I do a lot of reading. And, since one of my loves is arts and crafts, I look at a lot of crafting web sites. I’m always looking for something new and fun for Levi to do. I also teach art at FP Preschool and love to find new ideas for the children. A few months ago, I began seeing a lot of info on water beads. So I explored. Sounded like fun…and an extra for the Boogaloo Camp boys.
The beads are actually vase fillers that have been around for a long time. Some clever crafter just found a new way to use them! The ones I bought were from Hobby Lobby in their floral department. They did not have a good selection of colors, but, I got 3 different ones. They look similar to this…
When you pour them out they are very tiny…
Then comes the magic! I let the boys play with the beads as they were for a while, then told them the beads were growing beads! I used one of the big aluminum throw away casserole dishes…the biggest and deepest I could find. Then I let the boys pour lots of water into the pan and added the tiny beads. It wasn’t long before they started getting bigger…and bigger and bigger! We had to add more water once. After several hours,we could see them growing. The next day, they were at their maximum size. So we poured off all the water, and let them have it. This is the size difference.
Oh, my, they were mesmerized! We adults were, too. It is a totally sensory experience. The beads feel wet, but are not. They have turned into balls of a jelly like material. And, we found out they would bounce, too. But, that was not an inside game! They ran their arms through them…picked them up and let them slide through their fingers, dropped them on top of the others…just exploring this new sensation.
I left the pan sitting out and it was amazing. No one…kids or adults could walk past without running their finger through them. It attracted everyone. And, they just felt so good. I left them out for about 4 days, and they were just starting to shrink some. That may vary depending on conditions where you are.
Levi has quite a collection of little sea toys he keeps at the beach…creatures and boats, etc. So we took those and hid them under all the beads, and they had great fun seeing what they would pull out. They would try to guess what it was by feeling before they pulled it out!
Suzanne was most intrigued! In fact, she used the same idea this week in VBS at her church…calling them ‘fish bubbles’. Their theme for the week was Submerged…all about the sea. The children were amazed!
She ordered a big bag from Amazon…they are much cheaper that way.
And, by the way, if you let them dry completely out, you can start the project all over again. They shrink back to the original size. Not quite sure how long this takes.
In one of the web sites, it suggests to give each child a clear bottle…like an empty water bottle…and have them drop 8-10 beads inside. Then fill with water…and watch the fun begin. They will float and move from top to bottom. I think I’ll try that.
If you mix the colors, it can also be a great sorting game!
One word of warning! These are NOT EDIBLE! So do not use with children who want to put everything in their mouths. HOWEVER, in my perusing the craft sites, I did come upon a recipe to make some that were edible. Didn’t try it, but you can google it and find it easy enough.
Just thought you Moms and Grandmoms may want to try this out. Not much mess and loads of fun!
Another Lulu/Levi project
One of the first things I planned for this year’s Boogaloo Camp was a cruise on the Sea Dragon. The ship is based at the St Andrews Marina, in Panama City Beach, Florida. I had run across it online and every single review was glowing.
The cruise is geared totally for the kids.There are places for adults to sit…but other than that…all activity is for the little ones. Every single minute, is planned. There is no time to sit around and get bored. They do all sorts of pirate stuff. ..water gun fights, shooting the cannon, dancing and singing and a conga line, swabbing the deck, face painting, sword fights, discovering treasure in the ocean and helping to pull it to the boat, then opening and sharing the loot!
Following are some pics of the day. BTW…this was a surprise for the boys…they didn’t know about it till we got there! They were so excited! Shirts courtesy of Lulu.
Pulling the treasure chest up from the bottom of the sea!
Every day we had a time for some arts and crafts…both of the boys are quite artistic and love to paint and cut and create!
Protecting the walls from flying paint!
Now we are all back home in Dothan and Abbeville. We are going about our daily routines…going to PT, seeing about Pop, getting ready for VBS at church, going back to our work with the sick. Boogaloo 2016 is over…but the memories linger on. John Thomas taking the test at the pool and going the distance well. He got to do the obstacle course and the tall slide. Levi taking the swimming test, but struggling a little…he only got to do the slide. And, once on the slide was plenty for him..while JT did it about a dozen times! ***Levi saying to us all, out of the blue, “Im a good talker and a chicken eater!” *** John Thomas working slowly and surely on painting his anchor.***Levi chasing about 10 chickens down the road trying to catch one. He didn’t. John Thomas taking it upon himself to be sure I had my waker every time I needed it! *** The look on the boy’s faces when they realized they were going to ride on that big pirate ship! *** Sitting between the boys on the couch and reading to them…acting out the voices and being silly. ***
Friends, life is so sweet. Family is so important. God is so good. Amen!
