Story told by: Lainey
It’s only been four weeks since the last blog post about my birthday, and EVERYTHING has changed since then due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Just a week after my birthday, schools shut down. Daddy is working from home. Mommy is homeschooling us. And we’re being asked to not be around other people. What a crazy time. Even though we have our moments, overall we are doing really well!
I’ll start you off with a silly video we made for our online church service. It summarizes this whole situation perfectly. 😉
And now I’ll show you some pictures and other videos of our last few weeks to show you what we’ve been up to!
Mommy had her 35th birthday right at the start of figuring this Coronavirus thing out. We were supposed to be in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for a wrestling tournament and a night in the hotel to celebrate her birthday, but Henry’s wrestling season had been canceled by this point and they were advising against travel, so Mommy canceled all of those plans.
Daddy went out to get a yummy breakfast.
And we knew at this point, you weren’t supposed to be with large groups of people, so Mommy went with just Liz and Sarah for wine tasting.
They had coffee and wine in the hot tub. The laughs were SO good.
These kids had sweet treats and cards for Mommy.
While Mommy was with her friends, we worked hard to have a fun surprise waiting for her upon coming home. She loved it!
Then Mommy opened our presents.
Daddy got her a membership to her favorite winery.
And the night ended with a delicious dinner! It was really different than what was originally planned, but Mommy loves us so much for still making it special.
Things were changing so quickly with information on the Coronavirus that by just the day after Mommy’s birthday, they were strongly recommending no unnecessary contact with people outside of your home. Here is Mommy’s first picture of social distancing.
And just in time for school to be canceled, Daddy had just finished converting the area under our deck into a play area. Perfect timing!
I named our home school, and Mommy and I worked together to come up with a schedule.
Our schooling has gone very well. The weather during our first week home was INCREDIBLE, so we got outside a lot that first week. But we did have to make sure we were staying away from others when we saw them.
St. Patrick’s Day!
We’ve had such a clear calendar! All extracurriculars had been canceled, so we had so much time to explore new trails in Pullman.
We made it all the way to day two of homeschooling before a disaster struck. The boys were playing “Plug the Shower with Your Bottom.” They flooded the bathroom, and water went into the room below the bathroom as well.
It was right as Daddy was coming home from work, so he started drilling holes in the ceiling to let the water out.
Lainey acted as a scribe for Henry’s apology letter. Daddy rented a dehumidifier to run in the room for a few days, and after some patching and new paint, the room below the bathroom should be good to go again.
I became pen pals with my cousin, Molly, and my best buddy, Ivy.
We hiked Kamiak. We had just done a science lesson the day before on finding creatures and bugs, so it was perfect for exploring on our hike.
We found flowers to decorate Mommy.
Another cool thing to come out of this are the amount of free art lessons that have been posted. We’ve had some great directed drawing sessions.
Mommy came up with a fun idea where we had to create our own playground out of recycling items or art items we already had in our home.
When we were finished, Henry had to write an advertisement for it.
And I had to measure and calculate the perimeter.
We had many nights out on the deck this first week. It did get chilly in the evenings, so Daddy had fires going.
We had our first-ever online church experience.
And it turns out Brody is just as obnoxious during at-home church.
Mommy has been doing lots of FaceTiming and Marco Polo messages in order to stay in touch with her friends.
We have never had this much time for house projects. Our first weekend we spent a lot of the weekend laying down beauty bark in front of the house.
We were rewarded with ice cream! (Restaurants are not allowed to have dining in the restaurant, but most restaurants are still open for either the drive-thru or carry out.)
We’ve had lots of time for puzzles! And we’ve started reading the first book in the Harry Potter series.
On our second week of homeschooling, Daddy was sent home from work and was told that he should work from home. We’re glad he’s safe at home, but now we enter into the tricky dynamic of trying to be quiet enough for Daddy who is on phone/online meetings all day.
Mommy is bound and determined to make Henry work hard on his writing. She’s already seen a lot of improvement!
I’ve been getting to do baking for my math lessons once a week. Mommy is trying to have me do most of it on my own. It’s forcing me to learn to read fractions!
