Tuesday, June 30, 2020

First world problems

As I mentioned, we've had some wonderful summer storms roll in (we're supposed to be seeing a Saharan dust storm but haven't really noticed if it's hit us or not because of all the rain we've been getting) and they've been knocking the power out quite regularly.

On Friday it was clearing up a bit so I told the kids we'd go play outside really quick before it stormed again, but as we were lugging our bikes out of the garage the storm clouds gathered together, blocked out the sun, and started throwing a temper tantrum. So we put our bikes away and sought shelter inside.

"I'm going to start making dinner right now," Andrew said, even though it was a little early. "I'm just afraid the power's going to go..."

And at that moment the power went off. But then it came on again! But then it went off again. But then it came on again! But then there was a loud exploding noise and it went off again. We waited for it to come back on but the exploding noise was exactly as ominous as it sounded.

"Never mind about dinner," Andrew said.

We played UNO instead. By candlelight because the storm was blocking out so much sunlight that Alexander asked if it was bedtime (at 4:00 in the afternoon). Alexander usually plays but he couldn't because "power outage" so he snuggled on Rachel's lap and mumbled "power outage, power outage, power outage" while the rest of us played.



Monday, June 29, 2020

COVID quarantine

Our power was out for about 8 hours yesterday, so I actually have quite a bit to blog about. We had a pretty great time without the internet! One of the activities that Rachel and Miriam did was write a little parody about our current life in quarantine to the tune of Yellow Submarine. They did a great job coming up with lyrics. We recorded it today after church for you to enjoy:


(One note on the lyrics is that even if you are wearing a mask we still probably won't play with you; sorry (not sorry)).

Friday, June 26, 2020

Mud, baths

The kids were being wild at lunch so we sent them outside to play. Soon Alexander and Zoë tromped up the deck steps to complain that they had gotten muddy, and they had. Their shoes were muddy (Zoë was in rain boots and Alexander was in crocs) and they had a bit of mud on their legs and hands.

"You're a bit dirty," I agreed, "But that's okay. We'll just wash you off before you come back inside the house. Where's Ben?"

"Benny is dirty, too!" Alexander told me. 

I walked to the edge of the deck so I could see into the backyard and...yup. Benjamin was dirty. Benjamin was very dirty. Our poor backyard is just a swamp right now; we've had so much rain.



Mask insanity

Today's PSA: Just because you stop caring about something doesn't mean that thing stops mattering. In other words: We are still in the middle of a pandemic.

A friend of mine posted an article about pandemic numbers rising (quite astronomically in some places) and her post has garnered 213 comments on Facebook. People fighting over whether or not masks work, whether or not masks are a political statement, whether or not masks are stripping us of our freedoms. It was a definite popcorn-muncher (as in you wanted to just pop some popcorn, sit back, and watch the entire conversation devolve into chaos).

How is this even a question at this point?

Anyway, a different friend on the other end of the mask-wearing spectrum posted a video of a a certain representative from Ohio who refuses to wear a mask because he believes "that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. That image is seen the most by our face," and thus he refuses to wear a mask. In the video he has various youngsters stick a GX-2009 gas monitor inside their masks to measure whether or not there is an acceptable level of oxygen in their masks.

Every time the monitor is placed inside the mask the alarm starts beeping and it won't quit until it is turned off manually (so it continues beeping after it's taken out of the mask and is in fresh air; it must be turned off by pressing the reset button). This is important to note. It doesn't turn off once it's back within acceptable, breathable levels. Our politician friend points out than anything less than 19.5% is considered an oxygen-depleted environment. That's true.

So this alarm will go off when it detects an oxygen-depleted environment (or an oxygen-enriched environment, which is also dangerous) and will not turn off when oxygen levels return to normal.

The alarm sounded in all three tests and when he checked back on the "peak reading" they were as follows:
First test: 17.1%
Second test: 18.1%
Third test: 17.6%
Now, I'm just going to point out an interesting fact for you. Fun facts are fun, after all.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Gotta have Hope

In the middle of writing my "School Bells" post last night, I found out that Greg Hope passed away, so the post quickly devolved into chaos. It's fine.

Greg Hope is my dad's cousin's husband, which sounds like a rather distant relation, but he's is an emotionally close relative. My dad's immediate family isn't at all tight-knit, at least not with us. His brothers tormented him when he was younger and he simply didn't end up great friends with any of them in adulthood. My aunt lives in Washington State and we used to visit with her family when we lived in British Columbia, but I haven't really spent time with anyone from her family since I was 8 or 9. My uncles all live in Utah. Some uncles have walked a path riddled with addiction and difficulty and simply live a lifestyle that is so, so foreign from my own. Others are fine people, good people. Still, if I was walking down the street and one of my uncles was walking towards me, I honestly couldn't say that any of them would recognize me. And on the off chance that they did recognize me, there is no way they would be able to guess my name. I mean, I would be shocked if they both recognized me and had my name pop into their head. It would just...like...

We're not close, is what I'm saying.

The Hopes though? They're different. They're family

School bells

We are getting set to open our homeschool academic year very soon (Monday is the plan, actually), which feels very strange to me as I'm seeing my Canadian friends just barely posting their end-of-the-year pictures. But, honestly, our social life is pretty bland right now and we have no plans to do any sort of fun vacation this year, so I figure we may as well get a little bit of our formal learning out of the way. We're abandoning the school calendar this year, anyway, and are embracing a year-round calendar (which is something we've missed since we said goodbye to Easley Elementary School). Plus, I think it will be nice to have the kids into a routine and feeling comfortable with their new curriculum before I begin my classes (because I'm a little nervous about that).

Our math text books arrived a couple of weeks ago and the kids were rather excited about that. I just ordered our science curriculum (it's downloadable, though, so its delivery is fairly instantaneous). Various novels have been trickling in. We just built frames for and hung up our maps (finally). I reorganized our kitchen cupboards and reclaimed an entire cabinet in the dining room for our homeschool stuff. And when our new notebooks arrived, you should have heard the children squealing with joy—so many colours, so many ruling options (wide-ruled, college-ruled, primer-ruled), so much bliss!

Zoë was thrilled with her new notebooks and was sure that her very first assignment will be the writing prompt featured on the front of her notebook. She wanted to practice writing the way she would for her notebook but she didn't want to write in her notebook because she wanted to keep it clean and fresh for kindergarten. So instead she got out some scrap paper and copied the writing verbatim and then drew a picture of a house next to it (it's a picture of Benjamin, in case you can't tell).


She writes a lot of things from her own brain as well, but I thought it was cute that she thought she would need to write the exact thing that's on the cover of her notebook.

Mysterious text messages and Medieval creations

It's 11:15 PM and a new text notification pops up on my screen. It says:

Ben H is talking to you. Ben H should absolutely not be talking to me at 11:15 PM so of course I check my phone. His text message simply says, "Keep going."

So I walk down the hall to Benjamin's room. "What are you doing, buddy?" I ask.

"Nothing," he says, doing a terrible job of hiding his phone...which, for the record, isn't technically a phone; it's an old cast-off phone that he uses as an iPod—he likes to do Duolingo on it, and enjoys listening to a pod cast before bed and then to music while he falls asleep, oh, and he can text a limited number of people on it as well. And which, for the record, is not supposed to be plugged in next to his bed but across the room from his bed.

"I'm going to have to take your phone," I tell him and he reluctantly hands it over. "You really need to go to sleep," I remind him but I still am just baffled by his message so I start asking him questions. "But what does it mean—keep going?"

"I don't know," he said.

"Who did you think you were texting?" I asked. "Because clearly you didn't think you were texting me."

"I thought I was texting Rachel and Miriam and you."

"That's exactly who you texted. But why 'Keep going'?"

"I don't know!"

"Then why send it? And why send it in the middle of the night when you know you shouldn't be on your phone?"

"I just...I didn't realize that texts sent so quickly! I thought it would be a nice message for you to wake up to in the morning. I didn't think it would go to your phone right away. I thought it would take some time!"

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Fine

Years ago my mom sent me a book on childhood trauma. I...don't know where it is currently...but I'm positive I still have it. We just have moved twice since I got it and...it's...somewhere, I'm sure. Okay, I found it. In my mind it has a blue cover (it does have a blue cover), but the spine is red! So that threw me off the scent a bit. Anyway, it's called Childhood Disrupted by Donna Jackson Nakazawa and my mom sent it to me because it talks about how even if our brains can't remember our trauma, our bodies remember our trauma. Stressful events even from infancy can be kind of hardwired into our bodies and we need to learn how to cope with this hardwiring. So, she sent me this book to help Benjamin, who had a less-than-graceful opening act of his life.

But I've been thinking about this book over the past year and a half or so and I'm glad I finally found it so that I can review it a little bit and hopefully glean an idea or two.

