HELLO

Hi there.
This is me...a happy wife, mom to three awesome boys, teacher to the aforementioned boys (we homeschool), chauffeur to karate, archery and swim team practices, scrapbooker and founder of the Good Grief Blog.
Life is good.

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Wednesday
May252016

This morning

A glimpse into life here this morning...

- Discovered a perk to having Noah home and screens required to be off...he voluntarily helped both brothers finish their math this morning. :) Yay!

- Took Micah for his routine check up with the orthodontist. It turns out that the precocious boy continues to do things earlier than his brothers and has lost enough baby teeth (and sooner than anticipated) that the orthodontist says he'll be ready for braces this fall instead of a year from now (as we'd previously been told to plan on). The boy is less than pleased, lol. 

(Funny note: They started out asking if we'd like to schedule his appointment...said we're looking at October. Micah immediately quipped that the Joker doesn't have braces. (He's planning to go as the Joker for Comic Con and Halloween.) So. As a concession to Micah, we scheduled for November instead...so he can enjoy one more braces-free Halloween first.)

- Came home to this:

You might think this was odd. But. It's really not anything out of the ordinary, lol. Course, Asher does have an actual Batman costume and mask but chose this so he could still wear his glasses...which is a rather interesting effect. ;) (And, yes, those knives are made out of legos so don't actually get used on anything/one.)

And that's a bit of my life this morning... 

Monday
May232016

And we're SOARing...

So. Asher and Micah go to Options here in Fort Collins on Mondays. It's a one-day-a-week homeschool enrichment program...where homeschoolers can go to take six different classes with kids of similar ages and interests. We've been attending some form of Options program since 2008. Very happy with the whole thing. :) 

Anyhow. Last Monday evening was the spring program. Neither of our boys were in any of the performances this year but wanted to go to watch and cheer on their friends. (It was a lovely program!) Also at the program, teachers had various artwork and projects out on display. I got to see the animations the boys had each worked on during the year, some of the digital artwork Micah had done, and the CO2 race car that Asher had designed and raced.

With races completed, the cars were on display for everyone to vote on their favorite looking:

Asher's is the tiny black one named Turbo. It didn't win on looks (that honor went to Bob The Duck, lol) but did take first in the race part!

Fast forward now to this afternoon...today was the last day of classes for the school year. At the end of the day, they held their annual awards assembly. The little kindergartners graduated and then each teacher gave out SOAR awards, generally one for each class they taught. To explain, the program's action statement is SOAR...Safety, Ownership, Achievement & Respect. It's a mantra they work on and award throughout the year. So, that's what their year end awards are called. :) 

Asher received a SOAR award from his science teacher. He has three classes with her. :) Here he is afterwards holding his CO2 car with Ms James:

And Micah received a SOAR award from his cooking teacher, for always bringing in recipes and helping with clean up (among other things):

So proud of my guys and their attitudes! And so thankful that this program exists and is run as smoothly as it is!

And now Options is over for the year...which frees up a bit of time but makes the boys sad, as they love seeing these friends every week. :) (They're already looking forward to August...) 

Monday
May232016

Just so you know...

...this is the brunch my Micah (with help from Nathan) made us yesterday:

None of us had ever had eggs benedict before, but we'd seen it made numerous times recently on the various cooking shows Micah's had us watching. So, Micah decided to give it a try using Alton Brown's Good Eats cookbook. (For this first go-round, they decided not to make the muffins from scratch, though they're considering that for next time.)

Yum!

Thursday
May192016

"Where is my rotary slug thrower?!"

Yup. That's a direct quote. Asher asked this amid the boys' game of Smash Up this morning:

Apparently, a rotary slug thrower is some sort of weapon when you have steampunks on your team. I'm going to pretend that makes sense. ;) What matters, though, is that they're happily playing together without screens. So, I'll take the random nonsense in exchange. Plus, listening to them play amuses me, lol. In particular, I love how the older two have this expectation that Micah will play "fair"...how they're continually surprised when he instead goes for the kill, so to speak. :)

In any case, the game playing is making me happy. I have this "summer plan" in my head. It has three main parts:

  1. less screen time
  2. more physical activity
  3. individual pursuits

So. Less screen time means getting boys to fill their days with non-screen things...like games, outdoor activities, reading, family time and plenty of other things. Last summer (and during the school year), for the record, I tried specific hour limits and requiring that for every hour "on" each boy had to take an hour "off." This *kinda* worked. It's an enforcement hassle, though...trying to keep track of each boy and when they started on a screen and such. This summer, then, I'm trying something different. We're simply going to block out periods of the day where screens are allowed. The rest of the time they're just not. Hoping this works better. :)

In terms of more physical activity, my goal is to make regular exercise a more routine thing around here...both because it's obviously good for us and because, with growing boys in particular, getting some good physical activity helps combat the teen (and pre-teen) angst and moodiness, lol. 

