Already?!  The name July alone conjures up assorted visions from my childhood– of walking home from a neighbor’s pool with wet heads and bare feet and wrapped in towels, the sound of grinding ice and rock salt gurgling in the dusted-off ice cream maker (not to mention the unforgettable taste of the ice cream!), of firecrackers lighting up the street and our faces– days of sun, water, and time to spare.

In the last few years, though, July has meant change and transition for our family, or full upheaval of some kind.  As we cycle back around to the month that begs the before-mentioned summery pursuits, we hover on the brink of another move, up to our elbows in all of the packing, organizing, and detail-minding that entails.  As I find myself taping up cardboard boxes, yet again, I’ve realized that this move is not so bad.  Rather than across the country, we’re moving across the neighborhood, to a place of our choosing, a house of our own.  There is still much to do, but it feels easier.


We spent last week luxuriating in the company of Colorado cousins, and happily burned the candle at both ends before they drove off on the 3rd.  Then came The 4th, presenting itself, as a special day to be observed and celebrated, and I’d hardly given it a thought beforehand.  In the early afternoon the boys were looking for diversion, and the downtown fireworks display was still hours off.   I did not feel particularly energetic or creative, but wanted to do something fun to commemorate the day.  My wheels started turning, and I remembered some really cool t-shirts my sister made with her kids and their friends years before, and I realized that all of the tools I needed were in my garage.

  • white t-shirts
  • masking tape
  • star stickers
  • foam stamps
  • acrylic paint

This project was easy to throw together, and fun to do, and the kids liked the results.  One of the artists wore his shirt two days in a row!

custom t-shirts

Stickers for stars, tape for stripes, plus a few brushes or sponges…

pulling off the tape

letting the paint dry


free form flag

I forgot to get a good photo of all three in their completed shirts, but they did show off their patriotic pride and their t-shirts later.

here comes the pipe band!

the Highlanders marching

drawing while we listen to music

love this shirt

war and peace

And finally, fireworks!

Fireworks:  repetition and surprise.

July?  I still love it.