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.



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Four on Friday again

1. Asher started violin lessons yesterday. (Technically, we're still shopping instructors. I personally know or have had referred to me a couple other violin instructors (who would be terrific, I'm sure), but we're shopping instructors because it's considerably more convenient for me if he takes lessons with an instructor who operates out of the music shop building next door to karate. I didn't have any information about any of them, but he seemed to really like the one he met with yesterday. Regardless, we've rented the violin and are starting lessons.) About a month ago, he decided he'd like to take up instrument lessons again and expressed a specific interest in the violin.

Actually, when he was little, he loved the violin and I always thought that would be one of the first instruments he learned. Here's a picture of him at a music "zoo" back in February 2005:

He was two and a half and adorable. :) 

2. We picked up Micah's glasses today. Here's what he looks like:

He's still adjusting and trying to get over being mad about the whole thing. ;) But he looks great, don't you think? 

(Do you think he fulfilled his list of glasses requirements?)

3. After picking up the glasses, Asher wanted to use the giftcard Noah got him for Christmas to buy a new hat. You may remember that he's been sporting this one for a few months. He's now got two more. Here's one of them:

4. Yes, while Asher was trying on many of the hats at the store, Micah found this one and decided he simply *had* to have it (and had some Christmas money burning a hole in his pocket, lol). He's now also talking about growing out his hair or looking into extensions and needed to watch Shanghai Noon when he got home.

And that's some of what's been going on here in the last twenty four hours. We're also finally de-Christmasifying and working on getting back on track so that we can start schoolwork again next week. Back on track is good, right? ;) (I'm working up the energy to feel that getting back on track is good. I'm also really wanting to just curl up in bed and read a book, lol.)


On Sunday...

Nathan's parents just left to fly back home to Washington. They arrived last Saturday and we had a lovely visit. :) Sadly, I didn't take very many pictures on most of the days. We were busy playing card games and getting boys to various activities and just generally enjoying each other's company. 

But. On Sunday, we went down to Denver. On Sunday, I took pictures. :) 

First, we went to the Denver Art Museum to see the special Star Wars Costume exhibit. It was fabulous! They had these fun audio tour devices where you would type in the exhibit number and the dealio would tell you about it...which worked great for learning lots without having to jostle to see and read placards. We all loved it!

There were so very many other cool things that I didn't take pictures of, and allow me to just say that I would really love to have Queen Amidala's wardrobe...gorgeous. ;) (That top right picture shows the evolution of the storm troopers and the bottom left is the view from inside Darth Vader's mask.) 

Beyond the special exhibit, the boys and I explored a bit of the rest of the museum (such an interesting building!). We saw some works being installed (top right), climbed the many stairs, enjoyed the outside angles, and found a unique statue/sculpture in a flower bed...

After that, we grabbed some lunch then headed to the Downtown Aquarium. Noah and Asher have been there before...years ago...but Micah hadn't been and was giving us a hard time about it, lol. So. We went to the aquarium...and Micah was happy:

Clockwise from top left...Micah was pointing out the tiger (difficult to see but up on the ledge)...inside a bubble...touching a sea star...petting a stingray...and standing in the tunnel thing. I think you can tell that he was pretty happy. :) (Incidentally, he's sporting some of the swag he decided he had to buy himself at the Star Wars exhibit, lol.) 

The rest of us had a pretty good time, too...

(I especially like that bottom right photo of my three boys.) :) I sadly didn't get any pictures (low light) of the flash flood area, which we enjoyed, or of the moment when Nathan leaned in to look at something and bonked his head on the glass, which was hilarious. But I did take some pictures of critters:

And some final random photos...

And after all that we headed home...a tired but happy bunch. :) 


Four on Friday

Just checking in as we're finishing up this first week of 2017...

1. Checking plenty of things off the to do list this week...things like thank you notes, scheduling our annual appointment with the accountant, labeling this year's ornaments before they get put away (probably next week), and other pesky household things. Among our household things, Nathan helped me reorganize our entry area (from the garage into the house). We moved the hooks, put up some shelves, and rearranged where we keep things. It's still not ideal, but it makes me feel so much better. (Seriously, my next house is going to have a whole different entry way situation...one that actually makes sense and doesn't cause everyone to trip over each other coming through the door.)

2. Another thing I did was finally start and finish a Christmas scrapbook/album I've been wanting to put together for years. (A couple years ago I even sketched out exactly what would go on each page and gathered all the materials. And then it sat on my desk for years, lol.) It's nothing fancy (at all!) but it's a single place with our holiday cards, letters, family photos and Santa photos for each year since we got married. Whew.

3. Over the weekend, we started noticing that Micah was squinting a bit at the computer screen. After some informal "tests" on our part (including trying out all the different glasses in the house, lol), we decided Micah probably needs glasses. Fortunately, we were able to take advantage of a cancellation and get him in to see our optometrist on Wednesday morning. And it turns out that Micah wasn't able to escape the "eleven year old curse" (so named by him because the other four of us here all began wearing glasses at about age eleven). ;) When Micah got a pass at his eye appointment in August, he thought he'd made it, lol. 

Anyhow, his glasses are ordered...should be here next week-ish. 

