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!

Life Lately

I’m thankful to say that many days include boys sitting and reading books.

The boys are really enjoying Krav Maga and have both now earned their first stripe on their yellow belts. I think they also really enjoy having extra time to play games or do school work together while their siblings are in class.

They are also participating in NFL flag football with our dear friends. Both boys have been QB and wide receivers. Micah scored a TD in his first game, receiving a handoff and running it into the end zone from about ten yards out. It seems like they are really enjoying themselves. Mike is an assistant coach for both teams. Uncle Joel came to cheer them on this past weekend – a big treat! Grandpa and Grandma asked to Zoom after their latest games to hear how they went.

We’ve had a few more Packer picnics. Micah and I started one without E while he enjoyed his first night of (outdoor) middle school youth group (which was a blast!). Micah loved getting to play Guess Who while watching the game. =D

School has been off to a great start this year! (It only took us 7 years to really get the hang of things!) The boys are really enjoying doing CC outdoors again and enjoying time with even more friends. We’ve also started doing monthly field trips with our crew – we went for another “hike” in September.

The boys are enjoying piano lessons (and I’m loving my beautiful walks). Ethan recently discovered that he can use Piano Maestro to play songs on the ukulele. We’ve done a few duets together and Micah was trying to do one with him, too.

Uncle David sent Mikey home with a coconut earlier this month, which the boys loved!

We did some birding at Cherry Creek and then the boys edited pictures together.

And we celebrated the first day of fall with a new pumpkin chai scent in the kitchen from the diffuser, pumpkin cinnamon rolls and shepherd’s pie for dinner.

Other updates include: still loving ping pong, temps are dropping and our house is around 60 degrees in the mornings which means we are wearing layers!!, our garden is really producing some great tomatoes!

Yellow Belts

The boys earned their yellow belts at Krav Maga and we all celebrated their achievement at a special graduation ceremony on Friday night.

They also each got to break a board (either with their hands or their feet). Our boys both chose to do it by hand, but used different thrusts. Micah’s video. Ethan’s video.

My friends got some fun pictures of our CC group and their coach snapped some awesome ones of each of them, too.

And as we left for the evening, we got a family shot and one of the boys in their new belts together.

In Krav Maga, the boys have officially earned their second stripe on their white belts and are now more than halfway to earning their yellow belts. They absolutely love these classes. They are having a lot of fun learning about self-defense, getting a good work out, and spending time with their friends.

Click here and here for videos of Krav Maga.

We had the pleasure of hosting my cousin, Anne, for a week. She’s such a gem. We really enjoyed our time with her, even though she was working from our home during the week. One of the evenings we had Matthew and his girlfriend over for dinner and games in the backyard. We also played some games, played ping pong in the garage, and Ethan taught Anne how to play the ukulele. Over the weekend we all went hiking and paddle-boarding.

Thanks for coming to visit, Anne! So good to have you!

And, finally, some other pictures from the past two weeks:

Home Again!

We’ve hit the ground running since we returned home. We got in a birding trip soon after we arrived. The boys had another piano lesson (we officially decided Micah will take them during the fall!) which means I had another peaceful morning walk nearby. Thanks to Lauren and Jason we are now popping our own popcorn at home and loving it!

The boys were excited to get back into Krav Maga. Their coach posted this video of the “teen” class recently. Ethan is featured in it.

We celebrated my birthday – starting with homemade crepes on our special plate. =D

And we spent an evening at the Chatfield Reservoir reconnecting with some dear friends we haven’t seen in a long time.

Before hitting the road

…we had a final piano lesson for the boys (during which I went for a nice long walk), a dentist appointment for Ethan (and he sat in the front seat because he’s old and heavy enough for that), a final walk to the pond (where I saw a coyote), and our last krav maga class (before taking two weeks off for our trip).

…we had a birthday to celebrate! This guy brings so much joy to our lives. Every one of us likes to sit and chat with him and give him lots of hugs. We each drew him cards to celebrate him. I’ll bet you can guess who drew which card.