A Dozen – and a Birthday!


Let’s start backwards, again. Week 12 (can you believe it?!) ended with a DAD birthday weekend, and our much-needed first socially-distanced outdoor time with friends. On Saturday our awesome OC friends hosted a backyard BBQ for Bart’s birthday. No, it’s not the same as it ever was, but even if we can’t hug, just being around people we love was good for us all. So thankful!

Before that, we started the day with spa time for Dad, including a not-too-bad haircut and a homemade pedicure, including foot scrub and massage:


Look how happy they are! They were so excited to be outside for spa time, these not-always-on-the-same-page sisters were even willing to do this:


We wrapped up the actual birthday with another Zoom friend “party”, during which Bart dropped a cupcake on my computer, followed by an outdoor family dinner (not on my computer). I think he’d call his special day a success:


On Sunday Ella woke with a vision: She wanted to make breakfast for Daddy. A smiley face toast and coffee. She even sent him back to bed to make her dream come true.


Yep, that’s two jelly eyes, a peanut butter mouth, and a peanut nose. It’s an Ella special. Later that day we had our second backyard socially-distanced friend time. Twice this weekend the girls got to play with dogs, though I’m not sure if that is good or bad for Daddy’s very strong desire to get a bernedoodle. No, we did not get a puppy this weekend, though Bart made the joke every time he opened a gift. Maybe next year?

What our friends did bring: gorgeous tulips.


All in all, the weekend was spent with lots of Daddy time, though he insists that it’s his birthday MONTH, so we’ll see what happens next.


Over the last week we did a lot of soul-searching and started what we hope to be a long conversation with our girls about what’s happening in the world. After explaining to Zoe why there were protests going on, she said the one thing I think we all feel: “Why would someone do that?” I have no good answer. I only hope we can make it stop.

The girls have one more week of homeschool before we jump into Summer Break, which we are woefully unprepared to do. That said, I did find some free online classes that we tested out this past week, including a Bug Biodiversity course for Ella and a Fun with Yarn & String one for them both.

For two hours a day, they learned to make pom-poms out of yarn, how to do finger knitting, and more. Zoe got inspired to learn crocheting, and even our cat Jasmine was interested. She said this class was right up her alley:


And you won’t be surprised to learn that we did MORE PUZZLES this week! In fact, Bart received 4 puzzles for his birthday (so exciting for the whole family!). The girls did a Moana one all by themselves, then Bart and I finished a “Blooms” one with a whole lot of pieces that looked identical… Below are our finale videos, a tradition we all enjoy.



If you’ve made it this far, you’ve earned what’s next. As I’ve mentioned, Ella’s class has started using the Seesaw app, a digital learning platform where they record video and audio responses, take photos, and interact with content. Somehow Ella has learned her own online style, one that starts with “Hello, Class” and ends with “Bye-bye, Class”. Who the heck taught her that?

This afternoon she wandered off (another byproduct of homeschool) and returned with a video she had recorded. She said it was a meditation for getting rid of sad feelings, which honestly I could really use this week. And so, I’ll end with an opportunity for you to see Ella’s meditation class debut – and get a glimpse of what meditation is like for me.


Earlier this week she recorded a Seesaw response to “What is something you wish you could change in the world?” Her answer: “To stop this virus, and to make this world a better place.” One day I hope she gets to realize those dreams, too!

Stay safe and well out there. Fill your days with love. This world needs it.

2 thoughts on “A Dozen – and a Birthday!

  1. That meditation! I was about to endorse an Ella Meditation App until she started busting out fancy tools like the spray bottle fan. (I did like the sidebar that involved smelling the water and putting it behind her ears!)

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