Grandpa’s Visit

Mike had another two weeks of travel at the beginning of our school year, so we flew my Dad out to help again.  I was so thankful to have his company and help.  And the boys LOVE spending time with him. We had a softer start to the school year, but still got a lot done in that first week.

We also did some homeschooling on the road – a bike ride and a field trip to Hudson Gardens.

On Saturday, we jogged/walked in a 5k run that our friends put on each year in honor of their daughter who was adopted from China, had congenital heart problems, and died after surgery. It’s a fundraiser for third world orphans with medical problems.  Three kids, in three different countries, will get operations because of the money raised in this run.

Our church service was held in the mountains on Sunday.  We enjoyed the service there, a picnic, and then had some time to play.

Monday was our second week of CC and Mike was back home.  We did our family presentation during opening assembly and then my Dad got to go back and forth between Ethan and Micah’s classes.  That evening Micah had his soccer practice and we all went to watch.

Here are a couple other pictures from throughout his visit and of Mike and his buddies on his trip:

My Dad left on Tuesday morning after a wonderful trip.  We sure loved having him for the week!  When we dropped him off at the airport the boys both said they wished he (and grandma, obviously) lived out here by us. =D

First days of school

We started our school year on August 19th this year, starting with a full day at CC.  Both of the boys had new tutors this year and I am the Director for our community for the first time.  Ethan has most of the same kids he was in class with last year, but has a couple new ones.  Micah has mostly new kids in his class.  And I’m feeling a good mix of emotions about my new role, but mostly I’m feeling thankful for the opportunity to serve these families. We’ll be studying about the medieval period during CC this year and reading a lot of good books set in that timeframe.  Here are some CC pictures from day 1:

And on Tuesday we had a more laid back start to the school year.  We began with French toast, went for a bike ride, and ended the day with ice cream.  Don’t worry, there was some learning in there, too. =)  Ethan is in 4th grade; Micah is in 2nd.

We also took bi-yearly measurements for both boys:  Ethan is now 4’10” (and has almost the same size feet and hands as me).  Micah is 4’3″.

Micah also had his first soccer practice after CC.  (Ethan started the week after.)

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The weeks before school started…

We really tried to soak up some family time before the rush of the school year began.  Here are some pictures from around the house/neighborhood.

We also did a timed mile run at the park.  Micah and Mike ran a half mile together and then Mike finished his mile while Micah rested.  Micah ran without stopping, which impressed us all.  Then Ethan and I headed out for our mile run and he beat me by a good minute – such a stud!

We took the boys to Red Rocks for their first concert.  We got to see Chris Tomlin, which was a fun treat.

We attended our second Practicum.  As the Director for our CC community, I needed to attend trainings on both Foundations tutoring and Essentials tutoring.  Micah absolutely loved this – he wore matching shirts with some guys in his little gang for most, if not all, of the days.  One of my dearest friends joined our CC community this year, so we attended Practicum together!

We went on a family bike ride out towards Mel and Joel’s house.  The hope is that we will do it again and make it all the way there.  As it turns out, biking with my family is one of my very favorite things to do.  The boys knocked off quite a few more miles towards their summer biking goal that day.

Also, I celebrated my 35th birthday!  My hope had been to ride 35 miles that day, so I started the day with a long ride with the boys around the Cherry Creek Reservoir.  Both boys reached their 100 mile for the summer goal on this ride. Then later that evening I went out alone and raced the sun and rain, losing my battle and requiring a pick up by Mike and Micah.

We celebrated a friend’s birthday at a cool Ninja gym:

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Mike and the boys played golf one of the weekends and I walked along.

The boys got bank accounts, played a lot of legos, took some more bike rides, and brought in their Bookies summer reading contest.  Micah wrote me a sweet encouraging note when I was having a rough day, so I had to include that in here.

Meagen graduated with her Masters in engineering (or something like that) and invited me to her graduation.  SO proud of her!!!

Mike and I snuck away for a date to see Mumford and Sons at Fiddlers Green again.

And, finally, I had an idea to put some rewards in a jar that I could use throughout the year whenever I needed to motivate the boys.  We are all pretty jazzed about it. =)

Next up: the school year begins!

Part 2: Wisconsin

We stayed in Wisconsin at my parents’ house (most of that time they were off gallivanting with my sister and her family in Europe, so you won’t see many pictures of any of them) for the next two and a half weeks.  Part of that time Mike was in Minneapolis, but most of it he was also in Wisconsin working from home.  The highlights are too many to count on this portion of the trip, but I especially loved being near my brother and his family to spend every-day-life time with them.

We’ll start with pictures from the first few days while my parents were still in town:

Jen and J gave Ethan the birthday gift of going to Hamilton in Chicago with them.  He did a little preparing for it.  And then I drove down and babysat Salina while they went to the show.  We left the following morning after a little time with the family.  Ethan had a great time and now added two songs from the show to his playlist.

