Monday, May 25, 2020

The Eighth Edition of The KC Post

May 19, 2020
Sam Stumps Vs. Rachel Swings
by Sam

Today in football, the Sam Stumps played the Rachel Swings. They played in the Swings field, Swinging Park. The final score was 42-14 Swings. It started off with the Stumps kicking off. The Swings immediately got a touchdown. They got two more in quick succession. Then the Stumps got one, and the Swings got another. The Stumps then pushed up the field, until they got to the Rachel Swings 5-yard line. They then deked out the Swings' defenders with a sneak pass to get a touchdown, and make the score 28-14. Sadly, it was the last touchdown they would get, as the Swings got two more touchdowns, and won the game 42-14.

I Went To Japan (on Zoom with Grandma)
by Rachel
Today, Sam and I went on a Zoom meeting with Grandma and learned about Japan. First, Sam and I got two pencils, a pair of chopsticks, and two boxes each, and we had a cookie for a snack. Then we got on the Zoom meeting and started learning. Next, we learned and learned and learned about Japan, like what a sumo wrestler’s day is like, and how to play Japanese drums. After that, we learned how to make sushi, and other Japanese food. We also watched a video showing what Japanese people would eat in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Finally, we got a chance to show Grandma some funny cat videoooos.

May 20, 2020
Haikus About Asparagus
by Natasha

Asparagus pee
It smells really disgusting
The veggie tastes good!

by Rachel

My bright green veggie
Asparagus is yummy
My pee, my business

by Dave

Asparagus goes
Well with eggs; No one needs to
Hear about my pee.

by Sam

Yum asparagus
But it makes my pee smell bad.
Overall, it's good.

May 21, 2020
Drumsticks The Chicken
by Sam

Editor's note: Sam created Drumsticks the Chicken about two years ago. He has decided to include a weekly Drumsticks comic for your reading pleasure. (Over the past month, Sam has read every Garfield cartoon strip ever created. Jim Davis has produced six Garfield comics a week since 1981 so that's a lot of comics!!!)

Royal Outing To Procure Leavening Agent
by Natasha

Today the queen, the prince, and the princess, endured much hardship to procure the scarce resource known as yeast. The royal family has been enjoying an abundance of buns, challah, and fresh pizza crusts, which has depleted the store of yeast in the royal kitchens.
The family decided to leave the royal carriage parked and used their two-wheeled conveyances, powered by the energy provided by the consumption of all the yeasty goodness coming from the kitchen. Both the prince and the princess were getting used to new bikes so the outing was fraught with danger, punctuated by shrieks and much laughter.
The round trip of almost 7 kilometres (4.5 miles) was a success as the royal storehouse was restocked with yeast and all returned to the palace safely. All can now rest assured that the production of leavened products by the royal kitchens will continue.

Pitching is Fun
by Rachel

Today Sam helped me build up my pitching skills. He showed me how to throw a two-seam and four-seam fastball. He also showed me how to pitch a circle changeup and a regular changeup. He said these were the 4 basics throws for pitchers who are just starting out.
He also showed me the three basic steps for a pitching motion: Up, Feed the Beast, and Follow Through. If you have a ball and a baseball glove, “Up” is where you bring your arms from a “straight down” position to up above your head. “Feed the Beast” is where you bring the ball down, point your foot to where you want to throw the ball, put your ball hand towards the outfield, and your glove hand towards home plate. “Follow Through” is where you move your arm towards your front foot, let go of the ball, and then bend your front knee and let your arm go over your pointed foot.
Another thing I did to learn (I’m still learning), needed help from my brother and dad. My brother came up with this idea: he stood at second base, and then my dad was the catcher. I pitched the ball to my dad; he threw it to my brother, who then threw it back to me. This way, I could practice my pitching and my catching.

May 22, 2020
5 Easy Steps To Make Your Friend Happy During Quarantine. Have fun and be safe! 
by Rachel

In this article, you’re going to learn five easy ways to help a friend with yard work while they’re in quarantine.
1.    First, make sure they’re okay with it.
2.    Go to their house and ask them what needs to be done.
Get them to show you what to do and how you should do it, and where to put the stuff and everything.
3.    If they’re okay with it, get your kids to make a stained glass elephant (I showed you how to do this in a different article. Editor's note: You can read that here if you want.) If they can’t go outside, they might want something to look at to make them happy.
4.    While the kids are making the stained glass elephant, start doing the yard work. It’s better to bring too much equipment, rather than too little. (I’d also recommend bringing some water – you don’t want to get dehydrated!)
5.    Get your friend to check your work, to make sure that it’s what they want. Then go home and make a reward for your kids and for you. For us, we went home, rinsed off, and then Dad made Coke floats. For grownups, make sure you have some alcohol on hand.

