Tag Archives: original paintings

Art in the garage.

Art is over.

5 weeks–gone. This past month sucker-punched me and everything went by so fast. One minute we’re reading about the quiet talent of folk artist Horace Pippin, and the next minute I’m trying to convince the kids (and myself) that spray-painting on buildings is, in fact, bad. (We ended up working on black foamboard. It’s kind of like a wall, right?)

We covered Pippin, O’Keeffe, Chihuly, Van Gogh, and Banksy–yes, Banksy. My hope was to not only touch on the mystery artist himself but to explore the overall concept of street art–so often graffiti is used to express political or societal views. Sticking it to the man is always fun and sometimes called for, but I wanted the kids to see that they could use art to spread messages of hope and kindness all sorts of other good stuff and junk.

We barely scraped the surface, because of this:

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We took up too much time in art class doing art.

For this starter street art project:

  • I got some foamboard. Get this crap on sale or use a coupon because it is not cheap.
  • Then I took chalk and traced the kids laying in crazy positions. It doesn’t have to be a perfect trace because you’re just looking to have a general shape.
  • We got acrylic paint (the thick gooey kind, even though acrylic craft paint might work just as well) in all kinds of bright colors, and started filling up the shape inside the lines. Some kids went all b-a-n-a-n-a-s and some kids were all kinds of methodical and geometric. The idea was to make it look kind of like graffiti, but I am not in the business of shutting down creative genius in progress. If a little girl wants to draw herself with eyes and hair and a pretty pink dress, then by cracky that’s what I’m gonna let her do.
  • I let them use a number of objects to get the paint on–brushes, brayers, rollers, brooms, and this weird-looking thatched tape that I found in my garage that probably belonged to my husband and I wasn’t supposed to touch. Think texture and patterns and just overall awesome mess-making.
  • Then, if they wanted to, they wrote words in graffiti-style handwriting that described themselves (funny, cool, silly, awesome, etc.)

They came up with some pretty cool finished products.

Banksy wasn’t totally kid friendly. His art definitely carries a message and I only ended up showing them about 2 examples of his actual work.

I get it–freedom of expression–it’s a beautiful thing. But can we not use it to encourage and uplift? Just something that’s been on my mind. I wanted my students to see the potential in that, but we didn’t go as deep as I would have liked. So because there was so much left unsaid, my next session–Spring of 2014 (as long as I’m not in between homes)–will focus on street art: sculptures, murals, street performances, etc.

Should be awesome.

Painting Mania

Ah, Monday. Approximately 3 weeks left until school starts. Cheyenne is back from Maryland. Mia and Merrick are taking swimming lessons. And I’m still muddling through a crazy phase. Though I must say–there are perks, such as the inevitable surge in creativity.


Of course, it usually happens at night, and I either toss and turn in bed with my head spinning from ideas; or, I get up and paint/draw/write it out.


Unfortunately, these late-night art sessions can get me going on a vicious cycle: early morning exhaustion leads to massive amounts of coffee; coffee fuels anxiety, anxiety wears me out, the extreme fatigue keeps me from my afternoon run, and the lack of afternoon run keeps me up at night. When will it end? And can I keep the imaginative part?

In other artsy news, sign-ups for my kids art classes were held last week. I had 13 spots filled within about a 24-hour period. I’m going to have to rent a U-Haul to pick up art supplies this season. It’s going to be amazing: we are of course covering Horace Pippin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Banksy, Dale Chihuly…

And Vincent Van Gogh, who was more than a little off his rocker, God love him. Now there was a man with a lot of good stuff to say. Did you guys know he was a preacher once? He taught about Jesus down in the dingy coal mines of Belgium. He actually sold everything he owned and gave it to the poor miners and their families. When he stopped preaching, he painted like it was his religion. Heart and soul into everything. And then he cut off his ear, shot himself, and died.

Sad stuff right there.

My July art classes have just about wrapped up. It’s been so much fun, working with so many different people and all their different preferences and styles. It’s fun to see some kids come in so rigid, afraid to even hold a paintbrush for the fear they’ll make a mistake–but when they leave, they’re loose and fluid and relaxed. Some kids seem like they’re born to paint and create.

