Archives for February 2013

Moments: Mom Rocks!

As a mom, I spend a lot of time loving what my kids love; pushing them on a swing, putting together a puzzle, reading a favorite book over and over again, and playing a video game that I am surely going to lose.I look for ways to connect with them as individuals knowing each of them is unique. One loves quality time, one loves words of affirmation, one loves some good snuggle time.

This morning I was aware that the roles were reversed. My third son Jacob asked if he could get me my coffee.He then brought it to me in the mug he had bought me for Christmas. As I drank it and thought about his thoughtful gesture, I realized he was loving me in the way he knew I’d appreciate it. An act of service and a hot cup of coffee .

Acts of love bear sweet fruit.

Enjoy your moments.

Lanise Santala

Review: Wherever You Are

Author & Illustrator:  Nancy Tillman

Telling our children that we love them is something that we as parents just do – over and over. The words, “I love you” simply pop out of our mouths often without much thought. It’s not that we don’t mean it, perhaps we just don’t know how to express our love in a more creative way. Especially as our children grow and mature. 

How can we show our children that they do carry our love with them each and every day?  From the first heart-wrenching experience of letting go that a parent and child experience to a time when they’re “all the way grown”, the loving images in this tender book show your children that…

Wherever You Are – my love will find you.

Mary Byrne Kline

“And if someday you’re lonely,
or someday you’re sad,
or you strike out at baseball,
or think you’ve been bad…

just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That’s me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.

In the green of the grass… in the smell of
the sea… in the clouds floating by…
at the top of a tree… in the sound 
crickets make at the end of the day…

“You are loved. You are loved. You are
loved,” they all say.

Let’s Draw a Dog! ~ Masterpiece Response

Most children love animals and man’s best friend is the perfect animal for little ones to practice creating for our February Fireflies theme: Hearts & Love!   

Here is another little dog also by Manet 

“Head of Dog – Bob.”
“Head of Dog – Bob”
Artist:  Manet

Manet was a painter during the Impressionistic period in France.  His friend was Monet.  A lot of people get Monet and Manet confused.  Claude Monet was known the father of Impressionism that began with his painting “Impression, Sunrise.”  

Manet painted during that time period and was inspired by the Impressionists, but his style wasn’t complete Impressionistic.

Let’s draw a simple dog – step by step!  
You will need a box of oil pastels, a piece of white paper and a willing heart!
Let’s look at our little artists hard at work…

1.  First draw an eyes and nose with a purple/violet oil pastel…
2.  Then color it in with the same purple.  Next outline the eyes in black, making them a little pointy on the sides instead of all round.  Put a black pupil in the middle.  

3.  Next, make an orange-brown(otherwise known as burnt sienna) line to the left of the pupil if you like to give your dog brown eyes.
4.  Make a little blue “smudge” line to the right of the pupil. This little bit of blue will make the dog’s eyes look like they are shining!
5.  Now we are going to put a little of that blue on the top part of that nose circle as well so his nose looks nice and wet and shiny too!  
6.  Next, add a white spot to the eye for highlight.  Then we’ll a little white on the nose to lighten up the purple and define the nostrils by making a “C on the right side of the nose and a backwards “C” on the left side!  
Your eyes and nose are done! 

7.  Next, add a mouth.  It can be a straight line or an upside down “V” with a large “U” under it to make an open mouth! 

8.  Finally, add grey fur around the eyes and mouth.  Now we will keep adding fur with fun little line strokes in all kinds of warm colors (like gold, brown, orange-brown) till your dog’s face is all fluffy!  Remember to add the fur strokes in the direction the fur grows!  
A bright background color of your choice will fill your page and set off your doggie.

Look at our little artists final products.  These students range in age from 4 to 6:

Even the littlest ones can enjoy this project and feel successful in their drawings!  

Here are some samples…

Have fun!

  Love and blessings,

Laura Bird Miller

Artist/Art Instructor

Masterpiece – Unconditional Love

Warm.  Welcoming.  Unconditional.

What leaps to mind when you think of warm, welcoming, unconditional love?

The love of Christ?        No doubt!
The love of parents?      Of course!
The love of our pets, namely, mans’ best friend?        Naturally!
The Dog
Artist: Edouard Manet
Conversational Prompts
1.  Do you like dogs?
Let your child engage and make it personal.

2.  What kind of dog do you think this is? 
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, most likely.  Please comment if you have any input.  This breed of spaniel was popular in the 16-19th century as a lapdog for ladies to generate heat for them. King Charles II could not travel anywhere without his spaniels, so he made a decree which supposedly is still in effect that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel would be allowed in public places.

3.  What do you like about Manet’s painting and what do you dislike?
Expand the discussion involving colors and textures.

4.  Where are the areas of emphasis?  Where do your eyes go when you look at this painting?  
The dogs eyes, due to the black/white contrast.

For older children
5.  What do you know about Edouard Manet?
He was an Impressionist painter?  Can they recognize the style of the Impressionists?
On our next post, little ones will have fun learning how to draw
a cute little puppy with oil pastels or crayons.  

Until then, live, love, paint!
God bless,
Laura Bird Miller

What is another question you would ask your child while discussing “The Dog” by Edouard Manet?  Please share in a comment below to be eligible for a free give-away and help us add to our list of 
 Fireflies Conversational Prompts.

The MASTERS: Art Appreciation – Each month Laura Bird Miller introduces an art masterpiece to share with PK – 2nd grade children.  No worksheets, no tests – just exploration, discussion, awareness and fun.  We promise you, her love of God and art is infectious.  She assists in conversation by providing parents age appropriate questions and prompts to use when exploring the featured masterpiece.   Laura also provides a visual art project to go along with each Masterpiece chosen.   

Please visit Laura’s website for more information.