The Week Before Our Trip

Before I get to posting pictures from our latest big adventure, I’ll write a quick post from the week before we left.

E got Invisalign! The first couple of days were rough for him (pain and annoying), but he soon got the hang of it. He’s brushing his teeth multiple times a day now! He should be done with the process in 6 months, assuming he wears it regularly!

Krav Maga continues to be a favorite activity each week. They go twice a week. E participates in the “teen” class and Micah does the younger class. We do it with a bunch of homeschool friends from CC which makes it extra fun!

Other pictures from that week (reading, checking out the new yearbook, playdate in Golden, editing pictures on the computer, belated birthday wishes, and Micah’s first time leading the leader board for piano practice):

Next up…Turks and Caicos!

In the Meantime…

Some pictures and updates from life at home since it went back down to the four of us.

Ethan and Micah began joint piano lessons. Ethan had been doing them via Zoom all year, but we opted for in-person lessons for their joint lessons for the summer. This was Micah’s first piano lesson and he seems to really enjoy playing! I went walking in a nearby open space.

Sword fighting in the back yard, reading in the living room, and getting excited about our new gear for the upcoming trip!

We’ve been playing with Whole30 as a family (mostly this means bumping up our veggie game and nixing the rice/bread):

We worked on our garden box:

And the boys began Krav Maga classes:

Grandpa, Grandma and GGpa’s Trip

My parents drove out here with my Grandpa last week. Then we all drove out to Utah to experience four of the “big five” National Parks there. We bookended (is that a true verb? Hmm…) that trip with time at our home (Grandpa at Auntie Mel’s). This post will highlight the time in Colorado.

As you can imagine, not seeing them in person since COVID began (we were in Florida visiting them when things went south very quickly) made for a very sweet reunion. Highlights included catching up and hanging out at the house, a lot of Ethan and Grandpa birding trips (including one with me and one with Micah), lots of yard work in our backyard (yay for bird houses, planting grasses and flowers, and hanging lights!), and piano duets.

Hanging at the house:

Birding:

Yardwork:

Piano Duets (including one that I played with Ethan at his outdoor recital – I was way more nervous than he was and totally messed up more than once! Eek!):

Here’s a link for a Grandma and Micah duet. He’s starting piano lessons tomorrow! (although he will tell you that he’d rather just do lessons with Grandma over Zoom)

Coming up next will be highlights from our time in Utah!

You’ll see more evidence of the crazy Colorado weather in this post. We’ve had warm enough temps to hang out in shorts and we’ve had more snow storms again. =)

Here are some schooling outside pics:

Spending time as a family outside (including our darling pet Mallards). The boys were working on plans for bird boxes to make when my parents get here and Ethan was doing research for his bird jeopardy game he was creating for us in that picture of us outside and him on the computer.

We’ve had birding excursions with various parties. I have gone out with just Ethan a couple of times and we’ve done some full family trips, too. We really enjoyed going to the Denver Audubon Nature Center for some hiking and photography. (Fun benefit of having two boys taking pictures – we get more pictures of just the two of us. Micah took the one below.)

More updates from around the house include Mallory watching the boys play LEGO and going on the roof to get our attention for more food; finishing up the timeline with Grandpa, Grandma and Auntie Sal; and watching a bird course from Great Courses. Micah has finished level 3 of his reading program and is working on the fourth and final level now! We are finishing up the school year officially on May 7, but may do some learning throughout the summer, too, as usual.

We’ve spent the last two weeks watching Jeopardy as a family after dinner because Aaron Rodgers was hosting it. Turns out we all really enjoyed doing it! And we’ve since made some jeopardy boards of our own. Ethan did one on birds and I did one with CC memory work.

We celebrated Masters Sunday for Mikey with egg salad sandwiches, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and pimento cheese sandwiches. We all agreed that the pimento cheese in Denver is super lame. But we had a great time!

Our home is filled with music much of the time. Micah has decided to take 5 lessons over the summer to decide whether he might like to continue in the fall. Ethan and I are working on a fun duet for an upcoming recital. And Micah and E just came up with a little duet this morning! Here’s a link to a short video of it.

