Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Flowers!

Ok, so I don't often post the little craft projects I do with my kiddo on this blog (reserving stuff like that instead for our family blog for long-distance grandparents, aunts/uncles/cousins and friends, but this one I had to share. Mostly 'cause I'm proud of it. And mostly 'cause I wanted to Pin it to Pinterest to add to my growing collection of Kiddie Krafts & Ideas board, for my growing list of followers. ;-) 

I'm proud of it because it came out of my own head, as opposed to a lot of the crafts we do that are inspired by crafts found on Pinterest etc. It all started while shopping in a new dollar store in our area. A new, and may I add AWESOME dollar store. It's officially my new favourite place to go when on some much needed "mommy time." 

Anyhoo, while in my new "sancutary" of craftiness, inspiration and treasures called "Dollar & Coin" I found some cute little foam flower shapes. Seeing as how I was there with the intent to scoop up some Easter/spring related things for my spring-break-at-home-with-my-monkey week, I grabbed them. Then I found painted wood buttons and the idea "bloomed" from there. 

Behold I give you my new spring bouquet, lovingly created by mother & daughter last week:

This craft requires:
- one empty tin (i.e. a coffee tin, hot chocolate tin, etc.)
- a spring-like wrapping paper (to cover the tin; construction paper would work too)
- foam flowers (easily found in dollar stores, but equally easy to make yourself with sheets of coloured foam for crafts)
- buttons (as stated I used wood buttons, but any big buttons with equally large holes would do)
- green pipe cleaner 
- filler for the tin (i used some tissue paper i had on hand, but beans, styrofoam, cotton balls, would all work)
- glue or tape, or both

1. cut paper and cover tin using tape or glue.
2. poke one end of each pipe cleaner through the middle of each flower, and then through one hole of a button.
3. weave the pipe cleaner back through another hole on the button, and back through the flower to the back side. 
4. twist pipe cleaner around "stem" to secure it.
5. Repeat with as many flowers as you want to make.
6. fill tin with filler and add flowers!

A Timely Lesson

It's Good Friday, and thanks to oversleeping and a morning breakfast preparation that took much longer than I thought it did, I missed attending the Good Friday service we had hoped to attend. The Man went alone, for some reflective time on his own, while the monkey and I stayed home for our own kind of reflection and quiet. 

While she cleaned up the mess she'd made with her endless amount of toys, I busied myself preparing a craft and reading through the Kids of Integrity lesson on forgiveness. I carefully prepared the packing tape cross, getting slightly frustrated in my attempts to lay it down on the table without it sticking to me, and then prepared some colouring tissue paper for the project. When I was done, I called the monkey to come. She eagerly ran to the table, and ooed and awwwed at the pretty colours. Then, she noticed the tape I had so meticulously laid down, and her four-year-old hand instructively reached out to touch it... and get stuck in it. And that's when it happened...

... I ashamed to admit it...

... "NO," I screamed in horror, all my frustratingly hard work going up in smoke! Slapping her little hand a little to hard, I again raised my voice, "I said don't touch!" 

Her eyes filled with tears. She pulled her hand away and looked down... look of devastation on her little face. 

And I knew.

This is why He died. This is what He died for. All my moment so ugly responses, impatient words, and painful missteps. He died for these. He died for me.

Scooping my now weeping monkey-pants into my arms, I apologized and begged her forgiveness. Forgiveness she readily granted --- humbling me all the more. And then we talked about what Jesus did. Why He died, why the cross is important, and how He forgave us, just like she forgave me. 

A timely lesson on this Good Friday, and a practical real-life application for my monkey to ponder on as we made our tissue paper/packing tape cross together. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

I'm Busy

“I’m busy.” It’s a phrase I am very familiar with. I say it and hear it quite a bit. But one day not so long ago when the words came out of the mouth of my four-year-old daughter, they were like a slap in the face.

One afternoon while my daughter was enjoying her daily “quiet time,” contentedly playing in her room with her dolls, I spent some time getting the dining room table ready for some crafts I had worked particularly hard on. I was excited to spend some quality-time with my child, free from the distractions of work and house-hold tasks that usually kept me busy, and eager to put on my “play time” hat with my creative, imaginative little girl. When I was all ready, I eagerly knocked on her door, and when she answered I excitedly told her I had assembled some fun things for us to do. I was expected a squeal of glee from her, but was greeted instead with words that shook me: “Not now mommy, I’m busy.”

Busy? How could a four-year-old be busy? How could a four-year-old even understand the concept of being too busy to do something fun?

The answers to those questions of course led me to the harsh realization that she had learned those words from me. So often busy with my own chores, the work I do from home, or my own selfishness in simply wanting to do my own thing for a change, I must confess that I have brushed her invitations to play off with the excuse that I’m too busy. I’d never considered how that felt to her, until that humbling day when she was too busy for me.

This got me thinking about how much we can miss out on in our families, our marriages, and relationships when we allow ourselves to be consumed by busyness. So often we hear stories of those who, when faced with the end of their life, come to realize this too late. If I've learned anything in recently turning 40, it's that time goes by so fast. Too fast. And if I don't slow down and savour the minutes I have, they'll be gone before I know it.