still evade responsibility some days. Those are great museum or nature days! ;)

I just picked a name…really it should be “mom can’t keep track of who did what and needs more organization in her life”. That name is too long. And the pins aren’t all “chores”, so we are going with “responsibility pins” for the sake of naming this project.

My kids all have things they are responsible for each day, but rarely does everyone do what they are supposed to simply because I haven’t done a good job making it easy for them to remember and be responsible. My friend Emily posted a clothespin chart about two years ago. Then when I was visiting my friend Angie, she had done a similar one. Well, now I am taking ideas from those two girls and made my own version.

1. I started with scrap wood from the garage. I cut it down to the longest size possible to fit on a cabinet in my kitchen….to fit as many clothespins as possible!

2. I lightly sanded the board, painted it with chalkboard spray paint, lightly sanded again, and added a final coat of paint.

3. I dipped the ends of the pins in 5 different colors of paint. 5 pins for each kid. The paints are Behr samples from Home Depot. In MacGyver fashion, I clipped them on rulers and paint sticks and taped those to glue bottles to dry.

4. I had my sister write various responsibilities on the pins because her handwriting is much prettier than mine. The kids all have the same things written on their painted pins (room, laundry, exercise, read). The things that rotate between the kids each day (fix dinner, set table, clean dinner, lunch helper, chickens, Poppy, etc.) are on the plain clothes pins.

5. My board was too thin to nail or staple anything on the back, so I hot glued pom pom trim to the back. I added some thick decorative tape (from Raising Up Rubies) just to make it pretty.

The pins start on the bottom of the board each day and then the kids move them to the top as they complete the task. My kids love this! I actually had planned on starting it next week, but as soon as I hung it up the kids were eager to start. It is SO NICE not to ask them if they’ve put up their laundry or cleaned their room. It is also much more peaceful at dinner time not to hear arguing over who gets to help me fix dinner. Everyone knows what their tasks are that day and they take care of getting them done. And life in the Campbell house is a little less crazy…just a little.

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  • Liene - Great post! I am going to do this definitely! Thanks! Have a great weekend.

  • Lindsay P. - What a wonderful idea! I have a 3 1/2 year old and an 18 month old, and I’ve been struggling with how to teach my older one responsibility in a way that makes sense and isn’t drudgery. Love this!

  • katie T - Goodness! This might actually work for my forgetful pre-teens and teenagers!! I was about to resort to a cattle prod, but think I might try this first….

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos - Ashley I love this idea… and it’s so adorable! Isn’t it amazing how something so simple can be motivating for both us and our kids? My twins are only two (AHHHHH!) but you better believe I’ll be implementing something like this as soon as they’re old enough to understand responsibility. Thanks for the idea!

  • Amy - Seriously, I’m going to use this for me & my husband! And then one day when our little one is bigger we’ll include her. You have such a talent for making tge mundane beautiful. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Shannon Phillips - I LOOOOOOOOVE this!!!! Think I might make one with chores for hubby on it too. ;)

  • Cheryl - Our children are recently out of the house. I would have loved this idea back in the day and believe they would have too. Since it’s not a project needed at our house anymore, I’ve become interested in the first letter of everyone’s name on your chore chart. I find names fascinating and now will be “guessing” all weekend long!

  • Lindsay F. - This is such an awesome idea… Especially when you have several to keep track of! Seeing the initials, makes me more curious as to what your kids names are! I have an H and an E too. :)

  • Allison Anderson - This is a fabulous idea! Before I read your post…as I do daily:), I was staring at the idea list of individual and family chores I had written down last week for my 4 kids (ages 10 down to 3) and had not a clue on how to organize it! Thanks to you….now I have a plan!
    Also…I’ve tried different ways of doing allowance with the kids (having them start off the week with money, earning money, etc.) Do you have a method you presently like?

  • Janelle Vano - My daughter will be 18 years old in less than a month, but I still think it would be good for her!! I hate asking if somethings done and getting attitude….and really hate how often I ask and things have not been done because she ‘didn’t know’ or ‘forgot’.

  • Janelle Vano - My daughter will be 18 years old in less than a month, but I still think this would be good for her!! I hate asking if somethings done and getting attitude….and really hate how often I ask and things have not been done because she ‘didn’t know’ or ‘forgot’.

