random thoughts

I know it’s been a while since I posted anything. I went back to work on the 7th and it seems like since then I have had no time to blog or anything. I still don’t have a drawing to post, though I did work in my altered book this week. Maybe I will post that later.

Last Sunday, we had our kids, all four of them dedicated to God. My mom and Dad came, as well as Sam’s mom and our nanny, Jasmin. My sister’s family was there,too – they attend our church, and my brother-in-law had come all the way back from spending the night with his dad who is in the hospital. It was great to have so much of our family there to celebrate the day with us. My dad said the best part of the whole thing was when, for just a couple of seconds, Max, Savannah and Karson all hugged together when it was all over. Our friend, Jason, happened to catch that precious moment with our camera…so here it is, Dad.

Also, we went to Cracker Barrel last night. We only had Karson & baby Jasmin with us. Savannah was at a slumber party and Max spent the night with his cousins. We found the coolest plate there. An egg plate shaped like an artist’s palette. I told Sam it was perfect for me, he agreed and we bought it and brought it home with us. Isn’t it cool? Doesn’t look too bad with our colorful Fiestaware either.

crazy kids

Tonight my kids were playing our Wii. I think they are getting bored with the games because I noticed them running into different rooms, upstairs and downstairs, trying to take their turns bowling with their remote. Leave it to my kids to discover that the remote still works, even when you aren’t standing in front of the TV. Oh well, at least they are getting exercise that way, huh?

Shopping Trip

This afternoon, I grabbed the girls, and we headed over to JCPenney’s so I could see if I could find something to spend my gift card on. They were having a lot of sales, so I got to get a pair of pants and a cute sweater. When I tried on the pants, I got a size 18…and they were too big. So I found a pair of 16s and they fit me perfect! I was pretty excited to be able to buy 16s! I haven’t worn that size since college! It made my day.

Max’s drawings

I have been wanting to write this post for a while. It’s about Max. Max is 5 and my second born. I knew from the time he was a little guy that he had a very creative mind. One of the things that has always been difficult for me with Max is his anger. He gets extremely angry sometimes and just makes the awfullest faces…along with the fists, arms down at his sides and of course the stomping. Apparently, he feels that those actions do not express his anger good enough, though…so over the past few months, he has started drawing his feelings. We will have an incident and he gets mad, stomps off in his usual way, and then minutes later returns with a drawing. Here are a few examples…This picture was drawn after I took a marker away from him. I can’t remember the exact circumstances, but I think I had asked him repeatedly to stop drawing and do something…he wouldn’t…chose to ignore me, and I took the marker out of his hand. The second drawing was from last night. It was close to bed time and he wanted me to slice up an apple for him. We were not having bedtime snack last night, because we had a late dinner. I didn’t really tell him no right away, just kind of put him off…which was probably frustrating to him, because then when I told him no, he totally lost it. And this time he drew two drawings for us. The one is a picture of himself…with apple slices on his mind…and the second (the hearts) is “how much he loves me and I love him”. That almost made me cry. He didn’t get the apples…but instead had them for breakfast this morning. He went to bed with a hug and a kiss from me…because even though his anger frustrates me, I still love him to death! And I love this little stage that he is in where he is drawing his feelings. I have never heard of kids doing this before. It’s so cute!

EDM Challenge and 2008 ART GOALS

Recently I buddied up with an art friend through my Everyday Matters Yahoo! Group. We will be keeping each other accountable to reach the art goals we have set for this year. Here are mine (in no particular order)…

1. Keep my Journal with me all the time and be on the look out for opportunities to draw and record my life…no matter how small the time frame may be. Time is precious these days, you know.

2. Keep up with the weekly EDM challenges. I have done many of these in the past, but it has been some time now since I have attempted one…just due to pure laziness, I guess. If you aren’t familiar with the challenges, each week one of our members posts a new challenge…something to draw (& write about). Many of us post the links to our drawings on the list for others to see. It’s fun to see the different interpretations of the same subject from people all over the world.

3. Experiment with a new media. First on my agenda – I will be trying this next week – is foam sculpture.

4. Be more creative in my photography. I’d like to do photo shoots more often. With a new baby, I have a good reason to do them.

5. Redesign my blog/website to reflect who I am and what I do. I have to rely on Sam’s help with this, though…so we will see.

