The rest of February

Our family slept at church again for the awesome ministry our church does called, “Family Promise,” which houses homeless families for a week.  We are thrilled that we get to volunteer as a family in this way.  And the boys love sleep overs at church and eating breakfast there in the morning.

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This guy got reading glasses!

We celebrated Valentine’s Day.  Micah wanted each person to take a turn in the circle of love while we gave gifts to them.  It was very sweet.  He had saved a magnet he made for me in cadets for over a month in order to give it to me that day.  I cried.

Grandma Cleve came out that weekend for a visit!!  She snapped that top picture of our family while we read together one of the nights.  She got to experience a bit of snow again and played snow baseball with Ethan in it!  We also hosted her aunt (who lives nearby) for lunch on Sunday, which was special.  We were glad to get this time with her!

We continue to enjoy listening to books and doing puzzles.  I am still in PT trying to figure out my knee pains.  Sometimes the boys come along and do school work.  Weather is still crazy – some days we are outside in t-shirts, other days it snows.  Sometimes the boys ride scooters in the snow because…why not?  Ethan loves editing sentences and diagramming them.  And when Daddio is home, we embrace every moment with him!

Thanksgiving

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving this year.  As usual, Grandpa Russ drove out to spend the week with us!  A new addition, however, was Uncle David.  This was a real treat to all of us and we hope it will become the new tradition.  The house was full of Cleveland guys playing games, shooting army soldiers with rubber bands, and looking at coins.

Thanksgiving Day brought more game-playing, eating good food and we rounded off the afternoon with some sledding. It was very relaxing and lots of fun.

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Uncle David left the morning after Thanksgiving, but we still got a couple extra days with Grandpa Russ.  This included going out for breakfast and me decorating the house for Christmas, another tradition of all of ours.

We were missing our former Colorado family, of course, so we sent some pictures back and forth.  Loved seeing these guys getting ready for Christmas, too. =)

Family in town, part 2

What originally was going to be a trip to Utah or Wyoming, turned into a really fun day spent in the Springs.  We visited Garden of the Gods (or, as Micah calls it, “God’s Garden”), the Olympic Training Center and the World War II Aviator Museum.

It was a really fun day and allowed for the boys to get home in time to trick or treat around the neighborhood for a bit.  The boys were dressed as characters from one of our favorite series, Green Ember.  My mom did an amazing job making these costumes for the boys!

Other activities with my parents included carving pumpkins and spending time at my Aunt and Uncle’s house.

We LOVE having everyone in town to visit.  We make such fun memories.

Family in town, Part 1

At the end of October, my parents and my grandpa came out to Colorado for a visit.  It had been a year since my mom and grandpa were in town (my dad came out twice in that time), so we were especially glad to have them back again!  Over the span of 10 days, we had shorts weather and a winter storm that cancelled CC for the day.  It was pretty wild, but that’s part of the fun of fall in Denver. =)

My grandpa and aunt and uncle got to watch Ethan’s final soccer game on a cold, windy evening.  And over one of the weekends, they and my parents watched Micah play!

Time at the house included doing various house projects (thanks, Dad!) and sewing projects (thanks, Mom!), playing piano, looking at coins (thanks, Brad and Sal!), playing outside in the snow, reading books and working on school, eating pancakes and dressing as twins (an accidental, but super fun experience for me to witness).

One highlight at the beginning of their trip was hosting dinner at our church for homeless families through a neat organization called Family Promise.  We did this as a family (my parents and our family of 4) and then Micah, my dad and I all stayed overnight at church.

Another highlight was the wintery treasure hunt my uncle sent the boys on around the park by our house.  It was pretty awesome!

And the hot chocolate party afterwards:

We also drove down to Castle Rock the first weekend for Micah’s soccer game, only to find out there was still snow on the fields down there.  We opted for yummy burgers instead.

Side note:  Mike was gone over both of the weekends, in case you are wondering why he isn’t featured more.  The first weekend was his scheduled one-on-one trip with Ethan (I’ll write about that in another post) and the other was his make-up trip with Reggie from way back in December when their trip was cancelled on short notice.

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Here are some pictures from the last weeks in September.

CC Community Day:

Some homeschooling pictures from around the house:

Women’s Church Retreat in Breckenridge:

Meanwhile, the boys had soccer games and got ice cream with Daddio (no, Mikey didn’t eat any – he was still finishing up Whole30).

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I underwent a pretty miserable medical test to try to figure out what’s going on with my body.  I was showered with lots of love and prayer.  The boys were especially sweet and made meals for me, drew pictures while I rested and read me books.  It wasn’t a fun experience by any stretch of the imagination, but it was  very sweet to feel loved by my dear community, near and far.

We were able to see family from out of town – such a treat!

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And fall has officially arrived.  I watched Ethan’s soccer practice bundled in a blanket and LOVED it.

Grandpa’s Visit

Mike had another two weeks of travel at the beginning of our school year, so we flew my Dad out to help again.  I was so thankful to have his company and help.  And the boys LOVE spending time with him. We had a softer start to the school year, but still got a lot done in that first week.

