More artwork

 

A bit of artwork for your Friday!

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He’s drawing a house.

Then he added.

And added.

 

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A swimming pool.  Trees.

Arms.  Legs.  Wheels.

Thus it became a person house.  One that looks a bit grouchy until you notice the face, way up at the top of the roof.  Smiling.

 

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Enjoy your weekend!

 

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Artistry

My son and I collaborated on some artwork a few days ago.  Technically I was the assistant.  In our hometown a truly fabulous art event is going on right now and since we can’t be there we’re creating some of our own art.  My Dear Son had the vision for this piece and he told me which parts to draw.  We both drew a tree.  After the trees were completed my DS said, ‘Yours is good.  Mine is better.”

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He then added, “Mine looks like a real tree” and showed me a large tree in our yard.  I guess I need some more practice.

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In the middle of the picture is a vacuum.  It’s an outdoor vacuum that can ‘vacuum up poison ivy.’  I sure wish it was real.

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Later the vacuum morphed into a house with a giant roof.  Watching kids design and dream is absolutely fantastic!

Little conversations

I love talking with my kids, which I described in the last post.  They challenge me and make me laugh all the time.  Here are are few tidbits with my four year old from this past week.

My Dear Son: I’m petting the kitty.
Me: Does he like it?
DS: Yes. I knew he was very shy because he was running away from me.
*I’m sure that’s it.*

 

On another occasion I moved some chairs to the other room while I was cleaning, which always inspires the kids to build some kind of fort or structure. We’ve had houses, cars, roller coasters, etc.  This time my little guy was building by himself while his siblings were at school:

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DS: I’m trying to make this a rocket ship.
Me: Sweet.
DS: I can’t find a place to lay down.
Me: Bummer. I don’t know what to tell you.
DS: You could tell me something I could do to lay down.
Me: Well, yes, that would be helpful. What I meant is I don’t have any ideas at the moment.
DS: Oh.

(It’s such a bummer when parents don’t have the answer…of course, chances are pretty high if I had given an answer, he wouldn’t have liked it, but that’s a different story.)

 

This morning I was drawing on some cloth napkins with a fabric marker and this conversation ensued:

DS: Why are you doing that?
Me: Because the writing is faded.
DS: What does that mean?
Me: The writing has gotten lighter than is used to be.
DS: Why didn’t you just say that?

I comforted myself by believing I helped him learn the word.  Unfortunately, I asked him this afternoon was “faded” meant.  He had no idea.  Parenting and *sighing* go hand in hand….

Conversations with kids

Kids are interesting.  Always.  Sometimes interestingly crazy.  Sometimes interestingly sweet.  Sometimes interestingly disobedient.  Sometimes interestingly funny.  But always interesting.  It’s like reading a reading a really good book and just when you think you’ve figured it out, something unexpected happens.  Or watching a movie that you may have seen before but it still surprises you with it’s humor.  I find so many conversations with kids interesting.  And funny.  And sweet.  And….

 

Here are a few recent conversations with my kids:

 

My Dear Daughter:  Mom?

Me:  Yes?

DD:  *pause*  I forgot what I was going to say.

Me:  Was it, “Mom you’re awesome.  Thanks for taking such good care of me”?

DD:  NO!!

(Well, it was worth a shot.)

 

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My Dear Son: You’re wearing all black.

Me:  I have a purple shirt on.  (However, I had on black pants and a black cardigan.)

DS:  You should change.  (Please note this child is 4 years old.)

Me:  Why?

DS:  You look weird.

(Apparently I shouldn’t begin a Goth phase soon.)

 

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My Dear Son:  I’m thirsty.

Me:  Drink some of your water.

DS:  I’m thirsty for cake.

(Hmmm, now I’m a bit thirsty for cake.)

 

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From a few months ago:

My Dear Son: “Banana” is how you say “Hello” in Spanish! 

Me: “Hola” is how you say Hello in Spanish.  

DS: Well, “Banana” is another way to say “Hello” in Spanish. 

(I wonder how someone would feel if we greeted them with “banana”?  I suppose there are worse greetings.)

