Friday, December 3, 2010


I had an epiphany this week. I figured out that I'm a visionary! Wow, I like that word. VISIONARY - It sounds so . . .well, it just sounds so very, very 60's, doesn't it? But anyway, I have always gotten excited by ideas. Pictures, art supplies, visions of how the world could be. They excite me. Lots. But the actual putting into practice or putting pen/pencil/paintbrush to paper? I'm not so good at the action part of it. Oh, don't get me wrong. I have fair enough art skills when I actually do something. Sometimes even good. But it's the thinking, dreaming, visioning. THAT'S what gets me going. (That's why I love that bottle of glitter sitting just within my vision -- I like to pick it up, play with it, watch the little glitter pieces fall here and there when I tip the bottle. But I don't really want to use the glitter. That would defeat my purpose with it -- I want to look at it).

I figured it out while working on planning our church Christmas program. I had some great ideas, the other committee folks liked them and ran with them. While I sat and watched them run. Oh, yeah, I have some ideas, I'll send some e-mails. I just don't actually DO anything until I actually have to.

I figured out that is exactly why I love my job. It forces me into action. And I enjoy the action. I just enjoy the envisioning more :) It brought me some peace to figure all that out. I think it will be easier to let myself say no to some of the calls to action in the future. I'll be the one that dreams and plans (at least some of the time).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Art Every Day

It's Art Every Day month. I read blogs where the bloggers are doing art every day. I really wanted to sign up to do it but I tend to, well, fail when I sign up for any every day (or even once a week) thing. I have good intentions. It's just that the week starts, and I'm busy and tired and then it's Friday, and I'm just tired. How does that happen? List it Tuesday (want to do it, never make it); First Friday Contour drawing (same song, second verse); Wordless Wednesday (you're getting the picture).

I really wanted to do art every day for a month. And then I thought . . . "WAIT a minute. I already DO do art Every day (yeah, I said do do, deal with it :)." Ok, so maybe it's not me choosing what art *I* want to do every day, but I am doing art every day. So I decided that counts. Sometimes it may be drawing a guided drawing of a mouse 3 times in one day, two days in a row. But it's art. And it's not handprint turkeys!

Ok, no offense to anyone doing handprint turkeys. I like them, and they have their place. It's just not in the art room. I had a student say to me after school today, "Mrs. Burns, I have an idea for what we can do NEXT week in art -- handprint turkeys!!!" And I responded very diplomatically, "yes, we could" (meaning, no we will not). I also really like the pumpkins with popsicle stick/construction paper feathers, but it's not really an art project. I love crafts (but . . .not in the art room, usually).

I feel like I'm ranting about whatever pops into my head. I did have a theme when I started though (it's Friday, see paragraph one). I'm working on a poem about gift giving. Watch this space for it's debut.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

List it Tuesday on Saturday

Busy week. Started this on Tuesday (see my list it Tuesday link to the right). I was going to do our summer bucket list and things we did/didn't get done. Now I think I'll make a list of all the things we, as a family, had going on this week. Some are every week things, some were extra.


*Volleyball game

*choir practice

*choir board meeting (when I said I'd do publicity I said no regular meetings, but I went this week)

*Ellie home sick, left work early to take her to the doctor

*College basketball scrimmage -- first time to watch Erin play as a college girl

*Wednesday night supper at church

*Out for cocoa with my mentee


*Classroom Instruction training after school (until 5:30)

*Choir practice (at 6:30)

*Orchestra concert (at 6:30)

*No one fixing supper yet when I got home at 5:45


*My birthday

*Called in to sub for 2nd grade (and a small time in Kindergarten during my "break")

*No lunch because of mean lunch ladies

*Birthday dinner with friends (awesomely nice)

*Birthday present with my family (college girl joined us, also awesomely nice)

So, it was very busy and full, but many, if not all, of the extra activities were enjoyable and added happily. Just not many free moments.

And I need to get grades done this weekend. And we're going camping with our church.

Next week maybe my list will be the bucket list.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A list

I like bloggers that share lists about themselves. Little known things about them, or maybe not so little known. Just kind of what makes them tick. So here goes.

1. I hate saying goodbye. Every time I have to say farewell to someone I cry. Even if it's for a short time.

2. I tend to overthink things. I will re-think a conversation I had earlier in the day and worry that something I said was misunderstood or taken wrong. I don't often go back and check with the person to be sure this wasn't the case, but when I do, almost 100% of the time, people tell me they didn't misunderstand or take it wrong.

3. I joke around a lot, but people don't always get that I'm joking. I hate it when I have to explain "that was a joke."

4. I got slapped by a teacher once when I was standing outside the school waiting to go in one morning. She wasn't my teacher, and I hadn't said anything wrong. I have no idea why she slapped me.

