Sunday, July 15, 2018

In Which I Scholé In My Coupé

Usually when my DH gives me the afternoon to go read (or just drink a cup of something in peace) I go and visit the nearest chain caffeine-providing establishment... you know, the green one... with the coffee. But I'm sorry to say it's been getting more and more sketch at these places - at least the ones around me. So today, I took my reading to the car:


It's more comfortable than it seems... warm seats, quiet environment. I won't necessarily say that it's cleaner (as my picture clearly attests - *ahem*), but at least it's *my* dirt.

On the docket today was Every Sacred Sunday and Know and Tell

Every Sacred Sunday
Today was the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time and because we had a party to go to later, we went to an earlier Mass at a different church. My children love this church because the walls are huge, floor to near-ceiling stained glass:
Photo by Juan Tamayo
I barely heard a word from the service (some days are just like that) but that's why I appreciate this journal. It has all the readings printed for me, with a place to write down notes (should I hear anything from the homily). The words I heard today focused on God's action: God calls us, God loves us - and we respond! Hopefully in the affirmative.

Know and Tell - Chapter 3: Principles of Narration
Principle #1 - Use high quality literature. Serving our students the literary equivalent of dry oatmeal benefits no one.
Principle #2 - Read it once. Don't interrupt. You may ask a question when the child is finished, but it is better to leave the student in a place where they know they have forgotten something than to "help" them fill in those details.
Principle #3 - Review previous narrated material regularly. Ask "What did we read/learn about last time?" Also do end-of-term assessments (approx every 12 weeks).
Principle #4  - The narration must be the child's (see Principle #2). When you ask questions, you disrupt the child's thought process and they become dependent on *you* to supply the questions again and again.

I also started Chapter 4: Building Fluency
Narration as an educational practice should begin at age 6, and not before. You can welcome them as they come naturally (and make sure to let the student know what they are doing, "What a great narration! I can see just what you're talking about!") but do not make them a requirement before age 6. Also, do not expect too much for the first year or two (!). The best lines about this came here:
"With a new narrator, almost anything can happen... In fact, the average six-year-old on the couch can dash an educational theory to pieces in a matter of moments, or so it would seem." 
Or this gem...
"If you think of narration as a child's oral "picture" of what she has heard, you can compare her progress with that of a budding artist. The enthusiastic two-year-old gripping a crayon in her fist is happy to be getting color or lines on paper. In the same vein, beginning narrators should simply be encouraged to use words--their own words--to "tell." If the result is as impressive as a two-year-old's scribble, that is what you should expect." (emaphasis mine)
Cheers to scribbles and babble! How did you scholé this week?

PS - I don't really have a coupé... but did you know that the word coupé comes from the French couper, "to cut (in half)" and was used in the 19th century to describe a shortened carriage that had no backseat? It was first applied to a closed 2-door automobile in 1908.


via GIPHY

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Scholé Every Sunday (numero uno)

Hello! What's new out there internet-land? I've thought of you often and wished I could come on here and bang out a few thoughts but whenever I've actually made time to do so, it seems that my thoughts have languished in a few (tired) categories:
  1. Those of the navelgazing type (only interesting if your navel is pierced or free of lint)
  2. Those of the ranting type (not good for a conflict avoiding personality like myself)
So, alas, the blog has remained a bit dormant. (Plus I've been wondering how accurate my blog title is anymore, but maybe that's a discussion for another time.)

In any case, this evening while nursing the fire baby down for the 3rd time in an hour I came up with *something* I could write about: my scholé!

