We had a fabulous Thanksgiving this year. As usual, Grandpa Russ drove out to spend the week with us! A new addition, however, was Uncle David. This was a real treat to all of us and we hope it will become the new tradition. The house was full of Cleveland guys playing games, shooting army soldiers with rubber bands, and looking at coins.
Thanksgiving Day brought more game-playing, eating good food and we rounded off the afternoon with some sledding. It was very relaxing and lots of fun.
Uncle David left the morning after Thanksgiving, but we still got a couple extra days with Grandpa Russ. This included going out for breakfast and me decorating the house for Christmas, another tradition of all of ours.
We were missing our former Colorado family, of course, so we sent some pictures back and forth. Loved seeing these guys getting ready for Christmas, too. =)
Mike’s sister and her family moved to Georgia at the beginning of this month, so much of April was spent trying to soak up some time with them. We had a few dinners together and they were able to come watch one of Ethan’s soccer games. We also had Caleb sleep over so that Ashley could get a bunch of cleaning done more easily around their place. We loved all the time with them!
It was a pleasure to have a few years living in the same city and we were really bummed to see them go. But we’re hopeful and prayerful that they will really enjoy Atlanta and the adventures that await them there.
Guess what I don’t like. Coming up with titles for every post I write. I just don’t have any clever way of saying, “here’s what we have been doing lately”. So maybe I’ll just quit having titles. =)
Here are some every day shots from around the house:
A couple weekends ago, I was able to get away on my bi-annual retreat with my dear friend, Amy. Time with her is time well-spent and I don’t get much of it, so we really treasure these get aways. We spent the weekend in Glen Eyrie again and were glad we chose to do so because there was another big storm that weekend and traveling into the mountains would not have been much fun. We spent some time hiking and a lot of time sitting by the fire chatting and reading good books. We both went home feeling thankful and refreshed!
The night before I left on my retreat I hosted the tutors from CC for our final tutor training session. The boys went out for dinner with Daddio and were discovered snuggled up when I went to check on them after my friends had left.
Ethan and Mike spent a morning together this past weekend. They had breakfast together and then met our friends’ new baby boy after getting cleats for soccer.
We also soaked up some family time (sadly missing Zach due to a cold) this weekend. Love having these guys in town…even if it is only for a couple more months.
Other recent happenings include (1) Ethan starting his soccer season. We are trying a new league and he’s playing with a bunch of kids who go to the same school and have played together before. We were thrilled to discover another guy who is also homeschooled (AND in CC at a different community) joined the team this season, too. They didn’t even know about their connection until after the practice was done when we mamas shared the news to them. And (2) Micah had a play date with a friend from CC and he was thrilled when she arrived.
As you know, Denver experiences extremes in weather. We had beautiful weather for time at the park playing soccer, tennis, playing at the playground and having a chilly picnic.
And not long after, we had a winter storm! The boys and I spent hours outside building forts. I fed them their lunch and hot chocolate in their forts. They also listened to our read-aloud from their forts. Lots of fun!
Grandma Cleve came out for a visit at the end of January. This was her first time to meet baby Joshua and the last time spending time with all her grandchildren living in the same state (at least for a while…). We loved having her in town again! She split her time between both homes; her time with us being the bookends. Grandma Cleve came in on Friday night late and spent all day Saturday with us – we opted to have breakfast out at our favorite place, go on a Focus on the Family tour and then drive through Garden of the Gods (we were all shocked that we hadn’t taken her to Garden of the Gods on any of her previous visits!). And we finished our evening reading books and playing games.
On Sunday we went to church together, got in some snuggles and coin talk, played a game and then had Ashley and her family over for dinner. It was lovely to have everyone together! And, of course, we snapped a picture of Grandma Cleve with her four grand babies. She went home with them and spent the week there – including some time babysitting Caleb while the others checked out their new home town in Atlanta.
We joined back up on Saturday morning for breakfast and a tour of Hammond’s candy (something Mike and I did when we were dating, but hadn’t been back since!). Grandma Cleve spent the remainder of that afternoon with us before Mikey brought her back to the airport.
And, yes, that is a cricket in Micah’s sucker. He ate its head and then said he had had enough. His verdict – that was gross!
It’s always a gift to have family in town! Thanks for visiting, Grandma Cleve!!
Both Mike and I did some solo-parenting already this month. As I already mentioned, I traveled to Atlanta to help my sister with the trade show there. I left on Wednesday afternoon and was back on Sunday early evening. Micah and I made some overnight oats ahead of time so that their breakfasts would be easy! I also assigned the boys various homeschool assignments and they spent both days finishing their lists. One day I even got a text from Mike saying that the boys finished their assignments before their snack at 10 am! They spent much of the rest of that day building legos while listening to an audiobook. They also had a snowstorm and a lot of food delivered to the house! LOL. I was glad to see that the boys had all gone sledding in the snow.
Here are a few fun pictures from my time in Atlanta!
We spent Sunday evening with Ashley and Zach so that we could *finally* meet Baby Joshua. And then soaked up some Daddio time before his trip.
The following evening, Mike traveled to Minnesota. The boys and I had a busy week! We started the week with CC. Then, Ethan got his eyes and teeth checked. I got my eyes checked and my hair cut. Both boys had lessons in piano and drums. We had cadets and kids club and CBS. And we had lots of school and fun in the meantime (especially drawing pictures).
While Mikey was out of town, we hosted cousin, Meredith from Michigan. The boys were literally jumping up and down at the prospect of having her over and have been asking every day since if she could come back. =)
We hit the ground running! We arrived home just in time for me to turn around and get to a tutor meeting for CC. Then we spent the weekend unpacking, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, going to church and potluck, and preparing to start school on Monday. But before I get into pictures from our first two weeks back from vacation, I wanted to mention two really important things that happened in our family:
The first is that we welcomed a new baby boy into our family – Joshua James was born a couple days before Christmas! We weren’t able to meet him until a week after we got home since we were a little congested upon arrival home. We’ve since met him and, of course, are madly in love with the little sweetie.
The second is that we spent much of the New Year praying for our other baby nephew, Eddie. He was in the ICU for over a week! We are so very thankful that he’s home now and healing well. It brought tears to my eyes to finally see pictures of him in his mama’s arms!!
As far as every day life at our home…
One of the first things we did was put up Micah’s bird feeder. After sending pictures of it to my Dad, we raised it so that the squirrels wouldn’t get in! =)
We’ve also been playing lots of games, doing new puzzles and reading out loud a lot:
Our first week of school was interrupted by my travels to Atlanta to help my sister with her trade show, but I understand they did lots of hard work while I was away. Here are some pictures from while I was in town and I’ll do another post with photos from the trip/boys at home.
I also took a couple of pictures of Micah’s homework just to give you a little glimpse into the way that sweet guy thinks! If the math problem asks him to cross out a leaf in order to figure out the subtraction problem, he will have caterpillars attack and eat the leaf instead. And if the math problem tells you to cross out a jar, he will make it break into little shards of glass. And if the problem asks you to draw a line from the problem to the answer, he will make sure the line has loops in it because that’s what a balloon string would do. =)
Micah now knows how to blow bubbles and does so very well. The boys have discovered that sometimes Micah will be able to do things that Ethan can’t do very well, and vice versa. Ethan can whistle; Micah can blow bubbles.
And lastly, sometimes we get pictures of cute family members with their book pajamas and it makes us smile.