A short, but sweet visit

Jen, Jason and Salina came out to visit us this past weekend for the first time since Salina was about 6 weeks old. This trip was supposed to happen last fall, but their concert was cancelled (reasons obvious) and rescheduled for this past weekend. It was a delight to host them, but it sure was a whirlwind!

Some highlights included ukulele-playing, puzzle-finishing, zucchini bread-making, Watermelon Run-participating (both boys ran really well and Jen was very sweet to keep me and my wretched knees company), ice cream-eating, Packer picnicking and watching Salina (and snuggling with her) while her mom and dad *finally* attended their much-anticipated concert at Red Rocks!

We also enjoyed a delicious breakfast at our Auntie and Uncle’s house. Salina was exceptionally excited about seeing Matthew.

On Monday we rushed out the door to get to our CC community day and they enjoyed one of my favorite easy hikes!

Thanks for coming out to see us again! It was such a pleasure to have you!

Other Updates

We play a lot of ping pong these days. Ethan keeps a score sheet of every game he plays against anyone else in the family. He certainly plays the most games (and usually against me), but we spend a couple hours each weekend out there together and play during school breaks, too. We are very thankful we made this purchase!

Archery is another favorite pastime of the boys.

We’ve gotten back into the routine of doing a workout together every Saturday morning. Mike led us the first weekend (sprints around the park with some push ups thrown in) and I took this past one (a YouTube video of a gal I really enjoy working out with). Ethan is up for next weekend, followed by Micah. It certainly keeps things interesting. (No pictures for these…) Another weekend tradition is to enjoy decaf coffee with chocolate stevia drops and whipping cream. The boys and I indulge in this every Saturday and Sunday morning together.

The boys are signed up to play flag football this season. Nobody gets to play on the Packers, but I also saw that neither of them will be playing against the Packers (phew!) so that will work out just fine. Mike will be an assistant coach for both teams. We’re looking forward to it!

We officially started piano lessons for the fall last week and the boys got new bags!

Micah loves to build LEGO and listen to audiobooks. I think he finished two or three shorter books over this long weekend, in fact. Often he’s building a city scene or a knights scene. This week, though, he built one of the seven wonders of the ancient world (Pharos’ Lighthouse in Alexandria) in honor of CC memory work. I also worked on one, but was not pleased with it. The boys still decided to take a picture of it to commemorate it.

We’ve been enjoying the veggies of our labor. Fresh tomatoes are incredible! And Micah just plucked this bad boy this evening (after getting a fresh new buzz).

Apparently I like taking pictures of food as I have a few more for ya. I splurged last week and got us lemon cupcakes because one of the stories Micah was reading mentioned lemon cake multiple times and it made us really want to have one! And Mike had us all making our own pizzas the other night! Yum and fun!

Lastly, this book is so much fun. I really love it! It’s especially fun to pair with the Louie Giglio video about how big the universe really is.

Home Again!

We’ve hit the ground running since we returned home. We got in a birding trip soon after we arrived. The boys had another piano lesson (we officially decided Micah will take them during the fall!) which means I had another peaceful morning walk nearby. Thanks to Lauren and Jason we are now popping our own popcorn at home and loving it!

The boys were excited to get back into Krav Maga. Their coach posted this video of the “teen” class recently. Ethan is featured in it.

We celebrated my birthday – starting with homemade crepes on our special plate. =D

And we spent an evening at the Chatfield Reservoir reconnecting with some dear friends we haven’t seen in a long time.

Elkhart Lake, WI

The following day I drove the remaining six or so hours to Elkhart Lodge where we met up with the rest of our family for five days of vacationing together. Our time was very sweet. Each family took an evening to prepare a meal for the rest of the crew, which was a fun way to enjoy meals together. Many of the days we also enjoyed time with my Aunt Sal and Uncle Brad – a big treat for all! The pictures, as usual, tell the story.

We spent much of the time at the house together. Our time inside this beautiful home included playing lots of games, having dance parties, reading books, making music (thanks, Ger and Jason!), etc.

Our time outside included looking for grasshoppers and toads, slip and slide, big beach balls, s’mores, bocce, one-wheeling, scootering, biking, etc. Ethan also enjoyed some outings to find birds with Grandpa (and then loved editing pictures together).

Photo credit for the following pictures belongs to Micah (except, obviously, the one I took of him taking pictures). He was trying to capture pictures of everyone at the house, but lost steam when he would have needed to go indoors to snag a few more. He got some pretty sweet ones.

We snapped some twinning pictures, as well. The one with the kids in their Christmas jammies is a Christmas tradition that we missed this year. Sadly, Salina already grew out of her matching pair so we had to settle for a boys only pic!

We also went on an outing to a farm museum type place. Very fun! It actually wasn’t even open the day we went, but they saw us in the parking lot trying to come up with our new plan and they let us in!

So many memories were made on this trip. It was SO good to be back together again. Such a gift to have so much quality time together.

Photo credit for most of these pictures belongs to my Dad. I snapped a few shots here and there, but the bulk of these pictures are his. Thanks, Dad!

Before hitting the road

…we had a final piano lesson for the boys (during which I went for a nice long walk), a dentist appointment for Ethan (and he sat in the front seat because he’s old and heavy enough for that), a final walk to the pond (where I saw a coyote), and our last krav maga class (before taking two weeks off for our trip).

…we had a birthday to celebrate! This guy brings so much joy to our lives. Every one of us likes to sit and chat with him and give him lots of hugs. We each drew him cards to celebrate him. I’ll bet you can guess who drew which card.

The following day we hit the road for our two weeks in Wisconsin. We stopped in Des Moines on the way and had incredible pizza (thanks, Mel and Joel, for the recommendation years ago that still remains a delightful treat!) and took a nice long walk. Micah requested that we take those four pictures of the two of us. Ethan did not. =P

Next up…Wisconsin!

Brainard Lake

Our crew went camping for two nights at Brainard Lake this week. We reserved our spot back in January, you know, because people really love camping in Colorado and you can’t decide on a whim to go camping around here. Nothing like committing six months in advance for a couple nights away in the mountains! At the time I couldn’t even remember who told us to try camping there (now we figured it out), I just had put a reminder in my phone to reserve a campsite at Brainard Lake sometime over the summer. We are SO glad I did and will definitely be coming back! (The reminder in the phone is set on-going for every January now!)

This lovely spot is about an hour and a half away from our home and is gorgeous! We could hear the river from our campsite – a total win! – and loved walking around with it by our side.

Above you see pictures from our time at the campsite. The boys loved chopping firewood for us. We had hotdogs one night and chili the other. Oatmeal balls were our breakfasts.

Micah actually woke up the first morning feeling sick and ended up throwing up (maybe altitude?? maybe two s’mores before bed??), but he managed to still hike at least 6 miles that day and wasn’t slowed down! No symptoms of anything since.

We enjoyed paddle boarding and hiking. We saw four moose (five, if you ask some people…but those people are counting the same moose twice because it was in a different location the second time)! Two of the moose we watched swim across Long Lake – such a beautiful, surreal experience!