This week I’m the helper at Tessa’s Pre K class and my general rule is that the craft I do must come from what I already have in the house. It’s pretty easy when there are only 8 girls. A craft for one gender: even easier, just sayin’. So to will spring here sooner, I bring you our flower bed. Think happy late winter crocuses! (and pay no attention to my son’s dirty cereal bowl)
I’ve been collecting paper egg cartons for the next time we get farm eggs, or for crafting. I don’t hoard much at home, but keeping 4 or 5 cartons has been very helpful. I also have a happy dream about replicating that awesome Anthro window display. Someday. Anyway, first step separate your egg carton into desired size of flower bed. We chose three sections each.
We pre-painted each flower bed green. We kept it pretty brushy, so it looked like grass and dried faster. Also, punching a hole through the top of each section with a pair of scissors would be good too. It makes for easier stem insertion.
Then, when you’ve chosen 3 colors of cupcake papers you like, fold three of them in half all together and snip a small slit through all three papers. Insert the pipe cleaner stem through the slit and make a loop or twist in the center to keep them on.
After doing this craft with the Pre K today, I would definitely do this with older kids, like 5-6 year olds. The 3-5 year olds needed lots of assembly help, which I figured would happen, but it would be nice if the kids had more control for this craft.
Hedgie, he is named. It’s my turn to be the parent helper for our little Pre K co-op and so I hit up my Pinterest board called “Littles Gonna Make” for an idea. See, I don’t call my time on Pinterest a waste, it’s actually work. I get ideas and I make them come true. I also have yet to have an epic ‘Pinterest fail’. I choose wisely, but oh man, when I do get an epic fail, be sure, you will see it here! Anyway, I found this tutorial and it looked fun. The problem with using it for Pre K is that I had a whopping total of 3 paper plates. That meant that just Tessa was going to get to make this. It took her no time at all cuz she has mad scissor skills. For someone a year younger, it would be a great practice and a cute successful result. First, you fold a paper plate in half. Then, I took some tacky glue and smeared some on the plate where the hedgehog body will be. Then, you (or in our case, the kid) draw the profile of the hedgehog on one side and cut the face out. Tessa used a purple sharpie so when she watercolored Hedgie, his face wouldn’t smear. I guess you also could make him festive and give him a googly eye. I love googly eyes.
Hand it off to the youngster with the scissors and let them chop away at the top half! The fringes are very satisfying. Tessa enjoyed painting Hedgie’s front and back a browny-orange. Of course, she happened to color the face again with a flair felt tip pen and that pen, my friends, bleeds when wetted. Just a side note.
Good little craft. If we had had enough plates we would have brought the Mitten story and made hedgehogs. We will leave that for another time. Or you can snatch that idea up, I don’t blame you.
Little Makers gonna make! No hating.
Without really trying, we had some fun around our sweet town and our sweeter ‘hood. I am just in love with this picture of the kids at Rock City. Rock City is just a few miles from our house and Joel hasn’t been inside since we all snuck in at night back in college. So, Joel was excited to get us a family pass for this year. Today was a little grey outside, but we had a great time finding the gnomes everywhere, enjoying the coolness of the big rocks, and saying witty and strange things with tourists standing nearby. I think Joel took pictures for the same couple three different times with their iPad. It was a banner day.
Some Fridays we have free time. Some Fridays we invite friends over to the house, but this week we were all ready to be out of our house. I couldn’t convince the kids to go hiking, so the zoo is always a nice option. We grabbed up a membership when we went to the Atlanta Zoo this fall. It made the trip cheaper then, and now we get to enjoy animals! This Friday was also beautifully cool and sunny. In this golden age of parenting, all my kids walk at a good pace on their own, they can survive with little to no snacks, and they all enjoy what they are seeing. They can read the signs, and have a bit more roaming freedom. These things sound silly I’m sure for others with older kids and teens, but man, I am really loving this stage. Josiah takes off to see the crow and get him to say, “Hello” and the girls can still giggle at my side at the prairie dogs. One of my favorite parts of the zoo is the jaguars. They are almost always awake and roaming. I am hypnotized by their size and pattern. So, so beautiful. This go around, he was pacing back and forth and the kids positioned themselves at different places along the viewing window and the big cat just paced between all three of them. So fun, and wonderful.
My parents are in the throws of trying to find a new house and sell their huge one. They have a very specific punch list, and we have been giving our advice and perspective when asked. When we were scoping out listings that they have been seeing, we found this place that was around the corner from our mountain home. We noticed it was huge. 3 kitchens, 3 floors…why have we never noticed this spot? So we went on a little walk. This place is enormous, but it needs so much work. The owner had divided it up into three separate apartments and none of them are very nice. But it butts up against national forest and a bike trail. It has an incredible view. It is almost completely sided with mountain stone, and it has so much space. It would make an incredible lodge. Joel and I love to check out these properties, and especially since we are so in love with where we live, we are fascinated by the little places tucked away in the woods.
Our Snow White cottage. It is owned by the Parks Department and it neighbors the historic Craven’s House. It sits stripped and empty. Not much left of architectural merit on the inside. But it is so magical still. It has a slate tile roof, little rock constructed garage and storage areas, pretty porches with that haunting sage green perfectly peeling and rough. I am always drawn to it. I want to take more pictures of it, I want to pose my children in it, and it has an amazingly large ginko tree in the front yard that makes the whole yard turn to gold in October. Unfortunately, this house will probably be torn down by the Parks Department in order to keep the historic relevance of the grounds. This house isn’t Civil War era, and so it’ll go bye-bye in order to bring the battlefield back to it’s original form.
