April surprisingly flew by.
And since I am with the kids 24/7 I have a million pics to document our daily activities.
There didn't seem to be much of a middle ground, either we were deliriously happy to be home and spending time together, so grateful for everything we have. Or depressed and angry with no motivation and at each other's throats. Such seems to be the life of quarantine. School:
a highlight of the month was the teacher parade.
We love and miss these teachers desperately.
There might of been a few tears shed, but mostly there was happy smiles and yelling, as some of our most beloved people drove by.
And I have realized how much I count these teachers and staff as my friends and I miss getting to talk and laugh with them a few days each week. Not to mention what I know these kids are missing out on and now they instead get me glaring over their shoulders to write their dang essay instead of the amazing, kind, loving, and patient teachers they all had.
2 children have been very difficult to do homeschool with and 2 have been much easier. I am sure everyone knows who falls where.
Miles spends the first half of his day raging about how he can't do anything and then most days pulls through and gets it done, no problem.
Ruby is just non-stop all over the place. We got a good solid 3 weeks of homeschool in and then it was hit and miss after that.
This is me every single day since March 18th.
Here she is with a story she wrote about Fang, opening up a gift bag her teacher dropped off (highlight of her month), Drawing a portrait of Fang (she puts him in "place" and then moves him all over to get the proper angles), and lastly Olaf is a common homeschool companion.
Crew sits down every morning and just goes through his daily assignments like a boss.
I have no pictures of Macey doing her school work, because the other 3 kept me so busy running between them, I never even had to give her a glance. And if she did have issues (which she did from time to time), we just waited until the other kids were in bed and Paul was done working to help.
Kitchen helper of the day still going strong and hopefully added some learning to the days where I could get nothing else out of these kids. The long hours between school and bedtime:
We spent a solid week delivering bunnies around to our friends, it proved to be an amazing way to pass some long afternoons and get some miles in on our bikes. Thank you Nana Navasard!!
The girls and I took an entire afternoon to dye our hair. It made those after 2:00 hours fly by.
Are you even in quarantine if you don't do something drastic to your hair?
There was a fly over of fighter jets. It was a very exciting few minutes. So grateful for the all the people trying to keep these kids entertained and happy. Crew found a nice comfy seat while waiting.
I tried my hand at custom doormats. It was fun and I'm always trying to find new sayings to put on my next one.
Kids have been getting in on the craft action too, when I have the patience to let them pull it out.
So many games. We had to buy new games, since Paul and I could no longer mentally handle playing the games we already had. We got Ticket to Ride, Dominion, and Carcassonne.
We can often be found at the school, but never on the playground equipment. :) Ruby likes to look in her classroom window. And we've had so many good kite flying days.
The kids have pretty much turned into wild animals who always wear their pajamas and never comb their hair.
so many scraped knees, elbows, and toes that almost need stitches.
The absolute best part about quarantine has been that these kids have become best friends again. No neighbor kids, nothing else going on.
Crew and Miles have always had a complicated relationship. This has been nothing but good for the 2 of them. They have bonded over Animal Crossing, Beanie Boos, Pokemon, and basketball. They are constantly coming up with new ways to entertain themselves and I have loved watching it.
And these 2. I feel like Macey has gotten to extend her childhood out just a little bit longer. She spends her days organizing games, producing movies, breaking up fights, and hosting dance parties with her siblings.
I pray this is the main thing they remember about this crazy time.
And even though Paul is working extremely crazy hours, he still takes the time to make us some awesome breakfasts. Always a great way to start these crazy long days.
Constant trips to Sodalicious to keep ourselves fueled. Fang has also developed an addiction.
We've tried to be really good with social distancing, but sometimes you just need to talk to your friends in person.
trying out our new masks and catching up with some favorite neighbors.
Sometimes a driveway car chat does the trick too.
Of all the kids Macey has had the hardest time with the social aspect of this and these small interactions helped her push through some very hard days. Grateful for good friends.
And one evening this group of long lost friends got together and very were patient with me constantly coming out to check that they were keeping 6 ft apart. :)
And I of course have had my share of social distancing meetups that have kept me sane through all of this.
I have learned about a million things during all this, one of the main ones being, my village is huge and amazing and I am glad I am not in this all alone.
I hiked and hiked and hiked.
Macey found my old orange BYU sweatshirt from college that was a perfect fit.
