Thursday, June 28, 2012

the right kind of days

"Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.  A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world."
 -A.L. Huxtable

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Art Room Diaries: End of the Year Edition

just finished posting the last projects of the year from my middle and high school art classes...

(and hey, I guess I officially survived my first year as a full-time Mama, part-time art teacher! Huzzah!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sea Kettle Photos: The Johnsons

A couple of weeks ago I did a photo shoot for some new parents and their adorable little baby boy, Owen (love that name!).  Despite the fact that it was supposed to be thunder-storming, we ended up being blessed with a beautiful afternoon, amazing early evening light and quite a cooperative little baby. It's always a privilege to photograph these precious first-days-of-life moments.  Welcome to the world, Owen!

Monday, June 25, 2012

His bounty for my need

What mercy was revealed
What selflessness and peace
My fate was surely sealed
Until He rescued me
His pardon for my sin
His bounty for my need
From slavery and shame
I am redeemed

Thankful this week, for

- my bestest of friends, Ariel (happy birthday!!!)(and her perfect ultrasound and already adorable baby!)
- Thessalonians study with my small group
- breakfast dates
- reconciliation
- time to paint
- Ben and Jerrys
- Brian's voice
- a day full of birthday celebrations
- seeing old and precious friends
- date at "The Great Escape" and Appleton Farms
- summer afternoon naps
- our AC havens
- our 3rd church service, another great challenge to be hospitable
- a summer get-away invite from Mom and Dad J., a couple days away
- the perfect summer night at the Willows with the Bornes, and Elliot's sweet smiles
- a spontaneous escape to Winnepausakee; long heart to hearts in the car, the cool northern breeze, warm water, Levi's first swim and his very own boat, sandcastles, hotdogs and s'mores, a blissfully slow and relaxing day on the lake... 
(can you believe this is what we were doing this time last year??)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

this and that

Just a little bit of this and a little bit of that...

- I got me-self a haircut. I haven't been near a hair salon since I was about 7 months pregnant, so it was kind of a big deal. I think I shed about 5 pounds and I feel light and free and awesome. And NO I do not consider it a "mom-cut". :P 

- since we didn't have any snow days this year, Brian got out of school earlier than usual so he has a couple of weeks off before his summer job begins. We're milking this for all its worth. We're doing projects, making music and art, hanging out with friends and family, lovin' on our baby, going on a few day trips and spending as much time outside as possible. This is definitely one of the many perks of being a teacher and being married to a teacher. Summers rock our world.  

- Also, fortunately for us, our school-year babysitters don't want to give up their time with Levi just because it's summertime, so the Mr. and I have been having some fun dates at various times throughout the week. It's amazing what sorts of fun you can come up with from 9-11 on a weekday morning. 

- Funny story - On one of these morning dates, we went on a walk at a nearby farm/nature reservation. Brian saw an electric fence and decided that he really wanted to know how it felt to touch it. I tried to reason with him, really I did. You can guess what happened next. Luckily for you all, I photographed the whole thing. Lets just say that I wouldn't recommend it. Apparently it REALLY hurts. (silly city boy!) Oh and then we almost got attacked by two little blue birds. No really, they were trying to dive bomb us and we had to run for our lives so we wouldn't get our eyes plucked out. Just another relaxing morning at the farm...

- I've recently realized that all drinks taste better when consumed with a straw. Try it. 

- the other day we were walking around the neighborhood and we heard what sounded like a live jazz band. We followed the sound and soon spotted a station wagon full of young men driving around with their windows rolled down, playing a bunch of brass instruments loudly and with much enthusiasm. Made me proud to be a Salem-ite. That sort of awesomeness doesn't just happen anywhere.

- Ok confessions time. You'd think I'd be more on top of my chores, to-do list, blogging since I'm off of work. But no. Laundry is piled high on every surface of my bedroom, dishes are piled high in the sink, don't even get my started on my poor little craft room. I can't even walk in there. Usually have a week's worth of blog posts in draft form if not ready and scheduled. Nope, flying by the seat of my pants these days. Don't get too worried if I don't have a post up at the usual time. I'm probably not dead...just too busy enjoying summer. 

