Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – November 2020 November 30, 2020

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,What I'm Loving — Amy Scott @ 1:49 pm

What I’m Reading:

  • At Home in Mitford, A Light in the Window, These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon – My friend let me borrow the first six books in the Mitford series. The writing style and perspective is different than what I’m used to, but I think it’s interesting to read something new.
  • Mr. Malcom’s List was mentioned last month and made it into the picture by mistake! Oops!
  • Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra – This was a modern retelling of Little Women from the perspective of Meg and Jo. While I was intrigued to see how the author would re-envision these characters, I was disappointed with the book. It was a little too PG-13 and it lost the wholesome nature that made the original story so good.
  • The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner – I enjoyed this book about an unlikely group of people that sets out to save Jane Austen’s family estate. It was slow to start, but I got into by the end.
  • Mama Bear Apologetics by Hilary Morgan Ferrer – This book came recommended by a friend. It gives moms the tools to talk about apologetics with their kids so that their kiddos are equipped to stand firm in their faith. I’m sure this book will be one that I reference throughout the years ahead.
  • Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere by Ree Drummond – (Not picture because I’m letting my mom borrow it.) I love Ree! I pre-ordered this book so it would arrive the day it was released. This book is full of humor, love, and wild stories of life on the ranch while being a wife, mother, and television show host.

What I’m Loving:

  • New books – Not only did I add a few new books to my home library this month, I also only read new-to-me books this month. It was fun to have each page I read be an unknown adventure.
  • Seasonal Goodies – We’ve been baking like crazy at our house. Jeremy made an assortment of mini pies for Thanksgiving. I made a pumpkin pie. There has also been the need for chocolate (brownies and cake). On top of the homemade goodies, I’ve been enjoying the cranberry treats that are back at Starbucks! My taste buds love this time of the year.
  • Christmas Movies – Thanks to Hallmark Channel, our home collection, and rejoining Netflix for a month, we now have a plethora of Christmas movies at our disposable. We’ll see how many books I end up reading in December. I have a feeling the pull for Christmas movies will be strong! It’s the only time of year that a movie a day doesn’t seem too absurd.
  • Christmas Décor – I love the soft light of the Christmas tree. I love seeing our nativity set on the bookshelf and our Advent candles on the dining table. Every year I set up these letter blocks that can spell a bunch of Christmas words depending on how you flip them around. This year I chose the word peace to display above the sink. I knew that was the word for the year before we started decorated. More than ever, I want to claim peace over this home and peace on earth.

 

A Very 2020 Holiday November 28, 2020

I’m sure most of us had a different Thanksgiving this year. Even though I missed seeing the smiling faces of my extended family, I did enjoy the slower pace and quieter holiday. This seems to sum up 2020 for me fairly well. It’s been different, but I haven’t minded the slower, quieter lifestyle that it’s brought.

Our MOPS & MOMSnext group met online on Monday night. It was our Christmas craft meeting. It’s been an adventure adapting our usual format into an online experience. Our creative team assembled kits so the moms could create a rustic nativity set at home. We did porch pick-ups for the kits and I had a few ladies opt to pick-up from my home. I enjoyed putting on a mask and heading outside for a few minutes to say hello while the ladies loaded up their kits. I’m not a super crafty person, so this craft had me a little nervous. I was so pleased with the end result, though! All I had to do was paint, accessorize, and glue. It’s been fun to see how the other ladies decorated their kits. This experience was definitely a win for our group!

Even though we only did school three days this week, we were able to condense all five days of learning into three, so the boys didn’t miss a day even through they took Thursday off. I love this element of homeschooling. The amount of school is so manageable. It’s been easy to stay on track. I will admit that I am looking forward to Christmas break in a few weeks. We didn’t take a Spring Break in 2020. We worked on summer workbooks all summer expect for one week when we visited Yellowstone (which was like a week long field trip). Our homeschool pace hasn’t led to burn out, but I am still looking forward to having a pause. This mostly comes from my own perspective as the main educator of my children. Mama/Teacher is ready for a break! Just three weeks to vacation! Let the countdown begin!

