Smith Kids MSU Tailgate

Smith Kids MSU Tailgate
Dominica, Veronica, Rebel and Miranda

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Random Acts of Creativity

The past forty eight hours have been pretty random, fun, but also random. Today’s post will follow suit.  It will jump around taking you to all our happenings this weekend. So buckle up and hold on, it is sure to be a bumpy ride!   First of all, the inaugural Fun Friday Fart Fest was as you can imagine a bit stinky.  While not quite as successful as the Wild Wacky Wednesday Workout, it was still a big hit.  The kids found it hysterical that they didn’t have to use their manners at the table for a night and that they were in fact being encouraged to fart and burp.  At first, they were confused and a bit timid. We have been trying to fine tune our manners lately so the event went against all of the rules, we have been instilling in them at recent meals. I think they were scared that we were somehow trying to trap them or teach them a lesson.  But once they caught on, they were ripping them and belching them with the best of us.  The team of Kara and Jeff were officially crowned as the champions.  However, with this contest everyone truly was a winner. Kim Lowe you should’ve stopped by, it would have made you smile!
I have the best in-laws in the world.  I am certain of it.  They are wonderful with our kids, so fun to be with and they are so thoughtful and helpful to me.  Without them I would probably be locked up in the nuthouse--for real. I mean we have already established I am crazy so I am just a short step away from the crazy house. The reason I mention the in-laws is because without them much of this weekend would have been impossible.  Without them much of this post would look differently.  
Saturday morning was the monthly Crockery Township Pancake Breakfast and I wanted to run there to earn my breakfast. My goal was simple. I wanted to start a tradition because I ran there last month.  How many times do you actually have to do something to start a tradition, anyways?  Is two enough? Or do I have to get a third in before I can declare it a tradition?  I don’t know the technical answer to that, but in my book, I now have a tradition that requires me to risk life and limb running down M-104 to eat pancakes that are probably made from nothing more than a cheap mix. This tradition is probably not very logical, but it was important to me for some unknown reason.  Anyways to continue with the story, Jeff had plans to go ice fishing (since he can’t watch TV this hobby seems to be filling the void that was left when the TV went black) so that is where Grandma and Grandpa came in. They took all three kids to the breakfast so that I could run there, eat with them and then hitch a ride back home with them.  Oh and when I finally arrived at the breakfast, about ten minutes slower than I thought I would be, I discovered they had also paid for my breakfast!  See what I mean. They really are the best in-laws ever! It just came to me.  I figured it out!  The reason the tradition is so important to me is because running there makes the pancakes somehow taste so AMAZING.  In my head, I know they are at best just average, everyday, cheap pancakes made from a box. I mean, it is a fundraiser for the township after all so they have not splurged on anything really special or expensive.  But in my mouth after having run 3.5 miles in the snow and cold, WOW, they tasted like the most exquisite, incredible pancakes ever and the coffee was SO GOOD too.  They were truly incredible so kudos to the chefs at the Crockery Township Pancake Breakfast—your hot cakes ROCKED! 
At Mird’s suggestion, we built a farm and garage fortress of sorts out of some old boxes I found in the basement.  It all went down Sunday after breakfast.  Our masterpiece consists of a diaper box barn, a leftover shoe box that has, at AJ’s suggestion, been converted into a garage/barn duplex (which I am pretty sure is going to become a new trend in modern farming) and an old helmet box that has been retrofitted into a parking garage for AJ’s numerous cars, tractors and his most-prized cement mixer truck (it is his favorite because Uncle Ivar drives one!).  The transformation really was pretty impressive.  With just a few average, boring old boxes, we built an impressive little empire.  The coolest part (no pun intended) is the icicle garden that was added as a finishing touch to the outside of Aven’s barn/garage creation.  The icicle garden was his own idea too which made it all the cooler!  He is so creative and imaginative. And he is like an elephant, he never forgets anything.  AJ had not seen, nor heard, of an icicle garden other than on our inaugural voyage to our famous icicle garden on the backside of our poorly insulated home.  That was well over a week ago now, but yet, somehow, he knew that his garage/barn would not be complete without an icicle garden of its own.  That really is pretty amazing stuff. Well, My son and I worked together in perfect unison to complete the shoe box conversion before my 4-year decided to join us for the fun.
