After Sequoia and Kings Canyon, we headed to Fresno as a staging time before we camped for 3 nights in Yosemite. The boys enjoyed playing Legos and going shopping for some of the last minute purchases we needed to make.
Then on Wednesday morning we headed to Yosemite. It’s absolutely breath-taking. It was much busier than Sequoia, but the crowds didn’t overwhelm us until we saw what the weekends were like, so by Saturday morning, we were ready to head out. =) The tunnel view – the first view of the valley – was stunning.
Highlights here included:
Camping and having s’mores every night,
hiking to Sentinel Dome (seriously, we highly recommend this! It’s the second highest spot in the valley and the views are spectacular and it’s not too busy),
ice cream at Glacier Point,
biking through the valley (would highly recommend this, too, but wished we had our own bikes),
various little hikes to see beautiful spots in Yosemite,
and rafting down the river (also, have some grace, this was after 3 nights of camping and no showers…. :P).
Yosemite was lovely. We will definitely return some day!!
You know this family is all about the book reading by now, right? This summer we are doing a few reading challenges. Each boy is working on reading/listening to about 30 books for their at-home challenge. For this one, they are coloring the posters I made for them. Ethan is also working through a challenge given by a local bookstore. Originally he was just going to do 5 books for that to fill out this bingo sheet, but he decided to try for every book to *hopefully* win a $50 gift card to the store. This one is causing him to read some different books than he would normally pick out. Also, both boys are doing a reading challenge put on by our library. It’s basically reading at least 8 books and doing a few activities (i.e. making a creation, playing a new game).
Side note: I also included a mini picture of my goodreads goal for the year. I had set it for 40 books (knowing that a lot would be kids novels), but I reached the goal in June. So, I’ve made my new goal 75 by the end of the year! =) This should make my parents feel really good since they have been hoping I would like to read one day… 😉
Mike and I are hoping that if we start doing lots of ridiculous dab moves, the boys will find it super weird and stop doing it. It’s not working…
We had the opportunity to meet my friend’s new baby, Zion. He’s absolutely darling and Micah LOVES to hold him. Fun side note – my parents got to meet him a good week before we did because Gina stayed in their condo in Florida during the adoption process…waiting to be allowed back in Colorado. =)
I stained my table box and I love it. Thanks again, Dad!
Ethan got his staples removed on Sunday. He was nervous, but it didn’t end up hurting too badly!
And Micah circled all of our ages…and that’s whenI realized Mike is turning 35 this year!!
Last, but not least, we have baby bunnies running around the neighborhood and I want one for my pet. One got a little confused when we were outside watching it and it actually ran across my foot. I restrained myself from grabbing it and taking it inside with us.
We had a very exciting visitor to our backyard. Ethan actually captured the best picture of it, but I haven’t snagged it off of his camera, yet. This big guy hung out in our yard for a good 5 minutes, scrounging around for worms! He also visited our neighbors’ backyard, which is when the boys were allowed outside for pictures. A couple of days later, we saw a duck in the yard. Fun!
Micah sang in front of our CBS class with his class. It was pretty darling. I only made one short video of it, but I’d be happy to share it with you if you’d like to see him singing, “I Wanna Walk, Walk like Jesus”. His buddy (and my friend’s kid) is on the far right and Micah is on the far left.
Here are some shots from homeschooling:
Most days we drink tea and read a book out loud. This last picture was taken during one of our little meetings to decide what book to read next. I’ve gotta say, though, “The Wind in the Willows” has been a hard one for us to get into…I’m hoping the coloring books I got last week will help. =/
Mike was also out of town for work in the middle of the month, so I made sure to take walks at the park each day. The boys just played in the trees or around the middle of the park while I walked around. It was lovely. And Mikey sent flowers to let me know he was thinking of me – and they have lasted over a week!!
Lastly, a quick video of Ethan playing some piano:
As promised, here are some pictures from our field trip to the Butterfly Pavilion. We stopped in there before heading to the fair trade conference to see Jen and J. Both boys held Rosie, the tarantula. Micah had done so once before, but this was Ethan’s first time. We learned a new fact – no one has ever died because of a tarantula, but there have been 3 known deaths from hamsters. =D
Micah took most of the pictures (or requested them) this day. He likes to find beautiful things to capture which makes me smile.
Micah had a beautiful butterfly land on his head! So fun!
