Sunday, October 11, 2020

2020 Quarterly Goal Update

Here we are 3/4 of the way through 2020. For as crazy of a year as this has been, it really has gone by quickly, which is probably a good thing! Here's where I'm at on my goals for this year. Most are in pretty good shape!

done in progressnot started
Health Goals
  • Get a thermography scan   Finally got this done, just recently! I've been wanting to do this for years, so it is really nice to finally mark it off the list! 
  • 150 workouts 93/150 Quarter 2 I did great and made a ton of progress on this goal. Quarter 3 was rough with lots of life changes and things, and I got way behind. I *think* I can still meet this goal, but I'll really have to work at it.
Spiritual Goals
  • Memorize 52 bible verses  I lost count, but I also kind of gave up on this goal, and here's why. I had big intentions at the beginning of the year, but what I found was I was rushing through memorizing many of these verses so I could move onto the next one, and they weren't really solidly sticking. I'd rather really get a verse down and truly memorize it to where I know it up and down, back and forth, so I decided to work hard on solidifying the ones I worked on to make sure they're really there.
  • Study 8-10 complete books of the bible  6 down (Jonah, 1 Peter, Hebrews, Song of Songs, 2 Peter, Ephesians), 1 in progress (Titus)
Home Goals
  • Have carpets professionally cleaned This was so great! We had the entire house done and I'm so glad we did! I think from here on, we will try to do half the house each year. 
  • put the finishing touches on master bedroom DONE!! (Still need to get some pictures! I need to add the bed skirt, which I've had for months, but haven't put on.)
  • more security measures put in place We've added some things, would like a couple more additions still 
School/knowledge Goals
  • Make a school plan for next year for the boys This is all taken care of and begun! I have a curriculum post written, just need to get pictures so I can post soon! 
  • Start teaching music at home Did this in the spring, and then I was waiting to figure out what we were doing in the fall and if they would get music at their enrichment classes so I haven't come up with anything yet. I have a program from Teachers Pay Teachers I'm thinking of using.
  • Find a social studies curriculum that fits our family better for next school year  We've been going through Notgrass History's Our Star Spangled Banner and we like it so far!
  • Read 30 books 22 read, 6 in progress currently (I probably won't finish all of those by the end of the year, but will read a few more novels most likely). Reading has not been a problem for me this year!
    Personal/Random Goals
    • Find & invest in a good pair of gym shoes Bought a pair of Nike Metcons and loving them!
    • Blog twice a month I'm officially calling this one a fail. I did not do well on blogging this year AT ALL. And that's ok. A lot of other things had my attention this year. 
    • Get plans in place for 2021 family trip Technically this is done, because our plans are that we are not going now. Thanks, Covid. (I'm sure we'll still go on vacation(s) next year, just not the big one we had planned.)
    • Stay within budget for eating out category every month So far so good! 
    • Finalize our will Finally have made some progress on this!
    Family Goals
    • Have girls be able to shower themselves This went so much faster/smoother than expected. They're 100% on their own now and I'm completely out of the picture. Next up, the boys! 
    • Girls clean their room with 0 help They've been doing this weekly now with no issue!
    •  Have girls be able to prepare their own breakfast  This has been so nice! I'm so glad we switched this goal from lunch to breakfast. They get up at different times and all like different breakfast foods, and its been really nice for them to just be able to do their own thing in the mornings. 
    • 12 date nights that aren't just going to dinner 8 or 9/12 (I've lost track of exact dates, but I know we're on track still). I'm glad we've been able to do as much as we have with the weird year we've had, so no complaints here. 

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020

    2020 Family Vacation

    At the end of July we were able to take our long awaited family vacation! I've been mentally planning this trip for a couple of years, and we finally booked it at the beginning of this year for May. Well, of course Covid happened and we decided at that time it was best to push it back, because so many things were still closed and the trip would have changed so much. 
    We were supposed to start in North Carolina, spend a day in Huntsville, Alabama at the space & rocket center, head down to Gulfport, Mississippi, spend a couple days in Louisiana, and then a day in Memphis on the way home. We had to scrap some of those plans and shorten the trip by a few days to make it all work with Covid restrictions, but it still ended up being an awesome trip! 

