Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rock tumbling!

More proof that our kids are nerds like us, ha ha ! Joshua has wanted a rock tumbler now for nearly 2 years. He has a rock collection and since we are always down at the river there are many rocks to be found. Sometimes they are nice and sometimes not so nice but we always tell him that "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" in terms that he can understand. He wanted to be able to see what his rocks would look like all polished up so this year for Christmas we got him the rock tumbler. I thought of this post by Gwen's sis, Shannon from way back in the year. It is definitely long but worth the read.

Many a time Joshua has come to me and asked, "Can I please have a rock polisher to polish my collection, Mom?" And I have said, "It is almost your birthday/Christmas Joshua, maybe you will get it then, but we don't have the money right now." As these two years have passed I have felt more and more urgency to get the polisher. And after reading Shannon's blog entry and the scripture

Proverbs 13:12 - Hope defered makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

I remember wanting a few special things when I was a child and my mom, against her better judgement finally gave in to one thing. It was a special growing doll. It was so cool on the commercials and I begged and begged. My mom kept telling me, it probably doesn't work as well as it seems. But I didn't believe her. I just knew that it would actually go from a 6 month old to a 3 year old in seconds! It showed it as if you pushed a button and all this transformation took place. So, for Christmas, my mom did it. I was so happy! You can't imagine how much I figured it would never be under the tree and then, there it was! She was so pretty, that little doll.

When I got it out of the package I noticed it was a crank that you turn and the transformation should take place. So I did it. From a six month old, with a tremendous amount of hair, who looked as if she should have been 3 years old, to pretty much the exact same doll, add an inch (just a small enough amount that you could use the same clothes) and some teeth came in. I didn't want my mom to say "I told you so!" Which she never would have really done. I acted as if it was everything I ever wanted. I took that doll to my room with the worst feeling in my gut. I had really wasted the gift that could have been something great. I started thinking about all the other things I could have asked for or the things that my mom might have just got me if I didn't push so hard and they would have been so much better. What a disappointment. I should have known!

Probably one of the best things my mom ever did for me was buy me that doll. It taught me so many things. Mostly, that when people buy something for us it is not because we necessarily wanted or even needed it but because they wanted to give it to us. My mom wanted to give a gift to me but she would have much preferred something else. I was not so quick to choose my own gifts after that. And more grateful for the things I got. I also learned not to believe everything you hear and see. And much more lessons were learned. But, although it wasn't ideal, I did play with that doll for years and kept it for Annabelle, also. She was pretty. No harm in the big scheme of things but I never wanted my kids to choose something that would be like that.

With that memory in my mind, fresh as if it were only last year that it happened, I went into the Teaching Tools store. I find the service is wonderful and when the owner approached me about any help, I was still looking around for the rock tumbler which I had seen in November and was so scared they had sold out of while we waited for the cash to purchase it. She helped me find it. It was the last one. What a relief! I asked her everything I could think of. Return policy, customer complaints or comments, does it really actually work? All that kind of stuff and she openly told me to the best of her knowledge. She said that none had come back. One man did say that it worked "okay" but that that was the only somewhat negative thing she had ever heard of it. She said that of course if a person wanted the rocks perfect, they should possibly pay more and get a really great quality one but that this should be awesome for a kid to polish his rock collection. I made sure that if we were really disappointed we could bring it back and she said yes. So, on I went to the till. Excitedly I wrapped it up at home and Christmas morning, Joshua was more than happy. He even came to me just after lunch and looked me in the eyes and said, "Thank you so much for the rock tumbler, Mom!" And off he went to play. It was enough to know that we had made the right decision.

So, we have been waiting since Christmas for Adam to have a day off work so that we could start the tumbling process and tonight was the night. But, Adam got called in to work till 10pm. Joshua was looking forward to it though so I told him that we would still start tonight as I had promised.

After opening his gifts Christmas day. What a handsome boy we have!
Bad lighting, but this is the polisher, freshly out of the box.
The tumbling chamber.
Inside it
Joshua, checking it all out.
The rocks that the tumbler came with that we decided to try first. They look beautiful just like this, imagine after they are polished!
Rock pictures, before they are rinsed.

Joshua's favourite rock in the bunch, before and we will see what he thinks after.
Rinsing the rocks in a bowl. Yes, I know it is almost time to get the dishes done!
And then I figured the strainer would work better so here he is again, rinsing away.
All rinsed

Filling the chamber with rock. About 8 ounces is what you are supposed to use.
The favourite, rinsed.
In the chamber.
Adding the sand.
Ready for water
Adding the water.
Into the tumbler.
Locking it up
Ready to go.
On something soft so it is not as noisy
And starting the process. This first step takes 2-4 days. The whole process takes 2-4 weeks. I will take pics of each step as we go and you all can follow the life of the rocks. So, I will know soon enough if we made a great choice in getting this for Joshua, but already he is enjoying it immensely!
to be continued...
God bless you all as you celebrate 2008 tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The doll house

