Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Found

About a month or so ago, I wrote a post entitled Lost. It has never been far from my heart and mind. I have continued the search, and will not give up until Birgit is found.

I have really struggled with the emotions surrounding this girl. With all my heart, I want to say that she is found. I feel as if she is searching for something, and I know that I have the answer to her questions and doubts.

I want to be used by God to do big things. The night before Birgit came knocking on my door, my pastor spoke to the church about Jonah. His main point of the evening was that God uses people like you and me for His everyday work. We tend to downplay the ability that God would actually speak to us, and the importance of it. He uses everyday ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

A line that he said that night stood out to me, "It's not our brilliance that makes the biggest impact on others, it's God's grace in our stupidity that draws them in."

I know I am not brilliant, and I know that I make LOTS of mistakes in my life. Therefore I am the perfect candidate to do something for God. I don't care if it seems big. I just want to make a difference, and draw people to Him.

It was a month ago, Sunday, that I met Birgit. Not a day has gone by that I haven't thought about her, or tried to look for her. She occupies many of my thoughts and prayers. I'm not going to give up.

Last Monday a very exciting God oriented thing happened. My mom showed up at my house with the most extraordinary news. She had a call from a lady, Connie, at our church.

Connie had a visitor selling her books. Her husband had answered the door, and Connie, from the other room recognized that the girl had a strange accent. She came to the door, asked the girl a few questions and found out that this girl was friends with Birgit. She gave her my phone number, and the girl promised to have Birgit call me Sunday night at 6pm.

Birgit now knows that I am looking for her, she has my contact information, and she even knows that I have a gift for her.

If this friend had shown up at Connie's house any other day of the week, the connection wouldn't have been made. Connie works and just happened to be home early for a doctor's appointment. Her husband also only had the opportunity of opening the door because it was a Monday. There was such a small window of possibility for it to work out, that I am convinced it was God. He placed everyone in the right place, at the exact time that was needed. Isn't that just like God?

I wish I could say that it all turned out exactly how I wanted. However, Sunday night came, and she didn't call. I don't know what happened, and I don't know if there was a reason for it. God knows.

I have to trust Him, and be obedient to what He's asking of me.

This was a big faith builder, and at the same time a faith tester. I believe it was God that placed Birgit on my heart, and it was still God who brought the circumstances together for the opportunity of reconnection. But she must be willing to accept. It hurts that she rejected the offer laid before her. There could have been lots of different reasons why she wouldn't make the call. All I know is that it didn't happen.

That's what makes it all so difficult. In this situation, I have had a glimpse at God's own heart. I have felt the agony, the pure torture, of losing this girl, and then I have felt the celebration at finding her again. The overwhelming, I can't help but keep smiling, I'm so happy, rejoicing.

It's all about choices. We are given the freedom to choose. The gift is laid out at our feet, but we need to be willing to pick it up. A gift is worthless if it lies there untouched.

I'm still praying I find Birgit, and maybe there will be a reconnection there. Maybe I will have a chance to give of myself, and share God's love with her.

I may not ever find my friend, but I am daily surrounded by equally deserving individuals that need to feel God's love.

I may not be able to bring Birgit to church like I want, but I can pick up my daughter's friend and bring her instead.

I may not be able to support her financially, but I have friends and know others that I can support through my finances.

I may not be able to listen and talk with her, ask her questions, and learn every detail in her life, but I can spend the time investing in my friends.


I've spent the last couple of days lazing around not doing much, feeling like I've missed out on something special. I got an important message on my phone today that put things into perspective for me. God hasn't just called me specifically to one individual. He's called me to love everyone. Each one of us has something unique and special to offer. We must keep offering it even if it gets turned down. God has called us to love.

"It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows. For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true freedom." Galatians 5:12-14

She Found Me
Birgit Remikull
Southwestern Advantage

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kids Say the Darndest Things

School started this week, and we haven't had a free moment yet. Ariel is having a big spectacular birthday party next week for her 10th. We've made the celebration pretty huge and it has given me tons of work to do.

