March

Here’s some of what we were up to in March, the month when everything changed. Most of this is pre-quarantine.

Avery played JV basketball up until school closed. He’s the guy behind the black #5.

Phoebe with on a trail walk with her buddies, Mako & Josie.

Yoshi, keeping Jonathan’s spot warm for him.

Stopping to smell the flowers

Someone wanted to try on my old pointe shoes.
 

Watch day at Layla’s class. It also turned out to be her last lesson of the season.

With Harper

Time to switch into those tap shoes, girls!

Practicing for their recital.

Free time at the end

Grabbed lunch together on the way home. Ah, back when we could still eat in restaurants.

Pre-social distancing

Celebrating my friend Niki’s birthday. It was supposed to be a night out on the town. Instead it was game night at her house – and the last night with a group of ladies for a while. I went to 5th-high school with Jessica, the girl on the left. We hadn’t seen each other since graduation. It was so fun catching up!

Silas and Yoshi

Preschool pics

I love it when Phoebe sits like this!

Yoshi is so tall!
L

Last time skiing before the mountain closed

This is how she eats her trail mix. She’s so my daughter!

Snowshoeing with Mason

Mount Si, looking beautiful

Future yoga teacher?

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Homeschool

Below is some of what we’ve been up to in the first couple weeks of homeschool:

1st Day of Homeschool with Mrs. King!

This pic is from our planning meeting the Friday prior. The kids were all involved in making the schedule.

Handwriting practice

P.E. with Avery

Our pantry door/command center

Spelling practice

Language Arts

Lexia or Typing

Apparently leprechauns don’t have to social distance. Here’s the kids making traps.

Omg, they came!

And they got away! But they left candy.

Zoom piano lessons

More P.E. with Avery

Typing

Math – the old school way

Yep, this is me. I really wanted to be into Common Core, but after eight years of it, I still don’t see how it’s better than the way we learned.

Art with Mo Willems

Silas has been a huge help with Avery in his Digital Media class.

Zoom circle time. That’s Layla’s good buddy, Angelo, on the screen

She was tickled seeing all her classmates!

I needed some surprises up my sleeve to entertain Layla while I spent so much time with her brothers. She got a few Disney Princes and Princesses from an older friend.

I did some book swapping with mom friends since the library was closed.

Yoga practice

Got out the old bin of Beanie Babies for some entertainment

Layla’s Play and Learn kit from her preschool
 

Circle time with Ms. Claire
 

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Avery the Teenager!

We have a quaranteenager in the house now! Avery celebrated his thirteenth birthday at the end of March. Shortly after we planned his party and sent out invitations the country started shutting down and it looked increasing likely we might have to postpone. He had planned a “fancy” pizza party at the golf club for a dozen of his nearest and dearest. We waited, held our breath, and prepared Avery for bad news. On March 16 the governor closed all restaurants and bars throughout the state and expanded social gathering limits. Thank you, Jay Inslee, for making the call and getting Mom and Dad off the hook!

Avery is such a trooper. He took it in stride, and if he was disappointed, he didn’t show it. We celebrated his birthday with surprise Easter buns for breakfast. (Currants are very hard to come by these days, but we managed.) Instead of cake he wanted ice cream, and requested to have it at every meal. Our vegetarian health nut got what he asked for.

In the afternoon we had a repeat of Avery’s twelfth birthday and went to the Fisher Creek bike park where we let the kids ride around on bikes. He heard from a number of friends on his birthday which made him feel special.

At thirteen, Avery is sweet, smart, responsible, steadfast, a serious student and a goofy son. He loves his siblings, being outdoors, being active, and is always impressing us with what a genuinely good kid he is. It is so fun being his parents! Happy birthday, Avery Liam. We love you!



Easter buns!



Birthday spanks

Salad for lunch








Riding back home

Watching parkour videos on YouTube

He’s only 1/2″ shorter than me now! (And his voice is dropping!)


Next to the clock at 9:01 AM, the time of  his birth.

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Quarantine

Wow, March was a crazy month. I had every intention of journaling the events but with school closed I found myself so busy there was just no time. The first week in March things started getting more real, and it felt like events snowballed each day. I asked Layla’s preschool teacher about their plans going forward, but it still felt like we were all playing it literally day-by-day. Jonathan had a work trip to Salt Lake City Monday through Thursday the second week and we questioned whether he should go or not. We decided he would still go, knowing this would be his last time traveling for a while. We talked about ways he could fly more safely.

I can’t remember exactly how things played that week, but on Thursday, March 12, our district announced around lunchtime that school was closing effective immediately. The kids would ride the bus home and beginning Friday, the 13th there would be no school. I decided to drive to a friends house in our old neighborhood and walk to pick up the boys from elementary school, knowing this would be our last chance to see many of our friends and teachers. On the way home I stopped at Safeway to “pick up a few things.” Apparently the rest of our town had the same plan. I had to wait through a traffic light to even get into the parking lot where I managed to find a spot way in the back. I left Kieron and Layla in the car and took Silas in with me. We got one of the last carts. Inside I ran into a dozen neighbors. I started to feel like perhaps I should get more than a few things (no, I did not buy TP). I quickly filled the cart, navigating through crowded aisles. It was really eery.

Jonathan was still gone, arriving back late that night. I could hardly wait for him to get home. It seemed like the world had changed overnight. Over the course of the week Avery’s basketball season had come to an early end and Boy Scout meetings were cancelled. Kieron and Silas’ baseball practices were cancelled, as was Layla’s dance. Piano went on hold until further notice.

I decided to give the kids Friday off school and take a long weekend to prepare for homeschooling. Monday we would hit the ground running. I turned to my community of moms here and we all put our heads together and shared resources and plans. Layla’s preschool quickly put together weekly “play and learn” kits for us to pick up on Mondays and return on Fridays for sanitation and rotation. They organized short morning Zoom circle times for their normal school days. I came up with an impromptu school schedule for the boys. The district told us they would be in touch in a week a virtual learning plan. School has, and will continue to evolve over the weeks and months, but for now we are hanging in there and taking it a day at a time. Some days are better than others, but we remind ourselves how fortunate we are and try to give each other grace.

Playgrounds closed

Not even basketball (we solved that problem and found a free hoop on Facebook Marketplace!)

Puzzles and wine with my bestie before things really shut down – good for the soul

Put this together at home

Daddy does the supply runs to Costco

Daily family walks

On my shopping trip at Safeway mentioned above, I remembered Silas had been dying to use the indoor s’more maker he received for his birthday.

A girl and her dog on the Silent Creek trail

Watching Les Mis with the big boys. “See how much worse things could be?!”

I used extra gravel from the other side of our house to create a dog run here one weekend. No more muddy paws for our pooch!

We planted petunias in Layla’s flower box

This little girl got spayed just in time! She was pretty sad that evening but fine the following day.

We all felt pretty sorry for her, as you can see.

Silas built a Lego crane using a motor.

My friend’s vet office was broken into. They stole all the drugs.

Chatting with Clare online. It’s all about the filters, as you can see!


We watched all the seasons of Stranger Things with the boys. Well, we watched the first one with them and then bowed out and they binge-watched the rest.

Drove around Seattle one afternoon. Downtown was a ghost town!

Mani-pedis!

Another day, another puzzle.

Costco in Issaquah

Don’t worry, no fever! This guy wasn’t feeling well one day, but all was well.

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Silas’ 8th Birthday Part Two

Silas’ party was the eve before his actual birthday. In the morning we opened family presents together and had biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

OMG, my own Alexa! It turned out to be such a great gift for this boy. He LOVES listening to music and finding new songs and artists.
 

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