The Great Adventure

~ just one blink and its changed ~

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Want to make an incredible snowflake?

How to Make a 3D Paper Snowflake

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

This is a little more complicated than a two-dimensional paper snowflake but it looks excellent and is a suitable craft for children adept with scissors and who have patience in making crafts. It will produce a 6-armed three-dimensional snowflake decoration that makes a perfect tree decoration or window-hanger.


  1. Assemble the materials (see "Things You'll Need").
  1. Fold each of the 6 pieces of paper in half, diagonally. If the paper you're using doesn't make a perfect triangle, cut off the edge that sticks out (rectangular edge) and make it align perfectly.
  2. Cut 3 lines each side of the triangle from the folded edge (as per illustration), making sure not to cut through the unfolded paper edges. The cut lines should be parallel to one another each side and come close to meeting in the middle but not touch; leave a small space between them. To make this easier, you can fold the triangle in half. This way you'll cut both sides at once, making a very symmetrical snowflake. This might not be suitable for thicker paper, since the number of layers makes it difficult to cut through.
  3. Unfold your paper and turn it so that the diamond shape is facing you for working with.
  4. Still keeping your paper diamond side-up, roll the first two innermost paper lines together to form a tube. Tape these two pieces together. You should see triangle shapes on each side of the roll.
  5. Turn the diamond over to the other side. Take the next two paper lines and pull them together on the opposite side of the tube and tape together as before. This will be a more rounded shape and wider than the first tube.
  6. Keep turning the paper and joining the paper lines together on opposite side until all paper lines have been joined.
  7. Repeat this process (steps 3 - 7) with the remaining 5 pieces of paper.
  8. Join 3 of the completed rolled pieces together at one end (draw together with your fingertips) and staple together using the other hand. Do the other 3 pieces the same way. Now you will have 2 pieces consisting of 3 strands or "arms" each.
  9. Staple the two new pieces together in the middle. You will almost have the snowflake shape by now.
  10. Staple where each of the 6 arms meet. This ensures that the snowflake shape is pulled into place. See illustration at top for the finished snowflake.
  11. Decorate further if desired (see "Tips" for suggestions). This is optional but might be suitable if you are creating a Christmas scene or other decorative theme.
  12. Choose one point to be at the top of your snowflake and attach a piece of metallic yarn or cotton for hanging. (This is best tied on the decoration, as a staple might not hold the thread well.) Pierce a tiny hole with a needle and thread through the metallic thread and tie with a small knot, twice. Do this very gently to avoid tearing the paper.
  13. Hang your new decoration on the tree or in a window space. Make several snowflakes and hang them at different lengths against a window for an effective display. They appear especially beautiful against a backdrop of a dark night sky.


  • Larger snowflakes: If you want larger snowflakes, use larger paper. You will probably need to cut more lines though; work it out from how large your piece of paper is. Don't try enlarging your snowflakes until you are comfortable with the method of making them with the suggested paper size first.
  • Paper color variations: You could vary the paper color if you want to match a Christmas color theme - red or green for instance. Those left over bits of holiday wrapping paper also work very well - just keep in mind that one side of the paper will be plain white while the other side will be colorful.
  • Decoration ideas: If you want to "jazz up" your snowflakes, put liquid glitter on the snowflake along various parts of the paper lines. Silver, gold, red or green are probably the most suitable colors to use. Or you could think of other additions; the author tried tiny buttons and stick-on costume gems one year and they looked exquisite. Just remember though, that these do not store very well (easily crushed) and you might be throwing them out. Of course, you can always pull off the additional decorated pieces and keep for another time or craft.
  • Be patient. This is not a craft to be rushed but it is easy to make if you proceed slowly and carefully.
  • 2-Dimensional alternatives: See Related Links and External Links below for 2-dimensional snowflake patterns suitable for younger kids (and the impatient!).
  • For extra special results, mirror two pieces next to each other.
  • Fold one edge in half twice to find the position where to cut, and use this as a template for all the other pieces.
  • For smaller snowflakes, it may be easier to use double sided tape in place of staples, particularly while adhering the individual arms to one another. If you do these step keep the snowflakes because they are hard to make.


  • Be patient when cutting the parallel lines, so that you don't overcut to the other edges or accidentally cut into the line on the opposite side; if this happens, start again with a new piece of paper.
  • If you want a "perfect" snowflake, make sure the lines you cut are identical for each square.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 evenly sized squares of paper - preferably white, for the color of snowflakes; printer paper is fine, or try drawing pad paper. The size of your paper square can vary from 4" to 10" (10cm - 25cm). The paper should be of a good strength to hold up the snowflake structure. You might want to look for "patty paper", the kind used in food service, if there is a restaurant supply store near you.
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stapler

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make a 3D Paper Snowflake. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gingerbread Houses

I thought you might enjoy a first attempt at gingerbread houses. I did some searching for a good recipe and found a site that recommended that on 1st attempts or with groups of kids you should us a milk carton and graham crackers. So... we did! They turned out great and the kids had fun!

