Summer Fun: June – Part 3

We had so much fun with the grand kids in Branson that we just had to bring them home with us (that was the plan all along anyway).  They were going to spend the week at “Nana Betty’s and Papa Jack’s” house (aka: The Huffman Resort as our children jokingly affectionately call it).  We didn’t have a lot of activities “planned,” but we found plenty of things to do that kept us busy.  Of course, we spent some A LOT of time in the pool!

Can't believe that I caught all three of them in mid-air!

Can’t believe that I caught all three of them in mid-air!

Since Jade didn’t get an actual birthday cake or birthday cupcakes, we made cupcakes one day.  The grandkids had fun icing and decorating the cupcakes.  Of course, we had to lick the icing bowls!

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A few weeks before the grands came to visit I couldn’t find any toothpicks in the house.  I intentionally bought a big a HUGE box of toothpicks. When I returned home from the store, I found my toothpicks, of course!  🙂   It was another huge box, too.  I figured it would take at least 10-15 years for us to use all those toothpicks.  Then I remembered an activity I had pinned on Pinterest for kids using mini marshmellows and toothpicks.  We spent one morning discovering our “engineer” aptitude.

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Now we're getting the hang of it!

Now we’re getting the hang of it!

Building it higher.

Building it higher.

Nana, can I eat JUST one? Pleeeeease?

Nana, can I eat JUST one? Pleeeeease?

Finished!

Finished!

Double toothpicks = double the structural support.  Finished!

Kylee thought:  double toothpicks = double the structural support. Finished!

Ok, I'm finished.  NOW can I eat one?

Ok, I’m finished. NOW can I eat one?

My creation.  It's my husband standing in front of the bank where he works.  What?  You don't see that?!

My creation. It’s my husband standing in front of the bank where he works. What? You don’t see that?!

On Saturday we took the kids to Grant’s Farm in St. Louis.  Grant’s Farm is the 281 acre wildlife preserve and ancestral home of the Busch family (Anheuser-Busch).  It is also the former home of Ulysses S. Grant, 18th president of the United States.  The farm itself has an intriguing history (you can Google it), not to mention you can see the world famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales while there.  If you haven’t been there, you absolutely must go sometime.  First of all, admission is free (well, except for the $12.00 parking fee-but just PACK your vehicle with as many people as possible)!  You begin by taking a tram ride with a guide through the wildlife preserve.  You get off the tram at the main attraction where there are all kinds of animals to see, an area resembling a German Beer Garden with stables where you can eat lunch as well as sample a couple of Budweiser products, and enjoy the other attractions and shows.  You can buy a special coupon for kids for $5.00 which gives them milk to feed the baby goats (a MUST do!), a free snow cone (well, it’s not really free because you paid $5 for the coupon), and one ride on the merry-go-round.  The coupon was definitely worth the price.

Waiting in line for the tram ride.

Waiting in line for the tram ride.

Look at those HUGE tortoises behind those adorable grand kids! :)

Look at those HUGE tortoises behind those adorable grand kids! 🙂  If you look closely you can see my husband’s and my reflection in Jackson’s sunglasses (Lol!  I just saw that typing this!)

Oh my goodness!  Camel rides are now offered at Grant's Farm for an additional $5.00 per person.

OMGoodness! Camel rides are now offered at Grant’s Farm for an additional $5.00 per person.  Of course, Papa said he would pay.

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Feeding the baby goats is fun.  However, watch out - some goats do get a little aggressive.

Feeding the baby goats is fun. However, watch out – some goats do get a little aggressive.

Hey!  Stop eating my shorts!

Hey! Stop eating my shorts!

Jackson suddenly leaned down to help a smaller goat.

Oops! Jackson suddenly leaned down to feed a smaller goat.  The other goats are wondering why they didn’t get that milk.

Jack!  The milk is for the GOATS!

Jack! The milk is for the GOATS!

Now I got a picture of him standing up.

Now I got a picture of him standing up.

One afternoon we took the grands to see the movie Epic. The kids and I really enjoyed it and I think Jack even liked it — he only dozed off ONCE!

Waiting for the movie to begin.  Kylee didn't touch one piece of popcorn until it began.

