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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Do not leave child unattended.

Um, normally Micah's an excellent eater. Very competent with fork and spoon and sometimes both at the same time. Last night, apparently, he got bored. The rest of us were sitting in the family room watching a movie (great little kid soccer movie, by the way...The Big Green...highly recommended!) and Micah was in the kitchen chowing. This is normal. He eats more than us and loves being in his chair anyhow. Our kitchen and family room are open with just a banister thing between so we can all totally see each other and he was watching the show also.

I suddenly hear a "splop" and went to investigate. This is what I found.


The kid had scooped out the remainder of his yogurt onto his tray (then dropped the container which is what I heard hit the floor), fingerpainted on the wall, and was using the rest as some sort of facial, hand and hair treatment. He was so happy. He earned himself another bath. Lucky for him, he's dang cute. :)


Ahhhhh...fall is here!

Yes, I know it's not "officially" fall yet, but I'm pretty sure it started here over the weekend. I'm sooooo happy. I love fall. It's definitely my favorite season. No more sweating every time you go outside. No more worrying about dehydration from an afternoon at the park. No more warning little boys that metal in the sun is hot. Yup, fall is good. :)

That was pretty much all I had to say. Just walked out to the mailbox down the block and couldn't help smiling all the way back as I noted the lovely temperature and clean, crisp air. Last week it was still definitely shorts and tank tops weather. Now I'm starting to think about getting out the jeans and long sleeve tees. Love that.

What do you love about fall? 


Yikes...I'm a soccer mom!

Maybe it was inevitable. After all, I've attended probably hundreds  of soccer games for my younger (more athletic) siblings. But then I was only the big sister...not the mom in charge of things like getting them outfitted and bringing snacks and all. I feel like such a grown up today. ;) Yes. Today the boys had their first official soccer games. It was a beautiful day for it...almost as if it suddenly decided to be fall.

Asher's game was first. We got there and he practiced with his team and was generally happy. (He had a fun first practice earlier this week.) Then the game started.  It wasn't the most elegant game but most of the kids had fun. Asher's going to need to get accustomed to some bumping and falling and then getting back up rather than sitting down and pouting, though he did have a smile on his face whenever he was running. All in all, it went okay. I don't think it would be a stretch, though, to say that he had more fun at the playground after the game. ;) Look at how adorable he is, though: (he's the one in white)


During Asher's game, by the way, Micah managed to stay off the field of play and was mostly content with his own soccer ball. But not always:


I don't even remember precisely what he was upset about (just that he was so precious in his pout). It didn't last long. He spent most of the game watching a plane flying overhead (that kept circling for some reason). Whew.

So, then we had a bit of a break to get lunch and run home for a few things before Noah's game (fortunately, this week it turned out well like that...next week the games will overlap). Noah's practice earlier this week didn't go as well as Asher's...mostly because we didn't know what to expect and Noah needs that little bit of control found in knowing what will happen. He was still looking a bit grumpy during warm-ups today, but I think having watched Asher's game earlier helped a good bit. By kick-off, he was fully in the game and having a blast. Here he is blocking a goal:


Incidentally, in these age divisions no official score is kept and there are no goalies. Noah, though, informs me that his team won by two goals and Asher's by one. :) So. Now I have two boys looking forward to next week's games:


Aren't they cute?

And now, officially, I suppose I am a soccer mom. Do we get some sort of badge for this? ;)



Wouldn't it be cool if we all could be superheroes? The boys were randomly talking about what super powers they would want today at lunch. Take a guess at what they decided (having limited themselves and saying each could only pick one power). Go ahead, guess.

Give up? Asher decided his super power (for today anyhow) would be to be able to find all the villains. Noah's super power would be the ability to change "bads" (villains) into "goods" (good guys). Is it just me or does that sound like a perfect duo? :) I know I'm reading way more into it than is there, but I'm pretty proud of these choices. Very cool. (Of course, they then proceeded to deem the houseflies that are driving us crazy (a few got inside somehow) as the villains and romped around the house trying to convert them! Boys.)

So...what would *your* super power be? (Really. I'm curious!) 

Oh, also, Prism Papers has a new blog. (I've also linked it up in my "Cool Stuff" page over there on the left.) You should check it out...they're up to some seriously funny and some seriously cool stuff over there. I've been privileged to work with them as part of their design team since the start of the year and must tell you that they've been wonderful to work with...of course, I don't get to enjoy their office antics but I suppose I'll settle for getting to play with all their yummy cardstock!  


I'm back...

Whew. Here I am. Home again at last. Sorry I haven't been posting lately...the past 3 weeks have been, well, they've been. Here's a run-down of what has been going on in my life for the past 21 days:

On Wednesday, August 15 I got one of those calls no one ever wants to receive...my mom calling to tell me my dad had been in a serious accident. She was on her way to the scene. A dozen or more phone calls later (between me, my mom, and all of my four brothers and sisters who were already driving from Seattle, Spokane and Boise) and what seemed like ages, though it was less than half an hour probably, led to the pronouncement of my dad's death. It was immediate. He was driving the tractor on the family farm, something he's done a gazillion times. Somehow it flipped in one of the steep banks of the wine grape area. It crushed his upper body.  My sister was working there that day and had sent someone to find him when he was late for lunch (he'd been seen just half an hour before). Thanks to my inlaws and husband I caught the next flight home and was with my family by midnight-ish.

