Friday, August 15, 2014

A philosophy of education

When I was first married and dreaming of my future children, I mentioned to my mother that I intended to homeschool my kids. She wasn't entirely sold on the idea at the time, but as my mom has done regarding many things that she and I have not seen eye to eye on, she supported me. It wasn't long after that conversation that she happened upon, at a yard sale for $5, a series of books by an author and teacher that at the time was all but unknown to me: Charlotte Mason. When I say that Charlotte Mason "wrote the book" on home education, I mean that she literally wrote the books that inspired millions of parents and teachers to rethink education and her works continue to inspire to this day. When my mom bought me these books, I did some research and found that if I indeed planned to school my future kids at home, I should probably read them. I read the first book and I understood very little of it. It was as though Mason was speaking an entirely different language. In many ways, she was speaking a different language as the book was written in England in 1886 and I was reading it in Polk County Georgia in late 2003, fresh from my 13 year haul through the American public school system. Because I am a very hard headed and stubborn type of person, I was quite irritated with myself for not absorbing as much of the book as I had hoped. It was eloquently written and jam-packed with wonderful ideas, yet, so much of that information was lost on me simply because I was not used to reading anything so heavy. I decided to read it again months later. The second attempt to understand this book, Home Education, was much more successful. I read the following 4 books in the series over the course of about 3 years. After I had finished the entire series, I understood a little more about children, parenting, education, teaching, and life in general, actually. Then I neatly tucked away the series of 5 books on my shelf and there they have remained for 8 years.

Although I had initially wanted to homeschool all of my children from the very start of their school experience, it wasn't until last Fall that I began making strides to become a homeschooling parent. At the time, Liam was struggling so much in school that his teachers and principal were putting a lot of pressure on me to hold him back and have him repeat Kindergarten because as they put it "He would never be able to catch up before the end of the year". I remember such a feeling of defeat and deflation after I left that meeting. No parent ever wants to hear such negative words spoke about their child, even if they are true. But they were NOT true. I went through 3 extreme emotions that day. First I was deflated. All of my hopes and expectations of how that meeting was supposed to go had been violently sucked from my soul. What was I supposed to do? And why, why, is preschool the "new" kindergarten, as they put it? Why is that? It shouldn't be. Many children are ready for pre-school at age 4, but Liam certainly wasn't. Was I wrong because I didn't force my two boys to attend school a full year before they were ready to learn and sit still for a full day of school? Was this ALL my fault? Have I failed my boys, and in particular, Liam? After all, Simon hadn't gone to preschool and he seemed to adjust just fine in kindergarten. Sure, he wasn't a strong writer or reader when he started but he caught up very quickly and never had any problems. I didn't do anything to prepare Simon anymore than I had Liam. What must these teachers think of my parenting skills? I was just accused of putting my child at a disadvantage. I was told that I had not fulfilled my job to prepare my child for school simply because I didn't send him to preschool. I was accused….I was told something about my own child and my own parenting by three people who barely knew me, who barely knew my child. This is when the second extreme emotion came flooding in…anger. Oh yes, I was getting angry. Very angry. How dare they! Who are they to say? Who are they to think? Who are they to tell me what was and is best for my child? And how dare they insist that he is held back an entire grade merely 3 months into the school year? This was, and is, a wonderful school. A school that fueled our desire to move to this town. These are good, knowledgable, caring teachers. How could they? It was all starting to add up. While I was still very angry, I tried to channel my anger in a different direction in an effort to have my anger fuel something better than ugly words and resentment. Determination….a fierce and unstoppable determination to do everything in my power to get my son promoted to the 1st grade at the end of that school year. That is when we finally decided to bring our monkey home and school him through the Georgia Cyber Academy(GCA). GCA is public school at home. It is the very same curriculum used by our county schools and each child, based on a preliminary exam, is assigned an individualized learning plan. To put it simply, they learn at their own pace. We saw improvement within a month, and in May of 2014, upon completion of all of his kindergarten curriculum, Liam, the boy who was supposed to be held back, was promoted to the 1st grade. There were many factors that lead to this, most importantly, the fact that he was able to have one on one coaching, not only from me, but from his teacher at GCA. Mrs. Bailey was wonderful with Liam and met with us in her online classroom twice a month, at my request, to observe him, give advice, and most importantly encouragement.

