Spartan Races, Continued

The boys finished their races in the early afternoon on Saturday, so after washing up and eating we still had a good bit of time to enjoy the Springs.  We decided to tour the Olympic Training Center.  It was a great way to spend the rest of our day!

We spent the night in the Springs so that we could be close for Mike’s Spartan Sprint at 9 am the next morning.  He and his buddy competed together.  This is the same good friend that is in his weekly Bible study and who does CrossFit (and the Festivus) with Mike regularly.  He’s a great guy and it was fun to get to cheer on the two of them together!  It was the first Spartan Race either participated in and both said that it won’t be the last. =)

Look at how clean they look!

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I hung with these two crazies during the ~1.5 hours it took them to complete the 4.5+ mile/20+ obstacles race.  We had a good time even though we probably only saw them do about 5 of the obstacles.  Side note – I’m trying to shift the dab to something more fun like the Aaron Rodgers championship belt move.  It’s not very successful.

Here are some pics from the race itself taken by yours truly.  As usual Mike and Steve did a nice job of high-fiving and chatting with us in between obstacles / whenever we saw them.

And here are some fun ones the Spartan folks captured:

And here’s what they looked like at the end:

Lots of fun to watch them compete together.  Super proud of our guy. =)

Weekend Away

This past weekend we enjoyed some time in the mountains with our friends.  Mike and I went to college with Nate and Libby and have remained friends ever since.  Our boys are near the same age as theirs, but they have one additional boy.  We had a fantastic time up in Breck.  Thankfully the boys all get along really well and we adults enjoy spending time together, too!

Saturday was spent on the mountain skiing.  E and M both reached a milestone – they did part of a blue run!  E later did a full blue run while the snow was falling and conditions were a little more dicey – Mike was pretty impressed!

On Sunday before heading home, we spent a good chunk of the day sledding.

We were so thankful for the timing of this trip.  The Lord orchestrated it all back in the summer, knowing that it would be a sweet reprieve for us all.

Winter Wonderland

After a sunny and warm weekend, the weather turned cold and snowy.  I think I heard that there was a temperature shift of 60 degrees in 24 hours.  I spent much of the day vacillating between my comfy spot on the nook – with tea and good books (my favorite place in our home) – and the table where much of the homeschooling takes place.

BUT, in between it all, I took the boys sledding for recess.  It was pretty fun! =)

And Micah is crazy…

And then Daddio had hot chocolate ready for us upon our return.  The boys are no longer impressed with my “sneaky” picture taking.  We’re reading “The Prairie Thief” right now and it’s a pretty fun story!

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The days that make up our life…

Each week holds some of the same things: homeschool at the house, piano lesson, CBS, Classical Conversations, and PE+.

Here’s a little glimpse of Classical Conversations this past session.  We were studying famous artists and trying to copy their work for art.  This is my favorite part of the year each year – it’s really neat to see their creativity and to learn about each artist.

E finally got to give his presentation on his Vex creation.  I can’t quite remember now what Micah chose to present on, but he’s been doing a nice job in his class, apparently.

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And this past week we stayed after our morning of Foundations in order to see what the Essentials program will be like.  Ethan will be in Essentials next year and we’re both a little intimidated by it!  There is a bigger focus on writing well, grammar, and learning a lot of vocabulary words.  I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but that’s the big focus as far as we can tell so far.  E was very tentative at first, but ended up really liking it and is already looking forward to starting it next year!  In fact, he had some tears at the beginning because everything seemed like a different language (they were diagramming sentences and labeling them with direct object, object of the preposition, etc.!), but everyone was so kind and encouraging to him.  And he was even able to play the review games along with them.  Also, Micah amazes me – he can sit for hours very quietly without interrupting or doing anything disruptive.  It’s kind of remarkable.

Homeschool pics:

On Fridays we head to PE+ where Ethan takes a gym class with other homeschoolers from around the city.  He absolutely loves it.  Micah will start next year; he currently just hangs with me and reads books or draws.