  • Carrie - Seen different versions of this, but yours is so simple, pretty and looks like it gets the intended results. Imitation is the best form of flatter as they say! :) In other words, I am so copying you!

  • Molly - very cute and functional. i am going to give this a try. we have done other systems that worked….but have kind of faded out. i like this a lot. and my girls are very motivated by these types of things. they love to see their progress. thanks for sharing:)

  • Sarah - Hi Ashley,

    This is a somewhat random question, but I noticed in one of the photos above that you a wooden mug holder under your cabinet. Would you mind sharing with me what it is or where you found it? I’ve been looking all over for a way to hang some of my mugs, but we have under cabinet lighting so it’s been difficult. I like that yours appears to mount to the wall, not the cabinet itself.

    Thanks so much! LOVE your blog and photos by the way! :)

    -Sarah

  • Marissa - Ashley, I don’t comment a lot, because I know you get many, but you have been so very inspiring and encouraging to me. My mother just finished your phone snap shop class and is as inspired as I have been by you! Thank you for your transparency and sharing your God given creative talents with us! This project is beautiful, such an easy and fun idea! I’m always trying to find chores that are appropriate for my 2 and 3 year old, but these are general enough that they could do them too! I echo Cheryl above, I’m going to be wondering about the kids initials all week too. I’m a namaholic, so feel free to email me a hint! ;) God be with you!

  • Roganne - This is AWESOME!! If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of responsibilities do you have assigned for Little One? I would love to start something like this for my 2 year-old daughter so that it’s always a part of our lives (before more kids arrive and things get SUPER crazy!) :) Thanks for sharing!

  • heather - i think you are a genius and just saved my sanity with this project.
    i am making one today!

  • Stacy - So cute! I use the back side of small muffin pans for each of my kids and put their chores on magnets. They do love to complete their chores and remove the tags! It’s funny looking at your chart – I guess I forgot that your kids have “real” names and not just Firecracker, Little One, etc!

  • Nicole C - Have you tested this on your husband yet? I could use one for my guy at home, maybe he wouldn’t ‘forget’ to wash the dishes. Hmmm. I really do love this idea for the kids though, plus it looks awesome! Double score!

  • Martina - This is so beautiful and I’m glad your kids are excited about it! I’d love a follow up post on what kinds of chores you have your kids do at different ages. My only (currently…we foster) is 2 so I’ve just started having her do different chores like feeding the dog, putting away her shoes and laundry, cleaning up her toys, etc. I’m looking for more ideas.

  • Chrisin - Love it! So simple but yet so effective! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sarah - This is a great idea. : )

    ~Sarah

  • Shelby - I hope you don’t mind my saying but this post has made me SO curious about your kids names. I remember your post about your decision to withhold their names from your blog and I don’t at all mean to disrespect that but I am having fun guessing. E for Ethan? Could Firecracker be a Bethany? That aside, I love your style!

  • JIll - Now we will spend all weekend trying to guess your children’s names!

  • Jeni - I totally agree with Shelby, ^^^. I”m staring at the initials thinking about children’s names. I guess that is the exact level of creepiness you were trying to avoid by not posting their names. ;) Time to move on!

    Seriously though, chalkboard, color blocking, clothes pins, pompoms…it doesn’t get any better than this for me!

  • Emily - So cute!! I’m with some that this is totally peaked my interest in LO’s name. You have some awesome ones so I’m sure it’s adorable and meaningful!

  • Gina - Love this, need this, gonna make this!! Thanks!!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Random…
    So, I’ve come up with the only word I can find with their initials – beech.

    How ironic is that? Under the Sycamore (wood), responsibility chart (wood), the family tree you are making with your beautiful children (wood), His cross (wood)

    Your family has a lot of wood references :) OH my goodness, I need a nap… LOL.

  • Not (much) crazy woman - I was thinking for a while if I would write this or not, but then I decide to do it. I’m not a crazy woman obsessed with you or something similar (oh, I think I’m not fixing it…) only a normal blog reader.
    There it goes: Yesterday I dream with you. Apparently you were visiting Spain, where I live, and decided to organize a meeting with your fans… people who reads you, better, not fanatics. One of them offered her family house while in holidays, and we see you there, but it became overcrowded with extrange people (just like those films about american teenagers making a party at home. Nobody seemed to know who you are, but they were using the whole house (a cinema included, with its popcorn stands and 3D glasses and all O.o). Then I manage to find you, but I got surprised. Your eyes were chocolate brown, and you confess you were using contact lenses because that way you look more american because… you were spanish! From Andalucía, and you speak spanish with that accent. Then you got up and said you leave, I asked about all that people in the house and you said you didn’t know them, and then went away.

