HELLO

Hi there.
This is me...a happy wife, mom to three awesome boys, teacher to two of the aforementioned boys (we homeschool), chauffeur to karate, archery and all sorts of other activities, former scrapbooker and founder of the 
Good Grief Blog.
Life is good.

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Wednesday
Dec052018

Catching up...

So. I know I haven't posted much lately. Sorry. Just doing our thing here...living a pretty darn blessed life. :) Let's do some catching up...

After getting his license at the start of November, Asher's taken over driving duties to and from karate and parkour. This is mostly all good, but I miss talking with the boys during the drive and visiting with people at both activities. Sigh. (Asher's also taken the MasterDrive winter driving camp, driven to movies and laser tag with friends, and run errands for me...hooray!)

We finally got a new thermostat installed. Back in June, ours broke. We managed to fix it just enough to get the AC working but not the whole house humidifier (which is kinda necessary here in dry Colorado during the winter). Last month, we finally got a new smart thermostat and had it installed so that now everything is working again. Yay!

In another piece of adulting, just before Thanksgiving we also had to replace our oven/stove. It was the last appliance in the house, I think, that hadn't been replaced, so sadly it was time. The new one we picked has a flat glass top (not induction, but so much easier to clean!) and a double oven, which came in very handy over Thanksgiving and, we're hoping, will be more energy efficient. Plus, fortunately, Black Friday appliance deals were taking place for the full month. (We also ended up getting some new pots because our old ones were from when we got married 22 years ago and had copper bottoms...and apparently the raw copper could transfer to the glass stove top. And we had to rearrange the kitchen a bit because the double oven means no more storage drawer under the oven. But. All good and so thankful that we're in a position where replacing things was just inconvenient and not worse.)

We had a lovely little Thanksgiving here with all the traditional foods. (Tremendously thankful for Whole Foods, lol.) Just us on Thursday, then with friends on Friday...and plenty of leftovers. Yay! (Noah was home for the week, as both CSU and CEC had the entire week off.)

Didn't do any specifically Black Friday shopping but did place a number of Amazon orders, lol. Yup, almost done with all our Christmas shopping...

It wasn't Christmas shopping and it wasn't "fun" but we also bought a new chest freezer for the garage. The city has a great freezer/refrigerator recycling and rebate program going on until the end of the month so we've got it scheduled for them to pick up our old garage freezer (that we've had since we lived in Oregon) and will replace it with the new, more energy efficient, chest freezer.

Last weekend, we got our Christmas tree from the same lot we've been going to for years. We took what have become our traditional photos there:

We then went home and hung outside Christmas lights also. We'll wait a couple weeks before putting out the inflatables to finish our outside decorations...and apparently we're going to wait also to hang ornaments on the tree (which is now happily set up in our front room) until Noah's home for break.  

Also last weekend, I enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea at the Boulder Teahouse with friends:

(The pictures don't really do justice to the yummy foods and tea.) I've known these two since our freshman year of college and am so glad we all ended up here in Colorado within an hour of each other. We don't manage to get together as often as we'd like, but I love when we do.

And now it's onward to finals. Asher's got his final papers in and his first final tomorrow with two more next Monday. He'll be on break starting Dec 11. Noah's plugging away at final projects this week and has final exams next week. He'll start his break Dec 13. Thankful that that all means we'll be off for winter break sooner than most of the kids in town.

Okay, that's pretty much it. Just checking things off the lists now and trying to get to the next things as we work our way through December. I'll try to check in more regularly. :) 

Sunday
Nov112018

DNA

Micah's First Lego League team this year was named DNA...Defending Noble Astronauts. The theme this year was Into Orbit and focused on long duration space travel. Because it's been a long day, I'll direct you to last year's post for a run down on how things work. :)

(This year, btw, I didn't have a JOAD tournament to go to so was able to be there most of the day...even through the fire alarm that got triggered by something in the concessions area, forcing everyone to stand outside in the snow (did I mention it started snowing last night and went much of the day?) for 10-15 minutes while the fire department arrived and cleared everyone to reenter. Fun times.)

Like last year, Micah especially worked on the project presentation (writing the script). He also made the logo and business cards for the team. The three team members who were returning for their second year did a great job of demonstrating that they'd really learned from last year, and overall the team did a fabulous job.

This was one of 12 qualifier events in Colorado this year, and they're sending nine teams to state in December. Our team placed first in the robot performance, with a fantastic score in their second scored robot run (scoring almost double what the second place team earned). And they were third in the overall placings!

So they'll be off to the state competition in December!

Congrats to them (and to our friends on other teams who we enjoyed visiting with during the event) and a huge round of applause on a job well done!!

