Friday, March 20, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Why My Right Eye is Twitching, Family Time, and Preemptive Signs I Might Take to the Grocery Store Next Time

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday!

After taking my 8-year-old on an errand I told her, "Now go inside, don't touch your face, wash your hands and-"

She interrupted me by saying, "And never go near anyone again." She was kidding, but still not completely wrong.

How has your quarantined week been?


It's pretty surreal how things change so fast. Last Monday things were business as usual, and less than a week later the governor of our state was banning all gatherings of more than 25 people.

It's been stressful, I'm not going to lie.

It's unsettling to see the economy tanking. It's unsettling to go to the grocery store to see empty shelves and people shopping in masks. Since last Thursday, there has been a literal twitch in my right eye.

But it isn't all bad.

As my 8-year-old was lamenting how everything she loves is canceled, I got a little choked up explaining to her that the whole country  the whole world, really  is making sacrifices and working together to slow down COVID-19 so there's enough room in the hospitals for everybody who needs help.

I'm not sure if she's old enough to really make the connection between that and missing playing with her friends at recess, but it's still a beautiful thing.


My family and I are totally on board with social distancing, and not just because we're all introverts, anyway.

My one concern is that I don't think enough people understand why  social distancing is important. They may just look at the case count and fatality rate of COVID-19 and say, "So what? Sounds like the flu. That's no reason not to go out for lunch."

But it's not really about those things at all. If you don't quite understand, or if you think social distancing is unnecessary panic, this article might help explain things better.


With the kids out of school and homebound, we've been making the most of it.

I know some parents are freaking out about homeschooling, but academics are just not on my list of priorities right now. I mean, I'm doing my best to keep the kids from devolving into knuckle-dragging cavemen, but I'm not using any structured curriculum and I don't plan to. Is that wrong?

The way I see it, they've done lots of school. They will go on to do lots more school after this is all over.

Right now is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to play all the games, watch all the movies, and do all the things we never have time for during the busyness of life, not even during summer vacation. I'm prioritizing family time right now, completely and unapologetically.

The first thing my older kids wanted to do when school got canceled was to play a board game called Pandemic.

We lost, by the way.

It's a cooperative game where you work together to cure a disease outbreak, and it's honestly one of those games that's so complicated I don't even enjoy it all that much. Sort of like chess, which also hurts my brain.

But again, I enjoyed having the opportunity. We've had Pandemic for a couple of years and only played it once because it takes an hour and a half.


I've been hanging onto some acrylic painting paper for a long time, thinking it would be good for a fun activity with the kids that never seems to happen.

A year ago, I went to a paint night at a church activity (take #7 here) and I thought it would be fun to replicate with the kids, maybe over summer vacation. But it never happened.

Since we have all the time in the world now (see how I'm sort of loving this social distancing thing?) we pulled up this video one night after dinner and made a fall forest.

My favorite part was seeing how different everyone's forest painting turned out, even though we were all following the same instructional video. 

Can you guess which one is mine?

Starting on the top left and going clockwise, the paintings were done by Phillip, my 13-year-old, my 15-year-old, my 11-year-old, me, and my 8-year-old.

The 3- and 5-year-olds didn't want to be left out, so we gave them some paints and let them go to town, too.

I have no idea whose is whose.

The most impressive part was that we got it all cleaned up afterward. By the time we were finished, it looked like a paint factory exploded on our dining room table.


Since we're fortunate enough to live where we can go hiking without being around people, we took a family hike on Sunday afternoon.

5 out of 6 kids. The youngest is... somewhere.

It was lovely getting out (we can theoretically play in the yard but it's been cold and/or rainy the last few days.)

Two of my girls got way ahead of us and made rock cairns while they waited for my 3-year-old to finish dusting every tree with a pine branch he picked up alongside the trail.

This could take a while.

I loved this picture of the kids running up the hill at the end of the trail.

When we reached the top, Phillip looked out over the view and told the kids in his best James Earl Jones voice, "Someday, everything the light touches will be yours."

I think a few of them got the reference.


This was our first week of home church, and I sort of loved it.

We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which suspended services worldwide on Thursday.

Can I say that I love having a prophet at the head of our church? We were told about a year and a half ago that we needed to make the shift to being a "home-centered, church-supported" religion. At the beginning of 2018, they rolled out a new church curriculum where every week has a new scripture assignment and study guide to discuss as a family, outside of church.

After we'd had a little over a year to practice (which is good, because it took the Evanses about a year to figure out how to use the new curriculum best in our family,) Coronavirus happened. Suddenly, it was like, "Okay, you've had enough time to practice this 'home-centered' church. Now let's do this for real."

I don't know if the prophet knew that a contagious virus was the reason we needed to make this change.

Maybe, maybe not.

But I absolutely believe that he knew it was necessary for us right now, and that's why I love following a prophet today. (For more on prophets including a snazzy animated video, see here. You can also meet our current prophet Russell M. Nelson by streaming a live broadcast from him and other church leaders at the church's website on April 4th and 5th.)

This week, anyway, home church was a success. Being part of a church community and giving our kids access to other adult mentors is important, but really nothing compares to learning about and experiencing the gospel of Jesus Christ as a family.


When I was at the grocery store yesterday, the manager was on the loudspeaker making announcements: "Remember to wash your hands when you go home. Try to maintain a 6-foot distance from others, including employees stocking the shelves. And we're not closing anytime soon, so please don't be excessive in buying things. You don't need five or six gallons of milk."

Was this guy both omniscient and  passive-aggressive? There were precisely 6 gallons of milk in my cart  but wait, it's not what it looks like!

Besides just having 6 kids, I'm shopping for two weeks at a time so I don't need to go to the store as often. And frankly, putting our entire family on a 3-gallon-per-week schedule is going to require some WWII-era rationing. So don't tell me I don't need 6 gallons of milk.

Toward the end of my trip I ran into my pediatrician, who saw my cart full of food and suggested that I tape a sign to the front that reads "Not hoarding, I just have 6 kids."

I'll think about it.

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happyme said...

I think I'll do the sign on my cart. 8 kids- not hoarding, just shopping. Love the post, as usual.

Kristina said...

Ha ha. I follow the Knorpp's on YouTube and Insta from time to time and they have, I think nine kids. I thought about that it would look like they were hoarding when they were just doing a regular grocery shopping trip. :D

Kimberly said...

Yep. Big family + limiting shopping trips = lots of milk in my cart too.