As I was working on some party stuff this afternoon, Gabe asked me, "Mom, when did you have your last birthday?"

I thought this was a funny question since it was only a week ago that I turned 29. How could he have forgotten so soon? I stated the obvious, and he replied, "No, I mean your LAST birthday."

I gave him the same answer. I mean what else would he be talking about? My LAST birthday was just seven short days ago.

This time when he asked the question he explained it a little further. "You know, your last birthday is when you stop growing, but you still keep celebrating it each year anyways."

Hmm... that's a tough one. My last birthday could have been my 11th or 12th because my body hasn't grown too much since then. Or, I could say I haven't had my last birthday yet because I'm hopefully always maturing and growing wiser. It's an interesting question to ponder.

Have you stopped growing already? And is that okay? Or should a person ever stop growing?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Birthday

I can't believe the summer is over, and school will be starting tomorrow. I feel like we were just celebrating that summer had begun. This is always a bittersweet time of year for me. I love to have my children at home with me, but I do enjoy getting back into a normal routine. I have things that have been put off in order to adequately spend time with my children.

It's time to be responsible again.

No more sleeping in, no more late nights, no more big parties, no more just laying around. Things have to be done.

This past week, we went on a family vacation to St. Louis, Missouri. We visited museums, and the zoo, a bird sanctuary, the arch, sculpture parks, fountains, restaurants, and more. It was 5 days packed with fun!

On Saturday I celebrated my 29th birthday. It didn't quite feel like my birthday and I had to keep reminding myself that it was. We were so busy having a good time on vacation.

For a special treat, we took the kids to the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown St. Louis. I had visited the restaurant 19 years ago on a 5th grade class trip. This restaurant has always had special meaning to me. When I was a kid, my family didn't choose to spend their money eating out at restaurants. Instead, private school education was their priority. So as a 10 year old kid, going out to the Old Spaghetti Factory was huge! I had never been to such a fancy place before. I was in awe of everything there.

Traveling back for my birthday this year was just as wonderful. We walked with our kids for over a mile to get there from our free parking garage. The food was sensational! It might have to do with the fact that we had worked up such a good appetite from our walk, or it's just that good. I loved sharing this piece of my life history with my kids.

We also did several other things that day that I won't go into right now. It was a great vacation. The part of the day that stood out to me was later in the evening. We all got in the car and headed to Wal-Mart. The kids chose a cake for me covered with flowers. They asked the baker to write "Happy Birthday Mom" in yellow frosting since they knew it was my favorite color. They picked out green birthday plates another favorite color of mine.


When we got back to the hotel we carried the table in between our two beds and had a delightful birthday party. They sang "Happy Birthday" and presented me with two gifts of candy they had purchased themselves.

It was very simple, but extremely meaningful. I am so blessed by God with the family I have. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.


For everyone's birthday this past year, I wrote a special blog post about them. I shared things I remembered.... My husband was kind enough to do the same thing for me.

His list was funny, sad, embarrassing, and beautiful to me. It was a perfect birthday gift. I wish I could share the complete list, but some you wouldn't understand, and others if you could understand them, you wouldn't want to. We often live secret lives with our spouses that are that way for a reason. It makes the relationship more special and uniquely charming.

From the mouth of my husband...

I remember looking forward to Geometry class. Enough said.

I remember feeling awkward waiting for the bus to technical school. I was determined not to show it, but there it is.

I remember realizing who you were when you first talked to me on AIM.
(AOL Instant Messenger)

I remember asking you to go to a school football game. Well, I guess I can't say that I actually remember. I remember that I sort of blacked out for a minute or two, but that's what I was meaning to do.

I remember the reluctant sound in your voice when you asked me to talk to your parents.

