Note To Self: Paint More

Any other parents out there have a love/hate relationship with the easel we all get sucked into buying at some point?  It’s so…unwieldy and such a…how should I say this?…process.  I love how nicely the kids play together when they’re painting (as long as they are in the mood to share) and the colorful photos I can get of them while they are so engrossed are some of my favorites.  But the pain to get it out of the closet, take out all the paints, get water, paper towels and paint brushes handy…hold on, am I seriously complaining about art supplies?  Even as I type this I want to slap myself upside the head and get a grip.  Sure, dealing with kids and paint can be a serious pain, but that’s crazy talk for something that can be so engaging and beautiful.  Note to self: I need a reality check.  This is what I signed up to do all day.  I need to embrace paint more often and just be thankful my commute is from my art supplies to my front porch.

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Sometimes it’s easier to just say, “Put on another show,” or just have them play upstairs in their bedrooms, certainly.  But looking back on our summer and the number of times we made a conscious decision to explore our inner artists (not very many), I think that I need to stop assuming the kids get enough art in school and start devoting a little more effort to getting our hands good and colorful more often.

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Parenting, like art, is definitely a process, and why is that a bad thing? I know that if the only thing this blog provides me is a place to reflect on which choices I make are good ones and which ones maybe not so much, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.  Just like busting out the old easel every now and then.

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After all, with mornings to myself with this girl, what better parenting can I provide than to let her explore her inner artist?  Sometimes books and errands and lunch and naptime just have to wait.

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Duly noted, self.  Time to get our artist on.

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Book Worms

With summer here and vacation half over, our schedules are way more lax than I have allowed in summers past.  I now realize Little H can skip her nap and all hell will not break loose, and am confident that if the big kids watch an extra half hour of TV while I get some work done, it will all come out in the wash when we have one of those bustling days when they don’t watch TV at all.  Also, as I am looking over my photos from the past month, I realize that I see a pattern emerging.  My house in infested with Book Worms, even the less common paternal version, Daddy Book Worm.  It’s clear that although I am being less stringent about our exact allocation of reading every day, I needn’t worry.  Everyone in this house loves a good book.

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 Note: not pictured, Mommy Book Worm, Patient Zero with the book-loving bug.  No need to worry; she is enjoying many good reads this summer as well!  She just loves photographing her little family and their love of books!

I love a carefree summer where, although there are MANY things I must nag my family about, reading is not one of them!

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Super Cell Phone Dump!

My goodness, it’s been a long time since I have purged my poor cell phone of its memorabilia of our spring and early summer!  We have transitioned from snowy fields to flowery meadows to green hills and sparkling lakes, and now that I’m doing my 365 project where I take a photo every day, I’m taking more photos than ever!  At least now I’m trying to do so with a real sense of purpose: capturing life at home with three amazing, sometimes challenging, always loving kids.  What more can I say other than, sit back and enjoy!  There are a LOT of images to appreciate!

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How lucky are we to live this glorious life? How lucky am I to be able to stay home and appreciate it every day?

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Mad Scientists

You know how family members always ask, What does Johnny want for his next birthday?  Or What is Suzie asking Santa for this year? Well, if your kids are elementary school-aged, I have a gift for you: a present you can give your kids that is just plain awesome.

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 I am not getting paid for this, nor do I have any affiliate links.  I really love this primary science kit (and the measuring kit that goes with it) and want to spread the word because it’s summertime and we’re all in this survival thing together.  If your kid has an inquisitive mind, do yourself a favor and invest in these sets that come with experiments made with household items, like the traditional vinegar and baking soda eruptions that every kid loves.  Because, really, all kid deserve to be mad scientists every once in a while.  Complete with safety goggles.

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In the past, we have taken our experiments to the next level by writing down or hypotheses and observations in our handy dandy journals, but, hey it’s summer!  We do experiments in our pajamas and to hell with the scientific method.  We keep it low-key so they hardly know they’re learning.  Everyone wins. IMG_4446

Speaking of learning, even I was surprised by this experiment where you put raisins in a glass with clear soda and watch them float up and down on carbonation bubbles.  It was really cool, even to me! #nerdalert

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So if the summer is stretching before you is a little daunting, invest in some toys that will keep them engaged and using their brains for countless hours to come!  There are worse things than being mad scientists; after all, as Alice in Wonderland says to the Mad Hatter, “You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

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Our Super Family

Little H is a quick learner.  She already knows that it’s not all about princesses in this house, although they get their fair share of showtime.  In this house, girls don’t always need to be rescued.  Sometimes they do the rescuing, too.

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And in this house, children have many powers, especially my favorite–the power to read!

Super Why, to the rescue!

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My kids are always ready to vanquish interloping pirates (or visiting Grampys).

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Let the adventures begin!

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Spot It!

On Memorial Day morning, it was raining and my kids were whining whining whining about when were we heading to our friends’ house and why couldn’t they watch more TV?  In a desperate attempt to get keep their mouths shut and my sanity intact, I rummaged through our box o’ board games and came up with a can of Spot It!, a gift from my aunt for Christmas.  She is a veteran mom and assured me I would want to carry this game with me at all times, and though we have played once or twice, it has always been with an adult participant. This morning, however, I gave it to the big kids and told them to keep themselves quiet and busy, otherwise I was going to lose my sanity.

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Not at all quiet and busy laughing?  After a minute or two of watching them play, everyone was in a better mood.  This game is like a secret weapon!  Instant giggles and cooperative play, big kids getting along and no whining!  Magic!

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My aunt was right.  I’m never leaving home without it!

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Roll-A-Rainbow Game!

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Finally! You are ready to play!  Give the kids each some dice (be careful of the choking hazard) and let the good times roll!

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I love getting ready for spring this way!  Lots of colors, high spirits, and fun for everyone.  Life is sweet!

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