Adam, Brooke, Chrissy, and Tyler

Welcome to ABC & T. Hope you enjoy catching up on our family events and my scrapbook creations!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Summer Adventures 2013!

What a wonderful summer!  We have had the most wonderful time together making lasting memories.  Our first family trip was to Michigan to visit my mom/ Grammy Marsha.  We spent 2 weeks at her house and one week with her at our favorite vacation spot: Pentwater.  Pentwater is located on Lake Michigan and we always spend the 4th of July there celebrating all of the festivities.  Mom and I continued our scrapping ventures!  We completed many layouts even though it wasn't over 100 degrees this year!!  Ty and Brooke discovered many new creatures at Grammy's house.  Ty even grabbed a snake by the tail but it slithered away from him!  That was his highlight.  They also collected tiny frogs, snails, butterflies, dragonflies, spiders, beetles, lightning bugs, etc.  We even saved a turtle from the road.  The kids named him Frankie!  It was such a peaceful, relaxing three weeks.  We left my mom's house and traveled to Ohio to stay with my dad and step-mother for a few days.  They kids had a great time searching their frog pond for frogs and eating ice cream at the Mill.  We left for home for one night and left for North Carolina the next day.  We finished our family trips by spending 4 days in Oak Island with the Rose family!

Here are some layouts of our adventures:

This is actually a layout from Brooke's last day of school.  It's hard to believe she will be in 2nd grade!
 The weekend before we left for Michigan was Father's Day.  We spent a whole afternoon downtown in Charleston and had dinner at a fabulous restaurant!

Ty and his camouflage!  He loves to pretend he suddenly disappears when he wears it!

The kids were SO excited to see Grammy.  
 She has some REALLY tall grass this year and the kids loved exploring through the tall blades.  Well, Brooke wasn't too sure about it.  Ty and I may, or may not, have gotten a little crazy on the mower and blasted our way through it one day!!  That is until we discovered a baby bunny nest!
My mom has been waiting for Brooke to get big enough to dress her up in some of her antique dresses.  Brooke didn't mind at all!
 We always try to make time to visit Binder Park Zoo to feed the giraffes.  The kids really enjoyed placing lettuce on their long, sticky tongues!
 Of course Ty needed a new Michigan hat.  Can you tell he liked it?
 Max is the kids favorite dog that Grammy owns.  Ty tried to kidnap him when we left.
 We decided to buy a bike rack and take our bikes to Michigan this year.  They have a wonderful walking/biking trail in Portage called the Celery Flats.  It was a beautiful day for a bike ride and we were able to see a baby deer, ride through bridges and tunnels, and catch little frogs!  In fact, Ty crashed his bike to the ground, hard, to catch a little frog!
 Here is the turtle we saved from the road.  I love how Ty looks like he's going to take a bite out of him and Brooke is staring at him eye-to-eye!  Mom thought he was a snapper, which he wasn't, so we had fun teasing her!
 The kids found all kinds of tiny frogs at Grammy's house.  They built them a habitat each day complete with water, rocks, flies, and grass.  One day they caught 25 frogs!
 I took the kids to the lake while we were in Michigan.  Brooke was beside herself with fear because she couldn't see the bottom like she can in the ocean and Lake Michigan.  She thought the jelly fish and crabs would get her.  We had a long lesson on fresh water lakes vs. salt water!
 And now begins our awesome week in Pentwater!  Unfortunately the water was freezing, 56 degrees!  We could run in long enough to get numb, 1 minute, and run out before our legs froze off!!
 We had our share of ice cream.  I think Ty stole Grammy's each time.  He'd convince her and say,"Oh Grammy.  My ice cream is really good!"  Then, he'd give her the eye and they would trade!
 It's a yearly tradition to walk up and run down the old sand dune name Old Baldy. 
 In Pentwater, they celebrate the 4th of July on the 3rd!  It was a cold, rainy morning but it cleared up quickly and the sun came out!  Brooke created a flag sand castle for the occasion. 
 So, my favorite holiday to dress the kids for and celebrate is the 4th.  These two were cracking me up this year with their accessories!  I love the glasses!
 I just love these two to pieces!
 We decided the kids were old enough to try out some sparklers!  They were a bit nervous at first but my cousin, Andrew, reassured them everything would be alright! favorite...the pie eating contest.  Brooke is so dainty when she digs in, eating tiny pieces, while Ty shoves his whole face in!! 
 We almost missed the fireworks because the thick fog rolled in.  In fact, the firefighters were convinced they would cancel.  By some miracle, at 9:45 the clouds parted and the show went off without a hitch!  You can see how foggy it is in the picture of Ty running.  You can't even see the lighthouse behind him!
Adam has missed our last two trips home so it was SO nice to have him with us this year!   The kids had a great time burying him in the sand!
 We went to the concert in the park which is held every Thursday night.  This was Brooke's favorite place to go with Papa Don.  He always showed her the drums and tubas!  So, she has since called it going to see the drums and tubas!  I know Don was smiling down on her watching her dance.  Actually, Ty was the first child to get up and dance in front of EVERYONE!  We were shocked and couldn't stop laughing!
 On our last day in Pentwater, Adam and I took the kids to A.J.'s Fun Park for golfing and go carts.  This was Ty's first year riding along side of me in the go cart and he thought it was the coolest thing EVER!  Brooke look terrified riding with Adam.  We had a deal that whoever won the golf was able to get ice cream.  Of course, Ty and Brooke tied for first place!

