Little Glimpses into our Life

I’ll start with some pics from the last few weeks of homeschool life. A couple of highlights included dress-like-a-book-character day at CC, a Challenge B field trip to explore Ralph Moody (the author who wrote Little Britches) related places, and Mock Trial Boot Camp. Please note the amazing banner Micah is holding on costume day – I sewed it myself. Ha! Micah was very appreciative and thankfully didn’t look at it too closely.

Other happenings include a playdate at friend’s house so that I could have some relaxing time solo, a sick day for Micah with a little cold, a visit from Auntie Mel to help with weaving, lots of chess with Uncle Joel, watching cousin Matthew’s play (he was a hilarious Sheriff Nottingham!), reviewing games and playing chess with Dad, and a quick solo trip for the boys to go say hello to neighbors on Halloween. Micah also does a lot of Risk Legacy playing, even by himself. And I am back to doing some walks as my foot seems to be healing decently.

Last weekend we were able to host a friend from Safe Families for the weekend. We played lots of games, enjoyed some outside time, and did a lot of LEGO, including making mini-figs representing each of us. Things went extremely well. Micah also went to graduation to get his green belt that Saturday. Here’s a video of him sparring his coach and here’s one of him breaking the board. Micah’s putting his first beads of sweat on his new belt in the one that looks odd. =)

This past Sunday the boys had the opportunity to play percussion in church with part of our children’s choir. We were missing a lot of families, which was a shame, but the boys really enjoyed trying out the cojone and djembe. They’ve been taking lessons with Mr. Kyle. Here’s a link to the service. Their song is at the end (1:12:21).

We have also had our first snows. This meant we had to bring in all of our remaining produce and we could enjoy hot chocolate.

Another Rando-Dando Post

Micah’s been trying to knock off a bunch of the things listed in The 50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kid Do. He made a home-made bomb and also licked a 9-volt battery:

We’ve had time with friends, workouts with Dad, LOTS of rain, and Mikey hiked four 14ers in a day with a co-worker. (Said co-worker later came over for some ping pong.) We also have had a little bit of produce from our garden and Micah LOVES eating chicken off the bone. It feels very medieval to him and he gets very excited when I make it.

And lastly, after 3 hours of adult classes at Krav Maga (during the first one he had to sit out for a bit because, like me, his blood pressure drops drastically), E underwent a 3 and a half minute shark tank drill. This means he is attacked by various people while at the point of exhaustion and he has to defend himself with everything he’s learned over the past year. It was very intense and he was successful! He has now earned his blue belt. Here’s the video of his shark tank. Be warned, there are lots of pretend weapons in it. No one is hurt during its filming. =)

Home again!

We spent the first couple of days upon our arrival resting (trying to stay awake while utterly exhausted), doing laundry, mowing the lawn, working out, and getting food in the house. But it was nice to get back into our usual rhythms again.

Mike had to travel to Minnesota that first full week back. We made popsicles to beat the heat and also went on a birding trip to a new spot. We invited Mel, Joel, and Matthew over on a whim to enjoy homemade pizza and homemade ice cream one of those nights.

We celebrated our 16-year anniversary and then Independence Day when Mikey was back home again. We played pickleball, I think, for our anniversary (the day after, I believe) and had homemade fondue at the house, and I went to see Micah earn his blue belt. Micah was able to earn his blue belt by re-teaching his class one of the skills they had learned previously – I think it was the short jab maybe? He had missed tip testing, but his coaches gave him an opportunity to still earn with the rest of his class. For Independence Day we had our usual dessert, played some ping pong, went for a bike ride on the Highline Canal (or maybe we did that for our anniversary, I can’t remember now) and enjoyed some fireworks in our neighborhood.

The following week Mike had a very quick trip to play golf with some friends. Thankfully he was home in time to deal with Micah’s injury. A neighborhood friend accidentally crashed his bike into Micah and he ended up needing eight stitches! He was mega brave and we were so proud of the way Ethan handled the situation by calmly walking him home right away and reminding him to apply pressure to the wound.

Grandpa and Grandma in town

The following day, my parents drove into town to spend the next *almost* two weeks with us. Mike traveled to Minnesota twice during that time, but we all got to spend some time together over their trip. Additionally, Micah went on his 10-year-old-adventure-trip while they were here (more on that in the next post). They experienced some typical Colorado weather – we had 82 degrees on one day and then got about 6 inches of snow. We enjoyed spending time together, E and Grandpa (primarily – although I think Micah may have ventured out once and I did as well) did a lot of birding, and we did various projects around the house (including planting a tree from my neighbor, painting the laundry room, my dining room table again, and the front door!) We ate lots of yummy food, including having Mel and Joel over for dinner once and my parents making us fish reubens.

Pictures below feature getting a tree from our neighbor, art time, reading, and playing LEGO.

