Tag: Doodle-a-day

Illustration Friday plus one for my husband

This weeks IF was Wrinkles.  I have hardly had time to think  on it since I was busy with the web server and then with this painting I need to finish (and, um, well, I have been reading a lot as well.)  Anyway, I finally came up with something about 5 minutes ago and thought I would post it so I don’t skip another week even though I didn’t do anything to it since I NEED to get to bed.

What could be more wrinkled than the basket of clothes that has been sitting in my living room while I do all this other stuff?

And this is for my husband who requested that I color the doodle of him I did yesterday so he could use it as his forum icon.  He is so funny.  I would have used this for wrinkles since he is starting to get them but they are only visible when he smiles and you can’t see them from the back of his head–which is what we usually see. 🙂

Three of my favorite things

A doodle I did of my husband last night. This is the view we usually have of him. 🙂

Tsuji Ayano An incredible Japanese singer who plays the ukelele and whom I am currently addicted to listening to.

Studio Ghibli Our favorite anime studio. Home of Miyazaki, a brilliant anime director. If you want to try out anime but have no idea where to start Studio Ghibli productions are the best starting point.

My Neighbor Totoro
Whisper of the Heart (my knew favorite)
Porco Rosso
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns
Howl’s Moving Castle (the book is MUCH better though the movie is wonderful.)
Castle in the Sky

I should note that these are the ones we have seen. There are others we have not seen. My husband and I watch each first then decide if it is suitable for our children–you might say these are comparable to older Disney animations, and in fact, Disney now helps produce them here. Some of these have scary bits but I would say all are suited to 7 and up.  Keep in mind–we don’t have cable tv.  Our kids don’t experience American tv very often and my husband and I prefer it that way.

The Car Game

“All right. All three of you are spelunking. You each have some granola bars, some water, 20 ft. of rope and a flashlight. You are about 10 ft. into the cave and you hear a human shout ahead. You cannot tell which of the four caves ahead of you it is in. What do you do? ”

To any geek this sounds like a typical D&D campaign, or at least part of one. It isn’t–it is our car game. Instead of dice deciding–since the game master mom is driving I try to consider their solutions and decide whether it is possible that it might work. At each decision there is a chance that something will go wrong or “rocks fall everybody dies” but in general this is a much simpler (and much less deadly) version of the geeky game and one that fosters story telling and problem solving.

The kids enjoy coming up with possible solutions and have many opportunities to try again and test different theories. In this case it took about 20 minutes (half the drive home from Grandma’s) to come up with a solution to the problem. They managed to find and save the fellow spelunker who had fallen into a hole about 70 ft into the cave.

On the same car ride they managed to rescue a kite from a tree and find a way to get home should our car stop five miles from town (they were able to figure out where the car was stuck based on the direction and and chose the person who was closest to come and get them.)

The game is very similar to the role playing people tend to do with younger children but geared towards building their communication and problem solving skills ( most of the “rocks fall everybody dies” endings occur when the person planning isn’t clear about their solution and leaves out vital details like holding breath or turning on flashlights.)

I got to thinking about it (and playing it) today after talking to the kids about the passing of D&D game designer Gary Gargax while wandering around Borders Books today.

A Day in the Life 25 + Doodle a Day: Weather Weirdness

Yesterday it was COLD and snowy and today it is 60 degrees and everything is melting. The kids and I were out in light jackets.

Western PA is funny that way. One day we have snow, the next a warm springy day. Back in college I couldn’t wait till the weather would change. One day it would be icy cold–cold enough for classes to be canceled (and believe me at Slippery Rock classes didn’t get canceled lightly. In my 5 years there–I was a dual major with an art minor–it was closed maybe three times. Once for a snow storm, once for an ice storm, and I don’t remember why on the other one.) The next day it would be sixty and we would all pull ut our shorts glad to have a chance to shed our winter coats. In fact, you would see some sitting out on the green in their bikinis soaking up the sun. This is the time of year when you go to the store and one lady will be wearing hat and mittens and a heavy coat and the next will be wearing shorts.

We have the house opened up–glad to replace the stale air with fresh. A month from now I will consider it cold when it is 60-something but for now it is a blessing and I am glad to shed my fingerless gloves, hat, and husband’s giant hoody which I have been wearing constantly to keep from freezing. The kids are running around in 4 inches of snow in rubber boots, bare legs, and short sleeves.

I am glad. They spent the morning in the house building all sorts of projects from an old children’s “Make it” book from my mother’s childhood. It’s one of those books that assumes that boys know how to use hammers and nails and saws and that girls know how to sew. Rachel has been building all sorts of things for herself and for her brother and sister. Issac spent the morning working on a 550 piece puzzle. Esther was doing some sort of project on Lego Star Wars on her DS. We then had to search for a missing CD and overdue library books. Rooms got clean while searching. Afterwards we sent a few packages from the post office (the kids learned what a customs form was for since one had to go to Canada) and I made all three go with me to the library to tell the librarian that they had left the cd on the floor and stepped on it. They learned that it is much harder to deal with something the longer you wait and that dealing with it immediately and in person is such a wonderful relief. We also had to stop at the thrift shop because Rachel has grown out of all her own shoes and is now wearing mine (yes, my ten year old is wearing my clothes and shoes even though she is 4 inches shorter than me–she won’t be for long.) When we returned home the kids ran outside, happy to be free and enjoy the sunshine.

