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Hawaii – 2.14.16

Day Four – 2.14.16 – 20th Vow Renewal and Feast at Lele

Our 20th Anniversary day is here! I’d been in contact with Anita at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Kihei since August. She had it all set up for us to renew our vows on our anniversary, which just happened to be the first Sunday of Lent. I called when we got to Hawaii to make sure everything was good, but didn’t get any return calls. Just to be safe, we showed up to the church about an hour early to make sure everything was set and to find out if we needed to anything specific.

They had NO CLUE we were coming! Turns out, Anita had left and moved to Texas in November and didn’t tell them anything about our vow renewal. Of course I had all the information with me, so they found Candi, the church administrator, for us. She was AMAZING and got everything set up and ready to go.

The mass was crazy long because it was the start of Lent, there were tons of visitors, they introduced the Catechumens that morning, and there were lots of announcements.

Finally, after Communion and what seemed like the longest mass ever, Father Watanabe told everyone he had one more announcement. You could feel the near silent groans from the congregation – they’d already been there FOREVER. Then he announced that they were doing a wedding blessing for a couple celebrating their 20th anniversary. More near silent groans as I’m sure they all thought we were just some couple vacationing over Valentine’s Day and decided to renew our vows for an anniversary that was happening sometime this year.

We all 4 walked to the front of church, and when Father Watanabe introduced us and mentioned that we had been married right there at that church exactly 20 years ago to the day by Father Jack, the mood changed. People got a little more tolerant, and the older people got all happy and clapped and smiled that we had the kids with us.

The rest went off without a hitch :-)

2014 01


After the ceremony, we spent some time in Kihei, shopping and eating awesome lunch at an outdoor joint before heading back to the house to relax. Jason was content hanging out in the hammock in the backyard watching the waves. Dan, Keira, and I walked into Lahaina to do some shopping at all the beach front shops. It was a lot of fun! We found some cool stuff nestled in among the tourist things. Of course Keira found ice cream to enjoy 😉

That evening, we had reservations for the Feast at Lele, which was the same location as the luau we went to when we got married. It was only a block from the house we were staying in, so that meant we could walk and enjoy the evening. We got cleaned up headed out early so we could enjoy the pre-party. As always, mai-tais for adults and kids were free.


All drinks come with live flowers in them – which Jason had to give to Keira so he didn’t DIE :-) And of course Dan had to give her bunny ears in the photo. Can’t take him anywhere!

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Not long after we arrived, we were given leis, which Jason respectfully declined, and shown to our table. It was in a great spot so we could see everything – the stage, the water – it was perfect! We were ready for our feast – five courses of food from five different cultures, each accompanied by song and dance of that culture.

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Drinks were included, so the kids tried one of everything. Yes, we are THAT family!

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Dan and I enjoyed our first mai-tais.

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Then we tried something else from the menu – a yummy blended something or other.

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We just celebrated 20 years of marriage. We have our kids with us. The house is less than 2 blocks away. The meal is five courses, and we figured why not enjoy?! So we did. We topped off our evening with some embellished coffee drinks served with dessert just for us.

Here’s to 20 more years, Honey!

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***I’m pretty sure the kids walked a good 50 feet in front of us the entire way home!

Hawaii 2.13.16

Day Three – 2.13.16 – Snorkeling Molokini Crater and Turtle Town

This was Keira’s must do, even though she does NOT like snorkeling. I feel like an entire day on, near, by, in water was appealing to her. We all LOVED it! Got up fairly early to be there on time. We had yummy Kona coffee and continental breakfast while we waited for everyone to board. It was a BEAUTIFUL morning!

There are definitely worse places to be :-)

01 Boat


On the way to Molokini crater, we saw a TON of whales! We were even fortunate enough to see a giant whale fully breech and then do a black splash on the water. VERY cool to see! Definitely do not have to pay for a specific whale watching tour if you go out on the water for any other thing. It took us awhile to get to the island because we had to slow down for whales, but it was totally worth it.

