Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Just having a bit of lettering/ doodly fun this evening.

See the theme? Family, boyish, crafty, school stuff...

I need to do portraits of my kids,

but I delay

and delay

and delay

because I'm downright scared of messing up one of my kids.
Trying to work up the courage to just do it!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A few of my favorite things from the week

Do I have some cute kids or what?! Four kids, and four different eye colors. This one has the stunning blue eyes, that turn gray when he is moody. Here, obviously, he is happy. :)

During rainy days, early evenings, chilly mornings before school, we spent time playing Mancala. It's a fun little counting/strategy game, and can easily be made with an egg cartoon and beans.

Enjoyable for all ages, but makes especially great math practice for preschoolers.

See, even the 4th grader likes it. (How can he possibly be in 4th grade already??)
We also took turns playing Rush Hour. Love that game, and the various skill level cards make it great for the whole family.

I've been squeezing in art times with the kids around lunch, and again by myself in the evening, when the house is quiet and no one calls for me. This little sharpie sketch was inspired by another artist...a picture I glanced at on Pinterest and now can't find again. Go figure.

My cat, Calvin. This dude knows how to reeeeelax.

In spite of (or perhaps because of) dealing with extra stressors surrounding my parents' imminent divorce, I'm forcing myself to look at each little thing...each wonderful special thing that happens around me, that I'm likely to take for granted. And NOT take it for granted. I want to see the good around us, the blessings, the opportunities. There are so many.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cheese Making

Guess what I did today! :)

Blurry pic (I don't have my camera fixed yet, so I'm borrowing a little one,) but a friend snapped a few while I was stirring my mozzarella.

It.was.delicious. Like really truly amazingly delicious. I added basil to mine.


So good.

We made homemade grilled cheese on rye, for lunch.

In other news, although I haven't taken much time to blog lately, I HAVE been doing art whenever I can, usually with the kids in the afternoon or late at night. The other day I made some little clay figures with Sculpey, oven-bake clay. These are about 3" tall. I haven't painted them yet, but I will soon, and then I'll hide them around the house, as little surprises for whoever spots them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Doodly Thought Art

Do you ever feel so busy, that you decide to sit and do nothing? That's how I've been feeling lately. And it's NOT that I've been overly busy (well, not any more than usual,) but that my mind has been overworking lately. I figure that's typical when major life changes are taking place all around me. Just hoping it's all finalized and over with soon.
We did finish the fish unit last week, and I'll post more about that soon. We've started on a bird unit this week. The unit studies are helping us all crawl out of our rut, and get the excitement back. Post-Christmas months can feel like withdrawal from a mountain-top experience. Just need to get the bounce back in our step, and let the joy flow again.

I've made myself start drawing again, and can feel the juices flowing. Plus, when I draw, the kids want to draw with me. Great quality time, and encouragement of their talents.

Just had to get the pen moving, and I couldn't stop, page after page...it's a feeling I love. A feeling, I imagine, that writers experience when the characters flesh out and start "moving on their own."

Just start.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fish unit

I'm feeling the need to revive the excitement and shake things up a bit in school. Middle of the year blahs, so to speak, and it's time to get EXCITED again! :D

We started a Fish unit this week. Sounds uber exciting, yes? Well, it is!
Our quote for Monday:

Einstein was a clever dude.

We worked on Japanese hanging koi (goldfish) and read about koi from Wikipedia. I'll post the pictures upon completion.

The kids made tangram seascapes...

Many of our writing prompts, mini books, our vocabulary list, and even the Bible verse suggestions we used are from Homeschool Share. That site is such an amazing resource!

The little boys sorted colored goldfish crackers... ...made patterns... ...used them as manipulatives for their addition problems, and then ate them. :)

We read Shel Silverstein's poem Fish, and wrote our own poems.

Tuna fish sandwiches (cut into fish shapes) for lunch.

T played this fishing addition game to go along with his math today.

We talked about the food chain. What do fish eat? Which animals eat fish?

We used the Melissa and Doug complete the picture fish bowl page, just for fun.

O played the aquarium game on Poisson Rouge, already one of his favorite sites.

The older kids finished strong, with their usual math lessons, and Papaw's history and Spanish lessons.

Last but not least, I added my own excitement by having my sister cut me some bangs when she stopped by. So many perks of having a sister who went to cosmetology school!

Ta-da. Short and choppy little hipster bangs. I like 'em.

I have more fish activities planned for this week, and have already started putting together units for birds, rabbits, etc. Pinterest has been a huge help, too!

I'm open to ideas or suggestions, so feel free to chime in!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

21 questions to ask your kids

21 questions to ask your kids

This is a meme from Facebook. I know I should answer it there, but I already neglect my blog too much as it is.

Copy this note, ask your kid the questions and write them down exactly how they respond. What do they really think?