It so nice to have all the girls in the same room. Talking, acting silly, eating, talking about eating, talking about shopping, eating, interacting with the little boys…just doing life. We don’t have the chance to do that much during the year. Oh, we spend time together for a meal…but everybody has to talk to everybody else and there’s no time for real interaction. And, so as we gather together away for a few days, we focus on each other.
Not a whole lot of seriousness, mind you…but a whole lot of bonding!
Let’s start these pics off with a ‘breakfast of champions’!!! (Good ole Thomas Doughnuts)
“Rock me, Aunt Tara.”
Chasing the chickens…no luck!
What a fun aunt Lori is to these guys! John Thomas calls her “Ree”…….Levi calls her “Lorly”……I call her “Loopy”…we all call her “Special”!
Shirts by Lulu…
My dear daughter in love!
No room for me on the couch!
Even if we don’t always act like it! Fun with ribbon wands!
The boys think my walker is a perfect place to sit!
The boys bring their favorite books and we have story time together before bed!
Gigi and Lulu and their boys!
More to come in Part 3…..
Time has such a way of marching …faster and faster and faster. The days go by, and the weeks and months and then the years are gone. Memories are all that remain. And, the fun-filled, happy ones are definitely the best!
Our extended family here in Dothan is very close. Mom made it a point that we were together as often as possible. Any excuse for her to fix a meal and have everyone over was always on her agenda. My children and Joy’s children grew up together…in church, in school, at Granny and Papa’s house. They were and still are great friends. After Mom moved to Heaven, Joy and I discussed how we wanted to make sure this continued with the next generation. An even though Levi and John Thomas live in different towns…they see each other enough to play together, and love each other.
But, since a day here and once a day there is not enough…BOOGALOO CAMP was formed 3 years ago. This is a time when Joy and I take our daughters and our daughters-in-love and their children away for about 5 days. The beach has ben our destination since we bought our beach house about the same time. Besides…we all LOVE the beach! It is a time of fun, food, crafts for the boys, swimming, shopping, and surprises!
We have just returned from our 3rd camp. I want to share it with you and document it for posterity (In our family, it seems I am the only one who tries to keep records and pictures for those who come after…it just seems quite important to me).
Joy and I arrived a few days earlier and got food together and set things up. Then the rest of the crew arrived. Because it was a little cloudy and hard rain forecast for the next two days, they decided to take advantage of the sunshine and hit the beach! Of course, the beach and the sand was off limits to me with my bum knee. But, a little quiet time with a good book is always a treat!
John Thomas after a quick dip in the ocean!
We ended our last day together back in the water again. This time at a PCB water park. The boys love it. The park has a pool that’s about 3 feet deep and all kinds of equipment to play on, climb on, and slide on! Then, also 2 large Olympic size pools also! It’s so nice and clean. Here are a few shots from there…
John Thomas passed the test!
The first and last time Levi attempted the big slide. He said, “It’s too dark in there!” I’m with him!
It’s obvious the girls get their beauty from their mother. Love my beautiful sister!
Just a short rest time…
More to come in Part 2…..
Today I went to the K-4 spring musical at First Presbyterian Preschool. There were appr.70 children maybe, on stage. There were short ones and tall ones and chubby ones and skinny ones. There were little girls with bows as big as can be and little boys with hair slicked back to hold down the cowlicks! Some wore glasses. Some had given themselves their own haircuts. There was brown hair and black hair, and blond hair and redheads. Some of the children were still and quiet and hardly sang, others were so full of the music it bubbled out all over them. They had blue or green shirts to wear. And, about 70 different variations of khaki shorts or skirts. And each and every one of them had a Mama sitting in the audience proud as can be.
