to the trees

Ah, Spring.

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend, Spring Break, and/or Passover.  We celebrate all three at TexasNorth.  Pass the latkes.

The sunshine lately has started to loosen winter’s grip on me.  It doesn’t have to be warm, per se… just bright.  I do very much miss the sun when it is gone. I never learned that about myself until I moved to Michigan and saw that people are sad for most of January, February, and March.  God was not messing around with the whole Light and dark theme- literally or figuratively.  He’s pretty brilliant about extended metaphors.

When the sun is out, so are we.  While Curtis James was in Austin last week, Ry and I worked on another time-buster.  This one went decidedly better than the flowers thanks to Gus being banish-ed from the project.  Please.  Acrylic paint?  Not a chance.  This one couldn’t be easier:

Simply gather a bunch of large-ish rocks, have your kiddo(s) paint the background color,

And then finish by painting the crop name on top.  I should grab a smaller brush and put the year planted, too.  Just thought of that.

I want very much to do this with samples of all our trees on the property (which are surprisingly few, as this used to be cleared pasture land) as well as the garden.

These apple trees are very special to me… our first fruit trees, one for Rylie and one for Gideon.  Abby will get hers this year (metaphors abound here, too… but that’s for another day).  I knew we’d forget over time what kind of goodies we were growing, so I thought this would be a quick way to label.  Love me some labeling.  

Now to find rocks for the blackberry bushes, the blueberry bushes, the strawberries… and maybe a few for basics like tomatoes and peppers.  I love that all the rocks are unique… that Ry helped me (even just a little bit)… that it’s another ‘theme’ (like HERE)… that it’s simple… that the rocks are super heavy.

It will take Gus all day to carry them and move them and hide them.  I should have plenty of time to catch him before SQUASH becomes CORN.

As an aside, a reflection, an admission or what-have-you…

I thought that my history of teaching and leading ropes courses and being a camp counselor and  Red Cross babysitter would give me the creativity and desire to have these kind of projects at-the-ready when I had kids.  Learning all the time!  Fun all the time!  Creative all the time!  Sadly, my laziness wins 90% of the time I have an opportunity to do things Awesome instead of Basic.  I find myself crashing through life more than sailing… largely due to my serious aversion to planning.  I’d like to change that… or at least get better at it.  I bet my crazy days would be at least a teensy bit more bearable if I had a fun surprise ready if the stars aligned.  Especially this summer.

That being said, I am very pleased with myself for thinking ahead on the planting and the painting… two very short projects but ones that involved the kids and let us spend time together in non-routine ways.  Baby steps, people.  Baby steps.

I started a Kid and Play board over at Pinterest to save all the great lists and ideas I come across.  Some of these women I read about are insane and I kinda wanna punch them (hey)… but it’s certainly good for inspiration.  Lemme know how you work creativity and fun into your kids’ life.  


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

One response to “to the trees

  • Rebekah

    I find myself just scrapping by as well. Which is surprising, I’m a teacher, for goodness sakes! Shouldn’t I have cute crafty projects, educational games, and healthy snacks at the ready at all times?! Turns out… not so much. I find the days I don’t plan anything go far worse than days I plan a little something for Asa. Even if its a game of candyland, a fun snack, playdoh/coloring, or a walk/playing outside the day seems to go better. I guess planning things for my kids takes a lot of energy and most days that feels overwhelming, but once I’m doing it, I enjoy it and am glad I did it. It’s finding that motivation.

    A few ideas that might work for your kids:
    stickers: buy a bunch of cheap ones and let them cover paper after paper with stickers. Time consuming and great for fine motor skills. Just don’t take your eyes off them or your house will be covered in stickers!

    make a texture “table” – I’ve used a long flat plastic bin rather than a table (yea for a lid!). Add rice or sand or oatmeal and assorted fun toys/trucks to go along with it. Just use in a place where you can sweep up or vacuum the stray crumbs. Better yet have them clean it up!

    Does Ry like to cut with a scissors? Asa obsessed right now. I give him piles of paper and magazines along with those fun scrapbooking scissors I never use and let him go to town.

    Just a few thoughts, I’ll keep thinking. I do have a feeling crafts at your house might be hard… keeping your eye on 3 kids has to be challenging. Wouldn’t want Gus to end up with a wild, sister-given, hair cut 😉

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