Fall is here!

I’ll post some pictures from the final weeks in September and the first week or so of October in this post.

Our backyard community for CC continues to go well. The days usually start off fairly chilly, but we end feeling plenty warm by the end of the day. We’ve been meeting on Tuesdays at 8 am, but I suspect we will push it back to 9 am as the weather turns. =) The first day of fall our tutor brought in pumpkins for everyone and we did our review work by striking various poses while holding the pumpkins. Presentations have varied from talking about our homemade library or pictures we’ve drawn, to paragraphs about Scott Joplin and best places to take pictures. We are very thankful for this community!

Here are some pics from school, including Ethan’s virtual piano lessons, reading and playing in the treehouse, tracing the states while learning the capitals, Micah finishing another level in his reading program, and a LEGO rendering of our latest history sentence about the Louisiana Purchase and others about the signing of the Declaration of Independence:

We’ve gone on walks to the Cherry Creek Reservoir a couple of times in the last few weeks. One of the times we saw a Golden Eagle, which was incredibly exciting for our crew! Ethan brings his camera and occasionally even captures pictures of the fam!

We’re in full fall celebration mode around here. No heat or AC on for over a month – a ridiculous game I like to play during this season. It means bundling up in the mornings when it’s in the low 60s or high 50s in the house, but then enjoying the warmer afternoons. We’ve also been enjoying pumpkin and fall-themed foods and scents. Our friends even brought by some decorations they had found on a walk. And I’m including a picture of my favorite view from the park up the street.

Other fun happenings include two back-to-back Packer picnics (I found Packers jerseys for each boy on thredup – can you imagine my excitement?!):

And some pictures from around the house, including LEGO builds, coin trading via Zoom and amongst brothers, Micah’s dentist appt, Ethan’s darling pic of Micah biking, boys enjoying grandma reading Farmer Boy to us over Zoom (while building LEGO), the arrival of our new books, and shots of the boys enjoying their early Christmas present from Uncle David (thank you!!):

It’s a beautiful season and we are making the most of it!

Grandpa and Grandma’s Visit

We were so thankful to have Grandpa and Grandma here for a visit this past week!  Mike had been in India for work, so the timing was perfect for me.  Mike was bummed to miss them, but we all agreed that it was a blessing for me to have help and company!  Plus we got to celebrate my Dad’s birthday with him since he was here for it!  They arrived on the same day that Mike left for India and we had the chance to watch the Packers game together and to impress them with piano skills.

On Friday we went to PE+ and then had a field trip to “Living History”.  We’re studying this time period in US history this year in CC, so it was perfect timing!  The boys made candles and candle holders, enjoyed learning about guns and participated in part of a school day for colonial pilgrims, among other things.

Saturday was my Dad’s birthday.  We celebrated by having cinnamon rolls and then leaving him with the boys while my Mom, Aunt and I went to a cooking class for learning to make macarons. =D  That evening we went to my aunt and uncle’s house for dinner.

On Tuesday we had another field trip.  This time we went downtown to watch “The Snowy Day” play.  Naturally we took in the sites a bit and enjoyed some Little Man Ice cream while we were so close. =)

It wouldn’t be a visit from my parents without various projects getting done around the house.  My Mom worked on pillow covers for me and I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am about them! =)  My Dad got rid of the rose bushes and another spiky bush in the backyard (beware – next year I’ll be a real gardener!).  He also put up curtain holder things (there’s probably a real name for this…), helped reinforce the tree fort, and put up a new shelf for the boys’ capes and the letters the boys made with them.  It was a week of random projects and I’m so impressed with how everything turned out!  Thank you, guys!!

In between these projects and runs to the fabric store and Home Depot, we did some school work, read books, and played games.  Ethan went on a couple bike rides with Grandpa.  Micah joined Grandma and me at the yarn store – wearing two different shoes as I am told I did regularly as a child – and took pictures of butterflies with Grandpa in the backyard.  And the boys did a lot of yard work outside, too.

It was great to have you here again, Mom and Dad!  Thanks for coming!!  You’ll see another post of this trip with photos from my Dad. =)

A Weekend with Jen and J

When the NFL preseason schedule was released, the boys and I made a call to Aunt Jen to ask if she’d want to come to Denver to watch the Packers play.  It didn’t take much to convince her.  We were thrilled to have her along for the boys’ first game.  (Uncle J came out, too, but he didn’t attend the game with us.) We had a fun and delicious breakfast on Saturday morning and spent the day playing at the park and at our house.