One day I had a little girl who was determined to paint a soft, realistic picture of a butterfly. This sporty chica had a heavy hand; her strong softball arm would not make a “light” mark to save her life. I took this to mean we should try a different approach–we decided to go edgy with a pop-art style painting:


Last week I had a mother/daughter/son class with some of the most laid-back, teachable people I’ve ever had the pleasure to do art with. Noah loved them so much, he got all dressed up for their session. Here are the final products of the mellow family:


Why yes that IS my dog wearing a necktie.

And now that classes are almost over, I’m going to enjoy the last few weeks of summer before school starts–the calm before the storm. And calm means: running from swimming lessons to band camp to grocery shopping and back-to-school shopping and house-cleaning and bill-paying and painting and art-lesson-planning and anxiety attacks and ripping my hair out over stupid Disney channel songs called “I Know What Boys Like/Girls Like.”

Here is one more picture of our July in Oklahoma:

A Van Gogh-worthy field of sunflowers.

A Van Gogh-worthy field of sunflowers.

Fear: Can I Be Honest?

Today was our big art day downtown. It was cool.

If by “cool”, you mean being so worried about getting lost in downtown Oklahoma City that the second you drive north of the Hwy 37 exit, you get a killer migraine. Cool, as in your anxiety disorder kicks back in with a vengeance, and suddenly your car is closing in on you, and giant 18-wheelers are for sure trying to run you off the road and you feel like you’re going to vomit.

And when you actually get where you’re going, you really do worry that that’s exactly what will happen: you have to breathe in slowly through your nose in order to keep from literally barfing, because here you are: out of your element and waaaaay out of your comfort zone, with folks you don’t know, in a place that–you’ve been told by dozens of people–is unsafe.

Did I mention my previous dealings with anxiety? It gets to me sometimes.

I’m ashamed of this. I am ashamed of my fear, however rational it may be.

It’s not like I’ve never been in neighborhoods like this before. Having kids, though, has changed my perspective on, well…everything.

The place looked pretty happy and wonderful, to be honest. Sunny little house on a quaint little street on a bright and beautiful morning. Painting with the world’s most adorable children in a shady and spacious backyard. Peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches all around.

It’s no different from my everyday.

But what about the kids? Is it their everyday? Who paints with them? Who jump-ropes with them? Who sings and plays and makes lunch with a complete serving of vegetables, everyday, for them? Surely their parents, or a kind grandma, or babysitter?


And what about their moms and dads? Who invites them over for chit-chat and coffee, and who brings them casseroles when everyone in the family has the flu? Who comes over to their house and prays in their driveway after they’ve had a miscarriage? Who can they trust to watch their children in emergencies and who do they turn to in times of tragedy?

I don’t know.

I do know that the people who put on this week-long day-camp for the kids in this area did it for a reason. A block away from where we played, women walk the streets, selling their bodies. You can see them at any given time of day. There’s trash, and bars, and hypodermic needles, gangs and violence and abuse.

There are predators. There are people who would seek to “groom” some of the beautiful 10-year-old girls that were painting smiley owls with me today.

And it makes me sick to my stomach. It brings tears to my eyes. I can paint and play and eat lunch and leave it all behind. I will go back to my “lily-white world” 30 minutes away. But what about the people who live in the other houses on that same street? What about the children? What happens to them, when the sun goes down? Where is their retreat? How do they live in fear?

I have to wonder this: They are either 1. miserable, or 2. not afraid.

And if they are not afraid, I wonder if 1. they are distributors of fear, or 2. they have taken every precaution necessary against those that would hurt them, or 3. They are at peace with God and they believe that they are right where they need to be. Or two of those. Or all of them.

I prayed hard on the drive in. I wanted to be calm, cool, and collected. I wanted to be. But I was scared, I really was. I’m about as maniacal as a box of kittens. My street cred is so low that a hardened thug would probably bless my heart and give me a sticker. (I’m counting on that, in fact.)