Well, we hit a little bump, okay it was probably more like a big ass pothole, in the otherwise smooth road of our construction project.  Kara was not happy with the box that was left for her to use. My attempts to help her work with the box to solve its many imperfections, or to search for a different box that would be more suitable for the project, failed miserably.  I sensed that we were heading toward a terrible tantrum.  The onset of a meltdown seemed inevitable and while I saw it coming, at least a mile away, I was paralyzed to change anything to stop its development.  It was frustrating to say the least.  And sure enough my four year old threw a nasty one.  Why is it that meltdowns by four year olds are so much more pathetic than those from 2 year olds?  I think we just expect more from our 4 year olds so when they suddenly morph into a crazy fit throwing blob of a child, we are more embarrassed for them and more disappointed in them than with a 2 year old when tantrums are part of everyday life.  It sucked. 
I was finally able to calm her by leaving her alone in her room to adjust her attitude in the form of a much needed time out.  She finally did come around and then we returned to our construction frenzy.  The fortress ended up pretty awesome.  I have pictures, but I still need to figure out how to put them on the blog...
After that we took a trip.  Well at least Kara, AJ and I took a trip. Hazel and daddy snuggled inside our cozy house under warm blankets. It was a glorious, tantalizing, global trip in our very own backyard.  It was so amusing.  I persuaded the kids to go with me to complete our chores.  Once we were outside, I announced that we were heading out on a train ride adventure.  I don’t know where that crazy idea came from.  It was like my mouth was talking without consulting my brain.  It was a totally spur of the moment, not well thought out, announcement. While they had no idea what I was talking about, and at the time neither did I, with a quick slightly panic laden brainstorm session, I was able to provide a quick explanation of my intended adventure.  The kids caught on quickly. We were going on a train trip of sorts. Soon, Kara was assigned the role of Conductor, AJ was the passenger, and I, the Caboose.  I had explained that all the tracks left from the snow plow were the train tracks so the only rule was we had to stick to the tracks so our precious feet wouldn’t get wet and cold.  We sang “Little Red Caboose” and made train noises as we moved.  I announced that the first stop was Chicken Coop De Ville.  Clever I know.  We stopped at the first stop and fed and watered our small flock of misfit chickens—they are the leftovers from the shelter I used to manage.  Then Kara led us to the shed that is home to our outdoor kitty (yes she is spayed and up-to-date on her shots). She is just a free spirit and prefers to live outside. This stop was quickly named, “Cat”mandu!  Kitty was fed and petted and then we were off like a shot to Mount McKinley, a large mound of snow that had been piled up by the snow plow.  We reached the summit in record time.  The view was breathtaking.  we could see all of the neighborhood from atop Mt. Mckinley and it was so very pretty.  The next part was the most amazing part of the trip. Up until now, I had been making up all the stuff and leading the way.  I was in charge, but Kara stepped up and said no we aren’t ready for icicle picking yet we have to go to “Car”amazoo (she made it up herself)!  She led the train as far as I would let her go toward the road and we stood there and watched the car parade, the traffic on our road. We waved at everyone as if it really were a genuine, bonafide, big city, street parade.  We watched for a few moments completely mesmerized by the incredible parade.  Then we made a goal to get three people to wave back at us and then we would head to our final destination, The Icicle Gardens.  It didn’t take long as people driving by quickly noticed the three of us jumping and waving in total excitement.  They probably thought we were crazy too. Kara loved the waving the most and AJ loved watching the car parade.  It was quite incredible to let them lead the way for a change.  We made what is becoming a daily stop at the icicle garden and for a change today everyone made quick choices since they had freezing cold feet. We headed inside to drink our cocoa, enjoy our icicles and play with our newly created fortress.  We will definitely be taking some more train trips in the near future and now I know the kids can handle being the ones in charge of creating the adventure, I can let my overactive imagination take a little much needed rest from time to time!
Well now I suppose I should relate this all back to the NO TV 2011 theme somehow.  That really is the point of this whole blog.  Basically, this weekend I was not even tempted to turn the tube on.  It is getting easier for me each day.  This experience is allowing me to tap into my creative side that has sat dormant for many years now so it is a welcomed change to an otherwise uncreative life that I have led.  I have not heard from any of my siblings this weekend so I hope that they are still participating.  I feel like I have monopolized the blog lately so I hope to hear from them soon and hope that they are still enjoying their TV free lives.
V~ Out    

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