Whatever floats your boat

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life113 Comments


Cole is obsessed with Titanic for the second time in his life. Some of you might remember the first go round, from Clean&Simple Scrapbooking, The Sequel:

Disasterone flat

Granted, he had other epic disasters lumped into his 2004 focus, but the granddaddy of them all was Titanic. And now it's come back around for a reunion tour.

It shows up everywhere. In books:


On numerous pieces of paper:


And now, on my dining room/scrap room table:



He works night…and day.


Bazzill Basics Cardstock—now with more ship building power!

And to top it off, Cole has decided he wants to have a giant inflatable Titanic for his birthday this year. He knows those things aren't cheap to rent, and he also knows it's somewhat of a morbid concept. Nevertheless, this weekend set out to create a PowerPoint presentation entitled, "101 Reasons You Should Get Me a Titanic Slide." He said I could share a few of the slides with you.


I don't know, Cole. A trip to Branson would be pretty rad.

I just love this kid. With his persistence and persuasiveness, he's either going to become an insanely wealthy prosecutor, or the most successful QVC hawker the world has ever seen.

Cole and I watched "Titanic" the movie together yesterday. It was his idea to cap off a weekend of ship building. I'd planned a Valentine's Day full of errands and what not, but instead I just sat with Cole and watched all three hours.

I got choked up a number of times, as the reality of the Titanic was that it was a tragedy of unimaginable proportion. I asked Cole what it was about the Titanic that so enraptured him. He answered, "Mom, I'm like you…when I'm into something, I need to know everything about it."

And there you have it.

Here's to whatever floats your boat and the passion that goes along with it.

Note: I'm sure none of you are thinking he got the idea of "SAILOR" language from me.

Cathy ZielskeWhatever floats your boat

113 Comments on “Whatever floats your boat”

  1. #3

    I have been down a slide just like this one, and it was lots of fun (with lots of dramatic “titanic” role play on the way down LOL

    Go wild and crazy; get the slide (and his heart will go on and on…sorry about that)

  2. #4
    Jane Schneider

    Cole is the most creative boy kid I’ve ever seen. He’s going to be something persuasive in his future. Maybe you’ve got a future President on your hands!

  3. #5
    Kim H.

    Do it! You need that slide.
    Every kids need one major blowout extravaganza party.
    Imagine the party invites…boarding passes for the Titanic.
    Take the theme and run with it.
    Then post it all so we can see it.

  4. #9

    Best line ever – “I would film videos so we have the memories”. rent it – he will LOVE it!!!!

  5. #12

    Oh, you totally read my mind. My mission to get the Zielske family to Branson is even clearer — they’ve got the Titanic museum (and a special event featuring the dogs of the Titanic starting 3/19) and the Liverpool Legends. I was actually sitting here reading my new Branson Vacation Magazine as I opened up my laptop to check my blogs. It would be a great (and inexpensive) place for your family. I was just thinking it was about time my family went back to the Titanic. Almost typed “back to Branson” there, but hey, we’re going 3 times this year already.

  6. #13
    Stephanie Howell

    seriously? you have the coolest kid ever, cathy. you are such an awesome mom. it is SO cool to be passionate about things. that’s something i looked for in my husband. it will serve him well as an adult! xo

  7. #15

    wow, Cole is awesome. So creative. I am more impressed by the card stock Titanic! Unbelievable. I think that an inflatable Titanic might be in your future also, lol!

  8. #17
    Helena Virpi

    The reason #9 cracked me up (just imagining poor Signe playing for her life !!) but I think #25 is the one that should get you and Dan SERIOUSLY thinking about getting the Weasel what he’s asking for 🙂
    Com’on, he says he will TRY to eat more things. I think that says how darn important this thing is to him and to what kind of sacrifices he’s willing to endure to have it.

    Have a good one, Cathy! You always put a smile on my face – not that I’m usually grumpy but you know what I mean :))

  9. #18
    Kay Gregory-Clark

    Oh, how this takes me back. My son was 14 or 15 when he became passionate about the Titanic. We, too, had books all around, models, etc. Became obsessed with finding a copy of the music theme (which we never did because it was out of print). Then for school he wrote the greatest paper of all time–even got an A+. I wonder if I still have that stashed someplace…another layout idea! Thanks for the memories, as he is now 40 years old!

  10. #26

    Oh…my…goodness… I love it. As we were just forced to make a scale model of Mt. McKinley for my 7th grader’s math class, I feel much better seeing Cole with his ship… boys like to go big or go home. Mine could have done a scale drawing of a die… but noooooooo…. he went all Denali on me…

    I also love his persuasive slide show. I wish he could be one of my students… he cracks me up!

  11. #27

    You’ve got to say yes and take lots of pictures of the fun he and the other kids have on it! Maybe Bazzill could use the Titanic to promote cardstock for school projects.

