handmade by Granpa

I know what you’re thinking, she has a typo in the title.
And you would be toooootally justified in thinking that!….since I always have typos in my posts. Seriously. No matter how many times I read through things, something is misspelled or phrased wrong. Thanks for looking past that!

And here’s where I’m going with it all…
At Christmas time I shared some handmade gifts from Lucy’s Grandma. Today I wanted to share some cool treasures that were handmade by my father-in-law, or as he chiseled into the side of his wooden toy:
We all laughed about that for a moment. And then ooohed and ahhhed at the totally cool thing he’d made. It’s a rocking snail!
My father-in-law is one of those handy, creative, “I can figure it out” kind of guys. He works in Special Effects in the film industry and knows how to blow up buildings, create fake snow and rain, and of course he owns all sorts of power tools. He’s a man man (rather than a “mer-man–cough cough–Mer-MAN!”). But he’s also tender-hearted and loves creating toys for his grandkids. When Lucy was 1, her Christmas present was this adorable rocking snail. I have fun memories of her rocking on it in her little bedroom in our tiny California apartment. When she grew out of it, Owen inherited the sweet rocker.
He’s almost too big for it now. But all I have to do is pull it out and both kids start shouting, “I want a turn! I want a turn!” It’s brought hours of enjoyment to my kids and their friends.
I’m not sure where he got the pattern, but I found a similar creation here (sounds like this guy saw it in a magazine years ago). And you can buy a different type of rocking snail here. If anyone has tutorial info, please share with us!
Next “handmade by Granpa” item….the Marble Rack:
We also had one of these growing up and we would play with it for hours on end…lining up all the marbles, making a train, and listening to their racket as they rolled down the rack.
My kids love it too. In fact, just getting it out to take this photo created an hour of play time for Lucy and Owen. And we could only find 3 marbles! Simple pleasures.
Grandpa made marble racks for each family and kept one for Grandma too. So he’s a man that also thinks, “hey, I’m making one….I should make 5!”
And this year, he did it again. Wooden toy hunting rifles for the boys.
I know some of the past blog posts have stirred emotions in some of you. I’m sorry if you’ve felt bothered; that’s not my intention. Each person has a different comfort level when it comes to guns–whether they’re simple water guns or for deer hunting with Dad. It’s not our place to judge but to teach our children what we’d like them to know (or not know) about these topics.

And wow, what an impressive drilling, sanding, and staining job! Those finger holes are just so smooth!
Grandpa, thank you again!
Handmade gifts are my favorite way to share talents. Our kids will always have a piece of you around our house!
And here they are….Grandpa and Grandma with Owen and Lucy (almost a year ago! My how Owen’s grown!)
If you’re looking for a good way to get your man (or yourself!) involved in the handmade process, look online for wooden toy-making tutorials. Just do a Google search and I’m sure you’ll find all sorts of ideas!

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