5. No one ever wanted me on their team in gym class when the teacher chose "captain's" who then got to choose their team. I really was the last one chosen, every time.

6. I hated gym class.

7. I also got shaken by my first grade teacher for going to the pencil sharpener with my friend Ann. The teacher had just told us NOT TO GET OUT OF OUR SEATS. Ann asked me to go sharpen her pencil with her and I said yes. I think teachers would be in big trouble if they did that to a kid now.

8. I dyed my hair green once when I was in college. It was clash day during homecoming week. I wore a purple shirt and my green hair clashed with it. I used food coloring and while most of it washed out the next day, my hair had a green tinge for 6 months or so.

9. I knew I wanted to be an art teacher when I was a little girl. My favorite thing to draw was a house.

10. I didn't become an art teacher until I had been out of college for 27 years.

11. I love teaching art.

12. I worked in art therapy for 13 years after college and then became a church secretary so I could be home with my kids more. I loved both of those jobs too.

13. One of the first things I remember about meeting the man who is now my husband is that he walked across campus wearing a pizza hut hat every day. I was always sitting in front of the "hippie" men's dorm with my punk rocker friend, Carolyn. We would yell "HI EVERETT" really loud at him across the lawn. He thought we were strange.

14. I also would go visit the men's dorm where he lived (the "jock" dorm). He worked at the front desk, where we had to sign in, and he often was making rice krispie treats in his popcorn popper. My friends and I would steal them.

15. I dream about living in the mountains and owning an art store where I can create while tourists go through my shop.

16. Part of what I like about the idea of living in the mountains is being snowed in during the winter.

17. I love playing Pictionary and I don't think it has anything to do with being an artist. I think it has to do with being in tune with your Pictionary partner. Everett and I are a Pictionary team to be reckoned with.

18. I love playing board games.

19. Once when we were camping, my friend Dawn and I were mad because our husbands had taken too long fishing. We had a new board game called "Adverteasing" so we looked at all the cards at the front of the deck. Then when the guys came back to the campsite, we kicked their hiney's. They were amazed at our Adverteasing prowess. We told them we cheated.

20. Ferris wheels and roller coasters are my favorite carnival rides.

21. Once I was riding the swings at the Kansas State Fair. I couldn't get the safety belt hooked and the carnival guy came around and asked me "what's wrong with you, are you from Iowa?" And I am!

That's enough for now. Tomorrow we take our oldest to college. I feel kind of sick (see #1).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Ready. for. routine. again.

Summer is awesome. I love summer and the break. And I'm so thankful for the break we all get.

But I'm so so so so so so ready for a routine again in my house. I love my 9 o'clock tv time every night. Hubby and I watch grown-up shows. Kids are in bed or at grandmas and are ate least getting ready for bed by then.

I'm such a slacker in the summer. No regular bedtimes (except for me and Everett). I'm ready for regular bedtimes again, and for life to get back into a routine.

We've had lots going on. Two birthdays (16 & 18! WOW!), two plays, mall night, camps, houseguest and more). So much I could blog about.
And heat. Oh yeah. Ready for a break from that too!

Monday, July 26, 2010


That was a pretty dark depressing post, wasn't it? Life is really not that bad. It can feel bad sometimes. I've been finding great meaning in something a fellow blogger friend wrote in her blog recently (Or maybe reposted from an earlier date). She wrote " i was reminded again of what seems to be my basic faith: god is good, horrors happen, god is still good."

*Photo stolen from my daughter. And reminds me of a favorite poem by Susan Polis Schutz. I was going to put it here, but I can't find it. Maybe later :)

Happy days!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Scream

I've been feeling a little like this lately:

"I was out walking with two friends - the sun began to set - suddenly the sky turned blood-red - I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on a fence - there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city - my friends walked on, and there I still stood, trembling with fear - and I sensed an endless scream passing through nature." - Edvard Munch (inspiration for his painting The Scream).

Well, not quite like that, but kind of.

Sad things in the world and anxiety at home have been weighing me down.

But it's getting better.

I bought a little notebook and am keeping a gratitude journal. I'm having daily words e-mailed to me from My life is good. I have many blessings. Many, many blessings.

I need to let myself be sad sometimes too. I think I feel like I shouldn't be sad because other people's happiness is my responsibility. Sometimes it's too much responsibility.

I'm better now though, really.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer words


Friday, June 25, 2010

Please vote for me!!!

I want to win an Ipad and you could win a $100 Amazon gift certificate for voting for me!!! Go to this page and check out Emma's picture. You have to register but then you can vote (for me!!!) four times!

