What I’ve Been Reading: The Simple Wild series

Source: Amazon.com

When I started sharing my books on my Instagram account earlier this year, one of my followers recommended that I read The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker. It finally came up in rotation on my kindle and I read it and loved it!

The Simple Wild centers on Calla Fletcher, a city girl who travels to the Alaskan wild to reconnect with her estranged father. Along with connecting with her father, she also connects with the friends that he made his family… including a grumpy, but hot (of course) pilot.

I loved the ups and downs of the book and was left somewhat unsatisfied with the ending. So, I was THRILLED to find out that there was a sequel, Wild at Heart.

I can’t tell you too much about the sequel because it will spoil a plot point from the first book, but I enjoyed the second book even more than the first. Even better… there is a third book coming out on December 1, 2020 called Forever Wild.

So if you are looking for something to add to your reading queue, I definitely recommend this series. If you’d like to find the list of all the books I’ve read so far in 2020, you can find the post here: 2020 Book List

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Each year on my birthday, I post an annual birthday picture. Since my birthday was over the weekend, I’m posting today.

If you feel like doing a little clicking, here are my previous photos: 42, 41, 40, 39, 38, 37, and 36.

And now, I’m 43.

Over the weekend, my husband and I had an overnight getaway to Northern Virginia. My parents watched Jack overnight, which was a total treat! We took my husband’s motorcycle with us and did some backroads riding, ate a bunch of yummy food, took a look in a few antiques shops, and made each other laugh a lot.

On Sunday, I had an outdoor picnic with my family with some absolutely delicious homemade apple crumble pie, courtesy of my brother. All in all, it was a perfect weekend and a wonderful start to 43!

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Life Update: Online School

Source: Markus Winkler on Unsplash.com

I haven’t given a Life Update since mid-July… but now that it’s September, it feels like the perfect time to do it again. The biggest change over here is… online school.

We had a form of online schooling in the Spring to finish out the year, but between March and June Jack had no in-person class time. All his schooling was asynchronous, meaning the teachers just uploaded a bunch of assignments that he had to complete and have me scan and upload. Much of the teaching of concepts fell on my shoulders, and I am NOT a teacher. It was super stressful and more than one day erupted into yelling or tears, or both.

This Fall, the school year is totally different with a mix of synchronous learning and asynchronous work. Here’s what Jack’s typical day looks like for 3rd grade:

9:30 – 11:30 amSTEM class, live instruction
11:30 amComplete STEM classwork
11:40ish – 1:00 pmLunch/Recess Break
1:00 – 1:25 pmSpecials, live instruction (PE, Media, Music, Art or Health)
1:30 – 3:30 pmELA class, live instruction
3:30 pmComplete ELA classwork

We’ve been following this schedule for almost 2 weeks now and it is actually working so much better for us. Jack knows when he has to be in front of the computer for class and I know when I have long periods of time where I can schedule my own phone or Zoom calls. Often the live instruction ends a bit early so that the teacher can split the class into small groups, which gives Jack time to complete his classwork before his next class (yay for no additional homework!).

Jack’s *mostly* independent when it comes to online learning, however he still needs my help with a few things at the start and end of each synchronous session. I’m hoping with more practice he can do more on his own. I also watch him submit his classwork once it is completed, to make sure that it is properly turned in (and that he will receive credit for it).

Both Jack and I tend to be ‘schedule’ people, so now that we’ve gotten into the routine of what a school day looks like, it’s SO MUCH easier on both of us. Typically, we wake up around 7:00 am, get dressed, eat breakfast, go for a 30-minute walk outside together and then he gets around an hour to hang out while I take a shower and start my own workday. Getting outside each day and taking a walk makes me feel a billion times better. At the end of each day, once he submits his last assignment and shuts the laptop… we have a “WE DID IT” dance party.

Oh, and I’m totally bribing my kid too. We knew that the first two weeks of online schooling would be the worst while we get used to a new schedule, so Travis and I decided that if Jack did the best he could and tried to be as independent as possible… we’d reward him with a new video game (Mario Odyssey to be specific). No shame in my mommy game and it’s totally worth it, mostly so he doesn’t complain the entire time we do our morning walk.

This new schedule is totally dependent on me working from home though. While I’ve been thankful that my office has had me teleworking since March, they have been talking about bringing us back into the office. Possibly in early October. Jack’s school has also been talking about switching to a hybrid format… in mid-October. So, while we are doing well with our current routine right now, it might all be blown back apart in a few weeks…

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