Ethan turns 9!

They say the days are long, but the years are short.  That’s exactly how this season of my life has been.  Feels like Ethan was born only days ago, but the lego Micah put on his ice cream cake says he’s 9!  Because he left on his birthday for his first cadet campout, we celebrated a bit the day before and a bit the morning of his special day.  He requested Greek-style turkey burgers for dinner, ham and cheese buns for lunch, and pancakes for breakfast.  He also wanted an ice cream cake.

He loved all of his awesome birthday gifts, videos, and cards.  He was pretty thrilled by everything, as you can see:

Micah gets VERY excited to give gifts to people.  He was the one asking if it was time for Ethan to open a present every other day.  E preferred to wait until his birthday, but Micah could hardly contain his excitement about giving his gifts: lego sets (one that had previously been a share set, and now he wanted to give it to just Ethan; one that we bought at the store for him); pictures and gum.

We’re super proud of the young man Ethan is becoming.  He’s kind, smart and super hard-working.  We appreciate the leader he is around the house and what a good big brother he is.  And I especially love to play games with him!  Love this guy so much!  =D

Micah turns 6!

We had the opportunity to celebrate Micah’s 6th birthday this weekend.  We try to cater our celebrations to each kid’s personality and wishes.  Micah is our little home body.  His greatest wish was to spend time with the family at our home.  So we decorated the house to make it extra special for him and spent the day eating his favorite foods and playing the things he most enjoys: legos!

Breakfast before church – cinnamon rolls!

We spread out the opening of presents throughout the day and in the days to follow.  He was pretty jazzed about all of the gifts and money he received and is always quick to say, “thank you!” and talk about how much he always wanted something like that.  A couple different people at church surprised us with their thoughtful generosity to him – one giving him money and another a lego set.  We are so thankful that each of us is seen and acknowledged at our church – this community is a beautiful thing.

Gotta take a second to brag on our eldest…he purchased Micah a birthday present *with his own money* without even a second thought.  He had hoped to buy something for himself, too, but didn’t have enough money so he quickly put back the thing he wanted to buy for himself and decided to spend his money on Micah instead!

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Micah also got a few Skype calls and some videos, too!  Each one made him feel so special.  He’s my guy who will get tears in his eyes when he realizes someone else was thinking of him from far away.  It’s pretty sweet.  Thank you, everyone, for making him feel so special!

That evening we celebrated with homemade waffles and whipped cream.  Earlier we enjoyed chipotle (at home) and cupcakes.

Quick facts about Micah:

He weighs 43.6 lbs.  He has lost 2 teeth.  He prefers time at home and Ethan is by far his very best friend.  Micah loves creating things and drawing pictures.  He chews gum all.the.time but is also willing to share every piece of it with others, even if he spent his own money on it.  His generosity knows no bounds.  I find him lending or giving away his toys on a regular basis and gives bites of his special treats to those around him without hesitation.  We’re so thankful to have a guy like him to love and raise in our home!

Grandma Cleve’s Visit, Part 2

We spent the afternoon/evening on Wednesday with Ashley and Caleb.  We got our usual picture of GC and the grandkids.  It’s such a fun tradition!  We’ve got at least 3 now. =)

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On Thursday, GC joined us at Classical Conversations.  It was such a treat for us to have her with us!  She sat in on both of the classes for a bit.  Unfortunately with all the moving around between classrooms, she didn’t end up seeing either presentation.  I believe Micah presented on the first line of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the tin whistle and Ethan did a presentation on various coins / money.

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We spent the afternoon playing Dominos, among other things.  Thanks for bringing this new game out to us and teaching us!

Grandma Cleve joined us at PE+ on Friday.  The boys played football afterwards again.  Ethan began learning division with remainders – a difficult task!  And that evening I had the pleasure of going to see Jen Hatmaker and Nichole Nordeman at their Moxie Matters tour.  It was absolutely lovely!  She’s such a treat to hear speak and she had so many important insights to make.  I was so thankful for the opportunity.

Saturday was our final day with GC.  We spent it opening an early birthday present for Micah (yay!) and driving through the mountains.  We had lunch in Boulder and walked through a cool bookstore there.  We stopped in Nederland to show GC where Mike proposed and took a quick sand-in-the-mouth-from-the-crazy-wind picture and then headed back in the car for more exploring.  We also took her to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal where we saw a lot of deer and some buffalo far in the distance.  It got too dark, too quickly for pictures, but it was nice to show her (and Mike) the arsenal since they had never been.

Thanks for making the trip again, Grandma Cleve!  We sure enjoyed having you!!

Grandma Cleve’s Visit, Part 1

Grandma Cleve came for another visit last week – splitting her time at Ashley and Zach’s and our house!  We had her for a day and a half at the beginning of her trip and then she finished her time at our house, too.

On Saturday, we went to the Butterfly Pavilion.  We had never been before and she spoiled us with a membership so we’ll be going there a few more times before the year is done. =D  Micah was our brave guy who held Rosie, the tarantula!  It was lots of fun to see all of the butterflies, to dig for worms and to look at their little aquarium.  It’s a really neat place and we’re excited to go back again!  Grandma Cleve almost became a part of the exhibit there when a gorgeous butterfly landed on her leg and stayed with her for the next 10+ minutes! =)

That afternoon we went to Ikea to start a super big project…switch the boys’s room and the school room.  We got the boys bunk beds and Grandma Cleve and Mike worked on that for much of the rest of Saturday.  Thankful that GC is so helpful with assembling Ikea furniture.  She’s helped us with quite a few projects like this one over the years.  Such an exciting time!  Although, I would be lying if I said I never shed any tears over this.  How did the boys get so big?!

