Wednesday, January 23, 2013


In my last post, I told you that we were back and that we had set our sights on a new country. Now, you get to see which one. In case the title didn't give it away, we are taking a virtual tour of France. 

A while ago, I had seen this really cute project on Pinterest that I was really wanting to make with my littles. 

*** This is not my photo. I found it on Pinterest, pinned from Craft ***
However, as soon as I told them that France was our next country, Aiden eagerly jumped up and down saying, "Can we build an Eiffel Tower with popsicle sticks?" Since this whole adventure is geared toward giving them experiences that they enjoy, I love when they have ideas of ways to do that. So the sugar wafers will not be brought to our house this time around, instead, we are using some serious hard core building materials. ;) 

I forgot what it's like to have Preston around for our craft projects, and as I mentioned in my last post, he is going to college and his hours are such that he is home a lot more right now. So, I asked him, "What kind of glue do you think would be best for this?" If you know my husband, you know this is a silly question. He immediately starts riffling through his glue supply: super glue, Gorilla Glue, etc. I laughed and reminded him that our littles would be using the glue at the same table that we eat at and he put his glue away.  After settling on the "right" glue (tacky glue), we sat down with our materials and a photo of the Eiffel Tower. 

Next up was cutting some of the popsicle sticks. I asked Preston to cut them. He started looking for .... wait for it.... a saw! (Are you seeing a pattern here?) I told him that probably my pruning shears from my gardening box would suffice for cutting popsicle sticks. 

Aiden started sorting the popsicle sticks (aka craft sticks) into piles of "straight" and "not straight". So that we would be sure to only use ones that were straight. 

Believe it or not, constructing The Eiffel Tower with popsicle sticks was harder than we had imagined. We played around the sticks before coming to the conclusion that we needed to create four sides, then attach them to each other. We made sure that we measured them so when we put the four sides together they would line up correctly. 

After the glue was dry on our four sides, it was time to put them together. My little El loves to glue, so this was her job. 

Putting it together took the grown ups though. The littles couldn't quite get that part. 

After it was standing, Eliana added glue to the edges. 

The picture below is actually before the glue went on, but I wanted to put this here to share with you that we were planning to leave it like this, but once we saw it standing up, it looked like it was missing the very top part. 

After brainstorming some ideas, Aiden and Eliana glued 8 popsicle sticks together and we slid them into the gap at the top.

We might end up painting this black for authenticity, but we haven't decided yet. 

What structures have you created with popsicle sticks? Have you built bridges like these fun ones that I found on Pinterest a couple of days ago? Or do you stick to making popsicles with them? 

Of course, I'm also dying to know if your significant other always goes for the "big guns" (or do you?) when tackling a project, or is it just my hubby who goes a bit overboard in this department? 

(For fun facts about The Eiffel Tower, we visited this site, and of course, we checked out what Wikipedia had to offer for information as well.)

***Don't forget, the highlighted blue words are links :) ***

Monday, January 7, 2013

We're Back!

Some of you may have noticed that I have been MIA from the blogosphere since October. As I mentioned in my last post, I found myself too busy to keep up with everything. I have been wanting to come here and update you all about what has been going on, but I keep hearing my friend Andrea's words, "You will never be able to have a blog that is ONLY about your world studies." As much as I hate to admit it, I think she may have been right. We were so busy with other bits of our life that we had to hit the pause button on our world "travels", thus leaving me without any blogging content.  

I could have told you about how Eliana and I participated in a flash mob, or about how I am now working full time outside of the home and Preston is about to become a full time college student after spending too many years in a profession that he didn't love.

I could tell you that my littles have started swimming lessons and they are doing SO fabulously well that we are dreaming of their future with a local swim team. BUT, I didn't share that with you because it was irrelevant. 

That's my Eliana, swimming underwater. 

To add to all of that, the truth is, my littles were not enjoying learning about other countries any more. I tried and tried to figure out why since even though the idea was born out of MY love for travel, THEY ignited the fire with their eagerness to "do this thing". Ultimately, I figured out what went wrong. When we first started our "virtual tours", I was not blogging about it. We would sit and learn organically. We would create fun crafts and I never worried about the outcome. Once I started blogging, I felt this pressure to create perfection in every craft project. I felt like in order to build a solid base of loyal readers, I had to have a strict blogging schedule. I was forcing the projects and learning to fit with my blogging schedule instead of with our real life schedule. One day, after begging and pleading with my kids to smile for "just one more picture", I just stopped. I didn't want to make this an awful experience for them. As much fun as we were having, it was all being tarnished by the "quick, let's recreate that really fun moment that just happened so that I can get a picture for the blog." I decided that I needed to listen to my family and just ... pause. 

I have really missed our world "tours" and I have missed blogging and believe it or not, my family has missed the experience as well. So I am now coming back to the blogosphere to tell you that our travels are not over. We are not quitting. However, we are not following my self-imposed rules anymore either. We will create projects and I will take pictures and write about it, we will sample foods and include as many real life adventures as we can, but we will do these things on a real life schedule. Sometimes a project will have to get bumped back a day or two because Aiden has to study for a spelling test. Sometimes we'll have to wait on making our snack because my littles feel like learning about the phases of the moon that day, instead of spending time in the kitchen. 

What I can say for certain is that when we do some culture explorations, we will share what we're doing and learning with you. I have no idea what my blogging schedule will be, but I can promise that we will be learning on some kind of schedule, and when we do something, I will share it. 

To those of you who have hung around waiting and/ or watching for a new post from me, Thank you. Thank you for hanging in there and sticking with me. We're going to do our best to give you some stuff worth looking at. 

Oh and... we have selected a new country and we are pretty eager to get going on our journey. See you soon! 

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