The Great Midwestern Tour: Pt 4 Wisconsin (the second time)

We were back in Wisconsin for Christmas Eve.  That night we pretended to be shepherds on the night that the angels came to tell them about the birth of Jesus.  We had a bonfire, roasted hotdogs/brats and ate meats, cheeses and figs.  Then we made s’mores! =).  It was so much fun to imagine what that night might have been like.

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The rest of that week was quite relaxing.  At first it was just the Cleve Crew and my parents, but by the following weekend, my siblings and their families were back in town.  We enjoyed “Narnia” at their church, ate lots of yummy food, and played lots of games.

Mike and I snuck away for our annual date with Cass and Adam, but we didn’t get a picture that evening.  The following day we got everyone together at the botanical gardens (that might not be the right name…) in Milwaukee.  Between the two of us, we snagged way too many cute pictures of Ethan and Hana together.  Their friendship is especially sweet!  It was great to be with them again!

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I’m going to have to split this post into two.  There are just too many cute pictures.  Next up – my siblings and their families are back in town!

The Great Midwestern Tour: Pt 2 Wisconsin (the first time)

The boys and I spent a couple days in Wisconsin before heading to the next destination of Michigan for the extended family gathering.  We enjoyed lots of time with family – baking, building block creations, teaching drawing lessons, building creations out of wood, bird-watching, reading books, playing piano…and probably plenty of other things that we didn’t capture in pictures. =)

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Also, Micah really enjoyed feeding Salina her bottle and did so at most opportunities.  They have a special connection.  After we left, Jennie told me that Salina was looking at her book with family pictures in it and she saw Micah’s picture and kissed it!

Among the very top of our highlights was  meeting Eddie for the first time!

Next up: Michigan!

Advent Activities

We celebrated Advent again this year by doing various activities each day.  We didn’t get a chance to do a few of my favorites and I definitely didn’t snap a picture of everything we did.  But here’s a glimpse into the festivities for Advent 2018.  Activities included, but were not limited to: watching a Christmas movie, enjoying ice cream ‘sundaes’ for a meal, red and green meal, making Christmas snacks, Christmas art class online, decorating gingerbread houses, and painting Christmas canvases.

We definitely enjoyed the anticipatory season of Advent.  Meanwhile, we also read Ann Voscamp’s “Greatest Gift” Advent book.  We really enjoyed that.  And I read a book called, “Keeping Holiday” which I liked a whole lot and will read to the boys in the coming years.

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Life Lately

These pictures don’t really fit into a category but were taken over the past month.  They give a glimpse into every day life around here.

Some of us were really hoping that a Packer picnic would help revitalize the Packer’s season this year.  One of us just likes to be contrary…

Micah wanted to try split pea soup in honor of one of his favorite book series, George and Martha.  He asked to take a picture for Grandma since she read some many of those stories to him the last time she was here.

Sometimes when we FaceTime with Daddio while he’s away, things get a little bit silly…

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Thanksgiving

Grandpa Russ drove out to spend Thanksgiving with us again this year.  We love this tradition and enjoy having him with us so much.  The boys especially enjoy spending time outside with him, looking at and sorting through coins, and eating ice cream!  We went out for breakfast at the Original Pancake House one of the mornings he was here, too!  Here are some pictures from our time with him around our house:

Before he even arrived, we started our lists of things we for which we give thanks.  Micah’s first item was drum lessons.  Ethan’s was piano lessons.  They also did an acrostic and came up with another nice list.  Ethan worked on his first and then Micah joined in later…and when Micah got to “G” he shouted GOD!  Next thing I see, Ethan’s crossing off whatever he had written in the “G” and wrote God, too.  Ha!  Very cute to see him copying his younger brother for once. =)

We spent Thanksgiving day at Ashley and Zach’s place.  It was fun to spend the day all together.  We split the food up between the two of us and had a pretty fantastic feast, although some were heard “grumbling” about having ham instead of turkey this year.  Lots of sibling banter ensued.  The boys helped me with various parts of our half of the meal: cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole and green bean casseroles.

That evening, E and I went for a walk around the park in the dark.  We got to talk to my Grandpa for his birthday and I snapped a few pictures of the lights.  I’ve been walking with this guy to see Christmas lights since he was 6 months old. =)

They came over to our place on Saturday for lasagna and more time together.  Our boys put on a very silly play for everyone.  It was lots of fun being together again before Grandpa Russ headed home the following morning.

Thanks for coming out, Grandpa Russ!  We sure loved having you!

One-on-One Weekend

Mike had high hopes of taking Micah away to San Fransisco for his one-on-one weekend, but he ended up needing to fly to Minnesota the day before their trip and Micah ended up feeling more comfortable staying in the state.  SO, after hours of flight delays, Mike arrived home after ten pm and the trip was postponed until the following morning.  Mike took Micah south about an hour to Great Wolf Lodge for the remainder of the weekend.  We were pretty sure this would be just the thing for Micah.  Sadly, Micah ended up not feeling well for much of their time and even threw up a few times.  Regardless, Micah would tell you that he had a great time!

Here are some pictures from their special time together on the first day:

The following day Micah was feeling much better, but he was still not quite up to his usual cheerful self.

Needless to say, they are going to need a re-do on this whole trip sometime when schedules allow again. =)

Meanwhile…back at home…We had pretty cold all weekend, but I tried to be excited about all of the outdoor activities Ethan had in mind.  Ethan and I biked to the tennis courts two days in a row to play some tennis.  We played football for a long time, too!  We also kept ourselves busy playing lots of games, playing the piano and looking for birds!

We were definitely glad to be together as a family after all of that.  Micah requested that only people dressed as wolves/animals play with play dough.  =)  Quick side note – the play dough was a prize from Sunday School, which I am incredibly happy to report, Micah was SO sad to miss while on his weekend away.  Previously, he didn’t even want to go to Sunday School and now he was feeling really bummed to miss even one week of it! Such an answer to prayer.

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Random

This will just be a random post getting us close to caught up on normal life.

I took the boys trick-or-treating.  Micah was still King Peter, but Ethan opted for his Chewy costume from last year.  We actually walked the block with neighbors we just met that night – I guess there are some nice things about that holiday. 😉

The boys are super helpful around the house.  They worked on raking and cleaning up the front yard the other day while I read a book!  Amazing.

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We checked out owl pellets this week in the science portion of CC.  It was a little stinky and kind of gross, but it was pretty awesome at the same time!!  Both boys seemed to enjoy finding remains of various rodents the owl had eaten.

CC brings out a lot of joys in our world.  The boys have been playing a lot of tin whistle music this week.  Ethan even copied down some music so that he doesn’t have to borrow my book when he wants to play.  Also, Ethan LOVES diagramming sentences for Essentials.  Who knew?!

We got to celebrate cousin Caleb’s 2nd birthday recently.  Such a blessing to live by family and celebrate this little guy together!!  Apparently we only took a picture of half of the table.  Oops.

Lastly, I took a video of Micah’s most recent drum lesson.  He seems to be enjoying it!