Month: March 2020

Jack with glasses!

Look who has a bright new pair of peepers!

I’m impressed that the look and fit are very close to the virtual try-on from Zenni Optical, and that they got to us one week after ordering them!

Jack seems nervous and delighted.  He says it’s like looking through a magnifying glass.  He says it’s weird seeing everything so sharp 🙂 I think he looks quite sharp himself!

Remote Learning, Spring Break visit to GJ, and Self Isolating

Here’s a long update of the last two weeks.  I probably should have split this into a couple posts. Ah well.

Like everyone in the country, we have drastically altered how we are living.  Ben and I are extremely fortunate that we can already work from home, so we have job security and I have been able to fully help the kids with their school-work-from-home.

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Walking Ralston Creek

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Walking Ralston Creek

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A little spring sunshine

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A pair of owls have been visiting the house

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The other owl.

The schools scrambled to get everyone set up. We already have chromebooks at home, so we could leave those for other families to check out. Sam’s teacher sent him home with notebooks, pencils, crayons, etc, just in case.

We did one week of remote learning before spring break.  The kids took to it really well.  I’m not sure they are learning as much as they would have in a regular class, but I’m satisfied that they are learning SOMETHING and staying engaged and have a schedule for each day.

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Music class

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Morning meeting with his teacher and classmates.

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Go Noodle for indoor recess.

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Outdoor recess in the snow.

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Art class – Sam loved this and did 3 instead of 1 picture, and continued drawing from videos over spring break.

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Jack’s workspace, occasionally interrupted by Nimbus knocking down all his doodads. 

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Even Jack’s piano class has gone virtual, using Skype with his teacher.

After the week of school, and after the winter storm abated, I took the kids to Grand Junction.  Ben and I and my folks debated the safety and ethics of coming.  We are virus-free, as far as we know, and so are they.  We wouldn’t stop on the drive over and wouldn’t be going anywhere but house-to-house, so I couldn’t see any harm in coming.  In the end, I’m really glad we made the trip.  It would have been a LONG week of no schedule and nothing to do at home.  At least they could putter around a different house with different toys and books.  Then the same day we got back to Arvada, the state issued a shelter-in-place mandate.  So once again, we were doing something at the last possible time (previously done for the zoo, a movie date, and then a local trip).

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Seeing Betty from a safe distance outdoors.

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An impromptu eye check and we discovered Jack needs glasses!  Grandpa figured out his prescription and we ordered frames from Zenni Optical.  Quickest (and cheapest) glasses initiation ever!

We went for a hike on the Mica Trail.  It was so cool!  Quartz and mica shimmered everywhere, and lots of interesting terrain for Sam to scramble over.  It was moderately busy, as everyone was trying to get out of the house where possible.  But everyone kept a good distance apart, even when passing each other on the trail.

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We taught the kids Rummikub and they loved it!  Requested that we play it every evening.  

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Sorting their massive coin collection.

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On the look-out for another visit from the Masons.

We made spaghetti from scratch.

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Dad and Sam and I made an apple pie.

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Sam filled 1 1/2 notebooks with art while we were there.

Now we are back home for a few days before remote school starts on Monday.  I’m being relatively lazy with the kids.  I’m sleeping in.  They get to play video games later in the morning and earlier in the afternoon than I usually allow.  It’s a shame the weather turned cold again or we would go on more walks.  Oh well.

We got the new Animal Crossing game and are all infatuated with it.  I was hard core into Animal Crossing on the Game Cube back in 2002-2004.  This new version has lots of good updates but is the same game at heart.  The kids are loving its exploration and creative aspects.  It’s really great for all ages and a good way to pass the day inside.

Zoo Success!

We had a chilly but fun morning at the zoo. They were limiting capacity, closed all indoor exhibits, shows, and most restaurants. But we had a nice venture out of the house and saw some great animal interactions.

March Happenings

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Nimbus had a fun time picking up the kids from school with me.

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This is how I kept the cats from messing with my knitting while it blocked overnight.

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Sam had a session of swim classes and made some big improvements!

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My parents came out for a fun weekend of eating and shopping and visiting.  We love having family visit!

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The Alamo theater had a fun photo spot for Onward.

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The kids loved the movie.  It was a bit too stressful for us grown-ups, but it had a lot of great laughs.

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Playing Marvel Champions with the family.

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The boys both had friends over to play after school on Monday.  The cats were super jelly of the backyard time.

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With my birthday money I bought some gorgeous yarn to make a sweater for myself.  It’s bulky yarn on size 11 needles.  Since this photo yesterday I’ve finished the body and started a sleeve.  I love fast knits!

And, like everyone else, we are so sick of talking about the coronavirus.  The schools announced they are closing and doing remote-learning from home.  There are terrible rumors flying amongst the kids at school that I’ve been trying to squash.  I’m actually really happy they are shutting down school and church and other gatherings BEFORE it got a strong foothold in our area.  Our plans to watch a local high school’s performance of Spamalot tonight was canceled.  We hope that tomorrow we can take the kids to the zoo – I figure it’s a wide open park that even on busy days doesn’t get too crowded.  As long as places are open for business we are going to try to help the economy if it’s reasonably safe to do so.  We have movie tickets to see Emma tomorrow night and a babysitter set up, we’ll see if the movie theater stays open too.

We talked to the kids a lot about the school closures and got chromebooks set up with their school accounts.  Sam stayed on to play Prodigy (a math game) before going to bed.  An hour later he dropped this note on me from the stairway:

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School at home might be fun! I wonder if I finish math I can play prodigy? Just the COVID-19 makes us do school at home.  Love Sam. P.S. I’m excited!

Well put.  And yes, we will have fun, and you can play Prodigy.

 

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