Life Lately

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:  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 =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

Recent Happenings

Micah requested that we have another Packers picnic, “like we had when we lived in Georgia with the mac and cheese and sitting on the football blanket”.  Thankfully the Packers were playing that Monday night, so we made it happen.  The boys had a great time celebrating a win *finally* and eating all green and gold food.  In other exciting news, Micah is now a fan of the Packers again, “even if they play the Bears”.  (Sorry, Jason!) They took the decorating VERY seriously and even shed some tears over disagreements about the appropriateness of using one of my shirts as a pillow cover or just draping it over the couch.  Such little sweeties.

Ethan is learning how to divide.  We used our NFL helmets to explain divisions.  It was classic!  Feeling thankful for Classical Conversations and learning all those skip-counting songs!  Phew.


Boys got their hair cut.  I treated them to hot chocolate while we waited for their turn.


Meagen came over for dinner.  Micah took the liberty of photographing the occasion.

Micah has started to love doing puzzles now.  This used to be Ethan’s favorite pastime and I couldn’t convince Micah to spend any amount of time doing them.  But now he is often found doing puzzles!  He also loves practicing his letters and drawing pictures.

E and I went to our old eye doctor for check ups.  He apparently has 5 rows of lashes.  I don’t know how many the average person has, but that seems a bit excessive!  No wonder they are so stunning!

And here is a video of Micah’s recent Bible memory verse:

Wisconsin Trip: Packers Practice

We had the opportunity to travel to Wisconsin!  My cousin recently got married in New Zealand (where she has been living) and then had a reception in Milwaukee, her hometown.  We celebrated that occasion and combined it with a reunion of my Mom’s side of the family.  It was a fantastic trip!  I’ve got quite a few pictures, so I’m devoting a couple of posts to it.

As usual, photo cred for any of the outstanding pics goes to my Dad.  You’ll be able to spot them out in a heartbeat. =)

We arrived on Wednesday night just in time for an early bedtime.  A big group of us – my bro and sis, one of my nephews, my aunt and uncle and my parents – woke up early to attend Packers practice.  This is a really cool experience and I highly recommend it to everyone…if you like football and Packers in particular. The price is right – FREE – and it’s incredibly fun to watch the Packers working hard and having fun.  Plus, they are SO close!  But one of the coolest parts is to watch the Packers players ride little kids’ bikes into the practice field.  Such a cool tradition!

We got a cool shot of the cousins doing a “Lambeau leap”.  Unfortunately someone said “go Pack go!” and that caused our Bears-loving-Packers-dressed boy to frown.

Micah man fell at the practice and got a great big goose egg on his forehead.  He recovered quickly, thankfully, but it sure left a mark!

Both boys slept (I was only able to capture Micah) the whole drive back to the awesome hotel we stayed at in Milwaukee.  More photos to come of that. =D



Let me be very clear, we are Packers fans.  However, we are also Peyton Manning fans and fans of the city of Denver.  SO, for the Super Bowl this year, we were pulling for the Broncos.  My sweet husband took the boys out to get some Broncos gear while I was at the IF: Gathering (Jen Hatmaker spoke! Woot!) and when I saw the boys in their gear, I didn’t recognize them.  Mike may have said something like, “We are in Denver, Jess, it’s okay for them to like the Broncos, too.”  And I may have replied with something along the lines of, “We are their parents and we can brainwash them as needed.” ;D  Anyway, we really enjoyed being in the city of the Super Bowl winning team!

On Saturday, the boys went with Mike and some of our friends downtown in their gear to get pumped up about the game.

On Sunday, we enjoyed the game at another friend’s house with lots of friends.  The boys had an awesome time running around, wrestling, eating food and watching the game.

Then on Tuesday, we joined a million people at the big parade!  That was very exciting and definitely a milestone. =)

Next year…GO PACKERS!

Non-Moving Related Updates

Before I continue with our moving activities (so similar to our Advent activities that the boys keep asking, “what’s our Advent activity today??” and I have to keep reminding them that this is for moving, not for Christmas), I wanted to give some updates on our life here for the past month.

The boys and I had an awesome time celebrating the first Packers playoff game.  We decorated the living room in green and gold and had a little Packers picnic.  Ethan even drew a picture to send to the Packers to encourage them (we sent it online)!  Mike was in Colorado…buying our house, I think! =)

Homeschooling and Classical Conversations continues to go well.  Ethan absolutely LOVED reading the first Boxcar Children book (and wants to read more of them) with me and is now enjoying “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh.”  His handwriting has improved greatly (thankfully!) and so has his spelling.  Math is probably our most challenging subject, but he seems to grasp pretty tough concepts.  We are doing adding and subtracting within 20.  Anyway, here are some pictures of that this month:

Micah is working on his alphabet in preschool and we’re starting to talk about reading (he’s got to get the letters down first, don’t think we’re doing anything spectacular with a 4 year old reader or anything! ;)).  He loves to give pictures to me and asked to take a picture of it the other day.  He also loves to dress up in various outfits…sometimes extra pants, sometimes his tiger costume, and often his army or Packers clothes.  He keeps us laughing!

