Monday, November 30, 2020

November Wrap Up

 Happy last day of November! It sure has been a whirlwind this month and I have spent each and every day planning (hoping?) to post in this space and then for one reason or another it never occurred. The big reason for my lack of presence here is due to my being on a screen all day (and some times many hours past "all day") at work. I find that by the end of the work day, whether that's at 4:00pm or later, that I need several hours away from the screen to decompress. As a result I am behind not only in blogging but in all things email, Facebook and Instagram. Between my working, the pandemic and the girls being "at" school our days look different than they used to. I have done a lot of reflecting on this over the past three (almost four) months and have come to the conclusion that even if I had not returned to paid work that our days would probably not be as "bloggable" as they were even a couple of years ago. Not being able to go places like we used to (due to the pandemic) has changed this space of ours considerably since March. The girls being older has changed this space considerably over the last lesson year. Us doing many of the things we've always done and me having blogged about it for ten years now has changed this space considerably over the course of this year too. I love having ten years of their life to look back on, and I am grateful for all that I shared here over the past ten years. I am hoping to be able to close out this tenth year of blogging with, actual (read: more than four posts in one month) blogging. My goal is to post something daily (or near daily) for the whole of December. We'll see if I can reach that lofty) goal. So, with that in mind, let's begin....

Grace's class did a geometry block that wrapped up in early November. They worked on creating the platonic solids out of clay as well as out of paper. The dodecahedron gave her a run for her money but she did it!  
One never knows where Gretchen will turn up next, but you can be pretty sure wherever it is is gonna be some place extra comfy! 
The hens look very proud of Grace's platonic solids (and so were we)! 
After geometry, Class Eight launched into a short story block. They read short stories, analyzed short stories and wrote their own. Grace chose to revisit a short story she had written a few years ago. The additions and revisions she made to the story were wonderful and definitely took it to the next level. 
Breakfast with the hens. 

Any chance this family has to make a Monty Python reference is going to be taken! Emma didn't miss a beat with this one! 
Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving if we didn't make fancy hand turkeys, 
or if Emma didn't make cornbread, 
or if Grace didn't make cranberry sauce. 

This year Dave made a delicious (and gluten free) cranberry tart! 

While the turkey was cooking there was Lego building, 
and time spent with the hens, 
and table setting. 
Pre-dinner silliness. 
And the obligatory, pre-Thanksgiving family dinner picture. This is the smallest one we've ever taken. It felt weird not to be around this table with everyone but, as Dave liked to say to people "A Zoom Thanksgiving is better than an ICU Christmas." 
You can't go wrong with three desserts on Thanksgiving (even if it was way too much for four people)! 
The next night it was off to the Magic of Holiday Lights at Gillette Stadium. We all agreed that it would have been much more magical if there was snow on the ground, but it was a fun way to spend part of the evening nontheless. 
I took exactly three pictures. Two of which are here (the quality of the third one was terrible). 
Saturday morning after bootcamp my dear friend Sharon gave me this wonderful gift! Anyone that knows me knows how much I adore Mister Rogers! So much of what I believe as a mother and an educator has to do to growing up with the wisdom of him and his wonderful show. I am grateful that his show is one of the girls' favorites, and that even at their ages they still enjoy watching it. I could go on and on about how I wish that he was still with us (though I think things like Sandy Hook and the Trump presidency would have absolutely broken his heart) or how I wish that more of today's children were watching the repeats of his show rather than whatever it is they are watching today, but I shall leave that for another post. This sweet gift quickly found a home here on our desk and I am hoping to acquire a second one so that I can have one on my desk at work too (for the one day a week I am at the school building). 
Though we got our tree Friday morning, I decided to save this picture for last. It felt like a good one to end this month on. This is easily the earliest we've ever gotten the tree but with how things have gone with this pandemic we figured it was better to get it now than to wait and have all the trees be gone. Plus, it's time for the magic of sitting by the light of the Christmas tree.....Yes, it's a bit on the short side but we all knew as soon as we saw it that this was the tree that was meant for us. It's sweet and truly perfect and looks wonderful in the window. The cat, however, is a bit dismayed that she cannot sit as far underneath it as she would like. We'll have to see if we can do something about that. xo 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

On Veterans Day


On this Veterans Day we would like to take the time to thank all those who have served our country. We extend our deepest thanks to every man and woman who believed so deeply and so completely in our country that they would choose to answer the call and take up arms to defend it and our many freedoms. 

Thank you, especially to my father and brother, both of my grandfathers and many of my uncles who believed so fiercly in this country that they would choose to risk their lives for it. It is because of the service of patriots like them that America continues to remain a beacon of hope and freedom. xo

Sunday, November 1, 2020

On Halloween

Our Halloween looked a little different this year due to the pandemic but it was still a fun day celebrating together!  There weren't costumes and trick-or-treating this year but we did animate some pumpkins, carve some pumpkins, watch an old school Halloween classic (thanks Disney+!) and eat Halloween candy!  

Amazon's augmented reality pumpkin experience was super cool! 

After they were done animating their drawings, we set up for pumpkin carving in the living room. We have never carved pumpkins in the living room before but we thought it would be fun to do that while Halloween movies were on. 

It's not Halloween without Disney's "Legend of Sleepy Hallow"!

I was busy in the kitchen making salted caramel sauce for caramel apples so I didn't get many pictures of the actual carving, but I am happy to have taken a few. 
The girls Jack-O-Lanterns came out great! These aren't the pumpkins we recently got at the patch. Those were frozen due to our Halloween Eve snow. Thankfully, the sweet, little farm where we have our CSA still had pumpkins when we stopped by on Halloween! 
I know many people feel that so much has been lost due to this pandemic, but I think so much has gained. At least that's the way we have been feeling here (all these months). Sure, we miss seeing our family members (we haven't seen Dave's parents since early February and, with the exception of my mom who we saw for an hour in July, we haven't seen my family since Emma's birthday in late February). We continue to be grateful for the slower pace of life, for the chance to connect with each other and have more time as a family of four than we had had prior to this pandemic. We remain grateful that Mother Earth continues to heal and we hope that more people realize the many blessings they have been given during this time. Sure, holidays, birthdays and celebrations may not look the way they always have, but maybe the point is not that they need to be big and over the top and involve lots and lots of people. Maybe the point is that it's time we scaled down and celebrated with those who we share the space with now so that we can gather with those who mean the most to us when this is over.  In these final two months of 2020, as people are starting to feel weary, and as the winter arrives, I hope that we can all focus on our many blessings and end 2020 feeling more positive than we did throughout. xo