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. =)

First Weeks of School

We’ve had a pretty delightful first couple of weeks back to school.

Ethan is in Challenge B this year (which translates to 8th grade). Micah is in 5th (it’s his second to last year in Foundations/Essentials). Both are still thriving in the homeschool life, so we’ve signed up for another year of it. This is already our 8th year of homeschool. Crazy.

As you may recall, we rearranged our home quite a bit so now most of our schooling is done downstairs. We’re loving it. (Well, in truth, Micah is anxious for my folks to get here so that we can figure out how to get a curtain to separate the Lego from his desk area. This is a distraction for him and he’s not pleased with it.)

We started something new for our mornings. Ethan dubbed it, “Discussions at Dawn” and they currently feature a joint read-aloud, some devotional time and some quiet time. They will eventually also include more fine arts – poetry, Shakespeare, famous artists or composers (depending on what they are studying elsewhere in their curriculum this will shift). We each have a notebook for pictures or questions or words that need defining. Anyway, it’s been delightful to have a little part of our day all together again.

Ethan took first day of school pics for our community again this year.

A Very Special Weekend

Mikey had been mulling over this concept for years – how to move the boys towards manhood as they matured. He wanted to be incredibly intentional around raising our boys to embrace their manhood with courage and character. His vision was to have a night away in the mountains with Ethan and some of his important spiritual role models. He had been mentioning little things off and on over the past few months to Ethan about it, without giving any details. When the day finally arrived, he sent E an email and told him to be packed for a night away by 11 am. I was then to take him out for lunch to talk to him about the ways I admire him and how my role will change in his life over time, starting with this day. (Meanwhile, Mike was picking up my parents from the airport and arranging things so that my Dad could get to the mountains with Uncle Joel.) We had a great time together and I only barely cried while praying with him.

Next, Ethan and Mike drove up to the mountains where he moved from room to room discovering different men that had come up there to speak into his life. He was shocked! I won’t be able to do this weekend justice, nor do I think this is the place to elaborate. Suffice it to say, it will not be forgotten. He treasured this time and learned much.

It’s humbling to realize how many amazing people we have in our lives; each of whom play a different role. We are thankful to be raising these young men with the help of such a beautiful village, near and far (some are featured here and others aren’t, but we are thankful for each person who loves this young man fiercely). And I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have such an intentional partner. He makes this journey a lot less daunting and a whole lot more fun. So thankful.

This guy is something special. By the grace of God, he’s going to be a part of the change we all want to see in this world.

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.

I’m going to get us caught up to real time in this post. Most of these pictures are from February.

Micah finished his reading program and enjoyed celebrating the accomplishment.

Ethan is always playing the ukulele or piano these days. Micah, too, is really enjoying the piano. It’s so much fun to have live music permeating the house.

Boys are continuing to enjoy Krav Maga. They have their purple belt tests coming up soon which has them nervous and excited all wrapped up into one. Our crew celebrated Coach’s birthday last month.

Some of my very favorite people in the world all enjoyed a field trip together last month to the Dumb Friends League. I saw a different side of Micah – a very silly side – here and really enjoyed learning about the animal shelter.

Micah had his first indoor play date at our house since…oh, I guess before Covid started. It was a pretty big deal and SO much fun. These guys have a great relationship. They have been doing lots of Zoom playdates and doing lots outside together, but they were all thrilled with the chance to play LEGO together. Micah wanted the house to be perfect for the occasion, so he spent some time in the morning cleaning and organizing.

Other happenings include a typical lunch made by Micah; a snapshot of our weekly family meeting on Saturday morning (it’s usually preceded by a family work out, led by a different member of the fam each week); Micah getting lunch ready for CC the next day (I believe this was a consequence, although you are welcome to think of it as just happy delegating); time playing a game as a fam; learning about the heart outside at CC; chopping my hair off; and soaking up lots of sunny days in a row before the next cold front moved in.

And…February’s “30” day challenge was to listen to a podcast each day. I found it to be a fun challenge and loved getting so many great suggestions from my peeps!