I’ve been making a list of Christmas activities we might wish to participate in this year. Given current guidelines, most of my ideas center around driving to look at Christmas lights. Our local park puts on a Christmas light drive-thru. We might travel north or south to see a bigger display in one of the larger cities as well. I’m a bit sad that my kiddos won’t be in any Christmas performances this year. Those are always fun memories and sweet photo opportunities. Instead of focusing on community activities, it’s time to focus on Advent (starting this weekend), making Christmas cookies, watching Christmas movies, and doing Christmas crafts. (I went into Hobby Lobby in October thinking I didn’t need anything and came out with Christmas crafts for school – totally justifiable.)

We were able to make one indoor Christmas activity happen today. We visited Santa! It was too tempting to pass up an 2020 photo opportunity of what the holidays really looked like. Santa was not only wearing a mask, but he was also behind a plexiglass shield. We all had our temperatures checked before waiting in a socially distanced line. The boys had to keep their masks on for the photo, so as they “elf” said, they had to “smile with their eyes!” Graham took that advice to heart as you can see in the picture below. The kids asked Santa for a drone and a spy kit. The store sent us off with ornament crafts, packets of hot chocolate, and tiny candy canes.

I don’t know how the next month will pan out. I’m processing that Christmas probably look “different” – just like Thanksgiving. Our family is brainstorming ways to be creative and celebrate safely. 2020 certainly isn’t going to wrap up the way I expected, but I believe it will be filled with goodness, light, love, and plenty of holiday cheer!

My MOPS & MOMSnext Nativity Craft
Owen starts every school day with science! He loves it! This week he studied the layers of the Earth.
Our garbage day is Thursday. We made a sign for our garbageman. Every week the boys wave at him from the window. He always waves and honks his horn in return.
A Thanksgiving morning soak in the hot tub
Zooming with family on Thanksgiving morning
We caught some of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Picture with Santa – 2020
 

Merry & Bright November 22, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 2:38 pm

Well, we did it. We decorated for Christmas. Inside and out. I don’t feel a bit bad about not waiting. We were intentionally keeping up the autumn décor because we planned to host a small Thanksgiving meal at our house. True to 2020, those plans were canceled (or “postponed…” probably until 2021, who knows?). With no autumn holiday to celebrate in our home, we decided that we were in the clear to decorate for Christmas. This decision was highly influenced by our children who believe the Christmas seasons starts weeks before December. Their joy is contagious and we love Christmas, so why not? Also, the house has been decorated for fall since September 1st. Autumn has had plenty of time to reign. Now it’s time to give Christmas the spotlight.

Thanksgiving will still be the focal point of our upcoming week. We have yet another turkey craft to create for school. I have printed handouts and coloring sheets on the first Thanksgiving. We will read books about Thanksgiving each day. The week will be filled with yummy food. We’ve been working on special mail for the family members we won’t see this year and I’m sure there will be video chats and phone calls to check in on loved ones. Even though this Thanksgiving will be different, I am still looking forward to our scaled back version of Thanksgiving with much anticipation. The heart of this holiday is true now more than ever. We have come through so much and yet we have so much to be thankful for. Looking on the bright side, finding joy, and celebrating with gratitude are all traits I want to model and pass down to my children.

Decking the halls isn’t the only major update we have to share, this week we also debuted our brand new inflatable hot tub (the last part of that sentence needs to be read with a television game show host voice). Jeremy and I have been joking about getting an inflatable hot tub since they became super popular this spring. We learned two things from having the pool this summer – the boys are water bugs and the pool water was never warm enough for me. Even when I visit indoor pools, I never get in. It’s too cold. I’m a hot tub girl. Jeremy is also fond of hot tubs, so this seemed like the fall/winter version of the pool for our family. Our kids were so excited to watch the hot tub arrive and get set-up. They were the first ones to enjoy it and gave it rave reviews. I’ve also had a chance to soak in it and I am impressed at what can be achieved with inflated plastic! We realize that our holiday season will include more time around the house this year. This hot tub seemed like the perfect investment for our family this season.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving this year!

