Monday, February 14, 2011

A girl, a giraffe and Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day
Up until a few weeks ago, "giraffe" and "Valentine's Day" would not have appeared in the same sentence for me, but Emma changed that. She came home from school talking about their upcoming Valentine's Day party and how there was going to be a competition with the Valentine's containers that the kids brought to school. 
I started giving her ideas:  

Me:  "Hey, why don't we make a little blue mailbox? Wouldn't that be cute??"

Emma: "No, I want to make a Giraffe. I asked my teacher how big it could be and she said as long as it fits through the door, it's o.k."

Me:  "But, a little blue mailbox would be so much easier." (I should know by now that this type of reasoning does not work with Emma.)

Emma:  "I'm doing a giraffe."

I made the mistake of starting with my best idea first, so when she shot it down, I had no where to go. At this point, I officially retired as helper on this project and Brian stepped in. Apparently he was on the same page with Emma when it came to how big this giraffe was going to be. I just kept saying, "If it were up to  me (and it clearly wasn't), it would be a cute little table top giraffe, if it has to be a giraffe." But, I was no longer part of this project, so my opinion carried little weight...none at all. 
The box for the body and the 1 gallon milk jug for the head determined the size. When Brian showed me the neck, I laughed.  I told him that this was beginning to remind me of the 500 lb. stairs that Allen O'Reilly (a great actor, but questionable stair builder) made in Theater Workshop class up at NAU...but, it was their project now and my opinion didn't matter (but I still couldn't help sharing it!). 

The only thing I had anything to do with was the tubes to keep the ears from completely flopping over. After the legs joined the body and the head was attached to the neck...
It started to take on a personality and I must admit that it was growing on me, even in all of it's hugeness and I started to think about the love wrapped up in the making of that giraffe: A girl had a vision and a dad, who loves the girl, helped her make her little (big) giraffe dream a reality.
But there was more work to be done. A giraffe needs spots and if the giraffe is going to hold valentines, then the spots better be hearts.
I tried helping with this part, but could clearly see that I was NOT wanted, so I left them. It was the best thing I could have done. Emma's friend, Maddie, was the perfect helper. They really didn't need me. I'm such a control freak sometimes that I would have interfered, for sure. 
I love how it turned out without me!

 Friday, the 11th, was the big day. The giraffe and valentines are ready to go.
 The Dream Team.

Remember how back in December we sold our suburban, which would have been the perfect giraffe transporter, but now, we only had a car big enough for my little table top giraffe. I started to wonder if we were ever going to get him in the car. Trunk was a no go. Back seat......uh, no. Last resort...
front seat with the seat reclined. Emma was a little squished in the back seat, but we had a giraffe who needed to get to school!

As we park in front of the school, I can feel her excitement mounting. The first stares...
Around the corner to Mrs. Brown's class.

I forgot to mention that the giraffe had a name: Ervin Griswald. Ervin found a place next to the pyramid of gold bars brought in by one of Emma's classmates.
Taylor gives us a Carol Marrol. I could tell by the enthusiastic responses that Emma got from her classmates and the teachers in her building that she had been talking about her giraffe for the past 3 weeks.

Some of the other fun valentine boxes. The kids were all so creative.
When I saw the box below, my heart swelled. I loved it and the image it created of the little boy who brought it in sitting at home gluing and coloring to make his wonderful treasure chest. So cute.

It was a good day.

Hope your Valentine's Day is sweet, too.


  1. Other Maria contributions she failed to mention: 1) upside down paper cups for the hooves (I was going to use tuna cans) 2) straight legs. I was going to try to give them knees! As always, Maria is a good, sensible editor.

  2. Anders and Maggan Flink (morfar and mormor)February 14, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    We love it. Happy Valentine's day!

  3. YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!!! And that Emma...... I tell ya, she is one adorable girl! Ervin turned out just TOO. CUTE. FOR. WORDS!!!!!!! And I loved how Maria captured the whole process. You guys just have so much creativity and enthusiasm running through you - I love it! And I'm so glad you took pics of the class, Maria - you're right, the students did an awesome job! It was fun to see what everyone came up with. But Emma girl - you went above and beyond (literally!) and that was AWESOME!


  4. Maria, can I say that Caleb did exactly the same thing two years ago! He decided he had to have a giraffe valentine box and the cards had to go in the mouth, down the neck and into the box. It wasn't as big as Emma's or as true to life, but we did make a giraffe! Love the pictures!

  5. Cathy, that is so funny, but doesn't surprise me. Our initial plan was in the mouth, down the neck, but we forgot to leave an open mouth AND cutting into the neck seemed a little risky.

  6. Hello! I had no idea you were a photographer too! Although, I should have known, the way Ben worked the camera like no other!
    Do you want me to e-mail you the pictures?
    Marlee had such a fun time with Ben. She only has nice things to say about him.

    BTW, I'm DYING over the giraffe. Love it!


  7. This is so cool! I really liked it.

  8. I love it!! Great job Emma!!! I have to show Olivia this blog. She has been asking to see Emma's giraffe for a while now.

  9. Oh my goodness. That is SOO CUTE! What a creative little girl you have.


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