That evening we fueled up on brats and corn on the cob before taking the light rail downtown for the game.

The boys had a great time at the game.  It was a little loud and overwhelming at first for one of us, but he quickly felt comfortable in my lap.  Jen and I wished the Broncos didn’t score so much (mostly field goals) because it was always very exciting with fireworks and fire and a bronco running across the field – we were concerned they would want the Broncos to score more than the Packers. =D We stayed to the very end of the game (Packers lost) and Micah was sleeping on my lap while everyone was dancing and singing to “Jump Around”. =)  Thanks, Auntie Jen, for making our first game such a memorable one!!

We had church on Sunday and then our church picnic up in the mountains.  It was a really sweet time and we hope to get out to Long Scraggy again sometime.

On Monday we had a chaotic day of homeschool.  I was flustered enough with the boys’ behavior to say that there was ten feet of rain in Houston…and even said that was the capital of Texas.  SO, when I later thought through how the day went and what I would have changed (as I do most days), I realized the error of my ways and made sure to correct it!  Ay ay ay!

IMG_4424

We also had Ethan’s first piano lesson that afternoon.  He is doing joint lessons with cousin, Matthew.  We are pretty excited about this and Ethan absolutely LOVED playing piano and going to his lesson.  He is eager to get back again and learn more!  Micah had fun reading and doing sight words.  We even played a game of “Mother, May I?” with flashcards telling him “yes” or “no”.  It was more fun because we had Jen there to play, too!

Thanks, Auntie Jen and Uncle J, for coming out for a visit!  We sure loved having you!!

Feeling thankful to do life with family nearby and for family traveling to see us.  

More Life Lately

Thankfully, the boys and I were well enough to attend homeschool day at the aquarium.  This was a pre-pay event, so I was really hoping we’d be able to go.  I don’t recall ever going to the Denver aquarium before, but Mike thought we had.  At any rate, now I see how amazing the aquarium in Atlanta really was.  I always enjoyed going to it, but I didn’t have anything to compare it against. 😉

The aquarium was fun to see, though, and we had a really good time.  We saw various people from our CC community there, which made it even better.

Micah took some pictures, too:

This picture of Micah makes me smile because of the story behind it.  We were looking at some sharks and trying to take a picture of a shark.  I asked if Micah wanted a picture of him with the sharks, so he stood there and sort of smiled.  But moved away right away and said, “actually, I didn’t want to take that picture.” =D

img_2116

The boys are getting excited about soccer starting soon.  They did some practicing in a game against Dad.  He’s really good…so after I shot these two pictures, I joined the game.  We still lost. =(

The other morning I walked by the boys’ room and found this (I guess Micah was being Han Solo that day, instead of a Packer player):

img_2124

Also featured in the photo above is our “pet bunny” in his cage. =D

Last week after CC, we picked up Mikey from his Bible Study and work location.  It was gorgeous outside, so we enjoyed a little treat when we got there.  The golf course you can see in the back is the one we’ll be playing at a lot in the next 3 years.  We got a killer deal on unlimited golf there.

It’s the beginning of the new month.  This means Ethan finished his goal of reading books for February and earned another personal pan pizza.  (He read 15 chapter books in February!)  It also means we went to play Dart Wars afterwards.  Ethan does a great job out there playing.  I rarely see him, unless I’m in the dugout for having gotten out myself/Micah having gotten out.  Micah still likes to stay close to me during the games and if he gets out, I’m automatically out, too.  It’s so much fun playing with the boys!  I am always far too busy finding ammo and whatnot to take any pictures.  Just know that we have lots of fun every homeschool day at Dart Wars. =D

img_2125

And, our backyard is such a mess.  But I kind of like it that way.  The boys can be messy and  run around back there and I don’t even worry about how it looks!  Ethan made a “ramp” out there for Micah’s scooter.  Oh my word.

Atlanta!

I had the opportunity to fly back to Atlanta (my first time being back since our move about a year ago) this past weekend.  I went to help my sister with the trade show downtown.  You’ll remember that previously I had helped her for a few days while living there.  It was great to be back there again – fun to help Jen, wonderful to see some of my friends, and nice to be working a bit and have a break from mom-ing. =D

Here are some pictures from the trade show to give you an idea of what it’s like there.  Jen and I had a great time working together!

