Tag Archives: Children

Papercraft: A Cheap, Addicting Hobby

I recently stumbled across an amazing hobby called papercraft.  Apparently this has been around since the early 20th century and I am told that a form of paper modeling was popular among kids during World War II because paper was one of the few things not heavily regulated.  The internet has given papercraft wings in the new age because templates are easily uploaded, shared, and printed.  The complexity of paper models on the internet range from a simple 3D cube to a scale model of the starship Enterprise.

Cool beans, right?

Cardstock paper, a printer, scissors, a precision knive, and glue.  That’s all you need to make papercraft toys.  You simply download the template and start cutting.  It’s hella easy and hella fun.

My son starts homeschool this week.  I am so proud of my wife for taking on the responsibility of teaching our kid during the day.  With over 26 weeks in the curriculum (ABC Jesus Loves Me), we start this week with the letter A.

Shari found a papercraft alphabet that is perfect for teaching kids the alphabet.


Due to the cutting nature of these projects, I don’t recommend letting your kids in on the fun unless they are older and understand how to handle sharp objects.  There are simpler projects out there that only require scissors and are more suited for the younger crowd.


You don’t have to be perfect, but it helps to cut a semi-straight line.  This is a skill I don’t come by naturally.

By the way, ‘A’ is always for Astronaut.


When all is said and done, you should end up with a handsome looking figurine.  I hope it makes my son’s lesson a little bit more fun.

A word of caution: even though it’s made of cardstock and put together with the indefatigable Elmer’s Glue, it should be handled with care.  My 2 year old took a Storm Trooper figurine I made and turned it into a paper ball.  I guess as a toy, it works on multiple levels.

Papercraft rocks!

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You remember those warm, sunny afternoons in the backyard with your grandpa? You remember how bubbles made you feel all giddy inside, especially when you tried to pop them? My son feels the same way. Here is a video of just that.

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Family Worship

I occasionally pull out the guitar and sing a few songs with my family.  I think it is a healthy practice, and I love that quality time.  The other day, I was playing around on the guitar and I pulled out my new portable audio recorder so that I could catch Caleb singing with me.  He was sitting on my lap, grabbing the strings, and trying to copy what I was singing.

Even though he doesn’t understand volume or tone, I appreciate the effort.  There will come a day when he won’t sit on my lap and sing at the top of his lungs, so I will take all the chances I can get.  Forgive the raw quality of the recording.  A professional I am not.  To God be the glory.


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35mm Amusement – 2nd Roll

I went ahead an did the Facebook/Flickr thing with all of the pictures I took on the Nikon FE, but I reserved these three for the blog.

Texas occasionally has spats of good weather during the winter and we like to take those opportunities to step outside for some fresh air.  On this particular day at the beginning of the year, we used the power of the sun to dry our wet laundry.  The light had a really interesting quality to it and I knew I had a few shots left on the Nikon, so I took them.

Even though the pictures didn’t come out the way I saw them in my mind’s eye, I am pleased with how they look.  Of course, I am always pleased with how my wife looks… always.

The results were totally unexpected.  First, the film is expired, so there is no telling exactly what has happened to the emulsion.  Second, I’m still getting used to the light meter, and the shots aren’t exposed correctly.  Third, I think that there is a possibility of some light leaks on the back of the camera due to some rotted out light seals.  Looks like I’m going to have to get those fixed.

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Christmas 2011

The Hensons had a whirlwind Christmas again this year. We celebrated with our immediate family on Christmas eve morning, drove to Gorman and celebrated with Shari’s family that night, then celebrated again with Shari’s extended family on Christmas morning. Finally, we drove up to the panhandle and celebrated Christmas with Shari’s dad. That’s a lot of celebrating. As exhausting as Christmas can be, it is so good to spend time with family and get away for a few days. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. We can’t wait to do it again in 2012.

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35mm Amusement – 1st Roll

I am slow.  So slow that I am just now starting to catch up with all of the media I generated during the Christmas holiday.  I was recently inspired to pick up my sister’s old Nikon FE 35mm SLR and shoot a few rolls of film.  I loved getting back to the basics of photography.  My wife and I both have nice digital SLRs with snappy auto-focus, auto white balance, super accurate digital light meters, and many other bells and whistles that take all of the thinking out of the exposure.

Taking a picture without that high-speed processing power makes you really think about what you’re shooting, what kind of light you’re shooting in, and whether or not you really need a picture of it.  Especially when you realize that you only have 24 exposures per roll.  Add to that the increasing price of film developing and you start to get nervous every time you press that shutter release.  I think it’s that nervous excitement that I crave, hoping that the picture turns out exactly the way you see it in your head.  Film photography has become a novelty rather than a standard (at least I think it’s novel).  I love the “film look”, and I can’t wait to shoot some more with that camera.

Pictures taken with a Nikon FE, Nikkor 50mm 1.8

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‘Tis [Always] the Season

The second I step into the house, my son’s bare feet are pitter-pattering to the door. He flings his arms wide and yells, “Da…!” or “Dat!” or “Daddtheee”, or some combination of those. My beautiful wife is usually right after him with a sweet kiss and a hug. I love coming home to my family and I want it to be pleasant for them when I come home.

Even in the hot Summer months, or the dreary winter months (post-Christmas), a dad should always be willing to get on the floor with his kid, make a few funny faces, and play. Play on your kid’s terms, not on yours. Shrug off the worries of work and let your family know that you are now completely there for them.

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