COVID-19 Isolation Journal Week 3

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Number of COVID CASES in Illinois: 3491 (23 in the tri-county area)

Number of Deaths in IL: 47

USA cases – 104,700 cases across the country now making us #1 in the number of COVID-19 cases

*The first infant has died of coronavirus in Chicago. Sad day in Illinois.   Today we got stuff done around the house and the kids just played. No school work today! Chad worked in the yard clearing out dead leaves and other things so our newly growing spring flowers and plants can flourish!

It’s a dreary day and we are constantly watching the weather because they keep reminding us bad weather is on the way. Central Illinois is at a high risk for severe weather including hail and tornadoes. Chad went and purchased a weather radio for us since our old one had quit. He also stopped by and delivered one to Grandpa Knapp. The two talked on the phone but could see each other through the glass storm door. It’s such a different way to communicate but necessary to keep everyone safe.

After a delicious dinner of pizza and salad, we retreated to the basement with a sugar free fudge bar in hand to watch Heavyweights on Disney+.

IMG_2458Then we turned on the news to see that bad weather was in fact coming our way with a tornado warning in place for the tri-county area. So we stayed put in the basement until 10:00 when it all blew over. There was a touchdown from a tornado in the Bartonville/West Peoria area. Scary but we are ok.IMG_2459

The kids stayed in the basement for a sleepover and Chad and I continued watching a new show on Netflix that we are completely hooked on…. Tiger King! The world is now obsessed and so are we!

 

 

 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Number of COVID CASES in Illinois: 4596                                 Number of Deaths in IL: 65

After a late night with storms and tornado warnings, everyone slept in a bit to recover and rest. We were all up and ready for Crossroads Kids zoom call at 9:15! The kids had a chance to learn about the 5 finger method to praying – Praise, Ask, Repent (say I’m sorry), Thanks, and Share! Jennifer Sakata led this kids through the lesson and it was a beautiful thing to see all of them learning together, even from a distance.

Then at 10:00 we started worship online with our church. It was a great message about the Holy Spirit and how He gives us supernatural protections and grace. Then afterwards we went on a “heart hunt” around Washington to search for all of the hearts people have put up in windows. We picked up Michael’s for lunch and went home. Chad and I met with our small group via Zoom and it’s always a highlight to see everyone.

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In the afternoon, I turned on Space Jam for the kids and I to watch while Chad went to work on a “heart” project in the shop. I fell asleep within 20 minutes because I am just so tired. I think the anxieties and uncertainties that keep me awake are catching up with me – so my body just needed a time out to sleep. Upon waking up from a great nap in the recliner, I made a comfort food meal of Tater Tot Casserole which was delicious!

Chad set up the two hearts he made in the shop with lights on them so people could see them as they drove by. Since we are in the country its hard for people to see our hearts in the window – but this makes it more visible.

We ended the night with a “living room concert” by Elton John on FOX. IT was full of celebrities sharing their talents from their living room and raising money for 2 great causes. Some of the celebrities included The Backstreet Boys, Alicia Keys, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) , Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day), Camilla Cabello, and Mariah Carey. There were more too…. It was just an uplifting event!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Number of COVID CASES in Illinois: over 5000       Number of Deaths in IL: 73

Today Chad had the day off from work which was a great way to start the week! We began the day by finishing one of Lucy’s school projects that we hadn’t had a chance to send in since school was cancelled. She made her solar system mobile and was so proud to send the pictures to her teacher!

Daddy got to join in on our movement/workout time this morning which was extra special! Jack made his English Muffin pizzas with sauce, green peppers, and no cheese. He is such a picky eater and has some funny taste buds, but glad he is exploring new ideas.

We ended the evening by watching Mary Penn, one of our favorite local church ladies who happened to be part of the Washington Children’s library for many years! She is such a fun storyteller, reading with great inflection and doing all of the fun voices. Watching her has been a treat!IMG_2486

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Number of COVID CASES in Illinois: 5,994 cases   Number of Deaths in IL: 99

This morning was officially the beginning of distance learning at Dee-Mack! We picked up learning packets from the front door today at the Intermediate school in Deer Creek. Every week they will get a new packet, complete it, and return it the next week.

