Other Updates

Thought I would do a quick post on other things that have been happening since my folks left and Ethan became a teenager.

E played piano both in church and at Long Scraggy in the weeks that followed my parents’ visit. Long Scraggy came first. I didn’t take any pictures during the service, of course, but I have a few of Micah afterwards as we enjoyed the area. These were his first times playing along with a band for anything other than a couple jam sessions with folks from church. He did a great job for both. Mikey snapped a picture of E after the service when they were playing the final song as people left/chatted. You could also find it on YouTube here.

Mike and Micah have been doing a lot of workouts together. They seems to have a great time and often take pics to send to Mike’s online fitness instructor.

Other happenings include playing games as a fam, doing castle research, enjoying our home-grown strawberries, and going birding at Bluff Lake while Micah plays at a friend’s house.

Grandpa and Grandma in town

The following day, my parents drove into town to spend the next *almost* two weeks with us. Mike traveled to Minnesota twice during that time, but we all got to spend some time together over their trip. Additionally, Micah went on his 10-year-old-adventure-trip while they were here (more on that in the next post). They experienced some typical Colorado weather – we had 82 degrees on one day and then got about 6 inches of snow. We enjoyed spending time together, E and Grandpa (primarily – although I think Micah may have ventured out once and I did as well) did a lot of birding, and we did various projects around the house (including planting a tree from my neighbor, painting the laundry room, my dining room table again, and the front door!) We ate lots of yummy food, including having Mel and Joel over for dinner once and my parents making us fish reubens.

Pictures below feature getting a tree from our neighbor, art time, reading, and playing LEGO.

Most days included some amount of computer time to edit pictures:

We played a few games, enjoyed tasty meals (indoors and outdoors), and got out for walks:

We experienced a big snow storm which took down lots of branches. Some people enjoyed this more than others. And the following day required quite a bit of clean up.

We also had a little phData fashion show. Mikey brought home many shirts for us, including one sweater which would be promptly returned.

I got hives after my retreat and dealt with them while my folks were here. I’m thinking they were a result of lots of hiking in tighter clothes in the sunshine and heat, but it’s hard to say anything for sure. They were miserable, but I was thankful to have the distraction of my parents around so I wouldn’t dwell on them too much. This meant I preferred to keep things pretty low key. We were able to do the boys’ final piano lesson online (followed by playing with Grandma – Ethan was getting ready for playing at Long Scraggy – our church camp in the mountains – and Micah enjoyed learning Heart and Soul – see video here) and had Krav Maga in the park that week.

Coming up next: Micah goes on a castle adventure in Colorado with his grandparents to celebrate being 10!

Occasionally both boys ask to do a little birding excursion. This day was particularly fun for them as they did some birding together while I took a walk nearby. We set a meet up time and they honored it wonderfully.

I snapped this one while Micah was preparing for his Faces and Places presentation. He just looked so old! And then here’s some pictures of him actually doing it in the park at our end of the year party. And here’s our little Foundations class from this year. Such a sweet group of kids!

The following day was Mother’s Day. We enjoyed a beautiful worship service, had bagel breakfast sandwiches on the deck, and then headed out for a new hike. That evening we played some basketball at a nearby park and ordered some take out for dinner. It was a great day!

Ethan finished up his testing the following week and Micah did a few of his, too. (He still has a few more to go.)

Next up – this mama goes on a retreat and the boys have a weekend with Daddio.

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!

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.

Life Lately

I’m thankful to say that many days include boys sitting and reading books.

The boys are really enjoying Krav Maga and have both now earned their first stripe on their yellow belts. I think they also really enjoy having extra time to play games or do school work together while their siblings are in class.

They are also participating in NFL flag football with our dear friends. Both boys have been QB and wide receivers. Micah scored a TD in his first game, receiving a handoff and running it into the end zone from about ten yards out. It seems like they are really enjoying themselves. Mike is an assistant coach for both teams. Uncle Joel came to cheer them on this past weekend – a big treat! Grandpa and Grandma asked to Zoom after their latest games to hear how they went.

We’ve had a few more Packer picnics. Micah and I started one without E while he enjoyed his first night of (outdoor) middle school youth group (which was a blast!). Micah loved getting to play Guess Who while watching the game. =D

School has been off to a great start this year! (It only took us 7 years to really get the hang of things!) The boys are really enjoying doing CC outdoors again and enjoying time with even more friends. We’ve also started doing monthly field trips with our crew – we went for another “hike” in September.

The boys are enjoying piano lessons (and I’m loving my beautiful walks). Ethan recently discovered that he can use Piano Maestro to play songs on the ukulele. We’ve done a few duets together and Micah was trying to do one with him, too.

Uncle David sent Mikey home with a coconut earlier this month, which the boys loved!

We did some birding at Cherry Creek and then the boys edited pictures together.

And we celebrated the first day of fall with a new pumpkin chai scent in the kitchen from the diffuser, pumpkin cinnamon rolls and shepherd’s pie for dinner.

Other updates include: still loving ping pong, temps are dropping and our house is around 60 degrees in the mornings which means we are wearing layers!!, our garden is really producing some great tomatoes!

Home Again!

We’ve hit the ground running since we returned home. We got in a birding trip soon after we arrived. The boys had another piano lesson (we officially decided Micah will take them during the fall!) which means I had another peaceful morning walk nearby. Thanks to Lauren and Jason we are now popping our own popcorn at home and loving it!