We are in Quarantine, NOT on Vacation.

We have been paying more attention to the news this week. The title is my favorite Portuguese headline and this picture--taken on one of the Lisbon beaches the day after their schools closed (a few days before ours).

On Monday I started talking to the kids about our summer schedule. I was thinking it would be good to do it over spring break since we wouldn’t be going anywhere. At that point, it was still 2 weeks away.

The kids were quite happy with the old schedule still. The biggest changes were that Herbie, Moses and Archie are now doing German, and I found a new resource for Ruby’s Latin and Greek. (Linus is still very satisfied with French and Penelope with Japanese.) I had to make very few adjustments and purchase nothing. (I’d already bought an additional kids’ cookbook in January.)

I also added a classics reading section (as it’s so easy to find these on archive.org or gutenberg.org) where kids picked from a list I made for each of them (to start Ruby picked Jane Eyre, Herbie—Tarzan, Moses—Peter Pan, Linus—The Borrowers, Penelope—The Story of the Amulet, and Archie—Frog and Toad).

They are so, so excited for this. And I am too :).
Woo: I don’t know who’s more excited... you or the kids! 
And then as rumors started to float in that spring break was going to be moved up two weeks because of Covid-19 concerns and start on the next Monday, I thought, “Great! We’re ready! And also—“

Last year, around this time, I was inspired to plan and chart out an entire homeschooling curriculum for each kid. I decided what philosophy I liked (mine, basically :). I researched what the older kids needed for college. I researched resources, mapped everything out, etc., etc.

Then when I was done, I was like, when are we ever going to use this?? And I never got a clear answer, more of the “just have faith” variety, so I forgot about it for about a year until this week.

I opened up the files, cleaned up a few things, made sure I hadn’t double booked an iPad or computer or anything, and in a day I was ready to go with that too.

On Thursday we learned that school would be closed and on Friday I learned that it would be for at least 4 weeks, so when we reach beyond the time of a regular spring break, we’ll switch right over to the homeschool schedule! Luckily, the kids’ teachers sent all school books home, (and we have several extra from past years), so we won’t have to rely too heavily on our computers either.

Woo and I did our “prepper” shopping trip Thursday before dinner. The parking lot was jam packed and we had to park out on the street with a bunch of other people.

We were envisioning empty shelves, long lines, no shopping carts. But it wasn’t that way at all. There were a lot of people in there, but they were buying what Europeans always buy when they go to the grocery store—a handful of random stuff.

The only completely sold out thing was the bigger bags of rice (which they don’t always have anyways), but I’d been inspired many months ago to stock up on that, and had been doing so slowly (dried beans and canned goods also). About the last month, Woo had started to get promptings that he’d pass on to me, and I’d buy a little more. In fact, I’d bought two more big bags of rice 10 days before, because of his comments.

So anyway, we zipped through the store taking all that we liked: canned goods, frozen veggies, lots of potatoes, oranges, even vitamins (getting vitamins, especially vitamin C is my main concern, for some reason, if we were ever to get down to only rice. But yes, we definitely have enough food for 2 weeks).

Woo laughed when I loaded up a whole case of canned spicy tomato sardines (for everyone but me, btw), but he was proud when we got home and had one for breakfast. I guess I have some case lot sales in my background.

I commented to Woo that we were the only ones here that were preparing, and he said no, they were too. It was just that they only had one or two people to shop for.

Also, when I looked around at the things we were buying, and the things they were buying, I recognized that Woo and I are sitting on a huge store of food storage and emergency prep knowledge that we hardly recognize and that none of these people even had. Thanks to many of you for that. (Although, Woo ran in a store the next day for the garlic cloves we missed--very important--and he did see one cart with a bunch of toilet paper. There was still plenty in the store, though.)

Woo made all the kids their own jump ropes yesterday from broken (surfing) leashes or rope. It’s still a new enough fad for them to be super excited and entertained for several weeks in the movement area. (And appears to be less injury prone for Woo.)

Our branch is already almost entirely our family (we already had talks and lessons prepared), so the biggest change there is the location—and more English!
Moses: That was my best time of church ever! 
Linus spent half of primary weeping over a story that really touched him in sacrament meeting. He later received revelation about what it meant for him.

We also already know what to do when we can’t go to the temple as often as before. President Nelson said this in Oct 2018:
"For those of you who don’t live near a temple, I invite you to study prayerfully about temples in the scriptures and in the words of living prophets. Seek to know more, to understand more, to feel more about temples than you ever have before."
Also to do more family history work.

So long story short, we’re holding up tight here feeling well prepared and looked after, and ready to seize all the opportunities that come from this challenge.

Here’s a few things from the kids:

We fasted for the WELFARE of those who knew not God (Alma 6:6). Linus prayed for days for the FAREWELL of those who knew not God.
Linus (eating cashews—for the first time?): Are these just burnt macaroni noodles?!? 
Archie: Mom! If you were a storager would you sell beer?? 
For those of you who didn’t get that (and we didn’t at first), storager=store owner.

Ruby was excited to find and check out several books she recognized from the US in the school library: Indian in the Cupboard, His Dark Materials and a few others I don’t remember. 

Unfortunately, she burned right through them and has already finished them all even though they were in Portuguese.

Herbie laughed when his teacher pulled out a t-ball tee for his PE class’s baseball unit, and then even more when they used a cricket bat (because it’s easier to hit with).

He and one other sporty kid were able to pitch and hit with each other with a real ball and bat and Herbie was pleased with the hits he got.

While taking his turn spinning the jump rope, Moses sang a few rope skipping ditties in Portuguese (mostly one about a witch). I asked him how he knew them, but I couldn’t hear his embarrassed mumble.

When it was his turn to jump, he got frustrated with the silence and since he was facing me, yelled at me to “SING IT!”

I kind of shrugged, “I don’t know it.”

And he smiled because of course I didn’t, and it was ridiculous to imagine that I did :).

Penelope was crazy and high-strung a lot of the week (probably coronavirus excitement at school). However, whenever we would ask her to stop doing something, she would immediately stop (because she tries to be immediately obedient), but then she would just go on to do some other crazy thing. 

Here’s a sweet thing from my week: When the temple was closed I was grateful that we’d been allowed to go immediately beforehand, but then I got a nudge that that wasn’t quite right. The right idea was more personal and helped me to feel more loved... the temple hadn’t been allowed to close until we had been.