We also did some homeschooling on the road – a bike ride and a field trip to Hudson Gardens.

On Saturday, we jogged/walked in a 5k run that our friends put on each year in honor of their daughter who was adopted from China, had congenital heart problems, and died after surgery. It’s a fundraiser for third world orphans with medical problems.  Three kids, in three different countries, will get operations because of the money raised in this run.

Our church service was held in the mountains on Sunday.  We enjoyed the service there, a picnic, and then had some time to play.

Monday was our second week of CC and Mike was back home.  We did our family presentation during opening assembly and then my Dad got to go back and forth between Ethan and Micah’s classes.  That evening Micah had his soccer practice and we all went to watch.

Here are a couple other pictures from throughout his visit and of Mike and his buddies on his trip:

My Dad left on Tuesday morning after a wonderful trip.  We sure loved having him for the week!  When we dropped him off at the airport the boys both said they wished he (and grandma, obviously) lived out here by us. =D

Grandpa’s Visit

Mikey had a long business trip in India back in May, so we requested to have my parents come out to help and keep us company.  My Mom was busy with a wedding shower and some family time, but my Dad was up for it!  The boys and I were SO thankful to have him.  He was a great help, but also just fun to have around!

We spent most of our time outside doing various activities (biking, scootering, playing sports, etc.).  We can thank my Dad for sparking a biking fire in Micah.  Now that he feels confident, he can’t get enough of it:

We did spend some time playing games, looking at my Dad’s pictures, and eating yummy food:

We visited the Rocky Mountain Arsenal:

Grandpa got to watch a soccer game of Ethan’s and took some great shots of that.  Those of you from my side of the family may have seen those in a dropbox email recently, so I’m just posting a few.  (Sadly, Micah’s football game was cancelled due to rain.)

We also got out for a nice hike:

Thanks, Dad, for coming out!!  We sure loved having you!  You are a gift.

Random Catch All Post

And finally, in an attempt to officially catch up to this past week when my Dad was in town, a post of random updates.

My aunt Sally was in town visiting her sister (and us) and the boys were thrilled.  They could not get enough of her!  She came over for dinner one evening and the boys were asking all.day.long “when will she get here?!?”

This was Micah making some apple dip before her visit:

On Mother’s Day we went to church and then headed over to see Matthew as Simba in The Lion King.  SO cool!  This was our favorite of his plays thus far.  He did a great job!  That evening we headed out to one of my favorite spots for a picnic, but we found that it was quite changed now that there are fences everywhere.  It was still beautiful and I was thrilled to have some pictures of me and those sweet boys of ours.

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The week bookended by GC

Just wanted to fill in the gaps from my previous post.  While Grandma Cleve was with the Bertilson family, we had a busy week at home.  Mike was in Minnesota, enjoying a balmy -48 degrees or something.  It was pretty crazy.  I saw a meme that indicated it was colder in Minneapolis than Antarctica that day!  Meanwhile, we enjoyed a snow day on Monday.  And my cousin, Meredith, came over to play in the snow.  It was a HUGE treat to all of us!

Check out how awesome she is:

Tuesday was a rough day.  But no one wants to hear the woes of homeschool life.  Micah did have the chance to take Bailey on a walk in the snow that afternoon – he’s getting ready for his potential job this summer of walking neighborhood dogs.

On Wednesday we had our usual day, except that cousin Matthew invited Ethan over after piano lessons.  So Micah and I had the afternoon to ourselves until we picked him up before drum lessons.  It was pretty fun.  I snapped this picture of my red bush tea because I bought it on Amazon to drink while I listen to the audiobooks of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency…and then I found out that one of my favorite “celebrity-ish” people did the same thing!!  (Sarah McKenzie from the Read Aloud Revival podcast, if you must know =D) Great minds…

On Thursday and Friday evenings we were able to celebrate the boys’ reading out loud accomplishments for January.  They both read 25+ days out loud for 10 minutes!  Their self-selected rewards were a movie night with special snacks (Micah) and game night with special snacks (Ethan).  Lots of fun!  I guess we only took a picture of the movie night – we watched Prince Caspian.

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Grandma Cleve in CO!

Grandma Cleve came out for a visit at the end of January.  This was her first time to meet baby Joshua and the last time spending time with all her grandchildren living in the same state (at least for a while…).  We loved having her in town again!  She split her time between both homes; her time with us being the bookends.  Grandma Cleve came in on Friday night late and spent all day Saturday with us – we opted to have breakfast out at our favorite place, go on a Focus on the Family tour and then drive through Garden of the Gods (we were all shocked that we hadn’t taken her to Garden of the Gods on any of her previous visits!).  And we finished our evening reading books and playing games.

On Sunday we went to church together, got in some snuggles and coin talk, played a game and then had Ashley and her family over for dinner.  It was lovely to have everyone together!  And, of course, we snapped a picture of Grandma Cleve with her four grand babies.  She went home with them and spent the week there – including some time babysitting Caleb while the others checked out their new home town in Atlanta.