And sometimes Crew looses patience with Ruby and kicks her out to go live in the closet under the stairs. Surprisingly she listened and hauled all her stuff down there.
It finally got warm enough to play in the water!!
and life got much better after that.
We had a fun filled day with a bounce house. We were sad we couldn't invite any friends over to play with us, but these kids managed to have a blast together. Weekend Warriors
We have still been trying to take advantage of our weekends together, since everything is more fun when Paul can hang out with us. And it's been nice going back to simple things, like finding ways to entertain ourselves without spending money, since there's no where to go and spend it.
Picnics and baseball in the mountains.
Scooter Gang Rides
Everyone took many turns down the hill to get their tricks just right.
Lots of Bocce Ball.
This has become a new family favorite and has yet to involve yelling, crying, quitting, or bad all around sportsmanship. A miracle of a game.
Gerald is extra exciting. And these 3 had a blast camping out in him in the backyard, while we were suppose to be camping in Snow Canyon for Spring Break.
Lots of bikerides! Paul finally got me this sweet helmet, since we have now ventured out of our 1 mile neighborhood radius and can be found riding in bike lanes on actual streets. #safetyfirst
I couldn't be more proud of my flower pots (my boxwood trees didn't survive the winter). Makes me happy every time I go on my porch and they are still alive and growing!!
Turns out S'Mores at the fire pit without friends is almost as fun and not nearly as stressful.
And a few times Paul and I have abandoned kids at home on a Saturday morning to hike.
Easter is one of our bigger holidays with big egg hunts and lots of friends over for dinner.
Everyone was a little sad the night before, but luckily nothing is ever boring with this group and it turned out to be an amazing holiday together.
My parents sent us this Easter Sack Race game.
It was amazing and entertaining and extremely exhausting. Made me realize that I am in the worst shape of the 6 of us.
Paul's parents sent confetti eggs, which is always messy and entertaining.
And I was able to find everything I needed for dinner and baskets.
And our backyard proved to be a great place to have an egg hunt.
And i still got my porch picture!!
Plus, it was a million times easier because I didn't have to get everyone in church clothes and hair combed for church.
It is going to be a harsh reality when I actually have to get this group in church attending shape. One thing I have not missed for one single moment is getting everyone ready and out the door for church. :)
It was an amazing day, where I wasn't stressed, and I just got to enjoy the holiday with the people I love most and talk at our own pace about our Savior and all he has done and is doing for us.
We also played The Newlywed Game with my family over Zoom. It was super fun and Paul and I were the big losers and realized we should spend our quarantine time getting to know each other better. :)
And that is kind of what our quarantine days looked like for the month of April, but with lots more crying and yelling and swearing and stress eating.
Don't want anyone getting the wrong idea out there.
Typical weekly grocery haul minus all the soda that is stored in the garage.
Pre-Quarantine phase 1:
Where we knew stuff was coming, but we were still naive about what exactly that was.
I got to go to parent's day at the jr. high. I loved going to Macey's classes with her. Seeing how she navigates the chaos that is the halls and how she manages to find her friends in the insanity that is lunch. Jr. High teachers are amazing. Modern day heros.
Seems like a lifetime ago when we still got to hike together. Little did we know this would be our last one for who knows how long.
- Kacie and I have still been hiking, since there's just 2 of us. But, this was the last time we'd stand close together for a pic.
Some girls planned a really fun dad and daughter activity at church. We crammed all the girls under the table for the dads to try and identify each daughters foot. so much giggling, hopefully it will last them awhile.
- This what my kitchen used to look like most days. Now it is in a constant state of chaos. Pre-Quarantine phase 2:
Still thinking we might get to go to Disneyland. Still playing with friends outside, but no one is allowed in the house anymore. Still allowed to go to State Parks not in our county.
Antelope Island with Holly.
This was also the last time we ate in a restaurant, sadly McDonalds was our last meal. We didn't let the kids play in the toys though, some were more mad than others.
- In preparation for our trip to Disneyland I decided to go to the grocery store and stock up, just in case we had to be quarantined for 2 weeks when we got back. We really had no idea what we were going to do with Disneyland at this point.
Little did I know how grateful I would be I made these store runs, because like 2 days later things got crazy.
Schools announced they were going to do 2 minimal days, so the teachers could prep for online learning. My kids left school friday, thinking they'd go back Monday. Right after they got home, we found out school was cancelled for 2 weeks.
- We took our last hike with friends.
