Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Home for the Holidays! December 6, 2018

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:11 pm

It’s so nice being home for the holidays! Settling into our new house and celebrating each new season here is a blessing. I’ve been intentionally sticking close to home these days so Graham and I can work on potty training. I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say, it’s been very dramatic. My festive holiday decorations are currently accented with blankets and towels over the furniture to save them from accidents.

December started with the Christmas musical for Jeremy and the elementary kids at our church. My boys got to open the performances with a few songs sung by their classes. They started out okay on stage, but slowly got more and more unhappy. Once they spotted me in the crowd, they just wanted to be off the stage and done. It made for an emotional morning and I left church on Sunday morning with a grumpy 5 year old and a relieved 3 year old. The elementary kids at our church did a fantastic job with their musical. In the middle of the it, I was holding back tears. I love these kiddos and it’s always so heartwarming to see them singing their hearts out about God’s love. As much as I appreciate my littles singing “Away in a Manger” each year, I really hope they want to participate in the musical when they are older. It’s such a great opportunity and lays such a powerful foundation for kids to commit truth to their hearts and minds through song (and dance, haha).

Our week kicked off with a continued focus on potty training during the day. I had a Christmas party with my Chehalis MOPS & MOMSnext steering team members on Monday evening. By party time, I was ready to leave the land of potty training and head to a kid free house to celebrate Christmas with mom friends, good food and fun games. This is our second year having the Christmas party at a team member’s house and it truly changes the vibe of our gathering from a meeting to a party. It’s quickly becoming a highlight of the Christmas season for me.

Tuesday was a comp day for Jeremy since he worked a big portion of the weekend with extra rehearsals and performances. We took the kids to see Santa… sort of as a redo. I thought we could see him on Friday while running errands, but he wasn’t there yet, so Tuesday was a make-up outing. Despite their excitement on the ride up, both kids were too scared to talk to Santa. In our family picture, Santa isn’t smiling. Makes me wonder if he needed more coffee that morning or what… Usually you can count on Santa to be the one smiling. Yesterday was my class gingerbread house decorating competition. It’s a beloved tradition with my 4th-6th grade girls and it’s fun to watch them be super creative with their houses. Tonight is a book party night for me. I have just two more parties before I wrap up the holiday selling season and 2018. It’s been a good season for books but I am looking forward to slowing down and a change of pace.

I’ll wrap things up right now and save all of next week’s happenings for my next blog post. It seems like December started and all of the sudden the countdown to Christmas is on. We have advent calendars with chocolates. We have the Christmas to-do list with all of our favorite things. My goal for this evening might be to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. If you know me at all, you know that this is the one time of year where I watch all the Hallmark Christmas movies and then a few of my own personal favorites – like White Christmas. It’s so nice to snuggle up on our couch by the light of the Christmas tree and watch a Christmas movie. It’s so nice to be really home for the holidays!

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Playing video games together. This stage came way sooner than I expected. 

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Gingerbread House Tradition

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Advent calendars to countdown to Christmas! 

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Christmas musical 

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Daddy gets the best pictures! 

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Christmas party with my MOPS & MOMSnext Steering Team

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Santa picture 2018

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Watching my class create their gingerbread masterpieces! 

 

Hello End of November November 28, 2018

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 11:11 am

Okay, life has a way of turning out different than expected. Duh. Usually in our house that means that I have “plans” and then one or some or all of us get sick and the plans change. The second half of our month has been fairly normal with some illness that of course fell over Thanksgiving weekend. Owen came down with a low grade fever and turned to a bump on a log the day before Thanksgiving. He woke up Thanksgiving morning and threw up and then was fine. Although he was a bit low energy the rest of the weekend. Jeremy and Graham went to the Scott family brunch on Thanksgiving morning while Owen and I stayed home. The plan was for Graham to switch parents mid-day and come up to my grandma’s house with me for the afternoon. Once Owen and Graham were reunited at switch time, they decided they couldn’t be separated, so I went up to my grandma’s house with my parents but without any members of my immediate family. It was so odd. No kids to make plates for, no one to supervise and make sure they were keeping out of trouble. It was also a bit sad because Jeremy and I were ships passing. The only upside is we knew Owen wasn’t going to make it to any celebrations so Jeremy went to Safeway on Wednesday afternoon and had all the fixings ready for his own meal at home. On Friday, Jeremy developed a migraine and that laid him out. Saturday was our cookie decorating gathering for MOPS & MOMSnext at our house. No one had a fever for over 24 hours. I deep cleaned the house and our low-energy family pulled it together to have a couple friends over. Then it was back to be being slow pokes for the rest of the weekend.

We did do a small amount of Christmas shopping on Saturday evening. It was a super quick run to Walmart to see if we could get some gifts and finish our holiday decorating. Thanks to online shopping as well, I have most of the Christmas shopping done now. I’m waiting for my packages to arrive and then I can move on to the wrapping phase. Each year I get a set of wrapping paper from Costco. I love how it all matches, but each year I have paper left over. I now have quite a large stash of mismatched wrapping paper, so despite the clashing, I plan on working through my paper stash this year. This might seem like a no brainer to some, but to me this is a big move. Can you tell I take Christmas wrapping seriously?

The house is now fully decorated for Christmas. The original plan was to decorate the Friday after Thanksgiving, but we knew we needed to evaluate our decorations after not seeing some of them for two years. On the 16th, we took everything out and assessed what we had, what we liked, what no longer fit and then made a list of things to get when we went shopping the next day. We were down in Portland/Vancouver for a family birthday party, so it was the perfect time to hit all the “Pre-Black Friday” sales that were everywhere. It was felt strange because once we pulled everything out on the 16th, we didn’t want to put them away just to pull them out a week later, so for a short while we lived in a half decorated house.

November was a quieter month for us. Busy, yes, but mostly business as usual. We’re gearing up for December. This weekend is the Christmas musical and my boys will get to sing a few songs with their classes before the musical begins. I’m that mom who bought them matching red plaid shirts to wear on stage. Mostly because Graham only has pastel shirts because Owen was wearing 3T at 2.5 years old (Easter time) and Graham is wearing them a few month later than Owen’s timeline.

The beginning of December is full for Jeremy with the musical and then the following weekend is the lighted tractor parade where our church kiddos sing on a lighted float. We have all kinds of Christmas parties for our church classes and I have two different Christmas parties for our MOPS & MOMSnext group. And then we head into vacation time! The best time of the year! The church office closes for a week at the holidays and then Jeremy takes an additional week off. We have some festive plans in the works. We’ll see how the pan out. Obviously at this point in my life, I have learned to hold everything as tentative until it’s actually happening. But I am hopeful and excited. It’s going to be a great holiday season no matter what we do. Just being our new house for the first time at Christmas is reason enough to be happy, content and grateful. It’s warm, it’s festive, full of my loved ones. I am blessed! However, for the sake of writing material, I hope December is a bit more exciting than our November.

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Decorating the tree!!!

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Mom’s Night Out with my MOPS & MOMSnext friends. 

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Birthday time with Nolan

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Graham built this robot all on his own. I was impressed.

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Thanksgiving morning with my sicko. 

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Thankful for this man every single day. He is the best! 

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Last but not least, my little Grambo! 

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A Thanksgiving family picture was not in the cards for us. Oh well. 

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Cookie decorating with friends! 

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Owen loves racing cars with Daddy on the Xbox. 

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And we enter another season of watching the Polar Express almost daily. Graham wins style points for watching it dressed as an engineer. 

