Quarantine, Week 6

This was a good week. The weather was beautiful, we’ve all adjusted to do this routine a bit better, and we are really enjoying the slower pace that life is bringing right now. Not to say this isn’t stressful at times or that we don’t miss seeing our people….but slow can be good. And so we are resting in the good things.

Monday was SUCH  a beautiful day. We ate lunch outside, and all of us did at least part of our work outside.

Monday evening we went to the farm because I was itching to take pictures of the kiddos (which I already shared). It was SO pretty. After picture taking, Jake and I got in some hammock time while the kids played and Jack rode his minibike.

 

Tuesday after school was done for the day, I had to run some errands to deliver some clothes that I had cleaned out of the kiddos’ closets. One was to Casey, so we got to “social distance” visit with them outside! It was so good to see them all, even if I couldn’t hold sweet Emery like I would love to.

 

Wednesday the kids had art class with our beloved Mrs. Shumate, and she taught them how to do origami. And it was like an origami fest at our house, all week long after that! Jack made a whole “fox” family. Jake even got in on the fun with the kids. Josie has become a pro at making some itty-bitty origami animals! We love Mrs. Shumate. She has been such an awesome influence in our kiddos’ lives.

Wednesday afternoon Josie did Zoom ballet with Hannah, and then ended up just “hanging out” with her on Zoom for the rest of the afternoon, which I was just fine with–she is missing her friends badly. Wednesday night I had a Zoom Bible study with the ladies in our community group.

Thursday Chad stopped by and did a driveway visit with the girls. It was SOO good to see them and talk for a minute.

Thursday evening I had to go to Walmart to pick up our groceries, and while I was out, I picked up Greek Style Gyro for dinner and we had a movie night. 🙂 We were all feeling the need for a slight change up in the routine by Thursday!

Jake and I also had a Zoom call with the worship team Thursday night. We are all getting a bit Zoomed out…but it is still good to see all the faces of people I’m missing seeing in person.

Friday is a lower key day for the kiddos. They have much less school work, and they both have art class which they love. Josie had to “turn in” a project she had made-she incorporated the teeny tiniest little origami creatures!

I also had to call the pediatrician on Friday, because Josie had gotten poison ivy (probably last weekend when we were pulling tires out of the woods), and instead of getting better with itch cream, it was just getting worse! So our ped called her in an oral medicine as well. (We love our pediatrician SOO much).

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(This is just one small patch…it was all over her face, neck, on her hands, arm, and stomach.) This girl is sooo allergic.

Friday night I made chocolate cobbler for the first time…and it was delicious.

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Saturday we all slept late, per usual. Then Jake and I got up and went for a run together, which was really nice. After that we made our now-weekly trip to a local farm to pick up some local milk and some new bell pepper plants. It was a rainy afternoon, and I spent it playing with photos. 🙂

I also jumped on the “whipped coffee” band wagon….and it was SO good. Definitely something I will make again sometime.

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Saturday night I made a big dinner. Salmon patties and salad with lettuce from our garden (we love our garden), and a new recipe I’d seen on Instagram for cheese grits. Those grits were SO good.

 

Sunday was a very lazy day. We did our (now) normal routine of sleeping late and eating a big brunch while we watched our church service.

I spent most of the rest of the day finally getting all the rest of my old pictures scanned in. It has been a big task, but one I’ve enjoyed and am SO happy to do. Now all I have left is our wedding pictures, which I plan to finish up this week. Quarantine has allowed me to get caught up on a few put-off-forever tasks. 🙂 Josie had youth group last night, Jake and I did a devotional with Jack, and then we put the kiddos to bed and watched a movie.

 

Now to get to work!

Photo Shoot with my kiddos

This photo shoot was inspired by several things. 1. I was ITCHING to get back behind my camera. 2. The lack of Sunday morning Easter pics of my kiddos had me bummed. 3. Josie got her ballet costume for her ballet recital that has been cancelled, and was itching to try it on and get dressed up. 4. Our farm in the spring is one of my favorite spots in the world. It is beautiful.

So…enjoy. Lots of photos of both of my kiddos, one who is looking entirely too old for her own good.

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Quarantine, Week 5

We’ve made it through another week of quarantine. And we survived.