6. Meet with my art friends and make art on a regular basis (at least monthly!)

7. Choose a month and do a drawing every day. (maybe May – that’s when my goal buddy is doing it)

8. Create some cool business cards.

9. Take some trips to art museums (Ella Sharp, Detroit…or Chicago :)…I wish)to draw.

10. Do a sketchcrawl.

Another Day – Nothing Accomplished…

I have no pictures to post today…I didn’t get a chance to draw yet…and doubt I will before I am exhausted enough to crawl into bed.
We woke up late this morning…it’s so nice when we can all sleep in. I have enjoyed that during our little vacation. Sam goes back to work tomorrow, though. And we have tons to do. Our Christmas stuff is all still in need of being taken down and packed up.
My sister brought her 1 year old over today so that they could get some work done in their dining room. They are hoping to get it repainted. They spent most of the afternoon stripping down the wallpaper. I hate wallpaper, by the way. So with Ava here and my four kids, we really got little accomplished. I was hoping for some time to take decorations down, but it seemed like it took all day just to clean the kitchen. I did kind of vacuum (kind-of because I just vacuumed around everything that is sitting on the floor). And I did a couple of loads of laundry and put away all the boys clothes and sent out the rest of my Christmas newsletters (late because we ran out of stamps). But it doesn’t seem like all that much has been accomplished when you look around.
Anyway, tomorrow is another day…hopefully I will make good use of it…or should I say, hopefully I will be able to…
We discovered today with our additional 4or 5 inches of snow, that we no longer have a shovel. After our big snowfall on New Years Eve, our friend was out the next day in town with his snowplow and came by and plowed out our driveway. And someone snowblowed our walks too – we think it was him, but he doesn’t normally do that. We…or at least I…was so thankful. I didn’t feel all that great yesterday, and although I was planning to go shovel while the kids played outside, I really didn’t feel up to it. So it was nice to not have to. Living in the city, we get fined if we don’t keep the sidewalks clear. Oh, back to the shovel. So this morning me and the kids ran up to Walmart to pick up a few groceries and I noticed the shovel was not in its usual spot. I searched the garage and around the house and couldn’t find it anywhere. I questioned the kids…because they like to use it sometimes when they are playing in the snow…and their answers were wishy-washy. They thought they might of had it but didn’t know for sure, Max said he thought he stepped on it in the snow yesterday when they were playing, but when they went to find it, they had no luck. So I am thinking it either got stolen (and this wouldn’t be the first time) or it is buried in the 10+ inches of snow on the ground…and the rate the snow is piling up, it may be a while until we see it again – if that is where it is. And I am thinking there is a good chance it is buried, so I am not going to go out and buy another one. Anyway, I have a wonderful neighbor who doesn’t mind if I borrow hers…so that’s what I did today.
On to another subject…I have been thinking about setting some goals for this year…yes, personal ones are always good…but I am thinking of art-related goals right now. I have signed up on the Everyday Matters group to be paired with a goal buddy to help keep me accountable, so my next step is to get my goals actually written down and share them with my buddy. I plan to post them on my blog when I decide what they are going to be. I think it will be good for me to have someone to encourage me and remind me of my ambitions in art. With the busyness of life -somehow the creative stuff seems to be last priority. It probably shouldn’t be, since having time to be creative, do creative things, is what keeps me feeling sane. I don’t know why that is, really…but I have a lot more anxiety in my life when I don’t have the opportunity to “play”. Do you every feel like that? I kind of have been thinking a lot about this. Because it was actually when I had my last baby (in the fall of 2003) that I started looking for something to do to find an outlet for my creativity. Maybe there is just something about that time…when you have a newborn, and you feel kind of trapped, like you can’t get away, and you feel guilty for spending time doing anything for yourself. I remember thinking, maybe I’ll take a class…and I looked up the classes at our local art museum and found one being offered on Illustrated Journaling. Not having a clue what this was, I decided to do some searches and found an amazing world of artists who create art in their personal journals about their every day lives. This really changed my whole view of art. I had always thought that everything I made should have a purpose…whether it was functional or specifically made for someone or maybe a work that was commissioned. I did not allow myself freedom to just make art for he sake of making it – even though this is something I believe. That whole period of time I spent looking at blogs and published sketchbooks and journals really changed me. I took the class and LOVED it! It was so inspiring. Writing/drawing in my journal was something I wanted to do…I had to do. Not only that, but as time