Week 10

This week had its ups and downs like any other, but I think it had more ups than downs. Monday Jake had a long work call, so I decided it would be best to get the kiddos and myself out of the house for a bit so he could have a quiet place to work. So after lunch we loaded up our bikes and met Lindsey and the older girls over at the greenway for a bike ride. It was a great ride, and we topped it off with a quick trip to Sonic for a treat….and I didn’t get pictures of any of it, LOL. Monday I also did something I’ve been wanting to do for ages. I’ve always kept some of the kiddos school work and other memorabilia in scrapbooks…but that was not ideal, and they were getting too stuffed. So I finally ordered some file boxes for each kid, and folders for each year. MUCH better, and the kids had fun going through all their old stuff and looking at it while we were switching it over.
File folders for yearly memories
On Monday we also discovered that Jake can do handstand pushups, and we were all very impressed! Tuesday night the Roses came over for another fire night after dinner. It was a fun, casual hang out night. Wednesday Josie had to have a telehealth call with her doctor, because she had poison ivy on her face AGAIN.
Josie-poison ivy…again.
One day we ran by Casey’s to drop something off at her house, and we hung out a bit on her deck. I always love seeing her and my sweet niece and nephews. I got a new phone recently, so we decided that we would make my old phone Josie’s to use and make the iPad Jack’s to use, so that they could text and email on them. (Still super limited use/and we are keeping up with their contacts, etc…but we decided this would be good “practice” for Josie before she’s ready to actually have her own phone.) And, since we are still limiting who we are around right now, this lets them keep in touch with their friends and family easier. πŸ™‚
The kids spent a ton of time this week crafting together, melting crayons to make cool designs on boards. Our new Adirondack chairs came this week!
Friday I had a quick photo shoot, and then I had a little time to myself in the car because I went to Head’s Farm, and then to another nursery, looking for lavender to plant, since ours never came up from seed. It was good to have a little alone time!
Friday night, as a last minute type of thing, Grammy and Pappy came over to eat red beans and rice with us and sit around the fire. It ended up raining after we finished eating, but we just moved the party to the porch. πŸ™‚ It was good to get to hang out with them for awhile. Saturday was a busy day. Jake and Daddy were doing some work at our farm to get the dove field ready (LOOONNGGG story..but our tractor has been in the shop for forever, and is STILL not ready, so we needed Daddy’s help with his tractor). I had a photo shoot at Mom’s. Nana ended up picking up Krystals and we all ate lunch outside at Mom and Dad’s. It was so good to get to see Mom and Dad again, and to get to see Nana! After lunch, the kiddos and I headed to the farm where Jake and Daddy were working. Josh also came to help Jake out and brought the girls. I took the kiddos down to the swimming hole for a little while. It was FREEZING, but kids never care! After the Roses and Pappy left, Jake and I worked on getting some rocks to put around the fire pit, and then went home and got them all placed.
And then I went and got food at one of our favorite restaurants, because it finally opened back up! Woohoo! And we had a movie night and introduced the kiddos to Grease. LOL Yesterday we did church online again..our church actually opened back up yesterday (with lots of precautions)…but we just aren’t ready to go back quite yet. We went back to the farm and got more rocks to finish up the circle.
Jake is off today and tomorrow…because we were supposed to be camping. But we are not dwelling on that! We are just enjoying some days to be together and do some things around the house. πŸ™‚

Quarantine, Week 9

This week brought new house projects, enjoying friends, lots of sleeping late, and beautiful weather.

Sunday was Mother’s Day, and by my choice, we started a house project. We’ve wanted to make a new gravel fireplace area for awhile, and right now seemed like the perfect time since we are restricting our hanging out with family and friends time to outside gatherings right now.

So, Sunday, we dove in. Jake measured it all out, and then we started digging-literally. t was HARD work, but it was satisfying to see it take shape. We dug out 2 “yards” worth of dirt. The kids and I also ran over to our local nursery to scope out the gravel/stone options.

It was HARD, tiring work…but satisfying, too. We ended the day with picking up Greek food and Sonic treats and having a movie night.

Monday was a beautiful day, and since rain was forecasted for the next two days, we decided to get our project finished. The kids and I made several trips to the nursery to pick up gravel, and Jake helped us scoop in between his work calls.

This was hard work, too, but not quite as hard as the day before. It’s not quite finished-we’ve ordered Adirondack chairs and new Solo fire pit that will come later this week. But until we get that, we ran over and grabbed our old fire ring from the farm and just set out some lawn chairs.