I also had the chance to see Alyssa.  She was my student when I got my first teaching job and the flower girl in Adam and my wedding.  I have definitely aged!! 
 We also visited my best friend from high school, Staci.  Her family is absolutely adorable and I love catching up with her!
 And here is my serenity.  The sunset over Lake Michigan in Pentwater!  The kids still talk about all the fun they had in Michigan and are talking about their plans for next summer!

Now back to reality!  School starts for teachers a week from tomorrow.  It's always hard for me to leave my children after I spend every waking hour with them.  I will be sure to spoil them rotten this week and get lots of extra hugs and kisses....especially before Papa steals them all back!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lonely Firefly Chalk Pastels

Welcome to another week of my e-course art class!  I continue to learn so much from Patty at Deep Space Sparkle.  I have so many ideas spinning through my head...I know, what's new!!  This week one of the techniques we learned was how to incorporate chalk pastels into arts integration.  I didn't realize all of the cool things you could do with chalk!  I actually used it in my room last year.  The kid's favorite activity was the Klee Cats from Patty at Deep Space Sparkle.  You can purchase the PDF at  The other activity I used chalks for was our Eric Carle author's study unit.  Each week we read a different story by Eric Carle and discussed the main character of each and character traits.  Then, we recreated the main character using several different art mediums:  wall paper, fabric samples, construction paper, oil pastels, watercolors, and CHALK!  The vibrant color of chalk on black paper is beautiful.  So, I stuck with that idea for this week's homework assignment but added more detail per what Patty taught me!  Of course Brooke wanted to join along so I have her finished firefly as well!

Eric Carle Inspired Fireflies- Using Chalk Pastels
First Grade 
 Objectives:  TSW recall the main character of the story.
TSW recall character traits.
TSW infer the character's likes and dislikes.
TSW use chalk pastels and oil pastels/glue.
TSW blend chalk pastels.
The Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle   
Oil Pastels/ Liquid Glue
Chalk Pastels
Black Paper (any size you prefer)

**To Begin the lesson I would read The Lonely Firefly.  We would discuss the main character in the story and the character traits.  I would have the students talk about the character's likes and dislikes.  Then, I would have the children focus on Eric Carle's illustrations.  We would notice all of the different brush strokes he uses when he paints his tissue paper and all of the different colors he incorporates.  I would tell the children that we are going to re-create the Lonely Firefly by using chalk pastels.  Then, I would begin my art lesson.

Step 1:  Have the children draw the Lonely Firefly with a black oil pastel.  I would teach this to them step-by-step. First, I would have them draw a circle on the top right side of the paper.  Then, draw two circles for the eyes and one circle for the nose.  Next, draw a long rectangular body.  Add a triangle to the bottom of his body to created his "Lighting Tail!"  Next, add to heart shaped wings to both sides of his body.  Add two antennae and six legs (optional).  The children will need to draw the antennae wide, not skinny, so that they can fill them with chalk.  You could do the same with the six legs or just leave them as a straight line.

Step 2: Remind students that at the end of the story the Firefly saw fireworks.  Demonstrate how to draw a firework.  Then, have the children add fireworks to their background with colored oil pastels.

Step 3:  Have the children choose a blue chalk pastel to color in the background.  Demonstrate how to use the "side" of the chalk pastel instead of the "tip."  In my sample I did not blend the background as I wasn't sure how it would look with the fireworks.  You could have the children blend the background now or wait until the end.

Step 4:  Have the children choose different colored chalk pastels to color in the firefly.  I recommend having them color the "Lighting Tail" yellow but the other colors are their choice.  Then,  have the children blend in the chalk, inside the firefly, with his/her finger being careful not to go outside of the black lines.  I would provide them with baby wipes as they move from color to color.

Step 5: Have the children draw more firework lines besides their oil pastel fireworks.  This will give the fireworks more pizazz!! 

Step 7: (Optional)  Have the children blend in the blue background with their finger being careful not to smear the fireworks.

