Tuesday, April 07, 2020

One Sentence A Day: March 2020

Welcome to One Sentence A Day for March. Once again I'm linking up with Rebecca Jo and friends. I'm really enjoying trying to distill my days into just one sentence, even though it's really hard some days to pick a defining moment. It's also been good to try and differentiate the days from each other during this quarantine/lock down/physical isolation life.

1 - Sunday -- We had a (mostly) at home day of getting things done and it was exactly what we needed.

2 - Monday -- Sam ate frozen peas and frozen blueberries mixed together for supper.

3 - Tuesday -- I may have put my pajamas on shortly after 5pm this day :)

4 - Wednesday -- I picked a job up off the job board this morning, and this afternoon, it turned into a "we need you for the rest of the week" job.

5 - Thursday -- Rachel and I had a supper date and then we ran (walked!) a few errands before dance which I loved.

6 - Friday -- WHERE did all this snow come from!?!?!?!?!

7 - Saturday -- After a busy day, I had an afternoon nap which was glorious!

8 - Sunday -- We went to church twice today and yes, I had a nap in between the services.

9 - Monday -- We enjoyed the longer evening by going for a walk and getting ice cream.

10 - Tuesday -- I had some extra space in my day today, which I really appreciated.

11 - Wednesday -- I was terribly exhausted today and I don't know why.

12 - Thursday -- I am sad because schools are closed for three weeks AND baseball is postponed for a month :(

(Update: That closure has now been extended to May 4 for schools and longer for baseball but this was the situation as of March 12.)

13 - Friday -- Today was completely overwhelming as many things closed or were cancelled for the next few weeks.

14 - Saturday -- We picked up supplies today -- coffee, more library books, a few groceries, and alcohol.

15 - Sunday -- We attended online church today for the first time.

16 - Monday -- We met up with friends (at a social distance) at our local park.

17 -- Tuesday -- Thank goodness our delicious Beef and Guinness St Patrick's Day Stew was not cancelled.

18 - Wednesday -- The kids and I went to our local grocery store and the empty shelves, the limiting of products, and the high price of everything completely depressed me. Second sentence: Thanks to this trip, I spent the whole day trying not to cry :(

19 - Thursday -- The days are starting to all feel the same :(

20 - Friday -- I did another grocery trip with the kids this morning, to a different store, and thankfully, it was a much better experience.

21 - Saturday -- I tried to participate in the #24in48 readathon and discovered that my stress is messing with my reading ability which was tough.

22 - Sunday -- Sportsnet replayed a Jays game from last year and watching it put me in a much better mood.

23 - Monday -- We took advantage of a late snowstorm and built snowmen.

24 - Tuesday -- We turned one of Sam's favourite songs into reality :)
 You can hear the song It's Raining Tacos here.

25 - Wednesday -- The kids got artistic with their lunches today. Second sentence: Well, Rachel did, and Sam improvised :)
Rachel's lunch: The fish are sand, the raspberries are the water, the Oreo is a shark, 
and my sandwich is a boat. Sam: I made the Sahara Desert. (Yeah, right Sam.)

26 - Thursday -- It was grocery shopping day and coming home without some items was, honestly, quite hard and made me cry. (Second sentence: No flour, no yeast, no tofu -- we're not talking unusual items here, thus the crying.)

27 - Friday -- I read outside in the sun for a few hours and that, along with the kids connecting virtually with some classmates, made today a good day.

28 - Saturday -- For me, this whole pandemic can be explained this way: After a week and a half of searching, Dave found flour today (which brought me great joy) but then we found out how much flour a friend bought (twice as much for basically just her (and she doesn't really bake)), and questioned whether we had bought enough.

29 - Sunday -- We got out and bought Sam a birthday present today!
Sam needed a new bike.

30 - Monday -- Happy 11th Birthday Sam!!!
Sam and one of his friends 
played with emojis while FaceTiming!!!

31 - Tuesday -- After two weeks of searching, I acquired YEAST today and baked a batch of buns!!!!!