  12. #28

    Love that he hit you up with the fact that it will create memories! He knows his audience. He could be a ton of things when he grows up – industrial designer, actor, marketer, historian. His passions will take him far!

  13. #30
    Michelle in Texas

    I don’t know. Branson is cool. Besides the Titanic, there is Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the Wax Museum, the Ducks… no the Ducks are ANNOYING!!! 50 people on this van/boat with yellow plastic duck bills that quack. All. The. Time. But the other attractions are cool. Plus fun shows to see. But probably more $$ than renting the slide.

  14. #32

    I have to tell you, I think Cole is probably the coolest kid ever. I think it’s so cool how into things he gets, and how he wants know everything about it and have fun with it. I was just like him when I was a kid, and I love that even with all the technology and other stuff that kids have now, he still wants to read books and make things and explore things. I’m still like that, and he may have inspired me to make a Titanic out of paper..I wonder how my husband would feel about that…

    P.S. I live an hour away from the Titanic in Branson, and it’s cool. But, there’s also an exhibit in Vegas- maybe more fun for the parentals than Branson??

  15. #33
    Cynthia Friese-Hassanein

    Oh so awesome!!!!!! When I was a kid I loved the Titanic too. I loved watching the old Black and White of it. Only wishing I had the Epic back then:) I love his enthusiam for knowing everything!!!! Did you guys go to the MN science museum exhibit? So, cool.
    And I so remember that slide when the movie came out and it being at Lake City Days. Oh so morbid, but terribly amusing. I couldn’t resist taking a slide down. Yelping for Jack….

  16. #34
    Trish D

    Classic! I may just have to sit down and watch Titanic again. By myself, though (kids don’t get it, and hubby refuses to watch it on the grounds that they ruined a perfectly good catastrophe with a romance 🙂

  17. #36

    I have one of those persuasive kids. I’m thinking he may have a career in Washington as a lobbyist. Just not sure that’s a good thing.

  18. #38

    I’m in! I don’t know the dollar figure on those things, but the kid has made me a believer! He should somehow be able to get “extra credit” for this project.

  19. #39

    Sounds like the perfect way to spend Valantine’s Day. Can’t wait to hear about his birthday – the PP was enough to sway me. If there is a Cole telethon, I would be all over it!

  20. #40
    Kris Cline

    My ten year old just wlaked by and siad, “WH is THAT???” He is totally obsessed with the TItanic…I have a layout with one the hundreds of drawings that he has done over the years.

    Two summers ago we were camping and he was playing in RImRock Lake(waving to you from Washington!)and he reached down into the mud and said, “Wat’s this?” He washed it off and it was an abandoned motorized model of the TITANIC! The look on his face was PRICELESS!

    ps He said Cole is a really good artist!

  21. #41

    Oh my gosh – this brought up a really funny story from when I was in High School. A group of my friends and I were at my house. It was around the time Titanic came out, and my parents had a Titanic book on this footstool thing in our living room. Well, one of my friends (she is totally book smart, but not so common sense smart sometimes) picked it up and was looking at it. She stopped at a drawing of the ship on water and said “Is this before the Titanic sunk?” We were all laughing and she was totally serious like “what did I say?”

    Probably have to know her, but it was super funny! 😉

  22. #42
    Erica K

    OMG Cathy! Your boy is amazingly talented! The drawings, the ‘model’…powerpoint?!?! I’m blown away.

    I’m also like that, I get fanatical about all new interests. And I did my Titanic time. No drawings or models though… 🙂

  23. #43

    You could have fruit punch with ice bergs in it to drink.
    I hope he gets his titanic, he’s such a neat kid. I hope it doesn’t break the bank.

  24. #45
    Heather H.

    I love that he commits to “try” eating more things! I’ve always had a little obsession with the Titanic too. When I was a kid Northtown Mall in Blaine had a model of it in a display case in the hallway of one of the entrances. It disappeared during one of their renovations. I never knew why it was there and I’ve always wondered what happened to it.

  25. #46
    Judy Sanza

    Well, that child made me happy for the day! What a character…gonna be a great adult. Give him a hug from me.

  26. #47

    If you inserted a Paypal link into this blog post, I’m sure you would rack up more than enough donations to pay for the whole dang party. The world is in love with this kid!

  27. #61

    Hilarious! Wow, he made his point well. I vote yes for his Titanic inflatable jumper. Cathy, he IS willing to make is own invites. : )

    P.S. Can’t wait for you to post pictures of his bday bash!!!

  28. #62

    Amazing drawings Cole – & making that model? going from 2d to 3d? That’s future architect material… (says the mom of a daughter in an architecture program…) The persuasive powerpoint presentation (say that 3 times fast!), the world is his oyster!! Go Cole!! (& good lucky Cathy…!)

