may - part 2 aka utah moves to orange and then yellow (too soon).
Since we moved into the orange phase at the beginning of the month, we started #momhike back up again.
It was heaven to be reunited. Even if we drove our own cars to the trailheads and kept 6 ft between us while hiking and drank our sodas at separate tables. It felt amazing to do something normal again.
And luckily momhike did start up again, because Kacie and I only got one hike in during the month of May!
We also got to do other normal things with the move to orange (and then yellow in the middle of may) ...
Like go to the zoo.
and I felt like the zoo did an amazing job of keeping the numbers low and making sure people were social distancing.
Kids went to the dentist.
Things were of course a little different, but just glad we could get in and get some cavities filled.
We even went to the movies!
Our local community theatre was showing all the Harry Potters. We decided to brave the crowds and see the 4th one. It was amazing. There was maybe 12 people total in a theatre and no one was in a 20 ft radius of us.
We met up with the Rensinks for the first time and took a scooter ride through the canyon.
It was the first time they'd played together since March, so it was a very exciting afternoon.
Julianne and I walked far, far behind them reminiscing of the early scooter gang days where they'd get hit by long boarders and cause crashes and it was just pure chaos.
They have grown up, even if they are a bit wild still. and they rode those scooters 5 miles without complaint (except for Ruby).
Mother's Day was amazing and I do not think I will ever be able to go back to attending church on Mother's Day. It was such a relaxing day and one of my best yet.
We hiked .7 miles to a new spot along the creek off the Big Springs Trail, where we just played and ate and relaxed all afternoon.
And no other people in sight.
BYU did a drive up Cougar Tail Day. Genius move on their part.
We then took our Cougar Tails and chocolate milk on campus to eat.
We then of course scootered all around campus, which has become our favorite quarantine activity.
Come mid May I let the kids loose in the neighborhood. Our neighborhood alliance decided that we were ok with outside play, but no kids allowed in houses.
These kids were just so happy to be reunited, that they didn't even fight for the first few weeks.
Most days you could look out the window and find kids from the ages of 3-12 all playing together.
And I was so happy to have this sight out my back window and extra happy no one was bugging me to come play inside.
The Miners also opened up their pool and become the hottest hang out on the block.
Fang has probably been missing the constant stream of visitors and kids more than most, so he has been especially happy (and tired) to have all the neighbor kids back.
an over the fence greeting during quarantine.
There was still lots of sibling time, my favorite moments are when they are actually friends and playing together nicely.
And endless bike trick practicing.
Crew and Sawyer have also mastered the outside playdate and couldn't of been happier to be reunited.
And since school was wrapped up and my table was once again free, Macey and I got to do our Hostess Puzzle.
Which we of course celebrated it's completion by buying a bunch of hostess treats at the gas station.
We got together with Michelle and kids to hike to Battle Creek.
It's crazy to think that just a few years ago just the thought taking these 8 kids hiking alone would of made us laugh hysterically.
And now here we were doing it. It's not so bad that kids actually grow up, sometimes.
We fit in 2 more camping trips. In a normal May 3 trips in the month would of sent me over the edge, but this time it was just what we needed.
Cherry with the Johnson's
This was probably one of our easiest trips yet because Ruby was entertained the whole time and not constantly whining at us.
Plus, all these little best friends have just been missing each other and were just loving getting to finally hang out.
And Capitol Reef, where we left Ruby behind with Holly. This trip also marked off our last Utah National Park to visit!
We never get pictures with the park signs because the lines are always so long. So, we couldn't pass up the opportunity when we kept driving by and there was never anyone there.
National Parks never disappoint. It was beautiful. And made better because the campground in the park was still closed, along with all visitor centers, so it was very empty. We of course missed getting to do the Jr. Ranger program, but I guess that means we will just have to go back.
The only down side was the No Seeums (aka biting flies). They mostly just bugged Crew. He had 42 bites from ear to ear. Luckily they were only on 2 of the trails we did, but poor little Crew.
It was awesome getting to go out on top of Cassidy Arch.
And we had this whole section of the river to ourselves.
Gerald is proving to be a very awesome addition to our family.
Things are crazy and stressful and hard, but I am doing my best to enjoy life slowing down and realigning where my focus should actually be.
Another bonus of Covid and Paul working from home...he has actually had time to teach the kids how to mow the lawn!!
It's the little things.
may part 1 - snow canyon & school ends
May is normally an insane month with lots of performances, soccer games, field trips, volunteer hours at school, and non stop playing in the sunshine.
Crew drew this pic of Covid-19 - "I hate C19"
This May was a bit different, but I can't say I missed the craziness too much. Covid has taught me so much, main one being I do not miss the extra things and having to be places. I just miss spending time with my people and adventuring. Luckily, we were able to slowly introduce some socializing and adventuring back in May. And May still turned out to be an awesome party.
We started out May with a trip to Snow Canyon
. We originally had planned to go Spring Break, but the park was closed to us. The moment the park opened up to people outside of the county it resides in we snagged a reservation.
Scooter and Gerald all hooked up and ready to go.
We had to snap a picture because everything we own is apparently a perfectly coordinated grey.
and Covid bonus, we could leave on a friday afternoon because Paul works from home now and Gerald makes it so much easier to pack!
It felt amazing to get out and explore somewhere new. And to kind of forget about Covid for a few days.
We barely saw any people.
All the hikes were shortish, little elevation gain, and non stop rock scrambling. Perfect for Navasard Kids.
Plus, slot canyons and lava tubes to hide from the sun in were an added bonus.
After each trip with Gerald we add to our list of what we need to make the next trip better, this time we almost had it perfect.
Gerlad is now well stocked with games. The favorites being Mexican Train, bocce, and Kube.
and the kitchen had everything we needed to prepare our gourmet camping meals.
One thing we discovered that we need to bring on every trip though, even when there's no water in sight, is bath towels. These kids were covered head to toe in sand and had to share one towel between all 4 of them.
We started wrapping up school. In reality though, Miles and Ruby were done with school work before May even hit. Macey and Crew pushed through until the end though, with very minimal help from me.
Here's a typical Kindergarten day and a day where, once again, I could get Ruby to do zero work.
We tried to fill our time with some other learning activities that were masquerading as playing.
We did manage to get in a few rounds of sight word bingo during the month.
She still passed kindergarten though and I am praying every day for all of next years first grade teachers. :)
I tortured Miles by making him do at least 20 min of school work each day, often with a Sodalicious in hand.
It only took 3 days to get him to pick a quote about hope, type it up and pose for this picture for a Hope Squad slideshow. I have always been impressed with Miles' teachers, but now I know they are miracle workers and I do not posses the same powers as them.
Crew on the other hand finished every single assignment, often while babysitting Ruby's babies.
Macey finished 7th grade with a 4.0, so I had to take her to Sodalicious to celebrate.
One thing I learned during online learning is I am a horrible personal assistant and my kids barely made any of their zoom meetings. Luckily, they caught on fast to this and learned to keep track of their own schedules.
But, this was how I felt every time I was in the room during one of their meetings.
I kept myself sane during the last weeks of online learning by organizing.
And not pictured, kid's closets.
Also, thanks to homeschooling, I was finally able to settle on what table I wanted in the sunroom. I ended up getting a table that was a foot shorter than I originally wanted, because I realized I wanted more space between the door and the table for kids to run in and out. #benefitsofhomeschool
The long awaited reverse parade finally arrived and we finally could stop feeling guilty about already living our best summer life.
It was fun riding our bikes through so we could talk to our beloved teachers a little bit better.
Miles of course wouldn't stop for a picture with Miss R.
I am still mourning that these 3 didn't get to finish the school year with some of the most amazing teachers we've ever had.
But we were past tears at this point and ready to party and put this school year behind us.
The kids were worried I wouldn't do our normal "Welcome to Summer" stuff, but I pulled through.
Since we couldn't do our normal last day of school stuff, I rented the kids the same blowup we got at spring break. But this time we turned the water on and invited friends over in shifts for a fun filled day.
We also did a Welcome to Summer picnic with The Rensinks up the canyon.
These might be my favorite first and last day of school pictures yet. The hair, the bathing suits...everything. Macey 7th GradeMiles 4th GradeCrew 2nd GradeRuby Kindergarten
I could not be more proud of these kids though. Life has been crazy and stressful and they have desperately missed school and friends, but they did it and hopefully came out stronger than they were when all this started.
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.