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And occasionally they’re good for one’s ego:

As I pick up a baking sheet to carry it to the sink, My youngest son asks:  You can do that with one hand?

Me: Yes.

DS:  Woah

(Yes, that’s right, Mommy is All. That.  Please make a note of it, because I’m sure we’ll forget it 2 minutes from now.)

 

 

Mockingbird

Last night my son asked me to come out and see a Mockingbird in one of our trees.  Around here Mockingbirds are common, as in all over the place.  I think they’re pretty cool birds…any bird that make all the sounds it does has to be awesome.  However, he asked while I was having a conversation with DH, who’d only been home from work a few minutes.  Plus, the same child and I had watched the same mockingbird in the same tree just a few hours earlier.   As a result, I wasn’t overly thrilled to go running outside with him.  Thankfully I’m sometimes wise enough to go with what my kids are excited about and I went outside.

Part of the scene when I got there was just what I expected…a Mockingbird singing beautifully in the tree where he sings every day.  However, the scene in our driveway was gorgeous.  Leaning on the recycle bin stood my oldest son and on the pavement next to him lay my two younger children.  All three were just hanging out watching/listening to the bird.  It was a precious thing.  I smile just thinking about it.  I’ve heard lots of birds sing; sometimes I listen carefully, often I don’t.  But I’m so glad I took the time to listen last night.  I got to see my children enjoying God’s creation, which was more beautiful to me than any bird could ever sing.


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Slippers

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To J’s future wife:

This morning when J said “I don’t know where my slippers are.”  I responded immediately: “They’re by the front door.”  Such a simple exchange.  Only a moment of time. Then it hit me: I need to apologize to you.  For through that brief exchange I am setting you up.  As of right now you have no idea.  You may not even be born yet.  But the time will come.  Oh, the time will come my future daughter-in-law, when you will be required to continue the role of wives and mothers everywhere.  Hopefully your mother will warn you and help you adjust to your future reality: you will need to know where everything is.  And when I say “everything” it includes the receipt for the car part purchased three years earlier.  It includes the tie J wore two months prior and randomly discarded at his first opportunity.  Measuring cups, books, batteries, and children will be included in this “everything.”  Thankfully it will not include video games or large pieces of furniture.  But you will be expected to catalogue the location of everything else in your mind.

This will come naturally for you to some degree, because through this catalogue-ization you are able care for those you love.  However, beware: It is a trap.  Once you indicate you know where one thing is it will be deemed your role for eternity to know the location of everything.

Occasionally you will have to face opposition.  And again I am sorry.  Even this morning when I told J where the slippers were, his gracious and loving response was, “No, they’re not.” (Please note, he said that while he was walking to the door, where he found the slippers.)  I’d like to tell you he came running back to me saying, “Oh thank you, Dear Mother!  I’m so very grateful you knew the location of the slippers.  You are amazing.”  I would like to tell you that but it would a big, fat lie.  I don’t even recall him saying ‘Thanks.”  (If it’s any consolation, when he comes and rescues you from the scary bugs in the house, he probably will not expect more than an end to the screeching.)

At times you will attempt to empower J: “Try looking for *said item* in the drawer.”  However, unless the item is on top of everything else in the drawer with blinking lights around it, J probably will not find it.  Soon he will tell you he looked “everywhere.”  Please keep in mind “everywhere” does not carry the same significance as “everything.”  For when he says he looked “everywhere” he means he looked “somewhere” and then decided it would be easier to either A.) Live without *said item* or B.) Ask you.  When he asks you, you will likely respond with “It’s in the drawer,” which will bring more opposition:  “No, it’s not; I already looked there.”  Keep in mind both of you are correct.  He did look in the drawer, but since the item was not on top with blinking lights he could not find it.  When you look in the same drawer you likely will move a piece of paper and the *said item* will be immediately visible.

Since J is still young I would like to tell you I am the woman to break this vicious cycle.  But I forced to admit I am not strong enough.  His cuteness has sucked me in.  So you, my dear future daughter-in-law, must bear this burden, and I am sorry.  Please note I am training him on his bug removing skills, so there will be a silver lining in your future.  I also am dedicated his stay-dry-at-night training.  Although you don’t understand now, I think in the future you and I will agree this was the more important battle to win.