My kids—Zoë and Benjamin, specifically—still aren't "over" Karen's death. I'm not sure death is something to get over, really. I think that longing—that clenching, tugging sensation in your heart—never goes away. I think it gets better. I think it becomes something that you can live with, something that becomes a part of you, something tolerable, familiar, and, to a certain extent, comfortable. We learn to be comfortable with our grief. Somehow we realize that in spite of always, always missing someone, we will be fine. I'm fine. Andrew is fine. But my kids aren't quite fine yet.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Family history for kids

One of the activities in the family history booklet that I made was a "Don't Eat Pete!" spin off. I made up a little board for the kids to either print out or draw pictures of their relatives and sent along a little box of candies for the kids to use as game pieces. I made up labels for the boxes of candy that said "DON'T EAT ME!" to keep the kids from immediately consuming them (it worked for my own children; I do not yet know if it worked for my other primary children). My children were, understandably, rather anxious to get to this activity so we tackled it this afternoon. 


Monday, June 22, 2020

My birthday

Thirty-five seems like a rather big birthday. I mean, at thirty you're just barely out of your twenties so that's obviously still young. Thirty-five is, like, solidly mid-thirties (hurdling toward forty)...which, honestly, is starting to sound young still. So perhaps it's not that significant after all. 

Andrew and the kids gave me plenty of time to rest today, which they're really pretty good about most days. They say they're trying to make up to me for waking me up every two hours for a solid 10+ years but honestly I think they just want screen time. Either way I get a nap so I don't mind. 

Rachel did a lot of work behind the scenes to make today special. She baked me a cake on Saturday, completely from scratch, and it smelled so good, so we were all excited to get to eat it today. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Father's Day Post

One of these days I will figure out how to put up the family history booklet I made for my primary kids. One of the challenges inside is to learn a hobby or trade one of your ancestors enjoyed and today as I stood balancing (for hours upon hours) between a ladder and a window frame, reglazing our windows, I thought about two of my fore-fathers. First, I thought of my Grandpa Conrad, who would climb up anything, balance on anything, and who could probably fix anything. One summer during the Great Depression he and his brothers and cousins dug a swimming hole and built a high dive, just for kicks. But the picture in the collage is of him after he'd shimmied up a pole to do some repair work to the CB radio antenna. It makes balancing on a ladder (for like eight hours!) look easy. 

Friday, June 19, 2020

Junk bugs

Have you ever wondered if you were meant to be an entomologist? Sometimes I wonder that about myself, but then I remember that there are reasons I am not an entomologist (and many of those reasons are the same reasons I didn't pursue my early dreams of becoming a veterinarian (because, honestly, who's ever heard of a vet who is afraid of dogs?)). Bugs are interesting but, like, also I've been known to call my husband to trap a cockroach or kill a spider. So...

Anyway, Rachel spotted a fluffy boi in our yard today—a cute little ball of fuzz scuttling along a leaf. It was intriguing, so we caught it to see if we could identify it.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Notre-Dame and notre dôme*

I'm reading Notre-Dame de Paris right now. I've never read Victor Hugo before but I figured that since Miriam read both Notre-Dame and Les Mis this year, I could probably also handle Victor Hugo...in book form. I don't think I could handle Victor Hugo in real life because he was...kind of a terrible person. Like Johnny Cash. Guys, I'm sorry, I watched Walk the Line when it came out years ago (I am not sure why because I wasn't quite sure who Johnny Cash even was) and I left that movie hating Johnny Cash. I don't know if that was the point of the movie but, uh, that was where the movie led me. Anyway, while I don't think watching a movie of Victor Hugo's life would elicit good feelings towards him, I do like his writing so far.

From "The Great Hall": 'I tell you, monsieur, it's the end of the world. The students' behaviour has never been so outrageous. It's all everything. Artillery, serpentines, bombards, and especially printing, that other plague from Germany. It's the end of manuscripts, the end of books! Printing is killing off the book trade. The end of the world is at hand!"

Spoiler: Books have survived. So rest easy, dear reader.

Silly or sorry

Over the past few weeks I put together a family history booklet for my primary kids, working on it here and there in the evenings (between trying to get my manuscript polished up and catching fireflies with the children and a few other projects). Yesterday I met a couple of other ladies from the primary at the church so we could make copies of and assemble the booklet (and make a little package for each of the kids with candy (for a game inside the booklet), and cutout leaves and a glue stick (for a make-your-own-family-tree activity inside the booklet).

