Ethan participated in his first Field Day while my parents were in town. It was a huge group of kiddos from various PE+ groups throughout the city. I would guess there were 150 kids participating, but I am not great with number estimates. I have lots of thoughts about this day, but most of them are not necessary. So, let’s just suffice it to say that Ethan had a great time and I was really glad my parents were there to help and to capture all of the fun!
Photo cred goes to my dad, of course, for pretty much all of these pictures.
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.
We finished CC a couple weeks ago now, but that doesn’t mean we are done with school, yet. (Although, I did just calculate our hours and we technically only have about 35 school hours to go until we’ve reached the official Colorado mandated hours…but I can tell you that we will surpass that since I am estimating our last day of school to be Friday, May 18th.)
We’ve been having some fun taking schooling outside on the nice weather days:
And we’ve had some fun indoors, too. One day, for instance, we made a homemade game that outlined all of the main happenings in “The Hobbit” – including losing a turn when doing riddles with Gollum and other such things.
You’re seeing lots of books in my pictures because we are really loving read-aloud time. Some of our more recent books: The Sign of the Beaver (boys loved it!); My Father’s Dragon (again, boys loved it – especially Micah as it’s a much shorter chapter book with pictures often); The Green Ember books (Ethan and I – and sometimes Micah – are reading the third book in the series); and A Wrinkle in Time (E and I hope to go to the theater to see this when it comes to the cheap one near us).
As promised, here are some pictures from our field trip to the Butterfly Pavilion. We stopped in there before heading to the fair trade conference to see Jen and J. Both boys held Rosie, the tarantula. Micah had done so once before, but this was Ethan’s first time. We learned a new fact – no one has ever died because of a tarantula, but there have been 3 known deaths from hamsters. =D
Micah took most of the pictures (or requested them) this day. He likes to find beautiful things to capture which makes me smile.
Micah had a beautiful butterfly land on his head! So fun!
And, lastly, we’re pointing to the fair trade conference from where we were at the Butterfly Pavilion:
We drove to Minneapolis the week before Christmas and spent a few days there. The boys are fantastic travelers, thankfully. They keep themselves busy with coloring, looking at books, and listening to audiobooks. And, of course, having tic tacs or gum all day long. =)
Mike worked while we were there, of course, so the boys and I kept ourselves occupied throughout the day. One day we spent exploring the “tubes”. We made it all the way to Mike’s office and had some kombucha on tap there and also grabbed some lunch with our guy.
Most of the rest of the time we hung around the hotel and played a lot of billiards. =) We also got in some “work outs”, drank hot chocolate, did some school and played some games. In retrospect, I would have scheduled another outing (like a children’s museum or something!), but the boys had seemed so content to hang at the hotel so we did that this time around. We also always had dinner with Mikey when he was done at the office.
The main reason we went to Minneapolis was to attend the family Christmas party. It was pretty fun and a really unique location! Ethan played at least 3 games of mini-golf on a cool course designed by various artists. Micah and I played a whole lot of arcade games from the 60s, like bowling and foos ball.
We had a great time in Minneapolis, but by Friday afternoon we were headed to Wisconsin for some family time!
Day 11: Christmas craft & Christmas cookies. We put two together on this day because I had hopes of doing a special advent activity with Aunt Ashley the following day. Unfortunately, their family was sick so we had to postpone. So, my day 12 activity was kind of made up on the fly. =) Thanks, Grandma Cleve, for the train ornaments!
Oh, also, I forgot this trick…if the boys refuse to smile or can’t handle not smiling with huge eyes…tell them to look at each other. So much cuter!
Day 12: drink hot chocolate and read “A Christmas Carol”. We read a children’s version of the story to prep for day 14….
Day 13: This was supposed to be banket-making with Auntie Mel, but there was sickness in their house, too. So, sadly, this was postponed, also. It ended up being a really rough and exhausting day for me. I had pretty much cancelled Advent Activities and reached my very own milestone – calling my mom in tears over parenting. =/ BUT, the Lord gave me a wonderful idea that night…to pour grace upon grace on them so that they would have a tangible example of God’s grace and love towards us. I sent them to bed early because oh.my.word. the day was too long! But before they fell asleep, I got them out of bed for a late-night drive to see Christmas lights. The message was loud and clear: you don’t deserve this, but grace wins! It was a great lesson for me, too…I had to ask myself, how do I respond to His grace and goodness in my life? Do I obey willingly and thank Him? Or do I do my own thing and forget to be still and rest in His goodness?
Day 14: Watch “A Christmas Carol” downtown! We had excellent seats for this fairly scary performance and saw lots of our CC friends there. Afterwards we got to chat with some of the actors/stage crew people about their roles. It was really neat! Also…smiling is hard for us right now. =/
Homeschool has been going well this year. We always have our ups and downs, but I can’t imagine you want to hear much about the downs. =) Both boys are working on their handwriting. Ethan is learning to do multiplication flashcards for time and Micah is still working on learning various words and sounds letters make.
We’re reading good books together and separately, and we’re listening to lots of fun audiobooks. I’m trying to model a love for reading by reading lots of books myself. Thankfully I’ve found so many to enjoy and have started attending a book club with ladies from our CC group. We’ve been reading books that are on the reading list for our kids when they get into the older classes. We try to read and snuggle or read outside as much as possible. We also try to look up words (or birds mentioned in the book we are reading) or locations while we are reading to help the books come alive. And we try to read books with good messages about how we want to live our lives.