Some updates from the first half of September.

Pictures from homeschooling – a visual representation of the differences between E and M being asked to write the same science question and answer; our math books were backordered (we finally got Ethan’s, but Micah’s is still not here) so I’ve been doing random workbooks for Math; Ethan is editing a Bible verse, then drawing a picture for our Essentials vocabulary game, and then working on a report for piano; Micah has started using the iPad for fun math games while waiting for his math book to arrive; and Micah watches art classes on YouTube with me while Daddio teaches Ethan something solo (E does typing when Micah has his lesson with Dad).

Pictures from our CC community day in the backyard – Ethan did a presentation on cold showers; Micah talked about the Rush Revere book we finished (thanks, Grandpa Russ!); I taught Fine Arts (drawing upside down); and Ethan made a grumpy face at me when he missed his shot from the review game:

Pictures from fun at home – Mike mowing the lawn in a mask because of all the smoke in the air; Micah looking a picture while listening to Grandma reading; the boys taking ice baths; playing ping pong on Sunday afternoons after church (photo credit goes to Ethan for that darling one of Micah); boys enjoying some special treats from friends and family who had heard we were under the weather; birding in the chilly mornings; working on books for our in-home library; and finally the two pictures of Mike and I are from the book reading event at our library (I read my book, “Alvin the Brave” in a British accent, much to the amusement of the fam):

This past weekend we went for a hike in Golden and then spent some time in the creek downtown. It was lovely!

I walk each morning and occasionally take pictures of the beautiful sites. =)

Finishing up the Summer

Our summer is coming to a close and I think it’s the first summer we’ve not done any traveling or had any visitors since Mikey and I got married. Still, we’ve had a lovely break from schooling and have done a lot to enjoy the local scene. =)

We’ve done some birding – at Bluff Lake, at Rocky Mountain Arsenal, the pond nearby and also just in our neighborhood park.

One Sunday afternoon after virtual church we spent the afternoon camped out at our park. We played yard games, listened to books, played frisbee and ate our lunch there. It was lots of fun!

While we were there, Micah reenacted a photo I took of him about 8 years ago!

Other happenings include constantly listening to audiobooks, Saturday morning sprint workouts at the track, playing games, watching birding webinars (especially fun to do when Grandpa and Grandma are also watching), determining the species of our LEGO birds, cooking, reading with Daddio, lots of yard work (I still intend to do a before and after post at some point…but we are still in the midst of getting things completed!), and doing some things to get ready for the school year (Ethan did a math test to make sure we are doing the right level of Math for him this year as we are switching over to Saxon math for the first time) and reading Farmer Boy with Grandma over Zoom.

We also did another spur of the moment one-on-one. Ethan and Mike rode their bikes downtown to pick up my birthday present – a new bike helmet!! This was Ethan’s longest bike ride to date – 30 miles, I believe. Meanwhile, Micah and I finished George’s Marvelous Medicine and made our own slightly more edible version of medicine.

This past week has brought some new changes to our world. Ethan purchased a used camera (we chipped in a little bit, too, but mostly this was his endeavor) and is now going out most mornings to take pictures of birds. He has been emailing with Grandpa and even did a FaceTime to gather more information about photography. Perhaps this will be a class for this upcoming school year. =D

We thought it was only right to help Micah with a big purchase, too. He opted to get a standing desk because he’s really into all things related to having an office and being fit. He’s pretty jazzed about this whole thing.

We started doing our one-on-ones again this past week and Ethan opted to go to Bluff Lake with me to do some birding. Meanwhile, Mike and Micah stuck closer to home, but also did some birding. I can’t tell you how much this solo time breathes life back into our daily living.

Micah has been taking more and more of an interest in cooking and putting food together for people. He’s been working on his restaurant “A Side of Fruit” (coined as such because he always serves a piece of fruit on the side of everything), but he also cooked dinner for us (sloppy Jos) and had us all order salads from him another day. We also were pumped to have the first two tomatoes of the season!

Here’s a little mama milestone – I made hollandaise sauce for the first time ever and we all LOVED it! =)

Other happenings this week included Micah getting his own email address in order to edit his pictures (and send emails to family members). He’s been loving this and is even more motivated to learn to read more fluidly so that he can read all of your emails on his own!

We’ve also started doing solo audiobooks this week. Both boys really enjoy listening to books and usually we do this all together. Micah finished the “The Green Ember” already and started “The Last Archer”. Ethan is about an hour away from finishing “Monster in the Hollows”. It’s amazing how quiet the house can get.

We’ve done a few LEGO masters. Micah and I competed against each other in a challenge to build “a scene from Star Wars”. Ethan was the judge and ultimately voted for Micah’s, I think, but said mine (when Anakin fell into the lava pit while fighting Obi Wan) was pretty awesome. And then we did a challenge to make a robot. Ethan and I made a pretty classic robot, with a programmer controlling it in the background. Mike and Micah made a big robot who creates minifigs.

Other updates include a functioning sliding glass door with blinds and a canopy for shade; outdoor army battles on the front porch; Mike started going for walks with 30 lbs on his back because he’s a crazy, wonderful man; lots of piano playing; and bike rides to the pond:

One of my favorite things that has come out of the opportunities COVID19 has provided our family with is having Mikey home consistently. He now reads to us (mostly from the iPad as that is his preferred means) almost every night and it’s amazing. We’ve finished at least two books with him during this season – The Forest and The Magician’s Nephew. I think we’ll continue reading all of The Chronicles of Narnia together as it’s been a really sweet experience for us.

Early July

Mikey and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary on the first of this month. When we took a selfie at the top of the mountain we climbed as a family that day, it reminded us both of the selfie we took on one of our 14ers that we used on our wedding day for people to sign. We’ve been climbing mountains and having other fun adventures together for 18 years already!

We hiked Chief Mountain – a 3 mile hike with spectacular views about 45 minutes from our house I think. It was absolutely fabulous – enough work that felt good, but not exhausting. =)

That night, we had sushi take out as a family. Later, Mikey and I enjoyed Cherry Wine from Door County, WI (which I bought at Mars Cheese Castle last June when we stayed in Wisconsin for the month) on our deck.

We celebrated the 4th with a challenging, but fun 1776 workout. This meant that we worked together to complete various movements that totaled up to 1776. It was a lot of fun. Micah led us in the hand stands, as that is his speciality and the rest of us can barely do a donkey kick. =D Later we had our annual 4th of July dessert of fruit and homemade whipped cream. And we took two nights to watch Hamilton together. What an incredible show! Ethan had already seen it LIVE, but he liked seeing it again and said he picked up on more of the story the second time around. We also enjoyed “butterscotch on the rocks”, which we learned about from a fun book series (Royal Rabbits of London). We used stevia droppers with butterscotch flavor and Ethan used chocolate, since he doesn’t like butterscotch.

We also all finally have working bikes, so we’ve done some family bike rides, including a ride around Cherry Creek Reservoir.

Other snapshots of life in early July include a lot of piano-playing, drawing, eating at Micah’s home restaurant, and listening to Daddio read to us.

More of June

We are spending much of our time playing LEGO (as proved by my last post), listening to books, going for walks (mostly for the boys to take pictures or for me to get some solo time, depending on the day and circumstances) or bike rides (the boys have been doing loops on their own now) and playing games. While we listen to books, however, we often play solitaire or color in Querkles (and Micah has been making some of his own). Ethan is getting pretty good at fast scrabble. We prefer to play that way than the traditional way as it keeps us moving and thinking differently (read: we don’t get bored when we play this way).

We also play a lot of piano – even doing silly things for Ethan’s piano practice like playing with a roll of toilet paper on his head or blindfolded.