Motherhood. Each child is represented by a mother. A mother who labored to get her child into the world or perhaps labored to get them into their world. Mothers see and know what others do not. Because God gave us those hearts that pick up on things so easily. They know when their little one is embarrassed or shy. They know when the world is just too big to adjust to at the moment. And, so a few more hugs and sweet words are necessary. They know when their child is proud and pleased with himself. Perhaps he has done something extraordinary. Or perhaps he has just remembered to brush his teeth before bed. But, Mamas know that it matters that the task is acknowledged. Mamas know when a child is troubled. When someone did not offer to play together on the playground or didn’t make a space in the reading circle. Mama knows she needs to soothe that little bruise and put it in its proper perspective. There’s so many things that Mamas know. They understand a new pair of shoes makes a kid feel able to conquer the world! They understand that home baked cookies just happen to have a little more love mixed into them. They understand that if the hair bow is lopsided, then the whole day is ruined. Mammas just know. They know that at time, words of correction are a must. The little ones living in our world see hundreds of new things everyday….and have new experiences…and meet new people. That’s a lot to deal with. Cause it has to be thought about, discussed, and then placed among all the new things already learned and still leave space for what will come tomorrow. Why! It’s overwhelming at times! But, Mamas remember how it felt to them and so they explain, and correct, and admonish if need be. Then they finish it all off with a hug and a kiss. And, all’s right with the world!
Oh! there were such lovely grandmothers there, too. I think they looked a little more relaxed than the Mamas. Perhaps because Grandmothers, and Mimis, and Nanas, and Memaws, and Dedes and Gigis, and Grannys, and Mias, and Lulus have seen just a little more of this old world. And, they know what things should be cherished the most. They know that watching their grandchild today is a blessing from God! They know that forgetting a few words is no big thing. And, they know forgetting a whole song isn’t either! They know that a little boy who can’t be still can run like a cat and build the best roads you’ve ever seen. They know that sweet little girl with the pigtails who seemed so shy, can talk and sing and care for her baby doll for all the world just like her mother. They know the little one that gave two big jumps at the end of his part is so filled up with love for everyone, he just can’t help himself! And, they know that dear one who seemed sorta bored with it all, can lose himself in a good book and it’s there he finds adventure. Grandmothers know. Grandmothers know these little souls will be fine and grow into people who will love and help others. They know they are in good hands. After all, it’s they who raised their mommies and daddies.
Happy Mother’s Day from this one who cherishes my roles as Mama and Lulu.
A few weeks ago a dear friend who lives in Birmingham called me out of the blue. Immediately I thought something was wrong, but no, she just chatted joyfully about things going on with her. I should have known she was just buttering me up! Cause then she dropped the question. “Oh, by the way, since I am in women’s ministry at my church now (along with children’s minister) I need a speaker for a big banquet we are having. I feel you will be perfect! Then she went on to guilt me out in such a manner, you could not even believe! (No..she really didn’t.) But, she did tell me how the Holy Spirit had impressed upon her to call me two years ago and she didn’t and then last year, she wrestled with calling me and this year, again she felt the Holy Spirit telling her to call me. She asked several others. I don’t know what happened. Either they couldn’t or it fell through…but anyway…here she was on the other end of the line asking me would I please not grieve The HolySpirit and come to Helena. (See what I mean by guilt). I mean who is going to ignore the work of The Holy Spirit intentionally? I told her I’d think about it.
I have been impressed lately , by the Lord, of several things I need to work on in my life. One of these is realizing that others we come in contact with are not just random people. Every person I meet deserves a smile and a kind word from me…and if possible a word of encouragement. That’s what Jesus would do. I also need to always be ready to tell anyone, anytime about my God and what He means in my life. I have been very conscious of this lately and have attempted to do better. Now here the Lord drops a group of 60 ladies right in my lap…what am I to do? If I said I would try to do better…then I must try. That was my answer. So, I called her back. I told her I would be happy to do it. She was very happy…then told me the number was up to around 100! Oh! My!
“Quietly trust yourself to Christ the Lord, and if anyone asks why you believe as you do. be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way.” 1 Peter 3:15 TLB
I began writing on the topic How I Know Prayer Really Works. It wasn’t hard to write the text. It is the story of my life. But, I needed to back up everything I said with Scripture…and so this is where the work came in. I began searching The Word to find certain verses I remembered were somewhere in that big book…I could quote them fine…just not exact reference. I knew them, had lived them, believed them…couldn’t find them.