Before I got out of the car, I put my mask on.

I had figured that the other woman would as well. She is from Taiwan, I reasoned racistly, so surely she will have respect for masking. But, alas...

"Oh, do we have to wear masks?" she asked. "It's just so silly."

"Well, I'm going to wear a mask," I said. "Better silly than sorry."

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

COVID thoughts

Last May, the Georgia Department of Public Health issued their final weekly influenza report for that the 2018–2019 flu season. Between September 30 (when the flu season began) and May 11 (when they had no reports of influenza to report), there had been 44 deaths attributed to the flu in the state of Georgia.

1 child between the ages of 0–4 died. 2 children ages 5–17. 6 people between 18–49. 10 between 50–64. 25 were 65+.

The final flu report that I can see for this year is for April 18. I'm not quite sure the flu season is over  (they just seem to stop publishing reports sometime in April/May and pick up again in September without ever really declaring anything over) and it was touted as a particularly harsh flu season (back in December and January, before we'd really even heard of the coronavirus). And by all indicators that seems to be true. There have been 93 deaths attributed to the flu this season.

3 children between the ages of 0–4. 2 children ages 5–17. 18 people between 18–49. 23 between 50–64. And 47 ages 65+.

Now do COVID-19!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Mud puddles

We have had a cool summer so far, which we're rather glad about since our air conditioner is broken. The transformer blew, I guess. We're waiting on our home warranty to decide how they want to fix it (cross your fingers they will decide soon because I don't know how long the cool weather will last). Today has been rather chilly and rainy so I'm fine upstairs right now, but when the days are leaning toward hot and humid (not that we've had many very hot days yet this year) things get pretty hot upstairs rather fast.

We've been joking that each level of the house is in its own biome: polar in the basement, subtropical on the main level, and tropical upstairs. One day it was 75°F on the main level and 85°F on the top floor. That heat felt rather heavy. Today they're about the same temperature, though.

Here's a look outside today on this wet and rainy day:

Sunday, June 14, 2020

A (lockdown) date night. Finally!

Last night Andrew and I sat down together to watch a movie together. It's the first time we've sat down together on the couch to watch anything for six weeks. So ask me how online teaching is going...haha.

In his defense, he just finished up with a super intense "May-mester" course (150 minutes of class time every day for three weeks) that had been intended to be taught in person, but he suddenly found himself scrambling to get the entire course online (after scrambling to get the rest of his spring semester online). It was not fun and involved many, many late nights in a row.

But it's over now and he's teaching just a regular summer course now, which has given us some time to breathe. So, you know, we watched Just Mercy, which was actually not an easy watch and just made me feel really, really angry. Which is great because I had just watched Teach Us All the other night and that also left me feeling really, really angry.

Let's just say that I believe we could really use a systemic shift in this nation.

Friday, June 12, 2020

So much Lego

The kids destroyed their Lego village today so they can try playing something new because, as Miriam said, "We've been playing Harry Potter for four years!" Instead they've made up a medieval role-playing game, where they role dice to assign roles (king, nobility, peasant) and the catastrophes their characters have to deal with. They have it all written down, along with which die which roles get to roll. For example, if you roll yourself an illness then how sick you get depends on which die you get to roll. The king gets to roll a seven-sided die. If he gets a 1, he gets very sick and has to roll again. If he rolls a 1 again, he dies. If he rolls a 5, 6, or 7, he gets immunity. A peasant, on the other hand, gets to roll a four-sided die. So you can see his odds of getting, and staying, ill are much higher than the king's since he wouldn't have good access to doctors or medicine. 

When it comes to acquiring wealth, however, the king gets to roll the smallest die and the peasant the largest die because in that scenario the king should have a higher probability of stuffing his coffers than a peasant would. 

They've thought long and hard about medieval inequalities. 

Anyway, before they destroyed their creations I took several pictures for those interested in seeing what they've built (hi, Mom!) and Andrew took several more pictures a couple of weeks ago so I'll add those in at the end. This is the children's wizarding world...

More fireflies



Zoë was so excited to have a sunny day again so we could go on another firefly walk. She talked about it all day long and even wrote a little sign to tape to our designated firefly jar that says, "I love to cach fier fli's." She likes to go on firefly walks, that's true, but she doesn't necessarily enjoy the catching of the fireflies. She's hardly succeeded in touching one, let alone catching one. But she'll happily chase them around.

