HELLO

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.

CATEGORIES
CURRICULUM
WHERE MY LOYALTIES LIE

 

SUBSCRIBE
ARCHIVES
SEARCH THIS SITE
Powered by Squarespace
Sunday
Apr022017

Eat Your Science

Months and months ago, I bought tickets. And then months later we gifted them to boys for Christmas. The tickets were for Alton Brown's Eat Your Science live tour. Last night, we finally got to see the show. And it was totally worth the wait!

Here we are as we were waiting for the show to begin. Our seats were in a side box thing (no idea the correct terminology, lol) and were pretty darn good. We decided to sit according to height, so I got the second seat. (Our friends Molly and Mark also got tickets at the same time, and we visited with them during the intermission. We didn't end up sitting together (the sign language interpreters were set up in a different area), but we both enjoyed the show all the same.) 

And then Alton Brown came out right behind us as he made his way to the stage:

Nathan snapped this picture as Alton was singing the first of several songs performed over the course of the show. And here are some I took during the first half of the show:

I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't seen it yet and plan to. I'll just say that it was hilarious and fantastically awesome and we all LOVED it!

Seriously. If you have the opportunity to go, you should see this show. :) 

Thursday
Mar302017

Yesterday

Yesterday I drove Micah down to the Denver Aquarium for a Marine Biologist for a Day program. He LOVED it!

This was before he headed inside...where he got to feed some of the fish, see behind-the-scenes all along the exhibit path, meet new people, learn lots of interesting facts, say hi to one of the tigers, get bitten by a sting ray, and dissect a squid. Did I mention that he loved it? :) 

While he was doing all of that, I met friends nearby for coffee, chatting, taking a walk, having lunch and chatting some more. 

What started out as a rather gloomy, wet day turned into a beautiful spring Colorado day...which I thoroughly enjoyed. :) Thanks, ladies!

And then I walked back to the aquarium and picked up a very delighted Micah. We drove back to Fort Collins (with Micah filling me in on all of his experiences as we drove) and picked up Noah after his last class before heading home briefly.  

After that, I went to my second City Works session and learned all sorts of valuable information about recycling and sustainability in Fort Collins (still so impressed by and happy with this city we live in!) before swinging by to pick up Noah from his weekly HeroClix event and finally going home to my pajamas. :)

Thursday
Mar232017

Throw it all out there Thursday

So. I've been quiet here, I know. Sorry. I stop and think about finding a clever way to tie things together or make them more interesting to read about. But I just don't seem to have the time or energy for that, lol. Instead, then, for the sake of catching folks up, I'm just going to throw it all out there. Here's what's going on:

NOAH

  • Got his drivers license today! (He did, btw, let me take a picture of him getting his photo taken for the license...but I had to promise not to post it, lol.)

  • Has his advising appointment to register for fall classes next week.
  • Will be taking the SAT in a few weeks (having already taken the ACT twice, the PSAT twice and two SAT subject tests...so he's not hugely worried).
  • Has three college campus visits lined up in mid-April.
  • Has one more JOAD tournament for the season (just after all the campus visits). It's the state tournament and he's switched from shooting compound bow to barebow, which has actually been a nice change of pace and beneficial to his shooting.

ASHER

  • Continues to enjoy learning to play the violin.
  • Is finishing some repairs and tweaking to their Wright Stuff glider for the state Science Olympiad competition in a few weeks (along with some other prep/review in the other events he does).
  • Intends to continue homeschooling through high school, and we've been working at coming up with our plan...which has involved going to an annual homeschool convention/used book sale and finding some fun things along with starting to make wish lists and doing lots of thinking and reading. 

MICAH

  • Like Asher, continues to prep/review for the state Science Olympiad competition.
  • Recently started his own black belt testing...which means increased time at karate along with some cardio training (swimming) between now and the end of July. Rather than explain the process all again, I'm lazy and will just direct you to my posts about Asher's testing here and here. Differences this time around include the fact that I don't have to go looking for a practice partner, as Asher fits the bill and they've agreed to work together. (This is good as, like with Asher, there just aren't that many small black belts around to ask, lol. It also means I don't need to coordinate with someone else to make sure they have availability and will show up at the right times.) Also, Micah actually does need more work in the cardio department, as he doesn't do gymnastics like Asher and is younger and smaller than Asher was. (I was just re-reading that second post...and Asher actually really has gotten bigger since his training. In the one year after earning his black belt, he shot up a good number of inches and added about 20 pounds!) In any case, it'll be a number of months of hard work on Micah's part, but he says he's ready for it.
  • Has developed a keen interest in oceanography and is looking forward to a Marine Biologist for a Day program down at the Denver Aquarium next week. 
  • Has landed the role of Pirate King for his Options drama class spring production. He's pretty excited about the costume. :)

NATHAN & I

  • Are, obviously, keeping busy with all that stuff for the boys (and planning all that stuff and getting boys to all that stuff), lol.
  • Nathan has some meetings with clients in NY so has been working extra getting that ready and all...and not getting enough sleep and needing to buy more business casual type clothes. :)
  • I got into the City Works 101 program here in Fort Collins and am pretty excited about it. You can read more about it here. Last night was the first session and I've already learned great stuff. I figured this is a great chance to get involved and learn more...given that my degrees are actually in political science, law and public policy...and that our current political climate particularly encourages more participation...and that these boys are going to get older and that means I'll probably re-enter the work force at some point. (Plus, it's fun taking a class for me!)

