http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/ (the one who does all and makes it seem effortless), for inspiring me to make the giant bubblemaker for my grands! I had my happy bubble picture in my mind as I viewed the delightful images from your blog! In my vision, I would give my husband a glimpse of one of your images and he would understand immediately what I expected him to fashion so that I could have my grands over and we would bask together in the fun and delight of the handmade toy.Thank you, Erica, at
Here's what really happened...
I showed my husband the pics and explained all the items HE would need to create the toy. We were off to a good start! He went to Walmart, and got dowel rods, and 4 rolls of duct tape in fun colors. Of his own accord, he got lime green, hot rod flames, hot pink, and paint splatter! He then got black yarn and pink & white yarn so they would match the handles. I smiled at his genius when he called and described the designer tape he found. I could NOT wait til the kids saw these things he was going to make for them. Once brought in, all the bubble maker making supplies were lined neatly on the kitchen island ready for assembly.
Then, in perfect timing for my mission, two of our daughters asked if we could keep their kids on a Saturday evening. I was so excited that morning for our Bubble Making event we'd have later. First, I would hit some sales with one of the daughters and her three kids. We were gone til 3, with kids in tow at every sale.
I was a little beat, but, I held onto the idea that we were going to have so much fun when the rest of the kids got there and we would all behold the giant bubbles from the handmade toy that grandpa had made that day. I'd promised the girls grandpa was making them something and we would all have fun with it later. They couldn't even guess what it was? Brownies? No, I told them, you will see!
I got home with the kids and came in and saw the uncut dowel rods, unopened duct tape and string, hook and eyes still where they had been laid out, ready to assemble, but, no biggie. I knew he could get them done while the kids took a little nap. Then, I saw my husband had his keys ready to leave to go get some lumber for a project he'd begun. Surely, there would still be time for him to make them once he was back from Home Depot. I laid down with them to get them settled and found myself taking a little snooze, too.
When we awoke, it was time for my other daughter's four kids to arrive. My husband was unloading his supplies as the four arrived. My bubble picture of the toys being ready to go popped, but, I held firmly to the image of their delight upon seeing the huge bubblesthat they could make, so I began assembling the bubble makers myself.
First, I had to ask my husband to take time from his project to cut the dowel rods. He was a bit irritated with me for this, but, went along. Oblivious to the fact that I'd assumed he was actually going to make them, he went and cut them, grumbling about the interruption. Once he brought them up cut in thirds, not halves, I realized they were shorter than the ones in Erica's picture. So, I let him know I didn't think they'd work. He was unphased by the fact that my handmade toys were now lacking inches on the "Real" handmade toys Erica's kids got to use. Oh, well. He was right. They would work, they'd just have to bend down a little more.
On to the gorgeous duct tape. I called the kids into the kitchen to choose colors, taking them from the activity they were involved in which was running and screaming in the basement at the top of their 6 lungs. One of my grandboys looked at what I was assembling and said, "What are those?" Grinning, I answered excitedly, they are BUBBLE MAKERS! I am making them for you! What color tape do you want for your handle?" He said, "That's lame." POP! went one of my bubbles.
Not deterred, I took all the orders for colors of handles and began to wind the duct tape around the bottom of the dowel rod. Let's suffice it to say, this is not as easy as it might sound. The tape crinkled and crumbled into a mushy glob and finally I got the hang of starting it at the corner edge of the tape. Then, it worked!
I had a good start on the handles so I called my daughter in law to see if her and my son could bring the REST of the kids. She was all for it! I was so glad! Just as i imagined it, ALL the kids together enjoying this experience with grandma! So, I asked her to ask my granddaughter what color handles she'd like. She asked her, "do you want hot pink or paint splatter?" HOT PINK was teh emphatic response!
So I made hot pink handles for her and realized I now only had one dowel rod left to make her brother's bubble maker. Oh well, not enough. They can share...no problem!