After church on Sunday, we had a relaxing afternoon at our house and then headed over to Ashley and Zach’s to celebrate Caleb’s first birthday!  SO much fun!

Can’t believe he’s already one!  It feels like just yesterday that we were celebrating our own little boys’ first birthdays… The days are long, but the years are SHORT.

Grandma Cleve stayed with Caleb and his parents until Wednesday afternoon when she came back to stay with us until Saturday night.  I’ll do a separate post for that and for the things we did in the meantime. =)

Grandpa and Grandma’s Visit

We were so thankful to have Grandpa and Grandma here for a visit this past week!  Mike had been in India for work, so the timing was perfect for me.  Mike was bummed to miss them, but we all agreed that it was a blessing for me to have help and company!  Plus we got to celebrate my Dad’s birthday with him since he was here for it!  They arrived on the same day that Mike left for India and we had the chance to watch the Packers game together and to impress them with piano skills.

On Friday we went to PE+ and then had a field trip to “Living History”.  We’re studying this time period in US history this year in CC, so it was perfect timing!  The boys made candles and candle holders, enjoyed learning about guns and participated in part of a school day for colonial pilgrims, among other things.

Saturday was my Dad’s birthday.  We celebrated by having cinnamon rolls and then leaving him with the boys while my Mom, Aunt and I went to a cooking class for learning to make macarons. =D  That evening we went to my aunt and uncle’s house for dinner.

On Tuesday we had another field trip.  This time we went downtown to watch “The Snowy Day” play.  Naturally we took in the sites a bit and enjoyed some Little Man Ice cream while we were so close. =)

It wouldn’t be a visit from my parents without various projects getting done around the house.  My Mom worked on pillow covers for me and I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am about them! =)  My Dad got rid of the rose bushes and another spiky bush in the backyard (beware – next year I’ll be a real gardener!).  He also put up curtain holder things (there’s probably a real name for this…), helped reinforce the tree fort, and put up a new shelf for the boys’ capes and the letters the boys made with them.  It was a week of random projects and I’m so impressed with how everything turned out!  Thank you, guys!!

In between these projects and runs to the fabric store and Home Depot, we did some school work, read books, and played games.  Ethan went on a couple bike rides with Grandpa.  Micah joined Grandma and me at the yarn store – wearing two different shoes as I am told I did regularly as a child – and took pictures of butterflies with Grandpa in the backyard.  And the boys did a lot of yard work outside, too.

It was great to have you here again, Mom and Dad!  Thanks for coming!!  You’ll see another post of this trip with photos from my Dad. =)

Daily Life

Just wanted to do a quick post updating on daily life happenings…

My Dad and I worked on my new dry erase calendar and I am SO pumped about how it turned out.  We use it for school every morning to talk about months and days and what our schedule is.  It’s fabulous!  Thanks, Dad!!

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Micah cut his hair…with his swiss army knife…and now I’ve buzzed it all off. =)IMG_4288

Ethan has taken up the harmonica.  We received this from Aunt Sal and Uncle Brad, too (thanks, guys!), and he’s thrilled.  This is “Hot Cross Buns”.  We’ll hope to have some piano updates soon as he’s taking lessons starting Monday!

Ethan also recently beat me in a game of Machi Koro, one of our fav games…he beat me by rolling 2s about a hundred times.  It was an epic game because it rarely happens that someone wins the game by never rolling more than one die.

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I tried a new meal this week.  I’m not sure I can say it was a hit with everyone, but it was fun and unique.  Mike and I enjoyed it more than the boys, but they didn’t complain about it!  Farro. Kale. Blistered Tomatoes. Soft boiled eggs. Avocado.

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We still enjoy a good walk through the park after dinner.  I wish this was a daily occurrence, but we probably get out there weekly at this point. IMG_4321

Money burns a hole in these boys’ pockets.  They had saved up for a couple months and finally just had to go buy some lego sets.  We went to Target after CC and then the rest of the afternoon was very quiet for me. =) Micah did a great job building his set almost all by himself.  I sat nearby and corrected a few things here and there, but he did most of it! Ethan raced through 3 different sets (mostly smaller ones) in one sitting!

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This evening we went to a birthday party for a boy that played on Ethan’s soccer team a couple years in a row.  This was our first time at Boondocks and the boys seemed to enjoy it!  It’s a bit of a sensory overload for us, but we had fun!  Ethan did not end up doing the race track this time, but he came close!  I imagine he’d love it if he was the passenger for his first round.

Daily Life Pics, round 2

A couple of weeks ago, one of my dear friends from Georgia came out to Colorado to visit her sister.  We were thankful to get some time together, too.  We met up at the museum and then brought her to the airport.

Ethan has been spending a lot of time looking at potential ways to spend his birthday money.  He has had so much fun picking out various lego sets and playmobil guys.  We also had a ton of fun at Timbuk Toys – we think that Ivan and Abe might like that store and took some pics to show them.  Thanks, everyone!

This is a glimpse into every day life at our house:

We snuck in the opportunity to see Aunt Ashley and Caleb (and Grace – their dog) for a lunch and pool day.  So fun to live close enough to have random visits!

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We also bought a couple plants with our big coupons – mint and raspberry.  Here’s to hoping they do as well as they are rumored to do.

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Daddy went to a concert a week ago, so we had some extra fun at the house.  I love themes because I’m a big nerd.  Sharks were our theme for the night…shark jammies, shark movie and eating a shark snack – goldfish!

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Next up…Fathers Day!