Guess what I don’t like.  Coming up with titles for every post I write.  I just don’t have any clever way of saying, “here’s what we have been doing lately”.  So maybe I’ll just quit having titles. =)

Here are some every day shots from around the house:

A couple weekends ago, I was able to get away on my bi-annual retreat with my dear friend, Amy.  Time with her is time well-spent and I don’t get much of it, so we really treasure these get aways.  We spent the weekend in Glen Eyrie again and were glad we chose to do so because there was another big storm that weekend and traveling into the mountains would not have been much fun.  We spent some time hiking and a lot of time sitting by the fire chatting and reading good books.  We both went home feeling thankful and refreshed!

The night before I left on my retreat I hosted the tutors from CC for our final tutor training session.  The boys went out for dinner with Daddio and were discovered snuggled up when I went to check on them after my friends had left.

Ethan and Mike spent a morning together this past weekend.  They had breakfast together and then met our friends’ new baby boy after getting cleats for soccer.

IMG_1376

We also soaked up some family time (sadly missing Zach due to a cold) this weekend.  Love having these guys in town…even if it is only for a couple more months.

Other recent happenings include (1) Ethan starting his soccer season.  We are trying a new league and he’s playing with a bunch of kids who go to the same school and have played together before.  We were thrilled to discover another guy who is also homeschooled (AND in CC at a different community) joined the team this season, too.  They didn’t even know about their connection until after the practice was done when we mamas shared the news to them. And (2) Micah had a play date with a friend from CC and he was thrilled when she arrived.

As you know, Denver experiences extremes in weather.  We had beautiful weather for time at the park playing soccer, tennis, playing at the playground and having a chilly picnic.

And not long after, we had a winter storm!  The boys and I spent hours outside building forts.  I fed them their lunch and hot chocolate in their forts.  They also listened to our read-aloud from their forts.  Lots of fun!

Also, we celebrated Pi day. =)

Learning Lately

One of the things we have been enjoying this year has been being a part of the Read Aloud Revival group.  It means we’ve had access to various author interviews and drawing classes – both things we’ve enjoyed immensely.  We listened to Jonathan Rogers (author of my fav series – The Wilderking Series) talk about Narnia (because he wrote a book about exploring the world through Narnia) and then enjoyed our very own dinner with the beavers (recommended by RAR).

Here are some pictures from one of the art workshops the RAR put on this week:

The RAR is also the reason we are participating in a year-long challenge to have each boy read out loud for 10 minutes most days of the year.  It’s been remarkable to see how much they have both improved in 3 short months.  Mostly Micah has been doing Piggie and Gerald books (a lot by memory), but he’s also started reading some other books!  Ethan has been reading both of the Ninja Warrior books.

Occasionally I give little rewards for their efforts.  They read out loud even when they are tired and would rather just go to bed and I want to encourage their perseverance.  So every now and then I give them a new/used book or take them to a book store to pick out something.  Micah asks me to take pictures of various things he would like to “put on his list” every time we go someplace.  He has his eyes closed in the one picture because he was “pleading” with me to get it for him someday.  This time he ended up getting a coin book so he can start his own collection.  He’s pretty jazzed about it.

Here are some pictures from around the house.  Ethan is rocking it with diagramming sentences these days and it’s really fun to watch.  He’s also still an avid reader and is always anxious to start new books.  Micah has started multiplication and is doing super well, which is exciting.

It’s been a great year of homeschooling and we’ve officially signed up for another year.  Eek! =)

Side note: Micah is a very unique thinker and it always shines through during his workbook assignments.  He doesn’t like to just do a problem; he likes to draw elaborate pictures to go along with them.  Here are just a few examples of what schooling is like with this free spirit.  (1) He made a lot of adjustments to the math worksheet. (2) He added the “ooooh” that comes at the end of that song about helping verbs. (3) He drew a picture representing his History sentence.

February Stories & Pics

The boys and I spent Valentine’s Day together (Mikey was traveling), doing fun and tasty experiments, making homemade beer bread (had to grab something at the store, first) and listening to a good book.  Ethan saved his Valentine’s candy from Grandma Cleve’s visit to eat on the actual day.  His self-control is very impressive to me!!

That evening some of the fam sent pictures back and forth to show how we were celebrating. =) Look at my cutie nephews and niece!  The boys liked seeing pictures of the others, so we sent our own, too.

We had quite a bit of snow this month.  One day, Micah said, “I think you’re going to say, ‘no’, but do you wanna have tea and watch the snow fall with me on the porch?”  Obviously that was a moment I wasn’t going to let pass me by!

And here are some other school pictures throughout the month.  A couple of exciting updates: Micah is now going to kids club (rather than sitting by E and I in Essentials) and attended his first night of cadets.

Mike surprised us by stopping home for an hour in between two flights.  Micah spent the time reading out loud to him while he packed his bag. =)

IMG_6020

The boys have been doing some ninja training at the park:

IMG_6023

Here are some various pictures from around the house lately:

Mike is big on getting the boys outside in the cold to build up strength.  There’s a fancy word for this, but alas, I’ve forgotten it!  Cold thermo-something.  Anyway, here are some crazy sightings of boys in the cold!