Not every child is capable of learning, or learning well,  in a classroom setting. While Cate and Simon have done very well in public school, Liam required something different. I shudder to think of the child Liam would be today, a little less than a year later, if I had accepted what his teachers and principal had told me last October. Who would he be if I had simply rolled over and gave up on him, as they seem to have done? If he grew up knowing that he was the oldest in his class due to being "held back" because no one believed that he was capable of working hard enough to complete kindergarten on the first try? Who would he have been in 17 years from that day knowing that we'd given up on him? Or better yet, who will he be now in 17 years knowing that when others had given up on him that his parents still believed in him and were willing to fight for him? The problem was not that Liam wasn't ready to learn kindergarten skills. The problem was that he was not being given the opportunity to learn these skills at his own pace, and in his own way. Homeschooling provided him with those opportunities and he excelled, and thrived, and he learned and it was beautiful to witness first hand the progress that he made in that one semester at home. It's why we decided to continue at home with him this year for 1st grade.

"The Mother is the best kindergarten teacher- It is hardly necessary, here, to discuss the merits of the kindergarten school. The success of such a school demands rare qualities in the teacher- high culture, some knowledge of psychology and of the art of education ; intense sympathy with the children, much tact, much common sense, much common information, much 'joyousness of nature', and much governing power; - in a word, the kindergarten method is nicely contrived to bring the child en rapport with a superior intelligence. Given, such a superior being to conduct it, and the kindergarten is beautiful- ' 'tis like a little heaven below' ; but put a commonplace woman in charge of such a school, and the charmingly devised gifts and games and occupations become so many instruments of wooden teaching. If the very essence of the kindergarten method is personal influence, a sort of spiritual mesmerism, it follows that the mother is naturally the best kindergarten teacher; for who so likely as she to have the needful tact, sympathy, common sense, and culture?" -Charlotte Mason - Home Education.

Now, naturally, Mason was writing about an entirely different type of "kindergarten" in 1886 London when she wrote this lecture than what I am referring to, but the words still ring true for me. Liam is now in 1st grade, yet I still refer to this excerpt when I am feeling unsure of what I am doing.

Today, Liam wrapped up all of his online work and all of his math in 2 hours. This is actually pretty amazing for him, as he works slow with his online work. It was only 10am and I glanced at my lesson plan for the rest of the day…only his reading assignments and literature left on the to do list. What the heck…let's take those to the park! We gathered our books, some bread to feed the fish, our water jugs that needed to be filled from the spring at the park, and hopped in the van to finish school. I had promised Liam that if we completed his lessons without any whining or hesitation that we'd spend some time in the cave, which is a local "commodity" and tourist attraction in addition to the spring but we go in there about once a week because we love the cave. Liam was eager to finish all of his reading and he did such a great job that I decided to make the most of our $1/person admission to the cave and do our lit lesson inside. It was really nice. Liam sat on the muddy, wet cave floor while I read him his book and we discussed it. After our lesson, we just played and hung out in the cool, damp cave for about an hour. The cave has almost always been an in and out kind of adventure for us. It's really a shame that we haven't yet taken the time to just hang out and enjoy it before today. Most people do go in there expecting something very different than what they get. The few little paths lead to no where; A steep stair case carved into the stone leads to the rock wall of the cave and a narrow tunnel leads to a very small and almost creepy "room" where the air suddenly turns very thick and heavy and shadows from the rocks and smaller tunnels that lead off of the room create for some serious creepy, paranoid feels. I don't like that room, yet, we always find ourselves there :-) ok, maybe we like creepy, just a bit. We spent more time than usual in the cave today and I am happy that we did. Liam's imagination ran wild and he had a blast once I told him "I don't care, go wherever you want, explore, climb, get muddy, have fun! That's why we are here!" It wasn't long before I was getting muddy and having fun right along side him. I never mind getting dirty if I am dressed appropriately. Sometimes, I don't even mind even if I am dressed in clothes that I'd rather not get dirty. I'm a big kid at heart so today was as fun for me as it was for Liam.

I posted this Charlotte Mason quote on my Facebook status today along with a couple of pictures from our school day at the park, however, I love this quote so much and feel that it really encompasses how I try to teach Liam that it bears repeating:

"But give the child work that Nature intended for him, and the quantity he can get through with ease is practically unlimited. Whoever saw a child tired of seeing, of examining in his own way, unfamiliar things? This is the sort of mental nourishment for which he has an unbounded appetite, because it is that food of the mind on which, for the present, he is meant to grow."

