January 19, 2012

Valentines Crafts, Snow, Rain, and Totally Bummed Out Kids

Yesterday we got around to making some pretty Valentines stuff for the house.  And it felt like the perfect day to do it.  Snow finally drifted out of the sky, long overdue and much anticipated.  I tell you, I miss just about every place we've ever lived, but this little valley in Utah seems more bearable on account of the fantastic amounts of snow it gets in the winter.  But a winter here without snow?  A winter with a ton of back to back bad air days and no snow?  Well, it's enough to make me dream of heading back to the soggy Oregon winters where at least I could pop over and get a hotel room on the ocean and get my zen on in the middle of winter.  I need the snow if I'm to survive being so far from the ocean.  Even if I rarely hit the beach in winter, it was calming just knowing it was there for me when I needed it.  Anyway, the snow finally came down yesterday and it was nothing short of poetic.  Crisp, gray skies interrupted by bare tree limbs and a little hint of Rocky Mountains through the dense fog.  Poetic.


The kids all grabbed their snow shovels, pretending to do a good deed by shoveling the driveway, but their whirling and giggling and snow plow sound effects made it clear that this was simply a joyous celebration of the season under the guise of selfless charity.  And the snow fell so fast that the lines they plowed off the cement were promptly recovered by the time they reached the other end.


While they played snow plow, I ventured over to clip some branches from a beautiful shrubby plant that grows along our canal.  I thought its bright red wood would make for a lovely Valentines tree.  I was right!


Once inside, I set to work hot gluing conversation hearts to my small bits of red tree while the kids worked on a little yarn wrapped wire project for the dining room walls.  When told that they could make any 3 word statement to express their inner most loving feelings, the above is what they came up with.  Heart felt words of daddy love are now yarned large and fuzzy across the dining room wall. 

This is the base of our Valentines tree. I think the red wood looks lovely all covered in small candy hearts.  Looks kind of like little spring buds.  My vision is that we'll make some sort of small paper heart decorations that will have loving messages for the world on them.  Or maybe hearts with love themed Baha'i verses on them.  Who knows?  I'm sure this tree's destiny will be fulfilled in the next day or so.


To add to our love theme, we tried the home made window gel thing that has popped up all over the internet.  I first found the idea here. The drill is that you add acrylic paint to Elmer's glue (because lets face it. Glue sticks are simply superior and somewhere along the line you made the mistake of buying bottled glue because every classroom has it, but you can't bear to watch the mess that your kids make with it on account of their inability to believe you when you say "A little dab will do!"  But you can't throw it out because you paid good money for it (okay, is was only 79 cents, but still...) and so there it sits, taking up space while you wait for some brilliant use for inferior glue comes along.  This was supposed to be that use!) and then use the colored glue to make shapes and words on wax paper.  In theory, when this dries, it makes something akin to a window gel.  Having done it, I can now tell you that when they say "akin to a window gel," what they really mean is that these are related so distantly to a window gel that they could legally marry a window gel in all 50 states and their babies would be healthy, adorable, and look more like Papa Glue than Momma Window Gel.  Although, to be fair, now that I look back at the site I eventually used to guide our activity, she calls them window "clings" not "gels" like the other sites.  And that's really a more honest appraisal
of the activity. 

So after a night of drying, they were ready.  That's one of the window thingies that we made, stuck to the front window, snapped a picture of, and then watched curl up and fall right off.  I don't know if we did something wrong, or what.  We wet the backs like the Almost Unschooling mom said to, and that did help momentarily, but little by little about half of them have fallen off the windows and the kids are annoyed and over them.  Bummer.  But they were fun to make even if they weren't fun to display. 

And maybe you noticed the weather difference between the top picture of yesterday's winter wonderland and this one of today's bleak mush.  Last night it rained a warm rain and took away a significant amount of snow.  Total bummer.  Not only that, but now we have little ponds all around the house.  It's nuts how much standing water there is out there.  We've been in this house for, oh, 3 years or so?  And we've never had this kind of standing water all around the house.  I called my dad to ask if I should be flipping out and bailing the water away from the house with a pail because I am a stupid, know nothing sort of home owner.  The house could wash away down the river and I'd probably hang out a window yelling, "Wheeee!!!!" all the way to Colorado!  Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration.  But only slight.  Knowing my complete ability to ignore the urgent on account of my not knowing what is and is not urgent in the world of home ownership (like the time I called the HVAC guy because our thermostat wasn't working and it turned out that we failed to change the air filter for that full 3 years I mentioned and all of the yuck on the filter was causing the burners tooverheat), I tend to now just call my dad in Tennessee every time I think the house might collapse, or float away, or explode, or whatever else might happen, and ask him if I need to flip out or not.  So far, that plan has worked out alright!  Thanks, Daddy!  LOL!

And on this dreary day, we a play date scheduled.  A few weeks ago we went to one of the the kids' online school social gatherings.  It was a winter games party and there were quite a few kids of every age there who all do public school online either full or part time.  I started chatting with a mom and she mentioned that her daughter was 8 and was hoping to make a new friend at this activity.  Well, hooray!  My daughter is 8 too, and her usual buddy at these gatherings is MIA so we should hook them up!  Before the mom and I could play puppet master, the girls had already found each other and hit it off.  They were stuck to each other for the duration of the party.  So before it was over, we exchanged numbers and set up a play date.  Well, today was that day.  We rushed through school work, cleaned the house from top to bottom, and got a banana bread in the oven to be ready right after their arrival.  The time came and went, and there we sat for 20 minutes in our unusually clean house with our unusually nice afternoon snack and no guests.  I went digging through my coat pockets to find the crumpled up bingo game card on the back of which Anna May had written their phone number, but I never found it.  Maybe she never found the crumpled up bingo card with our address on it either.  So, Anna May, if you ever come across this blog, we were excited!  We made you banana bread!  And now we just hope that you show up at the roller skating party next month so we can try again!  This already dreary afternoon is now complete with 3 kids who were very excited about their new friends coming to play and are now wandering around the house like ghosts, aimless and disappointed.  Total bummer!

So, I better get off here and go find some way to cheer the troops' hearts!  Maybe a board game or making some of those decorations for our love tree?  I'm off!  Wish me luck!

2 comments:

  1. I absolutely love the Valentine's Tree. Can't wait to see the updated photos as the decorations keep going up. What a fun mom you are!!!

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