Friday, February 28, 2014


He didn't win. :( He made an awesome video though, and I'm really proud of his efforts.

Teenagers invade my house in an hour, wish me luck! :)


While I'm getting ready for Josh's party tonight, we're also very impatiently waiting to hear if he won the anti-drinking PSA video contest he entered in January. They're supposed to be posting the winners today.

There is no school today because it's a teacher inservice day or something so Josh and are both checking obsessively all day. Nothing yet. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Texts with a teen

Number one teenage texting rule in this house: text like an intelligent human being.  Text speak is a no-no around here. Josh knows how much I hate unintelligible text language so sometimes he amuses himself by texting me random phrases, nonsense abbreviations and misspelled words because he knows it drives me crazy. 


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Boys and girls

So Friday night Josh is having his first ever boy/girl party at our house. There will be teenage GIRLS. In my HOUSE. Somebody hold me.

The girl who is his friend but isn't his girlfriend because I still can't even with that is coming. We won't allow our kids to officially date until they're 16 but because I can clearly see that this whole girl thing is officially a thing now, I've decided that it's time to start easing in to the whole socializing with the opposite sex thing. Maybe it's more for me. Maybe I need two years to get used to the idea of my child dating, lol.

So we decided to host a co-ed group activity because as much as I hate to face the fact that Josh is a full fledged teenager with a social life, I do think it's a good idea for him to start socializing with girls, as long as it's supervised, which it will be. It will be a squeaky clean night of pizza and games. I will stay out of their way and let them have fun, while I discretely supervise and make sure no bottles are being spun and no minutes are being spent in Heaven.

Do kids still even do that? Who am I kidding, there's probably an app for it now. I'm so old. Excuse me while I buy some bifocals and a walker.

Josh is super excited about the party and has been planning it all week. I'm happy that he has friends and a social life and is enjoying life the way a teenager should. As much as all this teenage stuff is freaking me out a little, I am enjoying watching him grow and having all these fun teenage experiences.  It's a good thing. I just have to keep telling myself that, lol.

The first child is always the guinea pig, aren't they? I have no idea how to parent a teenager. All this stuff is new to me. I've got preschool figured out, I know how to get a kid through elementary school and we've pretty much even conquered middle school and the pre-teen years. But all this teenage's new territory. And all I can think of is my own teenage years and all the dumb things I did and then I just want to lock my kids in a room for a few years, lol.

But I also think of all the great, magical moments I had as a teenager and I want those things for my kids. I loved that time in my life and I want my kids to love it too. I look back fondly at my own co-ed teen parties in my basement. Those were fun times.

So Friday night we will have a house full of teenagers and I will probably survive it, right? I'll keep you posted. :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

You know what I really love?

Family Wii tournaments in the basement. We bought Super Mario 3D World for Christmas. It's a fun game that everyone can play at the same time. It's a game like Super Mario Bro. but you play as a team to defeat the levels. It is ridiculously fun. Our whole family plays it together and we get really into it.

We thought we beat the game at the end of Christmas vacation. Then we found out there were bonus worlds. We finally finished those and then we found out there was another bonus level if you complete all the little parts of the game that we didn't think were necessary the first time around, so we are basically replaying the whole game to pick up the little things we didn't get the first time around.

Every time we play it we all get completely ridiculous. Someone will do something funny that sets off someone else and eventually we're all literally laughing so hard that we have to stop playing to calm down. We played it tonight and I have a headache from laughing so hard. We had to keep pausing the game because we get so ridiculously wound up. I laughed until I cried and my stomach hurt. I can't even explain to you what's so funny. It's just funny. When the five of us get together we laugh and we laugh and we laugh.

