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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Last night, we took advantage of student/educator night to go watch Open Stage's Monty Python's Spamalot at the Lincoln Center here in Fort Collins. (Huge thanks to the Thornton Charity Foundation for their donation to cover ticket costs for students and teachers!)

To start, my older guys were maybe not enthusiastic (despite our fantastic seats right up front):

But, throughout the entire show, I caught them laughing right out loud and thoroughly enjoying themselves. :) It probably helped that we'd introduced our boys to Monty Python and the Holy Grail awhile back, so they were at least familiar with the tone. (The show followed some of the classic movie scenes but added some of its own that were similarly hilarious.) 

All in all, a fabulous way to spend the evening! If you're local and have the chance to go see this, I highly recommend it! 


Ten on Tuesday

Don't have time to go into all the details so here's a quick run down of stuff going on around here lately...

1. A bit less than a couple weeks ago, Noah got his college applications finished and submitted. Woohoo! Using the Common App, he applied to just two schools. (We're discussing this more right now and trying to verify that he doesn't want to apply to any additional schools.)

2. Now he's busy finishing up requirements for his endorsed diploma (more about what that is and what it requires here) with letters requesting job shadows. He's also starting work on scholarship applications and applications for the honors programs at the schools he's already applied to.

3. Randomly, a friend was measuring her own family to compare arm spans vs height and asked others to do the same. In case you're wondering, Nathan and Asher have monkey arms (arm spans are 3" longer than their height), Micah and I are pretty proportional (arm spans and height are within half an inch), and Noah's somewhere in between (arm span is 1.5" longer than height). 

4. Last week, as part of Asher's biology lesson/review, we labeled muscles and bones using Micah as our model:

5. Micah's First Lego League team continues to plug along getting ready for qualifiers. They had a practice run of their problem presentation last Friday and are now working on finishing touches.

6. I recently introduced the boys to Pinterest (having assigned them each a specific thing to research). It's entertaining to see what types of things they search for, lol.

7. The JOAD season is now in full swing. Noah's team has had their first dress rehearsal and first full tournament. Noah's back to shooting his compound bow this season and I'm still volunteering to track all sorts of numbers/stats. 

8. I've been taking another City of Fort Collins class/program. Similar to the CityWorks program I participated in last spring, I'm currently attending the City Planning Academy. It's just four weeks long and more specific to the city planning process. I have two more sessions to go and am enjoying it so far.

9. Apparently, I've been unscrewing jars wrong my whole life. Noah informs me that I should be unscrewing them with my left hand so that I'm twisting toward my body rather than away from it...that this is more efficient and effective. Annoyingly, he's right. ;) It just never occurred to me to use a different hand depending on if I'm unscrewing or screwing something.

10. On Saturday, Noah got this in the mail:

Yup, he's officially been accepted at Colorado State University here in Fort Collins. (This didn't come as any sort of surprise but is nice to have confirmed.) This is currently his top choice and we feel it will be a good fit if that's what he decides on. 

And that's some of what's going on around here. Our weeks are still busy with karate (Asher and Micah) and drivers ed (Asher) and homeschooling (Asher and Micah) and Options (Micah) and college classes (Noah) and gymnastics (Asher, though today's the last one unfortunately) and First Lego League (Micah) and JOAD (Noah) and City Planning (me). Before the month is over, we also have various appointments and Halloween stuff and probably other things I'm forgetting. :) 

How's your October going?



Yesterday, Noah and I volunteered at a Habitat for Humanity build site. I've been wanting to volunteer with Habitat for years and finally managed to make it happen. Noah technically has already fulfilled his community service hours requirement for his endorsed diploma program at his high school, but more hours is good. :) (We'd started looking into this months ago and were on a waitlist. In the meantime, he finished off the community service hours with other things.)

So. We met at the site before 8, bundled in layers, as it was colder than it has been lately and pretty windy. Our site supervisor gave us (and the handful of other volunteers) a brief orientation then assigned us all to different tasks. (A bit more than half of us were newbies with a few regulars to show us the ropes.) Noah and I ended up helping another volunteer (he's a regular and is retired now) finish up the shingles/siding on one side of the house...

Noah and I both were instructed on and got to use the nail gun. It was pretty fun. :) 

After we finished that portion, we broke for lunch (and had a lovely chat with some of the other volunteers and with the homeowner--who was there working with us and who, it turned out, knows a bunch of the same people as we do) then started on siding around the back of the house.

We got instruction on how to use the sliding compound miter saw (which Noah already knew, having used one to build our stairs this summer) and got a couple rows going before the supervisor called the day a couple hours early on account of the high winds. (We'd actually been protected a bit from the wind in the spot we were working on in the morning, but the winds just continued to get worse (and colder!), making flying materials a danger.) 

So, we helped collect materials and tools and whatnot and headed for home...happy to have been able to help, wishing we could have done more, and relieved to be warm again, lol.

Noah and I have already signed up for another couple build days and are looking forward to seeing (and helping with!) even more progress on the same house. I can definitely see making this a more regular thing and am looking forward to when Asher and Micah are old enough to experience it also. (You have to be 16 to volunteer at the build sites.) 

So thankful...that Habitat exists and can help so many...and that we can be a small part of that. :)

ETA: I meant also to mention that I thought it was very cool that this particular house is one that's in partnership with one of the local high schools. They have a "Geometry in Construction" class and students actually build half a house on school grounds about each semester. The house halves are then trucked to the build site and joined. The homeowner was particularly excited by this since some of her former students had gone on to this high school and were in the class.


Leaf pictures

I try to take pictures of my boys in leaves every fall. It's tradition. :) Here's what I came away with this past Wednesday, as we walked a bit in our neighborhood after schoolwork was finished for the day...

(My instructions to throw the leaves skyward went unheeded, lol.)

And then there were some jumping photos...

(Asher, fyi, often steals our phones and takes selfies of himself which we later find. It shouldn't have been a surprise, then, that this is what we got when we handed him the phone and asked him to take our picture, lol.)

There was also a lot of attacking each other with leaves...

But Asher was not to be outdone with his backflips through the leaves...

Yup, fun times. :) 

And then we brushed ourselves off and headed home again, stopping along the way to catch a group photo:

Happy fall, y'all!


They're growing up...


I dropped Asher off at drivers ed this morning. He's doing the same program we used for Noah, as we were quite happy with their instruction and thoroughness. Technically, Asher could have started months ago. But, when I asked him about it, he declared that he wasn't ready yet...which was dandy. (And I thought it was pretty mature that he recognized that he wasn't ready.) Then, about a month ago, he came to me and told me that he wanted to start. So, here we are. :) 

(Before he could start, one of the requirements was having a photo ID. Since he doesn't have a school ID card or anything, I just took him to the DMV to get a state issued ID.)

He'll do the classroom portion of things over the Sundays in October. At the end of the month, he'll also do the two day drive camp on their premises (teaching defensive driving and skid correction and stuff like that). Then we'll get his permit and schedule his on-street driving sessions and wait the full year from getting the permit (whilst logging the required 50 hours of drive time with us). Whew.

Meanwhile, homeschooling Micah and Asher is keeping me busy. I ran through what's what in my previous post. Beyond that, though, I've gotta mention that homeschooling this year is bringing new challenges. There are still the same struggles as before...primarily convincing them that mistakes are opportunities to learn and reminding them that they shouldn't compare themselves to each other (that they're in different grades). But, there's a new focus/urgency on making sure Micah's prepared to start high school in a couple years. And, homeschooling Asher for high school is a new experience altogether...bringing issues like tracking credits/transcripts, figuring out test prep and more intentional lesson planning (it's not a breeze to plan six different subjects, btw...I've been doing it all along, true, but it feels more important now that I have to record it for a transcript). Plus, we're starting to think about getting Asher ready for life after high school...especially since this is our last year with Noah and we're worrying about whether we've done enough to get him ready beyond the academics.

Speaking of which, Noah's busy with college applications and such. We've attended his first official "senior graduation" meeting...have ordered a cap & gown...and have filed our FAFSA. He did campus tours last spring but we visited the University of Wyoming again a week or so ago, for their Campus Pass event. He and I didn't learn anything new but it gave Nathan, Asher and Micah the opportunity to see the campus and learn a bit more.

(After the admissions presentation and campus and dorm tours and lunch and everything, we walked around Laramie a bit and found this fun mural.)

Noah's hoping to finish up and submit his college applications this week (just waiting on verification of a few things)...then it'll be on to scholarship applications and possible internships and registering for classes for his final semester of high school.

So. That's what I've been busy with here...just freaking out about my boys growing up. ;)