Birthday Video

So, cousin Abe had his 2nd birthday on Sunday.  We sent him a little video to wish him a very happy birthday.  Lauren sent this video back of the boys enjoying it!  Apparently they really got a kick out of the video.  Ivan, as you can tell, thought it was a video chat and kept trying to show the boys his super cool snake.  And Abe clearly wanted to watch it over and over.  So funny!!

Try this link to see my favorite video.  I’m not sure if that one will work since it was a shared video, but I thought I’d try!

Fifth Stop: Wisconsin

After Michigan and our brief stop in Illinois, we settled down in Wisconsin again.  Here we celebrated Christmas with opening presents, ate lots of good food, played games and read books and rung in the New Year.  (We also spent time with Cass and Adam and their family, but I’ll do a separate post on that!)

Opening presents:

Working on Grandpa’s new shirt:

Playing games, putting together presents, reading books, etc:

Pajamas-3

Lunch at Gerrit and Lauren’s home:

Christmas, 2017

New Year’s Eve (the boys made it until 11 and then fell asleep watching home videos):

Obviously, we had a fantastic time in Wisconsin with our family!  Thanks for hosting, Mom and Dad, even without a working kitchen!  =)

Fourth Stop: Illinois

On our way back to Wisconsin, we made our annual stop in Illinois.  We stop there for dinner most years and to celebrate Lauren’s birthday!!  Jennie had just moved her warehouse to a location closer to her home, so we all wanted to stop in and see that before heading to their home for pizza and dessert.

Thanks for hosting another fun evening at your home, Jen and J!

Third Stop: Michigan

In Michigan, we celebrated Christmas with our extended family from my Mom’s side.  This is a big, fun group of about 30 people and is such a special time for us!  We opened presents after a delicious feast at my aunt and uncle’s home.  Two big highlights for the boys: Ethan got a ukulele and Micah got a djembe!!  Thanks, Great Grandpa! =)  Other highlights included playing ping pong, going sledding, Ethan doing piano recitals and radio shows with cousin Matthew, our annual cousins movie night out at the theater (we saw the new Star Wars!), and lots of time to chat with family.

Grandkids and great-grandkids with Grandpa (aka Great Grandpa):

Grandchildren

Sledding:

We had a lovely time in Michigan, as always!  Such a fun group of people to spend a few days with every Christmas!

Picture Cred mostly goes to my Dad again. Thanks for capturing the fun!

Family in Town

We enjoyed a few extra days with family in town after Breckenridge.  Mike left for Minneapolis the morning after we returned to Denver (but not before Dad and Mom sent Ger & Lauren and Mike & I out for a double date…on their 41st anniversary!!…and we forgot to take a picture) and the rest of us enjoyed fun around the city.  This was the first time we were able to host my brother and his family and we were thrilled to have them!  And it’s always a treat to have more time with Grandpa and Grandma!

Uncle Mike and his first nephew, Ivan:

Denver Museum of Nature and Science:

Little Man Ice Cream:

Red Rocks:

Red Rocks-1

Random pictures:

We loved having you out here!  Thanks for making the trip!!

P.S.  I think it goes without saying, most of the photo cred goes to my dad. =)

Breckenridge

A couple days after our return, we had a Fennema family reunion in Breckenridge.  We have gathered together every summer (at least most of them) for years and often it’s been in Michigan or somewhere in the midwest.  This year, the family came out to Colorado and we were thrilled!  We had a pretty wonderful turnout of 25 people, I believe, although we failed to get a complete group picture!

Pictures always tell the story much better than my words do, but suffice it to say, we had a great time!  We did a variety of activities – hike, frisbee, 14er, ukulele playing, hot tub, sitting in the freezing cold creek, games, etc.  We always enjoy the evening meal together as a group.  It was wonderful!

I spent much of the first morning sleeping – jet lag is no joke! – but a bunch of folks went to play frisbee golf nearby.

That afternoon I took Micah for a hike – I had thought it was a short one, but it ended up taking much of that afternoon – and met up with other members of the family who had left a little earlier than we had.  It was beautiful and Micah-the-hike-ah was a treat – no complaints, even when it rained on us!

The second day a big group hiked Mt. Quandary, the 14er nearby.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get much sleep that night, so I had to forego it.  But I am happy to say that the hikers all had a wonderful time.  Also, my dad and uncle summited – how cool are they??

That same day, some others of us went for a different hike.  It was beautiful!

The final day we all enjoyed some “trail mix” – such a clever idea!  The music was beautiful and it was especially fun to hike a little ways before enjoying it. =)

And sometimes our pictures just don’t fit into a nice, neat category:

Thanks, Grandpa, for a fantastic weekend!  It was a blast!

Life Lately

The other morning I made some cheese, egg and ham muffins.  Somebody was super pumped about this:

Unfortunately, they turned out kind of gross.  I’m officially in search of tasty egg muffins.  I’m hoping that if I just don’t add the sprouted flour and baking soda, they might taste better… To be continued…

Thursday evenings are usually the nights we do take out or something else that requires little effort on my part.  I took the boys shopping earlier in the week to plan ahead for…frozen pizza night with kombucha soda!  We also bought some sourdough to go with this delicious soup I made – sweet potato and orange soup.  (seriously, it was delicious, even though it sounds disgusting…)  Anyway, I discovered these little beauties on my phone that evening.  Photo cred goes to Micah, who was in charge of crossing things off the grocery list on my phone.

This is how the boys react to the little things in life:

On Friday afternoon, I spoiled the boys by taking them to see Trolls at the cheap movie theater nearby.  They had a fantastic week of homeschool and just overall great behavior while Mikey was out of town for work.  It was nice to just give them a special outing!  It was lots of fun for us.

Our family went to a nearby frisbee golf course on Saturday.  We sure love to play disc golf.  Micah ran for at least the first 5 holes and sporadically throughout the rest of the course, too.  Ethan has a phenomenal arm – he plays far better than me in terms of accuracy.  I’m still stronger…but it won’t be long!

Our nephew, Abe, had his first birthday this weekend.  Mike and I kept saying, “he’s only one…are you sure??” because he just feels so much older to us for some reason.  The boys sent over a happy birthday video for him:

We spent most of our weekend playing games, reading books and eating yummy food.  It was nice to have a mega low-key weekend just as a family.  I took the weekend mostly “off” from cooking since I had been a solo parent throughout the week.  Mikey is always so sweet to me to give me a nice break after long weeks.

The bottom photos feature the boys and me wearing our new clothes from ThredUp.  I was pretty pumped about our recent purchase.  Ethan was the main benefactor since his wardrobe was a little sparse.  And because Ethan got quite a few new shirts, I wanted to make sure to give Micah a new one to be excited about, too.  I also went through some of our boxes of clothes to make sure I had some hand-me-downs ready to give to Micah.

Stay tuned for a funny story about homeschooling…