Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Fathers Day, Part Three

And finally, the most wordy installment from our oldest. Honestly, it hardly counts as a drawing except for the guy getting hit on the head by a coconut, but I can't use the firs two without using this one, either.

Here's what he writes:


I have been thinking that I should write this letter. Just so I can say thanks. Thank you for a warm house, a nice warm fireplace, two vehicles, a good personality, a good sense of humor, and a handful of loving care for our family. And do you want to know something else? We love you!

Truly yours, Liam

PS: Happy Fathers Day

PPS Read this or else you should be hit in the head with a coconut.

Here's his inspiration, by the way:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy Fathers Day, Part Two

Here are Father's Day greetings from my daughter. She writes

Dear Brian (they all go through phases where they have to use your name, not the honorific)

Happy Father's Day! I love you and you are my favorite dad I ever had. You show me what is right. It is hard at first it is hard. I'm okay. Love, Alexia.

PS: I love you very much. A lot.

I just wish I knew why she was a cross-eyed princess in the drawing . . .

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Fathers Day, Part One

First here a literal interpretation of "Dad on the Site bus" from my youngest son. Yes, indeed, I am on the bus. I'm just glad I don't really have to ride to work that way. That would make for a verylong, cold and windy commute three hours a day, especially in winter.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fall and Winter

Here's what she says about Fall:

Fall is a time for crops to ripen and the harvest to begin. The leaves turn fall colors. Squirrels begin to scurry back and forth, their cheeks stuffed with nuts.

Now every time I see a scurrying squirrel, I'm going to ask "Is it Fall yet, Mister Squirrel?"

Then there's Winter:

Of this, my most hated of all seasons, she says:

Winter days are snowy and blowy. They are short and cold. Nights are long in winter. Kids love to play in the snow.

Fact, fact, fact, and fact. Can't dispute that.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Spring, Summer, Anthropomorphism

Of Spring, Lexie writes this:

The warmth of spring starts life over again for many things. Trees and flowers start to bed and many different kinds of animals are born. Animals come out of their homes from their long winter rest.

And indeed we do get to see all sorts of animals, or at least all sorts of signs of animals, being born. We collect the little blue robins' eggs that tumble out of nests after the birds have hatched, and marvel that something could be born out of an egg so tiny. And there are folks in town who have sheep who have kids every year, along with the chickens, though they don't have sheep mixing with chickens, because that would be weird. Anyway. On to summer:

Summer, for Lexie, is still all about growing things:

In the hot summer most plants and animals continue to grow. Trees and flowers are in full bloom. Summer is a time of fun, activity, and growing.

And of course in her cotton-wooly world, bears do plant and tend to flowers. We are not anti-anthropomorphists in our house; both parents are too steeped in the likes of Tolkien, Potter, Adams, O'Brien, Lewis and others not to be. We will assign human attributes to animals and do so with impunity until our imaginations are pried from our cold, dead fingers.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Four Seasons

Yeah, you'd better buckle in for this one. Here's an example of school art coming right at you, and it's going to take three posts in which to do it.

I love the details. I love that summer features a giraffe, and that winter features a lonely coccoon hanging on the tree. And I love the description our daughter offered of the seasons:

She writes:

My favorite season is all of them. Because they have houses, trees, dogs, cats, hamsters and all kinds of stuff. I really like summer spring fall and winter. I am still alive you are still alive. Every thing is alive. Seasons are fun for all of us too.

Hamsters? Hamsters. OK, kid. Whatever you say. And I'm glad that we're all alive, but why are we channeling Han Solo here?

We're fine, they're fine. We're all fine. How are you?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Variation on A Theme

We've already seen an example of camper art from our youngest, but I've learned that if a theme is repeated, it's gosh-awful important to the kid. This one is obviously excited about the camping possibilities this summer, given we've now got two vehicles with which we can tow the camper. We're going to the Fathers and Sons outing this weekend, but I'm not sure I want to take the camper, mostly for space considerations at the campground but also because I don't want every other kid in the universe in and out of the camper. So we'll probably tent it, and I think I can convince the boys that tents are fun.

I Feel Your Pain

I certainly understand where you're coming from, Missus Otterloop . . .

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Here We Have Eye-Da . . . Oh

Our oldest son is, shall we say, somewhat obbsessive about certain things. Maps are one of those things. He started early, stealing and shredding two giant road atlases of mine not because he was careless with them, but because he literally wore them out looking at them and looking at them and looking at them. When we go on road trips, he's the official navigator, and loves to point out interesting things we might see on the way, unless, of course, we've got a movie going. So it's no surprise to me to see that he drew a detailed map of the state for his fourth grade Idaho History class. (Yes, we study Idaho history in the fourth and eighth grades here. It's not as bad as it sounds.)

I love that one of the oor little guys holding up the map key got squished. That's just our kid's sense of humor coming out.

Here's an essay he wrote to accompany the map:

In his essay, he writes:

Why I Love Idaho

I like Idaho because it has many amazing features like Craters of the Moon, because it looks exactly like the moon. Idaho is also famous for potatoes, silver, and gold mines, and Craters of the Moon. It also had many disasters, like the Great Idaho Fire in 1910, the Great Teton Flood, which killed thousands of livestock and many people were left homeless, and the Influenza Epidemic. The explorers Lewis and Clark even came to Idaho in 1805. It is also a fact that if Idaho were flat it would be bigger than Texas! How cool is that? And that is why I like Idaho. THE END.

Yes, we've taken him to Craters of the Moon. Twice.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I Wanna Go Back to My Little Grass Shack

Once and a while, your kid will draw something so out of the blue you'll wonder and wonder and wonder where the idea came from. Such as with this drawing:

My daughter as a little wahinie? She has no idea who Arthur Godfrey is, thank heaven.

The only place she's seen a wahinie is from an old Garfield cartoon. Whew. That seems innocent enough.

But back to the picture. I have no idea who was wearing the dress situated next to my daughter, nor why there seems to be a purse blowing away in the wind. Maybe it's a hat. I'll have to ask her.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chore Ch(Art)

We've had this gem on our refrigerator for a few weeks now. It started out as our oldest outlining what chores he'd do for a few weeks to fulfill a Webelos Scout requirement. Ordinarily, he does lists, because he loves lists and loves knowing what comes next. But on occasion he will do a list, but in graphic form.

When he draws, he has two principal influences. We've already seen the Scott Adams influence. Here, we see influence from Jeff Kinney and his "Diary of A Wimpy Kid" series. He loves the books and loved the movie, but loves the art most of all. I think he does a pretty good job. My favorite is the vanity cleaning, as we've got that nice reflection going.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


"Well, thanks to you, you just made him pass out because he faints at bionic eyes when they pop out."

A simple message for a simple cartoon, this time by our oldest. Note the Scott Adams influence here, because we never walk around with coffee mugs at home, but a lot of our oldest's characters do.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Art Evolution

First you see here  a drawing by our daughter, of me singing away with my iPod. I'm not exactly sure what I'm singing, nor if I'm singing well, but since the passerby -- my daughter -- with the baby in the stroller is smiling, I can assume my singing is above the bar set by your standard karaoke practitioner.

This is, however, an example of art evolution, because as you'll see in the next drawing, this was only the progenitor of a much grander work:

Here we see a more fully-formed idea, though the sun isn't as smilin' in this drawing as in the previous one. This time, it's her singing along with the iPod while her younger brother offers the ungodly sum of $5 for the item. She daydreams of horses -- do eight-year-old girls daydream of anything else -- while she sings this song:

When I was little
I had a herd of horses.
2 survived the earthquake
I was sad.

Don't know where the lyrics came from, except from the depths of an eight-year-old brain.

So, why present the first drawing if the second is more fully formed? Because of the suck-up letter on the back of the first:

Dear Dad,

Summer is almost here! I am so excited because it is fun! No school two birthdays in my small family. I just wish that my birthday was in summer. Well this is a picture that reminds me of summer. People sing and children pushing strollers. And baby's asleep in strollers. Well have fun!


Alexia Joy Davidson

Who can't love that?