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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Going on a leaf hunt...

The boys and I decided to take advantage of the sunshine yesterday and headed out on a "leaf hunt." I brought the wagon and our little kid rake, though of course Micah refused to ride in the wagon for more than half the walk and of course they all fought over the *one* rake I had. Sigh. But, it was heaps (and piles) of fun!

We ventured all around our neighborhood, walking to the common areas and raking up piles of leaves for the boys to jump in...and bury each other in...and roll in...and throw at each other. Of the 206 pictures I took, here are just a few:




Like I said, this is just a small sampling. Gotta save the really good ones for layouts! ;)

Oh, and remember how a couple weekends ago I was complaining about how Colorado hadn't figured out fall yet (as it was 85 degrees at the boys' soccer games)? Well, it figured it out. Last weekend's games were played in 40ish degree weather, complete with fleece pants and pullovers under jerseys. Then it rained for a bit (fortunately not until *after* the boys' games) and was fairly dreary and cold. So, yesterday, when the sun came out and it warmed up to about 60 we just knew we had to take these pictures. Good thing, too. It's overcast again today.

Do you have any fun "fall leaf" traditions? I'd love to start some more, though the boys seem pretty content with just playing in the leaves for now. :) 



So. What have you been up to this past week? I've been refocusing...trying to get things in order. (Seems like I'm always doing that, eh?) Yesterday, I had a blast shopping. Amazingly, I wasn't shopping for scrapping supplies, but for school supplies. Yes. I know that the "school year" has been in session for awhile now. Noah and I have been continuing in our homeschool journey. But, we haven't really "immersed" ourselves in it of late...particularly with how crazy September was with trying to catch up after being away for three weeks and adjusting to life with soccer and resuming activities that were on hold over the summer (like weekly piano lessons and our homeschool group co-ops).

So, I digress. Yesterday the boys and I hit our local educational supply store. Wow...always love browsing stores like that...it's worse than scrapbook stores for me, actually, as I can almost always justify buying a great educational tool or book for the boys and those tend to cost more than, say, a sheet of patterned paper. ;) In any case, I did a fairly good job (having had a specific list of things I was looking for going in). Picked up a some fun language workbooks, math games, geography stuff and a couple of thermometers for science experiments.

Then. I hit our wonderful local independent bookstore just blocks from our house. Picked up a slew of fun books! Dude. There are soooo many good books out there! Bonus of it all was that I had a full punch card for the store, meaning I got 50% off my entire purchase. SCORE! A few of my favorites were:

The Honest To Goodness Truth ...I happened on this one while crawling about trying to get Micah to put his shoes back on. It's about a girl learning to tell the difference between total honesty and exercising a bit of tact...something I think every parent struggles with explaining from time to time. ;)

Pieces of Gax ...This is the 9th book in a series that was actually begun as a comic strip. The boys love these Akiko books...not the most intellectually stimulating stuff, but the characters are good and struggle with things the boys can relate to (like being nervous about being in charge or saying you can do something when really you can't). Plus, anything that has them begging to be read to has got to be good, right?

Three Sir Cumference books...My mom found one of these for Noah back in August and I discovered three more on the shelves. Noah, um, loves math so finding a way to incorporate reading into that is fabulous. 

These, obviously, were only a sampling from the big ol' bag I came home with. Do you have any great children's book finds you want to share? I'm always on the lookout for more!!

With bookshelves re-stocked for now, and a more detailed lesson plan in the works, we're very much looking forward to the coming studies. Yay! Nothing like being excited about learning! And, of course, I'm thinking I need to alter a binder to keep my lesson plans and various school paperwork in...maybe make a few tabbed dividers using some cardstock stickers I have around here somewhere. ;)

So. What was your favorite subject growing up? (or now, for that matter)


Brotherly moment.

Just had to share this little moment from earlier tonight. I was getting us drinks after having had our popcorn while watching a dvd. (Quick backstory...Asher pretty much only drinks water, just never been able to get him to drink much else, though he'll make an exception for a Starbucks Strawberries & Creme Frap of course. Anyhow, so Asher just always keeps a couple water bottles in the fridge for self-service purposes because I get tired of filling a water cup every hour.)

So. As I was getting Noah's drink, Asher proclaimed that I didn't need to worry about Micah...that he'd take care of him. Next thing I know, this is what I saw:


Seriously. How cute is that? :) 


Veggie boats and a quick recap

Remember how I said the boys and I weren't going to focus on eating the vegetables we gleaned on Monday? Well, here's what we ended up doing:


The hull is a butternut squash...with carrot "cannons" and potato mast-heads and a crow's nest made of potato and toothpicks (and cheerios, on Asher's). We gleaned more than this, but this is what the boys wanted to use. (Besides, we're eating the corn on the cob and I used the Indian corn, pumpkins and gourds for decoration.)  And. They actually do float. We tested. :)

So, today we had more soccer...week 5 of 8 for us I believe. The boys are enjoying the season and managing to hone their "skills" a bit more each week. Noah even was able to comment about how he thinks he and his team are improving even though, technically, the other team scored more goals this week. (For those who know Noah, this is a *major* step...let's just say losing is not something that goes over well.) My only complaint so far is that the Colorado weather is not cooperating for me. It was 85 degrees today and we were roasting in the sun watching Asher's game. Noah's field, at least, has shade for us to sit in. Sigh. I know, of course, that now that I've said this it will snow next weekend. Bring it on. ;)

Anyhow, here are some quick shots of the boys today. Ash and Noah are both getting better about going to the ball.



And, well, Micah's just about the cutest little spectator ever:


Honestly, we get comments every week about how well behaved he is and how adorable. He loves to just sit there in his little wagon and watch his brothers. Sometimes he'll go kick the ball around with Nathan and whichever boy is not on the field. We've yet (knock on wood) to have any trouble with him wandering onto the field or away while I'm taking pictures. Such a good little guy...and so proud of that belly! ;) 



Gleaning and a direct quote...

Ah, fall. My favorite season by far. The boys and I celebrated the season by joining our homeschool group for a gleaning field trip today. We went to this great farm that I've been to at least a couple times before...you get to go on a hayride and the tractor stops at 3-6 different fields (depends on the time of year and what's ready for harvesting). You clamor off the trailer and get to fill two bags per person with whatever veggie is being harvested at that stop. Then, you all try to fit your heaps of bags plus all the people back on the trailer as you continue your journey around the property until you get back to the main area...not an easy feat with as many of us as there were.

While many of the families were intent on actually gathering a bunch of vegetables, my boys (who, um, dislike vegetables rather much) and I decided to take a different approach this year...gathering with the intent of creating with the veggies. We're going to attempt to make vegetable boats...using a half a squash hollowed out as the hull of the boat and adding things like carrot oars and corn husk sails. Should be interesting. In any case, it made for a bit easier time keeping track of our bags, since we didn't collect nearly as much as the others. ;)  Asher actually preferred staying on the trailer to harvesting anything but made an exception for the pumpkins, choosing one of his very own:


Micah, unsurprisingly, thought the whole thing was great fun and wanted to help harvest everything. His short little legs and the uneven ground made that a bit tricky and I ended up carrying him as much as he'd let me (yeah, I'm pooped) but he insisted on making his own way through the corn stalks when we collected Indian corn (one of my favorite stops...they're so beautiful for decorations). Here's Micah trying to find his way back out of the field and shrugging his shoulders as if to say "where do I go now?". Noah, you can see, is trying to show him the way:


Once back at the main area, we used the wagons provided to haul our loot back to our vehicles (I also hauled Asher and Micah who wouldn't have made it that far and back in any sort of decent time) then enjoyed a picnic lunch. Having refueled, the kids were let loose to explore the hay mazes, corn mazes, tractor peddle cars, a big mountain of hay, a big mountain of dirt (guess which was more popular with most kids *laugh*...course, we managed to steer Micah clear and the other two thoroughly refused to go near it, as they oddly dislike getting dirty), one of those inflatable bouncy slide things, a petting zoo and more.  Noah quickly figured out that walking on the walls of the hay maze was much quicker than trying to find one's way the traditional way, and set to directing his brothers from above:


Whew. Long morning/afternoon. And now there are bags of potatoes, carrots, sweet corn, Indian corn, gourds and pumpkins sitting in the kitchen. (We opted to forgo the tomatoes, beets, cabbage, chili peppers, shallots, and onions.) I'll deal with them tomorrow. :)

Oh. And a direct quote. Had to take the boys with me to my design team meeting tonight (for The Treasure Box) as Nathan was out of town. As we were unloading to head inside (just long enough for me to grab supplies and take them home with me rather than staying there and working), this is what I heard:

Noah: I'm soaring. I'm an eagle. (as he takes off "flying" up the ramp to the store)

Asher: I'll be a bee. That way people won't antagonize me so much.

Honest. That's exactly what my recently turned 5 year old said. Apparently, we were antagonizing him too much today. I guess we're lucky he isn't really a bee or we'd have been stung.  ;)

So. Busy day. I'm really looking forward to adding a bit of fall decoration around here using some of our loot from the farm. I haven't really decorated for the seasons of late...young kids and all making it difficult to justify going through the trouble. But I remember my mom always decorating all out in the fall and I miss that. So I hereby resolve to do better. What are your fall decoration traditions?