– Your future Mother-in-law

 

Birdy

Several years ago I developed a passion for bird watching.  It’s a simple thing I found to be really centering, so to speak.  I discovered bird watching was a way to find beauty anywhere because they are everywhere.  For example, it might seem like a dirty part of the city, but birds are still there.  An empty field…more birds.  Near my hometown there’s a wastewater treatment plant that is a great place to see unique types of birds!  Spotting a bird reminds me of the beauty God created.

This morning I went for a walk around the lake pond near our house and discovered a visitor.  I didn’t have a camera with me other than my phone (which is horrible for pictures), so I went back later with my 3 yo.

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One of the awesome things about being a parent is introducing your child to the world.  Helping them discover is truly an amazing experience.  I don’t usually try to ‘bird watch’ with my kids around, other than in our yard, because kids generally don’t love to sit quietly.  Or walk quietly.  Especially if they see a pine cone.  or a bug.  or a stick.  or a leaf.  or anything else remotely interesting.  While this trait is absolutely fantastic, is doesn’t lend itself well to bird observation.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.  It does allow one to see how quickly birds can scatter and hide….

On our way to the lake my son and I had several discussions about being *quiet* so we wouldn’t scare the big white bird. I also gave him a pair of binoculars so he could study nature on his own.  I have to say, despite being three years old and generally loud, he did very well on our walk!  I was able to get a few pictures of this beauty:

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American White Pelican

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American White Pelican.
And turtles.

 

 

…until my sweet boy forgot to be quiet.  Here is the Pelican flying away.

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So we looked at the turtles instead.

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My fellow birdwatcher.

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Love

Love is complex.  It’s awesome.  It’s powerful.  It’s hard.  It’s messy.   It can feel random.  Sometimes it is doing the opposite of what you feel.  It’s hard, it’s glorious, it’s miserable, it’s beautiful.

And sometimes love is simply keeping ‘flowers’ in the window long past their prime and smelling them upon request.

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Little moments

 

In life we constantly juggle big things and little things.  The big elements are obviously important, whether they’re careers, illnesses, faith, relationships, etc.  But the little things can be worth noting too.  Often we’re overwhelmed by the big things (whether they’re good or bad) and we miss many little things.

Having kids around gives opportunities to remember the little things.  Sometimes I want to sit down and cry about a little detail and other times I want to celebrate a small experience.  Either way, the small things in life make it fuller, more fun, and more real.  The little pieces add dimension.

This morning I was reminded of the little things when my three-year-old came up to me and asked for breakfast.  He had already washed his hands without being asked.  Let me repeat: he had washed his hands without being asked.   This is the child who hates washing his hands.   I think parental pride oozed out of all my pores.  It was a moment of joy and bliss.

Now, will this brief moment affect whether or not he is a loving father some day?  Probably not.  Will it help him graduate from school?  Probably not.  However, it is a small part of our journey.  It might be only a tiny pebble in the path, but some pebbles are really beautiful when you take the time to look at them.  So I will celebrate today’s triumph.  It might even help me get through the next catastrophe.

Plus he hasn’t tortured the kitties today.  Yet.

I shall bask in the joy of the fleeting moments.

Take note of the little things in life.  They matter too.

 

 

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Following up

I was working on this blog as a whole today and realized I didn’t post pictures of our chalk paint activity this summer.  Thankfully no one has lost any sleep over it, but here are a few follow-up pictures:

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ice chalk. isn’t it pretty?

 

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melting very slowly. Maybe we should have picked a hotter day.

 

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after a while we gave up on the cubes and just used the melted paint with brushes. My youngest thought his feet should be a different color.

 

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gloppy fun.

 

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Painting.

 

My 12-year-old especially loved this activity and kept painting/creating long after the others were done.  I’d definitely do this again, but wouldn’t bother freezing the paint.  The kids were happier with the liquid paint and that’d be easier for momma!

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