Ok, you can vote for whoever you want, but voting for me would be ok too :)


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Letter from camp

Ellie is at camp on her own for the first time this week. Last summer I was there with her, working in the kitchen.
She looks happy enough here, right?
Here is an excerpt from my letter from her today:
I want u here. I'm crying. Still crying. I've had a horrible time. I'm serious come get me. I'm starting to feel really sick. I need to come home. I don't care about anything else right now. Please come get me. No matter what anyone says. Please mommy I need u right now.
I was already feeling a little overwhelmed today. Wow.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


How many washcloths does one bathroom need? Four of us use this bathroom. That's at least two washcloths each. Seriously? Actually, this is an old picture. There are currently even more washcloths in my bathroom. I know it's silly, but it drives me crazy. Is it too much to ask that you put your old washcloth in the dirty cloths before you get out a new one?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Warp Speed

From thisto this

in the (seemingly) blink of an eye.

Graduation done, summer begun. Heart string plucking continues!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Where are Hope and Michael when you need them?

In the late 80's, I was addicted to a t.v. show called thirtysomething. It was about a youngish (30-something) couple, Hope & Michael Steadman. They were starting a family and living a grown up life, with all their friends and the drama that goes with all that. I was twentysomething at the time, and ready to start a family of my own. . I loved the idea of becoming a grown up and still having all these friends around all the time, sharing just like in college. The Big Chill was my favorite movie during that era of my life, which had similar themes.

Anyway, Hope and Michael kind of helped me work through what being a mom of young children might be like. How I might handle things, what I might do so I could stay home more with the kids, what challenges we might meet.

My brother-in-law even told us once that we had a perfect life, just like Hope and Michael.

But the show ended while their kids were still little. I was just thinking this morning that I could use some kind of Hope & Michael sending their kids off to college about now. Not that t.v. is the best place to find mentors, but sometimes . . .

My whole point was to try to add some levity. Life is good. Thanks for the words of support Kristin & Amy!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The letting go

I'm feeling a little melancholy lately. I'm coming to grips with moving into the next phase of my life. It's gut-wrenching.

I remember when the thing I wanted most in life was to be a mom. Then I had a miscarriage and it became an obsession. And then Erin was born. And life changed in ways I could never have imagined. The world changed. Everyone else went on with their lives like everything was the same. I remember coming out of the hospital and the world looked, felt, WAS different. But everyone else was going on as if nothing had changed.

And now, what, 2 or 3 years have passed and she's graduating and going to college. I remember leaving home and going to college. Although I went home for every break and every summer while I was in college, I never lived at home again. I know our family is going to change again, and it makes me sad.

I'm thrilled with the young woman she's become. I'm excited for her and the opportunities that lie ahead for her, and the gifts she brings to the world by moving out into it on her own.

But I'm sad to lose what we've had in our house for the last 18 years. I know our family will change when she goes off to college. It won't be bad, we have our two other wonderful girls still at home. But it will not be the same. We will all miss her.

I know, I KNOW. It's not that we won't see her anymore and share lots of joy with her, and her with us. It's just change, and it's hard.

Thanks for listening :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Don't forget to check out my art teacher blog.

I have lots of new projects to post when I have time (which might be in 10 years or so :) But here's a teaser.


She's really ready to go to college? Really?Somehow I still can't get my mind wrapped around that.
We had a nice visit with my sister during our college roadtrip weekend. It was cut a bit short due to unpredictable weather forecasts. Never came to pass, but we were better safe than sorry. At least that's what we thought at the time. I'm not very good at taking those pictures of myself and someone else. I got myself in the middle of the picture, but cut my sister's head off. Of course, it's all about me, right? We are in a really neat coffee/antique/consignment clothes shop in Baldwin City. If you're up that way, check it out! Can't remember what it's called . . . something about pink. But it's a tiny town. You'll find it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Finally, more Christmas

Santa's arrival (he left footprints!!!)

Goofy girls with their Korean ski hats. (Uncle E is stationed in Korea)

Christmas day soccer game!80 year old riding her new bike. Wow. And she has broken her back and often uses a walker or wheelchair to get around. I can't tell you how impressed I was with that Christmas day bike ride!
A nice view. This is my favorite spot when we're there on a spring morning. My coffee and my book and I'm set for as long as I can get away with it!
More next time!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas 09, Part I

In pictures. Maybe a few words :) We went to the great southwest. I love it there.

I can't get blogger to do my photos like I want, so I'll do the next segment tomorrow or sometime soon :) This is from arrival to Christmas Eve. See that little tree in the lower left hand corner of the last picture? I tied about 20-30 small pewter ornaments to it. What a good daughter-in-law, right?