A Week with Colds

When we got back from our weekend away, we battled colds while Mike traveled.  Micah got the worst of it, but even his cold only lasted about a week.  He’s still coughing now, but so much improved.  We still plunged away at school, but we took it easy.  Listening to “The Hobbit” motivated Ethan to begin a new book.  He really loves a good story and starts writing every few months.  It’s fun to see how much his stories have evolved over the last year.  He was a very helpful big brother during the worst days – he played concerts for us and snuggled Micah.  He also just spent a lot of time reading or writing to keep things extra easy for me.  I was super thankful!!

Meanwhile I started writing a book, too, with ideas and pictures from Micah!

We celebrated Pi Day with a pie from the grocery store. =)

Both boys were in my class at CC this week since Micah was still under the weather and coughing a bunch.  He gave a presentation on two of his Lego creations and E told us about JRR Tolkien.

There was a lot of Lego building…and I also got the boys haircuts!!

We ended the week babysitting cousin Caleb, the younger.  He loves listening to music, so he was having a grand ol’ time dancing to our CC songs and other music.  He wasn’t so sure about playing knights, but we gave it a go. =)  And he asked his auntie if she would start homeschooling him along with the boys. 😉

Updates

A few Saturdays ago Mike was out of town.  It’s been a pretty busy couple of months for us with a lot of solo parenting going on.  I am so thankful that we have FaceTime for the days he’s gone and intentional time when he’s in town!  Anyway, I was sure to schedule a nice day for us that Saturday.  We spent the morning at church so that E could work on his pinewood derby car.  For those that don’t know, this is an annual tradition within the CRC and is something that I did as a kid, too. =)  Uncle Joel worked patiently with a bunch of kids, including Ethan, that morning.  He’s such a blessing!!  Meanwhile, Micah and I worked on his pigeon activity book throughout the morning.

That afternoon, we headed to the library to make dinosaur dioramas.

Other updates include…we still like Legos around here:

And we love to read.  I’ve finished something like 18 books already this year (keep in mind that a lot of them are young adult books and/or books I’m reading with boys).  I discovered a new series that I LOVE and can’t wait to introduce to the boys – The Green Ember.  I highly recommend them – fun, action-packed reads.

We finished another good read-aloud book recently called, “The Prairie Thief”.  It was a fun story and both boys enjoyed it.  A lot of the time I have them color or do puzzles while listening.

E has a love for good stories and has pretty good taste, in my opinion. =)  He’s read a bunch of just silly, fun books (i.e. Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and he still tends to like books with a little more plot (i.e. The Hobbit – his current favorite that we are listening to and almost done with already!!).

We also recently learned more about a series called, “Who Was…” about various famous people (there are also books about living people and places), so I’ve been collecting them from thrift books.com whenever I have a coupon. =)

And the boys have lots of fun picking out their free monthly book at the Book Rack after a day at CC.

The boys reached their reading goal for February so we got to celebrate with pizza hut again.

We just started our final 6 weeks of CC this month.  I hosted all of the tutors for our final planning session.  Mike took the boys out for dinner so we could have less distractions. =)

We still sometimes play school:

And we’re busy finishing this school year strong:

Again, I can’t recall what the boys’ present on during CC without pictures…and I only have pictures of Ethan since I’m his tutor.  He gave one presentation about a lego creation of his and one about…we don’t know because it doesn’t have a prop. Haha!

We had dinner with Reggie sometime in the last month and then he and Mike headed out to float. =)

We’ve spent quite a bit of time in the park.  One day we invited cousin Matthew to join us for some parkour.

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And we got a new game – Life – from Grandma Cleve.  I had only played it once as a kid, so we had to spend some serious time getting re-aquainted with it.  I accidentally made up some rules the first time around. =)

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And lastly, I started doing a little more decorating in the office.  =)  Thanks for the canvas idea, Dad!

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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: