Micah Turns 7!

We really enjoyed celebrating Micah’s 7th birthday.  He is probably the most generous (and the most stubborn) kid I’ve ever known.  But because of his generosity, he’s pretty fun to spoil!  He was ecstatic to get to go out for dinner at The Melting Pot – something we did a couple nights before his actual birthday because of scheduling.

This was the final picture of our 6 year old!


We had cousin Matthew over for his actual birthday, which also happened to be a school day.  We opened presents throughout the day and had waffles for dinner.  He also invited a couple friends (all brothers) over to play at the park during the afternoon.  He wanted purple decorations (for royalty) and seven 7s around the house.

He had the joy of spreading his birthday cheer a little longer, too, with gifts and cards coming in after his special day.  He LOVED it!

He was spoiled by and oh-so-grateful to SO many of you.  Thanks for loving on this little spitfire of a guy.  He prays very specifically (especially for people who are sad, mad or homeless) and has an uncanny read on others’ emotions.  He’s going to be a great leader someday and he is certainly not going to be following the crowd since he’s not a people-pleaser. 😉 We love him something fierce and are eager to see how the Lord uses him in his life.

Every Day Life

When we returned home from Breckenridge and our fun family trip, the heat wasn’t working in our house.  It had gotten pretty cold by then, so what better to do than make s’mores in the oven?! =)  Thankfully, we had the heat fixed before too long.

That week we went on a field trip with our dear friends to pick veggies at Miller Farm.  It was a chilly day, but we sure had a fun time!

The boys (mostly Micah) have started sending letters and pictures with our sweet cousins in Wisconsin.  Ethan is also writing letters with a friend from CC.  So much fun!


Micah finished his favorite writing workbook.  He has requested that I buy it all over again because he thought it was so much fun.


Ethan is our primary lawn-caretaker.  We had a massive amount of mushrooms in the front yard recently, so he took care of them (along with his Daddio!).


Here are some pictures of our community day at CC.  Ethan’s doing a great job in the afternoon essentials program – the one I was so nervous about earlier. =)  We also took a nature walk one week and Ethan brought us a class pet.  Lastly, I was so pleased to see the high schoolers playing with all of the younger classes during the lunch break recently!  So much fun for everyone.

I was down for the count with a cold recently while Mike was out of town.  Mamas don’t really get days off.  But the boys did an awesome job doing school while I laid low on the nook.

Ethan recently decided to participate in a research study.  It’s a study of the brains of young people with autism and those who don’t have it.  E was pretty nervous about getting the MRI done and almost quit a couple times, but he persevered and then was really pleased he had done it.  I was so proud of him!  He earned himself $20 and got a picture of his brain scan.

Weekends are cherished times around here.  We love biking and playing tennis and just spending time as a family.

And, last update for now, is from when the boys and I babysat Caleb recently.  We sure love spending time with that sweetie and he’s starting to play alongside them.

April Days

One of the things the boys love to do is to try new foods with their Daddio.  They picked out all kinds of different fruits and then watched YouTube videos to show how to eat them.

The boys have been really into K’nex building these days.  They’ve made some fun creations so far.

They are also very into…battles.  For about a week they chose to keep the battles set up upstairs and our downstairs was perfectly clean and relaxing. =D  Look at me – the former wannabe author who hated to read – busy reading the 3rd book in a 5 book series, “The Chronicles of the Kings”.

The boys got some new books in the mail from Grandma Cleve.  I think Ethan might have finished the one about Lincoln that same afternoon – he was so excited.  Micah also told me that he found the book about Roosevelt to be very interesting – he read it during his rest apparently. =D


And, of course, I have to include some pictures of videos of our homeschooling life.

What are three characteristics of light? Reflection, refraction and spectrum.

Tell me about the fall of communist dictators.

Tell me about the Gulf War.

Coordinating Conjunctions (video made especially for Uncle Get and Uncle Jason!):

Finally, visiting the library is a weekly occurrence.  Mostly the boys like to find books about Star Wars. =D

Wrapping up March, Part 1

March has come and gone…not all that much like the proverbial lion and lamb here in Colorado, though.