I didn’t want to drive down a street where mean, haughty eyes stared me down. I didn’t want my hands to shake. I didn’t want to feel like I was an outsider, or worse–an intruder, an easy target. I tried to call to mind a verse that I love, and was surprised when I actually remembered it–and even more surprised when it actually comforted me:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

If God told me to paint with these kids, then He was in my car with me today, warding off evil semis and vanquishing my highway enemies. His hand was on my shoulder as I navigated those city streets and He opened the door to the house just as I was about to faint on the front steps.

And if He called these other people to minister to the men, women, and children of this neighborhood every other day of the year, then He is with them when they put on their tennis shoes and hit the streets. He passes out nail polish and encouraging Bible verses and He hugs the prostitutes. And He has the strength to do it all again the next day.

If you couldn’t already tell, today was the first real day I stepped outside of my comfort zone for Jesus. (I should mention that my comfort zone consists of…my house, and maybe the church as long as I’m surrounded by people who I’m used to, and maybe Target–but only the new one, in Norman.)

But I pray that it won’t be the last. I hope they’ll have me back despite my awkwardness and my utter lack of leadership during the painting session.

I also pray it won’t be the hardest place I go. My sister had this to say in response to my idea of one day doing an art camp in Africa or South America with my friends: “What about those people on ‘Locked Up Abroad’ ? You know, you just can’t go to a place that’s not safe.”

(Honestly, I was more concerned with the zombie apocalypse breaking out on the plane ride over the ocean.)

I get it, I do. But I can–I can go. I might be meant to do just that. And when are we truly safe? We could be killed anytime, any place. No one knows what tomorrow brings.

It won’t matter to God in Heaven that we were super smart and graduated from really good colleges. It won’t matter that we stayed away from gluten and drove cars with high safety ratings. It won’t matter what the balance was in our savings account, and God won’t care about our chevron-patterned throw pillows. God will say: “I made you strong–did you help people who were weak? I gave you the ability to speak and write–did you tell people about Me? I put a sadness in your heart for orphans–did you adopt? I made you creative–did you share that gift with others?”

I so often waste my gifts and blessings and strengths. But today, I was right where I needed to be. We sang songs. We played games. We ate lunch and painted pictures, and we hunted eggs. Mia and Merrick popped confetti all over themselves and me and the other kids. People were smiling, laughing. It was a good day.

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We'll be picking confetti out of our scalps for years to come.

We’ll be picking confetti out of our scalps for years to come.

Today I finally met the kids that I have been thinking about and praying for since March. Only now I will be praying for them by name, with their beautiful faces in mind.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this painting party possible by participating in art lessons this month. We earned enough to buy supplies for today and for Friday, with some canvasses and paints left over for the community center to keep on hand. Art for you=art for them. Great job!

My Dog and Art Students and A Visitor

Today Merrick stood at the back door yelling out Darcy’s name about 3 times before he realized she wasn’t out there. When it him, his shoulders slumped and his eyes filled with tears, and we’re going on day 3, folks.

We had to put sweet Darcy down. In the 5 days it took for the vet to get back to us with her initial test results, Darcy went from a vague health issue, to complete and total shutdown mode. Her lymph nodes were rock-hard and ridiculously swollen. Poor little thing couldn’t bark, couldn’t eat, couldn’t go to the bathroom. She didn’t feel like moving much and it was getting tougher and tougher for her to breathe. Her cancer just ate her up. I was doubtful that she’d make it through the weekend. So we took pictures:

Our best friend.

Our best friend.

The sweetest dog in the world.

The sweetest dog in the world.

Our family dog.

Part of our family.

So fluffy and beautiful! So loving and wise!

So fluffy and beautiful! So loving and wise!

Definitive proof that Noah came from outer space.

Also, definitive proof that Noah is a freaking alien.

And we said our good-byes.

Darcy, in happier, healthier times--in front of the house that didn't exist yet.

Darcy, in happier, healthier times–in front of the house that didn’t exist yet.

Wednesday night was hellacious. Merrick was beside himself: “I can’t sleep when Darcy’s not alive!” This morning he insisted on paying tribute to Darcy, in the form of vocalized song. “Okay,” I said. “What song shall we sing?” thinking he’d choose something amazing, like Kenny Loggin’s “Meet Me Halfway”, his current favorite.

