Monday March 30, 2020 L e a n n e   V e r k l e y not logged in

Week one of Learn at Home

I would say week one of learn at home went well.  Every day was different and changed as we figured it out but for the most part it looked like learning from 10-12 and then again from 1-3.  
We start every day with 20 minutes of reading a novel of choice.  I am glad that we had books out from the library when this physical distancing thing started, so the kids are working through them.  However, I may have to look into online books.  Starting the day with reading gets them into the mode of learning for the day.  
This is followed by some other form of literacy, which might be writing, brainstorming, reading together, etc.  Then there is usually a science lesson of some kind.  One day it was as simple as how to wash your hands to get everywhere clean.  However, we have done some experiments, building and baking too.   Gym looks different as it just means movement.  Some days it is playing Just Dance on the Nintendo Switch, other days it is a long walk down our road, or exploring the back yard.  There have been games as well as sword fights with the grasses found in the ditch, badminton and other things as well.  French is the DuoLingo website.  Its a little dry, but it is good and they are learning.  One day I found a cute video of the three little bears in French and they watched that.  I have also found some apps to explore.   It's all about balance.  During lunch we have started with every other day it is your turn to help mom make lunch, and the other person has to pick something off the chore chart.  After eating you get some free time.
So far there is a drawer cleaned out, the kitchen swept and other good stuff happening.  Food has been things like left overs, grilled cheese, fresh bread.  
We try to do music every day.  Easton has a project to build an instrument, so we are working on a didgeridoo with a two page write up that his teacher sent home to work on during the March Break.  This has taken days but the process is fun and we have time.  He also practices his guitar.  His guitar teacher is posting on Instagram, so I now have Instagram.  Hadley brought her clarinet home from school, and she is practicing her piano too.
For Math, we are working our way through knowledge hook, which is a math online game that mails you a real medal if you complete it.  They are also doing Prodigy, which is a math battle game that they can meet up with classmates to play online, and I have paid for Adventure Academy, which is a quest game online for math, language arts, science, and social studies.  The kids really like it.  Hadley sometimes meets up with her friend Rachel from skating and they talk on the phone while they navigate the quests.  We have also been doing art projects, social online painting classes, amongst other fun things.  The Toronto Zoo is posting videos every day with a new animal, and you can learn all about them.  Plus I have a spreadsheet of fun websites and ideas to explore.
In the next week or so I suspect there will be suggested ideas from the government.  Hadley's math teacher sent out an optional assignment today on google classroom, so we will look into that.  Also a website called Entertain Kids on a Dime, is having volunteer teachers post lessons that you can print out that are grade specific.  Plus I had the Canadian Curriculum work books in the cupboard that are now pulled out.
We had a pretty relaxing weekend.  We are hearing more birds, watching movies together and playing board games.  This weekend's movie was Jumanji, both kids liked it and the parents too.  

Brian is still working from home in the basement, luckily the kids know how to act for the most part when he is working so he can make conference calls.  No travel for him for the foreseeable future.  We are thankful that he is working and we don't have to worry about government grants to get by.  So that is great!  Way less stress.
We watched the iheartradio concert on TV last night which was a bunch of singers trying to raise money for food banks in the US.  Still the message was clear that being a front line worker in hospitals, grocery stores and truck drivers etc. are valued and we are thankful for them all!  

I have only been out of the house where I saw other people once since March 12th to pick up an online grocery order.  I literally pushed the button on the van to open the back and a worker put my groceries inside.  When I got home I sanitized everything before it was put away.  
I will pick up more again tomorrow March 31st.  I placed an order ten days ago, and that is the wait time to get your groceries.  For now you are still allowed to go into the grocery stores but I don't want to.  Too risky.  I feel like I will be on a mission for a supply run and it is up to me if my family eats.  (Okay a little dramatic, but kind of real too).  
The Prime Minister is self isolated as his wife has had COVID - 19.  So he gives updates on social media.  Every day there is new information.  I try to get just the information I need as too much information is just fear causing.  
The current number of cases in Canada was 6,258 as of yesterday.  By comparison the US 144,410.  I am glad our borders are closed and Canadians are fairly good at physical distancing.  
I have had a mommy group conference call girls night in.  Which is better than not meeting up at all.
Life is different.  But we are okay.

