Some people would walk into my house and think I never clean anything…I say I do my best. It’s cluttered with yesterday’s junk mail, pieces of my Arts & Activities magazine cover that Karson ripped to shreds, Max’s goldfish crackers dumped on the floor that have been walked over a few times, bath toys and shoes on the counter in the kitchen, a half-eaten apple in the couch cushion…where does it end? Or is this just a phase I am destined to go through because of my little children who haven’t yet learned that everything has a place or how to pick up their own messes. Some days I feel that all I do is follow my kids around and clean up after them. Some days I say I don’t care what it looks like or what someone else thinks. I do what I can when I can do it…but it never ends! ,,,or will it?
Today was wonderful because I got to sleep in until 9:00. When I heard Max talking I went in to get him and Grace and Max were in Savannah’s bed and Grace was reading them a story. It was so cute. After lunch, once the boys were down for naps, the girls and I went out to pick flowers in the yard. It smells so good over by the rose bush and the peonies are starting to bloom. It was so beautiful. So tonight after the kids had their baths and went to sleep, I got out my favorite pen and drew a picture of them to capture their beauty. And since I had the time, I decided to excavate my watercolors from the basement and add a little color to my drawing, which I rarely have time to do. Anyway, it’s late…the Memorial Day fireworks just ended and it’s all quiet in our house, except for the sound of our dryer tossing around the clothes. So I am off to bed.
Last week I had my third graders draw their shoes after a lesson on Andy Warhol. I made them take off their shoes to draw them. They turned out really cool. My original plan was to copy their shoe many times on a piece of paper and have them color them with bright colors…but as I was making the copies I decided to make a page of all the shoes in the class. They loved it and had a lot of fun coloing them. Today was their last art class.
When I got home, we took the kids + Grace to Coldwater to the drive-in to see Shrek 2. It was fun…but I didn’t get to see a lot of the movie because Karson was tired and he wanted me to hold him. And our radio in the car wouldn’t work, so we had to rent the last radio from the guys who run the Drive In and the only way you could hear the movie was to hold your hand on it in a certain place. So that was Sam’s job with which he became a little irritated. But overall, I think it was good for us all to get out and do something spontaneous and fun…besides the girls had a blast and isn’t that what it’s all about?
You’ve gotta wonder why you have some things…like this crazy daffy duck mug. It’s one of Savannah’s favorites. We probably picked it up at a garage sale or something. I was looking around for something interesting to draw and came to find this sitting next to a stack of dirty dishes that Jasmin had neatly left on the counter for me. I used my artistic license to leave the crusted-on food out of my drawing. I love Daffy’s expression – because some days I feel just like he looks!
After spending a half hour looking through Danny Gregory’s published online journal pages, I feel inspired. There is so much to draw and to record about ordinary things that happen everyday. Even crazy mugs full of dirty spoons can be a fun subject to draw and can express something about my state of mind. I love the title of his journal, “Everyday Matters.” Because everyday does matter. I have good days and great days and horrible days just like everyone else. But it reminds me that no day is a waste. Even when everything seems to go wrong, I should be looking for the good things that happen and for where God is working around me.
Today I tie-dyed shirts with the first graders. They are going on a field trip next Thursday and the teachers wanted them all to have shirts alike. We tried a new recipe of Koolaid and vinegar. It worked pretty well. They loved doing it. Plus, the shirts were a great subject for my journal!
I am still writing by candlelight tonight…our power has not been restored. We sent all our frozen food to the Archer’s on Saturday. I threw out the rest of the stuff in our refrigerator tonight. That was depressing. It looks like we may get power tomorrow. Four houses south of us got theirs back tonight. The trucks were here working until dark.
Tonight I went to Meijers to get some food for the kids to have tomorrow with Jasmin and to get batteries for our flashlight, which is growing dimmer by the minute. Can you believe Meijers was sold out of D batteries on last night?!
I talked to Julia at church today about our illustrated journaling class. Since we are running another session for the summer, I thought she might like to join up. She always is saying how we should get together and do art…well, this is a great opportunity! I hope she decides to take it with me. I was kind of bummed that class was canceled yesterday. Maybe we can make it up.
A huge storm came through Jackson today. It did a lot of damage. As I drove home on Friday, I began to feel a bit like a lab rat in a maze. I could not get to my street from any direction. People were everywhere, staring in amazement as they were returning from work only to find homes damaged and roads blocked by huge trees and fallen power lines. They were walking around with cameras and video cameras. You couldn’t drive anywhere. I had to park two blocks away and walk to my house. I saw kids picking up branches and pretend sword fighting with them. I noticed neighbors talking to each other who never exchange words as noisy helicopters were flying over our heads.
Earlier I had mentioned that our assignment was to draw something from our past. This is what I chose to draw. It was quite amazing how many details I could remember. This drawing shows my sister and I under a tent built in our yard with blankets and my dad’s clips (which he used to hold his candle molds together) on our clothesline. In reality…the clothesline was not attached to the tree…I don’t know why I drew it like that…We used to play in our back yard all summer long. The lilac bushes in the background created great forests for our Barbie dolls. We loved to play house and pretend we had families with our dolls. We used old milk crates, boards, just about any junk lying around in the barn that we could turn into some kind of furniture for our tent-houses. On rainy days we would build tents in our basement…they weren’t just a blanket thrown over a couple of chairs, they were elaborate labyrinths of rooms and hiding places with beds and furniture and battery operated “lights”. I remember one year we created a restaurant and served an enormous menu of felt food. We had plastic silverware and paper dishes, and plastic flowers in vases. When our friends came over they were elected to be our waiters and waitresses as we would visit our 5 star restaurant with our pretend husband or wife. We wrote out menus and assigned our friends to creating the felt food for us. One friend, Amber, I remember, was a particularly creative felt “chef”.
Our Wisteria is in full bloom right now. I love it! It is unusual how the blossoms come out before the leaves. Today was a beautiful day to be outside. I just love seeing all our plants and flowers coming up for the first time, it’s like a surprise everytime something new comes up…since I don’t really know what all was planted here before we moved here at the end of the summer last year. We grilled outside for lunch and the weather was so nice. But now it is cloudy and raining and everyone is sleeping but me. Tonight is the Survivor Season finale so Nate and Cyndi are coming over later to watch it with us!
Today in class we talked about color and composition. It was a lot of information that I already knew. But it was interesting, and our discussions gave me some ideas. While we were listening to Greg, I drew the stack of props and supplies piled on the file cabinets in our classroom at the museum. The stamp was borrowed from one of the other ladies in my class…but I can’t remember who. Our assignment is to draw something from our past…from memory. I always feel that it is such a challenge to draw from memory, because you have to see your subject in your mind and understand the composition, the colors, the details in your mind before you see it on paper. I don’t feel I have ever been very good at that…I remember when I read “The Gift of Asher Lev” in college I was amazed at the way the character, Asher, could draw from memory…and how his teacher taught him to do it. I think it is a discipline you have to develop within and then practice it over and over…maybe then it would come more natural to draw from what you remember.