Monday night the Roses came over after dinner for a fire and some dessert. We had missed hanging out with them SO much, and it was a good, sweet time. They ended up staying until midnight without ANY of us realizing how late it was! The adults were just talking around the fire, and the kiddos were running around the yard, and eventually they pulled out their sleeping bags and laid on the porch talking, LOL (spaced apart, of course).


The rest of the week we took it easier. Tuesday I spent the whole day in my pajamas editing pictures. The kiddos THOROUGHLY enjoyed their first week of summer break. For the first week, I didn’t make them do any of our normal “tasks”-they just got a week completely off of doing anything. They slept LATE and played HARD.


I caught up on some running and reading this week.


On Thursday night the kiddos slept in a tent in the treehouse!

They stayed out there the whole night…they even came in to use the bathroom once, and went right back out! In the morning they came in, got cereal, and took it back up there. πŸ™‚

Friday I went to the farm and did some mowing for the XC trail. Friday was also mine and Jake’s 16th wedding anniversary. πŸ™‚ It was anticlimactic this year for sure…and we felt it. We were both a little bummed. It is hard to celebrate things like that in quarantine, when dates or restaurants are not an option. We ended up picking up food from a new restaurant called Laignappe as a last minute decision. It was pretty good, but maybe not something we would order again.


Saturday was a nice day. Jake had mowing to do, and the kids and I ran over to school so I could clean out my students’ desks and bag up all their stuff for them to pick up…..weirdest end to school ever, for sure. It was nice to be out, though.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. We slept late, ate brunch while we watched church, and then just piddled. Jake cut some limbs and started a fire to burn them, and we sat around that for awhile, just enjoying the breeze and the fire.


Later in the afternoon we ran over to the Roses for just a bit to take E a birthday gift, because she turned five! Then we came back home and ate dinner. Just as we were finishing up dinner, the Roses texted us to see if we wanted to come back to their house, because they were just sitting out by a fire. So we did! πŸ™‚ Such a perk of having friends that live close by! Hannah and Josie were able to do their Zoom youth group call together (outside), and we just sat around the fire talking while the kids ran around and explored the woods with flashlights. The rain came about 9:15, but that was okay. It was a good way to end our weekend. We are all getting a little weary of our normal at home routine each evening, so it is good to spice it up sometimes. πŸ™‚


Some things we are weary of right now: Eating at home-because even picking up food at a restaurant is not the same as eating out-there are still dishes Β to be done and things to be cleaned. Not being able to go in our family’s houses and hug them. Camping trips getting cancelled. Having to make the right decisions for our family, even when lots of other people are making decisions that are different than ours.

Some things we are thankful for right now: getting to spend lots of time together. Beautiful spring that we’ve gotten to enjoy. Our house. Our jobs. A slower schedule (even when we grow weary of it sometimes). Friends that respect our decisions. Fires.


Happy Mother’s Day to my mom. To the one who gave me life. Who made all kinds of sacrifices for me. Who did silly things like braid my hair into a million braids for spirit week. Who bought me pretty dresses, and fixed my hair, and hosted a million sleepovers for crazy teenage girls, and taught me to ski. Who taught me how to work hard and never give up. Who became a Grammy to my kiddos. Who taught me how to BE a momma. Who loves me unconditionally. I love you! Happy Mother’s Day.

Mandolin Playing

This week, for Jack’s last online music class, his teacher let he and his classmates share their instrument (if they play one). Jack played this song for his class.

He has come so far this year with his mandolin playing! We are proud of him for sticking with something that can be difficult…and he really enjoys it.

Quarantine, Week 8

Hard to believe we’ve been “quarantining” for 2 months now…but we have.

This week looked a little different than our previous weeks of quarantine. We were busier, for one Β thing.

This was the last official week of school. It also happened to be teacher appreciation week…and my class blessed me BIG time. A mom dropped off presents for me on Sunday night, one for each day of the week. And WOW. I was blown away by the generosity of my class! I also received all kinds of sweet cards and letters in the mail all week long.


Monday lunch on the porch, because the weather was beautiful:


And, this girl is looking ENTIRELY too old:


Monday was also Josie’s best friend’s birthday. Her dad just happens to own Golly G’s, so they hosted a surprise “porch party” for her at Golly G’s. I took the kids and we hung out on the outskirts of the porch (a safe distance away, of course) for a little bit. I did tell Jo to get close for just one quick picture, though. πŸ™‚ The kiddos were excited to see some friends they have been missing. We still aren’t ready for indoor gatherings, but small outdoor gatherings seem okay (for now anyways. This is a strange time, right now, and we are struggling to know what is okay and what is not…so we are just taking it one day at a time, one decision at a time.


