Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mike's Ride n' Shoot

Mike organized an after work ride this last week for the guys in his motorcycle club and a few were able to come. They met at the Pickle Butte shooting range then took turns trying out each others guns and visiting about them. We set up the little BBQ, a table of food and enjoyed the evening. We lucked out with nice weather and a beautiful sunset.  Unfortunately, Mike had a nasty cold but everything else turned out great.

My birthday

Well, I've been trying to ignore it but this year I turned 40. I've been having a battle with myself because I should be very thankful that I am alive and lucky enough to be turning 40 after having stage 3 Melanoma skin cancer. I've also been feeling very emotional about it and how fast time has flown by. Having Alysha gone for five months and trying to hold in my feelings about it along with going back to college and being crazy busy has been a lot harder than I would admit. Some days I feel ancient and others I can't believe that I am 40 because I don't feel like it. I feel like every decade I've been a totally different person and I am really pushing myself and working super hard to be a more educated and successful person this decade but it isn't easy. My children are growing up way to fast and Alysha has proved that I am not ready for it. I was expecting to be able to embarrass her for another two years but then she decided to go live with her dad for the school year. I wanted to scream "No" but made myself say that she was big enough to make her own decisions. Probably one of the hardest things I have never done. I was truly hoping she would change her mind but as she started school in Florida I had to except that she was actually going to stay. My birthday wish was that she would come home and I lucked out that she actually did want to come home. Now that she is back I feel a little less unstable and after finishing up my first 5 week class with an "A" I am a little bit more confident that I can actually pull this off.

Yummy food at the Hyde Park Street Fair

For my birthday I was able to go to the Hyde Park Street Fair to watch friends of mine belly dance and then Mike and the kids looked around at all the cool booths with me. My actual birthday was crazy with school and dance class but when I got home I had family there to greet me with yummy peach and apple pies. Now that it has passed I feel silly to have been dreading it so much.

It's never to early to be thinking about Halloween.

So sometime over the summer I drove by the College of Idaho and saw a huge pile of super large card board boxes in the grass getting wet from the sprinklers. I quickly went home and got Mike to take the trailer down there to save them. I tried to find the security guard that is usually driving around the campus to ask permission but he was no where to be found. So I picked out the best three boxes and we hauled them home. Mike wasn't too excited about them taking a big chunk out of his little garage but I tried to flatten them as much as possible. Plus they only need to be there until after Halloween, not like it'll be forever. :)

Anyways, a month or so later I finally pulled them out and started trying to decide what I was going to paint. I thought about a Dr. Seuss theme since Mike is the Grinch but Ashley has been talking about being Little Red Riding Hood since last year. So I started trying to combined a few different Story Book characters into my first of four murals. This Hardy's Haunted House is not going to be as big as the previous ones because I'm am barely going to have time to slap paint on this set of murals.

I have finished the first mural of the 3 little pigs, the big bad wolf and little red riding hood and have started on a two piece candy house from Hansel and Gretel with the gingerbread man. Hoping to get to Goldilocks and the three bears next.

After school activities

Just because life isn't busy enough we also started after school activities. Owen finally started Cub Scouts. I say finally because I have been trying to get a hold of someone from the Boy Scouts of America the last two summers. I finally asked my mother-in-law Reva if she could find out who I needed to talk to through her church and that same day she had a name and number for me. I was able to get a hold of the Den Leader for our area and two weeks later he went to his first Pack meeting. He is super excited and has had a lot of fun so far.

Ashley started gymnastics at the YMCA as a trial to see if she likes it. I didn't get a very good photo because of all the windows, too much background light. She has fun but her long legs get in the way and her feet drag on the ground while she is on the bars. She was amazed at how sore her whole body was after the first class.

Ashley also started guitar lessons at American Music once a week. We finally after three years of going around and around with the school got her some extra help with her reading but it is at the same time as orchestra would be. So we decided to sign her up for guitar lessons after school instead and she really wanted to learn to play the guitar and wasn't to excited about the violin. So far she is doing really good and she is learning a few Taylor Swift songs.

As for me, I'm really pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Liz has me teaching a basic belly dance class on Monday nights at her dance studio in Nyssa, Oregon. Some days I feel like it went really well other days I'm wondering why she let me up on the stage. As if that isn't enough I'm also taking a progressive fusion belly dance class in Boise on Tuesday evening at the Cairo Fusion Dance studio. Which is very challenging and a totally different style than I am use to.

I also am now part of three different clubs at CWI. I first signed up for the CWI Web Development Club so I hopefully can learn more and work on a few projects that relate to my classes. Then I signed up for BPA Business Professionals of America to learn more about being professional. Then I was notified that I qualified for Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa. 

So it is going to be a crazy busy year....

Mike finished the tree house and it is AWESOME. I don't have the best photo of it, so you'll have to stop by and see it. He has been taking on more things with the kids since I'm not at home like I use to be. All the fun things like helping with homework, making dinner, driving them to their activities. He is doing great. :)

First Day of School

Ashley started 6th grade in the middle school at Heritage Community Charter this year. It took her a week or so to get use to switching classes every hour but she is now a pro at it. Luckily she is still in the same building she has been in the last three years so it isn't a huge change.

Owen started 4th grade and switches back and forth between his English and Spanish teachers like he has for the last three years so not much of a change for him.

Alysha on the other hand, decided to change everything around and go to school where her dad just moved to in St. John's, Florida. She thought changing schools would be great but after about three weeks she was ready to come home.

I started my second year of college at CWI but my first semester in the Web Development program. They only have 20 places each year and I managed to get one of them.  I now have only one four hour long class Mon-Fri in Boise at the Ada campus. The drive in the mornings is crazy with all the traffic trying to get to Boise all at the same time plus road construction. The first two weeks were really rough and I was really thinking maybe I got myself into something I couldn't wrap my brain around, computer server administration learning Windows Servers and Linux. I can't say I'm a pro at it but it is starting to make a lot more sense now.

(I'm jumping ahead a bit) Alysha is now back and just restarted school here. Everyone is super excited that she is back and she has a new appreciation for being back at her high school.

Idaho Botanical Gardens

The end of August the kids and I went to the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise for Bug Day. They had all kinds of fun activities and demonstrations for the kids. We spent a couple hours there learning more about insects and enjoyed the beautiful gardens.

Playing Bug Bingo

Watching all the Koi in the pond

Learning about bees

Being Dung Bettles