Other Updates

Thanksgiving week pics – writing down things for which we are thankful and sending birthday cards to Great Grandpa:

Various creation pictures:

We all had a visit to the dentist and we have no cavities!  Phew!

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Micah and Daddio worked on ridding our roof/gutters of leaves:

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I went for a bike ride with Ethan:

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And we continue to love playing Dominoes:

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I’m sure you’ve noticed the family wearing shorts…the weather has been very warm this season!  I’m hoping that the cold is coming…along with some snow…but for now we are sure enjoying the warm temperatures and sunny days!

Our Life

I’ve got some fun updates to make this week, but I’ll start with the basic life as we live it type post.

We made it to week 9 in Classical Conversations, Cycle 3.  Micah again participated in his own class last week!  I got a few hugs throughout the morning, but he participated well and had a great time!  He did a presentation on his hand-me-down camera and a couple of the girls in the class proclaimed that they are putting it on their Christmas list now. =)  Ethan did his presentation on a Lego creation he made.  We’re learning about the human body and will be putting some muscles, bones, organs and other parts of the body on our traced bodies at the end of the 12 weeks.  So, I snapped a picture of Ethan getting traced.  You’ll see the finished product in a few weeks.

We stopped in at Joann Fabrics for *one thing* I wanted for my Halloween costume…and we left with enough fleece to make two massive Christmas blankets for the boys!  Oops.  I had a coupon and there was a buy-one-get-one deal going on…and they picked such darling fabrics…that will match our Christmas pillows my mom made for us!  Anyway, we’ll be working on those in the coming weeks.  Micah, in particular, loved this store.

We enjoyed celebrating pumpkin day…it was a good excuse for a special pumpkin treat.

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I went to my very first book club.  It was a lot of fun!  I had missed the first one because Mike was out of town, but this time I just decided to ask Ike to come watch the boys so I could still attend.  We were discussing “The Scarlet Letter”, a book the boys will have to read when they get into the Challenge program (that’s high school in CC language).  I tried to take good notes while reading it and discussing it so that I will be more prepared for those daunting years!  How awesome is my cousin, Ike??  He came dressed as Chewie to surprise my two excited Chewies.

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Micah continues to love building with MagnaTiles and setting up battles.

Both guys are doing great in school.  E is learning more about multiplication and solving problems like 46×3.  He really enjoys Math.  Micah is still working on addition and is showing some improvements in his reading, too.  He enjoys writing quite a bit and often asks to do extra sheets for that.  Today he even made his own extra worksheets.  I am not in the stage of correcting his writing, so I think he finds it to be a small risk with great reward. =)

Daddio is home for a good stretch now, so we are soaking up time with him!  The guys worked in the yard…and on our roof (eek!!!) this weekend.  Good to have him back!

And we’ve been really enjoying our church.  I am the helper in Micah’s Sunday School class and I’m super impressed with their intentionality in teaching the Bible to these kids.  We’re building a really firm foundation and that’s so great to see.

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Still to come…Ethan’s first piano recital and the Halloween party.

Daily Grind: Homeschool Edition

Videos often motivate the boys in learning their CC memory work and I think they end up being a kind of fun way for others to get a glimpse into how the unique world of classically educating the boys looks.

Here are some more shots from around the house learning:

We take it on the road a bit, too.  Micah does some work in the gym while Ethan participates in PE+ (a gym class for homeschool kids).  And our very best days are spent at the park.  We ride for about a mile and a half and then break for some schooling, then we continue on for another half mile until we reach the park where we do some more schooling and also some playing.

The boys have gotten very interested in painting as of late.  We are using water color right now.  We put on some classical music and paint until they tire of it.  I finished a frame for displaying their artwork and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

In fact, Ethan presented his painting in CC today.  Micah talked about his camera.  We also enjoyed our new art project of using perspective in drawing – the Washington Monument and the Reflective Pool.

I won’t go into the lots of details here, but we are praising the Lord this week.  Suffice it to say, Micah has a difficult time leaving me.  This week, however, he went to CBS without any tears.  We definitely celebrated his bravery!

His sweet teacher sent this picture to me later to confirm that he was, in fact, smiling during class, too! =)

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Lastly, we finished our audiobook of “Anne of Green Gables”.  I literally happy (and sad) cried my way through the whole book.  I had never read it before, but I grew up LOVING (and hating for some of the parts…) watching “Anne of Green Gables” with Megan Follows.  I highly recommend the book and found the audiobook to be delightful!!  Tonight we watched the first half of the movie and the boys loved it.

