"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Oven Teacher

The family that works together..........frequently fails together. 

But, I think that's a good thing. 

With the kids all still on vacation, I planned some really fun activities. Most of them did not work out. Not the first time, or even the second time. 

Were there tears of frustration? You bet.

Did we often panic? Oh yea. 

But every time we goofed up, we got a little more determined. We got used to feeling frustrated. Which are pretty important life lessons. Cause things often don't work out the way you think, but hopefully, if you keep trying, you can learn something along the way 

Enter: an innocent piece of polymer.

The picture even says how fun and easy they are! How hard could it be to shrink plastic, right? Anyone can turn on an oven. 

Catherine enthusiastically made some very abstract art.  Lots and lots of it. 

We carefully painted our creations. 

We added details to make our creations special. (On a side note, Catherine is very impressed with angels lately and has decided her name is Gabriel. She's wearing a belt on her head for a halo.)

We were all so excited to see our beautiful big art become little hard plastic pieces of coolness. 

But when we opened the oven, our lovely creations had curled and fallen into the bottom of the oven and were stuck in some yucky goo. Oh, the shock and horror. 

I will admit, my first inclination was to toss everything in the trash and go listen to some Abba, but I had 5 little faces looking up at me for inspiration. 


"Remember the Wright Brothers?",  I asked the children. 
"And Thomas Edison had 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb until he succeeded."  

They all looked up at me like I was so wise. 

So, we experimented. We tried painting the other side of the plastic. We tried less time. We tried the microwave (by the way, melted plastic smells really, really yucky). 

I texted Jen, who knows how to do everything in the kitchen. 

Finally, we got this! A slightly less warped piece of plastic. We conquered the Shrinky Dinks together! We did it! 

Next came egg yolk cookies. 

You mix the yolks with food coloring and paint the cookies. 

They looked so pretty!

until they hit the oven. 

Then the cookies grew to four times their original size and kind of exploded. They sort of looked like giant blobs with  red egg on top. The lesson here is stuff might look yucky, but eat it anyway or mom will get mad.  

Our last attempt was the salt dough ornaments everyone told me about. The first batch, fell on the floor. For second batch, someone put in too much water and it became slime.

The dogs ate the third batch. 

But did we quit! No! We made more and they turned out wonderfully! (though I am beginning to feel that the oven does not like me)

I think the kid's really learned alot this week. Why, just today, we couldn't find the hairbrush, so we improvised. Sure, the comb got stuck in Catherine's hair and caused wide spread panic, but the point here, is we learned to adapt. 

And when things really get you down, you can always put stickers on your nose...... 


  1. Oh Catherine!!!! I love your family :)

  2. LOL.... We did shrinky dinks last year. They were pretty fun!

  3. do you have a thermometer in your oven...to make sure that what the setting you have it at, is the actual temperature in the oven.
    may or may not help with some of your struggles with the oven

  4. I just have to tell you, I LOVE your blog! You are such an inspiration with your delightful and realistic sense of humor. I so appreciate your approach to life and look forward to more of your (mis)adventures! Have a blessed New Year!

  5. Thank you for the chuckles today. I needed them. I will send you a receipe for a cinammon ornament the does not require baking and makes the house smell wonderfully. It will be waiting for you next year. I will send it when I get it from my crafty friend whom does it with my children.

  6. If I lived near you I would come play every. single. day. !! You and your children are so blessed to be enjoying life (even with its mishaps) together!! What wonderful memories they will have of growing up! And Victoria, you rock those stickers!!! (((BIG HUGS)))!!!

  7. I love your posts!:)
    They always make me laugh, smile and sometimes nod my head in complete understanding and thankfulness that we are not the only ones those things happen too ;)

    And yeah, I come here for the pictures of your cute kids too.


Sorry, I have to moderate comments because of spam!