Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Art

Emma Jane went back to an art camp this summer.  You can read about last summer's camp here.

This year she could not wait to go back and she really had some amazing instructors.  She came home each day covered in stage make up.  She has a very cool instructor who would put fake wounds on them each day and also taught them how to paint each other to look like the musical CATS.  I am thinking of hiring Emma Jane to come up and do the wounds on the mannequins at work, her bruises and burns looked very good.  She had lots of fun with Zombie make up and such.  I think Halloween might be pretty interesting this year. 

She made quite a few mixed media pieces including this one. 

I wish I weren't so busy.  There is much to say about our summer and family and a little four year old who is growing too fast.  And I want to tell you about her big sister who is maturing into a young lady who is so consciencious of everything.  Yesterday, as we were walking into my office she told her sister not to hit the automatic button on the doors for handicapped people because it opens both sets of doors and lets too much air conditioning out and must waste so much energy.  Who thinks of that at ten?

But I am overwhelmed at work and at home and I have to go. 

Monday, June 24, 2013


Summer is the busiest time of year for me.  My work never lets up.  I am preparing the students for a national board exam and this is my busy season.  The girls are out of school and it seems that I am constantly trying to juggle their schedule and keep them busy with camps and nannies and swimming and activities.  I am jealous that they get to spend time at home.  What I wouldn't give for a little time at home in the craft room.  But when the weekend comes we don't stay home, we pack the ice chest and swim suits and off we go. 

We spend the long days of summer on our boat, jumping off the back, seeing who can make the bigger splash.  We let our skin get sticky hot from the Oklahoma heat and then jump in the cold lake and scream from the shock of the still cool June waters.  We watch the sun set while grilling brats on the grill, so hungry from swimming, eating on paper plates and dripping in wet swimsuits. We smell like sunscreen and wet hair and Gatorade and strawberries.  Last night we named four goats on the shore of an island on our lake.  They bleated at us as we talked to them from just off shore.  Emma Jane and Lucy were calling them by name and it was another perfect memory I want to remember.  Those two little girls on the bow of the boat, the sun setting on the water behind us, the goats talking to them and those precious little imaginations talking back to the goats.  As we pulled back into the marina and our slip, my darling daughters whispering to each other made me want to stop time.  Freeze this moment.  Make it stay summer, just past sunset...twilight...ten years and almost 5 years old.  Two little girls who still are each others best friend, playmate, conspirator, confidant. They still love coming to the boat and to the lake with their parents.

Lucy said to me this morning that she doesn't want to turn five.  She wants to stay four.  I asked her why.  She said that she thought being four was pretty great and that she was afraid that it couldn't get any better.  Is that strange to have the presence of mind at four years old to think your life is pretty awesome?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Photo Opportunity

Today we went to a wedding.  I love weddings.  Weddings are an excuse to get my husband in a suit and tie and vest and well...oh my....well, um...oh sorry, I guess my in laws are reading this...

I love weddings.  Weddings are an excuse to get my kids in coordinating outfits and take family photos.  Today, my cousin Anna got married.  She was in my wedding when she was 6 years old.  She was the flower girl in our wedding 18 years ago, and now she is getting married to the nicest young man. We got all dressed up for her wedding and because our hair was clean and I was wearing make up (shocker) I wanted to get some family photos.

Mike's brother Bob was in from Florida and even though it was his birthday I asked if he would do something for me.  I asked if he would please come and take pictures of us as I would very much like to be in some photos with Mike and as you are about to find out, he knows how to take pictures!

Gosh, doesn't Mike look good in a tie and vest?

Oh, I'm sorry, you probably want to see Emma Jane and Lucy too.

And here is a real treat.  Something you do not see very often here on the Creative Element Blog.  Are you ready?  A picture of the whole family!!!!!

And another.

Mike and I got photo-bombed by Lucy

Bob captured a great picture of me with the girls.

Love that photo Bob...thank you...

Just in case you are wondering what we are laughing about.  Right after the shutter clicked Lucy and I fell on our bottoms.

Thank you Bob Plunkett and Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mrs. Shepherd

We recently went to a Mayo teacher's house for a dinner party.  Mrs. Shepherd taught Emma Jane and recently retired from Mayo but substitute teaches so frequently that Lucy knows her and loves her.  She donates a dinner for 12 lucky couples to raise money for the school and this is the first year we have been lucky enough to attend.  The dinner was last Saturday night and it was fabulous.

Upon arriving I immediately regretted not bringing my camera.  You know me with my camera.  But my subject is usually the girls and they were not with us, so I didn't even think about bringing it.  The first thing you notice when you get to Mrs. Shep's house is the art.  It is an art gallery.  And the featured artist in residence is her daughter Hannah Shepherd.  She is a remarkable artist and I feel sure that we will be seeing more of her work earn broader recognition some day.

They had wonderful food and plenty of adult beverages to choose from.  The parents in attendance were an interesting mix with kids from different age groups and interests.  There were some teachers and the principal was there.  The weather was perfect for sitting out on her beautiful deck.  Her husband Scott is very personable and dynamic (and very good at making bar-b-Que).  They have an OU basement and TV room with a couple of kegs.  What more could you want in the event of a tornado...OU sports and beer?   

Mrs. Shepherd made these amazing cupcakes and gave us these party favors that were Mayo drinking glasses.  When Lucy saw the glasses this morning she was reminded of our dinner with Mrs. Shepherd.  She started to ask me some questions about having dinner with her teacher.

Lucy:  Mom?  How was dinner with Mrs. Shepherd?

Me:  It was great!

Lucy:  Did you sit beside her or across from her?

Me: Both.  Sometimes I sat across from her, but sometimes I sat beside her.

Lucy:  (With a knowing grin on her face she says) So when you sat beside her you weren't following directions were you, Mommy.  When she asks you to sit beside her is when you can't sit criss-cross apple-sauce or follow directions.  It's okay...I sometimes have to sit next to her too.

I love that four year old brain...