My home-schooled grand-kiddos come out to our place about once a week or so for Art Class. I love watching them explore….we’re using a combination curriculum. A fusion of Cornerstone Curriculum’s “Adventures in Art” which is heavily based on the philosphy of Dr. Francis Schaeffer, one of my all-time favorite theologians (I actually had the privilege of riding an elevator in an Indianapolis hotel with him as a teenager!!! Wow!), drawing lessons by the amazing Mark Kistler, and some ideas gleaned from Pinterest posts.
The above piece of art is one of our recent studies….art appreciation using the works of Thomas Cole, a Hudson River artist from the 1800’s whose belief in a Creator God is easily seen in his work. He was famous for his richly colored and realistic landscapes. (I am learning as much as the kids!!!)
Before the school year started, we went shopping at Hobby Lobby for materials…..my motto is Get the Right Tools. An easel was purchased for each, along with real paints and real quality brushes.
Here is our project from last week….
Special thanks to http://angelaandersonart.blogspot.com/2012/11/easy-birch-trees-kids-art-class.html for the instructions and encouragement!
Techniques used…masking (taped out tree trunks in 2 sizes for perspective), watercolor wash for background, and the edge high tech old credit cards dipped in black acrylic-scraped towards center of trunks for the birch detail. Terrific project!
So…I promised to post a description of how our little farm found us.
Larry and I moved to a lovely arts and crafts styled home in August of 1996. We loved our new house…it faced Clear Lake and had a wonderful and gigantic maple tree in the back yard.
Because our dining room chairs were wobbly, Larry asked around for a person who might be able to repair them for us. Lowell was the recommendation. He lived 3 miles north of town and had the reputation of working miracles with hand tools. Probably before we even had our moving boxes unpacked, Larry hauled a couple of chairs out to the “farm.”
When he came home, he asked me to get into the car and drive back out. “You have to see this place.” Now what!! I climbed in and rode along. Seems like quite a bit of marriage is “riding along!”
We drove up to the little white farmhouse on the hill…and he was right. It was a lovely little place. He quietly told me that he would love a place like that. And that was that.
Fast forward about 18 years when “oh my gosh!” we noticed a For Sale sign as we passed by on our way to church. Uh-oh. I was in trouble. Larry might have made an offer that very day…but moving was totally not on my radar. I LOVED my house. So we didn’t move fast enough and SOLD went up before we knew it. Weird thing, we were BOTH incredibly disappointed. I was sure the new owner would tear the house down and build new. It was such an old little house.
Well, they didn’t. They started painting the exterior and I felt a little better. At least someone was going to take care of it. I was starting to feel like the place was an old friend I guess.
Then the miracle began…another For Sale sign went up and this time we were of one heart. We dared to dream together but it was such a long shot! Agreeing that we would NOT buy a house without first selling the one we already had, we put our home up for sale and made a bid on the farm that was loaded with contingencies. We spent more than one sunny afternoon walking the property and placing the outcome in God’s hands.
There came a day when it seemed everyone was interested in it. It looked like the only way to buy the place would be to take matters into our own hands and go with 2 mortgages. How many times have I put entrusted something or someone to God’s hands and then grabbed it back again?
The prophet Isaiah records the night that Jerusalem was surrounded by 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. There was absolutely no way that they would survive the battle that would certainly be engaged the next morning. But Hezekiah spent the night in prayer to the One True God. Did God strengthen the men in Jerusalem to fight? He could have. But instead, the city woke up that morning to the strangest of sights. Every single soldier lay dead. No one in Jerusalem had lifted a finger to defend themselves. The Angel of the Lord did it all for them while they slept. That’s the kind of God who made us. We claimed that truth and waited on God.
Within 48 hours our home on the lake had sold for the price we needed to get. And it sold for cash! It happened so fast it almost took my breath away! By the end of the week, the financial arrangements were approved and we were walking the property as the new owners!
Now we are on the journey of learning how to care for it. We’d like to restore some of the old buildings and archive as much as we can about its history and the history of the family that lived here for so many years.
Have I not commanded you? Bestrong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Over half a century has slipped through my hands and I have discovered something amazing. I am happier today than I was as a young person. WAY happier.
So, I get tired easier. I can’t lift the large boxes that I used to haul around easily. It’s often a challenge to keep up with the Grandkids….Guess there’s really not any keeping up with them! The hair that used to be a rich dark brown now has more and more streaks of gray….I mean silver. And the bathroom scale tells the terrible truth. “You weigh half again what you once did.”
But that’s mostly okay. It really is. Because the trade-off is so worth it.
First off, I am just not as afraid of making mistakes as I once was. My earlier years were such cautious ones. Surely, some catastrophes were avoided. But also many thrills and joys and victories. God holds my life in His hands. it’s okay to take some risks. A few more years make this easier to see.
Second, I don’t feel compelled to measure myself against other people as much. I was made to be ME. Not anyone else.
Third, I am enjoying my family and all the ways that they are growing. You can’t gain the future without leaving a little behind. The absolutely adorable babies start to change. They lose those little baby cheeks and toddling gait. Yes, it’s a little sad. But the snugly bundle becomes your friend in ways that a baby never can.
Well, there are probably tons more reasons, but lastly, I am more in love with my husband than I was when we started out. Falling in love is great. But GROWING in love is Priceless. What a privilege to share life with my best friend. (As I write this, the Husband and I are finding ourselves somewhat grumpy with each other…be careful what you say out loud!)
Lessons learned the hard way, misunderstandings worked through oh so slowly, painful acceptance of truths about ourselves, delightful discovery that we wouldn’t trade each other for anyone else!
Last weekend I watched the four Grandkids while Mom and Dad went to a schwanky restaurant. The older ones suggested ice cream after dinner and it seemed like a good idea. Penelope even brought a step-stool to the freezer in case Grandma wasn’t sure where to go.
We enjoyed a lovely after dinner snack, Penelope and I taking turns with one bowl since she seemed too little to scoop for herself. However…..both of us ended up sick as a result. Did I catch it from her or her from me? Who knows. Was it worth laying on the couch with a splitting headache all this afternoon??
So…a girl from the 20th century takes a stab at the 21st…Here goes!
Bits and pieces from recent pinterest boards-
Organization: Found these wonderful little chalkboard labels at Walmart the other day. They are so pretty on the mason jars in my pantry (black beans, spices whatever) but they translate well to my sewing studio baskets just as nicely. LOVE them!
Decorating: Really like these rich neutral colors from Jones Design Co http://jonesdesigncompany.com/decorate/paint-piano/