Explore

Project Life | April

Apple stamp

Be sure to paint the correct side of the apple…

stamping with apples

Use any color paint you like…and we like purple!

Brainbuster Problem: Guess how many seeds are in an apple. Check your guess with a real apple. Use the apple to make paint stamp paper.

It’s pretty sad that when I asked Parker if she knew how to stamp the apple onto paper, she said, “Yes.” Then, preceded to paint the outside of the apple. Obviously, I never did fruit stamping with my kids! Bad mommy.

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miscellaneous photos

Gothic church at Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, CO.

 

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Art Journal and Summer Fun Ideas for Kids

Now that I am transitioning from a working mom to a stay-at-home mom I am freaking out a little bit, and not why you might think. What am I going to do with the kids this summer so that I don’t hear the dreaded words, “I am bored!”?

Oh, those are scary words.

I had this idea: Make a summer art journal. I already keep a journal, and this blog is a smaller version of that journal, so why not get the kids involved in journaling too?

An art journal is for more than just writing, it’s for drawing and adding photos too. I bought all three of us a lined notebook in a size that I thought would be good to accommodate all of the above. Then, we covered and decorated it with fun scrapbooking supplies. They just couldn’t wait until summer to start this project!

Parker's art journal cover

Cover page

We have already started our ultimate to-do list for the summer

The Ultimate to-do list:

  • Paint our toenails funky neon colors
  • Watercolor hearts sheet
  • Paint by numbers masterpiece (bought at the store)
  • Library: make a must-read list
  • Paper mache bowls using a balloon as a form
  • Ice skate (this is a given since Alex will have practice all summer)
  • Swim lessons for Parker
  • Teach Thor to walk on a leash (we are using a dog trainer to help with this)
  • Walk to the park every morning (and lose 20 pounds!)
  • Shaving cream playtime (the kids love this and it’s cheap)
  • Cooking lessons (I will teach the girls to cook easy meals)
  • Nature photoshoot (go for a walk, photograph what you find, put in journal)
  • Nature hikes (Alberta Falls and Bear Lake)
  • Organize laundry room (okay, this is on my list only)
  • Shampoo carpet (again, my list)
  • Strawberry patch, make strawberry shortcake (I will do this!)
  • Play with friends (young and old)
  • Help Grandma move into her new retirement community (we can walk there everyday)
  • Host a bowling party at Fat Cats
  • Visit different and unique parks in Denver
  • Taste test different ice cream shops
  • Visit a farmers market, make something yummy with what we purchased
  • Melted crayons artwork
  • Pick crafts from our craft book
  • Make a camera cap leash
  • Make aprons
  • “Bling” something
  • Make a travel goodie bag for our trip to Gatlinburg in August
  • Visit the art museum, then create a painting from something that inspire us there
  • Of course, we will add to this list throughout the summer…

Journal prompt idea page

I also have a list of journal prompts to get the kids thinking and writing. One of which is to do a taste test between 2 different ice cream shops. And, since my kids LOVE ice cream (who doesn’t?) they are really excited about this one.

Other summer journal prompts:

  • What is your favorite summer food
  • If you could go anywhere this summer, where would it be (research or draw it)
  • Describe your perfect summer day
  • What was the most fun you had this week
  • 10 things that make you happy right now (make a collage from magazines or pictures from the web)
  • What is the weather like outside today
  • What is the funniest thing that happened this week
  • Describe your favorite summer memory every
  • What did you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner today
  • What are you thankful for today

I am sure we will have things on this list that we won’t do. There is just not enough time in the summer. But we will try, and my goal is to pick something almost everyday so that we are not bored.

Oh, yea, here’s another idea: search your city for free days. I have a list of free days for the Aquarium, the Botanical Gardens, National Parks, movie theaters, and various museums. (Find a list for Denver here.)

And check out 100 Free Things to do with your kids this summer. Awesome ideas!

Categories: art club for kids, Explore, Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

One Little Word, 2012

I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. All too often we make a resolution of kicking our caffeine habit…losing weight…eating less junk food…or whatever. We do alright at first. Maybe even last a few months but by March we fall back into our old habits again. I like the idea instead of picking one little word for the year and allowing that to be my focus.

Resolutions are too vague. I’ve read that one-third of us who make a “resolution” for the new year dump it within 2 weeks and 50% of the rest say “forget about it” within 2 months. Besides, you can start a diet any day of the week, or any time of the year. For 4 years now I have chosen “one word” rather than make a resolution.

The idea behind the one little word concept is to give yourself something to focus on throughout the year…”A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.”

This concept is totally from Ali Edwards. I have found this works much better for me than resolutions.

In 2009 my one word was “be”, as in “just be in the moment.” I struggled with being in the moment at first. It had to be a conscious decision and I still remind myself of it today. It’s not a trait that comes naturally to me.

In 2010 my one word was “faith”. I think I did pretty well that year. I renewed my faith and continued reading the Bible. I still have many more Books to read but “it’s the journey, not the destination” or “it’s a long road, but the reward is great.” However you want to look at it, I will still be working on faith throughout my life.

In 2011 my one word was “nourish”. Nourish encompassed my whole feeling of what I want in the upcoming year to be. For my mind. For my body. For my soul.

This year my word is “explore”. If I knew then what I know now I would have chosen a different career path. No offense to my current employers, I am thankful for a job with such great bosses, but still, I wish I had been brave enough to have explored the world before settling down. Sure, I thought I was brave moving from small town Missouri to the big city of Denver, knowing only the friend who was moving with me.

At 19, I thought it was going to be an adventure, but it was a controlled adventure. My mom forbid me to move to NYC, so Denver was the alternative. It was the safe adventure.

I dreamed of seeing the world; NYC, Paris, London. As a teenager I had posters of the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben on my walls (next to Duran Duran and other rock stars, of course).

What if I had packed it all up, ignored the naysayers, and hit the road? How different would my life have been?

But, you can’t change your history, only your future.

I am devoting this year to exploring my world, where I am right now.

ex•plo•re – the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information.

So, what’s your “one little word” for 2012? What do you want to accomplish or focus on in the coming year? I challenge you to create something, anything that will help you focus on your word in the coming year. Maybe I should post my word on the fridge…

Categories: Explore, Life, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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