The Best Babysitter: Or how my children are not deprived because their mother is a working artist.


So I texted my husband this afternoon with the usual: “Hey Hot Boy. See you soon. PS: Can you take over when you get home from work? Deadlines.”

“Sure. No Biggie”

“Oh, and can you do dinner & bedtime? xoxoxo?”

“You got it.”

My husband is a school teacher, and is always home before dinner, which is so nice! He leaves at the break of dawn however, and so I’m hardly alive to even mention the usual reminders.

But he is so good about coming home and playing with the kids for an hour while I play catch up in the studio. I work at night when the kids go to bed, and I don’t do the late-nighter thing very well (although that’s what usually happens.)


Let me preface this by saying that the past few times I asked him to watch the kids and have him make dinner and do bedtime, this is what happened:

He ended up going to the thrift store and purchasing an original 1970’s-ish Clip Clop for the back patio. He started small.

And then it was the tree swing, complete with climbing 50 feet into our backyard locust and sawing down branches while the kids waited for their cue to yell, “TIMBER!!”

Then it was the teeter-totter that was built in the empty space in our deck supports made with a palette, a left over fence board, and some cut up branches from said tree swing.

Most of the time, it’s working on a new project in the garden. Which is always a huge hit.

And then last week, it was a zip line from our mostly-dead cherry tree at the top of the hill, to a locust beneath.

Remember: this is all in response to “Can you watch the kids, make dinner and put them to bed?”

And today’s babysitting activity?

Oh, you know. Just building a platform for them to zip from. No biggie.

Just some power tools that he always seems to have in his back pocket. I mean, don’t you?

Some oh-so-coveted-snacks for the Princess to keep her occupied away from said power tools.

And Voila! A safe place for feet with nothing fancy…but left overs in the garage after building the booth for Quilt Market.

And one…..



….Oh, ya….

So there you go. All my worrying that having to work on my “art” while the kids are with Dad somedays is all in vain. They got so excited this afternoon…and when they get excited, they get super cuddly.

But you know, who’s taking all these pictures? Me. How am I supposed to get any work done when they get to have all the fun? I still don’t know.

Pretty soon our backyard will be Disneyland made from scraps around the yard. Just you watch. Man…if I stopped designing in the afternoons, these kids would have a pretty boring back yard.

Actually, no. Instead, the new tree platform would just have curtains, floor pillows, and be painted turquoise. Hmm……


  • Share:
  • maggieb!

    Let me guess, he teaches Physics or math? What a truly lovely family!

  • Julie

    What a fun read/set of photos to start off my morning. :) Such fun memories you’re making!

  • oh amanda

    Love it! I was having fun just looking at the pictures! :)

  • Amanda

    Wow, can I come live at your house? :)

  • karin

    Love all the fun!!! I totally get your need to take pictures/be in the action- even when the goal was for you to stay in and get something done. Are you just counting down the days for Daddy to be home in the summer?!!!

  • Stephanie

    WOW ~ Do you really get to look out at that view every day! Talk about inspiration. . . beautiful kiddoes and amazing mountains!

  • Andrea

    Love this post!!

    Especially this line “Actually, no. Instead, the new tree platform would just have curtains, floor pillows, and be painted turquoise. Hmm……”


  • heather in arizona

    Sarah, it sounds like you married a great guy, your kids are so lucky to have such awesome and involved parents!!

    And, that zipline? That looks so fun, I wonder if my yard could support such a thing????

  • Macy

    Posts like this just make me sad because I miss you guys so much and it makes me wish we were neighbors. *sigh*

    I’m just going to have to come invade your house again when I’m in Utah next week…

  • Shelly

    Adorable! Love the sibling kiss towards the end there!
    Those are some sweet happy kids!

  • kathy

    You definitely compliment each other. Very lucky kids to have you both. I love your life. thanks for sharing with us.

  • Sarah Jane

    Maggie: I laughed a little when I read your comment….He teaches History, and is an avid reader which is how he learns to do most of what he does. Math and Physics are “not his favorite” to say it nicely:)

    Heather: Yep! It’s a zip line! Our backyard is on a slope, so it works really well.

