Creativity Exercises

On Saturday, I got up at the crack of 8:00 or so to gear up and head down to a local park for a gathering of photographers who wished to stretch their creativite muscles. We were each required to bring a random object, some sort of camera, an open mind, and we had to be there on time.

I wracked my brain trying to come up with a good, random object to be photographed. Something with flexibility. Sometime fun and interesting. Aha - Socrates, Caleb's sock monkey. I was pretty excited about this choice. A sock monkey, a garden at the park, and a camera = fun photos. Or so I anticipated.

But these creativity exercises were about thinking outside the box, about being creative with whatever comes your way, about doing something different. So we were paired up with another photographer (10 of us total) and we each had 20 minutes to photograph our partner's random object in 10 images. Oooh, what a tricky leader/instructor we had. Obviously, my partner had it easy with Socrates. He came up with some pretty fun shots.

What did my partner bring? A pair of statues.

statue couple_1_sm

They turned out to be a very interesting couple to photograph.

statue couple_2_sm

statue couple_3_sm

statue couple_3b_sm

statue couple_5_sm

For the second exercise, we had new partners and one person had to walk and walk and walk until the partner said to stop. Wherever you stopped, you would mark that location, and then you had 10 minutes in which to shoot 10 photos no further than 10' away from where you stopped, using the random objects or not. Naturally, my partner (our illustrious leader/instructor) was nice enough to stop me in the middle of a dirt trail. Fortunately, with my 10' radius, I could get to a few things. And I had a zoom lens on my camera, so that gave me some flexibility. Here are a few of those:



purple pipe_sm


And for the third exercise, we had yet another partner and you had 10 minutes to take three photos in which you tell a story. My partner? Yeah, he got to tell a story with a sock monkey. Easy peasy, right? Me? He handed me his wallet. I had to tell a story in three photos with his wallet. Okay then.

walts wallet

Okay, it's not a Pulitzer Prize-winning story, but it's a story, nonetheless. Sometimes you have to work with what you have.


Spontaneous Family Day

While Sundays usually have some family time involved, we thought our day was going to look a bit different than it did. But it was one of those serendipitous moments when the plans changed and we had the day wide open before us, with pretty much nowhere to go and nothing to do (well, nothing urgent or planned). So we had a family day.

Actually, we squeezed in a couple of haircuts before the fun and games began. Poor John - it's been super windy around here and having his hair all in his face has been rather frustrating while trying to work. He wasn't fond of my bandana idea, either. Now he can see and work without all that hair interference.

Family fun! #clue #boardgamesWe played Clue, which I know I haven't played in probably 8-9 years. The boys have probably played a little more recently, but not sure that it's been within the past 4-5 years. It was a blast! Interestingly, the murderous Mrs. White was guilty three out of four times! She's a treacherous one, that Mrs. White.

We also played a couple games of Yahtzee. It's been awhile since I've played that one, too. We made a run to the frozen yogurt joint in between games, though, which cooled the dice off significantly. Our second game was quite underwhelming. Fun with sad scores.

Oh yeah, John & I made a quick run over to the grocery store, where we were greeted in the checkstand line with this!

She was staring at us in line at the checkout! #googlyeyes @kelseybigelow


Since we had yogurt at around dinner time, no one was terribly hungry, so we watched a few episodes of Numb3rs on Netflix and snacked as the need arose.

All in all, a spontaneously wonderful day.


End of Eight Years

When I began the homeschool journey, Caleb was just entering middle school (6th grade) and Zach was still at the local public school for 5th. If I were to homeschool all the way through high school, it would be a total of eight years. Not as long as many, but that seemed SO FAR AWAY. But here I am in April of 2013 and that eight-year-mark will arrive next month. Color me stunned.

What ever will I do with myself with no homeschooling responsibilities?

I've decided to start a list. Because I like lists. Mostly I like lists because I like to check or cross things off of lists. (Do you like to check them or cross them off? I'm sort of random, so I'll do both. But not on the same list.)

1. I will lighten my cyberlife by unsubscribing from any remaining homeschool lists, unfriending and unfollowing people with whom I have no relationship beyond homeschooling, and I will remove myself from any other online homeschooling ventures. Not because I don't love homeschooling any more, but it won't be relevant.

2. I will round up all the curriculum, resources, and other such stuff, and sell it or give it away or whatever it takes to get it out of my house and free up some space around here. And I will write long, run-on sentences just for the fun of it because I don't have to be in teacher mode even though I am always an editor at heart.

3. I will stop attending the meetings of the homeschool group I've been a part of for these past eight years. But I still get to meet with them afterward just for fun.

4. I will convince my boys that we should still have Bible and prayer each morning just because I love that time with them. Unless, of course, they don't live here (ha! ha!) as that might be a little inconvenient.