The snorkeling was really  neat! Molokini is a volcano crater that is just out of the water. It’s a HUGE drop off, which is perfect for snorkeling. It’s calm and the fish like to hang out in there. Jason and Dan liked to actually dive under while Keira and I were content to just float on the top and look down.







While people finished the snorkeling time, the kids decided to have some fun on the water slide off of the back of the boat.

Jason loved it!



Keira did it, but I can tell you that is definitely a look of regret on her face!



We enjoyed an awesome BBQ lunch on deck while we drove from Molokini to Turtle Town for the second half of our snorkeling adventure. On the way, we all saw a Coast Guard helicopter circling something in the ocean. We thought maybe it was protecting some whales or something. There are very strict rules about how close boats and people can get to the whales.


Jason and Keira watching the Coast Guard helicopter.



Everyone onboard was oohing and aahing and taking selfies with the helicopter in the background. Then the captain got on the loud speaker and announced that we’d be making a detour. Turns out, there were a couple kayakers in trouble and the helicopter was out there for a water rescue! Our boat and a half dozen other boats cruised on over and kind of circled around the rescue operation just in case.


Dan decided he’d like to help, too :-)

08 Coastguard Hand


We could hear the Coast Guard radioing about the rescue through our captain’s bridge. We were also close enough to see the guy jump out of the helicopter and catch the basket as it lowered. It was pretty cool to see people get put in the basket and hauled up to the helicopter.


Not something you get to see every day!


When everyone was safely onboard the helicopter, they left. Another boat went to pick up the kayak and haul it to shore with them. At that point, we were off to Turtle Town for more snorkeling! The sea turtles were way cool and big and fun. They’d swim right up to you! You could’ve reached out and touched them if you wanted – but apparently they don’t like that, so we didn’t press our luck. We’d had quite enough snorkeling for one day, so we hung out on the boat, where it turns out you could see more turtles from up there than you could from in the water! It was pretty cool :-)

A great snorkeling trip, for sure!

We got back around 2:00 p.m. Keira LOVES the water and the ocean and kept saying she just wanted to play on a sandy beach and in the water. We all chatted and figured we’re wet, we’re fed, and we’re close to the beach – so we headed over to Kihei to the public beach to cross that item off of Keira’s list :-)

Despite what he may say about the beach, it looks to me like Jason did indeed enjoy himself!



Keira ALWAYS loves being in the water. She definitely takes after her Mom on that one!


Despite all the sunblock he used, Jason was DONE with the sun for the day. We had the top off of the Jeep, so he put his hoodie on and wore his hat crooked so he could block the sun from hitting his face :-)

12 J Car Ride


We decided to walk into Lahaina, check out the largest banyan tree on the planet (fills an entire city block), and find some yummy food. But first Dan and I had to enjoy some Longboard beer on the lanai!

13 Jodie Dan House


Another great day! Another great meal! Looking forward to Day Four – our anniversary!

Good Night :-)

14 Goodnight




Hawaii – 2.12.16

Day Two – 2.12.16 – Road to Hana

My “must do” for the trip was driving the Road to Hana. I remembered it from way back when we got married and loved it! I wanted the kids to experience it, and I also wanted to hike all the way through the Bamboo forest in Haleakala National Park. It was raining too hard last time and we didn’t get very far.

But first things first – we got our first morning view from our Lanai. It definitely did not suck!

0212 01 Lanai


Jason LOVED watching the water and the waves. I think he could’ve stood there all day.

0212 02 Lanai


Ku’au Store in Paia for breakfast sandwiches and to grab some water and snacks for the drive. May or may not have been the best breakfast sandwich ever! They also have the coolest fence ever :-)

0212 01 Kuau Store


Hookipa Beach was supposed to have great surfing, which we really wanted to see. We stopped to check it out, but it turns out the waves were too big so the beach was closed.

Dan decided to “relax” at the beach???

0212 01 Hookapi


Next up, Keanae for some amazing views! Jason could’ve stared at the waves all day – again.

0212 01 Keanae


Keira, on the other hand, was always on a mission to find the largest snow cone possible (and banana bread – always banana bread – cuz it’s everywhere in Hawaii – fresh and warm and awesome).

