Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Christmas December 31, 2014

Filed under: Family Time — Amy Scott @ 12:25 pm

Here we are on the other side of our Christmas celebrations. Our family enjoyed 5 days of Christmas. A lot of people talk about surviving Christmas, but that is a concept I have never understood. I love Christmas. I love spreading the celebrations out over the week. It’s like life is one big giant party. I love shopping for presents. I love giving gifts and watching my loved ones open them. Truthfully, I love getting presents too. It’s just fun to see what others got me and if it’s cash or a gift card, it’s fun to know that I have guilt free shopping in my future. Christmas time means quality time with family. It means good food. I love it. I am like a big kid. It’s still magical to me.

In a lot of ways, it felt like this was Owen’s first Christmas. Last year he slept through a great deal of our gatherings and he had no ability to open presents. In fact, we didn’t even get him Christmas presents from Jeremy and I since his needs were small and he would never remember that holiday anyway. Because last year was so low-key for Owen, I was super excited to see what he would think of Christmas. On Christmas Eve morning we decided to open our presents together as our family of three. Owen enjoyed pulling small items out of his stocking. When it came to actually opening presents, he was more interested in the wrapping paper and bows then the actual gifts. I was slightly disappointed that he wasn’t more interested in his new toys but Owen had a great time and that is really all that matters. The highlight for me was having a room full of wrapping paper on the floor. The sign of a good Christmas is wrapping paper everywhere! I don’t know why, but it really made it feel like Christmas for me. That afternoon, we made Owen’s favorite meal – turkey! It as a yummy meal! The evening of Christmas Eve was spent at my in-laws house playing Christmas games with the extended family. The games were fun and we all walked away with a small prize. It was a great night and a great day. It was the perfect way to kick off all our Christmas celebrations.

Christmas Day, we drove up to my Grandma’s house. It’s nice because things don’t start until noon, so the morning isn’t too rushed. Once the family had all arrived, we quickly dove into the present opening. The kids all draw names for each other and the adults do an optional gift exchange game. This year, Jeremy and I walked away with the gifts that we brought and we are okay with that. We always bring something we like! Owen got a ball pit from cousin’s family. We didn’t open the box for days because Owen loved playing on the box so much. He loved standing on it, sitting on it, dancing on it. In fact, this box started a love/need to stand on all boxes at our Christmas gatherings. It’s the funniest thing.  After all the gifts were opened, we enjoyed a great meal, yummy desserts and time to just hang out and catch up with family that we don’t get to see often. Owen did great considering he didn’t have a nap the entire time we were there. He slept most of the ride home and we made a quick stop to wish Nana and Papa a “Merry Christmas”.

The day after Christmas is always a day that we view as a celebration as well. We head down to Portland to hit the after Christmas sales. This year we had both our family Christmas’ still yet to come so we didn’t want to buy ourselves something that we still might receive. Only the best deals might sway us. Surprisingly, we didn’t find that many great deals, but we did get some practical items we needed. One of the highlights of the day was selecting our own box of See’s candy since we were given a gift card by a family in our church. It’s been a long time since I’d stepped foot in a chocolate shop. The ladies at the counter gave all of us a sample, even Owen. He was a happy camper and wanted us to keep feeding him chocolate long after the sample was gone. It was a fun day. Not a super shopping day, but it was still fun to see and explore. In fact, we finished our Christmas shopping that day. It’s not often you can say that you finished your Christmas shopping after Christmas. I guess that is one of the bonuses of waiting to celebrate with our immediate families.

Saturday was Christmas with my side of the family and Sunday was Christmas with Jeremy’s side of the family. Both gatherings boasted a yummy spread of food and lots of holiday cheer. On my side Owen is the only kiddo and on Jeremy’s side, he is one of five kiddos. Sunday was fun to see all the cousins together. There was lots of playtime. On Saturday, Owen got a ton of Duplos to add to his collection, so of course, I spent time making a house that afternoon. It was soon destroyed just like all of my other Lego creations. I love my family so much and I look forward to the times when we are all together. My sister will be moving in the near future so she and my brother-in-law won’t be just 20 minutes away. I’m trying to enjoy the moments that they are in Lewis County while I have them. Luckily, they won’t be too far away, but things are changing right around the corner and it makes me want to make the most of the moments I have now.