Instead we sang 50 choruses of “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful” to our dead dog.

It was less than epic.

Other than us adjusting to life without Darcy, things around here are good. Caleb and Mia are at camp. Cheyenne is still in Maryland. And I am giving art lessons like a fiend:

This little thunderbolt forced me to learn how to draw sharks.

This little thunderbolt forced me to learn how to draw sharks.

IMG_1387 These cousins were dead set on trees and sunsets.

And I’m having a blast. I hope the kids are, too. My Thursday girls went home and put on an impromptu painting party of their own:

Behold these gems: the kids in my town are going to put me out of business.

Just look at these gems. The kids in my town are going to put me out of business.

I love it. This was my wildest dream: kids spreading art around. They did it! It happened! It worked!

Shut up.

Nobody will ever know how much these children bless me.

And speaking of being blessed, I had the privilege of spending time with a beautiful young woman who came to stay with me yesterday. This girl had a sparkle in her eye and a permanent smile on her face, even though this year has been so tough for her. We talked about loneliness and making mistakes and helping others and loving God. Her take on these things brought tears to my eyes; I tried to come up with advice but everything I said felt miserably short of anything remotely wise. I searched for words of encouragement, but my mind mostly drew blanks. I had paid my dues in high school, but maybe I was just too old and too far removed from the life of a modern teenage girl to be able to relate much.

Last night, I read this in Angie Smith’s I Will Carry You:

“We aren’t going to feel whole in this life, and we will long for something we don’t have. Something that will fill the nagging void that intermittently stings and knocks us to our knees. And all the while, Satan taunts us, telling us our faith is small. To hurt so deeply is a sign that we live in a fallen world, not that we serve a small God.”

…and I almost leaped out of bed at 11:30 p.m. to share it with her. But I didn’t because I am restrained like that, so I’m sharing it now.

I’m still reading books about miscarriage and death. That’s my pain right now. I am so, so lonely for my baby and it still hurts. I have so many questions. I doubt myself. But I do serve a God who is big and in charge; I’ve got to remember to turn to Him in my loneliness.

We might think we’re oddly matched up with random people for no apparent reason, but there’s always a purpose. This sweet girl did much for me yesterday, and I hope that she realizes how special she is and how much God loves her.

Cat’s Out of the Bag

I’m taking a deep breath and revealing to you people something that I truly believe God is calling me to do. Caleb so eloquently put it the other night: “When God slaps you in the face, you better stand up and pay attention.”

A few months ago I attended this heart-wrenching conference about human trafficking. I was put in contact with a lady who runs a community center in downtown Oklahoma City with the hopes of doing some sort of art camp or painting party with the kids that live in that particular area.

Here’s why this is so important: Kids want to create. Kids want to be paid attention to. When kids make a beautiful painting or score a winning goal, they can take pride in something they’ve done; when they are proud of something they’ve done, their self-esteem goes up. When their self-esteem goes up, they’re less likely to turn to drugs and whatnot. All the problems of the world solved? Not hardly. But maybe it will help a few of these poor little guys get through a rough patch.

Also? This gives me and others a chance to make friends with kids who maybe don’t have a lot of good role models around.

While this art camp hasn’t taken place yet, I’ve been praying and brainstorming of ways to come up with the money for the art supplies for such a  party: paint, brushes, and canvasses don’t come cheap, especially when you need enough for roughly 60 people.

God is working, though, and ideas are churning out faster than I can write them down. And I got to thinking, what other groups can benefit from doing art? Um, EVERYONE THAT WAS EVER BORN. Who doesn’t love art? Who doesn’t just love it? Painting, drawing, collage, sculpture; poetry, story-telling, theater, and song–there’s something for everyone. It’s fun. It’s therapeutic. It brings beauty and joy to the world.

(Personally, I am currently intrigued with graffiti. But just so we all know, if it pops up in my town tonight, I didn’t do it. Because I would never deface public property. Honest. I wouldn’t. I’d think about it, I may even dream about it, but I would never actually do it. At least not anytime soon, because I’m not proficient at spray painting.)


