Spartan Races, Continued

The boys finished their races in the early afternoon on Saturday, so after washing up and eating we still had a good bit of time to enjoy the Springs.  We decided to tour the Olympic Training Center.  It was a great way to spend the rest of our day!

We spent the night in the Springs so that we could be close for Mike’s Spartan Sprint at 9 am the next morning.  He and his buddy competed together.  This is the same good friend that is in his weekly Bible study and who does CrossFit (and the Festivus) with Mike regularly.  He’s a great guy and it was fun to get to cheer on the two of them together!  It was the first Spartan Race either participated in and both said that it won’t be the last. =)

Look at how clean they look!

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I hung with these two crazies during the ~1.5 hours it took them to complete the 4.5+ mile/20+ obstacles race.  We had a good time even though we probably only saw them do about 5 of the obstacles.  Side note – I’m trying to shift the dab to something more fun like the Aaron Rodgers championship belt move.  It’s not very successful.

Here are some pics from the race itself taken by yours truly.  As usual Mike and Steve did a nice job of high-fiving and chatting with us in between obstacles / whenever we saw them.

And here are some fun ones the Spartan folks captured:

And here’s what they looked like at the end:

Lots of fun to watch them compete together.  Super proud of our guy. =)

Spartan Races

On Saturday, the boys ran in their first Spartan races.  These are obstacle course runs; Ethan ran a 1-mile course and Micah did a 1/2 mile one.

Ethan’s obstacles included things like sand bag carrying, climbing over various walls, doing box jumps, throwing a spear, and running through mud pits.  Mike ran down the hill to catch videos and pictures of the part of the course that was down in the valley.

Micah’s obstacles included much of the same things, but his course didn’t go down into the valley like Ethan’s had, so we were able to see everything he did.  If you even know a smidgen of his story, you know how much we’ve been praising God for the healing He has done in Micah’s heart.  It’s been such a thrill to watch him try new things with a whole lot less anxiety!

We are SO proud of them for doing something so hard all on their own.  They had a blast and both want to do more races in the future!

 

Other Happenings

The boys did a great workout with Daddio.  They don’t do this all that often, but it’s really sweet to see them all working out together.

Micah really loved his kiwico box this past month – a solar system!  He painted while we listened to The Secret Garden.  Great Granny A gave us the Focus on the Family audiobook of that story and it was a super fun way to listen to it.

We are all getting in on the piano-playing around here.  I have been loving to play a couple times each week.  E plays anytime he walks past the piano.  And Micah does a little playing here and there, too.  E is also teaching Mike a bit of piano, so that’s fun!  I caught E teaching Micah the other day and it made me smile.

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Here are some homeschooling shots from around the house.  The first is what the table looks like just before I call them up from their lego-playing to begin our school day.  It makes me smile and I wanted to post it here to remind me what this season in life looked like for Jess in later years. =)  The second is our daily board…with some additions from the boys.  Ethan added his snack and to “right” to Hana.  (Guess what word will be on his spelling test tomorrow?!) Micah changed his name to Doggie and added “winey” which means…he wanted to whine during his day.

Sometimes the board gets nice messages on it, like this one from Micah:

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Ethan still makes the best “people’s eyebrow”, but my little niece is going to give him a run for his money.  I can’t wait until I can show you her version!

Micah got his very first library card and he was beaming!  He’s not into being in pictures or videos these days so he usually tries to hide his face.  His first books?  A book about Canada, a book about castles and a Star Wars book.

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Speaking of that guy, he still loves to build with magnatiles and makes a pretty awesome castle.

And speaking of the library, the boys discovered the Lego Star Wars shows and have been watching an episode or two every few days…with the massive beanbag chair on top of them like so:

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And, lastly, we had the opportunity to watch Micah’s friend in his play “The Aristocats”.  We had a lot of fun and were so glad to get to encourage him!  I promise we had fun!

Next up…Spartan Races!

The Festivus for the Rest of Us

Apparently this ^ is some Seinfield reference, but that was never a show I watched/liked/understood.  So what “The Festivus” means to our family is that Mikey competed in his first Crossfit competition.  He entered it as a novice with a couple of friends.  I never thought I’d see him wanting to do this, but now I could see it being a more regular thing.  The competition was fun and it was a pretty exciting, loud, and fun atmosphere.

Anyway, we spent the entire day last Saturday watching him (and others) compete in 5 workouts.  My understanding is that within each category (i.e. men/women novice, men/women masters, etc) they competed in each workout and were ranked.  I believe Mikey was in first place for most of the day in the novice category.  He ended in 2nd, but we’ll blame that on being absolutely exhausted and needing to do an extra workout that he was not expecting at the end of the first 5. =D  We were all really proud of his hard work and found it to be lots of fun to watch.

Also, the boys had lots of fun with other kids and both ran around all day with them!  (I seriously cannot thank the Lord enough for the healing work He’s done in Micah’s heart and mind to allow him to roam around a busy, loud gym for hours with only brief check ins with me.)

And then we celebrated with dinner and frozen yogurt (or jelly bellies for people like me):

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Super proud of that guy!!!

The Js in town!

