Thursday, May 31, 2012

Art 101, Lesson 1 with Gabrielle

 I have mentioned probably a hundred times on this blog before - Gabrielle LOVES art! I tried to find an art class for her to take this summer but unfortunately all of the classes offered within close proximity required that she currently be in kindergarten or completed kindergarten. I decided we would do "homeschool summer art classes" instead.

After researching various homeschool blogs I found a couple of different books to check out. But before I had the chance to find the books Ed brought home from work a video that is just perfect. For those of you readers who may not know, Ed and I both work for an art supply company, Jerry's Artarama .Yes, very convenient. (That is actually how we met.) The company sells tons of various art videos including a series for students of each grade level. We are obviously starting with the kindergarten one. Gabrielle and I watched a few of the lessons and she was immediately excited about the projects.

You can find more information about this series at . It is an awesome program I would highly recommend to homeschoolers and public school families as well!

Today Samantha is at PMO. I thought the Thursday mornings she is there would be a good time for Gabrielle and I to do some of the lessons. There will probably be some lessons that Samantha can do as well, with a little more help from me. I also wanted some one on one fun, special time with Gabrielle though before she starts kindergarten in the fall.

Lesson 1, Color Mixing Handprints, Gabrielle learned about primary and secondary colors. After tracing her own hands, she filled them in with primary colors. For the background she chose two primary colors to mix together - yellow + blue = green.

The finished product...

She is eager to start lesson two!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

We have indeed had the very relaxing chilled out day I had hoped for! All three of us girls slept in past 9:00 today. After breakfast and a quick straightening up around the house, starting a load of laundry, unloading and reloading the dishwasher, we got our bathing suits and sunscreen on and headed to the backyard.

I set up the little plastic pool, the water table and the new splash pad  I bought weeks ago. The girls were so excited to get outside and to get wet. I was able to sit in my camp chair and read a couple of cooking magazines between cooling off in the water with the girls. We ate popsicles and just had an all around good time today. It was nice. Real nice. I hope we have more days like today this summer.

We came inside just early enough for me to get our traditional Memorial Day dinner started - hamburgers and hotdogs of course. And what better way to end Memorial Day than watermelon for dessert on the deck.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Our Little Stars

Memorial Day Graphics 

I'm back! It has been 51 days since my last post for those of you keeping track. I did not go back to confirm but I'm pretty sure this has been my longest break between posts since I created this blog 2 years, 10 months and 18 days ago. I wonder if anyone other than my loyal mom even occasionally checks back here, hoping for new photos or some sort of update? I did not lose the desire to blog but I guess somewhere along the way I lost the motivation, the drive or maybe the inspiration to make the time to blog. I was starting to really miss it though so here I am, giving it another try, hoping this time to keep the motivation. 

In case you were wondering what I have been up to the past 51 days and what my family has been up to, I will sum it up as briefly as possible in this incredibly long run-on sentence. Easter egg hunts, April friends and family birthday celebrations, spring break, working, Samantha's 3rd birthday, more friends and family birthday celebrations, end of school year activities (family picnic at the park, parent appreciation day, school art show), Mother's day, church activities, Bible study, a major purging of stuff from the house, reorganization of rooms and closets, light spring cleaning, kindergarten open house and more work.There may have been a few more things in there but that's the gist of it.

As for many people, Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer for us. We have spent our Memorial Day weekends the same way for three years now - dance recitals! Ever since Gabrielle started ballet three years ago we have had a dance recital to attend on the Saturday of Memorial weekend. This year we had two recitals to attend with this being Samantha's first year of ballet. And I suppose as long as at least one of our girls remain interested in dancing and we remain at our current dance studio, our Memorial weekends will continue to be spent this way. Knowing my girls and their love for dance and considering the fact that I absolutely love, love, love our dance studio and the teachers there, it is a safe bet we'll be attending Memorial weekend dance recitals for many years to come.

Neither Ed or I really mind spending our Memorial weekend this way though. Even though I am from the beach, we have never spent the weekend back visiting the beach. Since it is not a 3-day weekend for us, I would much rather save our beach trips for less crowded times.

We could not be any prouder of our little stars. Samantha's recital was in the morning. She, along with her four ballet friends, all did so great and could not have been any cuter up there on stage, dancing to "Winnie the Pooh" with their teddy bears in matching tutus. Samantha smiled and followed along to all the steps like a pro. I still have not figured out where the girls got their performance genes from because I still am terrified of being in front of any size audience. But Samantha was not nervous at all and she danced her little heart out. Her performance was the fifth one of the morning show and we stayed until intermission. During intermission we had the luxury of going home to get a good lunch and some down time before returning later in the afternoon for Gabrielle's recital time. 

Gabrielle really did shine on stage this year. She has never been nervous but this year I'm sure the whole audience could tell she was enjoying herself up on stage! This was her first year taking tap as well as ballet so she had two performances. First was tap, maybe her favorite this year because there was noise involved as well as a good bit of hip shaking. In between her two performances it was all we could do to contain her dancing to her seat and the outside aisle. She loves watching and imitating all of the other dancers, especially the older girls. Apparently the expressive way in which the older girls dance inspired Gabrielle for her ballet routine. While she kept with the routine - for the most part anyway - she certainly put her own little expression and twist on the moves. Even her teacher after the recital commented on it. "Did you see your daughter during the ballet? She was really feeling it! I love it!" Oh yes, I saw her and how it made me smile and chuckle! We most certainly have a performer on our hands. (And judging by her behavior ever since the recital most likely a little diva as well.)

It has been a great weekend. My mom was able to make a short visit to see the girls perform and Ed's dad made a long day trip as well. We know we are so incredibly blessed that our girls have grandparents who are so supportive of their activities and love being so involved in their lives.

The recitals this weekend marked the end of our regular ongoing school year activities. No more school, no more church choir, no more dance classes for the next three months. Our summer can officially begin. Soon the girls' summer camps will begin as well as our VBS, immediately followed by a trip to my mom's for her church's VBS. June will be busy! This week our only plans are to have some downtime at home having fun. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can get outside tomorrow to play in the water in some way, eat popsicles, and simply have some fun, relaxed chill time.