Many (some) of you follow my Instagram to see what our recent Bernese Mountain puppy rescue is up to these days. But our first family dog was Tanner, an Australian Shepherd. Aussies and Berners are completely different personality types. Kind of like children…Tanner, like all our pets, taught us so many life lessons.
And, Tanner taught me how to use school crafts in the decor.
Where a Bernese Mountain puppy can fall asleep with his head in a food bowl, an Aussie prefers to run 5+ miles, followed with a 3 mile vertical incline.
And, Tanner’s first Christmas season, we discovered his ambition and curiosity were exceptional for a puppy.
He was going to solve world problems. Or, as we discovered, create a few problems of his own.
haul out the holly and the school crafts
It was the Christmas season and I decided to haul out the storage tubs filled with the kids’ Christmas school crafts. And, then we decided to pile into the Sequoia to grab tacos with plans to trim the tree after dinner.
As the adoptive mom of our Australian Shepherd puppy, it was a rookie mistake.
In the 90 minutes we were away for chips and salsa, Tanner got hungry and ate his way thru every edible Christmas craft, Mother’s Day poster and Fruit Loop Turkey.
And, then when he realized what he had done, he threw up the contents of his tummy so we could keep the school crafts. He was thoughtful like that.
Bless his little heart!
Upon discovering the craft contents shredded and regurgitated across the stairs and front entry, we all just broke into laughter.
A dog’s purpose.
We admired Tanner’s determination to open up those bins and find himself a Honeycomb snack amongst the school crafts.
It took an Australian Shepherd puppy’s curiosity for me to appreciate the school crafts and memories.
After we sorted thru the storage bins, I salvaged the school crafts that were not made from processed sugar or flour.
Thankfully, Tanner did not eat ANY the school craft projects made from just crayons and construction paper.
He did not eat the Mother’s Day crafts made with paint brush strokes and construction paper.
I stashed them in a storage bin and set those crafts aside.
For almost ten years.
And, then last summer, on a rare and rainy Saturday afternoon, I pulled the school crafts and chose a few favorites from each child.
I purchased storage containers from the Container Store, but I found several here this summer.
Some of the baked, glazed projects ended up in the garden next to these.
Sorting thru these school crafts brought back so many memories and emotions. It was like an epiphany happend on my office floor.
Why did I store the school crafts for my kids to sort thru years later?
Let that last sentence sink in because that is the life lesson in this post.
These school crafts were meant to be enjoyed way past their refrigerator phase.
School Crafts in the Kitchen Decor
I never appreciated Mr. Measure Man, my sous chef, until he survived Tanner’s Elmer’s glue and licorice binge.
I added a frame and now he hangs out in the pantry and I smile everytime I see Mr. Measure Man. He kind of looks like Buzz Lightyear.
A few projects claimed year-round status like my daughter’s American flag she and her first-grade class drew on the afternoon of September 11th, 2001.
I was so happy to find this flag, untouched. I am so thankful Tanner lead me to my daughter’s American flag drawing.
Now, it is in my living room year-round.
Let me know what you think of this post on how to integrate the kids’ crafts into the decor. I hope these ideas inspire you to revisit those storage bins in the basement.
This post is in memory and honor of our loyal Tanner who ran to the Rainbow Bridge just before Labor Day. We know he is keeping tabs on our second, fur baby, Owen the Wonder Dog.