a date with kate

Sunday, March 23, 2014
We had a lovely Spring Break and I have posts about the rodeo and Go Texan Day and the beach to put up here.  But I had a really special (and unexpected) day with Kate today and I want to write about it while it is so fresh in my mind.

During Mass this morning, Kate was looking at a book about Angels and Saints that I bought her for Christmas.  She still gets a little bored during Mass and although she pays attention pretty well, she likes to have a spiritual book or two to glance through if things get long.  As she looked at the art in the Saint book, she whispered to me "Mama, can we go to the Art Museum today to see some of the religious paintings?"

Truthfully, it was kind of the last thing I wanted to do today.  Kate and I have been pretty inseparable for the last week.  We have spent loads of quality time together.  And while I thoroughly enjoyed every second, I had grocery shopping and laundry and ironing and other things to get caught up on.  I actually like getting caught up on Sunday afternoons.  It makes the week start off smoothly.

Anyway, I started thinking about my boys and how they really love museums (all kinds).  And so many people tell me that their kids do not.  We have spent a lot of time in museums as a family.  Our kids have gone since they were infants and so they have a real appreciation for art. And honestly, I think it is a learned appreciation.  The peanuts know how to behave in a museum and they actually get a lot out of them.

So, I decided that I needed to take Kate today.  She LOVES art and I want to continually expose her to culture.

I looked on the web and learned that the MFA had a family day today which means they have "family activities."  Today was a lesson on John Singer Sargent, Italian watercolorist.  They also had "pop-up" concerts by Rice University Shepherd School of Music students playing the violin and cello.  So, it seemed like a greta day to go...

The azaleas have all just bloomed here and so it was gorgeous all around. (all I-phone photos)

Muesum kate1

Yes, Kate wore her beret to the Museum.  She cracks me up!

When we were standing in line to get it, Kate could see something "sparkly" off to the side and she told me that she wanted to go look at it first.  So, that is what we did!

It was a really cool installation by a modern artist from India and made completely from stainless steel.

MuseKate 2_4286

After that we stumbled onto Art of China and Art of Japan.  Kate was fascinated.  
Many of the pieces were B.C. and she loved reading the history.


Kate said the funniest thing in the Japan exhibit.  There was a Buddhist sculpture and she said, "he looks like he is medicating."  I know she meant meditating but I had a good giggle.  She says things like that all the time.

Next we went to the hands on part where Kate could learn about and paint like John Singer Sargent.


This docent was so fabulous.  She spent so much time teaching Kate all about the artist and his techniques and life.  Kate loved it and I loved watching her.



John Singer Sargent used to sit outside under a white umbrella and sketch and they had little areas set up for the kids to do so as well.

After that, we went over to the other building for the religious paintings and the "pop-up" concerts.

This is the underground tunnel to the other building.  It changes colors.


We found the musicians right away.  They were quite good but they were quite loud for Kate.  She really enjoyed the music but she actually covered her ears.  People looked at her and smiled sweetly.  I think they thought she did not like the music but she really did. Ever since she got tubes in her ears (years ago), her hearing is very sensitive and she does not like anything loud.  That was a shame because I could have listened to them all day.  And Kate plays violin so she would have liked to listen longer too.



Since it was too loud for Kate, we went and looked at some impressionist paintings and the religious art.


And finally, we went to another station to create some more John Singer Sargent art.
 At this station, the lesson was about vanishing points.




 Smartypants Kate already knew about vanishing points and got right to creating a Venice scene.
I however got quite lost and messed up my vanishing point badly.  I am not artisitcally inclined.
 But Kate is.


It was such a delightful afternoon (much better than laundry and ironing) and I got such joy out of just being with Kate.  She is the sweetest little being. I wish you all could get to know her scrumptious little personality.  I am so blessed that she is our daughter.

  Today reminded me of a Sunday date I had with Will 5 years ago at the museum.

Dave and I are off to the airport to pick up Harry now. I can't wait to see him!! It sounds like he had an amazing trip. Sadly, two girls in his travel group were injured in a car accident yesterday in Barcelona.  One girl broke her knee and the other girl is more seriously injured. Please keep them in your prayers.


  1. Kate is adorable and looks she had a wonderful time at the museum......

  2. What an awesome day y'all had together!! How sweet!

    And OMG about the two classmates injured on the trip. One was more serious than a broken bone? I can't even imagine how scared those girls and their parents were to have that happen and be separated. Please update us on their recovery.


  3. What a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon with Kate! Looks fabulous! So happy to hear Harry had a safe and wonderful trip. Will pray for the girls in his group. Have a super week!

  4. oh my goodness, i love this! i love her inquisitive spirit and her cheerful heart!! love a day at the museum!!

  5. 1) Could she be bigger!? My word!!! Where's your baby :(
    2) I love that you threw the to do list out the window. It's hard to do!!!!
    3) What a fun day!

  6. Kudos to you for putting your to-do list on the back burner. Sounds like it was a perfect afternoon. So sorry to learn about the car accident in Barcelona. Will pray. Welcome home,

  7. Wonderful mommy/daughter day. Praying for the girls injured in trip, praying for complete healing.

  8. I grew up going to the Smithsonians, which I still love today. I could spend all day in the American History Musuem. I not a huge fan of art museums, but I haven't been in forever. Your pics make me want to visit one soon!

  9. Gosh , she is growing up so fast! Glad you put off the laundry and spen the day with her! Will pray for those girls.
    - Linda, ny

  10. Kim. I am praying for the girls injured in the accident.

  11. What a great day. One thing that exasperates me about taking my kids into museums is the looks we get from the staff as we go in the door. My boys are older now as we have an age gap, but we have frequently received frosty glances when we go in somewhere that is not necessarily for children because the assumption seems to be that children are disruptive. We always have received compliments on their behavior and people are consistently amazed even today by my daughter who is 9. I have always insisted on proper behavior and manners and have differentiated between times to play and be rowdy and times to be a gentleman or a lady. I understand that not everyone does but I wish people here would give children the benefit of the doubt. I think more families would frequent museums and such if they felt welcome.

    1. I agree Julie. I have seen those looks too. We have gotten funny looks and cold unwelcoming stares at various museums as well. I just ignore them. In fact, an elderly lady in line in front of us at the MFA on this day was so rude to Kate and asked her to move away from her. Kate was not doing anything wrong at all. I was SO mad. Kate said, "Mama why is that lady mad?" I simply said (loud enough for rude elderly lady to hear), "she must be having a bad days sweetie. YOU did nothing wrong." Our art museum as a whole does lot to welcome families.


Thank you for your kindness.