Butterfield Park

Tonight when I got home from work, I found out that Savannah’s coach had cancelled their soccer practice, so now having the whole evening free, we decided to go to the park. Originally we were going to go to Ella Sharp Park, but there are several ball games going on over there on Tuesday’s and we couldn’t find a place to park. We ended up heading over to Butterfield park, much to Savannah’s dismay. (she wanted to go to a place where there were lots of people so she could show off her skill with the juggle sticks we bought her last weekend) I love Butterfield Park (on West Avenue). It’s quiet and it’s maintained so nicely. And this time of year, the feature attraction is the baby tadpoles. The kids love trying to catch them. It was such a nice evening and the kids were playing together, so I ran back to grab my sketchbook out of the car so I could draw the little pond and all the kids who were so fascinated with the tadpoles. This drawing has Max, Savannah and some other kid who moved almost immediately after I started drawing him. Max and Savannah were great models for me, they stayed in thier position for a few minutes until I had finished sketching them. It’s nice they will do that for me now. Anyway, we had a lovely time there. I think we were there for over an hour. I enjoyed just sitting there and drawing on the bench next to the little pond, the sound of running water from the fountain and the occasional sound of recorded frog songs that sung out from the bushes (what is that about?)

Happy Mother’s Day.

For Mother’s Day, Max made this little vase full of flowers for me in Sunday School. It is so cute the way those little squares of colored tissue paper are just slapped on there randomly. I love it. He was so proud to give it to me. I love looking at it everyday, every time I walk into the kitchen. It reminds me of everything I love about Max. Lately, I have been dealing with his fits. I really think he does this when he is overly tired…but he will just do this scream-cry thing – which now includes hitting and kicking (highly stressful to me) and he goes on and on…and it usually starts out over something little like he wants some toy or something but he doesn’t communicate that to me and he expects that I should just know and when I don’t he gets even madder. This whole thing happened again yesterday. When I got home I realized I had left some stuff I needed for my class at work, so I packed all my kids in my neon and headed back to school. Well Max was screaming before we even left. Later on the way there, I found out it was because he had wanted to bring on of his Rescue Heroes…(but I had no clue) He kept screaming almost all the way out to my school…12 miles. Finally he just cried himself to sleep. I had a headache when it was quiet again, and Savannah and Karson were upset too, and I don’t blame them, being trapped in the car listening to that. Max has been like this since he was a baby. When he was an infant we learned that just holding him really tight would finally calm him down so he could fall asleep. Yesterday, I was having flashbacks of him throwing these kind of fits when he was a toddler. Me with a newborn and a 4 year old trying to calm him down in the lobby of the church after the service as people would walk by and stare. Not one of them ever offered to help me out. Anyway…I ended up taking his privelege of playing with toys away for the rest of the day yesterday. It worked great because Sam said he was awesome while I was at class. Today he did good too. I don’t know how to handle him when he gets like that. He is so different from my other two kids. Sometimes I feel like our personalities clash, and sometimes I think maybe he just needs so much more extra love and affirmation because he is the middle kid. I don’t know if what I am doing is the right thing. I really wish Max would have come with an instruction booklet sometimes. I hope when he is young we can help him learn how to handle his frustrations appropriately so it doesn’t turn into something worse. It’s kind of scary, ya know. What if I don’t do the right thing and it affects the way he handles stress and frustration his whole life?

I’m a Treasure!

Today was another crazy day. Right now I am putting off framing and labeling the rest of the artwork for the second show that I have to hang tomorrow afternoon. I love this show though. I get a nice big room with great walls where I can hang artwork from floor to ceiling. It looks amazing when it’s all up…although a bit overwhelming for the judges who come to visit to award a ribbon to their favorite artist. Tonight after work I did something I have never tried before. I got my hair highlighted. It looks so different. Cute, and a little lighter than I thought, but I still like it. When I came home the kids said my hair was gold. They said I looked like a treasure (how cute!). Then Max wished me “Happy Father’s Day” (yeah, he get’s a little mixed up with this one) and they showed me the 3 adorable garden statues that they bought for me for mother’s day. One is supposed to be Savannah with a kitty, Karson has a dog, and Max is pulling a wagon (no animals – he informed me – because he is alergic). They are the best, and when I came home they were sitting in our little flower bed surrounded by pink tulips. Sam spent the day with the kids. They went on a special adventure today. They got to ride on a “Miracle Round” and ate chinese and went to the Disney Store. It sounds like it was a lot of fun. I will post a drawing (I just started it) of the statues later…and maybe my new hair do…maybe, we’ll see.