Monday, April 06, 2020

The First Edition Of "The KC Post"

I want to apologize that I have been so inconsistent with blogging (and blog reading) these past few weeks. I really want to blog but my mind spins and I can't seem to concentrate, which makes me sad. Let's just say that if those much written about zombie/environment/war apocalypses were actually to hit, I wouldn't be a main character. I'd be "one of the millions who died in the first few days" so that's been good to find out about myself. Ugh.

All that aside, this week our kids start their "official" online learning and the expectation for each of them is about five hours of work a week. So while they are doing their work, I'm going to try and use that time to blog and see if that helps me be more consistent with blogging. (You can tell that I'm assuming the kids will be good to go on their own and won't need my constant assistance. We'll see how THAT goes!)

Last week I got the idea, from an Instagram friend, to put out a family newspaper. We decided this past Wednesday that every week day, each member of the family would create a daily newspaper contribution. So every Monday (at least that's the hope), you will get to read a smattering of articles/poems/etc from the four reporters at "The KC Post". Enjoy :)

April 1, 2020

Sam read a LOT of books today
By Sam, 1/4/20 
Sam read a few a lot very many a TON of books today. He read books both inside and outside. He read books on the grey couch, and the orange couch, and the green chair, AND the steps outside the back door. He read a variety of books including: Big Nate, Garfield, and The Time Garden. He is clearly an avid reader no matter when, where or what he is reading.

Cross-Town Diplomatic Relations Re-Established
By Dave
After a lengthy period of communications silence, contact was re-established among the distant nations of Snellvania, Klokoffland, and the KC Unified Territories (KCUT). In the case of Snellvania, a diplomat contacted the KCUT consulate over a secure telephone line. The conversation resulted in progress on foreign aid negotiations, discussion of concerns regarding rogue international actors, and a planned state dinner.
Emissaries from Klokoffland, meanwhile, made the lengthy journey to the borders of KCUT personally to exchange foreign intel and established a connection among the more youthful members of its diplomatic corps.
It is hoped that these renewed diplomatic relations among foreign powers will lead to greater cooperation on matters of public health, trade, and the arts.

Citizen Utilizes "Phone A Friend" Option
by Natasha
Today, Natasha invoked the "phone a friend" option and had an in-depth conversation with her friend, E. They discussed what is allowed for an immuno-compromised person during these times (not much), online church expectations (our kids must participate as much as possible), and possibilities for eating supper (virtually) together.
E. inspired Natasha to make a new recipe. Look for honey baked lentils coming to a menu plan near you.
It was an excellent time to "phone a friend" and connect with each other. Natasha definitely appreciates these in-person (while physically distanced) connections.

Outside time!!!!!!!!!!
By Rachel 
Today Rachel had outside time in the morning and the afternoon. While Rachel was outside in the morning she started on a house for fairies. In the afternoon she first went biking with her brother Sam, and then Rachel and Sam had a Popsicle. Next when Rachel and Sam were done their Popsicle Sam went inside and Rachel stayed outside. After that Rachel asked her mom questions about the book she was reading like "what is your book about", "what happened in the book", "why is it called WHAT MADE MADDY RUN?" Finally Rachel and her mom went inside. THE END!!!!
Rachel's Fairy House

April 2, 2020
New Talent Discovered
by Dave
The arts and entertainment world was rocked today by the emergence of a ground-breaking new musician. The recording artist, known by the moniker Moo$ie, stormed onto the corporate parody scene with a killer single, "I Am Moose." The music video had already been streamed over 10 times, earning it a Tin rating from the RIAA.
Critics are already raving about Moo$ie's debut single: "This is truly an anthem for our generation!" enthused recording industry CEO, Don Shaker. "Amazing work!" added Sandy Pham, prominent music critic.
Although it is still early in the awards season, the buzz is already building that Moo$ie may have a chance at a Juno, a Grammy, or even a D2L Ovation.
I Am Moose
by Natasha, lead parody writer of Moo$ie
Sung to the tune of "I am Cow" by the Arrogant Worms 

I am moose 
Hear me bellow 
I am quite the massive fellow
And I'm reppin’ D2L, sayin’ “Hell-ow” 

With Brightspace I am discerning 
When it comes to online learning 
I am moose, I am moose, Hear me bellow 

I am moose 
I am large 
But J B’s the one in charge 
When it comes to (“changing the way the world learns”) Dave only

All the kids are out of hand (kids only)
And now our work is in demand 
We are moose, We are moose, Hear us bellow! 

