Friday, February 26, 2010

Drawing Class

Yesterday was the last day of Drawing Class at homeschool co-op. I taught 6 weeks in the fall and 3 weeks this term. It was a lot of work, but it was very rewarding to see the kids draw -- especially in this 7-8th grade class where the attention span was longer and everyone put real effort into their work.

It was a bit of the blind leading the blind, but my mom gave me some good ideas and I used to some really helpful books (like Teach Your Child to Draw by Mia Johnson and Drawing for Older Children and Teens by Mona Brookes).

I didn't take any pictures last week, when the still life the students did came out really well, but we had some good birds/animals this week too.

In the 7th-8th grade class we covered Lines & Texture, Shading, and Shapes. A fun exercise for shapes is to give each child a bag of construction paper shapes and see what picture they can make -- hopefully they begin to be alert to shapes in the objects they are drawing.

But now I can unpack my bag and settle in to no teaching until the baby is a bit older. It will be back to teacher-helpers at homeschool group.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Like Mother, Like Son

Andrew has discovered he likes taking pictures. He wants a camera. I'm wondering how long I can wait until we actually get him a simple one of his own.

Check out this sequence of his photo shoot with cousin John.

First, show John the toy and get his attention.

Next use the toy to hold his attention for the photo.

And then show John the result. John seems very interested....

Ah, how can I blame Andrew? It's hard to say no to a kid when you love taking pictures yourself. I'm going to have to keep my eye out for an old camera.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Valentine's Tea Party

It's taken me awhile to post about our Valentine's Tea Party with Auntie C. She kindly had us over to celebrate a few days early.

The table was all set and ready with teacups, candy, and cards:

And cookies too!

Christina put Valentine jokes in all the cards:

Doesn't her house look serene and beautiful?

Here are the happy children with their aunt. They so kindly complied with my wish that they wear red shirts.

Red was everywhere:

And then Baby John joined the party:

And we all enjoyed making him laugh and smile:

We forced them all to have their pictures taken again and again:

And I had to join them too:

Here's Christina with Baby John:
And my handsome Andrew who was wearing red only because he loved me:

More mice made their appearance:

We've had another dusting of snow overnight -- but just a fraction of an inch. It certainly has been a snowy February -- but, that means more gets done inside! I'm off to get school and chores done and then I'll be taking two of the boys for dental evaluations downtown. It will be a busy day....

Monday, February 22, 2010


Nesting has definately started around here. However, rather than cleaning (like I probably should) it's all about sewing. Now that Christmas is behind us and the first round of flowers are made and put in the shop, I feel a great urge to finish up all those little projects that have been sitting around forever -- like my friend's wedding gift, my mother's spring purse and my spring purse. I'm making progress!!!

But, Rachel and I finally got out to Joann Fabrics last week to buy some fabric just for our new little girl baby. It was so fun to pick it out!!!

Here are the fabrics for the planned diaper bag -- a recycled jean skirt, some Ralph Lauren rose fabric I found at Goodwill and some pink duck fabric from Joann's.

I decided we needed pretty burp clothes -- no more of the white cloth diapers. Here are the flannel fabric selections, along with the pink chenille-like fabric for the backing.

And last of all the quilt. I found a crib skirt, sheet and bumper set on Craig's List that was originally from Pottery Barn. The only thing missing was the quilt. However, a quilt was the one thing I knew I wanted to make for our baby.
Rachel did a fantastic job helping me to find colors to coordinate. We made a quilt design and cut it out and have almost the whole quilt top sewn together. Pictures will be posted in a separate post. I'm amazed at how much the quilt actually looks like it really goes with the bumper. We even bought checked ribbon to go on the quilt -- just like the bumper.

And now we are off to ballet and then we're going to my sister's to catch our first glimpse of the Olympics. We couldn't pass that up!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine's Day

After church on Sunday we enjoyed a Valentine's lunch with friends and family. I had so much fun getting ready for it and enjoying it with everyone.

Yes, I really like the mice.

Dinner, which took so much longer than it should have, was still very yummy: roast beef, mashed red potatoes, asparagus and salad.

Good food and good fellowship!

And plenty to enjoy at tea-time.

There were cards all around and Andrew's special Valentine Story that he spent weeks writing.

And strawberries that tasted like the month of June on your tongue:

A very happy day.
And now it's a pleasant memory.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mouse Love

My mother likes to remind me that I was one of those all-or-nothing children that could never stop with just a handful of flowers but wanted to go on until the whole field was picked. :) Sigh. I'm still like that.

So, when I discovered how fun it was to make cashmere mice, I couldn't just make one. I had to make 15. But, they were so easy, and the kids enjoyed making some with me, and then I decided my sister needed one and then I needed 10 for valentine decorations and favors. It was worth the time spent, I had so much fun.

I found the pattern here, and made my own adjustments with the tail and ears. I think I added whiskers too.

They made the cutest little table decorations:

And I had enough pink leather from a felted sweater to make all the tails. Just perfect!

We had so much fun at our valentine Sunday lunch. I'll post more about it soon....

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to you all! It's a bright, wintery day here in Indiana and the kids and I are busy doing chores around the house and getting ready to have company after church tomorrow.

Yesterday we went to Auntie C's for a valentine tea party and tomorrow we'll have cards, chocolate cake, and lots of red things to eat (like beets!).

No matter what your stage or position in life, Valentine's Day can be a great excuse to show love to other people. May your day be filled with the joy that comes from giving to others.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The New World of Peer Pressure

Today I dealt with unexpected peer pressure. For the first time, Rachel and her fellow classmates ate lunch together in their homeschool co-op classroom -- not in the gymn with their families. Perhaps for the first time, Rachel realized her lunch was different. Her lunch was not fun.

