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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Since we've been home...

So. Two weeks ago right now, we were finishing our transatlantic flight home. I'm still not done sorting through the more than 3000 photos. :) Apart from working my way through those, here's what we've been up to in those two weeks...

- Nathan flew out (pretty much immediately after we'd gotten home) to Washington to attend his grandma's memorial service. He got home early Monday morning (with a cold, having managed to stay healthy throughout our travels). 

- The boys and I took some time to seriously veg.

- We've been to karate for 8 classes/practice, including one the night we got home. (This isn't anything extra...just how much we normally go. We'll be there for two more things tonight and one more tomorrow.)

- Asher's started back at his weekly parkour classes, and I'm back to my regular boot camp sessions.

- Nathan's been back at work. A lot. Making up for missed time.

- We went to see The Incredibles 2 on Father's Day.

- We've had a couple routine annual doctor's appointments.

- Noah and I attended CSU Orientation. (Students did their thing and there was separate programming for parents/family.) It was two days (Noah stayed overnight to experience dorm living) and culminated with Noah successfully getting registered for his fall classes. It was a lot of information...a bit overwhelming but good.

- Our AC died last weekend and we were finally able to get a service person out yesterday. (Thank goodness the temperatures this week weren't crazy high!) After more than two hours, the guy and Nathan managed to rig a temporary fix. Nathan will replace things later this summer, but for now at least we have AC again.

- The younger two and I started some limited homeschooling back up again. (They're delighted, lol.) They were warned months ago that this would happen given our schedule and trip. It's going fine. I'll add a bit more in next week. They'll be thrilled. :) 

- Our minivan hit 100,000 miles. I took it in today for an oil change and inspection and now have a lovely list of recommended services to consider. Oy.

Sooo...that's what's been going on here. Next week will bring wisdom teeth extractions for Noah, high school orientation for Asher, and Asher's 16th birthday. Whew.


Checking in...

Whew. We're home. As many of you know, we've been on a lovely family vacation and were gone from May 17 to June 8. We're finally getting back to normal here. I shared pictures and thoughts over on Facebook as they were happening, but it'll take me a bit to post here. (It's a matter of ease of photo editing and uploading and all that.) In the meantime, just wanted to say that we're back. :)



We did it! We celebrated the graduation of my oldest! I have lots of pictures (and lots of pictures that I wish I'd taken but missed, lol)...but am in a hurry, so here's a quick(ish) rundown...

Saturday, family started arriving. Nathan's parents drove to town from Washington. Micah, Asher and I went to the airport to welcome my mom, grandma, niece and nephews, along with my baby sister's family, all flying in from Washington. (Micah and I were playing a fun game as we waited called "That's not my Grandma" lol.) Then, everyone settled in at the places they were staying (spread out between our house, my brother's house in Longmont and a hotel).

Sunday, we partied. All the aforementioned family, plus the brother in Longmont and his family, were joined by good friends nearby. We had a taco bar (from Matador...which was fabulous and highly recommended!) and veggies and fruit and chips and salsa and chocolate zucchini muffins and cupcakes and cookies and mac n cheese and such. People ate and visited and played cornhole in the backyard. (Thank you, weather, for cooperating just long enough!!)

See the fun photos I printed of Noah?! There's a shot from the first day of school for each year starting in second grade (when the boys first started Options and I decided a first day picture was in order)...with some stats and such on the back of each (likes, dislikes, activities from that year, etc). I got all the frames at the Dollar Store so was pretty pleased with myself, lol. 

I also, to Noah's displeasure, hung a medley of photos from over the years in the family room but forgot to take a picture of that. ;) 

Monday, then, was the actual graduation ceremony. We were pretty chill in the morning...took my little nephews to the new Twin Silos park, which was a hoot...while Noah was at his mandatory rehearsal. Lunch was leftovers from the taco bar. Then we got ourselves ready and over to the hotel/conference center where the ceremony was being held this year. (They had to move to a larger venue on account of the larger class than previous years.)

The ceremony went really well and stayed pretty much on time/schedule. Noah's class had 190 graduates. Of those 190, 121 earned associate degrees or certificates from local community colleges. Collectively, the students earned 10,749 college credits...all for FREE. So thankful for this program!!

And then we took some photos:

Noah with his brothers and cousins from Prosser...

Noah with my grandma (who will be 97 this summer!), me and my mom...