And that's what I love about my family. When my kids are grown up and don't live with us anymore, that's what I'm going to miss. I'm going to miss all the nights we spent piled on the couch laughing so hard that someone had an asthma attack and we had to stop what we were doing so that everyone could calm down. I hope that's what my kids remember too. :)

Friday, February 21, 2014



So I totally thought the lottery draw was at 10:00 this morning. Clarissa and I were moving kind of slow this morning, not in a hurry. At 8:40 I decided that I'd better go get in the shower so we'd be ready to go to be there at 10:00.

Right before I got in the shower I thought I'd better double check that it was at 10:00. I double checked. It was at 9:00.  Crap!! I threw some clothes on, yelled to Clarissa to get dressed and we grabbed our stuff and ran out the door.

We made it in time, thank goodness. The lottery draw was held at the district office, which just coincidentally is attached to the other end of the high school he was trying to get into. I had no idea what to expect when I got there. I think they have to make the lottery draw public so that everyone can see that it's legit, but I wasn't sure if anyone actually goes.

I should have figured that the parents of overachiever kids are the kind of people who would show up for that sort of thing, lol. I wasn't the only one there. Not even close!

So they assigned every kid who applied a number, which they told us when we went in, and then the lottery was just a computer generated number list. The computer randomly shuffled the numbers and spit out a list. They had it all up on a big projector screen.

They had just under 400 applications. They drew 170 names for placement and then 25 more for a waiting list. I was so nervous I could barely sit still. It ridiculous how worked up we've gotten over this whole school thing. You would think it was a lottery process for Harvard or something, lol. I realize that it's not, but he just reeeeeally wants to go this school.

When the computer spit out the list of numbers I saw his immediately. Out of the 170 numbers that were chosen, he was 31st on the list. What a relief!!

I stuck around while they went through the list and announced all the names that went with the numbers to see if anyone he knew got in. The girl who is his friend but isn't his girlfriend because I can't even with that did not get in. I was sad for him and for her. She really wants to go and she would do awesome there. It's still possible that they will draw more names if they go though the waiting list, but she'll have to wait and see.

But one of Josh's friends who goes to our church got in, which I'm excited about. His best friend from elementary school who he lost touch with after they went to different middle schools got in, which Josh is thrilled about! Because there are so many charter schools and other specialized school options here, everyone being shuffled around is common. Kids split up for different charter and magnet schools and lose touch and then some of them eventually end up together again. It will be fun for him to reunite with some old friends he hasn't seen in a while.

After the lottery was over I drove over to his school and had him pulled out of class so I could tell him the news. I know he's been stressing out about it and I didn't want him to have to worry about it any longer than he had to. He was really happy to hear the news!!

So it's all good. He got in and now we can stop worrying about it. I really think he's going to thrive
there. I feel good about him being in that environment and I think he's going to fit right in.

And the good news is that if Matthew decides he wants to go there in a few years, we won't have to go through all of this again because Josh will be a senior there when Matthew is a freshmen and siblings get pulled first in the lottery so he's pretty much guaranteed to get in. Nice.

So I think maybe I'll plan some sort of celebration tonight. I love celebrating good news! It's a happy day at our house!  :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014


It's school registration time! With Clarissa starting Kindergarten, Matthew starting middle school and Josh starting high school in the fall, we're up to our eyeballs in registration paperwork. Shawn and I sat down together tonight to try to get it all done. There's a million forms for each kid and it's one of those annoying things where you have to fill out the same info over and over on all the forms.

And then Shawn and I just got silly because some of the questions were stupid and that just got us on a tangent and that got us laughing so hard that I really hope all the forms got filled out correctly, lol. We get kind of ridiculous when it's nighttime and we're tired and we have sixty million forms to fill out. It reminded me of sitting at the table filling out adoption paperwork together. Ah, the good old days. :)

So the paperwork is done, except for Josh's. Tomorrow morning is the lottery for the high school Josh wants to go to. I will be over at the district office tomorrow hoping and praying that his name gets pulled. He wants to go to this school so bad, he's really stressed out worrying that he's not going to get in. They'll notify us by mail if he gets in, so we don't have to attend the lottery, but he's going crazy waiting, so I'm going to go over there tomorrow and watch the lottery happen so he doesn't have to wait to find out if he got in.

