Could it possibly be a coincidence that these two days collided? Because of my Quarantine Mom status and the deleterious effects that has had on my brain, I feel neither profound nor intelligent enough to comment on the profundity of that. However, I believe deep down these two events on the same day cannot be unrelated.
After my vexatious day yesterday, I went to bed with unwavering determination on how today was going to go. For the most part, I was able to accomplish that.
Last night, I made the clear determination that the only way we are going to make it through the next 9 weeks is if we adhere to a somewhat regimented and very predictable schedule. As difficult as the homeschooling model was the one good thing was the daily structure and schedule it afforded us.
When I walked in the door this morning at 9:15, after my walk, I let the kids know, in no uncertain terms, that they had exactly 45 minutes to finish their morning jobs, make their beds and get dressed. Just like back in the homeschooling days of last week, we were going to be dressed and ready to begin our day at 10 sharp.
I marched myself upstairs, picked out a pretty outfit that would make me happy; did my hair and makeup; and finished off the look with pretty jewelry. Just doing that made me feel one hundred percent better than yesterday. As I was dressing, I kept reminding the kids to stay on track and on time. For the most part, we all did pretty well and were in our seats, ready for Summer Study Time, by 10:15. Not a bad start.
We spent about 90 minutes doing a variety of projects. Catherine, Graham, and Garin worked in their school workbooks and then started their daily summer journals. Miles and I played an alphabet matching game and worked on writing names of various family members on his whiteboard with his new colorful markers.
Catherine's journal entry was called This Summer. Garin titled his Day 100. Graham's was called When Fitzy met Miley (sort of like When Harry Met Sally, expect Fitzy is Harry and Miley Cyrus is Sally, whom we met the other night when Graham and I were out on our evening walk.). They had such fun writing their stories and even made illustrations to go along.
Garin did two virtual camp classes: Yoga and Environmental Hero. The twins did their new class called Animal Kingdom, which focused on birds today. The class was interesting and timely for us, given our resident doves, Honey and Henry. Honey has now taken up full residency in the vining plant above our kitchen window and seems to be awaiting her babies. We also ordered a bird feeder, that arrived last night for our backyard and are excited to start birdwatching. The instructor's tips on bird feeders were very helpful.
Later in the afternoon, we headed on of the kids' favorite places, the Calabasas Library. We were a little late to the game and only just found out they are open for online orders and curbside pickup. We had the chance to speak with our beloved librarian Jill yesterday, who knows the kids and their reading preferences so well. She said she had lots of new books that she had ordered and would select some for each of the children. Just hearing her voice brought me joy and comfort. We were regular fixtures there for three years, going every few weeks to renew binfuls of books. The kids have missed that activity almost as much as school.
The final part of our day included cooking a delicious meal together (everyone pitched in). I did some research this morning on Juneteenth and tried to incorporate a lot of red into our dinner and dessert. I wanted to do soul food, but couldn't swing making another trip to the market. We spent dinnertime on the patio, enjoying the warm evening and discussing slavery, the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, Juneteenth, Segregation, Martin Luther King, George Floyd, and the current situation in our country. I was so impressed with the depth of knowledge the three big kids had on these important historical events. They spoke with both accuracy and confidence about these difficult and painful subjects. They also expressed great empathy for the innocent souls who have suffered from these terrible atrocities throughout history in our country. It was both sad and thought-provoking, yet also an important conversation that needed to be had.
Our inaugural day of Summer Study Time went much better than expected.
Catherine and Graham's embellished summer journals.
Miles working diligently on his letters.
Miles drawing of a flower and his name printed quite legibly.
The kids watching some Juneteenth videos that I found for them online.
I was pleased that there was a lot of good content online regarding this important day.
Arriving to the library doors to pick up our book order, donning masks, of course.
It was better than Christmas Day as they peeked at all their new books. They have been without their cherished library for over three months. Jill picked out the most perfect books for all them. They are in their beds reading them, as I write this.
Garin making the Strawberry Spoon Bread, featured in yesterday's New York Times. The red color made it perfect for the day.
Catherine zesting the lemons for the pasta dish.
Graham working on a Spinach and Mint pesto for next week.
Our red drinks for Juneteenth (Strawberry Lemonade with a sprig of fresh mint).
Our Juneteenth salad with lots of dark red pickled beets and red onions.
Rigatoni with Grilled Chicken Sausage, Roasted Broccoli Rabe and Fresh Cherry Tomatoes for a dash of red.
Strawberry Spoon bread warm out of the oven with vanilla ice cream and a sprig of fresh mint.