Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Creative Challenge Just For Me: Get Your Paint On!

I did it. 

I've been looking at this class for a while.

I really wanted to do something for me.

But who has the time?

But this morning, just now, I registered!!


As a teacher, I am committed to keeping up with what is going on in the art industry and this course just seemed to have all that in one.

So get ready!

I'm gonna do some painting!!

I hope it's as fun as it looks :)

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Strange Night and Post-Infectious Bronchitis

Have you ever had a completely sleepless night, total insomnia or some reason your brain wouldn't stop and you never went to sleep even though you were in bed from 9pm to 5am?

Well, I did Wednesday night.  It was nuts.

It's been a hard week and teachers everywhere are facing the daunting reality that teaching as we know it is changing because of careless politicians.  Many, many teachers are losing jobs and districts are facing tough choices.  It is really sad.  Because the reality for us it that when we strip down our schools to the bare bones we are short-changing our kids. I am truly worried that unless something dramatic changes and funding returns to education in the state budget, that we will lose a generation of tomorrow's leaders.

So needless to say, there is a little stress.

But not going to sleep? That's crazy.  While I do mull each day in my mind at night and plan the next day, I still go to sleep at a decent hour.

But not Wednesday night.

So as I lay in the bed I sang praise and worship songs in my head.  I've always been one that can actually hear the music in my head ( I already know I'm on the crazy side of crazy..) so at least I was entertained. :)

Then about 1:30 am my heart started burning like it was on fire and God told me to immediately pray for my sister, her husband and their daughter. It was like when Samuel heard God in 1Samuel 3.  No, I did not hear an audible voice, but God directly spoke into my heart and told me exactly what to say. I did a virtual prayer walk around her house. It was incredible.  I wanted to call my sister, but I didn't want to scare her at 2am!  So I texted her and told her what was going on.  I asked God that please, please, if something was wrong for Him to use the ping of my text to wake her up.  She didn't text back, so I went back to bed.

I thought hey, awesome.  I felt so privileged that God would use me this way and thanked Him for not allowing me to sleep.  (thinking that I would be going to sleep now!!)

But nope.  My chest heart.  My heart felt to big for my ribcage and my pulse was high. 

Finally at 5am I got up and got ready for the day.

Thankfully I had an awesome workshop presenter (Jill) lined up for my classes from Texas Pottery and all was ready.  An interesting side note here.  When we scheduled her workshop, it was originally scheduled for another day.  Isn't it incredible how things work out?

When I heard from my sister later in the day, she said that she hadn't slept well, but that all was okay.

I made it through the day amazingly well.  I still felt icky, but God had gave me amazing energy. We have an after hours clinic that is open late, so I went in and found out that my bronchitis from a couple of weeks ago hasn't cleared up yet.  The infection is gone, but the inflammation is still there.  So all my crazy symptoms that I have been having make sense now.  I'd never heard of Post-Infectious Bronchitis.  Hopefully with meds and a little rest, I'll be well soon!

Finishing off my crazy day, I finally went to sleep a little after 10pm and never moved until 5:30am this morning.

And there you have it.  Sorry for such a long tale, but it is really quite abbreviated.  You know, there are a lot of hours in the night when you are not sleeping!

And just a side note about praying or singing  "Fill me Holy Spirit. Speak to me.  Use me."  These are not idle words or a time filler.  They are a wonderful invitation to the Father to join Him on an adventure. I pray that you will join Him on an adventure soon!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Little Kindergarten Creativity

I read a post on Mother Load tonight asking for a little creativity help...
so I thought I'd see what my kindergartner and I could do in a few minutes.

Here is what we came up with. 
Yes, it is my go to these days for cheap and easy entertainment.

Yes, you can make them really cool and intricate and gorgeous.
Or, you can get kids started on the project and then have peace in your car/house for a good 30 minutes!

That folks is ART in my book.

Here is what we did.  I took a piece of regular copy paper and tore it into four pieces.  Then I followed the basic guidelines for a beginner Zentangle and we put a dot in each corner and connected the dots.  I love showing this step from the book because you can see that the lines don't have to be perfect!

Lexi kept commenting about what if she messed up.  I love telling her that it's her piece and as long as she likes it, that's all that matters.  The lines don't have to be even and you can color over something and that's okay too.

So after she did the Z step, she decided to write her name in the top section.  I was thinking we would only do her initial, but apparently they have been practicing writing their WHOLE names and so that's what we did! 
The next section went great.  She made half circles all around the page with her pencil and then colored in the dead space in the center with pink.  This pattern went really fast and I thought we had it made!
But then we got to the coloring in section.  She liked doing the little circle things and the dots, and had decided to color in the middle with purple when we hit a wall.  Her hand got tired.  We were about 15 minutes in and she was coloring and decided that this might be too hard. 