- I am loving our new church. I don't mean just Sundays (although the services have been great, too), but really just THE CHURCH. the people, you know. I've hung out with people from Highrock almost everyday this week.  I love that they love to be together and share life more than just on Sundays. It's really wonderful to to feel loved, encouraged and supported all week long from your brothers and sisters in Christ. That's the way it should be, no?

- Brian went to a co-worker's retirement party the other day. They had a list of quotes from the retiree, the best of which was this: "Blogs are like arm-pits. Everyone has them and they all stink". For some reason I thought that was very funny. 

Levi kind of walked yesterday. (!!) He was lightly holding onto Brian's pinky, but it was so.darn.close. I am so not ready for this!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

scribbly arty cupcakes

A few weeks ago I went to a birthday party for one of my first graders.  Art is her very favorite thing so she had an art-themed birthday party. I was quite honored to be invited AND to be asked to sit right next to the birthday girl during the party. :)

I was inspired by the art-themed cupcakes her Mom made for dessert. I thought they were pretty awesome, so I attempted to recreate them to bring to my last art classes of the year. 

After making and frosting my cupcakes, I melted 3 different colors of melting chocolate.  One by one, I filled a plastic zip-lock bag with each color and cut a VERY small hole in the corner.  Then I just squeezed the chocolate onto tin foil, trying to create a scribbly/painty look.  I layered each color until I was satisfied with the "composition". After letting them cool and harden, I stuck them into the frosting.  

I thought they were students didn't seem that impressed. They were more interested in just downing all that sugar. I guess I need to teach them more about the value of abstract melted chocolate art. haha

Monday, June 18, 2012

He's always been faithful to me

Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God's hand in mine. 
Season by season I watch him amazed, 
in awe of the mystery of his perfect ways.
 All I have need of his hand will provide. 
He's always been faithful to me. 
-S. Groves

- His faithfulness and provision
- summer break!!
- all the awesome dads in my life, my dad, my grandpa, my father-in-law, my husband (special lunches and dinners to celebrate)
- some successful father's day projects (getting them done in time!)
- Levi's love for peek-a-boo
- 5 more Beatrix Potter books for our collection from Great-Grandma
- dinner with Mom and Levi, Henry's chicken salad
- end of the school year projects, hugs, notes, kind words
- meeting Andrew on the commons, and his joy in holding Levi (and the joy the comes from sharing my son)
- a great church launch team meeting, an opportunity to love "the point"
- running into my BFF at the coffee shop (living in the same neighborhood!)...and enjoying Beverly Arts Fest together
- my boys

Thursday, June 14, 2012

art show math

a once drab room filled with color
+ Bach's cello suites playing sweetly in the background
+ beautiful and thoughtfully created artwork
+ lots of proud kids
+ lots of proud parents
+ lots of "oooohs!" and "aaaahs!"
+ my 'lil side kick being so darn sweet and well behaved during the whole thing...

= an awesome art show 
(and an awfully proud art teacher)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Art Show Day!

This morning I'm donning my very favorite art teacher outfit (soft and comfy red polka dot dress, a homemade chunky beaded necklace and my black big-flower flats) to go and host my elementary students' end-of-the-year art show. This small private school has never really had an art show before, so we're all pretty excited.

Yesterday I was able to spend almost the entire day setting up the show. I must give a special shout-out to Levi's Nana, Grandpa and Grand-Nana for entertaining the baby all day, to my Mom for helping me with hanging, to Brian for spending the evening putting tape and push-pins in places I just couldn't reach, and to Levi for being so sweet and patient with his art show crazed Mama. 

Even though it's a heck of a lot of work to make it happen, I love putting on a good art show. It's so rewarding to see all of the kid's projects together and seeing their faces when they show off their beautiful work to their parents and loved ones. One of the best parts of the job, for sure. 