I remember a surprised look on your face the first time I called you my girlfriend. I didn't understand; you didn't explain.

I remember making burritos for you for lunch.

I remember being perfectly happy to use your coat when I was cold.

I remember getting a ring from a vending machine with you.

I remember going to apply for a job together and pretending that we didn't know each other.

I remember having to sit down when you told me about Ariel.

I remember getting a ring from a vending machine for you.
(This time it was an engagement ring)

I remember passing out on the futon after a looong day at a wedding. I ate some pancakes at Village Inn a short time later.

I remember making spaghetti together for the first time.

I remember tagging along with you to the hospital when you were in labor and having no clue what to do.

I remember the first time seeing Ariel, awake and looking around, and I still had no clue what to do.

I remember one sunny day walking to our car from the place I used to work, and all I could think about was my next conversation with you.

I remember discussing with you when to have another child and the moment we decided to do so.

I remember making sure that it happened.

I remember sitting in the car with you, frustrated because we don't know what to do about purchasing a house.

I remember the excitement in your voice the first time we toured the house we were going to buy.

I remember the hours you spent planning and building the tile floor in our new house.

I remember [discussion of Zechariah's conception here].

I remember sitting on the floor of the bathroom with you, afraid for Zechariah for the first time.

I remember the relief I felt at seeing you walk out of the door at the KCI airport.

I remember sitting on the couch with you and Zechariah, trying to decide what to do about his fever.

I remember falling in love with you.



I bought and made this dog tag at a machine in Wal-Mart after Titus and I had been dating for a couple months. I knew right away that we would be together forever. He is my other half. I love him.


Thank you, God, for my family!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Love Lucy

You might think I just sit around trying to come up with parties to have. And maybe on some level I do. Or it might just be the fact that I love to be with people, and have to have a "reason" to come together with them. I know you don't need that, but it's much easier for me to work up the nerve to say, hey come hang out with me, when there's a plan involved. When it's just to do "nothing", the rejection is so much more personal, and I don't know about you, but I hate rejection.

God has really blessed me with a great group of friends that I can call to get together and hang out. We can laugh and have a good time, and not even need an agenda. I've also been blessed with a wonderful family.

Did you know that this past Saturday was Lucille Ball's 100th birthday.. if she was still alive?

I Love Lucy dvds
I Love Lucy is very dear to me, and I love to spend time laughing together with my family watching the episodes. We do this at least once a week! My kids will end up laughing hysterically at some of her theatrics. Laughing is great for the body, and this show always delivers for us. It's so nice to have some hilariously good, clean, family entertainment.

I Love Lucy party photo
The first time I watched an I Love Lucy episode, I was probably 12 or 13. I was staying up late, and the show came on television around midnight. I could not stop laughing. I never did catch the name of the show, and told my mother about it the next day. I tried to explain who the characters were in it, but my mom couldn't figure out what I had watched. I think I watched it a few times before I ever knew that I was watching I Love Lucy. It's been a favorite of mine ever since.

I Love Lucy party photo
If I remember right, the first episode I watched was "First Stop" from the fourth season. The Ricardo's and the Mertz's are taking their road trip to California for Ricky's big Hollywood movie. They stop for a bite to eat and are terribly disappointed with the selection of food. The only thing left to choose was a cheese sandwich that they can't even sink their teeth in to. They end up paying their bill very unhappily, get back in the car and plan to drive to a nicer place. The climax is when they finally reach the new restaurant/hotel, it's the same rotten place they were at an hour ago. Since everyone is so tired, it's settled they will just put up with the only cabin, and more hilarious things unfold. To this day it's still one of my all time favorite I Love Lucy episodes.

I Love Lucy party photo
You can't actually see it in my photos since I changed them to grayscale, but we all are dressed in Black & White on purpose. It was the costume for the party. Zech's red arm was the only thing in color.