We tried to make the kids keep some space between them, but weren't too stressed about it.
It was heaven sitting in that meadow soaking up the sun. Glad we got it in before it became highly looked down upon to be with friends.
- Domo moved Domopolozza to online, so Paul worked non-stop trying to help get things ready. Domo moved everyone to working remotely. Which means Ruby moved into Crew's room and Paul took over Ruby's room as his office.
They have a love hate relationship with sharing a room. Best part, Crew used to come down crying that he was lonely. Worse part, Ruby destroys their room every single day.
My favorite quote from Crew this month, "Ruby is destroying the 2 things I love most!! Playing and sleeping." :) - Paul's Birthday!!
It turned out a bit different than we planned. We were planning to go to IHOP to get rainbow pancakes, the kids had been looking forward to it all month. Paul's birthday was the day they closed restaurants. I don't think Crew has forgiven us yet. We then entered into Quarantine Phase 3
For me this meant lots of Sodalicious and raspberry filled powdered donuts.
- We tried to figure out this online learning.
First schedule didn't work. So, I kept trying.
and trying. I think we are currently on homeschool schedule take 4. It might be a keeper, at least for a few weeks.
We did some rearranging. Found each kid their preferred schooling spot and device, and tried to settle into our new routine.
- That grin is due to seeing his class (mostly his teacher and crush) for the first time since school got cancelled.
- Getting setup for virtual Violin lessons.
- Some pics of what our online learning looks like.
- Ruby's cute little giraffe drawing for a math story problem. They had a zoo animal themed day on the day they were suppose to go on their zoo field trip. That was a hard day.
- Every Monday morning Crew, Ruby, and Miles all have speech over hangouts with their amazing speech teacher. It is not easy, they are not the most cooperative, but she just rolls with and helps us the best she can. We miss her a lot, so much so, that every time I talk with her on Monday's I am afraid I will break down and cry.
How I feel 10 min into homeschool.
- Fang is getting very worn out having all the kids home all day.
His only safe haven is Paul's office.
- We have instituted a kitchen helper of the day. They get to pick what's for lunch, prep it, and then help me with dinner. They also get to pick the movie after outside time and lunch.
I feel like it's been one of our more positive additions to our daily life.
- There has been lots of crafts, puzzles, games, and overall mess making.
- The boys spent 2 solid days doing Pokemon Masked Singer in the basement and I think they've put together this Pokemon puzzle at least 5 times.
I survived pre-Coronavirus by getting outside and taking my kids places. We've been trying to do the same during all this craziness.
the snow hasn't been helping though.
Some days I force them on a walk and stomped behind them like a prison guard.
Other days I send them off on their own with a promise they can't come back until they've walked at least a mile.
- We've had endless bike rides trying to get our excess energy out.
- And then sometimes there's a miracle and kids are content to just draw with sidewalk chalk for a few min and soak up the sun.
- One of my favorite moments of March was a family kickball game before bed at the school. Even Fang got in on the action.
- Another highlight has been watching these kids play together without the distraction of neighbor kids. It really has been amazing to watch and this is what I hope they remember.
Crew reading to Ruby.
Macey and Crew practicing their Harry Potter Spells.
And the unifying effort of making Fang participate in their imaginative world.
- We've been on more hikes and walks than the kids would like, but sometimes we bring Fang and there is much less complaining.
- A new favorite pastime we've discovered is flying kites in the field at school.
- The tramp has also been in use nonstop.
- Miles got his cast off!!! This has made life much easier to handle for him.
- One of the harder things is our trips that keep getting cancelled. Our tally is currently at Disneyland, Nana and Pop-Pop coming to visit, Snow Canyon, Moab, and Capital Reef.
I am doing my best to keep a positive attitude by
Kacie and I keep an appropriate 6 ft distance between us at all times, even when taking selfies.
Date nights in the car.
I have even done some crafting.
So many trips to Sodalicous.
Paul and I have been working hard on putting together our own Covid-19 playlists. It really helps laundry folding more enjoyable.
And memes. People's meme games are strong right now and are helping to keep me sane.
We started the month with this girl's birthday.
Weird to have a teenager and I might of shed a few tears that night when I went to bed.
This year was a much more mellow birthday than last year (Crew's arm) and we were happy we were actually all there to have cake this year.
Macey is everyone's favorite. And most
days I don't know how I got so lucky to get her.
