Doodles and Rockets

I had to try some watercolors in my new journal…the paper didn’t handle it well at all…and I was so disappointed because I love to add watercolor to my drawings…but I love everything else about this journal. So anyway, my watercolor sketch which was going to be of one of my students, evolved into an elaborate doodle. I also did a quick sketch of my left hand a few minutes before my last class came in to art…it’s a split class and since the fourth grade is still at camp, I only had nine kids…so while they were working, I sketched in my journal. My CI class has been making papier mache rockets, and today they started to paint them…they are very colorful. I used my students’ colored pencils and my sketching pens to draw them.

Fourth Grade Camp

This morning was a nice break…even though the weather sucked. I had all my 4th grade art classes scheduled on Tuesday morning…and this is 4th grade camp week…so since I had no classes I drove out to YMCA Storer Camp where they were all engaged in various activities. I started out with some kids from Room 16 who were attempting to climb a 35 foot tower. It was pretty cool, the kids were very excited and nervous about the challenge but they did awesome, especially with the encouragement aspect. I was impressed. So while they were busy climbing, holding ropes, and such, I drew a couple of the students climbing up.

After that I went down to the lake and hung out with the kids who were busy collecting lake water with turkey basters…and then off to a group attempting (without much success) an activity at the low ropes course. It was cold and windy, about 58 degrees and just as I left to head back to school for my afternoon classes, it started to sprinkle. Regardless of the weather, I enjoyed myself…enjoyed being outside instead of in my classroom, enjoyed being with the kids in a different environment and enjoyed drawing my first drawing in my new moleskine. On the way home today, I stopped and bought a couple of new pens…a brush pen and a .01 archival pen, and 2 shades of cool gray prismacolor markers, for adding some shading to my drawings. Unfortuneately, I did not consider the possibility of those prismacolor markers bleeding through to the other side of my drawing, and I kind of ruined the nice drawing I did of the kids on the tower…Oh well…that’s how you learn NOT to make that mistake again.

In the zone

Sam was definitely on a roll this weekend. I don’t know what got into him, but he did so much around the house. Not to mention the fact that he hired a guy to come and install our new back door (finally…we’ve had the door for almost a year!). It looks awesome and we all feel much more secure as our old door (old wooden) could have easily been kicked down by a hostile intruder. He also cleaned out garbage and debris from under the stairs and mulched around the side of the house. He moved our doorbell to outside of our new door and moved the lock to the inside of our bedroom door. He cleaned his office and installed a new threshold in the doorway between the kitchen and the office. It is so nice to have all those things done. I don’t know if he’s trying to butter me up for something or what, but I am enjoying this while I can…AND today, when I came home from work, sitting on the kitchen counter was a brand new moleskine sketchbook wrapped up in a map of ITALY! I’ve been thinking about what I will use for my next journal since the one I am using now will be completed within the next month. I definitely want to go smaller, not because of size so much, but because of weight…I need to have my sketchbook with me all the time, because I never know when I will have to draw or write something down…but it is so heavy when I also have to carry all my school stuff and my computer…my shoulder is killing me and any way I can lighten my load would be wonderful. I love this sketchbook. The paper is very smooth and well made…I am not sure how it will do with watercolors, but we shall see. It has a ribbon bookmark and a pocket built into the back cover for holding important papers, tickets, momentos, etc. But my favorite part of my new moleskine journal is the elastic band that wraps around the front to hold everything securely inside…just like my favorite American Eagle Outfitters “Europe” travel journal. The coolest thing is that I never asked about getting one or hinted about it, but that he new exactly what I would want and got it for me – as a surprise – just because he loves me and he loves to see me draw. What more could I ask for?