    We left on a Friday around lunchtime and drove for about 8 hours. I can't even remember what state we stopped for the night in....I think it was Kentucky. We pretty much just slept there, ate breakfast and were back on the road for about 4-5 more hours Saturday. 
    We arrived in the mountain town of Murphy, NC late afternoon, grabbed our grocery order and headed to our cabin to explore. Everything was so beautiful! 
    Murphy ended up being a lot different than we expected/planned for based on internet searches, which was disappointing, but we made the best of it! 
    The highlights were hiking in the mountains, playing pool at the cabin, exploring all different kinds of nature, and visiting Fields of the Wood. I'll let the pictures do the talking! 

    We stayed in Murphy for 3 nights, and then had a day of driving to get down to Gulfport, MS. We skipped over Alabama this time, since the museum had so many restrictions in place. When we got to Gulfport it was raining, so we pretty much just got our groceries, went out to dinner and got settled into our condo the first evening. It was forecast to rain the whole time we were there, but we had an open window the next morning, so we got down to the beach early. Turned out it never really rained again, which was great! It turns out that the beach in Gulfport doesn't have waves, which I had never heard. I've been to beaches all over the country & in Mexico and have never been to one without waves. It would've been great a few years ago when our kids were little, but we wanted waves! The kids had boogie boards and were ready for some fun! So we only ended up going to the beach in Gulfport (which was walking distance from our condo) once. The highlight of MS was taking a ferry out to Ship Island. It was about an hour ferry ride each way that goes out to a secluded island where there ARE waves and clear water! We spent an entire day there and did not regret it! So much fun. Other highlights from MS were tons of good seafood, the pool at the condo and the children's museum. 

    After 4 nights in Gulfport we were off to a daytrip in New Orleans. We added this back in on the day we left our house. We were only an hour and a half away from NO and felt like we just had to go. At least for a few hours! I'm glad we did. We did a kid friendly tour of the French Quarter, had lunch and beignets and were on our way! 

    We drove to Memphis that night, and were planning on getting breakfast at one of their really cool old breakfast places, but last minute decided that we don't live all that far from Memphis, so we'll just go back another time when we can actually enjoy it. We were ready to get home! On our night in Memphis, my little guy yanked his first tooth out! We had just gone to bed in the hotel room when he whispered for his dad to come over, and said "I pulled my tooth out." He was so nonchalant about it, and the tooth was definitely loose but really not ready to come out, so I think he had to have pulled it pretty hard! Not sure what made him decide that was the right time, but it was a big celebration.

     Another day of driving and we were home and recovering! It was a great trip and we got to mark 4 more states off our list! 

    Wednesday, July 22, 2020

    2020 Quarterly Goal Update 2

    Hard to believe we are more than halfway through this crazy year! Even though it has been the weirdest year I've probably ever experienced, I think it has gone by just as quickly as other years.
    At the beginning of 2020, I set some goals for my life and family and planned to blog about the progress on these goals every quarter, to help me stay accountable. A little over halfway through the year, and here's where I'm at! 

    done in progressnot started
    Health Goals
    • Get a thermography scan   no progress on this. Haven't set up an appointment yet, but now that things are opened back up a bit more, I would like to do this very soon.
    • 150 workouts 82/150 After starting off the year a little rough with some illnesses, I have really been able to catch up and make great progress the last few months! If I continue at this rate, I will more than meet my goal by the end of the year.
    Spiritual Goals
    • Memorize 52 bible verses 27/52. I am working on 27 & 28 right now and and it's week 30. So I am a few weeks behind. Technically I have more actual verses memorized than this, because some of what I've memorized has been 2-3 verses together, but I've counted those as one. The thing I'm struggling with most is the references.