Overall, 5 days of Christmas isn’t a bad way to do things! Also, this week is birthday week for my sister and brother-in-law so we’ve had even more family time. We’ve also gotten to spend some time with out of town family while they are around. I love my niece and nephews so spending time with them is always special since we don’t all live close. I might love Christmas presents, but I love my family even more and the time that we spend together makes Christmas special. It doesn’t matter what day we celebrate, as long as we’re together, it’s Christmas and it’s loud and it’s fun and it’s usually a high calorie day. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

Christmas Eve morning at homea

Christmas Eve morning at home

This picture sums us Owen's love for Christmas - "I have a piece of wrapping paper!"

This picture sums up Owen’s love for Christmas – “I have a piece of wrapping paper!”

Owen most be going through a growth spurt. All he did was eat over the holidays!

Owen must be going through a growth spurt. All he did was eat over the holidays!

Showing off his box standing skills on Grandma's Christmas present

Showing off his box standing skills on Grandma’s Christmas present

My favorite Christmas present reaction!

My favorite Christmas present reaction!

A boy and his cool whip

A boy and his cool whip

Cousins by the tree

Cousins by the tree

More standing on boxes!

More standing on boxes!

These two are buddies! Owen loves his cousin Carson!

These two are buddies! Owen loves his cousin Carson!

 

Sickness and Snowflakes December 23, 2014

Filed under: Family Time,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 1:55 pm

Wednesday, was my class Christmas party at church. We played games, we decorated Christmas cookies, we did a class gift exchange. It’s always one of my favorite nights of the year. However, I was especially excited when the girls left my classroom that night because it meant that my little family was officially on Christmas break. I went to get Owen from the nursery and I immediately noticed his red eyes. It looked like he had been crying. I was waiting for a meltdown update from the nursery staff, but instead they said that he had been tired all night. At one point he had sat down and almost feel asleep. We got Owen home and all he wanted to do was snuggle and sleep. This was very un-Owen like behavior. After a very rough night, we discovered that Owen had a fever and he became slug-boy all day. This was particularly sad because I had very festive plans for us that day. We were going to go up to the new Bass Pro Shop and possibly get a picture with Santa. Then we were going to continue up north to go to Snowflake Lane. Every night at 7:00pm, they stop traffic at Bellevue Square and do a drum line parade with characters and dancing. At the finale of the show, they make it snow. It’s super fun and I was very excited to show Owen all the musical action… Well, that didn’t pan out. We had a day at home with our sick boy. Not the best way to start Christmas vacation. On the plus side, I took the time that day to steam clean our carpets. I’ve been putting that off since summer so it felt good to check that off the to-do list. Jeremy got to work on a project in our shower (it’s cracking and we’re trying to patch it up so we don’t have to replace the whole shower). The day was beneficial in the way of house projects. To end the day, we drove around and looked at Christmas lights and went to a local park for the light display.

Owen’s fever was gone on Friday, but he had a cough and he was still pretty slow. He didn’t have much energy. The real fun of Friday was Jeremy came down with a stomach bug and spent the next 24 throwing up… a lot… a lot, a lot. So I had a sick hubby and sick baby. Friday and Saturday were sick days in the Scott household. I had to call on the help of my mom and sister to get us ready for the Children’s Church Christmas Parties on Saturday and Sunday. They purchased and wrapped the gifts for us since our little family wasn’t up for it.

By Sunday, Jeremy was feeling better but Owen had gross snot at this point, so I stayed home with him since he wasn’t well enough to go into the nursery. I went to bed on Sunday night almost dreading the next day. We had planned to resume our Thursday plans, but I was sure that something else was going to come up to derail them. On Monday, Jeremy woke up with almost no voice. According to him, he felt fine but for some reason his voice did not agree. Owen was still snotty and I could tell I was brink of having Owen’s cold since I’d spent so much quality time with him through his illness. But… no one had a fever and no one felt like they were dying, so we packed up and took off!

