Grandpa and Grandma’s Fall Visit

Most years my parents make the trip out to Colorado during the fall. It started back when I was in high school and we would drive out to see my aunt and uncle for the elk rut. Now it’s been years since we’ve gone to Rocky Mountain National Park for the rut, but we may try another visit there next fall. Micah doesn’t even remember ever doing it!

We sure enjoyed our time with them! We did a lot of normal life stuff – both parties getting work/school done. They even joined us for a day at CC. E and Grandpa went birding most mornings. Micah and Grandma did some more work on sewing projects – I think Micah has about 20 camo rice/sand bags. We spent time with Mel, Joel, and the others. Grandpa and Micah did some work in the yard preparing for winter. We also played a lot of games, made a lot of music, and enjoyed some pretty great meals. One night Mike and my parents made various seafood dishes. Another time Micah made peach cobbler for everyone. My mom made my wreath into a fall wreath, sewed some more Packer napkins, and also made me fall pillow cases! I don’t think I took a picture of the finished product, yet, but will add them when I do.

We had one Sunday all together and had a pretty fun Packer picnic. The following Sunday, after my dad had driven home solo (to get back in time to teach his Sunday School lesson), we went to the Packers/Broncos game. This was the first NFL regular season game the boys had ever attended. (Years ago Aunt Jen and I took them to a Packers/Broncos pre-season game.) We had great seats (two touchdowns scored in our end zone – only one we cared about!) and a wonderful time (but, obviously we were sad about the result).

We snapped this picture before Dad left. We wondered whether E would be taller than them by Christmas or next summer. He’s gaining quickly and we wanted to capture this *maybe* last time that they are taller. =) Micah is growing quickly, too, but we should still have a couple years with him. His hands and feet are about my size, though!

Thanks for always making the trip out to see us! We look forward to it every time and are sad to see you go!

The end of the first month of 2023

As you probably know, we do very little with social media. I do check Instagram every now and then, however, to see whether our Krav Maga studio posted any fun videos of either of the boys. I found a few worth sharing: Ethan, discipline video, and Micah getting taken down (he thinks it’s super awesome, don’t worry! They love to make things look extra dramatic.)

Micah is a very disciplined young man and he really enjoys fitness and schedules. He’s been waking up at 6 most mornings and doing a work out. He sets out his clothes and a motivational note the night before.

Here are some other pics from last month. Uncle Joel comes over on Fridays to play chess with the boys. Micah built a fire for one of those afternoons and so they played downstairs. E brought a chess board to play chess with his buddies during breaks at CC. Then these fabulous guys did a Nilla Wafers eating contest (how many could they eat in 1 minute was a question I had asked to introduce rate when discussing math the week before). Both boys enjoy making music regularly. E plays the uke and piano most days and Micah created his own drum set out of a bunch of boxes he saved from the recycling bin. We were spoiled with some delicious cookies from a dear friend this week. And, lastly, I finally remembered to take a picture of some of the mamas at our house for the monthly Mom’s Morning Out I’ve been hosting for our CC community.

E is having fun learning parts of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” for fun on the piano. We wanted to send a video to Salina to see if she would recognize it. Naturally, she did. =D

Other highlights include ways we pass our evenings when Mike isn’t around (playing hangman or sudoku or chess):

And here are some pictures of how the evenings are spent when he’s back home again. The boys taught him some Krav Maga moves the other night. And we’ve been working on finding our next family read aloud. We started Pax, but some members found it too sad to continue at this time, so then Micah asked each of us to bring six potential books to the meeting to narrow down the next best option. It was really fun to see what everyone brought to consider. Stay tuned for what is decided. =)

Early January Happenings

January has been a full month for us, with just the right amount (maybe leaning towards too much sometimes) of things keeping us moving. (Mike has had quite a bit of traveling to get in, so we’ve been soaking up our time with him when he’s home.)

We’ve been overnight hosts at church for Family Promise a few times. It means playing games and staying up later than usual, besides the lovely piece of getting to know folks and making them feel at home. We enjoy doing this a lot and have made a bit of a tradition out of getting Santiago’s burritos on our way back home. We also had the opportunity to watch a little guy for an afternoon when his daycare was closed. We had to be creative about our schooling that day, but it worked out. He was very sweet and lots of fun. And another one of our buddies stayed the night over one of the weekends. I think we made him nervous with our intensity around Throw, Throw Burrito. Lots of laughs together.

Other notable happenings for the beginning of this month included Micah making a delightful snack-ish dinner for the crew, a visit from our cousins (and aunt and uncle), a lot of uke-playing by various people, our final (sigh) Packer picnic of the season, the boys going sledding solo (multiple times – this time I happened to go for a walk while they were sledding so I snapped a quick pic), and our first box of Sitka Salmon.

Way later than I would have liked we finally celebrated Christmas with presents amongst our crew. We ordered delicious Native-American take-out from a DDD spot near here.

The next day we needed to head to the track so that Micah could try his new running parachute from Ethan and later on we played Risk Europe, which is what Micah got for Ethan.

Micah has gotten in a few longer runs.

And Ethan has taken various parties of us out on birding expeditions. We saw long-eared owls and Bohemian Waxwings.

Here are a few school-ish pictures. Ethan leading a devotion at CC. Micah reading one of his Essentials papers – he wrote a really fun one recently. E working on Intermediate Logic with me. Micah creating a pie graph for his 24-hr schedule on Fridays. He plans to make one for every day of the week. And this link should show a video of E at Krav Maga taken by his coach.

And here are some pics from our most recent snowy day. Micah made a fire for us to enjoy while it snowed off and on all day long. We even had piano lessons on Zoom.

Another Quick Glimpse at life before the Holidays

E enjoying hot cocoa and birding in the snow. Also, he was killed by his introductory logic lessons. Micah enjoying breakfast out at French Press – a favorite of ours. Boys playing Dad in chess by the fire.

And, another Packer picnic:

E also earned his next belt. Here’s a fun video of him sparring with his coach.

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. =)


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. =)