Friday
Nov092018

Five on Friday

Howdy. Just popping in to share five pictures from my phone that apparently I haven't shared yet. :) 

This first one was taken in Old Town last month during a day off we took. (CEC had the day off, so we took the day off from homeschooling also.) It was such a lovely day...eating at the Waffle Lab, wandering Old Town, and grabbing a snack at Whole Foods before heading to the theater to watch a cheesy movie. 

This one was taken a week-ish later as we were walking in our neighborhood. We were trying to capture the beautiful orange foliage behind/above us, since it was some of the only fall color we could find. (After the cold snap, most of the leave just up and died.) 

Obviously, this one was taken Tuesday after I dropped off our mail in ballots. Sorry it's not great...I took it in the car, in the dark, while I was waiting for Noah to finish his voting. Because he couldn't register to vote until so close to election day, he had to vote in person. I picked him up from campus and had him vote near our house just before we all went to watch "Free Solo" at The Lyric...which was really cool (both the documentary and the theater).

The next day (Wednesday), Asher had a history test, a Spanish test, and his driving test. Yeah, busy day. ;) 

And, since he passed his test with flying colors, we made a (surprisingly quick) visit to the DMV the next day to get his license. Yup, officially have two licensed teenage boys now. :) For his first solo drive, Asher drove himself to parkour last night. 

So. Keeping busy here and hitting milestones and all that. As is to be expected, the next week or so is full, but we're very much looking forward to Thanksgiving week, as both CSU and CEC have the whole week off (and we'll take the week off from homeschooling as well). Woohoo! Happy Friday and weekend to you!

Sunday
Nov042018

Eighteen

My Noah turned EIGHTEEN on Friday. Eighteen.

Since he had class and his brothers did also (plus karate), we ended up celebrating yesterday instead...picked him up while brothers were at karate, breakfast and then home to fill out our ballots* before going back to pick up boys, family games at home for the afternoon, dinner out, and more games at home before taking Noah back to campus. Just a nice quiet day. :) 

(*Yes. Noah registered to vote on Friday. Because he wasn't able to register until so close to election day, though, he wasn't eligible for a mail in ballot this time around and will need to go to a polling place on Tuesday. Nathan and I held onto our own mail in ballots and filled them out with Noah, so that he could ask any questions if he wanted and because we like to discuss the candidates and issues as we each make our choices.)

We also took our traditional birthday pictures. It was quite windy and chilly so we weren't outside long. And I realized that that was unusual for us because almost all of the other birthday pictures we've taken of Noah have been lovely weather, even though it's November. Technically, though, if we'd taken the pictures on his actual birthday, the weather would have been sunny and nice. 

In any case, here are the shots over time since he became a teenager...

Is it just me or does it seem like Noah might be gaining on Nathan? :)

And I managed just this one shot of the birthday boy alone:

I'm realizing this may have been the last year I get shots like these, but I'll be happy about it...because at least I got these. :) Thankful that my boy is just down the road at college and that he still enjoys coming home and spending time with all of us. He appears to be doing just fine at CSU, registered a couple weeks ago for his spring classes and seems to be doing his laundry, lol. Happy. 

Wednesday
Oct312018

Weirdly quiet Halloween

Sigh. These boys are getting older and it's resulting in a quiet Halloween season around here.

Noah hasn't trick-or-treated in years and doesn't have any plans to change that away at college. ;) (He actually had some thoughts but then realized he would have to explain the costume to people and didn't want to do that, lol.)

Asher & Micah thought maybe they were done with trick-or-treating this year. But then they were invited to go with some friends, and this is what we ended up with:

Micah's shirt says "it happens" and Asher's says "I'm a palindrome. T-A-C-O-C-A-T." According to the boys, the masks were very comfortable...which was a selling point for them. They're already gone for the night, and I'm assuming they'll have a great time.

Not sure what to expect here in the way of trick-or-treaters. In years past, we've had around a hundred. Last year, it was *maybe* a dozen. It feels like it's definitely dwindling, and it's a school night this year. Given that, I opted for full size candy this year...

...because when we have a cauldron of the little candies, it's too easy to just grab some and keep eating them. So, we're trying this approach and will see how it goes. :)

(Also, we didn't do any decorations at all this year. I continually offered and was told not to bother. :( I even sent some decorations to Noah...and am guessing they're still sitting in their packaging.)

Oh! And, this past Saturday, Asher & Micah joined most of their demo team at an outdoor haunted house:

It's not a great photo (very low light and was trying to be quick...Asher & Micah are on the far left) but this is just after we dropped off boys. The group of them went through the haunted house together and hung out until we picked them up. By all accounts, a fantastic time. :)

And, yeah, I'm sure the haunted house wasn't quiet, lol. But our time between dropping them off and picking them up was. So, happy quiet Halloween to you all!