Rachel's lunch did not contain white bread, it did not have sandwich meat, nor any type of chips. There were no fun drinks or cool desserts (except for the homemade oatmeal cookie). Rather, her lunch consisted of a wholegrain bagel spread with butter, an apple and the aforementioned cookie. (She vetoed the cheese that the rest of us also enjoyed). Oh, and she also had a water bottle.

It's funny that I had the same reaction (though silently) two years ago when we started homeschool co-op. But the difference doesn't bother me, I'm the parent. But now I have a daughter who realizes what she has is different and not fun. She would definately prefer the other food.

I guess some more education is in order -- to make sure the kids understand why we eat the things we do and don't normally eat other things. I think some creativity is also going to be required. Healthy lunches can be fun (it just takes more planning and more time on mom's part).

I wonder what the kids will think when they find out I ditched the valentine's chocolates in favor of giving them dried fruit and nuts. I don't think I imagined myself as this kind of mother when I was a kid....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's Wednesday

Today was one of those busy days. I forced myself to get up early to get a head start on the cleaning, vacuuming, etc. before our playdate guests arrived. Rachel and Andrew headed downtown to the Morris-Butler House for a homeschool session on the history of Indianapolis. They had a great time and I think we'll go back in the summer for a session on cooking (in the Victorian era?). I was dissappointed to hear only four other children were in attendance. Such a great program -- I think I better put the word out.

Mid-afternoon I headed out to do errands, one of which was to stop by the Knit Shop and pick up a few things. Pictured above is their valentine window. I resisted the urge to buy any more yarn. I must get started on something for the baby. I have a few ideas and I'm trying to discipline myself to get a few long-going projects out of the way before I start.

After the knit shop came the post office, copy store, gas station, Marsh and then Wal-mart. Finally it was time to head home and fortunately I had stew in the crockpot. Then it was time to cut 5 heads of hair and now I need to get off the computer and go get my drawing class ready for homeschool group tomorrow!

It's been a very full day. I hope there is time too fit a few minutes in for reading. I'm finding it harder and harder to read as much as I used to. But, I do give thanks that I have the health to be "doing". And maybe I can sit and relax for a bit tomorrow afternoon when the kids are worn out from homeschool group. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Weekend

Although the weekend didn't feel crazy busy, it certainly was full. Here's a picture of David doing his nebulizer treatment. Sweet thing. He was very patient and good about doing it and I think he's better now!

Snow started falling Friday morning and continued into the evening. I was out and here's what it looked like over the reservoir:

Fortunately, I was going slow enough to stop when these three deer decided to cross the road in front of me.

After my morning outing it was time to go to the dentist. It was Give Kids A Smile Day and we were SO thankful to get appointments for free dental care for all the children. David was adorable and totally charmed the staff:

At the end the dentist came out to teach the kids the proper way to brush. The kids definately love going to the dentist.
Saturday evening Emily introduced my mom, Christina and me to Roller Derby. She loves to go with friends and it was time for us to see what it was all about.

It was a total hoot! Very fascinating -- not only the skating but the people watching too! Below are the jammers (who make all the points for the teams):

And here is the pack that the jammers have to get through to make points:

Sunday saw the beginning of our first Sunday School program in the evening. It seemed to go well and the kids were all super excited to have classes of their own to attend. We are so happy that there are people willing to teach and help.
Oh, -- the Colts actually lost the superbowl! Well, that was a surprise. I thought for sure they were supposed to win. I can tell you that this city is certainly having a depressed day!
More snow is expected beginning this evening. And cold temperatures for the rest of the week mean it's not going anywhere.
It's time to finish dinner and then head out the door for ballet.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Too Cute!

This little "Easter Basket" is my favorite thing I've worked on this week. It just evolved from the neck of a sweater I was making my own spring purse out of. Having nothing else to sew at the moment, and lots of schoolwork to help with, this little purse just created itself. Maybe next year I'll be making one just like it for my baby girl. But for now, this one is over on Etsy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More Flowers, Etc.

Sewing flowers makes me happy. I love pretty things and I love the color combinations I've been working with so far this year. I think there have been almost 100 sewn since the beginning of January, which seems a little hard to believe. They are all sewn in bits and pieces of time, mostly while helping the children with their schoolwork.

I find it hard at times to figure out how to fit in "creating" along with everything else. I have so many ideas and things I want to make and they just don't all happen. I need to keep learning to be okay with that and be grateful for what does happen.

Right now many things are bouncy around on my to-do list: sorting the boys' closet, getting ready for the homeschool art class I need to teach in the coming weeks, getting caught up on our finances and starting our taxes, cooking and writing for the food blog, re-decorating the mantel for February/spring, finishing up a few more items for my Etsy sale, letters, emails, and a few sewing projects that I've promised to people months ago and must get to work on, oh yeah, and there's homeschool too and laundry and cleaning. Sometimes I just don't know where to begin. Or, it feels like I'm rushing from one thing to the next throughout the day. And then there is no time left for reading. I'm convincing myself this is a season of life and I better just be happy with what happens and not worried about what doesn't. I forgot getting ready for the baby.....I need to make the most of this chance I have to prepare for a little girl.

In the mean time I'm learning all about nebulizers. I took David in for a possible ear infection yesterday and came out with an RSV diagnosis, prescription for nebulizer medication and a prescription for the ear infection. Treatments every four hours, through the night -- this wasn't supposed to happen to me for a few more months yet. Oh well. David doesn't complain and takes the treatments very well. Hopefully he'll be on the mend soon.

It's time for our scheduled rest time and then the kids each have something they want to do this afternoon. When it comes down to it, what really matters today is time spent with them, so I better just put my mind to rest about the to-do list and let life happen.