We had some friends stay in our home while we were gone and were blessed with sweet notes and lots of treats. Micah stayed up with Mike and I to ring in the New Year. Ethan stayed up for a while, but was ready to turn in by 10:30 (he was still living on WI time, so he almost made it!).
Getting back home meant getting back into our rhythms. We started praying for specific people at dinner and then talking about a question (both the name of a person and a question to ask is on these popsicle sticks). Ethan got back to his piano as soon as he woke up. We took down Christmas decorations, started reading some books together, played our new game, and spent some time outside.
We also got back into the swing of things for school and CC.
Mike and his co-worker/buddy took the boys to Casa Bonita for their first time. The food was not impressive, as you might guess, but they had a good time watching the entertainment.
And we’ve had two Packer picnics. One ended with a victory; the other with defeat. The boys watched both games all the way through, which is something new for them. What a fun season!
We had a few snow storms already in October. You better believe we had hot chocolate and soup and did a whole bunch of puzzles. And Micah kept the squirrels fed. =)
We also had a whole bunch of lovely warm days:
Other highlights included watching Mike play a softball game again (after many years of not playing), getting donuts at a local shop up the street to celebrate something, playing hangman with Daddio, and leaving notes for each other on the whiteboard.
Also, we have two Packer fans in the house again. I am thankful for player names like “Savage” and “Geronimo” who helped make this possible.
And, there’s a lot of snuggling happening in our home:
We are really excited about fall around here. We made pumpkin muffins and brought out all of our fall decorations! And I finally got to wear jeans again! My fav.
Fall also means football season has begun! Mike and Reggie went to see the Chiefs beat the Broncos recently.
And with fall comes the beginning of other activities. I am teaching our Kids Club at church (which Micah attends with me) while Ethan participates in Cadets.
Other things not related to fall…Micah wanted to send some letters and chose to keep his hat on for his correspondence-writing. He also chose to sleep in it. Speaking of sleep, his is often riddled with fear. Things vary from night to night, but that particular night he fell asleep on the floor so that he could be near me. More often, though, I wake up to evidence that he slept on my floor during the night. He tells me he wakes up at about 4 in the morning and camps out on my floor until morning. He’s very stealthy. This is what he brings with him every time. =D
Milestone alert – Micah read the Bible story for us after dinner for the first time!!
Here are some drum pictures from his lessons. I wish I could show you pictures of Ethan’s lessons, too. He is LOVING piano and really enjoys taking lessons with our cousin.
It wouldn’t be an every day life post if I didn’t include pictures of us playing games and listening to audiobooks. We are minutes away from finishing Redwall – it’s been loved by all of us!
This guy officially finished his Vex robotic thing:
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. =)
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”. =)
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. =)
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.
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. =)
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.
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.
A shot of their bunk beds during a brief window when their room looked clean:
Big milestone news for Micah – he lost his first tooth tonight!
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. =)
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.
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!!
Ethan got his hair cut!! He was pretty apprehensive about this, but the sides and back were really starting to bother him. We kept the length on the top and now I think he really likes this cut.
E’s presentation at CC that week was on Harriet Tubman, who he learned about in one of his fact tracker magic tree house books. I am ashamed to say that I have no idea what Micah presented on…this is what happens when I don’t take a picture to remind me! He was in his class, so I didn’t get to snap a pic this week.
PE plus is so much fun for Ethan. (Micah still doesn’t participate in the actual class, but he doesn’t mind watching) Afterward, E and M play with a bunch of their buddies outside. The last few weeks they have been playing a lot of two-hand touch football. Ethan has the affectionate nickname of “Packer Dude” since he is often wearing his Packer shirt and there is another Ethan that plays football with them. =)
Feel like you haven’t seen Mr. Cleve in a while? Me too! 😉 He’s been traveling – both for work and for pleasure – quite a bit lately. And he’s been having a lot of fun doing it. We are really thankful for his job and the flexibility it provides and also the challenge and excitement of doing something important and enjoyable. It’s been a big blessing in our life and we are thankful.
Two notable destinations –
San Diego for his annual guys’ trip…
…and the top of another 14er: Mount Huron.
