Music for Children: Symphony and Pop Punk

There are so many great quotes about music and what it adds to life, but there are a couple I think of when I think of my responsibility to teach my children about music.

  1. Teaching music to children is the most important thing in life, next to parenting, that a person can do. -Jean Asworth Bartle


2. If children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken away from them. -Luciano Pavarotti

I take this to heart! That being said, it was our privilege and pleasure to take our kids to the symphony in Forest Park a couple weeks ago. They always do a free concert in Forest Park to kick off their season. It usually has tastes of what they will offer that year. I highly recommend! We take a picnic and make a night of it. I have done it with my kids for several years. They didn’t have it last year due to COVID, so we were even more grateful to be there the other night.

They ended the very fun and exciting show with a fireworks display over the Grand Basin, which my children loved! If you’re worried about it being a weeknight, the show only lasted a little over an hour. If you park strategically, this is not a late evening at all.

We also had the opportunity to introduce our children to LIVE pop punk music at the New Found Glory show at the Factory in Chesterfield.

I was really excited about this. We have listened to this music as a family, but the kids have never actually been to a rock show like this. Experiencing it live like this is a totally different deal.

New Found Glory toured with Less Than Jake, who I haven’t seen live since like 2003. I have seen New Found Glory live well over 20 times. I have traveled to see them. They are very fun live. Less Than Jake was REALLY lively and fun as well!

The kids loved this even more than I thought they would. They both caught guitar picks and just had a blast. Nick told me it was the first day of the rest of his life. I felt that same way after my first punk show too. 🙂

I hope to keep exposing them to lots of different things the world has to offer, and I do consider it my duty to help them learn how to make, listen to, and love music.

Tie Dye Tuesday: Boo Edition

We went camping a few weeks ago, and in preparation for spooky season, we did some spooky reverse dye shirts!

They were super easy and really fun to make. I got black t-shirts from Walmart for a buck each on clearance- woo hoo. Then we hit the dollar tree and picked up some wood outlines in Halloween shapes. You can find these with their craft supplies. I guess they are meant to paint. Then we took a spray bottle and filled it with some bleach and water. The ratio was about 2/3 bleach, one third water.

We had the kids design their shirts with the wood pieces and spray with the bleach mixture. The kids experimented with a fine mist and a more splash-like spray. I find the fine mist around the border of the shape gives you a more defined outline, and then we added splashes. Some of us more than others. I think it looks cool! But others in my family prefered the more uniform fine spray look. In the end, it all works and it’s your preference!

Typically, if you’re reverse dying, you’d want to then soak in a hydrogen peroxide/water solution. But we were not adding more color to it, so we rinsed in water and moved on with our lives.

Above is what it looked like at first. We then hung them to dry and voila- beautiful spooky shirts!

If your shirt is not 100% cotton, you may have some variety in the color of your bleach. It may lift more gray than orange. STILL REALLY COOL THOUGH.

Even my parents got in on the fun!

All in all, really easy and really fun dye project that anybody can do.


Watercolor Wednesday: Spooky Season

Tis the season to get spooky!

Too soon?  Not for me!  I’m in total fall prep mode.  Have I decorated?  No.  Well, yes.  A little.  Don’t judge me okay?

But what really gets me in the spirit is a seasonal Watercolor Wednesday.  I have done several of these paintings, and around this time of the year, I will start doing fall paintings.  

I’ve compiled a little catalog of some fall projects from Let’s Make Art so you can get in the spirit too!  All the outlines are available on their website for FREE!  And the tutorial videos are on YouTube for FREE!  It’s incredible!  All you need is paint, paper, and some bravery to get started.  You can do it!  

Here are the projects with links to the YouTube tutorials.  You’ll need to go to the website to download the outlines- here’s a link.  Use the titles of the project to find them!

PLEASE post them when you’re done- can’t wait to see all the art you make!

Fall wreath

Autumn lake

Fall pumpkin


Apples to apples

Halloween cat

Fall leaves

Foxy fox

Haunted house


Maple leaves

Fall trees

Creepin black cat


**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Let’s Make Art in any way. I am not compensated by them in any way. I am just a longtime fan!