    • Study 8-10 complete books of the bible 4 down (Jonah, 1 Peter, Hebrews, Song of Songs), 1 in progress (2 Peter)
    Home Goals
    • Have carpets professionally cleaned This was so great! We had the entire house done and I'm so glad we did! I think from here on, we will try to do half the house each year. 
    • put the finishing touches on master bedroom DONE!! (Still need to get some pictures! I need to add the bed skirt, which I've had for months, but haven't put on.)
    • more security measures put in place We've added some things, would like a couple more additions still 
    School/knowledge Goals
    • Make a school plan for next year for the boys This has been a funny one. We did have a plan in place for them to go to an alternative kindergarten program next year, but we are rethinking that now. I am 99% sure I know what we are going to do (homeschool) and have ordered their curriculum, but haven't officially withdrawn them yet. So I've made more than one plan for them already this year ;) 
    • Start teaching music at home Done! We used Prodigies for all the kids this spring. Our subscription is currently on hold for summer, and I'm not sure that we'll continue it in the fall. 
    • Find a social studies curriculum that fits our family better for next school year I ordered Notgrass History's Our Star Spangled Banner and I am excited to use it with the girls!

    • Read 30 books 18 read, 5 in progress currently. Reading has not been a problem for me this year!
    Personal/Random Goals
    • Find & invest in a good pair of gym shoes Bought a pair of Nike Metcons and loving them!
    • Blog twice a month This has been a fail. I only blogged once in April-June. I think I could definitely still get 24 posts by the end of the year, I just didn't do well with the consistency of twice per month.
    • Get plans in place for 2021 family trip Technically this is done, because our plans are that we are not going now. Thanks, Covid. (I'm sure we'll still go on vacation(s) next year, just not the big one we had planned.)

    • Stay within budget for eating out category every month So far so good! 
    • Finalize our will Finally have made some progress on this!
    Family Goals
    • Have girls be able to shower themselves This went so much faster/smoother than expected. They're 100% on their own now and I'm completely out of the picture. Next up, the boys! 
    • Girls clean their room with 0 help 0 progress on this lol. They can do some, but not all. We are having their new dressers delivered tomorrow (several months delayed also thanks to Covid) and this will help a TON. I expect we'll still be able to accomplish this by the end of the year, if not before.
    • Teach the boys all letter names/sounds They know some. We haven't worked on much this summer, but we'll hit it hard again in the fall!
    • Have girls be able to prepare a lunch for everyone Haven't even attempted this yet. Also, can I change a goal? I decided it would be way more beneficial for everyone for them to be able to fix their own breakfast. So come fall, they are going to be responsible for getting their own breakfast every morning. Everyone wakes up at different times, and this just makes more sense. Plus, they will be able to fix all but 1 or 2 things that they like to have, with ease and on their own. So I'm changing the goal to this, to have them doing breakfast on their own this year.
    • 12 date nights that aren't just going to dinner 5/12 (I think). Things were weird for awhile there, but we've made some progress this summer. We did do a weekend away which I'm counting as one of these, but was really should count for several since we did a lot of stuff while we were away!