by Sam

Today, Sam, Rachel, and Dave played baseball. They were going to play Rachel and Dave vs Sam. They started out the game, and Dave and Rachel scored 2 runs. Then Sam batted, and Rachel started complaining that she wasn't on Sam's team. She kept complaining until Natasha came out and decided to end the game. (Editor's note: The game was called on account of whining and shriekiness. I didn't think the neighbours needed to be subjected to that.) But then Sam got sad because he felt that Rachel could just play one game on Dave's team. So they will try again tomorrow.

Can't Stop, Won't Stop
by Natasha

In a non-surprising turn of events, the KCUT Head Gardener Natasha has admitted that she might "really like yard work." The KCUT gardeners spent the afternoon in the neighbouring realm of Snellvania, helping get their royal grounds ready for the season.
"There just wasn't enough to do on the KCUT royal grounds so we had to look for more to do," Natasha explained. "Snellvania provided a prime opportunity to continue with our yard work obsession."
The gardening team transplanted, weeded, and removed some rogue plantings. Avante garde street artist, RaSaNa, made an appearance and brightened up Snellvania's borders with a chalk elephant, their specialty.
"We had so much fun," Natasha exclaimed. "If any other realms would like a hand, we're more than willing to continue to feed our obsession!"

May 23, 2020
Foreign Trade Mission a Success
by Dave

KCUT International Trade Minister Dave embarked upon a pan-regional tour this past Saturday, visiting industrial centres in nearby realms and establishing lucrative trading relationships.
His journey started in Beechwood, far to the west, where he visited the headquarters of Consolidated Overland Supply and Trading Co. (Costco). While there, he exchanged the wheels on the royal chariot for a set more suited to the season, cancelled a previous trading agreement, and purchased essential supplies of salty snack foods. He then journeyed east to replenish the royal malted beverage supply, obtaining a mix of lagers and ales representative of the region.
His next stop was the royal kingdom of Hedricktonia, where he was provided with a floral arrangement and exchanged updates and greetings with the kingdom’s diplomats. Finally, he visited a nearby trading outpost to obtain a carpet of greeting for the castle’s main entrance.
At long last, Dave returned to KCUT, and declared the trading mission a success.
The new carpet of greeting.

May 24, 2020
Resident Struck by Mysterious Illness
by Dave

Local resident Dave was struck by a mysterious illness this past weekend, likely brought on by excessive exertion in the mid-afternoon heat. Dave complained of a headache, nausea, and exhaustion, and declared that he wouldn’t be able to help with cooking and chores.
Fortunately, upon receiving news of the illness, the KCUT medical team immediately swooped into action. Chief Medical Officer Natasha prescribed a course of rest and liquids, and Nurse Practitioner Rachel assisted by clearing a space on the couch, fetching a blanket, and providing a cold glass of water and a damp washcloth. Dave proceeded to rest for much of the remainder of the day, under the watchful eye of Rachel (and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the KCUT medical team).
By that evening, Dave declared himself “mostly better”, and was up to doing the dishes and playing a brief game of catch with Sports Therapist Sam. Natasha continued to express some concern and, in hindsight, suggested that Dave’s decision to head outside that afternoon to clear up sticks in the backyard was “pretty dumb, from a purely medical standpoint.”
The next morning, after a good night’s sleep and a strong cup of coffee, Dave’s symptoms had entirely cleared up, and the KCUT medical team declared him fit to return to regular activities... as long as those activities didn’t include any unnecessary mid-day yard work.

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Kids' Take On Coronavirus

I first saw this posted on Sarah's blog. You can read what her son answered here. I thought it was a good way to find out what the kids are thinking about coronavirus.
These are all random pictures from our time of 
quarantine/lockdown/isolating/whatever you want to call it. 

What is the Coronavirus?

Rachel -- A virus that can be deadly and it's keeping us from going to school.

Sam -- Bad.

Who is the Prime Minister?

Rachel -- Justin Trudeau (I had to explain what a prime minister was but when I told her, she knew right away.)

Sam -- Justin Trudeau

How many days have we have been in lockdown?

Rachel -- Nine weeks. I think this is our tenth week.

Sam -- 67. He mathematically figured it out! I asked the kids these questions this past Tuesday.

Do you want to go back to school?

Rachel -- YES!!!

Sam -- Sort of.

Who is the first person you're going to hug when lockdown is over?