Well, we’ve officially made the shift from summer weather to fall. It’s typical Colorado, though, so we’ve got days in the high 70s followed by days in the 50s. We managed to go a long time without using any AC or heat, but we finally had to heat up the place when we were doing school in hats and lots of layers just to stay warm. I think the house got down to 60 degrees and that’s just a wee bit chilly for us. =D We also had to pick all of our tomatoes after it dropped to below freezing for a few nights and that means we have a lot of green tomatoes gracing our counters.

Our friends snapped some pictures of the boys playing flag football up the street and I’m finally remembering to post them. We’ve got the final games happening this weekend!

Other happenings include celebrating Mike’s company acquiring another company with root beer floats. We found it hilarious that Ethan was wearing a disciple equals freedom shirt while drinking a massive root beer float. =)

Ethan finished invisalign and now just has to wear a retainer for 10 weeks (I think we’re down to 8 already; then he’ll wear it only at night). We celebrated with ice cream.

Most weekends we do a family workout on Saturday mornings. We each take turns leading the group in a workout. The pictures from this one were from a workout led by Micah.

A couple of weekends ago, we went for a nearby hike and then enjoyed some time in Golden with our favorite treats – açaí bowls!

This past weekend we spent a day in the mountains with our church family. The weather was lovely! E went on a solo hike with one of his buddies. Mike and Micah did a lot of archery competitions. (and E and I found out we are both dominant in our left eyes and had to figure out how to shoot left handed) We all learned how to play shuffleboard. We had a great time!

And here are some pictures from around the house over the past couple of weeks: Micah trying new vegetarian recipes (since he might like to become a vegetarian), playing football in their jammies, reading books, LEGO master competition (make something featuring water and a battle – Micah’s won), Ethan showing Micah some ukulele chords, Micah diagraming sentences and also listening to his book while playing Colorku.

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.

Our 7th year…

of homeschooling is underway. It’s probably the smoothest transition we’ve had from summer to school to date! (except maybe in those first years when everything we did was fun and no one had anything to complain about. =P) We seem to enjoy the structure and we are all rising to new challenges this year.

E and I started Challenge a week before Micah began Foundations/Essentials. But we all have at least a week under our belts now. Our community opted to meet outdoors again this year, but it’s expanded in size and is now meeting outside of our usual church (as opposed to in our backyard). I can’t tell you how much fun it is to do this outside! What a gift!

Our community is also doing monthly field trips this year. August brought us to Bluff Lake Nature Center and a little outdoor ice cream treat at the end! Here are a bunch of the guys checking out birds together.

Here are some pictures I snapped throughout the past couple of weeks around the house:

E is learning how to play our song version of Proverbs 25 on the ukulele. He picked it up very quickly and also already has all of that Proverb memorized (I still have 12 weeks to memorize it, so I’ll catch up…). Mike plans to teach the boys subjects of their choice on Wednesday afternoons for a bit. I suspect they will be learning about finances, stocks, etc. from him. Also, we switched Math for both boys (E switched to Saxon already last year) and it’s been SO much better for us.

Here’s a look at Ethan’s first day of CC back in 2015. In the middle picture Micah was only old enough to go to nursery. When he started CC, he started midyear and I can’t seem to find his official first day picture. (Sorry, buddy. It’s got to be out there somewhere!) But I did find a picture of him giving his presentation to Ethan’s class when he used to get too nervous to stay in his own classroom for the whole day. =D

We are thankful for the opportunity to do this and can hardly believe this is our 7th official year homeschooling with CC. Time is flying by!

Starting the school year

The school year is just around the corner and we’ve given ourselves a light start this week. Monday will mark the first day of Challenge A for Ethan (and me) and the following Monday will be the first day of Foundations/Essentials for Micah.

We had a really fun park orientation day with our CC community last weekend. We’ll be meeting outdoors for class again this year, but we’ve got more families joining us this time around. This is SUCH a sweet group! I’m very excited about the intentional and beautiful community we have around us as we homeschool for our 7th official year.

As usual, we’ve recorded heights and weights for the boys. I expect they will grow quite a bit over this school year.

Ethan: nearly 5’2″ and 103 lbs; he is starting his 7th grade year, which is called Challenge A in our CC world.

Micah: 4’8″ and 70 lbs; he is a 4th grader this year.