Stay tuned for more on the show tomorrow.

Have a lovely day, friends!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

with the extras... (simple flower hair accessory)

With extra flowers from Katie's bachelorette sash and extra combs from her bridal shower fascinator, Kimmie and I made these little hair accessories in hopes of matching our sister for the par-tay. They turned out pretty cute, but unfortunately in all the excitement we totally forgot to wear them that night! Oh well...they've been fun to wear ever since.

Here's how we made 'em:

1. Cut different sized circles out of fabric (we used cotton gauze). I used about 3 circles per flower. 
2. Layer them biggest to smallest and tack them together with a needle and thread with a bead or two for the centers. As I was sewing it, I tried to stitch an uneven circle and then I pulled the thread tight in order to scrunch it together a bit and make it look more full (if that makes any sense...)
3. Hot glue to a hair comb. We attached one large flower and one small flower. I'd add another smallish flower if I did it again as I'm usually a fan of doing things in 3's.

Just think, you could make this nifty little hair comb match anything by switching up the fabrics and beads... 

Monday, June 11, 2012

perfectly fitted

My yoke is easy, my burden is light...
And it is perfectly fitted
to your curves.

- "Perfectly Fitted" by Waterdeep (and Matthew 11:28-30)


- a group hug from my 2nd and 3rd graders
- a fun photo shoot (especially that the rain held out!) with a tiny newborn and 2 adoring parents
- those finish-each-others-sentences and we-know-exactly-what-each-other-is-thinking-before-they-say-it days.
- Levi meeting hand-elmo (and Papa's plausible second career as an elmo impersonator)
- a trip to the pet store, just to hear Levi's excited "dog!" and "woof!".
- a beautiful sunny saturday after a week of rain
- so many new birds at the feeder, especially the shy blue jay and the mama and papa cardinal
- getting much needed errands done, quickly and without pain
- successful Highrock North Shore service #2, walking to church with my BFF, heartfelt music, a challenge to be hospitable
- our lunch visit to Brian's school, especially Levi's parade through the cafeteria
- spending Sunday at the Willows with some of my absolute favorites...
 (photos taken with the dreamy diana)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

then comes...

Almost 2 years ago, I photographed this beautiful summer wedding. 

You know what they say - 

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes....

Congratulations Tyler and Annie!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

photo bookmarks

This past weekend we celebrated my father-in-law and brother-in-law's birthdays. I wanted Levi to be able to give them each a special gift, so we whipped up some way-cute photo bookmarks for the birthday boys. (inspired by this post) 

I think these are pretty self explanatory, but here's what I did: 

1. Take photo, with an arm (or two) pretending to hold onto something above the head. 
2. Print photo and cut closely around the photo. 
3. Glue onto card stock and cut around leaving a small border.
4. Laminate and cut out leaving another small border. 
5. Punch a hole near where the hand(s) is.
6. Add a tassel or yarn.

Just in case you were wondering how we got Levi to hold up his arm like that...Brian held out a plastic cooking utensil for him to hold onto (his current toy of choice) while I shot a bunch of photos. I was thinking that these would be even more fun to do with an older child, as you could probably get them to do some funny poses and facial expressions. I just took what I could get!

Monday, June 4, 2012

one thing more

Thou who has given so much to me, give one thing more: a grateful heart.
-George Herbert

- home video nights
- a cozy rainy weekend. water for the garden
- Friday morning. breakfast encouragement with Julie and a beautiful walk with Kirsten, Colleen and boys. the MOST perfect spring weather
- Kimmie's "habibi" here for a visit
- our ladies group and digging into Thessalonians
- right before bed reading, nursing and happy snuggles
- my students, even with their summer restlessness 
- Levi with his pots and pans and cooking utensils
- my new coffee table, made by Jonny
- pb + j (in butterfly form)
- almost beating Nana at WWF
- the bride and groom back home
- almost daily walks to the playground
- enjoying Winter Island with the Bjorks and Levi's tunnel excitement