Wednesday, April 29, 2020

More from quarrantine

We are still enjoying the beautiful weather and doing our best to find creative ways to keep busy and entertained...
The younger ones love taking flower walks/bike rides and making bouquets
 Lunch picnics in the driveway
 Lots of exercise!
Manah very patiently played this card game with Cecilia that she made up (and the rest of us have been playing games too, especially Boggle at night).
Austin issued Gloria, Stephen, and Anastasia a challenge that they each achieved during the Easter octave. He gave them options of some different (very generous) prizes, and of course they each picked the most expensive and complex one on the list! (Have I mentioned our kids are ambitious?)
So Anastasia's prize was that he built her a rock climbing wall. He ended up building two...a novice and a more experienced/bigger kid one. (She scaled hers the first time, making it look so easy that every one else wanted to try. But it wasn't as easy as she made it look! I only got a video, no photo.)

Stephen's prize was online parkour lessons which he really wanted to do with his buddy across the street. We decided that time together outdoors would be ok, so he is sort of in our quarantine family/group now!

Dewberry picking...'tis that time of year. And we have so much free time and energy for it! Well, at least they do. I brought a book to read in the shade. ;)

And with berry picking comes pie making. They did it all themselves (including Mariana)!

We have been doing all of our own house cleaning rather than having our precious helpers come once a month for a deep clean. So on the Saturdays that we clean all morning, I offer them a little treat in the afternoon. We have previously enjoyed a little dessert treat, but this time I offered to get these water balloons for them in my grocery pickup order. So they had a fun water balloon fight with the friends across the street.

I am hoping our neighborhood pool will open up before it gets too hot, even if they have to limit the number of guests. But for now, we are so thankful for spring!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Happy (strangest ever) Easter!!!

We began Holy week with Palm Sunday mass online and in lamentation of the cancelled Passion Play that is put on by the youth every year and in which our own Mariana was supposed to portray our Blessed Mother Mary! I knew we would need extra help focusing on the meaning of the week this year, so I ordered this sticker activity for the kids to do. We even delivered a few to friends nearby.

 Mom decided to color eggs with the kids on Holy Thursday morning (breaking with our Holy Saturday morning tradition) because Allia had plans to make macarons Saturday.

Then we had an unexpected event Good Friday. I took the little ones out in the front to ride around on scooters and bikes. My little daredevil guy was a little too crazy on his scooter. He fell, coming down right into the bar with is nose. Immediately it started gushing blood, making quite the puddle in the street. We didn't want to take him to urgent care and risk catching germs so I called the pediatrician's office. Her nurse was very understanding and got us in right away. The doc was going to glue it but realized it was beyond her skill and sent him to the ENT. That was a good call because it turned out he had torn some cartilage and opened an artery (hence the excessive bleeding). So it took a good stitching job by an expert to get him all put back together again. He was very brave and requested Little Caesar's pizza when it was all over. So Daddy obliged, and Sebastian ate 3 pieces. I guess he burned a lot of calories during the ordeal! It made for an appropriate Good Friday meditation because I could really empathize with Mary watching her precious son pour out his blood.
 And Manah couldn't resist braving the grocery store to get him some balloons.
This was the first year ever that we made it to all the Good Friday opportunities since it was so easy with them being online! We did the Divine Mercy Litany, Stations, Veneration of the cross, and Tenebrae. Austin had the blessing of singing at Tenebrae, and we participated online from was my first time to "go"! I think I will have to make it a tradition. It was such a beautiful prayer.

We made our usual crowns of jewels Saturday morning.

 Austin warned me that I had a big surprise coming for Easter. The funny thing is, it was right under my nose, and I didn't even notice! He and the older girls stayed up later than me (which they often do on Saturday nights) building a new school table which is also a bumper pool/card table! I have always dreamt of having a house with a game room and a bumper pool table because I love playing. Even more so now that we have been home with so much extra time lately. It is actually the same size and shape as our previous school table, so it fits perfectly! Of course, the space is a little tight for playing pool, but it works. We had lots of games while waiting for everyone to get up and get dressed for mass (Yes, we dressed up to watch it online so it would feel more normal and so we could take our usual family photo!).
Then we opened Easter baskets together. There was a theme this year...things we can play together during our newfound free time! The little ones received books and Catholic memory card games.

Stephen received a horseshoes game.
Water balloons for Gloria
Exploding kittens card game for Mariana
Then a few more games before mass...
 Our family photo after mass (it was stormy overnight, and the sun came out just as mass was starting. It was so beautiful!).
And of course, hunting Easter eggs
 Daddy hid one in the tree!
 And then we had a surprise socially-distanced drive by visit from Lito and Lita! Everyone was so excited to see them. Matilda the dog even came along. They brought some get well toys for Sebastian and stayed to chat for a bit.
Jesus is Risen, Alleluia! We are all hoping and praying that we will be able to return to live, in-person mass before the end of the Easter season!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Shelter in Place

What we've been up to...
When social distancing was ordered but not shelter in place yet...
The kids' swim team has been sending out workouts for them to do and has also done some Zoom workouts to help them stay in shape without their daily swimming.

Lots of walks and bike/scooter rides...
And good ol' chillaxing...
These girls loooove to play memory and have become so good they can beat me now.
Daddy made up this crazy game where someone is under the pillow pile, and everyone else takes turns jumping on them. This was Cecilia's turn (see her cute little feet sticking out?). She thought it was hilarious!

Other outside time...the only way to stay sane

Stephen just decided to take Sebastian out and teach him to ride with no training wheels. I was so surprised and touched that he did that...and that it succeeded! This is great because now he can come along on longer bike rides with us, and we have been taking many thanks to quarantine. It only took him about one more day to get the hang of starting off without help. He practiced and practiced until he got it (Now to get him to remember to wear shoes!).

Collecting Roly Polys
Crafts of all sorts. Anastasia decided to make this beach scene of toothpick people at the beach featuring ourselves and the family we visited over spring break.
Painting flags and things on Pawpaw's fence
 And of course Austin is working from home, and we have our chores, online classes, etc. It is such a strange time but not without blessings. I have always lamented being too busy in the spring to enjoy the nice weather. By the time school and activities are over, it is too hot. But boy are we enjoying it this year! It is really nice to see so many families spending time outdoors together. And I must admit I enjoy having all of my family under one roof most of the time. (Shhh...don't tell!).