Art is something we hang throughout our house. The kids are so proud of their creations. Here are a few things we have done lately.
Can you guess which ones are Mabry’s? And apparently if you can’t fit your name on a page, you just write letters back at the front.
The kids have some favorite subjects in school right now. We are doing a nature study on birds and they are loving journaling about that. We are also doing art. Mostly because I am teaching it in the co-op and I test out my lessons on them but also because my kids LOVE to create things. We have learned about portraits, and color theory, and what defines art. We have studied artists like Georges Seurat who does pointillism, and we have read fun books that inspire us to expand our imaginations. Today we read about Abraham Lincoln and what an impact he had on the history of the United States. And then we drew his portrait. And because my boys always want me to do the art with them, I got right in there and got creative too!
Sail away with me…the best is yet to be! Oh that saying rang true yesterday. The wind was constant and strong and it was by far our best sail this season. We ended up beaching the boat on a private little island and there were so many things to explore. Gress caught a fish (the only one of the day) and we frolicked in the tide. We even met a couple who had been coming to this island for 20+ years and they introduced themselves when we arrived noticing they hadn’t yet some across us. The day was magical, and oh so amazing. Thankfully Rad reminded us that this wasn’t a dream but a very awesome and rare opportunity we find ourselves living. This boat draws us out of the mundane and creates a yearning to wonder!
The kids and I have been taking lots of walks and bike rides lately. Mostly for exercise but also just to be outside and soak in these warm days. We have been looking for nature more frequently since our recent nature exchange with a family in California. One of my favorite things to collect is bird feathers. They are everywhere. It reminds me of how God created each of us so uniquely different.
I have loved watching Mcree’s love of nature grow these last few months. He has always loved all living creatures but lately has found a fondness for bugs. He collected two caterpillars from the farm recently (one we lost in the car and later found). He gave them a home, fed them and patiently waited for them to cocoon and hatch. It was so fun to see his excitement for the process. They turned into beautiful butterflies. What a lesson in perseverance!
There is beauty all around us. We just have to look for it.
“In the end, nothing in this world will fill the DEEP CREVICES of your life with peace, contentment, love and joy, except God.”
That statement is so profound to me these days. There were so many things I found myself holding onto that I thought would make me happy. Truth was, they were stealing my joy and pulling me further away from the one who created me. What matters most? God has called me to be faithful in my current circumstances. This time of testing “will be the making of my faith, the humbling of my heart, the shaping of my character, and the writing of my story. I can choose to waste this time with a bad attitude or spirit of ungratefulness but that will only leave me in the prolonged wilderness.”
There is so much more to my story. So I choose to be joyful, thankful, and see God’s hand on my life. I want this life to be extraordinary for the one who created me.
Three fun videos from our time at the beach. Notice in the second video how Mabry treats Mcree. She gets mad at him for running in her video, then hits him, yells at him, then pouts. Oh girls! I will never understand them! Mcree is a trooper with her! These three had a great time together at very high tide (it was a full moon that night).
(If you click on the butterfly looking arrows at the bottom right of each video it will turn full screen on your computer).
It’s so easy to turn on the TV for entertainment. I agree. But there is a numbing effect that causes my kids minds to have everything created for them. I want them to imagine things, create things, see things in their minds and bring them to life. Their bedroom floor at the moment is that playground where their imaginations are flourishing. And although it tweaks me a little at the messiness of it all, I realize it is in the messes that we create our best works!
We are slowly getting back into the groove. The summer was long, and magical, and so very freeing. But these three kiddos and this very planned mama needed some structure. It is good to be back at it, although there are still a few whines here and there when the school day starts. Usually when school starts back I have a mental breakdown day one and have to run away to the beach. (I am sure most teachers feel that right?) I must be doing better this year because it took 3 days to get there. 3 full days of learning, and painting, and reading, and writing. We went in the afternoon and stayed until the full moon rose into the sky. It was exactly what we needed to keep going. It’s those magical things that make space in your soul for the things that matter.
Sometimes you just have to start something and everything will magically fall into place. That’s how I felt about our first day of school today. I had all the books, I had planned out the schedule but honestly I had way more studying and planning and preparing that I wanted to do. But that process could go on for days and days. So today, we just went for it and started. It wasn’t perfect. It didn’t go exactly like I thought it would. But we did it. I am trying out a whole new style of teaching this year and I have to say I am really excited to see where that journey takes us…even if that means some days go in a different direction! I want to whet my kids appetite for learning in LOTS of different areas. I want them to have a TRUE love for learning.
We are also part of a new co-op this year one day a week. Gress will be learning a lot about US History and Marine Science and then will have several afternoon clubs (Math Club, Art, Cooking and Literature Club). Mcree will be in kindergarten and Mabry will be in preschool. And I am teaching art to elementary students. We are all SO excited about this. Today we started reading our history book and Gress kept wanting to know more, and more, and for hours was watching documentaries, learning about presidential elections, writing a biography on Daniel Boone, and then building a flat boat until dinner was ready.
And because I didn’t have everything planned out (like all the bible memory verses), I realized today that some just fell into place exactly the way they were meant to. We are studying 1 Thessalonians at church and were challenged to read it every day. Today was the first day and I realized that 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18 are the perfect words for my kids to tuck away in their hearts.
“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
“How’s your bathroom renovation coming along?” This questions has been ongoing for THREE years! I stopped counting how many times that questions was asked. I always followed that question with a well at least we have 2 toilets as if that was supposed to make it seem like we were moving in some direction. The fact was that one bathroom was like a scary room you only entered if it was your last resort and well since the rats (yes you read that correctly) had found there way in there, most visits to that room were non existent these days. But the renovation has started…can I get a hallelujah?
Our nooks and crannies are filled with tile, and a vanity, and drywall and wood, and lights, and concrete mixture, and a shower pan. This is really happening. Honestly I had gotten used to sharing a bathroom with 3 boys (and all that comes with that). (I just realized I have been using Mcree’s toothbrush for the last week!). I had gotten used to the possibility of a shorter shower just because someone had to go number 2 and there was no way I was going to let that happen while I was taking a break from reality! We are down to one toilet these days and I have to say, it has made me appreciate that steamy hot, rat infested makeshift bathroom that really served our needs for these last few years. But soon, very soon this room will be different and I can have my own drawer, and not have to wonder if my towel has been used by every member of my household. It’s the little things. Oh and this really big thing that is making me smile these day!
I owe a big hug to Radford for moving this project along and him realizing that he just doesn’t have the time to do it himself. And I owe a bigger hug to the guy who is making this renovation happen! He’s a keeper for more projects to come!