(Editor's note: Video available on demand!) 

By Rachel 
Today Rachel played Minecraft in the morning, afternoon and evening. In the morning when Rachel played Minecraft she played on a server called Cube Craft Game. When she played on the server Rachel played a game called Skywars. In Skywars the goal of the game is to be the last person standing out of 16. In the afternoon when Rachel played Minecraft she downloaded a trash prison escape game (Rachel only found that out after she played it). In the evening Rachel played Minecraft with Sam her brother (which you should know if you read her previous article called "Outside Time!!!!!!!") and her dad. When they played Minecraft they played a game called SG Minotaur and Lucky Block Islands (Rachel’s Dad was a noob). 
 SEE YOU SOON!!!!!! 

The Escape Prison
Original haiku by Sam
Played a map today
I played it inside Minecraft
It was really trash.

April 3, 2020

Sam orders new book, is excited
By Sam, 3/4/20
Sam ordered a new book today. He got it from PJ Library’s PJ Our Way (https://pjourway.org/). It is called “This is just a test,” by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang. Sam is super excited and is anticipating its arrival. When asked, Sam said “the website said the book would arrive in 4-6 weeks”. We will have an update when the book arrives.

Mother of 2 passes down year old baking tradition
by Natasha
Mother of two, Natasha, decided today to pass down her one year old tradition of baking weekly challah. She taught her son, Sam (11), and daughter, Rachel (8) how to halve the recipe, let the yeast sit in the water to proof, and how to properly guess-timate 3/4c of flour so as not to use yet another measuring cup.
Sam and Rachel attempted kneading but Sam declared, "It's not for me."
Later, Natasha showed her children the complicated technique of rolling the dough, braiding it into a loaf, and later still, how to properly apply the egg wash.
"It was fun," declared Rachel in the end, while Sam added, "Rolling the dough was good."
The author would like to note that both aspiring bakers consumed seconds of the final product and announced they would take over the weekly challah baking from now on (except for the kneading!).

Neighbourhood game of Clue 
By Rachel 
Today Rachel, Sam and her mom went on a neighbourhood game of Clue. What was exciting about the neighbourhood game of Clue: what Rachel found exciting was going to all the different houses. What Sam found exciting was crossing off all the different characters, what Rachel’s Mom found exciting was biking with her kids. Rachel found it surprising how hard and fast it was to go up the hills.

Crossword Puzzle
by Dave

1. Adam’s donation
4.  Rapunzel’s defining feature
8.  “Cool!”
11. Lemon___ (drink)
12. Woodwind instrument
13. Smallest positive number
14. Famous bat flipper
17. Founder of Tesla (first name)
18. Plant’s starting point
19. Played Yahtzee
22. A ___, skip, and a jump
24. Middle Eastern oil cartel
25. “I ___ you could do it!”
27. Former NBA competitor (1970’s)
30. Bringer of Rain
33. Original soundtrack (abbr.)
34. Cain’s brother
35. Politician’s assistant
36. Honest ___
37. Gain some time to finish a library book.

1. Kitchener MP ___ Saini
2. Phrase at a wedding (2 wds.)
3. Beg passionately
4. Tramp
5. They should have _____ on dogs off-leash! (2 wds.)
6. Statement of debt (abbr.)
7. No longer on the job (abbr.)
8. Romantic flower
9. Contribution to a poker game
10. No longer alive
15. Old age (literary)
16. Primus, for example (abbr.)
19. Place to study karate
20. Stock market starting point
22. Slowly get better
23. Hedwig, for example
25. ____ Bryant, former NBA star
26. Opposite of SSW
27. “S _____ Samuel” (2 wds.)
28. “This doesn’t ____ well...”
29. To begin ____ (get a fresh start)
31. A dance move
32. Alt. Form of “do” (Scots)

Friday, March 27, 2020

10 Things About Spring

I have a new survey for all of my survey loving people out there. (And I may have a few more coming up for you :) Yay!) This one comes from Dara at Not In Jersey.