    Monday, July 20, 2020

    First Family Camping Trip

    At the end of May, we decided to take the kids camping! The girls have gone once before, about 5 years ago, and the boys have never been. So this was really the first time we've all gone together and the first very memorable trip for both girls. 
    We have a large 10 person tent, that ends up not feeling very large when you add an air mattress and 4 sleeping bags! So we were "roughing" it (although I don't consider it that rough when there's an air mattress involved.) We thought we had an outlet in the back of our van, so we brought an extension cord to plug into and inflate the air mattress (which has the built in blower thing). It turns out it was our old van that had the outlet so I had a moment of panic thinking about sleeping just on the ground, but my husband carried the mattress over to a site that had electric and asked if he could blow it up, then carried it back over his head once it was hero. 
    The campground we stayed at was about an hour from our house and is a Jellystone camp, which are all franchises so all a little different, but family friendly. There is a lake for fishing, swimming, boating and has this very cool inflatable jumping/obstacle course thing, a river and you can go tubing, a beach that our campsite was right next to, pool, and playgrounds. There are activities a few times a day, movie night Friday nights, hay ride Saturday nights, etc. Well I had called the week before to ask if things were all open back up post isolation and the lady on the phone told me yes. Turns out, nothing really was. So we couldn't do the lake, pool or obstacle course, playgrounds were roped off, and most of the activities weren't actually happening. It ended up being fine because it was not really water weather (high was around 70) and the kids had enough fun just exploring and playing on the sand at the "beach" (which had a large drop off right into a river, so we couldn't really wade out into the water or anything). 
    We got there Friday late afternoon and set up our campsite while the kids played on the beach. I tried to do a lot of food prep ahead of time, and be strategic about what we brought to eat. After we got the camp set up, we made walking tacos on my husband's griddle over the fire. The kids played a ton around the campsite and beach that evening. We brought walkie talkies so our older kids could explore a little on their own if they wanted to, so my oldest took those and wandered a bit, and we generally just relaxed the evening away. 

    We got in our tent around 9:30 once it was fully dark, but it was probably 11 before everyone around us got quite and we could all get to sleep. The kids did so great! I was worried about how they would sleep on the ground, when they would wake up with the sun coming in, etc. The lows got down into the 40s, so even though we brought warm pajamas, sleeping bags and extra blankets, I still wasn't sure if they'd all wake up freezing, but they did well! Everyone stayed pretty bundled up and I think I'd rather be cold then hot and sticky at night (due to the midwest humidity). 
    Saturday the kids actually slept in later than I expected! I cracked all the eggs at home and diced up some veggies, so that was an easy breakfast we just had to cook up. We also surprised the kids with hammocks, so those went up first thing in the morning again (we had hung them later in the evening Friday) and were a huge hit! 

    We spent most of the day Saturday at the beach and exploring the grounds. They set up laser tag at one point and tons of kids came from down where the RVs are for that. My oldest had fun doing that. We also attempted fishing, but had no luck. My middle daughter and youngest son spent just about the entire weekend at the beach....I felt like we would go hours without seeing them because they were just over there digging and burying and playing (we could see them from our campsite). Saturday lunch we made grilled cheese and dinner we let the kids roast hot dogs and brats over the fire. 

    Even though we had planned on it being a lot more activities, it ended up being a really nice and relaxing weekend away. The kids did so well sleeping in the tent. I don't know that I would want to go for much longer than 2 days just because of the logistics of packing things for a family our size, but I think 2-3 nights is totally doable for us and everyone had a lot of fun! 
    On Sunday, we were going to maybe try to do peddle boats, but we were all kind of ready to get going home by mid-morning. I had made muffins at home, so we had those for breakfast, and the kids were able to go to a craft time while my husband started breaking down the camp. Then, they played at the beach for awhile longer while we took down the tent and packed everything up.

     Camping is definitely a ton of work, but I think prepping so much in advance made it a lot easier for me to just unplug, relax and enjoy the weekend with my family! I'm hoping we can go again for one more weekend in the fall once it cools down a bit! 

    Monday, June 8, 2020

    End of the Year Homeschool Update {2019-2020}

    We are done with our (bizzare!) school year!!! 
    I wasn't entirely sure when we would finish up. We started after Labor Day, and then took a few weeks off throughout the year for holidays and family visits and such. For the last month or so (this was written toward the end of May), as we've been finishing up a subject, we're just done with it. So we were down to just doing math & language arts, and then for the last week and a half or so, just language arts which was only taking about a half hour - 45 minutes per day. As of Friday, May 22, we are finished with 1st and 2nd grade! 