He also recently discovered a girl who is his friend (we're not using the world girlfriend, lol. I just can't even.) who is also hoping to get in, so I'll be waiting to hear her name called too. If they don't get in they'll be going to different high schools next year and when you're almost 14 and a little starry eyed over a girl, that seems like the worst thing ever.

This whole parenting a teenager thing is tricky business, and it's getting trickier all the time. Thank goodness he's a good kid. So keep your fingers crossed for him. He really really needs to go to that school. Much teenage angst has been created over this whole school thing. After tomorrow at least we'll know. Unless he gets put on the waiting list, which means he'll have to stress about it for a few more months.

In other news, I have recruited two friends to be the newest Heirs addicts. :) Once or twice a week we get together and watch two or three episodes. I've now seen the whole series multiple times but I still get excited to watch it again, especially with people who haven't seen it yet. It's been fun to have some girl time. I don't spend enough time with friends and I really enjoy it when I get the chance.

So things are going good these days. I'm always happy when I can find someone to watch Heirs with me and we dug our way to the bottom of the school registration forms, so that feels nice. Tomorrow I'm hoping to be celebrating Josh getting into the school. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ahhh, it's Valentine's Day. I love Valentine's Day. I know it's a cheesy Hallmark holiday, but I love it anyway. 

Yesterday we had a really fun activity at Clarissa's school to celebrate Valentine's Day. They did a mothers tea party. The kids sang us some songs, presented us with a craft they had made and then we made super awesome floppy hats out of gigantic tie dyed coffee filters and ribbon and silk flowers. They cracked me up, we all looked hilarious. Then the kids painted our fingernails, which looked exactly like you would imagine a manicure done by a five year old would look they gave us back massages and then made us a bracelet with pink and red beads. It was super cute!

After that we had our tea party and drank lemonade and ate muffins and strawberries. It was seriously the cutest thing. We had a great time. I love Clarissa's preschool teacher, she's really great with the kids and Clarissa loves going there. 

Today we're in full Valentines mode around here. We gave the kids little boxes of chocolates and Matthew went off to school this morning with a backpack full of Valentine's for his class party. For Shawn's lunch hour he brought home lunch from our favorite restaurant and we watched the episode of the Big Bang Theory where Sheldon agrees to call Amy his girlfriend and writes up the relationship agreement, because that's how big nerds celebrate Valentine's Day. :) 

This afternoon I promised that I would make pink cupcakes with Clarissa, and she has been reminding me every 20 minutes all day, just in case I forgot, lol. As soon as I finish this blog post I am off to make cupcakes.

Tonight we're going to a play, which I'm really excited about! That will be the perfect end to an awesome Valentine's Day. 

So for now I'm off to make pink cupcakes with Clarissa, who apparently can't stand the wait one second longer and I'm off to enjoy a mushy day full of love for all the people in my life. And that includes my awesome blog readers! I love all of you! :) Happy Valentine's Day! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Snow day!!

There is all sorts of snow outside and it's officially a snow day. The kids have been super content today to hang out together and that has left me with a lot of free time, so this is how I spent my day. Fun!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I need to go to bed, so I will try to make this quick. And then I will fail because we all know I don't tell short stories. :)

First, Clarissa had an awesome birthday but I did not get around to a photoshoot. She had preschool in the morning, then we went to Build a Bear, then she had ballet in the afternoon and we had a family party in the evening. It was a busy day but she seemed to enjoy it. I still can't believe she's five.