And, lastly, we’re pointing to the fair trade conference from where we were at the Butterfly Pavilion:
This past weekend my dear friend, Amy, and I went on our third retreat to the mountains. We laughed a lot, prayed a lot, and hiked even more! In total, we probably hiked a good 6+ hours throughout the weekend. We hiked for at least 4 hours on Saturday before it was even time to eat lunch! =) It’s refreshing to spend time with a dear friend in a beautiful place doing some of the things I most enjoy – hiking, reading, journaling and painting!
This year, we spent our retreat at Glen Eyrie. You’ve heard me mention this place before – Amy and I went to a tea there in January and I went to our church women’s retreat there before that! It’s a beautiful spot and you’re almost sure to see big horn sheep, deer and wild turkeys. From there, we even hiked into the Garden of the Gods park, but we found that being around people after hiking for hours without seeing anyone was really not for us. =)
Here are some pictures from our lovely retreat:
Meanwhile at home, Ethan gave piano lessons and the guys did a whole lotta wrestling. I also hear they played another game of Risk Legacy and now we have mutants with which to contend. E said, “I can’t wait to play this with Uncle Ger – he’s going to be so surprised at all of the changes in the game!”
HUGE thanks to Mikey for being so gracious. He was supportive and encouraging of this which helped me to have a guilt-free vacation away to refresh!!
We spent the afternoon/evening on Wednesday with Ashley and Caleb. We got our usual picture of GC and the grandkids. It’s such a fun tradition! We’ve got at least 3 now. =)
On Thursday, GC joined us at Classical Conversations. It was such a treat for us to have her with us! She sat in on both of the classes for a bit. Unfortunately with all the moving around between classrooms, she didn’t end up seeing either presentation. I believe Micah presented on the first line of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the tin whistle and Ethan did a presentation on various coins / money.
We spent the afternoon playing Dominos, among other things. Thanks for bringing this new game out to us and teaching us!
Grandma Cleve joined us at PE+ on Friday. The boys played football afterwards again. Ethan began learning division with remainders – a difficult task! And that evening I had the pleasure of going to see Jen Hatmaker and Nichole Nordeman at their Moxie Matters tour. It was absolutely lovely! She’s such a treat to hear speak and she had so many important insights to make. I was so thankful for the opportunity.
Saturday was our final day with GC. We spent it opening an early birthday present for Micah (yay!) and driving through the mountains. We had lunch in Boulder and walked through a cool bookstore there. We stopped in Nederland to show GC where Mike proposed and took a quick sand-in-the-mouth-from-the-crazy-wind picture and then headed back in the car for more exploring. We also took her to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal where we saw a lot of deer and some buffalo far in the distance. It got too dark, too quickly for pictures, but it was nice to show her (and Mike) the arsenal since they had never been.
Thanks for making the trip again, Grandma Cleve! We sure enjoyed having you!!
Grandma Cleve came for another visit last week – splitting her time at Ashley and Zach’s and our house! We had her for a day and a half at the beginning of her trip and then she finished her time at our house, too.
On Saturday, we went to the Butterfly Pavilion. We had never been before and she spoiled us with a membership so we’ll be going there a few more times before the year is done. =D Micah was our brave guy who held Rosie, the tarantula! It was lots of fun to see all of the butterflies, to dig for worms and to look at their little aquarium. It’s a really neat place and we’re excited to go back again! Grandma Cleve almost became a part of the exhibit there when a gorgeous butterfly landed on her leg and stayed with her for the next 10+ minutes! =)
That afternoon we went to Ikea to start a super big project…switch the boys’s room and the school room. We got the boys bunk beds and Grandma Cleve and Mike worked on that for much of the rest of Saturday. Thankful that GC is so helpful with assembling Ikea furniture. She’s helped us with quite a few projects like this one over the years. Such an exciting time! Although, I would be lying if I said I never shed any tears over this. How did the boys get so big?!
After church on Sunday, we had a relaxing afternoon at our house and then headed over to Ashley and Zach’s to celebrate Caleb’s first birthday! SO much fun!
Can’t believe he’s already one! It feels like just yesterday that we were celebrating our own little boys’ first birthdays… The days are long, but the years are SHORT.
Grandma Cleve stayed with Caleb and his parents until Wednesday afternoon when she came back to stay with us until Saturday night. I’ll do a separate post for that and for the things we did in the meantime. =)