It was fun to explore the new Bass Pro Shop in Tacoma. Owen loved all the animals throughout the store. We decided to forgo the picture with Santa this year. The line wasn’t too long, but it wasn’t moving super fast. Also, Owen doesn’t really like getting passed off to strangers so the chances of getting a good photo were slim. As we were checking out, the cashier talked to Owen and he gave her this intense scowl face. I’m guessing Santa would have gotten the same face along with a good wail and scream. Traumatic childhood photo scratched from the list of things to do this Christmas. Maybe next year… or maybe never.

We stopped to have dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Jeremy and I haven’t eaten their since Owen was born, so it was a rare treat! Jeremy’s stomach was feeling better and he was ready for some good food. I was ready for some good dessert! In true Owen fashion, the best part of the meal for him was the whipped cream that came with our desserts.

We made it up to Snowflake Lane with perfect timing. Our view wasn’t great, but I didn’t really want to fight through the crowds. I’m chicken when it comes to stuff like that. Owen did get to meet a few of the cast members as the wondered around. His favorite was the polar bear. He accepted a sucker from a drummer girl and proceeded to lick the candy wrapper. He wouldn’t give the drummer boy a high five though. He is a tough nut to crack sometimes. Once the show starter, Owen watched in awe and randomly danced. Once the drummers were doing their thing, he wanted to go to them. I figure Owen wanted to play the drums since he has a small drum set at home. I love it when it starts to snow! It’s my favorite part. All of the holiday music is also great. It’s a special experience. I’ll look forward to going again. I think Owen will like it even more next year.

There is very little time left until Christmas is here! True to our traditions, we have 5 days of Christmas planned this week! We know how to make the party last! Good times! Today I finished most of wrapping. We have one gift arriving tomorrow and that will complete our shopping. The only holiday tradition we have yet to fulfill is watching The Muppet’s Christmas Carol and White Christmas. I’m hoping we can get that checked off the list today and tomorrow! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! (Minus the sickness!)

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Snowflake Lane 2014

 

Gingerbread Houses and a Windy Evening December 13, 2014

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 5:47 pm

This week has been a bit odd. On Monday, my good friend Kaly brought her boys down for a play date with Owen. It was interesting to watch Owen interact with other kids who wanted to play with his toys. Let’s just say that sharing is not too high on his list of social skills. My guess that is that in the nursery at church it’s not as big of a deal because the toys there are not “his”. Kaly and I spent the time chatting and making sure that each kid had something to occupy them. Also, my dog didn’t attack anyone, so this is considered a good play date in my book! It was really great to see Kaly and catch up with her. She is such a busy lady. Time with her and her boys is precious. Tuesday was my MOPS Christmas party. My baking skills lately have been horrible. Instead of making something to bring, I ran through Starbucks and bought a tray of Cranberry Bliss Bars. I had to cut them in half so that there would actually be a number worth sharing. It was the easy thing to do and I might have eaten all the leftovers. Just maybe! Sadly, after the morning at MOPS, Jeremy came home with us and proceeded to fight a fever for the next day. It was nice having him around on Tuesday/Wednesday, but I was super bummed that he had to be sick in order to see us. Wednesday night, I bundled Owen up and took him to church. This would allow Jeremy some time at home without Owen and I to distract him. Turns out Jeremy ended up watching cartoons the entire time we were gone. He discovered Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD and his life was changed. I was glad that he could rest and recover and just do his thing.