She is a lover of Harry Potter and Survivor and can't wait to apply for Survivor when she turns 18. She loves school and her friends and I still haven't heard her say anything mean about anyone ever. She's our favorite babysitter and cookie maker.
She even planned to pay for her own birthday party at The Space Center. But, she ended up letting us pay instead. :)
She has made some amazing friends this year and I hope she stays close to them through the craziness that is Jr. High.
And The Space Center was just amazing. Paul and I dropped them off and came back 2 1/2 hours later to pick them up. Heaven.
Their mission was Invasion. and it was hilarious watching them on the video cameras getting attacked by aliens and trying to save another planet. Lots of screaming and laughing. They all have big plans to pool their money and do the 6 hour mission this summer.
Macey and Miles are still the best of friends and get super wild together. And we still call her The Miles Whisperer.
The boys finished their basketball seasons and Crew scored his first basket!! I didn't get a picture of course, but it was adorable.
There is still constant basketball being played out front.
Always makes my mom heart happy to see Miles and Crew find something that they actually both like!
We took the kids to their last BYU game of the season, since there was no way we were risking this sort of attitude at the Gonzaga game.
Then we ended our BYU basketball season in the best way possible, by beating Gonzaga.
Best home game since the Jimmer Era. Can't wait for next season.
- Lots of Valentines Day Excitement.
- We enjoyed lots of time with the sun streaming in through the windows, but it was still too cold to go outside to play for too long.
And then it hit 50 degrees and the kids thought it was summer and requesting we turn the sprinkler on.
- The snow of course came back and since Paul works insane hours in February, it was up to Ruby and I to shovel our massive driveway.
- Luckily, I also got to do my favorite winter activity to help me stay sane. Hiking.
and julianne and I even had to pull out our snowshoes for the first time this season. It took us a very long time to get them on without our husbands help, but we did it!!
- House updates
And sunglass storage art. Love things that are useful and make me happy.
- the kids had a random day off of school, so we went to Costco together, just like old times. Made me almost
miss the days when my cart was full of little kids and i couldn't order my own hotdog because I was too busy trying to corral kids. Now it's only slight chaos.
- I feel like February was constant kids and it made me very excited for warmer weather so all social gatherings can take place outside.
- Fang update. Everyone is still obsessed.
Biggest excitement of the month: Classic Skate Night.
I never go. Paul's been so busy working, it was cold out, the kids convinced me we should go. It was a moment of weakness.
Ruby had the time of her life with her gang of kindergartner friends. Crew had a pretty great time. Miles got dog pilled on in the bounce house area 5 min after we got there.
He came running to me saying he thought he broke his arm. In my classic Kelsey response I said, "looks good. Go get some ice and then go back to play when it feels better". 10 min later he was back jumping with his friends. Then he came back, we iced it for a few more minutes, I had all my friends look at it who agreed with me and I sent him to the roller rink. This went on for about an hour until he finally said it hurt too much.
So, I rounded up the kids in the complete chaos of school skate night (I had no Paul or Macey to help me) and got them loaded in the car to go home after lots of tears, a kindergartner peeing her pants, and a kid that couldn't walk because their arm hurt too much.
Broken. I couldn't even believe it. I then had to text all my friends I was with the night before to tell them I was wrong, once again, and it really was broken.
Miles in a cast went about as good as you probably think it did, which means horrible.
Life did get better when the hard cast got on though. He could at least run wild and didn't have to wear the sling anymore.
It doesn't look like it, but really having Miles in a cast has been a challenge. He wakes up already reaching his sensory limit and then just yells and stomps around for most of the day. Thank goodness for some sunshine days.
I thought February was a tough month for me, little did I know what March had in store.
The theme for January was Basketball.
It is one of my favorite ways to pass a cold January Saturday.
The boys both played every Saturday and luckily, never at the exact same time.
And sometimes it was too cold to practice outside, there were lots of dribbling drills in the living room.
And don't let this picture fool you, Miles has been loving basketball this season. He just kills me with pictures, always worth over paying when i get a keeper like this.
Lots of BYU games.
Crew finally graduated to being old enough to bring a friend. Lucky for me, he picked Liam, so then I got a friend too. :)
It was Liam's first BYU basketball game, so we pulled out all the stops. Cougar Tail, Getting on the jumbotron, and BYU won. Pretty much perfection. They can't wait to go together again next season.
These girls danced the night away.
and Paul and I got tickets in Domo's suite for a Jazz Game. My favorite kind of date night.