- Leanne Verkley

Hadley's 13!

We have a teenager in the house!  This year was a lot different as we are isolated and can't celebrate with extended family or friends.
So, Hadley decorated her cake with just a little help from me.  She made some beautiful flowers and added some little cat toys that I found a few weeks back.  She did a fantastic job!
Hadley had plans to celebrate by going snow tubing before all the isolation COVID19 stuff happened but I think we may do a simple playdate as soon as this is over with her best friend Rachel.  The girls really do miss each other.  They call each other every few days and talk on the phone which Hadley has never really done with a friend before.  Rachel and Hadley have skated together every week since September and were used to seeing each other twice a week.  Then COVID19.
What I have notice about having a teen in the house is that she wants to stay up later and she wants more of her own time.  Lately she is trying out just chilling on the spare bed with a book or her device.  She is also really starting to get into music.  She is starting to work on some playlists with songs I have never heard before but I like, so that is cool.  Amongst other things for her birthday she got the new Just Dance game for the Switch and she has been dancing up a storm.  Full sweat!  I think this may be just the exercise we all need!
I am thankful and blessed to be this girls mom.  Every year she teaches me to change, learn and grow.  
13 will be no different.  I love her!  I can't wait to see what this year brings!

While I don't have the actual height and weight for her as I haven't been to a doctor and don't have plans to any time soon, here is what I do know.  I believe she is around 5'2" which is 157 cm, which means she is up 9 cm from last year.  (To be confirmed).  About one inch shorter than me.  She is wearing women's size small clothing with a few items still in kids size 16, and size 8 shoes.  We share shoes now.  
Her favourite food is steak!  She still loves cat everything!

- Leanne Verkley


According to

On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The virus did not match any other known virus.
On January 7, 2020, China confirmed COVID-19.
On January 15, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada activates the Emergency Operation Centre to support Canadafs response to COVID-19.
On January 22, 2020, Canada implements screening requirements related to COVID-19 for travellers returning from China to major airports in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver.
On January 25, 2020, Canada confirms its first case of COVID-19 related to travel in Wuhan, China.
On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declares the outbreak of COVID-19 a public health event of international concern.
On February 9, 2020, Canada expands COVID-19 screening requirements for travellers returning from affected areas to 10 airports across 6 provinces.
On February 20, 2020, Canada confirms its first case related to travel outside mainland China.

On March 2, I decided to go grocery shopping for panty and freezer items.  The shelves were empty after a weekend of panic purchasing, so I bought what I could.  Pasta shelves were bare, but I was able to buy some, rice was bare, but I was good, as I had bought a large bag earlier that I still haven't opened, flour was bare, but I managed to get the last bread flour, pancake mix was picked over, peanut butter only had smooth left, granola bar shelves were empty, and eggs were low.  Aside from other things in the store, these were most notable.  
I couldn't believe what I was experiencing.  I felt like I was in a movie.  I bought brands that I don't normally buy just to have something in case things are not replenished.  The stock person wasn't sure when the next load would come.  Toilet paper seems to be the biggest buy.  It is hard to find anywhere!!!

On March 9, 2020, Canada confirms its first death related to COVID-19.

On 9 March 2020, the government of Italy under Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte imposed a national quarantine on the entire country, restricting the movement of the population except for necessity, work, and health circumstances, in response to the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declares the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic.

On March 12, All major sporting events, like Basketball, Hockey etc. are either not playing or having no audiences.
Easton's hockey is on hold.
Disney is closed for 30 days.  

Friday March 13, Ontario decided to shut down all public schools due to Coronavirus.  March Break will happen and then two extra weeks of no school.  Schools will be closed from March 13-April 5.

So today, we start March Break and while we had plans to do things around the city, we have cancelled them to stay home instead.  Brian is working from the basement with no travel in the near future.  We are still working out what we might do for Hadley's birthday.  It will likely be low key this year.

This is big!