A post shared by Sara Rooney (@rooney.sara) on

If the word "scholé" looks a little fancy-pants, it's probably because of the accent on the e. Just remove it in your mind and then it looks like a pretty bad misspelling of "school" ...and that's OK because that's kinda what scholé is: it's a type of restful learning that seeks out Truth, Goodness and Beauty. The Scholé Sisters (over there on Instagram) have their own little hashtag #scholeeveryday but I have yet to actually use that tag, because the idea behind it is that you Should be scholé-ing every day. At best, I scholé on a weekly basis - and usually on Sunday. Therefore: Scholé Every Sunday

The idea is this: every Sunday, I will come on here and share what I did for my scholé that day/week. It will most likely be what I read, but the beauty of scholé is that it can be anything that provides life-giving learning opportunities: nature walks, a concert, even church! I'm not promising that it will be very interesting to anyone besides myself - but to be fair, I'll try not to make it boring. (How's that for a promise? I might as well just say, "I promise not to make you claw your eyes out.")

Sound good? If so, read on dear friend...

This week: Teaching From Rest and Know and Tell: The Art of Narration

Teaching From Rest is a re-read for me - and exactly what I need at this stage in the game. Sarah's words are life-giving and they are helping me to re-prioritize what's important in my burgeoning homeschool. Today I was reminded that when I give my day to God then when something comes that looks like a derailment (a child who doesn't get the day's lesson, for instance) then that is actually God showing me my "marching orders" for the day. The "derailment" is where God wants me to be, not the accomplishing of my checklist of things.  Of course, this implies that I'm giving my day to God (i.e. praying), and to that end she offered up some of her favorite aspirations and a prayer from St Thomas Aquinas to say before studies.

Know and Tell - chapter 2
Narration is the educational use of something that we do naturally every day: retelling information to another person so that they can share in it too. This practice has been recommended since ancient times by St. Augustine and Erasmus (and many more). More recently it has been promoted by Charlotte Mason, a British educator from the early 1900's. Narration, when used consistently over many years, will produce students with strong synthetic thinking skills, able to communicate skillfully through oral or written word. The author cites some academic research in this chapter to support this argument, but what struck me were the samples of both oral and written narrations that she included from 6-year olds and up. Many of them were of a quality that some of my high schoolers (back in the day) would have been hard pressed to produce. I'm excited to see how this might work in my homeschool with the wee girl.

(If you just guessed that these last 2 paragraphs were written narrations of what I read today, you would be right. There's no better way to test an educational method then on yourself!)

So there you have it. My scholé for the day. What was yours?

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Forgiveness, Grace, Frogs and Library Love


Happy Eastertide! It's been a long while with little Library Lovin'. Time to remedy that. There's really only one book that I wanted to come on here and share, but first a confession...

We have become "those people".  You know, the ones who say that they have to limit their children to only checking out one laundry basket full of books. The ones who are actually considering buying this bag (in dark navy, please) because they've had book bags break on them once too often and the metal grommets are looking like they just might do the job they're advertised to do. The ones who interrupt writing their blog post to go renew books online, so as to stop accumulating more overdue fees.

Yeah. That's now us.

I don't know how it happened. It's like one day I was priding myself on "only bringing home books that we'll read over and over again" and then the next day, I was like, "Whatever. Throw it in the basket. Let's go." Maybe trying to go the library with a 5 year old, 3 year old and 6 month old is what caused it.

In any case, here we are with our laundry basket of books. It's a good thing I'm actually caught up on the laundry, otherwise we might be in trouble. Also to all you who are in the we-haul-our-books-in-baskets club, I hope you will forgive my arrogance! I get it now! Carry on, warriors.

Where was I again?  Oh yes, a really fun book with a message so appropriate for this Easter season!


Yes, Mo Willems of Pigeon, and Elephant and Piggie fame. At first his characters in this book threw me... what were they supposed to be? Not quite human... somewhat green like amphibians... oh! Frogs! Of course! Because baguettes are French and French people love (to eat) frogs (and baguettes). You gotta love Mo.

The story is all about Nanette's first trip to get the baguette, an errand of great responsibility given to her by her mother. But (spoiler alert) she ultimately fails because she can't resist the baguette's alluring smells. I don't blame her. Who can resist freshly baked bread? I have a friend who is borderline celiac, but didn't learn it until her 20's. Once she did and she gave up all gluten, she would still, from time to time, ask to smell my bread roll or other freshly baked item. Gluten cravings die hard, people.

