Posted on September 8, 2020February 13, 2021 by AlbertVirtual School in COVID 2020-21 September 8, 2020 First and fourth graders starting virtual school. September 9, 2020 The kids sending letters to their grandparents before the second day of school, yes those are dark blue uniform dresses. September 10, 2020 Happy Birthday ,Curie! It is also Elia’s mini-birthday. Elia woke up at 6:45 and exclaimed, Curie! It’s your birthday! More later. September 10, 2020 Happy Birthday Curie! September 11, 2020 Getting ready for school in their new dresses. They actually had two more colors of school uniform dresses, but these were better. September 12, 2020 Zoom Birthday Party. The Poppin’ Cookin’ Show with Curie and Elia. The night before we dropped off a kit to the guests to make Japanese candy that looks like sushi or ramen, or burgers, or bento. The best moments were when Agnes’s dad had to convince her it was not real sushi and it was candy. Natalie W.’s was a veteran, and Leo drank the cola in one shot. Natalie P. said it was the “best virtual birthday party ever!” and Jamie plans to use the ideas for Etta. All in all pretty successful! BTW the studio section for the party looks great, the rest of the house is a mess. 🙂 September 13, 2020 Elia doesn’t like to take her mask off outside so we all had to do her face. September 13, 2020 The kids pulling the wagon. September 14, 2020 Explaining the day’s homework before bed. Actually it is Curie’s science homework where she noted that if we removed our bird feeders from our ecosystem, then we wouldn’t have birds or squirrels. She then said that if we put them back then the birds and squirrels would come back, and Elia said, “No they wouldn’t because if they are dead, they can’t come back.” Yeeess, true…. September 15, 2020 Grey school dresses before we realized it was spirit week. Oh the background is Elia’s school background that she and Albert made a frame for. September 15, 2020 Recess on the deck, pajama day September 15, 2020 It was such a nice night after steak and shrimp, we lit a fire, played on our patio and made s’mores. Not shown here but our entire patio practically is covered with the soft mats toddlers use, so it was a lot of fun. The kids tried break dancing as did a 50-year old Albert September 15, 2020 The girls like roasting the marshmallows more than eating them and quested for the perfect roasted marshmallows, like 10 of them, then ate most of them before throwing them into the fire to see how they burned. September 16, 2020 Dark red uniform dress and crazy hat day September 17, 2020 The kids were playing koala rescue. September 17, 2020 The kids discovered or rediscovered Just Dance. September 18, 2020 We thought spirit day was supposed to be dress for vacation, so the girls wanted their kimonos, but it turned out it was supposed to be a beach vacation. Oh well. September 19, 2020 Popovers and pakoras September 19, 2020 Colors September 19, 2020 On a walk near our house, and Elia took off her mask September 19, 2020 We found a little beach near the creek. We threw rocks, found a snake, climbed around the water, picked up shells, had a great time. Elia already wants to go back. Fortunately this is just behind our house. September 19, 2020 Sisters September 19, 2020 A few of the creatures on our walk. September 20, 2020 This is actually the next day, we did go back as promised, though this time we drove part of the way. We saw Librada and a deer on the way back. September 20, 2020 There were three deer, here is one and the fawn. September 21, 2020 Monday September 22, 2020 Going out to get the mail. September 23, 2020 Girls in red September 24, 2020 On the deck before school September 25, 2020 Happy Daughters’ Day! September 25, 2020 Erin said she was craving shrimp tempura. But we haven’t gone to a restaurant nor gotten take out or delivery since March. So it was Youtube time. Here is the result. September 26, 2020 Exploding Kittens September 27, 2020 Mario Kart with Isabella September 27, 2020 On our walk we saw a vulture eating a raccoon and others eating a deer. September 27, 2020 So when we moved down here we lamented that there were no good ramen places, hot pot places, conveyor belt sushi places, nor soup dumpling places. Since then we had a run on ramen and hot pot places and for a while we had a Yo! Sushi, but the soup dumpling places were lacking. No Din Tai Fung, and soon no good kaiten places, three of them shut down in our area. In any case in COVID, we have made popovers, pakoras, shrimp tempura, and though I never thought we would ever try this, today we made soup dumplings from scratch. September 27, 2020 We saw a vulture feeding on a raccoon and then nearby we saw two more feeding on a deer carcass. September 28, 2020 Butterfly Ballet We were listening to Chopin’s Nocturn No. 2 after my friend Chris said the picture was a good match for the song. Elia said that it reminded her of butterflies and rainbows, and Curie said it reminded her of butterflies playing piano in top hats…holding giant eagles September 29, 2020 Water and earth bending September 30, 2020 going into the Avatar state: meditating, dramatic eye opening, then blue