Tonight I took Josh over to an open house for the high school he's trying to get into. We are crazy in love with this school. We're incredibly lucky that our district even offers it. I've never seen another public school like it. I know I talked about it before, but in case you missed it, it's basically a college prep school. If he gets in he will graduate from high school with his college associates degree. It's super intense, all academic and very few electives, which sounds like a nightmare to some kids, but for my academic overachiever, it sounds like a dream to him! They basically take out almost all of the electives and cram all the core classes that you would normally spread out over all four years of high school and you do them in two years and then take college level classes your junior and senior year. It's a free public school but you pay a very reduced credit rate for the college level classes, so it's a cheap way to get all the basic required college courses out of the way and he'll be that much further ahead when he leaves high school.

It's a tough program but some of the things they do there are super impressive. Getting to walk thorough the school tonight was cool. It looks more like a college than a high school and functions a bit more like one too. In fact, there is an Idaho State University satellite branch attached to it, so right down the hall it actually is a college. Because it's basically just a school full of college bound overachievers they're able to do some things they can't do in regular high schools. It's very hands on and lecture based. Not many worksheets or textbook learning, lots of research papers and projects. It's a small school so everyone knows each other and works together. It's a tight community of high achieving kids who love school and are happy to be there.

I loved it so much over there I wish I could have gone there! It's a really great opportunity for Josh. He desperately wants to go there. He already wanted to go there before we toured the school and tonight just confirmed it. We don't find out if he gets in until the end of the month. Keep your fingers crossed for him. He's going to be crushed if he doesn't get in. It would be a really great fit for him and I think he would really thrive there.

So that's all that is happening here. Oh, and it snowed all day today and I slid on an icy road on the way home from the high school meeting and almost died. Ok, that's a little dramatic, I didn't almost die. Well maybe I did, from the heart attack that almost ensued when I realized I had no control of my car.  It was fine. I confirmed that my car has good breaks and we're all good. It's supposed to keep snowing through the weekend. I'm kind of hoping for a snow day. I could use a movie marathon day with the kids in the basement. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 3, 2014

It's February!!

I made it though January. Go me.

The past couple of days have been sunny and beautiful and spring like. Then today we got two inches of snow. Bleh. That's OK, at least I know we're headed into the home stretch. Winter can't last much longer. February is short and by March it starts to feel springy.

I attempted to shake the end of the January blah's by redecorating our bedroom a little. Shawn and I picked out new bedding and a new picture for the wall above our bed. It was just a little change but it brightened it up a little and made it feel fresh and new in there.

Today I've been tracking down info about schools for next year. They held the lottery for Clarissa's school at the end of last week and I called and confirmed this morning that she got in. Yay! That's a load off my mind.

Now we just have to wait to hear about Josh's school. The woman I talked to this morning said that they currently have 260ish applications for 210 spots and applications are still open though the end of the week. His chances are pretty good, but we won't know for sure for a few more weeks. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! They had a student meeting at his school last week for 8th graders who are interested in attending that high school and after the meeting he was even more sure he wants to go there. He's really got his heart set on it, so I hope it works out!

The other thing I'm focusing in this week is Clarissa's birthday! She turns five tomorrow, can you believe it?! She has been very impatiently waiting for her birthday pretty much since Christmas, lol. "Is it my birthday yet?" has been a daily question in our house lately. Tomorrow is finally the big day. We'll do presents in the morning and then take treats to preschool and after preschool I'm taking her out to lunch and to Build A Bear to make a My Little Pony, which she will go crazy for. She doesn't know about it yet. Then tomorrow night we'll have her favorite dinner and cake and ice cream, which honestly I think is the thing she is most excited about. I'm pretty sure we could just eat cake and ice cream and call it a day and she'd be happy, lol.

I've been thinking about her birth mother today. Clarissa's birthday is always a little bittersweet because while we're celebrating I know there is a mother in Korea who is missing all of these special moments. I wonder about her a lot. I hope that she is doing well and is happy. I pray for her and hope that she has found peace with the situation. I'm so grateful to her for allowing me to raise such an amazing little girl. Clarissa is such a light in our family.

I'm hoping to do a birthday photoshoot with Clarissa tomorrow if we have time, so check back and hopefully I'll have some photos to post tomorrow!