Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Brain Dump In Which This Is What Happens In The Summer

That is, I can hardly remember what day it is.
The days, they are flying by.

1.  We started our summer with a bang,
as we gathered for Fathers Day  (5) / June birthdays (7),
aka Christmas In June.

Exhibit A: And that's not all of it!

One birthday girl, saving a seat for another (slightly older!) birthday girl :D 

It's a good thing nobody designated me the photographer,
because I sat across from a wall of windows,
didn't take many photos,
and the ones I did take weren't exactly great,
but here's my brother - one of the five dads we honored.

Somebody was really excited to get new doll-house furniture...
a bedroom with BUNK BEDS!

Though he pretends to be disgusted by ANY summertime discussion of school,
Gunnar is kind of looking forward to going to high school,
and he needed a new backpack :D

New clothes!

... and she knows it ;D

She wanted a little compact mirror.

Three of my guys :D

All the cousins but one -
away on a school trip to WA D.C. and NY.

And... more new clothes :D

2.  For Gunnar's actual birthday,
he requested tandoori chicken and naan bread.

Maybe it's just me, but IMHO
curries and fish should always be cooked outside.
I'm kind of particular about smells in the house.
And it's better on the grill anyway!

While his brothers slaved over the hot grill (ha ha ha)
the birthday boy got extra screen time.

I think these guys were having a better time!

So my BABY is officially FIFTEEN.
And, for the record,
I don't understand how that happened, since I still feel thirty ;D

3.  Tate has been working hard, finishing his chemistry.
I was happy to let him defer it to summer,
with all the other responsibilities he had through the spring.

Also, Tate acquired something new, can you see it?

Look closer.

His very own.

He had to leave it at home until the case came,
because TEENAGE BOY.

4.  Let me tell you what I think about deer.

The boys got me a lovely hanging fuchsia for my b'day,
then my cousin gave me a sunflower
and the boys gave me a red-white-blue flower pot for my birthday.
Nice, right?

But something doesn't look quite right.
There's no more red in the flower pot...

And the poor sunflower...

And they got most of the buds, too.

I'd much rather EAT deer, than have them eat all my flowers!

5.  Tate having a quiet moment with Polly.

Yes, she is lying on her back like a (human) baby, in his arms.
He's made her quite gentle :D

6.  Gunnar and I continue to go on morning walks,
and we admire the flowers around the neighborhood.

How are they so favored,
that the deer leave their flowers alone?

7.  I'm loving my new office/craft space.

These big storage units were difficult to move,
and when I say "difficult" I mean Kerry and the boys disassembled them, 
and then reassembled them,
because they are too big to go around the corners.

I'm not sure how many more moves they can take.
Ya gotta love IKEA,
but it's not exactly heirloom quality, y'know?

I still get a little surprise when I walk in and see this in my office...

... but I can sit down, put my feet up,
and have my morning tea,
with Harrison Ford.

And tonight?

8.  Kerry is taking me out to dinner...
for my birthday!

I'm not milking it...
well, maybe a little.

He offered to take me out ON my birthday,
but my girlfriends had taken me to lunch
and I wasn't hungry enough to really enjoy it.
My parents invited us up the next night.
And then... life got busy.

Tonight's good!

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