We celebrated Earth Day by doing some work in our yard. The boys planted some seeds for attracting birds. We are feeling hopeful that we didn’t do it too early in the season…but we shall see. Over the weekend when I had other plans, the boys all went to the park to pick up trash.

The boys are still enjoying Krav Maga twice weekly. I grabbed a video (I think you need an instagram account to see it) and pic from their Krav Maga instagram site to share here. And thought this one was cute of the guys waiting for the teen class to be over so that they could join in. And one of the days some of our friends came over afterwards and they made videos of themselves fighting. This is them watching the video together on Ethan’s camera.

Since the last post, Ethan has officially finished his seventh grade year – Challenge A. We had our last community day (we dressed up as book characters again for fun) and now he has one final math lesson to do and testing to complete. Micah finished his CC a few weeks ago, but is still working on finishing his math lessons. He will read his paper on William Wallace at our end of the year party this coming weekend and has been practicing over the past couple of weeks. He practiced reading it to Grandma on Zoom. We are also doing lots of reading and spelling and various other things that I just never have time to teach during the bulk of the school year. He will also do testing this year (we’re doing it yearly, although it’s not technically required). Micah enjoys playing school while we do our regular work load – this involves me sitting at my desk and waiting for him to raise his hand to answer my questions.

Ethan has gotten out a few more times for birding with me. I go walking and he takes pictures of birds. It’s been working well. =D

E had his final youth group event for the school year – the families got to go up to Long Scraggy for an afternoon and eat and play. E and Micah even got to learn how to shoot guns. We stopped by to say hey to Reggie on our way back down the mountain and he snapped this picture of us by his tree.

And lastly, we hosted a little Lego Masters birthday celebration for one of Micah’s buddies in lieu of giving him a gift, since he didn’t want one. =) It worked out wonderfully, especially since the weather wasn’t conducive that day for his original plan of playing at the park together. We shifted plans and decided to host the experience that same day instead of just telling him about it and scheduling it later.

And, lastly, we had the joy of watching cousin Matthew perform in “Hello, Dolly”. He did SUCH an amazing job. I am blown away by his talent. He had a super fun solo, did all kinds of dancing and even had to think on his feet when they had a prop break in the middle of the play. It was lots of fun to be there to support him!

Passover and Easter

Years ago I participated in a Passover Seder with my old church and loved it so much. I decided to give it a go with our family this year. It feels especially meaningful because of the high population of Jewish neighbors we have. It took a bit of preparation to pull this evening off well, but we all learned a lot and really enjoyed the experience. Micah made one part of the Seder all by himself and had a couple of important roles to fill throughout – he loved it! Next time, I will print off more copies of everything so that I am not reading the whole night. I will also make an appetizer. We were all very hungry by the time we started the actual meal.

I went for a solo sunrise walk on Easter morning. The timing was perfect and was a great way to start the day. It was such a gift to be worshipping with our church family later that morning. We had done the last two years of Easter services online, so we all felt such joy at being with our people on such a special day of celebration. And afterwards we had Easter dinner at my Auntie and Uncle’s home, along with my Great Aunt and second cousin (I think that’s the term, but I still get it confused) and her family. We had a lovely time and feasted merrily, while having delightful conversation.

You may recall that I enjoy pulling food pranks on the boys on April Fools Day. This year we had friends over for our monthly Challenge A study hall, so I tricked them instead. I gave them “meatballs” in a crockpot (really just oatmeal balls with chocolate powder), “juice” (jell-o in a cup), and “carrots” (cheese dip in the shape of carrots with a little parsley on top – you’ve seen this one many times before). But for just the boys, I told them I had made donuts. Ethan was on to me from the beginning and was not impressed. Micah loved them. They are just apples with vanilla yogurt and cinnamon sugar on top.

Micah has been loving reading on his own lately. I often catch him reading books while lying on the ground. He especially loves books about dogs or castles. And Ethan does his school outside any day that feels decent. They have also been working together to write an informational essay and a persuasive essay about getting a Boxer.

Micah finished up his last day in CC community last week. E and I still have two weeks to go. One of my very favorite parts about this community is these ladies right here. It’s a gift to walk this journey together each week. Another thing I enjoy is how seen each child is by everyone else – Ethan had lunch with our youngest student and another Foundations/Essentials kiddo. E also took pictures of everyone for our yearbook. And I snapped this one of him while we played Headbandz with various fallacies.

I’ve taken just Ethan to the reservoir for birding (while I go walk and we check in via the walkie-talkie), but now I’ve also taken both of the boys. They loved birding together and were both thrilled about the birds they had seen. Meanwhile, I had a lovely walk solo (a much-needed respite when the hubs travels). And while in Georgia, Mikey snuck in a very brief visit with his sister and her fam when in town there for work.

And, lastly, here are a few other pictures from this month. We went on a brief hike with one of Mikey’s co-workers in Boulder a couple weekends ago. And we enjoyed Masters Sunday with cucumber sandwiches, pimento cheese sandwiches and egg salad sandwiches. Micah got a geode at CC and is very proud of it. Mike occasionally teaches the boys lessons in finance or how businesses work. I can’t quite remember what this lesson was on, but it was adorable. Micah was taking notes. Mikey and I have been doing a bunch of workouts together. The boys join for some, but not all. We always do our family meeting on Saturday mornings (Micah draws during it because it tends to be too boring for him! haha).

