Monday, January 31, 2011

The Weather Outside is Frightful ♪

If you recall, 7 months ago we weathered a hurricane....
and now it looks like my southern state, is in for a blizzard!
This is turning out to be quite the year for us!

snow, snow, snow!

The predictions keep getting higher.

Now it's up to 1" of ice and 9-13" of snow.

Like I said, that's a lot for a southern state!
We're also expected to get Thundersnow.
Do YOU know what that is?

It's a rare kind of thunderstorm with snow falling
as the primary precipitation instead of rain. It typically falls in regions of
strong upward motion within the cold sector of an extratropical cyclone, where
the precipitation consists of ice pellets rather than snow.

Remember the 2009 ice storm, when Arkansas and Kentucky were declared federal disaster areas? That, folks, is why people are so panicky. People were without power for weeks.

So, if you're reading this, please just pray for those who could be affected by this storm (up to one-third of the country, and 100 million people.) My little home will stay warm, as long as we can keep power. But the trailers around town will be getting very, very cold, even if they don't lose power. There's just not much insulation in those. Brrrrrr!

It's already icing like crazy outside.

I also know a lot of mamas with new babies, who really need their heat to stay on!

Here's hoping it's just a fun, memorable, beautiful storm!

Outdoor Winter Fun

Yes, I know it hasn't actually snowed yet. But it will. Oh, yes, it will!

In fact, we may very well get an inch of ice and upwards of 8" of snow. I'm totally fine with that, as long as my power stays on.

Anyway, seeing as how everybody and their dog is heading to WMart today, I'm posting our Winter Fun Checklist, so you can go ahead and buy necessary items.

1. Snow Paint, using water bottles and food coloring

2. Blow bubbles and let them freeze. Then you can carefully pick them up!

3. Play with cars outside, in a mini blizzard

4. Make a Fun Bucket for snow, including sand shovels, little laundry scoopers, playdough toys, plastic silverware (not white, unless you want to lose it!)

5. Winter Picnic & Firepit Night-- yes, outside in the snow. We're covering our wood, so it will stay dry, and planning to bring hot foods outside to eat by the fire.

6. Ice Hockey on the driveway, using a roll of duct tape (or electrical tape, if I can find it.)

7. Snow obstacle course-- this pretty much describes my front yard anyway! ;)

8. Photo Expedition and scavenger hunt, for things like pinecones, a green leaf... etc

9. And maybe, just maybe, we'll try snowshoes! I have tennis rackets... heehee

And, of course, the standard sledding, snowman making, snowball fights, forts, angels!

Share any other ideas you have!

Let the fun begin!!

**weather update** 3pm Blizzard Warning for our neighboring counties!

I guess this storm was more than just hype. ;)

Better prepare fast, if you haven't already. Stay safe, stay warm, stay home!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Arkansas Bipolarism

This weekend we broke some records with our "heat wave" of 75+ degree weather in January.

Just awesome, really.

Papaw went hiking with us at a local state park...

Yes, he's 77-years old, and pretty amazing!

We searched for fossils...

...taught the kids how to skip rocks...

...followed the new trail, which had us cross the water twice...

way to go, Papaw!

...built sand castles...

Papaw sitting in the sandbox with the kids

...played on playgrounds...

And THIS is what we have in store for the week:

Rain, Sleet, Ice, and Snow
4-10 inches of snow possible
and a high of 12 degrees on Wednesday.
Boo. Hiss.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Diet Coke Mentos Eruption

Last week, when it was still frightfully cold outside, I added in some extra science experiments. Because --BAH-- I despise cold weather, but I had to do something to at least get in the sunshine.
Enter Diet Coke Mentos Experiment:

My Dash-boy pulled the string before I was actually ready to tape,
hence the shaking crazy video.

Do you see that? My 3-year old's hand?
That, friends, is excitement.
I'd be willing to bet he was on tip toes in those snow boots.
Before, and again after, the experiment, we read and talked about how and why this works.

A big thanks to my sister, Julie, for providing another wonderful (and messy) Christmas gift for my children. Expect repayment. ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jan 28 mid 60's Wonderful

I've mentioned before that we do not waste good weather.
Who wants to hole up inside and miss the sunshine on a day like today?! Not us.
This is reason #568 (or so) of Why I Love Homeschooling!
After doing school work on the picnic table in the backyard, we moved to a local trail with playgrounds. Papaw came with us and tutored my girl in history,
while we read to and then played with the little boys.
Plenty of breaks for freeze tag...


