I thought I would post a few of the drawings I have done during camp this week.  Nothing spetacular…but I know it’s been a while since you’ve seen any of my drawings.  So here you go.

You might think it’s pretty bad that I draw during church…but I really am still listening when I am drawing.  Sometimes it actually helps me focus.  I figure it’s an hour that I am just sitting there not really doing anything so I pick up my pen and draw.  This drawing (above) kind of got some water dripped on it later after I drew it…oh well.  Cary suggested that I make a collage of people’s backs.  I don’t think so…it would take a while to get enough to do that.  But here is another one I did.

This drawing I really liked, but the service ended just before I got the hand drawn…shoot!  I also did this drawing last night…and didn’t get it quite done.  I just love that I can take off my shoes during church and I love the feel of the cool grass when the rest of me is so stinkin’ hot!  These are my sandals I got this summer.  Funny thing is two of my friends ended up with the same exact sandals later on!  They are super comfy…from payless.

I also did this drawing at the beach…but i don’t really like it.

We go home tomorrow…it will be nice to be home…but I’ll have a lot to do when we get back.

Family Camp

Every year my friend Cary and I take our kids out to Somerset Beach for our church family camp.  We have been having so much fun!  Each morning we can drop off our kids at 9:30, and we are kid free till noon.  We go to a bible study in the big tent, and our kids get to go to a vacation bible school sort of thing.  They have a blast.  Jasmin goes to nursery and gets to play with all the other babies around here.  After our morning programs we all head back to the camper and eat our lunch.  Cary and I have meals down to a system.  We have a table that you can set up in the camper to eat at, and it’s freestanding, so we’ve been setting that up at meals in the camper and we set out all 7 plates and write names on them and then dish up the food.  Then we pass them out the camper door to the kids and they sit at the picnic table and eat.  After lunch, we take down the table and clean up and everyone gets ready for the beach.  I am usually the last one done…so Cary usually goes on ahead with her 2 kids and Savannah…they all ride their bikes.  I have to feed the baby, feed myself, apply sunscreen to 5 bodies and help with swimsuits.  Gather up all the stuff we need for the beach and then we load up the stroller and walk down to the beach.  Karson likes to ride up on top of the stroller where the handle is.  I did this with max when he was a baby, and even though he is just a little big for it now, he loves it.  Max made a new friend yesterday, so he is good just walking along with his little friend.  We usually are at the beach from about 1:30 till 4.  The kids get really tired out.  And my kids all have sunburns (except the baby) so yesterday they wore their shirts in the water. After the beach we all go back and get ready for dinner.  The kids ride bikes and play while we are getting stuff ready.  After dinner we have evening service and they also have kids programs during that.  Some nights after church we do a campfire…but it’s hard on the kids since they are so tired by then.  Karson usually has a hard time in the evening.  Last night we did do a campfire and Cary and I decided to make up s’more kits.  Every other time we have been to a campfire, it seems like the chocolate disappears so fast and I have no idea how many marshmallows my kids are even eating. This way we could give them each enough to make two s’mores if the wanted, or they could just eat what was in the bag.  It worked out great and no one even asked for more!  Baby Jasmin can now pull herself up to a standing position which she did yesterday several times in the pack-n-play.  We also lost her pacifier sometime on Tuesday, but thankfully a friend who works at the camp had some extras at home and she saved the day!  (Thanks Sara!) I had no idea how attached she was to that thing.  She really needs it to get to sleep.  Last night she slept all night.  So everyone had a good rest last night inspite of the storms that passed through.  Anyway, we are having a great time!  It’s so relaxing here.  Sam has only been out one time to see us, because his mom is sick.  If you know God, we would appreciate your prayers for her.  Thanks.

More later. 🙂

It really doesn’t seem like I got a lot accomplished today.  I wasn’t feeling all that great…kind of feeling down.  I painted for about 5 1/2 hours.  I wish I could’ve painted longer, but it didn’t work out.  Sam worked late tonight, so I came home with the kids who had spent most of the day next door to where I was painting where Kailene watched them.  She did pretty good.  She probably isn’t used to having to deal with a baby, so I think that getting Jasmin to sleep was a big challenge for her.  But other than that things seem to have went ok.  The other kids had a blast with her and her younger brother.

Anyway, I outlined for most of the time, but then started working on the pirate ship right the last hour or so.  Sam requested that I paint in the wood of the ship.  I was fine with not and hadn’t really thought about doing it before he mentioned it…and even though I didn’t really want to try to do it, I do think it helps it look a lot better.  So on the brown part I added some lighter and darker lines…I will have to do a little on the black too I think.  I also painted in some more details…repainted the windows in the back AGAIN…to match the little ones more.  They are not complete yet, though, I have to still paint in the panes of glass.  I added the two lanterns near the front of the ship.  tomorrow I will paint the masts and sails and finish the grass.  The all I will have to do is outline the rest and do the lettering.  It’s not looking real hopeful for getting to camp on Saturday, but we’ll see.  My biggest challenge now is getting someone to look after the kids, because I don’t have Jasmin to watch them the rest of this week, because she is working her other job.  I may still call and see about having her come on Friday for the beginning of the day…she works at 3 I think, but I don’t know if she will want to do that.