So we stopped and went to the last section.  A smaller section.  For this one she chose the little four line design.  Yeah, an easy one.  Her class is really working on patterns right now and this four lines drawn horizontally and then four lines vertically again and again were right up her alley!

After she finished, she went back and finished the purple coloring in and we shot a picture and done!

The whole project took less than 30 minutes and she really enjoyed it.  Granted, this was not new to her, but she had never completed a "project" before.

So here are my two cents for anyone that needs are really cheap and easy project for 6 year olds..
  1. Pre-cut paper into a smallish size.
  2. Practice this yourself first so that you can explain the steps.
  3. Buy the book or print out samples from Zentangle so that each group of students can see examples of the various designs.
  4. Decide beforehand if you want these in one color, multiple colors or if you just want to use pencils.  Don't decide on the fly.. you won't have everything you need and someone will cry!
  5. If a section gets tough, it's too tedious or you just get stuck, move on and come back later.  Or draw a line across it and break it up.
  6. Keep the sections that you want almost completely colored in to a minimum and make those the small sections!\

So good luck and have fun! And thanks Lexi for being my star pupil!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Girl Without Words Leaves A Lasting Legacy

My heart aches.

I will miss her smile.

I will miss how she challenged me with her eyes to find a way to include her in activities.

Not just meaningless, you sit here and look pretty stuff, but actively engaged in lessons.

And because she trusted me, I worked harder and found new ways to do things.

Together, with the help of Ms. V, her companion, we created art.

We used sticks and tape and a little bit of everything

and once, I even poured paint on the floor and she used her wheels for printmaking.

We were willing to try anything and had so much fun experimenting and creating.

I am so blessed to have been called one of her teachers.

I am so blessed to had the chance to call her one of my students.

I will never forget

Her smile.

Her laughter.

Her joy while being an artist on a wheel.

Just like any artist. 

With hands covered in wet clay.

Creating a masterpiece.

Lindsey was an incredible young woman who capitvated the community with her smile.

She loved life and fought so hard to live.

We will miss her.

But the lessons she taught will stay with us.

To laugh.

To love.

To fight.

To expect to learn.

To push yourself and others.

To live for the journey.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Exhaustion and a little Creativity

Whew.  The week back to school after Christmas break is always tough.  It seems like we jump into the spring semester head first and don't come back up for air until June. 

So many wonderful things are happening at school though.  My students are learning (even though they would rather not somedays I think!) and fun projects are in the works. 

Contests are racing towards us and Prom is looming.

On the home front:

The house is still for sale.  People love it... but they don't buy. 

Report cards for Maddie and Lexi came and went and all grades were good.

The house is clean and laundry piles are ever present.

So, here is my bit of creativity...  it's called Zentangle.  I had my students do a Zentangle project during the fall and I have found it to be an awesome why to refocus and relax.  I get to be creative and it's not messy!

Here are a couple I did for the girls.

And because my students are so incredibly awesome... let me show you a couple of their pieces.

As always, you can go to

to see lots more work from my art students!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Death of Crafting

The Death of Crafting.


Why doesn't Faith, Hope and Art have art anymore?

simple.  our house is STILL for sale.


Isn't it beautiful though! :)

And an upclose of my desk.

So yeah, no crafting takes place here.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

The first ten years of 2000

A quick look back at the last ten years...

2000: We lived in North Carolina where Doug was a pastor and I taught at a local high school.  Madalyn Grace was born May 4

2001: Doug, Maddie and I had moved into our new home in South Texas. Doug took a pastorate in a small town and we were glad to be back to Texas just four hours from family.

2002: Settled in and enjoying small town life with our sweet Maddie.

2003: Living in poverty in Lake Worth.  During the summer of '02 we realized that time with Doug's dad was running out so we looked to get closer to family.  Doug made the decision to change professions and become an investment advisor.  In doing so, we had to start over and he had to study in order to prepare for the licensing tests.  It was an important and significant time in our lives.. but very lean!

2004: Doug's dad died November 11 2003.  After much discussion and doctor tests we decided to be grateful for the one child we had and not pursue additional help with conceiving.  We had no idea that God would bless us and I would be able carry another child. Alexis Joy was born on November 15 2004.  Also in 04 Doug was recruited to a firm in our hometown.  We moved back in June.

2005: Doug recruited to a new firm. I went back to work after being able to stay home with Lexi for a year.

2006: Doug doing well in his job and I was offered a position teaching at our local high school.

2007: Maddie got sick.

2008: Doug was elected to the school board.  I was given the opportunity to move to teaching art!

2009: Maddie was diagnosed with kidney disease. God blessed us with the birth of Kylie Faith.

2010: Doug was President of our local Optimist Club.  Our house on the market.

It's been a busy decade! 

Looking forward to what God has in store for us during the next decade.