Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Craft: Happy Crab Hand Craft

I think crafts made with a little one's hands and feet are just precious!  They are a great way to document how small {or big!} they are at that point in time.  A great keepsake and or gifts for family members.  The last art piece that Winston made was back in February so we were due up for something new!  One of his favorite books is The Clumsy Crab.  He loves to "read" along and does an outstanding crab impression!  Taking inspiration from his love for crabs and this pin from Pinterest, we took a few afternoons to make our very own Happy Crab Creation!

When making this craft, I wanted Winston to do everything by himself {or with very little assistance from me}.  He was in charge of where to put the glue, the sunshines and the googly eyes.  I had to remind myself to take deep breaths, stay positive, keep it fun and know that sand can be vacuumed from the carpet {since we did this in our craft room}!  I highly advise to put a smock on the kiddo and cover the surface you are using with paper.  

For this craft you will need:
    8 x 10 canvas
    Mod Podge
    Paint Brush
    Small container of sand {we used play sand}
    Painters Tape
    An empty container
    Yellow paint
    A round sponge stamp
    Red Paint
    A paper plate
    A small sponge roller

I placed a strip of painters tape on the canvas, instructed Winston to paint the glue below the yellow and let him go to town.
{Yes, glue got everywhere...hence the smock and the paper!}
After painting the on the glue, place the canvas over the empty container.  Next, pour the sand onto the glue and spread it around to cover the entire area.
Winston's job was to push the sand out of the bucket onto the canvas.  He did a great job!  {and yes, sand got everywhere.}
 Then he spread the sand around to make sure the area where he had placed glue got covered up.
Lastly, he then helped push the extra sand off of the canvas into the empty container.  {Yes, sand got everywhere!}  Then we left them to dry for a little while. 

The next step is the sun.  Using a 1" round sponge stamper and yellow paint, Winston stamped a sun into the sky on the canvas.  
He had so much fun stamping the canvases, he continued stamping the paper just so that he could use all of the paint! 

Since I didn't want the sand to flake off the canvas, after the sun was dry I took them outside and sprayed the sand with a clear coat sealer.  This guaranteed that the sand would stay in place and it gave the artwork a wet sheen!

In order to make it simple on myself, we did one hand at a time.  Winston loves to give high-fives so when we were ready to lay down his hand we would give the canvas a high-five!  To make sure that the crab would come out vibrantly red, we rolled paint onto his hand after every high-five.  To make the crab, turn the canvas portrait was and place the palm of the hand down with the thumb to the left of the canvas {away from the sand}.  Rotate the canvas 180 degrees and do the same thing with the opposite hand.  You want to make sure you have the palms of the hand prints touching {or as close as you can!}
Winston enjoyed his hands getting rolled and would squish the paint around!
High-five canvas!
Looking more and more like a Happy Crab!
While our handprints were drying, Winston helped me pick out which sized googly eyes he wanted Happy Crab to have.  He picked the largest size I had in my eye arsenal, and placed them on the thumbs once I had glue on them.  He did a fantastic job on all of them!  
I have Nipper, as we have named him, sitting on the counter in the kitchen.  When Winston sees it he stops to make his crab hands!  In allowing Winston to have more ownership {and not micromanaging him} in making this artwork, I realized how proud he was to know that he did it!  Did the vacuum cleaner get a workout?  Did I have messes to clean up afterwards?  Yes!  But, we sure did have a lot of fun!

What about you?  What are your favorite crafts to do with your littles?

All of the items used in the craft can be found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Dallas: The Perot Museum

On our trip to Dallas, besides catching up with friends, the one thing on the to-do list was to check out the Perot Museum of Nature and Science .  It was finished after we moved from Dallas.  I had heard that they had a really great children's area designed for little tots five and under.  We purchased our tickets online and made plans to go first thing on a Saturday morning.

Up and early, we headed down familiar roads bringing us to the parking garage for the museum.  A few weeks prior I had seen a photo of the cutest bright green frogs and behold!  When we walked past the Musical Forest, there they were!
We went to The World's Largest Dinosaur exhibit and it was great!  They had hands on exhibits for the kids and Winston's favorite was digging for dinosaur bones!
Next we headed to The Moody Family Children's Museum and were not disappointed for one minute!  It was Winston's first experience in a children's museum and he lived it up!  I think the water table and the camping area were rivals as his favorite areas to play in. 
 I loved that there were coveralls and hand dryers at the water play station.  Genius!  
 Just two guys, grilling up a steak!
Driving the truck, emptying the truck, sorting the fruits and veggies as well as shopping were all fun activities that both Winston and I enjoyed!
We then ate lunch at the restaurant on site and everything that we ordered was tasty {mac & cheese, chicken tenders, chicken sandwich, regular and sweet potato fries}.  The museum does allow outside food however it is not allowed to be eaten in the exhibits.  They do provide seating inside or outside and there are lots of tables available.  We did a speed tour of the remaining floors of the museum as little buddy was ready to stretch his legs and run around.  So we did just that!
By the green frogs, there is a mini river where kids are encouraged to shed their shoes, feel the water between their toes and splash to their hearts content.  
Winston had a blast running up and down the river making big splashes when he stomped and jumped. It was the perfect activity to expel the last bits of morning energy before driving back to the hotel for a rest.
If you live or plan on visiting Dallas or a near by town, I highly recommend you making this something that you do.  It is a great place for kids of all ages!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Patient Appreciation Day 2014

For the 8th summer in a row, Todd Hughes Orthodontics hosted their Patient Appreciation Day at Tinseltown theater.  Renting out one of the larger theaters, the staff was joined by almost 400 patients {and parents} for a morning viewing of How To Train Your Dragon 2.  

