Friday, June 30, 2017


The month of June was an insanely busy month for us. It's mostly Brynne's fault. Eli and I are content to just sit at home doing our thing. But that Brynne just has to be busy, so we let her drag us all around.

Here is a summary of our month:

My heart almost broke dropping her off the first day.

Brynne attended summer school this month. She studied math, English, genetics, and newspaper, and then took some elective courses including cooking, survival camp, and the building of a ground drone. The students took pre- and post-tests in math and English, and Brynne scored the highest in math of anyone in her class. If you are a homeschool mom I am sure you can relate to my feeling of relief not only that she did well but that apparently I have been an adequate enough teacher for her over the past 7 years. Really I am just so incredibly proud of her and am excited to see how she does in public school. I think she's going to knock their socks off.

I coached Brynne's softball team this year. We did not have a successful season in numbers ending with a 2-9 record, but we had several close games, learned a lot, and had fun, I hope. I have decided that being a coach is not my calling so I have demoted myself back down to dugout mom and secretary for next year and am going to let this year's assistant coach take over. (In all honesty, I only agreed to coach this year because there wasn't anybody else to do it. Motivating mom, I am. Technical coach, I am not.) The team sure was cute, though! And, Brynne really blossomed this year in softball! She found that she is an excellent 3rd baseman, moving there from 2nd base. And she was without a doubt our most consistent hitter, hitting the ball at almost every single at bat this year. She rocked!

I am the slowest runner .. but I actually beat a few people!

The first Saturday in June I went to visit my blogging-turned-in-real-life friend, Jodi, who used to live in West Virginia but now only lives two hours away from me. We had such a nice time just talking, eating, drinking wine, and antique shopping. She also supported me in a 5k for Pathways Community Health as we have one of their facilities in our town. I beat my personal record by about a minute.

Brynne participated in two volleyball camps and a basketball camp at University of Central Missouri. She always walks away from those camps a better player.

While Brynne was at summer school and various camps, Eli was staying up late and sleeping till lunchtime. In the afternoons he did some schoolwork. We have continued on with our daily Fix It Grammar lessons, he has read every day from 30 minutes to 1 hour, and he started a new online math class with Mr. D. Can I just say THANK YOU LORD FOR MR. D!!! Eli has only been participating for two weeks but he has actually been smiling when he finishes his lessons each day! He said that Mr. D is the ticket for math. Thank goodness! Eli has also been going to speech therapy, and next week our family is traveling to Dallas to attend the National Stuttering Association national conference for the first time. He is really excited about that!

On Friday nights we are participating in a family bowling league. It's fun to play 9 pin and win a little money. The kids are really enjoying it!

We have had some visits from Dawson and Alyssa. They are moving to Dallas starting this weekend so seeing them has been good for our souls.

Older brothers rock.

Finally, Brynne celebrated her birthday a little early with a swimming party and sleepover at Kyndal's. One of her friends is moving away this summer, so she wanted to have her party before she moves. The girls had a great time swimming, playing washers and dodgeball, and making tie dye shirts. Twelve year old girls are fun!

And that was our month! Brynne is done with summer school and softball now, but that doesn't mean our July looks any less busy.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tuesday Coffee Chat

Three things on your Summer To Do List ...

I covered some of this last week on Wednesday Hodgepodge but it was more in relation to us as a family. On this post I will get more specific about some things I am doing, as the adult Nicole who has a life outside her children and extended family.

1. This Saturday morning Kyndal and I are flying to Las Vegas to see Backstreet Boys in concert! This will be our 4th time. I believe we have seen them on every American tour they have had. The first time was in 1999 on Kyndal's 5th birthday. We saw them in Kansas City. When Kyndal was 16 we went with my sister and niece to see them with New Kids on the Block in Tulsa. That was the funnest thing I have ever done in my life, bar none! Then we saw them at an outdoor concert at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City just a couple of years ago. It never gets old. We scream like teenagers every time they come out onto the stage and sing and do the choreography like we are part of the band. Groupies all the way!

2. We will head to the lake with our Okie friends at the end of July and beginning of August for our annual Lake School week. This is my favorite week of the year. Megan and I do all of our homeschool planning for the year, drink wine, read, and relax. The kids (ages 13, 12, 11, 10) play the Wii, swim, play board games, read, and just have fun! We always try to do some kind of lesson while we are there. Last year was an Olympic theme. This year we are thinking of doing some lessons and activities using MythBusters.

