Saturday, April 25, 2020

April School Holidays: Week Two ~ Waiting For the Footpath

 Week Two of our April school holidays is behind us and we are MORE than ready for Term 2 to begin. Obviously, Term 2 is not going to look like other Term 2s, because we are still under lock down for the worldwide pandemic, but we WILL make the best of it. The boys and I have already discussed, and decided, that we will try to work extra hard while we can't go out to see our friends or enjoy excursions. The plan behind this is that when we are able to go out again, we can shorten our structured school week to three days per week, and enjoy one day with our homeschool group and one day in the city enjoying a museum or the Botanical Gardens. That should be excellent motivation to buckle down and work. In the meantime, we also need the structure and the routine that a school term brings to our lives. 

I didn't plan extra activities for the school holidays. In hindsight, knowing that we weren't going to have our library activities and our other fun events, I should have planned and scheduled our time a bit more. But live and learn...

So, enjoy our pictures... we spent a LOT of the week inspecting the daily progress of the new footpath/sidewalk that is being built.

Right now, since we cannot attend church on Sunday mornings, we are video chatting with my brother, sister-in-law, and their two young girls. The boys are enjoying debating the best things about Australia vs. America with their uncle, and chatting with a near 3 year old, and figuring out how to interact via video with a 7 month old. We are really enjoying this time together. 

Munchkin has been asking to wash the dishes more often... so I set him to work one day washing all the breakfast and lunch dishes. 

That same afternoon, Munchkin and I went out looking for a good place for him to ride his scooter board. We thought the residential street a couple of blocks from our house would be good, but Munchkin discovered it wasn't sloped enough. Hence, he learned he will just have to be patient and wait for the footpath closer to home. 

We tried to go for a walk around the block each day to inspect the work that was getting done each day. We discovered, joyfully, that we are getting much more footpath then we initially thought. This means, once it is all finished, it will be MUCH easier to combine exercise for myself and the boys. I will be able to walk back and forth along the footpath (or even on the side of the road) while they ride their scooters or scooter board. It should work really well. 

We found this little critter hiding in a basket of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away. We had a good look at him, but he seemed to be "hiding" from us so we quickly placed him in the front garden and we hope he found a new home. 

 The second season of Lego Masters began on television this week. We enjoyed the episodes on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night. Then during the week, Munchkin got busy doing his own creative building and putting it on display on the Lego table.

More excitement this week when the cement truck was spotted laying the footpath in front of the school. I took Munchkin outside to watch the pouring process. The construction men then called Munchkin over and let him smooth a small portion of the border. Hence the picture above. The square just below his raised arm is the section where he got to do a bit of smoothing along the edge. 

DISCLAIMER: For anyone who is worried given the pandemic... we stayed less than five minutes, Munchkin only touched one trowel with one hand... and when we arrived home we both thoroughly washed our hands.

I was so impressed with the construction men. It was super nice of them to give Munchkin the experience of smoothing the cement, and I'm certain he will never forget it. 

This section of footpath in front of the Montessori school is quite long (much longer than this photo shows) and is going to be PERFECT for Munchkin to scooter board on. It is slightly downhill and should be AMAZING! 

Lots more work still needing to be done further down the residential part of the road. 

We're not going walking nearly as much as I would like right now, so I'm extra thankful that we have the trampoline as it is a relatively easy way for the boys to burn off some energy. 

 More pictures of the footpath progress...

More shots from the residential area...  

 There is another project to watch... a house was torn down and will be rebuilt so while we walk and/or scooter on the new footpath in the weeks to come, we can watch the new house being built as well.

Monkey and Munchkin enjoying an early Saturday morning Pokemon battle. 

A drawing Monkey did of the characters from a new book series they are enjoying. 

 Munchkin did some extra chores on Saturday afternoon/evening in order to earn back the ability to watch Lego Masters in the coming week.

We thought ALL of the footpath was going to be completed by this Saturday... but clearly there is a LOT more work to be done. The stretch in front of the school is finished in time for Term 2 to resume on Monday... I suspect the residential portion of the footpath (going up the road away from the school) should get completed this coming week. 

Our ANZAC traditions had to be VERY different this year.
We simply spent about 30 minutes in the afternoon enjoying some biscuits and beginning this lovely book. In the past I have cleaned the library out of a TON of picture books and we have spent HOURS reading aloud. We have also (one year) packed and sent a special care package of goodies and sent it off to an Australian soldier stationed overseas.

But again, because of the pandemic, and the sudden library closure, I was unable to gather all the picture books that I normally would. We will have to look forward to next year and hope and pray that life is enough back to "normal" to allow for the traditions we love.

Something I have learned (so far) since the lock down began, is just how much I LOVE our library and the ability to visit it whenever we want. It is driving me somewhat crazy not to visit and browse the books, as well as choose and check out all the books that we want.

Despite our area libraries being closed, the staff are still working in the branches from 9am until 5pm Monday through Friday. This means we can still return books as we finish with them, and we also get to wave to our favourite librarians through the window. The distance between our house and the library (and back) it a good, decent walk for the boys.

I also keep in touch with our favourite librarian via email and Facebook chat through the week and she assures me that the library is still working to see if they can get a "click and collect" system up and running so that we can check out new books before the lock down is lifted. We wait and see and pray that it DOES happen. Having said that, if a "click and collect" doesn't happen, we will survive with the stack of books we did manage to collect before all the closures began, and we will be able to continue our planned learning for the year.

The librarians have spent a good portion of their time completely reorganizing the ground level of the building and I can't wait to return and check it out. Just from what I can see through the windows, it is going to be tremendous and much easier for the boys to browse the books while I talk to the librarians and return and collect our books. 

 All three boys are enjoying the selection of Cressida Cowell books we currently have from the library. I don't think they will agree to return these books until the library re-opens, so it is good that we don't have to.

Monkey and Munchkin keep reading and re-reading this book and I'm forbidden from returning it as well. 

 All the books photographed this week were independent choices for the boys. Though I did some reading aloud this week, it wasn't our normal amount, and we certainly didn't finish any of our current read aloud choices. But rest assured, our book selection should be longer from next week.

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