Tuesday, March 24, 2020


I would be remiss if I did not include a blog post about the affects of COVID19 on our family, as it is literally affecting every part of our world.  I am constantly in awe over the number of things that are affected by this contagious and dangerous virus, and how quickly those changes are occuring.  For our family, it started with the news that they were cancelling all extracurricular activities and field trips, along with all sports (including professional), and within a few days school was cancelled indefinitely and "social distancing" and "quarantining" became the norm.  

There were definitely tears as realization of anticipated events and experiences, including our spring break trip to Florida (and Colton's birthday present - attending a real NASCAR race) one-by-one were cancelled.

But, we will choose to count our blessings.  We are grateful for our health.  We are grateful for the "pause" from commitments that allows us to be home with each other.  We are grateful for a short commute for Paul as he is now working from home indefinitely, making his commute 10 seconds up the basement stairs instead of 45-60 minutes one-way.  We are grateful for more sibling playtime.  We are grateful for the time to learn together, be together, and make memories together.  All while praying for those who are in a life or death crisis.

Our days have found a pleasant, yet flexible routine.  The kids have enjoyed playtime in the morning when mornings used to be quite rushed.  We enjoy taking our time discussing our morning Bible reading and devotions, letting questions lead to discussion when they arise.  The kids have enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, instead of a speedy one closely guarded by the time on the clock, filled with verbal games they make up with each other. 

After breakfast, they have discovered a fun routine, take turns leading a morning exercise routine sent to them by a teacher at their school:
S ide lunges (10)
P lanks (10 seconds)
R otating Arm Circles (20 forward, 20 back)
I  nchworms (5)
N arrow Squats (10)
G ranny tosses (10)

Our goal is to have their morning chores (and one additional daily chore, such as cleaning the bathroom or some other cleaning related chore) done by 11am.

11-12 is school time.  There are so many wonderful resources given from the school and the teacher in me loves picking up where they left off at school.  Larkyn and I are working on subtraction up to 20, recognizing teens, writing numbers, reading, spelling, and more.  Colton and I are working on subtraction using borrowing, spelling words, and his piano lessons.  Summer is working on long division, learning a movie creating software to help develop a movie for Southview News alongside a teacher, and learning other tech skills, along with piano.  

12-1 is our outside time.  We have gone for walks, scooter rides, bike rides, and more.  Other times it is free play in the backyard.  Either way, it is fresh MN March air!

1-2 is lunch.  They are practicing making gourmet foods such as grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese on their own, along with some fun baking and other recipes coming up the pipe-line.  It has also become our Bible memory time, with Summer memorizing a Psalm of her choice, and the younger two working through memorizing the books of the Old Testament.

2-4 is free time.  The kids have often been using this time to develop their Lego city, which grows more detailed by the day, but it is their opportunity to do whatever they like.  I use this time to do my Bible study, or prepare for the quickly evolving changes at school where most likely I will be engaged in teaching math online, as our schools are predicted to move to distance learning on Monday, March 30th.  If that is indeed the case, I will hold online office hours through Zoom during this time where I can help my high schoolers with their math from afar, prepare videos to teach them, and more.

4-5 is our Reading and Research time.  The kids have SO many things they are interested in, and it was their idea to have a research time!  They love searching for information on topics that interest them.  Larkyn prepared a verbal report on starfish.  Her next topic of choice is horses.  Colton is in the middle of studying sharks, identifying the names of his plastic shark figurines by looking up pictures of sharks, and creating labels for his.  His plan is to create a shadow box that looks like an ocean.  Summer is researching Angler Fish, and has already shared some interesting facts.  Sometimes this time is just reading time.  All three kids love to read or be read to, so this is a fun relaxing way to wrap up our afternoon.

5-6 flex hour and make dinner!

Evenings have been so much more relaxed without evening activities, and without needing to set a strict bedtime.  We started a "family game olympics" of sorts where each game we play, the winner is assigned a certain number of points, second place is one less, and so on, for a running tally.  We are neck-n-neck right now as the points even out pretty well when everybody is scoring points of some sort!  Aside from games that come in boxes, another popular game for us right now is bean-bag-toss tic tac toe, which is currently a new addition to our living room decor.  Pick-up games happen anytime two people are together, and it is a great equalizer game where truly any age can beat any age, the way the game is set up.  We have also been enjoying Zoom and Marco Polo apps for keeping in touch with family and friends, as well as watching church through facebook live each Sunday.

There is no doubt that we will remember this time of history-in-the-making!  We will choose to be grateful for the time God has given us to be together, and pray for those around us who are hurting.  

I'll end this journal entry with a video of the kids singin' in the rain....I pray that Christ's love and joy continues to shine through us despite the storms that life may bring....


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