A Weekly Rundown: Quarantined

Hey friend. Last weekend, my rundown was super short and sweet, as I was not feeling well. This week looked much the same–in bed for a couple of days, tired, and then dun dun duunnnnnnnn: Jarrod + I lost our smell and taste.

Our family is going on day nine of quarantine, but we are feeling much better. One of our kids had a few symptoms, but other than that, we are good.

We managed to get some things done, read some great books, do some fun things together, and stay somewhat sane.

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In this week’s rundown, I’m sharing all of that plus some things on my heart, some things I’m looking forward to, and more.


Two weeks ago, I shared with you how our house is totally upside down right now, so it’s been especially exhausting for me to be home all week, hardly doing any school, not going anywhere, but also not having the energy to get much done. SO much needs to be done around the house–including washing sheets and fold four loads of laundry–but we just don’t have any energy to get it done. It’s ok. It all gets done. My timeline is never reality 😉

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Even though our bathroom still looks the same…

…I am really happy with what we WERE able to tackle this week, even with being sick.

First off, our dryer stopped working and the dirty clothes were piling up fast. We were about to call someone to come and fix it, but with us being sick, we decided to see if we could DIY it.

After ordering a piece online and many YouTube videos, Jarrod figured out how to completely dismantle our dryer, install a new heat element, and reassemble it. Bonus: it WORKS!

So impressed with his skills!

The Fireplace Project Continues

I am pleased to announce that the fireplace is ONE MORE step closer to being finished! The old tiles are torn off, the new brick is mortared and grouted, AND the shelves are painted Graphite by Benjamin Moore!

We are hoping to get the new mantel installed this afternoon.

You can look back here and here to see some of the process and I will do a full post with all the sources when we finish.


The girls and I started reading this biography on C.S. Lewis. It’s so good so far! I love to read biographies in conjunction with their works and I plan to start reading C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity soon!


Another thing we did–before we lost our taste!–was our monthly Universal Yums box. We. LOVE. this so much! Each month we get our box of snacks from a different country around the world. This month was the Netherlands. Universal Yums provides a playlist, so we usually listen to that during dinner. Then after dinner, we try all the snacks included in the box. This has become such a fun monthly tradition!

Cooking for the Family

Another thing that we really had fun with is cooking a bunch of our Raddish recipes! I can’t say enough good things about this subscription!

We are playing catchup with a few month’s recipes. This week, Vera made everyone Alpine Pancakes with an Apple Compote, Chicken and Dumplings, AND chocolate snowball cookies.

I also ordered the Raddish cookbook binder to store all the recipes we’re getting. Putting all the recipes in it made Vera even more excited to make some of the recipes again.

So Proud of My Kids’ Life Skills

Sometimes my kids surprise me with something I didn’t even know I’d taught them! This week, while I was on the couch doing absolutely nothing, Vera announced that she had a big bin that needed cleaning out. I cringed because I know what a 7-year-old’s “organization” project can look like.

But to my surprise, she grabbed three bags and a Sharpie and wrote: Goodwill, Keep, and Trash and sorted out her whole bin!

What a beautiful moment for my organization-loving heart!


The last 12 months really made me aware of how neglectful I was being with my personal bible reading time. Over the last few months, I’ve been reading through a book per month and studying it. No bible study book, just the Word.

This month though, I’ve been working through the book of Titus with Heidi St. John’s Mom Strong International and it’s been really good!

Also on the blog this week:

If you need writing ideas for your kids, check out this brand new review on Bardsy Homeschool–such a fun way to teach writing!

A brand new homeschool day in the life with Nakia is live too!


I will be honest with you: not working out for over a week, sub-tundra temperatures, six people in our house with no space for time alone, feeling tired and rundown from being sick…all of this contributed to feeling really down this week. But to compound it even more, the local news this week has been beyond depressing and makes me deeply question why we live in Minnesota.

First, our fearless leader wants to make masking not just a mandate, but a law before he will give up his emergency powers. Even though states all over the nation are dropping their mask mandates and loosening their COVID restrictions, numbers are dropping all over the place, Minnesota is gearing up to make this arbitrary nonsense last forever— or at least until the CDC drops their recommendation for masking, which is what the law would mimic. And since the CDC is now going full steam ahead with not just one mask now but TWO– I don’t see the CDC dropping that recommendation anytime soon. A local mandate and a law are very different and the idea that masking would be signed into law indefinitely is just insane.

If mask mandates and lockdowns stopped viruses, they would have. There are zero differences in spread between lockdown/mask states vs. non-lockdown/mask states. Individual responsibility has gone completely by the wayside. We’ve happily traded common sense for government control, which is what all of this is about–control.

Secondly, the Minnesota House of Reps presented a bill this week on mandating “comprehensive” sex education for children and I could not be more opposed to this. I watched the hearing where the bill was presented and argued over. Listening to the “for” arguments made me actually sick to my stomach. I’m not even comfortable writing some of the topics that this CSE would seek to cover, but you can read more about it here.

The promoters of the bill were very vague about what curriculum would actually be used to teach sex to children, but one that has been presented in the past was so graphic that Facebook removed photos of the book as being too explicit. Gross.

Why this big push? Why not give parents info to share with their kids if they choose to?

Let me be clear, I believe we should have conversations with our kids about sex and mature topics….when they are ready! But this is SO individual-based. And this is something most parents would never want to be presented by a teacher. This is once again, an example of the school system bypassing parents. It is the task of the school system to teach children reading, writing and arithmetic. That. Is. All. Contrary to what some might think, the parents are a child’s most important influence. Families are the most important influence. Not the school. It’s high time these government schools knew their role and stopped their overreach.