    Stephanie: Yes! the mountains are so gorgeous…I’m an East Coast girl, but I sure love my Rocky mountains:)

  • lisa Jay

    hahaha.. this post made me laugh, especially, “Oh, you know. Just building a platform for them to zip from. No biggie”. It’s fabulous. I can’t wait to show my hubby that he’s not the only one being assigned to ‘dinner, bath & bed’ duties, because of his wifes deadlines. This happens to me too. I feel kinda guilty that I am working at night & not being with the family (even though it’s from home & I have been with my kids all day), then I look outside & they are all flying kites, not missing me at all!!

  • Tracy L

    LOVE!! You are a very blessed woman to have such a man as that one! Enjoy and
    NEVER take for granted what the Lord has given you. Thank you for this post. It made SMILE!!!! :-)


  • Lindsay

    I agree, I feel left out sometimes. All the fun happens when I get a break!

  • MOXIELisa

    I wish my babysitter (aka husband) was that handy! LOL

  • Barb @ getupandplay

    This is totally my husband. What a riot!

  • Gab

    Sarah, that picture of Ian on the swing is just stunning!!

  • Audra

    Coolest babysitter ever!

  • Stephanie

    Wow – look at all those awesome projects! It’s so good for kids to spend lots of time w/ their dad like that. I bet they all love it. :)

  • Thalita Dol

    what a happy happy post! I love it!
    Such a handy “babysitter”!!! =D

    hugs from Brazil

  • Kristyne

    Yup. He’s a keeper. How are his quilting lessons going? ;)

  • Farmer Gal

    I laugh at this, because it pretty much works the same way when my husband ‘watches’ the kids. They sure have fun!

  • Tricia

    Oh my! Is he for hire? :) I love to see Dads playing with kids. There’s something special there.

  • Connie

    How wonderful! I’m so glad he has a can do attitude and delivers! You are blessed!

  • Sarah

    These pictures are truly awesome! It’s great that you have such a playful, creative family. I wanted to add, though, (and I know your blog is not a parenting blog, so forgive me if this comment is not appropriate here), but I see this around on a lot of women’s blogs and it bothers me when wives refer to their husbands as babysitters, as if they are not also their child’s parent, and thus are doing us women-folk a favor by watching the kids solo. Men *can* and *should* be expected to do a share of solo parenting and I think we enable this stereotype of men being incompetent caregivers when we act surprised that awesome things happen when they watch the kids (or when we don’t expect them to watch them at all). I, too, have an amazing husband who comes home and often takes over after I’ve been with my son all day. I consider myself very blessed to have him as a partner. But he’s not doing me a favor; he’s contributing to the understanding that we are *both* parents who take care of and watch our child. Just something to think about!

  • Alison Hingston

    Hi Sarah Jane love to see the kids outside playing instead of being in front of the TV or the Nintendo DS.
    Love your site and new fabric range

  • Anna Joy

    Hi Sarah! I saw your feature on Gussy’s site today. You are an inspiration! I fell in in love with your work instantly. Congrats on all your success and I can’t wait to see your new fabric line (I’m a quilter! :) ). Take care!

  • Delirious

    My neighbor found a hobby horse like that for her son. She took some spray paint and very carefully used newspaper to mask off certain areas, and made it in to a paint pony. She retouched other painted areas, and even found a gold charm to glue on the harness. I never knew that with so little effort something could turn out so beautiful! :)

  • Susan

    Looks like lots of fun!

  • Brenda

    this is awesome! Not sure how I ended up here, I’ve been looking for instructions to make bows and arrows for kids……totally putting it to my husband that we do this instead!

  • Sara

    Wow! I don’t know if I should share this with my hubby or hide it from him. The zip line I mean. He will be plotting away in his brain how to do it.

    Just stumbled upon your blog. So sweet and authentic. Will be back and still looking for the boys line of your fabric;)