Just, Week 11

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Last week was a blur. After a fabulous long birthday weekend, the longest short week I can remember followed. More homeschool + work, the new “usual week”, and as a final birthday/quarantine gift, my sweet husband agreed to a pergola for our deck to provide some summertime shade.

We spent a few evenings assembling it, as a family. Ever assemble a pergola? Well, it’s not like IKEA furniture, but it does require some skills. For one, the four posts must be aligned and steady to attach the top. Picture a grumpy old(er) man attaching screws to the top of one post with his three girls (yes, even the tiny one) each holding on to a post.

Ever seen a 5-year-old cling to a post and able to stand perfectly still? Me, neither. Zoe lost count on how much Dad owes the swear jar (unrelated to Ella’s lack of focus, and no, we don’t actually have a swear jar). Fast forward and you’ll see a relieved family eating dinner under a well-constructed pergola, proud of their accomplishment.

The picture above is our first breakfast outside. Zoe read the comics; Bart listened to the Grateful Dead; and afterwards we grabbed some empty boxes, and the girls hosted a backyard carnival! Clever Zoe quickly came up with some games and a “ride” (trampoline), and Bart offered to serve concessions: snow cones (crushed ice with some weird flavored sweetener) and cotton candy (a strange “Fluffy Stuff” he had found on a random shopping trip).

The games were two ping pong ball toss games and a sponge slide (on bubble wrap). I lost at all of them; Bart was a natural…

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Afterwards, the “ride” ended up needing some cleaning. Ok, truth is that Zoe has been begging us to let them “clean” the trampoline since she got to do this at a friend’s house many months ago. Given the circumstances, I relented.

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Working backwards (because no one said these posts had to be chronological), on Saturday we watched the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch US astronauts into space for the first time in 9 years! Here’s what that looked like at the Johnson home:

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Even Jasmine got in on the fun (so helpful). I teared up. And though I was the only one awake for it, I also watched those astronauts dock almost 19 hours later at the International Space Station on a live Twitter feed – thanks, Alison! Below is what they saw (and I don’t mean the cat) as they were docking:

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A few other events of note this weekend: I am still sore from gardening. In an attempt to create a backyard to enjoy, I pulled hundreds of weeds, transplanted some plants into containers, and welcomed “Rosemary” to the deck as a fellow mosquito fighter. See her in the background:

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I also found out that the kids don’t think that “working together to clean the house” counts as “family time” on the weekends. Shocking? So before we even got started on this weekend, we did another Freeform Brainstorm, as we had done with schools closed weeks ago, and came up with a list of things that DID feel like family time:

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To be honest, we didn’t get many of them done – and while you’ll see both “dog” and “hamster” on the list, both were scrapped in our first review of the list. And in case you notice “swim in ocean”, that one was a Dad idea, and Zoe’s first response was, “Dad, there’s a quarantine.

One thing we did do was a Kid Dalgona, that famous quarantine coffee drink but instead of coffee, it has cocoa. Basically it’s a fancy chocolate milk. After almost 30 minutes of work with an electric mixer, we never got “peaks”, but there were no complaints:

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We did some research on why no peaks and agreed that doubling the recipe and using a smaller bowl would have yielded different results. Maybe we’ll find out another weekend. But to wrap up this post, I’d like to share my favorite homeschool moment. In a rare sisterly love moment, Zoe taught Ella how to type. Well, she actually taught her how to use this site “Typing Club“, which Zoe used in school.

This was my view on Friday during work, with my little typist by my side:

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Zoe’s class launched a Book Club (a brilliant idea, if you ask me) and started reading Bridge to Teribithia, which I vaguely remember enjoying as a child. I’m hoping we can create a book club of our own over the summer, since Summer Camp is a nightmare…

I’ve spent hours trying to cobble together some sort of plan for this summer. At this point, we found some online classes that the girls are excited about, but if you have any great ideas or would like to book some virtual time with two cute girls, please let me know. We are in desperate need of content – and connections!

So here it is, Week 11, coming in under the wire. Hope your week was as enjoyable as possible and that you a) learned something new, b) enjoyed time with friends and family, and c) were able to find the positive in all the chaos happening in the world right now.

Hang in there!

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