The Gem Tree….

Ellie’s grade four class has been making gem trees at school.

This is quite possibly the best craft that has ever come home from school in the 8 years we have had kids at elementary school.

I want the gem tree.

Greg proudly displays the gem tree Hanna made for him when she was in grade four in his office between his picture of Terri, the nurse from Three’s Company and his signed, Ric Flair wrestling doll.

We specifically had a second child so I would one day get to own a gem tree of my very own.

We had Chloe just in case Ellie’s tree didn’t turn out and/or was broken or stolen.

The gem trees are such a hit, Ellie decided to take the teacher’s instructions and escort me to the craft store to buy all of the supplies so we could have a gem tree assembly line on our kitchen table and make trees for everyone on our Christmas list (starting with me).

The first step in making a gem tree is to purchase $472 worth of supplies from the craft store.

Step two is to find a rock from around your house that you collected on a beach walk 13 years ago and never knew what it was going to be used for (certainly not as the amazing fossil discovery you saw when it was wet on the beach but disappeared like invisible ink as soon as you got in the car and started driving it to the appraiser) until the introduction of the gem tree.

Step three is to measure 16 strands of 26 gauge floral wire, 40cms in length.

Step four is to talk Ellie down from the ledge when she determines that one of the strands is actually 40.5 cms and will most certainly ruin any chance at success in our gem tree factory.

Step five—count, re-count, count some more until everyone at the table (Ellie and me) agree there are 16 strands of 40(ish) cm floral wire.

Step six—retrieve the large box of Kleenex from the bathroom when Ellie convinces us both there are 17 strands of floral wire and the gem tree is ruined before it has ever begun to bloom beautiful, semi-precious, semi-overpriced chip beads.

Step 7—paper bag for Ellie to hyperventilate into when one of the floral wire strands breaks from turning one too many times with the pliers.

Step 8—relinquish all rights to the pliers and give Ellie full control of our newly formed company, including all access to the supplies and tools Gem-Tech was first built on.

Step 9—refer to legal partnership agreement with Ellie where we promise to never, ever cry if the gem trees don’t work out perfectly and/or make us very, very rich.

Step 10—Avoid letting Ellie ask “Siri” for confirmation on any of the instructions on how to build a gem tree because when Siri says, “Let me check” and Ellie says, “That’s fine,” Siri writes that Ellie said, “That’s f%$#ed!” and that goes against everything these gem trees stand for.

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