Karson’s Birthday Party

What a day! As I was feeding Karson his lunch, I noticed some sores on his tongue and inside on his cheeks…thinking they might have something to do with the small blister type thing on his knee I became concerned and called my sister. She came over and after talking to a nurse on the phone, I decided to take him up to Med-Plus to confirm her suspicions. She said it was Hand, foot and Mouth disease and if that was the case…I was going to have to call people and cancel the birthday party that was planned for later. Sure enough, that was the diagnosis…so we made phone calls to the parents with kids and let them decide whether they’d want to come. After all that, we got home and got things ready for the party. Everyone we invited came except for Mike and Shelly and their kids, and Grandma Penny. Anyway, we had a nice dinner, opened presents,

and then it was time for the cake. We lit the candle and excited with anticipation watched closely to see what Karson would do…since one year olds typically display behavior that adults find to be comical. As soon as I set him in front of the cake, quite unexpectedly and in an instant, I saw that he had grabbed the flame and snuffed it out with his little hand.

Standing behind him, I couldn’t see his reaction, but realized quickly by the expressions on our guests’ faces that he was crying in pain. Poor little guy. I quickly grabbed an ice cube out of a nearby drink and held it in his hand. He still had wax in between his fingers. But he didn’t get a burn. I can’t believe I was so oblivious that I didn’t anticipate that something like that could happen.

In the photo that Sam took right afterward I am smiling – but it is out of sheer embarassment that I felt so stupid for not being more cautious. Anyway, Karson quickly recovered and was reintroduced to the cake. His face still wet with tears, he dove right in to a corner piece with lots of frosting and thoroughly enjoyed every crumb.


Just in case you are wondering, Dino is looking swell, but growing too fast for me to keep up with drawings. I started this drawing on the 13th, added to it on the 19th and the picture to the right was taken on the 23rd so you can see how much it has progressed.

Typical Friday

Today was a typical friday…in fact so typical that I had to do something out of the ordinary. So even though I didn’t feel like fast food for lunch, I ran to Wendy’s (typically the fastest drive thru during lunch) and picked up three things from the 99 cent menu and then pulled into a parking lot to draw. I decided to start with the skyline…no details…i went back and drew in some of the details that I had time for while munching on greasy fries. I worked on it off and on for about 15 minutes and then headed back to work to get ready for my next class. Even though fast food is SO bad for me, I love getting out of the building and having a little break from there. Not that its bad or anything…it’s just really nice to have the freedom to do that. But I really should pack a lunch that I can eat in the car so I don’t fall into the temptation of eating fast food every day.

Art Club Project

I started an art club this year at school. I opened it up to 4th and 5th graders who have an interest in doing something extra in art. I have held one meeting so far at each school. Last week, the group that came worked fabulously together. We studied the artist David Hockney and looked at some of his photo collages and his painting of a chair. The girls took photos I had taken of a student chair and collaged them together. See the picture below.

Once this was done I did a quick outline of the image of the collaged chair and then they did it in oil pastels – with very little direction I might add. They created this fabulous drawing in about 25 minutes. Isn’t it awesome or is it just me and my prejudiced opinion?

Karson’s Birthday

Today Karson turned one. It is hard to believe a year has gone by so quickly. Even though Karson wasn’t originally intended to come quite so soon…I can’t imagine our lives without him. He is so different from Max and Savannah and such a joy. He loves to laugh and have a good time with us and he thinks his brother and sister are so funny. Tonight we went to Lone Star Steakhouse (because kids eat free on Tuesday) and had a birthday dinner…in Karson’s honor. He did not partake of much besides my sweet potato and the complimentary ice cream, oh and of course his baby food. It was fun though. Nate and Cyndi and the kids joined us. We shared dinners, had free apetizers (coupons) and got out, stuffed, for under $20.00 – not including a tip. It was a nice dinner, even though the kids were whiney and smothered in ketchup and butter and macaroni and cheese and there was more food on the floor than they actually consumed (which is another reason why we go when they can eat for free)…that kind of stuff has to just roll off your back…or you don’t take your kids out. Actually tonight was one of the better evenings we’ve had out at a restaurant. After dinner we came home. I gave all three of them baths and put them to bed…all except Savannah who is very worried that the picture of me and Sam when we were dating is not going to be safe in her backpack and keeps getting out of bed to ask me if I am sure it will be alright. She has show and tell tomorrow and out of all the things she had to choose…she decided on a picture that Dumont took of us in college. We look very young…in fact, I might as well include it in this post.

