There’s so much to tell about our almost like-normal summer, but first I need to begin where I left off!
We finished online Ravensworth, online Keene Mill, and Schuttinga School on June 12th, 2020. Caleb was promoted from the 6th Grade and will enter secondary school (7th-12th Grade) at Lake Braddock in just a few days. Caleb finished elementary school with a bang. We are so proud of him. Not only did he bike over 1,500 miles to and from school, which was cut short because of Covid, of course, but he also worked very hard at academics. He was awarded The Principal’s Award, which is a high honor.
Here he is by the bike racks with The Biker Gang:
We had to celebrate somehow, so the boys took one last ride home from Keene Mill together and when they arrived at our house, they played on the Slip n’ Slide and had a cookout. It was a great way to celebrate the end of elementary school.
We were pleasantly surprised that our pool opened this summer. We were able to have professional swim teams rent our pool, which helped us to break even. Around the 4th of July the Governor moved us into Phase 3, which allowed free swim with restrictions. The boys did a greatly modified swim team season which helped to give some structure to three of the days during the week. As the Activities Director, I did drive-in movie nights as well as lined up food trucks to visit the pool parking lot.
The wonderful Board of Annandale North Springfield Little League (ANSLL) created a “Summer Blitz” league for the 12 year olds since their spring season was cancelled. Caleb played in the HEAT of July for 3 weeks. His team won the championship and then he played in the All Star game. It brought joy to so many people to see the kids playing again. Under normal circumstances, it would have been nice, but this past summer, after the isolated, shutdown spring that we had, this was like the heaviness was lifted a little bit off of the community. We had something to cheer for. Something happy. Something that didn’t have the stink of sickness or politics on it. Just baseball.
As soon as “Swim Team” and baseball ended, it was time to go to Northern Minnesota for two weeks. We bought our plane tickets when Covid broke and the airline tickets were very cheap. Thankfully Delta didn’t go out of business, we were able to leave Virginia and enter Minnesota, and we all stayed healthy! It’s always a great time away.
Swimming, water skiing, fishing, speed boating, biking, kayaking, grandparents, aunts, cousins, birthdays, dating, how could you not have fun?
When we returned I continued to prepare for the fall, which means Children’s Ministries and school. What? Yes. I will spare you the infuriating details of the decision that the Superintendent made. Let’s just say that I thought that my younger two sons would receive the most consistent education from being homeschooled.
At church, we began holding Kids’ Worship for the elementary aged kids outside. In case of inclement weather, the chairs have been set up and socially distanced. My friend April and her girls helped me and my boys scrub down the preschool room to prepare it for whenever they can return. I also took most of the toys out of the preschool and nursery rooms. I don’t think that they will miss them.
I love a good plan book. However, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s will that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
Another big deal this summer was Backyard Bible Clubs. VBS was canceled, of course, so 4 moms (myself included) hosted a Bible Club one week during the summer in our backyard. It was a great way to reach out to our neighbors. Here’s a picture of my “Girls Only” BYBC:
And finally, to end the summer, we are caterpillar crazy! For a couple of years, I have been growing milkweed to attract monarch butterflies in hopes not only to see these beauties, but also to help the monarch population. It is so much fun to raise monarchs! So far we’ve collected 17 caterpillars and have also given 8 to one of our neighbors who also will be homeschooling this year. The transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly is absolutely amazing. Last week in Kids’ Worship we talked about God being incomprehensible. The intricacies of this little creature is an example of that attribute.
Job 38:4-7 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”
I feel like monarchs could be listed in God’s reply to Job. “Did you design the chrysalis to be inside of the caterpillar? Do you watch over the beating heart and pile of liquid intestines to make sure that a totally new creature is formed?”
Summer 2020. You were different, but you were mostly good.