Ethan received his first letter from his new pen pal in Chicago.  She has been prayed for almost every day since we learned of her learning English and math facts. =)


Last weekend, we went downtown to enjoy the city a bit.  We had lunch there and had a fun time looking at books at Tattered Cover – a cool bookstore where Mike and I had a date or two in college.  We also checked out REI and the surrounding area for a while.

We finished the month by enjoying some time with my cousins.  They were heading to Utah for a camping excursion and we had the opportunity to host them a bit before and see them again after the camping.  The boys were absolutely ecstatic to have time with Luke and Anne.  They showered the boys with love and attention and the boys couldn’t get enough of them.

Ethan hit a major milestone with them (sadly, no pictures to prove it) – he went for a 7 mile bike ride while they ran.  They tell me he did not complain at all.  =)  He was pretty proud of himself and thought it was SO cool to get to be out with his two cousins on his own.

Here are some pictures of our time with Luke and Anne – both before their camping and after it.  Having Mel and Joel and their boys in town is extra sweet when we have other family members visiting as it means more time with them.  We do PE plus together and then had lunch and went to the museum.  That evening we were able to watch Caleb in his…Mr. Thunder contest.  It was a blast!  He was very impressive. =D

March wrap up version of homeschooling pictures and videos…

The commutative law for addition and multiplication:

The boys have been busy writing stories for school.  Ethan has written three chapters thus far of a book called, “The Man in the Woods”.  Meanwhile, Micah wrote a short story, too, about some very interesting characters.  Micah has also been playing a variation of Battleship with me for letter and number recognition, as well as following directions. =D He also joined us for one last time of CC.  He did great in my class again and hopes that I’ll be his tutor next year. =)

I just love these pictures of the two of them smiling together.

Also, Micah was dressed like Mr. Popper’s Penguins in honor of the first chapter book he listened to and LOVED.  Woot woot!

More to come for March wrap ups…but this is already long enough!

Other happenings…

E finished the Star Wars book we got him for Christmas.  I don’t think he was reading it for 2 months.  I think he just started this past week and finished it.  At any rate, it was pretty exciting.


The boys really enjoy making videos of the songs they have learned for CC, so I just keep making them.  I hope you find them charming. =D

The boys LOVE getting mini figs in the mail!  Thanks, Grandma Cleve!  What a fun treat!

We’ve been playing A LOT of games of Machi Koro these days.  I’m close to burn out.  However, Ethan keeps beating me…the motivation to beat him keeps me playing. =D  The other day he absolutely killed me.  I think he had an excess of 80 coins or something crazy like that.  It was so nuts, we had to take a picture.


I also snapped a picture of him at CC last week during Fine Arts.  He did a very nice job on his painting with various textures.


Mike and E learned how to play chess at the same time.  They are pretty evenly matched and have a lot of fun playing together.  Micah and I play Blink or Connect Four or Uno during these games.  I didn’t snap a picture of us, though, sorry.


We renewed Ethan’s passport last week.  It is absolutely crazy to think he is old enough to need a renewed passport.  Where has the time gone??  This is the boys waiting patiently while we signed the forms to make it official.


Micah took these selfies of us sitting outside in the sunshine.

We had some friends over for dinner recently.  I was the only girl in a home full of boys!  My friend was taking care of her Mom, so we got the chance to host the guys by us while she was away.


We made a purchase recently – on sale and made in America.  Doesn’t get better than that, does it??  😉  We had been looking for an option for comfy reading in the school room (and for Mike to be able to have someplace to sit in his office/school room) and this fits the bill.

And, lastly, pics from homeschool and reading:

Life Lately

We enjoy games in our family.  We tend to play one game a whole bunch until we are sick of it.  Apparently we did that to Qwirkle, because E won’t play it with me anymore even though I ask to play it almost every week.  Anyway, our current two favorites are Mancala and Machi Koro.  We can’t get enough of them right now!

Ethan has gotten incredibly good and has out-smarted BOTH of his parents on a couple of occasions.  And Micah is learning the patience necessary to sit through a whole game and it’s been going really well.  He plays about 1 in every 4 games, but is perfectly happy to keep himself busy with magnatiles while we play.