We also Facetimed with Grandma and Grandpa Waughop today. Lucy and Grandpa like to get “up close and personal.” LOL Grandpa doesn’t have a smartphone so he uses Lori’s instead. We enjoy these chats and it usually results in laughter and fun! I know it has to be hard on all of the grandparents who can’t see their grandkids up close or give them hugs. That’s what being a grandparent is all about. This is a tough time for sure. The rule and guideline set by the CDC and government is “If they don’t live in the same household as you; don’t visit and have physical contact.”IMG_2489

Around mid-morning Lucy had her “PE time” with her dance teachers on YouTube. They had prepared her recital dances up to this point for them to work on. So she joined in the class and practiced. I know she misses her classes and teachers so much. Every time I walk by the recital costumes hanging up and “fluffing,” it makes me so sad because I know there is a chance that they may not even have a recital this year if the social dista

 

ncing continues through the summer. Same thing with competitions. Everything has been rescheduled and thought through, but we all know, even though we aren’t saying it… this may not happen at all.

On the bright side, we made a new bread today — Bread Bowls! It’s always been something on my bucket list in the kitchen, but I had never taken the time to make it. Today was the day!  We were going to have Tuscan chicken and white bean soup so it was a great time! They turned out halfway decent (tasted great!) but next time I want to do a Broccoli cheese creamy soup….Would be better than a broth based soup.

 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Number of COVID CASES in Illinois: 6980 cases    Number of Deaths in IL: 141

Today is the first day of Spring and we are still stuck at home… but we will make the best of it! The sun is shining and that makes things dramatically better.

Today I made cloth face masks with a pattern put out by a local hospital. It was challenging in ways, but super fun to see the final products. For an extra treat today, we purchased the movie Sonic the Hedgehog for Jack since he was unable to get his movie reward since the theaters closed down first. So while I made masks at the kitchen table, Jack and Lucy watched a new movie. Super cute!

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Lori and I also ventured out to Sam’s tonight to get moe groceries in bulk. I spent a lot more than normal but should be good for 3-4 weeks from what I purchased tonight. I will still have to get milk and fresh produce, but that’s about it.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Number of COVID CASES in Illinois: 7695 cases    Number of Deaths in IL: 157

More school work again today! Getting into a routine has been a good thing.IMG_2508IMG_2509

We also got a surprise package from Uncle Bruce and Aunt Debbie in Texas today! They got Jack and Spiderman hat and possum stuffed animal. Lucy got a dog that spins around singing “You Spin Me Right Round Baby.” We love getting surprise mail. Makes the day fun and exciting! Good news is always welcome because the local news isn’t always good. I have to try to not watch, but how can we when things are changing every single day.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Number of COVID CASES in Illinois: 8904 cases    Number of Deaths in IL: 210

Today was a day for fun! We finished up that last page of our social distancing packet, then the fun began! We cut out several hearts for Grandpa Knapp’s window at his house. Aunt Carol and Grandma Wurmnest had requested them. We also made him Easter Cards to make him smile.

When we went to deliver them we help them up to his window. He eventually came out because it was a beautiful warmer day. But we maintained the social distance recommendation of 6 feet. Afterwards we got a sweet treat of ice cream at Culver’s. Then dinner was a drive-thru fish fry at Chanticleer in Eureka. It was delicious!

The evening we enjoyed watching Onward which was newly released early to Disney+ just for our time at home of isolation. It was really cute and I may have teared up a time or two.

Finding the “Holes” in our Faith

Over the past few weeks, people have said several times on the news and social media that this pandemic is really shedding light on the “holes” we have in our healthcare. So there is a silver lining in all of this – that we will be able to improve and better our healthcare after this is over based on what we now know. In all fairness to our healthcare providers, no one could be prepared for a pandemic of this nature even if our system was perfect.

But there are other “holes” I am finding throughout this experience. They are the “holes” in my faith. I am realizing in the midst of something out of my control that is scary and unknown, my faith is not what I thought. It’s not as strong. It’s not a solid. It wavers and gives into fear. It doesn’t trust with my whole heart. It is imperfect.

James 1:2-8 descibes what I have been feeling after sitting with this thought yesterday…

“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (NIV)VOTD October 4 - Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James‬ ‭1:2-3‬ ‭NASB‬‬

The beautiful thing about this verse is it acknowledges we will have or faith tested. But when those tests and trials come we need to push through with determination and purpose. It says that we need to allow this determination to “finish it’s work,” meaning our faith isn’t complete and has holes in it. This verse acknowledges that we may not have a complete and mature faith. This verse gives us grace.

But then it continues on by giving us hope that we can continue to grow and strengthen our faith if we ask for it directly from God. He says in verse 5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” He promises us that if we ask for wisdom to make our faith stronger that God will give it to us. 

