Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Rainy Weekend

Well, since it was rainy, we stayed inside a bit this weekend.  I got to work on a few projects while the kids entertained themselves. 

Saturday, I finished a bag for my mother-in-law, but I will post a picture of it after I give it her.  I don’t want to ruin the surprise. 

Today, it rained most of the afternoon and I worked on Benton’s cape from start to finish.  It is a rare day that I can start and finish a project.  Actually, I don’t think that has happened since the kiddos came along. 

The best part was when Benton put the cape on, he laughed out loud and took off running.  This is only picture I got that wasn’t too blurry.  He wore it for a couple of hours before he took it off for dinner.  I think he likes it.  :)

Before the rain really started, the boys did get outside to help Dan for a little bit.   Dan has been installing a cobblestone walk in front of the house.  Today, he was trying out a ground cover plant. We want it to grow in the gaps for a nice cottage look.  I hope it works.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Iris Inspiration

Yesterday, after our bike ride, the boys were playing in the yard as I brought all the bike stuff in the house.  They spotted the two irises growing the front yard.  We have a little family rule about flowers: You can only pick flowers that you have planted.  This rule works well in most situations, such as the Botanical Gardens, State parks, other people’s yards, etc.  So, when they wanted to pick our flowers, I let them.  Now, they are brighting up our kitchen.

Parenting challenges my creativity every day.  Probably 3-4 times a day I have to come up with something brilliant in order to keep them busy and to keep my sanity.  I wish I could say I actually came up with 3-4 brilliant things every day. 

If I could just think ahead...  I know the roughest time around here is from 5pm to 7pm, yet I feel unprepared for it every night.  Tonight, Oliver and Benton had already eaten and I was trying to clean up and get a loaf of bread started.  They started moving chairs around to help me.  Helping usually means bumping me and various cupboards with the chairs, begging for a piece of bread dough (weird, I know), taking the dirty dishes out of the dishwasher, and me wondering why they can’t go do something else. 

This evening the irises were my inspiration.  Oliver loved the idea of painting a picture of them.  He picked out the 3 colors, they put on aprons, picked out their favorite paintbrushes, and got started.

It kept them busy for more than 30 minutes and Dan came home as we were finishing.  It was a fun way to wind down our day and Dan was able to hang out with them while I cleaned up.

If you click Read More, you’ll find a picture of their finished worked.    I’m sure you will also notice their immense artistic talents. 

By the way, feel free to leave comments.  Tell me your latest moment of brilliance or point out my typos.  I’d love to hear from you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Creative parenting

Most of you bothering to read this blog know that I am crazy about books.  I like to check books out from the library, but I would rather own them and I order from Amazon regularly.  I got a couple of great books this week that I thought I would share with my friends that are parents of young ones.

One is called  The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule.  I haven’t had time to read much of it yet, but what I have seen has been inspiring.  Amanda Soule has a blog that I have been reading lately.  If you read her blog, you’ll probably be able to figure out if you’ll like her book.  Check it out at soulemama,com
I also picked up Preschool Art by Mary Ann Kohl.  It has a lot of simple ideas using basic art supplies and household items.   Since I am not so good at planning ahead for these kind of things, this is good book for me.  I can open it up and find something interesting to do with the kids.   

A couple of years ago I got another one of her books, First Art: Art Experiences for Toddlers and Two.   It has some fun ideas.  I probably could have gotten by without it, but it would be great for a parent of a little one who really has no idea where to start.  It is good resource and has a few interesting tactile projects/recipes, like goop  and homemade playdough. 

Along the lines of creative parenting, I have to mention Playful Parenting.  Although not art related, just thinking of the title sparks creativity in me and helps me get through some of those moments when my patience is running low.    Being silly with the kids helps me forget my frustrations.  It is a good one to have around.  I am sure I will continue to pick it up over the years and read a little again and again.

Interested in any of these?  Read them already?  Love/hate it?  Any other recommendations?  Let me know what you think.