You’ll see more evidence of the crazy Colorado weather in this post. We’ve had warm enough temps to hang out in shorts and we’ve had more snow storms again. =)

Here are some schooling outside pics:

Spending time as a family outside (including our darling pet Mallards). The boys were working on plans for bird boxes to make when my parents get here and Ethan was doing research for his bird jeopardy game he was creating for us in that picture of us outside and him on the computer.

We’ve had birding excursions with various parties. I have gone out with just Ethan a couple of times and we’ve done some full family trips, too. We really enjoyed going to the Denver Audubon Nature Center for some hiking and photography. (Fun benefit of having two boys taking pictures – we get more pictures of just the two of us. Micah took the one below.)

More updates from around the house include Mallory watching the boys play LEGO and going on the roof to get our attention for more food; finishing up the timeline with Grandpa, Grandma and Auntie Sal; and watching a bird course from Great Courses. Micah has finished level 3 of his reading program and is working on the fourth and final level now! We are finishing up the school year officially on May 7, but may do some learning throughout the summer, too, as usual.

We’ve spent the last two weeks watching Jeopardy as a family after dinner because Aaron Rodgers was hosting it. Turns out we all really enjoyed doing it! And we’ve since made some jeopardy boards of our own. Ethan did one on birds and I did one with CC memory work.

We celebrated Masters Sunday for Mikey with egg salad sandwiches, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and pimento cheese sandwiches. We all agreed that the pimento cheese in Denver is super lame. But we had a great time!

Our home is filled with music much of the time. Micah has decided to take 5 lessons over the summer to decide whether he might like to continue in the fall. Ethan and I are working on a fun duet for an upcoming recital. And Micah and E just came up with a little duet this morning! Here’s a link to a short video of it.

The boys went to the orthodontist (at our regular dentist office! yay!) and E will be getting invisaline (braces-ish) soon. Micah will get it when all of his adult teeth are in. Both will need to wear the invisaline for a year and then should be all set. We’ve reached that fun stage in reading when Micah just reads for enjoyment!! He read most of this chapter book at the orthodontist and then spent an evening reading an entire chapter book to me a few nights later by the fire! I started reading a book about the teenage brain by that same fire. Is it really possible that E is almost a teenager?!

We participated in our first town hall meeting on Zoom with our Senator. It was lots of fun. Ethan was invited to it since he has sent in a few emails to our Senator for various environmental causes he cares about. We got ice cream and made it a very exciting evening!

A final update is that we have a new member of the family – Eleanor Grace was born last week and is adored by her whole family!

Resurrection Weekend!

We had a lovely Resurrection weekend and hope you did, too. I spent the Lenten season reading, “Falling Into Goodness”. We are still worshipping virtually at this point and Ethan and I sent in videos for our Good Friday service. It was a very moving service, as usual. We ended the night with ice cream, a tradition we’ve done with our church family since we started going a few years ago. We missed the sweet time with friends (and family) at DQ, but enjoyed having a sweet treat together.

Mallory was very curious to worship with us on Resurrection Sunday, much to our delight! We had Reggie and his dear friend/mentor over for lunch in the backyard – so lovely! The boys got Easter baskets from an unknown friend. I was awestruck by how MANY people could have snuck over with treats for the boys. We have no idea who it was because we have too many wonderful people in our lives. Very humbling.

And we took some family pics! I was taking a pic of the boys and Mike wanted to know why he wasn’t included in the pic, so I told him he could only be in it if he was wearing teal. LOL. So he put on teal.

Sometimes the out-takes are more fun:

April Fool’s Day

I’m not sure whether we’ve ever done much to celebrate April Fool’s Day, but we had a blast this year! I can’t lie, so most of my tricks on the boys were discovered quite quickly, but the cleverness of each of them made us all laugh. (I didn’t come up with any of these ideas on my own – I had randomly found a website months ago with all of these ideas!)

For breakfast I served the boys “ostrich eggs”, which tasted a lot like vanilla yogurt, peaches and chia seeds.

For first snack I gave the boys “juice” to drink, which was jiggly like jello.

We had “sushi” for lunch:

And for second snack we had “carrots” – which taste great served on crackers (and on hot dogs as it turns out – we tried that with dinner!):

The boys were waiting for something to happen over dinner, but I didn’t have any great ideas left. But that was fun, too, as they tried everything very tentatively. =D

Finishing up March

March brought with it the arrival of Mallory, our beloved Mallard. We believe she’s got a new fella’ with her this spring, but we’re still calling him Fred. She’s back to her usual antics of peaking in the window and waiting on our step for corn and cooked rice. They have both ventured to the back on a couple of occasions.

