The Ricke Family Faces COVID-19, Day by Day

Sammi Ricke is a wife, mother of three and a business woman. Running HappiHomemade, Sammi was born and raised here in the Black Hills. As a stay-at-home mom, a whole lot hasn't changed in the global pandemic. However, what has changed has made a big impact.

"As of right now, the biggest change has been the kids home during the day and the fact that I am not in the car for an hour-and-a-half every day," Sammi explains.

With an 11-month old, 10 year old and 11-year-old Sammi is still making time to clean, manage her social media accounts, making meals and helping with homework. She credits other parents as being the real heroes for "suddenly staying home all day, every day and being both the parent and teacher."

It's easy to see the effect that it is having on the whole family too. Students who got to socialize and celebrate every day with their friends are now forced to confinement in their home. With the use of modern technology, zoom has become widely popular for alternative educational opportunities and friends can reach out over the phone or social media. Sammi says her daughter, as most girls her age are, is a social butterfly.

She jokes, "I am very proud of her for making the best of home schooling as that is literally her nightmare in life , and aside from greatly missing her friends and going to youth group along with all the other social interaction she does, I do think the ability to sleep in most mornings is a highlight."

Most parents don't become teachers for a reason, I for one definitely can't teach. I am a hands on learner, so if I was ever in the classroom, it would be all science and art experiments! Isaac is more of the academic learner and is a great teacher.

With that being said, Sammi expresses that teachers are some of the most special humans ever, and I am in total agreement. "Some of us have it and most of us don't. I am in the 'don't' category. Thank heavens I have a 4th and 6th grader that are doing their school work exclusively online and I am only having to answer the occasional question and help them stay on track while limiting distractions," Sammi says.

Photo captions:

  1. The baby loves all the play time with big brother. 

  2. School essentials and puzzles have overtaken the kitchen table

  3. Freshman 15 may be nothing compared to Covid-19. Lol funny not funny. 

  4. Feed baby, keep up to date with the latest news, work in new blog posts. 

  5. PE class, their idea. Ha! 

Unfortunately having the kids home taking over the computers does have an impact on Sammi's business and time allocated to work.

"The kids are using both the laptops, so my time during the day to work on blog posts has drastically decreased," she explains. "Absolutely, first world 'issues,' I know. My husband is a firefighter/paramedic and owns a small construction business; we do not foresee his schedule changing. As for HappiHomemade, I am hopeful that my blog traffic will increase while more people are looking for easy and kid friendly recipes to try as well as my social media following growing with others like me appreciating a break from the gravity of the situation with a little humor and delicious food posts."

Some of the best activities to do with your kids during the pandemic according to Sammi include:

READING. All those books and devotionals that you have been meaning to do with your family, but it seems time is always short, now is the time. COOK and BAKE. Kids love helping in the kitchen and will likely eat whatever they have helped prepare. Maybe even try a version of Chopped: Kids Edition and let them make a meal of their choice with 4-5 random ingredients from the pantry in 30 minutes. Who knows maybe it will be delicious! If not, it was fun to try and passed the time that afternoon!  Here are a few easy, healthy, and fun recipes to try: 

Breakfast Banana Split w/ MaraNatha Almond Butter

Fit & Frugal Granola Bars

Simple 5 Ingredient Fruit Salad

These fun recipes are going to be a lot of fun with the kids. Surprise them with a banana split at breakfast and some fun snacks throughout the day. If they're old enough get them involved!

It's important to remember that this will pass. Breathe. Sammi says, "Try your best to enjoy the extra time you have with your kids. The are only living in our homes for so long. It goes by in a blink! With that said, my heart is heavy for the parents who are out of work right now and have so much on their minds regarding how to make ends meet and now they have to be parents, teachers, entertainers, and the list goes on."

Sammi says among chatting with friends at the the kids’ activities, and hugging fellow church goers, one of the biggest things she misses and will appreciate most when the pandemic is over is their “normal” routine. What about you? Is your favorite restaurant closed, favorite bar or clothes store? What are you missing most? Comment below!

Photos by Sammi Ricke


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