Painting Lesson with the kids

Tonight we went about the usual busyness of a school night. Although it was suggested by Sam that we clean for the evening while he was out on the town, we had dinner and then spent time working on homework. Savannah had about 5 papers to finish and Max had to finish writing some p’s that he did not get finished in class. Karson didn’t do homework tonight…he built jails with his Legos. Dinner was awesome, by the way, because my sister-in-law brought us a Giordano’s Pizza from Chicago this afternoon. We live four hours away from Chicago, so you can imagine that it was a real treat! The only thing that would have made it better would have been if Sam was here to share it with me. He has to wait till he gets home later. The kids didn’t want any (because of the mushrooms and green peppers) and asked for me to warm up an .89ยข can of mini raviolis. They don’t know what they are missing…but it’s ok, because it means more for me and Sam.
Savannah brought home her posterboard for the poster contest for Reading Month at school. They do this poster contest every year. Last year Savannah won first place for the first grade. She got a gift certificate to a book store (I think). She drew a picture of the cover of the book A Bad Case of The Stripes. I helped her only by guided instruction and a little help with the shading.
This year, Savannah’s school is doing a theme of Michigan for Reading Month. They have all kinds of cool activities planned to encourage the kids to read more. For the poster contest they are supposed to choose to do a drawing from a book about Michigan, by a Michigan author/illustrator or about a famous person/place in Michigan. There are so many great books to choose from really. But I suggested a book by illustrator, Gijsbert Van Frankenhuyzen, more commonly known as Nick. I have heard him present at the MAEA conference several years ago. He is awesome. I have one of his not so popular books and bought a signed print of an illustration from his book, The Legend of Sleeping Bear. In the workshop I attended, he actually taught us (as he would teach students) to paint this picture from his book. The print, still wrapped in plastic, has been sitting on the shelf in my studio waiting for the opportunity to be used. So when I thought of Savannah choosing this book to do, I suggested that I could teach her how to paint the same painting. She was very excited and of course Max and Karson decided they both wanted to do it to. We used real paint and the boys used canvas boards (8×10 size).
Savannah had to paint hers on the posterboard that was sent home with her, so hers is much bigger. The kids loved using my big brushes and the thick acrylic paint. They really did a great job listening to directions. They painted these totally by themselves. Well, Karson needed his water fixed because he thought he messed it up, but other than that all I did was coach them. We painted for about 45 minutes…but then it was getting close to bed time and you could tell their attention spans were shot because they started getting whiny. So we left the best part (the bear) for another day – maybe tomorrow. Karson was kind of disappointed about that. He really wanted to paint the bear first. (He really loves bears since he learned the bear hunt song in school this year). We had a lot of fun, though. This was the first time I ever attempted to do something like this. I really can’t wait till they get the bear and the stars painted…we might just be painting again tomorrow.

I Can Do It By Myself

This happened Sunday morning. We are usually hurrying around trying to get out the door on time. And we almost always are late anyway (especially since Jasmin has been around). It’s me, alone, with all four kids…getting them up, dressed, fed and bundled up to go to church. Sam has to leave much earlier because he has responsibilities with the media stuff. It’s a real challenge some days. And having Cheerio’s spilt all over the floor did not make it any easier! My first reaction was to yell at Max, but I quick stopped myself as I realized he was just trying to help me out. Then I just started laughing, grabbed the camera, and we all had a good laugh at the huge mess. At least he hadn’t poured the milk yet!