And, I’ll admit here to you, my friends. I have a big problem with procrastination. I have had ADD forever and it is extremely hard for me to stay focused on one task for very long. But, when it gets down to the wire…and a task must be finished…I can whip it out…correctly…in no time! Just the way God built me! So, two nights before the meeting I finally had the speech ready. THAT’s why i desperately needed that ink on the Saturday before I left…it was just then finished.
And, I’m here to tell you… Satan did not want me to give this speech. Immediately after I said yes, I began to feel inadequate. I am in no way good enough to stand in front of people and talk about Jesus. Who was I to think I could do this? I began having bad dreams. Dreams in which I was attempting do do a task and I would continually fail. This happened several nights.
Now, I say this to you as a matter of fact…not boastful. I learned a lot from my Mama. She could get in front of a group and sing or talk or do something silly, and she always did it with confidence. Not a shy bone in her body. I was pretty much the same. (Except the singing part) I never minded giving speeches in school. I could give reports of trips at church. I could talk in front of our groups at a moment’s notice. I just did not have fear of speaking in front of people. I even spoke at Mom’s funeral. I liked, as she did, being the leader, and the responsibility that goes along with a leader. God puts that trait into some people, just as He puts a more studious nature in some and a following spirit in some. One isn’t better than the other….it’s just the way God built us.
But, in this instance, I was getting very nervous. My sweet Alex said, “Mom you do that kind of stuff so well.” And, he listened as I told him the whole speech. BTW…she said 45 minutes!!!!!
I did not sleep well on Saturday night before leaving on Sunday. But, about 4 in the morning I awoke with the worst stomach cramps. And, just what you can imagine followed soon. I could not go to church. I could not leave the house. I couldn’t even leave the bathroom! And, Joy was picking me up to go around 2. This was not just a passing episode…I had some sort of virus. But it stopped finally and we left. We stopped and got a plain baked potato for supper. She was beginning to feel a few grumbling in her own belly area. We checked into the hotel and I pulled my papers out and began to study. But, I really needed sleep.
The next morning…the day of the meeting., Joy got up early to go and get her car serviced, as she had bought it in Bham. I ate a few plain cheese crackers and drank some tea…and studied. And, I prayed. I prayed for strength, for the virus to go away, and for a clear mind to remember my notes. I worked until she came back…then we walked around the Galleria for little while. They had put us up in the Wynfrey which is attached to the Galleria. But, neither of us felt much like shopping. We came back to the room and rested. Bless Joy’s heart, she even listened to my speech. Then we had to leave!
Both of us still had uneasy stomachs, and I tried to think maybe she was just feeling nervous for me and I was just feeling nervous for my own self. We drove up to the church. And, the virus hit her hard. She went in and found a bathroom. And, I didn’t see her for about 2 hours. I went and checked on her a few times. The last time I went, the bathroom was dark and quiet. I said “Joy, are you in here?” She said, “Yes…please turn the lights on I’ve been sitting in the dark and quietness for 30 minutes!
Fortunately she got better, she ate none and I ate very little of the food they had prepared. And, then we sang and prayed and my friend introduced me…and it was time!
I told them when I first stood up “Ladies, I’ve been trying to get here for 3 years…FINALLY, Susanna asked me!” And, I started my speech.And, I talked and tried to convey to these dear ladies how I know prayer works. By showing them how He worked in my life, and how much a part of that was prayer, I hoped to give glory to my Lord for His mercy and goodness. And, I think I did. I had very favorable comments, and many tears. They were all so gracious to us for coming and made us feel so welcome.
I was pleased with what we did…not alone, me and Jesus. As I told them, I’ve heard all through my life, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Friends that is a lie. There will be times that so much will come upon you, you will feel like breaking into. What you have to remember is that it’s not just you. If you are a Christian, you have strong, strong Helper who can match anything you face. His mighty strength matched up with our puny strength is an unbeatable combination. And, the most wonderful thing is…you can access it any time ¥ou want. For big problems or small. Doesn’t matter to Him.