Meanwhile:

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We had a lot of FUN hang out time with the cousins (time at the house, walks, zoo, baseball game, lots of games, and bike races – “Go, Bikes, Go!!!”) :

And we did a few things on our own as a family, like golfing and biking (family met us at the beach after one such ride).  Micah and I also went on a hike on our own one day.  And we visited the lighthouse where Mike’s grandpa used to live and work:

I took the boys on a couple little excursions – Jelly Belly tour and Mars Cheese Castle – and also went on a number of bike rides:

We also really enjoyed getting to see our extended family.  We spent a day at Petrifying Springs with Uncle Brad, Aunt Sal, and cousin Luke (along with my brother’s family, of course!!).  It was fabulous!  Aunt Sal also came by another day to let Micah take Eli for a walk!

Each year we plan a trip with the Maurer clan and this summer was no different, except that they had just had their third sweet baby girl, so we opted for something a little easier.  We spent two days with them at my parents’ house, just soaking up time together and catching up.  It was really fun to see the kids connecting again!  Sadly, we forgot to take a whole group shot!!

We LOVED our time in Wisconsin!  So thankful that we got to spend so much time with the people that we love!

Before the big trip…

Just thought I’d do a quick “catch all” post from before our midwestern tour during the month of June.

Brothers hanging around the house together.

We had a random snow storm right after my Dad left, so we had to have some hot chocolate and treats since it was May and snowing! =)

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We finished another year of school and I managed to take end of year pictures to compare. Woot.

I went to my cousin’s graduation from High School (he was 10 months old, I think, when I first came out to Colorado for college!) and got some pictures of some of the brothers celebrating. =).

Family bike ride to a favorite park a couple miles away:

A couple birthday parties and a play date during which I got in some snuggle time:

Next up: travels to the midwest.

Wrapping up the school year

We’ve had a sort of bizarre wrap up to our school year.  We still have a few things to finish before I can officially say we’re on summer break, but we’ve definitely lowered the intensity of our workload already.  We had to hit it pretty hard in April, so May has been a slower pace.  We also often do various school-related things throughout the summer, so I’m okay with a more calm ending to the school year.  But I haven’t taken any official final day of school pics. haha!

Ethan had his first standardized tests and did really well on them.  He took them with a bunch of other CC peeps at our church, so that helped to make it a good first experience for him.  Meanwhile, Micah and I went over to a nearby rec center and did school there. Afterwards they all played basketball and ate lunch together.

We had our final day at CBS and Micah “sang” with the kids at the opening.  We also had our final lunch with cousin Matthew before he starts school at DC in the fall.  They had their final piano lesson together recently, too. It’s been SO much fun being with them every week.

The boys earned two new books for their read aloud challenge – they read EVERY day of the month of April for at least ten minutes each.

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And we had our end of the year party with CC.  We celebrated all that they learned and did a little showing off by singing the timeline.  This was also the evening that my new role as the Director at CC began – pretty overwhelming and exciting all at the same time.  Mike wasn’t in town, so I only got the picture of the memory master gang (featured in a previous post) and this one of Micah’s class.

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Further Catching Up

Ethan’s been loving playing soccer this season.  He’s found his favorite position – stopper!  He absolutely loves playing defense and has even managed to score a few goals from back there because he’s got quite the kick!  And Micah is a fun fan. =)

Micah started playing flag football through the rec centers here.  He’s loved it and definitely improved over the few weeks that the season ran.  I was out of town for his first game, but Mike took lots of pictures and videos.  They watched some game footage to help teach him about the game before his second night of games.  And then his final games were cancelled due to weather, so we’ll see if he gets to make those up later.  He prefers to play center, but he did get a couple running plays called for him and snagged at least one flag!  Woot!

Ethan worked SO hard on his Memory Master challenge this year and was able to get the official title.  This meant he had to memorize every fact for all 24 weeks of 7 subjects.  He had to recall this information 3 different times.  We opted to do one with Auntie Mel (SO thankful to live by these guys again!!).  Then he was quizzed by a tutor at CC and then by the director.  It was a pretty arduous process, but he loved it and was super excited by the challenge!

Micah began going to Speech therapy and is making great strides there already.  He seems to enjoy it okay and is pretty determined to do his homework!

And Ethan played the prelude in church again – In Christ Alone.  Another fun bonus to going to the same church as family, Aunt Mel took a video! =)

He also had his final piano recital of the year – he played two pieces (In the Hall of the Mountain King and something about pirates).

And Micah is wrapping up drum lessons for the year.  Here’s one of the latest pictures I took when one of his friends from church wanted to sit in and listen.

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