A Grid of my…yard

OK, I don’t really have a garden…don’t want one either. The previous owners of our home were crazy about gardening. Out tulips are mostly gone, but I would estimate that our yard holds about 300 various different kinds of tulips. They are so beautiful! Last spring when we leveled out the old garden and sodded it for more lawn space, my brother in law and I dug up about 100 bulbs at least. We gave a lot of them away. The tulips were one of the things I loved about this house when we came to see it a second time with our realtor. This spring I probably cut about 150 flowers and gave them away or had them in different vases in the house, and it didn’t even look like I made a dent in what we had! I love that. I have been wanting to get out and draw the different flowers growing around our yard…and today I created this little grid drawing of some of them. My favorites are the bleeding hearts. It was a bush that belonged to the previous owners mother and we dug it out of the middle of the old garden, and transplanted it near the northwest corner of our home. Our yard guy, not knowing what it was, leveled it last spring, much to my dismay! And I hoped all year that it would come back. This spring it is huge! It has tons of little bleeding hearts. They are such awesome little flowers. And the kids absolutely love them. They will pick off a heart and bring it to me and I can see the love in their eyes as they hand me the delicate little heart. Nature is so amazing, really. Have you ever just sat down and inspected something like a bleeding heart flower…and each one is so perfectly formed. It just reminds me of how creative God is. And to think that He cares enough about us to be creative with something so small as a little bleeding heart bush so that we could enjoy it. That just makes me smile. Anyway, I actually created this for a postcard swap I am doing on ArtistJournals2 group. I have already received some amazing cards. I really don’t have time to do this kind of stuff, but it’s so fun. And I am glad I took some time today to enjoy drawing outside. I needed it.

Blind Contour First Friday May – Breakfast Time

Every weekday morning I wake up before everyone else and get my shower and get ready for work. At about 7:15 I wake up Sam and Savannah. I usually have to do her hair but it’s nice that she is becoming more independent because she mostly gets ready by herself. On most mornings the boys wake up soon after and once Savannah and I are ready we head downstairs. Every morning I get the kids their breakfast before I leave. Breakfast is usually just cereal around here. Once in a while we have eggs or french toast sticks or oatmeal…but on most days, especially school days, breakfast is usually Life or Rice Crispies. My kids love to eat while they watch TV so I bought trays for them so they could eat their breakfast in the living room…but it’s not something we do everyday, so when I do let them, they get really excited about it. Saturdays are more laid back…and I like to make pancakes or malt-o-meal or something instead of cereal. I usually don’t have time to eat breakfast before I leave because of the demands of my kids…I have to tie shoes, find library books, change diapers…that kind of thing. I probably eat more cereal at night (for a snack) then I do for breakfast. I sometimes pick up breakfast in the drive thru…although I am trying to break that habit. My favorite breakfast of all time is French Toast with real butter, Syrup and powdered sugar. But I hardly ever make it…I usually get it when we go out to eat at a restaurant that serves it like Cracker Barrel. My favorite cereal is Peanut Butter Captain Crunch…and I really like granola cereals. I would have to say that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

Check out the other Blind Contour drawings (drawing without looking at your paper) at Inkfinger.

The Brain Gang

I have a little something to share with you. Last summer, I took a workshop/class on Multiple Intelligences. As a final project, I wrote and illustrated and handbound a children’s story about MI called “The Brain Gang”. It is going to be published in the summer issue of Kagan’s online magazine. I didn’t get paid for it unfortunately, but I agreed as long as they gave me credit, to let them share it in their magazine. I know there are a few mistakes, but I thought you might like to see it. It will open in a new Window.
Click Here – 4.5mb