Side note: when I was younger, our family went on a trip to Prince Edward Island to see Green Gables (among other things).  That whole trip was easily one of my favorite family vacations.  I only just learned that my sister and dad had been reading the books together prior to it!  How fun!  I have a picture…somewhere…of me in front of Green Gables, but I can’t seem to find it now.  I’d like to show it to the boys!

 

Daily Grind

You might remember that we had loads of produce from our trip to Miller Farms.  Well, we decided to blanch our tomatoes and make homemade spaghetti sauce.  In all honesty, it was just okay.  The process was fun and it smelled delicious, but the sauce itself was sub-par in my opinion.  And it wasn’t because we ate it with a spaghetti squash we had picked, either, because I tried it with regular ol’ noodles later in the week and it was still just so-so. 😉

Micah continues to love to build with magnatiles.  Again, I highly recommend them to people and am so thankful that Cass told me about them long ago! =)

Ethan continues to love playing piano (3 weeks in – woot, woot!).  He was the star student of the week again.  I believe that means he plays the iPad piano game more than others…so either I’m more lax about it than other parents or he’s more obsessed with it than the others.  At any rate, it’s a fun tool and he’s picking up piano quickly and loves to show off his new songs.  He has also now begun composing his own songs.  He tells me that Mozart was younger than him when he began composing. =)

Micah and I spend time working on reading during piano lessons and then head out for a walk.  On this particular day, he brought his camera to take pictures along the way.  He was interested, primarily, in the interesting mailboxes.

We attended a birthday dinner and soaked up time with Daddio this past weekend.

And here are some randoms from throughout the past week…a look at my current pile of books, a carwash experience and the boys enjoying Grandpa Russ’ popcorn in their army attire. =)

As you know, a huge part of our daily grind is homeschooling, but I’ll do a separate post on that!

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.

Catching up…

I want to do a separate post about the last week of homeschool and another one highlighting my parents’ visit, but for now I wanted to do a quick catching up post of some happenings over the past couple of weeks:

Micah finishing off a bottle of fish oil. =D

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Silly boys outside of Target posing for a picture for Hana and Ellie:

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Magnatile creations:

We watched cousin Matthew perform in The Little Mermaid.  He did a great job playing King Triton!  Neither boy is interested in being in plays in front of that many people, but E wondered if his book might someday be made into a play…

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Mike was the substitute coach for Ethan’s soccer game a couple weekends ago.  He’s great with those kids and E was really happy to have his dad out there with him.  I don’t ever get good shots of the actual game, but I did snap this one during practice and one of Micah watching E’s practice.

Mother’s Day was a fun celebration for me.  I didn’t make a meal all day and got lots of hugs, kisses and flowers from my doting guys! =D  We walked around REI after lunch out at one of our fav places downtown.  The last pic is of Micah and me “camping” in our tent at REI.

Next up…posts about ending the school year and my parents’ visit!

April Days

One of the things the boys love to do is to try new foods with their Daddio.  They picked out all kinds of different fruits and then watched YouTube videos to show how to eat them.

The boys have been really into K’nex building these days.  They’ve made some fun creations so far.

They are also very into…battles.  For about a week they chose to keep the battles set up upstairs and our downstairs was perfectly clean and relaxing. =D  Look at me – the former wannabe author who hated to read – busy reading the 3rd book in a 5 book series, “The Chronicles of the Kings”.

The boys got some new books in the mail from Grandma Cleve.  I think Ethan might have finished the one about Lincoln that same afternoon – he was so excited.  Micah also told me that he found the book about Roosevelt to be very interesting – he read it during his rest apparently. =D

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And, of course, I have to include some pictures of videos of our homeschooling life.

What are three characteristics of light? Reflection, refraction and spectrum.

Tell me about the fall of communist dictators.

Tell me about the Gulf War.

Coordinating Conjunctions (video made especially for Uncle Get and Uncle Jason!):

Finally, visiting the library is a weekly occurrence.  Mostly the boys like to find books about Star Wars. =D

Other happenings…

E finished the Star Wars book we got him for Christmas.  I don’t think he was reading it for 2 months.  I think he just started this past week and finished it.  At any rate, it was pretty exciting.

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The boys really enjoy making videos of the songs they have learned for CC, so I just keep making them.  I hope you find them charming. =D

The boys LOVE getting mini figs in the mail!  Thanks, Grandma Cleve!  What a fun treat!

