Rando-Dando

This means “random” and is what my little nephew always says when he plays a random card while playing games. This post is going to be a quick random one since I forgot to post this earlier.

We spent some time on Chatfield Reservoir with friends recently. Such a good time. Mike and Micah continue to do some workouts together. I do mine solo. And Ethan occasionally does his own thing, too, but less frequently. E and I worked together to build his desk for the upcoming school year. We are pretty proud of ourselves. Auntie Mel brought over some watermelon juice for us to make sorbet. We enjoyed it during one of our family meetings. Ethan on a birding outing with me. Micah making snacks for others to enjoy and then playing with a whole bunch of board game pieces all together.

The boys also attended piano camp with their piano teacher and some friends who used to do CC at our community. They absolutely loved it. Watch their video here from their last day at camp.

Switching things up

As I mentioned previously, we started talking about switching things up in order to better host/entertain and in order to move all of our schooling downstairs. We were able to move fairly quickly on all of this – donations were picked up, orders were placed, furniture was assembled (by yours truly). I also started making changes to our wall decorations. I’m really pleased with how things turned out.

The other special aspects of the weekend

Grandma also came out for a visit for this weekend. Micah and I enjoyed having her all to ourselves for the evening the other guys were in the mountains. We invited Auntie Mel over for dinner that night, too. We played some games and did some artwork. Micah wasn’t quite feeling himself for the weekend, but we still had a good time. His sweet friend brought over homemade soup for him after he heard about Micah’s injury.

We spent the rest of the weekend all together. Ethan played the keyboard in church again. We got busy talking about hosting in our home and how a change might be needed. Couches were moved around to give us a feel for what it would be like to have seating upstairs for a change. =)

We have since made some purchases and donations to switch up our seating at home, but these pictures show the process as we thought about things throughout the weekend. (Pictures to come in future posts)

We loved having this quick visit with my folks. Super thankful for the time together!

Goodbye, Grandpa and Grandma

Our final day with Grandpa and Grandma was filled with projects like painting our dining room table (something I’ve wanted to do since I messed it up the first time I did it 6 years ago) and painting our front door. I’m incredibly happy with how things turned out! (I ended up painting my bench to match, too, after they left)

Other final day happenings included some piano playing and eating dinner on the deck. Micah also wanted to try to convince them to stay longer by making a really good breakfast on the morning they were planning to leave. It didn’t work, but we did enjoy the waffles. =)

And, because there isn’t a better place to include this, Ethan and I enjoyed some quality gaming and birding time together while Micah was gone with grandparents. We played about 15 games that day (he loves when I take pictures of him) and kept track of who was winning and by how much. Later we went for a bike ride to Cherry Creek to see some birds.

Thanks for coming out for another great visit, Mom and Dad. We sure love when you do!!

Grandpa and Grandma in Colorado

We were thrilled to host my parents for almost two weeks at the end of October/beginning of November. We had a great mix of just living normal life and doing some projects around the house.

Each morning Ethan and my Dad went out birding. Micah joined for one morning, but he decided it was more enjoyable (and warm) playing piano or reading with Grandma at the house. Also, while my parents were here, this memory popped up on my phone from 9 years ago when I remember thinking, “wow, my Dad as Grandpa is different than my Dad as Dad.” What on earth is that little pipsqueak doing holding a big expensive camera?! =D

My folks always ask about what kinds of things we might like them to do for the house, so we knocked out a few of those projects! Yay! The two most exciting things done were our laundry room and new address numbers for outside. They did other things, too, but these were big undertakings and I was so thankful to have them completed. The boys, especially Ethan, loved working on the laundry room. We decided this was a different kind of homeschooling. =)

We each did some sewing projects with my Mom. Ethan and Micah both made camera bean bags (not sure how else to describe them) and Micah made two decorative pillow covers. Turns out, Micah LOVES to sew and is looking for new projects. =) My Mom sewed us some Packer napkins and I finally finished my rice heating pad.

We enjoyed having Mel and Joel over for lunch over the weekend. We had our inaugural meal on our new deck table with them.

Much music was made throughout the week. My mom has recently begun learning to play the cello (one of the many things I admire about my folks is their belief that they are never too old to try something new), so she had a couple of Zoom lessons while here and showed the boys how to play a bit. She and Ethan worked on a little piano-cello duet. And Micah played a lot of piano duets with Grandma.

Other highlights that don’t fit as neatly into a photo gallery include baking together, Grandpa and Micah biking, visiting the Audubon Center all together, Krav Maga, reading books, playing games, editing pictures and doing *some* schooling, playing football in the park, having a picnic with some members of our Zoom book club (they also happen to be dear friends from CC), attending cousin Matthew’s awesome play, and having a Packer picnic.

Our time together was delightful. The boys both said afterwards, “I wish they lived with us or at least by us.” What a gift!

Grandpa, Grandma and GGpa’s Trip

My parents drove out here with my Grandpa last week. Then we all drove out to Utah to experience four of the “big five” National Parks there. We bookended (is that a true verb? Hmm…) that trip with time at our home (Grandpa at Auntie Mel’s). This post will highlight the time in Colorado.

As you can imagine, not seeing them in person since COVID began (we were in Florida visiting them when things went south very quickly) made for a very sweet reunion. Highlights included catching up and hanging out at the house, a lot of Ethan and Grandpa birding trips (including one with me and one with Micah), lots of yard work in our backyard (yay for bird houses, planting grasses and flowers, and hanging lights!), and piano duets.

Hanging at the house:

Birding:

Yardwork:

Piano Duets (including one that I played with Ethan at his outdoor recital – I was way more nervous than he was and totally messed up more than once! Eek!):

Here’s a link for a Grandma and Micah duet. He’s starting piano lessons tomorrow! (although he will tell you that he’d rather just do lessons with Grandma over Zoom)

Coming up next will be highlights from our time in Utah!

This past week has brought some new changes to our world. Ethan purchased a used camera (we chipped in a little bit, too, but mostly this was his endeavor) and is now going out most mornings to take pictures of birds. He has been emailing with Grandpa and even did a FaceTime to gather more information about photography. Perhaps this will be a class for this upcoming school year. =D

We thought it was only right to help Micah with a big purchase, too. He opted to get a standing desk because he’s really into all things related to having an office and being fit. He’s pretty jazzed about this whole thing.

We started doing our one-on-ones again this past week and Ethan opted to go to Bluff Lake with me to do some birding. Meanwhile, Mike and Micah stuck closer to home, but also did some birding. I can’t tell you how much this solo time breathes life back into our daily living.

Micah has been taking more and more of an interest in cooking and putting food together for people. He’s been working on his restaurant “A Side of Fruit” (coined as such because he always serves a piece of fruit on the side of everything), but he also cooked dinner for us (sloppy Jos) and had us all order salads from him another day. We also were pumped to have the first two tomatoes of the season!