Love this hard-working guy!
Side note – this girl wants to get in another 14er, too! =D
When the NFL preseason schedule was released, the boys and I made a call to Aunt Jen to ask if she’d want to come to Denver to watch the Packers play. It didn’t take much to convince her. We were thrilled to have her along for the boys’ first game. (Uncle J came out, too, but he didn’t attend the game with us.) We had a fun and delicious breakfast on Saturday morning and spent the day playing at the park and at our house.
That evening we fueled up on brats and corn on the cob before taking the light rail downtown for the game.
The boys had a great time at the game. It was a little loud and overwhelming at first for one of us, but he quickly felt comfortable in my lap. Jen and I wished the Broncos didn’t score so much (mostly field goals) because it was always very exciting with fireworks and fire and a bronco running across the field – we were concerned they would want the Broncos to score more than the Packers. =D We stayed to the very end of the game (Packers lost) and Micah was sleeping on my lap while everyone was dancing and singing to “Jump Around”. =) Thanks, Auntie Jen, for making our first game such a memorable one!!
We had church on Sunday and then our church picnic up in the mountains. It was a really sweet time and we hope to get out to Long Scraggy again sometime.
On Monday we had a chaotic day of homeschool. I was flustered enough with the boys’ behavior to say that there was ten feet of rain in Houston…and even said that was the capital of Texas. SO, when I later thought through how the day went and what I would have changed (as I do most days), I realized the error of my ways and made sure to correct it! Ay ay ay!
We also had Ethan’s first piano lesson that afternoon. He is doing joint lessons with cousin, Matthew. We are pretty excited about this and Ethan absolutely LOVED playing piano and going to his lesson. He is eager to get back again and learn more! Micah had fun reading and doing sight words. We even played a game of “Mother, May I?” with flashcards telling him “yes” or “no”. It was more fun because we had Jen there to play, too!
Thanks, Auntie Jen and Uncle J, for coming out for a visit! We sure loved having you!!
Feeling thankful to do life with family nearby and for family traveling to see us.
We enjoy games in our family. We tend to play one game a whole bunch until we are sick of it. Apparently we did that to Qwirkle, because E won’t play it with me anymore even though I ask to play it almost every week. Anyway, our current two favorites are Mancala and Machi Koro. We can’t get enough of them right now!
Ethan has gotten incredibly good and has out-smarted BOTH of his parents on a couple of occasions. And Micah is learning the patience necessary to sit through a whole game and it’s been going really well. He plays about 1 in every 4 games, but is perfectly happy to keep himself busy with magnatiles while we play.
Oh, Magnatiles, how we love thee:
We finished another “read-aloud”. It was recommended as a read-aloud to go along with our CC curriculum: http://www.halfahundredacrewood.com/2016/06/cc-cycle-2-reading-plans/. It’s a good website for ideas for homeschooling, although it mostly just overwhelms me. Ethan sits next to me while I read and Micah plays with…magnatiles. But, I must say, Micah asks some good questions and often starts singing CC-related songs when he hears words he knows. So, I know he’s listening. =D
Ethan is our sole participator in PE plus again this semester. He is allowed to participate on a week-to-week basis, though, so perhaps you’ll see him join in some weeks. Ethan seems to really enjoy it.
Ethan is also doing the ReadIt program with Pizza Hut. He reads 12 chapter books (that’s the goal I set for him) and then gets a personal pan pizza. Both boys find this to be lots of fun!
Micah got an exciting piece of mail last week! Grandpa Russ sent him a matching Army hat and he was beaming about it. In fact, he went to sleep that night with it on. =D
Don’t judge us…but this is what our downstairs looks like most days. They make forts and battlefields all.day.long. =D
Chopsticks – making eating veggies fun:
We were sad to see the Falcons lose the Super Bowl this year. I always like being able to say that we lost to the Super Bowl champs…and we lived in Atlanta for a few years. Micah was cheering for both teams, primarily because his mama dislikes the Patriots with a passion. He’s a stinker, but very cuddly.
Whenever the boys receive or earn money, they like to count it all up and then go on amazon to see what Legos they might like to buy next.
More updates to come…this one feels really long already. =D