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Funny Tree Issues

OK - so we bought a "pre-lit" tree at the Church Yard Sale... only thing was that there were a "few lights" that needed some attention. Beautiful tree, minus the lights - except that most trees have lights on them.

One of Steve's absolute HATES in life is putting the lights on a tree... I know this so, in my mind a pre-lit tree is a great solution. Problem... only 3 of the 12 strings of lights on this tree work. He put in 2 hours in our pre-condition agreement to purchasing this tree... that HE would work on making the lights ready for Christmas. (The yard sale was in June). By the time that time was done 7 of the strings were working.

Now, in December... children impationately waiting to decorate a tree... already "put off for one day" by watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas, we are ready to decorate. Problem... all the lights that were working are now not. UGLY!

We managed to get the tree decorated and we are still talking and I will never ask Steve to do the tree again! The things you learn once you get married and are for a few years - almost 10!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Simeon's Spaceship.

Today was parent day at preschool. I love these days and secretly dread them at the same time. It's all a balancing act of sometimes magnificent portions. My plate is pretty full (overflowing actually) today. To the point that as I was sneaking in some much needed quiet time this morning I prayed for (literally) the ability to be kind to my children. It has worked, because I haven't snapped - and I have really been having a nice day considering how busy its been. Now, on to scones and getting the china ready to be transported to the Tea Party for time with my girls and a lot of other ladies for an annual Christmas Tea Party!

Now, that you see my day (verbally) ... I really want to share this picture of my little guy who loves stuffies (stuffed animals) and wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. We had a ton of fun, and more. He's really analytical and great at problem solving. This picture doesn't show all that we did in a few hours ... but we played with a gear toy that was pretty amazing to watch him figure out... and even made a stuffed tiger he named, Cheeta.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Can someone PLEASE take me home?

Einstein got in on the action of moving too...
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Beautiful Children!

Make believe can happen in SO many places.
Even moving day at Grandma's!
Great Aunt Alice is peeking in on the play!
Olivia, Josie, Emma

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Family "help" for moving day in Ohio!

Sophie... her favorite pose

Lovely Josie enjoying lunch and a quiet spot to eat in the move!

lunch break... the first of many indoor picnic's at Grandpa and Grandma's.

Where there are pieces of Grandma's material there must be some sort of make believe...

First Snowfall...

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Kids in the fall... pretty glorious gift!

Are there monkey's in my pear tree?
Nope, just Simi... climbing tree's just like Uncle Josh taught him to!
Sophie, not to be outdone, is attempting it from the outgrown tot climber/ slide!
Who could have asked for a nicer day to play outside ...
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Sophie's 1st "real" haircut

Mom, I'm not really sure about this whole idea...

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Monday, November 3, 2008

A mile post in the sand

Olivia my "almost" reader...
Simeon with his two fav sutffies... Hedgie (the hedgehog) and Checker puppy
Sophie... I don't really need to add anything more! Do I?!

I thought that I would update some pics so that we could really see how big the kids are growing. I can hardly believe that my "baby" will be 3 at the end of this month! Where does the time go?

8 inches later...

It's been a while since I posted last... between Facebook and the blogger site and life - I don't often win out in posting... oh well... A new camera, new glasses and a pony tail in hand. Here's Olivia with her hair to donate. She's pretty proud... and so is Mom. We had a fun night of it last Thursday.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Phew! I feel like I have been marathoning this month. Just to bring you up to speed ... pun intended!

The last day of September, unlike Ric N'Elli, we didn't purchase a new home, but we did visit an ENT to follow up with some "weird" test results for our oldest. She passed her hearing test... in an ear that hasn't worked properly since birth... and the other news of the weird was that our son didn't pass his. So away to the experts. Olivia's hearing has NOT improved with age... in fact, I am to keep some sort of sonar out for infections occurring more often than not. Simeon had (past tense) huge tonsils and adenoids as well as ears that still didn't register great hearing - so 8 days later found Steve on a rare day off and me at a hospital for outpatient surgery for our little guy. He (Simeon) is doing great - he hears much better... and is sleeping better too. :-) Olivia on the other hand has her 1st ear infection for the season... and, well, the counting has begun! Liv is ready for her new glasses, not only because the ones she has are worn out... but because the lenses need to be stronger! Sheesh!

Let's see, oh yes, Simeon has started in preschool... loves his teacher... today was his first day -- we excused his previous 2 classes last week due to recuperation time on the surgery!

Steve put in a week last week that averaged about 13 or 14 hours a day... crazy!

Just after we found out that Simeon would need tubes and tonsils taken out - I was given the opportunity to share with a group of ladies at a fall getaway day - that was amazingly fun. I get a lot of energy from leading ladies to think and pause for some time of personal reflection! My mom and Sister-in-law were able to spend the day with me too!

I have been reminded of how thankful I am for my family... all the crazy events that keep me hopping and on my toes. I have been watching my kids change from babies to little people that I love and adore. God is amazing that He shares his many blessings with us... and we are abundantly blessed.