Rachel -- I think maybe [and then she named her four best school friends].

Sam -- My grandparents.

Where is the first place you want to go?

Rachel -- Back to school.

Sam -- Out of the house! (Good answer!!! When I asked if he wanted to go anywhere specific, he said, "Ideally anywhere beyond our block. Either school or the library.")

What do you think we can do to get rid of Coronavirus?

Rachel -- Listen to healthcare workers and stay in lockdown until we can stop being in it. When I asked her what might cause lockdown to stop, she commented, "Maybe when they find a medicine."

Sam -- Throw Coronavirus into outer space. Or just continue to stay in quarantine, I guess.

Is mom/dad a good teacher?

Rachel -- Daddy is, Mommy isn't.

Sam -- He gave me a thumbs up.
How did the Coronavirus start?

Rachel -- In Hong Kong, China. (Clearly we need to work on some geography.)

Sam -- Because of bats. I think people got it from bats in Wuhan, China.

If you had to wear protective clothing to help you what would it be?

Rachel -- Mask, gloves, and something to cover my face.

Sam -- A hazmat suit because it looks cool and I want to wear one.

Are you enjoying lockdown?

Rachel -- NO!

Sam -- A little.

How long do you think it's going to take before we can leave lockdown?

Rachel -- I don't know. When we can go back to school. And then people can choose to stay in lockdown or go back.

Sam -- A while. When I asked for more specifics, he said, "Up to a year at most."

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

If I Were To Constantly Post On Instagram...

In case you didn't know this, I LOVE Instagram (most of the time!). I see Instagram-able moments often, although I don't like to post on there more than once every day or two. However, if I'm on vacation, or participating in a daily photo challenge (like I am for May), or participating in a readathon, I will post more often. Anyways, these are all moments from the last month (or so), which I would have posted on Instagram, but instead I decided to do them as a blog post. Probably I should just label this post "Life Lately" or something like that, but I didn't :)
April 29, 2020 -- I know it's unusual that we still print out pictures, but I declared quiet time this day and Rachel entertained herself for over an hour looking at our photo albums.

 April 29, 2020 -- I baked cinnamon buns, round two, this day and they turned out so much better. Yay!

 May 1, 2020 -- Rachel has taken to packing her backpack, picking up Dave's computer, and making the trek from the office, through the kitchen, to get to the dining room for "school." Her backpack holds writing implements, a notebook, her troll, her mini My Little Ponies, and one sparkly glove. She is odd sometimes :)

May 3, 2020 -- It was a nice enough day for homemade lemonade popsicles. Sam and I like them with whole raspberries.

May 3, 2020 -- We are our first supper of the season outside. (We hadn't yet set up our outdoor table due the SNOW in the forecast for the next week. Boo.)

May 5, 2020 -- I've had tulips in the house continuously since the end of January but these were the final two batches :( Also, I only yard wasted them this past Sunday - hahaha!!!

May 7, 2020 -- We found a bag of apples rotting in our fridge (ewwww), so I rescued what I could and made applesauce. It was so good!

May 8, 2020 -- Our travel mugs are wondering if they'll ever get used again :(

May 8, 2020 -- Rachel has taken to working on Dave's computer, on the floor of the playroom, wearing a Santa hat, for some reason...

May 12, 2020 -- An IKEA order arrived and Sam discovered he still likes hanging out in boxes.

May 13, 2020 -- Rachel enjoys making art out of her lunches. She is very creative and does this all on her own.

May 14, 2020 -- Sam had to make a paper tower (with very specific instructions -- ie. no more than 1 metre of tape), and see how much cutlery it would hold. His held twelve spoons and a fork.

May 15, 2020 -- One of Rachel's (optional) school projects was to make crayon pucks. We had a HUGE container of broken crayons so made twelve pucks. Peeling all the paper off kept Rachel busy (and quiet!!!) for over an hour.

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Seventh Edition of "The KC Post"

May 11, 2020
I’m Bored
by Sam

I am very bored
I wish I was not so bored
Being bored’s no fun

Today Rachel Played iPad
by Rachel

Today Rachel played iPad. First, she turned on the iPad. Then she went to Safari and searched YouTube at  Next, she watched videos for a while.  After that, she switched on to Minecraft to play. Finally, her mom told her to get off screens and read (I like to read just not as much as I like to play iPad.).

