Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Back to School - Home Style

 Well, back to school looks a lot different this year. When school closed last March we had no idea we would be learning from home all the way into the next school year. Lily started 7th grade on August 19th from our family room. Lily has two class periods a day. Each period lasts 1hr 15min and then she has assignments to complete after class before they meet with that teacher again. It is not nearly the amount she would be learning in a normal school schedule but we are trying to roll with the punches and remember this will not last forever. 

Sisters unite in wearing their Better Together shirts from our trip with the Brady's this summer. 
It's all very exciting....on the first day anyway. Winston has still not gotten used to us all being home so much. On the days I work he hangs out in the office all day with Alex. On the days I'm home he trails me around the house. 
To celebrate the first day of school for Lily we went to Goppy's house for a swim. She always has a freezer stocked with ice creams since it's been a hot summer outdoors. 
The following week Gemma started back to 4th grade at MATES. She was so so excited to get in the same class with Liv and she has Mrs. Fiss as her teacher which we're all excited about. 
This school year they are required to wear their uniform shirts on zoom. They can wear what they want on the bottom since it is not seen on screen. It was an obvious choice to go with pajama shorts. 
The only bonus of schooling from home is pajama day every day. 
Gemma is doing her schooling from her room. Her schedule is zoom learning from 8am-1pm. She does have some of that time offline to work independently. Since Lily is learning from the family room and Alex is in the "office- former guest room" Gemma chose to learn in her room. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Summer Fun

When your all locked down at home for the entire summer you  better make use of your outdoor space too. After all our hard work in the garden,  planting new bushes and refurbishing the windmill we decided to get an outdoor couch so we could relax and enjoy our view. We should have done it sooner, we love spending time out there. 
Winston isn't sure what to make of life with everyone home all the time. I would have to say he does enjoy it and finds little hide away places to nap. 
We have found the beach is one place we can get away and have space and a steady breeze. We even went to the beach with friends a couple times. We set up our gear with plenty of distance and the kids play in the waves together. 

Boy do we miss hanging out with friends and having sleep overs. This is about as close as we can get for now. 
We've taken plenty of beach trips by ourselves too. We found a nice beach that isn't at all crowded on week days. It's not as fun as with friends but you have to make do. 
Randomly there were people riding horses on the beach, I have no idea where they came from. 
Mermaid pie shop. 

Gemma wants to play and Lily wants to read. At least reading at the beach is better than at home in bed. 

Gemma doesn't mind riding the waves alone. 
I also tried my hand at peach pie making. Getting ready for some summer baking competitions.
Some people have decided to share rooms so now there are nightly sleepovers. 
Thanks to Kat and Natalie for the recommendation on the art project. 
Gemma did a zebra and Lily did a moonlight willow tree. 

Gemma must have been in the mood for cake because her next activity suggestion was a cake bake-off. They made the whole recipe themselves with no help from me. They each made one round 8" chocolate cake layer they could decorate or flavor any way they wanted. 
The inner layer was filled with Lily's choice of raspberry jam. Gemma went for the crunch of a sprinkle layer. 
Then the real fun was had, decorating with buttercream frosting. 
Lily did chocolate raspberry with fresh fruit on top. 
Gemma did chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and some lemon frosting decorations. 
They were both delicious and it was too difficult to pick a winner. 
Cousins have a projector to show outdoor movies so we have been able to see them a couple times for backyard movie nights. This time it was the first Harry Potter movie. It's a great way for us to get together and be able to stay distanced. 
More beach time with friends. This time with Scarlett. It was actually pretty cool at the beach that day but Scarlett did not seem to mind. 
We borrowed Uncle E's outdoor projector and set up a movie night in our backyard. Most importantly was the snack bar. 

We had the Gravers over to watch Mama Mia with us. It was a big hit and Kai decided we should probably do this every Friday night. Guess we're going to have to get our own projector. 
Before school goes back we spent almost a week at the beach house soaking up the sun. It was good timing since the weather by our house was nearly 100 every day. 
It was nice and cool for a morning walk. This is Winston's favorite time of the day. It's too hot for the old guy when the sun is out. 

We did plenty of beach time boogie boarding too. It was pretty hot at the beach and crowded as well. You had to get there early to claim your spot. 
We took a morning bike ride to the salt marsh to see the leopard sharks and bat rays. 
Of course kids win and we went to the drive-in movie again. This time to see the old classic Willie Wonka. The double feature was with Wizard of Oz but it was too late for us to stay for both. 
When you're this close to Santa Barbara, donuts are a must!

Back to the beach to burn off all the sugar.
We heard that Fosters freeze was closing for good in the next week. I think we've probably been a total of three times in all these years but when you hear it is closing you better go one more time for a dipped cone.
We wrapped up summer with Gemma's girl scout troop having a "Bridge to Juniors" ceremony. Normally we bridge at the end of the school year and had a whole camping weekend event planned that had to be cancelled. We turned our bridging into a drive-by where you drive over a small bridge at a local park. 
Then later that afternoon they had a virtual paint party held online. An art teacher walked them through the steps to paint a moonlit dunes scene. 
That night we attended a birthday party for one of the girls best friends Ravelle and Lily got to attend as well since she is good friends with Sabina. It was an outdoor movie in their backyard. 
They showed "101 Dalmations"  and got to watch from these cute little tents. They wore masks to walk around but in the tent they could take them off. It was a nice way to stay safe and celebrate.
That's a wrap on this years version of summer. Everything looked very different than we had planned and so does back to school. We're just rolling with the punches and doing the best we can.