Addendum: Esther just came in barefoot. She lost her shoes in the snow. I sent her back out to find them. At that moment Issac came in crying because he forgot to wear socks and despite the warm temperatures snow is still cold on feet without socks.

A Morning in the Life 24

This morning while I was reading at my desk Issac wandered in and asked if it was okay if he cleaned his room.

“!?! Um, yeah, of course.”

We talked a bit and he explained to me why he throws his clothes on the floor and how he planned to refold the clothes when the come unfolded so that he can put them back in his drawer. (Our rule is that he needs to keep the clean clothes off the floor and make a path before bed each night. I have reiterated time and again that I don’t like him throwing his clean clothes on the floor so he has been trying to work out how to keep that from happening.) He wandered off and did his clothes then asked if he could take a break– to eat breakfast.Read More

A Day in the Life 23: Book Seeds

self-portrait of sorts.

If you had seen me between my moments of brainstorming and coding in the last few days this is how I would likely have looked–from the beret and braids down to the books. I have been seeding. Every month or so I like to remove the piles of books around the house to were they belong on the shelves and reseed various piles with books that peak my interest and which might capture the interest of my crazy kids.

When deciding which books get put away and which get put out I consider what each child has shown interest in. Rachel goes for how-to books with lots of experiments and crafts. Highlights magazine (a gift from her grandmother) is a big hit with her as well. I make sure to put out a few experiment or craft books in the bathroom and on various surfaces. Esther takes after her mom and will read anything that has art that appeals to her whether it is inside or just on the cover(which means I have to keep some of my manga and less child friendly books out of her sight) . My husband’s gamer magazines get moved out of her line of sight and are replaced with anthologies and story books with a few brilliant illustrations to peak her interest. My son finds documentary style books about cars, explosions, and volcanoes appealing though he is now also intrigued by easy reader books he can read himself.Read More

A Day inthe Life 18: Dinner and a Doodle

So after watching the ENTIRE 5 hours of Pride and Prejudice the kids were a bit hungry. Yes Rachel and Esther watched it straight through without eating (well Esther made herself and her brother an eggroll but that was it.) Issac watched about an hour of it which, for 6 year old who can’t sit still, was amazing. Often the kids feed themselves. They all like to cook (Issac likes the microwave) however they were really hungry and wanted something mommy could make. 🙂

I grabbed the fruit salad from breakfast, chopped some more mango (they are addicted to mango), and set out a small bowl of mixed veggies. Then, while they were getting everything set I whipped up this fabulous recipe that Holly linked to. It was a hit. Yes, I encourage my kids to play with their food. 🙂

And here is my Doodle–Esther was watching the movie upside down–which is strangely usual. It is surprisingly hard to capture an upside down face.

A Day in Life 16: When Learning is a Choice plus Doodle-a-day 2-19-08

When something is a requirement it is hard for the rebellious nature not to rebel. When learning is a choice then the rebellious will choose it because they really do want to learn. And when a person really does want to learn something that person will find a way.

  • When we went to the library last week my son asked for Hooked on Phonics: level 1, my daughters asked if they could get books to read. I reluctantly agreed only because we pay quite a lot in library fines because they forget which they got out.
  • Before bed my son read a book with me because he wanted to learn to read it. He also asked if he could play the Hooked on Phonics game in the morning. I told him he had to get his work done first (Mondays he throws all their dirty laundry down the step, move it to the hall where he has to sort it, plus put away all the pots ad pans and plastic items from the dishwasher.)
  • He woke at 8:30 and before he got his breakfast he had done the dirty laundry, not only the upstairs but also all the dirty laundry from the bedroom and the bathroom and he did everyone’s dishes, not just his own. He then came and told me and asked if he could play his game. (He has played it before and knows the answers pretty well but he is a cautious child and wants to REALLY know things before moving on.)
  • He spent an hour playing the Hooked on Phonics game which moves you through reading all sorts of three letter words then asked to go outside after he ate breakfast.
  • He went off to visit our elderly neighbor, who loves having company and happily reads him books, plays restaurant with him, and watches as he builds amazing towers with her set of blocks.
  • He spent hours playing happily in his room with his magnetics, exploring the world of magnetism and time outside with one of his plastic swords fighting off the monstrous trees that have invaded our backyard in search of fair princesses who need rescued or pretending he is a tiny little man inside my father’s back hoe moving sand around our fire pit and covering and rediscovering matchbox cars.
  • He asked to play Number Rings with me (a math game put out by Discovery Toys that requires the players to add, subtract, multiply, and divide 3 dice in order to fill in all the numbers from 1-18.) He then proceeded to beat me with only a little help with multiplication from me.
  • At bedtime he read If You Give a Pig a Pancake with only little help from me.
  • The next morning he he asked if he could do his school work. He then proceeded to get out all his workbooks and do page after page of his phonics workbook–effectively teaching himself all the long a spellings and reading them on his own. This after spending some time outside and realizing it was too cold and putting away 20 items in his room so he could go outside in the first place.

This is the same child who, when told he HAS to do something gets very worked up and can’t possibly get anything out of it because he is too busy being upset. Each of my children are different and he is my methodical self-motivated child. This child would be in trouble constantly in school because he can NOT sit still and can NOT be quiet (he makes noise and moves around all through our church time and reading time although if he is engrossed in a project he can be still). When he works on workbook pages he talks constantly and then gets up and runs around the house jumping off the furniture and shouting cock-a-doodle doo (his latest noise discovery.)