I forgot to take pictures with each of my friends, but I did snap one with Patricia, my old neighbor (side note – living near her was incredible and such a huge, huge blessing.  Seeing her again reminded me of what a sweet situation we had sharing the cul-de-sac with her family).  I was able to see three different dear friends of mine on three different evenings.  It was absolutely wonderful to catch up with them in person!

img_1680

Jen and I loved getting to watch the Packers game together on Sunday.  We had hoped to actually GO to the Packers game (if the circumstances had been different – Lions needed to beat the Seahawks to make that happen), but we had a great (albeit nerve-wracking) time at a bar walking distance from the trade show.

And this is what it looks like when the booth is all packed up:

img_1681

Atlanta was lots of work, but even more fun.  Thanks, Jen, for inviting me to come!!

I am so thankful that Mikey could hold down the fort so well while I was away.  The boys are incredible and were able to entertain themselves while he worked.  Here are a couple pics from their time together:

Micah was pumped to get this “flying dragon” heart from Aunt Jen and wanted to “take a selfie” to show her.  Oh my word.

img_1686

Other Happenings…

Here are some pictures that happened day 10-15 but had nothing to do with our Advent Activities.

Boys hamming it up after church:

Packers won again!  Woot!

Apparently Micah missed me a lot while I was gone at BSF Monday night.  He asked his brother to snuggle him for a while.  Melt.my.heart. =)

img_1185

Micah picked out and received (Amazon, of course) his birthday gift from Great Grandpa.  Thanks for the new Star Wars Legos!

img_1155

Micah sang in his Christmas program at preschool.  He was a shepherd and had to look around for a gift good enough to give to Baby Jesus. =)  He made some Christmas gifts to give his family that day, too.

We’ve been playing a lot of games as a family this week.

Micah (and his parents) have decided to be done with preschool and begin his homeschooling journey a little early.  Thursday marked his last day there.  He has no regrets about the decision thus far and says he is very excited to start homeschooling and stay home with the rest of the family.

img_1180

That afternoon, Mike and Micah had eye appointments.  (E and I had our appointments earlier in the month)  The Lord’s timing here is impeccable.  Hours before the appointment, Mike’s eye got pink and pussy.  He was miserable, of course.  Thankfully the eye doctor was able to prescribe him with something and it’s definitely healing!  E and I went along so that I could pick out and order my new glasses.  I snapped a few pictures of my guys – one looks slightly more excited to be there than the other, eh?  This may be a milestone for Micah – first legit eye exam!

Recent Happenings

Micah requested that we have another Packers picnic, “like we had when we lived in Georgia with the mac and cheese and sitting on the football blanket”.  Thankfully the Packers were playing that Monday night, so we made it happen.  The boys had a great time celebrating a win *finally* and eating all green and gold food.  In other exciting news, Micah is now a fan of the Packers again, “even if they play the Bears”.  (Sorry, Jason!) They took the decorating VERY seriously and even shed some tears over disagreements about the appropriateness of using one of my shirts as a pillow cover or just draping it over the couch.  Such little sweeties.

Ethan is learning how to divide.  We used our NFL helmets to explain divisions.  It was classic!  Feeling thankful for Classical Conversations and learning all those skip-counting songs!  Phew.

img_0898

Boys got their hair cut.  I treated them to hot chocolate while we waited for their turn.

img_0901

Meagen came over for dinner.  Micah took the liberty of photographing the occasion.

Micah has started to love doing puzzles now.  This used to be Ethan’s favorite pastime and I couldn’t convince Micah to spend any amount of time doing them.  But now he is often found doing puzzles!  He also loves practicing his letters and drawing pictures.

E and I went to our old eye doctor for check ups.  He apparently has 5 rows of lashes.  I don’t know how many the average person has, but that seems a bit excessive!  No wonder they are so stunning!

