Friday, November 27, 2015


Well, I successfully made it through another Thanksgiving! Anyone who had read my blog in years past knows I'm not generally a big fan of Thanksgiving. We usually spend it at home by ourselves and I spent a good portion of November being mopey about extended family issues, missing my dad and not really being able to go home for Thanksgiving. I'm a little sensitive about family issues all year long, and Thanksgiving is kind of a big reminder. 

So I usually spend the first part of November giving myself pep talks about how I'm not going to do that to myself this year, and by the time thanksgiving rolls around, the peptalks have failed and I'm in a funk.

But this year I did pretty good. Yay me. :) We've been incredibly busy lately for one thing, so there was less time for moping, and I'm somewhat busy with school, so my brain is busy. Plus I came up with a genius idea to get through Thanksgiving this year. One of my struggles every year is that my kids don't get very excited about a big Thanksgiving meal. They don't really like turkey all that much, so I don't really have any desire to spend the entire day in the kitchen cooking a meal that no one cares about. So every year I try a different plan to make a Thanksgiving meal that people will eat and be excited about. This year we figured it out! We found out that our favorite restaurant was taking orders for catered Thanksgiving meals, so we ordered it last week and all we had to do yesterday was pick it up. The food was fantastic, everyone loved it, I didn't have to spend all day cooking and cleaning in the kitchen and everyone was happy. We made a new tradition. Thanksgiving problem solved. 

After we ate dinner we all gathered around for our annual Amazing Race marathon. We always marathon a season of Amazing Race over the holidays. Usually an old one, but this year we were behind on the current one, so we watched most of the current season and caught up. We get really into it, cheer for our favorite teams, yell at the TV when the teams we hate do something dumb, it's a good time. :) 

So it was a good day. I crawled into bed last night happy and grateful for a wonderful family and a wonderful day. We celebrated the holiday in a way that was very "us", and it was fun. I love my family and the chance we had to spend the day laughing and enjoying each other. 

And now that Thanksgiving is over I can start thinking about Christmas, which I love! The exciting thing this year is that my mom and stepdad, who have been doing missionary work for our church in Malaysia for the past 18 months, are coming home in a few weeks! I can't believe how fast 18 months have gone by. We're excited to see them again and we're planning to take a couple of quick trips to my hometown in the middle of December and first part of January to see them. 

Oh, and one last thing, in college news, I have officially registered for next semester. When I started this whole college plan, it was kind of scary and really overwhelming to me, so I told myself that I would simply sign up and commit to one semester and go from there. Well, I'm getting A's in both of my classes this semester, I'm doing great, I'm getting used to studying again and I'm confident that I can keep going. I only have a few more weeks left of this semester. Tackling a Masters degree is still really overwhelming to me, so I'm going to continue to take it one semester at a time. I can do it if I just focus on the tasks in front of me and not think too hard about what's down the road. Next semester is math. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little scared! But I'll get through it, and I'll keep going, one semester at a time. I'm kind of proud of myself for doing this. I can do hard things. :) 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Plays and Piano

It was a big week for my boys! Wednesday night we got to see Josh perform in a play and Saturday night we got attend Matthew's piano recital.

A few months ago a friend called Josh and said that she was auditioning for a play that our church was putting on and wanted to know if Josh wanted to tag along. He had nothing better to do that morning, so he said sure. He got there, auditioned, and the next thing he knew he had one of the bigger parts!

So he has spent the past couple of months working really really hard to memorize his lines and has spent a lot of time at play practice. It was a Christmas play about the birth of Christ called Savior Of The World. I honestly didn't know a whole lot about it, except that it has been taking up a lot of his time lately, so I was excited to go on Wednesday and see it.

They performed it for about 1,000 people Wednesday night. He did an amazing job! This is the first time he's ever done anything like that. The whole play was beautiful and it was so fun to see him on stage.

Here are two pictures from the dress rehearsal!

Then last night was Matthew's piano recital. He has been working on the song Let It Be, by the Beatles for a while. I've heard this song played daily for a couple of months now. The whole family walks around humming it. He worked really hard on it and it was so fun to hear it played last night. Our piano at home isn't fancy and while it sounds fine, I always get really excited to hear him play on the grand piano at the recital hall. It sounds amazing on a fancy piano! I was really proud of him for all his hard work. Here's a video of his performance! 

He also performed the song he wrote, Summer Storm, last night, which was really fun. It's fun for him to be able to share his talent. He really loves to perform for people, and I love listening to him play.

So it was a fun week watching the boys perform and share their talents in public! I'm really proud of both of them.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy hOWLoween!

The boys are starting to grow out of the wear a costume and get their picture taken phase (sad!) so we just have Clarissa left to take trick or treating. Matthew did go out this year, but with friends. He's hit that "I wouldn't be caught dead trick or treating with my parents but I kinda still want the candy" age. And Josh got invited to multiple parties tonight, so he spent his evening making the rounds at friends houses.