Wednesday night was a special night of the year of my class of 5th/6th grade girls. A few years ago I started a new December tradition for my class. We now have a Gingerbread House Decorating Competition every year. I buy the pre-made kits that come with all the decorating supplies. This truly is the way to go. The houses are sturdy and all you need is supplied in the box. The girls always think that the supplied candy isn’t enough, but at the end of the competition they find that is truly is more than enough. I divided the girls up into three teams by having them draw numbers. The girls were judged on teamwork, creativity, use of supplies and overall appearance. The teams all did great this year. In fact, the girls gave team names to themselves, so Team Peppermint was our winner. Team Elf Bunny got runner up because they had the best use of teamwork. And sadly, Team Baby Jesus brought up the rear. I know, it doesn’t seem right that Baby Jesus would be last. Sad story. Overall though, everyone had a good time. The girls were allowed to destroy and devour their creations after it was all said and done. I also brought a class snack, so their combined sugar intake was off the charts that night.

Thursday night turned out to be pretty wild for us! We had a wind storm blow through the pacific northwest. Our power went out sooner than we expected. By 4:00pm we were powerless and set for a night in the dark. Owen ate dinner by lantern light and then spent a majority of the night running around with a mini-flashlight in his hands. We waited for things to quiet down a bit and then we ran into town to get some oil and gas for Jeremy’s generator. A few Black Fridays ago, Jeremy came home with a generator from Cabelas that was a fabulous deal. We lose power fairly often where we live so it was only a matter of time before we needed to use it. This Thursday was the day that the generator got to leave the box and fulfill it’s purpose. The purpose of the generator was keep our fridge and freezer running so we didn’t lose any food inside. It was odd to go to bed in the pitch black to the hum of the generator. Also because we didn’t have our baby monitor system to work with, we set the baby gate up at our door to keep our dog in the room, but the door was open so we could hear if Owen was crying in his room. Luckily for us, the power returned about 2:00am before Owen’s early wake up. I was able to turn the monitor back on and things went back to normal. I was very intrigued to see what Owen thought of the power outage. He was interested in the candles but they were all out of reach. No fun. The main highlight was running around with that mini-flashlight. With that flashlight in hand Owen had no fear in going into any of the dark rooms. I now know that if it’s a rough night and I’m home alone, I’ll just turn off all the lights and give Owen a flashlight. Hours of entertainment at my fingertips!

Well, that about sum up the interesting points. We all went out to breakfast on Friday morning to celebrate surviving the storm. Jeremy and Owen went over to Nana & Papa’s to help take down a tree that had fallen during the the storm. I took a nap while the boys were away and it was GLORIOUS! Today, we braved a few stores for Christmas shopping reasons and random reasons. Now Jeremy is at a lighted tractor parade helping our kid’s choir sing on our float. Owen is down for a nap and I am enjoying a small window of quiet! It’s delightful!

Gingerbread House Decorating Competition

Gingerbread House Decorating Competition

Dinner by lantern light

Dinner by lantern light

A boy and his flashlight

A boy and his flashlight

 

Christmas is Here Again! December 9, 2014

Filed under: Family Time,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 4:20 pm

December started with relief and stress. On December 1st, I called the City of Winlock and discovered that they had one court case scheduled for the month and it has been canceled. I asked what that meant for me having jury duty. I was told that I was released from that commitment. I was a little stunned and asked if that was for the week or the whole month. Of course, it was for the whole month when the once case gets canceled. I couldn’t believe my good luck. I was so grateful. I had been dreading having jury duty and had even requested to be excused from it. In good small town fashion, I never heard back from them about asking to be excused, but that is okay, because it all worked out in the long run. That was the relief part.

The other part of December 1st was spent going over my notes for my speaking engagement at MOPs the next day. During Owen’s nap time, I hunkered down in my room and practiced my message. I timed it to figure how long I was going to take. I practiced the pace and the tone I wanted to set. After practicing a few times, I went through and formatted my notes for printing. Later that evening Jeremy took Owen grocery shopping, so I printed my notes and went through my message another three times – this time practicing eye contact and not being glued to my notes. By the end of the day, I was feeling like the message was as internalized as it was ever going to be. I just had to pray that things would go well the next day.

