Quarantine Week 3

This week was uneventful….duh, huh? But, really. Quarantine is not so bad. We really aren’t hating it. There were some moments of being bummed out this week. I was grumpy some (probably we all were at some point)…but overall, we are doing well.

This was the kiddos official Spring Break, so I required very little of them this week school-wise. The only thing I made them do every day was practice their instruments. They also had a big (paid) chore to do this week: clean all the weeds/grass out of the garden. (not in the actual beds, but AROUND the beds). This is a yearly task that we have to do before Jake can start spraying the grass, and it is a BIG task. They did a great job, tackling it over 3 different days and working together.

Jake and I both worked Monday-Wednesday. Technically, this was my Spring Break, too…but all things are looking different right now, and there was still much to be done to help get our online school up and running. So I worked. Had TONS of Zoom calls. And I’m okay with that. I want to help.

Thursday and Friday Jake was off work, and I was determined to be, too (and I was..mostly-I still had to do a few things). The reason that Jake was off work was that, before all this craziness happened, we had had a plan to go to Washington D.C. for an adult only trip-the kiddos were supposed to stay with Grammy and Pappy. Maybe someday we can make it up! (This is perhaps where some of my grumpiness came from….)

So, this week there was lots of playing outside. It only rained 1 day. There were games of two hand touch football, gotcha, and tag. I did more Peleton classes on my bike with Lindsey. We got a grocery delivery. Nana and Shshr did a “driveway” visit. There were lots of movie nights. We had a family game night. I did a LOT of cooking and baking. We spent time at the farm. Friday night we spent the evening there, and cooked dinner and had a fire. I even made fire-cooked cherry pies, just like my mama used to make for us when I was little. Saturday we went down to the bottom at the farm to do a bit cleaning out work. Jake taught me how to drive the tractor. We picked up drive-thru pizza. All in all, we have had a lot of family time. And it has been good.

 

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So good to see their faces and talk to them, even if I couldn’t hug them around the neck like I wanted to!

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This. If you look really closely at this picture, is a good summary of our lives right now. These two goobers hugging all over each other….and Jack rubbing his precious cat with his foot. We have gotten a lot of joy out of that silly cat during this quarantine. The antibacterial wipes on the sidewalk. The box that was just delivered. Bucket of sidewalk chalk. Kids in play clothes….all.day.every.day. (Oh, and Jack wearing one of Jake’s old “muscle” shirts…he has LOVED having all of his daddy’s vintage clothes to wear, LOL).

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Washing ALLLLL the things much, much more thoroughly than normal. Also not pictured: wiping every grocery item with antibacterial wipes before bringing it in the house.

Family football games and family game nights (and not great photography!)

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Yummy, yummy dinner.

A much, much needed night at the farm. Very relaxing. There is almost nothing a good campfire can’t fix for me. And it was complete with grilled burgers and cheese dip and chips, coffee, and fire-roasted cherry pies. Perfection.

Working hard at the farm….

….And hardly working.

 

Tomorrow the kids and I start school back, and Jake starts work back. I’ve worked out schedules for each of us with all of our Zoom calls and such… and praying for much grace for myself, that I can let some of my high expectations go and just rest in doing the best I can and loving my family well.  Because, really, that’s all that I can do, right?

Weekending, Quarantine style

This was a good weekend. The weather was beautiful, and we took full advantage. After sleeping late on Saturday, we went up the road again and let the kiddos ride bikes while Jake and I went for a jog. Then we came home, ate lunch, and got to work in the yard. We cleaned out the old blackberry vines and routed the new ones. I cleaned out all my flower beds. Jake mowed. We put the kiddos to work, too. They cleaned out weeds for us and helped us with the blackberry vines. They also had a lot of playtime, too. Josie has learned a really cool technique with sidewalk chalk. And they both had a Zoom call with a friend. Josie talked to Hannah, Jack talked to Claire.

 

Late in the afternoon, we went to Golly G’s and did their drive thru for milkshakes. We are being cautious…I wiped off all the cups with an antibacterial wipe before I handed them out, and we used lots of Germ X. But totally worth it, because those milkshakes were GOOOD. Good dessert before dinner.

 

When we got home there was more playing outside and then dinner and showers. Then we sent the kiddos upstairs, because Jake and I had a virtual “date night” with some of our friends via Zoom. It was fun, and great to catch up with them, even if we couldn’t be in the same room.

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After our date call, we ended up bringing the kiddos back downstairs to sleep on the couch, because there were storms moving through that were bringing a lot of wind. They moved through fast, though, and we only had a few limbs down.

