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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Thursday thoughts

1. Last Sunday, Noah and Micah had JOAD practice. I snapped this picture because it cracks me up how much of a difference in height there is. ;)

2. I've decided I need to rearrange my Tuesday schoolwork schedule. :) After gymnastics around lunch time, the boys are wiped, lol. The last two weeks, for instance, Micah has fallen asleep during afternoon schoolwork (between gymnastics and karate). So. Going to need to make Tuesday afternoon's schoolwork more hands-on. ;)

3. I think I should get extra credit or something for not having opened the Halloween candy yet. Seriously.

4. Last night I re-started a past tradition of one-on-one nights with each of my guys...I realized it had been awhile and that I missed it. Yesterday was Noah's turn. We got some food and talked and spent time at the Fort Fun arcade area, playing games like skee ball and basketball shoot-out and air hockey and this weird snow mobile race game. It was awesome. Noah even consented to take this picture of the two of us:

Now. Off to get a heap of things crossed off my to-do list. Happy Thursday, y'all! 


Outside my window

1. The hungry squirrels are back...or at least one of them. ;) We caught him in the act yesterday, less than 24 hours after having placed some pumpkins on the front step. I was smart, though, I held out the pumpkins the boys are planning to carve and kept those in the garage. Ha!

2. Not last weekend but the weekend before, Nathan and I planted some bulbs out front to hopefully bloom come spring. Everyone keep your fingers crossed, okay? :) (We took a lovely class at the Fort Collins Nursery earlier in the month to learn about bulbs and such...yay, us!) 

3. Next week we should finally get our backyard almost all back in order, as the landscaper guy is set to come install our paver patio with minor landscaping around the edges. We'll still need stairs down from the kitchen to said patio, but the stair guy is coming then also to get us a bid. Whew. It will be lovely to finally wrap up all the hail storm projects!

4. It will be nice, too, when winter comes and all the roofing companies around the neighborhood finally get a break. Man. I think everyone in our neighborhood has gotten or is getting a new roof. It'll be so quiet without the constant hammering, lol.

5. We haven't been able to finish up our fall cleanup other than having had the sprinklers blown out already. The leaves out front have changed but remain stubbornly on the trees. The foliage that I'm told I should cut back hasn't died back yet. The darn grass continues to grow. :)

6. But I'm not complaining. Nope. :) I love that it's been on the warmer side such that everything's still full of fall color and sunshine. 

Ah, fall. :) I love fall.



Just a few more pictures from our leaf walk over the weekend...

Nathan goofing off and Micah worming his way into our picture:

Adorable nine year old:

A brief moment of being still and actually smiling rather than making a Pikachu face and sound: (don't ask me why...really, lol)

A single instant amid a series of attempts...ha!

And I did manage one of Nathan and me:

Happy fall, y'all! 



On Saturday we upheld tradition and went on our 10th annual leaf walk. (To see all of our previous years, look here and here.)

In consideration of Noah's teenage angst and a general non-cooperation amid the trees and leaves in our neighborhood (leaves changing color too quickly, falling and then being too promptly collected by our lovely neighborhood groundskeepers), I did offer up the option of simply taking some pictures. The younger two boys promptly and pointedly nixed that idea, as our leaf walks are something they love and look forward to. :)

So. After we'd all reconvened following various errands, we headed out. The younger two and I had scoped out a few trees that had very recently dropped some leaves...where the groundskeepers hadn't already scooped them up. We raked up a modest pile and let the younger two loose...

Can't you just feel the joy?! :) After a few rounds of that, we had our obligatory "throw leaves at each other now" session...

(I didn't manage any better pictures of Noah than this since the younger two kept ganging up to throw leaves at him, such that he wasn't really visible, lol.)

...and then we continued to the park where we played some kickball...enjoying the gorgeous fall weather as Noah totally cheated and tackled me to keep me from advancing the bases. ;) But. I got to document another year of leaf walk happiness, so we're all winners. :) 


JOAD tournament number 18...

So, last weekend, Noah and Micah had their first JOAD tournament of the season...number 18 for us all told, as this is our fourth season now. As tournaments go, it wasn't horrible. ;) Here's a recap:

For NOAH...he continues to shoot in a very popular division so has steep competition. Over the summer, he upgraded most all of his equipment and is generally shooting better than ever. He hasn't, though, spent very much time practicing with this new set up (and I should get new boots for not screaming "I told you so" on Saturday, lol). Regardless, he shot decently and *almost* set a new personal record and *almost* earned a new award pin for six 10s in a row. (Yeah, he was a ray of sunshine after those *almosts* lol.) In the end, his score was the fourth highest, which he's familiar with. He recently wrote a paper for his English class about the value of practice. Let's all wait and see how long it takes for him to make the connection. ;)

For MICAH...after wrapping up the state title in his division last spring, Micah decided to move up to the next division (though he's not required to do so until January). The new division means that he's now shooting from 18 meters instead of 9, which is kind of a big difference. :) (For the record, I tried to talk him out of this as I'd prefer he stop being in such a hurry to grow up, but he was adamant. He wants/needs the new challenge of the longer distance and actual competition and is now eligible to earn new awards pins, as he'd reached the end of those available at the shorter distance.)

I digress. So, he arrived at the tournament fully ready to treat this as practice (well, more practice...he's been doing an okay job of actually practicing), knowing that he hasn't shot the scores to be competitive in this division yet. His mood took a downswing when we learned that he was assigned an upper target (which he can't reach to retrieve his arrows...it doesn't affect his shooting, though, just meant that he had to ask for help pulling his arrows after every end...all 20 times) and the tournament folks wouldn't let us switch (though Noah had a lower target so it would have been a simple matter and one we've done before). On top of that, the other three shooters with him on his bale (they score in groups of four) were all new. As in, they'd never kept score before. Fortunately, Micah is Micah and has scored aplenty at team practices and other tournaments when they didn't have enough parent volunteers at the shorter distance. But. One has to question the logic of assigning the absolutely youngest kid on the main line to the target butt with the three new people.

Anyhow, despite the lucky dime that his coach gave him in an effort to help turn his mood, Micah didn't shoot well his first round (a tournament is two rounds of ten ends each...three arrows for each end). During the break in between, he returned the "unlucky" dime to his coach. :) And then the kid managed to shoot decently during the second round and somehow pulled out a first place finish! He fully understands that this was somewhat of a fluke, as two of his teammates missed this tournament and regularly shoot much higher scores in this division, but he'll take it. ;) 

So. That was our first tournament for the season.

(PS With Micah shooting at the longer distance, I now find myself with nothing to do during tournaments. At the shorter distance, they always needed parent volunteers to help the youngsters with scoring and such. At the longer distance, it's all on the archers. Suggestions? We were there for about five hours. I tried to do some reading but was also trying to watch how the boys were doing. No, Deanna, I don't think I'm ready to learn how to knit just yet, lol.)