Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homegrown for the Holidays Pt. 1

O.k. so, before I get to my main point, let me quickly mention this....The Leo Family Coat Drive....with Gavin in "Kindergarten", thus officially labeling us a "Homeschooling" family...we thought that an annual holiday service project would be right for our family. We decided to hold a Coat Drive...which basically amounted to us sticking fliers in our neighbor's mailboxes asking for them to donate used coats that we would, in turn, donate, to those in need in our area. Well...last Saturday, we went around and collected the coats...then Chrissy and the kids spent the last couple days using this outreach as a teaching tool.....ethics, Bible, math, graphing....Go HomeSchool!!

Graphing the number and type of coat we received.

Our Big Score!! We're starting our own's called OccupyYellowCoat. So far we have to people onboard but willing to recruit more :^). It was a nice experience for the kids...We are going to try to do some sort of service project every holiday season.

Now...on to the meat of this post.

Christmas....such a wonderful time for many...such a stressful time for many more. Our family has definitely had our fair share of both. In years past, we have definitely over-spent on presents for our kids....just heaping junk on top of junk that ends up being meaningless. A few years ago...Chrissy and I came to a decision...
Let's slow it down....let's buy just a few things for the kids, and let's commit to making one thing for each of them ourselves. Past home-made gifts have included painting/cooking aprons, musical instruments, a toy wooden musket. This year, our home-made toy wasn't a "from scratch" product as much as it was a refurbished piece that my folks had grabbed from a yard sale:

An old-school puppet theatre.

My mom and dad had found this thing at a yard sale a few years ago for like 5 bucks. It's definitely home-made. And whoever fabricated this thing spent some time on it. It's very well made, with lots of little structural considerations that tell me that whoever designed/built this thing knew what they were doing and decided to take some extra steps to make it right. Notched shelving, rounded corners, proper bracing....this thing was built to last.
When we got it...our kids were much too young to be able to fully enjoy it so we stashed it in the back of our garage and kept it out of sight. Gavin and Ivy are getting older and play so well just seemed right that this was the year to put some work into this thing and bring it back to's where I am so far:

After: cleaned, sanded, primed, and ready for new paint:

Not quite sure what kind of paint job I'm going to put on this thing....perhaps some country-cool scene a la Lancaster County, PA with rolling hills and farmland...or perhaps some sort of sun/moon day/night mural...I'll have to wait until inspiration strikes. Chrissy plans to sew up some new curtains based on whatever theme I end up going with...I guess I'd better lock it down soon and get painting....

More to come.

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