We were thrilled with the timing and location of the Fair Trade Conference this year – the week before Easter and in Westminster, CO.  This is a conference that Aunt Jennie often attends.  Naturally, we were pretty vocal in our desires to have her out for the conference and for the weekend afterwards.  The best part of this was when Jen and J became parents through the beautiful and arduous process of adoption just 5 weeks prior…which meant that all three of them could come out and we’d have to chance to meet Baby Girl and enjoy their company over Easter!  It was wonderful and we were SO thankful that they were brave first-time parents flying across the country with our sweet niece/cousin!

We saw them briefly for dinner on Monday night at our home before they headed north for the conference.  Then we drove up to see the fair trade expo, to help out a bit and to grab dinner with them on Wednesday evening.  And by Thursday night, they were back by us for the long weekend!

I would simply LOVE to show you Baby Girl’s darling face, but that will have to wait for a few more months… Suffice it to say, she’s beautiful and loves to be snuggled!!  Micah and I took turns snuggling her a whole bunch – I think I may have even finished a book during their visit. =)

Monday Night dinner and hang out:

Wednesday at the fair trade conference (we did the butterfly pavilion while we were up there, but I’ll save that for another post):

On Thursday night, we enjoyed merging our two sides of the family together.  Grandma Cleve was in town helping Ashley and Zach to move so we were thrilled to get to have dinner all together (sadly, minus Zach)!

Other highlights from the weekend together included some workouts in the park, walks, bike rides, making paper airplanes, playing memory/matching, reading books, going to church and out for ice cream, enjoying Easter dinner at the Jonker home, and Jen, J and Mike floating (*milestone for Jen and J) while I got the chance to babysit Baby Girl!  Oh, and I can’t forget laughing while the boys fed Aunt Jennie her Good Friday meal while holding Baby Girl!  We sure had a lot of fun hosting these guys!

Thanks for honoring us by having your first flight with Baby Girl be out to Colorado to see us!  We were so excited to have you all with us again!  Both boys expressed their desire to have you live in town after you left.  =)

An Update before GC’s Visit

A couple homeschool pictures from our day:

Ethan got his hair cut!!  He was pretty apprehensive about this, but the sides and back were really starting to bother him.  We kept the length on the top and now I think he really likes this cut.

E’s presentation at CC that week was on Harriet Tubman, who he learned about in one of his fact tracker magic tree house books.  I am ashamed to say that I have no idea what Micah presented on…this is what happens when I don’t take a picture to remind me!  He was in his class, so I didn’t get to snap a pic this week.

PE plus is so much fun for Ethan.  (Micah still doesn’t participate in the actual class, but he doesn’t mind watching)  Afterward, E and M play with a bunch of their buddies outside.  The last few weeks they have been playing a lot of two-hand touch football.  Ethan has the affectionate nickname of “Packer Dude” since he is often wearing his Packer shirt and there is another Ethan that plays football with them. =)

Daily Life

Just wanted to post about some of the regular occurrences around our home.

You can find the boys writing letters to cousins (and others) or working on codes together often.  Mike and I received lots of such letters, including some money for “being such great parents”.  Ike and Matthew are also common recipients of their notes.

Ethan is obsessed with playing the piano.  He cannot get enough of it.  He asks to play “Piano Maestro” every single day and plays through his various songs randomly throughout the day.  He can even be found teaching Micah how to play “Hot Cross Buns” on occasion, a sight that warms my heart!  Micah has pretty good rhythm and has requested a bongo or other type drum for his birthday this year.  We’re thinking this could be a fun instrument to add to our house full of music, so he just might get this wish. =)

You can also find the boys doing various “opportunities” around the house.  Some weeks they are all about this.  Others, not so much.  Micah is pretty good at unloading the dishwasher for me in the mornings. =)

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You’ll find us enjoying the great outdoors often around here.  We moved back to Colorado in part due to the incredible weather.  I absolutely LOVE that we can have snow one day and then 76 degree temperatures the same week!  We take our homeschooling outside as often as we can – reading outside or going for bike rides.  I went for a Packers victory walk and snapped some pictures of the green and gold on Sunday…and on Monday we had inches of snow on the ground and a bunch of tree branches falling down around the neighborhood.

Naturally we had hot chocolate after the boys played in the snow.  We enjoyed a special Indian treat Mike had brought home from his work trip – delicious!

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We’ve got loads of books we are reading and want to be reading in the future!  We are listening to a super fun audiobook, “By the Great Horn Spoon” (about the Gold Rush) and reading the Imagination Station 3-part series on the Revolutionary War.  I’m personally reading “The Scarlet Letter” and “Of Mess and Moxie” and enjoying both immensely.

We discovered a new series we’d like to try: Dear America Books.  The library only has a couple of them, so they might be fun Christmas gifts (for those of you who ask about ideas – they are on thriftbooks.com and we are particularly interested in the Underground Railroad books).  I mention it on here also because a lot of us share book recommendations and this seemed to be an easy place to record it.  =)

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And here are a couple pictures from CC this week.  Ethan did his presentation on the “Living History” field trip we did.  Micah was in his own classroom for his presentation, but he brought with him the things he made with Grandpa – the blowgun and the boat.  I hear he did a very nice job talking about both.