Things I’m Learning

Today, in school, for Beau’s history studies, we were learning about Wagner’s epic opera, The Ring Cycle.  I recognized it, when we played it, although I had never known what the title was, or who has composed that particular piece of music.  I hear it often in movies and TV shows.  You’ve probably heard The Ride of the Valkyries too.  What surprised me though, was how it brought tears to my eyes and made me tingle with emotion when the first women breaks into song, even though I have no idea what she is saying.  So, apparently, opera makes me cry. Who knew?  Yep,  I’m learning amazing new things every day, and in every which way

Homeschooling has been kind of awesome that way.  I’ve learned so much history that I never even broached in my school years.  My math skills have gotten a kick in the pants I never saw coming.  I am learning so much.  (And I *think* my kids are too.)  One of the biggest and unexpected benefits of homeschooling is feeling like I have a purpose.  I know what you’re thinking, “but, you’re a mother and wife! You already have a huge purpose!”  That is true, I do.  However, if you were ever, or are in my shoes, you know how the day in and day out of being wife and mom can leave you feeling a little less than important or like you’re making much of a difference in the world.  I like homeschooling because I get to see so much more of how my kids are growing and changing and becoming amazing people.  I get to be an even bigger part of sculpting and influencing who they are.  And watching your child “get it”, like with reading or math for the first time, is so incredibly neat. Right now, I’m having the totally unique experience of watching Selah “click” with math.  She is really starting to understand it and excel.  It is so exhilarating!  I am glad to be on this journey.


Date Night

So… that date night I mentioned? Kevin and I decided to go up to the property so he could show me what he’s been doing up there, and so we could try out the new hammock I bought. We picked up some sushi and drove up there. Kevin has really done a lot! He rented a skid-steer last week, and built some road up to the top of the property and started excavating a little bit where we want to put our future home.

The View

At first I thought we were crazy for wanting to move up here, what with the 30 minute drive up a somewhat scary road, the remoteness of it all. But then I look at this view and think we’re crazy for wanting to stay in town!

It will probably take a while (several years) before we actually move up there… but until then, we can come up and tromp around and enjoy whenever we want.

Looking to the East

This is looking to the east, maybe a little bit southeast.

Hanging the Hammock

Kevin cleared out an area on the lower part of the property for picnicking and camping fun. I bought a hammock, since it was something I have wanted since I was a little kid, and we have the perfect trees to hang it.

The Pick-nick Spot

Success! Then Kevin has to try too- it is a 2 person hammock, after all.

Room for Two

So much fun! I haven’t giggled that much since I don’t know when!

Hammock fun

It was quite chilly up there… so we kept our shoes on. And doubled up on our jackets.

Hangin in the hammock

(Oh yes, and the hair is quite blonde right now.)

Great date! Can’t wait to go back up there again.

A Glimpse at My Week

I have kind of set a goal for myself to write just one blog post a week. That’s all. Doesn’t have to be fancy, doesn’t even have to have words- just get something up here. I was looking through my husband’s blog last week, and was just delighted to take a trip down memory lane through his eyes. To have evidence of life, and to have evidence of his creativity. Well, you can’t take a trip down memory lane (visually anyway) if no one documented it. So here I am, for posterity.

Here’s a glimpse at my week. Probably one of the crazier weeks I’ll have this year. It is May after all, and that is when the crazy happens.

– We are finishing up our last two days of school! Yay! I survived my first year of homeschool! I am so excited to be done and take a break. And I am also excited for next year, and to try some new things and new curricula and see what works.

– We are preparing for vacation. Do I need to say more? All you moms out there know, that you need a vacation just from preparing to vacate. Haha!

– Date night with my hubby. We haven’t gone on a “date” since a business party we had to attend last month. (In other words, it doesn’t really count… does it?) So it’s really been 2 months? So looking forward to this.

– Heading up to my grandma’s house to pick up the last few items. (My grandma passed away in February. I have had a post about her in limbo for a while now. I really need to finish it and post it.)

– Have a heart to heart conversation with my mom. I don’t know what this is about, it was her request. Trying not to drive myself nuts guessing what she might want to talk about.

– Work out. (Almost) every day. Because… with this crazy of a week, I must, in order to keep my sanity. Plus, I plan to take a break from working out whilst on vacation, so… must not slack now!

– Take the kids to all their various activities, etc. Including: drum lessons, piano lessons, karate (four nights a week), church group, ballet and hip hop dance classes, and STAR testing. (School testing… must be done as part of the district homeschool program we are in.)

– Grocery shop. Ugh. I did this yesterday. With all four kids. At least it’s done.

– Mother’s day girls outing on Saturday with my sister, mom and sister’s mother-in-law. Pedicures and sushi. (Not at the same time. *wink*)

– Surprise birthday party for my dad on Mother’s Day. He thinks he’s going to the usual Mother’s day shindig we put on, but it’s really going to be all about him. I’m the most excited for this one, actually. My dad has had one heck of year, and I really want him to know how much we love and appreciate him.

– And you know, all of the other stuff that falls in between, that doesn’t necessarily need mentioning, but takes up time and energy none-the-less.