But Clarissa is still at the perfect trick or treating age and it was a fun night! Every year I think long and hard about her costume. She would love to be a princess every year, but it's like 50 degrees here at the end of October and you can't walk around the neighborhood with a princess dress on without needing a coat over it. So I always spend a lot of time trying to come up with something cute and warm that I can convince her to wear.

And this year was my favorite costume yet! I found what I wanted online, but it was really expensive. So I showed it to a friend of mine who sews (Karen again! What would I do without Karen?) and she was able to replicate it for half the price. 

It's an owl costume, and before Clarissa saw it she was sure she wanted to be a princess. And then I showed her a picture of the owl idea and she squealed and said "I WANT TO BE AN OWL!!". 

So Karen made it and Clarissa was absolutely thrilled with it. I've had to keep it out of reach for the past couple of weeks so there would be no chance of it getting damaged before the big night. But after tonight it's going with the dress up stuff and I think we're going to be seeing a lot of it! It's SO cute!! 

So it was a great holiday and everyone had fun and ate way too much candy. I love Halloween!! 



Friday, October 23, 2015


My happy moment for today is that Adele is coming back with a new album and this song is my new favorite thing. That woman is a genius and this song is perfection.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


I've been slacking on the blog posts lately, so I feel like I should sit down and write something, but I'm not sure what. What did I used to write about when I wrote more often? I'm not even sure, my life isn't really that exciting!

But in a effort to not be a blog slacker, here's an update. I've now been in school for almost a month. The classes aren't hard, but it's somewhat time consuming. Some days I'm really busy with school, other days not so much. I've scheduled it out so that there is always one day a week I don't have school work to do. That gives me a bit of balance in my life.

Part of this program I'm doing involves going to a meeting every Thursday night. The classes are online but we meet as a group every Thursday night for two hours to go over what we're learning. That is actually the part of this whole thing I was dreading the most. It's all the way across town, it's at night and I'm not a night person, it's a lot of group activities, and I hate group activities, we have to take turns teaching, and I despise speaking in front of big groups.

But oddly, it has become one of the things I like most about this program. The first week I went in there, I looked around and I felt like there was no one I could relate to. I don't know what made me feel that way, but it's just a really eclectic group full of lots of different types of people, and I was looking for someone like me and I didn't immediately see anyone I clicked with. I felt sort of out of my element and out of my comfort zone. Which, let's be honest doesn't take much, because my comfort zone is extremely small. But as I have gotten to know everyone over the weeks, I have found that they're all like me. Older students trying to go back to school while juggling family and other responsibilities. We're all trying to make changes, better our lives, reach goals. We're all nervous about standing in front of the class and teaching the group. We're all nervous about participating in the small group activities. We're all tying to fit this two hour class into our busy lives.

So over the weeks we've all started to bond. I love those people. I love hearing their stories, and I root for them to succeed. We have a few students in our class who are new to the country and don't speak very good English. People in our class have volunteered to be English speaking partners and give of their time every week to help those people practice their English. One woman was going to have to drop out because she didn't have a ride and we found her one so she can keep going. I still sometimes dread going all the way across town every Thursday night and giving up my evening to sit in class, but when I get there I'm happy and I'm among friends. I didn't expect that. To be honest, I was kind of determined to hate the Thursday night class, but I don't. I'm actually going to miss those people when this year is over. Which is pretty typical of me, I guess. I resist change, I hate new things, I take forever to warm up to new situations, but once I do I'm all in, and then I go through all the emotions again when I have to leave.

So overall school is going well. It has been a change, and I don't always love giving up my free time to do homework, but it feels good to work towards a goal and to finally be doing the thing I wished for all these years. I'm proud of myself for being brave and going for it, because being brave doesn't come easy to me.

So there it is, the update on my life. It's not exciting and adventure packed, but it's my life. And I kind of like it. :)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Josh the (potential) world traveler

Not much new is happening in my life, just more school. But here's what's happening in Josh's world.
A few weeks ago he told me about a school trip he had the opportunity to take. They had a parent meeting about it last week so I went to learn more about it. Basically at the end of the school year, a couple of the teachers are taking a group of kids on an American history tour of the east coast. They're going to fly to Boston, do all the cool stuff there is to do there, then take a bus to New York City, where they'll go to a Broadway play, visit the 9/11 memorial, Statue of Liberty and all that fun stuff, then a couple of days later go to Philadelphia and eventually on to Washington DC. The trip isn't cheap but it's a great opportunity to see some really cool things, so I decided to let him do it. So in June he'll be taking an amazing trip. 