    This was definitely a unique and interesting year with being in quarantine, having enrichment classes cancelled, etc. I am grateful we were in the position we were in and didn't have to navigate figuring out how to homeschool on top of other huge life changing things. 
    My 2 sons were attending half day preschool 4 days per week, but when they left for spring break March 12, they never went back since the schools closed. Having them home full time was a bit of an adjustment, and I did start working with them on preschool at home, but overall it went well and everyone did ok with it. 
    My daughters usually go to 5 hours of enrichment classes each week, but those were also cancelled mid-March. We didn't have any more visits from our supervising teacher, all of the field trips and activities were cancelled and we were home, which is definitely different even though we were already homeschooling. 
    Even though we had some curve balls thrown at us, the last quarter or so of school did go very well. The girls learned a ton this year. I love doing their end of the year assessments for language arts and seeing how they compare to the beginning of the year! They are much more fluent readers than they were 9 months ago. They have more knowledge, more skills and are generally just more mature. They're growing up so quickly! My oldest is halfway done with elementary grades! 

    We ended up getting through the first book of the New City Catechism Curriculum, and a few questions into the second book. We did several review weeks throughout the year, to make sure my girls really had it down pat. I mentioned in my last post that we are considering using this for our family worship nights next year, so we may or may not use it for Bible in school next year. I do have my eye on something else for them that I'm excited about! 

    For history, after we got bored with The Good & The Beautiful Year 1, I used some things that I already had printed out from TPT units last year, but honestly we just kind of fizzled out with social studies after about another month or so (around the time coronavirus hit). I just didn't push it. I'm still not sure what we are going to use for social studies next year. They're still young enough I just really don't want to push a bunch of historical facts that make them bored and they don't remember anyway, so I'm looking for something a little more engaging. 

    Science, we did end up doing our human body unit, which I think was a great introduction to the human body. I think it will be great to go back to that topic in a few years and expand on it a lot more! We did not end up getting around to our bees unit, but I have some fun plans for that next year! Science was a lot of fun this year, and the girls really enjoyed it and I enjoyed teaching it more than years past. 

    Language arts went very well this year! I don't have a whole lot else to say about that. I am SO looking forward to using the new edition of The Good & The Beautiful level 3 next year! I have been eyeing the beautiful new editions of level 1 and 2 and was bummed we couldn't use them. I am excited for a more streamlined curriculum now that they've changed a few things! This curriculum has worked very well for us the last 2 years. 

    Well, math took a huge nosedive for us this year. I'm still not entirely sure why it went from working so well to....not. We were using CTC math this year (online, with me not really teaching, but helping where needed) and it was going so great until a few months ago. There were a lot of frustrations with each question that wasn't correct (because it instantly tells you whether it's right or wrong) and I think maybe one of my daughter's expectations of just going through the questions once and being done was off. If she didn't "pass" by getting enough questions right, she was really upset that she had to do more. I also think there wasn't enough review (well, none unless I did it), and maybe not enough math basics/facts taught. For example, in the multiplication unit, there was a lesson on counting by 3 and then after that one lesson, they I guess were just expected to know 3's. I personally think that takes awhile of reviewing and continuing to practice a  concept, not just seeing it once and knowing it. We have really struggled with math curriculum and just still haven't been able to find the perfect fit. I could see us using CTC again in a few years once more of those math basics and concepts are really solidly down and understood, but I am exploring another option for next year, which will be back to me teaching math, on paper, and more review and emphasis on facts each day (while still introducing new concepts). 

    Handwriting & typing went well the rest of the year. Typing was really pretty sporadic throughout the year. Since they're still quite young, I just wanted them to start getting familiar with the keyboard, and they did. We'll keep using Typing Club next year. Handwriting was great this year! I will go ahead and order level 3 for them for next year (which will be mostly cursive!!!) but they'll finish up their level 2 book first! 

    Per usual, this year went faster than any other has before. We had a really great year, despite all the changes and craziness, and we are still loving homeschooling! 