Liam loves to be outside, and he loves learning while exploring and observing, not just in nature but also in our home, or where ever he is. The world IS his classroom and I feel so blessed that I have the opportunity and privilege of being able to provide him with this amazing school experience. It's through teaching him that I am often reminded of the wonders of God's creation surrounding me daily and that I am able to take it all in and appreciate every aspect of it. Caves are particularly miraculous to me. Tucked away and hidden deep inside our earth and in the mountain sides are these beautiful, elaborate, and careful works of art created by our God. You simply cannot explain it any other way if you are a believer. While I sat in the mud of this cave today, I watched my own little miracle, my sweet darling son playing and exploring another miracle, this beautiful and wonderful little cave merely 300 yards from my own door step and it was a wonderful feeling. A feeling of peace and tranquility, and of pure joy and love for the son who is thriving and learning, for the beautiful earth that God created for us to enjoy, and for the time that he has so graciously given to me so that I can experience days like today. 

(please excuse the shitty photography. It's hard to focus with my non-auto lens in the dark cave!)

The fun thing about caves is that they are full of neat little cubbies and shelves to prop a camera up on and take a self timer selfie! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Day 1

What a fun 1st day of 1st grade! My little monkey got off to a fantastic start this morning at 8am on the dot! I told him last night that this year there would be no morning monkeying around. We were going to start at 8am every day and work until 11:30 with no interruptions or breaks. I have worked pretty hard setting up a good system for us to make the non-stop morning routine work for us. Most of you know that Liam's inability to sit still and concentrate for more than 30 minutes at a time was a factor in him doing so poorly in public school last year. We toyed around with various methods last year once we brought him home. Some worked and most did not work. I found that one of our biggest problems was my own lack of preplanning and organizing. This year I am attempting to have lesson plans completed for each week by Sunday morning so that I can assemble our materials and worksheets for the week in my lesson plan binder. I started out well with that last year but found myself getting lazy toward the end of the year. I'm hoping not to fall back into that kind of laziness this year. I am sure I will ave my days/weeks though!

 Everything worked out so smoothly today. Liam was ready to go and in his desk at 8 and we were pretty much all finished by 11:00. He'd done so well today that I decided to add a little fun so we did a simple science experiment. Liam worked on vocabulary for a bit today and was studying "weather words". During our lesson, he remarked "I wish I could touch a cloud one day". I remembered a link to an experiment that I'd run across on Pinterest and looked it up. We made a cloud in a jar and he loved it so much that he had to do it several times. Once the cloud is formed inside the jar, you remove the top and release the cloud. I thought it would be kind of a let down, but when you run your fingers through it, it feels wet. We talked about how clouds are made and he did indeed get to "touch a cloud". All in all a great 1st day!

Our new "classroom" is almost finished! Here is a sneak peek and Liam's "official" 1st grade picture from last week :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Exciting Times!

There is an amazing difference between bad stress and good stress, isn't there? This week has been filled to the brim with exciting new things that have been keeping us all running around like chickens with our heads cut off. You know, we used to butcher chickens and I don't recall any beheaded ones actually running around, so I am not sure that term is an entirely accurate description of our behavior this week, but you get the idea. It's been wild! This was the kids first full week of school for the 2014-2015 school year. They have been loving it and have been on a great path so far. I love the excitement those first couple of months of the school year when everyone is driven to do their best. Cate and Simon have been getting up as soon as I walk into the bedroom each morning and immediately getting dressed, combing their hair, brushing their teeth, grabbing their own little breakfast snack, and doing the double check of their book bags to make sure everything was put in the night before. No grumbling yet, no "5 more minute" pleas. Just up and at em, bright and early, ready to go LEARN! It's beautiful. Homework is still light and while that will not last long, I am happy that they are setting good habits of getting it done before dinner so that they can have the rest of the evening to relax.

Liam and I have been busy preparing for his 2014-2015 school year as well. As much as I hated to do it, I have been slowly turning the living room(we call it the Kids living room) into a fully functional and organized classroom. This was something that I was initially dead set against. In a smaller house, devoting an entire room to one child's homeschool seemed very ridiculous and unnecessary. For the purpose of keeping the house in "show ready" condition for any potential buyers, I carefully hide all of our school supplies and text books in the lower cabinets of our built-in shelves of the living room, while the upper, open faced shelves remained dedicated to books and vintage cameras. As the 1st grade curriculum slowly started arriving on our door step, it became quite clear that we were going to have a much more complicated and in depth experience this year which required more books, more materials, and much more organization on our part. I will post pictures and explain the method behind my madness once we get it absolutely perfect. His 1st day is officially the 12th, however, we have already started working on math and phonics. We are very excited for all of the learning opportunities that will come with this new school year and our first full year of homeschool.

