the smoking gun…or not

For Christmas, my dad gave me Lithium battery drill and saw. I’ve used battery operated drills before and get frustrated by their lack of extended power. My new saw and drill…pretty awesome. I used the saw to cut boards for our ‘fake kitchen‘. I use the drill all the time. Sometimes I just walk around the house looking for things that need tightened or attached with screws. Not really. Maybe.

In my recent quest for total order…also known as “Operational Organize This Home So I Can Gain Some Sanity”…I decided to install bookcases. Turns out despite our many trips to the library, we are still acquiring a lot of books homeschooling. My oldest daughter is pretty much always by my side. Whatever I’m doing, she wants to help. So I put her to work and we constructed a bunch of bookcases.

Oh yea, she’s going to be wandering the house looking for things to tighten and attach soon too.1.14drill-31.14drill-51.14drill-61.14drill-71.14drill-9

I also taught her the random power tool pose I tend to do when I get a new tool and am excited. We need to work on the part where she acts like it is a smoking gun. Why am I so weird? On a different note – how crazy to see that old picture of the garden boxes?! I seems like so long ago that we built those…and that I had short hair that looked cute in a cap.


I cherish that she wants to help me. Sure, there are times that I might get it done faster, but half the joy in creating & building is in the process. I would rather have her or her siblings come alongside me in the process than just rush to the end result. Plus…she’s awfully cute with a drill.

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  • Caroline - Ashley,
    I feel so happy and touched seeing how you allowed your daughter help and that included using tools which might be a little “unsafe”. My dad has a carpentry business where he builds furniture and stuff for people. He makes all the furniture in our home, we’ve seen him work and make things, but he never let us touch any of his equipment because he says they are too unsafe for us! I’m so happy for firecracker that she gets to be part of your work! Keep it up!

  • Catherine - This post reminds me of times working with my family when I was growing up. Still great memories MANY years later!

  • AndreaB - Such special moments and memories! Love these pictures Ashley. Did you use a table/tripod/husband for the photos you are in?

  • Katie - Firecracker Rocks! You Rock! Your Dad Rocks! 🙂 (Oh, and power tools ROCK!!)

  • Shannon Fox - So sweet! And now I have an overwhelming urge to bust out the drill and build something with my girl!

  • kimberly oyler - oh no, the panic from change is happening again. did you put the bookcases where that pretty wall of stuff used to be? you know, the little peg houses and everything?

  • Brittany Fry - She is so darn cute with that drill and it is nice that you are teaching her at a young age how to use power tools. I still chuckle just a little at my Mom when she uses a drill because you can tell she was never taught how to use it (;

  • Celena - Youngsters can be so sweet sometimes! My own little one wanted to see her comforter once I’d stuffed it in the washer. I explained that it makes it clean by putting water and soap in there and spinning around. She was so intrigued, haha! She’s only 3. It’s so good to see parents cherishing these moments with kids rather than rushing headlong to the result. The end product is loved so much more when there are find memories attached to it, I think.

  • Heather - your blog gives me so much joy ever day, its the one I rush to read first with my coffee. Thank you!

  • christina - all I have to say is : girl power!

  • cassi - Where are the bookcases from?

  • Erika - Can I ask where the bookcases are from? I am thinking IKEA but just wondering!

  • Carolyn Williams - I love this. I can’t wait to teach my daughters how to build things. And there’s nothing wrong with needing more places to put more books! That is such a beautiful problem to have!

  • AshleyAnn - Erika – IKEA 🙂

  • AshleyAnn - Cassi – IKEA

  • Laura@Ms Smartie Pants - This made me smile. My daughter is 19 and she is my official “put it together” helper. She loves when I bring something home in a box that has to go together and I am happy to be her assistant! 🙂

  • Susie - I can’t decide which of Firecracker’s photos I love most….the one with a drill in her hand or the one with her barefoot on the sewing machine foot pedal (propped on an upside down garbage can).

    I take my hat off to you for teaching your kids life skills as well as the 3R’s.

    Love your blog…I’ve read the entire adoption section…it’s like ready a good book with a happy ending.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, family and ideas!

  • elizabeth H - Firecracker’s BEAUTIFUL!! her eyes are g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s!!
    LOVE.LOVE.LOVE. that you {WANT} your kids around you while you create~enjoying the process {WITH} them…that’s what truly will be remembered.

  • Taylor - She is just adorable! How fun and exciting!


  • Danielle Bradfield - My daughter is will be 5 in May and is the same. Whatever I am doing, she is the same 🙂 Yesterday I caught her in my closet trying to thread my sewing machine 🙂 Sidenote: Do you remember what the name of those bookcases are? I am looking for some but cannot tell from the Ikea website which ones you have.

  • AshleyAnn - Danielle – here is a link. The Billy ones are great too, but they were too tall for my space

  • Danielle Bradfield - Thanks so much!!

  • Emily - So it’s not just the SnapShop course that makes me want to redecorate… You should do a workshop on DIY projects in your house!