covid-19 Kids' Activities Lucia

Dance Continues

Lucia is not playing soccer this year because of the pandemic, but she is continuing with her dance classes – online. This year she has ballet, tap, and hip-hop and she is loving it so far.

Andrew covid-19 Kids' Activities Mari Sports

First Cross Country Race

Today was the first Cross Country race for Andrew and Mari. Cross Country and Soccer have been lifesavers during the pandemic because they are all outside and it gives the kids a chance to exercise and see their friends. Mari, Andrew, and Elliot are all running this year. Elliot’s first meet isn’t for a couple of weeks.

Mari making her way up the gradual uphill.
The start of the boys’ race.
Andrew on a downhill.
covid-19 Home Life

High School Football

No fans at high school football games this year, so we bought season pass to stream the Valley games online. This evening we set up the TV on the deck to enjoy their season opener against Roosevelt.

I am not sure where everyone is at this point.
Cincinnati covid-19 Travel

Cincinnati Fun

We haven’t been to Cincinnati in a year and we have been working hard this summer to find a time to go. A good window presented itself and we made the trip, staying just a few days in Cincinnati. We mostly hung out with my family, except for visiting with the Herrels.

covid-19 Kids' Activities Lucia

Lucia’s Dance Recital

Lucia took dance this past winter and spring, with everything online during the spring. There was no dance recital, so this evening the Reagens and the Liesses came over for her solo recital. Rose also got in on the action, as well as Mari and Hope, who requested that their video not be added to the blog.

covid-19 pool Susan The Reagens


The TikTok craze has definitely taken over our house. Andrew spends a fair amount of time watching videos, Mari and Hope like learning the dances, and teaching Lucia and Rose, and Elliot watches videos, but has a self-imposed daily limit. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Susan and Erin made their own TikTok account and video.

covid-19 Holiday pool The Reagens

4th of July Festivities

This year we hosted a 4th of July pool party! Gary, Kathie, and the Reagens (sans Nate) came over in the afternoon to hang out, eat dinner, and then enjoy a fireworks display presented by Ian. Having the pool available was fun because it reminded me of 4th of July in Cincinnati, where there was always a pool. Sadly, there was no Chex mix.

Mari’s Cake
covid-19 Des Moines The Reagens

The saddest fireworks show ever

After Fair Food Friday earlier in the day, we met the Reagens in Altoona for a fireworks show. Normally on this evening we would be on top of a parking garage in downtown, waiting for the Yankee Doodle Pops fireworks show to start, but that was canceled this year. The scene in Altoona was great and the fireworks show was good, but it was overcast by the bad news of N’s dad not doing well. He has been battling cancer for a little over a year and we got news during the fireworks show that he was in the hospital and they thought he might not survive the night. There were many tears shed during the evening and at one point someone did say, “This is the saddest fireworks show ever.” [note: I have the benefit of writing this post a few weeks after the event, and luckily N’s dad pulled through and continues to do well.]

covid-19 Des Moines

Fair Food Friday

It was decided earlier in the summer to cancel the Iowa State Fair. This was sad news for us because attending the fair has been a tradition in our family for the past few years. Luckily, all is not list because some of the fair’s food vendors set up a drive-through on Friday nights. We stopped by this evening to enjoy some of our favorite treats from the fair before heading to see some fireworks.

The scene
The goods
Lucia trying the deep-fried Snickers.
covid-19 Des Moines

Black Lives Matter March

This afternoon we attended a Black Lives Matter march and rally in downtown Des Moines. We met downtown and marched to the capitol, with a stop at city hall. When we stopped at city hall we had to lie face-down on the ground for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while they had speakers and others reading some of the things that George Floyd said while he was being held down. At the capitol there were a variety of speakers sharing their experiences and changes they would like to see.