Our Five Ring Circus: July 2020

Monday, July 27, 2020

Just Another Pandemic Birthday

Big Family Blog

Since the pandemic started, both Grant and I have had birthdays. It's not really that big of a deal for us, because once you pass the age of 21, birthdays are just...meh. And we are CERTAINLY over the age of 21!

We haven't had much luck with birthdays and birthday parties for our kids, though. Lexie and Coen's birthdays were just before social distancing began, but their party for their 1st and 13th birthdays was planned for the week the stay at home order was issued. We hoped to have it later, but the pandemic and social distancing is still ongoing. Now Lily and Liam have birthdays in August, and it isn't looking promising for them, either! I just hope it's somewhat better in time

The latest birthday was Grant's 41st birthday on Friday! We didn't have our usual date night or big gathering, but he said it was still a great day. Plus, he got a 4 day weekend out of the deal...now that's an extended birthday celebration!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Simple At Home Learning Activities for Young Kids of All Abilities

Simple At Home Learning Activities for Kids of All Abilities

As the new school year approaches, there are big decisions that need to be made! Whether you choose in school learning, virtual learning, cyber school, or traditional homeschooling, it isn't a decision that is going to be made lightly. Thoughts about the upcoming school year have been keeping me up at night for weeks!

Truthfully, I don't want to be a homeschooling mom, but the reality is that I will probably have to be one to some extent this year. I have a child who has Down syndrome, and with it comes extra needs to consider. There are lots of options for the upcoming school year, but none of them are ideal for Liam. No matter what I choose, Liam loses. Our country is barely prepared to educate neurotypical students in a pandemic, so students who have extra needs just get lost in the process. 

I don't really think I'm poorly equipped for homeschooling. I already boost my kids' educations with at home learning activities. I just don't want the pressure of juggling four educations on my own again. Liam thrives in school, and virtual/online learning and therapy was a nightmare this past Spring. I quickly learned that he learns best through play and hands on activities, so I jumped ship halfway through virtual schooling, and went my own way with his education. Although no decisions have been finalized yet, I'm prepared to do that again this school year. If you're with me, maybe some of these ideas will help you out in the weeks/months to come!

Monday, July 20, 2020

July Happenings

Large Family Blog

July is halfway over. We are still social distancing, and we have officially surpassed the point of boredom. This too shall pass...that seems to be my motto these days! 

July is feeling a bit more normal in some ways. We went to a graduation party...without the littles. We celebrated the 4th of July with a few close friends who are at the same level of social distancing as we are...AKA working from home and not going anywhere. And we're spending our afternoons and evenings in the pool...even though it's a 2 foot inflatable pool in our backyard!

I'm sure the rest of the month will pass by quickly. We're going to reinstate our weekly family hikes, Grant's birthday is on Friday, cheerleading is supposed to start at the end of the month, we're going to try to plan a beach vacation for September, and we have big decisions to make about school. I just wish this was a typical July full of fun outings and excitement over upcoming birthdays, reunions, and family vacations. But really, there's nothing typical about this July...

Friday, July 17, 2020

3 Can't-Put-Them-Down Books That You Must Read This Summer

3 Can't-Put-Them-Down Books That You Must Read This Summer

Before I had kids, I read a book every 1-2 days. Then I had a baby. And another baby. And another and another and another! Needless to say, my free time for reading was GONE, and I was lucky if I was able to get through a few books a year!  

One good thing about social distancing, is that I suddenly had a little bit of extra time, because I'm not constantly driving kids around. I'm not reading a book every day or two, but I am going through at least one book a week now! I have a long list of books that I wanted to read, so I have been checking those off of my list. 

Most of the books I've read were really good, but three recent ones stand out. I know just how hard it is to find time to read when you're a busy mom, so I narrowed my much longer list of recent favorites to a list that's actually doable! One is a bestseller that's being made into a movie, one is fast paced and full of twists, and the last one has a slow build to a twist that I never saw coming. All three made the list, because I could not put them down!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Scenes from the 4th of July

The 4th of July

The 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays! Due to current circumstances in our country, however, we weren't able to fully celebrate the day like we usually do. We tried our hardest to make the day as normal as possible for our kids during this very abnormal time period! 

This 4th of July, there was no pool to swim in or parade to go to. We were unable to have a big picnic. Masks accessorized our traditional red, white, and blue. The day certainly lacked its usual oomph, but we still had fun! 

We were able to enjoy a long 4 day weekend. We enjoyed sleeping in and staying up really late. It was hot - SO HOT - but we spent hours outdoors. We laughed, we played, we ate, and we were together. The 4th of July ended up feeling like an ordinary Summer day at home...just with fireworks!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Most Boring June Recap Ever! (But the pictures are cute!)

Baby Photography

Happy July! Can you even believe it's July? It feels like June went by in the flash, but it also feels like we're on the millionth day of Summer Break. (Who can relate?

The month of June is typically exciting for us! It's full of end of school year activities, the last day of school, dance recitals, the first day of Summer Break, going to the pool, going to playgrounds and the library, and weekend parties with friends. This year, June was nothing like we expected!

Sure, we had a last day of school...at home. We had a first day of Summer Break that didn't feel any different from the three previous months. A car almost hit our house, so there's that. We celebrated Father's Day. AND...that's about it! June 2020 was most definitely our most boring June ever, but I'm committing to a recap!