Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Summer, where are you?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Brain Dump

Yesterday was a big day.

I turned fifty.

Yes, 50.

I had a great lunch out with a few friends,
and didn't take a single photo.
No selfies.
Nothing to prove to the world that I was having a fun time
and that I Have Friends :D

Haven't been posting much because LIFE.
Life is good.
Life is crazy.
Three teenage boys will do that to you.

But here's a Friday Brain Dump for you,
to catch you up a little on the mundane and
not-so-mundane moments lately.

1.  Tate is done with high school.

No, we can't say he's graduated, because on paper he's just finished his sophomore year.
But he's done with high school.
I had some concern about re-launching him in public school two years ago,
having just been implanted and adjusting to his new hearing.

I had no cause to worry :D

2.  Simple things still please the boybarians.

3.  Just in case you wondered...

4.  Since we moved the rooms around, I'm a bit lost.

I've nearly walked right into Wyatt's room several times.
That's not cool when you have a 19 y.o. young man, y'know?
We knock.

But I'm really just looking for my space.
And everything in it.
Which is all arranged differently.

Leading to a lot of this...

5.  No, I'm sure it has nothing to do with turning 50!

6.  I did have an embarrassing moment, though.

I took my phone along when Gunnar and I went for a walk yesterday morning.
We'd seen an owl the day before,
and were hoping to see him again.

My phone kept pinging, with facebook messages,
because it was my birthday,
and I was ignoring them because I was walking with my son,
and didn't want to be one of Those People,

Until I got out of breath,
and the phone was a great excuse for a quick break.

So I quickly scanned the newest message and attempted to reply with a quick "thank you".
But my cold, fat, fifty-year-old fingers
accidentally swiped and instantly sent this:

A kissy face.

To my neighbor,
who is a PASTOR.

Pretty sure he has a good sense of humor.

I hope.

7.  I also spent part of my birthday and a couple of hours this morning being tortured.

Or filling out two FAFSAs online.
Same thing.

(Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

It's grueling, I tell ya.

And to add insult to injury,
they included this helpful information:

Oh, FAFSA, you crack me up.

I love how you're so concerned that people with over
know how to fill your form out properly.

Because they're applying for financial aid, WHY???

8.  I would much rather turn my thoughts to this...
isn't that the perfect photo for the verse?

(No, not my work.)

9.  And with that, I'm off to make lunch.

Because that seems so much more doable,
(see #2 above...)


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

From the Mind of Tate

So I've been cleaning out.

I'm good at getting rid of things.  Things I wonder why on earth I ever saved.

Like all the boys' baby teeth.  (Ewwww!)

Here's the funny part - Tate wrote letters to the Tooth Fairy, negotiating for a prize.  Because at our house the Tooth Fairy was pretty much a cheapskate ;D

(Tate lost his first molar and a bigger tooth must be more valuable, right?  Still, best to be subtle.)

Dear Tooth Fairy,
I've always wished they were selling Howitzers the size of my soldiers.
Sincerely, Tate

Ooo, I see what you did there.  You remembered the Store Rule.

I had a rule for the kids when we were shopping:
If you ask for things you Do Not Get Them.
But you can admire them, and then I know what you like ;D

But, yah, the Tooth Fairy couldn't find any little tiny plastic-soldier-size Howitzers, either.

(Spending the night at Aunty Tami's house.)

Dear Tooth Fairy,
I just lost TWO teeth today!  One is at my house, and one is right here.  You could give me BOTH tooth's prizes, or one tonight and one tomorrow.  If you give me both today, be sure to leave a note.
From, Tate

You know, to make sure he got ALL the prizes.

?  2008
(Ooo!  Even more sophisticated!)

Dear Tooth Fairy,
I've been trying to earn money.  Since I know it's just a joke, since my friends say you gave them $20 or $30, I would only prefer $1.

Oh, that was masterful.  See?  I'm not greedy like Those Other People.  I only want ONE DOLLAR.

Because the usual quarter-a-tooth wasn't getting him to that new Lego kit fast enough. ;D

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Year Nine - DONE!

As always, my annual disclaimer...

For most of you, this post will definitely fall into the category of over-sharing.  For me, this is record-keeping.  If you're interested in the nitty-gritty details of What We Do For Homeschool, here's your fix.  If not?  Nothing to see here - move along  ;D

Nine years.  Can hardly believe it.  Whew!

WYATT - college sophomore / high school senior:
has just finished his second year at Whatcom Community College.  We are enormously grateful for Washington state's Running Start program.  As a high-school student he has had two years of college tuition paid for, was able to borrow most of his text books (free!), and is oh-so-close to graduating with an AA degree.  He'll be returning for Fall Quarter and (if all goes well) graduating in December.