Down to the wire…

I have to get the show finished by Friday. Jasmin can only watch the kids for me during the day today…the rest of the week she is hoping to spend finishing painting the outside of her house. But I told her if the weather is bad, call me and she can come over and work while I go paint. I really don’t have much more to do. The biggest challenge ahead of me is the lettering. It’s really important that it looks professional for something like this.

Today I painted in the scroll…I think it looks pretty sweet (check it out in my flickr pictures)…exactly how I imagined it would. Then I put another coat of paint in the sky on the marquee and painted the clouds and then high-lighted them with white. They look pretty cool. I spilled paint on the floor 3 times today. I don’t know what was wrong with me, but seriously it seemed like every time I turned around I was knocking over a cup of paint. See, I mix a lot of colors. The colors I have to use a large amount of get their own paint can…the others just sit in a cup, and usually by the time I get done using that color, it’s dried up or gone anyway. I also use the cups because they are easy to hold on to…I can even hold two at a time if I need to. And when I am doing stuff like the clouds and the scroll that has a lot of blending…I have one cup of the main color and usually white and a darker shade. It’s maybe not the way the professional painters do things…but it works for me, unless I have an accident prone day like today! I got it all cleaned up, though, it just was a pain…and I think my toenails are still golden-yellow.

Anyway…I felt like I got a lot accomplished today. After painting I went to Economy to pick up some One Shot (sign paint). I decided I will use it to outline because I know it works and it will cover the paint…I will not have the issue I have been having with the latex enamel. But when I got there, they were out of black. But I found some in my old paint stash that might work. I am not sure if it will be enough, but I can use it till it’s gone anyway. So I will work on that tomorrow and hopefully the fact that the paint was sitting in my garage for a couple of years will not have affected the way the paint works. It looks fine to me…but I will have to test it out.

I have to finish by Friday because Saturday I am taking the kids and our (new) camper out to Somerset Beach for a week of Family Camp. (Sam has to work, but it’s close by and he will be able to join us some of the evenings). We are all so looking forward to it. It is really a lot of fun. We have gone for 4 or 5 years. We don’t have that great of a spot. It’s way in the back and no shade…but it’s not that big of a deal. And they have tram rides before and after the services. The kids have a program like VBS in the morning and they also get to go to the kid’s church during the evening services. We spend the afternoons at the beach…though I am not very excited about getting in a swimsuit these days. My friend Cary camps with us with her two kids, Jake and Abby. I love it because Cary is really organized…and it works out good for us. I am really excited this year about the camper. There is so much more room in it, and I think the kids will really enjoy it. Last year we were pretty crowded with our other camper…but it was our own so I didn’t really mind it. The biggest challenge is probably going to be baby Jasmin. She still cries when she goes to sleep, so I am hoping that she doesn’t keep the kids awake and stuff. She is almost ready to crawl…but I am kind of hoping that she holds off on that till summer is over, because having her crawling around and putting everything in her mouth could be difficult to patrol in a camping setting. Right now we basically clear out a 3 foot circle around her and then set her down…and she never leaves that spot. I plan to take the pack-n-play and the super saucer and a booster seat with a tray for feeding her…and I think I should be good with that.

Tonight after dinner, we all went out to the camper. It was really the first time we had spent any time in there. Sam turned on the air. We played with the slide. We checked out all the storage areas and cupboards and we cleaned some stuff. After the kids went to bed, I ran up to Walmart and picked up a few things…some groceries we needed and some 3M hooks, and a couple of other things for the camper. I am thinking I still need to get one of these though. There isn’t a lot of storage area for food in there. I will also miss my tall closet. We have a shorter one in the wardrobe in the kid’s room. I remember that Sandy & BJ (our friends who camped in it last year) said that she would probably have bought a drawer unit like that if they were going to keep it. I can see why, because as I was spending time in there, I could see there just wasn’t many places for storing food. Our old camper had storage all around the ceiling in the whole kitchen and dinette area, plus above the refrigerator. That was one thing I really loved about that camper. This one has more storage underneath though, so that could be a good thing if I can figure out how to best utilize it.

