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All the kids in the 2nd grade are doing a “Famous American” project for the next few weeks.  They got to select a person from a list of famous Americans, some choices included George Washington, Helen Keller, and Ben Frankiln.  My daughter chose Paul Revere.  I was pretty happy she chose someone a little less famous, although I really wanted her to pick Susan B. Anthony.  After selecting the person, they got to pick how they wanted to present the information they have learned from another list.  On this list there were fun things like dressing up like the person, making a powerpoint, making a scrapbook, and other things I can’t remember.  I really wanted her to pick “dress up like the person”, because I thought that would be the easiest.  She really did not want to dress up like Paul Revere which was another reason why she should have picked Susan B. Anthony…if you ask me (which she did not).   She wanted to do a scrapbook.

Scrapbooking or “scrapping”, for those who are actually good at it (which is not me), lured me in once when I attended a Creative Memories party a friend of mine had.  I had a great time.  I did not have kids yet, so I made an awesome page with pictures of my dogs.  I bought a ton of stuff, paper, the scrapbook, photo corners and other stuff that I thought I needed.  The stuff sat in the bag through the birth of my daughter and then my son.  After moving the stuff (still in the creative memories bag) two times, I finally gave all of the stuff away.

A little while back, I got invited to do some more scrapbooking and for a fleeting second I debated getting back into the craft (if you call one page and a whole bunch of unused stuff doing it in the first place).  My husband forbid it.   I know what you are thinking.  A husband should never forbid his wife to do something, but my husband knows me well and he knows that I would have to buy a ton of stuff that I would perceive I need (because how could I make a great scrapbook page with out the die cutter) and then never do anything with the stuff.  He was preventing unnesassary clutter and possible wasting of more money.  Believe me, he has learned that he has to take these types of stances or we would never have money in our bank account.

So you have to imagine our joy when she told us that this what she wanted to do…

Honestly the first thought I had was “I wish I had not given away all that scrapbooking stuff,” because she could have had a top notch scrapbook if I still had that album.  For a split second I debated buying another album, but then I thought rationally and decided on a cheap 3 ring folder with paper protectors.  I did splurge and bought some cool card stock though (and we can’t forget the confetti card stock… I knew I would find other projects to use it in).  We took her to Ben Franklin and she picked out some Boston stickers and some talk bubble accents.  The talk bubble stickers are mostly blank, but a few have sayings already in them.  I had to resist recommending putting the “You are crazy” talk bubble over the picture of the revolutionaries in the engraving of the Boston Massacre and I see it as a challenge to fit in the “Laugh Out Loud” talk bubble somewhere.

Well, today we started working on the scrapbook.  I decided that I would do the rubber cement and she could do the cutting and write the blurbs.  My husband helped too (which is a good thing since he actually thinks about things like layout).    I tried to let her make all the creative decisions.  She picked out the pictures and went through the readings and highlighted the facts that she felt were interesting.  My favorite fact she found was “the second girl was Rachel Walker.”  I laughed when I inquired about this and I realized she was trying to say that it was his second wife.  We found a picture of Rachel, but she did not want to use it… because she doesn’t think Rachel Walker is all that pretty and she thought her picture would make “the whole scrapbook look ugly.”

She was quite the looker...and really Paul did not look that great in his later pictures either.

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 I still think that Rachel should be included… what is a man without his wife?

As we worked she tried to strike up a conversation (or maybe she was just trying to get me to admit this was more fun than making a Susan B. Anthony costume… I can’t be sure).

My Daughter:  [watching TV (but I do have to admit that it just so happened that Futurama was on and ironically it was the episode where they were in Boston during Revolutionary times] 

My Husband: Are you helping your mom? 

My Daughter:  Yep. [starts writing again]

Me:  [gluing] Where do you want this? 

My Daughter:  [watching TV]  

Me: Hello, where do you want this? [waiting] Girl, where do you want this?  

My Daughter:  [still watching TV] 

Me: [sticking it on the paper] This will work.  

My Daughter:  You are good at this.  This is fun. Don’t you think, mom?

Me:  Sure.

My Daughter:  Do you like scrapbooking? 

Me: Not really.  I think it is more fun for people who have good handwriting, which I don’t.   Scrapbook pages just look better when the person doing it was pretty handwriting. {I think I would also find it more enjoyable if I did not have to rewrite everything multiple times because I misspelled a word or wrote something twice (because I got distracted by something like something on TV).  You can only cover your mistakes with hearts so many times before it becomes unreadable}. 

My Daughter:  Do you think I have good handwriting?

Me: Better than I had when I was in 2nd grade.

My Daughter:  I think it is fun.

Me:  Good.  I am glad.  Can you rewrite this?  You can’t squeeze in the word like that.  You have to be able to read the words.  You know, I think it would help if you were not watching TV as you wrote.  

My Daughter: [writing with renewed vigor for a moment and then goes back to watching TV]

Me:  [sighing] I think we are done for the day.

Something tells me… My daughter is a bit more like me than she thinks.  I am thinking that next time she will want to dress up or at least do the powerpoint.
If you missed that Furturama Episode… Feel free to check out the Paul Revere story that was more interesting than our scrapbooking fun.
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