Other Tidbits

Some pictures from school lately (including Micah teaching Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Sal an art class after timeline lesson):

Some pics from around the house (including reading together, enjoying hot chocolate bombs from our friends from CC, Micah teaching art to Daddio, Ethan resting his eyes while editing pictures, and cloth napkins!! the latest in our initiatives to be more green):

Lastly, some pictures from our family talent show – a little something new to spice up our weekly Zoom calls. Highlights included: cousins’ artwork, Ger and Grandma played a cello and ukulele duet, Ger’s solo ukulele and singing performance, Grandpa played a trombone solo, boys played piano, I recited a poem, and Mike balanced on the slack block. A great time was had by all. Micah was the MC and even read some jokes during it to keep folks entertained. And Ethan kept the right person spotlighted for their performance.

Colorado Weather

I’m sure I’ve mentioned my love of Colorado weather a number of times. I hope it doesn’t get obnoxious! I’m just so thankful to live in a place that brings such fun turns in the weather. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had a few snowstorms which brought in varying amounts of snow. We’ve also had temps in the high 60s. This post will feature a good mix of both extremes and our adventures in both.

The boys built a new snow fort on the deck during one snowstorm:

We enjoyed a birding expedition at Cherry Creek Reservoir a day or two after that snow:

Not long after that we got a good foot of snow and took the morning off of school to go sledding a bunch. Daddio surprised us and joined for a bit of it!

Over one of the recent weekends we hiked in Roxborough Park. What a gorgeous park! This is one that I’ve done a bunch, but it always amazes me. I even went there when I was coming out to visit my Aunt and Uncle during my high school years.

On Friday after school was done, I took the boys on a bike ride to the ponds. Mike had been skiing – a fantastic COVID-safety-approved activity if you don’t ever have to go to the bathroom! (this is not for me or the boys!) HAHA! And this past Saturday was beautiful. Mike took the boys to City Park in the morning so that I could clean without distraction. Win win!

Saturday afternoon we headed to Mount Zion in Golden and did a short, but gorgeous hike with beautiful views.

And in the meantime, we’ve still managed to meet with our CC community in the backyard and have had such beautiful weather for it! We’re thrilled to be down to only 5 weeks of CC and all hope to spend some time together just for fun when the year is done. =D

Ethan managed to do some other schooling outdoors this week, too. I snuck a couple of pictures from the window of the house:

We also got some rain this past week and Micah offered to join me on a late night walk in the rain. I hadn’t gotten my walk in earlier in the day, so the two of us walked with head lamps and really enjoyed our time together. In fact, Micah said, “Mom, I’m taking a mental picture of this so I don’t forget it.” He then told me that he had also taken a mental picture earlier when we zoomed for Salina’s 3rd birthday and she and Grandma walked off with their little matching dusting mitts to do some dusting.

This weekend marked the first time I was able to sit outside to read in the morning and our first time using the ping pong table in quite a while. Yay!

More updates unrelated to CO weather to come. =P

Early February

Micah loves to do art projects. He has the wall downstairs in his office filled with pictures. He has been painting a lot lately. Meanwhile, Ethan edits his pictures and sends emails.

Micah does art even while he’s technically doing math. Zoom in to see the drawings he does while working on math problems.

Here are some other pics from school these days:

Micah is also doing a lot of cooking (or at least picking out meals to try from his cookbook) lately. This weekend we probably tried 4 or 5 recipes! He always makes a note in his cookbook with the month and year we tried it along with his rating.

I have to be a little more sneaky to get pictures of Ethan as he’s reached the age when he doesn’t love posing. He is very much into all things birds. He may be playing football down at the park, but he’ll run back up the street to grab his camera if he spies anything new. He also loves to email his friends and family. This morning he beamed with pride to say that he had an email from both of his grandpas!

And speaking of grandpas, Micah choose to dress like my dad today (complete with pens in his pocket and jeans):

We celebrated Valentine’s Day weekend with much relaxing. It was freezing outside, so we had a fire twice (including during church!). We played some games, read some books and just enjoyed each other’s company. Micah made gifts for everyone. I made strawberry syrup for our special Dutch Baby breakfast. The boys received sweet cards and also hot chocolate bombs to enjoy on the special day, too!

And lastly a quick throw back pic from a little ukulele concert done by Abe and Ivan over Zoom.

