Monthly Archives: October 2011

Movie Night Follow-up

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Movie Night on the Lawn

Well, this weekend was our neighborhood movie night and I am here to report.  It was just perfect.  The crowd didn’t come in droves, it was more like a trickle, but it was perfect.  In all we had 8 kids, a handful of parents and 2 single women in their 50’s.  In fact, one woman is my next door neighbor and in my post Creating Community, it was exactly her that I had in mind when I said, there are people right next door and I don’t even know their names.  Now I do.  I was really touched by the excitement everyone had and the courage that took some of these people to come and sit on the lawn with a bunch of strangers. But the crowd was the perfect size for conversations to be had and for relationships to begin to bud.  One lady down the street who I had met at her garage sale months ago told me that she was praying for me and the neighbors as soon as she saw the sign go up.  I so appreciate that!  I learned that another neighbor was just diagnosed with a disease and her live-in boyfriend just left her.  Despite our proximity I had no idea of the pain she is going through right now.  I am so glad that she came and shared that with me, because now I can’t go on with just a passing wave and a smile when I see her.  I want her to know that we care, that we will pray for her, that she can come to us if she needs to.  Brian wants us to invite her over for dinner this week.  This movie night was just the beginning of our neighborhoods journey to creating a community.  I am excited to see what is in store.  I couldn’t help but feel “warm fuzzies” in my belly that night when I went to bed.

the preparations

Instead of writing a separate Feeling Crafty post, I am just going to share a lil something if that’s okay.  I was looking through some pictures with my friends from their Easter celebration and saw that the table had cute tea lights in Mason jars with a mix of colorful lentils in it.  It looked so cute that I stole the idea for Halloween!  Check out the cute candles Piper and I made to line our walk way for Halloween tomorrow night and also for our movie night!

Black and orange for Halloween!  How simple is this!  I bought popcorn in bulk at Sprouts and I already had a bag of black beans.  I save my glass jars to put left overs in, so all I had to do was soak them in warn soapy water to get the labels off.

Piper helped tie bows around the top, and that was it!  It seriously took very little time and I thought they looked really cute.  Here’s what they looked like all lit up.

Also this week we decided to be festive by having a make-your-own-monster pizza night.  I went to an eatery once that served a “torpizza” and now sometimes I use tortillas when making personal pizzas.  They are also the perfect size for a monster face :).

Greenie with a beard

And totally not related but pretty stinkin’ cute is Tatum in her new boots that a friend gave her.  Yesterday morning we went for a walk and it was pretty cold in the morning so Tatum looked adorable in her little furry zebra jacket and knee high boots and Piper decided to wear her snow suit.  All was well until the sun burned off the fog and Piper rode home in the stroller in her underwear and a t-shirt.

dressed to impress

 

Feeling Crafty: Halloween Ideas (take two)

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I am not sure why my entire post was lost in cyberspace, but it was.  I will try and tell you everything that was in there, but it never is as good the second time around.  Bummer!  And another thing, I meant to write this post last week, so I realize that it may be too late but perhaps it will give you some ideas for next year.  Sorry about that.  Anyway, I had this idea to make decoupage paper lanterns.  I never got around to making them.  But if I would have they would have looked something like this.

image from koyalwholesale.com

I got this image from google images, but I think that they would be easy to make.  I was thinking a little black tissue paper, some glue and voila!  You should have something like this!  Cut out some cute little spiders or bats or jack-o-lantern face features, and with a glue and water mixture brush the tissue paper onto the lantern.  I hope I will try this for Thanksgiving or Christmas and then I can give you some step by step pictures of my actual lanterns.

Also, I have had a few kid Halloween parties and I thought I would share some ideas you can do with your kiddos just for fun or for a party.

Make play dough, or if you have Play-doh, pull out the Halloween cookie cutters or pick some up at the dollar store and make some festive shapes.  If you make your own dough, you could also, heat them in the oven and dry them and then paint them!

Play parachute games bouncing an orange balloon around.  I found one last year that was a jack-o-lantern face and it had a light in it so we played in the dark!

Make handprint spiders and footprint ghosts!  I did these for invitations one year.  I don’t have a picture, but I went and found this on google images too!  Same idea.