Graham kept yelling “I knew I’d like it” has he played happily! Owen is very good at keeping track of the hot tub temperature and giving status updates every few minutes.
I asked Owen if he’d like to help me make dinner and this was how he responded!
Decorating the Christmas tree
All done! Owen remarked that we could put the breakable ornaments anywhere since no little kids are coming over this year. Interesting point, but very true.
The grown-ups prefer the white lights when the kids go to bed!
The boys have been asking to decorate this gingerbread house since the day we bought it (11/10). We were able to hold them off for 11 days…
In the decorating zone!
The completed house!
Watching church from home with all the cozy Christmas vibes.

 

Hunkering Down November 15, 2020

I have an internal sensor that goes off when it’s time to blog. I’ve been sensing I’m due for a blog post, but I’ve been putting it off because I don’t really have anything glorious or impressive to share (not that often do). Last weekend was fairly full with a family dinner, an outdoor/distanced hang out with some MOPS friends, errands, and an adventure to the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Jeremy also completed the set-up of our outdoor Christmas décor.

After the full weekend, I felt rumblings about lastest COVID-19 news. I no longer keep a watchful eye on virus news. Occasionally, I get curious about what the news is saying and take a look. I got one of those notions that I should check on things. I discovered that we are seeing record number of cases in our state. I was a bit alarmed. After what I read, I felt compelled to do a better job of sticking close to home. We are mindful while we are out and about. Our family dutifully wears our masks and uses copious amounts of hand sanitizer frequently. The only things we haven’t been too concerned about is intentionally staying home.

We wrapped up our errands during the week and went into this weekend knowing we wanted it to be a stay-at-home weekend. Turns out the theme of our weekend will now be the theme of our next few weeks. Our Washington State governor made new restrictions today as an attempt to slow the spread of the virus during the holiday season.

I tend to be a rule follower. It’s my personality. While I don’t love new restrictions, I have respect for the intention behind them. I certainly don’t mind wearing my mask to protect myself and others. I also realize that the virus is likely to spread in our homes where our guard is down. Did I love sharing a meal in a restaurant with my friend? Yes. Do I understand the reasons for take-out only? Yes. I get it. I want to do my part to solve the problem and get life back to normal.

I know opinions vary greatly on this topic. I read last week in my Bible reading plan Romans 13:1 which says “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” Unless my governing authorities ask me to sin, I will do my best to comply.

I acknowledge the struggle. I feel it. I see in our communities. I also realize that I have little eyes watching me right now. My kids are home. How I respond will be a part of their childhood memories and will mostly likely shape the men they grow up to be. I want to show courage to do hard things. I want to show compassion to others. I want to show that we don’t have to be isolated just because we stay home. I agree that these things take effort, but I believe it is worth it.

So now we hunker down… for at least the next four weeks… Jeremy and I will be creative to make these holidays meaningful and memorable. It won’t be easy, but it’s important. Staying home is an intentional decision for the greater good. Home for the holidays certainly has new meaning this year!

Thankful for outdoor adventures in November. This outing to the wildlife refuge was a little too cold and wet for me personally, but it was also beautiful. I enjoy exploring new places!
Brothers and Friends
We are reading poems about the wetlands in school right now. This was the perfect field trip!
Couldn’t pass up a shot of the old white barns! So pretty!
The boys decorated mini trees for their bedrooms. Every year we get a new ornament for them. This year the ornaments were LEGO creations!
Jeremy, with “help” from the boys, did a great job getting the outside of our house ready for Christmas.

Our final forest school was a lesson on knots and knives. Graham opted to stay home with Grandma because it was so cold.

Graham was cold so he stole my sweatshirt from the laundry pile I was folding.
Time at home can be restful and chill. The boys joined me for a little screen time in bed. We don’t do this a lot so it felt special.

 

Holiday Cheer November 6, 2020

I’ve never held hard and fast rules for when it’s appropriate to start Christmas festivities. This year, the boys were super into Halloween (more than ever before). But a flip switched in their minds and now it’s on to Christmas. Owen especially keeps longing for it to be winter. I will admit that Christmas brings a cheer, joy, hope to the world. I can understand how more than ever we are craving the goodness of Christmas.

