Friday, August 23, 2019

Family Art Day

The Brooks Museum in Memphis does a fun family art day once a week during June and July.
They have an art project the kids can work on, we can look at the exhibits, storybook movies are playing in a small theater, and we have access to the amazing kids' play area on the top level!
It's conveniently located across the street from one of our favorite parks, so we like to visit the park before we head over to the museum.

This time, their display in the lobby was an enormous tree made out of pants, shoes, socks, and ties! (The tree trunk and branches are pants, stitched together and stuffed.) Isn't it so cool?!? There were a couple of animals by it, too, made completely out of shotgun shells, and the birds flying around are actually made from books. You can see the bear peeking out behind Talmage. I thought the artist was trying to make a point about conservation and protecting Earth's resources, but then I read the accompanying sign which blatantly stated that he had no point whatsoever.
We also sort of got in trouble when Maxwell immediately dashed under the wire surrounding the display to say hi to the shotgun shell animals...sorry, but if you detain me at the door to talk to me about the exhibits, there's no telling what my 2-year-old might do!

The kids played with some fun connecting blocks for a while in the lobby and then we adjourned to the basement to do the craft.
It was just before the 4th of July, so the kids worked on patriotic streamers.
After watching a few of the storybook films, we headed upstairs to the play area.
It is such a cool place with a meditation tunnel where soft music plays and images appear on a screen above, a fun climbing area filled with artwork, costumes and a small theater area to put on a play, art that you can add whiteboard marker embellishments to, magnet boards, discovery boxes, and more!


I loved this display where the kids could add magnetic captions to the artwork...like "This reminds me of my family," or "This is the most important piece." It was fun to see their individual interpretations.

It especially made me smile to see one of the boys put this caption under this picture.

Thanks, Brooks Museum of Art!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

So Long, Summer Days

Our Summer break has come to a close.
School is in full swing, pumpkins are on display at the store
(despite the fact that the kids haven't even been allowed to go out to recess yet because it has been too hot...the heat index was 113 the other day!)
and I am stuck in that place that always pops up at the beginning of a new school year...
the place where I embrace and love the new schedule,
mourn the loss of the ability to have no set schedule,
and contemplate with a sense of longing whether or not I made the most of the 12 weeks I had with all the boys at home.

Many, many more posts to come
(what a difference having silent nap time again makes!),
but for now I'll just leave you with a few random pictures of the laid-back days of Summer.

Sun-dappled shadows, spontaneous naps, cardboard inventions, and ice cream stands...

(Wesley put Benson's floaty tube on his head and looked like an alien in a flying saucer!)

Thursday, August 8, 2019

We All Scream For Ice Cream

I have been wanting to do an ice cream cone photo shoot for a long time now.
I decided that this Summer I would finally make it happen.
But as it turns out, an ice cream photo shoot is a little interesting from the logistical standpoint.
Transporting ice cream in a hot car without it getting too melted, scooping up 5 ice cream cones quickly enough that the first didn't completely melt and wasn't completely eaten, and then trying to clean up the ensuing sticky mess with baby wipes presented some challenges,
but I was pretty happy with the results in the end!
These pictures sum up these hot, humid Tennessee summers to me.

My favorite thing about the photo shoot happened beforehand--
I asked the boys if it would be okay if we did a photo shoot later that day and explained what I wanted to do. After they agreed, Lincoln said, "It's a symbiotic relationship! WE get ice cream, and YOU get more pictures!" I was laughing so hard!

I love these hot, sweaty, sticky little boys.
And Blue Bell.
Always Blue Bell.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Friends and Boxes

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching a friend's kids for the day and the rain was coming down.
After an hour or so, things were rather quickly spinning out of control.
Squabbles were breaking out left and right and noise and chaos reigned supreme.
Praying for strength, I had a flash of what could only be called inspiration.
I pulled out the art supplies, grabbed a bunch of old moving boxes from the attic, and told each of the kids to make their own vehicle.
Soon paper scraps, glue, staples, and markers were spread throughout the house and each child was busily working to create. Seeing their minds at work made my heart sing! Each one imagined different elements for their vehicle. We had paper plate wheels on one, a cardboard trunk on another, and a steering joystick on yet another.
At last, the creations were complete. The kids dove into the costumes and pulled out the walkie-talkies and soon a happy, imaginative game had begun.
The kids were occupied and happy for hours.
It was the perfect rainy-day activity.
It is amazing to see what happens when I seek inspiration in the daily frustrations I have as a mother.

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