holidays

Groundhog Day: A Love Letter.

Growing up in Pennsylvania (Even though my Philadelphia suburb is no where near Gobbler’s Knob) I’ve always had a warm spot in my heart for the wacky little “holiday” of Groundhog Day. I even had a stuffed groundhog at one point.

I remember being 14 and going to the movie theater to see “Groundhog Day”.  I had no idea what it was about, my sister and I were just bored and the title appealed to me.  I LOVED it.  It was just the combination of comedy and sci-fi that I loved.  Afterward, I remember my sister telling my mother that it was weird.  I agreed with her, but to me this wasn’t a dismissive statement.  I wanted to talk about it. The critics had loved it, but it hadn’t done so well in the teenage girl demographic. None of my friends had seen it, I had no one to discuss it with.

I found a kindred spirit in Super-Dad, he loved the movie as much as I had.  We spent one of our early dates watching the movie and talking about it.  How long had Phil repeated that day?  Why did it happen?  What was the magic moment that changed it for him?

About a month ago we played the movie for Nate.  He thought it was great.  At ten years old he guessed that Phil had spent “a few years” in his Groundhog Day stasis.  

How long do you think Phil repeated that day?  He learned french, became a piano virtuoso, planned the perfect crime, tried a bunch of different ways to commit suicide and essentially earned a medical degree.  Our best guess is hundreds and hundreds of years.

Happy Groundhog Day!

Easy Valentine’s Project: Personalized Bookmarks

Easy Valentine’s Project: Personalized Bookmarks
Crappy picture courtesy of my MyTouch 3G

For Christmas we gave each of our nephews a book.  Since the gift lacked a personal touch Nate came up with the idea of making bookmarks for each of them. This project was so simple and the results were so well received that we’ve decided to make them for Valentine’s Day for Nate’s classmates.  It solves two problems I hate about kids’ Valentine’s Day Parties:  all the cards that you look at once and then have to throw away and the abundance of candy.  Using these as a Valentine’s Day greeting will make a card the kids can use again and is a gift that’s not candy.

I was going to get the finished bookmarks laminated at the local office supply store, but ran out of time   I came up with the packing tape idea out of desperation, but it works beautifully.  Packing tape is way cheaper than getting something laminated or even laminating it on a home machine, and it is the perfect size for a bookmark. 

You will need:

  • Card stock or old cereal boxes for a kitschy (and free!) alternative.
  • Alphabet stickers to spell each child name, a program that can pint the names vertically or good handwriting and a nice pen.
  • White printer paper.
  • Stickers.  Make sure they are flat and don’t have a texture.  You will “laminate” these and the clear layer won’t stick well on puffy or glittery stickers.
  • Crystal Clear Packing Tape for laminating the book marks.
  • Scraps of yarn to make the tassel.
  1. Cut your cardboard/cardstock into your desired length and about 1/4th of an inch thinner than your packing tape.
  2. Cut your white paper about 1/4 inch smaller on each side than your cradstock.  You can play with sizes, and eyeball it.  This certainly doesn’t have to be accurate.
  3. Add child’s name to the white paper with stickers, a printer or a marker, attach the name plate to the cardstock with a glue stick or strategically placed stickers.
  4. Pull out a piece of the packing tape twice the length of the bookmark plus about 1/2 inch.  Lay the tape down with the sticky side up.  Place the bookmark face down on the tape about 1/4 inch from the bottom.
  5. Carefully fold the top half of the tape down so that it covers the back of the bookmark.  When folding the tape over leave a 1/4 inch gap where the tape will stick to itself to leave a nice border.
  6. Smooth out the tape and trim any edges that are hanging over with scissors,
  7. Punch a hole near the top of the book mark.  
  8. Fold your yarn in half and put the folded edge through the hole and pull it halfway through.
  9. Thread the open ends of the thread through the loop over the top of the bookmark and pull them through, 
  10. Knot the yarn at the top of the book mark. 
  11. Make another knot about 1 inch down from the ends of the yarn.
  12. Pull apart each end of the yearn, separate each strand to make the tassel and fluff it up.

There you go, a super easy craft that you can do with your kids.  These aren’t just for Valentine’s and Christmas, you could use these as party favors, place markers, or gift tags.