This is a real-time shot of our kitchen table where I'm writing this post. The Valentines factory is in full swing. We have feathers, glitter glue, markers, jewels, multi-coloured paper - even some flowers LK brought home the other day.
It's hard to know what to do with this 'embarrassment of riches' - every project is a window into their souls. Every pen stroke a Rembrandt.
We have an 'art wall':
and we've even framed some of it:
It just keeps arriving by the carload though. They are a two-woman deforestation project
Then this winter we hit on an idea. Recycling and reusing. We are lucky enough to have a fireplace in our house, and when the temperatures dip we make good use of it. This year we were also blessed with several truckloads of free firewood. Turns out most of the avocado ranchers LK knows are desperate to offload avocado wood - and it burns beautifully - fast and hot. On Christmas Eve LK turned up with a truck full of the stuff and my Dad and I helped unload. "Careful" yelled LK cheerfully, "I saw at least two black widows in amongst that lot". We studied our gloveless hands. "Really?" asked my Dad. "Sure" said LK, "but they're really shy, just be careful in that loose stuff at the bottom."
In the end we didn't die a painful neuro-toxin death, but we may have been more than a little ginger when it came to stacking the wood - one carefully scrutinized log at at time.
Back to the art. We really needed kindling. Then it struck us, we had all this paper bounty just sitting around, cluttering every surface in every room. We tried to be discreet, but they soon busted us rolling up their masterpieces and lighting fires with them. We sat down and explained we couldn't save every creation, that it might end up going in the bin anyway, but if anything was really special they should just let us know and we'd definitely keep it.
Of course, I got a taste of my own harsh medicine when the last day of school before Christmas rolled around. I picked Anna up and she left her with her schoolfriends, all cradling the term's art and writing projects. In front of her teacher, her classmates and all of their parents she yelled - "Look Mom - look at all the stuff I have for you to put on the fire".
Parent of the year.