Music fills the air often.  E is teaching Micah little bits and pieces and also working hard on getting ready for Federation in March.

We went on a family date to a movie theater that serves dinner during the movie for a super special treat.  It was pretty exciting.  We were all especially thrilled because this was another big step for Micah.  He usually avoids theaters at all costs, but he was all in for this one (as long as he had his earplugs!).

IMG_6038

I’ve requested some help from the boys with meal planning…because maybe I’ve gotten tired of hearing complaints from nameless somebodies in the home.  I really needed to have Mike go through the cookbooks, too, but that will come another day!  =)  We’ve tried a few of their ideas and it definitely helps to have their buy-in.

IMG_6046

And finally, a quick picture from Ethan’s Essentials class at CC.  They were working on answers for English grammar and vocab.

Weekend of Skiing

We went to Breckenridge for a weekend of skiing last weekend with some friends of our from church.  This was our first time up for the season.  We both commented multiple times how glad we were that we had scheduled this…about three months ago…because life gets so busy that it never would have happened if we hadn’t had the foresight to plan early. =) The Dads split the kids up and enjoyed skiing Friday and Saturday.  The Moms spent time relaxing, but also giving breaks to kiddos as needed.

In the evenings, we played games, watched some shows and played a lot of pool and foosball.  Micah and his buddy spent a good amount of time in the hot tub, too. AND, ate a whole lotta good food.

On Sunday morning, the Dads got in a bunch of runs by themselves.  It was lots of fun!

IMG_0802

The Start of February

Playing games:

Doing schoolwork (reading fun books and books for Ethan’s big Faces and Places in Ancient History project, doing a mega brief art study on Durer, diagramming sentences – we sent this one to Aunt Mel to get it corrected!, and Micah admiring his schoolwork thus far for the year:

Ethan went to his first drop-and-go birthday party while Micah and Daddio had eye appointments.  I was thanking the Lord for all of the growth we’ve seen in both boys this year.  Ethan was a-okay with someone else driving him around and playing at Dart Warz solo and Micah was able to use the letters for his eye exam, rather than the pictures.  Woot!

And, finally…this is a little glimpse of parenting boys.  They throw snowballs at the kitchen window to get my attention.

IMG_5943

The week bookended by GC

Just wanted to fill in the gaps from my previous post.  While Grandma Cleve was with the Bertilson family, we had a busy week at home.  Mike was in Minnesota, enjoying a balmy -48 degrees or something.  It was pretty crazy.  I saw a meme that indicated it was colder in Minneapolis than Antarctica that day!  Meanwhile, we enjoyed a snow day on Monday.  And my cousin, Meredith, came over to play in the snow.  It was a HUGE treat to all of us!

Check out how awesome she is:

Tuesday was a rough day.  But no one wants to hear the woes of homeschool life.  Micah did have the chance to take Bailey on a walk in the snow that afternoon – he’s getting ready for his potential job this summer of walking neighborhood dogs.

On Wednesday we had our usual day, except that cousin Matthew invited Ethan over after piano lessons.  So Micah and I had the afternoon to ourselves until we picked him up before drum lessons.  It was pretty fun.  I snapped this picture of my red bush tea because I bought it on Amazon to drink while I listen to the audiobooks of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency…and then I found out that one of my favorite “celebrity-ish” people did the same thing!!  (Sarah McKenzie from the Read Aloud Revival podcast, if you must know =D) Great minds…

On Thursday and Friday evenings we were able to celebrate the boys’ reading out loud accomplishments for January.  They both read 25+ days out loud for 10 minutes!  Their self-selected rewards were a movie night with special snacks (Micah) and game night with special snacks (Ethan).  Lots of fun!  I guess we only took a picture of the movie night – we watched Prince Caspian.

IMG_0724

Grandma Cleve in CO!

Grandma Cleve came out for a visit at the end of January.  This was her first time to meet baby Joshua and the last time spending time with all her grandchildren living in the same state (at least for a while…).  We loved having her in town again!  She split her time between both homes; her time with us being the bookends.  Grandma Cleve came in on Friday night late and spent all day Saturday with us – we opted to have breakfast out at our favorite place, go on a Focus on the Family tour and then drive through Garden of the Gods (we were all shocked that we hadn’t taken her to Garden of the Gods on any of her previous visits!).  And we finished our evening reading books and playing games.

On Sunday we went to church together, got in some snuggles and coin talk, played a game and then had Ashley and her family over for dinner.  It was lovely to have everyone together!  And, of course, we snapped a picture of Grandma Cleve with her four grand babies.  She went home with them and spent the week there – including some time babysitting Caleb while the others checked out their new home town in Atlanta.

We joined back up on Saturday morning for breakfast and a tour of Hammond’s candy (something Mike and I did when we were dating, but hadn’t been back since!).  Grandma Cleve spent the remainder of that afternoon with us before Mikey brought her back to the airport.

And, yes, that is a cricket in Micah’s sucker.  He ate its head and then said he had had enough.  His verdict – that was gross!

It’s always a gift to have family in town!  Thanks for visiting, Grandma Cleve!!