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.




Powered by Squarespace

Search & Win


Another step

Sigh. My boys are growing up. I know this. I do. :) I'm working on embracing this and savoring the moments...to that end, I'll record here that Nathan and I took Noah to the CSU Engineering Exploration Day last Saturday. It was a free day to introduce high school students to the departments and careers of engineering. (Hooray for people in our homeschooling group who alerted me to the opportunity!)

We began with an introduction to the school of engineering in general...with discussion about admissions and internships and housing and such...

This was followed by sessions specific to different departments. Noah chose to go to the overview sessions for chemical & biological engineering, mechanical engineering and electrical & computer engineering. Noah decided he's probably more interested in the latter two on that list but continues to keep all options open (yes, including studies that aren't engineering). 

After that, we were invited to a free lunch by the Diversity Programs in Engineering student group and did a mini walking tour of our own...

(Doesn't Noah look thrilled? lol) Then we sat in on a panel of students discussing the Cooperative Education Program, which was pretty exciting with regard to the possibilities and opportunity.

And then we called it a day and decided that we still have plenty of time to decide on things like college and majors. But. When we do get to that point, we'll be a little better prepared. :) 



So. As I mentioned before, Asher's now working on improving his cardio and strength toward his black belt testing. One of our first steps has been swimming laps. Twice, now, I've taken him to our gym pool and just had him swim laps for 30-45 minutes. We're building our way up and intend to start actual "workouts" next week-ish. With that in mind, does anyone have any experience in this? Any recommendations? (I'll also consult with Noah to see what he did during swim team since I didn't watch most of those practices as they were at the same time as karate, lol.)

For what it's worth, Asher's already very active. He has PE on Mondays (at Options), gymnastics and karate on Tuesdays, swimming now on Wednesdays, karate on Thursdays, karate on Fridays, and sometimes karate on Saturdays. Plus, he's just almost always moving anyhow, lol. (Seriously, the kid doesn't even sit to eat oftentimes.)

I'm actually not concerned much with his physical fitness. But, the black belt testing has presented an opportunity for a relatively short term goal/push that Asher *wants* to take advantage of, so we're trying to work with him and fit this into the schedule. (I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a bit concerned that Asher feels this might help jump-start puberty. We've talked, though, and I'm hoping he understands that all the push-ups in the world aren't going to add much bulk to him at this point. Right?)

Anyhow. Beyond the swimming (and possibly mixing that up with running some of the time), we're going to introduce strength training on the weekends. And I'm working on convincing this most picky of eaters of mine that a change in diet will help also/more. ;) 

In any case, we've started! So far, so good! (especially after we added the swim cap after that first time when the goggles got rather tangled in his now longer hair, lol)

Also, if you happen to know of any articles/books/friends that address exercise/training for pre-pubescent boys, please share! I can find plenty of recommendations for teens and men and plenty of advice to just let kids play...but could use advice on what to do with a 13 year old boy who'd like to workout but hasn't hit puberty yet and is on the incredibly small side. ;)



Just a quick note to say that I'm feeling rather pleased with myself this morning. Asher, Micah and I are working on doing more regarding writing this year. To start, this session, I have them working on five paragraph essays (boring, I know, but a decent starting place, lol).

My light bulb moment this morning was deciding to have them type the drafts. Seems ridiculously obvious, right? But. I've never required them to type anything before so it simply didn't occur to me. (Noah types everything, so I really don't know why this never translated down to the other two. They're just so content to handwrite things (unlike Noah) that I've always done that.)

Anyhow. Technically, they hand wrote the drafts last week. This week is supposed to focus on editing. But. First I'm having them type them up...which provides typing practice for them (and formatting instruction) and makes editing easier for me. Everybody wins!


Camera Roll

Happy Monday to you! Here's hoping your day is as sunshiny and beautiful as mine. :) 

Since I've already gone to boot camp, gotten all three boys to their respective schooling situations for the day and crossed a few things off my to-do list, I'm feeling pretty good. Given that, (and because I'm behind,lol) I figured I'd just share some pictures off my phone that I've not gotten around to sharing yet...

First up is the single picture Molly remembered to take of us a week or so ago when we got together to catch up and eat lunch and get pedicures. (Melissa, Molly and I have known each other more than 20 years now and I'm so thankful that life has kept us in each other's lives.)

And here's a picture of a new game that the boys and I tried out as part of our geography studies last week. It's called "Take Off" and definitely has potential for some great learning. (Hooray, btw, for fellow homeschool moms selling their old/unused materials!)

And on the 18th, to celebrate Mrs Yee's birthday, the boys joined her to do 60 minutes of forms as a fundraiser for Crossroads Safehouse. Here is the entire crew who turned out:

Yesterday, the Karate West demo team performed at Open Streets on Remington up near Old Town (they were toward the south end of the mile long corridor). They were there from about 10-2:30:

If you were keeping track, yes, that was a lot of karate from last Thursday to Sunday...on top of their normal two classes/week and demo team practice, they did the 60 minutes of forms, Asher did that tournament and then they performed at Open Streets. Whew. ;)

And, finally, just to brighten up my week even more, my friend Sue dropped this gorgeous bouquet at my doorstep this morning:

She owns and operates a lovely floral business called Blush, and I happened to win a bouquet a bit ago in a drawing on Facebook. :)  



On his way

My Asher's on his way now toward his black belt. He's been preparing, technically, since day one back in June of 2010, when he fell in love with karate and announced his intention to earn his black belt. Next weekend, though, he'll have his first "official" black belt testing mandatory progress check.

Between now and the end of January, Asher will need to maintain his class attendance and grades and write an essay. He'll also have multiple more mandatory progress checks and need to train for those. As part of this, he'll need a training partner to help with some of the checks and, hopefully, be available to offer advice and moral support...a partner who's done this already is ideal. Last week, he asked a second degree black belt from Karate West who's offered Asher encouragement and advice in the course of normal classes. Fingers crossed that Chris' schedule works out (he's a busy high school senior), but already this partnership is helping Asher and we're so thankful.

More specifically, Chris has been encouraging Asher in his sparring abilities (the area Asher feels is his weakest, particularly because everyone in his class is larger than him (most of them a good bit larger, lol) so has the advantage in reach and strength). Being also half-Asian and on the smaller side, Chris really relates to Asher and is thus far a terrific role model. He encouraged Asher to try sparring in a regional tournament, and Asher actually agreed! (This is a pretty big deal. Like I said, sparring is not something Asher's felt positive about in the past, so agreeing to participate was huge.)

So. We spent our afternoon today at The Ranch in Loveland watching and participating in a regional karate tournament. Asher only signed up for one event, continuous sparring. Unlike traditional sparring, the participants don't stop for judges to assign points earned (the judges keep track during the two rounds then average the count) and the divisions are based on weight instead of age and rank. That second part was what swayed Asher. :) (If he'd done traditional sparring, he'd easily have been up against boys Noah's size or bigger as it was grouped 13-14 year old boys with advanced belts. With continuous sparring, he was up against kids weighing more than 66 lbs and less than 78...much less intimidating.)

In the end, Asher didn't place and was a bit frustrated by the outcome. But. We talked about it and he knows that the purpose of participating in the tournament was for the experience and for the training toward his black belt. When put that way, he very much succeeded today.

He stepped outside of his comfort zone, got some fabulous training time and tips from Chris (who was also competing in events of his own at the tournament and graciously came over to chat with Asher and put him more at ease and then helped Asher warm up for his match), and learned a bit more about sparring. Definite win! :)

(This is Chris (in blue) and Asher warming up before Asher's division began.)