(yes, those are my feet. And the slide is higher than it looks here!)
and train-watching...
My mood, some days, feels directly linked to the warmth and sunshine.
Today I felt happy, almost to the point of tears.
It could be, too, that we had several amazing answers to prayer in the last 12-hours. :)
I feel such relief. I knew I could trust in Him,
but didn't expect the answers to come so quickly, and all clumped together.
What a beautiful day for miracles!

New Miracles

One of my dearest friends had her baby late -late- last night.

At 9lb 6oz, he was born needing a hair cut and his nails trimmed!

I got to cuddle and snuggle this precious new miracle...

Kari (for comparison,) Megan, and Tracy (a week overdue, the day before going in)

And two days later, bonding with her youngest son...

There's something so magical and amazing and wonderful about new babies.
They are miracles.
Each and every one.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Progression of a picture

My Artist has caught the Drawing Bug. :) She's been at it during her free time.
Isn't this great?? :D
And I've been taking picture requests from the kids.
Dash requested I draw this little creature, from the Spiderwick Chronicles book:

So, so, so glad that they'll all sit and draw pictures with me!
I don't think I could cope with winter otherwise.

All done with this one... :)
How are you holding up, through these cold months?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Mere Mortal

I've gone all deep on you lately. How are you holding up? ;)

Several friends (like SuzanneP, Ellen, my sisters, and other friends/family who don't blog) inspired me to lower my guard, tear down some bricks, and share my thoughts. As much as I enjoy sharing crafts and school activities, I was feeling trapped within my own space. The filter was always there, for fear of ...the unknown, I guess. How would people respond if I "let it all hang out"? Would I make sense, blogging a stream of consciousness?

After some serious thought about the people who inspire and challenge me, I decided that it's as much a responsibility to share as it is a desire. How can I possibly make any difference at all, if I'm hiding behind my surface-level-shield. Even if the difference I make comes from someone disagreeing and therefore thinking about and explaining their own beliefs...well, at least I've done something possibly worthwhile. Does that make sense?

I do believe that encouraging moms to spend time with their kids, prepare crafts and school activities is very worthwhile. I just think we can go deeper still. And, if we're really going to be good parents, we must go deeper. Right? Right.

Yeah. Okay.

Lots of self-examination going on.

Psalm 144:3

LORD, what are human beings that you care for them,
mere mortals that you think of them?

(not entirely happy with my "mirror," but -hey- it's in ink. And you get the point.)

So, my last drawing and verse might need some more explanation? At least, as much as I can do with words. When I drew it I was thinking about Gal 5:1, but also about Romans 3:20: no one has been, or ever will be, declared righteous by observing the law. Rules for the sake of rules -psha (Matt 12, for example.) Modern day "rules" are a bit different, but the point is that we can get so tied up in legalism about things that so do not matter, and we forget about our soul and all the souls around us! It's like asking "why isn't he wearing a tie to church," while being completely unaware that the man is wrestling with life-changing catastrophes.

On the flip side, I'm not promoting "tolerance"(by the world's definitions) of Wrong, as if there is no Truth. I was just thinking about how "true tolerance" means that, despite our differences, we need to treat every person with the dignity and respect they deserve, as people also created in God's image. We act mercifully to those who believe differently, rather than hit them over the head about how they're dressing, what they're eating or drinking, how they worship, or whatnot. Yeah, let's focus on the soul. No more getting tied up to a Pharisaical law.

And all those words probably didn't clear anything up.

ah, well. I tried.

My next "Bible study" drawing. Brings new meaning to meditating on His Word. I keep my train of thought better when drawing, and have to really examine what I believe, how I feel, and how it should be put into practice...

I know. You can't tell what I'm drawing.
I'm such a tease.

You'll see soon enough. I'm not done yet.

Living Free

This is truly the easiest way for me to express myself. Words often fail me.
But art ~ it's always at my fingertips.

I'm trying to stay free from the law; trying to live in love and grace and mercy; I don't want to settle for anything less than the Real Thing. But I'm still learning what that means. It's a day by day, sometimes hour by hour goal to "not get tied up again." Paul issues the warning because it's a very real danger.

Are we really worshipping, believing, rejoicing, living free? Or merely "attending"?

Am I content to live a decent life in a decent house in a decent neighborhood with my decent family? I don't want to be just content. I want to have joy and drive and determination.
And I don't want to live by the law. I don't ever want to feel "good enough." There's not a list to follow, there's a Person. And He demands much more than a list; He demands it all.
He deserves it all.

Like I said, words fail me sometimes... so I'll keep drawing...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Art for the kids

Recent evening drawing with the kids:

coloring page fun

I draw, make copies, they color. :D

NatureMan was telling me his story, and I made a storyboard of one scene:

heh heh

Love art. Love my kids.

Love doin' art with my kids!