Noah with Nathan's parents...

...and with us...

After that, we all went to dinner nearby which was yummy. (Cas, Charlie and their little boys joined us at that point. The little ones didn't make it to the ceremony very long...which was totally fine and understandable.) And then we all headed back to our respective lodgings for the night. (And we played a hilarious game of "watch the toddler chase the laser pointer"!)


Tuesday, all the various parties headed back to Washington (and we're so thankful they all came to celebrate with us!), and we started putting things back in order around the house. And I realized I'd neglected to get a shot of just Noah in cap and gown so made him put his back on:

(In case you're wondering, the gold cords were to signify Summa Cum Laude (20 high school credits plus 30 or more college credits and a 3.80 unweighted GPA). There were 29 in the class. The medallion was to represent having earned an Endorsed Diploma, technically called the Postsecondary Workforce Readiness Endorsed Diploma. There were 43 in the class. Noah doesn't have the gold cord in the pictures above because he lost his while processing out of the ceremony. ;) The ones in this picture are actually mine from high school, lol.)

So, so proud of this boy and the path he's on! We can't wait to see what the next chapter of his journey will bring and know he's fully capable of so very much.


Four days to go

With Noah's graduation ceremony less than four full days away, I figured I'd share his announcements before it gets crazy here. So. Somewhat predictably, Noah was not a fan of official senior portraits or the Class of 2018 graduation announcements available through the school. :) We compromised with me (and Nathan) taking some photos of him and printing our own announcements through online services. 

You can click on it to make it bigger. If you still can't read it, it says: 

We are proud to announce the graduation of NOAH DURHAM PROBST from Colorado Early Colleges High School Monday, May 14th.

Noah will graduate with his Associate of Science with a Designation in Mathematics from Front Range Community College, with an Endorsed Diploma through the State of Colorado (identifying students who have gone beyond the basic high school graduation requirements), and Summa Cum Laude.

He will be attending Colorado State University in the fall, where he will be in the Honors Program and intends to major in Mechanical Engineering. 

And this picture was my personal favorite, though not Noah's. We ended up doing a couple different "photo shoots" a couple months apart...both at the CEC building (the building where Noah started high school...he ended up taking most of his classes over at the Front Range Community College campus and the high school, itself, ended up relocating just a short distance away, but these were shot at the building he started at...which is just a short walk from our house). 

So. That's that. :)


Ten on Tuesday

Figured I'd best share some more photos and such before I get all preoccupied with Noah's upcoming graduation. :) 

1. Yes, of course we've seen the new Marvel movie, "Infinity War." If you've also seen it and would like to discuss, it's a favorite pastime around here. :) 

2. Sadly, when we tried to actually start our annual lawn care and such recently, we discovered that our trusty lawn mower was dead. It had been a gift from my parents when we moved into this house so was about 14 years old. I suppose it was time. :) So, now we have a lovely new electric mower and, thanks to a neighbor (who has a truck and works at one of the local places that recycles lawn mowers), have successfully recycled the old one.

3. Last week, I needed a picture of Asher for a summer day camp he's signed up for. When I tried to just snap a single shot, this is what I ended up with:

What a handsome goofball. :) 

4. Had to order a new bo staff recently, as Micah managed to break his during demo team practice. ;) It's okay. He wasn't doing anything dangerous...it was just worn out. As it turns out, though, the new bo staff will be for Asher...as both boys have been and are growing. 

5. Noah picked up his cap & gown last week. 

6. I've been working on catching up on my photo editing/organizing. I go through all the files and pull and edit the ones I like best into monthly folders and such. I'd been quite behind (like years behind) but finally...finally...caught up last week. Hooray!!

7. Noah had his last high school class ever on Friday (technically it was a college class, but last class *of* high school), and Asher, Micah and I wrapped up another session of homeschooling as well. We'll still do some homeschooling over the summer but, mostly, we're done for the year. Yay!

8. And, here are our owl friends again:

This was at the end of last week. They're so fluffy!!

9. After visiting our owl friends, Micah and Nathan spent part of the weekend finishing up the cornhole set they built last summer (sealing it):

10. And, finally, yesterday, Micah had his last day of Options for the year. There are still a couple more weeks of classes, but he'll miss them. So, he let me take this picture as I was dropping him off...

...and then proceeded to have a lovely day with his friends. 

And now we're in full graduation and house guest prep mode around here...