Anyway, it was a good bonding time for me. It sounds weird to you probably, but I just need to spend some time out there getting to know it and love it. I miss the old camper, only because I knew everything about it and we spent like 6 weeks in it or more last summer…and made a lot of great memories. This one I am sure I will love too…it is just going to take some time to get to know it. (Sounds like I am talking about a person… 😉

July 4th

Yesterday we slept in and when we got up, we were tossing around the idea of going over to Muskegon for the day to the Muskegon Summer Celebration. We went to that fair last summer with the Octopus Show. Sam’s Aunt and Uncle and cousins work that fair with their food concessions and it’s always fun to see them. So we decided to head over there around noon. Sam has a GPS unit that we tried to use. Only it doesn’t always take you the most convenient route. We ended up putting it away and going our own way. Anyway, we ended up getting over there around 3:30. We stopped up at the fairgrounds to get passes and the campground pass and key from Aunt Suzy so we could go let out Betsy’s dog, Oreo at the campground. We drove over there and did that first and then we went back over to the fairgrounds. The great thing about being carnys is that we can usually get into the fair without having to pay. We actually were at the fair all day and never paid anything! Joyce gave us armbands for the rides and Aunt Suzy hooked us up with food. We really appreciate that…because going to the fair can be so expensive! The kids went on lots of rides. They have a lot of kids rides at that fair and they had such a great time. They were all the same rides as they had last year. Savannah got me to go on the Cliffhanger with her. It was a little faster than I was expecting, and we screamed a lot. I also went on the bumper cars with the kids…I loved that. Later, I took Karson down the big slide…we went so fast. We ended our adventure with a ride on the carousel, it was baby Jasmin’s first carnival ride. She so loved it! It was really cute. We left around 8:00 and decided to go get something to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings near Grand Rapids on the way home. When we got done eating it was just about dark and as we drove home we saw fireworks everywhere from the highway. It was kind of fun looking for them as we were riding in the car. Anyway, we got home about 12:30. It was a late night especially for the kids, but we had a great time.

Fireworks at Cascades

Tonight we took the kids over to Cascades Park to see the fireworks. They were awesome! It was perfect weather…no bugs! Mimi even met us there and joined the kids on our blanket. Sam got us all treats from the concessions trailers…caramel apples, cotton candy and popcorn. It was baby Jasmin’s first fireworks show. She actually watched them, the noise didn’t even bother her. Karson spent most of the fireworks show under his blanket with his ears covered.

Update on the Pirate Island Mural

So, I would guess I have put in about 45 hours so far on the Pirate Island Mural. It is going pretty well…the thing that is different than when I painted the Octopus Show Mural is that I now have an 8 month old baby. She doesn’t sleep through the night and it’s hard to get away for long periods of time. This is almost 2 weeks worth of painting…I finished the octopus show in two weeks…but some days I painted for 10 hrs! Its just not possible…plus I think this one is definitely larger than the last one.

\Today I was busy painting. I was working on the outlining which I love to do, because it’s the finishing touch that makes it look so awesome…it just takes a lot of time. So I was painting and concentrating really hard and I heard some noises. Up until that point I had not really paid much attention to any noises because the building I am painting in has a lot of strange noises…but this time I thought I heard something fall over…so I peeked around the corner of the trailer and saw a groundhog! Well it kind of freaked me out…but it freaked him out even more…and it went back into his hiding spot and kept really still. I watched it for a while until I got brave en\ough to go open the door and scare it out. He didn’t want to go out at first, he just sat and stared at me…and then finally ran off. I laughed about it later…but I was kind of nervous about it being in there with me.

Anyway…today our friend Steve came out to look at the marquee to see about putting vinyl lettering on it. But we decided to just have me letter it. I think it will be fine. I am sure I can make it look good. I painted in the sky around the scroll which will be where “Pirate Island” will go eventually.

I have been having some problems with my paint. It’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way I guess. I bought latex enamel, thinking it would be easier to clean. \The guy at the paint store assured me it would be just as good as the oil based enamel (which is what I used for the octopus show). I should have tested it. Now I am stuck. I didn’t expect the paint would have a hard time sticking to itself…I had absolutely no problem with the oil based paint. It always went on nice and smooth. sometimes I had to put an extra coat on to cover properly…but this stuff just slides right off. I called Shaun (from the paint store) and he said it’s because of the glossiness of the paint. So I have tried to buff it with steel wool…it kind of helps, but not totally. I really need another solution. Shaun told me that they did have some stuff you rub on with a cloth that softens up the surface of the glossy paint so it will take repainting. I might try that, since the steel wool isn’t working all that great. Of course, with tomorrow be the holiday, I am not going to be able to try it till Saturday. It has been really frustrating because I have to repaint things sometimes three times to get it to stick. That doesn’t work so well when I am outlining, so I am hoping I can come up with a solution to this problem. You can believe I will not use latex enamel for painting on aluminum ever again!

\ This picture is the only part of the mural that is totally finished!

And the pirate ship picture up above with the jenky looking windows in the back…I am in the process of repainting that whole part of the pirate ship.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I painted it the first time…I  think I completely forgot about perspective while I was doing that!  Yikes.  The second try is coming along much better.  Probably post is this weekend sometime when it’s done.