Next up was Snow.
Erin and I found these footprints going between our houses. It was determined to be Miles, although all 8 of kids are crazy enough to walk barefoot in the snow.
I hiked and hiked and hiked in January.
Kacie and I started our own hiking group.
some days were rather frigid, but it didn't stop us.
Although, we were almost stopped by a blizzard. We ended up going to breakfast, but the weather calmed down, so we just headed out for a walk around the neighborhood so we didn't feel like too big of wimps.
- The kids still walked to school or the bus stop (further) everyday, that's just the kind of mom I am. :)
- We finally got some good sledding in.
And Soldier Hollow with the Goodwins.
it was crazy. We'd never been before when you went so fast down the hill. There was lots of crashing into people and the safety barriers, but luckily no one from our group was involved.
Fang turned one!!
I even made him a homemade peanut butter cake with banana frosting.
He didn't quite know what to do when everyone was singing him Happy Birthday.
He just wanted to get to his cake.
This is one well loved dog.
Fang is always living his best life.
Even when being tortured by Ruby.
One of the best parts about Fang though is he keeps the kids company on sick days.
And there have been so many sick days this winter, so at least that helps him earn his keep.
Crew caught the worst of it, with a nasty case of croup. He had to sleep in our room so I could monitor his breathing, meaning I didn't sleep, but luckily he did. After lots of steamy showers, midnight porch sittings breathing in the cold air and a dose of steriods, he finally started to feel better.
- Ruby had her 100th day of school!!
- Macey made it into her school's Geography Bee and did awesome.
- and the rest of January was survived with lots of puzzles, play dates, and book reading under blankets.
Might of actually been one of my shorter January's. February on the other hand seemed to last about 58 days.
december part 2: Winter Break
We flew to Texas for Christmas.
It wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be to travel with 4 kids and lots of luggage the week of Christmas. It was a long, but manageable day.
Luckily, we've got this flying thing down. and Renting a mini van and beach house made things much less chaotic.
The kids top, number one, thing they wanted to do when we got to Lake Jackson was go to Chuck E. Cheese.
They have been sad since ours closed a few years ago and this filled the holes in their hearts.
My top, number 1 thing, to do was hang out at the beach.
Not a bad way to spend Christmas Eve and get out some energy.
Crew was the only kid that wanted to build a Sandman with me.
And we were the only people on the beach that actually went in the water, pretty sure everyone else was locals. : )
I could of spent days just like this, but sadly we just got the one day.
Luckily, Paul and I did get a few beach walks in during the week.
- Christmas Eve at the beach house.
Everyone was very impressed with my christmas tree and our house decor even added a nice finishing touch to the tree.
Got my Christmas Eve tree and stocking pictures, like always.
Ruby also lost a tooth Christmas Eve, which just added to the excitement of it all.
- Christmas Morning!!
Waiting on the deck cheering Opa on as he climbed the million stairs up to the beach house.
I didn't take many pictures this year. But, we nailed it in the present department. Every kid was happy, grateful, and had a toy to play with.
then it was onto Paul's parents house, where the cousins finally came into town!!
This is it, the only picture I took Christmas Day. But believe me, it was awesome, kids loved being with all The Navasards, and it was very magical.
We spent the rest of the week eating good food and hanging out family.
Brooklyn proved to be the best toy there was.
Some of our favorite food:
Asels, where Crew ordered a donut burger.
So much Shipley's, but yet not enough.
Got takeout from El Torro.
We spent the day after Christmas at Keema Boardwalk.
Another day visiting the museums in Lake Jackson.
Then we did family pictures before we had to head up the airport hotel in Houston.
Kids said it was their best Christmas Ever!
After a very delayed flight home, we picked up Fang with 20 min to spare.
Fang was crying, kids were screaming. it was quite the reunion.
And here's Fang's report card. :)
Kids were also happy that Santa stopped by our house and filled up Fang's stocking. Proved to the younger 3 that Santa is for sure real.
We then had a perfect, mellow, New Years Eve with the Rensinks.
There was Soda Pong.
Just an overall goodtime where kids were asleep by 10:30.
And then we spent the rest of break being lazy and playing in the snow.
Typical Utah kids: the moment the sidewalks and roads are semi clear they are back to bike riding, scootering, and playing basketball.
Paul brought out the water balloon launcher to aid in the neighbor kid snowball fight.
Not a bad Winter Break.