 

 

Hello Middle of November November 15, 2018

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:41 pm

I almost didn’t blog today… I feel compelled to blog on a schedule, because that is how I am wired. I like to blog every 7-10 days and sometimes I push that out to every 2 weeks. It’s my rhythm, my flow. For some reason though, my brain froze at the end of October. While November has been happening, I’ve been kind of a sitting back wondering how we got here. Usually I have all sorts of stories about our happenings, cute pictures of the kids. I’m low on all of those right now. I’m not quite sure why, but here are a few highlights…

We survived daylight savings ending.  For some reason, it was harder on me this year. My body just didn’t adjust to the time change all that well and I felt off for a about week. I’ve been in major book party mode with the holiday selling season upon us. That fills up a lot of evenings. I went away to a conference last weekend with some children’s ministry leaders from our church. The boys had a fantastic weekend Nana & Papa. I will admit that while I enjoyed the kid free time and while the conference was a wonderful resource, I often wished I could sneak back to the hotel and take nap or start my Christmas shopping. However, having a team come with us, kept my head in the game and made me responsible for participating.  The pictures I took that weekend were of my first pizza at MOD pizza and the “waffled” pancakes the hotel breakfast offered. I live an exciting life, folks.

While the first half of the month has just been keeping up with business, the second half should offer more fun and entertainment. This weekend we plan on going to my nephew’s birthday party. We also plan on starting our Christmas shopping. Then comes thanksgiving. I have a huge list of goodies that need to be baked. I’m making my baking schedule for Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday morning. Friday is the day we plan to decorate the inside of the house for Christmas. On Saturday the 24th, we’re hosting a holiday cookie decorating outing for our MOPS & MOMSnext group at the house. That should be fun… and sticky… So yes, as you can see, the latter half of the month promises to be quite holly, jolly, merry and bright.

Here are the photos I could find since my last post. Enjoy!

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With the weekends being full, Jeremy got the Christmas lights up on the house at the very beginning of the month. He has since added lights to his greenhouse and the well house.  We love making our new home festive! 

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We love Christmas jammies! We use them in November, December & beyond! 

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Graham snuck into the class with Owen.

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The boys got new trains with their birthday money that look like realistic CSX & BNSF trains. As you can see there was much joy when they arrived. 

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The boys got new trains with their birthday money that look like realistic CSX & BNSF trains. As you can see there was much joy when they arrived. 

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And more matching Christmas jammies… 

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For some reason, Owen’s face looks like this about 70% of the day. Major & minor disappointments are met with this frown. I’m a little concerned he has this expression so often his face might freeze like that… 

 

Hello November November 2, 2018

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Children's Ministry,Usborne Books & More — Amy Scott @ 2:52 pm

And now we find ourselves in November. Let me fill you in on how October ended and November has begun.

The last week of October is always a big one in our household. Jeremy has Fall Fest every October 31st and lots of prep goes into that event. Now that I’m leading MOPS & MOMSnext, I have a bake sale that happens during Fall Fest. While this last week was a big work week for Jeremy, it was a big MOPS & MOMSnext week for me. Monday, I baked and assembled my goodies for sale. Tuesday, I had 70 card boxes delivered to my house. Our group just did a Cards for a Cause fundraiser. The boxes had to be sorted and labeled and repackaged for distribution. Wednesday, I had my final eye doctor appointment which ends a year of visiting PCLI every few months. Praise the Lord it’s behind me. I still struggle with dry eyes, but I am more informed now and know  ways to help improve my eye comfort. The good thing is my eyes aren’t inflamed any more. After that early morning appoint (I mean who even make 8:00am appointments?!?), I ran a Fall Fest errand for Jeremy and then picked up Graham from the church. Wednesday night, the kids excitedly got to spend the evening playing games, gathering candy and hanging with the men in their life (Daddy, Papa & Grandpa) while I worked the bake sale.

Jeremy had an out of town meeting on Thursday, so I was on preschool drop off and pick up… It’s been spirit week at Owen’s school and Thursday was pajama day. It seemed fitting after a late night to come to school in jammies. I went through Starbucks hoping that it was red cup day to validate my being out of the house in my exhausted state, but alas, no red cup. Then I learned that it was today.

Red cup day remains one of my favorite days of the year – even if the cups aren’t all red. I’m not hung up on the details, I’m just madly in love with all things seasonal and festive. Starbucks was giving away reusable cups with holiday drink orders, so Jeremy took one for the team and got two gingerbread lattes so we’d each have our own reusable cup. After getting our festive drinks, we did shopping for Operation Christmas Child and then went to Carter’s for Christmas pajamas. I’m all about getting as much use as possible out of Christmas pajamas. We came home and Jeremy put on Christmas music and started working on Christmas lights. Usually, we wait a few more weekends before getting lights on the house, but this weekend seems to be the freest, so Jeremy is seizing the day and getting things done.

