Thursday, April 29, 2010
I met her at an Artists' Night that I attended a few months ago. She is kind, interesting, funny. Through the course of the night, we chatted about why and when they built their gorgeous home out in the country. It seems that this country girl married a city boy, and it wasn't until they retired that her dream of being in the boonies, owning horses and writing came true. Then and there, I knew I'd have to hook her up with my little Artist Child, for the Artist has the same dream. For several months now, multiple times a week, they've corresponded through email. (The Artist can already type faster than I can.)
They met for the first time at the Horse Festival, and Claudia invited us to come out and ride. Artist-Child has been counting down the days.
After meeting all of the horses (and dogs and chickens,) the kids helped Claudia brush Shriner and saddle him up.
...while the boys played with barrels.
Claudia was kind enough to give each of the boys a ride, too.
On Wednesday night, a dear friend took me to the cafe, under the ruse of coffee-enjoyment. She had arranged a mini-birthday celebration with a few friends! Sherrill, thank you. You are so kind. The inflatable cake was hilarious. :-D Even more hilarious, the length of time it took to get the battery cover open!
(and see, I'm wearing one of my little swirly flowers (: )
Arkansas weather is finicky, at best. Yesterday and today, we had amazingly warm weather. I wore a tank top both days. We did plenty of gardening, after school, and spotted a furry friend behind our fence.
Monday, April 26, 2010
(** you know there's a craft, don't you? If you feel the insatiable urge to see it RIGHT NOW, I give you permission to skip down to the end...and then come on back and read about my amazing friends and family.**)
Fred was off work today(sweet blessing, thank you God,) so he let me sleep in. I like to sleep, and would not wake up ever unless kids came in jumping on my head. When I did roll myself out of bed at 9am, the house was spotless, dishwasher was whirling away, washing machine was going, and kids were fed. Yeah, Fred, the jig is up. I know now that you CAN work the washing machine. That revelation aside, I was pleasantly surprised (read: shocked beyond reason that SO much was done,) and the day began with a bang.
Add to that, Trac stopped over with a special birthday breakfast of delicious quiche, delectable scones, banana muffins with cinnamon crumble topping AND her amazing fresh-roasted coffee, (which I got to keep, by the way!) Go ahead and check out her Little Coffee Company on etsy. Once you try Little Coffee, you can never go back. This girl knows her stuff.
The jam, courtesy of Sam, was amazing as well. Who makes Wild Violet Jam??? I'm blessed with such amazingly talented and unique friends If you find a recipe for this, I'd recommend savoring it with plain scones, like we did, as the violet taste is very delicate and sweet. It needs to be relished without any other overpowering flavors.
My day and my agenda: We went hiking next. I was slightly put off by the cooler weather at first, but after a hike and several crazy games of freeze-tag with the kids, I concluded that the weather was just right for the occasion. Look at the greenness of it all!! Just spectacular. The water was covered with a layer of pollen, though. Seems that our cold spell lasted a bit too long and then everything just decided to bloom all at once. Little Lad even did some "swimming" in the shredded tires beneath the playground. When we were all thoroughly worn out, we headed back for a Mexican dinner at home. My favorite. Cheese. Avocados. Cilantro... Mexican food has all the best things.
This next picture had to be taken. We were in Oklahoma. 'Nuf said?
(Relax, relax, it's a JOKE. I make fun of Arkansas all the time, too. In fact, all the southern states are fair game. (-; )
Yes, the bumper was held on my bungee cords. Seriously.
Now, you know I couldn't end a perfect day without throwing crafts into the mix. After kids were snugly tucked into bed, Fred and I turned on a movie and I did my usual can't-sit-still crafting.These pants were just insane: Shiny, droopy, crazy things that begged for transformation. I obliged.
Fabric flower time. Once you start these, it's hard to stop. And I have no tutorial for you. I saw these somewhere, similar to this one (and there is a tutorial at that site!) and decided to wing it. Actually, I'm glad that I didn't see a tut to start with, because my way was WAY easier (lazier) and faster. I wasn't going for perfection, just experimenting with scraps.
I cut different sized circles from cardboard.
Then I tore strips of fabric, of whatever length and width.
We're winging it, remember?
And, using tacky glue and fabric fusion, I twisted, turned, swirled around the fabric onto the glue cardboard circle. Can't even tell, can you?
I added pins on the back, so I can dress up my headbands, clothes, shoes, purse, whatever.
I can safely assume that no one has done flowers in this way. And I'm perfectly okay with that. It worked for me, and you are more than welcome to try it out for yourself! Or do it the "right way"and grab a great tutorial from somewhere. :-) Sometimes it's the idea that counts. Take the idea and run with it. Actually, I plan to sew them next time, to make a "statement" necklace.
Check out the other Motivate Me Monday linked ideas!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Gosh, the things I want to do.
There aren't enough blog posts to go over it all. How can there be so much to accomplish and so little time?? How can I possibly succeed at it all?
A homeschool mom friend of mine once said that she spends the most time each day teaching the youngest student. For some reason, I've flip-flopped this. Because my ArtistChild is dealing with the most challenging work and my NatureMan is a little more help-needy, I tend to spend the bulk of my time working with them. How can I taper this down, and give my preschool kiddos extra attention? And, are they really lacking? They don't *seem* to be. Is it just guilt talking? Could I be doing this right after all?
Well, it doesn't hurt to tweak things and see if the change will make a difference. I'm trying to re-implement specific pre-K time while the older kids are doing "lighter subjects." (Now Selfish Me talks: this is a sacrifice, because it means dishes and whatnot will wait until nap-time. Sigh.)
Sooooo, the little people have been enjoying extra "work," and the older kids want to tutor them, and do the lighter subjects later. Now that I can handle. Isn't this what it's supposed to be about?? --Working together, learning together, willingness to spread it all out, to get the quality stuff down.
The older kids and I made a color wheel for Little Lad. He has a blast matching the clothespins, which is great for his fine motor skills, too.
More importantly, we're doing this with him, delighting in watching him, and not just handing him another busy-item to keep him out of the way. I'm guilty as charged. I haven't been delighting in the kids like I need to. Like I want to. I get all snippy and tired when I'm...well, tired....or when I've over-planned and my agenda starts to sap my joy.
I'm re-discovering the joy of watching them discover.
The kids all enjoyed it. Together.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
This river rock will go on the side of the house, where I've planted Autumn Beauty Sunflowers.