Grandpa and Grandma here (part 3)

Mike and I got home late Sunday night.  The following day was CC community day.  As I already alluded, it was dress-up-like-your-favorite-book-character day!  Ethan was Reepicheep and Micah was King Peter, both from The Chronicles of Narnia.  My parents joined us for the day and, thus, my dad took all kinds of fun pictures!  And we happened to be dissecting crayfish!

There was more work done on bird houses and lots of bird watching/recording.  Sadly, Micah’s birdhouse broke after it snowed and he’s still not sure if he wants to make a different kind of bird house.

Mikey and I had the opportunity to go out for my birthday gift – the Josh Groban concert! It was a really good concert!  The last time we saw him was when we were dating in college and we saw him perform at Red Rocks.

Meanwhile, the boys enjoyed carving pumpkins!  Milestone!  We’ve never done it before.

We did end up seeing them one more night after their trip to Taos (which they recommended highly, by the way), but it was brief and none of us took any pictures.  We LOVED having them in town with us.  They blessed us beyond words by their presence.  Thanks for coming out again, Mom and Dad!

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!!**

Drum Lessons

Micah has officially started drum lessons from a guy at our church who leads worship.  He’s primarily playing the djembe right now and is already supposed to be thinking about whether he might like to play for church!  He has high hopes that some day we will buy him his own drum set.  We’ve said we’ll think about it and consider it after we see how much he enjoys playing and practicing, just like we did with Ethan and the piano.

I get to sit in during his lessons each week.  It’s pretty fun to watch him playing and I think he has a pretty good feel for rhythm.

Here’s a video of the song they are working on currently:

One-on-One Weekend, Part 2

Meanwhile, Micah and I enjoyed a long weekend at home.  We spent most of our time playing at the house together, but we ran a few errands, enjoyed some special treats, and had a very special date out on Saturday night.  We went to the Denver Center of Performing Arts to see Hanson play with the Colorado Symphony!  This was a birthday gift from my parents and my grandpa and it was so much fun!

Here are a few pictures I took from our time doing school at the park and playing at the house.  I wasn’t even going to do school on Friday with Ethan being gone, but Micah was pretty motivated and wanted to do lots of writing and reading while we were at the park!

The only other pictures/videos I took of our weekend together was on our date.  Micah was pretty nervous about the whole thing so I was holding to the idea of staying for the whole concert very, very loosely in my mind.  We tried to go to the Cheesecake Factory before the concert, but the wait was too long.  Micah was pretty pumped to get grilled cheese and Sprite at a burger pace next door instead.

We arrived plenty early and ended up staying until the very end!!  We even got to see them perform for the standing ovation the crowd gave them.  I was so pleased!!  It was really a unique concert and lots of fun.  Micah knew a few of the songs, but I would say they played a good 50% of totally new songs they wrote for this tour.  He took most of our videos, particularly if he knew the song. =)  Micah called them the “boon dot kids” (aka mmmbop kids) all night, which had me laughing so hard.

We had to get a video of “boondot” and also “Tragic Symphony” (which he had listened to on repeat for weeks now…):

Micah took a brief “nap” during intermission (aka halftime) and was excited to hear one of our favorite songs, “I was born”.

We made it to the very end and he was clearly not tired at all. =)

Love this guy!!  It was so special to get to enjoy a weekend with just him!!

The Rockstar Band

Because Mike was out of town for his big 35th birthday, we sent him a birthday song video (see below) and that began a beautiful, although short-lived, thing in our home: The Rockstar Band.

The boys decided to form a band and play concerts for people over the next week.  We did an online concert, we invited some friends over for a couple, and we had two neighbor families over for an afternoon concert, too.  Their concert for our neighbors was the best, in my opinion, as they had to invite them over on their own and then they did an excellent job thanking them for coming, giving out treats and introducing each song.  They both had a lot of fun and showed great poise.  Fun to see!

Hopefully now that Micah will be starting drum lessons in the fall, this was just the first few of many concerts to come!!

Home, Sweet Home

We had a fantastic road trip, but we were all definitely glad to be home again.  I especially loved updating our various charts and changing our calendars.  Simple pleasures.  It doesn’t take much over here. =)

We listened to 8 audiobooks on the trip.  I’ve included a list here with some thoughts since I know some of you like that. =)

  1. Penderwicks (LOVE this book! It’s sweet and probably more geared towards girls, but it’s lots of fun)
  2. Stuart Little
  3. Alvin Ho Book 1 (the audiobooks are extra funny)
  4. Alvin Ho Book 2
  5. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (Book 2: The Hidden Gallery) (LOVE this series, but it’s best to do the audiobook…I think the boys would like it even more in a few years, but they are really laughing hard throughout it and the mystery is lots of fun)
  6. The Horse and His Boy (CS Lewis – can’t go wrong!  It’s a good stand alone book)
  7. The Secret School
  8. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

We also added our miles from the bike ride through Yosemite:

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We really got into doing paint-by-stickers, something I had heard about at CC and also in the Read-Aloud Revival podcast, on our trip.  The boys LOVE doing them, especially when I read to them or they are listening to a book.  I am buying as many of these books as possible.  I would say that Micah started these with SO much frustration that he almost gave up, but now he can’t get enough of them.  So maybe start them at age 6 or 7…

We’ve caught up with some of our buddies – I don’t always get pictures, but I did snap a couple during some of the more recent ones.

Aunt Ashley and I started date night swaps, finally!  I had the pleasure of watching Caleb at their place  and she watched the boys here another night.  This is such a gift to all of us!!

And we were able to go to another concert for cousin, Matthew.  It rained at this one, so I didn’t end up taking any pics while we were there…but I did get this one of us walking  to it.  It was lots of fun to hear his band playing at a beautiful park.

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CA Road Trip, Pt 1: Reunion

Aunt Ticia (Grandpa Russ’ sister) organized the Cleveland Reunion and hosted us graciously for the weekend.  We stayed with Mike’s Dad and siblings (and their families) at a hotel near her home, but spent most of our days and evenings at her home for food, fellowship and lots of pool time!  It was so much fun! The boys absolutely loved getting to know their cousins (technically second cousins once removed or something?!  I can’t remember the term) and playing in the pool.  And I met some people I had never met before, too, so that was a treat!!

Some of the boys enjoyed giving performances on their various instruments.  E played a few songs on the piano and T played some on the saxophone.  It was fun to allow them all to do a little showing off for us. =)  E also was making up some songs with AJ, who plays the guitar.

And we took a few posed pictures of various groups:

We were so glad to join in on the fun this weekend.  It was great!  Thanks, Aunt Ticia, for organizing and hosting us all.  We sure loved being with you again!!