“Then He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”
I felt small and I felt weak…for more than one reason. But, when He came along beside me, I knew I would do fine. Does that sound boastful? I hope not! Does it sound confident? I hope so! Because I am confident that God will always stand beside me in tough times…or just uneasy times. I’ve seen Him do it too many times and my testimony to you is that He will do it for you, too!
ADD TO SB…
So, Queen Bee of Green Springs Ave…former beauty queen…imitator of barnyard animals extraordinaire, dear, sweet friend, thanks for the invite. Thanks for finally giving me a chance to be a part of your ministry and I love you!
Friends, I have work to do today. Important work. I have been asked by a dear friend who used to live in Dothan, former beauty queen, and all that, to come to a church in Birmingham where she is on staff and talk to about 150 ladies at a dinner in their church. This takes place on Monday night and I had made plans to spend all day finishing up my talk….making notes….things like that.
Well, as I said, I intended to stay home all day. Now when I do that, I do not have any intention for the world to be looking at me or the way I am dressed. I get comfortable, ya know what I mean? So I had gotten comfortable and sat down at the computer, and waited to print out some notes. My printer just ‘PINGGED’ at me. I tried again. It PINGGED again. So I went over to speak to it directly and impress upon it the important work it had to do today to get me ready to leave tomorrow. We stood face to face, and then it handed me a note (on its screen)…**”You have no ink….none…not even a little bit. No black, no pink, yellow or blue. OUT OF INK!!!**
I knew the only thing to do is go and get some. Don tells me to go to ‘Wal Mart to get it…cheaper he says and he would surely know bout that. So, I put a little powder and lipstick on and run a brush through my hair and out the door I go.
I’ve found in the past few years that if I will just stop and make sure my brain is with me as I leave…along with my phone…I can avert some of my troubles. During this thinking time, sure enough, I remembered that I had no idea under the blazing sun what kind of ink to get. But I knew where to find out.
Now, I’m just not the best at keeping up with things…they tend to stray out of my eyesight and end up who knows where. They find a comfortable place and there they lay until I go on a rip and a tear and try to find them. Alex knows this. So he instituted a system that would help me and him when he was involved in trying to teach or show me something. He got one of those decorative boxes and told me it was sacred. I was never to throw it away. He said that I could not even move it. He put it down and it has stayed right there. All along he will put info in it, but I just leave it alone. The other day, I had to get it out and while he did something to my computer. I sorta flipped through it while he worked and noticed that the instruction manual to my printer was in there. So during my waiting and thinking time, I remembered where it was. I went back in the house and looked up the ink number and wrote it down. OOOOH, I am sooooo good!
Went in….all the way to the ink…took out my instruction manual, doubled checked that I was getting what the book said. And, went and paid 47. 98 for one box and 38.89 for the other. Wow! So happy, I drove home and called Alex to help me. Oh, these looks familiar….I’ve seen them before. We opened both big boxes…tore into those suckers, and then the 4 smaller pouches. And, I waited for him to make it work. He didn’t move. He just stared. He then said “I’m sorry, Mom. But do you remember when you got a new printer a few months ago? This is it. But, the book that you looked at and the ink you bought was for your old printer. The one you gave away. My mouth dropped open as I looked at the nearly 100 dollars worth of useless ink. And, the boxes torn to pieces….along with the manual. No wonder it all looked so familiar.
Don was still here, He heard. “You gotta take it back and get your money back.” I replied that they did not have to give me anything…it was all my fault. But I did still need my printer, so trip # 2 was on. I got into the car, and remembered to stop and think. I was going for ink. Ink for what? My 4 month old new printer. And, what kind is it? Don’t know…better go and find out. It is a HP Office jet 5470. I wrote it down. And drive back to Wal Mart.
I went to the returns and told the lady I bought the wrong ones and she gave me my money back,,, “Thank you,Jesus”. Then back to area with the ink. This time I was going to have their competent staff give me a little assist. One lady was busy, so she started calling, “Don! Don!” I was so hoping it wasn’t my Don….And it wasn’t. This guy was about 60 with the loveliest salt and pepper ponytail halfway down his back! “Don, I need some ink. I wrote it down so you can see what I need. He took the paper and went over to a huge flip chart that must contain every known printer and what ink they need. He followed a line with his finger. “This way”, he said. And soon he handed me a box containing the black and the colors. ” Oh! let me double check on that price…seems a little high. Nope it’s right 95. oo! ” I thank Don and head back out the door and soon drive up my driveway.