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And Ethan has piano lessons (with cousin Matthew) every week.  He LOVES playing piano and plays songs scattered throughout every single day.  He has already surpassed my playing ability, I think, and I took lessons for a couple years. =)  Here is the video he sent to his piano teacher this week, as per her request:

Sometimes we “play school” and Micah is the teacher.  He gives spelling tests…like this one:

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In case you are wondering, a peeologist is a person who studies pee.  Obviously.  Sometimes I have to embrace the grossness that comes with raising boys. 😉

We’ve been enjoying the Olympics, too.  The boys even did their own version of figure skating at the house the other night.  We awarded red, green, or yellow (which eventually turns to red or green upon further review) squares for their scores.  And sometimes we threw Pooh bear out on the rink.

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And I’ll leave you with a funny story… The boys are planning to live in Canada when they are older and would like to live in a camper, or maybe two.  (The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…this was very similar to my plan as a child!)  When asked if they’d like to get married, they both respond, “NO!  If we get married we might have to deal with babies and their drool and stuff.”  I said, “well, just because you are married doesn’t mean you have to have children.”  Their response, “Yeah, but you never really know.  If you get married, you might have a kid.  We just don’t want to risk it.  There’s no way of knowing if you’ll have one or not.” Hmm…

Life Outside of the Home

Here are a few glimpses into life outside of our home life.

Classical Conversations Community day:

I had the opportunity to babysit this little sweetie last week!  He was such a pleasure.  I think he had a pretty good time, too. =)

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And this past weekend we spent a little time in the mountains.  The boys all skied!  I found a great deal on snow pants at ARC for $10 so I sat outside and read my book and hung out with Micah when he asked for a brief break.  It’s looking like I might need to start skiing if I want to hang with these guys…

Breckenridge

A couple days after our return, we had a Fennema family reunion in Breckenridge.  We have gathered together every summer (at least most of them) for years and often it’s been in Michigan or somewhere in the midwest.  This year, the family came out to Colorado and we were thrilled!  We had a pretty wonderful turnout of 25 people, I believe, although we failed to get a complete group picture!

Pictures always tell the story much better than my words do, but suffice it to say, we had a great time!  We did a variety of activities – hike, frisbee, 14er, ukulele playing, hot tub, sitting in the freezing cold creek, games, etc.  We always enjoy the evening meal together as a group.  It was wonderful!

I spent much of the first morning sleeping – jet lag is no joke! – but a bunch of folks went to play frisbee golf nearby.

That afternoon I took Micah for a hike – I had thought it was a short one, but it ended up taking much of that afternoon – and met up with other members of the family who had left a little earlier than we had.  It was beautiful and Micah-the-hike-ah was a treat – no complaints, even when it rained on us!

The second day a big group hiked Mt. Quandary, the 14er nearby.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get much sleep that night, so I had to forego it.  But I am happy to say that the hikers all had a wonderful time.  Also, my dad and uncle summited – how cool are they??

That same day, some others of us went for a different hike.  It was beautiful!

The final day we all enjoyed some “trail mix” – such a clever idea!  The music was beautiful and it was especially fun to hike a little ways before enjoying it. =)

And sometimes our pictures just don’t fit into a nice, neat category:

Thanks, Grandpa, for a fantastic weekend!  It was a blast!

Enjoying the Outdoors

…before I post about our recent big trips, I wanted to update the blog with some fun we had before them.

We spent a day in Vail with a bunch of friends and Ethan played some volleyball with us!  He loved it.  =)  We were pretty pumped that he enjoyed it so much, since the volleyball court is where Mike and I got to know each and love each other in college. =D

We also spent some time at our park and in our front yard.  Our friends from church gave the boys this archery set when they learned how interested they are in archery.  He even offered to take the boys hunting some day when they are older. =)

Next up: Europe updates =)