Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Playing at the Art Museum (again!)

Isn't this a great picture? The lighting in the art museum's Open Studio is just perfect. We went there about three years ago but I didn't have my camera with me (it was out getting fixed),  so I was excited to go back and get some pictures.

The Norman Rockwell exhibit was ending on Monday (Memorial Day), which we figured would be pretty crowded, so we decided to go on Saturday. The library has free art museum passes that you can check out, but only a limited number. I called our local branch to see if they had any available, and the guy said they had one that was just getting ready to go back on the shelf, so Doug went and picked it up. Yay! Free admission! And we didn't have to wait in line to get tickets (a nice plus).

We went downtown and parked by Freighthouse Square, and then rode the Link over to the museum. Andy loved the Link and complained loudly when the ride was over.

We got to spend just a little time in the exhibit (as much as the kids' patience could stand) and then we took them up to the studio to play.

This was a new addition--a big cylindrical block covered with chalkboard paint. (That "Oliver" was already there--no relation to the new cousin.)

I got Andy set up at an easel and he went to work right away.

Adding some chalk for a mixed-media experience.

We couldn't find the bigger sheets of paper. When Andy ran out of room, he just moved on to painting the easel.

Doesn't he look cute in his apron? He didn't like it when I first put it on, but didn't complain while he was busy painting.

I don't know if Kate remembered her bead-stringing adventures last time, but she quickly gravitated to the jewelry making case and spent the time happily making a necklace.

She kept Doug busy rolling Mod Podge cut paper beads.

Pretty cool!

I wish we could have spent a little longer with the Rockwell paintings, but it was neat to get to see them, however briefly. They were interesting enough to keep Kate's attention for a little while. She was amused by the boy's expression in "The Discovery." I think my favorite part was discovering that "The Art Critic" has real blobs of paint on the palette.

I told Kate that these are famous paintings, and she'll probably see pictures of them in a lot of places as she's growing up. Maybe she'll remember that we took her to see the originals when she was little.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Afternoon

Doug does leatherwork; Andy's been lining up Play-Doh cans.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kate's Starfish

We were down at Owen Beach and found this little dead starfish. Kate's been keeping a science notebook at school, so when we got home she wanted to write some observations about her starfish. She asked me how to spell a few words, but she wrote most of it herself.

My Starfish.

Mine is dead
and wet. it has some
pointy tentacles
and it's red.
it has circles on its
side. the end.

(I took out Kate's grocer's apostrophes... we'll have to work on that.)

We also found this little shell, which is now sitting on the kitchen windowsill along with some interesting rocks.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

painting painting painting

I've been able to paint every day this week. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I think working on the Mod Prom decorations got me back in the mood. I want to get this done soon and I feel like I can. My goal at this point is Father's Day.

Doug is home in the afternoon this quarter, so he can get Andy down for a nap. That helps! After lunch I clear off the table, set up my painting stuff, turn on my audio book of The Name of the Wind, and get in the zone. At least for a little while. Mostly I've only been able to work for about an hour and a half at a time, but if I can do that every day, I should be done in a few weeks. I feel like it's going well!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Introducing Cousin Oliver!

My sister Barb and her husband Kyle welcomed their second child into the world: Oliver James, born May 16 at at 2:31 PM MDT. 8 lbs. 7 oz, 20 inches long.

(Doesn't he look like such a little peanut? I should mention that Barb has very long hands.)

Kyle mentioned that they had a hard time agreeing on a name, especially since Barb has been teaching for seven years, so pretty much any name already has associations for her. (I've heard this is a common difficulty for teachers.) Oliver was the only one on their list that they both liked, and James is the name of both grandfathers.

Among my parents and siblings, my brother Peter is the only one who has a birthday on an even-numbered day. The rest of us are all odd numbers. The funny thing is that, up to till now, this has held true for spouses and children as well. Peter's wife and their two girls both have even-numbered birthdays; my family's are all odd-numbered. Barb's family was not only all odd, but all prime numbers. Barb was the one who noticed this. (She mentioned some years ago that she had realized she's more like our engineer dad than she thought. Which apparently comes in handy when designing quilts.)

Well, little Oliver decided to buck this trend and come on an even-numbered day. (Perhaps an early indication of rebelliousness... or an independent streak!)

Welcome to the world!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kate encounters the Bard.

Some friends of ours were in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream over at the Stadium Ward church building, so I took Kate to see it.  Her first Shakespeare play!

They used the arch backdrops from Mod Prom.  I thought it was fun that they got used again so quickly. 

This is the way Shakespeare is meant to be experienced. I've never had any personal affection for this particular play, but I think it was a great choice for an introduction. It's visually interesting, and also one of the shortest of Shakespeare's plays. (This wasn't quite the whole text--edited for length, I guess.) I don't think Kate followed the language that well, but she enjoyed the costumes and the emoting, and I filled her in on what was going on.

Though perhaps I should have a personal affection for it, since it has not only a Helena but also the word Jole. ("I'll go with thee, cheek by jole.") You have to admit that's pretty cool.

When I asked Kate what she liked about the play, she said "The girl in the blue dress." That's our friend Marley, as Hermia.

The player presenting Wall.

"I can hear my Thisby's face!"

The Players were hilarious, and the girl playing Puck was excellent.  All the kids did a great job of projecting. I was impressed!  

With a couple of language geeks for parents, I'm sure our kids will have plenty of exposure to Shakespeare. Daddy can tell them all about Chaucer and Beowulf.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A pertinent thought

It's great when kids are old enough to
(A) tell you when they're going to throw up, and
(B) aim.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day gifts

Kate made this for me at school. Isn't it sweet? I love the way she wrote on the fingers, too.

The decorated envelope, Kate-style.

She also gave me this pot that she painted, along with a peat pellet and three cosmos seeds. (Yay! I love cosmos. Maybe I can get them to actually grow.)

Many years ago, one of my siblings made a card at church with a bunch of dots, and this verse:

I love you Mother
I love you lots
I love you more
Than all these dots

We decided to this with the Nursery kids. Becki Foutz wrote out Andy's card, and he enthusiastically added his own dots.

(This was fairly unusual, as normally when he gets ahold of a crayon or pencil, he just wants us to write letters for him.)

Last year, Kate didn't go up and sing with the Primary kids in Sacrament Meeting. I was kindof disappointed. So this year I mentioned to her (more than once) that I was looking forward to hearing her sing. She went up with everyone else and sang "I Often Go Walking," and when she got to "remind me of you," she pointed at me and grinned.

Life with these kids is never boring!

I know Mother's Day is difficult for some people. Not everyone has a great relationship with their own mother. (I have a friend whose mom died on Mother's Day--it's not a happy day for her.) For some it seems to bring up their own feelings of inadequacy. I imagine my own mom probably has some things that she wishes she had done differently, but I like to think I turned out okay. Doug and I both called our moms after church, as is customary. Thanks for everything, Moms! We wouldn't be here without you!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Mod Prom Decorations

After helping out with all the painting for Modest Prom, I definitely wanted to see what it looked like all put together.  After Kate got home from school we drove out to Sumner to check it out.

Italian signage reminds guests that they are entering Venice.

Outside the main entrance.

Registration desk.

Inside the gym, where setup was nearing completion.

The DJ's table.

These window boxes were a great touch.

Refreshment table.

The backdrop on the stage.

I love the twisty topiaries.  They just look so cool.

The evening started with dinner at another church building in Puyallup, and then moved to Sumner for the dance.  We heard that everyone loved the decorations.  It was sure a big project!  Lots of work but a lot of fun, too.