We made these pictures to send to a woman at our church who can’t leave her house due to being high risk of catching the virus.
Brody got to have his first Zoom meeting and share day with his preschool class.
In our second week of homeschooling, Brody swallowed a penny for some unknown reason. After getting off the phone with the pediatrician (who told us that they are limiting who goes into the hospital due to the virus, so Brody would not be going in for an x-ray), we changed our science lesson for that afternoon to learn about where the penny will travel before it exits Brody’s body.
One morning we had a lesson on how to take up-close photography.
We had a fun engineering activity where we had to use jelly beans and toothpicks to create two towers, and then engineer a way to connect those two towers. Henry especially enjoyed this activity. He is definitely an engineer at heart!
Before our public library completely shut down, they were still delivering books. We got in one of the last orders for books!
The government is asking us to do no more than one shopping trip a week, and that only one person from your family should do the shopping. This is Mommy avoiding eye contact with everyone in the store because if she knows you, she’s going to hug you. And she’s not allowed to do that, so it’s best if she just doesn’t see a single person.
Mommy has been really missing girls’ nights, so she was so excited when her friend, Carla, put together a craft night. Carla dropped off all of the supplies on our doorstep, and then they used Zoom for Carla to teach them.
Since our school’s science fair was canceled, Henry presented to us on his Arctic habitat diorama that he had already completed.
We’ve had lots of time for family walks.
And more baking.
We are very grateful for a big field behind our house. It extends our yard, and is fantastic!
Our school district came up with some fun virtual spirit days for the third week of homeschooling. Day one was pajama day!
Our teachers have started communicating with us to give us assignments. (We will really jump into online learning after Spring Break.) Brody completed a graph for his teacher.
Day two of virtual spirit week was hat day!
The weather this day was alternating between rain, hail, snow, and sunshine. In a break of it all, we got outside for a walk. And then a 6.2 earthquake hit. Crazy! We didn’t feel it too much as we were running, climbing, and jumping…but Daddy working at home felt it a lot. He had to move away from the bookshelf as it was shaking so much he thought it was going to fall over.
We had a friend come up with different themes for dinner. One night was beach night!
Day three of virtual spirit week was sports day! I was a basketball player, Brody a dancer, and Henry a baseball player.
The highlight of the third week was on April Fools’ Day. My teacher gave us an assignment to find the elusive Loof-Lirpa Bird. You were supposed to call for it. Hold food out for it. Then sing to it. If that didn’t work, then you could try sounding out the bird’s name backwards. That’s when I figured it out. Mommy was crying from laughing so hard!
Our art teacher sent out an assignment to draw a plant from our house.
The fourth day of virtual spirit week was twin (or triplet) day!
Brody was also triplets with Mrs. O’Loughlin and Desmond.
Mommy and her friend Natalie were twins.
We had a fun baking challenge where we had to solve puzzles (similar to an escape room) in order to complete the recipe.
I’ve been really missing my friends, so I’ve been finding ways to play math games with them via FaceTime.
We try to finish school extra early on Friday since we’re all pretty tired by that point. After we finished our work, we went up to the WSU campus for a Cougar head scavenger hunt. Mommy challenged us to find 75 Cougar heads.
We were climbing, running, and jumping. Such a great way to get out some energy!
Mommy and Daddy had to get creative about a date night, so they employed me as a babysitter.
All kidding aside, Mommy said I did a great job. Mommy and Daddy had 90 quiet minutes, which they loved!!
We ended the night with reading Harry Potter.
And the weekend brings more projects. Mommy asked Daddy to replace these awful light fixtures in the office, so Daddy said he should just paint the room before he replaces them. Fine with Mommy!
I’ve been having some big emotions lately about missing my friends and not being at school. So I got to have a Saturday morning date with Mommy. I picked getting Starbucks and doing a craft. It was just what I needed!
We did a lesson on Palm Sunday.
Ready with our palms!
Daddy worked hard all day to get the room painted and light fixtures in!
We’ll get some different light bulbs in at some point, but Mommy loves them!
After online church, we made some bird nest cookies with Mommy!
A perfect afternoon treat!