Field Trips

You know we are nearing the end of the school year when you see lots of field trips popping up!  We actually completed our state requirements a couple weeks ago already, but I have a few things we want to finish before the end of our school year next week.  So these field trips have just been chances to get together with other families or to see/do things that seemed like fun. =)

We went with a bunch of CC families to see the Dead Sea Scrolls a couple weeks ago.  I think I got the most out of this one, but I took a very casual approach to this day – allowing them to explore the things that most interested them and not forcing too much reading.  It’s a cool exhibit, for sure, but it’s a lot of reading and that’s not very attention-grabbing for our boys right now. 😉

Over the weekend, Daddio joined us at Living History.  We had done this with my parents at the beginning of the year, too, but this time the boys got to build their own muskets.  They were pretty thrilled about doing that.

The next week, we celebrated reaching our reading goals for the month with cheese-in-the-crust pizza at the library.  We love stopping at pizza hut before heading over for a library visit and just eating outside.  And I told the boys about how I remember when cheese-in-the-crust commercials started and how they always showed the kids eating from the crust first.  So we took some pictures to recreate that. =D

We also went to the Celestial Seasonings tour in Boulder with some CC friends.  Sadly, they were in the middle of inventory, so we didn’t get to see the machines working on the tour, but it was still really interesting!  The boys mostly enjoyed seeing friends and drinking lots of tea.

 

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.  =)

Weekend Fun

The weather was warm this past weekend so we enjoyed some time outside.  The boys love to do shows/competitions for me to judge, so this day they were busy doing jumps on their scooters.  I also got in some time to catch up on a book E and I are reading together: “The Princess and Curdie” (the sequel to “The Princess and the Goblin”)  Also, while I was chatting with our neighbor, the boys stole my phone and took some selfies. Oh my word.

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a traditional and yummy corned beef and cabbage crockpot meal.

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Mike celebrated by getting off of caffeine again.  Thus, he is not featured in any pictures from this weekend.  It was rough. =/  But I am thankful for his discipline in making hard changes to his life!

A Week with Colds

When we got back from our weekend away, we battled colds while Mike traveled.  Micah got the worst of it, but even his cold only lasted about a week.  He’s still coughing now, but so much improved.  We still plunged away at school, but we took it easy.  Listening to “The Hobbit” motivated Ethan to begin a new book.  He really loves a good story and starts writing every few months.  It’s fun to see how much his stories have evolved over the last year.  He was a very helpful big brother during the worst days – he played concerts for us and snuggled Micah.  He also just spent a lot of time reading or writing to keep things extra easy for me.  I was super thankful!!

Meanwhile I started writing a book, too, with ideas and pictures from Micah!

We celebrated Pi Day with a pie from the grocery store. =)

Both boys were in my class at CC this week since Micah was still under the weather and coughing a bunch.  He gave a presentation on two of his Lego creations and E told us about JRR Tolkien.

There was a lot of Lego building…and I also got the boys haircuts!!

We ended the week babysitting cousin Caleb, the younger.  He loves listening to music, so he was having a grand ol’ time dancing to our CC songs and other music.  He wasn’t so sure about playing knights, but we gave it a go. =)  And he asked his auntie if she would start homeschooling him along with the boys. 😉

Updates

A few Saturdays ago Mike was out of town.  It’s been a pretty busy couple of months for us with a lot of solo parenting going on.  I am so thankful that we have FaceTime for the days he’s gone and intentional time when he’s in town!  Anyway, I was sure to schedule a nice day for us that Saturday.  We spent the morning at church so that E could work on his pinewood derby car.  For those that don’t know, this is an annual tradition within the CRC and is something that I did as a kid, too. =)  Uncle Joel worked patiently with a bunch of kids, including Ethan, that morning.  He’s such a blessing!!  Meanwhile, Micah and I worked on his pigeon activity book throughout the morning.

That afternoon, we headed to the library to make dinosaur dioramas.

Other updates include…we still like Legos around here:

And we love to read.  I’ve finished something like 18 books already this year (keep in mind that a lot of them are young adult books and/or books I’m reading with boys).  I discovered a new series that I LOVE and can’t wait to introduce to the boys – The Green Ember.  I highly recommend them – fun, action-packed reads.

We finished another good read-aloud book recently called, “The Prairie Thief”.  It was a fun story and both boys enjoyed it.  A lot of the time I have them color or do puzzles while listening.

E has a love for good stories and has pretty good taste, in my opinion. =)  He’s read a bunch of just silly, fun books (i.e. Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and he still tends to like books with a little more plot (i.e. The Hobbit – his current favorite that we are listening to and almost done with already!!).

