Another Rando-Dando Post

Micah’s been trying to knock off a bunch of the things listed in The 50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kid Do. He made a home-made bomb and also licked a 9-volt battery:

We’ve had time with friends, workouts with Dad, LOTS of rain, and Mikey hiked four 14ers in a day with a co-worker. (Said co-worker later came over for some ping pong.) We also have had a little bit of produce from our garden and Micah LOVES eating chicken off the bone. It feels very medieval to him and he gets very excited when I make it.

And lastly, after 3 hours of adult classes at Krav Maga (during the first one he had to sit out for a bit because, like me, his blood pressure drops drastically), E underwent a 3 and a half minute shark tank drill. This means he is attacked by various people while at the point of exhaustion and he has to defend himself with everything he’s learned over the past year. It was very intense and he was successful! He has now earned his blue belt. Here’s the video of his shark tank. Be warned, there are lots of pretend weapons in it. No one is hurt during its filming. =)

Rando-Dando

This means “random” and is what my little nephew always says when he plays a random card while playing games. This post is going to be a quick random one since I forgot to post this earlier.

We spent some time on Chatfield Reservoir with friends recently. Such a good time. Mike and Micah continue to do some workouts together. I do mine solo. And Ethan occasionally does his own thing, too, but less frequently. E and I worked together to build his desk for the upcoming school year. We are pretty proud of ourselves. Auntie Mel brought over some watermelon juice for us to make sorbet. We enjoyed it during one of our family meetings. Ethan on a birding outing with me. Micah making snacks for others to enjoy and then playing with a whole bunch of board game pieces all together.

The boys also attended piano camp with their piano teacher and some friends who used to do CC at our community. They absolutely loved it. Watch their video here from their last day at camp.

Camping at Brainard Lake

Every January we attempt to book a campsite at Brainard Lake the following July (around here you have to book six months in advance for some of the better spots). After many attempts, Mike was finally able to secure a couple nights! Later we found out that our friends had also booked nights at a nearby site which overlapped us. It was so much fun to get to do some camping with them.

Life at our site:

Hiking to Blue Lake (which included a jump by all except me into the frigid waters):

Video of Mike and Micah and Ethan jumping into Blue Lake after about 3 miles of hiking.

Another highlight is all of the fishing the guys did (including from off of the stand up paddle board). Micah caught two tiny fish and loved the experience so much. We saw a moose swim across Brainard Lake while some of the guys were out on the water. It was pretty incredible.

Other pics from the trip:

This is easily one of our favorite places to camp. It’s not far and is just so very beautiful. We’ll be back next year, as long as we can get a site in January. =D

Other Updates

Thought I would do a quick post on other things that have been happening since my folks left and Ethan became a teenager.

E played piano both in church and at Long Scraggy in the weeks that followed my parents’ visit. Long Scraggy came first. I didn’t take any pictures during the service, of course, but I have a few of Micah afterwards as we enjoyed the area. These were his first times playing along with a band for anything other than a couple jam sessions with folks from church. He did a great job for both. Mikey snapped a picture of E after the service when they were playing the final song as people left/chatted. You could also find it on YouTube here.

Mike and Micah have been doing a lot of workouts together. They seems to have a great time and often take pics to send to Mike’s online fitness instructor.

Other happenings include playing games as a fam, doing castle research, enjoying our home-grown strawberries, and going birding at Bluff Lake while Micah plays at a friend’s house.

Grandpa and Grandma in town

The following day, my parents drove into town to spend the next *almost* two weeks with us. Mike traveled to Minnesota twice during that time, but we all got to spend some time together over their trip. Additionally, Micah went on his 10-year-old-adventure-trip while they were here (more on that in the next post). They experienced some typical Colorado weather – we had 82 degrees on one day and then got about 6 inches of snow. We enjoyed spending time together, E and Grandpa (primarily – although I think Micah may have ventured out once and I did as well) did a lot of birding, and we did various projects around the house (including planting a tree from my neighbor, painting the laundry room, my dining room table again, and the front door!) We ate lots of yummy food, including having Mel and Joel over for dinner once and my parents making us fish reubens.

Pictures below feature getting a tree from our neighbor, art time, reading, and playing LEGO.

Most days included some amount of computer time to edit pictures:

We played a few games, enjoyed tasty meals (indoors and outdoors), and got out for walks:

We experienced a big snow storm which took down lots of branches. Some people enjoyed this more than others. And the following day required quite a bit of clean up.

We also had a little phData fashion show. Mikey brought home many shirts for us, including one sweater which would be promptly returned.

I got hives after my retreat and dealt with them while my folks were here. I’m thinking they were a result of lots of hiking in tighter clothes in the sunshine and heat, but it’s hard to say anything for sure. They were miserable, but I was thankful to have the distraction of my parents around so I wouldn’t dwell on them too much. This meant I preferred to keep things pretty low key. We were able to do the boys’ final piano lesson online (followed by playing with Grandma – Ethan was getting ready for playing at Long Scraggy – our church camp in the mountains – and Micah enjoyed learning Heart and Soul – see video here) and had Krav Maga in the park that week.

Coming up next: Micah goes on a castle adventure in Colorado with his grandparents to celebrate being 10!