Yesterday, I sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” to Owen and he had completely forgotten that he sang it last year at his Veterans Day assembly at school. At this time last year, Jeremy and I grabbed red cups from Starbucks and showed up at Owen’s school so we could listen to 600+ kids sing patriotic songs. This memory and the fact that he had forgotten it made me sad. There are moments where what we have lost this year are acutely felt in my spirit. No songs being learned for performances, no assemblies to attend. And then there are moments like today when Owen tells me that he wants to be homeschooled forever. I realize that he isn’t hurting or lacking in his school experience. We are good. For every sad moment, I have so many things to be thankful for. Which is why Thanksgiving matters more than ever to me. It’s a time to reflect on our journey and how God has been good every step of the way. On our ride into town today, I pointed out the beautiful trees for that feels like the millionth time. I am going to vocalize my thankfulness as often as possible. I don’t want to take any moment for granted.

Which leads to the holiday cheer we experienced today. Anyone who has known me for more than a year knows that “Red Cup Day” is a holiday in my book. Starbucks has only made the day more special by offering free reusable cups. My whole family was jazzed to get our free cups today. We listened to Christmas music as we went around town. When we came home from running errands, the boys put on new Christmas pajamas and Jeremy went outside to put up our Christmas lights on the house. I hopped on to my computer and the boys filled our Operation Christmas Child boxes online. I changed the sheets to flannel in preparation for the return of colder nights this coming week.

I’m here for it. All the holiday cheer. Bring it on. I’m all in for celebrating the November holidays. All our crafts this month involve turkeys and thankfulness. We will focus on Veterans Day as part of school. We will give Thanksgiving it’s proper time and attention. But we will also anticipate the coming season with joy. We will talk about Christmas and prepare for it.

We have space in our life for both – Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have space in our life for both the sad moments and the joyful moments. Good and bad can co-exist and God is still there with each up and down. I’m learning to live at peace with the tension. It reminds me what we haven’t arrived yet. We are still looking ahead to a fully redeemed creation. Owen recently got a Bible and has focused in on the New Heaven and New Earth – the time when everything will be made right. I need that reminder. This isn’t it. We were made for more – and it is coming! Joy to the world!

Owen and his new Bible! Now that he is attending church again, we felt he needed an upgrade from his storybook Bible.
Launching rockets with some of our homeschool friends.
Don’t worry – autumn is still alive and well at our house!
I feel a little silly saying “Happy Red Cup Day” when my cup is green, but you get the idea!
Graham’s treat of choice today. He hugged this box the entire way home.
Using the online option to fill our Operation Christmas Child boxes this year. It was simple, easy, and fun. We love giving a gift and good news to children around the world!
 

Halloween 2020 November 2, 2020

Our out of this world astronauts!

This Halloween looked different than any other Halloween in our past. Thank you, 2020. Instead of our usual harvest, carnival style event at church, we offered a “Fall Fest To-Go” event for our community. The church offered a bag of candy, carnival game ideas to do at home, small prizes and a teddy bear to each child that drove through our parking lot.

It’s been a while since I volunteered on-site for a church event. The boys and I have been sticking close to home these days. The nice thing about this event was our family wore our masks and our exposure to the community was as quick as passing a bag through the window of a car. I felt fairly safe with this ministry opportunity. I had a friend question me about the boys being at the event for the entire time (about three hours). I told her that my kiddos are pastor’s kids and they haven’t had to fill that PK role in a while. We could all step up for the night.

When our family pulled into the church over an hour before the event, we already had cars waiting in the parking lot. We knew that our social media posts had received a lot attention, so we weren’t shocked, but it was still a surprise. We quickly got our materials ready and we started handing out bags an hour before the event was set to start.