Two weekends ago we had the opportunity to host Aunt Ashley for a night. She was here for a friend’s baby shower (I think it was her first trip back here since they moved away over 3 years ago) without kids, so the visit was brief. There was enough time to have a couple of yummy meals together and for Mikey to give her a little help. And we decided that E will be taller than her next time they see each other. =P

That weekend the weather was pretty beautiful, so we did our family workout outside at the park and spent a good amount of time playing ping pong outside.

And on Sunday night Ethan had middle school youth group. They did some work getting garden beds ready for a local church and then played a ping pong tournament. At the end of the kids’ tournament, E got to play against our pastor for an added bonus.

Micah has been working more this year with geography and maps. He was feeling hopeful that Grandpa and Grandma could stop by Colorado on their drive home from Florida to Wisconsin… Hmm…

Other happenings include trying to convince Daddio that we should have a pond in the backyard; me sitting in the car while E went birding at the reservoir by our house; schooling on the ball; a pretty tulip in my new-ish vase; and lots of archery in the backyard.

And, lastly, we’ve got another purple belt in the house! Micah participated in a 2-hour test to earn his belt last weekend. He was pretty pooped but very proud. It was a lot of work and passing this seems to have given him a little more motivation to keep going!

Pics taken by Coach Mike:

And a comparison that brings me so much laughter and joy:

Skiing and Birding

We opted against getting Ethan a pass to ski this year as he’s decided it’s not really his thing. Micah has been asking to go for a couple weeks now, so Mikey took him out this Saturday. I, meanwhile, took E birding at Barr Lake (and yes, we had to rent a car to make all of this spoilage work). I actually also took him out to Bluff Lake the day before while Micah had a playdate.

Micah had a great time. His first run was a little rough, but he was such a trooper and even landed a little jump on his last one (see video). He said over and over how much fun he had.

E also had a good time, even if he did comment on how loud I was being out there and how my attired didn’t camouflage the way he would have liked (I wore white to blend in with the snow and he was not impressed =D). We saw a bald eagle, which was very exciting for me. He could tell ya all of the other great birds we saw. He was pretty tired out by the time our outing was done and opted not to do an addtional spot.

Our life has been very full in the recent weeks. I wouldn’t qualify it as busy. I’m not a fan of busyness. But it has felt joyfully full lately.

I’ll start this post with a couple pictures taken by E during our weekend in Aspen.

Next I’ll share a few pics demonstrating the craziness of March in Colorado, including snuggling by the fire, heading off to their job to shovel at our neighbors’ home, enjoying homemade bread (thanks, Amy!!) and hot cocoa, and a comparison shot 18 hours apart.

And I’ll give you a few snapshots into homeschool and music life, including a lot of uke-playing, FaceTime concert for Grandma Cleve’s birthday, hosting Challlenge A at our home on Pi day, and the many locations that Micah does he work:

And I manage to get prep work done in various locations throughout the week.

Purple belt testing for Ethan was a 3-hour affair on Saturday. The intent was to wear the kids out with a whole lot of cardio work and then test their reactions to various weapons and attacks by other members in the class, including the instructor. It was very impressive and very intense. Click here to see a video. Afterward the coach took some pics of each kid.

Lest you think E’s the only stud, be warned that Micah is so disciplined he does a workout on his own most days. And he often joins his dad in a workout, too.

He’s also our veggie lover. He will nearly always opt to eat extra veggies with every meal and if he’s got the time to make lunches for us, he will fill them with veggies. He also sometimes wears noise-cancelling headphones so as to block out the sound of Ethan’s nearly constant uke-playing. =D

And, lastly, we had the pleasure of hosting Grandpa Russ for a few days on his drive back home. This was a lovely and unexpected treat for all of us! I didn’t get very many pictures of anything all that fun, but thankfully I snapped a few of life around the house and on our drive to the mountains.

Weekend in the Mountains

We opted to use Christmas money (mostly from my Grandpa – THANK YOU!!) for an experience this year: we rented a Tesla and drove to Aspen for the weekend. As budding environmentalists, the boys have been wanting to check out a Tesla for a long time now. This was a perfect opportunity. I’m not sure whether I could ever handle something so fancy, but it sure was fun for the weekend!

These were their faces when Mike and I used the Tesla “fart” feature to make it sound like farts were coming from the various parts of the car. (who on earth comes up with this stuff for a car??)

Mike and I hadn’t been to Aspen since our 1-year dating anniversary back in 2003. We took some pics at the same gazebo we had visited back then and attempted to see Maroon Bells, but would have needed to take a snowmobile tour at this time of year (oops).

Then (2003):

And now (2022):

We did a little walking around on some trails (including this cool bridge), checked out the free art museum, ate outside in the fresh (freezing) air, and spent some time in the hot springs in Glenwood Springs.

Unfortunately there were a number of accidents on I-70 due to the poor weather/driving conditions so we had to stay one extra night in the mountains since I-70 was shut down. We are not the most flexible people, so this took some getting used to, but we were thankful for the ability to stay safely in Silverthorne before attempting the final hour and a half of driving to get home. Sadly it meant missing much of our CC day, but I did get the chance to sit in on Micah’s Essentials class since I had to reschedule teaching Challenge A.

I’m going to get us caught up to real time in this post. Most of these pictures are from February.

Micah finished h