Hidden Art Friday


I pinned this easy chalkpaint two years ago. And then again last summer, forgetting I had already pinned it. Whoops! With August just around the corner, I decided it is was now or never. I could not be more thrilled with the results!

This art project is truly amazing! The supplies are relatively inexpensive (food dye, corn starch, water and paint brushes/sponges). The paint is easy to make–an older child could do it. The mess stays outside. The art is large-scale. People of all ages enjoy it (from my 23-month-old all the way up to me!). And the art is open-ended; you can use brushes, sponges, twigs, rocks. You can paint, drip or even “throw” the paint on the surface. I say this because my kids discovered “splatter painting” ala Jackson Pollock although they know nothing about him yet!

One note of advice. Prepare a separate cup of paint for young toddlers. My little guy was mixing all the colors together until I gave him his own cup.

Some other summer ideas that I hope to cram in at the last minute:

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Hidden Art Friday

hidden art

We’re in the midst of a cross-country trip right now, having driven through seven states (with just three more to go) in order to visit our families and celebrate our 10th anniversary!  This week I had high expectations for the day we spent visiting Christina and her family, hoping we’d come up with a joint HAF post for your delight and encouragement.  Instead, we spent all day talking and encouraging each other while occupying our seven children (while the husbands were at work)!  Somehow the blogging didn’t happen…can you imagine why not?

I always love spending time in Christina’s home because she gives such thought to glorifying God through and in her home.  While she could certainly blog more eloquently on the topic, I’ll just mention in passing one of my favorite things about her living room.  Christina puts great thought into every object on her walls and shelves.  I actually took the above picture while trying to work out the lighting for a picture of all of our kids on the couch, but I happened to capture her mom’s old (first edition?) copy of Edith Schaeffer’s Hidden Art, the inspiration for our Friday posts!

Are you reading anything interesting this summer?  I’m halfway through Hallowed Be This House by Thomas Howard (Elisabeth Elliot’s brother), which Christina gave me a couple months back.  During this visit, we discussed book lists and reading ambitions, and I thought I should clarify for those who might envision me as this supermom who reads deep books every day that the majority of my reading is light, mainly children’s lit, or shorter articles rather than long books.  That’s my life stage.  It takes me a long time to find the time to read long classics, though I hope to get through a few while we have grandparents and aunts and uncles entertaining our kids in the next couple of weeks!

Yesterday I got the chance to spend time with Martha, perhaps my dearest Titus 2 mentor, who turned 80 last week.  For as long as I can remember, we’ve celebrated our shared birthday month by taking each other out for lunch.  Over the years, Martha has encouraged and exhorted my mom and me, and this week she kept coming back to the importance of prayer–for safety, for the health of our children, for healing of illness, for wisdom in life decisions, for spiritual growth.  She is so faithful in sharing examples of answered prayers in her family’s life, and I came away so excited!  If we young moms spent more time with the older, wiser women in our lives and churches, I believe our lives–and our children’s lives–would be greatly enriched.  Do you have a grandma-aged mentor in your life?

And as a side note, I just want to send a huge thank you to those of you who have taken the time to tell us when a post has encouraged you or inspired you.  Often we spend hours on a post, and when we get an encouraging email or see that one of you has shared it on facebook, it means so much to us!  Thank you for reading and encouraging us.

May you have a fun and refreshing weekend, and we’ll see you next week for Hidden Art Friday!

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Hidden Art Friday


HuckleberriesHappy Friday! My family has been in Montana for about 8 weeks now, and we only have 10 days left. As the weather has warmed up, we’ve been doing some iconic Montana activities: hiking in Glacier National Park, water skiing, and picking huckleberries. We accidentally found our own super secret huckleberry spot, and we’ve collected enough berries for a pie and huckleberry syrup. Yummy.

Our summer hiatus has us all feeling ready to return to work and school on the East Coast. I hope the same is true for you. Have a wonderful weekend!

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Hidden Art Friday

counting kissesIt’s been super hot around here this week, so when the kids get home from swimming lessons, they either scamper out to the kiddie pool on the back patio or gather a stack of books to read inside where it’s cool.

We’re not doing an official summer reading week here on the blog this year, but I’m still having my kids do some of the local reading programs.  For my family, reading programs are a fun excuse for us to actually record how much we read (my list-loving soul loves feeling that I have something to SHOW for myself at the end of the day!).  We’re signed up for the library reading program, my son is doing the Barnes and Noble Imagination’s Destination, and we’re going to take advantage of the Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading challenge.

And my friend Sarah asked me to give an update on the beans recipe contest!  I ended up with around 20 new recipes to try out on my kids.  We’ve tried over half of them, with pretty good success.  At the very least, my big kids are no longer balking at being served a bean dish for dinner.  Familiarity is good.  Not buying so much meat has been great for our food budget (especially as I’ve also been stockpiling snack foods for our upcoming cross-country road trip).  I think I’ve managed to lose a couple pounds of baby weight.  And because many of the recipes are cooked on the stove top or in the crock pot, I haven’t had to turn my oven on as much (always a plus in the heat of summer).  So far one meal was a huge hit for everyone, another couple were popular with my three big kids, and most were enjoyed by at least half of the family.  I have a new favorite, and my husband has a couple new healthy lunch ideas!  Because I’m never sure if anyone will eat a new meal, I’ve been trying to try a new recipe every 2 or 3 days, with old favorites planned in between.  Only one dish so far has been a total dud, but fortunately Sarah happened to be at my house ’til dinnertime the next day and gladly took the leftovers off my hands to feed her family (who gobbled it up).  So just because not all of my kids liked something, that doesn’t mean your kids won’t.  Take a look at all the entries in the comments and let us know if something was a big hit for your family!   I have a few more to try before we head off on vacation, and I’ll announce the winner(s) next month.


While our Mon-Wed posts are on hiatus for the next few weeks, feel free to check out some of our favorite reading posts from the archives:

Elsa’s favorite baby books

Elsa’s favorite older baby/toddler books

Elsa’s mom, Donna, talks about the benefits of reading together

Bethany shares 5 favorite chapter books for ages 5 and under


Have a lovely weekend, and we’ll see you next week for Hidden Art Friday!

Posted in Hidden Art Fridays, Reading | 2 Comments
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