Sunday we kept with the same routine we’ve established the past couple of weeks: we all slept late, then I got up and cooked a big brunch (this week it was french toast and omelets, per the kiddos’ requests), and we ate it while we watched our church’s service online. I miss going to church, but so grateful for technology that allows us to still worship with our church family.

 

It was another beautiful day outside. The kiddos played, Jake worked in the garden and got everything tilled up, and I stayed inside to do some chores. I did some laundry, made homemade Hawaiian bread (SOO good), and cleaned some of the downstairs windows, inside and out. That is a spring cleaning chore-try to clean all the windows in the house at least once a year. But it takes a pretty day to do it.

 

Last night Josie had youth group via Zoom and I had women’s Bible study via Zoom. Jack and Jake went over to Mama Judy’s and visited with her from a  distance in the yard. 🙂

 

This quarantine is different. It is weird. It is hard to not get to actually see people and hug them. But I am so thankful for so many things right now-we are healthy. Our families are currently healthy. We have plenty of food. The weather has been nice. Our jobs allow us work from home. We are all enjoying a slower pace and getting to hang out at home.  I’m looking for the bright sides, every day.

 

Quarantine, Week 2

All in all, I have to say…I didn’t hate this week. The being able to sleep in a little later, and just being at HOME…I don’t hate. The kids have had a FANTASTIC week. They’ve really had to fend for themselves this week, with Jake and I both working, and they have done SO good. Even though this wasn’t technically a school week for them, I knew that Jake and I would both be working this week, so I set them up a set of tasks to complete before they could have any screen time (and they had to be done before 3:00). A few school oriented things (reading, XtraMath, Latin practice), practicing their instruments, making beds/getting dressed/eating breakfast and lunch (I think my kids are some of the only kids I know that I actually have to MAKE eat…they are not normal), a few chores, and playing outside/exercising for at least an hour. This system worked out great. They did such a great job doing all of their tasks, and the weather was BEAUTIFUL, finally, for most of the week, so they spent a TON of time outside climbing trees, making forts, and playing “American Ninja Warrior”….and they have all kinds of bumps, bruises, and scratches to prove it. There was also LOTS of time upstairs playing Legos, building blanket forts and doing lots of arts and crafts projects. They even started working on a writing a song together for their mandolin and guitar! I really, really do love how much our kiddos love each other and how well they get along (usually)..this is something we definitely don’t take for granted.

Jake worked hard this week. The camper worked pretty well for him for an office. I was extremely grateful for the use of his office space this week, too, because I also had a lot of work to do, and a lot of calls I had to be on, especially the last couple of days. He’s a good one, that husband of mine-always putting me first. I love him.

And now here are some pictures…….

Work looks different for me now! Grading papers on the couch….and LOTS of planning via Zoom calls.

Being at home + trying to use up freezer food means some yummy meals. Dumplings happened twice this week…just made fresh okra and cornbread to go with the second time. I WISH the BBQ chicken could’ve lasted twice-but our kiddos eat more than they used to (which is totally okay!).

LOVE the beautiful weather. One day we drove up the road to a little dead end road that is near our house and let the kiddos ride their bikes while we walked. And, this cat? SPOILED rotten.

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The kiddos had more Zoom music lessons this week. So grateful this is still happening. And, check out Jack’s awesome vintage sweatshirt, LOL. He’s loving wearing all of Jake’s old shirts!

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Working out together via Zoom. 😛

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LOTS of family movie nights. We are watching all the Mission Impossible movies currently. The kids love them…Jack especially!

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Zoom call with Nana, Shshr, and Casey. Also not picture: Zoom call with Grammy and Pappy.

We made our own dishwasher detergent. So far, it’s working great! I already make my own laundry detergent, so I’m excited to see if this works as well as that!

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Last night we supported a hometown small business and got Mexican food delivered- YUM. (and had another movie night, of course!)

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Today these kiddos were SO proud of their “fancy” lunch they made themselves while I was on a work call. Those are TOASTED chicken sandwiches with mayonnaise, y’all. And notice the straws in their cups? And the unwrapped chocolate on their plates? Plus…Slim Jims. Can’t get any fancier than that! LOL At least they added some broccoli in there….

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Tonight Shshr drove by our house and we had a driveway conversation from a safe distance away. 🙂 The kids were excited to see her dog, too.

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This cat, y’all….SPOILED, I tell you!