If you noticed in the pictures, we're all smoking. I want to clarify, Those aren't real cigarettes. We thought it would be fun for the party to buy the candy ones. We got a chocolate pack of cigarettes and a gum pack. If you're familiar with the show, someone is always smoking. Most of the time it's Ricky, but often Lucy and the others will join him for a cigarette. Sadly, Desi Arnaz actually died from lung cancer at the age of 69.

candy cigarettes for I Love Lucy party
During our party we spent most of our time watching the highlights of the show. Titus and I looked through the first 4 seasons that we own, and picked out the funniest shows. We wanted the night to be filled with laughter. We spent almost 3 hours watching I Love Lucy. It was very difficult to narrow it down, but in the end we found 8 of her funniest moments.

From Season 1 we watched:
Pioneer Women and Lucy Does a TV Commercial

From Season 2 we watched:
Job Switching, Lucy Becomes a Sculptress, Sales Resistance , Lucy Wants New Furniture,

We skipped all of Season 3 and went on to Season 4, we watched:
Getting Ready, and my favorite First Stop.

No party is complete without something to take home with you. We had a couple movies we gave out as our door prizes.

I Love Lucy DVDs
It was a night FULL of laughter! I loved it.


Just for fun, some random facts for you:

CBS would not allow them to use the word "pregnant" when Lucy was pregnant with Little Ricky. They instead always called her "Expecting." The episode in which Lucy gives birth, first aired on January 19, 1953. To increase the publicity of this episode, the original air date was chosen to coincide with Lucille Ball's real-life delivery of Desi, Jr. by cesarean delivery.

I Love Lucy was more popular than President Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower's presidential inauguration drew 29 million viewers on January 20, 1953. The prior day, 44 million viewers tuned in to watch Lucy give birth to little Ricky.

Everything on I Love Lucy was scripted. Despite what seemed like ad-libbing, Ball made sure each moment of the show was rehearsed and perfected.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were married for 20 years and got divorced 3 years after the show ended. Lucille actually initiated a divorce to Desi in 1944, but reconciled. The show aired from 1951-1957. They remained friends, and grew closer in Desi's last decade of life. Lucille telephoned him two days before his death, on what would have been their 46th wedding anniversary. They shared a few words, mostly "I love you's." She said, "All right, honey. I'll talk to you later."

On April 18, 1989, Lucille Ball was at her home in Beverly Hills when she complained of chest pains. An ambulance was called and she was rushed to the emergency room. She was diagnosed as having a dissecting aortic aneurysm and underwent heart surgery for nearly eight hours, receiving an aorta from a 27 year old male donor. The surgery was successful, and Ball began recovering, even walking around her room with little assistance. On April 26, shortly after dawn, Ball awoke with severe back pains. Her aorta had ruptured in a second location and Ball quickly lost consciousness. All attempts to revive her proved unsuccessful, and she died at approximately 05:47 PST. She was 77 years old.


Lucille Ball's final appearance
Lucille Ball before her final public appearance, with her husband Gary Morton on the left. The photo was taken at the 61st Academy Awards just 3 weeks before her death.

I've always believed the title of the show to be very fitting, because
I LOVE Lucy.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dr. Seuss

"I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny. But we can have lots of good fun that is funny! I know some good games we could play." Said the cat. "I know some new tricks," said the Cat in the Hat. "A lot of good tricks. I will show them to you. Your mother will not mind at all if I do."

For some silly, whimsical fun, this week we had Dr. Seuss come for a day. We invited a couple friends over to play, and spent a few hours just being silly. We all dressed the part to get in the mood, and spent the day crafting and eating tons of food. It was great!

cat in the hat Dr Seuss lightbulb paper mache craft
Our first craft we worked on was The Cat in the Hat. You can't start a party right without him. Before the party, my friend put together our base for the cat in the hat. She made it out of a light bulb and half a toilet paper roll, and then she covered it in paper mâché. All we had to do was paint it and add a few extra details, like ears and the bill of the hat. They both were cut from white craft foam, and hot glued in place. It was very easy to make, and came out adorable. I think we're going to add a ribbon and save them as a Christmas tree ornament.