He gave up his grocery job to better focus on school, but is looking for summer odd jobs...
in case you need some grunt-work done!


TATE - high school sophomore (Grade 10):
has just finished his second year of high school.  He's done wonderfully - all As (Geometry and second year Algebra) and a B+ (Spanish).   I know other moms of D/HoH kids who waiver their kids out of foreign language because it's just too hard with the hearing loss factored in, so B+?  AWESOME! 

He has finished three of his four homeschool subjects:



English / Preparation for Launch

Tate LOVES to write (he's working on a book) so I don't have to "make" him do much writing, but I did select  a bundle of books for him to read and discuss with me - one per month.  That was awesome.  I'll have Gunnar do this too!

His Apologia science (Chemistry) course recommends these first two,
so I was sure to include them:

Then I chose the rest.

We had a lot of good discussions.
We thought, and talked, and sifted and gleaned together.
We found these really helpful:

Thinking of marriage down the road?  Voddie Baucham wrote this with his daughters in mind,
but it was easy to turn it around mentally and look at it from the guys' point of view.

Will you turn the world upside down, or let it turn you upside down?

On oldie, but a goodie.
Talking naturally about spiritual things.

Yes, it's written for/to parents.
Great discussion starters!

So very, very practical.

I love his adage,
You can't take it with you,
but you can send it on ahead. 

Every high school and college graduate should read this.
I want to just buy a huge box of them and give them to every Christian teen I know.

And, hands-down, our favorite... 

Whew!  That was a lot of reading and discussing!

Because Tate also added a five-credit class at the Tech College for spring quarter
(prerequisite for next year's program) I encouraged him to defer the last three or four chapters of Chemistry until he finished his other classes.
He'll be wrapping this up in the next couple of weeks.

He has also continued to be involved with Civil Air Patrol,
and continues to work his tail off at the grocery store.

Well done, Tate!

Gunnar - Grade 8:
has also been a very busy beaver.

While he doesn't love writing the way Tate does,
Gunnar does a good job with the mechanics of writing
("GPS" - grammar, punctuation, and spelling).

We also read poetry together again this year :D
Some hits and some misses...

Let it be known that I have now finished Algebra for the FOURTH time,
and will not be repeating it again!
Gunnar can tell you how long it will take the cheetah to catch the rabbit
if the rabbit got a 30 second head start, yada yada yada.

We love our Apologia science :D

Gunnar really enjoyed reading through American History with Sonlight's collection of books.

Not sure they're all in the photos... it was a lot!
About a book a week, in addition to the text/series.

And now everything changes again.

Wyatt, of course, is already in college.
Tate will be f/t at the Tech College next fall.
And Gunnar will be half-time at the high school,
and only half-time at home.
And he should be working mostly independently.


This is year nine.  NINE!

I won't pretend that I enjoyed every single minute of it
(because who does, right?)
But I loved it.
Really.  Truly.

I'm so glad I've had this time with my boys.
(Why should the school get the best part of their day?)

I'm glad we had the freedom to homeschool the way we wanted.
To structure our days and months the way we wanted.
To take time off for vacations and holidays and surgeries when we wanted.
To learn the way we wanted.

And now, summer!
A different kind of freedom ;D

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Outside my window...  a different view!  Getting used to my new space.

Hearing...  construction workers - a house is going up in the neighborhood.

Pondering...  which of my many projects to tackle first...
Moving rooms and going through everything has reminded me
of an embarrassing number of unfinished projects.
I know what I'll be doing this summer!

Praying...  for the two older boys to finish the school year strong,
for Kerry to persevere in All The Work,
for Gunnar to think before he speaks (complains),
and for me to WORK HARD!

Thankful...  Gunnar and I have finished our homeschool year,
Wyatt and Tate seem to be doing well and are on track,
Kerry has a TON of work (hallelujah!),
the sun is shining,
and I'm in a big, bright, sunny room :D

Wearing...  shorts, tank top.
Yes, the temp is 64F.
This is the PNW ;D

Creating...  well, trying to create a beautiful space here.
Right now... CLUTTER.

Going...  taking Gunnar to violin lesson, and other items to new homes.
All this Churning Through Everything is great motivation to

Reading...  Rules of the Road.
Gunnar just finished it and I was reminded how much I enjoyed it.
Time to re-read a few good books :D

Looking forward to...  less structured time this summer :D

In the kitchen...  HA!
It's pizza day ;D

In the learning rooms...
Well, we went from this

to this...

