Summer Sketching

We are back to participating in Sketch Tuesday hosted by Barb McCoy over at Harmony Art Mom. We all took a break for the month of June, but the kids are drawing again and having fun!

First, we were given the task of sketching something to do with a bird…

 

LegoFan decided to sketch a feather. But it’s not just a feather – I love that he added the pieces of tape to show that he had added it to his collection. Even the tape has the jagged edges to make it look more realistic. Love it!

 

Diva’s favorite bird is a cardinal. She loves the male’s bright red color; and adores the male and female pairs we see frequently in our yard. I even like the fact that she added the sunglasses on the sun. She does a really good job at sketching, but she also has that whimsical side!
Next, we were given the assignment of something to do with a pond…

 

LegoFan was a little rushed this time. But, he did manage to sketch a frog and a lily pad.

As I mentioned, Diva really likes birds; and the Heron is another favorite. She and I looked them up online and found an outline of one with a description of their coloring. She sketched and colored this just by looking at the computer screen. It’s an amazing sketch!
I love that they are participating in this activity. It fits really well with our art plans for the upcoming year, as we will be focusing on the elements of drawing. I anticipate seeing changes in their Sketch Tuesday drawings as they progress through the year.

By the way, you do not have to home school or even be a child to participate. You can head to Barb’s site and submit your sketches each week – it’s fun! Why not give it a try?

Exciting News!

Awhile back I wrote a review of Lorrie Flem’s (of Eternal Encouragement) ebook entitled Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure. It was something I had to review as my ‘audition’ for the Gabby Moms. Little did I know, not only how helpful this book would be, but also what an adventure the Gabby Moms would be!

Well, this book is back! When I reviewed it in December, I had just come out of a very angering experience, and it was very timely. Ironically, I am going through an even more frustrating experience now. You can read more about it here. There have been times during this past year that my nerves have been completely fried. I’ve hit rock bottom. There have been times I’ve yelled at my children; which does nothing but make things worse.

Even though I haven’t been perfect, I have been able to apply some of Lorrie’s tips and techniques to help both my children and me during this time. In addition, I am definitely praying more. That’s one of the things I really like about Lorrie’s book – it’s not something you read once and never revisit. “Yelling”  is a book that you can turn to again and again.

It’s more of a resource than a book.

Ok, the title of this post is “Exciting News” – Do you want to know what that means? I thought so. First, there’s going to be a party on facebook! Yay!

But wait ~ there’s more! The party is to celebrate the fact that “Yelling” is Lorrie’s first book available on Kindle!!! You can go ahead and purchase the book now (by clicking on the title or image) for $4.99 OR, and here’s the best part, you can get it for FREE on July 24th, 2012! For one day only, the 24th, Amazon will have the kindle version of “Yelling” for free! Isn’t that awesome?

So, pick up the ebook and join us for a party on Tuesday, July 24th – and, yes, you can YELL about it!

* I received a copy of “Yelling” in exchange for my honest review as part of the Gabby Moms program.

Courtship

I was participating in a blog hop last week over at A Woman’s Place and ended up at a blog called Liturgical Time. While I was there, I started to look around and found a series of posts Michelle did on the topic of Courtship.

The idea of courtship has intrigued me for a few years. But I really had no idea what it looked like. I didn’t date much in high school at all; not just because my parents were strict, but also because I just wasn’t very popular – I was pretty geeky. It wasn’t until college that I began to stretch my wings so-to-speak. I let loose – did a little drinking and a lot of dating. I made a ton of mistakes. I got my heart broken several times. I was even date-raped.

Why would I want this for my daughter? Heck, why would I want that for myself again either? Now that I’m going to be single again very soon; I have begun to think about how on earth I am even going to be able to meet someone, much less date and ultimately remarry.

As a 40-something, stay-at-home mom; I don’t get out much. We go to Mass and we do our shopping. We go to LegoFan’s doctor’s appointments; and during the school year, we went to Diva’s jump roping team practices. While Mass would be the ideal place to meet someone, none of these other places provide many opportunities. To top it all off, our church has over 4,000 families and it’s difficult to meet people period. Not to mention that there’s not a single single male pictured in our directory. Yes, I checked 🙂

Yet interestingly enough, a young lady whose page I follow on facebook, Stay-At-Home Daughter, became engaged recently. She wrote this post on her courtship with her now fiance, Chris. And she links to his blog, Striving For Wisdom, where he discusses why he chose Ashley over all other women. I read both blogs with tears in my eyes. What wisdom they have! This 40-something year old Mama can learn a lot from these two young people. If only I had half the qualities Chris sees in Ashley!

But that doesn’t mean I can’t learn them – yes, this ‘old dog can learn new tricks’ – I mean most of them are straight out of the Bible! And while courtship is not mandated in the Bible, I can see how it allows people to preserve themselves physically and emotionally; which is in the Bible.

In thinking about dating vs. courtship, I am becoming more and more inclined toward the latter. It’s a practice that I can see implementing in my daughter’s life; as well as my son’s. And it can start now. Even though they are young, I can instill in them the idea of courtship. And now that I am about to be single, I can show them. But I have one question…

What does courtship look like when you’re in your 40’s, have children of your own, and no parents close enough to guide you through the process?