In case you're curious, the decision making process for Micah is entertaining and distinctly different from his brothers...and takes a good bit longer, lol. He wanted frames 

  • that weren't like either of his brothers (whose frames, for the record, are fairly similar in shape and style)...
  • didn't want blue or black (for the same reasons)...
  • wanted the frames to be either hardly visible or very noticeable...
  • was perturbed to discover that he can't wear a good portion of frames because he needs the nose pieces...
  • was more perturbed to discover that color choices for boys/men are distinctly lacking compared to the color choices for girls/women...
  • and stubbornly refused to believe me when I tried to explain that there's a reason both of his brothers have frames that are the same shape and that that same reason held true for him, being as he kinda looks like his brothers, lol. 

In the end, after trying on most of the frames in the office, he picked a pair. (Each brother tried on maybe two pairs of glasses before picking, since I know you were wondering, lol.) I'll post a picture when they're here and you can tell me if he succeeded in his wish list. ;) 

4. Yesterday, Micah had three friends over. They had a fabulous time playing and talking and playing some more. Bravely, for about an hour, they bundled up and headed outside to make snow forts and have a snowball fight:

It was probably about 10 degrees. They assured me they were fine...as I pressed extra hats and gloves on them...and they seemed to have a grand time. They also, though, came back inside declaring that they couldn't feel certain body parts, lol, but warmed right up with some hot cocoa. :) 

(On the plus side, 10 degrees is warmer than it was this morning. When I headed to boot camp, it was about -20.)

And that's some of what's been happening around here...



Twenty years. That's 7305 days. That's a lot of days, people. 

As of today, Nathan and I have been married that many days...that many years. I continue to be so very blessed. He is my partner, my provider, my protector, my heart. We've definitely had some years that were tougher than others, but we've weathered them together and learned together and grown together...and there's no one else I'd rather have by my side.

As usual, we aren't celebrating our anniversary tonight, as New Year's Eve gets too crazy. ;) And we sadly aren't in a financial position to take that Mediterranean cruise I've been angling for for awhile, lol. Instead, responsibly, we simply enjoyed an afternoon and evening together on Thursday...some walking around Old Town, plenty of talking and holding hands, dinner at a new-to-us restaurant. Here's us in Old Town Square warming up near one of the outdoor fires:

And then we came home to an anniversary miracle:

Yes, this is Holly. Sadly, Holly's internal light show hadn't been working. She was the floor model at Home Depot (one of the last ones in this part of Colorado) and we didn't discover the lights weren't working until it was too late to take her back right away (given Christmas and all). Nathan looked at the system but decided there was no fixing her. I was debating whether to try to find another store that might still have one that I could exchange for. 

But, then we came home Thursday night and LOOK! Her lights started working. We can't figure out why. I'm going to believe that she wanted to recognize how awesome we are to be celebrating twenty years. :)

Yesterday night, I surprised Nathan with the dvd from our wedding. Apparently, someone took a video at our wedding (I have no recollection who, btw...please tell me if you know!), and I had it converted from VHS earlier this year. Together with the boys, we watched it for the first time ever. It was lovely to see all the family and friends who were able to make it (amidst a winter storm that closed off all the roads around my hometown, meaning that about half of our rsvp's weren't able to make it)...and especially meaningful to see the faces no longer with us.

Beyond that, it was entertaining to see all the things I didn't really remember. (I was pretty sick...had had cortisone shots and was on codeine...kept a water bottle at the kneeler with me at the alter...and honestly don't remember much, lol.) Also, if you were at our wedding and got sick shortly thereafter, I apologize. I seriously wasn't altogether with it and didn't think about pesky things like germs...as I was shaking almost every single person's hand or giving them a hug, lol. And, we'd forgotten that the church's heat had gone out--as we watched people huddling in their winter coats and remembered that I was actually wearing long johns beneath my wedding dress. ;) The boys particularly got a kick out of Nathan's beard and huge glasses, lol.

That brings us to today...our actual anniversary. Today was spent mostly tackling the to do list (and being pretty darn productive, actually, yay!). Amid all that, I gave Nathan one last gift...a small album I made for our anniversary...with a photo for each year of our marriage and a list of some of the main memories from each year. Here are the photos:

(Sorry, I can't figure out how to change the order so that it would go from earlier years to recent as I'd prefer...instead it's going from recent back to 1996. Nor can I figure out how to not make it crop the vertical photos weird. It's actually the first time I've ever used the slideshow feature here, lol. If you want to see the actual pictures, they're in a gallery over on the left...or click "Galleries" under "Stuff I've Made" then select "Twenty Years.")

In looking through it, we were both reminded that...even though sometimes it feels like all we're accomplishing is getting through each day (and sometimes not even that, lol)...we're actually having such a beautiful life--full of adventures and moments and lessons and laughter. So very blessed.

Here's to the next twenty years... 



Once upon a time, carrying on a lovely tradition that my mom started when I was a kid (that I loved!), I got boys Christmas pajamas every year, and they opened them on Christmas Eve and wore them that night.

And then boys got older and decided they didn't like wearing pajamas and didn't want Christmas pajamas.

And I was sad.

But then I decided to tweak the tradition and start getting the boys a shirt that represented each of them and/or their year instead of pajamas. (I'm pretty sure I started this in 2013.)

And this is what we ended up with this year for shirts:

Asher's is Iron Man, whom he still thinks is fabulous. Noah's is from Smite, a computer game that he's spent hours (and hours and hours) playing this past year. And Micah really wanted an ugly Christmas sweater and is seriously thrilled with his vomiting unicorn. :) (It's difficult to tell in this picture, but the unicorn and vomit are both glittery threads so are shiny.)

And now you know. ;) 

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