Stop Grabbing Your Uvula

There have been scientific studies done about this.

There have been books written about this.

This is not a new revelation and yet even though I know this, it never fails to surprise me how different boys are versus girls.

Boys are gross and weird.

If you don’t agree take a look at my case and point:

The other day my 6 year old son is coughing and sputtering. I ask him if he is okay and what is going on. He replies that he is fine and is just training himself to be able to hold the dangling thing in his throat without coughing and gagging.

Insert brief moment of silence while my mind races wildly.

Next I explode with, “What? What? You are grabbing your uvula? GRABBING YOUR UVULA? UVULA?? Why would you want to condition yourself to hold your uvula without coughing or gagging? Please stop grabbing your uvula!!”

I rest my case.

Don't grab your uvula

Don’t grab your uvula

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It Wasn’t a Nut

My 5 year old son, Bency, is a collector of things. Really he is a scavenger of sorts.

I can relate to this. I have been doing this since I was a young child as well. One of my earliest memories is trying to get the biggest toad collection in the world. I would spend all day in search of these creatures and put them in mayonnaise jars. Later I would put the sealed jar in my windowsill. I soon learned that animals needed air to breathe and would bake to a fine crisp in the hot sun.

Bency’s collections usually come from his extraordinary finds on his walk home from school. I am quite certain we have one of the biggest acorn piles in our ownership, despite the fact that we have nary an oak tree in our yard. He thinks he is nearly a millionaire with his growing “jewel” collection. In actuality, they are just sequins that have fallen off some girls dress. During the warmer months, at the height of bug season, you will find many containers and buckets located on our porch of Bency’s growing insect tribes.

The other day, Bency arrived home from school with yet another magnificent find. It was a white marble. I noticed both children were quite wet, muddy and carrying quite a stench mixed with sweat and another putrid odor that I couldn’t put my finger on. I put the white marble on the counter and questioned them about their day and walk home.

As the children walked out of the room to put their school things away, I noticed the smell didn’t leave with them. I began frantically searching their boots and coats to track down the culprit of the thing that was annihilating my nose.

I finally discovered that every time I went near the counter where the white marble was, the smell became more obnoxious. That was when I examined the white marble more closely and found that it was a moth ball.

I quickly put an axe to Bency collecting any more “white marbles.”

Yesterday, the kids and I spent the day at my parent’s house. The kids went down to the woods to play.

After a bit, the kids returned to the house excitedly! They had filled some plastic bags with wonderful treasures.

They showed me the pine cones they found, turkey feathers, pheasant feathers, a stick and then Bency pulled out a very interesting nut and asked me what kind it was.

I examined it carefully. It was unlike any nut I had ever seen so I asked my Mom if she knew what kind it was.

It wasn’t a nut at all.

It was a turkey turd.

I laughed and told him he should bring it for Show and Tell at school. He didn’t find this humorous at all. He was slightly perturbed that his scavenger hunt had produced poop.

In life, there are lessons all around us. I learned at an early age that everything needs air to breathe. Bency has learned that some things aren’t as they appear….not everything is a marble or a nut.

This was a day out in the woods last Fall! I would have included a picture of the turkey turd but we forgot it at Grandma's yesterday!

This was a day out in the woods last Fall! I would have included a picture of the turkey turd but we forgot it at Grandma’s yesterday!

Matchbox Car Art

I have wanted to do a project utilizing me and my brother’s old Matchbox cars from the 1960’s and 70’s for a few years now. As a kid, I spent hours playing with these. I kept trying to think of a way to display them properly. I always have a few hundred projects going through my head at all times. Time and how I will go about executing things is always a major factor in how soon I get them done though. I thought I might have a few extra minutes today and I finally figured out how I was going to do this so I set to work.

First I started with a plain wooden board that I got at the ReStore shop. It’s a place that sells used building materials so you can pick up stuff here for pretty cheap.

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Next, I painted the board black and created a square template using masking tape. As you can see, painting is a family affair around here!

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I painted around the edges of the masking tape so the board would have a simple design on it.

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After letting the paint dry, I glued my Matchbox cars on. I applied Gorilla glue on the wheels and placed the cars where I wanted them on the board. The cars are firmly attached and I can now hang this on the wall! Of course the kids think I am completely nuts for gluing cars to a board. They really think I should have just gave the cars to them to play with. I know better though, these would have ended up with the 48 other Matchbox cars under the stove right now!

Matchbox Car Art

Matchbox Car Art

Science 101

My 5 year old son, Bency, changes his mind about his future professional career as often as I change my shirt (that’s not always a daily occurrence).

Since I want to encourage his passions I try to find and do things that will keep him enthusiastic.

When he was 3 years old he wanted to be a pirate when he grew up so I bought him a pirate costume.

When he was 4 he wanted to be a paleontologist so we studied dinosaurs.

Right now he is fluctuating between an artist and a scientist. No problem with the art. I can handle the art. The science is a bit trickier for me. So instead of winging it, I bought Bency a science kit for Christmas.

Let me tell you; we have had so much fun doing science experiments the last few months. We completed the last of the science experiments this past weekend that came with the kit. Bency is normally very serious and it takes a lot to make him smile but as I went through my pictures from the last few months I found so many “smile” photos of him doing his experiments.

If anyone has any “kid-friendly” science experiments please let me know so I can keep this kid busy! (And as you can see from the photos…the messier the better!)

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Story Stones

My seven year old daughter LOVES to read and reads all of the time. If all of her books were destroyed she would be devastated. My five year old son likes bedtime stories but make them funny with some good rhyming or you’ll lose him (The children’s book about the 1847 potato famine in Ireland gave him a headache last night). The one year old likes books and frankly it doesn’t matter because I love to read children’s books. As the other two outgrow sitting and listening to me, he as the last of the children will be forced to be my reading companion whether he likes it or not!

Besides reading to the kids, I have a stack of blank books that we sit down together and write stories in. Each person takes a turn writing a different page and in turn we end up with a book that goes from dinosaurs eating people to princesses dancing with the dinosaurs.

The other day, to mix things up a bit, I told the kids to grab some rocks from their rock garden. (My kids collect rocks when we go places. We have a few rocks from hikes we’ve been on and the beach but they also collect from grocery store parking lots or anywhere they see a good rock.)

With the rocks gathered and my caddy of paints and paintbrushes set up I told them we were going to make Story Stones. Their eyes lit up with excitement at the prospect of combining two of their loves…Rocks and writing stories…

We went in our usual fashion of taking turns telling the story but this time while the kids spun their tale, I painted a rock with the key characters or items pertinent to the story. I painted a princess, banana, God, unicorn, present, zebra, coconut, monster, math book, boulder and cotton candy. The story was in their usual bizarre nature and I liked it because it made complete sense to them. It was not even remotely strange to pair up princesses and God.

When we were done I explained they can continue to make up all kinds of stories using these. That afternoon the kids played for hours while I listened from the kitchen. It was good and only one fight broke out when Bency wanted the unicorn to stab the princess with it’s horn. Iris found this completely unacceptable and demanded a retraction.

I knew we had a hit on our hands when Bency requested to play Story Stones by himself yesterday. Bency make up a story without the aid of his mother or sister???? Amazing!!! That is until I peeked in on him a while later when I heard strange noises coming from the dining room. Bency had made up a makeshift shuffleboard game and was sliding the rocks across the table making them bump in each other and sending them flying.

Story Stones are wonderful. They appeal to boys and girls of all ages. They invoke creativity. They can be used solo or with many. Make some today. Do NOT hold me accountable for damage to your dining room.

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