Learning Lately

One of the things we have been enjoying this year has been being a part of the Read Aloud Revival group.  It means we’ve had access to various author interviews and drawing classes – both things we’ve enjoyed immensely.  We listened to Jonathan Rogers (author of my fav series – The Wilderking Series) talk about Narnia (because he wrote a book about exploring the world through Narnia) and then enjoyed our very own dinner with the beavers (recommended by RAR).

Here are some pictures from one of the art workshops the RAR put on this week:

The RAR is also the reason we are participating in a year-long challenge to have each boy read out loud for 10 minutes most days of the year.  It’s been remarkable to see how much they have both improved in 3 short months.  Mostly Micah has been doing Piggie and Gerald books (a lot by memory), but he’s also started reading some other books!  Ethan has been reading both of the Ninja Warrior books.

Occasionally I give little rewards for their efforts.  They read out loud even when they are tired and would rather just go to bed and I want to encourage their perseverance.  So every now and then I give them a new/used book or take them to a book store to pick out something.  Micah asks me to take pictures of various things he would like to “put on his list” every time we go someplace.  He has his eyes closed in the one picture because he was “pleading” with me to get it for him someday.  This time he ended up getting a coin book so he can start his own collection.  He’s pretty jazzed about it.

Here are some pictures from around the house.  Ethan is rocking it with diagramming sentences these days and it’s really fun to watch.  He’s also still an avid reader and is always anxious to start new books.  Micah has started multiplication and is doing super well, which is exciting.

It’s been a great year of homeschooling and we’ve officially signed up for another year.  Eek! =)

Side note: Micah is a very unique thinker and it always shines through during his workbook assignments.  He doesn’t like to just do a problem; he likes to draw elaborate pictures to go along with them.  Here are just a few examples of what schooling is like with this free spirit.  (1) He made a lot of adjustments to the math worksheet. (2) He added the “ooooh” that comes at the end of that song about helping verbs. (3) He drew a picture representing his History sentence.

The Start of February

Playing games:

Doing schoolwork (reading fun books and books for Ethan’s big Faces and Places in Ancient History project, doing a mega brief art study on Durer, diagramming sentences – we sent this one to Aunt Mel to get it corrected!, and Micah admiring his schoolwork thus far for the year:

Ethan went to his first drop-and-go birthday party while Micah and Daddio had eye appointments.  I was thanking the Lord for all of the growth we’ve seen in both boys this year.  Ethan was a-okay with someone else driving him around and playing at Dart Warz solo and Micah was able to use the letters for his eye exam, rather than the pictures.  Woot!

And, finally…this is a little glimpse of parenting boys.  They throw snowballs at the kitchen window to get my attention.

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Solo-parenting in January

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. =)

Since We’ve Been Gone…

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.

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And lastly, sometimes we get pictures of cute family members with their book pajamas and it makes us smile.

Other December Updates

These are pictures/stories – unrelated to Micah’s birthday, Advent or Christmas – that happened in December.

A few more pics I snapped from the cousin sleepover at our house:

 

Playing Micah’s new game:

Drum and piano lessons are still well-loved by the boys.  Ethan had a piano recital at a retirement community and he did a great job playing Carol of the Bells, Angels We Have Heard on High and Deck the Halls (I think!).

Micah gave us all art lessons.

Homeschooling for 2018 finished strong:

And these boys continue to be best friends:

Homeschool Updates

Just wanted to try to lump some of the updates together, so this post will be centered around pictures from CC, home, and field trips from the past month.  I am sure I say this often, our emotions around homeschooling run high.  When things are going smoothly and we have the time and energy to put forth the attitude and effort necessary, we are on top of the world.  But for every week of loving it, we definitely have moments of big struggles.

Recently we examined owl pellets at CC (I’m so very grateful to do this kind of thing in community!!!):

Here are some other shots from community day at CC:

We missed one day when I was out sick, so I tried to do it at home…we definitely missed our community!!

We’ve been going on some more field trips with our CC peeps, which has been a lot of fun.  We visited the Colorado History Museum downtown and really LOVED it!!  We had a tour guide take us through a few of the exhibits and that really enhanced the experience.

And then this week we went to “Drums of the World” at the Denver Center for Performing Arts.  We loved it.  But I’m happy to say that Micah told me he enjoyed seeing Hanson there better. =)

I think their favorite piece of memory work thus far in Cycle 1 is singing their preposition song.  They both like to impress me with it most days of the week.  This particular day they asked to videotape it.

And, finally, here are some shots I took around the house:

They had their first “out of this world” day a couple weeks ago, while Mikey was in India!  Had to snap a picture for him because it’s quite a difficult feat. =)

Currently reading two books: Mattimeo (a sequel to Redwall – a fun audiobook with various accents and some exciting adventures/battles) and Detectives in Togas (a fun story taking place in ancient Rome).

Grandpa and Grandma here (part 1)

My parents have been coming out to Colorado in the fall every year since before I went to college.  In fact, it was probably those trips in high school that gave me a taste for Denver and prompted me to move out here for college.  Anyway, this year was no different except that they scheduled their trip to coincide with a trip Mike and I took for his work so that they could watch the boys.  AND, my grandpa made the trek as well!  We are SO grateful for time with our family!

We hit the ground running the moment they arrived.  My mom whisked off with Micah and I to his drum lesson, while Ethan and my dad and grandpa stayed back at the house.

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The boys’ kiwi crates arrived that night so there was much creating to be done that evening and the next morning.  Doing those projects also often makes Micah interested in other science experiments so he told a Bible story and shared how the Midianites (aka the pepper) ran away from the Israelites (aka the soap) in the story about Gideon.

One of my silly favorite parts of having my parents in town is listening to my Mom read the boys stories.  They love it, too!  We were on a big “George and Martha” kick that week – those are some of my favorite children’s stories of all time.

The next morning we snuck in some school work, puzzles, concerts and a tour to Celestial Seasonings (followed by a dessert my Dad brought home and baked with Ethan).

Next up – I join Mike in Phoenix and my parents take over watching the boys.

**Photo cred for all of the sharp pictures in this and future posts goes to my Dad.  Thanks for always capturing the fun!!**