To that end, Asher and Micah have added swimming laps:

Technically, these two don't really need more physical activity. ;) They have karate at least three times a week. Asher also does gymnastics on top of that. And they both are fairly active just in everyday life. But. They're really enjoying the swimming (just once a week right now) and it's helping reassure me that swim lessons are no longer needed for Micah (since we finished the full course with Noah and Asher but didn't quite get all the way through with Micah). :)

I'm still doing boot camp three days a week and running once or twice, so I'm covered.

I'm sure you can do the math and figure out that leaves Nathan and Noah. We're working on it... ;)

Finally, we're working on encouraging individual pursuits this summer. Each boy has a sort of project to work on. Noah's going to build a 3D printer (from a kit we recently ordered) and design and build things. Asher's got a book of lessons about learning to program using Minecraft that he's going to work through. And Micah is going to teach himself new cooking techniques using Alton Brown's Good Eats episodes and cookbooks. (I've got projects of my own to tackle, too, and Nathan is busy with the new start up that he's building the tech for.)

We're in a bit of transition at the moment...as we're still homeschooling, though Noah's already out for the summer...and we have a couple trips and events in the mix throughout the summer. But it's useful to me to have the plan outlined at least. 

It's no rotary slug thrower, but that's my summer plan. :) Wish us luck...

Tuesday
May172016

Ten on Tuesday

1. It's raining still. (Okay, now that I just typed that, I think it may have stopped, lol. But it's still cold and overcast.) I'm not complaining, though. Nope. Definitely will take this weather over snow or hail or flooding, as I know other areas of the country are dealing with. Also, we haven't had to turn our sprinklers on yet...and normally we do that around the end of March-ish. So, not having to pay for the extra water is sweet. :)

2. Back for Mother's Day, I sent this to my mom. She calls all her grandkids her "sprouts" and is up to 13 now...

That's sprout #10 admiring the end product with my mom. :) Aren't they all a good looking bunch of kids? You can't tell in this picture, but I numbered the photos (by age) and color coordinated the numbers (by family). ;)

3. We saw Captain America: Civil War a bit more than a week ago. Of course. (We're kind of superhero junkies here, lol.) I definitely enjoyed it more than the latest Batman/Superman movie that we saw back around Easter. Marvel is just plain funnier

4. Yes, we already have our tickets for X-Men: Apocalypse at the end of May. ;)

5. Um, and also already have our tickets (for Asher, Micah and I) for the Denver Comic Con in June.

6. Awhile back, one of Nathan's friends introduced us to a fun eatery here in Fort Collins that we had no idea existed. It's called Waltzing Kangaroo and is worth a try...quick and easy Australian food. We enjoyed the meat pies and definitely recommend trying their coffee infused chocolate ganache tart. Yum!

7. Speaking of yum, Micah's been on an Ace of Cakes marathon lately. Watching that is just making me crave cake! That's mean. ;)

8. As some of you know, I recently did another round of purging. I get like that sometimes. :) I started with our school room and managed to get through my office as well. Before and after pictures wouldn't be impressive at all, as I didn't end up getting rid of tons of stuff so much as throwing out garbage and reorganizing things to fit in the space better, lol. Still. It felt good. (I *may* go back and try a more exhaustive purge later this summer, as I know there's stuff here I could part with. At the moment, though, that felt like a rabbit hole that wouldn't pay off just now.)

9. Relatedly, though, Nathan, Micah and I did a great job purging stuff in the kitchen! We were able to weed out boxes of stuff (that a friend helpfully collected for a school fundraiser for her kids...win/win!). The process also helped remind Nathan and Micah of what we have and what we eventually want to replace. We've started a list, lol. 

10. And, I purged even more stuff from my closet, too. I've been doing really well this past year at not adding to the closet, so getting rid of more was pretty impressive to me (as I've done thorough purging regularly). Allow me to just say that it feels stinkin' awesome to let go of clothes that you *know* were snug a year or two ago...because now they're definitely too big! Seriously happy. (And motivating to keep it that way, lol.)

Okay, off to continue with my day... :)