Playing Catch Up

The Advent season is upon us and I have yet to post anything from most of November. So, this will be a bit of a hodgepodge post, but it will serve to catch us up to Advent and Christmas pictures.

My dad snapped a couple of pictures of the boys and me before they left back in early November (Mike was on a work trip).

We’ve been using our new deck table and chairs as much as the weather has allowed. And our neighborhood lights have been put up, so I took Micah on a night walk to go see the big tree. We’ve also enjoyed a few Packer picnics. Note the new handmade Packer napkins and the Christmas decorations (that one is from after Thanksgiving).

Micah-man got vaccinated and was given a cute polar bear we fondly named Vax.

Thanksgiving was a blast! We were fortunate to be able to travel to see Mike’s side of the family in Arizona. It was short, but oh-so-sweet. It was lovely to get to stay at Mike’s brother’s home. We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving meal out by the pool, but even better company! We also managed to sneak in an afternoon visit at a park with Mike’s sis (and her party of five), his mom and his grandma. How nice to have the chance to see all of his family in one visit!

We’ve enjoyed doing CC outdoors each week of the semester except the last two. The weather prohibited outdoor learning only once this semester, but my class opted to meet indoors for our final meeting so that we could use the table to finish Blue Book assessments. What an awesome experience that was! I am SO impressed with their knowledge. You can see pictures of them drawing the Western Hemisphere and Europe, some from memory, others using resources. That day the younger class joined us for an outdoor Christmas party as they had finished week 12 the week before. Can you tell how much Ethan loves it when I snap pics of him? =D We are now officially on break until January 3! Phew!

Krav Maga continues to be a favorite weekly activity. Both boys graduated to orange belt this month. See Ethan breaking his board here and Micah breaking his here.

Spending time playing outside with our friends is one of our favorite pastimes:

And we had our first snow in Denver!

Turks and Caicos

The long-awaited birthday trip to celebrate Grandma Cleve finally took place at the end of June. It was cancelled and rebooked at least twice, so you can imagine the thrill of *finally* getting to take this trip together! Grandma Cleve flew to Atlanta and traveled with Ashley’s family and then we all met in Turks and Caicos for a week of relaxation and gorgeous sites!

Pictures won’t do this island justice. So many of these shots look like we photoshopped ourselves into them. Unreal. I’ll start with some pictures of time at our home-away-from-home on the beach.

We enjoyed playing Bocce at the house…

Working hard to open up some coconuts…

And going snorkeling at the beach:

We ate lots of fantastic food (including the best crepes of my life!!), some all together and some on our own.

We ordered in and bought some cakes to celebrate the birthday girl one of the nights there:

We spent some time exploring the island and various beaches. I especially loved the exploring we did on our last day there. We found some gorgeous spots unlike any other place we had seen before:

Our crew took a kayaking tour of the mangroves and saw loads of sea turtles and a few baby sharks. Such a highlight!

Ethan snapped thousands of pictures and I selected a few of my favorites:

And, of course, we got a bunch of group pictures:

Including this hilarious montage (Caleb is SUCH a ham and it’s just so much fun!):

And the best group shots (done by Ethan):

Clearly this was not a trip soon forgotten! =D

You’ll see more evidence of the crazy Colorado weather in this post. We’ve had warm enough temps to hang out in shorts and we’ve had more snow storms again. =)

Here are some schooling outside pics:

Spending time as a family outside (including our darling pet Mallards). The boys were working on plans for bird boxes to make when my parents get here and Ethan was doing research for his bird jeopardy game he was creating for us in that picture of us outside and him on the computer.

We’ve had birding excursions with various parties. I have gone out with just Ethan a couple of times and we’ve done some full family trips, too. We really enjoyed going to the Denver Audubon Nature Center for some hiking and photography. (Fun benefit of having two boys taking pictures – we get more pictures of just the two of us. Micah took the one below.)