0212 02 Keanae


Spelunking in the Hana Lava Tube anyone? It’s tough to photograph a dark cave-like thing, but it was really cool – believe me :-)

0212 01 lava tube


Waianapanapa State Park – so beautiful and so historic. The black sand beach was awesome!

0212 01 black sand


And our final destination – Haleakala National Park! The hike was fun and the views with all the bamboo were so cool! Walking through the forest is pretty eerie – if you stop and listen, the wind blowing the trees together makes music.

Big Ol’ Banyan Tree

0212 01 Banyan


Got Bamboo?

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I have to say that living at altitude was a definite plus when hiking a 2.5 mile trail uphill on vacation. At sea level, easy peasy!

And it was worth the hike to the end to see the 400 foot Waimoku Falls.

0212 01 falls


There wasn’t a lot of water on this day, but it was still pretty awesome. We had left pretty early in the day, so we decided to high-tail it home, as much as you can “high-tail it” on a narrow, winding, two-lane-but-sometimes-one-lane road with a speed limit of 30. We got almost all the way back to Ku’au before we had to stop and put the top on the Jeep due to rain. We stopped, conveniently, at a store where we got snacks and Dr. Pepper – who doesn’t like a Dr. Pepper on a long-ish drive?

Hawaii 2.11.16

A long long time ago, the Boedies went to Hawaii :-) Why did we go to Hawaii?

  1. The kids had February 12th and 15th off of school.
  2. Our 20th anniversary was on February 14th.
  3. We were all ready for some kind of beach vacation.

Ultimately, we decided to take the kiddos to Hawaii and renew our vows in the church we got married in. I don’t think I ever got around to actually blogging about our trip (which was fabulous, btw). So here goes . . .

Day One – 2.11.16 – Travel Day

We pulled the kids out of school one additional day on each end of the trip. Dan went all out and got us awesome tickets for the flight to and from Hawaii. Non-stop, comfy seats that reclined all the way into a bed, all the drinks (and food) we wanted, and free movies for the entire flight. The flight was amazing and comfortable and right on time!

Are they actually smiling, at each other, and visibly enjoying themselves in the presence of their parents out in public?

0211 01 DIA

I made the awesome decision to have a Lei Welcome when we got to Hawaii!

0211 02_01 Honolulu

Great idea until Jason had an immediate allergic reaction and had to take off his beautiful living flower lei :-) I’m giving him “the look” because I was trying to take a picture of me and Jason and he was using my phone as a mirror to make sure his hair looked OK after the flight!

0211 02 Honolulu

We had a bit of a layover in Honolulu before our connection to Maui, so we had some lunch and some fun with the leis.

0211 03 Honolulu


Jeep rental picked up – success!

Drive to rental house in the dark – success! (Well mostly – we only tried to enter the wrong house once.)

Trip to grocery store for food and drinks – success!

Settled into the house listening to the amazing waves crashing on the shore just a few yards from our back patio – success!

Good night’s sleep before our drive to Hana on Day Two – success!

Drive Time

With Jason driving himself all over now, I figured it was time to get started with Keira :-) She’ll be 14 in December, which means she can start driver’s training in June (yes, I really said that – next summer!!!). I had told her she could start driving the driveway when she was tall enough to safely reach the pedals AND see over the dash.

Well, she’s been growing all summer like there’s no tomorrow and her legs are officially as long as mine – which isn’t saying much, but the girl’s got legs up to her neck!

Yesterday, we borrowed Jason’s car to go buy grain for the horses . . . on the way we filled it up with gas and I fixed Lola’s skirt when we got home . . . so I figured I had “purchased” some extra time in Jason’s baby.

So Keira put on shoes and moved the seat up and forward and we were off! She did great – up and down the driveway a few times, complete with backing up and stopping at the end and blinking and driving around the cul de sac before coming back up the driveway.

The first trip was a little jerky, but by trip #3, she was doing great!


Looking forward to more trips up and down the driveway to get my Princess some practice!

Oh Time – Where Have You Gone?