This idea struck me out of the blue in the shower: start an organization that raises money for groups, like the community center, to have these art camps/painting parties (or just to buy them some art supplies to have on hand). This could apply to areas outside Oklahoma City, but also to children in other countries, as part of mission trips. What better way to develop relationships and talk about Jesus than by the pouring out of our hearts and souls on canvas?

Fund-raising ideas are just as awesome: art-related “events” that encourage and uplift, such as side-walk chalk festivals and art parties, would provide communities with um, BEAUTIFUL WORKS OF ART AND CULTURE. It would also encourage families to spend time together and yada yada artistic expression, fellowship, overall FUN FOR EVERYBODY, not just the people that we’re aiming at helping.

Does anyone get what I’m saying?

Here’s what I need: Hardcore major prayer. Pray. For. This. Pray for these children, who live in areas known for trafficking. To imagine a child’s future–growing up in such a mean, scary environment, perhaps without loving parents, perhaps without art, and perhaps without even Jesus–should motivate us all, wherever we live, to reach out to them in genuine love.

Pray that God will enable me to handle these obstacles: paperwork and phone calls, and technical stuff, and details, and everything that doesn’t directly involve painting and playing with kids. I admit to being overwhelmed and afraid. To the folks that know me, this might come as a shock: I am scared of people and large crowds and I’m terrified of big pictures, and of being in charge of groups larger than 3 and kids older than…well, 3. Already my heart is pounding and my throat is closing up. Tears literally come to my eyes. I freeze. Really, actually, freeze.

Other things I need: Think about volunteering at any one of the fundraising events, or at one of the art camps. Pray about going on a mission trip, which may or may not be a long way off.

I will update again soon with more details. Help me spread the word by sharing this post and by liking my artist page on facebook. Soon there will be an organization page to follow as well!

Thanks for all your support!

Monday Morning Art and a WWZ mini-review.


Why yes, those are the sticks that we ganked from a state park in New Mexico.  And they’re far from completely decorated. We have been painting all morning. Oh, what? It’s 1:00 in the afternoon? Fine.

Nevermind that there’s laundry to fold and overdue library books to return. My kids are in the painting mood and we leap on those kind of opportunities around here. There’s an art festival at our church on August 18th that I’m totally stoked about. The theme is very uplifting and it’s based on 1 Corinthians; anyone from the community can participate by entering works that might support a message of unity, purity, and maturity. What did my kids choose to paint? Sunflowers and the city of Los Angeles.

Merrick's exquisite contribution.

Merrick’s exquisite contribution.

Who am I to crush budding creativity?

With that in mind, I am offering some painting sessions at my house for little and big artists who might like a small amount of direction in someone else’s (already-paint-splattered) kitchen.

$25 covers supplies, painting time, and light instruction. I will limit the session size to one or two people at a time. Dates available are July 8th, 11th, 15th, 18th, 22nd, and 25th, at 1:00 in the afternoon until whenever. Not like dinnertime whenever, but I’m willing to allow up to 3 hours because artists simply cannot be rushed.

On a totally unrelated note, I finally saw World War Z. A word of warning: it is nothing like the book. I mean, there are zombies. And they’re a world-wide problem. And that’s about it.

I’m also not a fan of fast zombies.

No. Just, no.

Brad Pitt’s thick wavy locks never once looked grimy or greasy, which I found highly unrealistic since, geez, they were in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and showers aren’t exactly convenient in times like that. I have trouble washing my hair once a day and my only problem is 2 kids that might burn the house down in the 15 minutes it takes me to get clean.

But other than that, the movie was really, really good, and very suspenseful. And sweet, because people helped each other…they also got eaten, but honestly there wasn’t a whole lot of Walking Dead-type gore, which I was totally okay with. I did get pretty creeped out during a few scenes, but by the end of the movie, the twitching spastic zombies were almost comical.

And that’s my take on WWZ.

Sidenote: I’m banking heavily on Cheyenne’s majoring in biochemistry and going to work for the CDC, so that I’ll have an in. If anyone would like to contribute toward her college fund, know that you’ll be doing yourselves a favor in the long run–someone’s got to keep these plagues in check.

