Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Birthday Came First....

For my birthday this year, Brad hired our babysitter that used to come help me regularly when Thea Belle was first born. He hired her to come for an entire day! So I could try out my new acrylic paints I had been given for Christmas. I have never really used that kind of paint -- I did oils when Atticus was first born, but they are so messy and toxic especially when you don't have a dedicated studio space (I have a desk in the corner of our bedroom -- one desk for sewing, drawing, etc.). So I thought acrylics might be a possible medium to try. Well, the day began well -- Brad surprised me by sneaking in after dropping Atticus off at the bus and leaving a spinach and feta croissant from my favorite patisserie waiting for me when I woke up. Then I got the younger boys dressed and Thea Belle and I dropped them off at preschool. TB and I came back home and I had a good hour reading books with her and playing together. Then Meagan came around 10 in the morning. It took me an hour to get my reference photos printed off (I hadn't had time the night before) and then discovered that my sketch book was m.i.a. -- Looked for half an hour to no avail. By that time Meagan took TB to go pick the boys up from school while I made everyone lunches up. I was pretty discouraged because I hadn't even go the paints out yet let alone done any preliminary drawings. But I decided to force myself to switch gears, pick a different project than I had originally chosen and just jump in. It wasn't supposed to be about results -- It was to learn a new medium, to hopefully enjoy doing something I love doing that needs a stretch of time without interruptions. So I jumped in...

So I ended up with this funny painting inspired by Deke (not really intended to be a portrait). I was thinking about idosyncratic 1960's portraits you find in thrift stores sometimes. The kind that are kinda pulp fiction-y and a bit cartoon-y-flat. I learned that I dislike how fast the acrylics dry making blending clunky -- resulting in a kind of paint-by-number look. I think I will definitely look into some of those drying-retardants you can use to mimic oil painting.

Good things that happened that day: 1. I still love drawing and painting. Really, really love it. 2. I got to listen to like 4 sermons while I was working. 3. The kids were all super interested in what I was doing -- the three boys ending up painting with Meagan. I was happy doing this spilled over on to them and made them excited to try it. I try doing that with the kids all the time but I rarely join them -- There is too much helping and cleaning and helping and cleaning. 4. I felt so filled up -- I came back into parenting that night and the next day with such a better perspective and so much more to give. 5. I feel more hopeful about the future -- that I will be able to one day work toward making pieces of art that are hopefully worthwhile (skill worthy of God the Great Artist - Creator and joy and truth-giving to others) and closer to what is crowding and singing in my head. I don't think these paintings are good but they are much less horrible than I expected from not practicing these things for years and years. That encourages me. 6. I discovered that a close friend of mine is a painter/drawer -- and though we have talked of many substantive and personal things and though our families have hung out together in each others' homes many times, I never knew this about her. I felt like I had found my friend all over again. 7. I was able to see and experience that kind of support and enthusiasm Brad gives to me everyday -- in every part of my life. Just one of the reasons I love him more the longer we live this life together.

And because I had so much fun, after the kids were in bed that night I did another tiny painting while Brad read books on the bed next to my desk.

Oh yeah, and the spring flowers at the top of the post -- Brad brought those home to me in the go with this palette, a different kind of bouquet, right?


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How Lincoln and Thea Belle have been riding in the car this week...and singing songs.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

You're Invited!
(invite designed by Eric Berget)

Brad and I have the honor of hosting a party in honor of Margie Haack author of The Exact Place. We initially decided to read this book shortly after it first came out back in November because Brad and I know Margie and have enjoyed her writing on a short-scale (essays and blog entries). Brad was friends with her daughter Sember (before he and I ever met) and Sember's husband, the artist Shaun LaRose (who briefly lived with Brad). Since then, we have supported Margie and her husband Denis' cultural-engagement ministry Ransom Fellowship and heard both of them talk over successive years at the Rochester L'Abri Conferences. We were so delighted to read Margie's book and find the stories so cleanly written and tightly-constructed; To be given such a rich depiction of a unique rural life; And to find a deep, real-life conviction of God's kindness in all that He gave and with-held in Margie's childhood. I enjoyed sharing memories of chicken butchering, horse grooming, pranks with (insert pigs) cows and manure pits, and hay-mow playgrounds. I am thankful to not share outhouse-tipping memories. If you are interested in coming to meet Margie, hear her read excerpts from her excellent book, and taste desserts from some of recipes found through-out the memoir, please contact me! We would love to have you!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Tropical Oasis

Last Friday the boys all had school we went to the indoor tropical gardens at the Como Zoo in St.Paul. Mmmm...and though I would go much slower through these gardens...and sit for awhile and look longer and breathe a little deeper, I was very thankful to be there with my four children...and let them wear short sleeves and no coats and pretend that summer had come.


Guardians of the Very Smart Big Baby

This morning Dietrich, Lincoln and Thea Belle spent much time taking care of babies. Thea Belle has her "little baby" and the two boys adopted enthusiastically the "big baby". She ate lunch between the two of them. Part way through lunch she finished her bottle of milk and lunch of plastic peas and was getting rather fussy. Dietrich cleared away her food and found her a toy of plastic keys. I asked them which of them were the daddy and he said that neither of them were. That actually, the baby's parents had both died. And that her grandpa was 50 years old. And her grandma was 57. Therefore, they were much, much too old to take care of a baby. In fact, the grandparents lived in a house where nurses take care of very old people. But that once a week Dietrich and Lincoln take the baby to visit her grandparents. Lincoln also added that the baby knows how to count to 13 and knows that another name for the Ten Commandments is The Decalogue. Oh, and he added excitedly, she also knows that the three offices of Christ are Prophet, Priest and King (can you tell what part of the Westminster Catechism we are working on?)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Happy Birthday, Brother!!!!!!

I love you, Aaron...I will always wish we lived near each other. I am thankful to have grown up with you.

Happy Birthday, Anne Golliher!

And this is what happens when three momma friends force two-year olds to have a group shot at the end of a playdate (where the pictured two-year-olds actually mostly played by themselves and ate muffins...still...).

p.s. my daughter looks like a midget...even though these three are all pretty much the same age...

p.s. William Golliher (and Maxiel Joslin) have pretty much the best guy hair ever...

And Rose Miller is almost as sassy-awesome as her mother...
And Atticus designed (on paper), chose the fabric, and sewed half (I finished it up) of Thea Belle's skirt...cute, right? Heart pockets!!
(Photo by Leah!)