1. How did you celebrate spring break / Easter as a child?
Our Spring Break was always the week after Easter. We usually just had to work at my dad's tree farm. I spent many a break rooting cuttings -- sticking little plants in rooting mixture and then in small pots of dirt. I think we got paid (maybe $20 a day?) and Dad would let me buy a Coke on the breaks. I mostly remember being cold and dirty, especially my fingers.

2. Do you spring clean?
Do I, no. Should I, yes. Especially these days.
Image result for reading versus cleaning memes
My dad sent me this meme. 
I think our house doesn't live up to his standards! 

3. What’s spring weather like where you live?
It's a little schizophrenic. One day it's gorgeous and I'm going outside in a t-shirt. The next day I'm wearing two sweaters and wondering if I should pull my heavy winter coat out again. Usually we have a slow climb to the warmth. And there is a lot of rain.

4. How green is your thumb?
Fairly. I can't wait until I can get out in the yard again but I probably have another few weeks to wait until I can clean the beds up. sigh.
Doing yard work makes me happy and I could use a little happy right now.
However, nature doesn't agree that it's time for yard work yet. 

5. AC on or windows open?
Windows open every chance I get.

6. How do you decorate for spring / Easter / Passover?
I don't really. I put my Spring wreath up a few days ago but other than that, I really don't do much.

7. How do you get bathing suit / shorts / warm weather ready?
By pulling out my shorts, washing the winter outerwear, and packing away my sweaters.

8. Is your closet arranged with just the current season’s clothes?
Yes, pretty much. I do pack away my capris and shorts and tank tops and switch them out for sweaters and long sleeve shirts. And I will move my skirts to the front of the closet.

9. What’s your go to spring uniform?
A t-shirt and jeans! And shoes without socks!

Of course now that I'm working and need to look professional, it will probably be nice pants/capris and a nice top. (I wrote part of this before the whole Coronavirus lockdown hit so who knows if I'll be able to enjoy my spring work wardrobe. I might just end up wearing yoga pants and t-shirts this spring. Yay?)

10. What outdoor activities do you enjoy in the spring?
Reading outside, going for long walks, hopefully more bike riding this year, and working in the yard. Honestly, I just like being outside as much as possible.
The kids have really been enjoying biking this week
so I see a lot more of this in our future. 

If you do your own post with this Spring survey, please let me know. I love reading these as much I as like writing them!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

What's Up Wednesday: March 2020

Welcome to What's Up Wednesday for March. I've said a few times before on this link up that my WUW post will be one of the most unique ones I've ever written -- like the one I wrote from Kenya (which you can read here) or the one I wrote from our road trip last summer (which you can read here).  However, I really do think this month's posts will be the most unusual any of us have ever had to write. I'm looking forward to reading all of your posts and realizing, once again, we're all in this together. Solidarity friends.
image from here

What we're eating this week... I've been taking the extra time to do some extra baking. I've been getting a lot of inspiration of things to do from friends on Instagram. So when I saw that a friend had baked cinnamon rolls, I asked my mom for her recipe. Sadly, in the handing down of the "recipe" (she had to sort of make it up for me), a semi-important step got missed so I ended up with ENORMOUS cinnamon rolls. Oooops. I'm looking forward to trying to bake these again later this week to see if I can get them right this time.
I was also trying to find yeast and flour at the grocery store last week. Given that I couldn't find it anywhere, I'm guessing I'm not the only person upping my baking game!

What I'm reminiscing about... As always, at this time of year, I'm reminiscing about baby Sam! How is this kid turning ELEVEN on Monday?!?! (Yes, I ask that every time one of my kids has a birthday! Ha!)
I should really get an updated picture of Sam and a drinking glass. We thought it was a good indication of how small he was! :)

Also, Sam has decided that this year, his birthday is going to be on May 30 instead of March 30. I am devastated that he feels this way, although I totally understand it. So while I will quietly mark his birthday on my own, we will not be acknowledging it otherwise. Unless Sam changes his mind...

