Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Update 2015

That's right!  It's June!

We are winding down, but Kylen still has a couple weeks for some subjects.  French may need to go longer.  I didn't realize that the final workbook was much larger than the others and grossly underestimated the time it would take to finish.  He will have his annual state testing soon, and we have begun basic review in math and English.  Even if he wasn't required to be tested, I think the review is good.  He had geometry this year and did very little algebra, so this will help reinforce anything he's forgotten since last year.

Co-op ended a week ago.  Kylen, of course, will miss seeing his friends every week, but he will still get plenty of opportunities for hanging out over the summer.  He will be busy in the evenings.  He has open gym basketball Monday nights, youth group Wednesday nights, and cello lessons Thursday nights.  Speaking of which, he is going to begin cello lessons this week.  He was inspired by the Piano Guys.  We're hoping his year of violin lessons will come in handy for helping him progress quickly.

I've finalized a lot of the curriculum for next year, but I need to begin ordering it!  And I'd like to do a post summarizing and evaluating the curriculum we used this year.

This is my favorite song by the Piano Guys.  I'm not into the Eastern religion references (yin and yang), but I love the tune, especially the cello's part at the beginning.

On the Horizon
For several months, Greg has been excitedly planning a programming group he wants to start for boys Kylen's age - programming video games.  He may even turn it into a business, depending on how it goes.  Some of the dads are interested as well.  Kylen isn't big into programming, but he will at least participate long enough for it to be part of his occupational education class.

We have a mini family reunion coming up that I'm looking forward to!  I will likely come post all about it.  :)

Oh!  Kylen is going to play in Hoopfest!  He hasn't done that since he was little.  Some of the boys he played with through parks and rec will be his teammates.  Unfortunately, they aren't getting many opportunities to practice.  Having fun is what counts though, right?  =)

Goals for the summer.  I don't have many right now!  I'd like to:

*Make progress on planning a co-op art appreciation class.
*Research college options for Kylen.
*Get rid of stuff.
*Help Greg clean the garage. (Probably not happening soon.)
*Work on a digital photography book. (Probably not happening soon.)

I'd like to be better about:

*Writing to my pen-pals.
*Trying new recipes for my diet.
*Having people over.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HAPPY SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Greg's 40th Birthday

Greg hit the big 4-0 this week!  His last surprise party was 10 years ago (You guessed it!  When he turned 30!), so I figured he was about due.  I decided to keep it small, just a few close friends and relatives.  Basketball is his favorite activity after programming, and I'm not sure how it would work to have everyone program together, so basketball was the next best thing.  I rented a gym at an athletic facility for 1 1/2 hours.  Everyone was to meet outside our door at 7 p.m.  We would arrive at the gym by 7:30, play until 9, and come back home for dessert.  He's crazy about fruit, so I asked everyone to bring a fruit dessert.

Miraculously, Greg didn't find out.  And it was truly miraculous.  My brother got the day wrong and called a month early asking where everyone was.  Thankfully Greg and Kylen were out, but he decided to stop by anyway since he and his wife and baby had driven an hour to get here.  His wife even made a beautiful fruit bouquet they left with us.  Later when Greg and Kylen got home, I told them my brother's wife "got fancy with the fruit."  ;)

Not long after the above incident, Greg told me he didn't want a big party and asked if we could invite the McD's over.  That worked out, because they were on the guest list anyway.  Mr. McD loves to grill, and Greg had been thinking it would be super cool to have him hang out while grilling a bunch of meat.  They arrived at 3, and the men went to pick up salmon, sea bass, and beef wellington.  Greg had already purchased rib eye.  The wellington gets baked, so that left 3 different meats to grill.  I was planning to sit down at 5.  We sat down at 6:30.  If you do the math, you realize that only left a half hour for us to eat before our surprise guests arrived, and you can only imagine how nervous I was the hour and a half leading up to that moment.  Praise God, when the doorbell rang, we were all nearly finished.  I looked at Greg's plate, and he had just 3 bites of rib eye left.  Phew!

We ended up with 10 players, a few observers, and a few late arrivals who didn't play.  It was kids versus adults.  Some of the adults definitely took it easy on the kids, but I think everyone had fun and worked up a good sweat.  They played almost nonstop.

It was after 9:30 when we got back.  There were two blueberry desserts that were delicious.  My favorite was fresh blueberry fritters from a local doughnut shop, but the homemade blueberry cream pie was also excellent.  We had apple Danishes, lemon meringue, and of course a lovely fruit bouquet.

Soon it was time for gifts and cards, and before we knew it, it was getting pretty late on a school night.  Greg said he would rate the party 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, so I guess it was a success!!

Greg serving himself sea bass!

Who's at the door?

Playing Ball

The oldest guarded the youngest.  Lol!