And here is a video of Micah’s recent Bible memory verse:

In the Meantime, continued…

Uncle Jason had a work meeting in Westminster the week after our trip to Wisconsin.  We were thrilled to get to host him for a meal and some football watching!  We chose not to tell the boys, so when we returned home from our walk and found him getting out of his car, they were stunned.  Ethan turned around and asked, “Mom, is that Uncle Jason?!?” before running to give him a hug!

img_1116

Speaking of brief visitors, we also had the opportunity to host Grandpa and his friend, Mr. Rick, twice this past week.  They were traveling to see the elk and the beautiful scenery in Rocky Mountain National Park and stopped in to see us on their way up and back home again.  We had a nice amount of time with them and really enjoyed their company.  Grandpa even put Micah’s training wheels on his bike and taught him how to ride a bit.  Mr. Rick played a bunch of games of Corn Hole with Ethan and lost, or so I’m told, every single game. =D  We also walked to get some frozen yogurt!

My Dad brought his old bike out for me to keep!  I am absolutely thrilled.  E and I have been biking every day for “fitness class” for homeschool and reviewing our memory work. It’s been awesome.  I guess Mike snapped a pic of us heading out the other day. =D

img_0004

Other updates include lots of time baking various muffins…

…Continued one-on-ones with each boy…(some of us take pictures, while others do not)

…lots of fun at Classical Conversations.  And for those of you who have been praying for me as a newbie tutor, thank you.  It’s been going extremely well and I’m pleased to say that it’s been more fun than work.  Phew!  If you can’t tell, hahaha, that’s an abstract art drawing of my name. =D

Also, we are official a one-car family.  We have been acting like one for months now, but we finally sold our Jetta to carmax this past month.  Here’s Micah reading books while we wait for the paperwork to be completed.  And here’s a picture of our family back in April when we first thought we were going to sell the car and needed to say goodbye to it. =D

We continue to be a game-playing family and a game-watching family.  We were able to watch (some of it, for some of us) of the Packers game last Sunday night.

Also, I hosted my first baby shower/sprinkle for a very dear friend.  Logistics worked out well and it was a very sweet time!  Yay!

And I started my first night BSF class.  I’m thankful that I have another dear friend joining me at it because it’s really hard for me to want to stay in jeans all.day.long to be appropriately clothed for anything at night. 😉  I took this first picture because I always like to remember when I started BSF and what I was studying at various seasons in my life.  I truly cannot recommend a better Bible Study…it’s been life-changing for me.  Then, I was laughing at myself because my tendency is to want to show “cute” little snapshots of my life…and I thought it would be nice to remember the real-ness of this season, too, so I took another pic. =D

Wisconsin Trip: Packers Practice

We had the opportunity to travel to Wisconsin!  My cousin recently got married in New Zealand (where she has been living) and then had a reception in Milwaukee, her hometown.  We celebrated that occasion and combined it with a reunion of my Mom’s side of the family.  It was a fantastic trip!  I’ve got quite a few pictures, so I’m devoting a couple of posts to it.

As usual, photo cred for any of the outstanding pics goes to my Dad.  You’ll be able to spot them out in a heartbeat. =)

We arrived on Wednesday night just in time for an early bedtime.  A big group of us – my bro and sis, one of my nephews, my aunt and uncle and my parents – woke up early to attend Packers practice.  This is a really cool experience and I highly recommend it to everyone…if you like football and Packers in particular. The price is right – FREE – and it’s incredibly fun to watch the Packers working hard and having fun.  Plus, they are SO close!  But one of the coolest parts is to watch the Packers players ride little kids’ bikes into the practice field.  Such a cool tradition!

We got a cool shot of the cousins doing a “Lambeau leap”.  Unfortunately someone said “go Pack go!” and that caused our Bears-loving-Packers-dressed boy to frown.

Micah man fell at the practice and got a great big goose egg on his forehead.  He recovered quickly, thankfully, but it sure left a mark!

Both boys slept (I was only able to capture Micah) the whole drive back to the awesome hotel we stayed at in Milwaukee.  More photos to come of that. =D

IMG_0132

Non-Moving Related Updates

Before I continue with our moving activities (so similar to our Advent activities that the boys keep asking, “what’s our Advent activity today??” and I have to keep reminding them that this is for moving, not for Christmas), I wanted to give some updates on our life here for the past month.

The boys and I had an awesome time celebrating the first Packers playoff game.  We decorated the living room in green and gold and had a little Packers picnic.  Ethan even drew a picture to send to the Packers to encourage them (we sent it online)!  Mike was in Colorado…buying our house, I think! =)