#AtoZChallenge: My Favorite Things T

Turtles

I am grateful for these easy posts that spring out of my collections. I didn’t realize that I had so many collections until this year’s challenge

 

20170424_073754-1
This could have been me.

The road running past my childhood home had small, marshy bodies of water on either side. Often we would see turtles making the treacherous crossing, for what reason I can’t imagine, since one marsh seemed so like the other. Sometimes we would aid them across before they encountered a car. Sometimes we would take them to the house and install them in a habitat of our making for a few days. Sometimes we found them already traumatized and suffering from a cracked shell. I still help turtles whenever I can and I’ve noticed my daughters do the same (it’s contagious evidently).

I don’t know if turtles have survived their slow pace by having their protective home on their backs, or if having to carry their homes on their backs is the cause of their slow pace. Either way, they are a marvel, a wonder of thought and design, and kind of cute for the most part.

Hence my turtle collection. This is one group of objects that take up so little space that I will not feel guilty keeping them as I pare down my possessions. Most of them fit in this small metal box.

20170424_074022

I find collectible turtles and tortoises wherever I go. From Alaska to Washington, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, and even in India and Cambodia, people love turtles and fashion puzzles, jewelry, knick knacks and keepsakes featuring turtles. Here are (some of) my favorites.

20170424_074635
Carved in stone with a baby turtle inside (how do they do that?) , white glow in the dark turtle on left, bobble head turtle on right.
20170424_074614
This lovely lady in the foreground is a gift from India and is a pendent that can be worn (thank you again, Evan).
20170424_074717
Wooden puzzle turtle from Cambodia and rolling turtle from Seattle. Background is a turtle lipstick holder (!!)
20170424_074928-1
This finger puppet is so much fun! I can pull the head in and out.

Do you have any small collectibles that you enjoy pulling out from time to time?

Monday with the Children

A picture is worth a thousand words (and a lot easier to post).

We did a messy craft project, making ninja balls, with flour and balloons.  Kids love messy things.
We did a messy craft project, making ninja balls, with flour and balloons. Kids love messy things.
Kids love bright colors and playing with balloons too.
Kids love bright colors and playing with balloons too.
Activities take place outside on platform in the courtyard
Activities take place outside on platform in the courtyard
Looking at pictures on phones, having discussion around the table...
Looking at pictures on phones, having discussion around the table…
Posing for photo moments.  My phone gets borrowed and I find all kinds of interesting pics on it when it returns.
Posing for photo moments. My phone gets borrowed and I find all kinds of interesting pics on it when it returns.
Rousing card game of
Rousing card game of “Blitz”
And a festive dinner prepared by house "moms" and older girls.
And a festive dinner prepared by house “moms” and older girls.
A friendly fried rice.
A friendly fried rice.

Speaking of Rubber Bands

I was speaking (writing) of rubber bands in my last post and this thought came to mind, Rainbow Looms.  Now for those of you who are not frequently in the company of children and may not know about Rainbow Looms, let me introduce you to a new craft/toy craze that is sweeping the WORLD.  It really starts with a very simple concept of stringing rubber bands of various colors and sizes together to make bracelets, etc… but goes on to some pretty complicated stuff.  The loom itself is a small plastic apparatus with multiple upright pegs.

I first heard of it when my cousin who has a young daughter started buying rubber bands in bulk to sell in her flea market business.  Honestly, I didn’t see the draw and kind of mentally passed it by.  Later at our Thanksgiving celebration her daughter and another young guest spent quite a bit of time making bracelets.  The other girl had been doing it for a while and was making some fairly complicated patterns – these girls were into it, seriously.

But I did not know the true power of Rainbow Loom craziness until we went to Cambodia.  The Rainbow Loom “people” had donated a number of looms and bags and bags of rubber bands for us to take with us as gifts for the children in the orphan homes.  There were a few extra so one day we gave some to the university students in the girls dorm.  The next day we found out that one girl had been up till 3 a.m. making bracelets and hair bands to give away as New Year’s gifts for her friends.  There is evidently no age limitation to the fascination.

Later we took the loom project to each of the orphan homes and our experts sat down on the floor to teach and demonstrate.  Hours later the madness was still continuing… They catch on quick.  Thank you Rainbow Loom for a really fun time.

Image
Expert Sarah giving demonstration
Image
Expert Nikki teaching boys.
Image
Five minutes later everyone was busy.
Image
This is fun and we are making pretty stuff!
Image
So maybe we don’t really need the loom after all….
.
Just a few of the finished items.