My aunt meeting my brother's daughter for the first time.

Chaos after a photo.

Our friend Eric being his silly self.

They have a really neat mural on the wall at the athletic facility.  Greg and I are both Gonzaga alumni.

Blueberry fritters!  Yum!

Greg gesturing as we sing happy birthday.

Eating dessert.

My funny uncle and his daughter.  I gave out the mini basketballs as favors.

Carrie and Eric - so cute!

I found a perfect card for Greg.  The front said "Bleep Boop Bleep" with a picture of R2-D2.  Inside said, "You're the droid I'm looking for."  Isn't that sweet?!

We thought it was odd when the McD's gave Greg hot cocoa and marshmallows . . .

It made more sense when he opened a huge basketball mug from them!  And it was filled with cute little candy basketballs.  He also got a couple of Panda Express gift cards (my suggestion as a gift idea, since he loves eating there), an expansion pack for Apples to Apples, and a Coke hand towel (something he requested for when he's drying off Cokes from the cooler).

I already have a few ideas for his 50th!  Stay tuned . . . that's only 10 years away!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

I had a nice Mother's Day.  :)  My gift each year is flowers for the yard, mostly petunias.  It's a lot of work between weeding, shopping, and planting, so I prefer to do it the weekend before so that the weekend of can be more relaxing.  (Is it just me, or are flowers getting more expensive!  Ouch!)  Thankfully, the weather cooperated, and we were able to do it the weekend before.  So the day of, we had a calm morning and ate brunch out at the fancy buffet in Coeur d'Alene.  It was delicious as always, and I managed not to overload my plate with meat for once.  I even had room to actually enjoy my dessert!  It's so hard not to overdo it there!

See my dessert at the bottom?  A petit four and a macaroon!

I was hoping to catch a glimpse of my uncle's family, since we knew they were going to be at the park, and as we were headed over, I spotted our good friends, the McD's!  It seems everyone thought Coeur d'Alene was the place to be that day!!!  Then, we drove over to Spokane for two games of laser tag.  I wouldn't have planned to play laser tag on Mother's Day.  It was incredibly beautiful outside, and I would have preferred to window shop in Coeur d'Alene, maybe take a stroll along the lake.  But Greg had suggested laser tag as an outing for boys at the Union Gospel Mission where he and Kylen occasionally volunteer.  There weren't enough boys in residence to make it a go, so they pitched it to the women, who WERE interested!  They chose Mother's Day, so that's how we ended up playing laser tag.  But it worked out fine, because I love playing it.  Plus, I got to meet the UGM gal that Greg works with - a super sweet lady.  And it was also neat getting to meet some of the women and kids who stay there.

They are usually slow on that day, but we had a pretty good number of people both times, around 25.  There were three young men who dominated both games, but Kylen still managed to wrestle a second place the second game!  I came in 8th both times.  Better than 9th, I guess!  :)

At laser tag with my son.  Can you believe how tall he's gotten?!  I can't!!

Afterwards, we stopped by the Flour Mill to pick up a gift card, and I took the opportunity to look around the Chocolate Apothecary.  I hadn't been in quite awhile.  They've really improved their selection!  I learned a lot about chocolate while teaching a co-op class last spring.  I was surprised how many high quality brands I recognized.  Last time I looked, they had barely any variety.  Now I know where to go for a good chocolate fix.  ;)  They also have delicious ice cream and fancy cheeses.  We found out they carry my favorite cheese, which we haven't been able to find in a year (not that we've looked around much!).  But the store we get our meat at stopped carrying it, so it was nice to run into it there.  I picked out a chocolate bar, and Greg and I shared a scoop of ice cream while Kylen had one of their chocolate drinks.  Wish I had taken a picture or two!

Eventually, it was time to head home and get ready for school the next morning.  It was a busy weekend!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!


Sunday, May 3, 2015

April Update

What to say?  What to say?  It's May!

It's been a social month for me!  I can strongly feel the changes as I move into the transitional period before Kylen graduates.  It's nice!  I'm less stressed and am enjoying more time for friendships.  I recently went on several outings without "my little boy", including a Bunko night for homeschool moms, a tea field trip through our co-op (meant for daughters and moms, but I went too!), a "retirement" party for a friend, and lunch out with a friend.  Between visits at homes, youth groups, homeschool skate, co-op, and birthday parties, Kylen also had plenty of opportunities for socialization.

As far as school, we should be able to finish up some subjects by the end of May but will continue a couple weeks into June for others.  Kylen has been talking about getting a job, although I'm not sure how practical that will be without a car.  He likes to keep busy!  We are doing the annual big push on our yard this weekend: weeding and planting flowers.  I'm always surprised by how much work it is, but the weather has been breathtakingly gorgeous, and that sure helps things, doesn't it?

May your May be May-Day perfect!