Masterpieces & Mischief

Emily Jane Painting

One of my favorite things to do during days of ‘stay-at-home mommying’ is to escape the sound-making toys, lose sight of the television, and take the kiddos outside to paint. No way is this happening INSIDE my home.

My husband’s sister, whose name also happens to be Jenna, actually did suggest an indoor solution for painting: THE BATHTUB!!

“Tape paper to the side of the tub and let them go at it!”… that was basically her advice.

Ingenious.

They can make a mess of themselves and their surroundings. They’re already in the prime location for the inevitable washing that must follow the painting extravaganza.

Brilliant.

Let me just say that I’m so thankful for my sister-in-laws. They are more experienced at this whole ‘mama’ thing than I am. I know I can always seek their wisdom when I’m perplexed or perturbed. Their example as parents has encouraged both myself and David (my hubby) in our parenting adventure. And parents so need an example of good parenting in their lives to direct them down the right paths. Being a parent is tough. You fail a lot. You get discouraged. We need examples to keep us on the right track. They encourage us. They challenge us. They help us maintain our sanity. I sincerely hope that one day David & I will be able to help new parents as they start down this wonderful, stressful, beautiful, exhausting road. Until you become a parent you cannot truly understand. If you become one, you will understand. But you’ll feel more clueless than ever.

My daughters are in the beginning stages of the mischief that they are sure to get into in the years to come. I am not so naive as to think that this mischievousness will suddenly disappear once the “terrible twos” come to an end. I have a recently-turned 3-year-old (Rachel) and just-turned 2-year-old (Emily). Emily is really testing the ‘rules’ and ‘boundaries’ set up for her and Rachel (who seemed to have these rules and boundaries fairly solidly in place before) seems to be backsliding into mischief right along with little miss Emily. They are sweethearts. I love them. But they test my sanity.

Along with their mischievous antics also comes something magical. This magic seems to disappear as we get older… a creativity and genuineness that only comes at such young ages. I’m trying desperately to cherish it and capture it when I can.

When my girls paint…. I see their personalities come out so clearly and their creativity blooms.

It is magical.

(And messy.)

One is so meticulous and thoughtful. (She likes routine.)

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Oh my heart.

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The other is more animated and whimsical. (And messy).

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Oh my. I can’t look at these too much. I get all teary-eyed. They are growing too fast.

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But even the most routined, serious, detailed girl… can be downright goofy at times.

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And even the naturally-funny, expressive, haphazard girl… can be exceptionally focused, mindful, and sincere.

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I love that they are so unique.

I love that they are so different.

I love that God created them just the way they are.

They are His masterpieces.

Here are their masterpieces…

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This makes me want to paint!

Maybe in the bathtub.

Nevermind.

Oh. And the answer to both questions is…. YES.

YES! There is grass in Arizona.

(In case you saw it in the pictures and were wondering.)

And YES! My daughters are in short sleeves and shorts outside. In February.

(Yesterday the high was 77 degrees. Today it is 84 degrees. Welcome to Phoenix.)

love, jenna

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