I’m old enough to have close friends sending kids off to college for the first time. I’ve been crying with many of them for the past month as they figure out how to say a temporary goodbye to their babies. I’ve also been the freak sitting at my desk (or at the stoplight) crying as I read about friends of friends dropping THEIR babies off at college.

We’re not there yet, but it’s getting closer every day.

I have proof . . .

Photo 1 – what they looked like just last year when I put them on the bus for the first day of school :-)


Photo 2 – what they looked like just last week as I put them in the car for their first day of school :-)


Yikes! WTH is happening?!


Time to put up something else :-)

We’ve been enjoying every single second of summer so far! I’ve got lots of photos I’d like to share . . . but haven’t had time to download them.

In short (or not) . . .

Keira – horse shows, riding in our very own arena out front, playing with the horses and kittens, summer swim team with friends, friends staying over, trip to Breckenridge with a friend. Did I mention horse? She’s having a great summer so far!

Jason – baseball, baseball, hanging out with friends, getting grounded for getting home late, baseball, baseball, learning how to drive a stick shift, volunteering to go on every errand so he can drive the Audi now that he’s figured it out, baseball, baseball. Have I mentioned baseball? He’s FINALLY back on the field and having a last! We’re headed to Phoenix this week for a tournament.

Jodie – work, mom taxi, work, mom taxi, muck stalls with Keira, mom taxi, sort and price items for Boy Scout garage sale, mom taxi, mom taxi, mom taxi. 63 more days of mom taxi before Jason gets his license. I. Can’t. Wait. I might even be more excited than Jason is about it . . . and he’s pretty darn excited!

Dan – work, work, work, watch Keira ride, work, watch Jason play baseball, work work work. Business is good and he’s keeping busy – even hired a couple more people last week!

Jared – wait, what?! Jason’s coach is staying with us for the summer. He’s here from Texas for the summer to coach the team and needed a host family – so we gave him Grandma’s room and the truck’s spot in the garage for the summer. While it’s different having a 24-year old in the house, it’s been great. Shakes things up a bit. AND he gives Jason a ride to the baseball stuff . . . I just have to pick him up. So there’s that added bonus. Very nice kid! He’s only been here a week, but we’re enjoying having him around.

So there you have it – our first 10 days of summer break in a nutshell (Seriouly? Only 10 days?!).

I hope you’re all enjoying summer as much as we are!!!

The Parenting Struggle Is Real

REALLY real.

It’s long – so please stick with it. I think it’s so important and worth the time (not to read my ramblings, but at least to watch the video).

You may or may not know that last May, one of Jason’s friends committed suicide. Took her dad’s gun, loaded it, went to her room, shot herself. Her mom came home and found her.

This is sooooooo definitely not something a 14 year old (or ‘any’ year old) should have to deal with. The squad had a memorial for her at one of the kids’ houses – cookies, balloons, stories. MacKenzie’s family attended.

A lot has happened in a year. Within the school district (the majority of kids come from well-off middle-class families) in the past year, there have been numerous suicide attempts and a number that have succeeded. It’s so sad. The administrators are wondering WTH is going on and WTH do we need to do to stop this culture of suicide?!

I have all kinds of opinions on what’s happening and why these kids with seemingly everything going for them and everything to live for are choosing to end their own lives. If you want to know them, call me.

But for now, I’ll say that they took a step. A first responder in the area walked into the school after winter break, sat down in the Principal’s office and had a very frank conversation about what had  happened over break with a number of kids at our school alone. He said they needed to get real and find a way to get through to these kids.

So they had an assembly. Unfortunately, the assembly was on the 1 year “anniversary” of MacKenzie’s death. Not intentional, and possibly something they should have changed, but they decided to leave it as it was scheduled and made it very clear to all the kids that this was not some kind of memorial or celebration or anything like that for this one child.

None of the kids wanted to be there, but they all went. I chatted with Jason afterward about it. He said it was horrible and awesome. He said they finally treated the kids like adults. Finally told them how it really is. He said he thought they made a huge impact and finally got through to the kids – at least a large portion of them. I asked if he thought it would make a difference. He said absolutely.

The thing that hit home the most? MacKenzie’s dad stood up there in front of 1000 high schoolers and told them what happened that terrible morning – in detail. Then he went on about how he had hoped to come there that day and provide all of the kids with a message of hope . . . but ended up saying (yelling if you ask Jason) that he was still too angry with his daughter to forgive her or give those kids a message of hope – because for those left behind, there is no hope of ever getting that loved one back.

The biggest impression on Jason was watching his friend’s dad go from sad, to smiling at memories of his daughter, to yelling because he was so angry.

What I took from Jason was that NONE of those kids had ever before thought about what happens to those they leave behind. It’s like they think they just get over it and move on.

The first responder also spoke, as did a counselor from the area. Not a school counselor, but a local counselor who himself had tried, and failed, to kill himself when he was 13.

The evening after the assembly, they had a meeting for the parents. The same people spoke and basically told the parents what they had told their kids that day.

Here’s a link to it – it’s worth watching if you have the time.


It is almost 2 hours long. If you don’t have the time, please just watch the first part where MacKenzie’s father speaks (starts at ~5 minutes). And have a box of Kleenex ready. The honesty and detail . . . I can’t imagine.


Fast forward to Monday of last week. We get an email from school on Monday afternoon telling us that a Freshman has committed suicide. She stole her dad’s gun, ran away, and someone found her body Monday morning. Of course the kids were hearing about this through the grapevine all morning.

Another friend of Jason’s (not a squad friend, but a friend nonetheless). WTF IS GOING ON?!?! I thought you said the assembly had an impact? Would change things!

He asked the same question, without the curse words. Then he tells me how he figured it was coming because everyone was texting everyone Sunday night asking if anyone knew where Riley was, etc. etc. etc. Um Dude?! This is not stuff you keep to yourself. You do NOT go through these things by yourself. When you start getting messages like this, you TELL US! We may not be able to help Riley, but at least we can be there FOR YOU as much as possible.

Then he says “She’s literally THE last person you would’ve ever thought would do this.”

I said “Dude, that’s what scares the SHIT out of me!”

He just said “I know. It sucks.”

A horrible couple days at school. Nobody wanted to do anything, especially not study and prepare for finals.


Fast forward a whopping 2 days to Thursday of last week. Another email with the title “Sad News.” My heart sinks as I read about another freshman, this time a boy, who killed himself Wednesday night. His 15th birthday. He killed himself after the family birthday party. Suddenly that post that all the kids saw on Instragram about his birthday had a new meaning. School said they were making a general announcement at 1:15 to the kids about Kai. Anyone who needed to come pick up their kids early was welcome to do so.

I texted Jason and asked if I needed to come get him. No.

Do you know this boy? No answer (crap!).

Do you need to skip baseball practice tonight? No.

I pull up to school and the high schoolers are outside in a giant circle holding hands crying, praying, grieving, just being together. It was like one of those dance circles where someone goes in the middle and dances, then someone else does. Except this time, they were going into the middle of the circle to say anything they had to say about what was going on, how they felt, etc.

OMG this is not something high schoolers – or ANYONE – should have to be doing ever . . . not to mention a week before school is out. Where is the happy? The year book signing? The fun and games? The making summer plans?

Turns out Jason knew this boy, but was not a “friend.”


What the hell do we-they-them do with the last week of school? Finals? So many kids are REALLY grieving and receiving counseling.

And who wants to go to school each day not knowing what kind of horrible news you might hear that day? It’s definitely something they’re looking forward to each morning.

I just want them out of school. Done for the summer. They all need a break from “it.”

The school did not cancel finals, as they shouldn’t have.

BUT, each department got together to see how to best handle the current situation, and each teacher sent out an email to the parents of his or her students.

Turns out, most of the teachers are NOT cancelling finals. They expect the kids to be there for finals; however, the final cannot make their grade go down – it can only make it go up. If your child just cannot properly prepare (those closest to the kids are having a really hard time) then the parents can email the teacher and they can talk. If the kids are not in class taking their final, they need to be in the counselor’s office getting help during that time.