Thoughts from a Movie

Yesterday, I took LegoFan and Diva to the movies. We were taking advantage of Regal Cinema’s Summer Express where select movies are $1 per ticket – gotta love that price! Click on the link to find a location near you and the movie schedule.

We got to see Hugo. While no movie is perfect, I really enjoyed this one. There was one line that I didn’t like at all. The two main children, Hugo and Isabella, were sneaking into a movie theatre and she mentions that they could get in trouble. Hugo responds by saying that that’s how you know you’re having an adventure. This is where I love being there to watch movies with them! We can have a discussion about comments like these. Yet I know the days are coming when they will be watching movies or tv, listening to music, or reading books without me being there. Which is why I do it now. I figure that if we have these discussions often enough when they’re young, they are more likely to have these conversations with themselves and/or their friends when they’re older.

On the other hand, there was another exchange that sparked a different kind of conversation. The same two children are looking out over the Paris landscape and discussing people’s purpose. Hugo, whose interest lies in machines, says that machines don’t come with extra parts. They come with just what they need, and every piece is necessary. He goes on to explain that he sees the world in the same way – every person is necessary. Everyone has a purpose. If you’re in the world; you’re important. He doesn’t take it to it to what I would consider the logical conclusion that God creates us all for a reason; but I loved hearing this thought process come from a young man. It’s a thought beyond his years, but it’s believable when you see the movie in its entirety.

So, we got to see a movie and talk about some of life’s lessons. We talked about how adventure does not involve getting into trouble; it doesn’t even involve doing anything wrong. Adventure is an amazing thing; and I encourage my children to be adventurous. We also got to discuss how important each and every person is. God created all of us; none of us are mistakes.

I love finding pro-life messages where, perhaps, they weren’t exactly intended. While this conversation did not center around the life of a pre-born child; it did solidify the importance of all humans. To me, that includes the pre-born.

If you’re in the world, you’re important.

Happy Birthday, America!

I wanted to make a moment to wish everyone a Happy Independence Day! Thank you, God, for this country that is America. Please watch over and bless our country

I wanted to share a great version of our National Anthem – please watch, enjoy, and share:

Remember, freedom isn’t free ~ Support our troops ~ Vote in November ~ Pray for our country.

June Projects

I have three other projects I’ve been working on this month. Now I didn’t take step-by-step pictures of each of them, but I did want to share them.

The first project includes a few notebooks. I always stock up on the composition books at the back-to-school sales during the summer. In fact, if you like this simple project, keep it in mind when they start to go on sale. I picked up a bunch of them on clearance at Target last year after school started – I got them for $0.10 each! This takes a plain notebook and makes it pretty (or masculine);  and it can be used for a variety of reasons.

I even did the insides for a more polished look…

I’ve done these two different ways. If you look at the book on the left of the second picture, you can see that its corners are square; while the other two are the exact shape of the composition book (rounded corners). For the square corner, I just wrapped the cover like a gift box, with the ends folding over to the inside cover. Then I added a second piece of paper on the inside to cover up the ends.

For the rounded corners, I traced the cover on the reverse side of the paper, and adhered one on each cover. The most important thing to remember with this method is to measure each cover, each time. For some reason, these covers are not the same on each book.

I purposely chose not to decorate these covers any further as I really like the patterns on the DCWV papers. The middle one I made for LegoFan and he’s a no-frills kinda guy. The masculine stripes were perfect for him. The one on the right is for Diva. The paper I used on that one is from the Glitter Stack and that’s all she needs! It’s colorful, textural, and glittery – perfect for my Diva. BUT, you could embellish them a little to include a label for a title page, stickers for decorations, or another piece of paper for the owner’s name.

My next project is a card. I took three papers from DCWV’s Pocket full of Posies stack and criss-crossed strips of them in the upper left-hand corner. On each strip, I cut out a notch so that it looked like a banner. I like how the three papers compliment each other.

For the sentiment, I used Papertrey Ink’s Year of the Flowers: Daffodils stamp set, and stamped the ‘celebrate’ in a coordinating blue ink. On the inside, I used a  saying from Papertrey’s Daydreamer set. It seemed perfect for my niece’s graduation. I stamped that in a coordinating red ink.

My last project is a scrapbook layout. I took two pictures from my brother’s wedding, along with DCWV’s Black Currant stack, and made him a page. Well, it’s not really for him; it’s for me. I chose colors that matched those in the wedding, and it’s definitely more on the feminine side. I did start with the grey background because, while it’s a shade of black, I thought it made my brother’s tux stand out a little more than a black background would. I mounted the two photos on a sparkly pink that matched the bridesmaids’ dresses.

Then I used three dies from Papertrey Ink: the two rectangles where I’ve written their names and wedding date come from the Angled Labels Die Collection; and the top & bottom border pieces were cut with Victorian Lace Border Die. Then I added a few embellishments with a Prima Flower near the center, but not the exact center; and some pink jewels on the rectangles. I really like the way it turned out. But more than that, I love the picture on the left. I love the way they are looking at each other. That’s what makes this page really beautiful!

So, that’s it for now. One of my commenters – I think it was Heather from California – encouraged me to show more of my paper crafts the last time I shared a piece; and now I intend to share more. I hope you see something you like. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.