More windows

The glazing on our windows is so flaky that when I told Andrew that a wasp had flown into the house through the glass-less windows (because, you see, I had taken the glass out) and he subsequently swatted it, a chunk of glazing popped right off one of the bottom windows.


Which...is a problem...and that's why we're fixing the windows. This week was a little rainy, but Rachel and I did the top half of the window on Monday (wasp day; taller windows, taller helpers). Today the smaller kids and I did the bottom window.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Sticker motivation

Zoë was very diligent about practicing the piano all of last week. And she very diligently marked off each practice session in her piano notebook, too. If she practiced five out of seven days, you see, she would earn a sticker. Well, she practiced seven out of seven days last week and was thrilled when I brought out the folder of stickers I spent a lifetime hoarding.

For some weird reason, using stickers always stressed me out as a child. Once you stick it somewhere...that's it...it's gone. Plus, I weirdly thought, it would be nice to have some stickers for my children. So I just...saved all the stickers I ever got as a child (or the majority of them, anyway).

And isn't that so weird? Like, did I think we wouldn't have stickers in the future?

Anyway, I have some pretty cool stickers. Sparkly stars, cute baby animals, planets and insects and balloons and flowers. Stickers that say "good work!" and "nice job!" and "A+!" Stickers...stickers...stickers...

"I know just the one I want!" Zoë said and she hunted through that packet of stickers for a long time until she found...a sheet of round, pink circles. Like AVERY brand labelling dots. "This one!" she squealed, and she peeled off a round, pink circle and stuck it on her piano notebook and...I just stood there blinking for a few minutes. That one? Okay.

At least I know she's easily motivated.

(When it comes to piano practicing...)

Monday, June 08, 2020

Baptism memories and baptism music

My dear friend Diana posted a beautiful picture of her baby book where her mom had collected signatures for Diana of her parents and grandparents. It looks like kind of a fun thing to have. Names, written in their own hand. Two important things. Anyway, someone commented and said that's why she says it's important to write things down in scrap books and things—rather than type everything—so that your progeny can see your handwriting. 

So I have some handwriting samples for you this evening! For Family Night I challenged everyone to write down some memories of their baptism day (and those who had not yet been baptized were welcome to draw pictures while everyone else wrote). We reference briefly Elder Anderson's talk from the last session of conference as well as Alma 5, to emphasize the importance of writing things down. And, interestingly, when we began to share what we had written we began to remember more

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Firefly sunset

Last night while the big kids were (at long last) finishing their Harry Potter movie marathon (which they started mid-May), I was reading stories to Alexander and Zoë when the sky turned red, drawing us all to the window, and then to the back deck. We stood and watched the sunset grow redder and redder, lighting up the sky behind the dark silhouettes of the trees. And as we were staring off into the woods we saw an elusive flash of light. Then another. And another. 

Fireflies!

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Benjamin's baptism


In an alternate reality we would have been physically surrounded by family today. My mom and dad were supposed to visit us this week. My sister Kelli had a plane ticket to come see us. Grandpa was talking about flying out as well. But, as we all know, coronavirus happened and we ended up being rather alone today.

Benjamin had his bishop's interview via video call a couple of weeks ago:



Friday, June 05, 2020

I just can't even...

When I first moved to the states and we went to register at the school, the guidance counselor kind of just fit me into classes that had room for me rather than thinking about what kind of classes I might need. Thus it was that I ended up in remedial English and US History Honors (with a u (had to backspace it out of there)). I'm not sure I'll ever feel not offended by that.

I'm not upset about it anymore, really. I got through it just fine. But I just...why?

Anyway, US History (Honors!) was a difficult class for me because so much of it was Brand New Information. Or at least it was information that I had been taught but hadn't been forced to memorize and...uhhhhh...worship. The first week of school we had to take a quiz on the names of the fifty states, plus their capitols, plus their location on the map. My brain felt like it was exploding.

Canada has 10 provinces and (at the time I had to memorize them) 2 territories (now there are 3 territories). Being forced to memorize fifty names, capitols, and locations felt utterly overwhelming.

But I did it, by golly.

And by "did it" I mean "got 100%" because I'm a little bit of a perfectionist so anything less than 100% is an abominable failure and I'm really working on not being like this.

Molten oatmeal

This morning the kids woke up and started getting breakfast on their own, as they've been trained to do. They've all been using the microwave since they were three or four. And, I mean, sure...sometimes things end up a little bit flame-y...but mostly the fact that they can fend for themselves (usually) makes my life a whole lot easier. 