Now, onto the big thing. The documentary is finally finished! Blind Tiger : The Legend of Bell Tree Smith will premiere in just 3 weeks from today. We have been hit with road blocks on every avenue concerning this film from the time that it was just a glimmer in Seth's eye and that pattern continues to this day. It has only been through persistence, patience, prayer, and shear stubbornness that it has gotten this far and we've no intention of slacking off now. Between technical problems, disputes with the family, disagreements between partners, and lack of money, this has been a long hard and frustrating road for everyone involved in the making of this film. It seems almost surreal to me that both the film and the original soundtrack are now complete and being burned. The website is functional. The posters are ordered. We are getting calls, emails, and messages daily asking for more information about when to see the movie and how to order tickets and DVD's. Last night, we launched the Facebook event page for the premiere. We are hoping and praying that in the next 3 weeks, enough interest can be generated in this film to fill up all 400 seats at the West Theater in Cedartown on the 28th. After that, it's onto the Rome International Film Festival(RIFF). And then from there…whatever other film festival we can get her into!

Please, please, please keep my family in your prayers on the coming weeks. All of these excited and wonderful things are good things, but they are stressful. The film is taking a great toll on my poor, exhausted husband and if he wasn't stressed enough, work at the college has hit an enormous problem and the boys in the IT department are pulling a lot of late nights, early mornings, and some are pulling all nighters. This couldn't have come at a worse time, but with God's grace, he's getting through it and we'll have one heck of a "sabbatical" in December with all of this comp-time :-) I'm going to make him finish another script. Because making films is just so.much.FUN! *eyetwitch*

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Things my kids taught me or at least tried to teach me…today

- "Chewing gum is made with rubber" - Liam

- "When you rotate the nozzle on a spray bottle from squirt gun mode to spray mode…you create fog." -Simon

- "You actually get more nutrition from food when you salt and butter it." - Simon

- "Cats love to be "spinned" around" - Liam

- "Doctor Who is and is also not real" - Cate

- "The 9th Doctor is actually NOT the first Doctor" - Cate

- "Camera's only take pictures of what is in front of them at the time that you take a picture" - Simon

- "No one knows that you're not wearing underwear unless you tell them, or you pull at your butt when your pants are itching you" - Liam

- "I am not the cat's mom. I am more like her Aunt. Because I am not mommy with her when I kick her across the room when she attacks my foot" - Simon (this one confuses me. I have never kicked any of my nieces or nephews for grabbing my foot unexpectedly, and I am pretty sure none of my kids Aunts have ever done that to them. I have however, kicked violently when my own kids grabbed MY foot/leg unexpectedly.)

- "Whoopie cushions really aren't that funny." - Liam (I beg to differ. Farting noises are ALWAYS funny)

- "The Dollar General Market is the best store on EARTH! They have school supplies AND wine!" - Cate (thank you, daughter, for exclaiming that so loudly, just before your police officer great-uncle turned the aisle to find us and our buggy filled with school supplies and…wine. At least he wasn't present when she said, very loudly "Mama, they have your brand of tampons for $3!" OH. EM. GEE. I am never taking them shopping again. Ever.)

-" We should really invest in a steam cleaner if we want to keep our furniture presentable" - Simon (gee--I wonder why it get to be that dirty in the first place? Hmmmm???"

- "You know, driving the van actually just wastes gas…and money" -Simon

- "Liam sits on a throne of LIES" -Simon. (Me: "You stole that from Elf" Simon: "Doesn't matter, it's the truth, not lies, which is what Liam is FULL of!")

- "Simon and Cate going back to school is the best thing that has happened to me since the last time they went back to school" - Liam (I am not contesting that one. I think it's true, all the way around, for all three kids…and for their mother. That's me. Hello)

School starts back TOMORROW!!! The rest of Liam's 1st grade curriculum is on it's way! Welcome NEW SCHOOL YEAR! Farewell, sweet and wonderful Summer break! You've been an amazing, refreshing experience!

Let's get started 2014-2015 School Year!!!