    Sorry about all the cliches, and your browned eyes but my subconcious decided for me.
    I tought it would be funny to tell you. I hope so… :)

  • Not (much) crazy woman again - By the way, I love this, and am thinking about making it ASAP. :)

  • Staci - Love this idea! When my little guys get a little older, I will be coming back to this post – and putting it in action. Thanks for sharing!

  • Catherine - Now I am imagining all sorts of names for your kids based on their initials! ha ha. Oh, I just read some other comments and saw others doing that too. I thought the B was for Bethany as well! I know a Bethany who is so much like Firecracker. For the rest I was guessing Charlie, Henry, Elliot and Evelyn. Ok, moving on from stalker mode now….. :)

    I love this idea. We have had a few different versions of chore charts and so on (including electronic -thought they would love that for sure!) but I love this one so I think I will give it a go. Can’t hurt and at least it will look pretty. I am totally making a bunch of paint dipped pegs for myself too. Love them!

  • Bethany - This is super cute, but I want a report in about two months on how it’s working. I feel like my littles would either break or lose most the pins and I’d give up (again) on chores. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy dreaming about your kiddos names– which I always do when I see initials. Today (in my mind) they are Charlie, Henry, Edmund, Beatrice, and Edie. :D

  • Awbree Caton - HI Ashley! Would you mind telling the colors of pint? I am HORRIBLE at picking out colors, and your crib project encouraged me to try and I went and got a couple of pots but I always get too bright colors. Feeling frustrated, but want to try more painting!!! Thanks!

    Awbree

  • Stacy - Totally need to create a responsibility chart in my house. School starts Tuesday, so I better get crack-a-lackin’. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Gwen, The Makerista - This is so smart! I can imagine these things being hard to keep track of with 5 kids! What a great visual and motivator!

  • DawnTalks - Woooooowwwww I badly need something like this!!! I usually have colorful planners where I write my To’Do’s but it’s getting a little bit boring that doing what’s on the list can sometimes be hard. This will excite me to do and will help me alot especially now I am in law school. So many things to be done and to be read. Thanks for sharing ashley!!! So helpful :-) BTW, is FireCracker included in your board? I mean, can she read already? :-)

  • Kimberly Dial - Great idea! I wonder if the hubs would go for it? ;)

  • Renee - brilliant – efficient, productive, peace producing & cute! The former elementary school in me has an extra appreciation for this project. I have one 8 month old… do you think it’s too soon to start? haha :)

  • Tana Cox - Hello, I came across your blog a few months ago and have been reading it often. Your photography and blog are inspirations for me! My friend and I have a blog, tulsa.life.styled. I was just perusing Prairie Hive and was so excited to see in a post about Tulsa based bloggers that you are local! I will be adding your blog link to our blog list.

  • shayna - genius! all of it! thanks for sharing :)

  • Izzy - What a great idea and it looks really great too! The pegs look so sweet in their different colours and chalkboard is always a winner.

  • jennifer - So cute and simple! Do you offer incentives or rewards for completing their responsibilities? I’ve debated offering an allowance/rewards. We have in the past and it does work, but then I feel like the focus is on the pay off instead of the joy of work and duty. What are your thoughts?

  • Savi - I sooo love your style and crafts. It has definitely inspired me more than a little with my own room decorating ventures.

    Also, like many others, I am even more curious about your kiddos’ names! I am a definite name fanatic and seeing their initials just makes the curiosity bug itch.

