We might not be able to go to church, but we can still have a Palm Sunday procession!
Today was a Saturday, and around here that means Chore day! But today we rushed through our chores so that we could play Ticket to Ride again with Lauren, Lindsay, Anna and David. We've acquired a new toy to make such things easier and we were gratified to find it worked really well.
The afternoon's big activity was the hotly anticipated AAC Recital (Amazing Acro Club). I mentioned that Elizabeth has been running an "acro class" for her younger siblings since mid-March and they've been working hard preparing this over many, many hours.
I had nothing to do with any of this other than authorizing a date and time and organizing for a way for the honoured invited guests to attend. Brendan helped them with figuring out a way to play music (all carefully selected by Elizabeth in advance) which he did under a very tight time frame. At first we thought about doing a facebook live but after a few tests it appeared that Grandma J (who has no facebook account) would not be able to watch live and also Elizabeth was a bit freaked out by all the comments people made on the tests of her and Matthew doing their piano practices. All very positive and she actually enjoyed the praise but she also thought she'd be too self conscious if "just anyone" could see. The recital was supposed to be fun and not stressful, she said. Duly noted. So a zoom for just her immediate family it was.
I was impressed by all the various details for the recital. There was a sign, tickets and even a program. The costumes were agonized over for days. Special hairdos featuring hair gel and high pony tail buns (I found out later that Elizabeth manufactured extra volume in Amelia's bun by using the styrofoam shooter disc from Matthew's robot lol) They had dialogue for each part of the recital which they practiced in advance, and a plan to get Michael to cooperate (bribery with chocolate chips). It all went much more smoothly than any kind of "play" or recital I ever put on as a kid.
After the recital we all hung out and chatted for a bit - Auntie Mary in Wellesley, Grandma and Grandpa in Angola, us, Grandma J, Auntie Karen and Uncle Dave and kids, Uncle Chris and Auntie Yukiko and Erika and Marie, and Auntie Janice. Janice showed us photos of her possible new digs. Isabelle showed us her owl puppet. Erika told us about crocheting and showed us her clever tomato planter made out of an egg carton. Auntie Mary gave us a tour of her flower beds. It was super fun and for a moment it felt like we were all together.
Then Elizabeth and Erika had a bit more zoom chatting time before the kids all went outside to play. Matthew tried to finish his solar kit and it turned out it was defective, which he was sad about but relieved to find out it probably wasn't his fault.
Saturday's are also Elizabeth's piano day, so at 4pm she came inside and did her lesson. This lesson is probably working the best out of all of her virtual lessons. Her teacher is amazing. I was a little nervous about whether it was a good idea to switch to doing it in french but right now it feels like genius.
After piano everyone went outside again. Michael in shorts and a winter coat "the most Canadian attire ever" said Brendan. Our street has started a thing where we all go outside at 5:30pm and ring bells (us) and bang on drums (Mila and Simon) or play the trombone (Noemie). Yesterday was the first day and I totally forgot about it until the kids wanted to know what the weird noise was. Then I quick grabbed some bells and Matthew overenthusiastically rang it in Elizabeth's ear and she rang hers in his and it ended in tears. Today was much better with Michael running around going "Dong Dong Dong" and everyone under strict orders to stay apart. The kids enjoyed being outside so much they insisted on eating supper outside, which they did roman style.
Science day started right from the breakfast table with a discussion of cereal density. We talked about labelling (an ongoing discussion - Elizabeth is very interested for some reason and is constantly letting us know about the sugar, fibre and sodium content on our choices). Then we did the food colouring and soap experiment with leftover cereal milk.
After outdoor and zoom time it was time for some experiments. We were talking about the scientific method and designing experiments. We made thermometers out of rubbing alcohol and plasticine and a straw and ducked it in ice water and boiling water. It was fun but it took so long we didn’t really get to do any other experiments. Amelia did find out whether frozen plasticine bounces better than room temperature though (spoiler: neither bounce but the frozen one doesn’t stick at least).
The older two did Doodles with Mo Willems and were dismayed to learn he’s filming the last one tomorrow. Elizabeth connected with Erika.
It wasn’t Lego day but Matthew and Elizabeth have setup a Lego World and are still working on that, so we have Lego everywhere. Michael enjoys crashing his truck into it and then going “Uh oh. Boken” So that’s fun. The kids all did karate, at least for a few seconds (Michael) or minutes (Amelia). It’s still rather excruciating to get Matthew to participate well but I told him he could only start his solar robot kit if he focussed. So he did. Unfortunately he did not finish and was sad but I told him it could count as a toy so he doesn’t have to wait until Monday to finish it!
Elizabeth had her first zoom tournament team practice which I thought was more like it. I think they should do most of their classes over zoom, personally. Then her prerecorded ballet class where we were pleased to discover the teacher has assigned homework involving a video. Suddenly Elizabeth is interested in going back and doing the Tuesday class she skipped 😂
One could argue that every day is Sport Day around here, but we thought it would be fun to focus on some of the sports we don’t do every day. There was still dance and karate though...
Daddy took the kids outside to kick a ball around until a neighbour kid joined in. The poor kids all knew they needed to stay apart but kept getting too close as they would get caught up in chasing the ball. So that was the end of outdoor time. It may be a loooong summer.
Once inside they spent some time playing catch. I would have liked to do even more sports in the afternoon and had plans for sports related math and science. However, Elizabeth’s new book shelf arrived and while she started assembly during quiet time she wasn’t done. It seemed counterproductive to switch tasks especially since she was learning how to read instructions and working on her screwdriver skills etc. I was amused that she insisted on reading her instructions while upside down. Matthew was allowed to help open the box but not assemble and as a self styled “builder” he was desperately sad and not in the mood to do more sports. So I let him work on Lego World while Michael and Amelia played “baseball” with me.
It was April fool's day today and Elizabeth was very much looking forward to this. As per tradition, I brought out the green food colouring and turned breakfast funny colours. This year it was green eggs (no ham, but I WAS tempted). I also cut their bananas into fish. Amelia made some kind of weird mask but then never actually did anything with it? I'm not quite sure she got the idea. Matthew and Elizabeth did many many things, starting with lightly colouring our milk somehow (I didn't want to know) and putting saran wrap on the top. The milk was lumpy because it had "sharks" in it. We had a small chat about food grade plastics but decided we could still use the milk. They gave Amelia a fish (poisson d'avril). Elizabeth asked for something with "cherries and whipping cream on top" so Matthew fetched her the cherries and whipping cream. The best trick of all wasn't discovered until later in the day though. I thought it was so good I told Brendan that there was a spider on the toilet paper upstairs and he needed to go and squash it. LOL
Anyway, in addition to April Fool's day it was ALSO Lego day. We have at least 80L of Lego in our house and some of us think perhaps this is out of hand. But when we were deciding on themes it did seem like a natural choice... The kids started the school day normally with zoom calls to their friends, but then we did Lego math.
Amelia (and Michael, « Too, Too! ») rolled a ten sided dice and built towers the size of the numbers she rolled. Matthew did some grouping by various numbers in a ore-multiplication activity. Elizabeth built a house and did some measuring so that she could draw each view. Another day we’ll calculate perimeter, area and volume.
Then we let them build. And build. And build. There were breaks for outdoor play and lunch and quiet time.
We finished up the school day by watching the first Lego movie! Lorianne dropped by to say a socially distant hello just before the end.