Summer Art Camp Fun for Your Kids (and it’s even online!)

I’m sure that many of us are wondering what kinds of fun we can devise for our kids and families in the year of the coronavirus. In our area, there are still some outbreaks happening although for all intents and purposes, the state government is slowly opening up access to businesses. (With caveats, of course, regarding size of groups and social distancing. And masks.) So many of the things we’d normally do during the summertime may be off-limits to us now. But Heather Wombacher has a wonderful idea for you: online art camps for your kids!

About Heather Wombacher and The Apprentice Art Studios

Heather teaches both art and art history online and in person. She focuses on helping students to really see (art, technique, style, and beauty) and to create art in her classes. Her workshops work well alongside the Classical education method and are suited for children in grades K-12. We’ve been fortunate to take Heather’s class on Van Gogh and learned and put in to practice the master artist’s techniques through mark-making, brush strokes, color, and whimsy. She is a kind and loving instructor who will enable your students to learn and create art while enjoying the process.   Wonderful Watercolor Whimsy 101   At The Apprentice Art Studios website, you can find more information about Heather’s classes. She has A La Carte Classes (Collage, Mark Making, Watercolor Whimsy 101) and an Apprentice Masters Atelier. You can even check out her Free Kids Art Video Lesson! All of Heather’s classes are gently, beautifully, and kindly taught. She instructs on artistic technique and materials and helps students celebrate the creativity that God has placed in each of us. I love her teaching style and her classes!    

2020 Art Camps at The Apprentice Art Studio

This summer, your child (or even your entire family!) can take advantage of Heather’s wonderful teaching style and classes packed with creativity in the 2020 Art Camps series. Each class is priced at $75 (or $100 for the entire family) and the classes will be held online via Zoom. There are two classes:

  • Drawing the Golden Ratio is for older students, grade 5 and up. Students will learn about: positive/negative space; sketching vs. drawing; value; face mapping; and more, using a variety of drawing media. This art camp runs from June 22-26, 2020.

  • The Nature of ART camp is geared for students in grades 2 and up. Students will use recycled materials and nature artifacts to create both a nature journal and art pieces. Mandalas, prints, painting with plants, and a clay project are some of the cool art that attendees will create. This art camp will run from July 6-10, 2020.

How to find out more

Just follow this link to Summer 2020 {Camp HeARTful} Camps and scroll to the bottom of the page, to find out more and to register. (You’ll also be able to see a gallery from last year’s camps.) If you are looking for a beautiful, creative art experience for your child or family, you will love Heather’s art camps! You can also visit Heather Wombacher at her website, The Apprentice Art Studio to learn more about her and her art classes. And to see beautiful art! Heather is also on Facebook on The Apprentice Art Studio page.


I hope all of you are hanging in there as we navigate this weird world of pandemic. Stay well and take care!

Enjoy! –Wren

Summer Guest Post ~ featuring Heather from Running With Spears

I have another lovely blogger to introduce you to today–Heather from Running With Spears! My friend and fellow reviewer from the Schoolhouse Review Crew is speaking to us today from her heart. Photographer, wife, mama to 4 (including a newborn), writer and homeschooler–I’m so impressed that she actually had a moment to sit down and write for us!

Summer Guest Post bannerHeather is hilarious. She’s also a wise woman of deep faith. You’re going to love her words today. Enjoy!


Heather Kelley pic 1Seasons

Hi guys! So, I’m currently in a wonderful. but not exactly easy. season of life in which I have an adorable, cuddly, precious five month old, who screams if I EVER set her down (even if she’s asleep) and sometimes even just if I have the audacity to sit down while I hold her. I also have a 2 year old who is potty training and training for the newest Olympic event, paper cutting. Seriously, her ability to cut paper into tiny pieces and scatter them all over the house should win her a medal of some sort.

At the same time, I’m trying to homeschool my nine and 6 year olds, blog, finish writing my novel, and somehow consume enough coffee to not fall asleep at my desk. Most days my bedroom floor is covered in a mountain of clothes waiting for me to fold, and I can’t remember the last time I actually got around to scrubbing my bathroom. Come to think of it, I can’t even remember the last time I took a shower. So, there’s that.