We’ve been playing A LOT of games of Machi Koro these days.  I’m close to burn out.  However, Ethan keeps beating me…the motivation to beat him keeps me playing. =D  The other day he absolutely killed me.  I think he had an excess of 80 coins or something crazy like that.  It was so nuts, we had to take a picture.

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I also snapped a picture of him at CC last week during Fine Arts.  He did a very nice job on his painting with various textures.

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Mike and E learned how to play chess at the same time.  They are pretty evenly matched and have a lot of fun playing together.  Micah and I play Blink or Connect Four or Uno during these games.  I didn’t snap a picture of us, though, sorry.

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We renewed Ethan’s passport last week.  It is absolutely crazy to think he is old enough to need a renewed passport.  Where has the time gone??  This is the boys waiting patiently while we signed the forms to make it official.

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Micah took these selfies of us sitting outside in the sunshine.

We had some friends over for dinner recently.  I was the only girl in a home full of boys!  My friend was taking care of her Mom, so we got the chance to host the guys by us while she was away.

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We made a purchase recently – on sale and made in America.  Doesn’t get better than that, does it??  😉  We had been looking for an option for comfy reading in the school room (and for Mike to be able to have someplace to sit in his office/school room) and this fits the bill.

And, lastly, pics from homeschool and reading:

Celebrating Micah!

Micah John turned 5 years old last weekend.  This means two especially exciting things for him: #1) he can officially chew gum! (that’s just a Cleve Crew rule) and #2) he can officially play Dart Warz!

The day before his 5th birthday was another homeschool day at Dart Warz, so we headed over there with Aunt Jennie to play.  Our cousins joined us, too!  At first Micah wasn’t interested in playing, but eventually he decided it would be fun.  He absolutely enjoyed himself out there!  It was particularly fun to have Aunt Jen to aim at the whole time. =D

His actual birthday fell on the same day as the Global Bizarre (a post about that is on its way shortly), so he spent the day with Daddio before celebrating a bit with all of us that evening.  He opened a present from Jen and J before the three of us headed out and then opened one on Skype from Grandma Cleve with Daddio.  He was pretty pumped up about both gifts!

That evening we went out for an early dinner at Mod Market after the Global Bizarre.  Unfortunately, Ethan started feeling sick when we were finishing up at the sale and was pretty miserable for the rest of that evening.  He even fell asleep at the restaurant and then threw up in the car on the way home.  He has an incredibly sweet heart and desperately wanted to watch Micah open his gifts that evening, so we moved the festivities into his room where we took a couple breaks for some more throwing up. =/  Thankfully, Micah was over-joyed with all of the generous gifts and kept us all entertained!

Check out his excitement with his remote control dragon!

The following morning I made Belgian waffles for breakfast (even though Ethan was still a bit sick and couldn’t enjoy them with us).  And we celebrated with lunch and birthday cake with cousins that afternoon.

Micah also got these adorable videos to celebrate his birthday:

Micah is growing so much, physically and otherwise.  In fact, he has been having a lot of growing pains in the more recent weeks.  He’s wearing mostly 5T now, but I don’t have any other measurements recorded for this milestone quite yet.  The thing that stands out the most about Micah is his thoughtful, self-less heart.  He will always give away bites of his special treats (and this boy LOVES special treats!), is the first to remind me to buy granola bars for homeless people, would like to give away toys and the guest bedroom to people in need, shares most things with his brother or anyone else, and is the first to offer to pray at every meal (and usually includes something thoughtful about the people around the table or asks for someone to be healed).  I’ve learned so much as his mama.  He blesses me daily and I am thankful for him!

Randoms

Micah continues to ask us to take pictures of many of his creations.  He’s definitely got a creative personality and loves to build.  Here are this weeks’ pictures as requested by Micah.

Miss Amy made us these phenomenal truffle cake pop deliciousness treats.  We wanted to take a picture to show our appreciation!  She made them to celebrate my birthday and they were the perfect choice!  Yum!

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This is what at least one room in my house looks like every.single.week.  Insert emoji with big eyes!

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We LOVE living so close to our park.  We are trying to go regularly, especially now that school started.  It’s fun to do lunches or dinners there and even just to walk around.

One-on-ones for this week.  E went with Daddio to play soccer in the park, while Micah and I played with play-doh at the house.  No pictures taken, sorry.  Later, Daddio took Micah to get frozen yogurt (where they also playing basketball) and E and I played Monopoly Deal (I recommend this game highly!).