Jeremy planned for 300 pre-prepared bags. This was on par with our usual Fall Fest kid attendance in the past. However, this is 2020. Our community was desperate to make Halloween special and safe. Jeremy quickly asked me to move from passing out bags to creating more bags. We were handing out bags as quickly as we were making them. At one point, we ran out of candy and sent team members to buy more. When the event wrapped up at 8:00pm, we had handed out a 1,000 bags to kids in our community. It was truly mind blowing. My Fit Bit said I had been “swimming” for and hour and a half due to the pace and movement of my gift bag filling.

The number of kids we saw was shocking, but what really impressed me on Halloween was Owen and Graham. Our boys showed up to volunteer at the event and they took that role seriously. They transported bags for us, they filled bags, they handed out bags. They were little worker bees. It was truly an honor to serve together as a family. My mama heart was so blessed to see my kids buy into the idea of giving to others.

Jeremy and I came home tired from the hopping pace of the night, but also amped up from the results. We definitely didn’t expect this drive-thru event to explode the way it did. 2020 is so unpredictable. You plan the best you can and make the most of what you’ve got. We saw major success with this event and it left us with questions of what does mean for next year? Was this a special one-time thing? Is this the new way events should look? It’s impossible to answer those questions right now, but we are mulling them over and taking notes.

This Halloween was memorable to say the least. We had fun, we served our community, we worked together as a family. Halloween 2020 was one of the record books. It was certainly a special way to wrap up such a special month.

Panda Amy! I bundled up because I thought I would be out in the cold all night. Turns out I worked up a sweat filling gifts bags indoors!
Graham is helping to fill bags and Jeremy (on his dinosaur) is coming to pick up more bags to take out! It was fast paced evening!
Owen’s orange helmet blends with the orange bags on the table. Owen helped Papa hand out bags to vehicles.
 

What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – October 2020 October 31, 2020

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,What I'm Loving — Amy Scott @ 9:27 am

What I’m Reading:

Mr. Malcom’s List by Suzanne Allain – A friend raved about this book and let me borrow it. It’s a Jane Austen inspired novel. It was a light, quick read, but enjoyable. According to the book cover and a little internet research, it’s being made into a motion picture.
The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph. D – This book was mentioned in Introverted Mom by Jaime C. Martin. I can related to the highly sensitive person. I like that Aron explained how being a HSP is a neutral trait and displays itself in positive and negative ways. Being “sensitive” is often seen as a flaw, but it isn’t. I appreciated her perspective on HSPs.
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – I watched the movie when it came out a long time ago, but a friend told me I had to read the book. It was certainly an thoughtful book on ethics and life with cancer.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Same situation as before. I’ve seen the movie, but my friend said I should read the book. Two books about kids with cancer in a row might have been a bit of a downer this month. But they were both written well and I found them thought-provoking and honoring to those who struggle with cancer as well as those who support them.
Love Finds You in Sun Valley, ID by Angela Ruth* – My last Love Finds You book in my home library. After processing my personality and two novels about cancer, I needed something lighter to focus on.
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Nieguist* – In an effort to re-read my home library, I plan to re-read all my books by this favorite author of mine.
*Books I’ve read before, but not in the last calendar year.

What I’m Loving:

My MOPS & MOMSnext craft – We did a watercolor craft this month with washable markers, watercolor paper, a ziplock bag, and water. It was so easy and so fun. I turned mine into a print with a quote from L.M. Montgomery from Anne of Avonlea. I put it up in my closet by my dresser and it makes me happy (and thoughtful) every time I look it. I’m not super crafty, so this project turned out way better than my expectations.

Card Boxes – I love giving cards. October is prime card month with plenty of birthday cards and thank you cards necessary. I absolutely love the stash of cards I have on hand. They are best!

My card box stash! From birthday to thank you to all occasions to blank, I love always having a card ready to go!

New Toys – Thank you to birthday month for an influx of new toys! My kids are happy campers and you can find them creatively playing with all their new items. Keeping these boys occupied means I can actually be a productive human – until the new toy needs assistance (which happens often with LEGOs or solar robots).

Fall Family Scavenger Hunt – It’s no surprised that I love playing this game with my family. Since I’m not seeing a lot of church families right now in-person, this activity created a sense of community. We were all competing and being silly/creative together. It’s been an intense competition (for me anyway) and it’s kept us active and engaged in a project.

Seeing Friends – I am doing my best to follow all the local guidelines and keep community at the same time. This means outdoor gatherings and keeping my social circle small. This month, I got have a lunch and a cider date with my two forever friends. I also gathered with my MOPS & MOMSnext steering team (outdoors and distanced) to hang out and catch up. We’ve continued to enjoy outdoor forest school with other homeschool families. These times of connection are so important. Distance doesn’t mean isolation.

Apple cider with Christa was just what I needed on a beautiful October afternoon.

Honorable Mention:
Waterfalls – It was so much fun to visit 7 waterfalls this month. We didn’t set out to make this a theme to our month. It just happened, but it was so much. We’ve been enjoying getting outside and enjoying the October sunshine as much as possible.
Hallmark Christmas Movies – I gave Hallmark movies a break for a few months. Now that Hallmark is airing their new Christmas movies, I’m back to recording every new movie. Yep. I’m that girl.

 

On Tuesdays… October 27, 2020

On Tuesday, I have less words (which will probably be a benefit to you). I use them up on Monday and Tuesday is a recovery day. Mondays are marathons and Tuesdays are tranquil. I am thankful for Tuesdays. We all need Tuesdays. A day to reflect, to slow down, to recover, to give yourself grace, a buffer, margin.

Our schedule this October has been vastly different than years past. Even with a slower October, I’ve been surprised at how full our month has become. We’ve celebrated Graham and Owen’s birthdays. Each boy got to chose their own adventures on their birthday. We had two special birthday meals – one with each side of the family. That’s a total of four birthday celebrations (just for our kids alone). We’ve celebrated family birthdays and we’ve celebrated a few friends’ birthdays, too. The amount of dessert I’ve eaten this month is impressive!

The Fall Family Scavenger Hunt has filled in a large amount of our time as we race to complete missions and earn points. This hunt has included many of our favorite autumn traditions, but it’s also inspired us to visit places we probably wouldn’t have gone to this month (Rainbow Falls State Park & Mt. St. Helens to name a few).

These October days have been full of celebration, tradition, friends, and family. Everything has been on a smaller scale this year. I’ve appreciated the smaller gatherings. There is less pressure to make things big and impressive. The focus is on spending time with loved ones and doing things we enjoy. October is always my favorite month of the year and this October has been no exception. 2020 can’t take the autumn magic away!

Sunday morning hot cocoa with Owen. This week Owen asked to go back to church and attend Jeremy’s elementary class. I dropped Owen off with Jeremy for the 2nd gathering. Graham and I spent some one-on-one time together. This will be our new Sunday morning normal until Graham’s class reopens.
Family walk for the scavenger hunt – I love the amount of colors and patterns in this photo!
I snapped this photo on a chilly evening walk. I’m still trying to get outside everyday and get my exercise. Super cold, but worth it!
Lunch date with my forever friend, Maggie! We finally could meet up now that you can eat indoors with people outside of your household.
October has been a waterfall month! Winston Creek Falls makes waterfall #7!
2020 Family Pictures
2020 Family Pictures
2020 Family Pictures
Spur of the moment trip to Mt. St. Helens to get points for the Fall Family Scavenger Hunt. Such a cold adventure, but beautiful!
Dressed up in a costume for MOPS & MOMSnext last night. Chef Amy!
Making clouds in school this morning. Owen always picks science as his first subject of the day.
 

Pumpkin Day October 21, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Parenthood,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 11:00 am

Pumpkins have to be my favorite thing about fall. They are my favorite way to decorate, my favorite flavor, and my favorite scent. I look forward to the pumpkin patch every year. In fact, most years you will find our family at the pumpkin patch multiple times in October. We go with friends, family, school, MOPS & MOMSnext… if there is a pumpkin patch outing, we’re there.

Because of COVID-19, we only visited one pumpkin patch this year. In a way, this created some pressure. Which pumpkin patch? We usually go to a variety of pumpkin patches and usually the location is determined by who we are going with. This time it was completely up to us. We finally settled on a pumpkin patch right down the road from us. We pass it every year and the boys always ask about it, but it’s never on the list of scheduled patches to visit. It was important to Jeremy and I to support a local pumpkin patch, so the one closest to our house seemed like a great choice.