  29. #64

    What a cool kid !! Not nagging and whining, just creating a fabulous, persuasive Powerpoint. You’ve got a real tiger on your hands. I’d rent it for him for sure. What a great time he and his friends will have being the passengers, the captain, the orchestra. As i said, cool kid.

  30. #65
    Susan L

    The Titanic was built by Harland & Wolff in Belfast, where I live. The usual graffiti about that is ‘It was alright when it left here!’
    As part of the city’s regeneration the various parts have been given an ‘identity’, so the redevelopment zone around the old shipyard is now ‘The Titanic Quarter’. Although the shipyard has gone the way of most of the UK shipyards, there is still quite a lot to see. The giant cranes (added after the Titanic days I must add) – Samson and Goliath – are still there. And the dry docks still exist. The scale is staggering. Perhaps we can persuade you that it’s a trip to Belfast that’s needed, rather than Branson?

  31. #67

    Unbelievable, I tell you.

    What did you do as a parent to encourage such incredible kids? Was it just the scrapbooking of it all…or what? Could you make a follow up to Clean & Simple scarpbooking….something on the subject of parenting? Cause letme tell ya…whatever you’re doing?!?!?!!! Its GRRRREAT!

  32. #68
    Carol at Kal

    Cathy, there is no doubt that this genius (in so many ways) is your son. He is original, artistic, persuasive, creative, hardworking, funny and can you imagine — on top of all that he is going to be able to speak SAILOR! What a delight.

  33. #70

    Cole is hilarious, there is never a dull moment at your house and I say absolutely get him the slide.

  34. #71
    Bridget =)

    omg, please buy him that slide! do it for us! i mean, what if he STOPPED doing this sort of thing b/c he thinks, “ok, well, *that* didn’t work…” i don’t think i could bear it!

  35. #77
    Kelli T

    OMG, you can’t say no to that kid! He MUST be encouraged! LOL. BTW, the vegas titanic is pretty cool, have been several times. Being ON a REAL titanic … not so cool. My cruise ship caught on fire this summer in the med. sea off egypt (lost 2 floors). I was seriously tramatized -BUT dh, who LOVES everything titanic and drags me to all museums about it, was ready to jump on the next cruise ship passing by so we could finish our cruise!!! The only thing he was affected by was the meals we missed!! So…. there is another reason to let him have it …. prepare him for the dangers of the real world LOLOLOL!!!

  36. #78
    Karen F from New Zealand

    Hilarious,but no pressure to get Cole the slide! No wonder he agreed to you putting it on your blog, very intelligent kid you have there. He has the majority on board (excuse the pun). Better watch out next time he’s up for convincing he may do a poll on your blog! LOL. Excellent problem solving ideas though. For the big day ( sorry not sure when that is) Happy Birthday Cole, Hope your pre birthday wish comes true or at least a acceptable compromise!

  37. #79

    Ok – WHERE is that first picture from?? I made the mistake of showing my somewhat Titanic obsessed 9 YO the post. . .he NEEDS to know where that is from.

    He has seen the traveling exhibit here in Philly at the Franklin Institute – and LOVED it. His Dad and I saw it 10 years ago in Vegas.

    Not sure about the movie. . .we shelter him A LOT. LOL

    And lastly – my HUSBAND wants the slide for HIS birthday!


  38. #80

    I live in San Diego where there is a huge inflatable slide park next to a restaurant not too far from my house. The slide park includes a Titanic slide that is 2 stories tall. I’ve always wanted to try it out. I was sort of checking it out this morning as I whizzed past on I-8 on my way to have lunch with my Mom. Then I got home and saw your post. Too funny.

  39. #81

    So, he’s taken over your scrap table, he’s decimating your Bazzil supplies, he’s clearly no stranger to computer design either, and he takes over your blog. Wait till he starts adding the finer decorative touches to his model using your punches and brads. Seriously talented! Is there anything he CAN’T do? I’d be nervously looking over my shoulder if I were you! Looking forward to seeing his new class at BPS …

  40. #82
    Cheryl T

    I think you have to take him…how far is it? I’m from Canada so I have no idea how far it is from where you live. I do know that if my son went to that extent that I would cave. Btw, did your daughter also attend a Montessori school? My son attends one too and he’s 7. I’m impressed.

  41. #86
    Rachel Ensler

    You should definitely try to rent him the two black and white versions- A Night To Remember, Titanic (1953 with Barbara Stanwyck and Clifton Webb)and he may enjoy the book A Night to Remember by Wlater Lord. I raised a Titanic afficianado, as well and those were some of his early favorites. PS I vote for the inflatable boat….if anyone is asking!

