Calvary Trunk or Treat

Last year our church/school hosted its first ever Trunk or Treat. It was a big success so we decided to try it again. The weather was gorgeous last year but this year, there was a lot of rain in the forecast so the event was moved inside and it became “Table or Treat.”

The turnout was great again and I don’t think having it indoors spoiled it too much. I was asked to snap a bunch of photos. You can find the full set on the Calvary Facebook page, but I’ve included a few below as well. Our little man is Tigger this year.


My sister and I never had an allowance when we were growing up, but I also remember having a few bucks here and there so it worked out fine. I’m it would have worked out fine for Elijah too, but Tyla and I have really enjoyed having our own individual allowances (we call it a “fun budget”) so I liked the idea of doing one for Elijah too and using it as an educational tool.

Natali Morris has a couple great posts on the topic and I’m largely stealing the ideas from her, but here is how we set it up for now:

  • We’re not paying him to do chores. Everyone in our house does chores. It’s expected, not rewarded.
  • Each Saturday, he’ll get $4. $1 goes in the piggy bank for long term savings. (Eventually we’ll migrate that to an actual child bank account.) $1 is for donating to church. And the remaining $2 go in his spending jar.
  • For now, everything in his spending jar is a one dollar bill. That makes it easier to explain how much money he has and how much he needs for a particular toy.

There are a few ideas for expanding this in the future beyond what I mentioned above:

  • If he wants to earn additional money, we’ll find some jobs for him to do around the house (not chores!)
  • After he has a few purchases under his belt, I’m willing to let him buy something that he doesn’t have money for, but I will charge him interest on that loan.

It seems like a lot for a four year old to grasp, but so far so good. If this works out, we have a chance at raising a kid who understands the value of money, saving, and staying out of debt. And oh yeah the “Can I have X? PLEEEEEAAAASE?” questions while in the toy aisle have a very easy answer now: “You can spend your own money on this if you want it.”

P.S. I walked into the bank and asked for $100 in one dollar bills. As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I said, “Oh. Wow. That sounded way more dirty than I thought it would. Honestly, it’s for an allowance for my kid.” The teller got a good laugh out of it and said she sees lots of interesting stuff.

Indiana Trip

Our summer vacations were dedicated to family this year. At the end of July, we went to a family reunion in Fort Peck, MT and then a couple weeks ago we flew out to Indiana. We had originally planned to go earlier in the year, but we ended up moving the trip as it was the same week that Tyla’s mom passed away. Thankfully Southwest has an incredible flight change policy!

We were in Indiana for 8 nights, and, as usual, we had a great time. It was so relaxing to just hang out with very few responsibilities. Luke, Rachel and David came for the weekend so that added some extra fun. Grandpa and Lynnette came down for the day too so Grandpa and I could celebrate our birthday together. We didn’t do anything huge but we had a bunch of good day trips including a botanical center, lots of tractor rides, putt putt golf, go karts, the Studebaker Museum and a water ski show.

Thanks again to Dad and Mom for hosting us and spending so much time playing with Elijah!

Happy Birthday Tyla!

Happy birthday Tyla! On Saturday she chose to spend some time down by the river in Monroe, Sunday afternoon was spent eating fried chicken with her family and playing board games, and then tonight we are going out for Thai food. That should do a pretty good job at filling up her love cup.

I was happy to finally share a project I made a few weeks back. I laser cut a tree out of a piece of cherry plywood and then dug a mortise out of a block of walnut to hold the tree. The idea is that this can sit on her dresser and hold small jewelry. I used a random scrap of walnut and it had some beautiful grain in it that was perfect for this project.

I didn’t invent this so if you’re interested you can see lots of variations of this idea on Etsy and various craft sites.

Montana Trip Photos

We took over 1000 pictures on our trip out to Fort Peck, Montana, but here are a dozen of my favorites. The building in the field is the school where Don’s mom taught, the farm pictures are from the two farms that Don grew up on, and the military pictures are from a memorial for all the people from northwest Montana who served in the military.