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Currently Josie is having a virtual “lock-in” night with her middle school youth group girls. I am so grateful for her sweet youth leader, who is doing her best to keep these girls socially entertained. 🙂 They’ve had a scavenger hunt, played charades, and now they are all watching a movie together. 🙂

And now….THE WEEKEND. Yay!

 

Sunday at home

We started with sleeping late. Even Jack slept past 9:00, and he was so happy about it, because he can never sleep that late!
Then I made chocolate gravy and biscuits and we ate it while we watched our church service online. I love our church so much.
Then we were lazy for awhile again. 🤷‍♀️ Finally we got some stuff done. Jake went outside to do some chores, the kids do some chores for me while I did my normal weekend chores-laundry, vacuuming, etc. the kids played upstairs until I kicked them outside to play. I have to tell you, and I’m dead serious-our kids have not been bored ONCE through this thing. We are so blessed with kiddos who are each other’s best friends. I feel so sorry for only children during this!
They made this awesome foldable house with pics from old magazines.
I washed a bunch of vintage kids clothes we found in Mama Judy’s attic last week. Beautiful dresses and things, most handmade by her! The kids hung them out to dry on the porch for me, which Josie though was the best thing ever-she was channeling her inner Laura Ingalls. 🙂
This kitty got spoiled rotten today, and got to come inside for some snuggle time. She’s a pretty good lap cat! Josie had youth group via Zoom tonight. So thankful for technology, that is making this quarantine time much more bearable that it could be! And, so, so thankful for our church. Then we had another family movie night…because why not? We are currently making our way through the Mission Impossible movies…at this rate we will be done before the week’s up!

Just take a hike

Today was a much needed, soul restoring day after a very strange, hard week. We started off the day with lots of laziness, and ate a pancake…um…brunch around noon. Then we ran to my school, probably for the last time for a long time, to pick up some things I needed. We made the kiddos stay outside, and Jake and I touched as little as possible and washed our hands a lot. 🤷‍♀️ This afternoon we took a long hike at the farm, which was exactly what I needed. The sun peeked out for a bit, tons of beautiful things were blooming, and it was just good all the way around. On the way out, we stopped at Mama Judy’s and talked to her while we stayed in the yard and she stayed on the balcony :). It was good.
We went through the drive thru at Domino’s in the way home, and decided a movie night was needed. 🙂

Quarantine day 3

We made it through the first week of homeschooling. It wasn’t always pretty, it wasn’t always fun. But we did it. Both working full time, at home, while homeschooling-not for the faint of heart. This was a learning week. We learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t…and I know we’ve still got a lot to learn! But next week, the kiddos start a 2 week Spring Break, so it will be easier. Jake and I will still be working, but then the next week we will all have a bit of time off. Today was long and tiring, but it did have its bright sides, too.
Perk of homeschooling-getting to hug your cat at playtime!
Another perk-no uniforms!
Jack got his turn to Zoom with his class!
I also had my turn to Zoom with my class……it was a HOT MESS….but a fun, much needed, morale boosting hot mess. 🙂
We Zoomed with Casey and the kiddos and ShShr-so good to see their faces!!
Not pictured: my sweet husband giving up his office to me for the forseeable figure, and moving his “office” to the camper. Also not pictured: my first Instacart grocery delivery! Lest you think like we all have it figured out: ALSO not pictured, but definitely present: fighting, bad attitudes, loads and loads of laundry left to be done, dirty sinks, crumbs on the floor, unwashed hair, and being so busy (again) that I didn’t even step foot outside. Happy weekend, y’all!

Homeschool Day 2

Y’all. I’m not going to pretend like all things are good. This is hard. It is stressful. It’s just a big, unexpected change, for all of us. But here are some things that helped today:
Zoom calls. We all hopped on to a call that anybody in our school could hop on this morning to say good morning. Then Josie got to have a call with her class.
“Homemade” chocolate pudding (it was the kind from a box, y’all, topped with some out of the freezer off brand cool whip…but my kids thought I was a gourmet chef, LOL).
We are learning what works, slowly. I’m learning I need to lower my expectations. Especially when I’m trying to work WHILE homeschooling the kids and still trying to do all the normal household stuff. I need to lower my expectations for myself, and for what we can get done in a day. I need to give myself more time to breathe. I need to go OUTSIDE. You know what helps, though? Movie nights with the kiddos. Especially really DUMB movies. We watched The Sandlot 2 tonight….maybe the dumbest sequel I’ve ever seen. But it was a good laugh. 🙂

How things change….

