New Camera, New View

I recently got a new camera and have had more fun playing with it! Aren’t new toys so enjoyable?

Right after receiving the new camera, Gramps and I went on a short camping trip to Lake Tawakoni. There was the most interesting tree right outside our window that I just had to share with all of you.

IMG_0011Yes, that is all one tree! Five trunks from the same spot in the ground. I’ve never seen such – ever!

IMG_0012This is one trunk that went back into the ground and took root to form another trunk.

IMG_0013

IMG_0015 IMG_0014And here is the best part of all – a gnome house. How cute is that? You don’t find one of these in the trunk of every tree. Just special ones, like this one.

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The Joy Of A True Wish

875-0-WishHave you ever thrown a coin in a fountain or a well and made a wish? Sure, everyone has. But did it ever come true? No, never!
Have you ever bought a lottery ticket or bet on a horse? Again, most everyone has. But did you ever win? No, hardly ever.
How about wishing on a star? Did that ever work? Really?
imagesSo, why do we keep making so many empty wishes? Why do we keep thinking magic will make everything better? And why do we keep hoping our lives will change with no effort on our part?

It’s the pull of the fairytale life. The life where all is well and happy with the wave of a wand or a twitch of a nose or the intervention of another person.
We make wishes all the time – I wish I could . . . . .I wish I was . . . . . I wish I had . . . . . I

wisheswish I might . . . . . But what if, instead of just empty wishes, we combined them with planning, effort, commitment, endurance, strength, willpower and fortitude? What could be accomplished if our wants were not just empty pleas but were true desires for change and improvement? True wishes would look more like: I know I can . . . . . I’m sure I will . . . . . I promise to . . . . . They would produce change. Lives would improve. Work would get done.

And a role model might just appear.role model 2

 

The Magic Capes

I made capes for my 2 soon-to-be GS for Christmas. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it actually was fairly simple. Let me tell you how.

First, I used a pattern — Simplicity 5927. I wanted a full cape that could be pulled around the body completely. I used the plain view without a stand-up collar. The pattern comes in several sizes, so the cape for the 6yo is 4-5″ longer than the cape for the 3yo.

The pattern calls for the cape to be made from felt but I chose sturdy fabric for better “flow” and wearability. That required altering the width of the cape a bit but not more than an inch or so at the bottom. (Because felt is wider than most fabrics.)

I chose bright blue and purple because they seemed very “royal” to me and because I had the fabric in my stash. No purchase required!

After cutting out the capes, I applied large initials to each one. I just used fusible web and then zigzagged the edges. Pretty simple!

Because the pattern called for felt, there was no allowance for seams. So I applied bias tape along all the raw edges. Around the neck edge, I just extended the bias edging out for ties on each side and put a knot at each end.

These capes were so easy, I made then both in one day. But here is where the real fun started.

Capes, I have found, are magic! They may look simple, may be easy to make, and may be a cinch to use, but trust me, they are magic! Something truly mystical happened when those 2 little boys put those capes on for the first time Christmas morning. To begin with, the 3yo could fly! Then the 6yo became invisible! Then we had visits from Superman, Batman, Count Dracula and Captain Hook. In the following weeks, those capes have covered Knights of the Roundtable, emerging butterflies, magicians, kings, super-heroes of every sort and sometimes just sleepy little boys.

Putting on a cape transports a child to another world — one of imagination, play, and creativity. Nothing is impossible and all thoughts can become real with this magical piece of fabric wrapped around a small body.

With a cape on, a small person is big, a weak person is strong, and a frightened person is safe. It’s empowering, comforting and stimulating all at the same time. I’m not sure what happened to the capes between the sewing machine and the shoulders of those boys, but they somehow became saturated with fairy dust. They became the most wondrous things and had the most profound effect I have ever seen.

Those 2 capes cost me nothing but a few hours of my time to make but have given me more joy than I can say. How great is it to be able to wrap up true magic and give it to your grandchildren? And then be given the utter privilege of watching magic work its wonders? There’s nothing better, my Sweeties. Nothing better.

Kids In The Kitchen

Kids in the kitchen? Sounds terrifying doesn’t it? After all, a kitchen is not a playground . . . or is it? A kitchen is not a classroom  . . . or is it? A kitchen is not the best place for a quiet conversation . . . or is it?

Really, my Sweeties, a kitchen can be the best of all that and more. Magic can happen in a kitchen! Just be fearless and watch!

So, you say you can’t play in the kitchen? Try making popcorn the old fashioned way and see the little ones’ faces as they watch corn pop in amazement. Fun! Or make rice krispie balls with a bunch of munchkins. Very fun! Or decorate cupcakes with icing amongst a group of teens. Very, very fun!

And as for being a classroom, well, I can’t think of a better place to teach anyone math, measurement, geometry, portion, ratio, percentage, weight, length, time or maybe most importantly, patience. Hard to believe that cooking and baking involves all these things but everyone is having such a good time, no one realizes they are actually in school! Don’t tell!

Now, about those quiet conversations – talking with kids while you are having fun with them is what makes the memory. Everyone is at ease and therefore more open. Children will definitely be more forthcoming when distracted with an activity and when it is a shared activity, you have front-row seats to their inner thoughts. You and your precious ones can have the most interesting, touching and hysterically funny exchanges while making a mess in the kitchen. Be ever so grateful you are the privileged one allowed into their inner thoughts and selves.

Did I say “MESS”? Oh yes, dear Sweeties, there will be a mess – like no other! But rest assured, it will clean up with a little elbow grease. And it is so worth it. In fact, the moment is worth a thousand times more than the mess it makes. Try it and see. Invite some kids into your kitchen. Cook something. Bake something. Make a mess. Talk. You’ll love it!