Sunday, July 28, 2013


It started out simple enough....we have all been enjoying the new lower deck patio. We made S'mores again this evening on the fire pit and everything was fine until the sugar rush kicked in.

And then then crazy kid started acting CRAZY!

It was funny while it lasted and I got some cute photos that show off Grace's personality.  She is such a cutie!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The finished product

Here is our finished Jackson Pollock-inspired splatter painting.  

The colors are more vibrant in real life.   I love how they match our whole house and the painting would look great in any room.  It also matches the colors of the lake in three seasons.  Perfect for our little house on the water.  And the best part is that we made it together.  

You can read about our experience in the July 15th post!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Girls just want to have fun

We spent a girls' afternoon with Kellie and Dawson at Kidz Day.  You can see how we are both dealing with a little bit of 6-year old "attitude".  Getting our two sweeties to both look at the camera at the same time - or really do anything at the same time - is a challenge!  I love that they have minds of their own and know what they want, though.  When they do get the same idea at the same time their giggles and heads-together whispers are so adorable and fun to watch!
Kidz Day was full of different family-oriented vendors offering games, balloons, and treats to lure kids and parents to their booths.  There were a lot of interesting things like science experiments, crafts, inflatable obstacle courses, dog training, and music.
Both girls loved their balloons!

And even though they look very serious, they enjoyed their strawberry snow cones!
Grace and Dawson both love animals so the petting zoo area and the dog obedience school were fun for them.

And, what would a Kidz Day be without costumed characters walking around?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

You say tomato

In May, we planted a tomato plant in a container on our deck.  We have a bunch of little yellow flowers, several tomatoes growing, and two pretty big ones that turned red this week. They are about ready to be picked and enjoyed in a salad!

The other container holds the wildflower mixture from the garden cookies Grace got for her birthday.  (See our May 26th post.) They are huge and starting to bloom.  So far we have white, blue, and purple buds peeking out!

Monday, July 15, 2013


Do you ever walk through a museum - especially modern art - and think, "I can do that?"  Kyle and I have that discussion sometimes when we see "art" that looks like it was done by a grade school student or is simply so basic that we wonder what makes it art.  I know.  That is probably something that we shouldn't admit in public.  But, it is the truth.

The work of Jackson Pollock, although bright and colorful, are the type of paintings that make me say, "I can do that."  I know he was an innovator and he used techniques and materials that make his work special.  He was the first to put canvases on the floor and perfected his drip technique using household paint and different objects he found like turkey basters, hardened brushes, and sticks.  But to the average person his splatter paintings look like something we could reproduce.  And today, we got that chance!
We made an appointment at new art studio for a family workshop to try our hand at splatter painting in the style of Jackson Pollock.
As soon as we got there the owner put Grace in a giant T-shirt to cover her clothes and we all set out to mix colors. The finished product is going to be 6' X 3' so we decided to use the colors of the walls in our house to hang it over the bed in the master bedroom.
Grace didn't love mixing colors - other than shaking the jars - so she and Kyle wandered around the AMAZINGLY colorful studio.  They quickly discovered the splatter room and called me back there to see it.
They have only been open for two months and the room looks like this already! I guess that means business is good!

Within a few minutes we were ready to splatter our paint.  Each color was in its own jar and we use syringes to spray the paint on the canvas which was spread on the floor.  Grace was the first to give it a try!
And then we all got into it.  You either know when you are done or keep going until there is no paint left.  I'll give you one guess which course we took!
For a final surprise, they had balloons with paint in them.  You squeeze the balloon to make the paint splatter in all directions.  This is where we got paint on our faces, legs, clothes, and in our hair!
Our finished work of art looked so cool.  This photo doesn't do it justice.  They give it a few days to dry, stretch it, and put a varnish over it.  I can pick it up sometime next week.
What an amazing concept for an art workshop.  Anyone can do it.  The owner said she has adult parties, kids' parties, families, etc. come in to try this process.  There were many hanging in the studio and in the back room waiting to be picked up.  I think we found Grace's 7th birthday party place....and maybe a second career for me.  Anyone want to open a francise?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Over the moon

Grace and Noah have a very special friendship.  They see each other during the school year at before- and after-school care, but they attend different elementary schools.  Since I have a handful of weeks off for the summer, they really haven't seen much of each other because Grace has been home with us.  But, when these two get together, they don't miss a beat.  It is right back into a comfortable relationship.  Noah is a very sweet, active little boy who is a perfect compliment to our sweet, active little girl.
It was a pleasure to have Noah join us at the pool today.  Grace and Noah played really well together and when they wanted to do different things, they did "rock, paper, scissors" to decide what they would do first.

The big excitement of the day was that they got to go down the green slide.  You have to be 48 inches tall to go on those slides.  They open up into 6 feet of water.  The lifeguard told Grace she was just a little bit under 48 inches but asked if she could swim.  That little girl swam her heart out about 25 times to get to the side of the pool after racing down the slide with her friend!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Action at the net

Can you see Grace in the orange dress taking a shot at tennis lessons yesterday? It was her 7th group lesson and the first time I got to watch.  I think she did a great job and she says she likes it.  In this drill the coach had the kids run to the net to a circle target on the court as he tossed a ball to their rackets.
This was taken with my phone camera from upstairs, through glass so it is not the best quality photo.  

We also got a new addition to our doll family yesterday.  Meet Lily.  Grace has suddenly taken an interest in dolls.  She purchased a double doll stroller last weekend with her birthday money and started talking about American Girl dolls.  Lily isn't an American Girl, but she is very similar and will do until we can make a trip to one of the AG stores in New York, Chicago (my vote - I have never been there!), or Columbus.
We also bought a really cute scooter for Lily and Grace already has a horse from Aunt Nancy and Uncle Chris that is the perfect size!  She has played with her non-stop since we brought her home.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

America's birthday

It was a lot of fun to share July 4th with Kyle's family.  Having the lake in our backyard was a great asset for the first time as the six kids are now old enough to wade, swim, and kayak on their own.  

Just about everyone got in on the action:

 Kyle with Zachary
 Kyle's sister, Carrie, was the first to get in a kayak and their mom soon followed.
Pretty soon the kids were changing into swimsuits and the water floats came out.

They joined up with some boys from the neighborhood to hunt for baby turtles (I think they caught 6 - I hope they released them).

And, I was able to get a photo of 5 of the 6 kids all looking at me at the same time.  It was a good day!