Step 8: (Optional)  Have the children blend the fireworks with his/her finger.

I also created the same project using the glue outline technique.  It turned out pretty cool!  Brooke joined in on this project as well so I posted her picture.



Here is another creation by Brooke.  She created the sunset with chalk and then added glue to make waves and circle the sun!!

Then, Tyler spent an evening watching Patty's videos with me.  He was very intrigued by the video of the ships.  He jumped off my lap, grabbed paper and his markers, and drew exactly what he had seen...a boat with sails, clouds, waves, and a horizon line.  I was BLOWN away!! Art is amazing : )

Well, I hope you enjoyed my second homework project!  We are leaving for Michigan so I won't be as prompt for my next homework assignment!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Moon Phases Art Lesson

I am taking an e-course from Patty from Deep Space Sparkle. She is a public school art teacher in Goleta, California.  She has so many fabulous ways to integrate art into your curriculum and offers many wonderful lesson plans on TeachersPayTeachers.  I have been learning a TON and part of my homework is to work with some of the art supplies she suggests using in a classroom.  However, we have to think of ways it would work with our curriculum and create a step-by-step lesson.  I loved the idea of using acrylic paint but at the same time had my doubts since it stains clothing.  Still, I love how "professional" it looks and I found a great online store to order small canvas for the classroom: Blick art supplies.  These would be wonderful for parent gifts : )

So, when I was thinking of our curriculum, my mind immediately went to our science units.  One of my favorite units to teach is our Sun and Moon unit.  The kids just love learning about outer space!  (Granted, I wanted to paint lighthouses and palm trees but that doesn't exactly go along with our standards!!)  One of the Sun and Moon standards is learning the phases of the moon.  How cool would our hallway look with hand painted phases of the moon using acrylic and canvas!!!  So, that's what I decided on...the moon.  Poor Brooke was my guinea pig for the project but I was quite excited when she said, "Oh my gosh mommy, this is SO cool and fun!"  And since she was a first grader last year, and because I'm a first grade teacher, that's all I needed to hear to know that this would work!

MOON PHASES- First Grade
Objectives: TSW identify the phases of the moon 
TSW create tints by blending acrylic colors with white
TSW create shades by blending acrylic colors with black
TSW create highlights using different color acrylic
Here is a step by step tutorial, with photos, on creating acrylic moon phases on canvas:
(Obviously I would start by reviewing the moon phases but this it just the "art part" of the lesson.)


Phases of the Moon (crescent, half moon, full moon)



Large and small paint brushes

Acrylic paint: black, white, blue, and yellow
Straws, toilet paper rolls, marker tops (anything that will create circle rings to represent craters)

Step 1:  Have the children draw a large circle in the middle of their canvas with a pencil.  Have the children decide on which phase of the moon they want to paint.  If they decide to paint a full moon then they will skip step 4 of the following steps.  If they decide on any of the other phases, have them draw the line needed in their moon:
 Step 2: Have the children paint the background black being careful not to paint inside of their pencil line:
Step 3:  have the children mix black, white, and blue to create a tinted bluish/grey color.  Have the children paint the part of the moon that the sun would be shining on.  Once they are finished, have them go back over the paint with pure white and/or blue to create highlights:

Step 4:  Have the children mix more black acrylic paint into their current moon color to create a darker shade of bluish grey.  This will represent the side of the moon that is facing away from the sun without blending into the background too much.

Step 5:  Have the  children create craters, with blue/white acrylic paint, using a straw, toilet paper roll, marker top, etc.  


Finally, have the children create stars using the opposite end of a paint brush and yellow/white acrylic paint.  Brooke even took it further and used a small, dry paintbrush to paint crossed in her yellow dots to make them more realistic!!
Here is the finished project.  Brooke was loving it so much she wouldn't stop for me to take a picture so this is my completed moon phase...crescent moon:

The finished moons would be great to use for a "cycle of the moon" game.  You could have the children put them in order.  I would definitely make sure all of the phases of the moon were being created.  You may need to assign each child a phase.  At first, I had Brooke draw her phase after she painted the black background.  She ended up with black paint all over her hands.  I would definitely have the children do this step, drawing the phase, during the first step.  If a child chooses or is assigned the full moon, then he/she would skip step 4.  You would also need to model for the children how to mix paint and how to create tints (add white) and shades (add black). 

I told you how much I really wanted to paint palm trees so I had to share my watercolor and acrylic palm tree.  This could be a great parent gift!

 I was also thinking of lighthouses which could go along with Our Community.  They could paint the Sullivan's Island Lighthouse!!  Here is a picture I painted using acrylic on canvas of the St. Joseph lighthouse in Michigan. 

 I will be creating 3 more step-by-step lessons in the coming weeks so stay tuned!