Meg's Memo

. . .writings from Wilmington.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Before & After: Outdoor Shower

As mentioned over the past few weeks, Jake started building an outdoor shower. You can find BEFORE pictures HERE. On Saturday, he finished it. It's beautiful and perfect for our space and family. The kids were so excited that they all took turns taking showers outside on Saturday night.

The outdoor shower is right outside our screened in porch.

Shelf + towel hooks for dry clothing.

Lower foot wash plus shower head.

Looking for more posts in my Before & After Series?

Friday, April 24, 2020

Week SIX of COVID-19

This week the NC Governor announced that school will not be reopening for the end of this school year. We will continue with online learning from home. The girls are excited about that! Ella is a little bummed just because her birthday is May 31 and she won't be in school for it.
Once again, here are some highlights of our week.

Science experiments

We found a small secret park we could play at.
Benny also can do the monkey bars all by himself now.

Lily & Ella have learned to ride with NO HANDS.

NOT pictured: we had a fun make-your-own PIZZA party on Wednesday night.  Jake took some pictures and videos and put them on Instagram. My hands were too full of flour and dough for picture taking.
Also NOT pictured: Thursday we went on a "field trip." Our field trip consisted of some errands and some fun surprises. We first dropped off some art & notes for sweet friends. Then we stopped by a friend's home to borrow some books (since Lily has read EVERYTHING in our house and libraries are closed) and math manipulatives. Next we headed to Costco for gas, our first time getting gas in over 5 weeks. Finally, we went through the Chick-Fil-A drive through to use our freebie coupons for lunch. The little things have become special in our daily life - perspective can be such a gift.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Week FIVE of COVID-19

I was just thinking, this may be the new normal. Maybe I shouldn't keep counting the weeks of this stay-at-home order and social distancing. How we miss spending time with our friends and gathering with our church family. It is however wonderful how ordinary moments are now special - a friend driving by to chat 8 feet apart, doing a drive by birthday parade for a friend who turned 4 years old, "SEEing" friends via FaceTime and catching up. Moments we used to expect and took for granite, are now a highlight in our day. 
Once again, here are some photos from our week:
Ella is starting geometry.

Lily is learning about the layers of the atmosphere.

Almost every afternoon we go on an "adventure."
We walk, bike or hike and find new places and treasures. 

School work by the fire.

Play-doh and a new X-wing Daddy made with extra wood.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter 2020

We just enjoyed a lovely family day celebrating our RISEN Savior!

We started off our morning with a family breakfast of pannekoeken and berries. The kids each had a small goodie bag for Easter. After breakfast we played and then did our Bridge Kids lesson plus a craft. Then, at 9:30am we did a Zoom call with the Tuttle side of the family.  This has been fun and I hope we continue this in the future, post-coronavirus. It was great to see everyone and catch up. We even took some time to name ways we have seen God's faithfulness and provision for our family. What a gift a Christian heritage-legacy-family is!
After our Zoom call ended, we logged on for our Easter service with The Bridge.  How we miss gathering together each week, but our online worship services have been so encouraging.
I had lots of kitchen helpers today for our Easter lunch of ham, mashed potatoes, broccoli, corn, brussel sprouts and chocolate pie. 
We did some bike riding, went for a walk, did a big Facebook video call with all of the Flaming family at 3pm, and even rode our bikes by a friend's house for his birthday parade! 
Another fun activity was watching Sight & Sound's presentation of JESUS. Thanks to Grandpa Tuttle for sending us the link. 

"He is not here, for He is RISEN as He said." 
Matthew 28:6

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Week FOUR of COVID-19 :: Spring Break

This week is our SPRING BREAK! Our family's plans were to be flying back from Africa, through Paris with a 21 hour layover, and be home in Wilmington late Tuesday, April 7.  Our spring break "plans" were to catch up on sleep, adjust to our NC time and back to life. 
I keep thinking of this verse: 

The heart of man plans his way,

but the Lord establishes his steps.  
Proverbs 16:9

So here we are, spring break at HOME, just like the rest of the world! And as of Sunday evening, I had no new ideas for our spring break at home.  I texted a few friends to see if they had any ideas and then prayed for creativity. I asked each family member to pick something they wanted to do, create, or a treat for the week and we would try to make it happen.