We live down the street from the Incline Railway. It’s the World’s Most Amazing Mile right? You can drive under the railway on Shingle Road. There is also a little stopping point at this point where you used to be able to get a “half way pass”. I would love to that pass, it would make our location so much fun! We could bop down to get ice cream or go to Grandma’s. We are in a wonderful location and it is really fun to still have railroad tracks down the street, just like we had in Jefferson Heights.
There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy our spaces. I have always enjoyed those little pathways that are less traveled and less publicized. I want to have these little special places that will fill up our Saturdays and Sundays. I love to learn what our city holds and learn more about it, from that place of discovery with my kids and my husband. If you get to enjoy your places, and are willing to share, I’d love to see them. The places we share become like a special ‘show and tell’ we want to share what is ours, but in order to love those things and places more, the sharing part is oh so necessary.
Children should not die from cancer. Children should not be chronically ill. Young men should not find their bodies are filled with disease and young women should not be having major surgery just so their bodies can be mobile. Marriages should not fail. Children should not have to wonder why their family is falling apart. Babies should not die in the womb. Our love for Jesus should never die, we shouldn’t fall out of love with Jesus. But you know what, all this stuff happens.
This just happens to be what is happening in my small first world. First world problems. Medical science can’t fix all, our bodies still die. Even if it’s a twelve year old’s body. Lord God. We need breakthrough.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13
I believe this. We have studied Ancient History for the past year in our home schooling curriculum. A lot of this study has been the Bible and the prophets. The prophet Jeremiah lived through trying times. He watches his people being persecuted by a foreign land and he knows God’s heart for His people and it breaks. It was broken. He had to take away their freedom, even their identity. The people of God were eventually stripped of their Promised Land, driven away to Babylon. They were made slaves, and treated with cruelty. The Babylonians were mean folks. It took Nebuchanezzar four tries to completely conquer Jerusalem, and other prophets cried out to God and man about the plans that the Lord had for His people. I believe that His plans remain, to bring us all to Him even when we have heartbreak and pain and we see things crumble beneath us. We see and hear prophecies, and we choose to not believe them, we chose instead to live as victims of circumstances and become buffeted by the enemies plans.
But, Jesus loves us. We are weak, and He is strong.
I must say, I have never been comfortable as an intercessor. I like the idea of long prayer meetings, but I, like my children get wiggly and impatient at them. But I see that my role during these storms in my world is to be an intercessor. I pray when I wash dishes, when I drive, when I do my kick-boxing workout (which is a really good way to make fighting through something physical all about the spiritual instead). I pray with my children, we talk about what we can, and I do a lot of staring out the window. I’m really not that deep, I just have to stare out the window. It’s a form of center for me. God has given me a gift. That gift is out my windows. The days that carry bad news, or days that are unbearably long, there is a bit of a reprieve out those windows, even on the greyest winter days. The light shines through the empty branches. Birds bop from branch to branch and back and forth from the bird feeder. The shapes that surround these woods are from Him. So I find I am brought to those places of prayer, worship and knowledge of God in what is around me. I joke with Joel that I’d lose my mind if we didn’t live in the woods, but I do believe that these days, I don’t think I could be more thankful for this gift. He cares about our needs. He will do as He has promised.
I also can never get enough of Isaiah (the 40′s especially)
The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
A post that got ignored for many months. This is a picture Eden snapped on one of our school days at the Camp House. We pack up, take our sweet Tessa to New City Fellowship for Pre K and then we go to have school somewhere else. Good coffee and oatmeal with berries take my tired mama brain to a happy place. The big kids know the ritual so well. I get them a treat at 10:30, and they work on vocab words, science worksheets, and they do reading for literature class. We see friends from church (since Camp House is also our church building) and other homeschooled friends some days. The MX in the back has provided some great items in my wardrobe. Today I scored some pretty 25 cent headbands for the girls, some cute belts for me and a dress shirt for Jos. And the friendly faces behind the coffee bar and at the MX feed my need to talk to grown ups. It is a welcomed retreat.
Now I’m recharged from the tiring early week, I can take on the end of the week. It’s the coffee, it’s just so so good.
Epic Poncho from @collectiveclothing #popup shop #mainx24 !!!, originally uploaded by katiek2.
Today is my tenth blogiversary. I knew it was coming up, and I am in awe. Blogging has been a struggle as lots of other things take the place of. Those of us that love to write have found comfort in our blog. I love to look back and remember. I laugh at all the ordinary things I used to blog about, and the silliness that took up my time.
I also see how I would reflect on my very small children. I used my blog to fight loneliness and isolation. I found friends. There are some friends I have now that I met through the blog first! How crazy is that! Friends like, Jennifer Ross and Kelly Wilkes. Now I meet people through Instagram.
I see photos of pieces of art I forgot I made. I see trials that I went through. I see my reflections on going back to school as a mom of two.
I regret a lot of things too. I wish I had a pretty blog, I’ve always struggled to make it look the way I want it too because I don’t know code. And I’m cheap. I wish I had promoted myself, used my blog to make money, given it more of a uniform vision.
But honestly, the fact that I am a painter, a wife, a mother, a lover of Jesus, an emotional creature, I know that these things could not be separated. For ten years, I have had my life, and my children’s lives, online. It all started with a stomach virus that kept me trapped in my house with a one year old Josiah and I wanted to jump on this bandwagon. So simple, and yet such a great discipline. If you don’t write, you should. And if you blog, whatever it is, good for you. Your blog is for you first, and when people find you and relate to you without meeting you, there is something fun about that.
Thanks for reading New Eyes, y’all. I hope to be a bit better at adding to it as the frustration with Facebook, twitter, and other modes of quick communication fail. Keep on truckin’.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”