went on…I looked back through the pages I had filled in my journals and thought…”this is me. This is my life. No one else has these thoughts & experiences…no one else sees life like I do.” It brought back memories of laughter, frustration, sadness, joy and many other emotions as I read through and looked at the drawings I had made. Those drawings told so much about me. My journals are very precious to me because of that reason…but then I started sharing them on my blog and found that others enjoyed reading about my life. Maybe they just like my drawings (of which I don’t do enough of recently – sorry) or maybe they like to read my take on the adventures of my life. I don’t really know. I know my blog posts have changed a lot since I first started. I really want to capture some of what I had a few years ago when Illustrated Journaling was so exciting to me. It’s not that I don’t still love it. It’s just not fresh and new, you know. So I am thinking about what I can do to get a little spark going, to make it fun again. One think I would like to do is get back to doing the drawing challenges from the Everyday Matters group. While the challenges themselves are not anything special…it is a way to keep drawing, and I have found that some of those challenges have led into some of my favorite journal entries and drawings, like this one of my bed. The challenge was to draw our bed…but instead of making it all nice and neat…I drew it the way it usually is. I hardly ever make our bed. There are just so many more important things to do in the morning, you know? So, like it or not…this drawing really tells just a little bit of who I am. I think that is what attracted me to the whole idea of illustrated journaling. If you look through my journals, you would find that I draw a whole bunch of things…that probably most people would wonder why I would take the time to draw. Things like rubber stamps and empty envelopes, a spoon or a half eaten cookie. One time I even drew all the things I found under the couch cushions while I was cleaning. Even though they seem so unimportant, they all tell just a little more about who I am and what my crazy life is like…so maybe someday, when I am gone, my kids or whoever will know a little more about who I am because of the journals I kept. I only wish I could have kept them all my life…like this. What a treasure that would be, huh? If you would like to know a little more of what Illustrated Journaling is all about, I would recommend you take a little stroll through Danny Gregory’s (dannygregory.com)archives…especially those in ‘o3, ‘o4. He was huge inspiration to me and his blog and the class I took were what got me started on this whole thing in the first place.
Oh, and by the way…my kids have recently started a blog to publish their creations…of which the most recent are their snow people they made the other day.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone. Today will be a day of relaxing and lounging around. The kids are so excited about the great snowman making snow we got overnight. I actually went out around 11:00 pm and made them each a snowball to eat. They loved that!
Sam and I spent most of yesterday at the hospital. That was not too fun. I had my Tubal done yesterday and today I am sore and tired. My throat hurts from the tube they had to stick down my throat, my neck is sore, and its painful around my belly button. It’s uncomfortable to lay down in some positions and to hold Jazzy up against my belly to nurse her. I expect it will start to feel better within a day or so though. I am so glad I do not have to go back to work until next Monday. I know other teachers that start back tomorrow!
We spent the weekend with my parents in South Bend and had a great time. We took our Wii and we spent a lot of time playing it. My mom and dad really enjoyed learning how to play. We have the Wii Sports that comes with the system, but we also have Carnival Games and some Target shooting game. I love the Carnival Games because there are so many different choices of games to play. Last night Sam and I stopped at Family Video on the way home to rent some DVDs and we also picked up Cooking Mama to try out. We had heard some good things about it. It’s kind of cute, but a little difficult for the kids so I don’t think we would end up buying it.
Jasmin has started smiling. I mean, you can interact with her and get her to smile…unlike the involuntary smiling that you see in an infant. She also started to stick her tongue in and out when she is happy. She looks a like a little lizard when she does this and her brothers and sister find it quite entertaining.
I took this picture of Karson this weekend at my mom and dad’s. I’m trying to be a little more creative in my shots. Anyway, he spent most of his time playing with the toy Fisher Price castle or his gun that he got from Jasmin (our nanny) for Christmas.
The kids also got the V-Tech Cameras from Sam’s dad. They love them. These are definitely cool! The kids can make movies, record their voice onto a photo, play games and edit pictures on their cameras. They played with them in the car all the way to South Bend and back. It’s great for them. And even though we are teaching them that we have to take special care of electronics, if they do something careless with it, like knock it off the table, it doesn’t hurt the camera.