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!

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.

Elkhart Lake, WI

The following day I drove the remaining six or so hours to Elkhart Lodge where we met up with the rest of our family for five days of vacationing together. Our time was very sweet. Each family took an evening to prepare a meal for the rest of the crew, which was a fun way to enjoy meals together. Many of the days we also enjoyed time with my Aunt Sal and Uncle Brad – a big treat for all! The pictures, as usual, tell the story.

We spent much of the time at the house together. Our time inside this beautiful home included playing lots of games, having dance parties, reading books, making music (thanks, Ger and Jason!), etc.

Our time outside included looking for grasshoppers and toads, slip and slide, big beach balls, s’mores, bocce, one-wheeling, scootering, biking, etc. Ethan also enjoyed some outings to find birds with Grandpa (and then loved editing pictures together).

Photo credit for the following pictures belongs to Micah (except, obviously, the one I took of him taking pictures). He was trying to capture pictures of everyone at the house, but lost steam when he would have needed to go indoors to snag a few more. He got some pretty sweet ones.