Tag Archives: hobbies

Smashed

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Today I opened an email from Michael’s and it read “Smash Journals are Here!” This piqued my curiosity because I love papery things, lol. So I googled the term and this is what I found:

*Images via Google

They are basically scrapbooks that you “smash” mementos in. It comes with a handy pen that has a glue stick on the other end of it. With this tool, you can simply smash and go. The journals often contain large pockets for storage. The pages contain quotes or oer illustrations. Any takers? I plan to go check them out over the weekend–as if I need another scrapebook, lol

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As you can see, I bought one!

Simple Pleasures Saturday

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I started scrapbooking about two years ago.  Really, it was a natural choice because I am creative and crafty.  I also love making things pretty.  I have dabbled with it my whole life in more rudimentary forms.  Of course, I was all for baby and toddler books and completed them with glee.  

The first “real” scrapbook I made was for my MIL.  After that, I was pretty much hooked.  I love shopping at Micheal’s and Hobby Lobby for paper and embellishments.  I try to be original and fresh with each layout.  The sky is really the limit here.  Sometimes I even impress myself with the ideas I come up with!

While scrapping can be expensive, it doesn’t always have to be.  I have made books before using things I already had at home–“found art” is what it’s called.

Scrapping relaxes me.  I can grab my supplies, put on my Ipod, and the hours quickly pass by.  Each layout that I create is special to me.  I love showing the finished results to friends, family, and students.

If our house was large enough, I would devote a room soley for my hobby.  It is easy to accumulate scrapping materials.  And if I had a room, I bet I would find more time to do it.  I wouldn’t have to worry about lugging boxes and bags out–I could just go in my designated room and scrap away.

At the present time I am working on several, one for my mother, the class of 2007 (my favorite group of students), our trip to The Dells, and a football themed one for Nicholas.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time to devote to this simple pleasure.  But that is what makes it even more enticing to me.

Mission at Midnight

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Let the games begin!

Let the games begin!

 

 

Last night I went to a bed a lot later than normal.  We had a mission to complete.  At ten minutes to midnight we stood in line at a Toys R Us store on the other side of town for the Clones Wars Midnight Madness. 

 

I thought we would be the only ones in line, but of course, the line was wrapped around the building.  I forgot what a cult following Stars Wars has.  The only time I’ve stood in line for something was for Prince tickets. 

 

Clone Pilots stood at various posts to distribute posters and other Star Wars keepsakes to the loyal customers.  When they finally opened the doors we were greeted by Clone Troopers and Plo Koon.  Ever the faithful Star Wars fan, Nicholas shouted “For the Empire!” as we entered the store and was met with peals of laughter.  His excitement was palpable.

 

I was shocked to see how wild people went to get their hands on the latest Lego Star Wars sets.  Adults were loading their carts full of merchandise.  However, Nicholas had his sights set on one item, the Republic Attack Gunship.  My husband helped him navigate the sea of mayhem to get the desired set while I stood back and took pictures.  Five minutes and $140.19 dollars later, he walked out with his prized possession.  His smile lit up the night.

 

Nicholas slept with the box next to him.  I know it is an experience that he won’t ever forget.  Maybe he will tell his own children about it someday when they encounter this rite of passage.  Mission Accomplished!

 

The Wastelands

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Kids are not what they used to be.  This can be attributed in part to the boom of technology.  When you factor in numerous complex gaming systems, cell phones and text messaging, IM, MySpace, Face Book, chat rooms, Second Life, and IPods just to name a few, how could they?

 

When I was growing up we didn’t have anything competing for our attention other than the Nintendo.  However, I rarely played considering that we did not have one.  And it didn’t bother me.  I’d have much rather have been playing outside with the kids from the neighborhood enjoying the numerous games we created or reading a book.  The Nintendo just didn’t hold my attention or affection for very long.

 

I am not against owning a game system because we do in fact have a Play Station II.  From time to time (maybe twice a year if that) I will sit with them a play for thirty minutes or so.  However, I am totally against them playing for hours at a time.  Used to my style of authoritative parenting, Nicholas has no problem with this.  He is a diverse child with various interests and is comfortable doing many things.  My stepsons on the other hand…

 

Ethan is simply consumed by the Play Station.  That’s all he wants to do.  If you don’t allow him to play for hours at a time, then he is instantly bored.  He has two things that he really enjoys doing.  Watching television is second and I’m sure you can guess the first.  It’s almost like he is in a trance when playing.  I believe it is his attempt to not deal with reality.  When immersed in the game he doesn’t recall that his mom is serving time in prison for murder.  He doesn’t think about his new living arrangements or the new rules that he must abide by.

 

I have tried to provide other things for him to do in lieu of playing the PSII but most of the time he is just not interested.  He really doesn’t give anything a chance.  Or if he does do something else for a while, immediately afterwards he is ready to jump back on the game.  Even when it is someone else’s turn to play, sits there and watches and offers commentary.  Really, it’s very disturbing to my senses! 

 

My husband pretty much shares my sentiment but I have to say that he is more relaxed about it.  He tends to give in when he sees Ethan sitting around tweedling his thumbs because he has nothing to do.  During these times I have to remind my husband that he CHOOSES not to do anything.  I also point out the many other things that he could be doing.  Then I inform my husband that he if his passion is games, that we have over twenty board games in the family room closet.  Faced with this logic, my husband usually concurs.  Necessity is said to be the mother of invention and if this is true, Boredom must be its father.

 

At Eliza’s house they were allowed to play with unbridled abandon.  There were no rules surrounding the game and had 24-hour access to it.  They had a choice of playing any kind of games, even the ones rated M for Mature (blood, gore, and excessive violence).  My husband even confirmed this.  Not to mention, Ethan has told me many times that they could play “at home” whenever and how ever long they wanted.  He incorrectly assumed that if it was okay with Eliza, then it should be okay with us.

 

When Eliza initially went to prison to entice them to visit her, she would tell them that they had a Play Station II in the visiting area.  This instantly intrigued them.  Most of the conversations she had with them pertained to some aspect of electronic games.  She asked them if they had got to play the system that particular day, what new games they wanted, and how she was going to get them the latest game system when she came home.  That was the topic for 95% of their conversations with her.

 

When I explained to her that we were trying to get them to develop interests outside of this venue, she immediately got defensive.  She claimed that she did not encourage them to play the PSII and actually did not allow them to play on school nights.  I remained silent because I knew that she was not telling the truth.  I knew that she used the PSII as a babysitter when she was too busy doing other things. 

 

I have to admit that it does take a lot of energy, time, and creativity to keep him away from the flame.  And sometimes it is easier just to give in.  But I won’t and am willing to risk being the bad guy to do so.  I just refuse to let him or Evan spend their fleeting youth dwelling in the wastelands.

 

I can say that Evan isn’t AS obsessed with the playing part.  Sometimes he is content to sit and watch Ethan play.  I think this stems from that fact that being the youngest he often had to wait to play at the mercy of his older brothers.  They hogged the game and rarely allowed him to do so.

 

I allow the kids to play on the system for one hour a day, every other day.  That is reasonable to me.  I wouldn’t allow them to do any one thing ALL day long, so I don’t see why the PSII should be the exception.