Wishy-Washy Fiddle Player

I always hated that term, wishy-washy, when I was a kid. My Mama always accused me and my brother of being too wishy-washy. The term itself never really made sense to me in the context that she used it, but looking back, perhaps she was right about us. I remember my cousins always being in extracurricular activities when we were all young. My older cousin was a cheerleader for a bit and later played softball for a few years. My other cousin played little league baseball and football all through our elementary school years. I remember loving spending the night at their house on Friday's, but hating that we had to suffer through a double header on Saturday mornings starting at 9am. I would have rather been in the woods or still in my pajama's playing Legend of Zelda and eating cocoa puffs. Yes, I had horribly unhealthy habits even as a child. We did ask, from time to time, to do something outside of school and church and it was always very discouraged. I always assumed the reason my parents never wanted to put us in sports or activities was because we didn't have the money but my mom always said "I'm not going to pay for you to do something and have you come to me a month later wanting to quit. That's what will happen". Getting older and having my own kids, I completely understand why she wasn't jumping up and down to get us on a t-ball team or have us here or there at all kinds of crazy hours. As it turns out, that whole "money" issue was not just a cop-out, either. Sports and clubs are expensive. However, Seth and I never wanted to deprive our kids of doing these things and when they all decided that they wanted to play baseball one Spring, we gladly signed them up at our local recreational league here in Cave Spring. In short, it was a disaster. While Cate was quite good and seemed to enjoy it, she made it clear half way into the season that she would not be signing up for baseball again. The boys didn't care much for it. We can blame it on poor management of the league and the teams but for whatever reason, they just didn't enjoy it nearly as much as they thought they would. Perhaps we'll try again in a few years. The fact is that kids can be very "wishy-washy" about these types of things and you have to be a darn good parent to be able to be supportive and sensitive about their decision or desire to stop if and when that time comes. I always thought I would be bad at that. My boys were tired of t-ball 2 weeks into it, but we made them continue, for the whole looong 2 months of it!

A while back, well over a year ago, Cate got it in her head that she wanted to learn the fiddle/violin. We inherited a child size fiddle from Seth's uncle and Cate fell in love with it. Knowing as many musicians as we do, we had no trouble finding a teacher for her, our buddy Rob, and setting this up. Once we began the lessons, I have no doubt that she thought she would be playing Ode to Joy after two lessons. She was somewhat disappointed when she came home after the first lesson and had only learned how to properly care for her instrument and correct posture and stance. I thought it was a great start and in fact, the best way to start out because he was essentially teaching her from the get-go that the instrument was not a toy. However, I think that by learning this, she also realized what a commitment it was going to be. For the first month or so, she was enjoying it. Last week, she came to me 1 hour before her weekly lesson and confessed that she wasn't enjoying it and wanted to stop. Since we are paying her teacher per lesson, it wouldn't be a waste to stop now but I was preparing to put my foot down. You simply cannot make such a big fat hairy deal out of wanting something like this and give up after less than a year of lessons. I didn't want to me mean about, so I said the most logical thing I could think to say…."Talk to your Papa about it"

I see a ton of parents these days with multiple kids in multiple activities, even during the school year. They must have a lot more stamina than I do for these things because it would wear me out to be that busy and to still keep the kids well fed, well studied, and well rested. Some parents are just born with this incredible way of structuring their families and lives so that everything falls into place. I have a tendency to let things fall through the cracks, to let myself get frazzled and frustrated, and to generally be crabby about having somewhere to be every single evening. While some parents are better at that sort of thing than others, I do often feel that kids these days are just too busy. From the time they are 3 or 4, little girls are "cheering" and little boys are suited up to play t-ball every Tuesday and Thursday evening and to practice every Monday evening and Saturday morning. We won't even touch on the fact that most children are in preschool by age 3. Between boys scouts, cheer clinics, and traveling softball teams, it appears that so many families are working so hard to provide their children of every fun opportunity that they forget to provide them with the best opportunity that a child can have. That opportunity, of course, is to simply just be a child. A carefree child who swings on tire swings, builds forts in the woods, climbs tree's, and makes mud & stick villages in that one pesky part of the yard that refuses to grow grass and is good for thing else but to be a blank canvas to a child's imagination. Hopefully, they get that in addition to their activities :-) No matter the child or parent, there will always been those days when they feel like giving up on their current sport, or activity. No one wants to be "that parent" who forces their child to continue in something that they no longer enjoy. When you have invested so much time and energy, and in some cases money, into a sport or activity however, you are left weighing the decision to make them stay or to let them bow out.

