Micah turns 6!

We had the opportunity to celebrate Micah’s 6th birthday this weekend.  We try to cater our celebrations to each kid’s personality and wishes.  Micah is our little home body.  His greatest wish was to spend time with the family at our home.  So we decorated the house to make it extra special for him and spent the day eating his favorite foods and playing the things he most enjoys: legos!

Breakfast before church – cinnamon rolls!

We spread out the opening of presents throughout the day and in the days to follow.  He was pretty jazzed about all of the gifts and money he received and is always quick to say, “thank you!” and talk about how much he always wanted something like that.  A couple different people at church surprised us with their thoughtful generosity to him – one giving him money and another a lego set.  We are so thankful that each of us is seen and acknowledged at our church – this community is a beautiful thing.

Gotta take a second to brag on our eldest…he purchased Micah a birthday present *with his own money* without even a second thought.  He had hoped to buy something for himself, too, but didn’t have enough money so he quickly put back the thing he wanted to buy for himself and decided to spend his money on Micah instead!

IMG_0160

Micah also got a few Skype calls and some videos, too!  Each one made him feel so special.  He’s my guy who will get tears in his eyes when he realizes someone else was thinking of him from far away.  It’s pretty sweet.  Thank you, everyone, for making him feel so special!

That evening we celebrated with homemade waffles and whipped cream.  Earlier we enjoyed chipotle (at home) and cupcakes.

Quick facts about Micah:

He weighs 43.6 lbs.  He has lost 2 teeth.  He prefers time at home and Ethan is by far his very best friend.  Micah loves creating things and drawing pictures.  He chews gum all.the.time but is also willing to share every piece of it with others, even if he spent his own money on it.  His generosity knows no bounds.  I find him lending or giving away his toys on a regular basis and gives bites of his special treats to those around him without hesitation.  We’re so thankful to have a guy like him to love and raise in our home!

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:

IMG_6930

Feast #2:

IMG_0058

We’ve got lots for which to be thankful!  Thanks, Grandpa Russ, for coming out for another fun visit!

Life

Can you tell I’m over coming up with the titles for each blog post?  I just don’t have anything catchy to call every day life anymore (not sure I ever did…).

E and I have been playing a lot of Dominoes since GC went back home.  We’re really enjoying it.  In fact, today while Micah had a super fun play date over, E and I played a full game of Dominoes.  He won. =)

I measured the boys this week for our health insurance stuff. =)  They are growing up so fast!  E is usually closer to 70 pounds, but he hasn’t crossed that threshold, yet.

Homeschool Updates:

It wouldn’t be a blog post about life if I didn’t give a little schooling update.  Some days are super hard and I question a whole lot about what we are doing, but those days are, thankfully, few and far between.  I did have one such day on Monday when we had to have a lot of chats about doing hard things, what it looks like to actually learn new material that challenges your brain, and how attitude matters so much more to me than getting answers right or problems done.  I am happy to say that the talks sunk in because the rest of the week the boys would ask me every afternoon, “Mom, how was my attitude today?” “Mom, do you think I had a good attitude today?”  And that explains the big smiles they are giving me when I snuck some pictures. =)  And sometimes I get to reward them for having a great attitude!

Ethan started doing difficult division problems with remainders.  Micah finished his first writing notebook and most of his math notebook.  E loved reading the classic start of “Anne of Green Gables” and thought it was very similar to the actual book which we had listened to through audiobooks.  We have also since finished “Anne of Avonlea” and started watching the movie…which really features more stories from the next few books, so we ordered those through the library so we can listen to them!  I can tell that Micah is picking up a lot from these books because when he hears a phrase we heard in the book being said on the movie, he perks up and says he knew that part!

Here’s a short little video of the boys outlining the US while listening to a fun states and capitals CD we got from Auntie!  E usually outlines right along with the music, but apparently I didn’t catch that in this video. =)

Classical Conversations Updates:

We just finished week 12 of CC which means we are on break until the new year.  We will be doing all of our normal homeschooling, still, but we won’t have CC to attend for over a month.  Our final day at CC (besides the party in a couple weeks) was a good one.  We put our bodies together after learning about the different parts while coloring them over the past 6 weeks.  Micah joined my class for that part and when his class went downstairs to put their bodies together, so I got to see his presentation this week and help him with putting the body together.

Ethan presented on Robert E. Lee after reading a book about him that morning.  Micah presented on his birthday gift from Grandma Cleve.

