February and Early March 2023

I am finding that I am taking much fewer pictures these days. Pictures tend to help me remember details of the month, but neither boy loves me to be snapping pictures all the time and I rarely have my phone by me. Anyway, this will be a quick summary of the past month and I hope I don’t forget too much. =D

I know you’ve been waiting in suspense about our next family read-aloud choice. We spent a whole evening paring down our list, but we happily settled on having Mike read The Wingfeather Saga to us. We love these books and have listened to them a few times, but Mike has never read them. We’re pretty excited to have him experience them for the first time.

We’ve made some fun memories with friends, both here in town and in the mountains at the cabin for the second year in a row. We really enjoy our time with these guys. We also recently started bouldering and rock climbing indoors as a family and with another family friend of ours. This has been lots of fun. I love that we are learning something new together and that we can encourage each other. It’s nice that we can all be challenging ourselves, but not have to be doing the exact same “problems” (that’s what a route can be called when bouldering). Anyway, learning new things and having fun together. =)

Homeschooling this year has been so much fun. It only took me about 9 years to feel like we had a handle on things. Haha. Anyway, it’s been a great year. Here are a few pictures from CC and at the house, including a piano lesson from home pic (due to the snow!). Micah started typing class online this semester and is loving it so much. He finished level 2 of spelling – a difficult challenge for him – and was rewarded *eventually* with Everbowl (one of his favorite sweet treat spots).

In February we spent one weekend up in Vail so that Mike and Micah could do some skiing. They had a great time and even enjoyed doing some swimming in the pool afterwards. E and I did some birding around town and also spent a good amount of time playing cards and reading (he played chess) at the library. It was a lovely weekend.

Other updates/pictures include Micah sewing some stuffed animals (a Christmas present from Salina), Micah drinking bone broth out of a massive jar and looking like a teenager, figuring out just how much time Mike spends working each week vs. how much time we get to be with him (all from a spirit of wanting more time with our fav guy), Superbowl Bingo from our church (middle school youth group + families) party, Micah going for runs and being left home alone (he likes to be prepared for intruders), the boys playing a duet for Grandpa and Grandma, and going out for lunch with Auntie Mel and Reggie on Sunday afternoon. E plays in church about twice a month these days and recently played the cajon for the first time for a few of the songs. He was pretty jazzed about that.

The end of the first month of 2023

As you probably know, we do very little with social media. I do check Instagram every now and then, however, to see whether our Krav Maga studio posted any fun videos of either of the boys. I found a few worth sharing: Ethan, discipline video, and Micah getting taken down (he thinks it’s super awesome, don’t worry! They love to make things look extra dramatic.)

Micah is a very disciplined young man and he really enjoys fitness and schedules. He’s been waking up at 6 most mornings and doing a work out. He sets out his clothes and a motivational note the night before.

Here are some other pics from last month. Uncle Joel comes over on Fridays to play chess with the boys. Micah built a fire for one of those afternoons and so they played downstairs. E brought a chess board to play chess with his buddies during breaks at CC. Then these fabulous guys did a Nilla Wafers eating contest (how many could they eat in 1 minute was a question I had asked to introduce rate when discussing math the week before). Both boys enjoy making music regularly. E plays the uke and piano most days and Micah created his own drum set out of a bunch of boxes he saved from the recycling bin. We were spoiled with some delicious cookies from a dear friend this week. And, lastly, I finally remembered to take a picture of some of the mamas at our house for the monthly Mom’s Morning Out I’ve been hosting for our CC community.

E is having fun learning parts of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” for fun on the piano. We wanted to send a video to Salina to see if she would recognize it. Naturally, she did. =D

Other highlights include ways we pass our evenings when Mike isn’t around (playing hangman or sudoku or chess):

And here are some pictures of how the evenings are spent when he’s back home again. The boys taught him some Krav Maga moves the other night. And we’ve been working on finding our next family read aloud. We started Pax, but some members found it too sad to continue at this time, so then Micah asked each of us to bring six potential books to the meeting to narrow down the next best option. It was really fun to see what everyone brought to consider. Stay tuned for what is decided. =)

Early January Happenings

January has been a full month for us, with just the right amount (maybe leaning towards too much sometimes) of things keeping us moving. (Mike has had quite a bit of traveling to get in, so we’ve been soaking up our time with him when he’s home.)

