6th Annual Trip

For our 6th annual trip with the Maurer family, we spent the weekend in Kansas City.  We are nearing (if we haven’t already reached it) the point when we will need to do some repeat locations, but this year was a new spot for us again.  We all enjoy spending time together and it’s been such a special treat to watch our children grow up together.

We usually spend a fair amount of time at the hotel just talking and playing.  We also all like parks and legos, so we fit in both of those activities this year.  A hike is often on all of our lists to do, but it was way too hot to spend much time outside that weekend.  We spent Friday night grabbing dinner out and playing at the hotel, Saturday out and about and Sunday back at the hotel before going our separate ways.

Here are some shots from around the hotel, including a few selfies the kids took (as requested) from their explorations around the hotel on their own.  Favorite memories include watching various plays of Piggie and Gerald books, watching all the kids try to catch the football with their elbows, sending messages/emojis/pictures with Ellie (mostly Mike and Ellie/Adam), and how sweet those girls are to my boys who want to show them their paint-by-sticker books and Legos.  Lots and lots of laughter!

Mute the video if you don’t want to hear my crazy loud laugh:

Pics from our dinners out:

Pics from the park, Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium:

All too soon it was time to say goodbye.  The kids hugged too quickly, so we missed any cute pics of that…but I snapped a couple of Mikey saying goodbye to some of his favorite girls!  We parents left exhausted, having stayed up until midnight or WAY later both evenings we had together.  We sure enjoyed spending time with this crew again!

Quick throwback of our group from just last summer and a link to all the previous years:

 

Summer Updates

I’m going to lump a bunch of summer pictures/stories into this post in an effort to catch up to present day updates quickly.

The boys each ended up getting much-needed (in my opinion, as Micah likes to remind me often) hair cuts.  Ethan went first and then after a day of seeing how great he looked, Micah was ready to cut his, too. =)

The day Micah got his haircut was a pretty big day for him.  He also had his front tooth pulled out and sealants put on two other teeth (that part was the least comfortable for him).  I had it in my head that he was going to be unconscious for all of this, which scared him plenty, but then it turned out that he just had the laughing gas and was perfectly wide awake and aware the whole time.  He was incredibly brave and held my hand the whole time (except apparently when I gave my phone to Ethan to take a picture), with little tears running down his cheeks for part of it.

We love spending time at our park.  The sprinklers are loads of fun to run through, the hills are fun to scooter, and it’s fascinating to see how much the big storms transform the whole park.

We’ve had some fun playdates – most don’t have pictures.

We’ve been reading lots of books and finishing lots of paint-by-stickers.

We attended the annual CC Practicum.  Micah went to one day of his Geo Draw class, but then opted to pay me back for the other day of classes, rather than attending any more. Sigh.  Last year, you may recall, he didn’t attend any days…so I guess that’s progress. 😉  Thankfully, he sits quietly for hours and hours while I attend the trainings so I really can’t complain.  Ethan participated in his first Latin camp with the older class and seemed to have lots of fun!  We saw him for lunch, but he sat with friends and played sports with them the whole break!  It was fun to watch him running around with the guys.

We built a Lego display bookshelf for the boys’ room:

Ethan had a summer piano lesson and Micah and I enjoyed exploring in a creek nearby:

And the boys “built” a table outside for snacks and “poison-making”.

Micah and Mom Weekend

Micah and I had the opportunity to spend a whole weekend together and let me tell you, he had some plans for us!  We decided to make a list of the things we’d like to do one the weekend while the other guys were camping with a church group.  We crossed everything off our list by the end of the weekend!

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There is one draw back to making a list with my guy.  He didn’t want to do anything unless it was written on the list, so we really had to tread carefully all weekend to be sure we were only doing things listed.  And, after something was off the list, but we still had time to spare, we were in a bit of a predicament.

Here are some pictures from our weekend around the house:

And here are a few from our 4 mile bike ride.   The bike ride was quite exciting and I know some of you have already heard about it.  Let’s suffice it to say that he had a few falls (always jumping right back up again) and one of them ended poorly with a very, very flat tire.

Loved spending time with this guy for our weekend solo!  We were both glad to have the other guys back again, but I sure enjoy Micah’s company!

Summer Life

I think it was only last week that we had some sewer/pipes/draining work done at the house.  This was not the most fun way to spend money, but it was necessary.  The boys had a blast watching it all and we’re glad to have the problem behind us.  Now to get some grass…

A more fun way to spend some money was in preparation for our upcoming camping trips. We’ve been spending some time looking for sales on our gear.  Each boy now has a sleeping bag and we have some pots/pans/dishes and a camping stove!  Snapped these rock-climbing pictures outside of REI downtown and another of Micah testing out his sleeping bag at home.

It’s been a pretty hot summer thus far, especially without any mean of cooling the house currently.  Rest in peace, swamp cooler.  You were good while you lasted.  I still try to get us outside for bike rides and time at the park, but it’s hard to go get extra hot when we don’t have a good way to cool down afterwards.

Micah lost another tooth (that brings his total to 3, I believe).  And he went to the dentist. One of his front teeth has been dead since an epic fall back in our Georgia days; it’s on its way out this month by our hands or it will need to get pulled.  We’re working on it!

Ethan still spends time every day playing the piano.  He can’t get enough of it.

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And we played game 15 of Risk as a family.  I thought my chances to win were good…until everyone wanted me eliminated.  But, I’m glad to say that I held on.  Ethan won the game and now no one gets to write their name on the board anymore…alas, my name will never be on it.

