A Week with Colds

When we got back from our weekend away, we battled colds while Mike traveled.  Micah got the worst of it, but even his cold only lasted about a week.  He’s still coughing now, but so much improved.  We still plunged away at school, but we took it easy.  Listening to “The Hobbit” motivated Ethan to begin a new book.  He really loves a good story and starts writing every few months.  It’s fun to see how much his stories have evolved over the last year.  He was a very helpful big brother during the worst days – he played concerts for us and snuggled Micah.  He also just spent a lot of time reading or writing to keep things extra easy for me.  I was super thankful!!

Meanwhile I started writing a book, too, with ideas and pictures from Micah!

We celebrated Pi Day with a pie from the grocery store. =)

Both boys were in my class at CC this week since Micah was still under the weather and coughing a bunch.  He gave a presentation on two of his Lego creations and E told us about JRR Tolkien.

There was a lot of Lego building…and I also got the boys haircuts!!

We ended the week babysitting cousin Caleb, the younger.  He loves listening to music, so he was having a grand ol’ time dancing to our CC songs and other music.  He wasn’t so sure about playing knights, but we gave it a go. =)  And he asked his auntie if she would start homeschooling him along with the boys. 😉

Life Lately, Homeschool Edition

We had the opportunity to attend a “Symphony through the Ages” intended for kids last week.  It started with Pachelbel’s Canon from the Baroque period and moved all the way through the modern era with Star Wars.  I learned something new – when Beethoven was composing, people listening would be eating, talking, singing along, etc.  The symphony wasn’t always a quiet and respectful event!  Interesting. =)  We even got to pretend we were watching his 5th Symphony during those days and talk while it was playing.  Such a strange experience!

We went with other friends of our from CC/church and had a school-related playdate during the day with them that day, too.  It was lots of fun to have 4 kids working on school together at various levels over different subjects.  They did really well together!

Here’s a little glimpse into our CC community day:

And a little glimpse into our daily life at home:

Micah has been making some serious progress with reading these days.  My friend, Amy, recommended the Preschool Prep Company videos and has lent them to us and they have helped build Micah’s confidence so very much.  He set a goal to read 15 books (mostly the Bob books you see here) this month.  He’s at 14 right now, so if he reads one more…he will be getting the Pizza Hut pizza he wants!

Ethan finished the first semester math book and officially started his second semester book today.  He was very excited about this and has been making some serious improvements in sticking with problems (especially word problems) that are hard!  He’s also doing a great job learning John 1 in Latin and in English (we’re all working on it, but Ethan’s got it done a little more confidently than the rest of us).  Hopefully we’ll have a video someday soon. =)

Home again!

One of the things I most enjoy about being home again after such a long, fun vacation is just getting into our routine.  Routine and rhythm do my soul good and I love getting back into it again.  Part of our rhythm is me making oatmeal (or some other breakfast) in the morning.  Another part is updating our calendar (it was so fun to see all the days not crossed off and to start a fresh new month).  The boys enjoy routine, too.  Part of their rhythm is playing piano and doing art projects – they were eager to get back into it!  Micah also enjoys making snacks for everybody and Ethan enjoys writing his own music.  Another thing we so enjoy is getting back to our church.  This particular Sunday we were talking about “Ebenezers” – you may remember my post about this recently – and Micah wanted to put up a stone representing how much he’s grown in his courage, thanks to the Lord. =)

The biggest part of our routine and daily rhythm is, of course, homeschool.  We eased our way back into this, since it’s a hard transition for the boys.  I think they enjoyed getting back into it, too!  We also started something new – essentially we have a goal to fill up the jar with the bow on it by doing good things such as putting away dishes or books, going to bed without a fuss, responding when they have been spoken to, finishing an assignment without complaining, etc., etc..  They can also lose beads for negative behavior or attitudes.  Anyway, it’s been a fun system and the boys seem very motivated by it!  It’s a whole lotta work to be consistent with it, but it’s been an easy and calm way to keep us all on track. =)

Part of our homeschool rhythm is going to Classical Conversations.  The boys were mostly excited to get back.  We are doing a new unit in Fine Arts – studying great artists!  I love this unit because it means creative and beautiful artwork!  Both boys did presentations on our recent travels and their highlights.

Being home again also means the boys are back to playing legos, dressing up with Daddio for battle, and going for bike rides with Mom.

It also means I am back to trying new recipes.  We got the new Nom Nom cookbook and I made my first ever egg drop soup.  Everyone loved it! Yay for a new recipe!

We also took down Christmas decorations and put up some new every day “art”:

It’s good to be back in our home and doing the things that make us settle into being at home again!

Fifth Stop: Wisconsin

After Michigan and our brief stop in Illinois, we settled down in Wisconsin again.  Here we celebrated Christmas with opening presents, ate lots of good food, played games and read books and rung in the New Year.  (We also spent time with Cass and Adam and their family, but I’ll do a separate post on that!)

Opening presents:

Working on Grandpa’s new shirt:

Playing games, putting together presents, reading books, etc:


Lunch at Gerrit and Lauren’s home:

Christmas, 2017

New Year’s Eve (the boys made it until 11 and then fell asleep watching home videos):

Obviously, we had a fantastic time in Wisconsin with our family!  Thanks for hosting, Mom and Dad, even without a working kitchen!  =)

Third Stop: Michigan

In Michigan, we celebrated Christmas with our extended family from my Mom’s side.  This is a big, fun group of about 30 people and is such a special time for us!  We opened presents after a delicious feast at my aunt and uncle’s home.  Two big highlights for the boys: Ethan got a ukulele and Micah got a djembe!!  Thanks, Great Grandpa! =)  Other highlights included playing ping pong, going sledding, Ethan doing piano recitals and radio shows with cousin Matthew, our annual cousins movie night out at the theater (we saw the new Star Wars!), and lots of time to chat with family.

Grandkids and great-grandkids with Grandpa (aka Great Grandpa):



We had a lovely time in Michigan, as always!  Such a fun group of people to spend a few days with every Christmas!

Picture Cred mostly goes to my Dad again. Thanks for capturing the fun!

Second Stop: Wisconsin

We spent Friday night through Monday morning in Wisconsin for this first visit.  We enjoyed catching up with family, playing games, worshipping together, playing piano and the ukulele, building paper airplanes, playing outside with Grandpa and cousins, and running around with walkie talkies.  I’m sure the list could go on and on.  We had a fantastic time and my parents were fabulous hosts despite not having kitchen counters or a dishwasher/sink to wash dishes.

Next up…we drove on Christmas day to Michigan!


Photo cred goes to my dad for all of the good pics you see from Wisconsin, Illinois or Michigan. =)

Ethan’s Piano Recital

Ethan played in his first piano recital this weekend at Whole Foods.  He played two songs: “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” as a duet with his piano teacher and “Ode to Joy”.  He did a great job!  Matthew played right before him and did a wonderful job, too.  He’s quite talented and fun to listen to!  Ethan was incredibly nervous for his performance, but we were SO proud of him for persevering through it and doing a great job!

Here are a couple of “before” pictures from the days before the recital when he got sick with worry and I played endless games with him to keep his mind off of it! =)  He’s such a trooper.  Really, I could not be more proud of him for dealing with the stress, talking through it and having a great first recital.  He’ll have another one at Christmas and I suspect he won’t have many of the same jitters – he is usually most nervous about something when he doesn’t know what to expect.  (Yes, you may be thinking, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, it’s true)

The recital:

The video:

So proud of this guy!

And, exciting news, Micah has decided he’d like to take piano lessons now, too. =)  I give Ethan a lot of credit for that because he makes piano look fun and easy!