The boys went to the orthodontist (at our regular dentist office! yay!) and E will be getting invisaline (braces-ish) soon. Micah will get it when all of his adult teeth are in. Both will need to wear the invisaline for a year and then should be all set. We’ve reached that fun stage in reading when Micah just reads for enjoyment!! He read most of this chapter book at the orthodontist and then spent an evening reading an entire chapter book to me a few nights later by the fire! I started reading a book about the teenage brain by that same fire. Is it really possible that E is almost a teenager?!

We participated in our first town hall meeting on Zoom with our Senator. It was lots of fun. Ethan was invited to it since he has sent in a few emails to our Senator for various environmental causes he cares about. We got ice cream and made it a very exciting evening!

A final update is that we have a new member of the family – Eleanor Grace was born last week and is adored by her whole family!

Life Lately

We reached some Covid-related milestones recently, as I’m sure have many of you. We’ve officially spent a full year without any in-person time with Grandma Cleve or my parents. This past Friday marked the year anniversary of when I flew home from Florida with the boys. Mike also has now gone over 365 days without getting on a plane for the first time in…18 years!! We snapped a picture of Mike to remember that day. =D And I reached a full year of reading for at least 10 minutes a day! (this is a big deal for me; I’m well-aware that many of you have such beautiful reading lives that this is nothing…but it’s a habit I’ve been working to build and have enjoyed every minute of it!)

We also celebrated some holidays – Pi day (with chicken potpie and chocolate pie) and St. Patty’s Day (with corned beef and cabbage):

Just days before a big winter storm, we had a gorgeous backyard community day with CC. We’re busy painting like the great artists right now and that’s been extra fun. Below you’ll see Micah’s version of a Picasso painting. Ethan was pretty bummed to have to cut up his beautiful bird to make it appear more like a Picasso piece.

I took Ethan out for a quick birding adventure after dropping off some food to folks from church before the snow arrived.

And then the storm hit us! We got almost 2 feet of snow! Lots of fun!

Other happenings as of late include celebrating Salina’s birthday via Zoom and her subsequent thank you note (SO funny!), writing on our gratitude frames, working on March madness brackets, enjoying the sunshine, and another tiny snowstorm:

And lastly some pictures of school today (Ethan is making the CC yearbook for us this year, with help from yours truly):

Other Tidbits

Some pictures from school lately (including Micah teaching Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Sal an art class after timeline lesson):

Some pics from around the house (including reading together, enjoying hot chocolate bombs from our friends from CC, Micah teaching art to Daddio, Ethan resting his eyes while editing pictures, and cloth napkins!! the latest in our initiatives to be more green):

Lastly, some pictures from our family talent show – a little something new to spice up our weekly Zoom calls. Highlights included: cousins’ artwork, Ger and Grandma played a cello and ukulele duet, Ger’s solo ukulele and singing performance, Grandpa played a trombone solo, boys played piano, I recited a poem, and Mike balanced on the slack block. A great time was had by all. Micah was the MC and even read some jokes during it to keep folks entertained. And Ethan kept the right person spotlighted for their performance.

Life Lately

Here are some shots depicting homeschool life (Ethan is often up early and likes to start on school work right away – I caught him with his book light one morning around 6:15 already at work in the kitchen; Ethan reading out loud during the 10-min a day challenge in January; we teach the timeline from CC to my parents and Aunt Sal and afterwards Micah often likes to play a little piano for them; editing, diagramming, promises, promises curriculum from church; and Micah’s first chapter book read solo!).

Backyard CC Community (including one morning when we did the Essentials portion virtually to avoid those cold days):

Other fun happenings from over the last month include colorku/sudoku while listening to books, Micah working on an art project from Uncle Ger, finishing The Doldrums with Grandma via Zoom, a final Packer picnic for the year, a new joint ‘office’ for the boys, fun in the snow fort, lots of snuggles and book time, some rousing games of Throw Throw Burrito, and boys playing piano (Ethan looks like a teenager to me when he’s composing music on the computer by the piano!).