Ethan tested for his yellow belt in martial arts this month.  He had to write his first essay: what is respect?  We are happy to report that he passed the test and is officially a yellow belt!  He was very excited!!

Aunt Jennie was in town for her Atlanta Tradeshow and I had the pleasure of helping her for a few days.  This is always a fun thing for me; I love what she does and I like getting to spend time with her!  She also came to our house for a couple days afterwards to see the boys.  I’ll post more pictures of this later, when doing our moving activities post, but here are a few from that weekend:


Also, we had a winter storm!! ;D

And we had lots of fun with an old toy of Grandma Cleve’s this weekend. =)


On Christmas Day, the Cleve Crew flew to Michigan.  We left very early that morning and had a layover in Baltimore.  The boys were fantastic on the flight, as usual, and even spent some of it sleeping!  Micah was still feeling pretty sick this day, so that’s why he looks so miserable.

We made it to Grand Rapids in time for Christmas “dinner” (lunch) and all of the celebrations thereafter.  In all we numbered over 30 people – all on my Mom’s side.  It was awesome!  We stayed at my Grandpa’s house until Monday morning, when we drove (in the snow!) back to Wisconsin.  These are pictures Mike and I took from the Michigan part of our trip:

Mikey and I went out for a quadruple??? date with some cousins, aunts and uncles, my bro and his wife to see the Star Wars movie.  That was lots of fun!  Thanks to Dad and Mom for hanging back with all three of the boys!!  Mike bought a massive container of popcorn to share with everyone and it made me laugh!


And these are the much better quality pics from my Dad from our time in Michigan:

We all LOVED our time in Michigan.  It’s always a very special time for us.  Having family that are all friends is a very sweet blessing.


5-0 baby!  Woot!  Anyway…Micah is a HUGE Packers fan.  Well, he absolutely LOVES wearing their clothes anyway.  Every day he wears some sort of Packers gear; he will literally change clothes halfway through the day if he happens to notice that the Packers shirt/pants/socks are clean.

IMG_5898 IMG_5976 IMG_5978 IMG_5981 IMG_5982 <– E likes to wear his Packers gear, too.  I overheard him saying to a friend today, “Did you say Packers??  That’s my favorite football team!”

Micah wasn’t feeling all that well on Sunday, so he took a little nap on me.  It’s SO rare and I LOVE it.

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Micah’s Starting School!

Micah will be going to preschool 3 days a week starting in September.  We are going to be out of town for the Open House and meeting his teacher and whatnot, so we set up some time yesterday to meet his teacher and to see his classroom.  He had a great time and seemed to really enjoy it.  We think Ms. Mary Beth will be a great first teacher for him!

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I had to include these two also because Micah was busy hugging Ethan and telling him how much he loves him and how he’s his best friend.

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February in Georgia

Here’s the remainder of my wrap-up for the month of Georgia – not including our time in Florida, obviously. =)

We received a few packages in one day and that was incredibly exciting!!  They loved their new sweaters from George and Jean (my brother-in-law’s kind parents!) and chose to wear them right away.  Thank you!!

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They also absolutely loved their new coloring book from Grandma Cleve.  This book guarantees no mess and came in VERY handy on the plane.  Thank you!!

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And the Valentine’s/thank you gifts from Hana and Ellie were very much appreciated – by ALL of us! =)

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We had a fun playdate with a friend from Ethan’s school.  The boys planned it all out at school – they were both going to wear their football gear and play a game of football.  It was hilarious and adorable.

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Playing with Daddio outside is always more exciting than playing with Mommy:


And then it “snowed”/”iced”:

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Ethan helped me make dinner:

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E took pictures of his creativity:


Daddy took the boys to get their hair cut:

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I was hoping to be posting these fun family Packers pictures after we beat the Seahawks yesterday and were headed to the Super Bowl.  I was also hoping to eat our special green and yellow themed dinner last night after we won the game….  Instead, we were stuck eating green and yellow while sulking.


It was a good season and that was a very bitter way to end…but, as Clay Matthews says:


I think my little “Clay” is even cooler:

Here are some pics from the last two weeks:

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Micah called to Daddio while eating breakfast yesterday, “Daddy?  Who is winning the Packers game?”

Ethan wanted to do a play of the Packers game, so we made one up on Saturday.  It actually started a lot like the actual Packers game…lots of interceptions, fumbles, and Packers scoring.  We had it ending a little bit differently…a little bit more like the Patriots game ended.  =)  Mike made a video of our Packers play, so hopefully I can post that another time!