The next few days were a blur of details as we sorted out the funeral arrangements and obituary and all. (Incidentally, if any of ya'll live near Prosser, WA and happen to subscribe to the Tri-Cities Herald, you might want to reconsider that. Let's just say there were some questionable ethics involved and the photo that ran in the next day's paper of my mom and sister grieving on site was published without permission or even notification. When I spoke with them a number of times on my family's behalf over the next few days, the only outcome was a "cold" apology letter (that my mom doesn't feel truly apologized at all) and me managing to get our submitted obituary to be free of charge.)

Saturday, Nathan and the boys flew in to join me (soooo happy to have them with me again...four plane tickets at the last minute aren't as easy to book...HUGE thanks to my inlaws for helping with that!).  Fabulous friends of my parents arranged for us to be able to use their 5th Wheel (camper thing) so that we could stay at the house with my mom.

Sunday we had a bit of a whirlwind group baptism. My sister was inspired, remembering that one of the last things my dad had been joking with her about was when she was going to get around to getting her twins baptized. My own youngest hadn't been baptized yet either, as we'd been waiting till we were able to fly home to Prosser to do so and hadn't been back since my Asher's baptism in July of 2004. And my brother's son had managed to go unbaptized as well, needing, though, to do so before November when he turns 7 for religious education class purposes. Given that we were finally all in one place at one time, we sprang this on the priest (who was wonderfully cooperative) and managed to baptize all four boys just before the Rosary Service for my dad that night. He would have liked that. Here are the baptism boys...Cade, Quinn, Aidan and my Micah. (Don't they look cute in their matching outfits? My sister and I couldn't help ourselves and bought matching outfits for her twins and my Micah...they're only 6 weeks apart in age. Quinn is just three weeks younger than my Noah as well...gotta love having cousins so close in age!)


The Rosary Service was tough.

The Funeral Mass was the next day and went beautifully. My dad would have been so proud of my mom, brother and sister as they shared. We all stood up there together. It's one of those times I won't forget.

The rest of the week was full of more details and meetings and trying to sort things out. Ugh. This will go on for quite awhile and I wish I could be closer to help my mom in person rather than just over the phone. On the plus side, the boys got to play plenty with their cousins whom they don't see often enough.

Friday we had our own private family celebration of life up at the house where my dad grew up. The grandkids all released balloons and we wore Seahawks jerseys in honor of my dad, one of their most loyal fans. Here are my niece Alexis and my Asher (who's three months older and a whole head shorter) watching the balloons disappear:


Saturday, the boys, Nathan and I flew back to Colorado, along with Nathan's parents who'd been planning this vacation since Christmas. We got home late Saturday, did some laundry Sunday and repacked our bags, and headed out to Estes Park for the week on Monday. We stayed in a nice three bedroom time share unit just along a little river there. The boys threw rocks in the river, swam, earned another Junior Park Ranger badge in Rocky Mountain National Park, did some indoor rock climbing, played miniature golf in a rain storm, got some more rocks for their rock collections, and just generally had a fabulous time.  I appreciated the break from the grieving and from cooking (hee hee) and just focused on the boys building their relationship with their grandparents. (Nathan actually was only able to spend the evenings with us, as he had to work during the day...trying to catch up on the week and a half missed while in Washington.)

Friday we headed back here to Fort Collins...ahhh, to sleep in my own bed again. :) Saturday Nathan managed to rearrange his schedule (he normally works Saturdays also) so we spent the day altogether. Nathan took a ride in a glider at the local glider port just north of Fort Collins, and the boys watched in fascination (I have pictures). Then we got some lunch and headed into Old Town for some awesome water play and ice cream before heading home. (Don't worry, Micah truly loved this...honest!)


Nathan's folks volunteered to watch the boys that night so Nathan and I could have an evening out...we got some dinner and watched The Bourne Ultimatum (which was great but made me way nauseous in the way it was filmed, yeah, I'm a wimp like that). Sunday, Nathan had to work for the first part of the day (part of that schedule swapping thing) then was home in time to drive his folks to the airport.

Monday, then, things started finally getting back to "normal" around here. Except that our summer routine was already abnormal due to my book stuff. And our fall routine will be different than before because we've added soccer for the oldest two (a first for us) and music class for the youngest. Meaning our weeks will have three music classes (fortunately all at the same time), two soccer practices, two soccer games, religious ed for Noah on Wednesdays, Sunday School for Asher, homeschool park days once a week, and homeschool co-op every other week. Not to mention my own stuff or Nathan's. Oy. Life was easier when Noah and Asher were in all the same classes but we've reached the point where that's not going to be the case any more in order to be fair to both boys and their individual needs.

So, we had to go find soccer gear, having already missed two weeks of practice. Yesterday, all three started fall music classes at Philomusica. Later today we have soccer practice...fortunately, both boys' practices are at roughly the same time at the same general location. Let's hope the two games every Saturday for the next 8 weeks turn out to be doable as well. I still have plenty of work to catch up on for Creating Keepsakes, though they've been awesomely understanding and easy to work with on my missed deadlines.

Basically, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. If you've read this far, you probably are, too. ;) Thanks for listening.

In any case, I'm back now and will be getting back into the groove. Just hang in there with me, okay? Oh, and go take a picture of yourself with people you love. Seriously. Right this minute. It's important. Trust me.