And for Nanette, they proved too much. Poor girl-frog ate the whole thing before realizing her mistake. What would she do now? I love how the book depicts all the angst she experiences before telling her mom the truth, but what I love more is how her mother forgives her. It's such a perfect picture of grace, told in a way that I think kids can really get. Little Dude loves to read this book and then ask for a baguette afterwards. So I think that means he gets it... right? We're three baguettes in and I'm hoping yes! Though if his understanding of grace and forgiveness is predicated on us buying baguettes then maybe not. However, you gotta admit, it's a pretty yummy way to go about it.


What's been your favorite book lately? (Children's or otherwise?)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How to Love Lent


But first, How NOT to Love Lent:
1. Decide that it's a season of moaning/groaning/general unhappiness
2. Decide to give up chocolate IF I HAVE TO.
3. Ignore any and all posts on the internet that try to convince you otherwise

I have done all of this, so I can attest that this easy 3 step method WILL WORK if your goal is to be unhappy for the next 46 days.

I, however, do not want to be unhappy for the next month and a half - I want to get closer to God. So let's try something else shall we? 

How to Love Lent: 
1. decide to write a blog post with that title and see if it can help 
(oh look I'm doing well so far!)
2. research ideas for ways to observe Lent with children
(My general attitude is quite toddler-tantrum-like anyway, so this might help me as well)
3. Enter a couple giveaways on Instagram, cause hey, who doesn't like winning stuff?

I have to admit, it's only Ash Wednesday - but these steps seem to be working so far, so maybe at Easter I'll let you know if it's a foolproof plan to Lent Lovingness.

In the meantime, this is what we'll be doing as a family and also what I'm going to try and do:

1. go to Mass a little bit more - always the number one way to observe the season, no? Starting of course with today:

A post shared by Sara Rooney (@rooney.sara) on


2. Complete a Jesus Tree - I was hesitant to do this again, not because we didn't enjoy it last year (we loved it!), but because I thought the wee girl would find it boring to repeat the activity. But after printing it all out and putting it on the wall, she seemed excited, and also like she didn't even remember it from last year. Ummm... so I guess that makes it like brand new?

3. Lent Dice - I admit it. This is mainly how I'm getting around the whole give up sweets for the whole 40 days business. Every day we roll the dice and see what we're doing and who/what we're doing it for. So really, every day I have only a 1 in 6 chance of having to give up chocolate! (I'm terrible, aren't I?) The kids are really excited about the "rolling" aspect of the dice... we'll see how we all do at "doing" the thing on it.

4. Above All - so I actually did win one of those giveaways on Instagram that I alluded to above! I find it highly amusing because I had already made a deal with myself that I wasn't going to buy any new devotionals. (I was/still am feeling really guilty after the dismal completion of the one I bought for Advent: I did 2 days of it and then it became a dust catcher.) But I half-jokingly prayed, "God, if you want me to do something special then you'll have to make it happen." And well, we know how that prayer (often) turns out. So, consider this my plea for accountability - help me do more than just 2 days in this thing! (And no, I will not allow 3 to be good enough.)

As I shared before, I want this Lent to be more about God and less about what I think I'm missing out on. I hope that by doing these things with my family, we'll accomplish just that.

What will you be doing for Lent this year?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Year in Review - 2017

Maybe it's just me, but 2017 has felt longer than a normal year. And yet, it wasn't quite long enough to get certain things done. Alas, isn't that how we often feel at the end of things? That we didn't have enough time to do the things that really should have been done? I hope I'm not the only one with this feeling - but more importantly, I hope there's grace for folks like me who probably didn't spend time correctly. Oh, wait, there is! It's called tomorrow: where there are mercies new every morning.

Even mornings when you wake up to fire and smoke.
But before I turn the page on 2017, I'd like to share some of the highlights of my year - at least according to the social media I was on. (Look carefully and you might notice a theme!)

#2017bestnine on Instagram


And the winner here is... Fire Baby! No surprise, really, as he was the best gift of the year. But in a bit more detail (going from top left to bottom right):
1. sharing a My Sunday Best reflection on the week after Fire Baby was born
2. Fire Baby on his birth day
3. 400 pounds of Fire Baby cuteness pinning me to the couch
4. an in utero profile pic of (you guessed it) Fire Baby
5. our Butterball Fire Baby wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving
6. Not pregnant! Drinking tea! Wearing my mom-iform! #thatpostpartumlife
7. a "Bumpie" in the bathroom while on a little getaway with the hubby in Scotland
8. Costco shopping with mom really wiped the little dude out. I guess.
9. Fire Baby's baptism!

I'm not sure how we'll top this in 2018 - I guess by taking more pictures of Fire Baby?? 😂

The Top 3 Posts on this here blog

So, who is this Fire Baby, you ask? Well, the number one viewed post on my blog was his birth story, and the second most viewed post was his birth announcement. Third up was a reflection on God's provision, but I have a sneaky suspicion that the picture of my baby bump may have had something to do with that (as it seems that social media likes babies!). So again, if I had plans to make things bigger and better on this here place, I guess I'm going to have to include more posts on/about Mr. Fire Baby. 
Either that, or get pregnant again! 😜

How did that (fill-in-the-blank) work out for you?

I'm not usually one for making resolutions or goals, but I do have one tradition of setting a goal for reading a certain number of books: this year it was a book a month, plus one:
 Looks like I fizzled out sometime around October... Gee I wonder why? #iblamethebaby #orthefires #orboth #betterlucknextyear

I also did a word for the year and a patron saint - and oddly - I wrote all of that up in a post that I never published. (I wonder why? It was a decent post!) In any case, my patron saint was Our Lady of Guadalupe and this was so fitting as she is also the patron saint of the unborn and I definitely felt her prayers during Fire Baby's birth.

My "word" for the year was (ha ha) GOALS - which I think I failed miserably with as I neither met my one goal above, nor made any to aspire to. I think I will have to do better this year, so I shall now turn to the internet to give me both my WORD and PATRON SAINT for 2018:

My word is:
Ooo. Striking. I want to make fun of this word, but somehow, I feel like it will be appropriate. I shall let it sit and ruminate on it a bit. There could be some wisdom in here.


My patron saint will be:
OK. This is so not cool. I actually did this a week or so ago with the kids and back then it picked a saint for me that was also the patron saint of those who have lost a spouse. And now this?? (And her name is just a feminized version of my husband's name?!)

I am officially weirded out. Someone needs to go talk to Jennifer Fulweiler about getting some better saints in her generator.

Alllll-righty! Well! This post took quite a turn for the strange and unsettling - so to close, I'll bring it back to something I know social media loves: Fire Baby!
Happy new year to you and thanks, as always, for reading. 💗





(Now can someone please hold my hand and tell me everything will be alright? Cuz that saint thing was really spooky!)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Fire Baby - Matthew's birth story

This is actually a two part post of my experiences during the Santa Rosa fires - for part 1 click here. In this part we learn of new fires and (if you couldn't guess from the title) have a baby.

October 14

A new fire starting up to the east of us
The kids playing (unironically) on a fire truck at a nearby park.
This day was odd. One the one hand, this new fire that popped up truly made us think about evacuating for real, but on the other hand we had some of the best air quality out of the whole week because of the direction of the wind. So we stayed on alert but also at home. We also decided to go to vigil mass at our cathedral instead of our home parish - which turned out to be slightly fortuitous (I guess) as the next day our parish was in a mandatory evacuation zone.