Ariel did a great job having story time with the kids! We have several Dr. Seuss books to choose from. I believe she read The CAT in the HAT, and The CAT in the HAT COMES BACK.


green eggs and ham Dr. Seuss
For lunch we ate green eggs and ham! Some were brave and tried both; some were not and tried none. I thought the eggs were delicious; however I had a hard time eating the green ham. It reminded me of mold too much!
I do not like green eggs and ham I do not like them Sam I am.



After lunch was done, we used our brains and matched Dr. Seuss characters with their famous quotes. I found the quiz was a little difficult because I haven't read all the books yet. There are so many of them out there!

My favorite part of the party was making the cupcake FISH. They were so cute and tasty! We decorated them with M&Ms scales along with some candy fruit slices for the tail. My sister read us the Dr. Seuss book that went along with our fish.


One Fish

one fish Dr Seuss cupcakes
Two Fish

two fish Dr. Seuss cupcakes
Red Fish

Red fish Dr. Seuss cupcake
Blue Fish

Blue fish Dr. Seuss cupcake
From there to here
from here to there,
funny things
are everywhere

Horton Hears A Who pencil craft
Our friends had an appointment they needed to go to, so they weren't able to stay and watch Horton Hears a Who with us. But we did give them their pencil party favor. While the kids were reading books with Ariel, the adults got to make the speck on a flower that Horton finds the Who's on.

"Even though you can’t see
or hear them at all,
a person’s a person,
no matter how small."


After the movie, we all met up at Helen Hocker Theater for a showing of "Dr. Seuss on the Loose" put on by a camp of children who were 7 & 8 years old. It was sweet.
I think everyone would agree it was a fun wacky day!


Thing 1 Thing 2 Dr. Seuss
I had a lot of fun putting my kids together for the day. Gabe and Zech wanted to be Thing 1 and Thing 2. I quickly traced the words on a white circle, found a red tank top, and sewed the circle on both of their shirts in 30 minutes or less. I found some blue hair spray in the party section at Wal-Mart. Cheap but very cute!

Thing 1 Thing 2 Dr. Seuss


Cindy Lou Who's hair Dr. Seuss
Ariel's hair was really fun to do. I always wanted to try Cindy Lou Who's hair. I simply put a small cup on her head and gathered the hair around it for a pony tail. I braided the hair that was left down and the result was very silly!



"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” -Dr. Seuss

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lost

Have you ever lost something really valuable and important to you? You want to search until you find it, until it is safely back in your possession. When it's gone your thoughts turn to obsession and even your dreams can be haunted by the loss.

Sometimes a loss cannot be replaced. There is no price on it, and money can't even buy it back. A couple years ago I misplaced my wedding ring. To this day it's still gone, and my finger often feels bare. I do have a new, different ring to take its place, but I still don't have that completion that my wedding ring gave to me. It was given to me on my wedding day, backed up by beautiful vows to give it meaning. I have come to the conclusion that I probably will never find that ring again. I still have my commitment and covenant that I made verbally with my husband, and a ring will never change that.

The loss I've experienced this week is something that cannot be bought with money. I wish I could run to the store and purchase what I need to take this ache away.

A week ago yesterday I had an unexpected visitor. I was busy getting ready for a party I would be having when this girl came knocking at my front door. I'm always tempted to ignore the knock and hope they will go away. Sometimes I feel like I don't have time to be friendly and polite. Sometimes I don't want people barging in on my life I've created for myself. I don't need distractions, and I'm often selfish. (That's really hard to admit)


This girl was selling something but she wouldn't tell me what. She asked to come into my home and promised it would only take a few minutes. I couldn't tell her no. I was immediately softening my hard protective shell, and invited her in to sit at my table.