I get it. They’re trying to help the kids and relieve the stress. And relieve stress it did – Jason’s stress level decreased 10-fold! I still made him take all of his finals – AND STUDY for them. But knowing you weren’t going to ruin your grade was a huge stress relief. (I have opinions on THIS, too – just ask me what they are. I think it’s the ROOT of the problem.)

***My fear? This will end up being like some horrible horror movie where kids make a pact . . . and one of the group chooses to literally take the hit so the rest of the kids can get out of finals. The workings of the teenage mind . . . they just don’t understand the FINALITY of it all . . . and that whatever they are feeling NOW will NOT go on forever. Ugh.


So Jason comes home Tuesday. Asks if he can go hang out a friend’s house and have a campfire (this friend is not in the same school district and they were finished with school last week). We’re like “Um HAYEL no! It’s finals week and you have to study!” He then goes into which finals he has and how he doesn’t have any studying to do for the very next day (no finals – they are just final projects for those classes and he’s already done) and and and.

We struggle with a decision and talk and hem and haw until Friend is at the door to pick him up.

We ultimately decide to let him go, but make it clear it will not be a late night. I will pick him up at 9:00.

He’s been working hard in school.

He’s been working through all of the “stuff” that’s going on.

But in the end, quite frankly, he just needed to spend time with friends. Friends that AREN’T from his school. Friends with something else to talk about. Friends with regular teenage stuff to talk about. Friends who are already enjoying summer and aren’t stressed out. Friends who just want to hang out and have a campfire.

Friends who just want to be teenagers.

Those hours did WONDERS for him. He loved every minute of it. When he got in the car he said “That was the best night in a long time. We just hung out and had fun and talked and laughed. I think I found my people.”

He’s known these people for a long time (he went to daycare with T – they’ve literally been friends Jason’s entire life). It was just the therapy he needed.


So now what?

Who knows. I just know he’s looking forward to a summer of baseball with his friends, a week-long sailing trip around the Florida Keys with his Scout troop, and just existing and having a good time.

That’s all we want for him, too.

I See Dead People

Well – I don’t. But Jason did!

Since October he’s been excited about the HOSA field trip to the morgue. It finally happened last Friday night. Yep – they went to downtown Denver to the morgue from 6-10:00 p.m. on a Friday night. Sounds like fun to me! YIKES!

I’ll give a condensed version of what he told us – but he absolutely LOVED it!

  • There wasn’t a new body available that day, so they got to “use” an 80 year old woman that had donated her body to the morgue for student research and learning – she had been dead long enough that she had started decomposing a little bit (fun, right?!).
  • They covered up her face, hands, and feet because apparently if you see those things, that’s what makes you identify with and connect with the body as a person.
  • They took off her “chest plate” and got to see everything preserved inside.
  • They got to hold . . . kidney, heart, lungs . . . he was surprised how small the kidneys are.
  • When they took out the lung, it was still attached to everything, including the tongue. Um, yuck!
  • They took off her skull and they got to hold her brain and pass it around. No joke.
  • When the brain was out, they got to see the spinal cord and what’s inside and how it all attaches.
  • They got to pass around an arm. Yes, really.
  • The morgue had shaved her head, and when they took the top of the skull off, they passed that around. Jason said that was the only really creepy part because it had little tiny hairs you could touch and see, which made you realize this was an actual person. All I could think of was that Play Do barbershop guy.

So so so much more – but YIKES! Hubby could barely stand to listen to Jason talk about it!

I was 195% floored at what they got to do and see and touch and hold! I didn’t know what to expect from the trip (even though I did sign the waiver with all the details) . . . but I certainly did not expect all the hands-on stuff they got to do and see and learn. CRAZY!

Jason thought it was absolutely amazing. Loved every minute of it. He also though that getting home at 11:30 p.m. after a night “out” in Denver with other high schoolers was pretty cool 😉 (Note to Jason – there are other ways to have fun and get home late with our approval – just saying!)

15 years old getting to have these experiences.


