Monday, October 5, 2015

DIY Light Box

So this was an awesome Pinterest find that I was able to put together in less than 15 minutes!

I happened to have all the supplies already which made it all the more awesome!

1 Clear storage container (the lid for mine was white, so I simply turned the container upside down.)
1 string of twinkle lights (I used white, but different colors would create cool different effects)
A strip of wax paper the length of the container (this makes the surface opaque, which diffuses the light more evenly)
White duct tape ( any color would do, I just like the cleaner look of the white.)

Use small strips of tape to secure the twinkle lights evenly arranged on the bottom of the container, or in my case to the lid, since that was going to be the bottom of our light box. Leave the length of wire with the plug loose and make sure you have arranged the lights so as to have the plug where you will have ease of access to an outlet.

Secure the lid onto the container, be sure not to trap any bulbs between the lid and container as this could break the bulbs. The wire may easily fit between the lid and container, as it did in ours, but if you container has a more snug seal, you may want to cut a hole through the container large enough for the plug to fit through.

Lay the wax paper on top of the container and secure edges all around with white tape. This prevents tears along the edges. ( I know that we will have to periodically replace the wax paper on ours as it accidentally, or purposely, gets nicked and ripped.)

Plug in and enjoy!!

Kit loved putting together her gear set on top of the table and watching them spin over the glowing light.

Then Zak joined in and they used the Blockus pieces to create cool patterns on the surface, and then put on the crazy glasses from our Googley Eyes game to make some kaleidoscope like effects.

All in all, it was a quick, easy, and fun indoor activity. We used it a lot this summer when it was just too hot to play outside. But now that fall is here and winter soon to follow, this would make a great play station on those frigid days as well.

It also makes a lovely night light!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Taking Their Time

I may have seemed cool, calm, and collected, but inside I was writhing with anxiety.

What if...what if...what if...

Four years old...five...six. Still in Velcro or zip-up shoes. 

Other kids are supposed to know this by now! 

Other kids DO know this by now!!

We are falling behind! So what if he can read and do second grade math! He can't tie his shoes! I can't even get him interested!

Seven years old. Another mom expresses concern about her own son's lack of interest and asks if it's something we are going to focus on. 

"I'm not too worried. When he is ready he'll let me know. He won't be twenty and still not know how to tie his shoes." I was reassuring myself as much as her.

Eight years old. "Mom, can I have some tie shoes?" 

YES!! Imaginary fist pumps in the air!

"Of course you can." 

Like many things, he only needed me to show him a couple of times, and boom, he got it.

Let's just say I worried a lot less by the time Grace was approaching seven and still not interested in tying her shoes. (She took an interest somewhere in year seven, and now whips out a bow like a pro.)

I learned a lesson I have had to repeat numerous times as a mom: 

Chill, Mama! Everything comes in time. Their time.

Not a single one of my children has been what I expected. They have been so much richer, more vibrant, creative, funny, and amazing than it was possible for me to imagine.

They are already each a unique and beautiful flower. As if I were handed a pot of soil each with a surprise seed or bulb nestled below the the surface. I don't set the pace at which they grow or blossom. I get to water, fertilize, protect, and make sure they have enough sunlight and room to grow. 

Some burst open right away and shine their brilliant colors for all the world to see! Others take more time, start out small but gradually grow fuller and fuller and more and more aromatic until you are simply awed by their majesty. Some need to climb! Others need deep roots. Some need more pruning than others.

They are not here for me to make into people. They are already people, with distinct personalities, and nearly unlimited potential. They are here for me to protect, love, guide, and teach so that they can hone their abilities and strengths, overcome or work around their weaknesses, and make their own special contributions to the world. 

Best of all, I get to enjoy them at every stage! 

What a privilege to tend these amazing creatures. 

These whole persons who share my life.