I think I’m missing something that was in my last post that somehow got lost, but oh well.  I will just leave you with some fun Halloween kid songs.  And I will go ahead an apologize for not spell checking this and reading it over.  Sorry.

 

Three Little Witches

1 little, 2 little, 3 little witches

Fly over haystacks, fly over ditches

Fly over moonbeams without any hitches

Hey, ho Halloween Night!  (clap)

1 little, 2 little, 3 little witches

Flew over barbwire and tore their britches

Had to go home and get some stiches

Hey, ho Halloween Night!  (clap)

Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground

(to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle)

Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground

How’d you get so big and round

Planted as a seed so small

Now you are a great big ball

Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground

How’d you get so big and round

Boo!

(For this one we went in a circle and took turns hiding behind a Jack-o-lantern printout.)

To scare some folks on Halloween,

I’ll tell you what I’ll do

I’ll hide behind this pumpkin face,

And then I’ll shout…BOO!

Creating Community

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It shouldn't surprise you that we built the tallest structure there ;), just part of our competitive nature.

A couple of weekends ago, we headed to Segerstrom Performing Arts Center for a free family activity.  It was called “We Built this City” where kids did just that using cardboard boxes.  The actors, from an Australian-based company, dressed as construction workers, were the facilitators.  We really had a great time and Piper asked if we could go back the following weekend.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.  I love stuff like that.  I love events that draw people together, I love when we do something outside of the norm, and most of all I love things that are free (if you couldn’t already figure that out :)).  But what was most striking was that as we were creating our buildings and turning the boxes into a city, it took very little time, it was a matter of minutes.  Really, it doesn’t take long to create a city.  Master-planned cities are created these days in months!  Suddenly neighborhoods pop up, and schools start getting built and then the next thing you know the corner lot is now a Starbucks, which makes it an official city it appears these days.  But creating community is something so much different than buildings and people, it’s relational.  It means putting yourself out there, making yourself vulnerable, and investing in those around you.  I believe that community is good for everyone involved.  It is good for businesses, for churches, for real estate and perhaps most importantly, for the residents.  When a city has community it causes it to be a desirable place to live.  I am wanting that.

If we rely on others to create the community around us it may not happen.  I put myself out there, to a degree, but still that is not enough.  I don’t even know the name of some of my next door neighbors!  And I have lived here for over a year now!  There’s this book, In The Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time, where the author is compelled to create community in his neighborhood after a neighbor is killed by her ex-husband.  How could such a thing happen here?  Could things have been different had relationships been born among neighbors?  Well, this story may as well have taken place on my street.  Seal Beach, a place where I spent many summer days, suffered a terrible blow yesterday.  Right next door to a restaurant that my girlfriends and I frequent regularly, a man walked into a salon and shot and killed his ex-wife and 7 other people.  I heard multiple people on the news say, “This doesn’t happen in Seal Beach”.  But, it seems as if “this stuff” can and does happen everywhere.  I don’t know if that was always the case, but it happened at Columbine and Virginia Tech, in Santee and Norway.  Were the neighbors aware of the threat this man posed?  I don’t know, but I can’t help thinking that there is a certain strength that comes from community.  And yet we can get so caught up and busy in our own lives that we forget to take the time to look out for those around us.  So how can we, how can I change that?

I don’t know how to create community, but I know that it happens little by little and that it doesn’t happen by continuing to live steps away from people and not even know their names.  Our lemonade (and cupcake, and chocolate covered pretzel) stand had been helpful.  We have been making it a point to go out there maybe about twice a month.  Not only do we make money, but we are meeting people.  I don’t frequent the park that is directly across the street from my house, but I know that it is a place where people gather.  So, I would like to work on going there on a regular basis.  I have decided that we are going to have a neighborhood movie night.  This is my intentional push to get the neighbors together.  Sometime around Halloween we are going to set up the projector in the front yard and play It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  It might seem like this is my “cup of tea” and it is, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.  I am already fretting over the turn out for my movie night, wondering if anyone will show up.  But I am putting myself out there, and it might not be a great success the first time, but perhaps it will open the door for more opportunities.

What are you doing to build community?  I would love to hear your ideas.  Really, I would!