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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Clay Fun and a Life Lesson

Today was supposed to be a really great day. I had supper cooking in the crockpot, and had some fun fellowship in our Built on Wisdom, affectionately called B.O.W., community. I had a lot of ideas running around in my head for some really fun ideas with the kiddos and for future blog posts. Then, LIFE happened...and so did learning...on my part as well.

You see, mamas, life is not Pinterest perfect. It is not always blog worthy. Mercy, sometimes it's not even Kodak worthy. But it's real....and it's beautiful....and it's hard. Oh, it's hard. As we begin to tackle the book Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson next month, you will see that. 

I have always loved Sarah Mae's writings, and for even longer, I have looked up to Sally Clarkson. Previewing this book selection, and beginning to read it, my heart was comforted as I realized that these two ladies are REAL. They share that realness in the book. Take heart mom, I'm going to tell you a little secret I am sure of. NO ONE finishes everything they "pin" on Pinterest! Everyone has "off" days, "weary" days, "REAL" days. Take comfort in knowing that.

Some favorite verses of mine in the weary seasons:

  •  Galatians 6:9~ And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:24~ Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. (this reminds me that when I had these babies, He called me to motherhood. He didn't leave me to do it on my own. He will help me, even in my weakness.)
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9~ And He said to me,"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (right there says it. His strength is made perfect in MY weakness. He will help me.)
Now, for the clay fun and life happens moment. It is my sincere desire to remain real with you all. Both the ugly AND the pretty, and I trust that you will do the same.

Easy Homemade Salt Clay:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water (3/4 cup works better, add more if it doesn't knead easy)
  • Food coloring (optional-this just changes the color to whatever you want)
Mix together all of the salt, flour and oil in a bowl.

Add water and mix, begin to knead by hand, adding more water if the dough is too flaky and not easily molded.

Gradually put food color in and mix/knead as you go. Be careful with little hands! Food coloring stains. I got it good and mixed up before I had them knead it. Add more food coloring and splashes of water as needed. This takes quite a bit of food coloring. You can separate the batches if you want to make several colors. We just did a big blob of red this time. We took it out onto wax paper for easier kneading for little hands-the mixing bowl was deep.

Finally! The finished product, separated out for each girl. Kinda looks like hamburger!!

For more fun, roll the dough out and use cookie cutters to shape it. Then, bake in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes, turning after 8 minutes, or until the dough is dark and tough. This idea came from the book, Creative Crafts for Clever Kids Exciting Projects from Everyday Stuff. This book is amazing! So many items that you already have ON HAND are used in many of these crafts.

Now for the REAL part. If I were to leave this blog as is, or post the idea to Pinterest, you would think, wow! That looks like so much fun and blah...blah...blah. Truth is? We did have a ball. My little girl even gave us a "lesson". As I was kneading the food coloring into the dough, we remarked how it looked like a "real" heart, not a "Valentine" heart. My 6 year old then piped up, "When you put the red food coloring on it, it looks like blood. Just like the blood Jesus shed." WOW.

Then, life sets in. We had to pick her oldest brother up from basketball camp in 30 minutes, so we set the clay aside in freezer bags to play with when we got home. While doing this, I hear my 4 year old hollering that she was locked in our bedroom. Apparently, the 6 year old thought it would be hilarious to lock the door, from the inside, and slam it before the 4 year old could get out.

Guess what? Yeah, the 4 year old couldn't figure out how to turn the lock from the inside. We talked her through it step by step. I finally called my 12 year old son to talk her through it through the door, (these two have an amazing bond), and while doing it, he was easing her fears. She was crying. I even tried to break down the door.......HA HA HA! Mom vs. Door and the door wins. THIS TIME.

My kids reminded me of how I had locked us out of the apartment a few weeks ago and tried to "pick" the lock with my debit card. Maybe it would work this time. Great debit card was locked in the room with the 4 year old. My 12 year old son remembered that B, my oldest son, had a gift card in his wallet. He got it out...we "picked" the lock, and my daughter was free! A little teary eyed, but free.

So, I fussed. I struggled to find the appropriate punishment. I grounded her from the iPad and the TV. It kept getting worse. As I would scold her, or "ground" her, she would smile as if it was no big deal. I became weary. Tired. the lines of the book Desperate...I began praying for God to teach me how to parent. How to discipline and how to reach my child. I know that He will. I also know that I am blessed beyond measure that these precious gifts call me "mama" and love them very much.

Have you ever had a Desperate moment? Have you reached out to the One who can help you be the mom that you want to be? Share with us.

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