I took the ink to Alex…”Ah, he said…right brand! YEA! But, what are these numbers? Hmmm…I’m not sure. “Don’t worry”, I said “Don looked it up and he said this is just what I need.” I opened the box and pull out the 2 cartridges…threw away the trash. Took that big box and cut a big hole right in the middle of it at the place it said 96 and 97. Now I can put this in my purse and won’t have to go through this mess again. Alex stopped working. He looked inside again and tried the cartridges, but the printer sent him a message, too. **“Take these cartridges out of me…they are wrong.”** And, I sat down and waited. I knew there was news to tell. “Mom, you wrote on your paper an HP OfficeJet printer 5470. That is exactly right. But the ink you bought was for a HP Desk Jet printer. And it will not work. I’m so sorry. Mama, don’t cry. Are you ok? This is not your fault.
Well, I knew what was coming next. I was going back to WalMart…and give them this raggedy old box that I had destroyed with scissors. I stuffed the cartridges back into their cellophane. Taped the cardboard back into a semblance of a box. Put it in a bag and left. I did not stop and think. I didn’t really think there was anymore that I needed to think about. I had dragged all over my side of town looking like a ‘I don’t know what’ and I was bringing back ink for the third time! “Dear Jesus,Please find me a place to park close up because I am running out of steam!”
I went in and put the plastic bag with the destroyed box down in my purse. I just could not go stand in front of that lady in Customer Service one more time. So, I went straight back to the ink dept. AGAIN. And, I asked the dear Lord to please send me some grace and mercy and I needed it quick! I spotted a man. Behind a cash register. He was in a tie and vest and look a little more professional than Don…even though Don was a nice guy. And, he looked up at me.
“How are you today, Sir.”
Well, I’m tired.
I won’t take up but just a minute of your time, but I’ve been to your lovely store already 3 times today trying to get ink for my printer. Twice I have gone back to my home with the wrong ink. Please fix this for me.
Do you have the box and the receipt?
Yes sir, right here.
You know you are supposed to take this up front, Ma’am.
I know, Henry (his tag said), but I’m tired, too. In fact I’m about to blow a gasket if I can’t get the right ink. And, you just look like a professional who would know how to find my ink!
Well, Ma’am, it looks as if someone cut a mighty hole in the middle of this box.
Yes, Henry, I did that. See how those numbers are right together there…96 and 97. I was cutting them out to put in my purse so I would never get the wrong ink again.
He kept turning the box over in his hands. You cut it pretty good.
Thank you. Oh and the cartridges inside are all opened too., I’m sorry to say. But the gentleman that helped me before read my note and this is what he gave me. I gave the note to him. He compared it to the box.
Well, this is not the same.
Well, that’s what I noticed when the cartridges would not fit….but I was quite excited for a minute there.
I can see. Stay here. I did.
He came back with another box. All the words matched the words on my note…and the number was 62.
Ma’am, this is the ink that matches what your note says….this (other box) is just garbage now.
Yessir…95 dollars worth of garbage. I just think maybe Don misread it or something.
Let me ring this up for you Ma’am and give you your money back.
Oh, I get money back?
Yes, this ink is only 34. 95.
He was already punching buttons.
Does ink expire, Henry?
No Ma’am, I really don’t think it would.
Well, then I’d like two boxes please, so I don’t have to do this again for a while.
He looked at me over the top of his glasses.
If I go get another box, I’m gonna mess up all this I just done.
Well, please, don’t stop. I can just get another box and pay up front as I leave.
Mr. Henry, sir, I thank you for your patience . You have been most kind.
Ma’am, Kindness works better when it’s both ways.
He smiled and I shook his hand.
Not to many people come in with a smile. Most are so rushed and busy. Most people who have been here already three times would not be kind to work with at all.
Well, I tell you, Henry, the more I thought about all this, the funnier it got. God has a lesson in it for me somewhere, I’m sure.
Have a nice day, Ma’am.
Thank you sir.
I walked to my car, with my bag in my hand and my hair looking for all the world like it was trying to boogie down to some good ole Prince music.
Alex put the ink in, it worked perfectly. It even sent a little message saying the** ink transfer is completed successfully.**