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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Denver Chalk Art Festival

I've been wanting to go to the Denver Chalk Art Festival for at least a few years now. Today, we finally made it and it was a gorgeous day.

We made it down there early in the day (via light rail and free mall ride shuttle and walking) and joined the crowds...

We were quite impressed by most all of the artwork on display! I didn't take pictures of everything but here's a look at some of our favorites...

Seriously, the amount of work that goes into all of the art is astounding! So much chalk...

(This was at one of the installments...I just thought it looked beautiful.)

After walking through everything, we grabbed some delicious lunch, revisited a few favorites, then headed out.

It was a good day. :) 


City Works 101

Remember back in March when I mentioned taking a class for me? Well, last night we had our City Works "graduation" gathering for a meal with City Council members and others. We were also each presented with a certificate recognizing us as "one of the most informed citizens of Fort Collins." :)

I'm sad that it's over.

I know it might not sound overly exciting, but I really enjoyed it. Each week (there were eight sessions), the city staff would feed us dinner (catered from different local restaurants) and then do presentations/tours on that week's topic. (There were also a couple of optional Saturday sessions...I was able to make one but not both.)

Through it all, we got to see different city facilities and learn about city government, sustainability services, parks/recreation/natural areas, utilities, transportation, community development and neighborhood services, and police services. I took all sorts of notes, learned so many fascinating facts, and met fabulous people.

Most weeks, I didn't take any pictures...so I only have a few. But here's the salt (for roads) during the week about transportation... 

...and one of the S.W.A.T. vehicles (I got to sit inside it and everything!)...

...and one of the K9 units...

Seriously. I learned so much! And at every point I was just so very impressed by the level of commitment and innovation and dedication to be found. I love Fort Collins even more now. :) 

And, I'm looking forward to finding ways to continue learning (and sharing that learning with my boys) and to contribute back to this fabulous city of ours.


End of an era

Okay, not really an era. ;) But yesterday was Asher's last day of Options. 

Nathan and I were invited to attend the awards assembly at the end of the day. Each teacher gives out a SOAR award for each of his/her classes. SOAR stands for Safety Ownership Achievement and Respect and is a motto that the school uses throughout the year to help guide the students in those areas. Teachers selected one student from each class that they felt best exemplified one or more of those qualities.

Asher was recognized by his PE teacher for her older kids class. I'm not sure why he's making that face, lol.

Here are all of her class SOAR award recipients:

Micah was recognized by his drama teacher (and was very smiley up there at center stage, lol)...

So proud of these boys of mine! To my recollection, they've received awards at the year-end ceremony every single year. :) 

After all the awards had been given out, the principal called all of the eighth graders up on stage to be recognized. Asher tried to hide out over on the far right...

This was Asher's ninth year of Options. He started way back in kindergarten...

(Isn't he adorable?!) I'm pretty sure, too, that he's one of the only (if not *the* only) students in Fort Collins to have gone all the way through from 2008 (when the Options program first began here) to now. (Technically, we did a year of the Loveland "Options" program in the middle but it was much of the same staff and definitely the same program so I'm counting that.)

And now Asher's done with Options. :(

We're sad to see that come to an end...as it's been such a welcome addition to our homeschooling routine. But. The PSD Options program only goes through eighth grade...their partner hybrid program (homeschooling but with time on site) doesn't appeal to us due to the lack of control over the curriculum and expectations...and Asher has no interest in attending any of the local high schools. So. We're going to homeschool high school for Asher. I'm actually looking forward to the challenge and think it's definitely got the potential to be fantastic.

(Sidenote: Micah still has another couple years of Options. So we're not saying goodbye altogether. Similarly to when Noah stopped going to Options, this will just be a new chapter.)


King of the High C's

Last night was the Options Spring Program. After all of the musical/instrumental performances, the drama class presented their rendition of "Pirates: A Musical." Micah was the King of the High C's...

This is him in costume ahead of time, as we were making sure we had everything he wanted for his piratey look. (Don't you love the "peg leg" sock?!)

And now for pictures from the actual show...first, the King leading his crew in song...

...and then (Micah's favorite part), his sword fight with his Queen...

(His queen happens to be a friend who's also on the Karate West Demo Team with him so they just modified one of their bo staff routines into a sword fight...)

And he very much wanted her to stab him...

...so that he could pretend to die...

...and fall "over board"...(I LOVE how happy she is about it, lol.)

(Micah's death actually had nothing to do with the plot...and he pulled the sword from his body when they took their bows...but he was pretty happy about it nonetheless, lol.)

And thus concludes Micah's portrayal of the King of the High C's. :) 

(It was one of the best performances we've seen yet by the Options drama classes, and the boys in the class were all quite happy with the pirate theme after the Winter Program's presentation of Cinderella, lol.) 



A couple of years ago I started a tradition of taking a Mother's Day picture with my boys. This year, they were dressed nicely on Thursday (for Deanna's cording ceremony) so we took pictures a few days early. :)

This one was just outside of the building after the ceremony...

After that, we stopped at a sculpture garden in Loveland to take a few more before heading to dinner...

Noah and Asher thought it was great fun to jump and shake the log while Micah and I were trying to rearrange ourselves. (See how they're both airborne above?) And then we managed some shots...

...and boys continued their jumping...

...and I got one with Nathan...

...even though we had two imps photo bombing us in the back. ;) (Can you see Asher peeking through the branches just behind Nathan's head?)

And those were my Mother's Day pictures for this year. :)