giants. Maybe too much Korra. October 1, 2020 They finished Korra today. More bending. October 2, 2020 one of them is Pikachu October 3, 2020 Nature walk with J.J. Abrams flare. October 3, 2020 Wildflower bouquets October 3, 2020 It may be that our days are now school, food, and nature walks on weekends but that is a pretty good life. October 3, 2020 Fall comes to Virginia October 3, 2020 We find a goldfish in Accotink Creek. Erin decides to take a picture of it. October 3, 2020 Elia calls them tadpoles and was really fascinated by them, saying she wanted to get close to them and that they liked her. She wants to go back and visit them. October 4, 2020 High five! October 5,2020 martial arts or pretending to drive? October 6, 2020 Albert brought home the pictures from his office and the girls decided to pose with them October 7, 2020 Tree climbing after the roof got finished. October 8, 2020 The girls want to say “it is ok.” Also, before giving us a hug she pressed a button on her chest and, Curie said “bucket filler activated. Elia followed suit. October 9, 2020 Singing Happy Birthday October 10, 2020 Getting ready for bed. October 11, 2020 Elia made Curie a car, Albert cut a hole or them and put on the straps. Then they went for a drive together. Elia was carrying her computer she made, and Curie’s glasses are from her dentists’ kit. October 12, 2020 Rainy weekend, so we saw Hello Dolly!, My Fair Lady, and Singing in the Rain. Here is the kids after Singing in the Rain. Guess what they are going to be for Halloween now? October 13, 2020 We are in a place now where everyone needs their own crab. Elia ate her whole crab, and Curie ate almost all of hers. Both can pick their own crab for the most part too! It was so funny watching them eat it too, Elia would stick a whole chunk and chew it in her cheek. Elia loved cracking the crab too. Curie was very interested in how to take a crab apart and would eat any part now instead of only the white meat. Once upon a time we had to pick as fast as we could to keep up with the kids, now we can each eat our own. AND no one asked for screen time because it was so interesting/fun. October 14, 2020 So the girls’ Halloween costumes came and they couldn’t resist opening them and putting them on, so here is a preview – guess who they are? Erin and Albert’s costumes are still coming. October 15, 2020 The girls loved all the guesses about who they were in their costumes and wanted to ask everyone another thing. Which picture do you like better? Curie picked one and Elia picked one, each with very clear rationales. October 16, 2020 Friday night Twister! A painful game for adults. October 17, 2020 Somebody lost their front tooth today! October 17, 2020 So the movie doesn’t even come out for 6 days but here are the dolls for Over the Moon! October 17, 2020 Strange how our nature walk would be the least interesting of our pictures on Saturday. October 17, 2020 Albert and Erin’s costumes finally came, so we all decided to dress up. October 17, 2020 Edwardian wear for Halloween, the boas haven’t come yet, we will likely take more then. Erin is stunning in Ascot Derby wear, Albert looks like he is getting married, and the girls are beautiful. October 18, 2020 Being silly October 19, 2020 Being fish October, 20, 2020 How to buy a boa, never buy the kids’ boa always check the gram weight, the one on the left is 100g the one on the right is 14.8g. October 20, 2020 one more from the day, playing with leaf blowers song the neighborhood October 21, 2020 Going to the dentist October 22, 2020 New cardigans before sleep October 23, 2020 School picture day! Just kidding, it looks like it though, and it looks like the school has uniforms, but it doesn’t October 23, 2020 Evening walk October 24, 2020 Flu shots today, the girls were troopers October 25, 2020 Play dates with Garrett and Andrew and Natalie October 26, 2020 Quietly getting to sleep October 27, 2020 Superhero day at school today October 27, 2020 And the girls play peacefully together – from time to time October 28, 2020 Two very different impressions of a great blue heron October 29, 2020 Our Halloween pumpkin October 30, 2020 Dolly and Eliza October 31, 2020 A different entrance to Huntley Meadows October 31, 2020 Happy Halloween October 31, 2020 14 years of Hoagland Halloween Parties October 31, 2020 Happy Halloween, here are the past 14 years of costumes for the Hoagland party – only this year have the kids not had a separate costume for trick-or-treating. November 1, 2020 Drawing before bed. Nice to not have screen time, their choice. November 2, 2020 Elia had a tooth extracted. She was a trooper and by the end if the day we saw her smile again. November 3, 2020 So it it Election day but it is also our anniversary. Happy Anniversary! November 4, 2020 Getting ready for sleep November 5, 2020 Almost forgot to take a picture today November 6, 2020 A great picture before bed listening to Mommy November 7, 2020 Thumbs up America! November 7, 2020 All smiles at Huntley Meadows November 7, 2020 Fitting that we saw a beautiful white bird today November 8, 2020 Reading before bed November 9, 2020 New headphones November 10, 2020 Happy