Faith, Family, Friends, Fellowship, Food, and Fun

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Arnold Art Camp Session 4

The Dixons were doing the melted crayon art. It wasn't as easy as it looked. Next time we'll definitely use a taper candle or flame lighting stick.

Tissue Paper Stained Glass Windows-now these turned out great!

Who knew Perler Beads were such hard work?

Sweet Violet made a huge star and then had the patience to complete a smaller heart.

See, I told you they were cute!

Joelie and Benjamin show their precious projects.

Abby and The Dixons

Arnold Art Camp Session 3

This session I set out a variety of beads, sequins, wiggly eyes, glitter, rice, etc..... and the kids used them in unique ways to decorate their names. None of them turned out like the example, but they were all beautiful nonetheless.
Sharpie-Solo Cup Suncatchers

We also did mosaics out of rice, popcorn seeds, split peas, and beans.

The artists

Thursday, July 25, 2013

4th of July

Have I ever mentioned how lucky we are to have Aunt Joanie and Uncle Paul in our lives? Wow, there are no words. Aunt Joanie has been there for me for as long as I can remember. I have letters she wrote me when I was little. I remember going to stay with she, Uncle Paul, and Christy in Silsbee when I was 13. I remember getting to drive to Longview to see them when I was a teenager, all by myself. I remember licking the bowl when she made goodies such as rum balls! And I could go on and on. Well, the legacy continues with my children. Aunt Joanie and Uncle Paul are such patient and loving Godparents, and I can't imagine my life without their influence.
This year was the 3rd year in a row that we spent the 4th of July with them. It is so wonderfully relaxing. They are the most patient people I have ever spent time with.

Watching the Longview fireworks on the 4th.

Abby on the jet ski.

Abby loved swimming in the lake.

Spending some time at the park about 5 houses up the road.

Look at the old fashioned merry-go-round!

Aunt Joanie braves the trip with me at the "wheel."

We are so lucky that Gladewater has their fireworks on a different night than Longview. We put the kids in their jammies, load up the boat, and drift on the water while the fireworks show takes place. Then we pull the boat up to the house and put the kids to bed, no traffic!


I always get excited when friend come to stay with us. It's a compliment, it means that even though we have a small house, friends want to spend time with us. I can't tell you how thrilled I was when my friend of about 31 years said they'd come see us. I've known Kendra since 5th grade. In middle school, we had the same circle of friends, attended lots of slumber parties, and loved Sweet Valley High Books. Kendra had every single one and one of my fondest summer memories is riding my bike to her house DAILY to swap the book I'd read for the next one in the series. It just so happens that her oldest, Abby,  is the same age as Lauren, and her youngest, Livy, is the same age as my Abby.

Abby and Livy bunked together on the top bunk with their matching Bee Pillow Pets.

Lauren and Abby had their own slumber party in the playroom with their matching Ladybug Pillow Pets.

Everyone but the men.

I had a great time and I hope Kendra and Jay bring the girls back next year!

Mom's Night Out #2

Our Mom's Group Ministry is growing! I am so grateful that Lauren A joined our group last December and has taken charge of planning Mom's Night Out. In May we met at Uncorked and this was taken at the Benjamin Knox Art Gallery. Does my heart proud to see these women come together.

Czech Festival with The Eisles

Back in April, Erin, Julia, and I went to have a girls' weekend with Amanda at her family's farmhouse. It was just amazing. I will have to catch up on that post later. She told us about the upcoming Czech Festival, and we put it on our calendar. Stephen had to work, but Amanda rode with me while Bill drove their boys, Caleb, and Abby.

Decorating ginger cookies after a demonstration.

Look at these beautiful eggs! The kids watched a video on Patricia Polacco's story, Rechenka's Eggs. Then they got to design their own.

They also got a cool lesson on how to play these instruments. It really sounded great!

I'm so glad we spent the day with this precious family. I look forward to exposing my kids to more festivals like this one.

Vacation Bible School

This year all my kids were old enough to participate! I really could have gotten a lot done at home if I had just dropped them off every day, but I decided to volunteer in the kitchen. I really enjoyed working with Mary, Susan, and the kids who also volunteered. I just love being a part of this fabulous church family.

The setting was Athens, Greece, and as usual, Lauren wanted to dress that part.
I feel so blessed to raise my kids with all these wonderful families that we've gotten to know better these last 3 years. I can't wait to watch all these kids grow up together...lead each other...encourage each other...and grow in Christ together!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Arnold Art Camp Session 2

Today was session 2 of our Arnold Art Camp. We are having so much fun and of course, I am already planning next year's. Here's what we did today:
Bead Suncatchers

Birdseed Biscuits -going in the oven

Completed Suncatchers- aren't they beautiful?

Completed Birdseed Biscuits

My kids using the leftover seed mixture.

Arnold Art Camp session 1

I finally did it! I finally made my dreams of an art camp a reality. I have been compiling a list of artsy ideas since I became a teacher in 1996. About 5 years ago I started a blog post, Summer Bucket List,  so I could keep all those ideas together-I kept losing my lists and starting them all over. Then 3 years ago I started thinking about how I really needed to make an effort to DO these activities with my kids, especially since my oldest is passionate about art. I came up with a plan to invite friends over for art camp, but with Spencer being a nursing newborn, and the other kids being 2, 4, and 5, I knew it was not going to happen that year. The next year my dad lived with us so there was no way I could manage. Last year I rewrote the plan (must have lost the original). I was still too nervous to make it happen. This year I told a friend she should make her fun summer activities available to friends as a "camp" and then I realized if she could do it, I can do it. I sat down with my LONG list of ideas and my calendar and went to work planning.

Jane and George at the Pre-school center
Starting the canvas art-one of my favorite projects


Rosary hangers- I am going to make one myself.

Don't they look great? They aren't even finished. We left the tape on til the paint was completely dry.

Lots and lots of sand art.