We also recently learned more about a series called, “Who Was…” about various famous people (there are also books about living people and places), so I’ve been collecting them from thrift books.com whenever I have a coupon. =)

And the boys have lots of fun picking out their free monthly book at the Book Rack after a day at CC.

The boys reached their reading goal for February so we got to celebrate with pizza hut again.

We just started our final 6 weeks of CC this month.  I hosted all of the tutors for our final planning session.  Mike took the boys out for dinner so we could have less distractions. =)

We still sometimes play school:

And we’re busy finishing this school year strong:

Again, I can’t recall what the boys’ present on during CC without pictures…and I only have pictures of Ethan since I’m his tutor.  He gave one presentation about a lego creation of his and one about…we don’t know because it doesn’t have a prop. Haha!

We had dinner with Reggie sometime in the last month and then he and Mike headed out to float. =)

We’ve spent quite a bit of time in the park.  One day we invited cousin Matthew to join us for some parkour.

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And we got a new game – Life – from Grandma Cleve.  I had only played it once as a kid, so we had to spend some serious time getting re-aquainted with it.  I accidentally made up some rules the first time around. =)

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And lastly, I started doing a little more decorating in the office.  =)  Thanks for the canvas idea, Dad!

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Valentine’s Day

So, Valentine’s Day is not my favorite holiday and we rarely do much to celebrate it.  But, in general, I am a big fan of traditions and in celebrating.  I also seem to really like themes (who knew?!) and decorations.  I didn’t do much for this one, but I changed out our normal boxes for hearts on our homeschool to-do list and we made some heart decorations for around the house.  Ethan copied down each part of the definition of love from 1 Cor. 13.  Micah made a heart paper chain.  The cool Jesus watch was from CBS (which everyone is loving btw!).  Also, I got a pretty amazing card for tutoring for CC – isn’t that so clever??  We had the pleasure of hosting Grandpa Russ and Aunt Ashley and Caleb for dinner on Valentine’s Day.  I made Grandma Cleve’s lasagna recipe – a hit with everyone, of course.  Plus – lasagna is red.  Win!

Grandpa Russ was in town only briefly on his way to Mexico for Mike’s brother’s wedding.  Mike flew out with him the day after Valentine’s Day and Ashley joined them the following day.  It sounds like everyone had a lovely time.

Meanwhile, Micah reached a milestone: he competed the whole monkey bar set at the park by our house.  I didn’t get a video of him actually completing it, but he did it a bunch of times that day.  Did I mention that the weather here that weekend was amazing?!  We had 70 degree weather on Sunday.  The next day…3 inches of snow!  We love Colorado! =)  I didn’t snap any pictures of E because he was busy playing football with neighborhood kids.

Also, we made cookies and put ice cream in them…yum!  And we watched Fantastia – the old one – and were not incredibly impressed.  It was okay, but pretty dull. =)

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Life at Home

This guy officially finished his Vex robotic thing:

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And both boys reached their reading goals for January!  This meant personal pan pizzas for everyone!  I failed to fill out the forms this year…so we didn’t get to use the awesome free bookit program.  I’ll figure this homeschooling thing out one of these days. =)

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Below are some pics from our homeschooling life.  As you can see, it involves a lot of reading.  Sometimes the boys just sit and listen, but other times they color, do puzzles or paint.  One day I even had them draw comics to the story I was reading.  Micah started using a new handwriting book and seems to enjoy it.  Ethan has started tracking his Magic Tree House books on the website again.  He’s read all of the books and enjoys re-reading them in the mornings before he’s allowed to start playing.  I warned him that he’ll need to start reading more challenging books soon, but for now I love that he enjoys a good story! =)

The boys have a lot of fun using their headphones.  Sometimes they listen to their CC memory work music; sometimes they are listening to picture books being read to them.  I love to see them enjoying the headphones!

As promised, here’s a video of Ethan singing part of our Latin song for memorizing John 1.  We also are learning it in English.  It’s a super fun song, so that helps!

We ended up watching the Super Bowl at home this year.  We made sure to eat some fun snacks and had a really nice afternoon/evening.  It helped that the team we *all* wanted desperately to win won!  Oh my word, these two were cracking me up! =)

Also, throwback to 5 years ago…I took this picture of the boys and put the caption, “The boys just found out the Packers aren’t in the Super Bowl”. =)

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Speaking of long ago…we took out a game I made for the boys years ago for the first time in a long time again tonight.  We enjoyed playing the game of “Action” together. It involves things like push ups and squats and running up and down stairs.  =)