Starting off

Well, we’re all off and running on this staying home thing. One thing that got me through the initial sadness/anxiety phase was a classic: the jigsaw puzzle! Helps when it’s a theme you love.

Our second week of homeschooling was more fun, because I had a better sense of incorporating our daily life into learning. Check out this map of the light bulbs used on our main floor! 

We accounted for them all, dusted all the fixtures, and then noted down the wattage. We (I) ended up breaking one bulb that turned out to be plugged straight into our wiring, but it was worth it. We learned that since we have LEDs for almost every bulb, our wattage is super low. But our bathroom light is a specialty fixture previous owners put in, and uses two tiny halogen bulbs. The amount of our entire floor, twenty different bulbs, is 531.5 watts. Just ONE of the two bulbs uses 100 watts. I guess there’s no hurry to replace that one that’s burned out! Or maybe time to think about a new lighting option in there for the future.

So, playground time is different now, and as I’ve mentioned, I’m doing a bit of catch-up. But with some good handwashing involved, we went to the park awhile back. Henry loved the feeling of his hair flowing in the wind. 

Joe felt he needed a shift in perspective.

Getting outdoors has been so huge for us. Luckily, we have a backyard and a whole slew of isolated hiking areas nearby. With some pre-planning and extra-mindfulness, we’ve been able to get outdoors every day but one of our isolation. That day it snowed, and we said, “No, thanks.”

I’m also so thankful that a couple of months ago, Joe’s aunt gave me a bunch of her pie-baking accoutrement, including more pie recipes than I could ever bake in my entire life. So I had some fun going through them, and have baked three pies in the past week. Peach-apple, lemon meringue and banana cream. They were all tasty!

I’m also lucky to have good help.

Alright. Entering Day One of our spring break.

On our way to St. Cloud, the boys asked if we could pull off and check out a building they spotted in Anoka. We ended up finding the confluence of the Rum River and mighty Mississippi.

We also stopped at a ‘geological marker’ a ways up the road. It was pretty underwhelming, but it’s always interesting to contemplate the glaciers for a moment, and the Mississippi is always fascinating.

Lunch on the abandoned St. Cloud University campus was nice, especially because the sun felt so good.

But again, wandering along the river was the winner. Especially when we crossed it and found a huge garden running alongside. 

I am sixteeeeen, going on seventeen…

AND there was a dam. Gotta love a good hydroelectric dam you can get mesmerized by. The boys spotted a big ice chunk flowing down the river, and followed it all the way until it crashed down the falls.

Then we went back to wandering the gardens. We acted like we were characters in a video game who had to roam around to gather bananas and coconuts.

Second time I felt like I was in Salzburg.

All in all, a lovely first day of break.

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