5. I will engage more in my photography business.

6. I will do all those things I never had time for (cleaning out my junk in the garage, purging the closets, finish painting the family room and trim throughout the house, etc.).

{sorry...I just fell out of my chair from laughing so hard at the idea of "doing all those things I never had time for"...bwahahahaha!!!}

7. I will do whatever else God has in store for me of which I know nothing right now.

Doesn't that all sound lovely? I highly doubt it will go that way. Life rarely goes according to plan. I'm pretty sure that #1-3 will happen, but the rest? We'll see how that goes.


Homeschool Prom

Yesterday I mentioned not really pulling any April Fool's Day pranks for the past few years. Apparently, I forgot about last year. This was classic - to John and me, not really the boys so much.

It was a Sunday morning and the boys were sleeping in. We got them up and had them come upstairs fairly soon so they wouldn't have time to realize what day it was. I proceeded to tell them that since we were nearing the end of our homeschool journey and we didn't want them to feel like they'd missed out on anything, we were going to plan a Homeschool Prom. A little back story here - the boys haven't had any interest in girls or dancing or anything remotely prom related. So already this sounds pretty horrible.

I went on to let them know that planning and decorating would be part of their school since we had a month or more to put it together. We'd hold it in the garage. John has a stereo out there, so no problem for the music. There's a refrigerator, so we could set up a table with refreshments. There's plenty of room to dance. They know more homeschooled boys than girls, so in order to even that out, I said we could invite some girls from the bowling league.

I went on and on about the entire event and at one point, I heard Zach quietly saying, "No thank you," repeatedly.

Caleb eventually figured out what day it was and what was going on. Shortly after that, I let Zach know, too. Oh, I also let him know that I'd been recording it - first on audio, then video. I think he said something about how mean I was. Really, Zach? I offered to let him wear shorts with his tie and jacket.

So apparently I'm not quite as nice as I thought yesterday. John and I thought it was rather funny, though. Caleb remained fairly calm, though I doubt he wanted to see it actually happen. Zach, on the other hand...he had much more of a reaction. But I think he was pretty relieved to find out it wasn't real.

And no, I'm not sharing the audio or the video. The boys will thank me for that.



My goodness, the time it does fly. How can it possibly be the first of April? AKA April Fool's Day. Do you pull pranks on people today? I mostly don't. Mostly because I can't think of any good harmless fun. Or I just forget and then the day's here. Last year Caleb taped the lever down on our sprayer at the kitchen faucet, hoping to get Zach to spray himself. That didn't pan out so well since I was the first one to use the sprayer. A few years ago (like five), I did pull a prank on the boys with some frozen breakfast, but it was all good fun and they ended up with a box of cereal they wouldn't normally have, so it was a treat after all.

But this year, I have nothing. Which is fine. It's just not a big deal to me.

It also would've been my cousin's birthday were she still here. She would've been 49. I think that would've freaked her out a bit. But instead of freaking out about almost hitting the half-century mark, she's rejoicing with Jesus. So while we miss her here, how could we ever want her to not be there?

On Saturday, I cleaned up the garden out front. In the fall, I always think I should clean up all the leaves and dead stuff, but I think it makes for some nice insulation for the bulbs into the next spring. It's like finding treasure as I clear everything out and see all the pretty green plants popping up. I'm pretty excited about the bulbs out in my garden. There are SO many plants. There's always been quite a few allium out there, but this year, I think it's going to be rather crowded. The tulips seem to have spread, too. I used to have none. Then I had one for a couple of years. Now there are no fewer than six tulips beginning to grow. I also have some small ornamental onions and some lilies. Hopefully this year, my lilies don't get beat to sticks by any stupid hail. That was so sad.

garden 1

garden 4

garden 3

Our neighbor's cat uses NUMEROUS locations in our yard as a cat box. Which I absolutely HATE! This cat will not stay away, either. In years past I have poured chili powder in those areas. I'm thinking it works for a little while, but I probably didn't get it out there often enough. So this year I'm using coffee grounds. They're free from Starbucks, plus they're good for the soil. And I'm really, really hoping this will keep the darned cat away. I even chase him and shoot at him with a wimpy little airsoft gun (I don't hit him, just try to scare him), but he's rather unaffected by my efforts.

garden 2

Today is the first day of water restrictions here. Sadly, our precipitation (snow and rain) has been terribly low these past few years with no relief in sight. The restrictions just apply to sprinkler watering (like the lawn). But I need to remember to get out and water my garden. Until the past week, it's been covered with snow, so it was getting a nice, slow soaking. I'm not looking forward to another super hot and dry summer. Last year was not good, so I'm hoping they're wrong (sorry weather forecasters) and that God brings some wonderful, much-needed rain to Colorado this spring and summer.

Well, there's much to do today, so I'd better get cracking. But hey, it's a post, right? And it even has pictures.

Happy April to my three readers!!

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