Tired of the fingerprints, I finally did what I do when faced with a need for serious cleaning: I painted. I wasn’t ready to paint the giant stairwell along with the main room of the basement to which it leads, so I used the shape of the odd wall to my advantage and painted just that part. As you may know if you’ve read here before, I’m not shy about putting things on walls that don’t ordinarily go there:
May 28, 2011
May 21, 2011
Creativity, to me, is not the presence of a particular talent, but the desire to produce something of beauty. Made in our Creator’s image, we have an urge to be like Him and make things. Not being Him, our creations are poor, primitive imitations of what He has made in perfection. A painting of a flower, no matter the artistic skill of the painter, will never capture the beauty of a flower entirely. Talented photographers can’t even do that. And though some people can grow beautiful flowers in elaborate gardens, they will never be able to speak them into being as our Creator did. Yet in our limited abilities and pale reflection of His perfect creativity, we long to express something inexplicable from deep within and make stuff, flawed as it may be.
In our homeschooling and other aspects of our life as a family, it’s fairly easy to find creative things for my children to do. I have found it just as easy to put off exercising creativity on my own. My family is and should be my priority, but I’ll often use that as an excuse to not put time and effort into the smallest of project ideas that aren’t directly related to the kids, in order to be sure I’m not taking something away from them. I have been wrong.
I had a list of simple little painting projects building up in my mind in recent weeks that I had been thinking perhaps, maybe, possibly I could do this summer when we aren’t homeschooling. Normally when this happens the project list grows at precisely the same rate as the list of other things I think I should be doing with my time. Like the dishes. And the laundry. And organizing or re-organizing the house. And planning for the next school year. And thinking up projects for the kids.
|Terra cotta pots are easily painted with acrylics. This one is intended to resemble the look of my fake flowers.|
|A touch of paint on the basket, and a new face for this little shelf from plain wood to the painted-and-aged look I enjoy.|
|Just in case the kids forget where we keep the food. This too was a facelift on a hand-me-down rustic item. With some acrylics and a paint pen it was easily tweaked to fit our decor.|
These clearly didn’t take much time. And instead of robbing my children of anything, I realized I was doing for them what I try to do in the rest of my mothering: setting an example. If they grow up thinking that projects of creative expression are things moms only do with their kids, they’ll stop pursuing it in their free time when they reach adulthood. And that truly would be robbing them of something.
May 14, 2011
The end of the school year and a wonderful summer are in sight around here; not just in our mind’s eye, but in the hallway next to our kids’ bedrooms. This past week I asked our three younger students to help me make a countdown chart.
May 7, 2011
If you heard shouts of jubilation in the distance this past Thursday evening at precisely 5:18, that was the Wilbur family declaring the week of standardized testing officially over. Allow me to present a small taste of the type of questions found on these tests. Here we have two pictographs for your analysis:
This first one above is entitled: The Week Before Testing. Each cock-eyed book and paper represents one unit of the homeschooling mother’s lost sanity as she scrambles to get things done before setting it all aside for a week of tedious and tiresome tests. Each piece of garbage seen in the pictograph represents five units. The fish filter box needed two days earlier for submitting a rebate represents two units, and the fishing hat represents five because it doesn’t even belong to the mother. All other non-essential items represent three units of lost sanity. Given the information presented in the pictograph, please answer the following: How does the family survive with a mother whose Command Central looks like that?
This second pictograph is entitled: Finito. The standardized tests have been administered, and the day afterward spent restoring life to whatever we call normal around here. The garbage has disappeared, the books and school papers put away. The little round box that holds spelling words (removed from our walls for the sake of honest testing) has even been given a paint treatment. The coffee represents twenty-five units of restored sanity, and ten for each bottle of nail polish. Given this information as well as the absence of chaos in this pictograph, and comparing it with the previous one, please answer the following: How long will it take before the coffee table looks that frightening again?