Thursday, July 18, 2013

Git'cher Mullberry Sodapop! Illustrations by Libby Jane!

 Gibbie has been dying to have a lemonade stand!  When the Mullberries hit, he did one better and sold Mullbery sodapop from our front stoop!  We have a SodaStream thing that charges the juice with CO2, that I thought was the coolest thing when I was a kid, and apparently, it still is!  The kids get out there and pick the berries themselves.  He was hindered by a scarcity of ice, and some kinks in service, as well as a strange lull in afternoon foot traffic the day we did this project. The business can only grow from here!
On a related family entrepreneurial note, I illustrated a little reader for Logic of English, the reading and spelling curriculum we are using.  I think their materials are so great, I was thrilled to get to do a bit of artwork for them!  You can see (and order!) my reader here.  They also have many free videos, like this one, on teaching technique and content which I have found particularly helpful.
 We entered a fresh-caught turtle in Battle Lake's turtle races this June.  Despite our high hopes, she didn't bring home glory.

 Gibbie and Ezra did some glorious fishing, however!  We ate fresh panfish at nearly every meal, and even had some to take home!
 So wonderful to have lakeside time with Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers.  The children have been exceptionally blessed in the grandparent department, on both sides of the family!
 All the adults helped remove hooks at one point or another.  It is precious to me that they get to fish with Grandpa Bob, just like Mary and Robert and I did!  Plus, my mom has caught the fishing bug too!
 This summer has been an exciting time for us!  Here are two powerful figures in our life.  John Stanley, of the Church Army, paid us the honor of a visit recently. He biked four hours out of his way, through hours of drenching thunderstorms! He has been something of an Elijah to us.  He stirs things up.  As does John Tolo, and his work right in our neighborhood!
 We've been spending as much time outside as possible, now that the sun's finally shining. (We had almost a solid month of rain here in Minnesota earlier this summer!)  I love the familiar landscapes of our favorite outdoor adventure spots!  This is Crosby Farm Lake park, in St. Paul, on the Mississippi. 
 Willem, like his big brothers, loves to play with the rabbits.  He may be "nursing" this one!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Auntie Mary Says

My sister Mary whispered to me today, "Demons aren't scary.  They're just little punks."
I think she's right.  She really helped me out a lot today.  That girl has spoken some really sensible things to me lately.  Thanks, sister!

A local landmark
By the way, I didn't mean anything derogatory about punks at all! I love me some punks. 
I love how much shooting Paul has done in the neighborhood because of his show.
Speaking of little punks, this one sure can climb the walls!
Things I love about February:
-the yellow sunshine
-ice melting on the sidewalk, because of that golden light.
-birds singing spring songs--ahh sweet music!
-chopping up ice on the sidewalk with my ice slicer, just like my Grandpa Roy made me do.  So satisfying!
-being inside a lot, reading cozily on the couch with my kids.
-making origami and cut paper art.
-Lent.  Simplifying.
-Indoor projects
-garden planning
-Hot drinks after playing in the snow outside!
-Organizing our house with my housemate Jess!
"THINK".  Soon it will be spring again! 
It doesn't look like this outside now!
Here in Minnesota, it's been a beautifully snowy white February,
lit with golden sunshine and blue skies.
Willem is exploding with language!  New words every day!  Today I discovered he can identify all the major body parts of our rabbits.

Friday, February 22, 2013

I'm reading

Family adventure day at Bull Run Coffee; the young artist.
I'm reading a critical study of Oscar Wilde by Arthur Ransome:
"The artist himself, for all his gift of tongues, is not blinded by the descending light to the plastic qualities of the existence that fires his words and is itself intensified by his speech.  He, too, moves in walled town or on the green earth, and has a little time in which to build two memories, one for his fellows, and another, a secret diary, to carry with him when he dies."
We are enjoying Willem sooo much!
 "No man's life was crossed by Wilde's without experiencing a change.  Men lived more vividly in his presence, and talked better than themselves.  No common man lives and dies without altering, to some extent, the life about him and so the history of the world.  How much wider is their influence who live their lives like flames, hurrying to death through their own enjoyment and expenditure alike of their bodies and their brains."

Hoping to make more candles before Easter
"His personality was stronger than his will."  This describes me these days.  I'm leaning into Lent.
We've been playing a lot of Monopoly.  Sometimes it's rough.
Need a friend?  Willem is available for talking.

Friday, February 15, 2013

February Happiness

 William is hardcore into books these days.  He can recite much of the thunderous "Hand Hand Fingers Thumb", which I'll bet you can too, if you have it at your house?
We were at the art museum today, and William was ecstatic and very loud in identifying everything he had a word for in all the artwork.  He saw Zeus rather fiercely turning Periphas into an eagle, and gleefully dubbed Periphas, "Duck!"  He was likewise enchanted with nursing Madonnas, singing "Baby!" and "Nonnies!"  Okay, all breasts got happy identifications.  There sure are a lot of them at the MIA!
 The sunlight is so much brighter in February.  We are heavily encrusted in snow and ice but the days are distinctly longer.  The light is so yellow!  The skies are so blue!
 My dear Grandparents, Loretta and Bob.   I pretty much love every picture of them, because I love them so much!
 A little neighborhood character.  I'm sorry the digits are faded away so we're no help if you want to buy horses.  It's been so much fun watching Paul go through the whole process of putting together another show, funded by a grant for neighborhood artists.  His show documents our changing neighborhood as a light rail line is constructed down our University Avenue.
The darkroom has been bumping!  I got to help him install the show, and everything looks great.  You can see it and pick up a fresh donut at Suga Rush bakery through February!
Or wonderful new housemate, Jess, has been helping me revamp the whole house!  I would say this picture is indicative of the general "before" state of things: cluttered, untidy,  generally askew, sunny, bursting at the seams with projects, and gloriously chaotic!
I've been working so long trying to fight back this chaos with limited success--I really needed outside help.  Hopefully by Easter we'll have some gloriously harmonious after photos!  We've finished the basement, pantry, and kitchen in just a few short work days!