Friday, December 30, 2016

Josh got his braces off!

After two and a half years, Josh is finally free of his braces! He looks great!


Joshteeth

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

One more school update

Final grades posted yesterday and I got an email letting me know that I am no longer on academic warning with the university! I'm pretty sure I mentioned it a while back, but when I went to my one disastrous year of college at 18, I dropped out on academic probation. And then when I decided to go back to college at 40, I was still listed as being on academic probation all these years later. I got that upgraded to academic warning by taking a little mini class before the semester started, but my good grades this semester (straight A's, yay) finally bumped me off of the warning status and I have now officially repaired the academic mistakes of my 18 year old self. I have spent the past 23 years being really bothered by the fact that I made such a mess of my college goals all those years ago, but as of last night I feel like I officially wiped that slate clean. I know it doesn't really matter, but it feels like a weight off my shoulders. It feels good to fix something that has bothered me for so many years. Even if I never take another college credit (don't worry, I've got 14 coming up next semester), I feel a lot of accomplishment knowing I went back and fixed a really old, but really bothersome mistake. If you look up my college transcripts, there is no longer a big red "academic probation" mark on them, and probably if you looked into my brain, there is no longer a big red "you failed college" mark in the there either. It feels good, and I felt like sharing it. :)


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Semester complete!!

Last night I officially hit the submit button for the final time this semester and I can officially declare it complete. I'm still waiting for some grades to come in, but I feel really good about everything and I expect to finish with straight A's. Yay me!! This semester turned my life upside down a bit, because I had to get used to a full time schedule for the first time. After 16 years of being a stay at home mom and having a lot of freedom in my daily schedule, having deadlines to stick to and figuring out how to balance school and motherhood was a challenge. But I kind of got in the groove by mid semester, and it got easier after a while. I survived, and I'm proud of myself for hanging in there.

 I'm currently signed up for five classes/14 credits next semester. I'm going to give that a try and see how it goes. My original plan was to do 12 credits, but I want to kick it up a bit and see how that feels. There is a possibility that I may drop one class early in the semester if it feels like too much, but I want to give it a try. The sooner I can get through all of this, the better, so I'm going to keep plugging along. The good news is that I have pretty much finished my boring core classes and now I get to start taking the fun stuff. Next semester I have some marriage and parenting classes coming up that I'm looking forward to. I'm finally taking the classes I want to take for my major instead of all the English and history and math they make you take in the beginning. So that will be fun. It's more credits that I've done before, but it's also classes I'm actually excited about, so that might help keep me going through the semester.

But for now I have three blissful school free weeks to enjoy before next semester starts. Our whole family has been crazy busy this year. Shawn has had a difficult year at work with some things they've been dealing with, Josh's plate is so full with school, work, and extra curricular activities that he's rarely home anymore, and Matthew and Clarissa are always busy with friends and school and their activities. So I'm looking forward to shutting it all down for a few weeks at Christmas. Christmas is the one time a year when everyone comes home and we kind of lock ourselves away from the world for a bit. We have lots of fun traditions that we enjoy and it's a good chance for us to reconnect for a few weeks. After the year we've had, we really need it.

So I guess I don't have a whole lot more to write about besides that. I feel bad that I've abandoned my blog lately, but it feels like the main thing in my life right now is school, and it's a boring blog topic.  The tales of my history tests and English papers aren't really that interesting.

In family news, Josh is currently hard at work on another documentary for National History Day in hopes that he's going to make it to nationals in Washington DC again this summer. He would love to get back there and see some of his NHD and France trip friends again. His topic is really interesting this year, so I think he has a chance.

Matthew is still hard at work at the piano and he's starting guitar lessons after Christmas. Is Santa going to bring him a guitar for Christmas? We'll have to see. He doesn't read my blog. The answer is yes, lol.

Clarissa is loving life, as always. She's such a happy kid, just always excited to be along for the ride. She's looking forward to Christmas and hoping that Santa is going to bring her lots of art supplies to replenish what she is constantly running out of. That kid loves art. She paints, draws, loves to make jewelry and all sorts of little crafty things. I think she can look forward to lots of art supplies for Christmas. She turns 8 in a couple of months, can you believe it? That's how old Josh was when I started this blog. Crazy how fast time goes.

So we're doing good. Busy, but good. I feel like that's all I ever say in my blog anymore, but that's life in our family these days. I'm excited to be done with the semester, eager to start the Christmas festivities and hopeful about what's coming up next semester. Life just keeps moving forward!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Playing catch up

So, clearly I'm way behind on blogging. Life is good here, just busy. School is going great, but I'm ready for the semester to be over. I'm getting straight A's and doing well, but I'm ready to be done with these classes and move on to new material. Only three more weeks left of the semester! I got registered for next semester. I'm excited because my required core courses are basically out of the way and I finally get to start taking the fun stuff. Next semester I'm taking classes on marriage, family relationships and all sorts of fun stuff. Except I'm also taking social stats, which I'm kind of terrified about, but I'll be through it.

Anyway, things are good, we're all just plugging along. I don't have a whole lot to say, but I did want to catch up on some of the photos I've been meaning to post over the past couple of months. We went up to the mountains in September for Shawns birthday and did some family photos, which turned out nice.


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Josh went to his first date dance. It was Homecoming at another school. How cute are they?! She's a good friend of his, I really like her and I was excited for them to go on a date.

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Then a few weeks later he went to homecoming again at his school with a different date. This time the theme was Great Gatsby, which explains the hat and the clothes. :) I didn't get to take a picture of his date that time. The bummer about having boys is that you miss a lot of the date stuff because he goes over to their house, the girls don't always come here. Therefore I don't get to be the momarazzi, which you know I love. :)

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Then we had Halloween and Clarissa was the cutest Darth Vader princess you've ever seen. Seriously, how fantastic is this costume?! I had it custom made on Etsy in September. Now that I only have one kid left who dresses up, I get to focus all my attention and Halloween budget on one costume. I'm not going to lie, I love it. :)

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Then tonight Matthew had his piano recital and got to play two songs. This one was the prelude piece at the beginning of the recital (which explains the guy still setting up chairs in the back). I love this song, he did a great job.



So things are good here! This week we're getting ready for Thanksgiving, which if you have followed my blog for a while, you know it's the only holiday I hate. We'll be staying home and ordering out as usual. Thanksgiving can bite me. I'll be fine by Friday, lol.

So there's my update! Life is good!

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.