Saturday, September 27, 2014

Creeper Pumpkin

Last year's Minecraft Pumpkin was a huge hit. I had trick-or-treaters make their picture with it. Never have I had a carved pumpkin get that kind of attention. This encouraged me to do something similar this year, which logically can mean only one thing - CREEPER HEAD!


My process was similar to last year. This time I got a 14 inch square box (last year was 12), the paint grid was a much more merciful 8x8 formation, and it required a minimum of 7 colors. I say minimum because I could have done more, but I decided not to go completely crazy. Also unlike last year's, each side had a different pattern to it, so I ended up mapping out 5 different grids.
Here is the rundown
1. Find a pattern. I used this head for a papercraft on fps-x-games

2. Pick your paint. I went with 5 greens and 2 grays from Apple Barrel for the very important reason of that is what Walmart had, which saved me a trip across town to a craft store. I numbered them light to dark. I think the color names will give you a pretty good idea.
       1. Pale Green     2. Crisp Green    3. Palm Leaf    4. Kelly Green    5. English Ivy
          6. Granite Gray    7. Pewter Grey  (yup, they spelled it 2 different ways and yes it bugged me)

3. Plot it out. I'm going to post these small for space purposes, but you can click on each image to see it in detail. I raised the face up by one line so that the mouth wouldn't be at the very bottom.

 




4. Decided what side your face goes on. Pay attention to the way you fold the top. Then draw out the grid.

5. Cut the face out

6. Paint and paint and paint and then paint. But seriously, because of the bigger squares, this one was MUCH faster than the pumpkin one from last year.

7. Glue your top and bottom closed.

Remember not to use a real candle in these (cardboard tends to react badly to fire) I'm thinking of trying green glowsticks this year.
Our cat really likes them. The eye holes on the creeper are just the right height for her to stick her head in it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Wrong Time to be Batman

I know what you are thinking. How can there be a wrong time to be Batman? This is an analogy, so just go with it.

I've read a few articles this summer on modesty in churches, and I have come to an illustration that I hope will better explain it to both sides.
You get a birthday party invitation. It is dated October 30th, the day before Halloween. You've hung out with these friends before at other events, and you know that they go big for Halloween. They are a fun loving group, and so naturally you assume that a party on the 30th means it is a costume party. The perfect time to wear that awesome Batman costume you bought on clearance last year, and have been dying to show off. The day of the party comes, you go all out to look extra cool, you get to the party, and it is not a costume party. In fact, everyone is dressed in the exact opposite of costumes. You couldn't stand out more if you tried. It is too late to sneak out, you have been seen. You'll just have to own it.
Here is what I take from looking at it this way.

  • I would remember nothing from that night beyond it being the night I was Batman when I really shouldn't have been. Most of the people there would only remember that someone showed up dressed as Batman.
  • I would be really embarrassed knowing I was that sort of distraction from my friend's celebration.
  • I do not need someone coming up to me to tell me that this wasn't a costume party. I noticed. I'm ashamed without it being pointed to openly. 
  • I do need a few friendly faces who don't treat me like a total idiot, and talk to me in spite of how I look. 
  • I am not going to get mad at the people who look at me sideways. They are trying to figure out if I am mentally stable. After all, I am kind of a sight. Sure it makes me uncomfortable, and yes people should try not to wear their shock on their face, but being uncomfortable is not always a bad thing. It teaches us not to be Batman when it isn't appropriate. 
  • I will not let this happen again. I will make sure to ask and double check before I show up as Batman again. This one is key. If I continue to show up to events dressed as Batman, people are not going to take me seriously. Great Aunt Sophie dies, and I am Batman. A wedding comes along, and Batman. Job interview? Batman. No. 
Is it your friend's fault for the party not being a costume party? No. Should they have forced everyone to go home and change into a costume to make you feel better? No. Should your friend kick you out for wearing a costume? No.
There are two things I hope people take away from this. First, always check to see what is considered appropriate dress for things you don't regularly attend. Second, don't comment on what people are wearing unless it is to compliment them. It is rude. In fact, I'm pretty sure it is ruder than showing up to church dressed as Batman. Neither are socially acceptable. Really this advice applies outside of just church. It is a lesson for life. We need to stop focusing on if we look attractive, and focus more on if we look appropriate, because like it or not we live in a civilized society that has rules for such things. If that is too much for you, I can recommend a nice nudist camp nearby where no one is judged on their clothes. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Selfie Centered

This post is not directed at you. If it applies to you, that is not my fault.
There has been a lot of talk about kids these days and their selfies (pictures you take of yourself using your phone). Teenagers seem to spend a lot of time trying to take the perfect picture of themselves. Even obsessing over it at times. My adorable daughter fails at this miserably. I wish I could post proof, but I love her, and wouldn't do that. She has given up. Other people can take pictures of her, but she will not try to take a picture of herself. It comes out weird. Funny weird. JD went to make one not knowing the flash was on and the result was so funny that he made it his wallpaper. He probably wouldn't care if I showed you, but one day he might not be 10, and that should not come up on google when he is applying for jobs in the future. Any way, as usual, my kids are not the norm.
I was recently talking with some friends about this and one woman pointed out that it isn't just the teens. My generation has gotten a bit heavy handed with the selfies as well. She mentioned that one of her friends had recently posted one captioned with something indicating that she almost never posted pictures of herself, but this same person had multiple pictures already posted. It actually wasn't unusual at all for her. That is when the fear set in. What if we are selfie obsessed and don't know it! We instantly went to our own Facebook profiles and started counting. I was a little worried. My profile picture is a selfie, and I know I took one when I got my flu shot, maybe the last time I got my hair done. Counting ones others have made of me and I have posted, I'm averaging around 2 pictures that I am in per month. For comparison we looked up the profile of the woman who sparked the debate. She had 50... in a couple of months. I'm not sure what the cap would be for a healthy level of self pictures, but I'm pretty sure that almost 1 a day is not good.
I kind of like the idea of doing occasional self wellness checks on our profiles. Are we posting too many pictures of ourselves and pretending that we don't? Do we tend to share unverified links, the modern version of "forward to all"? Are you posting publicly thing that you don't want to come up under a google search of your name? That one goes double if you are a teacher. It may not be fair, but us nosy parents look. Are you abusing the ability to send game requests? Are you posting enough videos of cute animals? Okay, that last one is a trick. There are never enough cute animal videos. That is what makes the internet work.
Now that I've said that, I should probably go check myself.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Are you a bad driver?