We hung their bodies up on the office closet doors and are working on writing science sentences around it…such as “what are some parts of the excretory system?” which E and I decided should be placed near…well, you know. =)

Other Updates:

I painted the easel that Auntie gave us this week and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out!

We played at the park and went for a walk together this week.

IMG_5455

Micah was briefly sick.  And I love when he sleeps on me in the middle of the day.

The boys did some raking.

E played football with his buddies after PE+.  Micah played tag with his.

IMG_5486

A shot of their bunk beds during a brief window when their room looked clean:

IMG_5480

Big milestone news for Micah – he lost his first tooth tonight!

IMG_5497

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. =)

IMG_5405

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.

IMG_5408

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!!

Halloween

The boys wore their costumes all day in honor of Halloween.  I enjoyed teaching two Chewies all day. =)

We headed to Chipotle for a discounted dinner – my favorite part about Halloween. =)

And that evening I took the boys out trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.  We just went up and down our street and then the boys were ready to head home.  I was geared up for an evening of lots of walking, but they cut us off pretty quickly.  We saw this dino while we were out and had to take a picture of it for Ivan and Abe, who were dressed as dinos this year, too.

They loved handing out candy when we got home.  Micah even crawled out of bed once to do it. =)

IMG_5305

And I loved spending the later evening getting ready for a fresh new month. =)  Out with the old calendar, in with the new.

IMG_5306

Our Life

I’ve got some fun updates to make this week, but I’ll start with the basic life as we live it type post.

We made it to week 9 in Classical Conversations, Cycle 3.  Micah again participated in his own class last week!  I got a few hugs throughout the morning, but he participated well and had a great time!  He did a presentation on his hand-me-down camera and a couple of the girls in the class proclaimed that they are putting it on their Christmas list now. =)  Ethan did his presentation on a Lego creation he made.  We’re learning about the human body and will be putting some muscles, bones, organs and other parts of the body on our traced bodies at the end of the 12 weeks.  So, I snapped a picture of Ethan getting traced.  You’ll see the finished product in a few weeks.

We stopped in at Joann Fabrics for *one thing* I wanted for my Halloween costume…and we left with enough fleece to make two massive Christmas blankets for the boys!  Oops.  I had a coupon and there was a buy-one-get-one deal going on…and they picked such darling fabrics…that will match our Christmas pillows my mom made for us!  Anyway, we’ll be working on those in the coming weeks.  Micah, in particular, loved this store.

We enjoyed celebrating pumpkin day…it was a good excuse for a special pumpkin treat.

IMG_5229

I went to my very first book club.  It was a lot of fun!  I had missed the first one because Mike was out of town, but this time I just decided to ask Ike to come watch the boys so I could still attend.  We were discussing “The Scarlet Letter”, a book the boys will have to read when they get into the Challenge program (that’s high school in CC language).  I tried to take good notes while reading it and discussing it so that I will be more prepared for those daunting years!  How awesome is my cousin, Ike??  He came dressed as Chewie to surprise my two excited Chewies.

IMG_5234

Micah continues to love building with MagnaTiles and setting up battles.

Both guys are doing great in school.  E is learning more about multiplication and solving problems like 46×3.  He really enjoys Math.  Micah is still working on addition and is showing some improvements in his reading, too.  He enjoys writing quite a bit and often asks to do extra sheets for that.  Today he even made his own extra worksheets.  I am not in the stage of correcting his writing, so I think he finds it to be a small risk with great reward. =)

Daddio is home for a good stretch now, so we are soaking up time with him!  The guys worked in the yard…and on our roof (eek!!!) this weekend.  Good to have him back!

And we’ve been really enjoying our church.  I am the helper in Micah’s Sunday School class and I’m super impressed with their intentionality in teaching the Bible to these kids.  We’re building a really firm foundation and that’s so great to see.

IMG_5262

Still to come…Ethan’s first piano recital and the Halloween party.

These guys…

…they keep me smiling.  =)

Here are some recent pics from school.  We started a new chapter book and read it during breakfast – Ben and Me.  It’s a fun story (with short chapters) about Ben Franklin. So far we’d recommend it to others. =)  And these boys LOVE to draw.  Ethan just proclaimed us “an art family” today, although I think Mike might end up feeling a little left out since he really, really, really doesn’t like to do anything with art. =/

And here are two fun videos of life at the Cleve Crew – Micah adding with army men and Ethan catching food thrown into his mouth: