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.
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!
Back to School
Paul and I got back from Florida and it was pure craziness as we tried to get ready for the first day of school. We also had 3 different start dates this year.
The main stress for Macey was the locker situation at school, but after practicing for about an hour before the first day, they got it down and were ready to go.
We did our back to school dinner like always.
I just love how simple it is and that I do pretty much the same thing every year, so there's no stress involved. Especially when I get back into town the night before.
The excitement this year was these amazing pickles I found, they were the highlight of the meal. :)
There were WAY less tears than last year, it was mostly all smiles. Macey
started first since she had 7th grade
day at the Jr High.
The bus ended up being late and they missed the entire first period. Plus, Macey had some things she needed to fix on her schedule at the office when she got there. But, she handled it like a champ and got her schedule settled all on her own. This girl was more than ready to leave elementary school behind and couldn't wait to be reunited with some old friends from Suncrest.
I've loved listening to all the Jr. High stories, so much more entertaining than elementary school stories. Bus drama, boys that like them, the stress of remembering all their different locker numbers, and the chaos of the halls that were not represented accurately in movies they'd seen. :) Macey could not love Jr. High more.
Crew and Miles started next.First day of 2nd Grade.
All smiles for this kid until about the 3rd week of school, where he realized that 2nd grade is a lot harder than 1st. :) He's killing it though and got an amazing teacher and lots of awesome kids in his class.
He had to include Fang in his paper doll project. :) first day of 4th grade.
I tried and tried, but this kid would not cooperate for a picture. He is not one to hide his emotions. His morning was full of lots of yelling and throwing things, but we got out the door and once he saw his friends he ran right to class without me.
The day went better than these pictures predict though. He got an amazing teacher, with a few friends in his class and came home smiling.
Although we did have a massive anger explosion that night, where he ripped up all his hard earned money. This kid.
We took a picture on the 2nd day of school, it turned out much better.
I know it's going to be a good school year, even if it kills me.
Ruby and I then had our last week to ourselves before she started school.
We had lots planned. Zoo Day
with The Miners.
It was hot and busy, but a perfect way to spend one of our last days of freedom. Splash Pad
with Michelle and Lottie.
Our last breakfast Date at Chickfila
A few more lazy mornings
, just the 2 of us and Fang.Kindergarten Testing
I wasn't exactly sure how'd she do. We didn't even start working on letters and writing her name until the week before her test. Can you tell she's my 4th kid? :) I was happily surprised when she didn't do too bad (I was sitting across the room filling out paper work and spying). this was my favorite moment:
Mrs. B. : Count from 1 to 10.
Ruby: 1, 10
Mrs. B. : Say the numbers inbetween 1 and 10.
Ruby: 1, 7, 5, 2, 8..
Mrs. B. : Finish counting for me 1, 2, 3....
Ruby: 4, 5, 6, 7...
I was dying. Poor kindergarten teachers.
We had a princess movie party with Reagan.
And then in the mist of it all she BROKE HER ARM
and I didn't think it was broken, so I didn't take her in for like 4 days.
She was running in the backyard, tripped, and her hand went between our tramp hole and the tramp. She only cried for a min, so I didn't think too much about it.
That night she was still complaining, so I wrapped an ace bandage around it to make her feel better. She went right to sleep and I chalked it up to her just being dramatic.
She made me keep it wrapped during the next few days, but at night I would unwrap it when she was sleeping to see if she could remember what arm she hurt (she's crazy dramatic, so it's hard for me to trust her). She did remember and then when I spied on her sunday getting dressed for church I could see her wince when she was putting her dress on. So, the day before kindergarten started I took her in just for peace of mind, still not thinking it was broken.
Broke 2 bones in her wrist. Good thing about waiting so long is that the swelling was down and she could get her hard cast on right away.
When they were putting her cast on she looked at me and said, "This is the Best day of my entire life". She kills me.
Finally the much anticipated first day of Kindergarten
came and it was only made better by the bright pink cast she got to sport.
Pretty much the cutest, and pinkest, kindergartner around.
She was a little nervous since she didn't know anyone in her class and mad at me that I put her in AM Kindergarten, while Reagan was in PM Kindergarten with the same teacher.
She had a great first day though, made new friends, and got to have a photo shoot with Reagan before it was her turn to head off for her first day of kindergarten.
I was very successful in my 2 hours and 45 min of alone time.
I read a book and organized my pantry.
Then before I knew it, it was 12:00 and time to go pick her up.
And we still had about 2 hours together before the big kids started getting home.
While somedays I wish she was in all day kindergarten, I'm trying to soak her up as much as possible, because I know this is the end for me. Next year they will ALL be gone ALL day and I will actually have to take up some hobbies or something.