Hope you realize how abundantly blessed you are.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Apples, Pears and Oh My

My canner and crock pot have become my best friends lately as we've taken care of apples picked at the orchard and our own pears from the 2 trees in our backyard. This year the squirrel took a lot of the pears down. But, thanks to Steve and Einstein (the dynamic duo) they chased the squirrels out of the backyard and helped to spare a 1/2 bushel of good pears. Yesterday I put up 11 jars of pear jam... it smelled yummy and I can't wait to try some on bisquits from the oven... or maybe some scones!
Here are the dried apples from our 1st orchard trip last Saturday. I tried some in our food dehydrator... they turned out yummy and fun to eat. The kids like them! My Dad has always loved Jonathon apples... and I have learned to enjoy Jonagolds, but Ginger Golds might be my new favorite. They are crisp like Jonathons, and sweet like Golden Delicious, but the texture is even better! We picked a bushel of apples - Cortlands, Macintosh and Ginger Golds - the first 2 are great for pies and sauce, the last are a new kind that we tried this year - they just might be a new favorite. . We shared 1/2 a bushel with some friends and made applesauce and 3 pie fillings out of the rest.

There will be more trips to the orchard this fall. We're after Empires and Jonagolds, and just some good old fashioned fun.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yes, we CAN be spontaneous even with three kids!

Yesterday we got a phone call at 2:30 inviting our WHOLE family to a Tiger's game for last night. In a matter of less than an hour - we were looking forward to heading to downtown with 3 kids in tow... and a filled evening of ballgame fun!
We may pay for it tonight! But it was a blast in the process.
Simeon and Olivia - and Steve in the background...

I'm still awaaaake! And I can't believe it! ~ Sophie

Natalie, Olivia, Jackie, Simeon and Sophie on the foot of the Tiger!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Politics and Parties

Where ever you stand on the political spectrum, and whichever candidate you agree more with, we as American's all have a role to play in the coming election. I have become increasingly more interested in politics since I have had kids... not sure why... but needless to say - we had a GREAT time at a local rally last Friday. If you have never been to one - you really should take the opportunity.

In a recently forwarded email ( cannot confirm or deny the actual author) I read that according to David Letterman (I rarely watch late night tv - especially since the Olympics and the 2 "conventions" are done)... we as American's (in general) though we do an aweful lot of complaining - have much more to be thankful for in the opportunities that we do have... and should be reminded of these things rather than complaining about which candidate does or doesn't do what we want them to. Here it is:

No matter what your political convictions are this is an eye opener.... David Letterman on President Bush (Surprising)
David Letterman wrote this; it's the David we don't often see....

' As most of you know I am not a President Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not about Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark 'The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.
So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we so unhappy about?''
A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?
B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?
C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?
D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?
E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?
F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?
G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.
H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.
I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.
J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.
K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.
L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.
M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we en joy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?
Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it.The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an 'other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable' ' discharge after a few days in the brig. So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans?
Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane!
Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.' 'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, 'Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

As I figure - either way - we do have a lot to be thankful for. Hope your day is great!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

1st Day in 1st Grade...

So, I think every parent is going through the emotions of relief that life will return to normal and fear that their child will not "be excited" about the new school year. Such turmoil.

I am in the same boat and perchance you might be there too.

Olivia went to 1st grade yesterday and she was excited... you would never have been able to tell... but she apparently had a GREAT DAY! So, she told our friend, Evelyn last night at Kids Klub! I'm thankful that she is excited to be a 1st grader.

Just a side note... Sophie is cutting 4 molars all at the same time and Simeon is really hoping that October will come quickly so that he can join in the preschool fun! What's Sophie going to do? She's going to "Mommy's School" :-)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Tennesse Thoughts - Simeon

My Simeon, this summer, put in more bumps and scrapes and loved most every minute of exploration that he could get while we were in the mountains. John Eldridge would be most gratified to know that his understanding of a man's need to be an explorer and adventurer is rooted in being a boy who can do the same thing!

Simeon ran, climbed just about anything he could find - that his mom would let him climb... and tried to be just like his best buddy Winston (his cousin) in every way. Not to be outdone by the accomplishments of his big sister... he even mastered putting together our alphabet puzzle in our Lady Slipper Cabin at Fairhaven! That's a pretty big undertaking for a 4 year old!

More musing on the Creation Museum Experience

I have always fallen into the camp of... "God said and I believe it and that settles it for me." Thank you Bill and Gloria Gaither... but in this post-modern age a lot of those pieces of settled belief are just not good enough anymore to settle on and then to try to defend by saying that God said it and so I believe it...

This museum ( did an awesome job of explaining what the differences are from what God has said and what man has interpreted and expected other men to believe. (men used here to mean everyone!) :-)

For example:
I also grew up in the era just before the existance of dinosaurs was the accepted/ expected explaination of the large bones that were being excavated... have you ever seen the bone map for "Lucy"? Tell me... when you look at that map... do you see an animal that might be able to be the "link" between humanity and the apes?! That's just crazy. Either way - wherever you "fall" in the camp of discussion and belief... I think that the day and age for acceptance of everything just might be over... and that God is challenging us to move into an era where we can verbally defend what it is that we believe with kindness in our simple words and honest truth. He is after all the author of life!