Tuesday afternoon I met Casey at the farm so I could take Emery’s 9 month pictures. It was EVERYTHING I could do not to scoop her up in her arms, but I refrained and stayed a safe distance away. πŸ™‚ But we got SO MANY cute shots. She is so sweet, and a major ham. The boys had a blast getting to run around in the woods together, too.


After I got back home, we ran a lawn mower implement we were getting rid of over to a family in Ridgetop…and then on a whim, we decided to go by Taco Bell and pick up dinner. I mean…it WAS Taco Tuesday AND Cinco De Mayo. πŸ™‚


Tuesday night, because it came in the mail early and Jake couldn’t wait, he gave me my birthday/Mother’s day gift- an espresso machine!! I was so excited! It makes the BEST cup of coffee-restaurant quality. I have made a LOT of coffee this week, HA! The kiddos have been enjoying the steam feature too, and have been making themselves “steamers.”


Wednesday was a busy day for me, and not a typical “school” day. Every year my fourth graders have Greek and Roman Day….well, this year we had to do that virtually, since we were already “distance learning” when we would’ve had our celebration. So I decided to host a virtual day on Thursday. Normally, I make these Ancient Roman Honey Cookies for the kiddos on this day, and I didn’t want this class to miss out. So, all day on Wednesday I baked up four batches of these cookies, bagged them up, and then Wednesday afternoon I went and sat on the porch of the school and my kids’ parents came and picked up their kids’ “surprise.” It was good to be out and see people (from a distance). I even got to hang out with Lindsey for a bit.


I made one delivery to one of my students that couldn’t pick up, and then we went and dropped off some baby clothes to Dan and Hannah (on their porch)-it was so good to see them! Then we came home and ate some chili.

Almost the last day of school…and distance learning!

Thursday was Greek/Roman day for my class! I told them to bring their lunch to our Zoom class and wear their costumes. I sent an email to the parents, giving them a list of the foods we normally eat on Greek and Roman day, and also asking them to let their kids set up their Zoom call so they could eat “reclining” on the floor like we normally do at school on this day. Even though we weren’t together, I tried to make this a special day for my class…and I think they had fun. πŸ™‚

The things we do for our students, LOL.

Thursday evening I had another senior boy photo shoot, this time at my parents’ house. Jake and the kiddos went with me. It was good to see Grammy and Pappy for a bit, and Shshr came by, too. Afterwards we ran by Nana’s house to drop off some lettuce at her house. It was so good to see all of them. I can’t WAIT to go inside their houses and hug all of their necks, though.


Watching Pappy clean his fish….

Friday was an exciting day. It was the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL. And my birthday.

Our last day of school picture sure did look different this year-no uniforms! And, of course, we weren’t actually AT school…it felt different, for sure. Anti climatic, really. And…these kids have changed A LOT since the beginning of school, especially Jack!


My birthday was nice. Jake made me breakfast. The kiddos surprised me with sweet cards and gifts. Josie made me three pot holders that I forgot to take a picture of.


I got cards in the mail from sweet family, friends, and students. Mama Judy stopped by and dropped me off a present. πŸ™‚ A family from my school stopped by to bring me sweet cards, gifts, and flowers. A sweet girl from church came and brought me some flowers, too.


Friday afternoon we spent time covering up all the plants in the garden, because we had a freeze warning for that night…in MAY?! Β Something that we could never remember happening before, for sure.


Friday evening we went and picked up my birthday dinner from Ichiban-sushi-YUM. We ate in the living room while we watched a movie together. Then we went to Golly G’s so I could get a birthday milkshake. πŸ™‚ It was a great birthday, despite being quarantined. My people know how to make me feel special. I am very blessed with such wonderful family and friends.


My birthday continued into Saturday morning because Mom, Dad, and Nana came by and Mom and Dad brought me birthday donut holes and a present. πŸ™‚



We spent a lot of Saturday working in the yard. Jake worked on cleaning out the fire pit, and the kids and I weeded the garden. (Which all survived the freeze!)


We went Saturday afternoon to get a rose bush that had been Granny’s out of Mama Judy’s yard to plant by our trellis. Hopefully it will survive! We’ve planted several things here but nothing has “stuck” yet.

I even got to sit in a chair and pretend I was camping, LOL. Which was good for my soul…we got the disappointing news this week that our Memorial Day camping trip is cancelled because the campgrounds still won’t be open. πŸ™ This bummed me out more than it probably should’ve. But it did. I’m praying they will open up before our July trip!