Waiting for the movie to begin, and Kylee didn’t touch one piece of popcorn until then.

The grand kids really worked hard this week on one special project, but I’ll tell you about that in the next post.

Coming Soon:  Sumer Fun: June – Part 4

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Flip Flop Frenzy – Part 2

I had so much fun making that first flip flop wreath and had plenty of materials leftover, so I decided to make another wreath with some of that deco mesh we’ve seen everywhere lately. I didn’t use any of the ribbon I bought for the first flip flop wreath I made (Click Here to see that post), so I knew I wanted to use it and incorporate those colors in this wreath. I set out last week to make a trip to our Hobby Lobby and Trees and Trends stores which are an hour drive, one-way, from our small town.  All-day shopping excursion — YES!!!  😀

Here are some of the items I purchased to start my new crafting adventure:

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Looking back now, I realize I once again bought too much “stuff,” but since I have to drive an hour one way just to get to a larger shopping center, I don’t take any chances of getting home and during the making of the craft think, “Gosh! I wish I would have bought that __[fill in the blank]__!”

I watched several videos on YouTube on how to make a deco mesh wreath until I felt fairly sure I could make one. The first thing I did was attach the pipe cleaners to my wire wreath base (that’s what my generation calls them; NOW they are called chenille stems – that does sound classier more chic, doesn’t it?).

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Then I started to attach the yellow deco mesh going around the inner part of the wire frame first, then moving to the outer part…just like the videos had instructed.

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I must admit that I didn’t like the way it looked the first time, so I took the mesh off to re-do it. However, I didn’t know that deco mesh does NOT straighten out very easily (it’s plastic and once it is squished together the wrinkles don’t want to come out of it). I thought I had totally ruined the mesh and was going to have to make the hour drive AGAIN to purchase some more yellow mesh.

Because I was stressing out, I decided I needed to take a break. It was almost lunch time, so I fixed my lunch. While I ate, an idea popped into my head. The sun was out and the day was warm. I decided to stretch out the mesh on my deck and set a couple of deck chairs on each end to hold it down and stretched out. I wasn’t very confident that it would work, so I didn’t take any pictures of THAT step! I went back inside and did a couple of “chores” (dull, boring, mundane housework!). After a little while I took a deep breath and mustered up the courage to go outside and see if I “saved” the deco mesh. SUCCESS! It looked as though I would be able to re-use the mesh.

After attaching the mesh (again!) around the inner and outer parts of the wreath, it looked like it just might work!  Almost finished with attaching the mesh for the second time:

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Next I attached the accent colors, ribbon, and some sparkly bead garland.

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Starting to actually LOOK like a wreath!

Starting to actually LOOK like a wreath!

Now for the bow. I’ve made many wired ribbon bows in my lifetime, however, it has been a LONG time. SOOOOO, back to YouTube for a refresher course on bow making. How on earth did we EVER learn how to do things before the internet and the invention of YouTube?! Here’s how my bow turned out. I even purchased a flower pin to “bling” up the bow!

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I had purchased two pairs of flip flops, but as the wreath began taking shape, I realized I would only need one pair. Now to bling-up the flip flops!

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The next step was attaching the flip flops to the deco mesh. Since I haven’t ever worked with deco mesh, I wasn’t sure at all how I would accomplish this. It took a while for me to think this through. I pulled the plastic strap that goes between the toes on the flip flop down and twisted one of the pipe cleaners uh, I mean, chenille stems, around it just above the enlarged disc that holds it secure underneath the sole of the shoe. I thought, “Hmmmm, this might work!” Using my cool temp hot glue gun (isn’t that an oxymoron?) I glued the flip flops down as much as I could.  Flip flops attached = check!

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Attaching the bow was easier, and so was attaching a chenille stem for the hanging loop. Here’s the final product hanging on my front door:

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I must admit – working with the deco mesh was a little more difficult than I anticipated.  However, I’m sure that the more I work with it, the easier it will become…well, at least I hope so because I bought these supplies that same day:

Can I hear "Happy Fourth of July!" from anyone?

Can I hear “Happy Fourth of July!” from anyone?

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