So I had just come down to the dining room and was checking on Alexander who—very oddly—had not come to me first thing in the morning and was still in his pyjamas and nighttime diaper, a clear indication that he had not gone potty. When there was a blood-curdling scream from the kitchen.

Everyone ran there in a hurry and tried to figure out what had happened to Zoë. 

Oatmeal was...everywhere...and Zoë was curled up on the floor screaming and crying.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Nope, nope, nope.

First of all, we're probably going to pass 200,000 COVID cases within a week, which is super fun. The kids and I went for a walk at one park, which was fairly empty, and then drove over to the pool we have a pass to to see how busy it was (there were about five other cars at the parking lot, which felt a bit too busy for me) and then headed over to another more popular park (with river access) to see how full it was and the parking lot was jam-packed. There were so many people there it was ridiculous. The kids really wanted to cool off in the river but we just headed home (to find a package from my sister—blow up balls that you go inside of and bounce off of each other—so we played with the toys she'd sent us and then broke out the splash pad she sent us last month (she is single-handedly keeping us together this pandemic)). 

Second of all, today I saw some really bad takes on the internet that I'd like to take a minute to address. The internet is full of bad takes, but some of them just irk me a little more than others. This particular bad take is that George Floyd shouldn't be "martyrized" because he has a criminal record. In fact, he's a felon! Or was. He had, by all accounts, managed to turn his life around and has spent the last several years living clean. But whatever.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Eight is great!

After dinner we gathered around the table to celebrate Benjamin's birthday again (for real this time). Here are the kids smiling by the cupcakes (except for Zoë who is not smiling and who had a day):

 

Alexander in the evening

Not last night but the night before was a rather rough night for Alexander. There was a lot of screaming. He kept getting up and just screaming. Nothing in particular seemed to be wrong. He didn't need to go potty. He wasn't thirsty. He got to choose his favourite lullabies to listen to. He had his favourite bedtime things. The fan was blowing gently. It's wasn't too light or too dark. Everything should have been just fine but he just kept waking up and screaming. I think he really just wanted to climb into bed with me but also really wanted a sticker so was just torn over sleeping at all.

When it was finally morning I told him that if he pulled another stunt like that he wouldn't get a sticker. Like, neat-o that he "stayed in bed" all night but also a big part of staying in bed is not sneaking to the side of my bed and yelling in my face every twenty minutes. He agreed that was, perhaps, a little annoying and when I put him to bed last night he agreed that he wouldn't scream when he got up in the night.

And so, at around 3:30, I heard a gentle knocking on my bedroom door before it opened, just a crack.

"Mom," Alexander whispered. "I'm not screaming, but my hands have so many owies."

"What?" I asked groggily.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Benjamin's birthday eve

It's the last day of this sweet little boy being seven years old. We started celebrating him on Monday with a portion of our Family Night devoted to writing on balloons for his birthday tree.

He is appropriately wearing an octopus shirt

Monday, June 01, 2020

Broken windows (and empty hallways)

I feel like I've been glazing windows for forever and that I will be glazing windows forever. I managed to rope Miriam into helping me for a few minutes this afternoon. She'd been asking to learn how previously but was reluctant to help today because Rachel was in the middle of decorating some cupcakes for a Young Women's Camp activity tomorrow (they're showing off their baking skills on zoom since we're having the "home edition" of Young Women's Camp this year) and Miriam wanted to help. 

Rachel was just making fondant and didn't want Miriam's help at that exact moment, so I told Miriam that glazing compound was very similar to fondant. So she came and put some glazing around one window while she waited for Rachel to finish mixing up the fondant and then she abandoned me.

Rise up

I honestly don't know what to say or do right now. I don't have any eloquent words to deliver. 

I don't know what to do. I didn't feel like joining in any marches was safe (Andrew's office building downtown had its windows smashed in, for example). I didn't volunteer to help clean things up downtown either.

We just stayed home...where we've been pretty much solidly for the last few months. 

I was already worried about what the numbers (the coronavirus numbers) would look like after Memorial Day weekend. Now I'm doubly worried about what we'll see over the next couple of weeks with so many people—thousands and thousands and thousands—out on the streets, protesting racial injustices still so prevalent in our society. And rightly so. 

We talked about racism for our church lesson today. I picked some resources out and was surprised when Andrew knew about the people who wrote them just off the top of his head. I had to look them up. But, anyway, the first story I shared was a talk by Alexander B. Morrison.