The boys and I drove to Missouri on New Year’s day. We met Mike at his dad’s house as he had flown to Minnesota for a wedding on New Year’s Eve. Again, our travels were smooth and we enjoyed some audiobooks (Matilda and the second book in the Wilderking Series that we loved so much). We loved spending time with Grandpa Russ (and his two dogs) for a few days before heading home. Some highlights included shooting BB guns for the first time, taking the dogs on recons with Grandpa Russ and playing lots of games. The boys also started their January challenge of reading out loud every day for 10 minutes – it’s been a huge success and lots of fun!
We loved our annual tour of the Midwest. It was wonderful to spend time with our family and friends. What a gift to vacation/mostly-vacation for 20 days over the holidays! Hopefully it’s not something we take for granted!! Thanks for celebrating with us, all you Midwesterners. =)
We had lots of fun in Wisconsin. One day we painted pottery all together. Another day was spent mostly opening gifts and playing games. I think the pictures tell the tale better than I ever can, so I’ll just go with those:
There was a whole lotta books and pajamas happening:
We drove to Minnesota in two days, stopping over night in Nebraska. You know it’s not a road trip without mentioning our audiobooks! We enjoyed listening to “The Last Battle” all together on that drive and also finished a Magic Tree House book. We started a fantastic series called, “The Wilderking Series” – in fact, it was probably my favorite read of the year!
The boys and I spent only a couple days there before continuing on to Wisconsin and then to Michigan on our own. Mike stayed in Minnesota for work until Friday when he met us in Michigan. We spent our time exploring the “tubes”, coloring at Mike’s office, playing games and working out at the hotel.
We did our family gift exchange a night or two before heading out on our Midwestern tour. And, honestly, the giving was so much better than the receiving for our crew this year. It was lovely to see the generosity of the boys – they both made and bought gifts for everyone in the family with mostly their own money. I had always heard about others doing this and that the kids enjoyed watching people open their gifts, but this was the first year it felt really, really true for our own family. They enjoyed opening their gifts, but I think they were more excited about watching each person open the gift they had purchased and picked.
Ethan bought me a necklace and charm (from my sister’s company), a Colorado shirt for Mike (from the Global Bazaar) and a heart for Micah (from my sister’s company).
Micah got me soap (from the Global Bazaar), a couple used books and coupons for Mike, and various crafts/pictures for Ethan.
We got the boys each a game, a yo-yo, and some art supplies. Later, we gave them each a book and book pajamas (more on that in another post).
That evening we also had some time to Skype with Grandma Cleve and Great Granny A. The boys gave them a little show, too! =)
These are pictures/stories – unrelated to Micah’s birthday, Advent or Christmas – that happened in December.
A few more pics I snapped from the cousin sleepover at our house:
Playing Micah’s new game:
Drum and piano lessons are still well-loved by the boys. Ethan had a piano recital at a retirement community and he did a great job playing Carol of the Bells, Angels We Have Heard on High and Deck the Halls (I think!).
We really enjoyed celebrating Micah’s 7th birthday. He is probably the most generous (and the most stubborn) kid I’ve ever known. But because of his generosity, he’s pretty fun to spoil! He was ecstatic to get to go out for dinner at The Melting Pot – something we did a couple nights before his actual birthday because of scheduling.
This was the final picture of our 6 year old!
We had cousin Matthew over for his actual birthday, which also happened to be a school day. We opened presents throughout the day and had waffles for dinner. He also invited a couple friends (all brothers) over to play at the park during the afternoon. He wanted purple decorations (for royalty) and seven 7s around the house.
He had the joy of spreading his birthday cheer a little longer, too, with gifts and cards coming in after his special day. He LOVED it!
He was spoiled by and oh-so-grateful to SO many of you. Thanks for loving on this little spitfire of a guy. He prays very specifically (especially for people who are sad, mad or homeless) and has an uncanny read on others’ emotions. He’s going to be a great leader someday and he is certainly not going to be following the crowd since he’s not a people-pleaser. 😉 We love him something fierce and are eager to see how the Lord uses him in his life.
These pictures don’t really fit into a category but were taken over the past month. They give a glimpse into every day life around here.
Some of us were really hoping that a Packer picnic would help revitalize the Packer’s season this year. One of us just likes to be contrary…
Micah wanted to try split pea soup in honor of one of his favorite book series, George and Martha. He asked to take a picture for Grandma since she read some many of those stories to him the last time she was here.
Sometimes when we FaceTime with Daddio while he’s away, things get a little bit silly…