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:


Feast #2:


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. =)


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.


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. =)

Grandpa’s Pictures

And now you can see the visit from my Dad’s point of view. =)

Living History Field Trip:

Making initials:


Micah on the butterfly hunt:

Making marshmallow “guns”:

Yardwork / Tree-trimming:

The pretty macarons:


Thanks for capturing the fun, Dad!  We sure loved having you guys here. =)

Grandpa and Grandma’s Visit

We were so thankful to have Grandpa and Grandma here for a visit this past week!  Mike had been in India for work, so the timing was perfect for me.  Mike was bummed to miss them, but we all agreed that it was a blessing for me to have help and company!  Plus we got to celebrate my Dad’s birthday with him since he was here for it!  They arrived on the same day that Mike left for India and we had the chance to watch the Packers game together and to impress them with piano skills.

On Friday we went to PE+ and then had a field trip to “Living History”.  We’re studying this time period in US history this year in CC, so it was perfect timing!  The boys made candles and candle holders, enjoyed learning about guns and participated in part of a school day for colonial pilgrims, among other things.

Saturday was my Dad’s birthday.  We celebrated by having cinnamon rolls and then leaving him with the boys while my Mom, Aunt and I went to a cooking class for learning to make macarons. =D  That evening we went to my aunt and uncle’s house for dinner.

On Tuesday we had another field trip.  This time we went downtown to watch “The Snowy Day” play.  Naturally we took in the sites a bit and enjoyed some Little Man Ice cream while we were so close. =)

It wouldn’t be a visit from my parents without various projects getting done around the house.  My Mom worked on pillow covers for me and I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am about them! =)  My Dad got rid of the rose bushes and another spiky bush in the backyard (beware – next year I’ll be a real gardener!).  He also put up curtain holder things (there’s probably a real name for this…), helped reinforce the tree fort, and put up a new shelf for the boys’ capes and the letters the boys made with them.  It was a week of random projects and I’m so impressed with how everything turned out!  Thank you, guys!!

In between these projects and runs to the fabric store and Home Depot, we did some school work, read books, and played games.  Ethan went on a couple bike rides with Grandpa.  Micah joined Grandma and me at the yarn store – wearing two different shoes as I am told I did regularly as a child – and took pictures of butterflies with Grandpa in the backyard.  And the boys did a lot of yard work outside, too.

It was great to have you here again, Mom and Dad!  Thanks for coming!!  You’ll see another post of this trip with photos from my Dad. =)

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:


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

A Weekend with Jen and J

When the NFL preseason schedule was released, the boys and I made a call to Aunt Jen to ask if she’d want to come to Denver to watch the Packers play.  It didn’t take much to convince her.  We were thrilled to have her along for the boys’ first game.  (Uncle J came out, too, but he didn’t attend the game with us.) We had a fun and delicious breakfast on Saturday morning and spent the day playing at the park and at our house.

That evening we fueled up on brats and corn on the cob before taking the light rail downtown for the game.

The boys had a great time at the game.  It was a little loud and overwhelming at first for one of us, but he quickly felt comfortable in my lap.  Jen and I wished the Broncos didn’t score so much (mostly field goals) because it was always very exciting with fireworks and fire and a bronco running across the field – we were concerned they would want the Broncos to score more than the Packers. =D We stayed to the very end of the game (Packers lost) and Micah was sleeping on my lap while everyone was dancing and singing to “Jump Around”. =)  Thanks, Auntie Jen, for making our first game such a memorable one!!

We had church on Sunday and then our church picnic up in the mountains.  It was a really sweet time and we hope to get out to Long Scraggy again sometime.

On Monday we had a chaotic day of homeschool.  I was flustered enough with the boys’ behavior to say that there was ten feet of rain in Houston…and even said that was the capital of Texas.  SO, when I later thought through how the day went and what I would have changed (as I do most days), I realized the error of my ways and made sure to correct it!  Ay ay ay!


We also had Ethan’s first piano lesson that afternoon.  He is doing joint lessons with cousin, Matthew.  We are pretty excited about this and Ethan absolutely LOVED playing piano and going to his lesson.  He is eager to get back again and learn more!  Micah had fun reading and doing sight words.  We even played a game of “Mother, May I?” with flashcards telling him “yes” or “no”.  It was more fun because we had Jen there to play, too!

Thanks, Auntie Jen and Uncle J, for coming out for a visit!  We sure loved having you!!

Feeling thankful to do life with family nearby and for family traveling to see us.