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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Four on Friday

Gearing up for the new school year around here...given that, here are some of the things (aside from those already mentioned here) that have been happening in the week-ish since we got home from our trip to Washington...

1. Asher & Micah had their annual well checks. They're both dandy. Asher's definitely had a growth spurt this past year and Micah's itching for his to start, lol. Fortunately, no one needed any shots this time around, so I didn't have to sit on Micah. :)

2. We had to do some back to school shopping for shirts and jeans, as apparently Noah and Asher outgrew everything over the summer. I'm totally not even complaining about it, though, because I've been back to school shopping with sisters and know that I get off easy with three boys who pretty much only wear jeans and tee shirts, lol. Also, while shopping, Micah spotted these sweet shoes, misplaced from the girls' department, which I promptly bought for myself:

(They were $5. I'm pretty happy.)

3. Asher & Micah enjoyed time with the Karate West demo team...at New West Fest and at a pool birthday party for one of them. (Continually thankful for how well this particular group of kids works and plays together!)

4. All of us had our annual eye appointments. Nathan and I stayed the same, and all the boys had slight to moderate increases in their prescriptions. For the time being, the younger two want to stick with glasses but may eventually switch to contacts like Noah. After our appointments, the boys and I spotted a Baskin Robbins we hadn't noticed before and decided we needed to stop...

Strangely, we all ended up with pink ice cream or sorbets or milkshakes (strawberry, cherry and watermelon)...yummy!

And that's what's been going on around here. Plus, I've been busily trying to get everything ready for homeschooling the younger two (which includes some last minute changes to my curricula plans, lol) and driving boys to make-up karate classes for those we missed while we were gone.

Next...we'll experience the solar eclipse, start our school year (both homeschooling and Noah's community college classes), have the boys' semi-annual dentist appointments, get Micah to the orthodontist, and watch the younger two perform with the demo team again at this month's Karate West promotions. 

And then it will be September. Oy. ;) 


Ten Years 

Today marks the ten year anniversary of the day my dad died. Most of my family got together last week to celebrate his life and do some remembering. My sister tried to get us all to write down some favorite memories. I didn't do a good job of contributing to that. It was too overwhelming. 

So, Cas, instead, I'll post here ten of my favorite layouts that I've done about dad.

(All but the first one can be clicked on to make it larger...and I've included links to when I originally shared the layout if you want to read more about it. They're in no particular order.)

One of Those Moments

Word Association

What They Remember



Dylan for Dad

Brought to you by the Letter F

24 Hours

Don't Ask

Ten Little Things 

Love you, Dad



It often gets glossed over here due to the busyness of the month but we celebrated Nathan's birthday yesterday. :) It wasn't a big celebration this year...just went out to dinner at Cacciatore...

...ate a fabulous dinner (yum!!!) and then shared four delicious desserts...

They were ridiculously good. Really. ;)

And then we hung out by the firepit just outside...

...until it started raining. So we went home. :)

Also, Nathan ordered himself a hammock for the backyard...after enjoying and admiring the hammock at Cassy & Charlie's last weekend. ;)

Yup. We're exciting like that. 


New West Fest

So. Yesterday was the sixth year that at least one of my guys performed with the Karate West Demo Team at Fort Collins' New West Fest.

The team had a couple extra practices ahead of time (after we got back from our road trip) and were stoked to go. The weather, however, was not. Upon arriving, the event announced a severe weather delay and urged everyone to seek shelter. (It was starting to rain and there was lightning and thunder.)

Since a few years ago severe weather led to the cancellation of performances just after we'd started, we quickly nabbed a few group photos to at least prove that we'd been there:

(I don't know why Micah's making that face, lol.)

(This one's the final pose from one of their routines.)

...and then joined the crowds inside the library. :) 

Fortunately, within half an hour, the delay was lifted and the skies cleared. Woohoo for Colorado weather! Here's just a sampling of shots from the many routines they performed:

...Micah jumping to rejoin others...

...one of many instances where Micah and Asher "battle"--in this one, Micah got to "win"...

...and a crowd favorite routine called "Dueling Banjos"--here's Asher doing an aerial...

There were plenty of other shots, too. :) The point, though, is that they performed and enjoyed themselves.


Last few days...

Sunday, we got a slow start (after the very late night Saturday)...

We started out with just some visiting and saying goodbyes to Bekah, Mark, Alexis and Gram (who were headed back to Prosser). Joe, Bridget, Alice, Evan and Sam left early, so we'd said our goodbyes to them the night before. Grabbed some pics with Gram first...

We had some quiet time after that while Mom, Cade & Aidan went to the airport to pick up Quinn (who'd been in Colorado with Zach for the summer and would head back to Prosser with Mom). Then, Cas, Charlie, Nathan, Noah, Asher, Micah, Quinn, Cade & Aidan played some basketball (while Blaze & Case were napping). 

That was followed by boys doing yardwork (well...some did more than others, lol) while girls stayed inside and prepped food. And all of that was followed by some time at the play structure (for Case & Blaze) then a 2-on-2 "tournament." Gotta say...considering that none of mine have really ever played basketball before (and Cas, Charlie, Cade & Aidan play somewhat regularly), I think they did pretty darn well. :)

In the end, the team of Charlie and Micah emerged victorious (after I lent Micah my running shoes since he'd been trying to play in flip flops, lol).

Then we helped wrangle and bathe the little boys and said our goodbyes...heading back for our AirBNB for one last night. :)

Monday morning, we headed out of Spokane and to Lewis & Clark Caverns (about 5.5 hours of drive time, plus we lost an hour due to the time zone change). We managed to make the last tour of the day...

...and enjoyed the two hour experience before heading toward Bozeman, MT for the night. Found a delicious spot for dinner before crashing at our hotel.

Finally, on Tuesday, we drove the 9ish hours home. After 2793 miles, plenty of stops for bathrooms, gas, meals and snacks, Glacier National Park, Lewis & Clark Caverns and seeing lots of family...we made it home just after 9pm. Whew.