Heather Kelley pic 2There are days I feel so done with it all. On those days, It takes everything I have not to scream at whichever kid decides she should come in and be loud the second I finally get the baby to calm down. And I’m pretty sure I WILL lose it if I have to go one more hour being constantly touched. I mean seriously, can I not even go to the bathroom alone? And then I start thinking I should just give up on the novel — who cares that a year ago I was certain God was nudging me to write it. And I definitely wonder whether I should just register my kids for public school because I’m afraid I’m actually doing them a huge disservice by thinking I can pull off this crazy life.

But when I manage to take a step back, hand my screaming baby to my nine year old, make another cup of coffee, and breathe for a second, I remember that this is just a season.

Here in Texas, summer is HOT. I hate summer. But I know that someday autumn will come. It may not feel like it until mid-November…but it WILL come.

Unlike Texas summers, I don’t hate this season of life by any means. But it helps to know things will get easier. I can look back and remember easier seasons, like the summer when I only had two girls, and they were six and four and could both swim well and I could actually meet a friend at the pool and manage the girls on my own well enough to enjoy our time there. And I remember other not-so-easy seasons that we made it through, like the year we were having to take my oldest to therapy three times a week for Sensory Processing Disorder and wait at the therapists office for hours at a time while trying to keep my three year old happy, then go home and deal with a five year old who’d used up all of her resources working through stuff in therapy and was a giant mess once she was done. Or the first few months with our third baby who projectile vomited everywhere all the time.

Keeping the changing of seasons in mind also takes some of the pressure off me to do ALL THE THINGS right now. It’s not actually the end of the world if my girls’ education isn’t exactly top notch right now. So we haven’t finished 3rd grade math yet when we should theoretically be starting 4th right now…in the scheme of things, does it matter? Nope. Worse case scenario she doesn’t start 4th grade math till next year…will even that be the end of the world? Nope. It won’t always be this hard to teach my kids. Someday I won’t smell like spit up, and my hair will be washed regularly, and my laundry might actually even be all put away. Like all things pumpkin flavored, easier days are on their way.

Heather Kelley pic 3

And the second I remember that, I also remember that this precious, tiny baby in my lap is my last. And I know more than anything else I’ve ever known, that I will someday ache to cuddle her in my arms one more time, and see her toothless baby grins, and not be able to move my hand because she fell asleep with her tiny little fingers holding tight to my thumb.

So, my sweet sisters who are also in the trenches of a draining season of life for whatever reason…I don’t minimize your struggles at all, but I do pray that you will rest in the knowledge that it will pass. And I hope you’ll give yourself a break,too. I know it’s silly to say things like, “the dishes can wait.” They don’t wait, they just pile up. I get it. Here’s the truth, though…some things can wait. Only you can figure out what that is for you. For me, I’ve realized that time consuming curriculum can wait. Just doing as much school as we can handle right now…even if that mostly comes down to whatever amount of school my girls can do online without any help from me, is enough for this season. I’ve also realized that right now we don’t have to say yes to everything. There are good things that aren’t the best choice for our family right now. I’ve finally realized it’s ok to have seasons where I admit I just don’t have the energy to do all the good things that we could potentially do without becoming overly drained.

Alright…I’ve rambled enough, and if I don’t vacuum soon ants will come take over my house, so I suppose that can’t actually wait any longer now. And then I’ll have some more coffee, because, you know, it’s coffee. Thanks for reading. Have a great day! 🙂

Heather Kelley pic 3

Heather from Running With Spears

Now you know why I was thrilled to feature Heather. Y’all have a lovely day now….and be sure to pop over and visit Heather!
Enjoy! –Wren

A new healthy summer favorite!

Discovered this at Sam’s club last weekend: Del Monte Watermelon spears!

This box holds three pounds of perfectly ripe, dense watermelon spears.

Watermelon top

Watermelon actualTaste amazing and so perfect for breakfast or on a summer day; took them to work this week and they were fantastic! I also saw a recipe that uses a square of watermelon (2 inches high) with a small square of feta cheese attached to the bottom with a toothpick and a sprig of mint to garnish. With these spears you could make a ton of those for appetizers!



