Monday, June 29, 2015

All I Need is A Little Bit of Art and a Whole Lot of Jesus

If you don't already know, you might guess it: raising 8 children is hard. Compound things with special needs kids, adoptive issues and then summer sports and therapies and hospital are bound to go nutsy.

And I have.

And hey if you didn't know...I'm an extreme extrovert. Meaning, I get recharged by being with people. ENFJ. (Myers/Briggs) Hey, I'm in company with people like Mark Twain, Meg Ryan. Dr. Suess and Walt Disney. :) That gives you an idea of how I operate when I'm not overly stressed!

That being said, I want to run and HIDE FROM PEOPLE. It's so overwhelming to be needed so intensely ALL. THE. TIME.

Tears come easily. I doubt myself. I mess up and blow it all out of proportion. I wonder if God has left me. (I know deep down He has not, but His idea of ME doing THIS leaves me to think HE is out of His MIND.)

We recently had a bout with a stomach bug. It lasted for the longest ELEVEN days. Kids were up each and every night, screaming in pain from stomach cramps, I was cleaning up vomit on every surface imaginable and even got a bonus peed on by Gable who was diaperless. (Why again!?) Yeah. 

Not fun.

I had two things help bring me back to "normal." 

Yeah, whatever that is.

One: a fabulous night out with 14 other women where we all at sushi and laughed for 4 hours. I doubt they knew they were my therapy, and it really didn't matter. 

My Bestie was taking the picture. It smacks that she's not in it!

Afterwards, I felt SOOOOO much more like me! Yay!

But oh how quickly the overwhelming feelings return. Mr. Amazing (aka my husband) took the kids to the zoo yesterday thereby giving me THE ENTIRE HOUSE so I could do some art.

Just before he left, he cut a board in two for me, then edged it with his router. (God bless the router.) He has clarified it to me: he used a Roman ogee. Ah, yah, okay. It looks awesome so whatever!

Then I glued tissue paper to give some texture. That's my friend, Mod Podge.

Then using my palette knife, I randomly placed a variety of colors. I had no idea what I was making at this point. That was the FUN PART!!

More color.

Then I had the idea to use a pattern over the entire background. Cue the large stencil.

Here's the results. I lifted the stencil up from the second panel and it was crooked! But that's what was so awesome about this: IT DIDN'T MATTER!

At this point, I decided I would do a pair of vases with flowers. I knew the colors I wanted to use and where I wanted to hang them.  I cut out the general idea of a vases from old sheet music.

Then I used a fan brush and feathered in some brown paint over the music.

Then I cut random circle-ish shapes out of an old reader from the early 1900's. Also a few leaf shapes. I played with placement for a wee bit. At this point, an hour and a half had passed. I was speeding through with use of my handy-dandy hair dryer! ;)

Then, I decided to glue some tissue paper on top of the flowers. I had no idea if this was a winner idea or not...but there were no rules and that's part of what was so wonderful!

Then I started adding colors over the text circles. I had some stamps out and decided to add "REJOICE" to the corner of each. It's subtle, but there. You can't see it too well here.

I experimented with using the knife to add color...

And I realized it was quicker, messier and way more fun to just use my fingers! :) And I just love a good swirl of color!

Then I layered some color on the leaves. I stenciled a bit on the vases too.

Composition needed work so a few more flowers went in...

I changed that bizarre flower. So cool to be able to paint over stuff and just have fun without worry of "ruining" anything! I cut out some more leaves.

Getting close to done! Added some depth to the flowers...and more leaves.

Final thing I did was to add some bling to the flower centers!

A peek at the dimension they have:

I then painted the sides white, sealed it and Mr. Amazing helped me hang them. They are that pop of color we need!

And now...I am restored to my former, sane self. For now.

So, other crazy busy moms...what do YOU do to restore sanity?

post signature

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mothering 8: Learning as I Go

Well, I'm doing it. I'm being a mom to eight children.

And they've just come home for the summer.

I thought this image was perfect! (No, I don't really know why either.)
Perhaps this is how I see myself. Shiny, happy pink piggy. :)

I'm learning a lot these days...

I'm learning to not be as annoyed with the extra weight I'm carrying around from the stress of 4 rapid fire adoptions. I'm working on it, but I now know it has no impact on my value. I'm working on eating healthy and getting exercise in. The weight can take care of itself and I don't have to internally punish myself for it. (Yes, this is huge for me!)

I'm learning that not everyone has to be smiling in a picture. That's just too hard. Actually, they don't even have to be facing the camera. Just proof that they were there.

Yes, if you count, this is more than 8...these are our virtual cousins we hang with almost daily!
I'm learning that sit down meals are NOT over-rated and we will fight to keep a family dinner time. 
This is the extra large picnic table my AWESOME husband made in one Saturday. HE ROCKS!
I'm learning that I don't really need to worry about injuries. It used to be, "are you bleeding?" now it's "are you bleeding profusely?" ;) Haha, kidding...sort of!

I'm learning that I absolutely MUST continue to do art. It restores my sense of self and joy. Currently, all I'm getting in is watering my porch flowers. That's a crazy lame definition of art, I know. But it actually really helps.

Routine things that need done can meet this art need cutting hair and decorating cakes.

I'm learning that my hardwiring of dealing with things EXTERNALLY is actually a blessing. I am not one of those people who you don't know what I'm thinking. I process aloud. I have to journal to even get to the bottom of what I'm feeling. Honestly, it's annoying. I wish I could sit inside my head and work through stuff, but for some reason I need to speak it out loud to have any clue what's going on. I've been bothered that I'm dependent upon others to help me through this...until recently I learned (as I listened to myself talk!) that it's TRULY A BLESSING the way God has wired me. For if I could mentally hold all in my state of awareness that's is weighing on my heart I would go belly up. The burdens I'm carrying during the month of June are so many and so heavy that I cried my eyes out silly when I realized it all. 

Wow, what a blessing I live in the moment and can't remember it all at once!!

I am learning that planning is the path to peace. With this many people home during the summer days, we cannot let things just go to chance. We had our first of many family team meetings this morning. (Today is day 1 of the summer!) We brainstormed a list of lunches and who will be responsible for making the meal, serving it and cleaning up. It helps with groceries and I actually got some of my volunteer work for Children's Lantern done while the whole lunch thing was going down!! WHAT!?!?!? Yes! How awesome is THAT? BooYah! (Tomorrow we will assign these chores. Today I said, "pick something and surprise me when I get home with what you did! Yes, it worked! And why am I gone you ask? We had therapy appointments, grocery and library run and baseball practice. Thank God for babysitting teenagers!)

Special Order Friday: because nobody wants to be a short order cook every day!
I am learning to relax. Not the kind of relax that you may think of...I don't mean sit on the couch and let the world go by...but more like the kind where I don't have to get all uptight that there are wet towels on the bathroom floor (well that's what washing machines are for) and toys are strewn everywhere (that's why we [will] have tidy hour each day). When I'm less tense as I'm going through the day, EVERYONE is more relaxed. Truly, my attitude spreads around like cold germs in November. No pressure, but really? Let's choose to be happy.

I'm KEENLY aware how fast childhood flies. My oldest is now a sophomore in high school. Fortunate for me, I also have a 2 year old. I am learning to just sit and snuggle more. What precious days these are.
And I celebrate his thumb sucking. 
I'm learning to laugh at what comes out of my mouth. Lately I've said things like, "take the bacon out of my neck!" (wearing Gable on my back while cooking and handing him samples) and "Don't poop in the living room" when he takes off his diaper and feels free to potty anywhere. My children love to savor the time I had to instruct them, "Don't throw cheese in the van!" because they were sharing a package of American cheese slices and were "delivering" them to everyone.

Now I have to straighten them to look sane.
I'm learning that sometimes my impromptu things may turn around to bite me. This is my face the day after I reached for the hair cutting scissors 10 seconds after I decided to cut my bangs. (We were going out the door...and I noticed they were long! Who needs more planning than that?!?!) I didn't factor in the fact that I had straightened my hair that morning. So when I took a shower the next day and they dried naturally...and shrunk half way up my forehead to Canada...I realized maybe I should at least take a breath's worth of time to ask myself: "Am I SURE I want to do this right now?"

And I'm also remembering that "Hair does grow!" (famous words after my BFF highlighted my hair for the first time back in 1997. She got it a bit light!) And really, who cares!

I think that if I can major in the things that matter: teaching my kids to love one another, be kind
("absorb the unkindness and be an example of love," is my current mantra with all of them) and to pray about their problems and love Jesus... then we can show up places without our hair combed and even missing shoes. 

'Cuz the OTHER thing I learned: those rules about "no shirt, no shoes, no service" only apply if you are alone. If you are in a big group, they don't even notice! Bahahahahaha! TRUE STORY!
post signature
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...