Thursday, January 26, 2012

Art Class: The Study of Asian Art

In our girl's co-op Art class yesterday, they studied Asian Art. Their teacher, Mrs. Kuhns, brought a special gift her great uncle gave her - a kimono from Japan. She let some of the girls try it on and told the story of how it was made from silk and at least 70 years old. She also brought with her some Asian figurines on a stick - some were at least 100 years old. They were all given a figurine to sketch then paint with water colors. She also read to them a story from "Chinese Fairy Tales" while they painted. I think they all did a fabulous job and I loved how their final paintings turned out - all unique in their own special way...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Field Trip to Tulsa City Hall

Photo by Abby, age 9
Our homeschool co-op had a great field trip meeting Tulsa's Mayor, Dewey Bartlett, yesterday at the Tulsa City Hall. He has such a busy schedule but was gracious and made time to talk with our kids...

At one point Mayor Bartlett said, "If any of you have any problems with Tulsa, call me and we'll talk about them." Then one of the little boys in our group said, "But I don't know your phone number!" So Mayor Bartlett gave him and the rest of the kids his business card and said to call him anytime ;-)

Mayor Bartlett also encouraged the kids to dream big and asked them to write him a letter with their dream for Tulsa. My girls did theirs today as part of their school work.

Dear Mayor Bartlett,

Thanks you so much for letting my Co-Op group come to visit you! We all really enjoyed it. I appreciate that you are concerned about my dream so here it is! Some of my friends and I work together and make crafts and sell them for the good of orphans in Uganda (Africa). Perhaps you have heard of Project Hope Worldwide? This non-profit organization built an orphanage here because the plight of orphans in the area are grim. My dream is that this ministry, which is called Girly Me Missions, would be very successful and raise a lot of awareness. If you could possibly do anything it would be GREATLY appreciated!

Age 12

Dear Mr. Mayor,

I came to your building with Heritage Homeschool Co-Op yesterday. This is my dream for Tulsa: I think there should be more homeless shelters for the homeless people and they will give food away and blankets and stuff.


From, Abby
Age 9

And here's a few pics we took after our field trip driving around downtown. We love to look at the interesting architecture of the buildings and people watch ;-)

Photo by Abby, age 9

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dining Room Makeover - African Style

Steve and I built our house 13 years ago and have not done a whole lot to our dining room over that time. Surprising because every other room in our house has seemed to change totally every 3-4 years or so. We loved our red, French Country room for a while, but over the last few months we discussed changing it up a bit. We came up with the idea to decorate it with an African theme since I went there in December 2010 and Steve went this past July. We also volunteer for Project Hope Worldwide, an organization that has built an orphanage and school in Lira, Uganda. Our whole family just really have a heart for Ugandans so we thought what better theme to choose than African? ;-)

I could kick myself for not taking a before pic of the room with furniture in it. These two will have to do...

Notice the "lovely" Sound of Music collector plates flanking the window. I am selling them so let me know if you're interested! ;-)

I digress! Here's a before pic with the furniture emptied out...

The color theme we came up with...

I actually enjoy the challenge of decorating on a small budget so I tried to recycle some of the things we had with new coats of paint and new fabrics. We decided to keep our dining room table since it was still in great condition and just paint it and recover our chair cushions. A huuuuuge THANK YOU goes out to my hubby, Steve, for doing all the large bulk painting and for painting our table and chairs. I have no idea how he puts up with me and my crazy ideas.

And here's the finished room...

I did a color wash on the upper part of the walls and a zebra stripe on the inside panels of the lower part of the wall. I decided the wall surrounding the zebra stripe was too plain so i did a dry-brushed effect with glaze to that, too.

This is Tracy, the inspiration for our room. You can read about Tracy's story here.

Oklahoma & Uganda time ;-)

Painting by our 9-year old, Abby
One of my favorite parts of the room are the canvases - which replaced my Sound of Music plates ;-)  I made them on and they are mostly photos Steve and I took on our trip to Uganda. Brings back such great memories!

This is Anna, one of the orphans we sponsor through Project Hope Worldwide...

Another pic of Tracy ;-)
My plate racks used to be shiny black so I spray painted them a rust color to match the room more...

This valance used to have a scalloped bottom and was covered in a red and white toile fabric. Steve cut off the scalloped edge for me then I recovered it & added the fringe...

After Steve painted our table turquoise, I gave it a dry-brush glaze in brown. I was a little nervous to try this effect but I think it turned out pretty good! ;-)

A little explanation on my table centerpiece...I received the mosaic candle holders from my in-laws for Christmas.They fit perfectly in our new room! The red runner is actually two wooden, square place mats laid side by side (found at Wal Mart for $4 each). Then I put leftover fabric from the chairs inside a picture frame. The place mats are also from WalMart - $2 each! Shhh! Don't tell!

I was born in Germany and my parents brought this globe back with them when we moved to the States. I've always loved it but especially now in this room...

A drawing of my girls by Gary Wing Portaits. He does amazing work!

And that's the finished room. A lot of work but a lot of fun, too! It's one of my favorite projects and now one of our favorite rooms in the house.

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas 2011 Wrap Up

Steve and I have been busy redecorating our dining room and I've fallen behind on blogging. So here's my Christmas 2011 Wrap-Up - better late than never ;-)

We had a great time celebrating Christmas with family and friends this year!

Of course, we always love to decorate for Christmas. I was in Uganda the first 2 weeks of Christmas last year so I didn't really decorate that much. This year, Steve says it looks like Christmas threw up in our house ;-)

Our girls held a Christmas Party at our house with a few of their friends and their dolls. They made all the invitations, planned all the food, games, and crafts and pretty much did everything themselves. They did a great job and I think all the girls had lots of fun...

The girls had a blast at their Annual Christmas Tea Party with The Girls Club. They did a cookie exchange, decorated an oversized sugar cookie, played games, sang Christmas carols, and ate yummy snacks. This is one event they definitely look forward to every year!

The Friday before Christmas, my Mom came over and we celebrated with her. We had a very "traditional" pizza dinner ;-), the girls performed Christmas songs for us, and we opened gifts. We opened gifts from my aunt in Washington and the girls also exchanged their gift to each other that night, too...

The next day, we went to Oklahoma City to celebrate with my family. First we went to my sister's where we had a yummy lunch of crock pot potato soup, decorated a birthday cake for Jesus, and had fun dancing with Dance Kids on the Wii...

Then we went to my dad and step-moms - a few miles away from my sister's. The girls had fun making t-shirt scarves with my sister, Rachel...

Photo by my sister, Anna
We had dinner together, visited, and opened gifts. It was great to see everyone, especially my relatives from San Antonio!

The next day was Christmas Eve. Our church had a great Candlelight Christmas Eve service...

Then the girls prepared milk, cookies, and letters to Santa in hopes that he might come that night...

Looks like he came! Whew! ;-)

Christmas morning...

That afternoon, we went to Steve's Aunt's house in Claremore for a delicious lunch and catching up with relatives...

The next we celebrated with Steve's family at his parent's house in Sperry...

My favorite part of opening gifts there is always the homemade gifts that Steve's mom and the kids make for us. They are always so special to me...

So Christmas is now over and it's time to start a new year. Looking forward to all it has to offer and all the fun memories we'll be making with friends and family! Happy 2012!