– Is sleep anywhere on this list?

After a Long and Chilling Silence…

There was massive amounts of hyperbole, and a lot of rambling. Hope it makes sense. It was time to write and just get it out there. 🙂

Today was… one of those days where, if I look at the sum of all the parts, really wasn’t that bad. However, I just wasn’t very happy with the way things went.

I really do think this was mostly my fault. A result of me not being able to totally control my anger, and then subsequently feeling guilty, and then subsequently feeling angry, and then guilty, and then angry, and… you get the picture.

I am just finally getting better after being sick for the past two weeks. Worst sore throat and hacking cough in the history of Sarah. After 8 days of writhing in pain every time I swallowed, I finally decided to get the opinion of a doc. (Or, in my case, a nurse-practioner.) The only good that came of that, was a prescription for antibiotics that was placed on hold for me, if, after a few more days, I decided I needed something. Well, that was pretty much the reason I went to the doctor in the first place, because I was already at that point. So I started the antibiotics the next day. Thankfully I started feeling much better in 24 hours. Here I am, almost 6 days later, and feeling a lot better. Still have a bit of a cough- but functioning like normal.

Accept, this morning when I did my first workout in 2 weeks, I felt yuckier than I have in a very long time (while working out.) And then there was the reduced calorie meal plan that I put myself on. Yeah, I don’t think my body was quite ready for that either. By 11 am, after having a piece of toast with peanut butter and then my protein shake, I was pretty darn hungry. (And unbeknownst to me, I was pretty edgy.) I was out grocery shopping (yeah, I know you’re not supposed to do that.) I had pulled into a parking space that had an empty parking space directly in front of it. I wasn’t planning on pulling forward; every time I do this, someone parks behind me, way too close to my bumper, and I cannot load my bags into my trunk. Well… up pulls this white Lexus, right behind me and honks at me to pull forward! Normally, being the pretty mild mannered person that I am, I would have obliged with no complaint. But not today. It really made me mad. (Maybe my hubby is rubbing off on me.) I did pull forward, but I didn’t park in that empty space. I zoomed off and found a different parking space, away from the offender. Then I got out with my bags and the offender was waiting for me at the door to apologize. She had a broken foot or sprained ankle, I don’t know; she was wearing a boot. But it was all I could do to be civil. As it was, I’m sure the look on my face froze her insides. And then I felt really guilty.
It’s this kind of entitled behavior that makes the world so awful to live in sometimes. I felt I was entitled to the parking space, and so did she. What would it have done to me to just be nice and pull forward 15 feet? It was no skin off my back. And on the flip-side, how rude of her to do that to me! To make her problem, my problem. But, is that what social responsibility is? Helping others out with their problems? And where does it stop? How do we know the difference between scooting and inch, and letting someone walk all over us?

So that is what was at the root of my frustration with this day. I got back home with the groceries, and had to fight very hard to control my temper after that. I felt I was being pulled in several different directions. The girls were flitting around, dragging the entire contents of their room outside. Beau needed help with his math. Kevin wanted me to do some filing for his business and dinner was looming in the near future.

I am still cowering in the shadow of the unattainable model of the Supermom. The woman who can do it all, while sick, with a cheerful word to say and a hop in her step, while looking like she just stepped off the cover of a magazine.
Well, that is just what it is: unattainable.

So instead of lamenting that fact that I can’t be her, I’m going to be happy that I was able to motivate the boys to get all their schoolwork done. Even if it wasn’t done in the time frame that I wanted, and it took a large amount of urging to keep Beau on task. I am going to be happy that the girls spent oodles of time stretching their imaginations and being happy together, out under the sun, getting their natural vitamin D. Even if every item that was in their room now has a fine layer of dirt on it, and it is quite possible that they brought some eight-legged “friends” back in the house with them. I am going to be happy that I (mostly) ate clean and healthy today. Even if it made me cranky, and I definitely overshot my calorie intake. I am going to be happy that my family (well 4 out of 6) were thrilled with dinner tonight. Even if I thought that I could have made something a little less expensive. I am going to be happy that I got the playroom vacuumed. Even though I am sure I will have to do it again tomorrow. I am going to be happy that I got all the business receipts filed away. Even if the rest of our household filing is still sitting on my desk taunting me. I will be happy I cleaned the fish tank, and got one load of laundry done. I will be happy I got dressed, and put makeup on, and did my hair. I will be happy I actually DID a workout today, even if I felt like I just might keel over during the process.

Those are the sum of the parts. It wasn’t all that bad. And I may have even learned something.

Random Pics from the Summer

Grandpa O on a BMX Bike
Starting way back in June, the boys started BMX racing. The whole family would come out and watch and cheer them on, on Sunday afternoons. Kev’s grandpa had to get on a bike too.

The girls watching the boys ride
My nieces and Selah and Rory hopping on the fence to cheer on the boys.

Girls at the BMX track
Facing Front.

7 Days, Day 3
Hangin’ around on the trampoline, you know, snapping self portraits…

7 Days, Day 5
Mom and Daughters date to Red Mango.

Family fun in Telluride.

