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:

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Lunch at Gerrit and Lauren’s home:

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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!  =)

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!

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

Advent Activities 15-18

Warning…our advent activities went downhill at this point.  We left on our trip on the 18th, so much of my life revolved around packing and laundry and making sure we ate the last of our food, etc.

Day 15: Snowmen pancakes and going to cousins’ house for banket-making.  Aunt Mel and I were the only ones actually participating in the banket-making, but it was an exciting event for us to get to spend some time over there!  And E and Matthew worked on their recital piece for a bit, too.

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Day 16: Ethan’s Christmas piano recital!  It was held at a nursing home, which I loved!  Mom and Dad went out for our annual CC Christmas party that evening…and Ike came to babysit.

Here are some Christmas pictures of the boys after the recital:

And we got a picture of the two of us at the CC party! Yay!

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Day 17: I have no idea…I had high hopes of doing really great things this Sunday, but as far as I can tell, Micah was sick in the morning so Mike and Ethan went to church and I stayed home with him.  =/  SO thankful that sicknesses often only last a couple hours around our house!

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Day 18: Start our trip to the Midwest.  We drove to Omaha this evening… future posts will tell about the rest of our traveling adventures.  No more Advent Activities at this point. =/

…in between visits…

Here are some pics and videos from our homeschool week last week.  We use the easel from Auntie Mel every single day.  Micah is always practicing the alphabet or drawing pictures based on the books we are reading (one of the pictures features Micah’s version of “Anne of Avonlea”, the audiobook we are currently finishing).  I use it to write some writing assignments for the boys and to explain math to Ethan, among other things.

Micah is now playing Piano Maestro on the iPad, too.  Ethan has been such a patient teacher to Micah and Micah has really been enjoying playing.  In fact, he was the ‘star student’ on Monday.  I guess I gave him a little more time on the iPad than Ethan. 😉

Other updates include that Ethan can now complete this:

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And Micah has his very first loose tooth / adult tooth growing:

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And the office is on its way to being organized:

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Next up: Grandma Cleve is back!

Daily Life

Just wanted to post about some of the regular occurrences around our home.

You can find the boys writing letters to cousins (and others) or working on codes together often.  Mike and I received lots of such letters, including some money for “being such great parents”.  Ike and Matthew are also common recipients of their notes.

Ethan is obsessed with playing the piano.  He cannot get enough of it.  He asks to play “Piano Maestro” every single day and plays through his various songs randomly throughout the day.  He can even be found teaching Micah how to play “Hot Cross Buns” on occasion, a sight that warms my heart!  Micah has pretty good rhythm and has requested a bongo or other type drum for his birthday this year.  We’re thinking this could be a fun instrument to add to our house full of music, so he just might get this wish. =)

You can also find the boys doing various “opportunities” around the house.  Some weeks they are all about this.  Others, not so much.  Micah is pretty good at unloading the dishwasher for me in the mornings. =)

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You’ll find us enjoying the great outdoors often around here.  We moved back to Colorado in part due to the incredible weather.  I absolutely LOVE that we can have snow one day and then 76 degree temperatures the same week!  We take our homeschooling outside as often as we can – reading outside or going for bike rides.  I went for a Packers victory walk and snapped some pictures of the green and gold on Sunday…and on Monday we had inches of snow on the ground and a bunch of tree branches falling down around the neighborhood.

Naturally we had hot chocolate after the boys played in the snow.  We enjoyed a special Indian treat Mike had brought home from his work trip – delicious!

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We’ve got loads of books we are reading and want to be reading in the future!  We are listening to a super fun audiobook, “By the Great Horn Spoon” (about the Gold Rush) and reading the Imagination Station 3-part series on the Revolutionary War.  I’m personally reading “The Scarlet Letter” and “Of Mess and Moxie” and enjoying both immensely.

We discovered a new series we’d like to try: Dear America Books.  The library only has a couple of them, so they might be fun Christmas gifts (for those of you who ask about ideas – they are on thriftbooks.com and we are particularly interested in the Underground Railroad books).  I mention it on here also because a lot of us share book recommendations and this seemed to be an easy place to record it.  =)

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And here are a couple pictures from CC this week.  Ethan did his presentation on the “Living History” field trip we did.  Micah was in his own classroom for his presentation, but he brought with him the things he made with Grandpa – the blowgun and the boat.  I hear he did a very nice job talking about both.

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. =)

Recent Happenings

Here are some more pictures from school these days.  You’ll notice that the boys are still loving to paint and we spent most of our time indoors (we had a very cool, rainy week so we didn’t get to head to the park at all).  One of the pictures features our homemade “Memory Master” game which we use to review our memory work for CC.  Another picture shows what happens to Ivory soap after you microwave it for 1 minute – it’s a fun, short “experiment”!  Also, Ethan is growing his hair out – he prefers it long and a little “puffy”. =D

Piano continues to go well.  One week Eeyore was playing piano at Ethan’s practice (for those who can’t tell, that’s our cousin who has practice with him every week).  Micah and I discovered a new library a couple weeks ago during Ethan’s piano practice.

I had the opportunity for a retreat with ladies from our church a couple weekends ago.  It was at Glen Eyrie near Colorado Springs – a beautiful setting!!  This was a nice chance for me to get to know some of the ladies at our new-ish church.  I did a few hikes in the area, enjoyed listening to our speaker, did some yoga and worshipped with these ladies.  And, sort of a milestone alert: Aunt Mel and I won 1st place on the not-so-competitive corn hole tournament. =D It was a great restful retreat before our crazy schedule for the next couple of months!

We had a scary accident happen at our house the following week.  Ethan hit Micah in the face with a baseball bat.  Thankfully, besides a fat lip and a little cut, no other injuries were sustained!

Micah presented on the whole incident at CC that week.  Ethan talked about Roman gods – a subject he had learned about from a book he read that week.

 

Next up – Grandpa and Grandma come for a visit, while Mike heads to India!