  • monday: best of last week | The Misadventures of Kelly and Kelly - […] keeping mom sane and kids responsible. what a great idea! […]

  • AshleyAnn - Jennifer – I don’t. These are just things they are expected to do. I don’t let them have any technology time if they haven’t ‘moved all their pins’, but they don’t get tech time everyday – even if they do their stuff. Sometimes they’ll do extra jobs to earn money or some kind of incentive…but not on these. It is what works for us right now…

  • Jenny B. - This is SO cute! I’ve been using an iPhone app called iAllowance, and I am really liking it. They get rewarded for doing their chores with either money or video game time (but you can set it up to do whatever you want). The best part is that it’s always with me, so when we are out and about, I can threaten my youngest with a frowny face in his chart if he disobeys (which takes away five minutes of game time). Bwahaha! (evil laugh). ;) Anyway… That’s great that it’s working for you!! And of course, I’m looking at their initials and imaging what their actual first names are. :)

  • DIY: Homemade is the best! | Dawntalks - […] and a really nice photographer. Her creativity inspires me so much that I tried to recreate her Responsibility Pins but mine is a lot simpler than hers so don’t compare, okay? […]

  • Paige - Happy Anniversary! Me and the hubs will be 12 years in December. Hey, I did my own version of the clothes pin chart and blogged about it. I linked up to your blog. Hope that was cool. I wanted to give you a heads up. Thanks so much for the idea! As long as I don’t make it too complicated I think it will work very well for my boys! Hope you are having a good week!
    Paige

  • karen - your totally teasing us with the names!! i know the B…what is little ones name? i would love to know :) names are so special when the fit just right.

  • Charity G. - I love this idea, especially the name. I have to say, when I first saw yours I was confused by the letters for each of the kids names. I think I was expecting an F for Firecracker and so on. It took me a minute to realize that wouldn’t be what you’d be using. Made me laugh at myself and my thinking.

  • Un sistema… da bambini! | La scuola di zio Gustavo - […] ecco a voi il link al blog di Ashley Ann e alle immagini fotografiche che spiegano, senza bisogno di così tante […]

  • Vintage Eclectic Chore Chart - […] got this idea originally from Ashley Ann over at Under The Sycamore. I have followed Ashley’s blog for a very long time, and have always loved her eclectic […]

  • what i’m making this week | on the doorposts - […] also did a copycat project.  ashleyann at underthesycamore has amazing style.  i want to be like her when i grow up!  she made a great “responsibility […]

  • jennifer - i copied you, and since “imitation is the highest form of flattery” i figured i’d let you know. mine isn’t nearly as cute as yours, but i can handle that.

    http://onthedoorposts.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/what-im-making-this-week-2/

  • Adonna - This idea is fantastic! I have been looking at different chore charts for a few weeks but nothing has seemed like a good fit. I have an 11 and 8 year old and at our house it’s getting the kids to be more responsible for their daily routine that I need the most help with. This couldn’t be a better fit! Thanks for posting this. :)

  • DIY Daily Routine Chart for Kids | listening in the litany - […] paper strips and glue along top edge of each 3″ square. Paint tips of clothespins (I loved these…) Hot glue the saw-tooth hooks onto back of 4 x 24 basswood sheets. Allow to harden well […]

  • Kid Friendly Chore Chart | Saving 4 Six - […] got this idea from Under the Sycamore.  Check out her clothespin chart, it’s really cute […]

We are getting eggs! Our 6 original hens are all laying eggs. We have a bunch more that will be laying eggs over the next few months. When we first built the coop, we read in several books you should have 2 egg laying hens for every 1 egg eating person in your family. That would be fourteen hens (once Little One starts eating). We built the coop to hold around 20 hens, though we don’t have that many. One reason I really wanted a big coop and lots of chickens – well, the main reason – was to be able to give eggs away.

I have a couple friends that have given us fresh eggs over the last year and it is such a fun surprise. I just love the idea of sending friends home with a dozen eggs. There are so many days I want to be a more thoughtful daughter, sister, and friend, but I just get overwhelmed with daily tasks of kids, school and work. There is little left over to try to make things for friends and family. At least, that is how I feel most days. BUT…gathering eggs and giving the surplus away…I can do that! We have no aspirations of being real ‘farmers’, but I do aspire to give abundantly. We’re starting with eggs.

The kids have been eating the eggs faster than I can save any right now, so I put them on hold and told them we were saving up to give our first dozen away. My dad was the obvious choice since he built the coop! I’ll be paying him back in eggs for a very long time!

Just a note to say the blue/green eggs are normal…that is just the shell color our Amerucanas lay. So fun!

Thanks Dad!