Around the house...
well, my new space hasn't quite found its happy place yet,
it's a work in progress.
And downstairs, in the living and dining rooms,
I have piles of stuff that will either be sold, given away, or donated.

The Mother Load...
nesting first - so much sorting to do!
* pay tithes and bills
* get the $ sorted for Worldview and Fiddle Camp
* figure out what to do with (two!) Tate's "old" hearing aids
* what to do with accessories for Tate's "old" CI processor (Advanced Bionics Harmony)
* organize and scrapbook years of photos
* convert hundreds of slides to digital
* schedule Gunnar's homeschool work for next year
and that's all I can even bear to write down at once!

Noticing that...  being in a new space (disorganized) affects my thought process.
It will all be GOOD, it just takes time to get settled.
But a fresh start, a fresh view...
is a good thing.

One of my favorite things...
a cup of mint tea.

A quote / devotional thought...
For Christians the beginning of the day
should not be burdened and oppressed
with besetting concerns for the day's work.
At the threshold of the new day
stands the Lord who made it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A peek into my world...
on a walk with Gunnar we noticed these...

Sunday, June 5, 2016

If You Give A Mom An Idea...

... and the labor to make it happen...

she'll work herself into exhaustion.

I had this plan that over the summer we would rearrange
how we use some of the rooms upstairs.
Prompted by certain boys growing up and aging out of homeschooling,
(the nerve of them!)
I've been going through lots of materials we're done with -
sorting and selling -
to open up some space for other things :D

Aaaaand I had my hopes set on using the school room for my craft room,
because it gets such wonderful light.

But that would happen... you know...
sometime over the summer.

Saturday I had the boys all here
and wanted them to help me move everything off our linoleum floor,
 and sweep/mop/scrub it preparatory for waxing.
None of that is really hard, except the whole
on-my-hands-and-knees part.
I don't love that.

But we (mostly I) got it done,
and we all had a well-earned break.
Because it was Saturday, right?

So while the boys had their break I wandered upstairs and thought I'd just start cleaning and sorting things from my office, to get ready for the big shift.

The thing about moving the rooms around is that I want a blank slate -
the room has to be EMPTY before I want to move new things in.
Also, much easier to clean, right?
And my office would be the logical room to empty first.

Later, you know, when we got around to actually doing the move.

So I started sorting, and moving a few things into my bedroom closet
to get them out of the way.

Well, it looked so good to have that side of the room tidied up,
that I started on the closet.

Well, yah, then I was getting some serious momentum.

The boys' friend was about to leave,
I was hanging the third load of laundry on the line,
and I grabbed Kerry and started to twist his arm.
Because the sticking point was these:

These fabulous IKEA storage units are too big to move.
Corners.  Our house has them.
The units must be emptied and disassembled to move.

But I convinced him :D

Besides, we'd be moving beds,
and I already had all the sheets off to be washed.
And that makes sense, right?
Because we'd have to remake the beds anyway, right?

So Team Garrett went into action.

One end of the boys' room (above),
and the other end (below).

What is that verse in Proverbs?
Something like,

Where no oxen are,
the manger is clean,
but much increase comes
by the strength of the ox.

Something like that.

Well, some of my oxen surely mess up the manger.


But they do work hard!

I snapped some pics before we started...
I love our school room!
Lots of happy memories :D

We emptied my office.
Desk and computer into the boys' bathroom, 
and everything else piled into my bedroom.

The boys disassembled the two bunk beds to be moved,
and Wyatt and Gunnar started reassembling them in my old office.

Meahwhile, Kerry and Tate were disassembling
and reassembling my IKEA monoliths.

And PS, Kerry,
where is your leg???
Last time I checked, you had two. 

At this point, well, I almost despaired.
This kind of chaos does not help my inner peace!

Meanwhile, I mentioned that we piled stuff in my bedroom?

Welcome to Hoarder Heaven.
That's what it looked like.

But we were starting to make headway :D

The boys' closet looks so much better with two thirds the stuff in it!

I gave Gunnar a solemn challenge to keep his corner neater than its previous occupant did.

Tate's corner looks good.

And Wyatt was busily nesting in his new room.

He hasn't had a room of his own for almost 18 years ;D

Found this "treasure" cleaning out the school room.
The boys made this when they dissected owl pellets.
I'm thinking there may be more than one animal represented there!

With Wyatt settled into his room,
we turned one end of Tate and Gunnar's (huge) bedroom
into a school "area".

I think it looks great :D

There's a desk at the other end of the room that Tate usually uses.
Gunnar will have lots of space, and everything we'll need
for the next two years of P/T homeschooling.
And he has a great view :D

My new room?
Still a work in progress!
Trying to sort/cull as I go.
Pics of that...