He also says this in verse 6-8 “ But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” We have to believe that God will deliver the wisdom and faith we need without any doubts. For if we doubt we will not receive anything from God. It says we will be double-minded and unstable in all we do. 

How many times have I felt conflicted in my thoughts and decisions, like I was double-minded? How many times have I felt like my decisions may be unstable?

About two weeks ago when the governor placed a “stay at home order” on the state of Illinois, I was relieved because I was comforted to know that we could all be in quarantine and safe from this vicious virus that was so unpredictable. After all of the news reports and social media posts I had been reading about how severe of a threat this virus could be, even to younger and healthier people, I was ready to shut my doors with my family safe inside and just be isolated. That gave me comfort. But then Chad’s company determined they were “essential workers” and he would have to continue to go into work. I remember feeling the grip of fear and doubt. I was scared that he would contract this virus, that he could bring it home….. I saw pictures in my mind of all 4 of us unable to breathe and dying together at home (worst case scenario). I became “irrational and unstable” because of the fear. I was starting to think of things like “Where could Chad stay where he would be isolated from us so we wouldn’t all have to be exposed?” I was starting to scour the internet for bottles of Lysol so I could disinfect our house even more than usual. I began contemplating all of the scenarios in my head that I could until I had to slow my mind down and turn my thoughts to God.

There was a verse that came to mind from Psalm 46: 1-3

God is our refuge and strength,If life hands you lemons, make lemon cupcakes!! GOD is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.”

 

and then one from Proverbs 18:10

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
    the righteous run to it and are safe.”

God was reminding me that He was my safe place. He was going to be the place I could run to when I was scared. He would be there with us every step of the way and we were not alone. He knows the future and He has a perfect plan for me and my family – whatever that may entail. He brought me His truth in that moment and I had a peace that I hadn’t had before.

I had decided then and there that I would persevere through this age of coronavirus with faith and trust instead of doubt and fear. I would come out on the other end of this withstanding this trial with faith. James 1:12 says

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of lifethat the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

Illustration of James 1:12 — Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

 

TODAY’S THOUGHT: Where are the “holes” in your faith? Are you as strong as you thought? Do you trust in God completely when things are spiraling our of your control? Will you ask Him to equip you with the faith you need to get through this time of isolation? 

When Christmas Comes Early….

 

When Christmas Comes Early

It’s that time of year again! It’s the holiday season!

I recently came across an article on Facebook about how psychologists have determined that people who decorate early for Christmas are truly happier people. These posts have been posted and re-posted again all over my social media. Being one of those people who can’t wait to start the Christmas season I was excited to find out that my “pre-holiday excitement” is actually good for me! Many of my friends and family members are also in this same state of mind. Then I asked myself

“Why are we as a society so anxious to get the Christmas season started?”

Every year it seems signs of Christmas start showing up earlier and earlier in the retail world. I even got my Hallmark ornament preview invitation as early as June this year! Hobby Lobby and other craft stores begin their holiday sales before school starts. Many other retail stores also begin putting our their Christmas decor/gifts as soon as Halloween ends (give or take a few days).

I know many people don’t like seeing Christmas before Thanksgiving has happened, but for me I have an overwhelming underlying joy from seeing the brightly colored bows, festive green trees, and hearing Bing Crosby singing “It’s Beginning to Look like Christmas” over the speaker system while shopping through the stores. And I don’t feel like I am alone.

Next weekend (the weekend before Thanksgiving) we are decorating our house for Christmas — the tree, the mantle, etc! We will be watching the Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas movies on repeat and playing all of our favorite nostalgic Christmas tunes! Why? Because of the hope, peace, joy, and love Christmas brings to us all!

As I was reflecting on WHY the world is so anxious for Christmas, myself included, I decided it’s because of what the season means to so many of us. Christmas is a time of advent which is a time when we remember and anticipate the arrival of Jesus. When we light the advent candles they represent our feelings of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. These are things our world desires whether they are celebrating Christmas as Christians or not. It seems that during the holidays people are a little bit kinder or more giving. People smile more and wish each other well! There is an overwhelming season of peace (even when it seems crazy and chaotic).

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

So if you find yourself singing “Silent Night” or “Joy to the World” early this year, is it because you really are desiring and pursuing Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love? Don’t feel guilty because you are celebrating “early” this year….. because we need to celebrate Jesus all year long! Embrace Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love today and everyday —- feel Christmas all year long! Celebrate the Gift that was given to us from our Heavenly Father and share it with all you encounter.

Happy Holiday Season my friends!