Slap Wore Out, Part 947.

Nothing breaks my heart more than staring at $5000 in medical bills and not having a baby to show for it. Miscarriage: killing me slowly since the Spring of 2013. Miscarriage: can suck it. And what’s up with the hundred-million pregnant people this summer? Is everybody giving birth in the fall except for me?

That’s it for my wallowing today. I attribute my exhaustion and moody behavior to late-night softball games and early-morning vacation bible school. It’s all been a lot of fun, but my kids are plum tired. I actually sent them to their beds for a nap about 10 minutes ago…and it’s quiet back there. They just might be sleeping.

Temperatures have officially reached the triple-digits, just as it does every year at some point during the summer. I’m thankful that it’s taken this long–here we are at the tail end of June and we’re just now experiencing this kind of heat? Thank you God, for the lovely 6 weeks of mild weather that we didn’t get last year, or the year before that. (I say “mild weather” like we didn’t have 500 tornados or anything.)

I sold the painting of the Emerald City in a field of poppies:

I call it, "The Emerald City In A Field Of Poppies".

I call it, “The Emerald City In A Field Of Poppies”.


Contrary to what I assumed would happen, this puppy is hanging in someone else’s dining room, rather than on the bubble-gum pink wall above some 4-year-old little girl’s bed. Either way, I’m thrilled; and I’m always shocked that people like my art enough to buy it at all.

Our church is looking at throwing a community/church-wide art show in August. Already, Mia and I have been tossing around ideas. Okay, well, Mia has actually finished her contribution:


Mia’s “City of Angels”, before the final touches.

Nothing is cooler than having a kid who shares my enthusiasm for cityscapes.

Tomorrow, me and my husband, and my bff and her husband, are going to see World War Z. I’ve read the book and I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the movie based on the previews of sprinting zombies (THEY’RE DEAD! HOW FAST CAN THEY POSSIBLY BE?!!) but I’m all for checking it out, because A) I’m a sucker for apocalyptic scenarios, and B) there’s a good to excellent chance I’m gonna get some dinner nachos out of this.

And as it turns out, the kids are not quite asleep. And I care not. Because I’m cutting out to go take my own nap. Have a great weekend, computer people!

How I Love New Mexico

Friends, I just love it. I’d move to Taos in a heartbeat. In a fraction of a heartbeat, actually. I’m sorry. And in the summers to come? I’m plotting all kinds of artsy desert adventures in little towns like Abiquiu and Roswell. (Alien Festival in July, anyone?)

This leaves precious little time for Pensacola, so I’m going to have to convince my Florida family to meet me out west. I’ll pack canvasses and paints for everyone. We’ll hike. We’ll eat spicy food. It will be outrageous heaven.

Taos is just as gorgeous in June as it is in the fall. Mia and Merrick loved every glorious, fun-filled minute of our mini-vacation:

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And so there you have it. We are a family of hiking fools. Mainly because we can’t afford to do much else–but quite honestly no amount of money can buy the kind of beauty, challenges and experiences that nature offers free of charge. It was a quick, loosely-planned weekend trip, but I will treasure these memories forever…and will eagerly await the day I can move to the mountains permanently while I make my living selling paintings on the side of a highway.

Also: I turned 33. Gobbling green-chile whatnots in New Mexico was probably the best way I could have spent my birthday.

And, stay tuned: I’ve got an idea on deck that could choke a donkey. I’ve met with and talked to several people about starting a movement that I think will do so much on so many levels for so many different people. This idea involves art, communities, children, the poor, and the lost. Praying people, be praying: I have a feeling this thing might actually come together and work, which is both exciting…and scary.

Gallery Night Rundown.

I came. I saw. I even brought cupcakes that had skittles on them, a mistake because apparently skittles on cupcakes is just too tempting a thing for little fingers not be be poking. Many cupcakes were compromised over the course of our Spring Gallery Night. I had to throw them out. But no biggie–my little art class is ah-may-zing. They know Greek pottery:

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Chinese Water Color:


American Folk Art:


Stained Glass From the Middle Ages:


African Tribal Art:


And also, vegetable printing. This one was inspired by the super cool but obscure Night of the Radishes festival in Oaxaca, Mexico.



