Life Lately

Here are some shots depicting homeschool life (Ethan is often up early and likes to start on school work right away – I caught him with his book light one morning around 6:15 already at work in the kitchen; Ethan reading out loud during the 10-min a day challenge in January; we teach the timeline from CC to my parents and Aunt Sal and afterwards Micah often likes to play a little piano for them; editing, diagramming, promises, promises curriculum from church; and Micah’s first chapter book read solo!).

Backyard CC Community (including one morning when we did the Essentials portion virtually to avoid those cold days):

Other fun happenings from over the last month include colorku/sudoku while listening to books, Micah working on an art project from Uncle Ger, finishing The Doldrums with Grandma via Zoom, a final Packer picnic for the year, a new joint ‘office’ for the boys, fun in the snow fort, lots of snuggles and book time, some rousing games of Throw Throw Burrito, and boys playing piano (Ethan looks like a teenager to me when he’s composing music on the computer by the piano!).

And, as you might expect, we’ve got lots of birding outings. Mostly the boys (sometimes just Ethan, sometimes both) head to our park down the street for some birding. But I took them to Barr Lake last week for something new and special. We saw quite a few Bald Eagles and a Kestral. Ethan could tell you what else we saw as I’m not as good with identifying or remembering birds. =D

Life in the New Year

Here are some pictures from life around the house. Ethan got a photo editing program for Christmas and spends a lot of time editing his pictures and sending emails to his buddies. We started our usual January challenge of reading out loud for 10 minutes every day. Micah likes to teach art classes to whoever will participate. He got to teach Daddio this weekend and was thrilled. You can see his art wall behind his office. We went for a long walk/bike ride (boys ride with one walkie talkie and the parents walk with the other one) this past weekend while the temps were nice and warm. And Micah loves to play the piano and is considering taking lessons in the fall.

We are back to meeting in our backyard for CC community days. So far we’ve had pretty decent weather, although the mornings are pretty chilly. One morning Micah wanted to impress everyone with his ability to handle the cold by wearing short sleeves. Others joined in until it really got unbearable and everyone needed to put on their layers.

We’ve also been getting back into our regular schooling routine around the house. Micah is learning division with remainders, so there are some pics of him decorating our whiteboard as he figures those problems out! And Ethan has begun keeping track of his goals and work on a weekly planner. He’s also resumed his virtual piano lessons.

The boys are working on keeping their snow fort for as long as possible. It’s become a bit of a science project for them. They’ve made lots of updates over the weeks, and it’s still standing strong!

And we’ve been enjoying Packer picnics while cheering on our team to the Super Bowl! This past weekend found way too much joy in making cheese carrots to trick the boys.

The start of the holiday season!

As is our tradition, Grandpa Russ came out to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. He actually needed to be out here in order to pursue some help regarding his health, but we were thrilled that the timing worked out that we could host him over the holiday and help him get some health insights. This was honestly one of the moments in 2020 that felt the most normal, even though it was filled with hospital visits and whatnot. Hosting, getting hugs and being close to a person outside of our little crew of four has not happened since March, so this was a treat for all of us! We always love having him, but it was especially meaningful for all of us this year.

We didn’t take a lot of pictures together, so I’m sad to show very little from our time together. Here are a couple I snagged from hanging out around the house:

Thanksgiving Eve brought exciting news from the Bertilsons – they are having a girl! She is due in April and we’re all excited!

Thanksgiving day was filled with lots of food and things written down for which we give thanks. It was an absolutely lovely day together. We filled that poster with loads of blessings!

The day after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year – decoration day! It’s the first day I allow myself to listen to Christmas music and it’s the day we get all of our decorations up! We have Christmas lights outside for the first time ever – it felt like the year we needed to do a little spoiling. =)

My mom made all the grandkids Christmas pillowcases! It was a very special gift and everyone was thrilled with them! They opened them on our weekly zoom after a day filled with clues to try to help us guess the gift.

These pics come from during the time period that Grandpa Russ was with us, but generally happened on days he was at the hospital. We got in some schooling (there’s a very big difference between the way Ethan does math and Micah does it), some walks, some artwork, time with Daddio, a CC Christmas celebration, time at the piano, virtual church with our advent candles, etc.

On our last night with Grandpa Russ here our Advent activity was to have a red and green meal together – lasagna! We loved celebrating with him!!

We were so thankful for this time with Grandpa Russ and look forward to our next visit in February!

Before the Holidays…

School continues to go well this year. Sometimes they work from on top of the bean bag, sometimes at the table, sometimes in Micah’s office. Micah is especially enjoying the challenge of Essentials, which he is doing for the first time this year.

We finished 12 weeks of CC and only had to do part of one of those weeks virtually. We were thrilled! It’s been such a fun year in our backyard. This year they made life-size posters of their bodies, which turned out pretty cool.

The boys got a job taking care of our neighbors’ cats for a week in November. They went over twice a day to feed the cats, take care of the litter boxes and to play with them. They were incredibly responsible and earned some serious spending money from the gig. (Don’t worry, the spelling of “business” is now mastered.)

A couple of quick little snapshots of virtual life – a birthday celebration for my grandpa (who turned 94!!!), church, and working with grandpa to make Ethan’s photo book.

Other highlights include playing games and drinking hot cocoa, sharing recipes with my bro-in-law, sending color by numbers with cousins, piano-duet playing, and mama’s solo walks (including a lovely picture the boys captured when checking in via FaceTime while I walked)

Fall in Colorado

Fall is my favorite season! It’s been my favorite season everywhere I’ve lived. Wisconsin, Georgia, and Colorado. I especially love fall in Colorado because you really never know what kind of weather you’re going to experience from one day to the next. One day you are wearing shorts and t-shirts and the next day you are sledding, sometimes literally. The weather swings will be very evident in this post. =)

Summer weather…reading in the sunshine while the boys play football with Daddio:

Winter weather…snow, sledding and days of fires (even on school days)!

Summer weather…windows wide open while the boys send messages and snacks back and forth and then later play snow baseball.

Other happenings unrelated to the weather, but related to school instead: Micah reading his paragraph to Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Sal; various pics of schoolwork at the house; and CC dress like a book character day.

More happenings, this time related to various ‘celebrations’ within our home (Dodgers winning, my virtual book club – I finished a fantastic, but long book about the Great Migration, Packers picnics, our democracy and a new president):