We took Winston along with us for his first movie theater experience.  Armed with a squeezie and popcorn, little buddy settled into his seat and did a fantastic job of watching the movie!  
He did really well for his first time.  We exited the theater about 30 minutes before the movie was over so that he could run up and down the halls while munching on some goldfish.  

It was a pleasure to be a part of the morning, helping hand out tickets and bags to the patients as a thank you for choosing Todd Hughes Orthodontics as a place to receive their care.  The staff are amazing, caring and passionate always enjoying each other and their patients.
Benjamin and I couldn't be more pleased that these are the fine folks {and some of their kiddos} who he gets to works with day in and day out.  There is not a day that goes by that we aren't thankful to be a part of this family.  
 They have embraced all three of us with open arms!
A huge thanks to everyone who came to participate in Patient Appreciation Day 2014!  We look forward to seeing you there next year! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dallas: Lunch Bunch Reunion!

You may remember that during dental school Benjamin ate lunch with the same group of guys for four years.  They were known as the Lunch Bunch.  Since graduation, the seven of them have been scattered across Texas from Houston to Temple to Omaha {TX} to Dallas.  While most of the guys started treating patients straight after school, three continued schooling and have all since graduated joining the working world!  We received news that two of the members of Lunch Bunch {and their families} would be moving out of state.  Rachel {lovely wife of Todd} started the conversation of having a reunion of sorts.  A weekend was chosen at the end of May.  All seven families could attend - a small miracle of sorts when you realize how many people that is!

The guys have still kept in contact over the years by phone, email, periodic man time in the wilderness, and quick dinners as one may drive in or out of a town that another lives in.  This get together was the first time that we would all be together since graduation!  

In 2008, a few of us took a trip to Turner Falls in Oklahoma to spend the weekend in a lake house that Benjamin had found.  Here is our group at that outing:
{Not pictured: The Sperry and Barras families}
Adding us all up, there was a total of 19*.

Then at the time of graduation all of the Lunch Bunch members had dinner together at Maggiano's.  This is the picture from that outing {minus the Arthos & all kiddos!}:
Adding us all up {plus kids} we were at a count of 25*!

Now four years later...
...we are a big happy family of 32!  Thirty two people whose lives are connected because their husbands and dads all felt the call to attend dental school.  It still humbles and blows me away as to how God orchestrated these guys starting Baylor Dental at the same time.  That they would discover shared interests, shared passions, and shared faith.  

We are so thankful that we were able to be a part of the weekend!  The Arthos graciously opened their home to all of us hosting dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.  We downed pizza on Friday and on Saturday had a cook out where all 32 of us were together - catching up, laughing, getting to meet some of the kiddos for the first time.  For me, it was fantastic to catch up with ladies who love their husbands, their kids, who all have a great sense of humor and refreshing perspectives to offer on life.  It makes me look forward to the next time we can all get together.
Here they are, the Lunch Bunch.  
We have three general dentists, one pedodontist, one orthodontist and two pursing residencies {one in endodontics and one in orthodontics}!  It may be a few more years before all of us are able to get together again however I am certain that the guys will continue to stay in touch.  I know that I am looking forward to the next time we are all together!  

*As a disclaimer: I also included the announced pregnancies in the number!  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Project 52 Catch Up!

Man, have I gotten behind on my Project 52s or what?!  In the spirit of trying to play catch-up I back-dated all of the posts, but have linked to them here so that {if you want to!} you can catch up on what we have been up to!

Week 12: March 16 - 22
Week 13: March 23 - 29
Week 14: March 30 - April 5
Week 15: April 6 - April 12

I'll get caught up eventually!

In the mean time, did you see the make-over we did on my desk area?  Love me a Smurf blue wall!

Friday, June 20, 2014

House a Home: Planning Desk

When we were building our house, one of the options available for our plan was to build a planning desk in the hall downstairs between the living room and the hall to the spare bedroom.  With Benjamin having residence in the study, this would give me a space where I could do things while keeping an ear out for Bug while he is playing in the living room.  

After getting settled, Benjamin and I were ready to commit to making the walls a little more colorful!  We loaded up, headed out to Sherwin Williams and bought paint for two projects: the wall by my planning desk and the laundry room.  The color we chose for the planning desk is what I now affectionately call Smurf Blue.  That night after Bug went to bed, I read some tips online about how to paint round corners and set off on personalizing my desk area.
We purchased some of the yellow Frog brand painters tape, but it didn't stick very well to the texture of our walls.  Therefore we used trusty blue painters tape.  I painted the edges first and then moved to the middle.
The desk came in handy as a seat while I painted my masterpiece!  We used Sherwin Williams paint and primer in one and I only needed to do one coat! 
 I love how my Smurf wall turned out!  After living in houses with an array of colors on the walls, having this blue wall adds the pop of color that we were looking for!  The next day I hung a few of my favorite things on the wall. 
Silhouettes of Winston {age one} and Lulu.  I love the details in the cutting of the paper - Winston's long eyelashes, Lulu's ears and the curve of her tail!
Winston's handprints from when he was about a month old and Luli's paw print.  I have had these in a box since we made them and am so glad to have them displayed them where I can see them each day.  The love sign was Winston's Valentine's Day craft for this year.  We had a blast rolling his hand with a sponge roller and giving the canvas high fives!  
I just adore my little spot.  It has some of my favorite things: pictures of my husband and Winston, my cute desk accessories, a few trinkets from travels here and there.  It is a spot where I can sit to type, write, reflect, and of course open the mail, sort coupons, find recipes!  
On the wall behind my desk is our very own mini Gallery Rinard of sorts.  They add personality to the hallway!

So that's it - my happy little planning desk!...The spot where this post has been created!  Do you have a spot you call your own?  Where is it and what are your favorite things used to decorate it?  

Please note that no Smurfs were harmed in the painting of the wall!
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