Our family summer plans started off super solid. Kitchen was being worked on, but it would be done soon. Kids had a few camps, but nothing too time consuming. We had a couple of local trips planned, but no major vacations. It was going to be the summer of fun in our own city. Think local beaches, ferry rides, museums, and the like. I had the calendar planned and filled with awesome adventure days to keep us all happy. This summer was going to be amazing.
Do you know what they say about plans? I’m actually asking because I don’t know. Based on my experience with this plan I would assume they say something like, “Plans are complete crap so why would you ever waste one moment coming up with one?” If that isn’t the saying, it should be.
The kitchen is taking 1,000 years longer than expected so there is that. No running water or major appliances limits us in a major way. We also had to say goodbye to one of our old dogs which led us into new puppy territory. We are a two dog household so not having one wasn’t an option. It does, however, limit what we can do during our summer days as he can’t be left alone for long stretches. In other words, our plan went out the MFing window.
Because of this situation, the kids and I are getting a bit punchy. We seem quicker to snap at each other and peace doesn’t flow over us as it does when we are out being active. Last week, we had a particularly rough couple of days where it was gross and rainy out and the kids were just over being together. I did what I usually do in that scenario – busted out some craft supplies and hoped it would calm the masses. The only things I could find were Ikea perler beads and some to-go foil food containers. It was a desperate moment, but we made it work by turning these two random items into a fun session I like to call “Crafting on the Grill!” (Remember, we don’t have an oven!)
- Small plastic beads – Perler beads or pony beads will work
- Aluminum to-go pan. I get these at the dollar store. They make great molds for all sorts of projects.
- Gas grill
1. Layer beads on the bottom of your pan. The kids just dumped the beads out and played with them for a while before moving on. I was avoiding fighting with them so I sat and quietly made an image that involved sorting beads by color and not interacting with my children.
2. Preheat your grill to around 400 degrees. I turned on the front and back burner to medium, leaving the middle burner off.
3. Throw your pans in the center of the grill and close the cover. Try to keep the pans centered so they aren’t directly over the flames.
4. Leave the pans on the grill with the lid closed for about 5-8 minutes before you check on them. I did two pans at a time and it took around 14-18 minutes for each to fully melt. You want to check on them every once in a while to make sure they aren’t burning. Also, you might want to rotate the pans to get even melting.
5. Once the beads are melted, turn off the grill, remove the pans, and let the melted beads cool.
6. Once the plastic and the pans are cool, peel the plastic from the pan. You might end up having to cut/rip the pan apart to get it all off. This is a one and done project for those supplies.
- I was super happy with this random idea to grill the beads. The smell from melting plastic is never one you want in your house, so doing it on a grill outside eliminated that problem. I mean, I’m sure there is some toxic nastiness stuck in our grill lid now, but I’m not going to stress about it .
- Using the disposable pans made cleanup simple.