Grandpa Russ’ Visit!

Grandpa Russ drove out to spend Thanksgiving with us again this year.  We are loving this tradition and really enjoy having him in town for the holiday.  This year he arrived on Wednesday afternoon and left on Sunday morning.  We squeezed a lot of casual fun in that time.  We spent a lot of time outside, going for walks, and playing various games.

We also celebrated Thanksgiving twice.  We had two smaller feasts – one on Thursday and another on Saturday, when Ashley, Zach and Caleb were back in town.  Micah was my big helper in the kitchen. =)  It was a great way to celebrate!  (And in between the two celebrations, I got to decorate the house for Christmas while listening to the new Hanson Christmas CD!)

Feast #1:

IMG_6930

Feast #2:

IMG_0058

We’ve got lots for which to be thankful!  Thanks, Grandpa Russ, for coming out for another fun visit!

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. =)

IMG_5405

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.

IMG_5408

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. =)

Life Lately

Time for me to catch you up on our life lately.

Micah is working on learning how to read, a task that is more fun this year than last year…but is still a long way coming.  He is getting pretty good with recognizing his sight words and enjoys listening to books a lot more these days.  He’s also working on addition problems.  He loves to cook and asks occasionally if he can do some cooking for school, so I try to add that into our curriculum here and there.  Ethan is loving multiplication and division.  He learned how last year, but he’s getting more practice this year and he keeps telling me he thinks it’s fun.  He’s also studying 1 and 2 Timothy with me in CBS.  Both boys enjoy their weekly CBS classes now.  Both boys are also learning all of the states and capitals and a lot of American history.  They LOVE listening to their CC history songs and do so on their CD player every.single.day.

Here are some videos of some recent memory work:

Last weekend we were joined by Ashley and Caleb on a family hike to Lair o’ the Bear.  It’s a neat spot and we’d love to hike there more in the future!

Mike and Ethan had a birthday part to attend, so Micah and I had a date at Chipotle.  His highlight was that he accidentally put some lemonade in his cup (it is shared with the water spout) and they didn’t make us pay for it!  He got to enjoy watered down lemonade and it was the best and he’d like to have lemonade from Chipotle for his birthday now.  And milk.  What!?

IMG_5065

Ethan is loving piano, as you know.  He’s got quite a few songs in his repertoire now.  His latest fav is “Ode to Joy” and he is going to be playing it in his first recital next weekend.  While Ethan (and Matthew) are at piano practice, Micah and I go to a super nice library in the area.  Micah loves the little door.

IMG_5078

CC update – Ethan’s presentation was on how to make a “snub-nose paper airplane” and Micah gave his third presentation on his Millennium Falcon.  He went to his own class again this week, thanks to our awesome community who willingly moved his room to the same floor as my class!  He apparently asked them to keep the door open and then he felt perfectly comfortable.  He stopped in to get a quick hug twice and then joined my class for review at the end.  A wonderful improvement to say the least!!  He loved learning the tin whistle in his class and likes to bashfully show it off when skyping with people. =)

The boys officially have onesies now…a desire they have had ever since seeing Matthew in his Eeyore onesie.  So, they will both be wookiees this year for Halloween.

We may need to do some work on spelling/sounding words out… =)

We also had a visit from Ms. Samantha and Mr. Steven this weekend and had such a nice time with them!  Samantha and I went to high school together and she was easily one of my closest friends at the time.  She’s kind, funny, and intentional.  Naturally, she’s got my loyalty and I was thrilled to get to see her and her sweet hubby.  The boys LOVED having them in town.  We went hiking first and then they came over for chili and fun for the rest of the evening.  Samantha and Micah and I made bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheese and almonds…and they were incredible.  Thanks, Jen Hatmaker, for the recipe in your book! =D  Steven and Ethan played a 2+ hour game of chess.  Steven eventually came out victorious, but he was very complimentary of Ethan’s game, saying he hasn’t had such a worthy opponent in decades.  We also had a pretty intense dart wars battle after which a few of us had some lasting marks!  After the boys went to sleep, I enjoyed a few more hours of chatting and laughing with these guys.  Such a gift!

Grandpa Russ

Grandpa Russ came out for a visit last week!  He usually likes to come during the summer, but our summer was a little hectic, so he came out in early “fall” (although still technically summer…) and enjoyed the hot weather with us. 😉 We always enjoy his visit – we spend a lot of time outside and usually enjoy ice cream a couple times, too!  He also got to see what daily life is like around here, so he joined us at PE + (our first class of the school year) and listened in on some of our homeschooling around the house.

 

We went to the reservoir twice while he was with us.  It was lots of fun to use the kayaks he had given us last summer with him.  Hopefully he could get a sense of how much we all enjoy using them!!  One of the times we had Ace, Zach and Caleb join us which added to the fun!

Day 1:

 

Day 2:

 

 

 

 

Sadly, I pinched a nerve in my back and was in excruciating pain when he first arrived and for the first bit after that.  So, I didn’t participate in the kayaking, but I was able to walk at that point, so I just walked and then finished a book.

 

Look at how nicely Micah decorated the floor on the night I couldn’t move off the floor:

IMG_6252

Thanks for coming out for a visit, Grandpa Russ!  We loved having you!!

Home again

And finally, here are a few pictures from our trip back to the States:

We arrived on the evening of August 7.  The following night Caleb came to help babysit the boys so Mom and Dad could go see and hear from our missionary friends serving in Germany (you’ll remember them from our trip there two years ago).  Thanks for being available, Ace!  Ethan also had the opportunity to go tubing behind Uncle Joel’s boat – he put together some Legos to demonstrate.  Thanks for taking him out, Uncle!  And, naturally, the boys are back to their usual archery.

Dart Wars in the Park

The main thing Ethan wanted for his birthday was to get his cousins and some friends to the park for a big game of dart wars.  We had SO much fun.  I envision gathering people together for dart wars in the park often – it was easy and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves.  Ethan could not have been happier! =D

Milestone alert: Ethan went ice blocking for the first time ever.  I went for my second (and third and fourth and fifth) time.  My first attempt was the night before our wedding.

Anyway, it was epic and very reminiscent of my 7th birthday party – the super soaker party!