Happy News

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

I feel like I've been handling all of this pretty well, but last night I kind of hit a wall. I know you might think that being forced to stay at home wouldn't be that different from my usual life of staying at home with Bert, but it really has been. I found that I've really come to rely on our weekly trips to the library, our Target runs, our random errands, and our walks with our friends. Joe has been home a lot, but he's also had to leave for work still, too, so I've been feeling somewhat isolated, as I'm sure so many people have. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it's been in the 50s and raining the past few days, but I was thrilled to wake up today to sunshine and a temperature that will reach the 70s today. Indeed, the rest of the week should be mostly sunny and will also be in the upper 60s to the low 80s (!!!), and I truly think that will help. As soon as I could this morning I opened a bunch of windows, opened all the blinds, and lit a springtime candle. I am thanking God that this is all happening when we have the opportunity for open windows, walks outside, and lighter evenings instead of in the depths of December and January. It makes me a little sick to my stomach to even imagine that, so I won't.

I have been surviving by making Bert new foods to try (this morning was his first day trying Greek yogurt, and I mixed some peaches and banana in for him) and working on our house. We have a lot of work to do in both the front and back yards of our house, and we are taking every opportunity to work on it. It just feels good to get outside, to sweat, to feel dirt in our hands.

We have also tried not to watch *too* much news. I do turn it on in the mornings to just check in, and I do try and tune in when there's a White House update, but other than that, I really need to avoid it. There are so many opinions, so many people placing blame, so many people arguing -- it's just too much. And all that hoarding?! Still happening?! Sheesh. Here's what Bert thinks about all that selfishness:

I bet you feel bad now, don't you?
Are you feeling a little down also? I think you might be, so I thought it might help all of us to hear a little good news. I scoured the internet to bring you some happy stories!

1. Some awesome people I know in Huntington have organized a "scavenger hunt" for families in town that can be done from the comfort of their cars. Check this out. Isn't it amazing?

2. Public Relations students at Marshall University hold a fundraiser every spring to help the Ronald McDonald House. Of course, since school is no longer being held in person and every event in the country has been cancelled, they can't hold their normal fundraiser this year. Instead of just going home, doing their online classes, and blaming the virus for their inability to help RMH (which they could totally do!), they are holding an online fundraiser because they are so dedicated to their mission! Check it out!

3. The NCAA has lifted a regulation that does not allow student athletes to use their likenesses for crowd funding. This was in direct response to Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his girlfriend raising money online for family relief and support for virus victims. Lawrence and his girlfriend, also a student athlete, also plan to write letters of encouragement to those who are suffering. I've always liked this kid a lot (and have shared this video with students in the past), and I'm proud of him for using his fame for good.

4. A student I know from Fatima (who is the nephew of our very own Aunt Sarah and Uncle Drew!) is writing letters of encouragement and love to nursing home residents whose families cannot visit them. How cute is that?! I think I will write some too!

5. Aunt Jena's school is having a virtual spirit week so that students and teachers can connect! Each day is a different theme, and teachers and parents are sharing photos on social media. Although I don't have a classroom this year, I can truly understand the heartbreak of losing students without any notice. I'd be devastated. I think this is a wonderful way to help teachers feel like they still have their babies and help students know they are still loved and supported.

6. Amazing author and illustrator Mo Willems is teaching a daily drawing course for children called "Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems"! He is the creator of one of our favorite books, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. I just read it to Bert yesterday.

7. Bert has learned no new skills and accomplished absolutely nothing, but here's him looking like a Bert-rito!

8. There are so many cool virtual field trips! Check it out:

San Diego Zoo

The Louvre

Mars (seriously!)

National Parks

There are so many more, too!

9. And finally ... I accidentally hoarded bananas. I know, I know. I put 9 of them on my Walmart order. Then the app told me the bananas weren't available, so I found some organic ones that were, blah blah. Long story short: between the time I originally added the bananas to my cart and the time I actually checked out (a day or so later), the bananas became available again. So when I went to pick up my order ... 21 bananas, a mixture of regular and organic. And last week the max you could order was six! The Walmart people probably think I'm insane. I already cut up five of them to freeze and will likely make Jane and Asha some dog ice cream too. I can't believe I did that! Luckily Bert, Joe, and I eat them every day.

I know there have to be more happy stories out there! Will you share some that you've seen? Also, if you need any fun ideas for Language Arts or Social Studies for kids in grades 5-8, please let me know. I'm happy to dig some things out, and it would be fun for me to do!


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