We talked for an hour and a half. She wanted to sell me books, and she was very good at her job. She wasn't demanding or rude. She was very understanding and didn't want to pressure me into purchasing. She's a college student trying to raise money after all so she certainly wouldn't be judging me for not having the funds to buy from her.

As we talked about everything in life, I didn't want to let her go. I wanted to learn more and more about this girl. I know she was very focused on making her sale, but I was focused on earning her trust and friendship. There was something so compelling about her, that I became obsessed you could say.

God has never given me this strong overpowering feeling before. I don't know if it's the fact that she professes her country does not believe in God that draws me to her, or if it's something else. As she left my house I began to research Estonia, her home.

"According to the Dentsu Communication Institute Inc, Estonia is the least religious country in the world with 75.7% of the population claiming to be irreligious. The Eurobarometer Poll 2005 found that only 16% of Estonians profess a belief in a God, the lowest belief of all countries studied."

Regardless of the reason for me pursing her, which I don't even fully understand, God has placed her in my heart. I cannot forget her, or let her go. I want to do everything in my power to find her again, and to be her friend. That's all I ask. I want to give her my friendship, and I will not be satisfied until I offer it again.

Before she had left my house that day, I invited her to my party three separate times. She never promised to come as she is very dedicated to earning her college tuition. She made it pretty clear that she did not have time for anything else. She was very courteous about it, and I greatly respected her for it. But I sensed a desire to connect within her also. My kids loved her too.

She did not come to my party that night. I was sad, but not too disappointed as I knew she wouldn't. She told me so herself. I normally back down when told no, but I have felt such a burning in my heart that I will not give up.

The party I had was Missions Passport. You can buy purses, scarves, or jewelry made by women in Thailand who have escaped prostitution. These women are able to provide money for their families in a respectable way. I wholeheartedly support this company. I knew my friend would not come, and I might not ever see her again, but I felt strongly that I should buy her a purse. She seemed very intrigued by the idea of the party, and I wanted to give her a gift.

For the past week, every single day I have gone out searching for my friend. I have driven the streets of my neighborhood again and again looking for a sign that she is nearby. She doesn't own a car here, and has to travel by bike. I check every lamp post to see if her bike is propped up on it. I look at every sidewalk to see if the bike rider resembles my friend. But alas I cannot find her.

I have stopped driving the highway because I have a better chance of finding her on the city streets. Every day I go out of my way and drive through the neighborhoods to see if she is there. My kids are always on the lookout for her. My husband has been looking, and I've gone in the direction he pointed searching for her. I sit on my front steps reading in the hot heat just to maybe catch a glimpse of her riding by. God has placed this girl on my heart, and I cannot remove her.

I don't know what I'm going to say when I find her. I might just weep. I have cried so many tears of frustration over this. I have looked everywhere I know to look. I've searched everywhere, but where she is.

The only way I have to describe this feeling and ache that I have over finding her, is the story in the Bible of the lost sheep.

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!" Luke 15:4-7

To me, this girl is my sheep. I am surrounded by other people, and they don't matter. I can think of nothing but the sheep that I have lost. I don't know why God has given me this desire, but it's there. I need to find her. And when I finally have found her, I will REJOICE!

I see and understand the symbolism so strongly in this Bible passage. God feels this way about all his lost children, and we matter so much to him that He is in agony over the loss.

I don't know that I will ever see my friend, Birgit, again. But I do know that I will not stop caring, and I will not stop searching. She is here for one more month, and I am determined to find her. If it's God's will, I know it will happen. I will do all that I possibly can to make it happen.

I want her to know how important she is, how much she matter's to God. She may believe in Him, she may not believe in Him, but He certainly believes in her.

If you see my friend, Birgit (pronounced "Ber-giht"), come knocking on your door, please invite her in. Tell her that I'm looking for her, and tell her that I will find her.
Birgit Remikull
Found
She Found Me

Kids Say the Darndest Things

About a week ago, my son brought up the topic of marriage with me. He wondered why his aunt was not married yet, and eventually came to the conclusion that she was still too young.