For reference my kids are:
O (4-years old)
T (7-years)
E (10-years)
I (12-years, only girl)

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
O: Sweetie
T: Sweetie Pie
E: Never (This is true. He asks me for a drink or something and I always respond "never," and laugh. I like to tease.)
I: Clean your room.

2. What makes Mommy happy?
O: When I kiss you.
T: When I give you pictures.
E: Coffee
I: Doing art

3. What makes Mommy sad?
O: Punching you (uhh, yeah, that would!)
T: When we are naughty
E: Fighting
I: The boys fighting

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
O: kissing my cheeks
T: tickle us
E: Tickling
I: Playing games with us

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
O: a girl
T: girl
E: sweet kid
I: you loved dolls

6. How old is Mommy?
O: a lot old
T: 30
E: 31
I: 31

7. How tall is Mommy?
O: This high (he jumped with his hand up in the air)
T: almost as tall as the door
E: 6'7"
I: 5'5" (She's close-- I'm 5'6")

8. What is Mommy's favorite thing to do?
O: Kissing
T: Hug
E: Drink coffee
I: Cheer people up (okay, I love all of these answers!!)

9. What does Mommy do when you're not around?
O: Clean up
T: Clean
E: Clean the house
I: Make things for us

10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
O: Money
T: Money (hmm...could they not think of anything else?)
E: Art
I: Art

11. What is Mommy really good at?
O: Drawing
T: Drawing
E: Drawing
I: Making people happy

12. What is Mommy not very good at?
O: Crying
T: Putting me to sleep (??)
E: Not getting sick on a boat (I do get horribly motion sick)
I: Typing

13. What does Mommy do for her job?
O: Make us do school
T: school
E: pictures
I: Photography

14. What is Mommy's favorite food?
O: broccoli
T: soup
E: healthy stuff
I: salad

15. What makes you proud of Mommy?
O: do prizes (??)
T: you cleaning
E: she takes care of us
I: taking us fun places

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
O: a boy (??)
T: Black Beauty (??)
E: The Little Mermaid (when I asked why, he simply said, "she's a girl, and you swim well.")
I: Wendy in Peter Pan

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
O: Build blocks
T: hug
E: do art
I: arts and crafts

18. How are you and Mommy the same?
O: We're both cleanin' up rooms.
T: We both hug each other. We both have hair.
E: We're both human.
I: We both love to travel and do artwork.

19. How are you and Mommy different?
O: You have huge hair and I don't.
T: You have lipstick and I don't.
E: You have long hair and I have really short hair.
I: You like to clean and I don't.

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
O: Because I have cheeks (this may need an explanation, no? I love love love to kiss this boys toddler cheeks!)
T: Because you always kiss me and hug me and everything.
E: You take care of us.
I: Because you say so. (interesting insight into their love language, perhaps?)

21. Where is Mommy's favorite place to go?
O: To Julie's house
T: In my room with me. Or going on a date with Daddy.
E: the beach
I: to an art museum

This was so much fun. The next interview will be all about THEM, their favorites, ideas... I want to keep doing this every year. :D
If you do it, please let me know!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Playing in the Kitchen

One of my dear friends was in town a couple weeks ago, and she lit a fire under me to get some house projects done!! I love friends who tell it like it is. :)
At her urging, I painted the "window wall" in the "breakfast room" (aka dining room, seeing as how I don't have a formal one here) a creamy tangerine color. Big change from the brownish purple color that wasn't working in there. I buckled down and finished it in a few hours, trim and all. It makes me HAPPY-- so bright, fresh, joyful.

Seems even the kids are gravitating to that room.

My precious niece wanted to play with her new Barbie pool in there...
...and my own little man decided that his GI Joes also needed a pool....
(great preK activity, btw. Kids love water!)

I want this house to be a place full of smiles. laughs.

chuckles and grins, memories and games, stories and traditions...

a place BRIGHT with happiness.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Day in the Country

Last weekend we went to visit one of Fred's younger sisters,

at her beautiful house in the country.

Their home isn't even visible from the long dirt road...
{contented sigh}

Think wide open spaces, grazing horses, flowering trees.

Below, the view from the front door.



And I shot a gun for the first time, and really enjoyed it.

I want one.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

On the Fridge

My fridge makes me so happy, friends.

From the Scrabble magnets

(so easy! heh, I see some hot glue strings left)...

...to the rosettes, buttons, and letters, memories of our vacation, love notes...

... to the (real! new-to-me!) bubble gum machine and my huge polka dotted cup on top.

It all just makes me so happy!

Shows just how little effort & money it takes to make something "yours." The rosettes were made from scrap fabric. Most of the magnets were recycled (pizza magnets, anyone?) The Scrabble tiles came from my Mom's old game that had some missing pieces. The huge cup was bought with a 40% off coupon from Hobby Lobby, a year or two ago-- A gift from my Man. The Bubble gum machine {happy sigh} was found at a Goodwill store, for under $10, right before Christmas. The artwork is my own.
Make a home that makes you smile.