Special thanks to my friends, Chan & Joe, who sent this just-in-time glass as an early birthday present. I put it to good use in Week 8!
We wrapped up week 7 with a picnic and bike / scooter ride in secluded parks nearby, my first time leaving the house and getting out of the car. Though Bart has taken the girls on rides while I was hosting roundtables, I still haven’t stepped foot in a building that is not my house since March 13. We were 10s of feet (for the picnic more like 50 feet) from the closest humans, and with everyone in masks it was a surreal (but safe) experience.
We did see some nature, including a huge grasshopper:
I grew up around LOTS of grasshoppers in Georgia, one of the many “nature” things I take for granted and forget that our children do NOT get a lot of… We also had fireflies, and four-leaf clovers (which I found by the dozens in my grandmother’s lawn), and fresh vegetables from the garden growing up. We had “barn cats” and stray dogs and hours just playing pretend outside, unattended.
Both sets of my grandparents lived on farms where I grew up in Canon, GA, which in 2018 had an estimated population of 833. I know strange things can happen in small places, but we grew up insulated and often self-entertained, as most country kids did. Plus, I had a twin to play with, and though there were fights, we were pretty good at keeping busy.
Then we moved to Athens, GA (pop. ~126,000) for middle school through college, followed by 2 years for me in Atlanta (~4.6 million) and now almost 22 years in Los Angeles (over 10 million). I’ve seen few grasshoppers and never a firefly out here.
Zoe was shocked to see such a big grasshopper and had me take a picture and text her. Oh, nature. We should get out more – in 2021?! But back to Week 8.
Tuesday was Cinco de Mayo, which of course included our famous Black Bean Tostadas (still a family favorite). My husband pulled out a t-shirt from our company’s top performer trip to Mexico from years ago, oh, and these:
¡Ay Ay Ay! But it was Tuesday, so it wasn’t that loco. Honestly, most of the rest of the week was a blur of juggling meetings, roundtables (4), homeschooling and essentials (food, shower, sleep, repeat). But what DID continue to be fun? The puzzles:
In fact, this week the cat got in on the action:
Yes, she’s super annoying, but at least it was funny to find her squeezed entirely into a jigsaw puzzle box while no one was looking. This week the kids’ school started officially suggesting PE at home, which was pleasing to me, since we have “Move Your Body” time on the schedule every day, but it’s getting more and more challenging to make that happen… Ella has been easier to coax into GoNoodle and Cosmic Kids Yoga, especially the Frozen version:
Cosmic Kids Yoga also has Star Wars, Trolls, Harry Potter, Moana and Minecraft themed yoga classes, and so many more, all goofy and awesome ways to get kids to move their bodies for 15 to 30 minutes. So cute to watch.
And the highlight of Week 8 – and PERFECT example of what terrible homeschool teachers we are – was this:
As you likely remember, Ella uses an app for school where her teacher posts activities and the kids post responses. All week last week got progressively more challenging to keep them focused and by Friday, Ella was off the rails. At one point she was sitting at the other end of the table where I was working, and I happened to look up and see the word “poop” on her paper…
Mortified, I asked her if she had posted it to her journal. She had. I asked her what the assignment had been and looked it up:
Thankfully, she had NOT recorded an audio version of her fabulous artwork. Her teacher’s response? “Hahahah Oh Ella”. Perfect. And honestly, her letter formation (capitalization aside) is pretty exceptional, high marks for creativity (lower marks for spelling), and I guess this is just what happens when you leave children to their own devices for too long. Oh well.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, so I’ll share that story separately and can hardly wait to plant the flowers Bart bought me at Home Depot today. Should be an exciting end to Week 8! And in the meantime, a few more photos from our outing last Sunday on a mostly deserted bike/walk path.
The first is the bottom of a concrete “river” with moving water and lots of algae. I sure hope life gets back to some version of normal in the not too distant future so we can make a concerted effort to connect our children more with nature. Enjoy!