Plush Pig Production Paralyzed
Perfectionist Parent Ponders Pitching Poor Product

by Dave

In the industrial heartland of KCUT, a key factory closed its doors this past week, citing labour disputes and persistent quality control issues.
The factory, KC Porcine Manufacturing Group, had been churning out pig-like stuffed animals, inspired by the previous success of Jillian Jiggs Corp, which produced “millions and billions” of pigs, according to its marketing material. However, KPMG’s output has not been nearly so productive. The factory’s troubles began with a walk-off by its younger workers, who had complained about poor pay and insufficient training. This cut the manufacturing line staff by half, with the remaining workers being older, reliant on decades-old training and, in the words of one line manager, “clumsier than an arthritic crab”.
The results have been, unsurprisingly, not up to KPMG’s high standards for quality and craftsmanship. One pig came off the assembly line missing an eye, and another was described by a factory worker (who asked to remain anonymous) as “a Franken-pig, likely to haunt some poor child’s nightmares, rather than helping calm them at bedtime.”
 KPMG has explored options for improving the situation, including re-training its remaining workers and offering a hiring bonus for workers who recently left, provided they can produce results that meet the company’s product standards. However, factory owner Dave has also been overheard musing about closing the factory entirely: “I wish that I was trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear; in fact, I’m just trying to make a half-decent sow’s ear out of some leftover felt!”

May 12, 2020
Rachel Builds An Airplane (out of a cardboard box) Step By Step
by Rachel

1. First you get a large cardboard box
2. Second you cut shapes out of it
3. Third you decorate the airplane with colour
4. Fourth you put signs on one side of the airplane
5. Fifth you let your art dry (if it needs to, if not follow on to step six).
6. Start it going and have fun!!
Good bye little pilots!!!

Sam's Totally True Story That Actually Happened (it’s real)
by Sam

One day as I was walking down the street, I saw something weird. It looked like a grey circle, and I thought I saw something move inside it, but I wasn’t sure. Then as it approached, I realized it was a flying saucer! I immediately ran inside, as to not get attacked by aliens. I peered out the window as it descended upon my backyard. As I watched, the hatch on top open up and out came a hand! Then another, and another, and another! Two figures hauled themselves out of the ship. They looked strangely human. As I looked closer, I saw they were human! I crept outside to see what was happening. I asked the people from the saucer what was going on. They told me that they were test-flying a new aircraft for inventor A. Lee En. Once I had confirmed that the earth wasn’t being invaded by aliens, I went inside to take a nap. Then I woke up.

May 13, 2020
by Rachel

Today we will listen to Bluey as he tells us the fish news.

– Hello I’m Mr. Bluey and today the news is somebody got into the fish school and messed everything up.

– Hello I’m Mrs. Pink and we are trying to figure out who how and what the person did we’ll be back...
- Ah, I’m back and just found out who did this damage, it was Mr. Cat. We still haven’t found out how he got in but don’t worry we can ask him. So Mr. Cat we have a few questions one is why, two is how and three is when?

Well, I wasn't trying to but I came across the school and I looked at things but I got a bit carried away.

Meepbob Vs. Uni Unicorns
by Sam

Today Meepbob hosted the Uni Unicorns at Meepbob's Backyard Stadium. They played 3 innings, and ended with a score of 9-8 Meepbob. The starting pitchers were Tim Leary for Meepbob, and Marcus Stroman for the Unicorns. In the top of the first, Leary gave up 5 runs on 7 hits. In the bottom of the first, Stroman shut down the Meepbob offence, gave up no runs and only 1 hit. In top of the second, Tim Leary was replaced by Ross Stripling, who managed to keep the Unicorns to only 1 more run. In the bottom half of the inning, Meepbob managed to bring 3 runs home, to make the score 6-3. In the first half of the third, Uni managed to score another two runs to make the score 8-3 and have a 5 run lead heading into the bottom of the third. In the bottom of the inning, Uni replaced Stroman with star closer Uniez. Uniez gave up hit after hit, until the score was 7-8 with a runner on third and Cody Bellinger at the plate. If he got a hit, the game would be tied, and if Uni got him out, the game would be over in the Unicorns favour. He fouled off a pitch, and then another one and another one. Then he smacked a single down the third base line to score a run. On the next pitch, Dee Gordon hit a single, and Andruw Jones got another single to win the game.

May 14, 2020
Texture art time
by Rachel

Today Rachel did art (with help from her mom). First they looked at the instructions in Google classroom and then got the paper. Then they went outside and while mom was hanging out laundry or whatever she was doing Rachel was testing out textures in their backyard. Next they went inside and they got out paint and mom made water colours. After that Rachel painted and then let them dry. Finally they were ready after a full morning of working. SEE Y'ALL NEXT TIME!!

