It’s summertime

The last day of school for MPS was last Friday. Here’s Charlie at his last class meeting of the school year. You’ll notice Henry is right there. He was paying close attention to most of Charlie’s schoolwork, and loved his class meetings. So however first and second grade go for him…he’ll know exactly what’s going on when he gets to third! He already really hopes he gets Mr. Collier, and I can see why.

So now that distance-learning is done for awhile…what will we do with our days?! We started with a fun painting project from my mom.

We got an internet ‘booster’ early on during quarantine, so our wifi now reaches the backyard with ease. That meant we were able to jam out to some sweet tunes while we worked.

Remnants of one of Henry’s mustaches

Here’s how they turned out!

The boys hand-picked their locations. They are both gracing different parts of our front yard…actually the two spots that our mailman is certain to see, so I hope they bring a bright moment to his route. We didn’t get mail last week, because the post office was burned down, so it was actually really exciting when we heard that first clank!

And speaking of exciting, it feels like real positive change is happening in the world. Take time today to really listen to someone you may not know much about. We’re all humans who require love and respect to thrive. So let’s spread that love and respect around!

I’ve been really missing my weekly dates with the boys at Royal Grounds coffee shop–so much so that you may remember awhile back I made a mini model of the place. On Saturday, we walked over and enjoyed some of their coffee and delightful homemade goodies.

In this kind of weather, we probably would have enjoyed our treats on the benches outside anyway, so it didn’t feel too strange not to hang out inside. I was pleased that I got to see the owners, and that they recognized me despite my mask!
“Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your naaaaame!”

It was my neighbor’s 90th birthday that day (!!!!), so on our way back, we stopped in with our cards to wish her a wonderful day. She shared some photographs from her youth. I’d seen them many times, but she knew the boys hadn’t, so she got a chance to share her stories with a fresh audience.

I also got to walk with two of my friends in Battle Creek park this weekend. This discovery that COVID is pretty much only passed through the air has made life in slightly closer proximity to others more feasible. Never have I loved walks so much as right now! And let me tell you…I have always LOVED walks.

The lack of library access has changed a lot for us. Everyone in our house is a voracious reader, and library visits were some of the most anticipated events in our lives pre-COVID. Digital library loans have been incredibly helpful, as has my longtime Kindle usage–so much so that we have multiple of them. Charlie’s teacher also hooked us up with access to EPIC, which is a digital library for schools. Kids don’t have to check out books from it, they just have 24/7 access to everything in the library. Now that the schoolyear’s over, I don’t know how much longer we’ll have it, but it has been a game-changer.

Here we are enjoying some early morning cool in the backyard, all three of us on our digital devices reading (Henry drawing while EPIC reads his book aloud for him). The screen time would have made me cringe just 3 months ago, but now I consider this scene one of delight. What a world!

My final grad school class (just a wrap up so I can get my Master’s as well as my license and certification) started Wednesday, so before my mornings got booked, we fit in a nice long Minnehaha Creek walk. Had to pet the bunny sculpture along the way.

The best. Henry loves when he gets to clamber, and Charlie loves being right along the water and enveloped in trees. Nailed it!

If not for the mosquitoes, we would have been at this spot for hours.

Apparently Henry loves ducks as much as I do.

Last night we started a game of Monopoly and finished it up this morning. With emotions running higher than usual and more board games being played, the boys are learning more about how starkly different it feels when you’re winning versus losing. I even felt it myself when Charlie and I tried to learn the game of GO together. It’s been a good way to frame discussions about mindset and empathy.

And finally, the big thing around our house the past few weeks has been CARS. Especially Pixar Cars, since we’ve been watching the movies for…I kid you not..the first time. These boys have an encyclopedic knowledge of the cars’ names and traits, but they’d never actually watched any of the movies. We started with the second one, then watched the first and today watched number three. Don’t know why, that’s just how it happened.  But now they’re allllll about it, and their toy versions are now found everywhere.

Including here on the kitchen counter. This must have been a crazy race.

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