Shelter in Place

After the boys and I arrived back home from Florida, our state issued a shelter in place order.  We already knew that CC community day would be going virtual and everything else was cancelled (or made virtual) soon thereafter, too.  I spent most of the past month battling a mysterious illness that left me with a headache and a low fever most days, followed by two weeks of hives.  I am happy to report that I seem to be back to good health now, but that sickness certainly colored much of our first month of quarantined life as I was in bed early most nights and also took lots of naps throughout the day, too.

When we first got home, we had some snow.  Micah was outside playing with army guys in the snow.  Later, we had warm weather and the boys were busy digging a trench in the backyard or going for walks/scooter rides around our park.  The weather sure does keep us on our toes!

Virtual CC, church services, birthday party, playdates, and family zoom/FaceTime calls:

The boys have been finishing this school year incredibly well.  They are motivated and really seem to enjoy learning together.  It’s been a blessing to have such responsible boys, especially while I was so under the weather.

Ethan has been doing editing, typing, and various writing projects.  He read his Faces and Places essay (on Judy, the POW WWII dog) and completed the Memory Master challenge for his second year.

Micah is working hard on math and reading, but prefers listening to good books and drawing.  He has completed the first level in his reading program and plans to continue working throughout the summer on the next levels.

Ethan’s been playing a lot of piano and is doing lessons via zoom.  He’s tracking his practice through an app his piano teacher wanted him to use and it’s motivating him to beat out the other students taking lessons from her by practicing more.  That’s been fun to see.  She’s also had him doing various piano-related bingo activities, like playing on his knees or playing with his eyes shut.

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Other happenings include giving Micah a haircut, playing various games, and teaching Micah how to play solitaire with physical cards.

And lots and lots of time with our Daddio!

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Florida

Mike needed to spend a week in India, so we scheduled his trip to coincide with our Spring Break from CC so that the boys and I could fly to Florida.  Obviously, much changed since the day we made our plans.  Mike flew to London (without any wi-fi on his flight) and found out when he arrived that India had closed its borders and he would need to fly back to Denver.  Meanwhile, the boys and I had already landed in Florida to spend time with my parents.

Our week there started much like we had hoped, with various plans in place, but we slowly took more activities off our agenda when it became apparent that we needed to practice social distancing.

We had a wonderful time there.  It had been years since our last trip to Florida and we hadn’t seen their condo, yet.  Micah was struck by how much Florida was like a jungle/rain forest.  Ethan was enamored with the opportunities to take lots of pictures with his Grandpa.

Some condo highlights included lots of time reading, scootering, and playing in the pool, as well as piano-playing, game-playing (milestone alert – Ethan and I played our first games of scrabble), worksheet-making, and picture-editing.

Some outside of the condo highlights included the rodeo, the beach, a boys’ only kayak trip, my Dad’s band concert, and lots of walks to see wildlife.  The boys took a bunch of great pictures, which we will hopefully eventually do a post about on here.  My dad taught them how to edit them, which was a fun new skill for them.

Obviously, time with our family (and the fun overlap with Mr. Rick!) are the things we cherished the most.  Thanks for hosting us so graciously during a strange and uncertain time!!

Christmas in Chicago

We wanted to take the boys down to Chicago for a day since we hadn’t done that as a family.  It was uncharacteristically warm the day we went and it was absolutely lovely.  It’s such a cool city!  We were all glad we snuck away for the day and night – enjoyed yummy food, sight-seeing (Micah and Mike went to the top of the Sears – yes, in my head it’s still called that – tower), and playing color tag in the park.

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Mikey and I went to the top of the Sears Tower back in our dating days in 2003.  Such little babies we were! =D

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Thanksgiving

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving this year.  As usual, Grandpa Russ drove out to spend the week with us!  A new addition, however, was Uncle David.  This was a real treat to all of us and we hope it will become the new tradition.  The house was full of Cleveland guys playing games, shooting army soldiers with rubber bands, and looking at coins.

Thanksgiving Day brought more game-playing, eating good food and we rounded off the afternoon with some sledding. It was very relaxing and lots of fun.

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Uncle David left the morning after Thanksgiving, but we still got a couple extra days with Grandpa Russ.  This included going out for breakfast and me decorating the house for Christmas, another tradition of all of ours.