Mama Retreat / Guys Weekend at Home

My dear friend, Amy, and I have been going on weekend getaways for the past 6 years now. Usually we sneak away twice a year. It’s a time of refreshment and lots of hiking, praying, and reflecting on the year past and the year to come. It’s also a time of much laughter. We cherish this time together. We held off during the height of COVID and finally got away this month for our typical retreat (you may recall that we did an all day hiking trip once in there, too, and nearly got killed by a rattlesnake). Amy drove us down to Glen Eyrie where we spent a lovely weekend away together. We discovered a new hike on Saturday night – yes, it got a little late and nerve-wracking – which we completed the following morning. Gorgeous!

Meanwhile, closer to home, the guys had a fun weekend together. The boys had their end of the year recital in the backyard. Sweet Auntie Mel went in my stead and Mike captured it on video. But be warned, these videos should not be watched if you need to go to the bathroom. =D Ethan was very excited to get to go first when another kiddo didn’t show up. He wanted to be done with the pressure as soon as possible. Here’s his video. =) Micah was happy to play his two songs right after him. I love that Ms. Leila picked up on Micah’s vocabulary, because it definitely IS one of his strengths. Micah’s first and second song. Based on Mike’s pictures, it appears they also did a workout together and had some yummy food. After church on Sunday I heard that Ethan had a jam session with friends/adults at our church while the two Ms headed to a Farmers Market up the street from church (or maybe they got special drinks…I’m not sure which actually happened).

SO thankful for a hubby who prioritizes my time away and makes the experience fun and carefree for everyone. It’s a gift. =)

We celebrated Earth Day by doing some work in our yard. The boys planted some seeds for attracting birds. We are feeling hopeful that we didn’t do it too early in the season…but we shall see. Over the weekend when I had other plans, the boys all went to the park to pick up trash.

The boys are still enjoying Krav Maga twice weekly. I grabbed a video (I think you need an instagram account to see it) and pic from their Krav Maga instagram site to share here. And thought this one was cute of the guys waiting for the teen class to be over so that they could join in. And one of the days some of our friends came over afterwards and they made videos of themselves fighting. This is them watching the video together on Ethan’s camera.

Since the last post, Ethan has officially finished his seventh grade year – Challenge A. We had our last community day (we dressed up as book characters again for fun) and now he has one final math lesson to do and testing to complete. Micah finished his CC a few weeks ago, but is still working on finishing his math lessons. He will read his paper on William Wallace at our end of the year party this coming weekend and has been practicing over the past couple of weeks. He practiced reading it to Grandma on Zoom. We are also doing lots of reading and spelling and various other things that I just never have time to teach during the bulk of the school year. He will also do testing this year (we’re doing it yearly, although it’s not technically required). Micah enjoys playing school while we do our regular work load – this involves me sitting at my desk and waiting for him to raise his hand to answer my questions.

Ethan has gotten out a few more times for birding with me. I go walking and he takes pictures of birds. It’s been working well. =D

E had his final youth group event for the school year – the families got to go up to Long Scraggy for an afternoon and eat and play. E and Micah even got to learn how to shoot guns. We stopped by to say hey to Reggie on our way back down the mountain and he snapped this picture of us by his tree.

And lastly, we hosted a little Lego Masters birthday celebration for one of Micah’s buddies in lieu of giving him a gift, since he didn’t want one. =) It worked out wonderfully, especially since the weather wasn’t conducive that day for his original plan of playing at the park together. We shifted plans and decided to host the experience that same day instead of just telling him about it and scheduling it later.

And, lastly, we had the joy of watching cousin Matthew perform in “Hello, Dolly”. He did SUCH an amazing job. I am blown away by his talent. He had a super fun solo, did all kinds of dancing and even had to think on his feet when they had a prop break in the middle of the play. It was lots of fun to be there to support him!

Skiing and Birding

We opted against getting Ethan a pass to ski this year as he’s decided it’s not really his thing. Micah has been asking to go for a couple weeks now, so Mikey took him out this Saturday. I, meanwhile, took E birding at Barr Lake (and yes, we had to rent a car to make all of this spoilage work). I actually also took him out to Bluff Lake the day before while Micah had a playdate.

Micah had a great time. His first run was a little rough, but he was such a trooper and even landed a little jump on his last one (see video). He said over and over how much fun he had.

E also had a good time, even if he did comment on how loud I was being out there and how my attired didn’t camouflage the way he would have liked (I wore white to blend in with the snow and he was not impressed =D). We saw a bald eagle, which was very exciting for me. He could tell ya all of the other great birds we saw. He was pretty tired out by the time our outing was done and opted not to do an addtional spot.

The second part of our vacation in Wisconsin

After my siblings and their families came back in town, we spent most days and nights together. Mike went over to Jen and J’s new house to work a couple of the days. And I hear they had great Mexican food one of those days. One of the evenings we enjoyed a tasty meal over at Ger and Lauren’s home and another afternoon we celebrated Lauren’s birthday at Jen and Jason’s. Other highlights included opening presents, lots of football/soccer outside for cousins, tons of game-playing, some decorating of cookies, lots of music-making (including a concert for all), and celebrating New Years Eve together. Scattered throughout our time together were little bouts of sicknesses and some covid tests (just to be sure – all negative), but nothing could damper our time together. It was just so much fun!

Decorating cookies: