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Scattered Sundays

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Do you know what this whole self-quarantining situation has taught me? One, I do not understand other people’s buying habits. Have people been purchasing 1-3 rolls of toilet paper at a time forever or something? We always have a 1-2 month supply at our house. Always. It’s how I was raised. We were paper preppers before it was cool.

And two, I LOVE TO TOUCH MY FACE. Holy smokes, touching my face seems to be my favorite thing in the whole world. How did I not know this before? Touch, touch, TOUCH.

What bananas things have you learned in the last two weeks (which actually seems like 400 years)?

This was week one of working from home with two new “colleagues” on staff. Our HR meetings consistent entirely of “don’t touch your brother” and “are you two seriously fighting over who gets to play with the laundry basket”?

And if this were a real company I would sue for sexual harassment since one of them keeps running into my butt with their head and rarely wears more than a pair of underwear around the office. It’s like working with a pervy goat. And there is sooooo much mansplaining happening while I am trying to work.

As we don’t have a real curriculum that we have been told to follow, it appears we’re now doing something that could be called “unschooling”. Which I would never ever ever do in my normal life, but 10 days ago normal life stopped for much of the country.

Jack has a math packet that he has already done, and that was all we were provided. His highly capable teacher has sent out electronic packets that we’ll start tomorrow. He is also deciding on an “independent learning project” that will be self-directed. I invested in Kindle Unlimited (first month is free) at the start of the week, and between that and our library ebook system, that child is in book nerd heaven.

We also ordered a kid’s kindle for Bennett because it was a random deal of the day. I tried installing ABC Mouse for him on the seven-year-old ipad I had won from work when Jack was still in preschool and let’s just say it laughed at me. I also have a seven-year-old Kindle of my own and that too thought it was adorable that I tried installing anything on it.

Bennett has already chosen an independent learning project. He is learning about hermit crabs, with the end goal of trying to figure out if they poop and what does it look like. He is also doing his best to use up my supply of baking soda and vinegar for daily “volcano experiments”. At least there is one section of my kitchen counter that is VERY sanitized thanks to the vinegar. Four-year-olds are interesting self-guided learners. 🙂

I used to work late into the night after they went to bed, but I am finding having them home all day has worn me out by their bedtime. I’m still getting up hours before they do and finding that work time to be the most productive. On the days that Troy is home, we have set up a “quiet time” zone in the basement. We each get two hours down there uninterrupted to be away from the kids. 

Troy installed our Amazon Fire Stick on the TV and takes some much-needed chill time. I take my laptop down and just hammer away as much as I can as time allows. We’re also each taking one hour a day for exercising outside without the kids.

A few weeks ago I downloaded a couch to 5k app and am using that for some simple guided training. Some days I take the boys with me and we “pick up” one of Jack’s friend’s along the way. He’s on our walking route and one of four boys at home. He gets to see new faces, Jack gets to talk with a friend (from a safe distance, of course), and his mom has a 25% reduction of testosterone at home for about 45 minutes.

The stroller definitely slows down my total time, but Jack and his friend are the two fastest boys in their school and are definitely giving me some goals when it comes to speed. And then we “drop off” his friend at his house and chat with his mom across their lawn. I think it works well for everyone.

We’ve had to cancel a few planned trips for this spring. Always a bummer, but we totally understand it is necessary and very much a first-world problem. So instead, we found a map at a playground and “visited” different friends around the country.

For the parents out there, how are things going for you? Are you doing a structured or unstructured set up at home? How much are you drinking? HA!

Our school district has started drive-through to go boxed meals for any kid under 18, and it makes me so relieved for the families who depend on this food. Now more than ever no one is immune to needing assistance and grace. 

I’ve been incredibly grateful for the weather we had this week. Even though the mornings were quite chilly, the sun has been shining allowing us to get outside. I know not everyone is as lucky.

Even though temps weren’t very warm, I busted out our clothesline for the earliest outdoor drying I can remember! The weather this coming week is not looking too promising, so ish might be getting a little like The Shining very soon.

We often dry indoors during the colder months (we have three of these giant folding racks), but man oh man, I love using the outdoor line. It’s soooo much easier, and even though temps are only in the 40’s, I can still dry at least two loads a day. I bought our clothesline over five years ago as my own mother’s day present (yep, I’m weird), and I’m still so thankful for it.

On the blog front this week, I installed something for you guy and would love any feedback. It’s the new search bar you’ll see on both mobile and desktop that shows related posts. It also lets you “favorite” a post so that you can easily find it again. 

Honestly, it does nothing for me, and in three weeks I have to start paying for it. So if you’re not all in love with it, let me know. It is meant to better tailor your search and “saving” ability and it’s 100% user-driven. If it is awesome and helpful, then I’m totally fine with keeping it.

Hey, are you following me over on Instagram? I’ve been posting daily in stories tips on little ways to get involved with helping others no matter your budget (even if it is $0). I heard a great quote recently: “make yourself useful or get out the way”. Come on over and join us!

After twoish months, I finally finished watching all eight seasons of Monk on Amazon Prime. I was lost trying to think of my next series, but then I saw they finally released another season of Homeland on Hulu. And just like that, the decision was made for me.

It’s a pretty heavy show, so I like to watch something funny in-between episodes. Currently trying to decide if I should rewatch 30 Rock or Brooklyn Nine-Nine. A few weeks ago I was really wanting to rewatch The Last Man on Earth, but now I’m thinking that might not be the wisest of shows given the current climate. But maaaaaaan, it’s funny.

Housekeeping

If you are in the US, Azure Standard is still delivering fresh, shelf-stable, and frozen foods in communities. I have an order coming on Wednesday this week! Check out their site and see where the closest drop location is to you.

What I’m Listening To This Week

The podcast Make Me Smart has been a favorite of mine for a long time. They’re now doing daily quick episode to discuss the current state of the world from a financial standpoint. I find their info to always be solid, balanced, and proactive.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Stephanie left this five-star review on our Instant Pot Beef Tips {Pin this recipe}:

This recipe is amazing! I had stew beef to use and thought I’d give this recipe a try. I am blown away by how easy and delicious this was. My husband was so impressed and said we’re adding this to the meal rotation! Also, I made your IP garlic parmesan rice with this (also terrific!!) – and I highly recommend the two together for sure!!

a white bowl with rice and instant pot beef tips and gravy garnished with parsley

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

How to Freeze Fresh ProduceLearn all the tips and tricks for how to freeze fresh produce to stock your freezer and prevent food waste. Freezing fresh fruit and vegetables can be accomplished with basic kitchen equipment and without needing special preserving skills. {Pin these recipes}

A white background with illustrations of fruits and vegetables

Garlic Butter Green BeansMade with fresh or frozen produce, these simple Garlic Butter Green Beans are packed with so much flavor! Sure to become a favorite veggie side dish, you’ll make this easy gluten-free, vegetarian, Whole30, and paleo-friendly recipe again and again. {Pin this recipe}

A white bowl with green beans and a copper fork on a white board

No-Knead Dutch Oven BreadNo-Knead Dutch Oven Bread is the perfect easy bread for new bakers. This simple vegan homemade bread recipe has a short ingredients list and doesn’t require a stand mixer. {Pin this recipe}

no knead bread

All the cool people match their Fitbit with their dutch ovens.

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

People were stressed and the non-drinkers were getting LIT this week because the Virgin Mojito was on fire. Here are the other top posts:

  1. Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Rice – the people wanted comfort food that is easy and affordable, and this rice is the business! {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – cabbage was cheap and these vegetarian egg rolls freeze like a boss.  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Pickles – oven baking and skillet instructions are included in the post  {Pin this recipe}
  4. How to Freeze Spinach – the produce was starting to turn this week, the produce was starting to turn!  {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Instant Pot Beef Tips – the perfect pairing to the garlic parm rice.  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Breakfast egg rolls. These didn’t happen last week! Probably smoothies with kale from the garden on the side.

Tuesday:: Instant Pot Matzo Ball Soup and salad. We have everything we need for it already chopped up in the freezer or pantry and it’s a quick meal that we all love. Related: How to Freeze Carrots, How to Freeze Garlic, How to Freeze Celery, How to Make Chicken Bone Broth, and How to Freeze Onions.

Wednesday:: Homemade frozen pizza using Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, and our sugar-free pizza sauce.

Thursday:: Takeout. We’re committed to supporting small local restaurants 1-2x per week. We usually bring our own glass containers when we do takeout, but we realize in this day and age that’s not safe. We’ve found a few places that have compostable to-go containers and that is a start!

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Butternut Squash Chili because we have everything, it’s filling, and I need to photograph a recipe that goes with it.

Sunday:: Probably takeout + leftovers.

 

What are you having this week?

 

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15 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Unschooling is so beneficial! Especially if you have kids that like to read. You know we’ve homeschooled Emma all along (she’s 8th grade now) and this is the first year we’ve really done (well, stuck with) structured learning. It was a struggle at first, and she hates history and language arts, but she is doing really well!
    Your boys will be just fine without structured curriculum for a while. Just keep letting them read, follow their interests, and experiment (I know messes stress you out, you got this!). You’ll be surprised by how much they are learning and actually retaining!

    No meal plans, but I’ll wing it throughout the week using my Butcher Box for inspiration. I have a giant pork roast in the crockpot right now and I’ll probably roast up some potatoes and veggies tonight to go with it.

    • I don’t think it would work out for us long-term but it is the best we can do right now. And yes, thank goodness both my boys love to read! I have friends who kiddos who hate books and I know how painful that is for them.

      Oh, Emma, history is THE BEST subject ever!!!!

  2. You must watch Brooklyn Nine Nine. You must. It’s such a feel-good show. In fact, now I might have to watch it all again.

  3. I read an article recently (ie since all this ish started going on) and it called for all of us to offer space and grace. I love that idea that yes, we all need our space and yes, we NEED to offer grace to everyone. It really touched my heart. 

  4. My community FB page put up a post: “TELL US SMTHG YOUR KIDS ARE DOING, BUT CALL THEM YOUR COWORKERS.” The results are hilarious!
    • My coworker woke me up sitting on my face with a pooped diaper
    • One of my coworkers is singing outside and the other is asking her to stop, it’s annoying
    • My coworker is making us watch her 1-woman variety show. She’s restarted it like 12 times and it’s obvious she’s making it up as she goes.
    • my coworker just pooped her pants.
    • my coworker is pushing the other off the toilet because she needs to poop! Lol
    • My almost 11 year old coworker just fell off a swing and is screaming. Hopefully her arm isn’t broken because we don’t want to go to the hospital.
    • My coworker asked for snack at 930 am.
    • My coworker should be in the Tik Tok hall of fame
    • One coworker is painting and coloring a pretty picture, and the other coworker was actually eating a board book.
    • My coworker has to be in the same room with me and have all of my attention. My coworker tells me not to do all sort of tasks. Day #2- when hiding from my coworker, I was able to get some work done. During my lunch break, my coworker keeps trying to put spoons of soup in my mesclun salad. I’m going to complain to HR.
    • My coworker told me I’m ruining her social life by keeping her away from her friends and she also ate a whole BOX of goldfish in one day (she’s 11)
    • My coworker has demanded Baby Shark on repeat, then sings it himself when it’s not on.
    • My coworker is eating through the good snacks at an alarming rate.
    • My coworker started playing his cello while I was on a conference call.
    • I have nothing nice to say about my coworkers today.
    • My coworker was fired today!
    • My coworker does the lines from Clarence in the characters’ voices.
    • My coworkers were communicating from different bathrooms via walkie talkie. I’ve never needed Clorox more.
    • My co-worker has been mostly in the cafeteria! The manchild co-worker has not been observing social distancing or open space etiquette so will reporting him to the head of HR tomorrow.
    • My co-worker enjoys painting naked (potty training)
    • My co-worker just asked for a transfer.
    • My coworker likes to yell “ei ya ei ya yo” when I go off mute on conference calls 🙄
    • I never realized how truly annoying my co-workers are!
    • My coworker insists we go outside for recess time to play dodgeball.
    • My coworkers are ripping ass and laughing at their own farts
    • My co-worker just filed a complaint of bullying and harassment with HR and claims the boss is drinking on the job.
    • My coworker keeps rolling his eyes at me and asking me what there is for him to eat.
    • I just gave my coworker a sticker for going poo on the potty
    • My coworkers move around the office like silent, angry but always hungry zombies. On a forced walk yesterday they claimed their legs don’t work well
    • My coworker (not my child, but my 65 year mother who works in a special ed school and has to do work from home on the computer) keeps on interrupting my work with my other coworker (child) by asking the same questions over and over again on how to get on the computer
    • I’m hiding from my co-workers
    • One coworker is pretending to be a bird. The other just spilled milk all over his face.
    • My coworker asked if I can rub his belly while he puts his head on my lap

  5. Sarah, thank you for my first laugh of the day! My daughter-in-law is dealing with new “colleagues” on staff (aged 2, 5 and 13) as well, and I know she will appreciate your description of your “new” day at the office. Thank you also for sharing all your recipes, especially your IP ones. I bought my IP shortly after everyone started raving about how awesome it was … but when I brought it home I was so very intimated by it that it sat on the shelf for over a year … until I actually started to read your recipes and the clear, easy to follow directions you provide … now it is out of cupboard and in use on an almost daily basis.

  6. Thanks for your posts!

  7. I think one thing I’ve learned is my whole life has prepared me for this. I have a very difficult time making friends, so I’m not missing out on that. We homeschool, and have for 15 years, so really our kids’ routines haven’t changed much. My main gripe is that it’s been either super rainy or super cold here, so running outside has been haaard. I miss my indoor track at the gym! #firstworldproblems I’ve been able to get editing work done, so my productivity isn’t too bad. I keep feeling like I should be deep cleaning the house more, or something. Maybe this week.

    Is it okay to touch your face, like, at home? When I went to the UPS store the other day to pick up packages, I wore gloves but I really did have to hold myself back from touching my face in the car! Once I think I can’t touch it, that’s when it starts to itch, or my eyes have gunk in them that needs to be rubbed out!

    • Troy is an introvert. I am not. He jokingly sent me a meme that said “introverts, check on your extrovert friends. They don’t know how this works and they are NOT ok”. So, so true!

      Hoping you get good weather soon for outdoor walking! It’s so important to keep us all from going stir crazy. Our gov issues a “shelter in place” that starts tomorrow, but he called it “stay home and stay healthy”, but during the press conference he specifically said go outside to walk and exercise. Thank goodness for that!

      I assume it is fine to do face touching at home. I bet we’ll just sit around with our hands our faces if this goes on for a very long time. It’s a tic now.