And just one more picture of this goofy boy…who built a fort on his bed. And has been sleeping in it every night…curled up in just one corner πŸ™‚

It was a good week. Grateful for my family. Grateful for sweet friends. Grateful that we are healthy, safe, well fed, and have a beautiful house, yard, and farm to run in. Grateful Jake and I still have jobs. Grateful for another year of life. Grateful for many, many things.




Forgot to include this in last night’s post.

This week we all got haircuts. I always give Jack and Jake their hair cuts, so that is no big deal. I also trim Jo’s hair regularly, so that wasn’t a big deal either (although she was NOT happy with how much I trimmed off…but it needed it.)

But, my hair was LOOOOONNNNNGGG overdue a hair cut by months, and it was getting SO dead at the ends. So I got Jake to cut my hair. He did an awesome job!

(And..yes, I am horrible at taking selfies.)

Quarantine, Week 7

We had another good week. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…besides missing being able to hang out with friends and hug our families….quarantine has not been so bad. We’ve enjoyed having a calmer schedule and getting to soak up spring. The kids have missed normal school, but this different school routine has allowed them to concentrate on a few things that they really needed to shore up.

Here’s what we were up to this week:


One morning the kids I were amazed to see this HUGE bird land on top of our barn. After some studying, we think it was a turkey vulture.

Tuesday after school and work we loaded up the bikes and headed over to Ashland City to the Rails to Trails bike trail they have. Jake, Jack, and I had been on it before, but this was Josie’s first time. It was a beautiful day, and we rode about 8 miles in all.

On our way home, we decided we would eat out (or in our truck, rather) just for kicks. We went by Sonic first for some onion rings, tots and fries, and then went to Golly G’s for sandwiches and milkshakes. It was all delicious, and a great way to change up our routine a bit.


Wednesday morning we went to the Roses, because Lindsey needed help jumpstarting her van. The kiddos were so glad to see each other, even if it was from 6 ft away.



Some other randomness this week:


This is one very, very loved cat.


I made myself whipped coffee again, and I had found a whipped chocolate recipe that I tried out for the rest of my family. They reported it was good! But very sweet.


Mama Judy brought by a treat for us one day!! Yum!


Jack was inspired by his art classes this week, and made me a pot holder!

This week Josie had a pretty cool homework assignment. Throughout the week, they were supposed to plan meal, look up recipes, make a grocery list, make a menu, and then on Friday, prepare the meal and serve it all by themselves.

Josie planned to make tacos, cheese dip and chips, and sopapillas for dessert. She actually started on Thursday, making sure her meat/beans were laid out in the refrigerator and making the dough for her sopapillas.


Friday she did it all! I was actually super impressed with how well she did. The only help I gave her was telling her where I kept a couple of the ingredients she needed, and I helped her know how much oil to put in the pan for her sopapillas. Otherwise, she did everything else all on her own! I was surprised how much she had learned just by watching me cook. πŸ™‚

She did an awesome job. Dinner was delicious. I was most impressed by her frying up the sopapillas all by herself! I didn’t help a bit. She was super proud of herself….and she gained a new appreciation for what I do most nights. πŸ™‚ Her menus were so cool-she even made a kids’ menu for Jack, complete with a coloring page! It was a really neat homework assignment. πŸ™‚

This weekend was nice. Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL, summer-like day. We slept late and I made brunch, and then we hit the road for some errands, per our new normal Saturday routine. We went to JECA first to drop off some stuff/pick up some stuff. We ran into few people there to say hi to, which was nice.


Side note: why does my little girl look like a teenager?

Then we went to Head’s Farm to get some milk, bacon, and some Mother’s Day plants to give to my mom and Mama Judy.

We headed home and Jake and I sat on the porch, soaking up the pretty day.

Then we ran down to my parents’ so I could give my mom her flower basket.

We were able to hang out with them a bit (outside), which was nice. Daddy was working in his garden when we got there.

From there we headed to the farm, because I had a photo shoot. We made a stop at Mama Judy to give her her flowers, too. πŸ™‚

It was a fun photo shoot- a senior boy who doesn’t mind hiking, so we went all the way to big creek. The kids tagged along so they could play in the creek while I took pics.


Today we slept late again, brunched while watching church, and then Jake and I headed out in the yard to work. He mowed and I weed eated, then I did some other yard work while he cleaned out the gutters/roof. Then we tag teamed getting everything blown off….just in time for a big rain storm to come up, of course. It was really nice sitting on the porch watching the rain, though.

Some sweet friends came by this evening to drop off some teacher appreciation gifts for me from my class! They gave me a bag to open for each day this week. πŸ™‚ How sweet is that?

Oh! And this week we found out that this coming Friday will be our last week of school….so one more week to go of distance learning!