October 15

No church means more Lego time
With no church to go to on Sunday morning (because, again, we had gone the night before, not because it burned down!) we were all feeling a little bit "off". We received an invite from a friend to head down south again - but neither Paul nor I were feeling up to the travel. And again, this turned out to be fortuitous as at about 2pm I started having sensations that I thought were gas pains. When I was still having them at 4pm I realized they weren't gas pains, but I still wasn't willing to call them "contractions" though they were about 30-45 seconds long and coming every 7-10 minutes. In any case, I called my midwife to let her know what was up and she conceded that I could very well be in early labor. I did not like this news, so she gave me some things I could do try and slow the labor train down: drink water, put my feet up (i.e. rest), take a bath or shower, have a glass of wine. (Ooo! A glass of wine? Yes, please! Only problem: I had no wine in the house. Enter Big Sister to the rescue! She brought over a lovely bottle of pinot gris.) I tried all of these things to no avail. By 8pm things were definitely picking up the pace and I was emotionally a wreck - texting friends and even acquaintances asking for prayers that baby boy would stay put. In my mind there were so many good reasons to not have a baby just then - things like:
  • we had no diapers yet (but thanks to Amazon Prime, I would have them in 2 days)
  • we had no bassinet/crib (yet)
  • there was no birth center, and only 1 hospital in Santa Rosa still open
  • oh, and fire with all its accompanying smoke
But I needed to call the midwife again and let her know things were not slowing down - so I did, and received a welcome piece of news: they decided to open up the birth center early for us. I broke down crying at this news - I was so grateful. It was funny - this whole pregnancy, whenever anyone asked where we would go for the birth I always responded "Lord willing, we'll go to the Birth Center." I'm so glad the Lord was willing! But I knew it still wasn't time for us to head over to the center just yet. But at least when I hung up the phone a part of my heart and mind were at rest.

My sister, who was kind enough to supply the wine, went home but stayed on call and I went to bed. My previous labors have been 43 hours and 30ish hours, so I was sure I'd be in for a long night and wanted to get as much rest as I could. Rest wasn't in the cards though. As I laid there the contractions continued to come, but something was changing: I'd have 2 or 3 that I could handle just fine, but then I'd have a really big one where all I could do to cope was shake my leg (much like a dog's leg will spasm when it's dreaming - such an attractive picture, I know). After one such contraction, I received the words that would become my mantra for the rest of the labor, "Pass through". I don't know where these words came from, but they turned out to be a premonition of what I would really need to have happen, and I would repeat them over and over whenever a contraction came. This pattern of 2-3 "easy" contractions and 1 "big" contraction continued to build in intensity until I had one that knocked the wind out of me - and that's when I told Paul we needed to get to the Birth Center. This was about 10:30pm. So the midwife was called and the sister was called back and we got in the car.

Again, that 1 mile drive to the center was just the worst. I don't know how any laboring woman can stand to have a drive longer than 5 minutes to get to wherever they're birthing. Car rides are just the pits! We arrived at the same time as our midwife, who was fully decked out in scrubs and her N95. She checked me and I measured 5cm - which was both welcome and a bit disappointing. Welcome, because that meant I could be admitted, but disappointing because I thought for sure I'd be farther along. In any case, we made our way back to the birthing rooms, and because I had the choice, I chose to be in the same room where I had delivered both the wee girl and the little dude. Having that continuity was comforting and I needed all the comfort I could get.

When I labor, I like things to be dark, quiet and warm. Oh, and also new for this labor, I liked to have my barf bowl next to me at all times. So basically then, the things that I remember are the times when one of the "rules" were "violated". Like when I had to ask Paul 3 or 4 times for my bowl. I got so mad at him for taking it away, and then I got doubly mad at him for making me have to talk to him to get it back. I mean, after 2 labors with me he still can't read my mind?!? Sheesh, man.

(It wasn't actually this dark, but you get the idea. Turn up the volume to hear baby's heartbeat!)