3. I have some 5Ks planned and even my first 10k! Brynne, my mom, and I will run the KC Royals 5k in August. In September I will run the KC Zoo Run, which is four miles, and the kids and I will then run the 1 mile Fun Run. Then the next weekend I will be running my first 10k with some ladies from my Insanity Live! class and running group.

Of course there are the regular summer activities with kids ... camps, swimming, relaxing. We are also heading to Dallas in a week to attend the National Stuttering Conference for the first time.

Busy, busy!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Yeah, I know today is Thursday. It has been a crazy week! I have been enjoying a morning at home feeling a bit like a zombie but chugging lots of coffee. Blogging is something I have had the hardest time fitting into my schedule lately, but I felt like a little Hodgepodge reflection this morning.

The first day of summer is this week. What are 10 things you'd put on your list of quintessential summer activities? Will you try to manage all 10 this summer?

Our summer is half over, so we have been at the majority of these things already. Most of them will continue over the next month and a half.
1. Swimming
2. DQ (ours is only open during warm seasons)
3. Softball
4. Lake
5. Kids staying up late and sleeping in
6. 4th of July festivities
7. Grilling hotdogs
8. Sports camps for the kids
9. Lesson planning for the upcoming school year for me
10. Kansas City Royals baseball

Do you collect seashells when you're at the beach? What do you do with them once you get them home? What's your favorite place to comb for seashells? How many of the Best Beaches for Hunting Seashells have you visited? Which one would you most like to visit?

I do not collect seashells, but I do enjoy looking for them while on the beach. The only beach we really get to regularly is in Pensacola and there's not much in the way of shell combing there. We could head to Sanibel Island or another area with more shelling, but I wouldn't say that we are interested enough in it to do it.

At a snail's pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up ... which 'shell' phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain.

Definitely go back into your shell. There has been way too much going, people, and activity for me this past month, and I do not operate at my best under those conditions. I, so desperately, want to go back into my shell and hibernate in my house with some mindless television, coffee, and good books. What I wouldn't do for a cool, rainy day. Most people just don't get how important, even necessary, it is for me to have a lot of alone time, peaceful days, and minimal activity. It is not just a mental thing but a physical one, as well. When I have been around too many people with too many activities I grow extremely weary and even start to feel physically unwell. I feel like I have to defend that all the time, even to those closest to me who cannot relate. But it really is just the way that I am, and I am prepared to protect it at all costs. In fact, it has become a sort of mission of mine.

What summer activity do you dislike? Why?

Sweat. Here is a newsflash. I DO NOT LIKE SUMMER! Actually, there is not much about it that I like AT ALL. Out of the activities above, I do not like to: swim, be at hot softball practices and games, be at the lake unless it's a rainy day, stay up late, or listen to the noise of the 4th of July. Instead, I would rather pick up some DQ sandwiches for dessert to eat after we have our grilled hotdogs, then sit down to do some reading (even lesson planning is relaxing to me) and watch a Royals baseball game on t.v. And I would prefer to do all of those things when it's about 45 degrees outside, and raining or snowing.

What's something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Does that bother you?

Respect. Just look around. It's so sad.

Insert your own random thought here.

Can't wait to see Backstreet Boys in Las Vegas in a little over a week!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tuesday Coffee Chat

I realize it's Wednesday, but yesterday I never had a chance to sit down with my coffee and my computer at the same time. Today's question is a fun one, and one we should ask ourselves from time to time. It's good for the soul to be reminded.

What is the best compliment you've received lately?

Last weekend I went to visit a friend. While there we did some antique shopping, just browsing, really. I came upon an original Risk game with all of the pieces, in mint condition, for $15.00. On a whim I bought it for Dawson.

When I got home I texted him a picture of it. Soon, he made a post on Snapchat. In it, he called me a freakin' GOAT.

Now, I have been called lots of things in my life, most of which I will not mention here nor admit, but a GOAT is not one of them.

I had to go to the worldwide web to find out whether I should be offended, because generation gap! I was not offended. GOAT means: Greatest of All Time. And, not only did he think I was a GOAT, but he thought I was a freakin' GOAT!

Sometimes being a parent is a thankless job. Thankfully, I have kind kids and get a heartfelt 'thank you' pretty often. My adult kids even say nice things about me on social media from time to time. I feel very loved by my kids. But this little compliment is one that will definitely stick with me.