Life Lately

Here are some shots depicting homeschool life (Ethan is often up early and likes to start on school work right away – I caught him with his book light one morning around 6:15 already at work in the kitchen; Ethan reading out loud during the 10-min a day challenge in January; we teach the timeline from CC to my parents and Aunt Sal and afterwards Micah often likes to play a little piano for them; editing, diagramming, promises, promises curriculum from church; and Micah’s first chapter book read solo!).

Backyard CC Community (including one morning when we did the Essentials portion virtually to avoid those cold days):

Other fun happenings from over the last month include colorku/sudoku while listening to books, Micah working on an art project from Uncle Ger, finishing The Doldrums with Grandma via Zoom, a final Packer picnic for the year, a new joint ‘office’ for the boys, fun in the snow fort, lots of snuggles and book time, some rousing games of Throw Throw Burrito, and boys playing piano (Ethan looks like a teenager to me when he’s composing music on the computer by the piano!).

And, as you might expect, we’ve got lots of birding outings. Mostly the boys (sometimes just Ethan, sometimes both) head to our park down the street for some birding. But I took them to Barr Lake last week for something new and special. We saw quite a few Bald Eagles and a Kestral. Ethan could tell you what else we saw as I’m not as good with identifying or remembering birds. =D

Life in the New Year

Here are some pictures from life around the house. Ethan got a photo editing program for Christmas and spends a lot of time editing his pictures and sending emails to his buddies. We started our usual January challenge of reading out loud for 10 minutes every day. Micah likes to teach art classes to whoever will participate. He got to teach Daddio this weekend and was thrilled. You can see his art wall behind his office. We went for a long walk/bike ride (boys ride with one walkie talkie and the parents walk with the other one) this past weekend while the temps were nice and warm. And Micah loves to play the piano and is considering taking lessons in the fall.

We are back to meeting in our backyard for CC community days. So far we’ve had pretty decent weather, although the mornings are pretty chilly. One morning Micah wanted to impress everyone with his ability to handle the cold by wearing short sleeves. Others joined in until it really got unbearable and everyone needed to put on their layers.

We’ve also been getting back into our regular schooling routine around the house. Micah is learning division with remainders, so there are some pics of him decorating our whiteboard as he figures those problems out! And Ethan has begun keeping track of his goals and work on a weekly planner. He’s also resumed his virtual piano lessons.

The boys are working on keeping their snow fort for as long as possible. It’s become a bit of a science project for them. They’ve made lots of updates over the weeks, and it’s still standing strong!

And we’ve been enjoying Packer picnics while cheering on our team to the Super Bowl! This past weekend found way too much joy in making cheese carrots to trick the boys.

Wrapping up December

I listened to a lovely book recently that talked about the belief when World War I began that it would “be done by Christmas” and realized that I had held that belief about Covid, too. World War I wasn’t done by that first Christmas, or by the next one. And Covid isn’t done either. So, our Christmas this year looked very different than it has every other year. As I was reflecting on the sadness I felt to be far from my family for the first time in 8 years over Christmas (we didn’t travel when Micah was first born), a dear friend of mine pointed out the blessing I have in my family. I had told her that I was accustomed to being so rejuvenated over the holidays because of all of my time with them and I wasn’t experiencing it this year. I am still feeling fatigued and in need of rejuvenation. God has blessed me a lot through them – what a gift that I didn’t even fully realize I had! It’s good to take stock and count those blessings, even the ones that seem so obvious. I always knew I had fun over the holidays, but I didn’t realize how much that time prepared me for the next months of life, too.

Anyway, enough musings. We really did have a lovely Christmas season! So many beautiful memories were made! I’ll start with some fun, non-Advent/Christmas-related pictures:

The first is a little snapshot that I took for my bro – he and I used to snag the very best cookies (similar to these, although green) when our family got our box of cookies from family friends each year. I decided to make them with the leftover cornflakes from the sweet potato casserole. Great plan! We also attempted to see the “Christmas Star” of Jupiter and Saturn – awesome experience! Thanks, Grandma Cleve, for reminding me about this!! Much of our day is filled with listening to books and… the ‘and’ is followed by LEGO, coins, marble run, drawing, etc. Micah chose to do some painting one day. We played a few games another night.

Some Advent activities leading up to Christmas day included a “choose your favorite and re-do it” event which was a great hit. The boys chose to have another sleepover and watch a Christmas movie. We also had our Christmas Recital – thank you to all of our audience members who made it SO much fun! Mike started us off with a little portion of a Coldplay song which brought much merriment to all. And on Christmas Eve we zoomed with Grandma Cleve and then had our annual Shepherds meal where we eat by the fire and pretend to be shepherds on the night the angels came with the Good News of Jesus.