December 20, 2010

Solstice Preparations



So, it looks as though my plans for Solstice are going to pan out after all, and the kids are just in a flurry of excitement getting ready.  Tomorrow night 2 of our favorite families will arrive with a warm dish to share, lanterns for our lantern walk to the barn, and a piece of art to show and tell.

This weekend we made our lanterns.  Hannah Jane and I folded up squares of  printer paper into those little origami games...um...you know the four sided thing that you made in middle school and wrote boys' names under the flaps to see who you'd marry?  Yeah.  We made a bunch of those.  5 for each lantern.

Then we spray painted them with water colors.  We tried brush painting, but the kids found it too tedious to pain the folded papers.  Next time we'll paint first, fold later.
Then I stapled 4 in a row, attached the ends to  make a circle of them, and then stapled the at one to the top!  Slipped that over a jar with a candle in it and Voila!  Fabulous lantern!

Today the kids have been painting furiously!  Hannah Jane wanted to paint a day time scene with a short arrow and a night time scene with a long arrow, which she did.  But then she saw my painting and said she wanted to recreate mine, only way bigger.  So she set about enlarging my art for her own while Hunter took a huge piece of paper and drew a little man with a little lantern at the bottom.  He said, "That's the man whose mom took him into the scary woods because it was solstice.  He kinda wanted to go, but he was kinda scared too!"  Assuming that the little man is him, we'll see if he feels up to the walk in the dark!

Finally, we made some bird ornaments with Gelatin and birdseed.  I had problems with this.  Big problems.  First the water wasn't warm enough to dissolve the gelatin so I put it back in the microwave where it promptly boiled over, making a sticky mess in the microwave.  So I took the microwave tray out to clean it and more sticky goo poured all over the counter tops.  Haven said, "This is not your day, mom.  Not at all your day when you try to play in birdseed and jello."  He had a fair point.  It sure didn't feel like my day in that moment.

The kids scooped their mix into the cookie cutters and impatiently stared at the fridge for the full hour that we put them in there.  We put the left overs into a bunt pan to make a giant wreath.  I'm pretty sure that won't hang without falling apart, so we'll make a nice spot in the yard for the birds to eat far from the hungry pup that lives out back.
When finally they were done, I hung them on the pine tree outside the sun room window so we might catch a glimps of a winter bird, should one come to call.

The boys stood in the window an gazed at them for quite some time.  No birds yet. 
The last thing on our list of to-dos for the day is to make a couple of ice luminaries.  Haven't heard of it?  Pop over here and check out the tutorial!  Simply fabulous!  We'll light our front steps with them tomorrow just before our guests arrive!  I can't wait to see how they turn out!

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