Watercolor Wednesday: Hamilton

Last week, I discussed Let’s Make Art.  I wanted to tell you about my recent visit to them.

While we were traversing our beautiful state a couple weeks ago, we found ourselves in a part of Missouri we rarely venture to- the Northwest.  We visited Hamilton, Missouri- self-proclaimed Quilt Town, USA, but also universally known as the Disneyland of Quilting and the Quilting Capital of the World!  It is also home to Let’s Make Art, the art company I mentioned in last week’s Watercolor Wednesday post.  

Hamilton is a delightful small town with a population under 2,000 but with many, many quilt shops.  It’s the home of Missouri Star Quilt Company, which is a HUGE quilting empire.  There are tons of YouTube quilting tutorials from them as well.  Let’s Make Art is a sister company of theirs, as I understand it. Anyway, speaking of tutorials, that’s how I got turned on to Let’s Make Art!  And that’s how we ended up in Hamilton!

Hamilton greeted us with a large, cheery mural- one of several in town- and the phrase “find your happy” was everywhere. 

We immediately visited Let’s Make Art, where we were greeted warmly.  I got to “tour” the “studio” where they film the YouTube tutorials, and they proudly showed me their YouTube award- it was super cool! 

The shop was a beautiful space as well, and we browsed for a long time.  I did get a cool acrylic kit that I am looking forward to doing this weekend, and we just had a great time talking to the Let’s Make Art people (new Insta friend!) and browsing.  Kareem is so cute- he’s like, buy everything!  Get whatever you want!  🙂  

After our Let’s Make Art time, we strolled the town and stopped and had a soda at the sweet shop.  At this point, we were kind of shutting the town down- most of the shops close at 5 pm.  The boyhood home of JC Penney is in Hamilton as well, and it is not far from Kansas City.  So if you are looking for other things to do or to add Hamilton in to another trip, it is easy to do.  

On our way back to the car, we stopped at a table a family had set up to sell their sweets, jams, honeys, and produce.  I got some cherry jam (my absolute FAVORITE!) and some hand pies, and Kareem got some goodies too.  Then we drove about half an hour/forty minutes east to Macon where we dined with a good friend’s daughter who lives in Kirksville.  

So I will leave you with this on a fine watercolor Wednesday.  This is the Let’s Make Art watercolor artist’s oath, and she starts every tutorial with it: I promise to be kind to myself.  I promise not to compare my work.  I promise to have fun.

Pretty wise advice for both watercolor and life. 

Check out their tutorials here:

Watercolor Wednesday: Rainbow Parrot

Last week for watercolor Wednesday, I let Rami choose a project.  He chose the Rainbow Parrot project by Let’s Make Art.  Let’s Make Art is an ah-mazing company that offers subscription boxes of art supplies and projects.  They have a YouTube channel with tons of FREE tutorials for watercolor, art journaling, lettering, and kids’ art!  They have all different levels of ability, and I highly recommend them.

Anyway.  More about them next week though.  

So the best thing about these rainbow parrots is that we get to use the straw blowing technique- I’m pretty sure that’s the technical name, ha ha.  I have used this on a few projects with the kids, and it is something they always really enjoy.  I mean, who doesn’t?  Word of warning- if you have a very concrete thinking child, they might not enjoy the unpredictability of the paint blowing.  Just frontload for them, telling them about the process and that it is very loose and it is fun to see where the colors may blow and how they may mix!  Keep it positive, and they will really enjoy it.

We were unable to trace the outline, so we free handed it.  I actually think the kids really enjoyed this aspect of it.  You will notice that Nick doesn’t always participate.  He was really excited about this project for some reason and got super into it.  That was fun!  Lucy, who is usually very amped about Watercolor Wednesday chose not to participate in this project, but she did hang out with us.  She wanted to learn how to draw a ferret.  She had a very, very hard time with it and got really frustrated.  I was so proud of her because she was able to say her feelings, and even though she said she was going to quit multiple times, she never actually did.  She ended up with a ferret she was very proud of!  

Jimmy painted along with us too, though he didn’t quite grasp the straw part despite many attempts at helping him.  🙂

Fun project!  Thanks, Let’s Make Art!

Find the Rainbow Parrot Tutorial on Let’s Make Art’s YouTube channel!