Somebody had a ballet recital…


Bike date to the brewery with the hubby.

Hanging out by the Colorado River on the bike date.

Another Colorado River shot, in Glenwood Canyon on our first ever overnight date after having children. We went to go see a show at Red Rocks, and lo, it was grand.

Red Rocks…

More Red Rocks…

First time actually seeing a show at Red Rocks, Hillsong United.

Pink Streaks…

Selah learned how to ride a bike this summer, and now she wants to BMX race too…

Snail mail is fun!

Somebody is gonna be a stylist when they grow up!

Vernal pool exploring.

All the pools…





Halloween 2013

We’re not huge Halloween fans in this house, but we do celebrate. Usually this involves me throwing together inexpensive versions of whatever the kids want to be this year the day before or the day of Halloween. This year, Drew said he wanted to be Link from the Legend of Zelda (again) and I gave him a hard time about always choosing to be the same characters. So he decided he wanted to be a Minion (from the movie, “Despicable Me”, which I highly recommend, by the way.) I had to kind of chuckle about that, because I ended up being the one that bore the brunt of my own suggestion. I had to make the minion costume, and of course, he wanted the complicated one (although, I admit, I would have chosen the same one if it were up to me.) So what you see with Drew’s costume is in fact constructed by me. Poster board, a cheap plastic bowl, yellow spray paint, blue fabric, a black Sharpie, duct tape, a mason jar lid, black pipe cleaners, aaaand some good ‘ol hot glue is what’ll make an inexpensive (relatively) minion. I was still putting the thing together 30 minutes before we took off to go Trick or Treating. It was worth all the effort though.
As I was making it, Beau started to get pretty excited about it, and he said to Drew, “Dude! People are gonna love your costume! They’re gonna scream and say, “It’s a Minion!” To which Drew replied, “Nuh-uh, Beau! You don’t have the power to see into the future!” (These sorts of spats are pretty common between them right now.) Of course, Beau was right, and Drew got many compliments and people pointing and screaming, “Look! It’s a Minion!”

Halloween 2013

Selah is the Little Mermaid, Rory is a Fairy, Drew, of course, is a Minion (Paul, to be precise) and Beau is Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” (Which is as scary as I will let my kids get, for the record.)

Halloween 2013, Drew the Minion
A better look at the minion, if a little fuzzy…

Halloween 2013

Halloween 2013

Halloween 2013

It was pretty cold this year, and we didn’t make the rounds of our entire neighborhood (we never do) but a good time was had by all. I breathed a sigh of relief when all was said and done, and am now looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas- which are my favorite!

MS Muckfest

On Septemer 21st, I participated in the MS Muckfest! It was a 5 mile muddy obstacle course run benefiting the Colorado and Wyoming MS Society Chapter. And I’m happy to say, we met our goal and raised over a $1000!

My dad, my lifelong friend, Shondia, and I participated in the run together. My sister, Ariel, was supposed to run with us, but was under the weather, unfortunately.

This was my very first time doing anything like this. I have never run a 5k, let alone a mud-run! I was quite nervous waiting at the starting line. It felt like all the butterflies in my stomach had leaked out into my muscles, making them all loosey-goosey. I guess that’s better than tensing up!

We started off the race with a bang, getting hosed down, and showered upon. Then we immediately came up to three dirt hills with water in the valleys, that got progressively higher and deeper. The second hill was so steep on the way down, there was nothing to do but sit on your butt and slide down. I was getting baptized with mud, it was now or never!
Then climbing my way out of that one (after I made sure the gal in front of me was securely up) I started running and realized I was carrying about an extra ten pounds! Yippee!
There were about twenty obstacles on the course, including giant bouncy balls suspended from a bar that we had to push our way through, a fireman’s pole, a few nets we had to climb up and over, several mud pits we had to crawl through and at least 2 miles of winding steep deer trails. At one point we had to grab onto a rope because the incline was so steep (and our shoes were particularly slippery.) There was also a climbing wall over a large pit of mud, a spinning rope swing, and a couple of platforms where we had to jump into a 6 foot deep pit of muddy water. I watched Shondia, who is five foot two, go completely under on the first one!

All in all it was really a great time, and we felt especially accomplished when we finished. 🙂 Overall, we finished 189th out of 1,210 people and 69th out of 653 women. Not too bad, I say!

Got my number and my time chip. Now if I could just get rid of these jitters!

Shondia, Dad and I before we got dirty.

The muddy hills. I’m in the pink- right next to the guy in the red shirt and bandana. The girl in front of me kept on slipping down. When it was my turn, I sunk my fingers as far as I could into the dirt to get a good grip. It worked, but I think I still have dirt under my nails.

After one the obstacles where we had to climb over and under logs that were in a muddy pit of water. Had to make sure the water didn’t go in my mouth on this one! Yuck!

At the finish! I thought we were actually going to be somewhat “clean” after jumping off a swing into some not so muddy water, but then we had to crawl through some more tunnels, and this mud was particularly well… muddy.


Even though there were a few times during the race where I was thinking I was crazy to have done something like this, I definitely want to do it again next year! With a bigger group. It was way too much fun! Seriously.