Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Special Bond

Sibling relationships are somewhat of a mysery to me.  I am an only child.  And believe me, I have heard all of the typical thoughts on only children-- spoiled, bratty, unable to share, etc.  I'd like to think I escaped those titles.  Spoiled? My parents always lived below their means, and didn't give me whatever I wanted.  I had to save up my allowance to buy many a toy over the years.  Bratty? Sure I had moments of brattiness (especially between the ages of 13 and 15), but overall I wouldn't label myself in that way.  Unable to share? My sharing lessons came in the form of playing with friends or any of my 16 first cousins.  I'd like to think I am at an advantage here because as an only child, I was able to learn to share with others as well as play comfortably by myself at home.  

But one thing I have never experienced as an only child is the special bond between siblings. I never had anyone to pick on me or to pick on.  I never had anyone to giggle with late into the night (other than the occasional friend sleepover). I never experienced the amazing friendship that adult siblings sometimes have.  I know not all siblings get along swimmingly, but for the ones that do, I have to say that I am jealous.  Especially now that my mom is gone, I so desperately wish I had someone to share family memories with.  To laugh about inside family jokes. I see this friendship with Mike and his siblings and am at least thankful that I get to experience wonderful relationships with all my sibling in-laws. 

Watching my children develop their own special bonds is something quite amazing.  Especially between my daughters, Hannah and Leah.  Not only are they siblings, but they are twins and have shared everything throughout their lives-- from space in my womb to the same birthday to a bedroom to all of their toys.  They have never known a day apart. These two amazing young ladies are such a sweet example of sisterhood.  Yes, they fight. What sisters don't? But deep down they posses a deep and abiding love for each other.  They are fiercely protective of each other, and they are known to go off into serious gut-busting giggle fests that last for an hour or more.  They play well together, and even finish each others' sentences.  My prayer for them is to have an amzing friendship throughout their entire lives.  I am glad I get to foster this relationship and watch it continue to grow over the years. 

 I love Leah's glasses in this picture
At the State Fair

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"New" Crayons

This past Saturday was cloudy and cool.  Rain drizzled down in a fine mist all day long.  It was the perfect day to stay in our pajamas and do some crafting.  I have never considered myself to be a crafty person. I can't sew.  I don't knit or paint or make floral arrangements.  I come from a long line of crafters, so I have always found my crafting deficiency to be quite sad, really.  I suppose that the crafting gene just skipped over me somehow.

However, in recent months, I have decided that the term "crafter" doesn't apply to me as much as the term "creator".  I've always considered myself to be a creative person.  I love to read and write and my imagination has always been larger than life.  So this past Saturday, I was itching to create something. I looked around at our limited supplies and suddenly remembered an idea that had come to me via an email chain a long time ago-- we can make "new" crayons! I enlisted the help of my three eager little people, and we got to work.

First, we got out our out-of-control tub of crayons and sorted through them all, setting aside the broken ones to use for our project (*bonus! you get to clean out your out-of-control crayon tub!).  Then I had the kids take off all the paper wrappers and place the waxy, colorful bits into a bowl.  This ended up taking quite a bit of time, so I pitched in and we eventually got it done.

Peeling off the paper proved to be quite satisfying

Ready to bake
Next we found an old cupcake tin (mine was gross and ready to be thrown out soon, so it worked great).  If you don't want to potentially ruin your cupcake tin, you can use foil cupcake liners in the cups.  We then placed a rainbow assortment of crayon bits into each cup.  If you have enough crayons, feel free to make singular colors like red, orange, yellow, etc. My kids were more excited to see the colors swirl together.  It's whatever floats your boat. Place the crayons in a pre-heated 250 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Fresh from the oven

When you take them out of the oven, you will have hot, swirly cups of liquid wax much like a tie-dyed t-shirt.  Let them completely cool, them pop them out!

 Our stack of "new" crayons

They are kind of mesmerizing, right?

My kids loved their new creations, and I even considered the whole experience a bit of a science lesson. Now I will say, these crayons are not good for detailed coloring.  They have no pointed tip and the rainbow colors came out muddled together in a nice shade of brown.  But the point of the project was to have fun creating something together. With that criteria in mind-- mission accomplished. I have to say I patted myself on the back for actually doing something crafty. I just might go join pinterest after all.