Friday, October 23, 2009

If the bank account is draining, it must be....OCTOBER!

Halloween, AZ State Fair, Halloween, Carnivals, and oh yes, Halloween!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Autumn (the little "hint" of it we get around here in hell) and it's no secret that Halloween is the best holiday ever, so of course my passion for it tends to drain the bank account more than I'd like to admit (especially when I really go Halloween crazy).

But October also means the State Fair. I don't know. I have better memories of it in the past, but I feel it's really gone downhill. Not to mention that whole place is the perfect place for the news to get stock footage of "what not to wear" and the obesity epidemic in the United States. Unfortunately, a marriage to my wonderful husband also means an annual visit to the fair.

I made the most of it by entering my best Heartland student artwork from last year into the fair. I was surprised how many of those awesome pieces didn't even "place" in their category, but entering the work is also going the extra mile as a teacher and getting the work viewed. If every art teacher entered artwork, they'd need the entire coliseum to showcase it. And I will be entering my highlights of my high school students' artwork into the fair next year.
Anyway, the fair this year was also bad timing with an emotional week at the high school and PMS (hence the "My Other Car is a Broom" message above) PMS and crazy emotions just don't go well with the state fair. I mean, we went on the first day of the fair because it was $1.00 admission, so a million more people were there than normal. It was also too warm for my taste (even for October here in hell) and the fairgrounds in Phoenix are located in the most ghetto gritty scary part of town. If they would re-locate it to somewhere more nice out of town (you know, like where the Renaissance Faire is annually held) that alone would give it more appeal. And then of course everything is overpriced. So you go to a scary part of town to spend tons of money. Sounds like a drug deal! However, I think the kids enjoyed themselves:

10/16 Christian and his Daddy on the Ferris Wheel.
Christian is happy just going on Ferris Wheels. He LOVES Ferris Wheels.

Christian, Mikelle, and their friend Katie on the "Free Fall"

(Disclaimer: There is a side effect to allotting kids only 2-3 rides. The 9yo female becomes really upset and forgets all the fun she had just moments prior. Another bad side effect of the fair. But it's all good. The next morning we had a huge discussion about thankfulness and gratitude with her and even watched Veggie Tale's Madam Blueberry. And now when she says her prayers every night, she has to name TEN things she's thankful for first.)
But I digress. More from the "Free Fall"

Last year when we went to the fair, they had this TieDye thing going on and Mikelle didn't get to do it. Well, for a year she was asking if she could do it again. So this year, we let her TyeDye a T-shirt. We rinsed out the dye and washed it the next day.

Fall Festival

Why can't they just call stuff Halloween? This whole PC "Fall Festival" mumbo jumbo makes as much sense as calling Christmas Trees "Holiday" Trees. But again, I digress. Mikelle and Christian dawned their costumes tonight at the Halloween Carnival for their school (Oh, my bad, I mean "Fall Festival")! The Fall Festival was fun, but clearly, people are losing the spirit of Halloween. Every year, less and less kids come dressed up in costumes. :sigh: And course it's taboo now to wear costumes to school on Halloween. Another unfortunate casualty of this 21st Century PC world. Digressing again. Here are my Little Frankie Monster with his adorable Monster Bride sister!

And Little Frankie:

Lil' Frankie, the spider (which is SO COOL at night as the legs move!) and the unfortunate victim.
Too Pretty To Be Scary. (Now THAT is Scary....For her Dad and I!)
What was I saying about pretty? Well, you have to admit the black frosting works with the ensemble!
...Or with Pink Vampire Teeth and Cotton Candy:

So that's the Halloween fun for now! Into the bath for those two weirdos!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Month in Pictures...

September that is, despite the picture to the left.

A couple of days after Labor Day, when I started my new teaching assignment, I blew off steam one afternoon at my friend Mandy's house making out with her rat, Waffles. She has a hairless rat too which ina couple shots is sitting on my, um, "cleavage" area:

A few days earlier, my sister Rebecca came down from Idaho with her three kids. We made sure to take advantage of this by having pictures taken with all the cousins together. These 5 are the only grandchildren on my side of the family. (On Chris's side, there are 15, ranging from ages 19 to 2! Getting all those grandchildren together would be even more of a feat!)

This first one captures exactly what it's like getting a 9 year old, 5 year old, 4 year old, almost 3 year old and 7 month old magically to sit still. You can't be too picky of the results. My almost 3 yar old niece Brisa, on the left cracks me up in this shot, and the way the baby is pulling down Mikelle's shirt, it's pertinent that I should have had her wear a camisole underneath. But thank goodness his legs are covering a potential crotch shot.

And to show that the baby is not as cranky as the above pictures indicate, here he is in better form. This first picture would be even better if the stupid sunlight wasn't there. It just sucks that is was already officially fall, but that doesn't count when your upside-down mortgage is in HELL.

This one is better in better diffused light:

And here's Christian and Garon. This one will be a fun one to pull out in about 10 years.

Another good one of the baby to prove to my sister that he wasn't screaming in every single shot:

Cousins enjoying the ducks.

Shifting gears, here are some highlights of the first project I took on with my high school studetns. When I arrived, they were in the middle of a self-portrait project. THe results were amazing. There is quite the fun range of talents in these students.

Therefore, to segway from the self-portrait project, we did a more "behind the face" type of self-portrait. A visual personal narrative with some 15th century narrative examples compared to of all things, modern "Where's Waldo?" illustrations .

Technically the project isn't due until tomorrow and there are more amazing examples that I'll see from that, but here are some of the highlights thus far. On a couple, it looks messed up, but that's because I digitally blurred out their name that was included in the design. I don't think I should have to do that, but in this world of litigation and everything being legally tied to something, I had to CMA.

Blurring out the name in this piece takes so much away from it, but I still wanted to share it!