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.
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.
Labor Day Weekend we went with the Rensinks to Julianne's family cabin in Island Park, ID. It was beautiful.
And our kids are getting slightly easier to travel with, although I am always thankful for Brenden and Julianne being patient with the craziness that we bring everywhere we go.
We hung out lots at the river by their cabin.
Catching little fish, moose watching, canoeing and jumping in the water.
I tried to keep Ruby's cast as dry as possible.
They were the perfect Yellowstone tour guides and it was just heaven following along behind them as they lead us to some of their favorite spots.
The morning was super awesome. It was freezing out (low 30's), so when the steam hit the air it made all this crazy fog.
but, then the sun came out and I no longer felt like a bad mom putting all my kids in shorts.:)
The highlight for everyone was seeing all the Bison.
And of course getting to see Old Faithful.
And exploring the lodge while eating icecream and finishing up Jr. Ranger Books.
The Rensinks also took us to see Mesa Falls and we lucked out with some beautiful rainbows.
I didn't get to enjoy it too much though, because Ruby of course had to use the bathroom right when we got down to the falls. :)
Luckily Julianne and I got a pic in our matching shirts before I ran back up the trail with Ruby.
The kids favorite past time at the cabin was seeing who could hang from the beams the longest.
And I was only slightly terrified of the kids playing outside the cabin with all the wildlife around. But, once they got to a certain level of craziness inside, it was worth the risk to kick them out.
Most of my camera feed is full of pictures of Ruby and I walking to and from the school each day.
And somedays i just cannot get over her kindergarten cuteness.
Telling me she's ready for school. Sometimes I just don't know what I'm going to do when I don't have this crazy 5 year old running around.
There was a common day once this month, so Ruby actually started at the same time as the boys. She was so excited to walk to school with them and Crew told me held her hand the whole way and made sure she could find her class, since they had to lineup inside because of the rain.
He is the best big brother.
Fang and Ruby watch a show together every morning after the other kids leave.
And Ruby is still my errand buddy, which means I we still frequent sodalicious and the mall playround when she cooperates.
Ruby and Reagan also started dance.
and Ruby FINALLY let us take her training wheels off her bike and is now happily cruising around the neighborhood. And yes, we took the training wheels off while her arm was still broken. We are good parents like that.
Fang had an exciting month. He escaped through an open gate in the backyard and went to the kids' school. The principal found him wondering in the first grade hall. He didn't have his tag on (although he was microchipped). Luckily, she is nicer than me and instead of just pushing him outside, she took him into her office. She then sent a picture to all the teachers to see if any of the kids recognized him and then all the neighbor kids ran down to her it was our dog. Then as Paul and I were frantically searching for him I got a call from the school that Fang was in the principal's office.
Best day of his life so far.
Other exciting September happenings with the other kids that live at my house.
Crew had a great soccer season and scored some goals and was much more aggressive than last year. Can't wait for spring season to start.
Macey is pretty busy these days. And when she's not busy, she's hanging out with her bff Makenna.
She also captured an exciting neighborhood moment for me and even gave it a hashtag. :)
Miles caught a snake and then for the next hour took it around to show all the neighborhood kids. The snake ended up biting him (it wasn't poisonous), but paul chopped it's head off and kept it in a shoe box just in case miles broke out in some crazy rash.
Luckily, there is also some calm neighborhood afternoons too.
I also had to document how I now have to wash Raffy, Miles' special stuffed animal. Which is pretty much a rag now with a giraffe head.
One of my proudest moments of the month was when all 3 of us girls showed up to load the car for church and we were all wearing leopard print shoes.
We killed Mom Hikes this month, which also included our first annual retreat, which I will of course be blogging about later.
I even took the girls I work with at church on one of our frequented trails.
and then to Sodalicious, just like Mom Hike.
The month ended with Ruby getting her cast off.
And the primary program!
July...where we did not melt
We spent most of the month in the 90's, which meant we spent lots of days at the pool.
And shockingly, only 1 day at the pond. The pool is just easier for me now I guess and the pond requires so much hauling of stuff, so lots of pool days this summer. Plus, we actually had our own yard this summer. Last summer it was dirt.
And of course water slide play dates in our very own backyard.
Fourth of July weekend we took Fang on his first camping trip to our favorite spot.
Kids said camping was so much better with Fang.
I said it was a lot of work.
Fang did not enjoy playing in the creek with the kids though.
Someone also left behind these stilts, and they provided hours of entertainment.
We made it back home in time to do some fireworks in our driveway. Like always, the sparklers were the scariest part for everyone. :)
We took Crew on his birthday date to Pizza Pie.
Erin and I went hiking one night to escape the heat in the valley and found snow.
It was crazy, but very refreshing.
#momhike's were much less dramatic, but refreshing all the same.
We finally found some time to do outdoor movie nights.
First with the neighborhood.
And then some private showings in the backyard.
I have always refused to take my kids to free slurpee day on 7/11. So, they took advantage of their new found freedom and rode their scooters with a bunch of neighbor kids. It was awesome for me because I had peace and quiet for about an hour and didn't have to go out in the 95 degree heat. And it was awesome for them because they got free slurpees!
Fang continues to live his best life.
Paul started putting our kids and neighbor kids to work doing something useful...washing our cars.
A highlight of the month was getting together with the girls I used to teach with. Time is a weird thing. They all seemed exactly the same to me, but then there were all these kids running around, which made the passing of time seem very obvious.
Pictures of us from 12 years ago!!!
Grateful everyday I got to teach with and learn from these amazing ladies.
They were some of the first people I told when I was pregnant with Macey and the first to come visit me after I had her.
I will love them forever.
A Low-Light of the month was having to say goodbye to some of our favorite people, The Johnsons.
We will miss these friends.
Some of my favorite moments of summer were the afternoons after visiting the library. Heaven.
Ruby's dreams came true, when Macey and I took her with us to get pedicures. She kept asking "Why this chair punching me". :)
I took the boys school shopping, since I knew there'd be no time in August. It was actually quite pleasant. I forget how much they get along with no one else is around.
We also finally let them all sleep in the basement together. It went batter than expected.
Most of the times things aren't so heavenly though, but I am grateful I can now leave my kids at home alone and run to 7-11 to get what I need to survive. Caffeine and Sugar.
Sometimes adulthood isn't so bad.
May: AKA Maycember