MONDAY: We did a scavenger hunt at our park in the morning. Kids loved it.  They teamed up and went searching for sticks, pinecones, certain colored flowers, etc... We also got out the chalk and chalked the driveway. In the afternoon we painted and then went on our typical adventure, but today we put our feet in the lake.  Kids loved that too!

Snack at the park

A fairy house the kid's created

TUESDAY: We rolled out salt dough and made some Easter ornaments (Meg's pick for the week).  This was a really fun activity to keep working on every few hours. Dough + roll out, then bake + cool, then paint and later hang once dry.

Their beautiful creations.

our Easter trees

We also swung by Lewis Farms to grab ice cream for that evening, Lily's pick for the week. It was a beautiful day so the kids ran through the sprinkler in the afternoon.

WEDNESDAY: The kids have been asking, and begging, to SWIM at the lake. Today was the day! It was over 80 here so we got on our swimsuits and biked to the lake to swim. 

THURSDAY: Jake took off of work Thursday and Friday to spend extra time with us while the girls are off of school.  Jake & Wren's pick for the week was to go get donuts so we enjoyed those for breakfast. The temps dropped overnight so we didn't last too long for our picnic.  Wren was shaking and shivering. Once home, the paint was pulled out again.

Masterpieces everywhere

For years, we have talked about building & adding an outdoor shower. We decided to do it now while we are home and before summer hits. Jake made a trip to Lowe's for all the shower supplies and I added flowers and mulch to his list. He came home and started building, while the girls helped me plant.

The lady banks roses - my fave!

Fresh flowers + mulch - April in NC

FRIDAY: Meg braved going to ALDI in the morning while Jake kept plugging away at the outdoor shower which is looking great. Lots of playing outside, biking and painting are happening this week.
More outdoor shower progress.

Our back porch art seems so fitting right now.

Benny's pick for the week was to go to the store and buy a new LEGO set.  Well, that wasn't going to happen, so instead he's enjoyed making new LEGO creations during any spare moment and then we all sat down together to watch another episode of LEGO Master's Friday evening.

SATURDAY: More outdoor shower progress - It's looking GREAT! I took the kids to drive by their school and see the new building progress.  We also explored some new trails while out. BIG NEWS: as of today, Wren is off of training wheels. She is super proud. Ella's pick for the week was picking up dinner at ISLAND's - one of our family's favorites!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Week THREE of COVID-19

We just finished up week THREE of mainly hanging out at home and social distancing.  New Hanover County has issued a stay at home order for the next two weeks (started Monday at 5pm). You are still allowed to go out for groceries, exercise, work or the doctor/medical.

SUNDAY we did our Bridge Kids lesson at home. We have not had our usual Sunday Gatherings since March 15. They are streamed online and will continue to be online through April.  Our Bridge Kids lesson was on Adam to Jesus: studying how Jesus is fully God & fully man. There was a really fun genealogy activity that we did. We ran out of room on our chalkboard.  
After Bridge Kids, we headed to pick up bagels at Panera and have a picnic breakfast. The weather was lovely and so was our time together.

We finished another week of school at home.  Lily & Ella are doing well being self-motivated.  We have had some challenging moments, but overall they are doing great during all these changes!
We keep going on "adventures" every afternoon.  Our recent adventures have ended in taking off our socks and shoes and dipping our toes in the cool water at Smith Creek Park.

Our lady banks roses are in full bloom our front and just beautiful.

Benny keeps building daily LEGO creations!

More at-home workouts with Mom. We have made our own weights/kettlebells, etc with items found around the house.  Saturday's workout ended in a hand stand hold!

Not pictured: We have also been writing and mailing letters to friends & family!