Things we love: Summer Grilling….Vegetarian Cauliflower Steaks! (From Our Archives)

Cauliflower steaks

So easy to prepare and delicious on a hot summer grilling day.

1 head Cauliflower

1/2 stick of butter

Salt & Pepper

Do not cut stalk off it must stay on to keep your “steaks” together.

Using large Chef’s knife, cut head into two halves, then begin to cut 1/2 inch steaks vertically from head through stalk.

When you have all of your steaks done cut bottom of stalks off for prettier presentation!

Melt 1/2 stick of butter and coat both sides of the steaks (I used a large bowl foe easier mixing.

Salt & pepper to taste

Place steaks on a cast iron pan on the grill at 400 degrees

Grill each side for 5-6 minutes until brown, then remove!

We used Sir Kensington Chipotle Mayonnaise as a dipping sauce…Amazing!!
Chipotle mayo

Sir Kensington Mayonnaise has 33% less saturated fat than regular mayo, only cage free eggs are used and it is NON-GMO verified.

I found it online:

Feisty yet approachable, Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Mayonnaise delivers richness accompanied by a piquant blend of Latin spices, offering slow burn through a fiery finish.  Employing a similar base of sunflower oil and cage free eggs as our Classic Flavour, this mayonnaise showcases a smoky combination of chipotle peppers in cumin garlic tomato adobo. Perfect for sandwiches, fish tacos, and even grilled corn.


Our Hoya plant….in Bloom!

My Mother gave us our Hoya plant when we moved in to our house about 8 years ago. It was a baby then and in the years since has grown into quite a specimen. It has taken over the windowsill and been re-potted twice.


We didn’t know much about the plant and we’re quite surprised when it bloomed several years in! The blooms are a bit alien in nature and have a pink waxy quality star-like in appearance.

Ropa flowers


Or so we thought, until another two years passed and it bloomed again; this time the waxy pink stars opened again into lovely white and pink flowers:

bloomingno longer alien!


Welcome summer visitor!

So a very welcome addition to our yard, hopefully for a long time, was spotted this week. Not only quite lovely in color (a shade we had not encountered before), but fascinating to watch as it buzzes around, reminiscent of some sort of alien hovercraft.



A beautiful orange (huge) Dragonfly has graced us with it’s presence.

Reason I love them: They eat mosquitoes, bees, ants and wasps…Yay!

Things I did not know until writing this entry:

They are among the fastest flying insects in the world, can fly backwards and hover for up to a minute!

So welcome my friend and do plan to stay a long while.


5 minute coleslaw!

The perfect summer staple…this recipe takes 5 minutes start to finish and it tastes fantastic!


  • 1 1-lb bag of shredded coleslaw mix
  • 1 Tbls. Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbls Champagne vinegar
  • Frank’s hot sauce to taste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

In large bowl, mix mayo and vinegar until all lumps are gone and sauce is creamy. Add Salt & Pepper and a dash of Frank’s. Taste and adjust as needed.

Coleslaw sauce


Add coleslaw mix and fold into sauce mixture until lightly coated.

Coleslaw Serve!



Things We Love: “Summer of Light”

One of my most beloved books is W. Dale Cramer’s Summer of Light.

June2014 121It is the most beautiful, hilarious, poignant story of God’s unexpected and redemptive hand in a man’s, and his family’s, life.  I love it!  I have read it and reread it over and over.  The first three chapters alone are worth the price of the book!

Which, from June 12-18, is greatly reduced!  During this week, you can get the ebook version through for only $1.99.

Ironworker Mick Brannigan loves his job (building high-rises in Atlanta) and his family.  When a bizarre accident closes the door  on his job, he’s off for a wild ride that takes him and his family to deep and wonderful places…and transforms them all.  Poignant, humorous, encouraging and full of laughter and joy.  You don’t want to miss this wonderful story!

I highly, highly recommend it.  Wonderful summer (or any time) reading!

Enjoy!  –Wren