Wow, what a crazy summer! There’s been hardly a minute to relax and enjoy the backyard and beautiful weather what with all of the work, travel and family obligations as of late. For me life just seems to get more and more hectic as the years go by. I wish I had time to sit and smell the flowers this week. That would be so nice!
Lucky for me I have a little job to complete with my kids just before they return to school next week. We have been trying all summer long to get a project going for this blog and everything seems to have conspired against it. Time has run out and thus I am going to try and kill two birds with one stone to both get the job done and buy me some much deserved time in the garden before the weather turns cold. Wait…did I say kill birds? Whoops. Yeah, that isn’t a good way to start things as our LEGO project of choice is to house birds and not to knock them off.
My kids have gotten to that time of the season where they are restless. I have a daughter, Taylor (14) and a LEGO maniac son, Quinn (11) bright, enthusiastic, charmers that keep my life incredibly interesting. They are tired of all the things they took joy in when school first let out and are now looking for something new to challenge them. It’s the perfect time to rein them in and launch their brains on to thinking about something besides TV and video games isn’t it? This LEGO birdhouse idea seems like just the ticket to getting their bird brains thinking again before their new teachers get a crack at it.
We started as a family brainstorming long ago about this project. I was thinking something else entirely when Taylor insisted on remodeling LEGO’s 5891 Apple Tree House into a home for wayward feather heads. As she is not often truly enthused about LEGO projects Quinn and I quickly agreed, optimistic that she would perhaps participate in this one with more than her usual acidic sarcasm. (Anyone else out there have teenagers?) That was back in the golden days of summer when the deadline for this submission seemed so far in the future…now that it is nearly fall we must motor to get this thing DONE and doing so needs more than a little scheduling.
It’s a good thing that my brood knows exactly what DIY means in our house. With a roll of her eyes and a sigh Taylor responds “That means if you want something done you better be prepared to ‘do-it-yourself’ because there’s no way you’re getting Mom to do it for you” when I posed the query to my two last week. I have taught my children well, haven’t I? Okay, okay…so I run a busy house! I can’t do everything for my little darlings. Some things are best learned on your own by jumping in with both feet and I have hopes that this project will be one of those experiences for my kids.
So as time was tight I opted to build the birdhouse myself when the house was quiet and the kids were in bed. Was it selfish to take the fun part of the project on solo? Oh my yes!!! But, I self soothed by reminding myself that a job started is one half done…plus it helped that Taylor and Quinn suggested no revisions the next morning. I reasoned that I must have done an okay job on my own for them to not have sixteen change-ups in mind. Whew! Part one of three down.
So with relish that morning Quinn took on his job in this little odyssey. He was the on camera talent in the video showing how our birdhouse was built. The poor guy took three takes to get it right. Apparently my building style and his differ greatly and it took a long time to get it done reasonably error free. His last time was just over a half hour with no breaks in between. Huh, who would have thought it would take that long to assemble such a little house?? I am amazed as he is a wonderfully talented LEGO fiend and his first try took over an hour and a lot of frustration! When previewing the footage Taylor and I were giggling uncontrollably when he would stop, scratch his head, and then exclaim in frustration before taking apart a significant portion of the model to be fixed. I am proud that he was so conscientious about making sure it was built correctly…and I also was impressed that in the end he found several areas to improve my design that were spot on. Good on you Quinn!
I take it you can guess what Taylor’s portion of the task was? She was thrilled to take on the video editing…at least at first! It proved to be a tedious experience for her; even though she started off thinking she had the easiest task of all. In her mind picking out a suitable tune to set the movie to and editing out all of Quinn’s bloopers would pretty much call the job done. Not so! She had to first find a program she was happy with for the editing, and then learn about time lapse video making, file compression, web publishing and more! Yes, she reluctantly (but unfortunately not quietly) learned and accomplished a lot!
Sounds a bit chaotic when put down on virtual paper like this…but I really must say we all had fun doing it. This little adventure won’t soon be forgotten and I am very pleased with the many lessons learned. For me the best part was seeing how far my two have come in their DIY life’s journey. I was amazed at how tenacious they both were and how hard they persevered alone to see the task done properly. And because the ‘job’ involved LEGO, no nagging was necessary. Wow!
The best bit though is sitting here in my garden swing writing this as we all admire the product of our labor and hope that a bird decides to move right in to its new home soon.