When I’m not fundraising, keeping the kids alive or celebrating the season, I’ve been reading. I don’t post often enough about what I’ve been reading, so I thought I would share my recent autumn readings. I went a year and a half with my books in storage, so I am loving my home library with a deeper sense of appreciation. I re-read The Chronicles of Narnia and The Love Comes Softly series. Novels are my love language. Give me a novel and free time (and preferably a blanket) and I am the happiest girl on earth. I’ve also been seeing a lot about the Enneagram (a type personality assessment) and I decided to do some personal research. I got Self to Lose, Self to Find through a friend recommendation and I have a coffee date set up to discuss my thoughts with her. I love personality assessments and when my bloggers and friends start throwing around terms I don’t know – I’m going to do some research! In case you’re wondering (because you know the Enneagram) – I think I’ve determined that my primary type is 1 and that my wing type is 2 and under stress I am a 6. It’s interesting stuff! Now I’m on to Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs. She was a really compelling speaker at MOPS & MOMSnext last year and while the book is about really hard stuff, I love discovering a new author.

My nap time window for blogging is about to come to a close. I hope your November is off to a great start. If it isn’t then I highly recommend a peppermint hot chocolate and a good book to make things better.

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Bake Sale Prep

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Just a few boxes to sort… Gotta love two fundraisers back to back. 

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My boys – ready for Halloween! 

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My costume game is not strong… 

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Chehalis MOPS & MOMSnext Bake Sale

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Chehalis MOPS & MOMSnext Bake Sale

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Even Grandpa got in on the construction them for Fall Fest! 

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Pajama day

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Red Cup Day 

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Operation Christmas Child boxes are packed and ready to go! 

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Nothing like a good book! 

 

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” October 29, 2018

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:13 pm

That title quote by LM Montgomery gets splashed around every October. It’s now considered “basic” according to social media. Truthfully, I didn’t know of its existence until a few years back when I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time. Despite it’s overuse, I can wholeheartedly agree with Anne Shirley. October is my favorite month of the year. And each year, I find that it’s stuffed to the brim with so much autumn activity. This year was no exception.

What do I mean by full? Well, for starters – 3 trips to the pumpkin patch. All different patches with all different people. 4 birthday parties and many other family birthdays on top of the parties. We did the corn maze, we went to a local apple festival, I hosted a LuLaRoe party, we kicked off our growth group, we’ve had multiple fundraisers for MOPS & MOMSnext. Just to name a few things… Needless to say, I’ve kept busy…

Now that my boys are older and I’m out of the baby haze, I truly love going to all these outing with my kiddos and making their birthday month special for them. All the October birthdays in our family and friend circle makes October feel like one giant birthday party. October was my favorite month before my boys arrived and having kids has only made this month more enjoyable. I don’t remember going to the pumpkin patch as a kid (I think we always bought our pumpkins at the store – no judgement on my mother or those who get store bought pumpkins. I love pumpkins no matter where they came from.) I also don’t remember doing things like the corn maze… so I’m there right alongside my kids enjoying these new traditions. I’m so grateful that even in the midst of a busy month, we’ve been able to have such quality time with family and friends.

The bottom line for me is that I am not busy for the sake of being busy. I don’t fill my calendar because I don’t like down time. The bottom line for me is I love my people. I love my boys, my family, my friends, my church. I love the relationships that I am building and the memories that I am making. My boys are growing up with aunts and uncles, grandparents, parents of their friends, all speaking into their lives and loving on them. On outings, my friends and I look out for each other kids and it’s so wonderful to know that we have each others backs. I am thankful and so blessed. Each season is an opportunity to grow deeper with those we care for, but I think fall shows off. We have plenty on time on days filled with autumn sunshine to gather and celebrate and enjoy life together. The same holds true for days filled with autumn fog or rain – this is the pacific northwest after all. I know I often blog about my little family mostly, but today, I want to say a huge thanks for my greater circle – the friends and the family who make this month and every month so special!

