Back in May we lost our family friend and pet, Sam. It was all I could do to share it here with everyone. Sam was a good dog. He would’ve made an even better person.

Since then, we’ve been much too busy, and, honestly, I just haven’t wanted to think about the void that’s been left, so I’m finally getting around to being able to share this painting with you.

A few weeks later we received this painting of Sam from Lauren, a 14 yr. old talented young lady. Isn’t it cool? We were all blown away and blessed with such a thoughtful gift. And such talent. My kids were so surprised that someone, who didn’t even know us, would take the time to paint a picture of our Sam.

I sometimes think we don’t know how our gifts, as trivial as they seem to us, have such an impact on others lives. Whether it’s painting, singing, cooking, sewing, story telling…you know I could go on and on. The list is endless. Sure we derive joy from our talents, but it’s when we share them with others that they become so much more. Sorry, pulling out my soapbox for a moment…

These days it’s easy to get stuck in this technology infused world with all the bells and whistles. So much so, I can forget about my unplugged gifts and talents. And even worse is to miss the opportunities that may come with passing on the love of art, music and other gifts to my kids. I’ve tried to always have art supplies on hand at the ready. From the meekest crayons (with the built-in sharpener) to oil pastels, or acrylic paints in every color of the rainbow, my kids have everyday access to create until their heart’s desire. But do they? Sometimes. Usually we’re too busy, or the TV is on with yet another rerun of their favorite show.

School starts here tomorrow, and with that a new schedule begins, a new routine packed with goals, expectations and deadlines. I’m hoping we can carve out some downtime for exploring their gifts. Less TV will be a must. Less TV and more crayons.

I’d hate to think that we would’ve never been blessed by Lauren’s talents because she opted for TV instead of her paints. Thanks Lauren! And keep on painting.

Here are a few art projects that may inspire the little Monet or Picasso in your home, some fancy coloring and creating a masterpiece. Fun stuff! Inexpensive too.

Do you have any art projects to share?

By the way Lauren and her sister have their own food blog site called Goodbye to Gluten. Check ’em out. Yummy stuff!