Jamie and I have started working on Mother's Day gifts for his grandmothers. Today we made adorable flower bouquets from strips of magazine papers and chenille stems. They were very simple to make and Jamie really enjoyed threading the paper on the stems.
Click Here to go to the illustrated instructions on the Parents magazine website.
What You'll Need
Gather these supplies before you start your project:
-- Glossy magazines
-- Hole punch
-- Green chenille stems
Cut 4 to 6 same-size strips lengthwise from colorful magazine pages. Choose the width of your strips from 1/2 inch to 1 inch -- the narrower the strips, the more you will need to make the flower appear full.
Punch 3 holes along each strip -- one centered and the others 1/2 inch from either end. Hold paper face down and poke a chenille stem through the center hole. Fold ends over to slide other two holes onto stem.
Add remaining strips, arranging them to form a flower design, as shown. Thread the chenille stem through a button, then back in through the flower, twisting stem behind the petals to hold it in place.
Originally published in the May 2009 issue of Parents magazine.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I remember my mother walking me by the "big school" shortly before I started kindergarten. I stared at the mammoth building (it was mammoth to me at the time). I was frightened and excited. I don't remember anything about my actual first day of school. In fact, I only remember bits and pieces of my first few years at school, but I remember that day.
My son has seen the school many times, just as I had. I take him to the playground there quite frequently since it is within walking distance of our house. In fact, you can see the playground from my front yard. I can hear the loudspeaker making announcements over the intercom when I'm outside. Yet somehow, I think that he'll be looking at it in a new way after tomorrow, the same way I did on that day so many years ago. Tomorrow he will be visiting the school with the other preschoolers who will be attending his school this coming fall. I will be there. I will be registering him for kindergarten. That thought blows me away. My baby? Is it really time for kindergarten already? Preschool was enough of a shock to my system.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
The children waited beside the wooden fence. Almost all the children had ridden the ponies and were becoming restless, anxious to move on to the next activity. There were only two children left to take their turn. These two little boys both had disabilities. One little boy is named Jack. His mother took him to the pony and sat him on it's back. Jack was unsure and it seemed that he was too frightened to take the ride. His mother lifted him off the pony as a little chant began to rise from the children standing on the side lines, "Go Jack. Go Jack. Go Jack. Go Jack." The children seemed to sense the boys need for encouragement and without provocation delivered. Jack's mother sat him back down on the pony and he took his turn. The children didn't stop their cheer until the ride was over. You could see that every person who witnessed the event was touched.
We talk often about how cruel children can be now days. We fear for how our children will be treated in school, especially if they are different in any way. We witnessed what I believe is the true nature of the human spirit. We witnessed the untainted caring that we are all capable of, but so many seem to lose with the passage of time.
Last Saturday, Jamie and I worked together and planted some green peppers, beef steak tomatoes, and chives. I'm horrible at growing plants, but I thought that this would be something great to do with Jamie and might even save me a little money on my grocery bills this summer.
After we planted them Jamie checked them all day. He expected them to sprout instantly. Every day he asks to see his plants grow. "It's too soon, Jamie."
When I got up this morning I checked the windowsill. Sprouts. The chives are sprouting and the tomatoes are sprouting. One cup in particular held noticeable shoots. I was so excited, "Jamie! Jamie, come here! Hurry!" The sound of a small elephant herd followed my shout. Dynisha and Jamie soon appeared in the kitchen doorway. "What, Mommy?" he asked with a smile. I pulled the cup out of the window and handed it to him. "Oh Mommy, it's my baby plants! I love my baby plants." I showed him the other cups with tiny shoots peaking through the soil. "Cousin plants!" he exclaimed. "There's lots of plants." He jumped up and down and twirled. I went and got my camera. I handed him the cup with the most impressive shoots. It was at that moment that I noticed his fingernails. They are painted and I don't have any fingernail polish remover. They are done so neatly I was sure Dynisha was the culprit, but to my surprise Jamie explained that he did it all by himself. I went ahead and took his picture and then started the mad hunt for the missing polish. After much hunting the bottle was found, safe and sound. Now I've got to get some fingernail polish remover so I can clean up his hands before school on Monday.
Sometimes I obsess over my parenting flaws. I'm not very structured, which everyone says that Jamie needs. I try, but I'm just not a structured person and I can't seem to follow through with concrete routines for very long. Sometimes I raise my voice out of frustration. You don't know how relieved I was to hear his teacher raise her voice in the same way and pop out with several of the phrases that I find myself routinely using. It's comforting to know that other mothers are responding in the same way. I don't have much experience with good mothers to pattern my behaviors by. I doubt my own instincts sometimes.
In some ways I am so excited to see the man that he will become. In other ways I wish that I could stop time (or even rewind it) and keep things just as they are right now.