What I'm loving... Our weather is not at all Spring like but we do get a teaser every now and then. And when it's slightly warm-ish out, you can bet we're out there for as long as we can taking advantage of it.

What we've been up to... All the things to keep us entertained.
Someone in our city had the idea to post pictures of things in our windows so people taking walks could enjoy them. On Monday we made animal faces. Today we're going to work on "encouraging words" for Thursday. Later this week I think it's "flowers."
We attended online church for the first time. Our church has been streaming its service for awhile but this is the first time we took advantage of it. It was kind of nice to attend church in our pjs!
The kids made some bases and set up a baseball game. And they've also been using their bases outside to have games in our backyard. (We've also streamed a few games on YouTube.)
Dave has set up his work space in our bedroom, webcam and all. He posts his meeting schedule on the door so I know when it's safe to enter. And I always triple check that the webcam is off before I get dressed!
Rachel has taken up sewing. I think she was making herself a wallet here. Soon I'll have her take on my mending pile!

What I'm dreading... How long will these cancellations, closures, and social distancing last? I'm dreading that we could be in for months of this. As I wrote in my post yesterday, I am behind all of these measures, but that doesn't mean I have to like them.

What I'm working on... Not going insane! Too honest -- ummm, well, trying to keep the kids entertained during the day without using screens 100 percent of the time! Success rate thus far is undetermined :) Our province has not put a lot of emphasis on online learning just yet. Last week was our March Break and so we're only into the first week of what should have been school. I'm taking it a day at a time as, like most of you, I didn't sign up to home school and my kids didn't sign up to be home schooled.
I find both of these pieces of advice speak to me and I'm not stressing about my kids' education. Granted, they are in Grades 3 and 5, and don't struggle in school, so I realize I have the privilege of being able to be laid back.

What I'm excited about... Opening day of baseball is TOMORROW!!! Whoooo hoooo!!! I am seriously giddy about this!!! I tend to pre-write bits and pieces of these WUW posts throughout the month. I wrote the crossed out sentences in early March because I was sooooo looking forward to baseball returning full time. And then, well, we all know how this story ends...

So I guess now I'm excited about... well, life eventually returning to "normal" or at least, some semblance of normal -- when the kids go back to school, I go back to work, and we can hug our friends again.

What I'm watching/reading... I've been watching a lot of old baseball games on YouTube or Sportsnet (whenever they decide to re-broadcast them). I need my fix somehow :)

As for reading, I've been reading a lot of light, predictable, fluff. I just don't have the concentration for more in-depth novels these days. I'm really hoping that will change soon but for now, I'm just giving myself grace and going with it. I'm making excellent progress on my re-read of the In Death series by JD Robb. And I was actually able to concentrate on the second book in the Morrigan Crow series. If you haven't checked it out, I highly recommend it. (It's written for kids but I'm really loving it!)

What I'm listening to... I've been listening to a lot of the kids playing with each other. I've been so thankful that we have two kids and that they play really well together. I've been feeling for only children and for parents who are having to navigate a lot of sibling fighting.

What I'm wearing... A mix of pajamas, yoga pants, dress shirts, and my new favourite cardigan. It's really quite the look I have going on these days. Ha! I bought the cardigan to be a lighter one for work for spring but I can't stop wearing it.

What I'm doing this weekend... Ummmm.... I really don't know. Sportsnet is showing some old baseball games so we'll watch those. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we'll be able to go for a walk (or five!). We'll likely stream church online. Maybe we'll play some games. And I'll probably have a couple of naps.

What I'm looking forward to next month... Life returning to "normal" possibly... I really hope and pray that by next What's Up Wednesday, the kids will be back at school, I will be back at work, and that we will have won the fight against this virus. Also, hopefully Spring will make a full return in April and we can spend a lot of time outside.

What else is new... I really think that's about it. We're all in the newest situation of our lives and we'll make it through together. Right? Right.