Attempts to Catch Up

I have apparently lagged WAY behind in my posting.  I’ll have to do a broad sweep of a few post updates so that we can get caught up again!

Kiwi Crates (I’m getting to the point of being over these, but every time they arrive the boys are thrilled!  I just want to enjoy them for a month and then not have boxes lying around the house…sigh):

We had our dear missionary friends over for dinner while they were in town.  You’ll recognize them as friends we stayed with when we were in Germany.  It was SO good to catch up with them again and to hear how the Lord is on the move in their lives.  It was also lots of fun to recall funny memories from our early days of dating and marriage as they were mentors of ours from the beginning of our dating lives. =)

Here are some shots from every day life around here.  They include quite a few pictures of boys reading out loud (still doing their Read Aloud Challenge every month this year) to various people.

And a few from homeschooling, including pictures of Ethan working on his big Faces and Places presentation about Alexander the Great.  He had to read his 5 paragraph essay in front of the community and he did a great job!  You’ll also see some pictures of the boys either reading or listening to books because we’ve started a new habit of reading for 20 minutes any day that Daddio is out of town.  It gives me a little break and shows them that reading is an important and fun part of all of our days. =)

More to come in this whirlwind update of the past two months.

Giving Gifts

We did our family gift exchange a night or two before heading out on our Midwestern tour.  And, honestly, the giving was so much better than the receiving for our crew this year.  It was lovely to see the generosity of the boys – they both made and bought gifts for everyone in the family with mostly their own money.  I had always heard about others doing this and that the kids enjoyed watching people open their gifts, but this was the first year it felt really, really true for our own family.  They enjoyed opening their gifts, but I think they were more excited about watching each person open the gift they had purchased and picked.

Ethan bought me a necklace and charm (from my sister’s company), a Colorado shirt for Mike (from the Global Bazaar) and a heart for Micah (from my sister’s company).

Micah got me soap (from the Global Bazaar), a couple used books and coupons for Mike, and various crafts/pictures for Ethan.

We got the boys each a game, a yo-yo, and some art supplies.  Later, we gave them each a book and book pajamas (more on that in another post).

That evening we also had some time to Skype with Grandma Cleve and Great Granny A.  The boys gave them a little show, too! =)

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More life in July

This month, for some reason unbeknownst to me, the boys have been getting along famously.  They play together regularly – legos, looking at books, playing outside.  It’s been lovely and such a blessing to see.

Last weekend we got Chipotle to go and ate it at the Cherry Creek Reservoir right by our house.  Micah and I walked most of the way there while the other guys drove to pick up the food.  It was a lovely night and we definitely plan to have more picnics there in the future.

I went to a garage sale – one woman’s junk, another woman’s treasure, baby! – and found some steals.  I purchased a bike for Micah for $20 and a new scooter for $5.  Boom!  He was pretty excited.   And, no, the temperature was not really warranting sweatshirts and long pants.  He’s just a silly boy whose mind cannot be changed. =/

We had the special privilege of celebrating this little guy’s birthday this week!  After we sang for him, all the kiddos decided they’d like to have their own candle to blow out.  Why not?  =D  Like this sweet family so much!

My parents planted tomatoes and some herbs when Mikey and I were in Belize, you may recall.  Well, something glorious happened!  We didn’t kill our plants and actually got to eat a meal grown in our own backyard (cheese and bread not included).  Naturally, we needed to Skype with them while we enjoyed our delicious dinner.

Milestone alert: Ethan has officially been stung by a yellow jacket.  It was traumatic, I’m told (I was on a walk at the time), but lavender essential oils really helped!

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The boys have continued working on the library program.  Ethan read 18 chapter books and won various prizes.  Meanwhile, Micah has done various activities to earn his prizes (things like have a dance party, look at a book with no words, play a rhyming game, etc.)  Ethan’s latest prize was a kids’ meal at Chipotle.  What you may not realize is that he has NEVER eaten a kids’ meal at Chipotle.  So, he gave it to Micah and ordered a burrito (as opposed to a burrito bowl) and ate the whole thing.  Micah’s prize was a new book – he picked out a Star Wars book with no hesitation.  They are busy reading and researching in preparation for their first viewing (episode 4) this weekend.

On our walk home from Chipotle, the boys ran through the sprinklers…because why not?

Colorado Livin’ in July

Time to get the blog updated with various happenings over the past month.

Most Mondays Mike plays 9 holes of golf in his golf league with a bunch of his buddies.  Sometimes Ethan goes along to play.  Often, the boys and I have dinner over at our friend’s house (whose hubby also plays golf) those evenings.  And if we do that, the kiddos like to help Kelsey cut some mint to bring home for tea.

I took the boys to a park about 15 minutes away (I re-discovered it during their VBS week) and we had the best time playing in the creek.  At first we stayed where everyone else was playing, but then we ventured off on a good half mile (or longer) walk down the creek to a playground nearby.  We had a blast!

Micah has been on a big kick with wanting us to take pictures of various things.  Here are some from the past two weeks, at his request:

The boys have been having some serious fun at the park up the street.  Mikey has been taking them there to play for a bit while I cook dinner and it’s been so lovely for all of us!

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That’s it for now… =)

Celebrating Ethan

Ethan is 7 years old.  It’s incredibly difficult for me to even fathom that he’s that old already.  I remember turning 7.  My mom threw the best b-day party ever: a super soaker party!  It was epic. We didn’t reach that level of party this year, but we sure had a nice time celebrating with our family!!

Let me start by showing Ethan on his birthday over the past 7 years because throwbacks are always lots of fun:

We started his birthday celebrations with homemade waffles!  My dear friend lent us her waffle maker (thank you, again!) and E made the homemade whipped cream himself.

That morning we went to the theater to see “The Lego Movie” for $1.  I think I enjoyed it the most.  =)  We were able to Skype with Grandma Cleve and Grandpa and Grandma for some opening of presents.

In the afternoon we went to the park with our extended family (sadly missing Zach because he had to work) to enjoy some ice cream cake!  Ethan was super pumped about spending time with everyone and having a cake with his name on it.  After time at the park, most of us went to Pei Wei for dinner.  And we opened some presents that evening.

The following day he got his present from us – nerf guns to play dart wars as a family.  He was pretty pumped.  Mike also took E and his cousins and one of his friends (and his daddy) to Dart Wars.  They had a blast!  Micah and I stayed home and watched a movie (and played some dart wars at home).

Thank you to everyone who made Ethan feel so special!  He loved all of the time with you, the cards, videos, presents and emails!

Happy 7th birthday, buddy!  We’re proud of the young man you are becoming.

Gifts!

We received lots of fun mail over the holiday season.  I’m probably going to miss some things, so please just know that the boys have appreciated all of the cards and stickers and money and presents that were sent.  Here are some pictures of various gifts received, much to the delight of the boys!

And here are some pictures from our little family celebration on Christmas Eve Eve.  We got the boys a few books, a special treat to eat (gum and hard candy), and cool city blocks to build awesome structures.

This seems like an appropriate place to include a couple of pictures of two hand-made gifts we made this year:

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