Well. Wow. A LOT has changed since my last blog post. My last blog post I was talking about the tornado that hit Nashville….and that seems like YEARS ago now…..but, in actuality, it was only 2 weeks ago. And now, the news of this post is going to revolve around the second life changing thing in a month- Covid-19. When I first started hearing the news about the corona virus, it seemed like something that was so far away, something that would never impact me. But wow, I was wrong. We went from no impact at all, to less than a week, all TN schools being shut down and the President suggesting no gatherings over 10 people. That’s real, y’all.

So, last week we started hearing about social distancing. Best practices for washing hands. And, for some unknown reason, toilet paper started flying off shelves. By Thursday, people were definitely stockpiling groceries and such.

This was a bright spot last week:

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This girl got 4th place in the district art competition- and she was competing against 8th graders! She was pretty proud of herself, and we were proud of her, too. She has such an awesome art teacher, and she really, really loves her after school art classes.

Friday night the kids had plans to spend the night with Mee-Maw, because Abby and Matthew were also spending the night, so Jake and I had a date night.

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We tried a new restaurant in Nashville, Rolf and Daughters,  because Jake’s work had given him a gift card.

It was a really cool atmosphere, in the old Worthan’s building. The food was not really our style, but it was good. We ESPECIALLY enjoyed the sourdough ice cream-it was topped with coffee, mint, and cream. After eating (and washing our hands a lot), we went to Barnes and Noble to look around, and then went over to Target to wander around. This was the paper goods aisle in Target:

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We headed to Kroger about an hour before they closed for the night. We had heard the grocery stores were crazy with people stockpiling, so we thought it would be best to go late at night with less people, and when they’d had time to start restocking the shelves. Our plan worked pretty well. We were able to find most of what we needed.

Saturday we went to Mama Judy’s and worked on cleaning out her attic some more. The kiddos scored some vintage clothes out of the deal this time. 🙂 Jake and I found an old hat rack to hang in our bedroom. And I stole some of her forsythia bush to decorate with. 🙂

 

Saturday night we had some good friends over for dinner and to play cards. This was BEFORE the President had really mandated a quarantine….at this point just large gatherings were being discouraged. It was a great night, and I’m glad we had one last shindig for awhile.

 

Sunday church was cancelled for social distancing, so our church did a live stream. We watched church in our pajamas while eating breakfast. It was different, but nice.

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Monday we went to school…but quickly got the news that it was to be our last day of normal school….for probably the rest of the school year. This was something we’d really only just started considering the week before. The reality came sooner than we thought. On Monday afternoon we sent home all the students’ books and school supplies with them.

Tuesday the teachers met to try to figure out how to do “distance learning” with our students. We got a game plan together for the rest of this week, then we are taking a 2 week Spring Break as a school. I made some instructional videos for this week, and gathered up all my teaching materials and brought them home. April 6th will begin the real transition to distance learning…probably for the rest of the school year. It is a change. A big change. We are all taking deep breaths together and adjusting to our new normal.

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And planting lettuce and spinach…just in case fresh food gets harder to find. And, because I love having fresh lettuce and spinach every year anyways!

 

Today was our first day of homeschool. First day of official quarantine.

The kids were really great. They worked really hard. I had set us up a schedule, and we followed it best we could. The whole thing is a bit overwhelming to me. Because I’m homeschooling both my kids, but I’m also still prepping lesson plans and helping my students. I actually video chatted with 3 of my students at different times today, to help them with their math lesson.

There were some bright spots, though. I realized I liked getting to put all my focus and attention on one of my kids at a time…something I don’t get to do very often during the school year. I can really work with them on things they are struggling with. There is no homework with homeschool, so the kiddos had much more time to play-and no drive time. There are some perks. This isn’t what I would desire to do for all time…but we are going to make it work, and we are going to make the best of it while it is our new normal!

God is good. All the time God is good. He is in control. He knows the outcomes. He is good even in the midst of the scary. He is in control even in the midst of chaos.

Here’s to new adventures!

March…So far

The first 10 days of March have been EVENTFUL.

Last Sunday was the 1st of March. Josie and Jack went to the last Vandy home game with Nana and Shshr. They have really loved going to the games this year. They actually enjoy watching the GAME, not just all the events around the game (although they love that part, too.) Jake and I went grocery shopping and had a lunch date while they were at the game.

That night I took Josie and Hannah to youth group. Jack stayed and hung out with Nana because Jake had men’s Bible study. So I actually had a little bit of time to myself to do some random clothes shopping! That has not happened in a long time. It was nice.

