More recently, my dad got a bunch of pvc pipe and connectors. He cut the pipes down to smaller lengths sanded the edges. The kids LOVE them!! So may possibilities of things to build. Brooke even came up with a game. She made a "cage" with some of the pipes (basically a box w/ no bottom) and the game is that one person rolls a beach ball to the other person. That person has to "catch" the ball in the cage. She could play for hours! Here's some pics of Grandma and the kids building with the pipes!
I don't really have an explanation for this picture... except that they were being silly and apparently laying on your back to "work" is much more effective!
Or maybe it is just more fuN!
The other new toy was made by my mom and it rocks!! Brooke got a small dollhouse for her birthday from a friend. It was cute, but nearly all of the little furniture broke immediately. My mom really wanted to make her one and she had a certain way she wanted to do it. I gave her my little furniture and she made some more of her own. She fixed all that was broken and OMG I was floored when I saw what she came up with! The kids instantly LOVED it!! I call it an open concept house b/c it is open. She said it is more developmentally appropriate for them since they can see it all and don't have to reach back into the rooms like in typical houses. Check out this awesome house!
The whole house:
The Living room.
The kitchen (it now has a microwave and dishes as well).
The little bathroom.
And the family. Corey, me, Brooke, Benjamin, and baby Bailey. That dog doesn't look like either of our dogs, but it does look like the dog I had growing up! Lol.
I TOLD you that it was cool!! I just love it! It stays at my mom's house. It is probably a good thing too, since if it were here I would probably gussy it up a bit with more "carpets" (decoupaged paper) and things. But, I think the idea of this is for it to be simple and not overstated, two things with which I am not all that familiar!
Since I'm talking about my mom... I thought I'd share some more awesomeness with you. She can do anything. I told you she is a retired MD and now she is an artist. Well, I suppose she has always been an artist, but now she can really devote some more time to it. She works in many different mediums. She quilts, paints, does sculpture (rock, wood, you name it!), and more! Here's a very small sampling of her work:
How fun is this crazy quilt she made for Brooke? She called it a naming quilt b/c Brooke can name things on there, like the colors, objects, and letters.
This is one of my favorite paintings. LOVE it! It's just hanging there in her studio.. it sure would look nice in my living room though!...
One of the (many) pieces she has carved. Don't mess with her and her power tools! She may be a skinny little thing, but give her a hunk of rock and some air pressurized tools and watch out!
All of her pieces tell stories. It is always interesting to hear her tell them when she's talking to people at art openings. I only know the stories of a few pieces, most especially the ones she's made for me and I really love that she thinks so much about each and every piece to make them truly unique and special.
So years and years ago when we were living in Kentucky, my mom brought home some HUGE pieces of PVC pipe. No, seriously HUGE. I wish I knew how tall they were. They are at least 12' long. She painted them with Matisse inspired objects and put them out in the yard. Super awesome! They traveled with them to Wisconsin and then back to Texas. These poles have been repainted a few times and they still are amazing! Can you see them there across the pond? A few years ago she painted a much smaller version and they were displayed in a local art gallery.
More recently (a couple of months ago), my mom painted another set (in between the size in their yard and the size in the gallery) that will be displayed at The University of Kentucky Medical School! Super cool! I do not know how they are going to get from Texas to Kentucky, but that's not my problem to worry about!
She did all of this. She painted the concrete walls and rusted the big piece of sheet metal. She made the eye on the ground (out of concrete) and painted it to look like swirls of water. She even made the fish on the metal piece. They are cast out of metal (not sure which kind of metal...).
Here is a quilt she made for (of?) my dad. If you know him, this is SPOT ON! He LOVES working outdoors.. well I think he loves it. He does it all of the time as there is so much to keep up with out there! He loves gardening, feeding the catfish (they could eat a small child they are so big!), loves his green shorts and orange t shirts. He always has on those big sunglasses, and oh the cowboy boots. Not many surgeons perform heart surgery wearing cowboy boots, but my dad always did. Those surgical shoe covers fit over them just as well as they do over tennis shoes!
I could post hundreds of pictures of the awesomeness that IS my parents. I blame them for my creativity and love for the outdoors. I blame them for my drive to be the best at everything I do. I blame them for making me a pretty great person. Hey, it could be worse! :)