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” – Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables 

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The boys met up with Papa on his birthday to practice some putting. 

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Jeremy was asked to be a driver for Owen’s class field trip to the pumpkin patch. Graham and I tagged along for some extra pumpkin fun.

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Pumpkin Patch #2

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Hands On Children’s Museum for a friend’s birthday. 

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Hands On Children’s Museum for a friend’s birthday. 

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Hands On Children’s Museum for a friend’s birthday. 

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Testing out Christmas Musical costumes for Dad 

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Family game night

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Pumpkin Patch #3 with MOPS & MOMSnext friends. Graham decided to name the cow Timmy. 

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Pumpkin Patch #3 with MOPS & MOMSnext friends.

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Graham got to be my date to a family wedding. He loved the view of the boats. 

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My wedding date! 

 

 

 

Graham is Three! October 24, 2018

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:39 pm

On Friday, Graham turned three! Because we don’t like to do birthdays small in our family, we took off for the beach on Thursday afternoon. We had dinner in Astoria at Mo’s – our favorite seafood restaurant. Graham happily munched on fries. Owen discovered a new passion for saltine crackers. Then it was off to the hotel and more importantly, the hotel swimming pool. I find humor in the fact that Graham spent his first birthday at a hotel and now his third. 2/3 of his birthdays have involved hotels. However, hotels are one of Graham’s love languages, so it’s all good.  The hotel we stayed at in Seaside was set up well for families and long stays. It had two bedrooms and two bathrooms. There was a washer/dryer, jetted tub, kitchen and fireplace. We could have hunkered down there happily all winter. But alas, we were only there for a one night stay.

Graham’s birthday began before the sun was up at 5:30am. The kids were ready for the day even if Jeremy and I would have preferred another hour or so of sleep. We quickly got ready and took off for Pig’N’Pancake for the birthday breakfast. Pancakes, bacon & eggs were on the menu and happily eaten. Then it was time for a walk on the beach and looking for sand dollars. The boys knew that there presents to be opened back at the hotel so the focus turned to getting back to our room for gifts. Owen watched me wrap Graham’s gifts and I explained to him that it was a secret until Graham opened them. To his credit, Owen didn’t tell Graham anything, but since he knew what was inside of them, I think he was just as anxious as Graham for the presents to be opened. We let the kids play with the presents in the hotel room and then we hit to the Seaside carousal. That completed phase one of our birthday adventures.

From Seaside we took off for Tillamook. The creamery there holds a special place in our hearts. We’ve wanted to go back to have a meal there and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. We enjoyed lunch and ice cream – and cheese samples and the gift shop. And that was the end of phase two. Phase three was the Oregon Zoo for the last few hours it was open. We went on a train ride (a must for the birthday boy) and we looked at a handful of top priority animals. At this point in the day, you can imagine the boys were tired and ready for the marathon birthday to wrap up. We certainly know how to pack a day full of fun and celebration. Graham had a blast doing so many of his favorite things and it was a lovely family day.

What to say about our little Graham… First off, he thinks his name is Grambo. He loves applesauce and we should buy it by the pallet at Costco. He loves to play on his own which makes him a pretty easy kid when he and I are home alone together. We often run errands together while Owen is at preschool. I’m also aware that this is his last year fully at home with me during the days, so I’m trying to be more intentional about getting him ready for preschool. We enjoy doing ABCmouse together. He has two pet bunnies he takes care and he loves the games, puzzles and songs. He is a huge fan of coloring – mostly with the colors black and yellow. He is obsessed with shapes thanks to YouTube. He also knows his ABCs and can count to 10. He remains my shy guy and often clings to me for comfort and safety. His attachment to me can be frustrating at times, but I know that someday I will miss him wanting and needing me. I try to appreciate the closeness we share even if does almost drive me batty sometimes. Graham is our family alarm clock and usually wakes up around 6:30am most days. He is a fun, silly, goofy, cuddly, sweet and lovable kiddo. I’m so grateful that God put him in our little family!

