April 15, 2014

Grand Canyon West

My husband and I got to experience our very first kid free vacation ever...yup, EVER!  It was long overdue and we went to Las Vegas.  Now, I've been to Vegas before and enjoyed my time there, but what I really wanted to do was cross off a line item on my bucket list and see the Grand Canyon! 

And it was AH-MAY-ZING!!!  We took a tour bus down to Grand Canyon West which is located on the Haulapai Indian Reservation.  Before we got there, we got to do a very quick stop off at the Hoover Dam.

They no longer let you tour inside the dam, so a quick stop satisfied me.  The thing that surprised me is just how low the water is.  Hoping for rain to relieve the drought out west. 

Once we got onto the Hualapai Reservation, we hopped onto a shuttle to take us out to Eagle Point.  Can you see why it's called Eagle Point?

Eagle Point is also the home to the incredible Skywalk Bridge.

Now, my husband and I freaked many other tourists out.  We ventured close to the edge (I took the photo above while straddling a crack in the canyon) and jumped on the Skywalk.  To the Greek lady, I'm sorry my husband made you cry and to the group of Chinese ladies, you made my husband's day.  He freaked them out, then they wanted photos with him.  I wonder what they told their friends about the crazy blonde guy? 

When you go out onto the Skywalk, you can't bring anything with you.  They have camera men there to take a bunch of photos for you that you can purchase.  They give them all to you on a thumb drive with many of the souvenir photos that they use for their postcards like the one below.

We lived it up and our camera man was having fun too.  This photo was his idea.  One of many fun and crazy ones. 

We even did push ups while looking down at the canyon bottom, because, why not!

We also got to walk through examples of different styles of Native American dwellings and even got to meet some Hualapai dancers.

After Eagle Point and the Skywalk, we took a shuttle out to Guano Point for lunch and more Canyon viewing.

That is the best view I have ever experienced while eating any meal.  It made a cafeteria style meal feel and taste so much better than what I am sure it was.  After lunch I went and sat on a small boulder at the edge of the Canyon to meditate and just breathe it all in. 

Guano point was just gorgeous.  It was surrounded on three sides by the canyon and you could even hike up to the top of the Ant Hill for a better view.  I took this panorama half way up the Ant Hill.

I even took a great photo which put into perspective just how small we really are in comparison to the Grand Canyon. 

I took the above photo from half way up the Ant Hill and my husband on the edge of the Grand Canyon.  Best Captain Morgan pose I have seen!

Wishing that this trail was open, I would have loved to have been able to walk down part of the Canyon. 

I would (in a heart beat) head back to the Grand Canyon, even though I did dream of jumping out and flying over the Canyon for many nights.  It was an amazing and freeing feeling but also completely freaked me out at the same time.  I don't think I have had dreams that vivid before.

I have two regrets while visiting the Grand Canyon: I couldn't see the sun rise or set while there and that I didn't have more time there.  Since we took the shuttle, we ended up with just over 4 hours there and it went so quickly.

If I go back, which rim do you suggest I see next?  Is it worth hiking all the way down and camping?  Have you ever rafted the canyon?  I honestly want to try it all!

April 9, 2014

Preschool Class Craft #4: Dollhouse Chair

Just like every year I try and find something innovative that I can build as the auction craft for my son's preschool class.  I wish I could take full credit for this idea, but I used this photo as a jumping off point to make my version of a dollhouse chair.

Thankfully while making this, it only took one time and I am happy with the results.  I even made a template, because my son wants me to make him one.

We didn't end up winning it in the auction, I conceded the bidding war, so I need to make another one for Colton.

To incorporate the kids into the build, I thumb printed each kid in the preschool class.

I turned their thumb prints into Christmas lights that went along the roof line.

I love how it turned out.  For the short period of time that we had it, Colton used it as a chair to watch TV, a secret hide out for his super heroes and shot pigs out of the windows with his angry birds.  I can't even imagine all the possibilities that a child could come up with to use this awesome chair for.

If you want to check out all the other auction crafts that I have done while my kids were in preschool, click on the links below. 

Preschool Class Craft #1: Garden Planter Bench
Preschool Class Craft #2: Read Me Bookcase
Preschool Class Craft #3: A Pirate's Chest

Only one year left of doing class auction crafts!

