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Summer update

Summer has flown by. I spent the month of June taking a class every morning until 11.(remind me again why I though it was a good idea to continue my education after my masters?) Then running kids to swim lessons, other appointments and just getting caught up on the house and yard. Finished class last friday as my allergies went crazy and by the weekend I was stuffed up with swollen eyes. After going to the dr today I found out I have a sinus and double ear infection. Awesome!
But here’s some of the fun things I’ve squeezed in.

Lots of making our own fun and park dates

Attended our first renaissance fair

where we met this guy

Plus we’ve spent lots of time at the pool

And I’ve managed to fit in a bit of art

Hope your summer is off to a great start!

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Some days I feel like I have things pretty much together. Not perfect but it works. But a lot of times I feel like I’m still floundering, trying to find my way. So I have been putting these in buy art journal and painting my way through things.

trying to be more “open”

remembering when I was brave and took chances, I was also much younger

and remembering where my strength comes from

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Our little guy Jack loves to take photos. I keep my nikon d40 handy to help me take more photos. And Jack will pack the camera around the house and take photos. I have the strap on all the time and have taught him to always have it around his neck if he’s taking photos. I know it may seem a little absurd to allow a 5 yr old to pack my camera, but he’s pretty careful with it so we let him take a few pics.
So when I upload photos I never know what I’ll find.


lots of self portraits


always love his point of view


sister posing


me


things he’s interested in


sister


his trucks


lots of wiener dog butts!

love seeing his point of view, looking at things that interest him.

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This post by Kim Klassen here is a powerful message about getting out of our own way and to ‘just do it’.

“I’m busy, don’t have time to do ___________.”
“I say I can’t have homework to finish”
I say these things a lot and they are true. I am crazy busy, who in this world isn’t?

But as I re-read this post by Kim, I keep thinking, ya I’m busy but if I can’t make something, even a quick watercolor I feel empty and lost. Even when I take the time to create a quick card to mail I get happy. I like to make things, it makes me happy. And as I create those spaces inside me that were hurting or out of sync–they slip back into place.

It’s almost as though I’m a car getting a wheel alignment. And when I get a chance to get paints out get a brush dirty, I can feel those bruises on my heart healing.

The smell of gesso soothes my overwhelmed senses, drowning out other senses. And the more paint I get under my nails, staining my fingers, worked into my cuticles, the more I feel like I can breathe.

And after, when I can’t quite get all of the paint off of my fingers, I feel a secret smile, because I am carrying with me my art talisman.

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Stayed the entire two weeks at my parent’s farm with the kids. My hubby stayed the first week for Christmas but had to go back to work. My folks don’t have internet, they’ve had problems getting a good connection and finally just quit trying since they don’t use it much. This is frustrating for my husband and I who both have work to do online.
The good news is that instead of working all break like I thought I would I lived in the moment. And tried to stay warm.

Our daily routine was:
-get the fire going
-keep the fire going
-play, read, watch tv
-paint with kids, do crafts
-sled or 4-wheel
-feed cows with grandpa
-feed chickens and gather the eggs
-make dinner
-keep fire going

A much needed break from the world!

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It seems like I have been working on my research paper for my graduate class on Multicultural Education forever. And I can tell that I’ve spent way too much time on my topic when I start to look at things in my everyday life in terms of class and culture. It’s gotten bad. I sit in a snazzy coffee shop working on my paper and I watch the people around me wondering what their story is? Are they straddlers? One foot in the working class and middle class? Are they first generation middle class? Or are they so removed from the working class that they have no idea how to relate to people in that class?
For my final paper the good and the bad is that it’s pretty broad, our take on culture, class, etc.
So I have been focused on class and social mobility. My struggle is that I am trying to write a scholarly paper with sound research. But my heart, my own experiences keep coming back to me
and I find my heart working it’s way into my paper.

Because I am a first generation college graduate. A white collar professional with deep roots in the working class. My struggles with reconciling these two sides of myself are ongoing. I love handmade items, I take a lot of pride in growing up on a farm and I know that most of my success in this world is because of my hardworking background. My straight forward, often blunt way of talking about things is directly from my farming background where people say what they mean and don’t dilly-dally around (as my grandma would say). And yet, I like arty movies, I like being near a city that has just enough polish on it to make me feel like I am a city dweller. I like that if I want a Starbucks I can find one around nearly every corner. I like working with other professionals. I like the conversations I have with my colleges in my graduate classes about education.
After trying to beat my heart into submission I finally called my professor and explained my dilemma.
And the great thing is that she wants to see parts of ourselves in our paper. She wants to know what’s inside us, how we have responded to this class. Crazy huh?

Below is the introduction to my paper. A blend of professional research and heart.

Culture, Class, and Social Mobility

My goal when I set out to write this article was to write an impersonal, professional article that would take an objective view of culture, class and social mobility. The truth is none of us can be objective when writing about these topics because culture is so very personal and defines who we are. Our identity is a complex weaving of where we have come from, the family we grew up with, the traditions and beliefs that were instilled in us from the beginning, the experiences we have had, and our education. In this article I am going to explore the definitions of culture and how these affect social mobility.

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In my quest to paint, sand, and alter nearly any surface I finally turned to my blue iphone case, one of the those hard plastic clam shell type cases in an ugly blue color. Okay the color wasn’t horrible but it certainly wasn’t as cute as the pink one that it replaced. *note

First I took a sanding block and gave the whole thing a light sanding to help the gesso stick better, then I covered it in gesso and let it dry.

Next, I decided to make a quirky house with a tree out of scraps of paper. I drew the shapes by hand, cut out and glued on using modge podge.

Once I had the scene set, I painted the background sky, and added paint to all of the paper pieces to soften them up a bit. After the paint dried I added clear glitter paint because everything is better with glitter! For the front of the clam shell I painted it bright fuchsia, added some of the book pages to it and glitter.

After everything dried, I sprayed a few coats of matte clear coat. I’ve been carrying it in my pocket and purse for over a month and I’m very happy with how it’s held up.
This makes me very happy 🙂

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