I'm especially excited about this because those were all the places I visited the year I lived in New Jersey when I was 19. It has always been my dream to see NYC, so when I was 19 I spent a year as a nanny in NJ. And while I was there I took every opportunity to travel to all the big cities in reasonable driving distance. So I've wandered through Boston, DC, Philly, and I spent a ton of time NYC. I look back on that year as one of the most memorable of my life. 

So the idea of sending my own kid to see all those places I loved so much is really exciting! He's really excited to go, I think they're going to have a pretty cool adventure. 

And then today he got thrown another possible opportunity! He came home from school today and told me that one of his teachers from last year approached him today and said that she got some information about a trip to France this summer. Basically a student and a teacher apply together as a team and if they get accepted they get a free trip to France to study WWII, specifically Normandy. He would spend two weeks in France attending lectures and different things about WWII with his teacher and then when they get back they have to put together a presentation about what they learned that will be presented twice (I'm not sure where). 

When his teacher saw the info, Josh was the first person she thought of to take, which is kind of awesome. So I told him to go ahead and apply. I have no idea what his chances are of actually getting chosen to go, but they're going to give it a try!

The trick is that the France trip is four days after the American History trip, and it leaves from Washington DC, which is where his American history trip concludes. So what would have to happen is that he would go on the American history trip, they would leave him in Washington DC (we'd work out somewhere safe for him to stay, we know people who know people) and then four days later his teacher would meet him in DC and they would fly to France together for two weeks. So he'd be gone for almost a month this summer. 

Again, I have no idea if the France trip is going to happen, and they won't find out until December if they're accepted, but they're going to give it a shot! Keep your fingers crossed for him, because how amazing does that sound?!!

It so fun to watch him grow and experience new things. It's hard for me as a mom to let him spread his wings sometimes, but it's exciting to see him experience so many new and exciting things. 

I'm always talking to my kids about having an adventure. The year I dropped everything and moved to New Jersey to follow my dream of seeing NYC was life changing for me. I don't know if I would want my kids to drop out of college like I did, but that life experience truly was an education for me. I learned so much that year. So I'm always telling my kids that if life gives you an opportunity for an adventure, you should probably take it.  So I hope Josh ends up going to France this summer and has the adventure of his life. :)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

One week down, six years to go :)

So I have successfully completed my first week of college! Yay me! :)

So far the word I would use to describe my college experience is...slow. This year long program that I'm currently doing is for older students who are returning to school and it's meant to be a reintroduction to college to help get us back up to speed so we can successfully complete a degree program. Which is great, because I haven't been to school for a long time and can use the refresher, but so far it's just moving really slow. It's only two classes this semester and they're very basic. We basically just spent the entire first week going over the syllabus for each class. I'm really excited about this whole college thing and I have time in my schedule for more than two basic classes, so taking the slow route is a little frustrating. It's probably the best thing for me to start slow, I'm just impatient, lol. 

But what I have on my side is an amazing mentor, so I emailed him today and told him that school wasn't moving very fast and a half hour later he sent me a list of books to read that I'll need to study for my career path. He's the best, seriously. So now when I'm bored and finish my homework early, I'm going to get started on some hefty textbooks about psychology and counseling related topics, which will really help me when I get to those classes, plus it's just stuff I find interesting. 

So school is a bit slow, but I'm finding ways to stay busy and it's all good. What I have learned from one week of school is that I'm really excited about school! I really had no idea if I was going to love it, hate it, find it easy, find it hard, etc. But so far I just find myself wanting more. I'm ready and focused, which is good. When I get an assignment I get it done quickly and wish there was more to do. So I guess that bodes well for next year when I'll be taking a full load of classes and there will be plenty to do! I'm ready for it and I have time in my day to focus on it, so I think it's going to be good once I really get going. 

In other news, Clarissa lost her first tooth the other day! She has had a loose tooth for months. I've  been telling her to keep wiggling it and get it out, but I think she's been a bit nervous about her tooth coming out. It's always a bit weird the first time. She thought it was going to hurt. So she's kind of been protecting that tooth and eating carefully so it doesn't wiggle too much. So much so that her adult tooth had started growing behind it! That thing needed to come out. So a couple of nights ago I was tucking her in bed and I asked if I could look at her tooth. When I wiggled it, I could tell that it was barely hanging on. I told her to just reach in there and pull it out, so she did and it just popped right out! She was SO excited! She ran around the house and showed everyone, we made a video about it to send to my mom in Malaysia, it was a major event, lol. Now she's got another one right next to it that is probably also going to come out soon. She's growing up so fast! Losing baby teeth is another one of those milestones that remind me that my babies aren't babies anymore! It's bittersweet, but so cute to see how excited she is about it. 

So that's the news from our house. Things are good, we're keeping busy and life is just plugging along!