April 2, 2014

Radio Silence Interrupted

I haven't intentionally been ignoring the blog, but life happens.  Actually, a lot of life happens.  In the little over a month that I have been gone, we have had family visit, gone to visit some family, spring break, kid free Vegas vacation, death in the family, general craziness, spring sports, cub scouts, etc. 

With all that has been going on, I just haven't been into it.  I lost the groove I was operating in and now that spring has sprung here in Texas, I am starting to get back into my groove.  This means I am going to try and not neglect the blog.  I have lots of things I want to share, but need to do a lot of editing of photos. 

On my hiatus, I also evaluated why I blog.  I do it because I want to document all my creative endeavors.  I don't want to use the blog as a major source of income, however, if you want to purchase through my Amazon affiliate link, I would appreciate it.  I think I have made a whole $60 so far!  It went towards purchasing more creative stuff to fuel my habit.  I also really enjoy connecting with other people, so come follow me on Facebook and I promise I will start posting there too.

I want to share with you a peek at the best part of the kid free vacation, the west rim of the Grand Canyon.

This was standing on the Ant Hill looking out onto Guano Point. 
Don't worry, there will be a lot more photos of the Grand Canyon to come, among some photos of a few crafts and my newest creation that was auctioned off at the preschool.

February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Today I will be hanging out with kids at Valentine's parties and am very happy to say that I managed to help pull off some penguin valentines for Maben.  

Maben is seriously obsessed with penguins and I now know more about penguins than I ever cared to know.  However, his enthusiasm and passion for penguins makes me more than happy to listen about them and figure out how to make them into a valentine, because no one makes penguin valentines.  (I checked) Colton picked Justice League ones from the grocery store. (Happy dance, cause this girl is short on time)

The penguin is compiled of just some shapes cut from my Cricut and some sticky eyes.  We also attached some penguins to the valentine, because they were left over from Maben's penguin themed summer birthday.

I had to scour the internet for a cute saying I could use on the back of the card and finally found gold.

These were printed out on 2x2 inch labels and then stamped with the penguin stamp. 

They are all packed up and ready to deliver to Maben's classmates tomorrow.  I hope his friends love them. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's day today! 

February 3, 2014

Winner Winner

I am so proud of my munchkin.  Maben won the Pinewood Derby and was awarded the 1st place trophy for the Tiger Den. 

I am proud, not because he won first place, but because of how he treated his fellow scouts and the amount of work he put into his car. 

Maben told everyone, "Great job," after each race.  He complemented a few of his fellow scouts on how cool their car was.  I am proud of all the scouts in our den on how well they handled the entire experience.  They all had a great time and kept amazing positive attitudes.

Some of the races were closer than others and at the end of the day, Maben held the top time for the entire pack.  Looks like garage day next year might be at our house so we can help out other kids.  Actually the night of check-in (the day before the race) I spent over an hour grinding weight out of a kid's car who was overweight.  The weights were glued inside the car and thankfully I brought my Dremel kit (affiliate link) with grinding tips to help out.  I am so grateful that I could help ensure that all the kids that showed up could race.  I got lots of hugs and high fives in return for helping the kids out. 

If you are looking into making a fast car, we had bought this book (affiliate link) with some tips and tricks.  Keep in mind that there are rules and regulations in place, so please get the list of rules from your pack before implementing any of the secrets listed in the book.  There were a few that were against the rules. 

The one thing that I learned, the gym in which he hold our pack meetings is not good for lighting.  Next year for better photos I am going to be bringing a few spot lights and my better flash.  The first photo was taken outside my house, but all the others were in the gym. 

I can't wait for next year.  It's such a fun event and I had a blast building my car.  I need to think of something fun and creative that I can make.  Good thing I have lots of time to think about it.

January 27, 2014

For Your Laughing Pleasure

This is my Cozy Coupe Pinewood Derby car.  

If you at all wondered how my car did...watch the video below.

By the way, in the rules there was no height restriction.  I'm sure there will be for next year.  My car did register a time since the front end did cross the finish line before making an abrupt stop and flying backwards.