  42. #88
    Shannon Davey

    What an awesome plea. That boy of yours is pretty special. I am looking forward to my soon to be 5 yr old having half as much interest and imagination with Legos as Cole has. That would be a really cool party! I have never seen anything like it here in Australia! You must have constant battles with yourself about rewarding his creativeness, we all just think he is adorable and you should go for it – easy when we aren’t the parents hey?

  43. #89
    Whitney P

    Now I don’t have any idea how much it costs to rent one of those slides, but if you can swing it, how can you say no to that?! As a fellow Titanic buff, I’d love to have one for my next birthday (35th) if people wouldn’t think I was crazy! Just think of all the great photos you could scrap!

  44. #90
    Barbara P

    I would be willing to donate $5.00 to the cause for such and awesome and amazingly creative kid as your son. Let me know where to send the cash!

  45. #91

    Almost like I’m reading about my own son. I was sometimes a little concerned that he was too intrigued with disasters but it looks like he’s in good company. I feel better. If you get to this comment, have a look here to see how much my son likes the Titanic:

  46. #94

    You might have to get Cole to sign a contract to say he won’t jump off that top edge (I’m sailor language-less) like in his drawing.

    I like # 12 and 15.

  47. #95
    Karen Greenfield

    Heck, I’m willing to put in $5.00—I wanna see the film before it comes out on blu-ray!! karen

  48. #98

    Branson is a blast…..get a map of the side roads if you go because the traffic on the main drag is horrible and you’ll want to find ways to try to avoid getting stuck in it. Silver Dollar City is a fun place to go while you’re there.

    My son has been afraid of boats ever since reading a Magic Treehouse book about the titanic.He’s 12 now & still afraid of going on boats.

  49. #101
    Shelly in the NW

    You must get the slide…and there is a guy here (in the Seattle area) who is a lego-artist and he made a replica of the Titanic – see it here:


  50. #103

    OMG! Your kids are so……….I’ll let you fill in the blank. I also wanted you to know that after I read your blog this morning, I jumped into my car to head out to the orthodontist for my daughter and guess what was on the radio….”the theme from Titanic!”

    I started laughing.

  51. #104

    Seriously – you have one of the coolest little boys ever! (Sorry Cole, I’m sure I meant BIG boys)…His creativity must be rewarded – get him the slide!

  52. #105

    I thought your post was pretty funny, so I showed it to my husband and we both got a good laugh about these obsessions that kids have. Then my 4 yo son and I went to the library today, and what book was displayed at his eye level? The Titanic. Yup, a book for kids. He had to have it, so we checked it out. We’ve read it 3 times today-since noon. I refused to read it at bedtime, especially since he reenacted the catastrophe in the bathtub with a shampoo bottle filling with water and sinking to the bottom of the tub. Ah, obsessions. A few months ago we read a Madeline book (from 1939) and he talked about guillotines for weeks. Thanks for your perspective, Cathy. You’ll be seeing my Titanic story in DYL, I’m sure.

  53. #107
    Vicky W.

    WOW! That Titanic model is unbelievable. Great job, Cole. You blow my mind with your creativity!

    Cathy – I would be willing to pitch in $5 too.

  54. #109

    I know my comment on this is a little late to your posting – my son has an obsession too – tornadoes – we have the movie Twister memorized – along with 6 hrs of storm chasers on constant play. We also have hand drawn pics, toys that make tornadoes – etc – got any ideas on how to scrap all this into a two page LO – I could use some inspiration – Thanks for sharing

  55. #110

    Love it!

    You really need to take him to the traveling Titanic museum exhibit. We went last year when it was in Milwaukee. It’s a very educational and amazing experience. Some very cool interactive things–but I won’t spoil it for you!

    A good book for his age is “White Star: Dog on the Titanic” by Marty Crisp. My son did a 4th grade book report on it.

  56. #111

    I was just catching up on your blog and I had to let you know that this made my day…..Hilarious. Also, thanks for sharing your new obsession with the Tea. I think I might have to try that out. =)


  57. #112

    How funny. I suppose you could distract him for a time by asking him to work out the logistics of where the rental would be placed, like specifically. Hopefully rental, otherwise that presents storage issues. But you could always rent it out to cover the cost. 🙂

    The Branson Titanic museum is neato, eh? I like that they have the big block of ice to feel and later the water temperature, and being given an identity of someone who was on the Titanic. I do recommend my second fav movie that came out the same year as “Titanic,” which unfortunately got overshadowed. “Amistad” by Spielberg, another ship movie of sorts.

  58. #113
    Corinna Lyons-Revello

    Wow, I didn’t even know you COULD get such a thing for a birthday party. But I’ve gotta tell ya, I want to buy it for Cole myself! How the hell could you possibly say no to that PowerPoint presentation? 🙂 This kid is as funny as his momma! 🙂


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