Monday, October 10, 2016

I'm still alive!

So, I've basically abandoned my blog, but life is so busy right now that I just haven't had time to sit down and write. And I have so many things to write about that it's a bummer that I'm not doing it. I have pictures I wanted to post and things I wanted to talk about, but I can't seem to fit blogging into my schedule lately.

But here is a super quick rundown.

In school news, I'm swamped. That's the biggest reason I haven't been blogging. In fact, I shouldn't be blogging now, because I have a pile of things I should be working on right now. I'm both enjoying and not enjoying school. I like having something to do to keep my brain busy all day and I'm incredibly proud of myself for doing the thing I always wanted to do. My grades are awesome right now, and it's HARD, so I'm proud of me. But I'm taking a math class that I absolutely despise, I'm working around the clock including most weekends to get everything done, I'm often overwhelmed and a little burned out. I feel like I do homework and sleep, and that's pretty much it.

College is a lot different than it used to be when I went the first time in the 90's. It used to be mostly lectures and tests. Online college is mostly reading (sooool much reading), writing (soooo much writing), posting on mandatory group discussion boards, and a pile of various assignments each week. My English class has three units a week. Which basically feels like a weeks worth of work, three times a week. It's a beast. My math class basically has no teacher (it has a teacher, but as far as I can tell he just monitors our grades and answers occasional questions) and we're basically teaching ourselves out of the text book, which does not work for me at all. I've basically abandoned my very expensive text book and I've moved on to searching for YouTube tutorials every week. It's a mess. Josh is usually my math tutor, but he's busier than I am right now, so I rarely ask him to help. He's taking more college credits than I am, plus he's working, he's in every extracurricular activity you can possibly imagine and he has an active social life. I'm fairly certain he still lives here, but judging by the amount of time I actually see him here, I'm not so sure.

I'm also taking an American History class, which is not super hard but it's so much dry reading each week. It's fine, just a little tedious, a religion class that is mostly just a lot of busy work, and an intro to Marriage and Family studies class that isn't hard, and will be over in a few weeks. Sadly, it's my favorite class. So I get to lose a class in a few weeks, but it's the one I actually like.

I could go on all day about group projects, my frustration with group projects, the gigantic amount of research I'm doing for an English paper right now, a 2,000 word rant about taking a math class with no teacher, and many more things, but I will stop here. Basically, I'm busy and tired and overwhelmed, but I'm doing things I never though I could do and I'm ridiculously proud of myself for hanging in there. I've got this.

In family news, Josh is rocking college. He's taking something like 18 credits, working as a pharmacy tech for Shawn in the afternoons, he's Vice President of the film club, running for president of the National History Day club, he's the senior member on the Academic Decathalon team and they're studying WWII this year, which his specialty, so he's really excited about that. He volunteers as a math tutor once a week at the school's tutoring center, he went to his first date dance, Homecoming, a few weeks ago with a girl from another school and he's going to his schools Homecoming dance with another girl this Saturday. I'm sure there some stuff I'm forgetting, but that's the gist of it. He's also getting straight A's. Oh, and he's considering running for student council this year.

Matthew is in 8th grade and doing awesome. He's in the gifted program and all the honors classes, and he's loving that. He's doing a really intense PE class this year that he likes and he discovered that he likes to run, so he's thinking of doing cross country next year. He's still playing the piano and he's awesome at it. He's writing his own music now. He can hear a piece and play it by ear, which mystifies me, because I don't understand how he does it, but it's cool to listen to. He's also the most social of our three kids and there is a steady stream of teenage boys in and out of this house all afternoon and weekends. Someone is always calling for him or knocking on the door. I told him he needs to hire a secretary.

Clarissa is in second grade and doing awesome! I wasn't super impressed with her teacher last year, but this year she has an amazing teacher. Clarissa really loves her. She excitedly comes home every day and tells me all the fun things they did. Clarissa likes to read, she's struggling in math a bit (you and me both, sister), but we're working on it, and she's an amazing artist. She loves to draw and paint and color and our whole house is covered in her artwork. It makes me so happy to look at. She's still joined at the hip with her best friend Sophia, which I love, and she's eagerly awaiting Halloween, which is one of her favorite holidays. Clarissa is obsessed with clothes and dressing up, so a holiday where she gets to dress up is pretty much her dream come true. I love that kid.

Shawn is doing awesome, just so incredibly busy at work. He's the manager and it's a daunting task sometimes. He's been really stressed over some recent changes, but he's pushing through it. That man is a rock star. We're all running around like chickens with our heads cut off lately, but there's no one I would rather ride out a storm with.

Oh, and in extended family news, my mom and stepdad, who just got back from an 18 month church mission to Malaysia in December, left yesterday to serve another 18 month mission in Ghana, Africa.