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Mid-April

We had a very exciting visitor to our backyard.  Ethan actually captured the best picture of it, but I haven’t snagged it off of his camera, yet.  This big guy hung out in our yard for a good 5 minutes, scrounging around for worms!  He also visited our neighbors’ backyard, which is when the boys were allowed outside for pictures.  A couple of days later, we saw a duck in the yard.  Fun!

Micah sang in front of our CBS class with his class.  It was pretty darling.  I only made one short video of it, but I’d be happy to share it with you if you’d like to see him singing, “I Wanna Walk, Walk like Jesus”.  His buddy (and my friend’s kid) is on the far right and Micah is on the far left.

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Here are some shots from homeschooling:

Most days we drink tea and read a book out loud.  This last picture was taken during one of our little meetings to decide what book to read next.  I’ve gotta say, though, “The Wind in the Willows” has been a hard one for us to get into…I’m hoping the coloring books I got last week will help.  =/

Mike was also out of town for work in the middle of the month, so I made sure to take walks at the park each day.  The boys just played in the trees or around the middle of the park while I walked around.  It was lovely.  And Mikey sent flowers to let me know he was thinking of me – and they have lasted over a week!!

Lastly, a quick video of Ethan playing some piano:

Daily Life

Just wanted to do a quick post updating on daily life happenings…

My Dad and I worked on my new dry erase calendar and I am SO pumped about how it turned out.  We use it for school every morning to talk about months and days and what our schedule is.  It’s fabulous!  Thanks, Dad!!

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Micah cut his hair…with his swiss army knife…and now I’ve buzzed it all off. =)IMG_4288

Ethan has taken up the harmonica.  We received this from Aunt Sal and Uncle Brad, too (thanks, guys!), and he’s thrilled.  This is “Hot Cross Buns”.  We’ll hope to have some piano updates soon as he’s taking lessons starting Monday!

Ethan also recently beat me in a game of Machi Koro, one of our fav games…he beat me by rolling 2s about a hundred times.  It was an epic game because it rarely happens that someone wins the game by never rolling more than one die.

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I tried a new meal this week.  I’m not sure I can say it was a hit with everyone, but it was fun and unique.  Mike and I enjoyed it more than the boys, but they didn’t complain about it!  Farro. Kale. Blistered Tomatoes. Soft boiled eggs. Avocado.

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We still enjoy a good walk through the park after dinner.  I wish this was a daily occurrence, but we probably get out there weekly at this point. IMG_4321

Money burns a hole in these boys’ pockets.  They had saved up for a couple months and finally just had to go buy some lego sets.  We went to Target after CC and then the rest of the afternoon was very quiet for me. =) Micah did a great job building his set almost all by himself.  I sat nearby and corrected a few things here and there, but he did most of it! Ethan raced through 3 different sets (mostly smaller ones) in one sitting!

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This evening we went to a birthday party for a boy that played on Ethan’s soccer team a couple years in a row.  This was our first time at Boondocks and the boys seemed to enjoy it!  It’s a bit of a sensory overload for us, but we had fun!  Ethan did not end up doing the race track this time, but he came close!  I imagine he’d love it if he was the passenger for his first round.

First Week of Homeschool

We started our school year this past Monday (8.21) in conjunction with the solar eclipse and the start of Classical Conversations (8.24).  I’ve learned some things over the past two years and opted to start this third year slowly easing into the routine.  I just barely started math and writing this week, but will hopefully have both going full force next week.  It takes some time to get used to not playing all day and when you don’t switch locations (like you do when going to school), it can be a little extra difficult. =)

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Monday was a fun day.  We went for a family walk to get smoothies and cereal boxes (for enjoying and then making our solar eclipse boxes) in the morning.  We also took some first day of school pictures and did most of our measurements (I’m still missing Micah’s height).  We watched solar eclipse videos and made our boxes.  Then we headed to the park to read, play on the playground and get ready for the eclipse.  We ended up coming back to our yard for that and were able to use our neighbors’ eclipse glasses!!

Measurements:
Ethan is now weighing in at 65.6 lbs.  He’s 4.5 feet tall.

Micah weighs 43.4 lbs now and is probably about 3.5 feet tall, but I’ll have to confirm that next week!

Tuesday was another fun day.  We made slime – thanks Uncle Brad and Aunt Sal for the kit!!  We also did some fun Math and English outside with sidewalk chalk.  And the boys worked in their notebooks writing “All About Me” pages and drawing pictures of themselves.

Wednesday was a chill day.  We spent much of the morning at the park meeting Ethan’s class for CBS (Community Bible Study).  I didn’t take any pictures from the day, but we did school work around the house, too.

Thursday was our first day of CC for the year.  We have new kiddos in each of the classes this year.  I’m Ethan’s tutor again.  We had hoped it would work out that I could do Micah’s class, but that didn’t work out this time.  He spent the day in my class, but I’m hopeful he’ll get comfortable in his class soon.  Thankfully he behaves incredibly well and participates the whole time, so he’s not a distraction to me.

Friday was spent here at the house.  We did some CC review, listened to “Anne of Green Gables” (which I am personally LOVING) on audiobook, spent time writing, and did some drawing.  Ethan finished his first chapter book of the school year, “The One and Only Ivan” and he’s now calling it his favorite book.

We made our first CC videos of the year.  This was only day 2 of learning our memory work, so there’s a lot of room for improvement.  Micah made up drawings to “help him remember” the science sentence…I’m not sure how helpful they really were, but he wanted a video showing them. =)

It was a good first week of school.  Overall it was pretty painless, even if I did have a cold for a chunk of it.  I’m finding my rhythm and am hopeful that this will be a fantastic year of growth for all of us.