    Sunday, May 24, 2020

    Family Worship Night

    For a long time we had a strong desire to be more intentional with our kids about worshiping together as a family, praying as a family, and even doing a devotional or lesson. But for a long time, we just never took the time to figure out a way to really make it happen. 

    For the last year or so, we've been doing a Worship Night just about every week and it has been so good for our family! Here is what we do and how we've made it work. 
    We chose a night when we already had another activity going on because we always come right home after that, and since it's always a time we're guaranteed to be home, it was really easy to get into a rhythm of doing it at that time every week. 
    First, we wanted to be praying more with our kids and we wanted them to have some stake in it. We all sat down and my husband and I had come up with categories and wrote each one on the top of a piece of paper (we aren't being fancy here). The categories we chose are: family, people, church, community, world. We had the kids come up with things they'd like to pray for in each of these categories and add them to the list. (We actually need to update these now, since it's been a while and some things are outdated!) 
    Each time we have worship night, we have each person choose a sheet and choose something to pray for off of that sheet, or if they have something else they'd like to pray for, that's great too. We just encourage them to pray (and help the little ones). We all take a turn.

    Sometimes we will do a devotional or lesson. Since COVID, we have been watching our church's kids lesson each week during this time. We have a few kids devotional type books that we'll sometimes read a story from one of our kids bibles. We are toying with the idea of doing our catechism lessons during this time next school year rather than during the school day. It's never anything too long (5-10 minutes) but generally sparks some good questions and conversations from our kids, which we always love, and it gives us a good idea of what's going on in their hearts sometimes, too. 

    Generally, we will end with some worship, either songs they sing at church, songs we sing at church or just worship songs we like. 

    That's it! It generally takes around 20 minutes or's pretty short and sweet. It's not too long that they get antsy or we lose their attention. It has been really great for our family and just a joy to worship together with our kids and show them that worshiping God together is a priority for our family. I'm so glad that we finally put it into practice. I know that it will evolve over time as our kids grow and schedules change but I am hopeful that this will always be something our family prioritizes and that our kids remember as part of their childhoods. 

    Thursday, April 9, 2020

    2020 Quarterly Goal Update 1

    To help me stay accountable to the goals I set this year, I thought it would be helpful for me to do quarterly updates with how each of my goals is coming along. I am hoping this will keep some of those ongoing goals in perspective for me and for me to keep tabs on how much more progress I need to make on each of them! Here's where I'm at so far this year: 
    done in progressnot started
    Health Goals
    • Get a thermography scan   no progress on this. Haven't set up an appointment yet & probably won't be able to until covid has passed. 
    • 150 workouts 28/150 I've been sick several times this year already so progress on this has been slow, but I've been catching up the last few weeks!
    Spiritual Goals
    • Memorize 52 bible verses 12/52. I am on week 13 now, should be on 15, so 2 weeks behind somehow. I had kept up on this really well until recently. 

    • Study 8-10 complete books of the bible 1 down (Jonah), 2 in progress (Hebrews & 1 Peter)
    Home Goals
    • Have carpets professionally cleaned hoping to do this soon as part of spring cleaning (again, is probably on hold until the quarantine lifts)
    • put the finishing touches on master bedroom DONE!! (hopefully I can get some good pictures soon. It's currently doubling as my husband's home office)

    • more security measures put in place We've added something, would like a couple more additions still 
    School/knowledge Goals
    • Make a school plan for next year for the boys in progess. I've done my part for this, waiting on other's for the plan to be set in place.  as of yesterday, this is set-they got into the program we were hoping for!!
    • Start teaching music at home Done! We started using Prodigies for all 4 kids.  

    • Find a social studies curriculum that fits our family better for next school year I'm exploring options now and have it narrowed down to a few!
    • Read 30 books 10 read, 2 in progress currently
    Personal/Random Goals
    • Find & invest in a good pair of gym shoes Bought a pair of Nike Metcons and loving them!
    • Blog twice a month So far I've gotten at least 2 posts up each month
    • Get plans in place for 2021 family trip Still in the researching phase for this
    • Stay within budget for eating out category every month So far so good! 
    • Finalize our will Need to get on this asap!
    Family Goals
    • Have girls be able to shower themselves A work in progess-they're doing really well! 
    • Girls clean their room with 0 help 0 progress on this lol
    • Teach the boys all letter names/sounds We're working on this now that they're home with me full time. I got an actual curriculum for them that we just started.
    • Have girls be able to prepare a lunch for everyone Haven't even attempted this yet
    • 12 date nights that aren't just going to dinner 2/12 so far...we'll catch up when it's warmer out & we can actually go out and do things.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    Day In The Life During Coronavirus Isolation

    I'm thinking there really isn't a better time for an updated day in the life post than during the Coronavirus isolation/quarantine that most of us are doing right now! On the one hand, our life isn't that much different since we already homeschool and are at home a lot during the day anyway, but on the other hand it really is. My husband is home working now, the boys don't have preschool in the afternoons, the girls have no activities or classes, and we don't get to just leave the house to see friends or go to a park or fun place. So it is different! I know this will be something I want to look back on one day when Covid-19 is (hopefully) but a distant memory for us all! 

    Monday, March 23, 2020

    9:00 I finally drag myself out of bed. Ever since time change my kids have been sleeping in, and during this whole quarantine I've found myself more tired and off schedule than usual. A few kids are already up, so I wake the last one up and get the morning going. We have breakfast (waffles & I make a green smoothie for myself and my husband) and the kids start on their morning checklists. These have been pretty casual and the kids have been wanting to stay in PJs pretty much every day, which I am really ok with. They still need to do things like feed the dog, brush their teeth, unload the dishwasher and make their beds. I get myself dressed in casual/comfy clothes and brush my teeth and then I'm pretty much ready for the day. I haven't worn makeup in over a week. 

    10:00 We are finally getting started on school! We start with Bible and the kids are asked to think about what it would be like to be on death row (which also means I have to explain the death penalty first) and then they draw a picture of what they would ask for for their last meal. It leads to a good gospel conversation. I love the catechism curriculum! 

    10:20ish We move on to science. We are starting a new unit on the human body and our first lesson is on muscles. We look in a bunch of our Usborne human body books and learn more about muscles, the girls start a human body flip book, they do a corresponding math activity to find out what the hardest working muscle is  and we watch a video about muscles. (Lest you think it's all nice and quiet around here, my kids run around for pretty much the whole rest of the day yelling about shaking their gluteus maximus lol!) 

    11:40 Science took longer than usual today so we are getting a late start on language arts. Our language arts lesson for today is a little different. Last week we hit a lesson where we were supposed to have 3 books from this one author to read. Of course, the libraries are closed now and these are pretty old books and a lot are out of print (I hate when curriculums ask you to get books that you can't find!), but luckily I was able to find exactly 3 of his books on Amazon and we got them over the weekend. So we're coming back to that lesson. 2 of the books are more wordy so I am going to just do them as read alouds and continue on with other lessons, but for today, especially since we're running so behind, I just do that as our lesson. I give out spelling words for the week and the girls work on spelling and handwriting while I read A Lion to Guard Us.

    Sometime after we get done with read aloud, the girls do their math lessons. They're learning about fractions right now. 

    12:30 I've gotten our family set up with an account from Prodigies music lessons. I've been looking into this for a few months, was going to wait and see if the classes my girls go to is going to offer music next year before purchasing, and then I got an email that they, like everyone else, is doing a free trial right now, so I went ahead with it. My boys have actually been doing it more than the girls! I set them up with the first lesson on the tv today and they loved it. One of my girls joins them while the other finishes up math and I get lunch (mac and cheese) fixed. 

    12:45ish We're all eating lunch. My husband comes out from his "office" (our bedroom) for awhile since he's got a break in meetings for awhile, so we catch up on our mornings while the kids eat. 

    1:10 As the girls finish up eating, they work on finishing and addressing their penpal letters so we can walk down to the mailbox and get those and a few other things sent off. 

    1:25 We all take a family walk around the neighborhood, stopping to drop off and pick up mail. It's pretty nice out (it snowed yesterday) so it feels good to stretch our bodies out and get some fresh air, and the kids love having daddy join us in the middle of the day! We go around our circle a few times. Some of the kids pick up bikes at some point in the adventure. 

    2:00 My husband has another conference call to hop on, so we get home and get everybody situated with quiet time (much later than usual, but the time outside was necessary!!) Everybody is having some quiet reading time for a bit while I get things cleaned up in the kitchen and get ready for my own quiet time. 

    2:25 My boys are doing "virtual preschool" on a facebook page their teachers sent. It's not their teachers, but a page their teachers follow and this teacher is doing large group lessons every day. We don't catch them live, so I've been having the boys do them during this time. They're at that hard age where they could really use a nap but if they nap they won't go to bed well at night, and they're used to going to preschool in the afternoon. So it's been a bit tricky figuring out how to keep them quiet ish and busy during this time. A half hour of preschool time helps. 

    I sit down with my Bible and Hebrews study while the boys are doing their preschool and the girls are downstairs playing quietly. 

    3:00 The boys head downstairs to join the girls and they all start tv time. I am folding a bunch of laundry at this point, since I didn't do any over the weekend. After laundry I get caught up on some house things while the kids are watching their show. 

    4:15 Husband is done working and we head downstairs to workout. Leg day for both of us. Most of the kids join us and one is off doing her own thing (more and more these days....I can feel a new season on the horizon with my oldest)! 

    5:00 We are done working out and I head upstairs for a shower, while my husband and son cook dinner. He is grilling a pork loin and they make rolls, mashed potatoes, and veggies to go with it. It was all so yummy! We ate around 6. 

    6:30 We've started a new post dinner cleanup routine. I recently realized my kids could totally be helping with the after dinner cleanup so I asked them to help me one night. One dried the pots and pans after I washed them, 2 cleaned off the table and chairs, and one vacuumed around the kitchen and dining area and wiped down the counters. It all went so smoothly and we were done in no time! So I made a checklist and now after dinner they grab the list, each chooses a job and gets after it. When they're done with their task, they go back to the list and choose another one, and do this until all the jobs are done! We're usually done in 10 minutes and my kitchen is getting cleaned up way more than ever before (I was horrible about cleaning the table or under it after meals before)! 

    6:45 The kids play for a bit and my husband starts building our new bar stools. I loved our old ones so much and am sad to get rid of them, but they were breaking and after several repairs that weren't lasting, it was time. 

    7:00 My friend Megan and her son Dax stop by to do a game swap! Megan always has the best ideas! We've set out Ticket to Ride Jr. and my middle made a little activity page/card for Dax on the porch, and we talk to them through the window for awhile. This is all so weird that this is how we're communicating with people now. It's the highlight of the day and we're all glad for some non-family human interaction! 

    7:35ish The girls and I sit down to read Harry Potter. We are almost finished with book 2. I've never read them either so it's been fun reading them all together! My husband is finishing up bar stools and then the boys get ready for bed. 

    8:00 The girls do their bedtime checklists and head off to bed around 8:15 or 8:30. 
    I intended to write this blog post then, but I was really tired so once Tony was done with the barstools (I think around 9 or 9:30), we put them up, and headed off to our room to get ready for bed and then  mindlessly watch tv until bed (around 11). 

    I would say the biggest differences during this quarantine are no school for the boys, husband home and around here and there throughout the day, not going places (we go out almost every day in regular life to a park, playdate, store, etc.) and less of a structured routine (hello sleeping until 9 a.m.....) But this has been a pretty typical day for us so far during the quarantine! 

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