Friday, February 28, 2014

book basket bed

(posted this over on instagram this week, but couldn't help posting over here, too.. this is how we found he had fallen asleep the other night - crammed in his book basket, surrounded by his nightly reading regimen.)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

thankful (a little late)

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:18

Thankful for- 

- a week of February vacation, lots of fun, family time and relaxation
- 7 (!!) little lent paintings, finished 
- a lovely and relaxing valentine's and my one and only and very beloved valentine
- Levi's love of hide and seek
- a reunion with an old friend
- surprise snow days
- an impromptu toddler Valentine party
- favorable tax returns
- a date with Lianna; good chats, lattes and a shared s'more crepe
- sister texts with WAY too many emojis
- Levi's idea to make a paper city, after seeing one at the art museum
- nursery duty with good friends and adorable babies
- a husband who cares about my creative work and gives me the ability to take time to paint
- ArtSpeak plans coming together, my painting going well and almost done
- this reminder (thanks, Jeniel!)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

a warm and green outing (and some family/maternity photos)

Not sure if I've ever mentioned this here on the blog, but Brian and I lived and taught in downtown Detroit for a year (long story!). One of our favorite memories of our time there was spending time in a big, beautiful and free botanical garden on Belle Isle, which just so happened to be right across the street from us. Our winter in Detroit was a long one for many reasons and it was so nice to be able to go and hang out in a warm place full of tropical plants and flowers whenever we wanted to. Honestly, it did wonders to warm both our bodies and our spirits. 

When I was thinking about activities for this vacation week, one of my biggest goals was to find some lovely warm place like that to spend a little beat some of my winter blues and remind me that spring is indeed on it's way. After a bit of research, I found out that Wellesley College (about an hour away) has quite a large collection of greenhouses/botanical gardens that are free and open to the public. cha-ching!

We invited Brian's brothers and my sister-in-law to join us for the adventure.  We also decided to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings, to take a few maternity/family photos. My sister-in-law, Rachel, brought her camera and managed to get some great shots, despite the antics of an over-tired toddler who wasn't as interested in taking family photos so much as running around the greenhouses like a crazy little imp child. :)

(people-less photos by me, family photos by Rachel James)

Friday, February 14, 2014

on valentines: the brightest kind of flame

(linocut print, given to Brian for Valentine's Day a few years ago)

Place me like a seal over your heart,
    like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
    its jealousy as enduring as the grave.
Love flashes like fire,
    the brightest kind of flame.

Many waters cannot quench love,

    nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
    with all his wealth,
    his offer would be utterly scorned.

Songs of Songs 8:6-7

Monday, February 10, 2014

for those common things

For life and health, those common things,
Which every day and hour brings,
For home, where our affection clings,
We thank Thee, Lord.
- A. Hutchinson

Thankful, for...

- life, health and home
- a coffee date in the big city with my Yemen twin
- Levi's love for "nose fights" (most of us call them "eskimo kisses")
- body pillows, heating pads and leg rubs
- collage painting with church kids
- a long and long overdue date night with my beloved in Salem and Boston and knowing Levi is having a blast with Grammy and Grampy
- my boys and their marathon reading sessions
- a night spent cuddling with baby Tessa
- valentine mail from Kimmie
- 3 of 7 lent paintings done
- a fantastic morning of painting and fellowship with church artist friends
- my student's excitement for paper marbelizing and mask making
- February vacation next week
- my loving and affectionate little buddy

Friday, February 7, 2014

a snow day and some snow cream

On Wednesday we had the loveliest of snow days.  Brian (who is usually so cautious about getting too excited about snow days) was so sure school was going to get called off, he brought home cinnamon rolls the day before and told Levi we were going to bake them for our snow day breakfast. We slept in, oohed and aahhhed at the pretty snow, stayed in our jammies, ate freshly baked cinnamon rolls, snuggled, read lots of books, made a snow turtle and snow cave and cooked yummy meals. After Levi's quiet time (which ended up being a nap..woohoo!), I promised him we'd make ice cream out of snow.  Anything snow, cooking or sugar related is quite exciting to him, so it was a huge success.  Believe me, that last funny-faced picture is actually utter happiness. :)

(We mixed 4 cups of snow with 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 cup of milk, then we poured a little maple syrup on top..mmm!)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

these days...

these days, I'm - 

feeling a bit achy and cumbersome
- rarely without my knitting/crocheting 
- sketching for new art for Lent and ArtSpeak
- plugging through a to-do list a mile long
- amazed at my son's humor, curiosity and vocabulary
- enjoying a snow turtle and snow cave made by my boys on the patio 
- working on tax returns and hoping they are kind to us this year
- scrambling to finish all the projects I want to do with my students before baby time
- excited about my valentine's gift to Bri
- listening to All Sons and Daughters on repeat
- thankful that I get to live with, love on and be loved by my best friend and looking forward to a long overdue date on Friday
- beginning to think more about Levi's education and starting a bit of preschool-y stuff (probably using some "Brightly Beaming Resources" and some God's Little Explorers
- reeling at how soon I'm going to have a daughter in my arms
- pining for spring

Monday, February 3, 2014

let me be singing

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning,
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes
-M. Redman

Thankful, for - 

- new days dawning, a new month
- a sneak peek morning at the Children's Piazza and a very happy little boy
- "Winter Evening" at New Hope; beautiful music, talented students, hilarious skits, good company, prayers sung in Latin
- a last minute yet surprisingly successful day at work with Levi
- inbetween times to knit and sketch
- Dmitri purring quietly next to me while I blog
- playgroup mornings
- Levi's love for his new pots and pans
- a last minute trip to Arlington; coffee date with Rachel
- 4th/5th grade Winslow Homer inspired paintings that I thought were going to fail miserably, but came together so beautifully!
- my little comedian
- baby girl's pokes and jabs
- a full and bustling Chinese New Year's dinner at church
- Monday night dinners with my parents while Brian's at class
- art supply shopping and coffee break with a friend
- a warmish start to February
morning cuddles with this guy, especially on our days off and there's no hurry to go anywhere in particular...