Anyway, once the midwife checked me in and took my vitals, she and the student midwife left us to "work". I wanted to lie down on the bed, so I did and worked on saying my mantra and breathing through the contractions. But at some point, I couldn't even say my mantra anymore and that was when the midwives came back into the room. The student midwife was truly wonderful, very professional, always explaining exactly what she was doing - but because she was breaking my "quiet" rule I started to get really irritated. At one point, when I thought they were gone, I asked Paul, "Could you please tell the midwives not to talk to me?" not knowing that they were actually in the room. When I found that out later, it made me really glad that I had said what I did and not what I was thinking which was, "Can you tell her to shut up?" (That would have been awkward!)

At midnight, the midwives checked me again and this time I was fully dialated; so they offered to break my bag of waters, in the hopes of moving the labor along. But I refused - not because I wanted a repeat performance of the waterworks at little dude's birth - but because having my bag of waters broken for the wee girl's birth was something that I had always kinda regretted. So I said no and continued to have really painful contractions that didn't seem to do much of anything to get the baby out. The midwives suggested I sit on a birthing ball (a big NOPE), and then go sit on the toilet (another NOPE but it was a bit better than the ball). The birthing stool was brought out and that was somewhat helpful - but the big problem this time around was that while I could feel a whole lotta pain, I couldn't actually feel when I was doing an effective push. So I would push 3 or 4 times and on that last push the midwife would finally say, "There! Yes! Do another one just like that!" Except I didn't know what I was doing any different than the way that I had been pushing before, plus, I was so tired from those pushes that I needed to rest and wait for the next contraction. At which point, the cycle of ineffective pushes would start again.

I started to pace back and forth in the room, almost like a caged animal, and more than once I wondered if I was going to be able do this. When the midwives offered to break my bag of waters again at sometime around 1:30am, I said yes enthusiastically and almost frantically. Get this baby out!!

The relief I felt as the bag broke was wonderful, but short-lived. Very quickly we were back to painful contractions and ineffective pushes. I threw up once... then twice. As my midwife shared, "Some women vomit their babies out". And that had definitely been my experience. After the second time, I remember feeling somewhat encouraged because with my other labors the baby was delivered shortly after the second spew. But it was not to be. I just couldn't figure out how to effectively push this baby who seemed very unwilling to budge. Finally the midwife and I hit on a strategy that worked - as long as she had two fingers pressing on my cervix I could focus on where I needed to direct my energy and my pushes would be effective. Of course, now her fingers were in the way of the baby's head creating a ridiculous Catch-22 situation. "Pass through" indeed! But I was finally making some progress - some very slow and hard-won progress.

With my previous 2 labors, the work up to the pushing stage was long and arduous, but the actual pushing was only 30-45 minutes - jubilation! Once again, this was different: I pushed for about 3 hours and it was (dare I say it?) horrible. The pain was just getting worse and worse, and even though they told me baby was coming, I didn't feel it. Plus I was getting frantic and I remember crying out, "Can you just reach in and pull him out?!" (Though I don't remember an answer to that request.) And forget "working noises". This was an all-out fight to get this baby earth-side complete with Wonder Woman-esque battle cries.

I prefer this image over what was probably the reality.

When I finally got baby's head out I expected to feel the slip and slide of the rest of his body - but again - this was not to be. One of the midwives (either the student or the attending, I can't remember) exclaimed, "Sunny side up!" and the other said, "Just a few more pushes..." All I could think was, "MORE?! He's supposed to just slide out now!" Turns out "sunny side-up" is just a poor euphemism for "hard as hell". (Ok, no, it isn't but whatever.) Finally - finally - at 4:30am, all of baby's 19 inches came out and we welcomed Matthew Francis with cries of relief and joy.


