Feb 20, 2012

Exodus saved the day.

The second graders have been studying Ancient Egypt.  They went to an Egyptian Bazaar dressed in costume and traded their art.  They constructed pyramids and sampled foods from Egypt.  I remembered that Finn needed a costume at 11:00 the night before.  I quickly made a drawstring tunic and painted glitter onto a t-shirt for a jeweled neck collar.  He tried on the costume in the morning and said, "It's great, Mom.  But.... I guess I am a slave AND a king.  The slaves wore tunics and the pharaohs wore jewels."

I gulped at my mistake.  And then played on my own Ancient Egypt knowledge that I had just read for my One Year Plan.  "Why yes, Finn, that is what I meant to do.  You're Joseph.  You are loved by the Pharaoh but you still haven't forgotten your father and brothers in Canaan.  You're an Israelite that was embalmed in Egypt.  Or maybe you're Moses.  Your mother placed you in a basket in the Nile River and you were saved by the Pharaoh's daughter.Your people are slaves but God has chosen you to lead them out of slavery in Egypt by way of the Red Sea."
It worked.  He headed off to school, owning the look. 
I was so proud of my little Israelite.

Homework, February 14, Drawing Near by J Mac

 We go into the artist's studio and find there are unfinished pictures covering large canvas, and suggesting great designs, but which have been left, either because the genius was not competent to complete the work, or because paralysis laid the hand low in death; but as we go into God's great workshop we find nothing that bears the haste or insufficiency of power to finish, and we are sure that the work which His grace has begun, the arm of His strength will complete.  
F.B. Meyer, The Epistle to the Phillipians.

I am not sure when I began to love art studios.  It's just always been that way.  Perhaps it was in elementary, Mrs. Snoke told me that she was certain that I would be a quilt designer.  The middle school art room smelled like paint thinner and clay.  I loved the stacks of paint brushes, spattered counters, and print blocks.  My high school art teacher was my hero.  She had just graduated from art school in Cincinnati.  She had red flamboyant hair and jangly earrings.  She let us go into the clay room and dip our arms into the clay slip.  I visited the Brandywine River Museum with my aunt and I can still remember walking into N.C. Wyeth's art studio.  It had huge windows that let the sun shine through beams onto the wood floors.  You could see unfinished work and worn paintbrushes.  I pretended that I lived there.  I search for "art studio" in Pinterest and gaze at the messy rooms where art is born.  I do not paint, I do not sculpt, I do not even love art in the sense that I find beauty in the strokes.  It's the rooms.  It's pretending I am an artist.  It's the smell.  It's the beauty of unfinished work.

I love the promise of God perfecting my good works in Philippians 1:6.  He will finish what he has begun in me.  He's swirling the paint, smoothing the clay, and tying His spattered smock.  I am looking forward to that glorious day of Christ when we are covered up by His grace and allowed to enter His empty workshop.  

Empty, because His work is complete.

(This picture links to an artist that sells on Etsy.  Her studio sets empty, not because she is uninspired, but because she has leukemia.  She is still sketching her designs while sitting at the hospital hooked up to her chemotherapy IV poles.)

The day for happy hearts.

 We made a deal.  No gifts.  No cards.  No flowers.  I smiled proudly at him... AS IF I really need something to know I am loved.  I went shopping for school parties on Monday night and laughed at the last minute spouses clustered in the card aisles.

I worked on my Pinterest inspired heart sweater.  I passed out sprinkles and whipped topping for ice cream sundaes in Finn's class while they opened their cards to each other.

 I giggled at the carving on the girl's bathroom door at the elementary.

I got home in the evening to see the homemade card for Drew from his friend that's a girl. 
The boy's ripped open their cards from Gram and began to plan how they would spend 5 BUCKS!

And then I turned to Nate with empty hands.  
Nothing for me, nothing for him.  
I love him, he loves me.  
No hard feelings.

But empty.  

Next year, I'm going all out.  

syrupy drippy hand written front and back hard to read cursive writing red sharpie pink construction paper lace glitter and glue

I forgot that even if I don't need any confirmation... Nate does. Because I saw the need for it through the sparkle in Drew and Finn's eyes and flushed cheeks when they opened their Valentine cards. 

I forgot that in the shell of sarcasm, witty comebacks, and business there is a boy who loves to open up a letter from his Valentine.

Feb 10, 2012

Seriously stinky.

 Driving down the road, you get a whiff of sulfur.  You think uh-oh.  Someone hit a skunk.  When you get a little closer, the smell fills your car and the kids notice.  It's not a gag-me-I'm gonna-throw-up smell but it is noticeable.  If your dog gets sprayed, you smell him coming up the driveway.  It smells like burnt rubber and takes a few days to wear off.  If Drew and Finn get sprayed getting the skunk out of trap, it smells the entire house.  The clothes get washed immediately, the baths get started, and we burn candles in the house.  The teacher MIGHT call laughing and gently suggest a different pair of shoes the next day.

 BUT.  If Drew pops the gland into a Ziploc bag to sell the scent, it is indescribable.  Like an eye watering, nose burning, jam your face in your scarf, dry heaving, tastebud paralyzing, tomato juice soaking, appetite sucking horrible HORRIBLE stench that fills the entire house and heating system.  Awful.  AWful. 

 One place online says you can sell it for $20 an ounce.  So. Not. Worth. It.

Feb 8, 2012

Just tell me the first word...

Those Awana verses keep getting longer.  Finn has four biggies this week and apparently they are easier to learn when you are upside down in your chair flopping your feet all over my living room furniture.  Because that is what he does when he is studying them.  I am just two verses in to the Sermon on the Mount, inspired by A Holy Experience.  She has memory verse cards all formatted and typed with a cute font and all I had to do is print them out and cut apart.

DIY Tips:

1.  Use a version that you can understand.  I am old school and when I am being serious, I yank out my KJV and look over my rims at you and forget to smile.  We memorized Psalm One for bible class and I learned it from King James... I can quote it but I have no idea what I am really saying.  In this case, I used what Ann V. had printed out...ESV.

2.  Use an accountability partner.  The cards have a place to sign when I quote the verse.  I make a big deal out of having the boys sign my card.  Finn, my office manager in training, practically pulls out a notary.

3.  Record yourself saying the verse.  Then you can scrutinize it over and over.  I sound exactly like my twin cousins when I talk... it's so weird.  What accent am I speaking in?  I hear twang!  After you've watched it thirteen times and picked yourself apart, you KNOW the verses.  Have you seen the Talking Tom app?  Finn records his verse and then dies laughing.  Funny and entertaining while learning scripture.  Win/Win.

4.  Ease up.  It's not for a grade.  It's not for a big reward in heaven.  It's not to be the smartest in bible study knowing book, verse, version, and page number.  For me, it is about filling my head with Jesus instead of  I'm Sexy and I Know It lyrics.  I say it washing dishes.  I say it when I begin to get irritated.  I say it when the house is quiet.  Or noisy.  I say it when I am tempted to call a friend and share the latest gossip.

Sew blessed.

 26 women and children.
 17 machines, sewing baskets, scissors, and cords.
 7 door prizes.
 4 tables.
1 purpose.

"...this is a time of  fellowship, that we are blessed to enjoy. May we encourage one another in the Lord and build Godly relationships. Let's use the things we learn to make, to bless our families and friends, and to reach out to the community with the love of Christ."  From Cindy Brooks, instructor.

For more info, check Twin Oaks calendar or email me at jonib98@aim.com.

{Pillow picture credit... Radiance from Ruins on Etsy}