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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Laser Tag

Just a quick shout out to Loveland Laser Tag. Micah and Asher participated in their Space Marines Summer Camp this past week and had a blast!

The camp had about 30 kids overall (five of which were friends of the boys...which undoubtedly contributed to their enjoyment, lol). The kids were broken up into four teams, each with their own "counselor," and played numerous games of laser tag amid lunch and snack and arcade time. (My guys and their friends managed to make up one team...so they were happy.)

This was the best I managed in terms of photos of my guys. (I also got some pictures of them with their friends...which are better...but I didn't ask permission from their parents to post those.)

In any case, this took up a chunk of our week...and my boys had a pretty darn good time. :)


Father's Day

I'm late but no less sincere in wishing a Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband...my lovely father-in-law...my brothers and brothers-in-law...the dads who are part of my sons' lives...and my own dear dad (who's been missed for ten Father's Days now). Here's hoping you all had a fabulous day Sunday and were celebrated adequately. :) 

As for us, the boys and I went with a theme of spending and enjoying time with Nathan (and I neglected to take a single photo in the midst of being present). We fixed his kite and bike ahead of time. The wind didn't cooperate for kite flying, but the boys had some nice bike ride time with Nathan...on our way to the Farmers Market (to buy dinner) and to a late lunch of Nathan's choosing. We also played a couple games of Catan altogether (and I finally won one!), watched a movie and played some friendly hands of poker. We have plans, too, to go bowling and to finish the game of mini golf that we tried to play a bit ago up in Estes...

(Remember? We got hailed out. ;) But they credited back our game fees and we'll go try again soon. We haven't been 100% consistent, but we try to play a round of mini golf each June. It's a Father's Day tradition.)

So. Happy belated Father's Day to all! 


Five on Friday

Just a bit of catching up...things going on around here...

1. We wrapped up our homeschooling year this week and are now looking forward to enjoying a couple months "off" before starting up again. We all still have some personal projects we're working on in the meantime...Noah's building us some stairs to get from our kitchen to the backyard and working on prep for college and scholarship applications...Asher's teaching himself new songs on the violin and helping me ready his high school curricula...Micah's still in black belt testing mode and is also working on learning to write code to build an app and possibly taking an online oceanography course...Nathan's busy with work...and I've got a whole list of little things to check off before fall. :)

2. Also, Noah just finished participating in the City of Fort Collins' first ever Summer in the City program. It was like the City Works 101 program I finished last month but designed for high schoolers. The group hit on many of the same things we covered in the full City Works program and some things we hadn't. They also emphasized career choices--how the people speaking to them had gotten to where they were and what their jobs entailed. All in all, I think he enjoyed himself and learned some valuable things. (Plus, the hours counted toward a requirement he has for the endorsed diploma program he's doing at CEC.)

3. Amid all that, the boys and I have also been playing more games and trying to enjoy our summer together. One of the games lately has been Settlers of Catan:

So far, I'm the only one who hasn't won a round, though... :(

4. We were actually playing Catan on Wednesday afternoon when Micah went out to get the mail...and managed to burn the bottoms of his feet on the asphalt. I didn't realize he meant it until after the game was over and he was getting ready to head to his weekly Black Belt training session. Subsequently, the session didn't go as well as he'd have liked (he was in pain and couldn't do the moves fully) and he opted to not go to karate class yesterday. But. The blisters have now mostly healed (after a day or so of applying coconut oil and keeping them wrapped) and he's feeling ready to get back to everything today. 

5. And, finally, last week my peonies were in full bloom and were glorious:

They were seriously huge and made me so happy. :) 

And that's some of what's going on around here. Hope your summer is going well, too!


Taste of Fort Collins

Yesterday, we finally experienced the Taste of Fort Collins. We'd never been to this annual event and ventured up to Old Town shortly after they opened for the day. We wandered around taking in all the vendors and food trucks before trying to decide what each of us wanted for lunch. 

In the end, we split up but found a picnic table to share in the shade. Micah fell in love with the Waffle Lab food truck. Noah went for pizza and a sno cone. Asher had chicken on a stick, curly fries and homemade ice cream in a waffle cone. (Micah also managed to snag ice cream in a waffle cone...though he was almost out of money, he convinced Asher to share so that Micah could buy one also, lol.) Nathan took to sampling many different things...potstickers, waffles, paella, coffee, and ice cream. And I enjoyed a lovely lobster roll and then a sno cone.

Amid all that, we also walked around and enjoyed some of the vendors. The boys all managed to win prizes from a prize wheel for Loveland Laser Tag (which I'm sure will come in very handy this summer), and Micah won himself some sunglasses at another booth (which looked particularly cool over his glasses, lol). 

(Above...the ticket booth to get in (fortunately, we only had to pay for Asher...Micah's free and the rest of us have First National Bank cards so got in free)...Micah enjoying a hammock chair...the handmade ice cream place...and hanging out waiting for the MAX bus home.)

All in all, another lovely festival enjoyed... :)


My birthday

Thank you so much for all the Facebook, email, text and other birthday wishes on Wednesday!!! Sorry I didn't reply more promptly but my guys and I were off having a lovely day. :) We headed up to Estes Park and took Trail Ridge Road up to the Alpine Visitor Center in hopes of climbing the steps there and recreating this picture from eight years ago (scroll a bit down the entry). Unfortunately, the steps were closed due to snow. :( But, at another of the pullouts not far away, we found an open trail and climbed it then climbed some boulders...

One of the views from there looked like this:

And I'd be lying if I said there weren't snowballs thrown all along the way, lol. (Apologies, again, to the woman Micah almost hit while trying to get his brother on the way back down the trail, lol. Fortunately, she was a wonderful sport about it.)

Here's a picture from another of the pullouts:

After leaving the park, we made our way to Ed's Cantina for a delicious late lunch then did a wee bit of shopping before heading to Fun City to ride the giant slide: 

(Micah doesn't like the giant slide so opted to take the pictures for us.) During all of the day, btw, we remarked on how beautifully the weather was cooperating...much nicer than forecast. 

So, after the slide, we started a round of miniature golf. We were having a grand time (boys had all gotten holes in one). It started sprinkling a bit. I decided to run back to the van and grab jackets and an umbrella. (It seemed light enough that we figured we could easily just keep playing.) On my way back to my guys, the skies opened up with hail. I'd say they were about peanut M&M sized. ;) 

I found Nathan and the boys huddled under a tree on the far side of the course. I joined them there with the single umbrella I had and we waited out the burst. It probably lasted about 5-10 minutes. Once it started to let up, Nathan and Micah made a run for it with the umbrella. Noah, Asher and I followed shortly after and we all made it to the pavilion. This is what it looked like on the course:

Yup. All the greens had turned white and there were puddles everywhere. This is what the slide looked like:

And, lucky us, we'd parked in the low spot of the parking lot...

Simply put, we were soaked! :)

We'd brought coats and snow boots anticipating the snow up Trail Ridge Road. But we hadn't brought changes of clothes or socks and shoes, lol. So. In wet clothes and snow boots with no socks for the most part (I happened to have brought extra shoes and socks...having been unable to decide what footwear to bring, lol), we then trekked into town for our traditional ice cream at Hayley's. (The sun had come back out at this point, in case you were wondering.)

And then, rather than continuing to hang out in our wet things, we opted to head home. 

We arrived home to find a delicious cookie cake on our doorstep (thanks, Vanessa!). We *may* have immediately opened it and eaten some, lol. The rest of the evening was likewise indulgent...just hanging with my guys, watching some shows and ignoring everything else. A beautiful day!

So. Happy birthday to me and here's to another wonderful year!