Friday, June 5, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Our New Hobbies, Why Traffic Cones Make the Best Toys, and Fun with Wildlife

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


While I'm mildly freaking out about our dentist remaining closed and some of the kids being months overdue for a cleaning, I could definitely get used to this "no activities" thing.

Yesterday we just went to the beach, in the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday just because we could.

On a typical Thursday after school before Coronavirus, we would've had 4 activities going on in different places and "dinner" was a peanut butter sandwich your mom threw at you in the car as she was peeling out of the driveway trying to get you to soccer practice on time.

At some point, the crazy train will start back up again and we want the kids to be involved in stuff, but for now we're enjoying having the free time to do things like...


... Paint night.

The finished products turned out significantly better than the last time we did a family paint night.

Maybe it's because we're learning, but it probably has more to do with the fact that this time I bought some good brushes and paint instead of using whatever random supplies we had on hand.

We followed this tutorial from The Art Sherpa and I was really pleased with our results!
Clockwise from top left corner: me, the 8-year-old, Phillip, the 14-year-old, the 12-year-old, and the 16-year-old.

The 4- and 6-year-olds couldn't be bothered with things like tutorials, but they did enjoy using the Q-tips I gave them.

Top: 4-year-old. Bottom: 6-year-old.

I'm loving doing family paint nights, but I'm stuck for what tutorial to watch next.

I've exhausted The Art Sherpa's 30-minute videos, and I don't think the younger kids have the attention span for a longer one. Any hot tips?


... Fairy houses.

My kids have been making fairy houses every time we go out. Even when we went to the beach they fashioned a miniature mud hut with a porch made out of lilypads and pebbles.

Here's what they made when we went on a hike this weekend:

They said the little ladder took forever to make, and are considering bringing a tweezers along next time to make the work less tedious.

We Evanses are very serious about our recreation.


... And whatever this is.

He wears the cone around a lot, although this is the first time I've seen the ladies' sunhat perched on top.

Last summer, the guys who resurfaced our driveway left three traffic cones behind. Not the flimsy plastic kind you can buy on Amazon. These are legit, highway department-grade cones we're talking about. We waited for months for them to come pick them up, but they never did.

They're the best toys we've ever had.

Have you ever driven over a traffic cone? They're indestructible. Finally, a toy that fits our kids' lifestyle!


My son built a bird house years ago at a church activity, which we nailed to a tree in the backyard and forgot about.

A few days ago, one of my kids thought she heard some peeping inside, so we went to investigate and found a nest with three baby birds!

After they move out, we have some redesign work to do.

First of all, we mounted the birdhouse up too high on the tree so we need a ladder to look inside. It's a a pain in the butt, although I guess it does keep the little kids from harassing the birds too much.

Another problem is that the birdhouse doesn't have a hinged roof, and the only way the kids can see what's inside is by shining a flashlight through the little hole on the front. They do this while we stand at the bottom of the ladder yelling, "Not directly in their eyes! Don't blind the baby birds!"

Clearly, we did not think it through.


I was taking a walk around the yard with my 4-year-old counting the animals we saw, when we stumbled across a mole (we have a lot of moles around here) that had keeled over and died right in the middle of the front yard.

I know, I know. Dead animals are sad.

But have you ever seen a mole? They're the cutest creatures on the planet. They're like tiny, adorable little grandpas in velvet suits.

If you've never seen a mole, Google some pictures. It'll be the best thing you do all day.


As they saw me writing the last take, the kids decided they were going to go out and find a mole.

It took them about 5 minutes. I had no idea they'd be back so quickly.


Unfortunately, moles don't survive well in captivity so my kids will have to content themselves with letting them run around in an empty kiddie pool for a few minutes before letting them go again.

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Jenny in WV said...

Thanks for the link to pictures of moles. A small dead creature appeared on the back patio earlier this week. I didn't know what it was, but apparently it was a mole. (This was also a part of adulting I had not anticipated).

Your paintings turned out great!

Jenny Evans said...

Jenny: You never know all the ways this blog will help you in life. Glad I could be of service.

PurpleSlob said...

The paintings are great! Are you hanging them all up?? :0
Love that conehead child!

Katie said...

Your son with the cone and hat on his head made me laugh out loud. Thanks for something funny on a not-so-great day!

Kimberly said...

Not to be a wet blanket, but what do you plan to do with six nearly-identical paintings of dandelions?

Jenny Evans said...

Kimberly: That's a good question. I don't really have a problem holding onto sentimental clutter. (I more often have the problem of throwing something away and then later wishing I wouldn't have!) I'm fine tossing the paintings after we take a picture to remember the fun we had making them.