Birthday to Ah-ma and we got a new addition for the girls. November 11, 2020 Thank you to everyone who has served. We didn’t fly our flag in inclement weather as per the flag code (The United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, states: “The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.” though now that we took our flag out, ours might be an all-weather flag) but instead waited for a break to take this picture. November 12, 2020 Falling asleep November 13, 2020 Well, its not a school night November 14, 2020 Looking at the fish at Huntley Meadows November 14, 2020 Another walk at Huntley Meadows November 14, 2020 Sunset at Huntley Meadows November 15, 2020 The girls attempt at looking evil November 16, 2020 We got Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr in hopes of a great story to read to the kids but after a page Albert quit and after another Erin quit. The premise is a good one, but the writing is really terrible. We’ll have to find a new book. November 17, 2020 So Elia made up a joke tonight, it goes – and pardon the potty humor – “What did the booty say to the head? …[makes raspberry noise]… What did the head say to the booty? ‘hello'” Albert couldn’t stop laughing because it is actually quite sophisticated – the head can actually talk. Never mind. November 18, 2020 It got cold. Girls got into quick coats to help Albert bring in the groceries. November 19, 2020 Running out before breakfast for first frost. The kids thought it was snow. November 20, 2020 No reason, just happy November 21, 2020 Lake Accotink, the trail on the left November 21, 2020 The girls at the spillway at Lake Accotink November 22, 2020 Our tree went up. The girls have been asking ever since the Larsens put theirs up. November 23, 2020 The girls make invitations and tickets for a show called the Eat Eat Show and have us come down and sit in the audience. On a different note Curie records a speech to run for student council representative. November 24, 2020 Elia is playing the turkey and Curie is preparing her utensils to eat November 25, 2020 Curie Bear’s got a lot of hair, it sticks way up into the air… Elia Cub’s got a lot of love, she plays with bubbles in the tub… It is actually hard to find bear coats in their size, ironically you can find adult ones fine and of course the baby ones. November 25, 2020 This is not our holiday card, but it IS Nora the white fox and Santa’s daughter November 26, 2020 Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Here is gratitude for life, health, family, and friends. November 26, 2020 Sometimes we take a picture with just with the two of us. November 27, 2020 Back to Huntley Meadows November 27, 2020 New coats for the kids back at Huntley Meadows November 27, 2020 The kids wanted to make chocolate robots and Albert took some for chocolate covered strawberries. Then Elia wanted to copy her picture when she was little, so we did Curie’s too. November 28, 2020 Exploring near our house November 28, 2020 Ripples, a leaf, and a mushroom November 28, 2020 Sous vide November 29, 2020 Three ladies in long coats planting tomatoes for spring. November 20, 2020 And like that November is over. December 1, 2020 December 1 means we take a family picture for the holiday card so that it can go to the printers. We now need to update our lists so that we can send things out. Oh, this looks impressive, but the New Year’s one for 2012 was made, but never actually went out as a card (can you imagine if we did New Year’s cards also?). But is a placeholder for the collage. Also this is the first time we have included cards back to 2007. Pretty cool, December 1, 2020 We actually have other pictures but they are for the holiday card and photo book, so here is our picture for today instead. December 2, 2020 On the way to bed December 3, 2020 Red and grey Tsum tsum dresses December 4, 2020 Playing Pokemon December 4, 2020 Pokemon 2 December 5, 2020 The girls watched the Disney sing along thanking the people who make life possible during the COVID crisis, from doctors to nurses, to first line responders to teachers, and garbage people and food shoppers, and grocery workers, everyone who makes it possible for us to stay safe at home. So from them to all of you, Thank You. December 6, 2020 So one of the COVID results has been the living room bed. We opened up our IKEA sofa bed (far superior to a traditional folding sofa bed) as a bed months ago and without company, have kept it that way ever since. This way the whole family can lounge together much as you would on a lazy Sunday morning watching TV, but now in the living room, any time. Anyway, here are the kids jumping on the living room bed. December 6, 2020 This looks like a great meal, but to be honest we are not as big a fan of warm water spiny lobster as we are of Maine lobsters. And yes that is an 8 inch dish so those tails are pretty big. The pasta is cooked in the lobster boil water then sauced pasta aglio with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and oregano – for adults some red pepper. It could also use some green garnish. December 7, 2020 Thank goodness for laughing kids December 8, 2020 Sister joy December 9, 2020 More hugs December 10, 2020 Forgot to post this, jazz hands December 11, 2020 Which one did the cleaning? Scrubbing the tub is so much more fun with power tools (answer: they both had a great time). December 12, 2020 Huntley Meadows again to test the new camera December 12, 2020 Sunset from the “tree house” observation platform at Huntley Meadows, Pixel 4. December 12, 2020 Canon Powershot Zoom at Huntley Meadows, Canada Goose. December 12, 2020 Canon Powershot Zoom at Huntley Meadows, Blue Heron. December 12, 2020 Family picture at Huntley Meadows testing our new Canon Powershot Zoom monocular/camera. Note the blue raspberry ring pop mouth. December 13, 2020 Swordplay for the Sister Sword Fighters December 14, 2020 The kids take a selfie December 14, 2020 Ever notice how Frosty and Olaf are snowmen who come to life? Decorations are finally up! Also notice Albert’s feet in the family picture. December 15, 2020 Going out to see our lights in coats and snow pants December 16, 2020 Snow angels December 17, 2020 A preview of Elia’s masquerade party themed birthday party on Saturday December 17, 2020 Curie got her ballet practice dress to go with Elia’s performance dress December 18, 2020 Elia gets to open a present early December 19, 2020 It goes so fast, and now she is seven! We love you Elia! What a present to us all, we get a second amazing daughter, and right before Albert’s birthday, and Curie gets a best friend for life. Your kindness and joy buoy us all. December 19, 2020 Another COVID birthday party with friends on a screen, clandestine goodie bag/kit drop-offs at everyone’s houses and door steps. A masquerade party with costumes, mask decorating, Simon says, Mad Libs, Hostess cupcakes and Ring Pops, and wonderful stories about how everyone first met Elia, and the thing they like best about her. Happy Birthday Sweetheart! December 20, 2020 Kids make bath bombs with chemistry December 21, 2020 Each year, we go to Labor and Delivery and NICU at Virginia Hospital Center bearing gifts of goodies to thank the nurses at both places for all they did for Curie and Elia. As alumnae of NICU we are grateful and have made this our family tradition for the holidays. With COVID we were unable to visit in person so we sent giant boxes of chocolate covered biscotti and called both stations to say thank you not just for what they did then, but for everything they are doing now. There are still people at NICU who remember us, and in Labor and Delivery, even if the nurses are no longer the same ones (Emma), we are still grateful – they said they were eating them when we called. The girls got to say “hi” and “thank you” and next year we will be in person once again. December 21, 2020 Umbrella hat December 22, 2020 So our picture of the “Christmas Star” the Saturn and Jupiter convergence was less than impressive, but the Moon was pretty amazing. December 22, 2020 Elia and Albert took a walk at night and found the reindeer. A neighbor has put these out for more than a decade and has put them in the woods right near the road. There are six reindeer and a Christmas tree/star. December 22, 2020 Playing at lunch December 22, 2020 The other pictures are more expressive but this one is artistic December 23, 2020 Flashlight walk #2, it is very peaceful and pleasant and as long as everyone has their own flashlight, is dress warmly enough, has had a snack, and a drink, and has the right shoes, and is not fussy, and it is not raining, or hailing, it is very nice and peaceful. December 23, 2020 Evening walk in the woods. It is a good reminder in life to sometimes look up. December 24, 2020 Christmas Eve December 25, 2020 Merry Christmas everyone! The kids loved their Christmas, especially the robot dog (a practice one, if they are still playing with it next year, we will consider an AIBO!). Christmas Dinner, “Lawry’s Prime Rib” from scratch at home almost 10 hours sous vide, seared with a garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, Lawry’s seasoning compound mayo mix, Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes and gravy and broccoli. December 26, 2020 Nice day after Christmas, playing, watching movies, and making ice cream December 27, 2020 The sun set while we were there, we took pictures of long shadows, the moon, and planes overhead, the bicyclist made for a great silhouette. Erin took the one of me taking the picture of the plane. December 27, 2020 The girls loved climbing the trees and the rocks. This Collage coincidentally makes the two trees look like one. December 27, 2020 At home, Erin took both of these. December 27, 2020 We went to Gravelly Point near DCA where the planes fly overhead while they land. It was not Huntley Meadows! We had a great time climbing trees, throwing rocks in the water and running in the field. December 28, 2020 Playing the game of Life December 29, 2020 I asked them for a picture and this is the pose they struck. December 30, 2020 Erin took yesterday’s picture, the girls need a bath December 31, 2020 Teddy Roosevelt Island on New Year’s Eve December 31, 2020 Teddy Roosevelt Island on New Year’s Eve we didn’t go all the way around because it started to rain.