March has also brought warmer weather – the kind where we spend hours outside: working, schooling, biking, playing ping pong, and going for hikes. Mike took the boys biking to Cherry Creek Reservoir recently while I did some CC work for next year.

The weekend before Easter we headed out to Upper Cheesman Reservoir for a really neat hike. I think it was about 4 miles total (out and back). Mike said it was one of his favorite hikes!

Other note-worthy events that I captured on camera from this month included another round of “cat business” (AKA watching the cats for our neighbors) – I snapped this picture of them coming home chatting, a birthday FaceTime with Grandpa Russ, Micah and Grandma having a business meeting about making cards, watching a Duck-umentary (twice), and art at the co

And, of course, some pictures from school life these days. The boys wrote a story together to do as their virtual presentation with our slightly broader CC community. It was hilarious.

We are down to only 2 weeks of backyard CC and we’re all kind of bummed to have it end. It’s been such a blast! Ethan painted a hummingbird, in the style (sort of) of Georgia O’Keeffe. The boys worked on vocabulary stories where they took a well-known fairy tale and re-wrote it using as many vocabulary words from Essentials as possible. I believe they both ended up using more than 50 of their vocabulary words. I snapped a picture of the words we were still trying to sneak into their stories with each boy so that I would remember which words needed to go with which boy. =D

And the last two pictures were to remind me to mention in passing that E and Micah do school in very different ways. Micah likes to include snacks and a stuffed animal and also always turns math problems into artistic masterpieces. =P

Weekend Hike

Mikey found us another awesome hike this past weekend. This time we drove up to the Boulder area and hiked “Benjamin’s Loop”. It was about 5 miles long and very lovely. The path had lots of snow in the parts in the shadows and was very dry and warm in the sunshine-y places. We really enjoyed this one.

Afterwards we stopped by downtown Golden to enjoy açaí bowls by the creek. I understand the water was very cold. =D

Life Lately

We reached some Covid-related milestones recently, as I’m sure have many of you. We’ve officially spent a full year without any in-person time with Grandma Cleve or my parents. This past Friday marked the year anniversary of when I flew home from Florida with the boys. Mike also has now gone over 365 days without getting on a plane for the first time in…18 years!! We snapped a picture of Mike to remember that day. =D And I reached a full year of reading for at least 10 minutes a day! (this is a big deal for me; I’m well-aware that many of you have such beautiful reading lives that this is nothing…but it’s a habit I’ve been working to build and have enjoyed every minute of it!)

We also celebrated some holidays – Pi day (with chicken potpie and chocolate pie) and St. Patty’s Day (with corned beef and cabbage):

Just days before a big winter storm, we had a gorgeous backyard community day with CC. We’re busy painting like the great artists right now and that’s been extra fun. Below you’ll see Micah’s version of a Picasso painting. Ethan was pretty bummed to have to cut up his beautiful bird to make it appear more like a Picasso piece.

I took Ethan out for a quick birding adventure after dropping off some food to folks from church before the snow arrived.

And then the storm hit us! We got almost 2 feet of snow! Lots of fun!

Other happenings as of late include celebrating Salina’s birthday via Zoom and her subsequent thank you note (SO funny!), writing on our gratitude frames, working on March madness brackets, enjoying the sunshine, and another tiny snowstorm:

And lastly some pictures of school today (Ethan is making the CC yearbook for us this year, with help from yours truly):

Other Tidbits

Some pictures from school lately (including Micah teaching Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Sal an art class after timeline lesson):

Some pics from around the house (including reading together, enjoying hot chocolate bombs from our friends from CC, Micah teaching art to Daddio, Ethan resting his eyes while editing pictures, and cloth napkins!! the latest in our initiatives to be more green):

Lastly, some pictures from our family talent show – a little something new to spice up our weekly Zoom calls. Highlights included: cousins’ artwork, Ger and Grandma played a cello and ukulele duet, Ger’s solo ukulele and singing performance, Grandpa played a trombone solo, boys played piano, I recited a poem, and Mike balanced on the slack block. A great time was had by all. Micah was the MC and even read some jokes during it to keep folks entertained. And Ethan kept the right person spotlighted for their performance.