- Leanne Verkley

2020-03-19 23:26:28

Today I left the house.  I mean, I have gone for a walk with the kids down the road a few times but really we have been in social isolation for a week.  However, today, after placing an online order for fresh food at the grocery store 3 days ago, they were finally able to fulfil the order and I went to pick it up.  Well, they had 50% of the food I ordered.  I am thankful I had stocked up a little over the past few weeks.   Most noticed to be missing from my order were meat, milk and flour.  
My only contact with people was to roll down the window to get the receipt, and I opened the back of my van and the employee loaded my groceries in for me.  Otherwise, no real contact with people.  
I came home and washed everything.  Even the packaged goods.  I wiped down all the packaging.
I think I was surprised to see so many cars on the road.  I know how hard we are working to stay to ourselves and we are healthy.  The whole world has been advised to social isolate.  
Everything seems closed unless they are essential services.  So I have no idea where these people were going.
The Canadian borders are closed.
The government has been busy getting all kinds of help ready for people that are not working during this time.  So far Brian is still working from home.
Life is surreal.  
I am with my people.  

- leanne


While February seems to have flown by, here is a brief update on the going on's in our household.  February 2, we watched the Superbowl 2020, with the San Francisco 49ers (20) against the Kansas City Chiefs (31).  While I am still not a football fan, I will say the halftime show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira was quite spectacular!  Girl Power for sure!  On the same day it was groundhog day and Wiarton Willie predicted an early spring.  The mayor had a mix up when presenting the results and the groundhog looked sad on stage when we saw the news feed.  However, the tradition continues.  
The teachers have been striking this year, so there have been sporadic strike days off which means many playdates for the kids.  Easton mostly with Nathan, Lucas and Matthew, and Hadley has had a few with Rachel.  
Valentines, Brian's Birthday and Family day were all the same weekend this year.  On Valentines Day Brian was sick, so we stayed in and made heart shaped home made pizza's.  For his birthday we had some family over for cake.  Then on Family Day we went to see Sonic the Hedgehog in the theatre.  
We introduced the kids to Indiana Jones and now Easton thinks that we should play a game of drinking milk shots.  Too funny.  
Easton is really into making paper planes right now, so I think there are about 17 around the house.  I keep finding them.  He has a really fun book that provides all the paper, the instructions on where to cut, fold and tape if necessary.  Then he launches them over the railing and sometimes he retrieves them and sometimes I find them when cleaning up.  One day I will miss these little reminders that I have children in the house.
We were finally able to get the kids out skiing and we had a lovely day.  Easton is really comfortable and easily flies down the blue hills, while Hadley is a little more cautious and enjoys the green hills just fine.  They both do the chair lifts well, so it was an enjoyable day for all.
We had a fun day meeting up with Shawn, Violet and Ethan for a lunch, and a games afternoon.  It is fun to see how fast babies grow!  
I met up with my friends Barb, Margo and Melissa on three separate breakfast dates, it was nice to catch up.
Registration has begun for spring summer activities for the kids, so the organization for that is always a good time.  
Brian has been travelling a little too, including a LAN party weekend with his friends in London.  
At the school we have been juggling parent council meetings, breakfast programs, pink shirt days, pizza days, Samosa Sales, and other such fun things.  However our normal pancake Tuesday had to be cancelled as we were not allowed to ask for any help what-so-ever from the teachers.  Mostly we do all the work anyway, but any disruption to their schedule is not allowed.  So this, and the Character assembly had to be cancelled.  
I found this new to us company called The Book Lady, she runs a used book shop out of her basement.  It looks like a library!   You can take used books to her and as long as they are in decent condition she will buy them from you.  Usually somewhere around $0.50.  While you don't get a lot of money for bringing books there, you do get to buy books for cheap.  This means that we can buy new to us books for $5 or less.  Usually around $2.  Hadley is in love with this little business!
Since I have two really amazing readers in my house, I love this!  Don't get me wrong, we do go to the library and almost always have the 50 book limit out, since they both read a chapter book ever night or every other night usually.  However, it is still nice to sometimes buy a few books to have on the shelf.
While I am sure there was more that happened, this is the brief update.

- Leanne Verkley

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