HappyFamily Bouwer

I have fallen in love with this family. Not only is Sara (the mum who applied for the illustration) incredibly sweet, but so are her 5 boys! I love how close her 4 boys are. I love how Sara still calls her husband “the one”. So wonderful. And their story is really neat too. Read more below:


Where are you from? All over. Originally Minnesota, but we’re a military family, so our kids were each born in a different state. This summer we moved from Camp Pendleton, California to Quantico, Virginia.
What are you family Members names, ages, color hair, color eyes, etc.? And, tell me a bit about their personality.
Chris (40/eyes blue/hair dark blonde & short!)Tough Marine by day, super-fun dad at home. He’s funny and cheerful and calm in a crisis. He’s always planning fun adventures for the boys-hikes and camping trips or day trips to historical landmarks. I love that he sings a hymn to the boys every night when he tucks them in. After 18 years of marriage he’s still “the one!”
Sara (42/eyes gray-blue/hair brown, medium length, flipped out/favorite color kelly green): SAHM who loves reading & snuggling with the boys or hiking outside. I lived in one house my entire childhood, and I never would have imagined that I would move so many times, but I’ve grown to love the adventure of living in different places.
Nathan (11/eyes green/hair brown/favorite color red): Nathan, our “Aspie” loves to read, and takes a book with him whether we’re driving to church or on a long trip. He loves to swim and he’s fascinated with marine animals. He is sweet and loving, and my “go to guy” when I need help.
Jake (9/eyes blue-gray/hair dark blonde/favorite color orange): Jake loves to create things. He draws reams of comics, crafts paper sculptures, and he’s currently building all of the Angry Birds out of Legos. He is very strong-willed, and is usually the “boss” of the brothers. He’ll boss me too, if I allow it. In spite of his strong will, he has a tender, protective side. He adored his baby brother the minute he saw him, and is always willing to play with him or help him. Jake loves to figure things out on his own, and lately has been teaching himself to skateboard.
Joe (7/eyes green/hair blonde/favorite color blue): is our funny guy and chatterbox. He’s almost always cheerful and agreeable, and not much upsets him. He happily goes along with whatever his brothers want to play, but if left to himself he will always choose to build Lego creations.
Timothy (20 months/eyes gray-blue, hair blonde) is almost 2 going on 7. He does his best to keep up with his brothers, and is always happiest when he’s with them. He was born 2 months into a 1-year deployment, and he brought us so much joy during that long year! Currently he loves balls, boxing gloves, and wearing other people’s shoes. He’s a climber, and just knocked his front tooth out while climbing onto a table.
The 3 to 5 prominent colors I would like in my piece include (be specific—ie. “royal blue” rather than “blue”, or “light celery green” rather than “green”): * An explosion of color, including shades of pool, sky, & teal blue, cream, sunny yellow, orange, bright green, brown, coral, red…
Tell me what you would like to see your family doing (would you like them just sitting all together posing, as if for a picture? Or would you like them to be doing something together). Please supply the most details here:
This is the tough part, Katie! I have two ideas, and I can’t decide, so I’ll describe both and let the artist make the call.

Idea #1: Our time in California was like an extended vacation, and we loved living in San Clemente, a cute beach town of white, red-roofed buildings interspersed with palm trees and nestled in the hills. It was a novelty to spend Christmas day on the beach, whale watching and looking for hermit crabs. This illustration would show us all walking along the beach, maybe writing in the sand, exploring a tide pool, or wading in the surf & watching for dolphins.The 3 big boys would most likely be off by themselves a little ways, while Chris & I walk behind with Timothy. The city of San Clemente would curve up and around behind us.


Idea#2: We’ve been able to see a lot of the United States during Chris’ military career. This summer we traveled 3600 miles on our epic cross-country move! This illustration would show us packed in our silver van, crossing the USA, with some of the places we’ve been & things that we’ve seen incorporated into the picture-Washington D.C., Disney World, the Gulf of Mexico, Legoland, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, giant sequoias & redwoods, and whales & dolphins swimming in the ocean. My thought was that it would be sort of like the Waffle World Map from Bolt, BUT, I know that I will LOVE any way you choose to illustrate this idea!

Any other details you might be able to give me that would help ensure your enjoyment of the piece:
Your vision trumps my description.

We’re a casual bunch-cargo shorts, t-shirts, & flip-flops-the boys especially love the Twins and Vikings shirts that their grandparents send to them.

I would like it to show the close relationship between our 3 oldest boys-they rarely fight, do everything together, and have conversations that only they understand. I think that living away from extended family and having to start over with friends every 2-3 years has forged an unbreakable bond between them. And I love how they’ve taken Timothy into their hearts!

Chris is approaching military retirement, and our dream is to move back to the Midwest to live by our families and teach the boys to hunt, fish, and shovel snow. This illustration will be my “souvenir” of our adventures as a military family.


See? Aren’t they great? I can only image how close this family is going to be when the kids are all grown up! What a history they’ll have had together after all their travels! That is something we all long for, isn’t it? A close family? It’s pretty neat that they ALREADY don’t really fight. Wow. And I love the adventures Dad plans for the boys. What lucky boys.

The only thing I can say is… Sarah, I hope you get to have some *girl* time from time to time! :D Lol! I bet you are just the beauty/princess to your boys!

Much love to you all!

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