Oh, Magnatiles, how we love thee:

We finished another “read-aloud”.  It was recommended as a read-aloud to go along with our CC curriculum: http://www.halfahundredacrewood.com/2016/06/cc-cycle-2-reading-plans/.  It’s a good website for ideas for homeschooling, although it mostly just overwhelms me.  Ethan sits next to me while I read and Micah plays with…magnatiles.  But, I must say, Micah asks some good questions and often starts singing CC-related songs when he hears words he knows.  So, I know he’s listening. =D


Ethan is our sole participator in PE plus again this semester.  He is allowed to participate on a week-to-week basis, though, so perhaps you’ll see him join in some weeks.  Ethan seems to really enjoy it.

Ethan is also doing the ReadIt program with Pizza Hut.  He reads 12 chapter books (that’s the goal I set for him) and then gets a personal pan pizza.  Both boys find this to be lots of fun!

Micah got an exciting piece of mail last week!  Grandpa Russ sent him a matching Army hat and he was beaming about it.  In fact, he went to sleep that night with it on. =D


Don’t judge us…but this is what our downstairs looks like most days.  They make forts and battlefields all.day.long. =D


Chopsticks – making eating veggies fun:


We were sad to see the Falcons lose the Super Bowl this year.  I always like being able to say that we lost to the Super Bowl champs…and we lived in Atlanta for a few years.  Micah was cheering for both teams, primarily because his mama dislikes the Patriots with a passion.  He’s a stinker, but very cuddly.

Whenever the boys receive or earn money, they like to count it all up and then go on amazon to see what Legos they might like to buy next.

More updates to come…this one feels really long already. =D

Quick Update Post

I just wanted to wrap up our time with Aunt Jennie.  We sure loved having her visit us!  The boys absolutely adore her and the two of us always have such meaningful conversations during her time.  Anyway, it was great!  Here are a few other pics I captured over her visit:

She also brought t-shirts from George and Jean (Jason’s parents)!  They are incredibly generous and thoughtful.  We are always surprised by their sweet gifts, although I guess it shouldn’t surprise us since we know Jason…the apple doesn’t fall from the tree!  =D

Speaking of sweet gifts, Grandma Cleve also sent the boys new ornaments.  We had a hard time opening the package (thus the pictures of me opening it, too!), but loved the ornaments inside it!  Thanks, Grandma Cleve!


The boys got their very first package from Hana and Ellie our first week in Denver!  I snapped a picture of them holding it, but I guess I forgot to take one when they were opening it. =/  They were very excited to have mail and the school supplies came in handy while we were making things work on the road!!  Thank you, Cass (and girls).

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Grandma Cleve also sent the boys a package early on – with lots of new books to read!  The timing on this package could not have been better.  We were getting desperate for something new to read while all of our books were in boxes.  Thank you!



We received lots of fun mail over the holiday season.  I’m probably going to miss some things, so please just know that the boys have appreciated all of the cards and stickers and money and presents that were sent.  Here are some pictures of various gifts received, much to the delight of the boys!

And here are some pictures from our little family celebration on Christmas Eve Eve.  We got the boys a few books, a special treat to eat (gum and hard candy), and cool city blocks to build awesome structures.

This seems like an appropriate place to include a couple of pictures of two hand-made gifts we made this year:


Advent: Day 4 and 5

…we now return you to your regularly scheduled program: “Cleve Crew Advent Activities”

Day 4: watch a Christmas movie by the tree

I don’t have any pictures of this activity, but we watched “Home Alone”.  Oh.my.goodness.  I remember hating this movie as a kid, but Mikey always loved it.  I would recommend waiting until…um…never…to watch that movie again.  I still hate it.  LOL.  But Mike and the boys enjoyed it well enough, despite Mike muting about half of the movie.  And I made it my mission for the evening to discuss what children should really do in each situation.  =D  (“you should never try to handle emergencies by yourselves.”  “the number to dial is 9-1-1.”)

Day 5: send a gift to a missionary family

We did some Christmas crafts for the package – lots of fun!  And we made little snowman ornaments for each person in our family, too.