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Playing with Fall Fest games 

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Crashing brother’s pumpkin patch field trip. More on our other October happenings in my next post. 

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Nothing can compare to a hotel swimming pool. 

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The official 3 year old! 

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Breakfast before the sun was fully up! 

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Family Beach Walk 

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Present time 

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Carousal Ride 

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Birthday ice cream

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Birthday train ride 

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It was a good day for Graham or should I say Grambo. 

 

Autumn Fun October 15, 2018

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:53 pm

This week was full of autumn family fun. The boys were anxious to open their new board games as well as to carve their pumpkins. We ended up doing both in one night! The kids love their new games. Graham especially loves Candyland. Since there is no reading required, he is fully able to understand the game. Owen decided to carve his pumpkin into a train this year. Graham picked Mickey Mouse. And no, the kids didn’t actually carve them. Jeremy did. He is the pumpkin artist in our family.

On Friday night, I left after the boys were asleep in bed to pick up my forever friend, Maggie, from the airport in Portland. I never leave the house after 8:30pm. It felt very odd. This was also my first airport pick up on my own. As much as I would have loved a buddy on the ride down, I really wanted that one-on-one time with Maggie on the car ride home. We haven’t seen each other in person since July 2017 and since she was only in Washington on a short trip for her grandma’s funeral, I was trying to catch whatever time I could with her!

Saturday morning, we met up with friends at the Lattin’s Cider Mill Apple Festival. We usually go to Lattin’s on weekdays throughout the year and that means we mostly have the place to ourselves. The Apple Festival was a bit of a zoo, but they offered extra activities so the kids really enjoyed it despite the crowd. We did the petting zoo, fed the animals and rode on the animal train. It was almost all smiles and sunshine, except Graham got his first yellow jacket sting. I didn’t even see the bee until it was flying off of Graham’s neck. Graham cried out and then was fine. I kept examining it trying to figure out what happen. In the end, we determined it was a sting, but he had no allergic reaction and seemed to not be bothered by it. Praise the Lord!!!

After Maggie’s family time on Saturday, the boys and I picked up from her hotel to get some dinner. We brought her back to our house so she could see it in person. Maggie and I have regular phone dates since she lives in California. She walked through the whole building process with me from a distance. It was really fun to show her the finished product in person. Right before she moved to California, I took her to the “property” to show her the spot where our house would be… so yeah… a lot has happened since she was last here! It was great to sit on the couch and just chat, in the same room, together in person!

We’ve been in a stretch of sunny October weather this last week. It’s perfect for outings in the autumn sunshine. After nap time yesterday, we loaded the boys up and took them to the corn maze. The place we go has two different mazes. We let each boy take turns leading us through. Amazingly, we made it out both times. Jeremy was proud of the boys’ innate sense of direction (just like their father – his words). Then we made a quick trip to Costco (which seems to be our second home lately) and then dinner out together at the beloved Chipotle. According to Owen, Chipotle has the best chips, cheese and chocolate milk ever – the perfect meal combination. To end the fantastic family outing, we got fro yo! Couldn’t ask for a better way to spend an autumn day!

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Playing a new family game they got for their birthday

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Pumpkin carving with our pumpkins from the patch. Owen decided to do a train and Graham picked Mickey Mouse. 

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Loving Candyland since Graham can follow the rules and fully understands the game. 

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That was a good cookie! 

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Jeremy carved one of his giant pumpkins. Now it stares into the house from the driveway. Kinda creepy. 

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Reunited with Maggie! 

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Lattin’s Apple Festival

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Lattin’s Apple Festival

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Lattin’s Apple Festival

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Lattin’s Apple Festival

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Lattin’s Apple Festival

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Since we haven’t hung out in person since July 2017, it was a true blessing to sit on the couch and just chat! 

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Corn Maze 

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Owen got to lead us through the first maze.

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Graham got to lead us through the second time. 

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Fro Yo after the Corn Maze