Grandpa and Grandma in Colorado

We were thrilled to host my parents for almost two weeks at the end of October/beginning of November. We had a great mix of just living normal life and doing some projects around the house.

Each morning Ethan and my Dad went out birding. Micah joined for one morning, but he decided it was more enjoyable (and warm) playing piano or reading with Grandma at the house. Also, while my parents were here, this memory popped up on my phone from 9 years ago when I remember thinking, “wow, my Dad as Grandpa is different than my Dad as Dad.” What on earth is that little pipsqueak doing holding a big expensive camera?! =D

My folks always ask about what kinds of things we might like them to do for the house, so we knocked out a few of those projects! Yay! The two most exciting things done were our laundry room and new address numbers for outside. They did other things, too, but these were big undertakings and I was so thankful to have them completed. The boys, especially Ethan, loved working on the laundry room. We decided this was a different kind of homeschooling. =)

We each did some sewing projects with my Mom. Ethan and Micah both made camera bean bags (not sure how else to describe them) and Micah made two decorative pillow covers. Turns out, Micah LOVES to sew and is looking for new projects. =) My Mom sewed us some Packer napkins and I finally finished my rice heating pad.

We enjoyed having Mel and Joel over for lunch over the weekend. We had our inaugural meal on our new deck table with them.

Much music was made throughout the week. My mom has recently begun learning to play the cello (one of the many things I admire about my folks is their belief that they are never too old to try something new), so she had a couple of Zoom lessons while here and showed the boys how to play a bit. She and Ethan worked on a little piano-cello duet. And Micah played a lot of piano duets with Grandma.

Other highlights that don’t fit as neatly into a photo gallery include baking together, Grandpa and Micah biking, visiting the Audubon Center all together, Krav Maga, reading books, playing games, editing pictures and doing *some* schooling, playing football in the park, having a picnic with some members of our Zoom book club (they also happen to be dear friends from CC), attending cousin Matthew’s awesome play, and having a Packer picnic.

Our time together was delightful. The boys both said afterwards, “I wish they lived with us or at least by us.” What a gift!

October

Beautiful shots from various walks throughout October:

October meant a field trip to a pumpkin patch and corn maze with some friends. I think Micah’s goal was to find the biggest pumpkin he could carry. =)

October also brought the end of the flag football season. Someone affiliated with one of Ethan’s coaches snapped some nice shots of their final games. So I’ll share some of those pics:

Some of us enjoyed dressing up as book characters at our CC community one day this month. There were a couple of fun same-book-costume-pairs happening, like Lucy and the White Witch and Jo Shanks and Red Eye Garlackson from The Green Ember. And there were some who chose to be themselves as featured in their autobiographies. =D

And Ethan participated in a middle school youth group activity at church making meals for others to give away. I think they all enjoyed wearing their special bakers hats.

One of the highlights for the month for me was spending a whole Saturday hiking with my bestie. We usually go on a weekend retreat twice each year and haven’t done so for a very.long.time. This was long-overdue and so good for our hearts! (side note – we gave our hearts a good scare when we were warned away from our lunching bench by a massive rattlesnake)

Racine, WI

After our weekend in northwestern Wisconsin, Mike stayed there to work for the week and I drove the six-ish hours back to Racine to soak up some more time with the family. (On Friday, we drove to Omaha where we picked up Mike from the airport. The following day we drove home.) Our time in Racine was very laid back. Highlights at the house included building towers, playing the piano, Micah riding a motorcycle and the one-wheeler, dance parties galore, baking bread with Grandma, a tornado warning in the middle of the night, and playing ukulele and various games.

The boys did some birding with Grandpa – a very big highlight. We took a number of adventures to find frogs and crawfish with the cousins – so much fun – and enjoyed a night at the bike races with the whole crew.

Our time together was very sweet. Visiting Wisconsin and spending time with this crew is so very life-giving!

Brainard Lake

Our crew went camping for two nights at Brainard Lake this week. We reserved our spot back in January, you know, because people really love camping in Colorado and you can’t decide on a whim to go camping around here. Nothing like committing six months in advance for a couple nights away in the mountains! At the time I couldn’t even remember who told us to try camping there (now we figured it out), I just had put a reminder in my phone to reserve a campsite at Brainard Lake sometime over the summer. We are SO glad I did and will definitely be coming back! (The reminder in the phone is set on-going for every January now!)

This lovely spot is about an hour and a half away from our home and is gorgeous! We could hear the river from our campsite – a total win! – and loved walking around with it by our side.

Above you see pictures from our time at the campsite. The boys loved chopping firewood for us. We had hotdogs one night and chili the other. Oatmeal balls were our breakfasts.

Micah actually woke up the first morning feeling sick and ended up throwing up (maybe altitude?? maybe two s’mores before bed??), but he managed to still hike at least 6 miles that day and wasn’t slowed down! No symptoms of anything since.

We enjoyed paddle boarding and hiking. We saw four moose (five, if you ask some people…but those people are counting the same moose twice because it was in a different location the second time)! Two of the moose we watched swim across Long Lake – such a beautiful, surreal experience!