Most days included some amount of computer time to edit pictures:

We played a few games, enjoyed tasty meals (indoors and outdoors), and got out for walks:

We experienced a big snow storm which took down lots of branches. Some people enjoyed this more than others. And the following day required quite a bit of clean up.

We also had a little phData fashion show. Mikey brought home many shirts for us, including one sweater which would be promptly returned.

I got hives after my retreat and dealt with them while my folks were here. I’m thinking they were a result of lots of hiking in tighter clothes in the sunshine and heat, but it’s hard to say anything for sure. They were miserable, but I was thankful to have the distraction of my parents around so I wouldn’t dwell on them too much. This meant I preferred to keep things pretty low key. We were able to do the boys’ final piano lesson online (followed by playing with Grandma – Ethan was getting ready for playing at Long Scraggy – our church camp in the mountains – and Micah enjoyed learning Heart and Soul – see video here) and had Krav Maga in the park that week.

Coming up next: Micah goes on a castle adventure in Colorado with his grandparents to celebrate being 10!

We celebrated Earth Day by doing some work in our yard. The boys planted some seeds for attracting birds. We are feeling hopeful that we didn’t do it too early in the season…but we shall see. Over the weekend when I had other plans, the boys all went to the park to pick up trash.

The boys are still enjoying Krav Maga twice weekly. I grabbed a video (I think you need an instagram account to see it) and pic from their Krav Maga instagram site to share here. And thought this one was cute of the guys waiting for the teen class to be over so that they could join in. And one of the days some of our friends came over afterwards and they made videos of themselves fighting. This is them watching the video together on Ethan’s camera.

Since the last post, Ethan has officially finished his seventh grade year – Challenge A. We had our last community day (we dressed up as book characters again for fun) and now he has one final math lesson to do and testing to complete. Micah finished his CC a few weeks ago, but is still working on finishing his math lessons. He will read his paper on William Wallace at our end of the year party this coming weekend and has been practicing over the past couple of weeks. He practiced reading it to Grandma on Zoom. We are also doing lots of reading and spelling and various other things that I just never have time to teach during the bulk of the school year. He will also do testing this year (we’re doing it yearly, although it’s not technically required). Micah enjoys playing school while we do our regular work load – this involves me sitting at my desk and waiting for him to raise his hand to answer my questions.

Ethan has gotten out a few more times for birding with me. I go walking and he takes pictures of birds. It’s been working well. =D

E had his final youth group event for the school year – the families got to go up to Long Scraggy for an afternoon and eat and play. E and Micah even got to learn how to shoot guns. We stopped by to say hey to Reggie on our way back down the mountain and he snapped this picture of us by his tree.

And lastly, we hosted a little Lego Masters birthday celebration for one of Micah’s buddies in lieu of giving him a gift, since he didn’t want one. =) It worked out wonderfully, especially since the weather wasn’t conducive that day for his original plan of playing at the park together. We shifted plans and decided to host the experience that same day instead of just telling him about it and scheduling it later.

And, lastly, we had the joy of watching cousin Matthew perform in “Hello, Dolly”. He did SUCH an amazing job. I am blown away by his talent. He had a super fun solo, did all kinds of dancing and even had to think on his feet when they had a prop break in the middle of the play. It was lots of fun to be there to support him!

Two weekends ago we had the opportunity to host Aunt Ashley for a night. She was here for a friend’s baby shower (I think it was her first trip back here since they moved away over 3 years ago) without kids, so the visit was brief. There was enough time to have a couple of yummy meals together and for Mikey to give her a little help. And we decided that E will be taller than her next time they see each other. =P

That weekend the weather was pretty beautiful, so we did our family workout outside at the park and spent a good amount of time playing ping pong outside.

And on Sunday night Ethan had middle school youth group. They did some work getting garden beds ready for a local church and then played a ping pong tournament. At the end of the kids’ tournament, E got to play against our pastor for an added bonus.

Micah has been working more this year with geography and maps. He was feeling hopeful that Grandpa and Grandma could stop by Colorado on their drive home from Florida to Wisconsin… Hmm…

Other happenings include trying to convince Daddio that we should have a pond in the backyard; me sitting in the car while E went birding at the reservoir by our house; schooling on the ball; a pretty tulip in my new-ish vase; and lots of archery in the backyard.

And, lastly, we’ve got another purple belt in the house! Micah participated in a 2-hour test to earn his belt last weekend. He was pretty pooped but very proud. It was a lot of work and passing this seems to have given him a little more motivation to keep going!

Pics taken by Coach Mike:

And a comparison that brings me so much laughter and joy:

Our life has been very full in the recent weeks. I wouldn’t qualify it as busy. I’m not a fan of busyness. But it has felt joyfully full lately.

I’ll start this post with a couple pictures taken by E during our weekend in Aspen.

Next I’ll share a few pics demonstrating the craziness of March in Colorado, including snuggling by the fire, heading off to their job to shovel at our neighbors’ home, enjoying homemade bread (thanks, Amy!!) and hot cocoa, and a comparison shot 18 hours apart.