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  • Kristen - So awesome to be able to share your eggs!! I wanted to ask you……we are planning on raising chickens in the spring……have you had any problems with pests (mice/rats/snakes)? I have read so many different things from some people saying it is a constant problem and others saying they have never had any! Just wondered what your experience was. We live in Ohio, so I know it’s a different region, but I would love to hear how you’ve kept them away or dealt with it. Thanks! Enjoy your eggs! And Happy Anniversary to your family and Little One…….she is just a beautiful blessing.

  • Gillian Hall - Just a thought, why not get half dozen boxes so you don’t have to wait so long to give a them away!

    joke for you:

    Q: what do you call a chicken in a shell suit

    A: An egg!!!! : )

  • Renee - The picture of your Dad with your son brought tears to my eyes. Not only is this a wonderful teaching moment, the closeness and time spent together will be remembered forever. Passing on from one generation to the next. Such a blessing!

  • Debi - I love how you didn’t just give the eggs away, but you made them into a “gift”.

  • Aunt Sandy - That is pretty cool. I have never seen blue eggs. Of course, the pictures you take, and, the way you present them, perfect.

  • Renee - 1. Having chickens to give away eggs is a wonderful idea – so kind and thoughtful. I live in Boston. do you think they allow chicken coops in Boston? :)
    2. I LOVE the packaging. That would make the eggs at least 10x more fun to receive. Just lovely.
    3. I am a new reader to your blog, but I just love it. Thanks for writing.

  • Cate O'Malley - What an awesome way to give back!

  • Julia - About a year ago my daughter made a new friend and went over to her house for a Saturday. When I went to pick her up, the mom gave us a dozen eggs. I probably acted a little like I won the lottery, but we became good friends and I still get excited when she gives me fresh eggs. :-)

  • Claudia - ashley, you’re so creative! where did you get that Pom Pom yarn? I’ve been looking but can’t seem to find it anywhere!

  • Kelly H. - So creative! Love the presentation. The picture is a nice touch. How fun!

  • Izzy - What a lovely gift! And such a cute way to present them too! Fun!

  • Sarah Wolfe - I love the color of real, fresh eggs… I wonder if anyone has ever taken them to Home Depot to be color matched. A very beautiful and thoughtful gift for sure

  • Becca - Great idea :) Thank you for sharing. It will be fun to give boxes of goodies away when we get our farm :)

  • stacey - i wish i had your knack for making any and all things beautiful…love this <3

  • Jenni - What a beautiful little gift. I’ve never seen eggs look so pretty:)

  • elma - Oh chickens are so much fun!! My little ones love to play with ours:) We bought this past spring eight more chicks and two were to be easter eggers but they both are roosters:(
    We give ours eggs away to. So much fun and they are so much better than the ones in the store!!!

  • Jessica - So fun! The eggs are lovely. We really got a kick out of giving away produce from our garden this year. My husband especially was glad to say good riddance to the zucchini!

  • amber - I’ve been on the receiving end of free fresh eggs before, & oh boy was I a happy girl;). They also included some blue green eggs, which my daughter thought was so crazy. But, I’ve never seen such pretty packaged eggs in all my life! So fun…

  • tasha roe - so much fun! what a happy little treat :)

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I just got back from the farmer’s market with one dozen eggs – I just love the blue ones! Aren’t they beautiful? LOL.

  • Missy - Thanks for inspiring me to give today!

  • Eva - Well, your father certainly is the obvious choice! lol. And surely you could make a dozen eggs look so pretty!

  • Gwen, The Makerista - How exciting! Sooner than later you’ll have more eggs then you know what to do with!

  • Kristin S - What a wonderful gift! I love receiving home baked/made/laid(?) gifts.

  • Chantel - The blue/green eggs are so cool. It’s like Easter all year round! The whole “There are so many days I want to be a more thoughtful daughter, sister, and friend, but I just get overwhelmed with daily tasks of kids, school and work. There is little left over to try to make things for friends and family.” really resonates with me, it’s so how I feel everyday, and I only have one kid!

  • Lauren - All of your fabrics and trims and bits and pieces are so adorable, always! Do you have a favorite place or two that you find these? Any online (I’m in Colorado, so obviously couldn’t shop locally). Thanks! I SO enjoy your blog!