My now 14 year old niece began taking piano lessons several years ago and recently decided to stop. Over her years with those lessons, she had gone through several different piano teachers and I remember her being very sad when one of them moved away. She stuck with it though, even though every new teacher was a huge adjustment and she now plays beautifully and has a very good foundation. She simply wanted time to concentrate on other things. I think she probably stayed with it for a good year longer than she would have liked simply because she didn't want anyone to think that she was "giving up". Her family, of course, supported her decision(and I did as well). She and I discussed it briefly a couple of weeks ago while she was spending the night with Cate and I am sure that my support of my nieces decision helped Cate open up to me and tell me the truth. I could tell Cate was nervous when she approached the subject. The timing could have been better. She could have told me sometime other than an hour before her lesson, but I was neither angry nor disappointed with her. I was just happy that she felt comfortable enough to open up to me and tell me the truth. I would much prefer her to be honest up front rather than suffering through the discontentment alone for fear of someone being angry or disappointed in her. I listened and encouraged her to keep at it. Her reasons were as I suspected: She didn't feel that she was learning at a rate in which she could see improvement from week to week, and she felt embarrassed every week when she had to play for her teacher. Cate does not take criticism well and Rob(who is my age and has two small sons) knows this and is very kind in how he instructs Cate and is very careful to not critique, but to instruct. "Ok, I see you are holding your bow pretty tight. Let's try to loosen up a bit and let it flow a little more naturally and see if that makes it more comfortable for you" He's a great teacher and she IS improving and is doing VERY well.

In the end, Seth and I decided to "ask" Cate to please give it 6 months. If she still wanted to stop after the 6 month mark, then we would talk to Rob and stop the lessons. The only stipulation is that she has to practice for at least 10 minutes a day. Every day. I feel that it's a fair deal. Not only did she beg for a fiddle, but she hounded us for months to set up weekly lessons with Rob. He uses his money from these lessons as part of his income and he depends on it, even though it's only $80 a month. We know better than anyone that $80 can make a huge difference(particularly when you are raising 2 small kids). After explaining that aspect of the deal to Cate, I think she was a little more willing to continue the lessons. She has a heart of gold, I tell you. Her lessons last a little over 45 minutes, once a week with a super sweet, super talented, and super supportive teacher. She can do this. I know she can. And I know she will do so while gaining, each week, more skills, more control, and more confidence than she ever thought that she was capable of(but that we all knew she totally was!). And she'll have plenty of time to climb tree's and build mud and stick forts every other day of the week after her homework is complete :-)

(practicing outside this morning to get away from the boys)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Paint therapy

I woke up super early this morning and got a huge head start on a ton of things. Mid-morning, Cate sat up her acrylics as she had found two blank thin canvases to color-up. I felt the itch to sit down and paint a little something, just for fun because I have two landscapes that I have been working on, off and on, for weeks and they've been making me angry. They are both mostly black and grey and white. No wonder they aren't putting me in a good mood. I decided I needed some color in my day and painted some orange poppies. I had mixed up a small batch of blue because I had originally intended to do more blue other than just splatters. I sketched out a very pitiful looking TARDIS but I figured I would use the blue paint anyway and I ended up continuing to work on it and eventually ended up with this(below). Not finished with it yet but I have to let all the other paint dry before I can paint the words on the box. It totally looks like something that an 8 year old could have done, but the colors made me happy :-) If I can't get it to look a little better, I'll toss it and do another one later when I have gotten a little better!

Not sure if I am finished with the orange flowers yet. I realize that they don't really look like poppies, but that was original idea. I don't what they are. Orange? I like orange…I can go with just little orange flowers. Anyway, here they are! Don't laugh, I'm still very new at water color!

I also wanted to say, for those who did not read my comments on yesterday's post: My statement at the beginning of that was not a rant. It was a sincere apology to anyone who has ever felt like I was over sharing or boasting and just my way of saying that if I didn't post about my personal life, I wouldn't have anything to photograph or write. I just want to make sure that in the process of apologizing for offending anyone that I am not offending anyone. Oiy, I have got to learn to word things more elegantly. If I am fussing about anything on here, and you are one of my regular readers, it's pretty safe to assume that I am not directing anything towards you.

Okey dokey, back to work now for me! Happy Tuesday!