I mentioned to a few people that we were only really buying one large gift for each of the kids, something that they really wanted and then their stocking. They were blessed beyond belief from family and friends! What a wonderful Christmas we had! So, I thought that I would post these pics while I had a few minutes. Joel told us he wanted a guitar so he could be just like his daddy. Joshua wanted a rock pollisher to pollish his collection. And Annabelle wanted "a really big doll house"! Now, this just happened to be a dream I had for my whole childhood. I just wanted a big doll house like my friend Jen had. I loved to play dolls and wished for it all my little life. So, I was so excited to look around for one for Annabelle. There were lots for small dolls but I wanted something that she could play with her barbies in. So, I saw one in Sears and thought about getting it but after buying the furniture and everything it would have been almost $250!!! We couldn't do it. This house I found online for a lot less that the above price. And we bought it. Set it up Christmas eve, and it has been such a hit! She has all her ponies living in it too. I will take a pic of her playing with it tomorrow. So beautiful! And it is a little taller than her! Amazing! Virgie, isn't it awesome?!

Daddy working hard for his little lady.
What a joy!
Just fixing the swing.
The finished product, with furniture! Yippee! Also, everything is pretty durable. It should last a long time.

Friday, December 21, 2007

VSP and christmas lights

At the school, for kindergarten the parents are asked to do a poster and presentation for VSP day! It is one day for each kid to show what a Very Special Person they are! This is the poster I did for Joshua, he was so proud. He talked lots and was not even shy! We brought a bunch of special things from at home and from when he was a baby. It was a great time. I also made Candy Cane cookies and the class read the Candy Maker's Gift and had the candy cane cookies. Such an awesome day for Joshua!

And last night Joshua had his Christmas concert at the school. His class was singing Feliz Navidad. They did great! The school did Christmas around the world. Was a great concert, but none of our pictures turned out. Hopefully the video will. Afterward we went to Timmy's and got coffee and went for a drive to look at a few Christmas lights. We have already done this a couple times this year but there is one house, way out in deep creek that we always love going to see. This time the kids were all awake so we went all the way out there to check it out... Here is a pic of it, although it is very hard to get a clear picture on the night scene on the camera unless you have a tripod. This is the best we could do. There is stuff all over the yard and the trees are done up too. Beautiful!
Best house around! Up on Mountain Vista. So fabulouse. Again, pretty blurry though. I love the lights on the roof.
And one more pretty one on Mountain Vista. Great street to check out!
Hope you all are having a great time celebrating in your own special ways. God bless you!

Hooby dough

So, here are the ornaments we cut out from the hobby dough to decorate. They will not be dry in time to paint today so I will be sending some home with the kids I babysit to decorate at home. I just love them though, they are even better with kids messy painting all over them. I also bought some really fancy nice ribbon to hang them from. What a joy!

And the very cool, finished hand prints, ready to be wrapped and given as gifts for mom and dad!

Santa craft

Although we don't teach the kids that the jolly old man is real or brings them gifts, we still watch the movies and this year I was given these craft kits. The kids loved them! So much fun! So, here is Annabelle and her best friend making their santa bell craft.

Annabelle, so carefully putting eyeballs on Santa.
The goofy girls!
The finished project. Cute!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New posts???

OKay, trying to play the catch up game so here are a few new posts of a little tiny bit of our Christmas time buisness going on. Enjoy, and enjoy the snow... I love it more than anything else outside in the world! Have a wonderful season!

The fabulous plan gone terribly bad!

Here is the low down... I decided, after finding a great recipe, that we would forfeit our usual gingerbread house building and build a Rice Krispie house. So cool. Here is the icing all whipped up and ready.

And the Rice Krispie pieces all cut and ready. Now, the recipe did say to wait till they are cooled and hardened. I thought that since they are cooled like 20 minutes afterward, they would be hard enough after a couple days. Maybe I will try next year, making them in October to ensure that they are hard enough by the time we do the house.
So, you start by gluing the house together with the icing of course. The pieces fit perfectly and it looked as if the whole ordeal would go swimmingly!
The process of building
Boys are excited.
Almost done
Joel fell on a present today and scratched his cheek. That poor boy!
Joshua had drawn out the house and decided where all the different candy should go. So cute!
And here is the house, all together. Looks alright hey? I didn't do it perfectly because we were just going to be covering a lot of it with candy anyway. So yesterday I went out and bought a whack of candy!
Starting the process
As you can see, the roof is starting to sink a bit from the weight. And Joel is much enjoying the eating candy more than the decorating the house. It was so funny!

Roof getting lower
And the house starts falling apart so am trying to fix it.
Propping up the inside of the roof with plastic knives and such. Nice walkway though, hey?
And it all falls down
Another angle

And the final flop.
It was sure fun while it lasted and since it is just made out of giant rice Krispie squares, the kids will enjoy eating it for snack for the next month! Haha They were not too upset since we salvaged the night with puzzles and colouring. A wonderful time with the family in spite of the whole problem. Every year, we learn what will and won't work.