Celebrate Good Times

With the pandemic at its worst yet, it feels a whole lot like March again.
But this time, it’s not new. We’re readjusting instead of reinventing.

We’ve learned some great new tricks from WFH and Distance Learning, like:

BALLOON POP!

and doing sun salutations in our own home instead of in a studio.

But most importantly, we know, without really even thinking about it anymore, how to take full joy in the company of those few people we get to be with. We know that it’s the things we do more than the things we say that matter.

And that’s why, when Charlie said he wanted lasagna for his birthday, Henry and I made those darn noodles ourselves!

Because 10 is a big deal!

It’s also a big deal (though second nature these days) that he can’t celebrate with his friends. So, when he asked for hagelslag (a Dutch breakfast of chocolate sprinkles on toast), I sure did drive to three different stores around the metro to find the right kind of sprinkles. He had been excited about his birthday for a month, and whether he noticed or not, I wanted to do everything in my power to make his day as happy and celebratory as I could.

We were able to do outdoor visits with family, which were really special.
(My toes, which suffer from painful frostbite, were so thankful for Jim’s sauna!)

And he got that Lego set he wanted!

He chose an adorable Thankgiving-themed DQ cake, and Henry, twirling around as he blew out his candles, reminded him to make a wish! It was a day full of joy.

As you probably know, this is a joy-filled week for our family. Thanksgiving, of course, but shortly after comes Henry’s big day! SEVEN

He was born on a Thanksgiving Day, so I’ll always think of his birthday as Thanksgiving. We started the day with bagels and doughnuts, and then spent the day at an elaborate playground in Medicine Lake, soaking up the 50 degree weather.

We’re deep into a book series about a cupcake club (book 26), so picking out cupcakes at Sweet Retreat was the perfect birthday cake options. Before we even saw the cupcakes, though, the boys were enthralled with their gingerbread houses.

And the evidence of the elaborate cakes they have made for people over the years. Charlie loved the Corvette cake, and Henry was most impressed by the cake that looked like a can of Diet Dr. Pepper.

We all looooooved what we chose.

He got a set of bows and arrows for his birthday. Here is his first shot!

It was pure joy watching him experiment

How awesome is this?!

We got two bows, because he’s a partner kind of dude, so Charlie’s training up, too.

How wonderful to have each other

Switching it Up

Eeek! Scary how the time flies sometimes. Here we are mid-November, and I still have Halloween photos to share.

I’ve always loved Halloween decorations. This year they made me especially joyful. The boys are able to carve their own jack-o-lanterns now, so it’s pretty fun to see what they come up with independently.

We didn’t do any trick-or-treating or handing-out of candy, but Joe set up an elaborate candy scavenger hunt around the house. Donna did the same thing at her house (she even got magnifying glasses, flashlights and piano-accompanied singing involved), so the boys probably had more Halloween fun than ever before, even if it looked different.

Henry then had fun playing the piano while Donna told us stories.

The next night, we went out on a walk to enjoy where we normally trick-or-treat and to see the decorations other people had up.

Up until this week, it was really nice out, so we got some fresh sidewalk chalk and had been spending a good amount of time enjoying the sunshine.

In my classroom on the big, important Tuesday, I had my students fold paper cranes. I figured the country could use all the healing, peaceful vibes we could get. YAY!

The boys and I had a Friday off, and supplies to pick up at their elementary school, so they took a walk down memory lane and hung out on the playground. It was so fun (and sunny and warm!) that we decided to hit another nearby playground. And then another. It was delightful!

Then we got hungry, so we grabbed some burgers and found a nice spot at an amphitheater by a little lake to enjoy them.

The next day was just as beautiful, so we raked some leaves.

Can you spot the Zombie hand?

Joe played some tennis (and ran errands…check out that full bike basket!) and we all decided to go back to the playground we’d enjoyed most the day before. I brought roller blades!

On the ride home, Henry put the blades on. They’re bigger than his head!

It was a super busy week for me, work-wise, since I started a new quarter. That meant a chance to start fresh and do things better, but then also a whole new group of students to get to know. Lotta pressure!

But it went really well, and I’m feeling great. Sadly, now with the spike in COVID cases, my school has to go back to distance-learning, which means I head back to teaching in the basement.

It’ll be nice to be home with these boys again, though!

Last night, we watched Frozen, at the Charlie’s request. To prepare Henry for some of the intense parts, Joe read him a brief, Little Golden Books version of the story. It seems to have eased his mind, because when the movie was over, he asked how soon we could watch Frozen II!

Very weather appropriate, now. BRRRRR!