So that's us in a nutshell. There is a lot more I would love to blog about, but my homework isn't going to do itself and I've got quite a pile of it waiting for me.

I'm busy, I'm tired, and I'm stressed, but under all of that, I'm happy about what I'm accomplishing. Look at me, I'm doing it! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The one where I wondered what I was thinking

So, school started yesterday. I'm a full time college student! And today I don't know whether to celebrate or cry, lol. I'm taking 12 credits, which really didn't seem like all that much. It's barely full time. Josh is taking more college credits that that right now and he's plugging along just fine. And he has a part time job, after school commitments and a social life. Oh, to be young again. :)

I'm taking five classes. Math, advanced writing, American history, religion, and an intro class to my marriage and family studies major. Classes started yesterday, but they opened up the online classes over the weekend, so I've been poking around at them for a few days.

And to be honest, I feel like I'm drowning. :( I know that's it's just because it's new, and new things always come with an adjustment period. I keep telling myself that it's going to get better, and I know that it is. It's going to be just fine. People go to college all the time and survive. I just wish I could get past this first part, when everything is new and different and I don't know what I'm doing.

Most of the classes aren't too bad. I'm kind of starting to figure out what's going on and I'm making myself a color coded calendar of assignments and due dates and all of that so that I keep it together and stay organized. It's just a lot at first and I'm really overwhelmed. I'm taking math again and two days into it it's already kicking my butt. I struggle so hard with math. I took a math class last year and as much as I hated it while I was doing it, I also really loved it because for the first time in my life, I felt like I really started to get a handle on math. I learned a ton in that class. And I felt like I could use that knowledge to speed right through this class, but nope. I feel like I'm back to square one, limping along again. It's not particularly difficult math, it's more finance math, not algebra or calculus or anything. It's not that hard, I just really struggle with math, and the class isn't laid out very well. I'm having a hard time with not just the material, but figuring out how to navigate the system and figure what to do next. I don't mind taking most classes online, but I really hate taking math online. I need to sit in a classroom with a teacher for math. It looks like a lot of this class is reading a math textbook and teaching ourselves, and that's going to be a semester of torture for me. I'm struggling with it.

Aside from that class, which is taking up most of my time, the rest of it seems like I'll be able to get through it. I don't mind writing, that looks doable. I do have to write a 15 page research paper later this semester, but I like to write and I can handle that. And American history is mostly memorizing dates and events things like that. That will take a fair amount of studying, but I can do it. It's just that darn math class that I'm not sure how I'm going to get through.

The one class I am excited about is the intro to marriage and family studies class. It's a class that everyone in my major has to take that introduces us to what we need to do going forward. We'll be making a graduation plan and discussing career options and things like that. I'm so excited to finally be getting to the classes for my major. I'm really anxious to get the rest of these generals out of the way this semester so I can start focusing on what I really want to learn about. This class gives me a little taste of what's coming, and that's helping me push through this hard and mundane stuff.

So it's going to be fine. I'm having a lot of moments right now of wondering what I've gotten myself into, but I'm trying my best to push through it because I really do believe that it's going to get better. As much as I sort of want to quit and never speak of it again right now, I know if I push through it, I'm going to get to a place where I'm more comfortable and it's not so overwhelming.

Clearly I've given myself a lot of pep talks the past couple of days, lol. It has been a dream of mine to go back to college for years, and I'm finally doing it! So when I get discouraged I tell myself to suck it up, because this is the thing I wanted to do. I can do hard things. I just might complain about it a bit, lol.

So there's the update. I'm sort of hating it right now, but I'm optimistic that it's going to get better and that hope is pushing me through the hard parts.

But right now I'm going to go put my jammies on and watch mindless TV, because hours of trying to figure out math today has given my a headache and I'm tired.

I'll get there. I might limp along a bit, but I'll get there.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

College bound

I've really been enjoying the fact that Josh and I are both in college this year. I never thought I'd get to go back to college and I've been so excited about this opportunity, and then with Josh starting his associates degree now too, it's just been a really fun thing for us to bond over. We both got college acceptance letters this summer and we've planning our classes.

Josh is getting his degree through Idaho State University and I'm getting mine through BYU-Idaho. So I decided that it would be fun for us to get college t-shirts and do a photo shoot. Josh in his teenager-ness (I love you Josh!) gave me a bit of an eye roll at the idea, but he was a good sport, lol. I can't help it, I like pictures and this is something I want to look back on and remember later.

So yesterday we put on our college t-shirts and sat for a quick photo shoot. This was the result. It will be fun to look back on this and remember the time we got to be college students together. :)


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.