The week started with our most unusual Easter to date. It was the first Easter ever that I haven’t gotten all dressed up and gone to church. I know some people got dressed up anyways. But honestly, I hadn’t even shopped for Easter outfits at all, knowing we wouldn’t be going anywhere. We all stayed in our pajamas all day long. The Easter Bunny visited, of course, and we worshiped with our church via Facebook live. We had a delicious Easter brunch- we ate the bacon and eggs and drank the chocolate milk that we’d gotten at all the local farms we’d went to the day before. Some of our friends stopped by for a driveway visit! We had an extremely lazy day. I did a lot of digital scrapbooking. We did record a video of ourself singing “How Deep the Father’s Love,” and then someone from our church compiled a lot of families from our church, all singing the song. That was pretty cool. We zoomed with Grammy and Pappy. I made a yummy Easter dinner (although, it didn’t compare to our normal Easter feast that Nana cooks!)- deer steaks, baked potatoes, salad with lettuce from our garden, homemade rolls, and mac and cheese. Jack requested sweet potatoes, so I baked him a sweet potato and made it into a “casserole” on his plate. I attempted to make deviled eggs for the first time-and that was a MAJOR FAIL. I made a coconut cake for the first time, though, and it was delicious! I only got a few pictures of our day-

These will be the official “Easter” pics for this year.

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So good to see these smiling faces!

Our yummy Easter dinner…complete with a TOTAL deviled egg fail.

 

The rest of our week went smoothly. This week’s school week went more smoothly. One thing we started doing this week is having a family prayer time in the morning, which has been really good for us all. Our kiddos are doing SO good at working really well through their school work, and doing a lot independently since I am busy with my class a lot. We’ve gotten into a pretty good groove, I think. The weather was cooler this week, but still pretty, so there was a lot of outside time for the kiddos. Ta and Everett came by on Monday to drop off some Easter cookies. Josie did more online ballet on Wednesday.

Friday Jack recorded a recitation video for his class. He had to recite the Gettysburg Address. He worked really hard on this, and was so glad to have it off his plate! I was really proud of him for working so hard.

 

Friday evening Jake and I were weary. Jake had had a long work week, I had had a long work week.  So we ordered pizza and Jake and I had a movie night with Jack. Josie had another middle school girls youth group “hang out/movie night.” It was beach themed, hence her beach hat, LOL.

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Saturday we all slept late, then I cooked a big breakfast. It was a beautiful day outside, so we got dressed and went for another ride. We went back to the nursery in Springfield to get more bell pepper and tomato plants, because the heavy frost this week killed ours, even though we covered them all up.

After that we ran by the Roses to pick up some stuff Lindsey had gotten me from school. It was so good to see her in person (6 ft apart, of course). We stayed and chatted for awhile. Then we went to visit Grammy and Pappy. We hadn’t been to their house since this whole thing started, and it was so good to see them in person, even though we didn’t go inside or touch them. We just stayed out in the yard and walked around and talked.

After that we went home and ate lunch. Jake mowed the yard, I planted the new plants and did some weeding in the garden and a couple of other chores. Then we all went to the farm. We went down to the bottom and did some trash cleaning that we’ve been wanting to do for awhile. The bottom floods when it rains heavy, and there was trash from years of it doing that and nobody ever picking it up. The trash had been driving us crazy, so we decided it was time to do something about it. We picked up lots of tires, especially, that had probably been there for years. It felt good to get all of those out. And-it was a BEAUTIFUL day to be in the woods. This is my favorite time of year to be in the woods.

It always feels good to work hard and get dirty. We all came home and got showers, and then ate leftover pizza and had a family movie night.  (We have had a LOT of family movie nights here lately…and that’s okay. It’s a good way to spend the night, and a good stress reliever for us all.) 

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Today we all slept late, and then had waffles and sausage and watched our church service. Then we did some chores. Jake did some stuff outside while I did the seasonal switch out of the kiddos’ clothing. Then we planted the rest of our garden (all the things we grow from seed)-corn, zucchini, squash, okra, lavender, cucumbers, and cantaloupe.

Tonight Jack had a Zoom call with some of his friends (and you should have HEARD the belly laughing!), then we had a Zoom covenant gathering with our church, and now Jo is on a Zoom youth group call. Lots of Zoom calls. I have a love/hate relationship with Zoom right now. I am on Zoom a LOT for school right now. So all Zoom calls, at least right now, feel a little bit like work. But, I am super grateful for technology that is allowing us to keep up with some relationships even in the midst of quarantine.

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Quarantine Week 4

Whew. It was a WEEK. This was our first official full time week of online “distance” learning. I had spent the last two weeks preparing for this…and had a different picture in my head of how it might go than how it did go. But we survived!

The beginning of our week was quite a bit more exciting than we had originally thought it might be. A couple of weeks ago, Jack’s best friend’s mom contacted me. She was going to have a baby, and soon. The problem was, because of lots of different circumstances, none of her family or other friends had been able to do a “strict” quarantine. She knew we had, so she had a favor to ask-could her kiddos come stay with us while they went to the hospital to have the baby. Well, I had been praying for 3 days straight at that point for God to show me ways I could love/help others, even in the midst of being stuck at my house. So to me, this was pretty obviously how God was answering that prayer. So Jake and I said yes, of course we would do it.