Surveys show that most people are confidant drivers who feel like they do a good job of driving. They also feel that most other drivers are crazy. Someone has to be wrong here. Yesterday I saw one of the wrong people, and I thought their example might could help others figure out if they too are a bad driver. 
Rocky and I were on a walk in the neighborhood. As we got close to our house we saw a car whip around the corner with barely a pause at the stop sign. They then swerved and honked at a car they almost hit. The "idiot driver" they had to honk their horn at was actually a parked car with no one in it. It was pulled to the side, in the proper direction, and well within the law. 
Here is my helpful tip: If you find yourself honking at legally parked cars, you are in fact, a bad driver. It isn't them. It's you. Consider enrolling in driving school. Maybe taking a yoga class to calm you down a bit. Oh, and even if you are a good driver, please slow down in neighborhoods. Kids are out, people are walking, cars are parked, just be extra careful. 
On a side note, on this walk we also saw a wild rabbit that kept sneezing. It was one of the most adorable things I've ever seen. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Why does this annoy me?

I can not believe I am writing an actual blog post about this, but it is really bugging me, and I'm kind of hoping I have at least one friend as crazy as me that is also annoyed.
I was in Kroger today looking at the canned biscuits to use to make mini pizzas because sometimes I can be a fun mom. It has been bothering me that over the past few years Pillsbury seemed to be phasing out their normal sized whop biscuits (you "whop" them on the counter to open them, I didn't make that up, people really call them that). Everything was now the "grand" sized because what good is a biscuit unless it is the size of your toddler's head, right? Then I saw this:
Normal, regular sized biscuits are now "junior"? Why? The name is an oxymoron! Are we suppose to be excited they they now have miniature versions of their gigantic version? We have taken  1+1 and made 2, but now you can get half of 2 also. That is still 1! It isn't new. 
THEY VANITY SIZED BISCUITS!!! 
It is fine to eat a giant biscuit as long as you aren't pretending that it is a normal single serving biscuit. The smaller size is a normal biscuit. 
It is stupid things like this that make America fat. 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Jack and the Pie

Something cool happened tonight, but to explain it I have to start last week. Our church has an Awana program for the kids on Wednesday night (it's a church thing, learn bible verse, have fun, etc.). Our two oldest age groups were in a friendly competition to raise money for missions. The leaders of the losing side would get a whipped cream pie to the face. The problem was that two of the sweetest most Disney princess ladies were the leaders on the losing side. Even the winners were not too excited, especially the daughter of Miss Tina (one of the two). She was almost in tears.
In our Sunday School class this week, Tina told us she was nervous about it and was still holding out hope that a night in shining armor (meaning her husband) would swoop in and take her place. I was telling the kids this over lunch after church and we mentioned that often Miss Tina's husband doesn't get home from work in time on Wednesday nights to be able to save her. Right then I noticed a gleam in Jack's eye. We could tell he was giving it a lot of thought. He started to ask, "Do you think I should ...?", but didn't get the whole thought out. I smiled and told him if he wanted to step in and be the knight in shining armor, I'd bring him a change of clothes. He wanted to think about it.
This morning I sent an email to our youth minister Nick that started out "One day I'll send you a normal email, but today is not that day." I went on to explain that if Jack volunteered it was not a joke or impulsive. It was fine by me, if it was fine with him. He replied that he had also decided not to let the ladies get hit and Jack could join him in saving them. He actually spun it into a sweet message about Christ's sacrifice for us.
So, here it is. Jack getting a pie in the face to save a lady.



...and maybe a tiny bit to impress a girl.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Egg Hunt Husbands


I had to write a post bragging about something unusual that happened at my church. We had an Easter Egg hunt this past weekend at a member's beautiful farm, which is not the strange part. The strange part was the number of men who showed up to watch their kids pick up plastic eggs. Several were even there in spite of the fact that their wives weren't. Two of the moms I asked about were out of town for different mini vacations. I can not tell you the number of kid things I have been to where there were 100 moms and 4 dads. I don't think I have ever seen the dads outnumber the moms, especially at a church event that was preschool heavy. Both our senior pastor and music minister where there, even though neither of them have young kids, and neither of them were leading the devotional or prayer time.They just showed up to help. Speaking of helping, there were rather large bounce houses that needed to be taken down. It was going to require several men to make it happen. The children's minister asked if a few would stay to help with clean up, and they did, a lot of them. The following is a picture of a few of them as they tried to get the rest of the air out after folding the largest one.


 Keep in mind that this is just a few of the dads who stayed to help. That is at least ten guys just in this picture who volunteered to stay late after a kid's church event. If this doesn't amaze you then clearly you have never served on a church preschool committee.
Far too often men stay home giving the impression that church is just for women and children. I am so proud of our guys and the love they show to their families, both in their home and in their church family.