  • Incidentally, Asher, Micah and I went on a homeschool group field trip to City Hall back at the beginning of March. We listened to the mayor speak and explain Fort Collins government. I forgot to take a picture, though, so then forgot to post about it. :)

And that's why I haven't been blogging much lately. ;) 

ETA: I forgot to mention in my list that during the month I've also added a nephew, gone out with a bestie for an awesome afternoon of eating and chatting and shopping, tried a trial fitness class at the gym for a week, met up with a friend at the gym for our own working out weekly, continued going to boot camp three days a week, started having Noah write practice college application essays weekly, gotten a haircut (trim) and cut all my guys' hair...among other things.

Wednesday
Mar152017

25 years

Yesterday was Pi Day...3.14. Yes, we had some pie. :) 

Yesterday was also the 25 year anniversary of the day Nathan and I met. Twenty five years. Twenty five pretty darn good years. :) To celebrate, we went to dinner and a movie:

Yay, us! So very blessed to have met this man and even more fortunate to call him mine. 

Also, btw, we realized that Noah is now the same age that we were when we met. And now we feel old. ;) 

Sunday
Mar052017

Science Olympiad Regionals

Remember a little over a month ago when Asher and Micah participated in a Science Olympiad Invitational with their little homeschool team? Well, the Regional competition was yesterday. (Colorado hosts two Regional competitions. This was the Northern Regional event. From here, teams that qualify move on to the State competition.)

Differences between the Invitational and the Regional events?

1) They actually ran all of the 23 events. At the Invitational, none of the build events were run (to save the various contraptions from possible damage and to maintain their design "secrecy"). This means that the Wright Stuff event, that Asher (and another teammate) have been working on, happened. Here's our team just before the event:

The event involves making, testing, and flying an airplane powered by a twisted rubber band, with the goal of achieving the longest flight duration. (There were also a number of restrictions and requirements regarding what they could use and how big/small things could be.) Each team got two flights...longest time counts.

Our first flight went decently. Unfortunately, the plane landed in the bleachers instead of the open gym. It sustained some damage that the boys didn't notice before the second flight...meaning that the second flight didn't go well. (Coaches/parents weren't allowed to be on the floor with the boys or discuss anything with them once they'd begun. Technically, the boys could have taken the time to repair their plane before the second flight had they noticed the damage. Then again, they were both quite pressed for time, as things were running a bit behind and they were both needed in other events mere minutes from then. (Asher ended up sprinting to his next event and made it *just* before they shut the door.))

Still. Even with all that, their plane ended up in fourth place! With some adjustments, they think/hope that they'll do even better at the State competition. :)

2) Since all of the build events were being run (at various times throughout the day), there was much less time for the kids for just sitting together at our "base" area. (We parents still ended up doing our fair share of sitting...between making sure the kids got to the right areas.) We were fortunate, too, that one of our coaches staked out a table for us away from most of the loudness in the cafeteria, where most of the other teams were set up. 

3) At the Invitational, there were 16 teams altogether in the building. At Regionals, there were 46 middle school teams and 29 high school teams altogether in the building. Yeah. It was crazy crowded. (Originally, the middle school teams were supposed to be competing elsewhere but scheduling fell through or something and they decided to put both events in the same place.) 

I have to admit, I was skeptical. But, with the exception of a few small things, the event ran pretty smoothly. I was impressed. 

So. Here are some other pictures from yesterday:

Clockwise from the top left: a better picture of our team shirts, complete with their chosen mascot--Steve, the Pessimistic Cow (which Micah drew)...our team "area"...watching the Wright Stuff event...Asher prepping their plane...Micah enjoying ice cream at Coldstone after all the events were over and before the awards ceremony started. (Our entire team ended up there...yum!)

Just before the ice cream, we made the kids let us take a group picture:

We did get a few before this, but getting them all to look at the same time wasn't really working. ;)

And then they did the awards ceremony. 

And our little nine kid homeschool team rocked. 

They took home medals (top three) in nine events...which was the second highest medal count for a team!

Beyond the individual event medals, scoring worked such that you got points for your placement in each event...so first place got one point, last place or no shows got 45 points (because of the number of teams registered). (This was part of my boys' goals in being on the team...to contribute such that the team didn't have to accept the maximum points for failure to have people in all events.)

They then added points for all of the events to get your team total...lowest score wins. And, out of those 46 registered teams, our team came in FOURTH.

Seriously.

I'm so impressed by these kids. Our two third graders took third in Invasive Species. Third! That means those two 8-9 year old boys beat 43 other teams of middle schoolers in that event. One of the boys on our team medaled in six of the events he competed in (when most kids there were only competing in two events...as I mentioned before, because our team is smaller, our kids each had to compete in more events). Wow.

This was also a good lesson for my boys about setting goals and expectations. Micah was a little disappointed at not having gotten an individual medal. It was a good opportunity to discuss how that hadn't been his goal and how, relatedly, we had chosen not to put in as much time/effort as the others. (He and Asher didn't do poorly, by any means. Honestly, in most of their events, they did better than they should have compared to how much work they put in.) So. Good lesson in choices and priorities and effort. :) And now Micah's thinking he'd like to put in more work going forward to try to improve his contribution to the team.

Speaking of which...their team placement means that they get to advance to the State competition. (Advancement to State is based on the team overall score, not individual event placements...so you really do need a strong team rather than just a few star individuals.) That'll be in about six weeks. Wish us luck!