We were missing our former Colorado family, of course, so we sent some pictures back and forth.  Loved seeing these guys getting ready for Christmas, too. =)

Early September

September was the month Mike did the Whole 30 challenge.  He began it with a nasty meal which we all rated a D- or below.  Thankfully things improved as the month went on.  I agreed to make 3-4 Whole 30 compliant dinners each week and he committed to doing the rest.  We were all so impressed with his diligence and discipline.  One of the meals I made for us was beef kabobs with a chimichurri sauce.  I even snapped a picture since it was my first time making any kabobs as far as I could recall.  We all rated this one much higher. =D

The boys had a really fun playdate over here during the school day.  We loved doing school with this buddy and also just enjoying the beautiful weather at the park.

Here are some fun shots from homeschooling, both at home, on the road and at CC.  Micah continues to LOVE drawing and Ethan loves playing board slam.  Micah started a reading program called “All About Reading” and is enjoying that, while Ethan is reading lots of books and discussing them with me.  Lots of fun!

Other happenings in the early part of this month include Micah’s new way of “picking” flowers for me:

Ethan wearing my old Packers t-shirt because we can almost share clothes and shoes already.  What?!

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And a crazy rain storm led to lots of fun at the park:

The boys also started playing soccer for the fall season.  Ethan continues to love playing defense, while Micah likes playing center-mid and doing a little of both offense and defense.

Since then…

Some school pictures from last week:

The boys are getting more interested in running these days.  They each did a run during the day – Ethan 1 mile and Micah .5 miles.  It was really sweet to see them riding alongside each other on their bikes shouting words of encouragement.

We take quite a few walks as a family in the evenings.  If you know Mike well, you’ll know that they always include a ball.

We went out to Conifer for a hike over the weekend.  It was a beautiful hike and required us to dig deep and push ourselves. =D

Before the big trip…

Just thought I’d do a quick “catch all” post from before our midwestern tour during the month of June.

Brothers hanging around the house together.

We had a random snow storm right after my Dad left, so we had to have some hot chocolate and treats since it was May and snowing! =)

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We finished another year of school and I managed to take end of year pictures to compare. Woot.

I went to my cousin’s graduation from High School (he was 10 months old, I think, when I first came out to Colorado for college!) and got some pictures of some of the brothers celebrating. =).

Family bike ride to a favorite park a couple miles away:

A couple birthday parties and a play date during which I got in some snuggle time:

Next up: travels to the midwest.

Grandpa’s Visit

Mikey had a long business trip in India back in May, so we requested to have my parents come out to help and keep us company.  My Mom was busy with a wedding shower and some family time, but my Dad was up for it!  The boys and I were SO thankful to have him.  He was a great help, but also just fun to have around!

We spent most of our time outside doing various activities (biking, scootering, playing sports, etc.).  We can thank my Dad for sparking a biking fire in Micah.  Now that he feels confident, he can’t get enough of it:

We did spend some time playing games, looking at my Dad’s pictures, and eating yummy food:

We visited the Rocky Mountain Arsenal:

Grandpa got to watch a soccer game of Ethan’s and took some great shots of that.  Those of you from my side of the family may have seen those in a dropbox email recently, so I’m just posting a few.  (Sadly, Micah’s football game was cancelled due to rain.)

We also got out for a nice hike:

Thanks, Dad, for coming out!!  We sure loved having you!  You are a gift.

More Attempts to Catch Up

Other happenings from the past months include our very first opportunity to provide respite care.  I can’t give details here or show any pictures of our sweetie pie’s face, but suffice it to say, we had a wonderful time.  I’m including some pictures from what we did that weekend (we had him with us for four days), as a reminder to myself.  As soon as he left our home, Micah commented on how much he missed him and how our home didn’t feel normal anymore.  Having three boys was lovely and we were thankful for the opportunity and looking forward to more to come in the future!

Here are some other pictures from various adventures over the months of April and May.  My friend and I were discussing diagramming sentences after church and Mike thought it was hilarious.  The boys are VERY into all things related to coins these days.  We’ve been intentional to make sure the boys have quality time with Daddio during his time at home, so we had an adventure at Top Golf and also have been going for walks and playing at the park.

Guess what I don’t like.  Coming up with titles for every post I write.  I just don’t have any clever way of saying, “here’s what we have been doing lately”.  So maybe I’ll just quit having titles. =)

Here are some every day shots from around the house: