Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vincent Claire Gogh

I am fully aware of the fact that no one on this planet thinks my kids are more special than their daddy and I do. I know that I am biased and that I think the every-day things they do are wonderful. And while I rave about my kids, most people are probably rolling their eyes and snickering at my excess.

To that end, I'm just going to brag a bit about my girl, and you can do all the eye-rolling and snickering you want, and I'll never know! Such is the beauty of the Internet.

So, here it is. The plain, unvarnished, unbiased truth is that my girl is an arteest! That's right, a bon-ee-fyde artist extraordinaire. :-)

Her school sponsored an art program this year, and the culmination of the program was an art contest. Students could enter pieces from any medium they desired: photography, writing, sculpture, painting, drawing, etc. Claire decided that she wanted to enter a painting piece but debated right up until the deadline on what exactly she would paint.

I suggested that she paint a copy of one of Vincent Van Gogh's works simply because this was the very first artist in whom I ever heard her express an interest. She loves his "Starry Night" picture, so she decided to do that one.

We worked together. I painted a copy while she sat next to me and worked on her own version.

The top picture is Van Gogh's original, and the bottom is Claire's copy of it.

Van Gogh, she is not, but we thought she did a great job.

The night of the art show, the students gathered to hear the final results of the contest winners.

And my girl walked away with the First Place prize for first grade in the painting category.

We are super proud of her.

I tend to stress academics with my kids, as that's the area in which I have more experience and feel most comfortable, but I've always been envious of people with artistic talent. My dad and his father and grandfather are all gifted artists of a variety of mediums, and I wish that I had more of that ability.

I am overjoyed to think that my girl has maybe inherited an artistic inclination from her Papa.

Claire's friend and classmate, Emma, also entered the contest and won Best in Show for her self-portrait!

Probably the highlight of the whole experience for Claire was that the artwork of the students was then displayed in a local art gallery.

Right alongside real works from local artists hung the works of the students.

I'd like to believe that it won't be the only time she sees her paintings hanging on the art gallery's wall.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Easter 2011 - where we (and every other family in America) take every opportunity to get pictures of our family all dressed up.

Pretty Easter dresses and handsome Easter ties mean mom has to take every opportunity to snap a few pictures of the kids.

Just a few.

Okay, maybe several.

I started early on the way to church. Just in case those pretty clothes got ruined later in the day. Live and learn, man. Live and learn.

Hello, future Mr. Senator.

And then come the obligatory "go stand over there by your sister and act like you like her" pictures.

I think the eye roll on the little one gives it away.

Are we done yet mom?

And the close-up's

The little princess.

I'm more than a little concerned at how quickly this one is growing up. Who gave her permission to do so?

Gah! She was just in my womb yesterday! Who is this gorgeous big girl?

And then there's this little guy.

This is the "see my tie?" stance.

He's super proud of that tie.

So proud that he refused to wear the perfectly adorable vest that went with his suit all because, "it will cover up my tie, mommy!"

So I gave in.

Who could resist this face anyway?

Not me.

Mom and Dad even got in on the picture parade.

This one was courtesy of Claire.

And then the whole family.

And if you've made it to the end of this post, you deserve some sort of reward. I'd give you some plastic Easter eggs full of candy, but that's what I used to bribe my kids to get all the pictures, and they ate them all.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Egg Hunts

Easter time around here is important. While we are busy with multiple egg hunts, and baskets filled with candy that thrill our kids and ruin mom's diet, we are very careful to stress the real reason for remembering that day. Our talks about Easter and God's love for us this year really prompted some inquisitive questions from Ben, and his tender heart was absolutely devastated by the story of Jesus' death on the cross. He told me, "mommy, I don't like that part of the story" with tears in his eyes.

Yet, as we celebrated Christ's resurrection, we also did participate in some of the local festivities, including several egg hunts.

Baby chicks!

Ben had a small plastic bottle of bubbles he found at home, and he spent nearly the entire time that day blowing those bubbles.

He really was not interested in doing anything else and had to be talked into looking for eggs. Come to find out later that the medicine he was currently taking for an ear infection wasn't working, and he was probably feeling pretty crummy. Poor little dude.

Claire, on the other hand, was enjoying herself.

This egg hunt was a bit different from others. They used real hard-boiled eggs that had been dyed with organic dyes.

They ended up being really pretty.

And, as long as they didn't crack (peeyew!), they lasted for a long time.

The mom's organization that sponsored the egg hunt also booked the kid's band: Big Bang Boom to play for the kids after the hunt was over. Someone was ready to bust a move.

And someone was not.

I think that picture pretty much sums up Shawn's attitude toward dancing in general: dancing= teeth drilled.

I was lucky to get a dance out of him at our own wedding. Seriously.

Last picture of the day. What you don't see in this picture is Shawn gripping Ben to hold him in place OR the threatening "to sit still and smile" that took place about 2 second before. Or the complete and total meltdown that occured 5 seconds later. Ah, parenthood.

It was a glorious day.