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

Summer Life

I think it was only last week that we had some sewer/pipes/draining work done at the house.  This was not the most fun way to spend money, but it was necessary.  The boys had a blast watching it all and we’re glad to have the problem behind us.  Now to get some grass…

A more fun way to spend some money was in preparation for our upcoming camping trips. We’ve been spending some time looking for sales on our gear.  Each boy now has a sleeping bag and we have some pots/pans/dishes and a camping stove!  Snapped these rock-climbing pictures outside of REI downtown and another of Micah testing out his sleeping bag at home.

It’s been a pretty hot summer thus far, especially without any mean of cooling the house currently.  Rest in peace, swamp cooler.  You were good while you lasted.  I still try to get us outside for bike rides and time at the park, but it’s hard to go get extra hot when we don’t have a good way to cool down afterwards.

Micah lost another tooth (that brings his total to 3, I believe).  And he went to the dentist. One of his front teeth has been dead since an epic fall back in our Georgia days; it’s on its way out this month by our hands or it will need to get pulled.  We’re working on it!

Ethan still spends time every day playing the piano.  He can’t get enough of it.

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And we played game 15 of Risk as a family.  I thought my chances to win were good…until everyone wanted me eliminated.  But, I’m glad to say that I held on.  Ethan won the game and now no one gets to write their name on the board anymore…alas, my name will never be on it.

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Mother’s Day

This year Mother’s Day was much like any other day and that was okay.  I’m actually not a huge fan of any of the holidays that put me/him/love on display.  For some reason, they never really live up to all of the hype.  I don’t like to get sucked into comparisons or in needing things to be post-worthy. =)

Anyway, I did request a gift for Mother’s Day – a picnic table!!  I searched on craigslist and found this beauty and then sent Mike to do the work of getting it and putting it up in our backyard.  We’ve had loads of picnics on it already.  Our first one, though, was picture- and post-worthy! =D  I am THRILLED!

And then we took the classic mother and sons picture to commemorate the day.  It took us a lot of attempts to get this and it’s still not the greatest…but it’ll do. =D

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Love these guys and am honored to be their mama!!

Spartan Races

On Saturday, the boys ran in their first Spartan races.  These are obstacle course runs; Ethan ran a 1-mile course and Micah did a 1/2 mile one.

Ethan’s obstacles included things like sand bag carrying, climbing over various walls, doing box jumps, throwing a spear, and running through mud pits.  Mike ran down the hill to catch videos and pictures of the part of the course that was down in the valley.

Micah’s obstacles included much of the same things, but his course didn’t go down into the valley like Ethan’s had, so we were able to see everything he did.  If you even know a smidgen of his story, you know how much we’ve been praising God for the healing He has done in Micah’s heart.  It’s been such a thrill to watch him try new things with a whole lot less anxiety!

We are SO proud of them for doing something so hard all on their own.  They had a blast and both want to do more races in the future!

 

Other Happenings

The boys did a great workout with Daddio.  They don’t do this all that often, but it’s really sweet to see them all working out together.

Micah really loved his kiwico box this past month – a solar system!  He painted while we listened to The Secret Garden.  Great Granny A gave us the Focus on the Family audiobook of that story and it was a super fun way to listen to it.

We are all getting in on the piano-playing around here.  I have been loving to play a couple times each week.  E plays anytime he walks past the piano.  And Micah does a little playing here and there, too.  E is also teaching Mike a bit of piano, so that’s fun!  I caught E teaching Micah the other day and it made me smile.

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Here are some homeschooling shots from around the house.  The first is what the table looks like just before I call them up from their lego-playing to begin our school day.  It makes me smile and I wanted to post it here to remind me what this season in life looked like for Jess in later years. =)  The second is our daily board…with some additions from the boys.  Ethan added his snack and to “right” to Hana.  (Guess what word will be on his spelling test tomorrow?!) Micah changed his name to Doggie and added “winey” which means…he wanted to whine during his day.

Sometimes the board gets nice messages on it, like this one from Micah:

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Ethan still makes the best “people’s eyebrow”, but my little niece is going to give him a run for his money.  I can’t wait until I can show you her version!

Micah got his very first library card and he was beaming!  He’s not into being in pictures or videos these days so he usually tries to hide his face.  His first books?  A book about Canada, a book about castles and a Star Wars book.

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Speaking of that guy, he still loves to build with magnatiles and makes a pretty awesome castle.

And speaking of the library, the boys discovered the Lego Star Wars shows and have been watching an episode or two every few days…with the massive beanbag chair on top of them like so:

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And, lastly, we had the opportunity to watch Micah’s friend in his play “The Aristocats”.  We had a lot of fun and were so glad to get to encourage him!  I promise we had fun!

Next up…Spartan Races!

Field Trips

You know we are nearing the end of the school year when you see lots of field trips popping up!  We actually completed our state requirements a couple weeks ago already, but I have a few things we want to finish before the end of our school year next week.  So these field trips have just been chances to get together with other families or to see/do things that seemed like fun. =)

We went with a bunch of CC families to see the Dead Sea Scrolls a couple weeks ago.  I think I got the most out of this one, but I took a very casual approach to this day – allowing them to explore the things that most interested them and not forcing too much reading.  It’s a cool exhibit, for sure, but it’s a lot of reading and that’s not very attention-grabbing for our boys right now. 😉

Over the weekend, Daddio joined us at Living History.  We had done this with my parents at the beginning of the year, too, but this time the boys got to build their own muskets.  They were pretty thrilled about doing that.

The next week, we celebrated reaching our reading goals for the month with cheese-in-the-crust pizza at the library.  We love stopping at pizza hut before heading over for a library visit and just eating outside.  And I told the boys about how I remember when cheese-in-the-crust commercials started and how they always showed the kids eating from the crust first.  So we took some pictures to recreate that. =D

We also went to the Celestial Seasonings tour in Boulder with some CC friends.  Sadly, they were in the middle of inventory, so we didn’t get to see the machines working on the tour, but it was still really interesting!  The boys mostly enjoyed seeing friends and drinking lots of tea.

 

The Festivus for the Rest of Us

Apparently this ^ is some Seinfield reference, but that was never a show I watched/liked/understood.  So what “The Festivus” means to our family is that Mikey competed in his first Crossfit competition.  He entered it as a novice with a couple of friends.  I never thought I’d see him wanting to do this, but now I could see it being a more regular thing.  The competition was fun and it was a pretty exciting, loud, and fun atmosphere.

Anyway, we spent the entire day last Saturday watching him (and others) compete in 5 workouts.  My understanding is that within each category (i.e. men/women novice, men/women masters, etc) they competed in each workout and were ranked.  I believe Mikey was in first place for most of the day in the novice category.  He ended in 2nd, but we’ll blame that on being absolutely exhausted and needing to do an extra workout that he was not expecting at the end of the first 5. =D  We were all really proud of his hard work and found it to be lots of fun to watch.

Also, the boys had lots of fun with other kids and both ran around all day with them!  (I seriously cannot thank the Lord enough for the healing work He’s done in Micah’s heart and mind to allow him to roam around a busy, loud gym for hours with only brief check ins with me.)

And then we celebrated with dinner and frozen yogurt (or jelly bellies for people like me):

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Super proud of that guy!!!