She was originally supposed to be induced on Tuesday morning. However, this baby had different plans! She texted me in the middle of the night Sunday night that it was time. So I immediately drove to their house. I stayed there for the rest of the night to let the kiddos sleep. Monday morning I woke them up, and drove them all back to my house so we could dive into the first day of school. So-first day of distance learning- and I had FIVE kids at my house, kindergarten-sixth grade. Gulp. Between all five kids and myself, I had TWELVE Zoom calls/classes to coordinate between 8:30 and 1:00. It.was.a.zoo. But we made it! Everybody made all their classes, everybody got all their work done, everybody got fed. The kiddos even had a ton of playtime outside. I have never been so thankful for beautiful weather as I was this week! And let me tell you..our kids were THRILLED to have their kids come to stay!!! Of course Jack was, since one of the kids is his absolute best friend. And Josie was SUCH a big help. She took their little girl under her wing and had the ultimate baby-sitting/having a little sister experience for two days.

Highlights of Monday: Survival! Jake cooking a big mess of fried chicken for dinner. The Roses doing a drive through in our driveway for a bit-SOOO good to see their faces-we miss them so much! The Kings doing a drive by and bringing us BBQ (We saved it for Tuesday night’s dinner)!! These kids all being so sweet to each other-they were all SOO good. (And yes, those are pictures of them taking rag baths-they were all SO filthy after a long day of playing outside, but bedtime was more important than bath time.)

Tuesday was a bit smoother. There were less Zoom calls, I started the day at my house, and we had a bit of routine. The kiddos were all so, so, good again.

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Tuesday night after dinner and baths I took the kiddos home to their parents and their new baby brother. Josie rode along with me. I drove her by Golly G’s for a treat after we dropped them off, because she deserved it! She was a biiigggg help to me Monday and Tuesday!

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Wednesday and Thursday were definitely quieter and calmer at our house, but definitely still busy. The kiddos were so, SO good this week-I couldn’t have asked them to be better. I had a LOT to do for my school. Technology troubleshooting for parents and students, Zoom calls with students, Zoom classes, grading papers, etc. All that, and helping Josie and Jack with their work. But they were rock stars, and did so good staying on task and working through their work on their own, only coming to me when they needed help with something. They are good kiddos.

Friday was Good Friday, so the kiddos were off school. They played all day while Jake and I worked. I lesson planned and recorded videos for next week’s classes and got all the content put in our online school website. Friday was also Nana’s birthday, so after we got done working, we drove the kiddos over there to drop off her birthday cards and talk to her from a distance. While we were there, Josh, Jackie and Everett, and then Ta and Tommy pulled in the driveway to do the same thing.

 

Friday night we had our virtual Good Friday service with our church on our couch. I’m so glad our church is working so hard to stream services. Good Friday is one of my favorite services all year. This year was no exception, even if we couldn’t be at our church building. And I need to hear those songs and that message. Friday was the first day through all of this I have been sad. I know many have it so, so much worse than we do right now..but the heaviness of all of this was just getting to me. I wanted to hug my Nana around her neck on her birthday. And see my family for Easter weekend. And go to church with my people. So Friday, I was sad. And that’s okay. We sang “It is Well” on our Good Friday service. I needed that song. It was what my heart needed to hear.

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Today we all slept late and stayed in our pjs until after lunch. Grammy and Pappy dropped off a surprise Easter gift on our porch for the kiddos.

 

After lunch, we decided we all needed to go for a drive. We decided to do a tour of Robertson County and support some small local businesses. We went to a  local nursery and bought the ferns for my front porch. We went to a local dairy and bought some milk. We went to another local farm and bought some meat and some eggs. All of these markets were outside, and we were super careful about keeping distance and wiping everything down as soon as we got to the car.  All in all we were in the car for about 2 hours. But it was a beautiful day, and we drove through some beautiful countryside, and it was just what we all needed.

This evening we had an egg hunt for our kiddos at our house. Casey had dropped off some already stuffed eggs for the kids earlier in the week (Bless her!!!), so Jake and I hid them all over the yard. Not quite the same as having all their cousins with them…but nothing is quite the same, this April. Mama Judy came to watch the kiddos hunt. It was good to talk to her and catch up (from a distance, of course). I can’t WAIT until all this over so I can hug all my people!

 

After dinner tonight, we went and picked up our grocery order at Walmart and ran by Sonic for a treat. It was a good day.

And now, the Easter Bunny just visited! (Plus, Josie left a super sweet present for her brother, all on her own.)

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Tomorrow won’t be quite the same as normal. But it will be good. Because even in the midst of all this craziness, I have so, so many reasons to be thankful.

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?