We’ve been overnight hosts at church for Family Promise a few times. It means playing games and staying up later than usual, besides the lovely piece of getting to know folks and making them feel at home. We enjoy doing this a lot and have made a bit of a tradition out of getting Santiago’s burritos on our way back home. We also had the opportunity to watch a little guy for an afternoon when his daycare was closed. We had to be creative about our schooling that day, but it worked out. He was very sweet and lots of fun. And another one of our buddies stayed the night over one of the weekends. I think we made him nervous with our intensity around Throw, Throw Burrito. Lots of laughs together.

Other notable happenings for the beginning of this month included Micah making a delightful snack-ish dinner for the crew, a visit from our cousins (and aunt and uncle), a lot of uke-playing by various people, our final (sigh) Packer picnic of the season, the boys going sledding solo (multiple times – this time I happened to go for a walk while they were sledding so I snapped a quick pic), and our first box of Sitka Salmon.

Way later than I would have liked we finally celebrated Christmas with presents amongst our crew. We ordered delicious Native-American take-out from a DDD spot near here.

The next day we needed to head to the track so that Micah could try his new running parachute from Ethan and later on we played Risk Europe, which is what Micah got for Ethan.

Micah has gotten in a few longer runs.

And Ethan has taken various parties of us out on birding expeditions. We saw long-eared owls and Bohemian Waxwings.

Here are a few school-ish pictures. Ethan leading a devotion at CC. Micah reading one of his Essentials papers – he wrote a really fun one recently. E working on Intermediate Logic with me. Micah creating a pie graph for his 24-hr schedule on Fridays. He plans to make one for every day of the week. And this link should show a video of E at Krav Maga taken by his coach.

And here are some pics from our most recent snowy day. Micah made a fire for us to enjoy while it snowed off and on all day long. We even had piano lessons on Zoom.

New Year’s Eve and Day

We were home for New Year’s Eve this year. We opted to come home a little bit earlier this year because our church was beginning our two weeks of hosting families experiencing homelessness and we wanted to be able to get groceries ready and help with set up and whatnot.

We had a fairly low-key New Year’s Eve, but it suited us well. I think we stayed up until 11 all together. Micah lost his final baby tooth (a molar) and bled all over the place. He loved it. We played games and competed in an obstacle course that Micah created. We laughed a whole lot and were happy to ring in the new year together. And the following afternoon we had lunch with Reggie after church. We went out to one of our favorite Asian spots up the road and then he hung out afterwards for a bit. He enjoyed watching videos we had made of the obstacle course the night before. Those are not getting posted on the blog. =D

Wisconsin Christmas

We drove our rental car back to Wisconsin to celebrate the rest of the holiday season there, with the exception of a one-night getaway to downtown Chicago as a foursome.

I’ll start with Chicago time, although it came a few days into our time back in Wisconsin. We gave a gift of experience to the boys – The Lion King! It was such a neat show. We would highly recommend it! We also enjoyed a lovely dinner out and took the long drive home along Lakeshore Drive. Garrett’s popcorn and Giordano’s pizza were also must-dos. We intended to stay for two nights, but we learned that E is not a fan of cities and there was a HUGE storm blowing in with very icy temps. We opted to get back to Racine!

Our time in Wisconsin was a sweet mix of quiet down time and busy fun with the rest of the family. My sister’s in-laws are in the city, too, so they spend a good chunk of time celebrating with them. My brother’s in-laws are in Michigan, so they spend a good chunk of time celebrating there with them. This means we have my folks to ourselves for a bit and then we cram in a bunch of fun when everyone is back together again.

We spent our time reading books, cooking, baking, playing games, worshipping at church (E and Grandma played a prelude together), and enjoying our annual Shepherd’s meal on Christmas Eve. I also took E to Wind Point Lighthouse for some birding.