Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring Things

It's here! The calendar said it was here a month ago, but the days themselves finally agree. We've had warm days in the 70's, bright sunshine, the grass is turning greener, leaves are sprouting on every limb, flowers are showing their smiling faces, and the sprinklers have been turned on again.

It has even been warm enough in the last few days for the girls to play out in the hose. But then, they thought that was okay when it WASN'T warm enough. (My girls have some serious water addiction issues - don't get me started.) Hey look! My neighbor's lawn got a double dose of spring! My only regret this time of year is that I always forget to plant bulbs in the fall, so I miss out on the irises, crocuses and daffodils in my own yard.

Thank goodness for neighbors who remember! I haven't planted any flowers yet, but I do have a trusty little cluster of pansies who come up every year. They must've seeded themselves from the planter I have above them, because I've never planted them in the ground.

Spring also means birds, and I love birds. Except I don't so much love birds who decide to build nests in my front door bucket.

They're tiny little house finches (the males have bright red heads and are so cute) and they freak out every time we open the door.

Okay, I freak out too. I'm so afraid they're going to fly the wrong way and either invade my house (think Alfred Hitchcock) or peck my eyes out (again, think Alfred Hitchcock). So far, they just fly away to a nearby branch and spy on us while we do our business. I haven't seen them today, so I might relocate them while I have the chance.

Their nest looks so cozy, although it's hard to tell from the pictures. They found some soft, snuggly stuff for their little love nest! (Dryer lint compliments of yours truly. A little trick I learned from my mom.) The fun thing is that I can see them sitting in the nest when I look through the peephole!

Speaking of my mom, maybe the reason I'm a little jumpy at the thought of birds on my door is because when we were growing up, a robin laid its eggs in a nest above my mom's flowerbed. The mama robin was so territorial that she would dive bomb my mom when she came out to garden. Soon my mom started gardening while wearing a bike helmet. If I can dig up the pictures, I'll prove it to you!

Wait... so maybe I don't love birds after all.

Springtime has also inspired me to do spring crafts with my girls. I have several in my mind and we did the first one today. It did not go well. And that's putting a positive spin on it.

I didn't come up with this on my own, but you know that craft with the crayon pieces, wax paper and an iron? Yeah. I thought I'd try that. And my girls were SO excited. I even took pictures because I thought if it went well, surely the entire internet would want to know how we created such magnificent pieces of art. So now, I present these pictures to you so you can burn a few calories laughing at my expense.

We unwrapped all those tiny crayon pieces and I begin to grate them with my cheese grater. My poor technicolor cheese grater. It may never be the same. In the process, I grated a nail down to the quick. It was at this point that Emma declined her request to help with the grating.

So... did you know that crayon shavings are EXTREMELY static-y? Oh my heck. I cupped the top of one cup with my hand and they all became magnetic and shot up on to my hand. And the problem only worsened when I tried to brush them off. Crayon shavings e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.

As the girls and I tried sprinkling the colors on the wax paper to make our design, crayon was going everywhere. I mean everywhere. It was on the floor, on the chairs, all over our hands, and even in Emma's hair. We did a few pictures and then Emma turned to Addie and said, "Let's go play in the sandbox." Addie said, "Yeah" and they were outta there.

So I cleaned up the whole mess and then they came back and asked if we were going to do more of our craft. I said no, that I thought they were done, and then Emma said, "I just thought you needed time to think about how to make it work." Well then!

At the conclusion of craft time, I was left with one colorful grater, crayon shavings everywhere, one cranky mama, two disappointed girls and an iron which I may have ruined. Someone better remind me to iron a few towels before the next time Gary preaches and I have to iron a white shirt. Or else he'd better be preaching about Joseph and his colorful coat to make a point.

And okay, I guess I was left with a few pretty window catchers. They didn't turn out how I pictured, but you know what? The girls think they're AWESOME. I guess that's what matters. And the mess? I need to get over it. In fact, Emma begs me daily to do crafts with her. I have to admit that I selfishly distract her from her pursuit of crafts because it can be messy. Isn't making the mess half the fun? And isn't cleaning it up the other half? (No.) So today, even though the craft did not go smoothly, my girls loved it and that's what counts.

But - if you know what I did wrong, I'd love to know! There has to be an easier way, right? Should I have not used my cheese grater? Oh, and it seemed like my wax paper was waxy on both sides - can that be? Do I need different paper? Or maybe... is this exactly the way they were supposed to turn out? (Maybe I have really high expectations! Afterall, I was just in the Met a month ago and didn't see any crayon-shaving-sun-catchers, so maybe these are as good as they get.)

Hmmm... maybe those birds would like some crayon shavings to add to their nest.

Yeah, that's it. Crayon shaving craft projects are for the birds. A long, round-about way to make my point.


  1. I think the craft looks awesome! I think we used to shave 'em with scissors or a knife. To make it slightly less messy.

  2. I LOVE spring also! And the crayon butterflies turned out beautiful, but thanks for the tip that it is a bad craft idea.
    I hope Addie's tummy feels better, maybe she is just sick with love for Henry.

  3. Those turned out really cute! I've made those before but it's been a hundred years so I don't remember how to do it, maybe the shaving it with scissors or a knife is the way to go! I love they way you write, I can just hear you talking and I love that! And Emma....she is hilarious.

  4. I had no idea everyone was so up on this blog thing. I just figured it out a few months ago. Anyway, I look forward to reading your stories of life. :)

  5. I did this in kidergarden (300 years ago) and the teacher used to chop the crayons up fine. I would probably cut my fingers off but I only have boys and crafting is at the bottom of their priority list so it works out fine!
    LOVE the story of your mom and the bike helmet!

  6. I love the birds nest in your front door basket. How precious is that? Even if you are pecked to death by overzealous winged creatures.

    One year, a robin built her nest on one of the supporting posts of our deck. We loved it, because we could peak down through the slats and see right in. But she hated our access and would dive-bomb us off our own porch.

    Geez. Some birds are so sensitive.

  7. A knife... you can use a plastic knife and then not have to worry about your silverware. Did you ever make rock art with me (putting the shavings on rocks and then melting them with a magnifying glass in the sun), or was that the year we weren't VBFF? That's a fun craft project and educational too (so nerdy am I) because you learn about how the light is refracted in the magnifying glass... or something like that.


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