Christmas Week in Wisconsin

After our long weekend in Michigan (Monday), we headed back to Wisconsin for a quieter week with my parents. (By Friday, the whole family spent the remainder of our time together – that will be in a separate post)

On Monday night, we all decorated cookies.

We celebrated Christmas Eve with another Shepherd’s Meal outside by the fire.

On Christmas morning, Ethan played the prelude at church with Grandma and then played the postlude solo.  Then we had a yummy lunch with Brad and Sal.  The Misner crew surprised us with an earlier arrival that day, so we were excited to spend the day with them, too!  We decorated even more cookies with Aunt Sal.  These ones were very tasty.  =)

Other activities from that week included playing games, playing with Uncle Ger’s game pieces, and practicing piano.

^ Uncle David sent some awesome Legos to my parents house for Christmas, which also kept the boys very busy all week! ^

Family in town, Part 1

At the end of October, my parents and my grandpa came out to Colorado for a visit.  It had been a year since my mom and grandpa were in town (my dad came out twice in that time), so we were especially glad to have them back again!  Over the span of 10 days, we had shorts weather and a winter storm that cancelled CC for the day.  It was pretty wild, but that’s part of the fun of fall in Denver. =)

My grandpa and aunt and uncle got to watch Ethan’s final soccer game on a cold, windy evening.  And over one of the weekends, they and my parents watched Micah play!

Time at the house included doing various house projects (thanks, Dad!) and sewing projects (thanks, Mom!), playing piano, looking at coins (thanks, Brad and Sal!), playing outside in the snow, reading books and working on school, eating pancakes and dressing as twins (an accidental, but super fun experience for me to witness).

One highlight at the beginning of their trip was hosting dinner at our church for homeless families through a neat organization called Family Promise.  We did this as a family (my parents and our family of 4) and then Micah, my dad and I all stayed overnight at church.

Another highlight was the wintery treasure hunt my uncle sent the boys on around the park by our house.  It was pretty awesome!

And the hot chocolate party afterwards:

We also drove down to Castle Rock the first weekend for Micah’s soccer game, only to find out there was still snow on the fields down there.  We opted for yummy burgers instead.

Side note:  Mike was gone over both of the weekends, in case you are wondering why he isn’t featured more.  The first weekend was his scheduled one-on-one trip with Ethan (I’ll write about that in another post) and the other was his make-up trip with Reggie from way back in December when their trip was cancelled on short notice.

Every day life in October

We had a few snow storms already in October.  You better believe we had hot chocolate and soup and did a whole bunch of puzzles. And Micah kept the squirrels fed.  =)

We also had a whole bunch of lovely warm days:

Other highlights included watching Mike play a softball game again (after many years of not playing), getting donuts at a local shop up the street to celebrate something, playing hangman with Daddio, and leaving notes for each other on the whiteboard.

Also, we have two Packer fans in the house again.  I am thankful for player names like “Savage” and “Geronimo” who helped make this possible.

And, there’s a lot of snuggling happening in our home:

February Stories & Pics

The boys and I spent Valentine’s Day together (Mikey was traveling), doing fun and tasty experiments, making homemade beer bread (had to grab something at the store, first) and listening to a good book.  Ethan saved his Valentine’s candy from Grandma Cleve’s visit to eat on the actual day.  His self-control is very impressive to me!!

That evening some of the fam sent pictures back and forth to show how we were celebrating. =) Look at my cutie nephews and niece!  The boys liked seeing pictures of the others, so we sent our own, too.

We had quite a bit of snow this month.  One day, Micah said, “I think you’re going to say, ‘no’, but do you wanna have tea and watch the snow fall with me on the porch?”  Obviously that was a moment I wasn’t going to let pass me by!

And here are some other school pictures throughout the month.  A couple of exciting updates: Micah is now going to kids club (rather than sitting by E and I in Essentials) and attended his first night of cadets.

Mike surprised us by stopping home for an hour in between two flights.  Micah spent the time reading out loud to him while he packed his bag. =)

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The boys have been doing some ninja training at the park:

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Here are some various pictures from around the house lately:

Mike is big on getting the boys outside in the cold to build up strength.  There’s a fancy word for this, but alas, I’ve forgotten it!  Cold thermo-something.  Anyway, here are some crazy sightings of boys in the cold!

Music fills the air often.  E is teaching Micah little bits and pieces and also working hard on getting ready for Federation in March.

We went on a family date to a movie theater that serves dinner during the movie for a super special treat.  It was pretty exciting.  We were all especially thrilled because this was another big step for Micah.  He usually avoids theaters at all costs, but he was all in for this one (as long as he had his earplugs!).

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I’ve requested some help from the boys with meal planning…because maybe I’ve gotten tired of hearing complaints from nameless somebodies in the home.  I really needed to have Mike go through the cookbooks, too, but that will come another day!  =)  We’ve tried a few of their ideas and it definitely helps to have their buy-in.

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And finally, a quick picture from Ethan’s Essentials class at CC.  They were working on answers for English grammar and vocab.

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!!**

First Two Weeks of School

The first two weeks of school were a bit of a whirlwind, as these pics might attest.  Our first day of school was actually on Monday, August 20th (not the 22nd like I accidentally wrote on our super rushed “first day of school” pics).  And I didn’t weigh the boys until today and still haven’t measured them for their height.  Our first day was also our first of Classical Conversations community day and we had a lot to pack in order to get out the door (thus the picture of our list).

Micah sat in my class for the first week of CC and has chosen to stay with us during Essentials (the afternoon program focused on English grammar, math facts, and writing).  Ethan gave his presentation on our big summer trip – he just highlighted Yosemite for this one.  Micah, since he wasn’t in his class, gave a presentation to our family about his shark tooth and getting it removed at the dentist this summer.  He may use that presentation again when he’s in his real class.

My mom was here for a field trip visit – she arrived in the middle of CC and spent some time with her sister until we were ready.  I’ll include more pictures from her visit and our field trip in another post.  But here are a couple fun ones from around the house (before and after the Mesa Verde field trip):

Mesa Verde occupied most of our first week of school.  This week, however, we had a more typical school week.  Micah went to his CC class and had SO much fun.  His tutor said that he was “GREAT!” in class.  He now calls CC days the “fun day” of the week and plans to attend his class every week.  Ethan, meanwhile, has been an all-star in our class.  I’ve been really impressed with his quiet leadership and kindness.  He’s been participating well, taking chances in Essentials even when he feels way out of his comfort zone, and being a very good example to others around him.  What a treat!  Speaking of treats, we treated the boys to ice cream after such a wonderful second day at CC!  And then I even had the energy to *finally* get them their rewards for all of the books they read over the summer.

And here are some shots I took from around the house during our homeschool days.  Ethan is doing 4th grade math this year and Micah is starting his first Singapore Math book with 1st grade work.  I’ve discovered that he really likes to be artistic during math, so he will never just circle when he could color. =)  Just today Micah asked if we could do harder math…which was such an encouragement to me because he’s not always one to want to be challenged.  I assured him that this book would get more tricky in the coming weeks and that he should just enjoy the easy lessons while he has them.  We also are taking advantage of borrowing “Code Names” from my Mom and playing variations of it with vocab and sight words.

Lastly, here are the current weights of the guys:

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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