Monday, July 26, 2010

Mr. Muscles

Our kids often startle us with their feats of memory. A few weeks, ago, our oldest, for example, recalled the color of the arm band he had to wear at the swimming pool when we went there a year ago. Obviously, it left a big impression on him.

Today's artwork is an example of that prodigious child memory. We showed our kids the Tim Conway film "Dorf and the First Games of Mount Olympus" more than a year ago, and just this weekend our daughter drew this of Dorf, imaginging himself falling down the hill with his barbells, as he did in the movie. I don't remember that part of the movie. They do. They've seen it one. I've seen it once. Again, the kid memory triumphs. But then again I am an adult, and thus have memories shaped like that of Homer Simpson:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thurston and Stanley: A Commission!

Out of the blue this afternoon, my sister Maaike asked if my daugther would draw a picture of an elephant and a mouse for a story she's written. Said daughter was thrilled. I think. She churned this out quite quickly, and was stunned -- stunned -- by the fact that I could scan it in, e-mail it and get comments back from her aunt in a matter of minutes. I guess I should tell my kids a bit more about technology, eh?

Anyway, here's Thurston the Elephant, with his friend Stanley the Mouse. And, for fun, Maaike's story:


Thurson is an elephant.
He is great at making noise with his trunk…
And stomping up dust with his feet…
But the other elephants laugh at him because he is very small.

One day they called him names
(Runt! Pee-Wee! Tiny!)
Which made him sad.
He went to his quiet place to think.

“Hello,” said a little voice. “My name is Stanley Mouse.”
“I’m Thurston.”
“Why are you sad?” asked Stanley.
“The other elephants called me names because I am small,” said Thurston.

Stanley walked up to him and said,
“You may be small, but you are the bravest elephant I have ever met.”
“I’m brave? What do you mean?” asked Thurston.
“Watch this!” said Stanley.

They went up to the edge of the tall grass.
“Wait here,” said Stanley.
Thurston watched as Stanley quietly crept up to the other elephants.
When Stanley was in the middle of the elephants he said,

(Yikes! Eeek! Run away!!)
Thurston laughed as he watched the other elephants run from Stanley.
Stanley smiled and waved.

When he came back Stanley said, “That is why you are brave.”
Thurston was always small…
But the other elephants all agreed that he was very brave.
(Thurston with Stanley standing on his trunk.)

The End.

Daughter Doodles

We encourage our kids to re-use paper. If it isn't covered in text or drawings on both sides, it ain't used up is our motto. Yeah, it's a sucky motto, but we stick with it.

Sometimes, however, they apply this rule to papers I'm not quite finished with yet. Today's drawing of a singing mermaid is such an example. I had printed out some Cub Scout requirements I was going through with my older son. Daughter, who would be a Cub Scout in a nanosecond if she were allowed, decided to doodle on my paper when I wasn't looking. I like surprises like this.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

City Cleanup

Here's one our daughter drew -- on the back of a sheet of scratch paper -- shortly after she got to tag along with the local Cub Scout troop to clean up litter along a city street. Though we're hard-pressed to see such wildlife on a constant basis in our little town, we have had deer wander through, we do have squirrels and, our first summer here, we did have a pair of golden eagles nesting in a pine tree just a block north of the house.

I love that she had so much fun cleaning up that she drew this picture. Maybe we can make the Earth a better place yet, with these kinds of kids filling it. If I may toot my own horn, here.