Subterranean Takeover 
by Dave
The lower depths of the KCUT palace have been overtaken recently by an unruly youthful band of revolutionary activists. These firebrands have dubbed their coup an “Underground Sleepover”, and have resolved to stay encamped in the lower levels until they are evacuated by force or the weekend comes to a close – whichever comes first.
Thus far, the occupying forces have conveyed repeated demands for books, blankets, and goldfish crackers of various types. The rebels have also made use of the significant Lego stockpiles that are kept in these lower levels, and KCUT citizens have heard “suspicious rustling” sounds at all hours of the day and night. While the incursion has largely been limited to the “guest bedroom” and “carpeted play area” regions of the subterranean levels, KCUT authorities are concerned it may spread to the “laundry”, “luggage storage”, and even potentially the “furnace” regions, as well.
Citizens are advised to be on the lookout for revolutionary activists dressed in signature pajamas (potentially with built-in feet, depending on the weather conditions). These rebels are to be approached with extreme caution, as they are armed with the latest “iPad” technological devices, and may entrap the unwary in a game of Risk, Monopoly, or lengthy Lego project.

May 15, 2020
How To Make Crayon Pucks
by Rachel

1.    First you peel a whole bunch of crayons (warning: it takes a long time!)
2.    Sort the crayons in the correct colours (it will help later)
3.    Once you’re done, get a muffin tin and break crayons, colour by colour, into the muffin tin. [Editor's note: Make sure you oil the muffin cups so the crayon pucks don't stick.] Put each colour in a separate cup (see, I told you it would help later!)
4.    Get a parent to help you with this step: set the oven to 350 degrees, and put the muffin tin in for about 5 minutes (watch them -- it’s cool!)
5.    Let them cool for about 30-60 minutes.
6.    Take them out and let them cool for a bit longer; then test them (make sure to use the side of the crayon -- it works the best)
7.    Have fun!!! (I’d recommend having your dad draw with you.)

Hip New Coffee Shop Discovered
by Dave

The KCUT royal family was happy to stumble across a hitherto unknown coffee shop while looking for a way to celebrate the start of a long weekend (and the end of a long week!). This hole-in-the-wall establishment, consisting of a handful of tables and a small coffee/kitchen area, goes by the unusual name of “Starbucks”. While restaurants named after characters from “Moby Dick” haven’t exactly prospered recently (Stubb’s Seafood Shack and  Queequeg’s Quiches being two recent restaurant industry failures), it is hoped that this one will at least last through the summer.
KCUT royalty were impressed with the specialty “frappuccino” beverages that were available, and enjoyed the mix of sweet, creamy, and sweeter mix of flavours. They were also charmed with the quirky mix of languages used to describe the drink sizes, although it did leave this reporter wondering if this would ever catch on beyond a small crowd of die-hard regulars.
While chatting with the owner (who was busily serving drinks, washing dishes, and waiting on tables), Natasha found out that not only was he confident that the restaurant would stick around, he was even hoping to open a second location, beyond KCUT’s borders. While this may seem wildly optimistic (and not, in this journalist’s opinion, especially likely), the citizens of KCUT were pleased with their first visit, and hope to return sometime soon.

May 16, 2020
Landscaping of Royal Grounds Begins
by Dave

Although poor weather has kept the royal groundskeepers idle for much of the spring, a recent meteorological improvement has finally provided the landscaping staff with an opportunity to leave the confines of the KCUT castle and begin improving the royal grounds.
Preparation for this work began with the procurement of a range of flora from a greenhouse based in a nearby kingdom. Botanical expert Natasha spent much of the morning planting these specimens in a range of pots and planters, while Assistant Under-Gardener Dave tended to the royal lawns, aided by Sub-Assistant Under-Gardeners Sam and Rachel, who adeptly handled the garden shears.
After a mid-afternoon pause for a royal family visit, work proceeded into the afternoon with some overdue tending to the royal flowerbeds, planting additional flowers in the arboretum, and general improvement and upkeep of the grounds.
The gardening staff is hoping for a lengthier spell of favourable weather next week, when they will continue improving the flowerbeds, planting additional specimens, and perhaps tending to the hedges that border the KCUT royal grounds.

Outside time
by Sam
Outside time today
Baseball, soccer and coke floats
It was very fun

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

10 On The 10th: May 2020

This was another one of those days where, on the 10th on the month, I forgot about taking pictures until 4pm. Then I decided that, because it was Mother's Day, I was going to get Dave to take a bunch of pictures of me and the kids. So here are ten pictures from our Mother's Day, 10 on the 10th, photo shoot. Enjoy the crazy! I sure do (most of the time!).