September 06, 2020

Little Free Library, Board Games, and School

Today was another fun day with Emily!

Last night, we were browsing through movies on Netflix to see if we could find something good to watch. I saw Magic Mike was on there and we both discovered that neither of us had seen it. So I thought it might be a fun girl movie to watch.

It was SO boring! We both considered quitting it halfway through, but we wanted to see what all the hype was about when it first was released. Toward the end, I even started nodding off a little. But we both gave it two thumbs down. I still couldn't even really tell you the plot--it didn't seem to have a point to it.

Anyway, we got up early this morning (Emily is an early bird for sure), and she wanted to come with me on my walk with Joey. We walked my "usual" route (I walk lots of different ones, but I have a particular go-to route that I choose most of the time).

When we arrived back at the house, we got to work in the garage right away on the Little Free Library project. We still had quite a bit to do and I wanted to make sure it was ready for her to take home today.

Unfortunately, the directions on the plans we chose weren't very clear. And two of the cut sizes for the door frame were listed incorrectly. Thankfully, there was a lot of leftover plywood so we could cut some in the correct sizes.

We also had to modify the door a little by running a horizontal board across the center of it (which I think looks more decorative anyway!) because I couldn't find plexiglass in 12x16 size. I could only find 8x10. So we put the decorative board across to cover the seam where the two pieces of plexiglass will come together (Emily is taking it home to paint the whole thing before adding the plexiglass and attaching the door).

I wasn't thrilled with the plans that we used; not only because of the mistakes, but because it used mostly wood glue to hold it together and no screws. Wood glue is great and stronger than wood itself; but when doing butt joints, not so much. So I ended up using glue and then using a pin nailer to both reinforce it a bit and hold the pieces together while the glue dried. In retrospect, I wish I'd have made pocket holes to reinforce the butt joints.

When it came time to put the roof on, we ran into another problem of two of the wood cuts being too short. (We measured and cut correctly, but the cut list had the wrong measurement.) After correcting that mess, we glued and pin nailed the roof (and then I added a few screws for reinforcement). 

I used outdoor caulk to seal up all of the seams and wood filler in a few spots. Then I sanded the whole thing and now it's ready to be primed and painted! Here is what it looks like now... unpainted and without the door attached. You can see the door in front of it--the plexiglass will go behind the little "window" shapes. I'm excited to see the final result! Emily took it home with her today, so she'll send me pictures when it's done.

After we worked on the library (I keep wanting to call it a birdhouse!) we played a game that Emily brought. Noah and Eli played with us, too. The game is called Codenames, and I'm surprised I'd never heard of it. It's pretty popular on Amazon! 

It's very hard to describe, but it was really fun. You have to think outside the box a bit and I love clever games like that. As soon as we were done playing, I ordered it on Amazon ;) (affiliate link). There is also a version called Codenames Duet (affiliate link). The Duet version is for two people to play; the original is for partners.

I really want to have a game night! It's been a long time since we've had friends over for games.

My kids start school on Tuesday. It's a complete nightmare, the "organization" of the whole thing. They are doing hybrid learning--some at school and some at home. Eli is scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and some Wednesdays in school and Noah is scheduled for Thursday and Friday in school (and Wednesdays on alternating months). Noah also has a college class on Thursdays, but that's entirely online for now. 

The whole thing is so confusing to me! Every single one of their teachers has sent me emails with websites, logins, passwords, pin numbers, schedules, classroom instruction--whether in class or on Zoom or another platform). NOTHING is uniform and I feel totally overwhelmed.

The teachers don't even specify in their emails which grade or school or student they are referring to, so I'm not sure whose teachers are Eli's and whose are Noah's without comparing the emails to the kids' schedules which I don't even have a real copy of yet. I am really worried that I'm going to screw something up for my kids. 

I'm going to have to buy a planner and some folders to keep everything organized so that I don't mess it up. I think Noah will do fine, because he's very well organized and self-disciplined. He also knows computers really well. But Eli is going to be a challenge. I'm going to have to help him with his schedule and learn how to use Zoom and the online work they are supposed to do. (I don't even know how to do it yet! I'm hoping we get instructions on Tuesday.)

I know that everybody is doing the best they can (and I feel so bad for the school administrators who had to organize all of these schedules! THAT must have been a total nightmare. I just hope that once things get started, I won't feel so stressed out about possibly messing things up.

Anyway, having Emily over this weekend was a great distraction from all that, but now it's back to reality! Tomorrow is the calm before the storm ;)

I hope everyone has a great Labor Day tomorrow!


  1. The library turned out great! We love Code names Duet at our house. It can be hard to find good games for only 2 adults, but this one we enjoy. It is challenging and really makes you think!

  2. Love the Little Free Library! About the schooling, their schedules, and zoom, trust me no one “ has this” right now. Especially for the next few weeks there will be many glitches for parents and educators. The fact that you are concerned about keeping it all straight speaks volumes about your parenting. I guess what I am trying to say is self-compassion is the key in this, and you can’t mess this up for either son.

  3. We are currently all virtual for school and it is confusing. We started last week. I was (am) overwhelmed with it, but it will all work out.good luck!

  4. I can't imagine how stressful it is with the school situation. We have an antique mall and this guy came in yesterday refusing to wear a mask! That should be a fun job but there are too many idiots to deal with. My husband made him leave. I've never washed my hands so much and used alcohol gel constantly.

  5. That library came out great! Your ability to figure out sizing and tools etc just impresses me to no end. Well done on another successful project!


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