When I met Matthew I was surprised by his dark hair, red skin, and cries. They were strong and MAD! I couldn't blame him, and in fact I wanted to tell him "Dude, the feeling's mutual," but then he opened his eyes and I was stunned by the clarity and intensity in them already! All I could think was, "He is a smart one!" The rest of the morning was quiet and uneventful, so at 8:30 we were discharged and ready to go home. Stepping outside the smoke in the sky made a sun as red as my little one when I first laid eyes on him.

October 16




Anniversary cards, still in the plastic! We'll put heartfelt messages
in them next year.

We brought our little "fire baby" home on our 9th wedding anniversary - our Matthew - truly a "gift of God" to us.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Week in Pictures - October 9th - 16th (Part 1)

This ol' blog has been quiet as of late, I know. I seem to remember back at the beginning of this latest pregnancy making a statement about "getting back to writing" more often - and wow, that didn't happen! This pregnancy was definitely the most difficult of the 3 so far: the worst "morning" sickness, odd and transient food aversions, and the most uncomfortable.  That last one, by the way, is what I blame the lack of writing on: I couldn't sit at a desk or table for more than 15 minutes without inducing really bad "tightness" (for lack of a better word).  And then October came.

So much has happened this month, with the majority of that stuff happening in the one-week span from the 9th to the 16th. I've tried to be vague on this blog about where I live - being on the internet and all - but I can't talk about this particular week and remain vague since our town was all over the news that week. (Look at me still trying to remain non-descript!) So while I could factually tell you all the things, what I really want to do is share how they affected me. Because it both was and wasn't like how it was shared on CNN or BBC - at least not for us - and the last thing I want to do is participate in sensationalism.

To be sure, we were scared. So scared, that it took us nearly 4 days before we realized that we lived *across the street* from the emergency responders' Headquarters. They would not have made that place their headquarters if they were worried about it being burned down. Or at the very least, as my sister observed, if we see them packing up and heading out then that would be a very good sign that we should do the same. No need to frantically look at our phones every time a text message came in.

Which again, to be honest, I wasn't doing anyway. We all deal with crisis differently: some folks want to tune in to the local news source and be in the know at all times, and some want the tv/radio/phone to be off unless absolutely needed. Fortunately, in our home Paul landed in the former camp and I was part of the latter group. It was a good division of responsibilities. I was able to stay responsive to the family's needs and Paul was able to keep us informed/educated as needed.

I regret that maybe in some ways this made me make light of a situation that was truly dire for some. I hope those hurt will accept my apology for attempting to bring levity when a shoulder, tears and kleenex would have been more appropriate.

So, until I can pull my thoughts together, I thought I would rely on the "picture is worth a thousand words" addage... and hope that it doesn't communicate more than intended.

October 9

The view from our front door at 6am
We stayed home that day.

October 10

Photo: KITV news
I chose this picture for 2 reasons: first, this was the only picture I could find that showed the color of the sky all day on the 10th. Obviously, we stayed home. But the cooped up animals in the picture were much like our children on day 2 of staying inside. Both were clamoring to get out (of the smoke/house). What I liked to say was that on day 1 of being inside all day, my children played constructively, but on day 2 they played destructively. So by day 3 both animals and children got their wish (in case you were wondering).

October 11


Reminding ourselves of truth... one of the ways that I was grateful for a homeschool routine that we could keep while everything else was uncertain.

The park we escaped to on day 3
Not perfect air quality to the south, but certainly a lot better than where we were.

October 12

From our front door again. Escaped south for the day again.



October 13



Who's got 4 thumbs and a face mask? This gal!

While at this appointment we discussed what would happen in the event I should go into labor while the Birth Center was closed - we all thought that would be extremely unlikely, as I was only at 37 weeks - but I thought it would still be prudent to ask. Bottom line: if I went into labor I would have to go to the only hospital that was still open, and only maybe would I get to have a midwife with me. Needless to say, this was not what I wanted to hear... but no worries, right? 37 weeks! We're fine...

It's not "participating in sensationalism" to split this into 2 posts, right? Hope so. Part 2 to come soon!