Sunday, April 19, 2015


The main purpose of this blog is a way for me to journal about our family. I am terrible at keeping a written journal, but feel perfectly at home typing away at the keyboard. The second purpose is to share updates on what's going on with our family with friends and family who live far away. 

In November Kyle and I finally hopped on the smartphone bandwagon. It really has become more difficult to avoid, companies are really pushing everyone to go down that road. It isn't a bad road, just terribly distracting and addicting. But also convenient and fun. There are always two sides to a coin, right? Anyway... since I now have a camera at my nearly constant fingertips, I have been posting more pictures of everyday things on Instagram. I figure those pictures deserve a place in our family's journal. Plus I'd like to share them with others who don't occupy themselves on Instagram. 

So... I'm introducing a new post topic. The InstaDump. 

Here are the latest pictures I've posted along with their captions:
I appologize for anyone who may follow me on Instagram (@renaeganell and @hillmade_blog), there isn't anything new to see. :) 

2 January
Hailey is busy writing and illustrating a book. She says it's "for the children". Look for "The Lonely Puppy" soon to be in bookstores everywhere. Or so she thinks. I love the enthusiasm!

Keira couldn't be left out of picture taking. "Mommy, I cheese!"

5 January
I walked into my bathroom this morning to find a pair of earrings pulled out and waiting for me on the counter. Hailey has taken on the responsibility of making sure I wear earrings everyday. She constantly reminds me to put them in and is very pleased when she pulls back my hair to discover earrings adorning my lobes. She seems to be living through me. She has yet to ask to have her own ears pierced, thankfully. The sight of these two earrings just made my morning. :)

6 January
Hailey is really taking on some independence these days. She is all about preparing her own breakfast and lunch. Each morning she heads for the kitchen and grabs an orange and yogurt for each her and Keira. She loves to prepare her own sandwiches for lunch. I'm all for it. Maybe no the mess... But practice makes perfect, right?

3 February
Looks like we're going to the bookstore tonight to pick out a new picture book. This girl finished her reading chart today. So proud of her! It took a few months, but she did it. 

4 February
 Quiet time activity today: Valentine's Day heart painting.

6 February
Impromptu free crafting this afternoon. Hailey wanted to do a craft, I didn't have any spur of the moment ideas (or desire) so I just gave them supplies and let them at it. Blossoming creativity at work.

9 February
One of the best parts of a holiday: the excuse to bake treats! Valentine's Day cookies making this afternoon.

11 February
Nothing says love like a heart shaped pizza. We're enjoying these babies for lunch. Keira jumped up and down shouting "Yay pizza!" over and over for the whole time I spent making them. And now she's quiet because she's busy eating. I think they're a hit.

13 February

I'm working on Valentine's Day pajamas this afternoon. Christmas pajamas didn't happen, nothing wrong with finishing a couple months later, right?

 Hailey is busy "sewing" along with me. I love that she wants to get in on it too.

21 February
We put the girls to work this morning. Hailey made pancakes for the girls for breakfast. She did all the work, besides the flipping.

While Hailey cooked breakfast Keira vacuumed the living room. I could get used to this... if only they didn't need supervision!

3 March

We had an impromptu birthday party for Hailey's imaginary friend Leo today. Cupcakes at 10:30 am? Why not!? No frosting in the house=Nutella to the rescue!

4 March

 I tried my hand at making bagels this morning. They may be ugly, but they're still bagels.

10 March
There is more of this mess scattered in every room of the house at the moment. Today it doesn't bother me because 1. I am lacking the energy to care and most importantly 2. It is proof of my girls playing together and having fun. After lunch Hailey was already busy playing in the disaster zone. After finishing eating Keira hopped down from the table and said "I play Hailey". From there it was two sisters happily playing together, until I sent Keira off for a nap. Do I clean it? Not right now, I'm going to relax in front of some books with Hailey instead. then off to the park to play when Keira gets up. Today I don't care. Now tomorrow... that is likely another story.

13 March
I came downstairs after taking a quick shower and getting dressed to find Hailey right where I left her, but no sign of Keira. I asked where Keira was and received a muffled "right here". I looked around and still didn't see her. As I came into the kitchen and peered around the pantry door I saw this sight: a mouthful of craisins, quickly trying to close the package. This girl! Seriously. I moved all the snacks to the bottom shelf in an attempt to keep little people from standing on stools to reach the food. Now she pulls one up and makes herself at home to a buffet!

14 March
Hope you enjoyed some pie today! Pi Day is a favorite holiday of mine. Any excuse to make a pie. I may or may not have made three plus some pizza pie. I of course included my favorite pie, pineapple sour cream. Don't be scared off by the name. It's awesome stuff.

17 March
Shamrock pretzels for St. Patty's Day! I thought pretzels sounded good and Hailey had the genius idea of shaping them into shamrocks. Admittedly I found the whole idea super fun and loved rolling them out. Both girls loved playing with the dough, pretty sure Keira thought it was PlayDoh.

19 March
 Where's Keira?

Future scientist Hailey gave us a lesson on density she learned from a video she checked out from the library. The glass on the right is plain water, the egg sinks. The glass on the left is salt water, the egg floats! I'm glad she's at least learning something when she's sitting in front of the TV. :)

24 March
 When the 2-year-old lays down all on her own to read a book, while the 5-year-old runs all over, something must be up. Guess we're hanging at home today. The grocery store can wait.

25 March
 Play Doh is one of the best toys ever. Ever, ever. Keira asked me earlier to play and I said she could in a little bit. She walked around the table singing about Play Doh. And now she is in heaven. Especially since Hailey is occupied and she gets the whole lot of it to herself. Yay Play Doh!

27 March
This girl has been begging me to teach her to sew. Constantly asking. I finally got myself together and we sat down to sew up a pencil skirt. It was so easy peasy, even the 5 year old could do it. With lots of help of course. Though she did get distracted easily. After we sewed the first seam she was happy until I told her we had two more to go. What!? Yes... Sewing takes a bit of work. Lessons to learn, right?

The finished skirt. She is ecstatic. I think we need to sew a few more of these. If she won't do it, I might just take the task upon myself. The skirt turns out so cute and is so quick to put together. Why not whip out a few more!?

4 April
Yay for Lagoon this morning! I hung out with this girl while Kyle ran from one roller coaster to another with Hailey. Kyle's dream is coming true, Hailey is big enough to share in some of the larger roller coasters with him this year. They both had a blast. Me... I got a little dizzy on the carousel. Sorry Keira, hanging out with the pregnant lady isn't as much fun.

10 April
Happy Friday! Today was an I-have-to-get-out-of-the-house-or-we're-all-going-to-go-crazy kind of day. Which of course necessitated ice cream cones. Please tell me I'm not the only person to attempt to make up for bad mothering with treats? On the plus side it makes me feel better too. Ice cream is good for the soul.

18 April
Fishing at Farmington Pond today. It was perfect weather. Felt so nice to get out!

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