Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Growing Like Weeds

I ventured into the garage the other day and finally pulled this old board out of the box it was resting in.  I purchase it three years ago, then painted it last year at Christmas time, all the while planning to make a growth chart out of it.  I painted one for me and one for my sister last December, but due to lack of time, I still never finished my own chart.  After a whole year and a couple of really cold, really bleak winter afternoons this past month, I decided to grab that board out of my garage and make a finished project out of it.

With the board painted and distressed, all that was really left was to add the tick marks and numbers.  Vinyl seemed to be an easy way to accomplish the job, so I pushed the power button on my Silhouette Cameo and settled into the computer chair.  

Think about how you would make vinyl pieces for a growth chart.  We are talking about 6-8 feet of little lines all one inch apart.  To take 6-8 feet of vinyl, make those marks where they need to be, and then throw away the rest is a total waste.  Instead, I made these crazy rows of tallies so that the inch tally lines are spaced just like they should be, but my whole set of vinyl fits on two sheets of 12x12 vinyl.  

One note, I started my chart just below 2 feet.  All my kids were 21" long or longer, so I didn't feel the need to start the chart any shorter.  I, instead, was worried about exactly how tall they would be {my boy especially}, plus I wanted him to see just how tall his favorite basketball players were, so I made my board go over 7' tall.  My husband is 6'4, his cousins are 6'8 and 7'1 so I am thinking it just might be a possibility we will need that 7' marker ;0}  

Can you imagine me grabbing the step ladder to get up high enough to plant a kiss on Eli's cheek?  No, me either.  That boy is gonna bend down so I can kiss him ;0}  I am his mama!  Anyway, I added a 7 and a few more tallies to the vinyl just in case you want to use them too.  

I have the silhouette cut file for the vinyl for this project available HERE with Dropbox!!!

You will also need a ruler, scissors, and a 
marking pencil to make this project, in addition to a painted board and a set of vinyl numbers and tallies.

So basically, if you are going to make a growth chart of your own, cut the 12x12 sheet of tallies into three columns.  Then you need to separate the two columns like this...
It is kind of tricky, but stay with it.  If all else fails, you will be back to marking the board for inches, then putting the tallies where they go on the board.  When I cut these apart, I just started at one end of the row of tallies and cut in a zig zag until I ran out of tallies.  If you notice {chuckling at self} I actually forgot one tally on both sides of 6".  For some small moment I forgot that there were 12 inches in a foot instead of 10.  Um, yeah.  Have I mentioned that my children have had no school 8 of the 15 days we have been back in school???  Something about arctic blasts and -40 degrees, blah, blah, blah...  The school district needs to realize it does bad things to my mind when my ears never hear quiet LOL!

{do you like the sight words Emmalee is working on.  Hee, hee...}
Decide if you want to start at one, or just below two...or even at 0 if you really want {just make sure you don't actually start at zero unless you will be hanging your growth chart where there is no baseboard.  Yep.  That is right.  If you plan to start at the floor, you will need to pry off the baseboard, otherwise you will need to start your board at least at 4 or 6 inches.  
When your growth chart is ready to hang, measure 2' off the floor and mark the wall.  Then have a spotter sit on the floor and make sure you get the board up so the 2' mark on the board matches the mark you just made on the wall.  I drilled two small holes at the top of my board before I tried to hang it.  That made it easy to just nail it right to the wall way up around 7 foot.  

Once it is up there on the wall, line up those kiddos and mark 'em on the chart!  Just do it.  Just get those cute little marks on there before they are too big to remember those kids ever being small.  I have been pretty sentimental lately about my little kids that are growing like weeds.  They are growing so, so fast.  I am so grateful for the three darlings I got, but am so sad these years have passed so fast and now we have so few left with our babies.  Madison will be in college in two years.  
How sad is that!?!

Now, here is another funny story...We had been marking the wall by the kitchen table with the kid's heights in our house in Arizona starting back in 2008.  When we moved in 2012 I took a 1x4 board from the garage and transferred all the marks from the wall to the board so we wouldn't lose that memory.  Now, two years later, I transferred all the markings from that 1x4 board {that by some miracle I didn't chop up in a sudden, random project-still amazed at that!} to the newly finished growth chart. 

 Now, I look at these markings and think they must be wrong.  I am pretty convinced that when I wrote "09"  on the board, it was actually 2008.  I really don't think he grew 1.5 inches in 6 months...I guess he could have, but even if he did, I only have 5 marks for him, or any of the kids, and I just don't think we measured 4 times in that 6 months and only once before...

I just can't figure it out.  I guess I will just have to look at doctor's notes to straighten out the mystery of our height pasts.  We did line everybody up and make our new marks last week once the chart was hung.  At least from here on out we will be recorded properly.  I started adding the date AND the age.  When these guys are married and bringing their kids to Granma's house, they are going to want to know how their kids measure compared to themselves ;0}  I want to add a couple famous people's heights to the board, but that will happen when it happens.  I chose to do a 10" board so that we had plenty of room for all the kids, and even, dare I say, grand kids when the time rolls around.  

As for me, I love each and every day I walk past this growth chart in my hall.  My kids may be growing like weeds, but from now until the day I die, when I look at this chart I will see their smiley faces that looked up at me while I measured.  I will never forget the light in their eyes as I lined 'em up and marked 'em down, each trying to sneak up on their tippy toes and trying to grow up just a little faster than I would allow. 
I sure love my kiddos.

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