Photo Challenge Day 27: Celebration


We had a milestone Graduation at our house recently. Our second son has completed high school, the first of our home school graduates.

It doesn’t get any easier with the second child.

I don’t know why I thought that it would.

Even though I knew what to expect, it’s still hard to see your child Graduate.

It’s not that we are getting older, even though that’s true.

It’s not that we are never going to see him again after he goes to college, because we will.

It just means that childhood is over.




I cried like a sap at the ceremony.

I hate crying in public.

I was doing okay until the slide show. They showed all the kids as babies, and then pictures of them when they were all grown up.

The pictures did me in, even though I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.

In the homeschool ceremony it is traditional for the parents to present the diplomas to the children.

We had two minutes to make our presentation.

Here are my words to our graduate:

” On the way here today, your Dad told me that most parents were preparing speeches for this event.

I can’t do that. It is impossible for me to put into 2 minutes worth of text, what a joy it has been to teach you at home. It has meant so much to us.

I could write volumes of stories about our homeschooling.

I could fill a library with all that you have learned, the books that you have read, and tales of what a fine young man you have become.

It is with great joy and love that we present you with your high school diploma on Graduation Day.”

Then I bawled like a baby and gave him the biggest hug of his life.

Hug your Graduates today and celebrate life!

1 more day until the move






Photo Challenge Day 24: Animal


I love this cardinal picture. My sister took it on our recent walk through the Botanical Garden.

When we arrived at the garden, there was a sign posted that read:

” Please be aware of nesting birds. They are protecting their young, do not take offense if they swoop down at you.”

I thought they were exaggerating.

Seriously, they are birds, how dangerous can they be?

But after the third time my son was pecked in the back, we realized they weren’t kidding.

The birds were nesting all over the place.

They were also dive-bombing anyone with dark hair to scare them away from their precious nest.

A man told us that dark hair looks like feathers to birds.

Therefore, they believe you are a threat.

I wonder how he knew that?

Interesting, huh?

After he put a light colored hat on, the birds no longer bothered our boy.

It was fun to see all the birds in action, of course, they never came after me.

We tried an experiment with my new telephoto lens and used the sports setting to catch the birds rapid movement.

It worked like a charm.

I love auto-focus cameras.

I could share dozens of beautiful photos, each one just as perfect as the next.

Who knew the sports setting would be so useful?

Can’t wait to go back to the garden again.

Note to self: Don’t forget to bring a hat.

Only 3 more days until moving day.


Photo Challenge Day 23: Pattern


I wasn’t kidding when I told you we have taken more than 500 photos the last few days. Give a girl a new camera to play with and watch how excited she gets to take pictures of things she has never been able to capture before.

New cameras are one of the best things in the entire world.

My Nikon d5300 came with a telephoto lens that has a range of 55-300mm. It was worth every penny.

While at the Botanical garden, we came across this Globe Thistle plant.

I love the perfect symmetry of the globe. The pattern of the seed pods is just amazing.

I also love that it’s green and purple.

Green and purple are some of my very favorite colors.

I didn’t even have to step off the walking path for this shot, just pointed the camera at it.

There are so many wonderful patterns in nature, it’s just hard to see them much of the time.

Thank goodness for telephoto lenses.

Photo Challenge Day 22: Inspiration





I have been crazy busy lately. We had an epic graduation party last weekend which I will share in a separate post. It was great! Lots of friends and family came to visit and share our special day.

We have had company ever since.

Today, I sat down for the first time to look at the more than 500 photos we took of the last few days.

Wow, they are awesome!

I can’t really take credit for most of them, my sister is a professional photographer and she took most of them.

They are amazing, let me tell you! I will share some of those too, but in a separate post.

I did take a few of them myself.

Like this picture (above) at the local botanical garden.

We both agreed that it looks like a Monet painting.

Definitely inspiring. Wouldn’t you love to have this garden view outside your window? My favorite thing is the bright green algae on the water. Love it!

Monet’s famous garden in Giverny, France is on my Bucket list. Have you every read the children’s story “Linnea in Monet’s Garden”? It’s one not to miss.

I learned lots of things from shooting photos with my sister at the garden. We were there for hours.

I learned how to use an f-stop,  how to adjust the aperture setting on my new camera and how to focus on more than one subject at a time.

I also learned that I have lots more to learn about taking pictures.

I love it anyway.

Only 4 more days until the big move. I am still not ready. Sigh.

Back to packing!

Photo Challenge Day 21: Faceless Self Portrait



Faceless Self Portrait

It has taken me days to get the right shot for this post. Time is flying by, the company has started arriving for the epic graduation at our house. I spent my week cleaning and planning for the occasion. However, nothing would keep me from missing my free Learn to Row classes.

I love it already.

Every night the sunsets are amazing.

My husband took this shot with his new Samsung Galaxy SIII camera. It takes great pictures.

That’s me in the sixth seat.

Definitely faceless.

We were learning to turn the boat around to come back to shore. It’s easier said than done with 8 people who have no idea what they are doing in a skinny boat with a giant oar.

I am only a little bit sore today.

That’s a miracle.

It’s also a miracle we made it back to shore before dark.

More inspiration tomorrow!