Radish carving contest in random Mexican town every year at Christmas? Si, per favor!

My kids rocked it last night at Gallery Night. I love that each one of them is so sporty and yet so creative and artistic as well. I’ve got one kid that can sing in freaking French for crying out loud.

Overall assessment by me: session was long and a bit disorganized, but turned out awesome nonetheless. Better planning included in the upcoming fall session. I’m still learning.

This Is My June

If you catch me around town around town jamming to the musical stylings of Ross Lynch and Bridgit Mendler, don’t judge–Merrick and Mia become absolute rockstars to Disney pop and I am not ashamed! I am not afraid to admit it! Any song that makes my son sing things like “Cause you got my flow and we blowin’ it UP!” whilst popping and locking in the backseat is a song that I LOVE.

I’m still on a diet, which means lots of green tea:

Kill me.

Kill me.

Kill me.

Kill me now.

Kill me now.

Make me die.

And just lots of green stuff in general, which is a total suckfest since I so enjoy things that are the color of, um, any cookie.

My home is infested with little black bugs that appear to be materializing out of thin air and placing their crunchy, annoying thoraxes strategically all over my living space, so that every 2 steps I take: suddenly, bug guts. My dogs do nothing to stop the invasion. It’s like they know it’s summer vacation and they’re not about to participate in a damn thing unless it involves peeing on something I dearly love.

Speaking of peeing, this happened: Merrick calls me into his room one night at 11:00, 3 HOURS after I put him to bed, and says: “Hey mom, could you get that thing over there?”

“What thing over where?”

“That thing–over there! Up there!”


So there’s real live pee-soaked underwear resting comfortably atop his bedroom door. I can’t even tell you how long it had been there. I shouldn’t admit that I don’t even know.

I am learning so, so much from having a son. Like, what baby oak toads eat:

Internet, meet Frida. Frida, meet the internet.

Internet, meet Frida.

We rescued/surprise adopted/kidnapped 3 baby toads from a parking lot puddle last week–and they’re still alive 7 days later. That’s got to be some kind of record, right? And FYI, they eat teeny tiny worms that have to be kept in the refrigerator: they must remain cold or they’ll turn into beetles.

So basically I’m keeping a container full of potential beetles inches away from the food that I put in my mouth.

My life is so grossballs sometimes.

Fact: a moth the size of Ohio is trying to break through the glass window that’s right next to me this very second.

Other fact: I have black hair and it looks cool. Explanation: My hair gurl blonded it for me a few months ago, and then I regretted it 4 weeks later when fierce rootage predictably occurred…so I asked to be brunette again, even though I know how my hair acts sometimes. I risked it anyway. And bless the hair dresser–because she always does a good job–the hair on this head? Went full-on goth quickly and unexpectedly. I know it will fade–though I am really digging the black since it makes me look more artsy and tormented. Because really–what sunny blonde paints rubber Mexican gang-bangers and encourages this type of behavior? :







As you can see, we had another African body paint day (pictures of the first one here)–this time in my garage out of the wind, which–shocker–has been blowing hard here in Oklahoma. I am now officially done with the Spring set of classes, and it has been a crrrrazy ride–interruptions from winter weather, miscarriage, softball and t-ball, and tornado season have made what should have been 6 weeks last for almost 4 months. I hate that we have dragged out the session like this, but it’s been worth the wait. We’ve studied Chinese watercolor, Greek pottery, and stained glass from the Middle Ages of Europe; we’ve painted little houses similar to what we learned about in American Folk art; we even covered Mexico’s obscure “Night of the Radishes” festival by painting with vegetables. Plus, we made nifty African masks right before we moved on to the covering of our entire bodies with all the colors of the rainbow.

Best. Session. Ever. I have loved every minute of it.

If you’re local and you’re interested, our gallery night will be held this Friday at 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the community room at our town’s library. Everyone is welcome to come support these talented artists! *Also, there will be cupcakes.*

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