I’m glad he loves it – because there is no way you’d catch me doing this stuff!

He Found His “Thing”

I’ve mentioned before that Jason had an epiphany last year – his Freshman year – that he wanted to do something in Science. He just didn’t know what. He had the opportunity to take Principles of Biomedical Science in school (really? Definitely not an opportunity I had!). He LOVED it.

This year, he took Biomedical Science, Biology, and Forensic Science.

OMG does he absolutely LOVE Forensics! Loved it enough that he joined HOSA – it’s basically club for high school students who want to work in the medical field – Future Health Professionals.

His favorite unit in Forensics so far? The brain. L.O.V.E.D. the unit on brains. Promptly decided he wants to be a neurologist. What?!

Some things he’s said to me and Dan this year that make me wonder “Who IS this kid? And where did he come from?!”


“Mom – can you remind me to get online at midnight Sunday so I can sign up for the trip to the morgue that’s in May? Only a certain number of kids get to go and I want to make sure I get on the list.”

Um – Yes? He’s ecstatic – he got registered and will be taking a trip to the morgue May 13th – from 6-9 p.m. Our doctor friend told him to take the mintiest thing he could find and hold it up to his nose the entire time!


“Hey Mom – are we doing anything from 3-4 on the 5th?”

No – why?

“Well – I signed up to listen to a speaker who’s coming to school. She’s a transplant doctor. She’s going to bring real human organs and everything! I mean, they’re in that preservative stuff, but she said she’s got a couple livers and one of them even has cancer that we get to see!”

The excitement in his voice . . . wow. And Dan is just like, Dude – seriously? That sounds HORRIBLE!


“Um Mom? Now listen before you say no. But can you get me out of school next Friday?”


“Cuz my friend Jack’s Mom works for the CU health department and there’s this giant new medical campus at the University of Colorado and she was invited to go on this tour of it and listen to doctors talk and they get to see all the stuff they can do there and did you know doctors from CU performed one of the first transplants ever? And well, she can’t go but she asked if her son Jack could go because he loves medical stuff and wants to be a doctor and they said sure. They also told her to have him invite up to 5 friends because they want as many people there as they can. So anyway, it’s from 8-2:30 next Friday in Denver. And if I get all my school work done ahead of time and get all my other stuff done can you PLEASE take me out of school so I can go?”

Seriously – who in their right MIND would say no to their 15 year old wanting to take a tour of a brand new medical campus??? I can bet you a million dollars he’ll learn more on that tour than he ever would attending school on a Friday during the last month of school.

So I will be transporting Jason, Jack, and Caroline up to Denver next Friday morning so they can get on the charter bus with the other tour attendees and spend the day at the Medical campus.


The kid came home from school a couple weeks ago excited beyond belief. For Forensics, they have to do a report and presentation on a job in the field of Forensic Science. They didn’t get to choose – they had to draw a card out of a hat.

He drew “Aviation Accident Investigator” – nope – not kidding!

He was telling Dan about it with the biggest grin on his face. Then Dan said “You know, Dude . . . one of my friends up in Denver is an aviation accident investigator. He’s been doing it for years. Want me to see if you can interview him?”

Coolest. Dad. EVER!

So last night, Jason spent an hour on the phone with a real live Aviation Accident Investigator who has spent the past 15 years of his life being the first on scene to aviation accidents involving death (yuck!) and reviewing photos and conducting pilot interviews for non-deadly accidents.

Jason had the BIGGEST smile on his face when he came out of his room.

Told us all about it and got his laptop so he could create the Google Docs PowerPoint shell because today was a work day in class for the projects.

In the car this morning on the way to school . . .

“Ya – I kinda was pretty pumped about my Forensics project and, well, I finished it last night. So now I’m not sure what I’ll do in class all day.”

Then . . .

“Why can’t we just take the classes we like? Like science. Why do I have to take British Literature and French and all that stuff, too?”

Well Dude – that’s what college is for :-)


Can I say how HAPPY I am that he’s found something he’s so in love with? Could it all change? Maybe. But for now, he’s loving it and has a path to start on.

Proud Mama!