Mini Monet | Georgia O'Keeffe

Feb 21, 2014

This month for our Mini Monet Art Class, I taught the kiddos about Georgia O'Keeffe. We talked a little bit about her life and what inspired her. We looked at a lot of her paintings, especially her flowers and then we set to work creating our own floral masterpieces.

I had the girls work in watercolour paint, one of the earlier mediums used by Georgia O'Keeffe, as I am not quite ready to tackle oil on canvas with a group of 6 and 7 year olds. I think they got the general idea though. We talked about how we should image we are a bug, sitting on the flower and draw the flower from that point of view, and how our flowers should touch all the sides of our paper. This was a hard concept for them to grasp, and most of the girls ended up doing more of a landscape painting that included flowers amongst other things, rather than a single macro flower, but the results were amazing, just the same. We used Prang watercolour paints, and they are AWESOME. They are super affordable, and I think they beat out Crayola by a landslide. And that's saying a lot. I'm a total Crayola snob.

I am so enjoying my Mini Monet girls. I look forward to our class each month and already, the wheels in my head are turning and I'm thinking about a summer art camp and our itinerary for the fall semester. The girls have started to invite everyone they know to come to our end of the semester art show... they are loving it just as much as I am. I can't wait to watch this project grow!

Valentine's Day {As Told By My iPhone}

Feb 18, 2014

I upgraded my camera a few weeks ago, and the learning curve has been... a little bit steep, so bear with me as I present to you-

Valentine's Day 2014
as told by my iPhone

For Sunshine's February family project, she had to turn a Nesquik container into a Valentine holder for her class party. She decided she wanted "Lucy Minion" from Despicable Me 2, and I think we did a darn good job delivering. I could hardly believe it when I even found white fabric with pink polka dots in my fabric stash. Sunshine and I think our Lucy Minion turned out darn near perfect.

Our Valentine's celebration started on the night of the 13th, when Bruce picked up flowers and dinner on his way home from being in court all day. The girls and I each got flowers and a book (Peter Pan for me- Bruce is trying to rekindle my love of Peter Pan, which was dashed during the most recent season of Once Upon a Time, Winnie the Pooh for Beebs and Mary Poppins for Sunshine). Man Cub also gave us each a gift- heart shaped pizza and cheesy bread for the girls, orange juice for me, since I'm currently avoiding all refined sugar. Ü The girls are both so excited about their new books. I can't believe how still Beebs sits while I read Winnie the Pooh to her. She loves it. 

On Valentine's Day, Bruce cooked us all his amazing stuffed chicken for dinner and I gave out my gifts. The wee ones each got a mason jar tumbler, like the one I use every day, just smaller. The tumblers were filled with what we call "love note candy". Bruce and I each list things we love about each child on little stickers then attach them to the bottoms of small candy like Hugs and Kisses and Reese's. The kiddos love their candy and Sunshine has been carefully saving each of her wrappers so she can remember the love notes we wrote for her. I have them all saved in a Word file, but she doesn't care... it is apparent that she treasures those little notes.

I gave Bruce the same thing this year that I gave him last year- 12 monthly dates, planned and paid for. It is definitely a selfish gift. Bruce and I have never developed a habit of dating each other. We didn't date before we got married and we certainly didn't date afterwards, when we were poor, starving college students. Really, we've never made dating a priority and last Valentine's Day I decided to change that. I wrote little notes and purchased gift cards and tickets for 12 dates, one for each month of the year. Some were simple, like attending the temple together. Some were stay at home dates, like taking a "How Well Do You Know Your Spouse" quiz and watching one of our favourite movies, or making s'mores by the fire pit after the wee ones were asleep. Other dates were a little more elaborate, like a night at the shooting range (which was a  huge deal since at the time of that date, I still had severe anxiety about touching a gun, never mind shooting one). This year, I came up with 12 new date ideas, wrote new notes and restuffed the envelopes then presented it to Bruce as his gift from me. We are both really excited to work our way through the coming year with a new date for each month. 

Happy Valentine's Day | 2014

Feb 14, 2014

Our annual Valentine e-card... a tradition that I keep saying I don't have time for, yet always manage to do. I love looking back at past cards and seeing how much my wee ones have grown. We skipped setting up my studio this year, and instead snapped this photo in the backyard, but I'm so glad we made time to do it. I sure do love these little people, and I am so very blessed to call them mine.

We Love To See The {Gilbert} Temple

Feb 6, 2014

On Tuesday afternoon, Bruce and I had the amazing experience of taking our wee ones to a temple open house. The Gilbert temple is on the other side of the valley from us, but the open house was well worth the drive, even with Man Cub's less than stellar mood throughout the tour.

The Gilbert temple is absolutely breathtaking. Bruce and I have been blessed to visit many different temples in our marriage and I can easily say this was the most stunning of all temples we have been inside. (Though the Newport Beach temple is still my absolute favourite) The chandeliers inside the Gilbert temple are the most elaborate, sparkly things I have ever seen. 

We went to the open house with our recently baptized next door neighbours. It was fun to watch them take in the beauty of the temple and answer as many of their questions as we could. But my favourite part was definitely watching Sunshine as she experienced the peace and magnificence of the temple. She was so curious about everything we saw and I think she learned a lot about why temples are important and what a sacred place they are. I hope her experience wih seeing the inside of the temple will help her to understand even more about why Bruce and I enjoy going to the temple. At the end of the tour, she reported that her favourite part was the chandeliers in the Celestial Room and that being in side the temple made her feel "like Jesus was close by".  

Beebs was pretty silent through the tour, which is unusual for her. She just walked along with us, with no complaints of being tired or wanting to be carried as we treked up and down numerous flights of stairs. That alone was a huge indicator of how captivated she was by the beauty of her surroundings. Her favourite part was "the moose holding the baptism water". I about died trying to suppress my giggles when she told us that. Bruce was able to keep a straight face and explain that they were oxen, not moose. She told us that she felt Heavenly Father send the Spirit to be with us inside the temple. Oh how I love my girls!

Man Cub struggled throughout he tour. He was so exhausted but refused to nap on the drive over. By the time we got inside the temple, he was done. He fussed and fought being held through the whole thing, only settling down as we entered the Celestial Room. Even he recognized the strong spirit in that holy space. I couldn't help but wonder how thin the veil is for him, and if he realized that the Celestial Room was as close to heaven as he could get for the time being. He was so calm, just pointing at the beautiful lights and smiling. 

As we left the temple, the crowds outside did not allow for a good family snapshot in front of the temple, especially since by that point, Man Cub was about to lose his mind. I did manage to get one of him and Beebs playing in the water feature outside the temple, something I would never let them do myself. Thank goodness for Daddy! 

I am so grateful for the chance we had to show our children the inside of The House of The Lord. And now I'm more excited than ever for our new temple to be complete! I feel a renewed desire to be in the temple serving as often as I can. What a blessing to have several temples, so close by.
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