On to the hook and eyes. What? They WONT screw in?? Out to my husband I go. He was less than thrilled to go back down to his work shop, grab a drill and make starter holes for 9 sets of bubble makers! But, thankfully, he did it expertly as always. I was happy. We, well, I... was almost done making the toys.
I was doing good. So far, I only stopped and settled about four disputes between the kids, made 5 drinks, and given one of them a snack while I was making them.
Then, on to attaching the string. I had to log back on to http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/ to look at how she did the strings and I still wasn't sure I had it right...so, I went out and asked dear hubby about it. In he came, huffing a little, but, he was able to confirm that I had it right. Now, it was time to make the bubble mix. I poured the tiny amount of dishwashing liquid I had left into a measuring cup. Half of a third of a cup. I needed a third of a cup. No problem, because honey had gotten some more when he took the list with the items I needed. I opened the door and hollered out, "Honey, where's the dishwashing liquid you bought for the bubble recipe?" Quiet. Then, he confessed that he forgot to grab it.
Not to be deterred, I grabbed the phone and called my DIL. "Hey, can you bring some dishwashing liquid"" "Sure!" She said. What kind do you use? She said, "Only Dawn." I said, "that is exactly what I need." I went ahead and made a half recipe with what I had on hand. I put the sugar, dish liquid and water into the bowl mixed it and poured it into a deep cookie tray.
Meanwhile, I can smell a foul odor coming from the two year old who has gotten ahold of one of the bubble makers and tangled the string into an unrelenting knot. I cut the strings away and my DIL and son arrive with their three kids in tow. They set them down amongst the other six and my husband sticks his head in the door and calls for them to come outside to see his project.
I restring the toy I just untangled. Then, I change the diaper. Now, I can finish stringing the other six sets, and make more bubble recipe. My granddaughter who just arrived comes in and realizes that what she really wanted was the paint splatter tape and NOT the hot pink tape! After comforting her and convincing her that Hot Pink will work, I look around for the Dawn my DIL brought and I can't find it. I stick my head out the back door and interrupt the adult conversation going on outside to ask her where the Dawn is. She said, "Oh, I didn't have any. We were out." I reply sweetly, "Oh, Ok. This that I made should be enough. " (I HOPE)!
My granddaughter is crying because of the paint splatter tape, the other kids are arguing over something, and I am getting a headache. So, once again, I stick my head out the back door and ask if some of the adults can come in and help me while I finish stringing the bubble wands. They come in.
I finish stringing the toys and we get all the kids together. They are all outside, as I put the dog in his kennel. My DIL had them all lined up outside on the driveway where my husband set the pan of bubble mixture. My husband demonstrates how the bubbles are made and flawlessly makes a bubble about his own size. The kids are in awe of his bubble mastery. They know that he is the BEST grandpa ever!! I am now taking the pictures, so, I am not even in any of the pictures. But, I AM HAPPY!
Because NOW the bubble picture I had is complete! My grandson who said the toy was lame admits that he didn't realize what kind of bubbles I meant. I am fine, because I knew it would be thus. I had the picture in my head of ALL of them enjoying this thing and that is what happened. Even my son and his wife were in competition to see who could do better. My son did better. First try. Master like his dad! Then their daughter obviously caught the mantle. Even though her handles were HOT PINK and NOT paint splatter, she instantly caught on to the technique and made the LARGEST bubbles ever! Over and over. All nine of the kids including the two year old were able to make these huge bubbles. Laughter, smiles, giant beautiful floating bubbles! AHHH! This is the life!!
It is a lot like our Christian walk. We have a goal. God has a goal! He has His own happy bubble picture of all of us together smiling and having a great time in eternal bliss and reigning with Him in His Kingdom. But, along the way, there are arguments, dirty diapers, mistakes, mishaps, disappointments, and general mayhem in our humanity...but, it is indeed ALWAYS true...
all things work together for good, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
I'm still bubbling, bubbling, bubbling in my soul! Thanks AGAIN to Erica for this idea! (and to Jesus, and my husband for help making it happen)!