Today, I got my two books that Sam ordered for me. A couple of books I have wanted for a while. One called Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory and another called How to Make a Journal of your Life by Daniel Price. They are awesome! I highly recommend both of them…I haven’t had a chance to read through all of both of them yet, but what I have read so far is quite inpiring and interesting. I follow Danny’s blog Everyday Matters pretty religiously. He is a wonderful artist and has a neat perspective on life. Danny Price who is a friend of his is also a great artist, and publishes his own books entitled Moonlight Chronicles. They are compilations of his own journals. He lives in a hobbit hole…which is interesting in itself.

Today I finished a drawing I started yesterday during some free minutes at school. It is of the only plant in our room. It is Donna’s…not mine. I can never keep anything growing. Except our chia pet which is becoming a little forest. Anyway, I loved how this one part of the plant (can you believe I don’t even know what kind it is) hung down over the filing cabinet. It’s twists and turns meandering through the space intrigued me and I had to draw it. I used some Cray-pas oil pastels that I have in my art supply stash to color it. I really enjoyed drawing it. After I was done, I sat in front of the plant and scribbled out some words to describe it…I actually scratched the oil pastel off with a yarn needle to write the words on the page, so just in case you can’t read them this is what it says:

twisting, turning,

changing directions

weaving in and out and around

a leaf – large

like an umbrella

shelters each smaller sprout

twisting, turning

this way and that

in an empty endless space

Please don’t think I am trying to write poetry or anything…I just wrote what came to my mind. I didn’t think about it too much, so don’t be critical.

Tomorrow I am taking Karson to his check-up, so I took the morning off. Afterwards, I have a good three hours to do whatever I want. Things I could do:

~go to a park and sit and read my books

~draw and write in my journal

~meet Shelley for an early lunch

~go shopping

~take my winter consignments to the clothing carousel

~get an oil change

I don’t have to be to work until 1:00. Whatever I do, I plan to enjoy myself.

Well, I still have to get Savannah’s snack for preschool made up tonight, so I better get going.

Our Chia Pet

We bought our first chia pet at a garage sale last weekend. I named him DINO, I thought it was an appropriate name for a dinosaur. We did the necessary preparations and then planted the thing 2 days ago. It really soaks up the water…I check it when I get home from school and before bed, everytime I check it, it needs more water. I don’t know how long until it sprouts but I decided to record it in my journal. So this is the progress at two days old…NONE. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Journal Ramblings

Usually when I scan an image from my journal I erase the writing and type it into my blog, selectively sometimes. Today, I wasn’t sure what to take out so I scanned the whole page…which I actually worked on at two different times. (Man, there are a lot of sirens coming this directions right now…I wonder what is going on)…Anyway, It was good for me to draw this image and get some of my feelings down on paper. I am sure I am not the only person in the world who feels like this…and I would not say that my stress level has reached it’s highest point, but at times I feel very overwhelmed with all the things I am responsible for. I feel very small, and I sometimes feel that it can never be possible to be satisfied with the way that i handle all of theses responsibilities. I love my job, I would never leave it willingly. But it takes so much out of me, and sometimes… when I think about the time I spend with my family during the summer compared to the amount of time I have leftover to spend with them now, I wonder if teaching full time is the best thing for the kids and our family. I look at my sister and her kids…she does not work…her house is always clean (seriously)…she always has everything she needs…her preschooler can read…her 2 year old knows practically all of her letters and sounds and colors! My two year old…not even close…I can’t help but wonder if that is a reflection on me and how I don’t spend the time working on letters, practicing writing, and such with my kids…because I don’t have it – time. When I do have time with them we read books, play, or I am busy getting meals, drinks, changing diapers (takes up at least a half hour each evening), nursing Karson, or whatever other demands may come along in the few hours I have to spend with my kids each evening after work. Is this how God intends us to be? Am I doing everything I should be as a mother? I struggle with these questions often…even though I know in my mind that I do not have the choice to do anything different because of financial/insurance reasons. Regardless of all of this, I am grateful to God for providing this job for me because I know his hand was totally controlling all the circumstances of me getting hired here.