By contrast to the disgusting CSE bill in Minnesota, some of my homeschooling friends in South Dakota helped present a bill to lessen the homeschooling rules there among other things, which is so great!

I’m sure someone will wonder, why do you care what they’re doing in schools? You homeschool.

Because my grandchildren could someday go to school. (I hope not! But I don’t know the future.) Because something could happen to me, and my kids might have to go to school. AND because we should always care deeply about the innocent. We should always protect them and fight to make their future more whole and secure. If God cares about training our children, we should care too.


Whew, moving forward on a lighter note…

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a WWII historical fiction. I started The Huntress this week and it’s so good so far!

I’m still reading Live Not by Lies as well and I cannot recommend it enough!


This week was hard. I let worry take over and depression set in. I doubted God’s sovereignty and pictured the worst case scenarios. Spending time in the Word helps the heaviness to lift.

This has been a hard almost-year for so many of us.

But even still, it has given me so much clarity. I need to know scripture better. I need to train my kids more. We need to work on some things as a family. And I am thankful for the wake-up call.

To conclude, I’ve heard from many that are struggling too. This is a hard time of year and it’s been a long year. But I would encourage you to put down your phone and open your Bible. Even 10 minutes a day can change your life.


  1. Glad that you are all feeling better. Continued success with the bathroom and fireplace renovations.

  2. So sorry that you have been sick, we had Covid this summer, no fun! I live in California and we have similar issues with masks and sex ed. The mask issue is just frustrating and the sex ed. is disturbing! While I know I risk sounding very dramatic, I believe some of the things they want to teach young children borders on abusive.
    The house is coming along nicely, can’t wait to see the fireplace completed!
    Hang in there, these are such crazy times. It brings such peace knowing God is sovereign but it is often a daily battle for me to remember that when I start to worry.

  3. Hey sweets!! It’s been hard for me too. Gloomy cold days. Depressing world. Out of control emotions… I think a vacation from the heaviness is what we all need. That and some good old fashioned self care and endorphins. Love that you are diving into the Word. It’s the key. Love you friend.

  4. Hope you guys feel better soon! I have public school friends who regularly ask why I care what happens there if I homeschool and I tell them I care what happens not just because my kids could end up there if something happened to me, but also because I pay taxes that pay for those schools, the kids in my neighborhood go there, AND because I vote in school board members and need to be an educated voter.

  5. Alicia- I feel like I have so much to say. I completely agree about being in tune with the school system for the sake of the innocent and vulnerable. I saw the bill come through and am disappointed that this is happening again in MN.

    Also, the masking bill is ludicrous!

    For years I was a She Reads Truth subscriber, but stopped a year ago to dig into other devotionals and my own Bible reading plans, but in the new year I re-subscribed and am so happy that I did. I love having a plan and the books are beautiful. It totally helps to motivate me to read more of my Bible every day.

    I hope that your sense of taste and smell return soon! So happy to hear that you are starting to feel better.

  6. My goodness I love the return to getting more long form updates on your blog—the pace of reading this felt so good! I live in WA state and I agree wholeheartedly with you on the sex Ed bill. Prayers for continued healing!

  7. Mask wearing has been shown to significantly reduce the spread of COVID and studies have shown that time and time again. Two masks are being recommended because the fearless leader who was in charge of COVID in 2020 didn’t address the manufacturing of PPE and the US is woefully behind in securing masks of quality leaving its citizenry to use cloth masks instead. Did you know that citizen in Taiwan receive masks EACH WEEK for every single member of their household and their death rate per capita is over 1,000 times lower than in the United States? Other places providing high quality masks for their citizenry include Hong Kong, Singapore, and Germany all with lower rates of transmission and death.

    It surprises me very little that you’re uninterested in the science of masking during a pandemic, as you’re also uninterested in children being taught the science of sexual reproduction. I don’t know how I was subscribed to your newsletter, but whoof, I certainly need to unsubscribe.

    Glad to hear you only had mild side effects of being sick. I hope you continue to feel better.

  8. Between Jodi and Rachel and their moves, I’m randomly searching Zillow for acerage and houses outside of CA. I totally understand how you feel.

  9. That’s so crazy Alicia! I sometimes feel like you and I are living the same life. My husband came down with Covid 11 days ago so our family has been fully quarantined for these long days. Thankfully none of us have tested positive. But he has had it bad but not bad enough for an emergency but he’s been is still is pretty miserable. And we’re right in the middle of replacing our hot water heater! We have the new one, and it’s still sitting in it’s box. My husband had replaced some old pipe the previous week he got sick and our utility cabinet is all cleared out and ready, and then Covid. So I feel ya, a little depressed but thankful is exactly the state I’ve been. Thank you for the encouragement to stay in God’s Word!! xo jenlovesaqua

  10. Put down your phone and open your Bible.


    Praying for healing and for God to keep you showing ways to move forward in joy and love despite these crazy times.

  11. So sorry to hear that you have been sick! I love all the house updates. We will be moving soon and I will tuck your house project ideas in my back pocket, just in case I need to pull one or two out at our new place. Couldn’t agree more about studying the Word! I have focused this month on studying small sections of scripture using lectio divina. It is really powerful! Hope that your family gets well soon!

  12. I hope you start getting your energy back so, but be gentle with yourself and don’t push too soon. From everyone I have talked to who has had it, and had the exhaustion issues, they couldn’t stress enough making sure to get the rest you need.
    I’m so sorry your state is trying to pass the “comprehensive” sex ed. If it is anything like what is taught in CA and WA, it is BAD. I’ve looked in to it (because we used to live in WA) and it is really bad.
    “The Huntress” is so good. I read it a year or so ago and loved it.

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