I’m happy to report that things did go well. In fact, I think I was the calmest and most collected I’ve ever been while speaking in front of a group of adults. I’ve put certain skills aside as I’ve entered this season of stay-at-home mommyhood. I was reminded that even though it terrifies me, I do have the ability to share the gospel in a pubic way in front of adults. I loved the message that I got to share. I got to talk about extravagant love and what that means during this time of year. I got to share about the extravagant love of God and what Jesus did for us by coming to earth as a baby. It was a good message. One that I have been deeply impacted by. My life has been filled with extravagant love. The love of my God, my Savior. Also, the love of my family and friends. I am loved and blessed and humbled. I’m so grateful for how the whole day turned out. It couldn’t have been any better.

With things being busy around the church for Jeremy, Owen and I got some quality mommy/son bonding time over the last week. Jeremy joined into the Christmas festivities when he could. We got our Christmas tree in phases this year. Friday, we got the tree. Saturday, Jeremy got the tree into the house. Sunday, we decorated the tree. Now that the tree is up, it really feels like Christmas time once again. Jeremy has another big weekend at work and then he has vacation time. I’m so excited! We have some festive plans that I’m really looking forward to. I’m debating whether or not to try to get Owen’s picture with Santa. I have this sinking feeling that Owen won’t be too interested in being placed on a stranger’s lap, but part of me thinks it’s worth a try. Who knows? Maybe he’ll love Santa.

I’m doing my best to make peace with Santa. I didn’t grow up in a home where Santa was a big deal. I don’t remember getting gifts from him. In fact, my mom told me when I was really little that St. Nicholas was a good man who gave gifts to kids and died a long time ago. She wanted me to have a “historical” view of Santa. She wanted me to know that he was “real” but just not in the way that TV made him out to be. All my little mind heard was “Santa is dead”. Now you might assume that I was crushed, but no. I found this fact very interesting and worth sharing with the other kids who came in contact with me. As you can guess, that spread some Christmas cheer and made a lot of parents happy with me. All that to say, Santa is a new thing for me to incorporate into the holidays. Owen will get one present from Santa this year. It’s a nice present, but it isn’t the best present. My friend, Christa, once told me that Santa gets the credit for presents that parent’s get their kids. This really stuck with me. I want the credit for a good gift. Not Santa.

In other news, our family had a great time visiting Zoolights this last weekend and celebrating my nephew, Keegan’s, upcoming birthday. Owen loved looking at the Christmas lights. He enjoyed playing with the rope lights throughout the zoo. One of Owen’s words is “light” so this was right up his alley. Speaking of words, Owen has also learned the word “hot” and uses it to point at the stove and coffee mugs. Lots of things are “hot” these days. Owen has taken to dancing right now. He loves to dance to the “Hot Dog” song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He also likes to dance to NSYNC and “What Does the Fox Say”. He is quite the twinkle toes these days. The music moves him! It’s so fun watching his personality develop. He certainly has his likes and dislikes. He loves to take off his shoes and socks. Stuffed animals have become his buddies. He loves to destroy anything I build with his Legos. He is growing into quite an interesting and unique little human!

Well, that’s a brief snippet of December so far! I’m looking forward to all the holiday fun still yet to come. I’ll keep you posted as the month unfolds! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Yipee!

Laundry baskets can be endlessly entertaining!

Laundry baskets can be endlessly entertaining!

Playing with buddies

Playing with buddies

Kissing Baby Jesus

Kissing Baby Jesus

Wearing Mommy's hat on the way back from getting our tree

Wearing Mommy’s hat on the way back from getting our tree

Selfie with the birthday boy

Selfie with the birthday boy

Hanging with Uncle Eric and Brinley at Red Robin! Yum!a

Hanging with Uncle Eric and Brinley at Red Robin! Yum!

Zoolights!

Zoolights!

The star is a trumpet right?

The star is a trumpet right?

Trying to get a family picture is front of the tree

Trying to get a family picture in front of the tree

Some pictures are easier to take without one year olds!

Some pictures are easier to take without one year olds!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!