In his need for independence, Owen grabbed the wagon and pulled it for almost the entirety of our visit. Graham (true to his nature) took the longest to select his pumpkin. I picked a pumpkin and Jeremy carved it. We did a “Team Parent” pumpkin this year. There were three challenges involving pumpkins for the Fall Family Scavenger Hunt, so we were able to accomplish those during our pumpkin day. Graham scrubbed the pumpkins clean when we got home and helped set them in the sun to dry.

Graham wanted a jack-o-lantern with a big nose this year. Jeremy made a traditional jack-o-lantern for our pumpkin. Owen wanted a spooky pumpkin. He decided to make his pumpkin look like it was saying “Boo!” I’m thankful that is his idea of spooky at this point. Owen did all the cutting of his pumpkin with supervision and guidance this year.

Every year, I am thankful for pumpkins! They make me happy. They bring joy to my world. Little things can make a big difference. For me that means pumpkins! Pumpkin day was a good day. Pumpkin season is a good season.

Commander of the Wagon
Taking his time to find the perfect pumpkin
Fall Family Scavenger Hunt: Visit a pumpkin patch
Fall Family Scavenger Hunt: Carve pumpkins
Fall Family Scavenger Hunt: Take a picture of the inside of a pumpkin
The end results! Our 2020 pumpkins!
 

Graham turns 5! October 20, 2020

Filed under: Family Time,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 1:10 pm

Yesterday my youngest, Graham, turned 5! I am now a mama of a five and seven year old and it blows my mind. How did they get so big? I love who these big kids are becoming and it eases the sorrow that they didn’t stay little forever. But let’s be real, the little days were hard work. I have fond memories from the little days, but I am thankful for each new season. Big kids are cool, too!

Birthdays this year were a pick-your-own-adventure kind of a celebration. Graham decided he wanted to go to a new waterfall, so we selected Snoqualmie Falls to visit. The waterfall was impressive and the boys loved watching the powerful water. We even felt the mist from the falls spray over us. We went to lunch in Bellevue and then Graham went birthday shopping. We enjoyed our time in The LEGO Store and The Disney Store. Graham’s original birthday request was to go to a playground, so we stopped in Olympia on the way home for some park playtime. We grabbed pizza and cake for dinner. Spur of the moment, we invited Nana, Papa, Grandma, and Grandpa to join us for dinner. Having his grandparents end the day with him was the perfect birthday wrap-up for Graham.

It can be hard to single out Graham’s specific interests. True to his little brother role, so many of his interests follow Owen. He wants to be like his brother and keep up with his brother. Graham’s favorite toys right now would be LEGO sets and Hot Wheel cars. He asks to pull out board games often. He likes to take the pieces and play his own imaginative games with them. Frequently, the Candyland characters are dancing around the house on their own mission apart from the actual game. Graham loves time outside – it might be jumping on the trampoline, following a new trail, or playing sneaky-spy in the yard. He is also our most adventurous eater. I’m fairly sure he can handle spicy food better than me!

Jeremy asked Owen to describe Graham in five words yesterday. Owen wasn’t sure so we turned it into an activity for the whole family. Jeremy said fun, Owen said brother and friend, I said smart, and Graham said silly. These are all accurate! I’ve been surprised by how smart Graham is as I’ve had a chance to be his schoolteacher since March. He knows way more than I realized. I enjoy being a part of his education so much. Having extra time at home with him for his last year of preschool has been a blessing. Owen and Graham are best friends right now. It’s so sweet to watch their brother-friendship unfold. Graham is fun and silly. His goofy ways add so much joy to our family!

The official 5th birthday picture!
Showing off his new color changing Hot Wheels car
Snoqualmie Falls
Waterfalls are fascinating
Birthday lunch
Playground time!
One more chance to make a wish!
It was so cute watching Graham walk around the mall with Wall-E in hand!