The next day was a normal Monday. We went Mama Judy’s for dinner and celebrated Abby’s birthday.

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That night we went to bed like normal. It was raining. Nothing big….we heard some thunder during the night…still, nothing to be alarmed about.

The next morning, Tuesday the third, we awoke to the news that tornadoes had Nashville and Cookeville-big, major tornadoes. Lots of people killed. Many homes destroyed. It was sad and very real and still is. School was cancelled because authorities were trying to keep people off the roads in Nashville. Our school was not affected, but many of our school families were without power and their neighborhoods were hit hard. Some of our school families just got their power back today, a full week later.

Wednesday and Thursday were busy days at school, prepping for Friday’s Grandparent’s Day. Thursday was a particularly hard, stressful school day for me. So after school Jake took the kids and I to Opry Mills to go shopping, just because. I got some clothes, Jack bought a video game with some of his birthday money, and Josie bought several scrunchies (who would’ve thought scrunchies would be all the rage again…). We ended the night at Chuy’s for dinner.

Friday was Grandparent’s Day at school. Kind of a crazy day, but the kids did well.

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Our kiddos are so blessed to have so many grandparents that get to come and watch them and love on them.

It is a tradition that the kiddos go home with Grammy and Pappy after the program is over (it is a half day of school always) to spend the night. So they did!

I had planned to stay at school and finish up my report cards….but plans changed. Jake and I had not planned to go to our school’s gala…but we got a last minute invite and changed our minds. So, change of plans, Lindsey and I decided to go to lunch and shopping…because the gala is cocktail formal, and I had nothing to wear!

We went to Opry Mills. We did some speed shopping, but had a lot of fun! I didn’t get even one picture of the two of us, but did a couple of try on pics.

I bought my first pair of heels…ever. Made me feel like a grown up, LOL.

Lindsey had to head back home after we got done at Opry Mills, but I headed to Rivergate to do some more shopping. SO rare that I go shopping all alone! But it was really nice.

Meanwhile….Josie went to a craft night with Grammy at Casey’s church- she had a lot of fun!

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That night Jake had a video game night with Nick, and I picked up my friend Megan and we went to Golly G’s to get coffee, then came back to the house to just hang out. I didn’t get one picture, but it was so nice to see her!

Saturday morning Jake and I slept late and then went to Springfield for a lunch date….because I was craving McDonald’s…which is so random. But I had been craving a hamburger, and because of my crazy meat allergy, McDonald’s is one of the few places I can eat a hamburger and know I will be safe (Note: that totally means McDonald’s hamburgers are not real beef). After that we decided to go to the Antique Barn, because it had been awhile. We scored several cool things, and could have bought more! A really cool sign (that at one time hung next to a pool-it was pool “rules”), and some crocks.

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Then we ran by Lindsey’s so I could grab some make up from her….but soon decided that she would just do my make up for me, and I would do her hair, LOL.

So Jake and I headed home to get ready, and then headed BACK to Lindsey and Josh’s to finish getting ready.

I don’t think I’ve been this dressed up since we got married. And I’ve definitely never worn this much make up. But it was SO MUCH FUN to get all dolled up.

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It was a fun night. The event itself was not as much fun as the before/after, but it wasn’t bad. Fernando Ortega was the entertainment. The funniest part of the whole evening was when Jake drank a whole cup of coffee…without sugar….just to have something to do. I was cracking up (because Jake doesn’t like coffee at all!). I love him. So glad he is my forever date.

 

The kiddos ended up just spending the night with Grammy and Pappy again since we were going to be so late, so Sunday morning we were up BRIGHT AND EARLY. We had gone to bed late, AND it was time change…so were tired. Jake headed to church to practice guitar, I headed to mom and dad’s to get the kiddos. After church we ended up back at Mom and Dad’s because they gave us a new-to-us antique cabinet.

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Then we headed home for naps before heading back to church for a youth group meeting/youth group for Jo.

Monday and Tuesday the kiddos and I didn’t have school. Since we haven’t had any snow days, our headmaster gave us a couple “days of rest.” Much appreciated! Jake also had a day off on Monday. So we enjoyed just hanging out. Jake took the kiddos to ride their minibikes while I stayed home and cleaned house.

Last night the Roses came for dinner. It was so nice to hang out with them. I, again, didn’t get one picture. But it was a good night.

Today the kiddos played while Jake and I worked. He did his regular work, and I had to do my report cards, since I hadn’t done them on Friday. But it was nice to be able to work on my couch!

Tomorrow it is back to normal.