Monday, August 22, 2016

Home alone

Well, another school year has begun for the boys and I am officially home alone. You would think that would be super exciting for a mom, but to tell you the truth, I get lonely pretty quickly. It was fun at first last year to have the whole house to myself all day, but I got over that pretty quick. I like having my kids around. I start school on September 12th, and once that happens I'll be busy, so it will be fine, but until then it's just too quiet around here.

The boys were excited for school this morning! Big things are happening in Josh's life this year. He in a junior this year, and thanks to the dual enrollment program at his high school, today is also his first day of college! He is a full time college student through the Idaho State University. He's taking five college classes this semester (and three high school classes). He takes them at his high school, but they're college level classes and he gets both high school and college credit for them. His schedule this year is intense. Basically no electives or fun classes, it's just a full load of really heavy college courses. He's taking stuff like college chemistry, college biology, a college art history class, some sort of European history class, along with college level English and advanced math. Plus he's going to compete in the academic decatholon again this year, he's going to help the teacher he went to France with start up a National History Day club, and I don't know if I mentioned it, but he worked as a pharmacy tech for Shawn all summer and he's going to continue to do that part time during the school year.

So that kids schedule is beyond packed. He thrives on being busy, so for him it's good, he'll be fine. But honestly, I'm kind of in awe of what he's got going on. When I was his age I was barely getting by taking regular classes and I spent my free time writing notes to boys I had crushes on. I don't know where Josh came from but he rocks.


Here is Josh's yearly front porch collage. It occured to me as I was adding this years picture that aft all these years, he only has one picture left. Next year he'll be a senior and this collage will be complete. Ugh. I can't talk about it. No crying today.


Matthew started 8th grade today! 8th grade is my favorite for my kids. When they start middle school in 6th grade, the 8th graders look so old and they're so intimidated by the big kids. And then they eventually become one of the big kids and their confidence really skyrockets. Josh really found his niche when he hit 8th grade, and I think it's going to be the same for Matthew. He's involved in some fun things this year. They have expanded the gifted program this year, so he'll spend more time there, which he loves, and he's in all honors classes. Being a kind who loves school in middle school can be hard, but once they start honors classes and they're in there with other kids who love school, it gets a bit easier. Those are his people. Matthew is also in the National Junior Honor Society this year and he's on the yearbook staff. He's really looking forward to those things. I think he's going to have a great year.
Next year he's off to high school with Josh! He's planning to go to the same high school as Josh and do the dual enrollment college program, so it will be fun to have them in the same school next year.



So now that leaves me home alone. I have a few projects I'm working on for the next few weeks and then I'm really looking forward to starting school in September. I'm ready to tackle full time school. I've got the time in my day for if and I'm ready to get moving on my degree. Exciting things are ahead! Bring it on!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Teenager #2!!

Matthew is 13!! I can hardly believe we have another teenager in the house. He had an awesome birthday. My mom was here to celebrate it with us and he he got some fun presents that he has been loudly hinting about. :)

The other fun thing we did was the tradition we have where we redecorate our kids room when they turn 13. I don't have good before and after pictures to share yet, but Matthew and I had a lot of fun this summer redecorating his bedroom. His room needed a lot of work and it got a complete makeover! He wanted a reading room, so we bought him a big bookshelf for his books and a fun reading chair he can curl up in. He's really been enjoying that. We also finally got rid of his loft bed and bought him a bed that fits him better. He's happy not to be climbing a ladder to sleep anymore. His room turned out great, it was a great welcome to the teen years.

Matthew is an awesome kid and I'm excited to have another teenager in the house. We love you Matthew!!! :)


Monday, August 8, 2016

Second grade!

Big morning at our house, it's Clarissa's first day of school! (The boys don't go back for another two weeks.)

She seemed really nervous this morning, so I'm a little nervous for her, but I'm sure she'll do great. We met her teacher last week and she seems great. I think this will be a good year!

Here is the first day of school picture!



Monday, August 1, 2016


I'm so excited to share the video of Josh's news interview!! I'm so proud of him!

His portion starts about 11 minutes in.

Here's the direct link if the video doesn't play.

Friday, July 29, 2016

And then this happened

Josh and his teacher were invited to share their France story on a local news talk show this morning! So he got all dressed up and we got to spend the morning at the news station. It was really cool, Josh loves anything video camera related, so seeing how the news was filmed was pretty fun for him.

They filmed a really great segment about their experiences in Normandy and the silent hero project. I was so nervous watching him, but he did great!

The show airs on Sunday. I'll post a link to it when they add it to the news station website.

In the meantime, here's a sneak peek photo!!


Friday, July 22, 2016

Phase one complete!

Last night I went to my last college class and finished my last assignments and the year long program I was doing is officially over. I did it! And with straight A's! Yay me! :)

I originally signed up for this program mostly because if I completed it the college would reduce my tuition for the rest of my degree. Thanks to this program I'm going to be getting my bachelors degree for really cheap, which I really needed if I'm going to afford to get through grad school.

But honestly, I wasn't really that excited about the program. Two online classes a semester for three semesters and we had to meet as a class for two hours every Thursday night. I really wasn't excited about the Thursday night meetings. When I found out that it was going to be a lot of group participation and taking turns teaching the class I almost dropped out. I'm such an introvert. Group participation isn't my thing.

But over the year I really grew to love my classmates and I learned that I can teach a class and participate in group discussions and last night, sitting in a circle with all these people I've grown to love and practically think of as family, I realized how profoundly changed I have been by this experience. We all had a hard time leaving for the last time last night. We've been through a lot together. We've tutored each other, cheered each other on, listened to each other complain when it got hard and celebrated each other's successes. It's going to be weird not going there every Thursday night anymore. I went there for the promise of cheap tuition and I left with a group of friends I truly love.

So now I'm done with school for a bit, and done with this program. Now that this program is over I'm just a regular college student in regular college making my own schedule. I'll be taking 12 credits online starting the second week in September. It was weird this morning knowing I don't have any homework to do. That program lasted 40 weeks. It's been a while since I've had a big stretch of time  without homework to do.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my time now. I've got some projects to get done before school starts, so it's time to work on those.

The first project is Matthews bedroom. When our kids turn 13 we have a tradition of redoing their bedroom. Teenagers need a teenage bedroom. So we're completely redoing Matthews bedroom. He has a small bedroom so when he was little we bought him a loft bed to maximize the floor space for toys and things. But a loft bed isn't working as well for an almost 13 year old as it did for a 6 year old, so we're getting rid of that bed and buying him new bedroom furniture. We're also panting, giving him a little reading corner and searching for cool room decor. We're just starting, but we have some fun ideas that incorporate his love of books and music.

This summer has been weird because the boys have been gone so much. Josh was in France for two weeks, then he came home and Matthew left for a week for scout camp and when Matthew got home, Josh left again for three days to go to a church event. And now that Josh is finally home, he's working full time as a pharmacy tech at Shawn's pharmacy, so hes still not really home much. It's been a busy time around here. We've been trying to find some time to take a little family trip, but with everyone so busy I don't think it's going to happen.

OH! Here's something cool going on next week! Our local TV news station finally got wind of Josh's France trip and they want him to come on the little local talk show type program they do. Next Friday morning he and his teacher are filming a segment for the show about the silent hero project they did in France. It will air next Sunday. I'll post the link for it once they have it on their website. He's really excited about that!

So school is done for now, but we've got a lot to keep us busy. As usual, time is flying by and I'm just trying to keep up! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I got my hair done the other day. I think the red is definitely here to stay for a while. I love it!