January 25, 2014

Pinewood Derby: Stars and Stripes

The last car to show off is Maben's car.  I'm so very proud of all the hard work he put into it.

After studying several different designs from a book, Maben drew out his design on graph paper and my husband assisted Maben is using the bandsaw to cut it out.  Actually, Maben had a hand in almost every stage of the build.

My husband also taught Maben a very important lesson: Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. 

Here's hoping that all his hard work pays off and he does well. 

And here's Maben at check-in.  Very proud of his car and eager for some racing.  I'll let you know how it goes.

And if you  missed my car, or Colton's you can see them here and here.

January 24, 2014

Pinewood Derby: Cozy Coupe

For my car, I wanted to do something creative.  I honestly don't care if I win any races.  I like to challenge myself creatively.  I looked all over Pinterest and the internet for car ideas and wanted to pick something I hadn't seen done yet. 

While sitting in the backyard watching the kids play, I looked over and saw one of two Cozy Coupe cars and it hit me.  I wanted to make America's #1 selling car; the Cozy Coupe.

It was not an easy build.  There was a lot of cutting apart, gluing pieces back together and sanding some of those areas was really difficult, but I am ecstatic with the end result.

So, what do you think?  What other famous cars would you want to see recreated as a Pinewood Derby Car?  I have a few more years of doing this and appreciate the suggestions.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Maben's car.  If you missed Colton's car that I posted yesterday, click here.

January 23, 2014

Pinewood Derby: Bad Piggies

Our whole house has been busy, busy, busy working on pinewood derby cars.  Each of my boys and myself have cars.  Today I am unveiling Colton's car. 

Colton loves Bad Piggies and so we decided that we could make a car reflecting that.

Colton had a hand in helping build his car.  We used the scroll saw together and he helped with the drill press as well.

The eggs is a spray painted small Easter egg and the pig is from one of the Knex sets.  So I didn't ruin the pig with glue, I glued a small lego 2x2 plate that it would snap into.

To cover up the drilling in the back (to reduce weight), I painted, "Krak," on the back.  For those of you who don't play Bad Piggies, "Krak" is what appears right after you blow up a TNT box.  

Colton loves his car and can't wait to race it this weekend.

Do I have any followers that are Cub Scouts parents?  I would love to read about what your kiddos did.  Stay tuned tomorrow and Saturday to see mine and Maben's cars.

January 20, 2014

Custom Cufflink Box

I have partially shown off my husband's awesome Christmas gift that I built, but haven't shared much else. 

My husband works in the business world and at times wears cufflinks.  It's not easy to find a good looking jewelry box for a guy that is under a couple hundred dollars.  I set myself up with the task to build him a box (my first box ever) to house some of his cufflinks.

The top, bottom, front and back are birdseye maple and the sides are bloodwood.  I also burned a small blue jay feather in the top for decoration and as a nod to how awesomely supportive my husband is in all my creative pursuits.  He has shown off my blue jay and feather burnings to so many people, he's my number one fan and supporter. 

I didn't follow any plans for this piece as I couldn't find one that suited what I wanted to do.  I had to custom build the insert where they cufflinks sit.  I used wooden dowels, wrapped foam around them and adhered crushed velvet on top. 

I am extremely happy with how this turned out and my husband loves it!  I learned quite a great deal just from figuring it all out as I went.  I think I learn best that way. 

So, did anyone else make any awesome Christmas presents this year?  Comment below and include a link, I would love to see them!

January 16, 2014

...And I'm Back

I didn't mean to take a holiday hiatus from the blog, but it happened.  Now that the kids are back in school and we are all finally healthy, I will have the time and energy to pour back into the blog. 

So, what have I been up to?

Aside from the normal holiday chaos of Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as everyone in the house getting sick (myself twice within two weeks), I built my husband an amazing gift this year for Christmas.

The kids and I took a day at the zoo with friends and did the WHOLE Houston zoo!  That takes over 5 hours...it was a long but enjoyable day. 

And I have been playing with one of my new toys, the Fuji Instax.  Loving it!  Best photo I have ever taken of my dog, Doozer. 

So, I am back!  Going to try and keep strong...so long as I can keep sickness out of the house.  

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...