I told him that wasn't true. I explained to him that when I was my sister's age I had already been married for 3 years and was having my second child. He still seemed baffled as to why she didn't have a husband.

I went on to tell him that she just hadn't found the right man yet. The timing is different for everyone and sometimes you don't meet your spouse until you are much older than high school.

He guffawed at that. "That's funny, I already found the right girl and I'm only seven."

If only it was so simple.


Looking for single, handsome, strong Christian men in their early twenties; any takers?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kids DO the Darndest Things

I think everyone knows that Zechariah recently broke his arm. He hasn't been in too much pain, but periodically he falls on it and hurts himself. I think the cast makes him a little off balance so he's been extra klutzy these days, and hurting himself repeatedly.

Yesterday he came to me crying after a fall and said, "Mommy. I need lot of medicine." I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the new medicine dispenser he was carrying. It never had occurred to me that a turkey baster looked so similar.


After we got him feeling better, and had a good laugh over just how much medicine he wanted, he allowed me to take a picture of him.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shadow Puppet Theater

This past week the kids and I put together our very own Shadow Puppet Theater. I saw the idea a few months back on one of the craft blogs I enjoy looking at.

We finished our theater on Wednesday and had to wait out the entire weekend before we had a chance to use it. It was a huge success! The kids were fighting over who got to tell the story, and how long they could perform for. Titus and I were treated to a delightfully simple evening of entertainment.

The kids put together a viewing table complete with flowers that my husband and I had our date at. We sat back and enjoyed the show performed for us.

transparencies for shadow puppets
The kids were each given one transparency page they could fill with their favorite characters. They each choose some who were the good guys, and some characters that would play the villain. I simply pasted all the pictures together onto one letter size paper, printed a copy, and then traced the pictures onto the transparencies. When they were completed we used super glue to attach them to shish kabob sticks. They were simple to make, and very gratifying for the children to play with.

shadow puppet theater old sheet

We had a variety of shows put on for us. We had some silly things, some scary, and some video games reenacted. The kids loved it! My favorite part about it, the supplies in total only cost me $3.50 to make. I found a sheet at Goodwill for two dollars, I had some leftover paint I was able to use, some string to hang the theater, and the transparencies I purchased from a copy shop for 50cents a piece. It was very practical to make. I know we're going to be getting hours of entertainment out of it. We've already been planning our next showing.


The funniest show put on in the evening was done by Titus. He did voices for each character and incorporated a lot of humor and jokes. I'm not as quick at coming up with a story, so for me it's easier to write it down ahead of time. Titus was great at ad-libbing.


No show is complete without some treats. It's a great time for some popcorn or snacks! We had some leftover coconut sorbet from Ariel's Mission Passport party that we all cooled down with. It still tasted wonderful!

Coconut Sorbet

•1 cup good-quality coconut milk (not "lite")
•2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut (baking type)
•16 oz./ 500 ml. container whipping cream
•1/4 cup sugar
•Topping: 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

coconut sorbet recipe
1. Place whipping cream in your blender and blitz until you have thick whipped cream.
2. Add the coconut milk, flaked coconut, and sugar. Pulse to combine.
3. Taste-test the mixture for sweetness - if you'd like it sweeter, add a little more sugar and pulse again to combine.
4. Transfer mixture to a covered container and place in the freezer.
5. Check the sorbet after 2-3 hours - it should be frozen around the outside, but still soft inside. Transfer it back into your processor/blender and blitz 15-30 seconds, or until smooth. Return to the container and freeze until solid.
6. Remove container 30 minutes before serving.
7. To make the topping, I used my toaster oven to cook the coconut. I stirred it a few times until it was a golden brown. Sprinkle over your sorbet, and ENJOY!

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