Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Birthday Weekend & A New Adventure March 27, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 4:12 pm

This last weekend was spent celebrating Jeremy’s 38th birthday! His actual birthday was Monday, but he had to work and I had MOPS & MOMSnext in the evening. This meant we celebrated all weekend along to make up for the fact that we had to be responsible grown ups on Monday. Saturday was a special fiesta themed dinner with Jeremy’s family. Sunday, I took Jeremy to the movies as my birthday present to him. We make it to the movies once or a twice year, so it’s always a special treat. Jeremy loves all the Marvel movies so we went to see Captain Marvel. I’m sure our second movie of the year will be spent seeing the new Avengers movie. These movies and Star Wars movies are the only ones we make it to the theater for. My parent’s watched the boys so we could go and then we had dinner with them. Despite Monday being a work day, the boys and I were able to go to lunch with Jeremy and then we did some chicken research. Which leads to our next new adventure…

Jeremy has always talked about chickens as a possibility when we moved into this home. The last home we owned didn’t allow chickens since it was loosely a “development” which meant it was against the rules of the homeowners association. The house two doors down had chickens and it always drove me nuts that they were breaking the rules. We’ve been in this home almost a full year (this Sunday will be the big one year anniversary) and apparently that is how  long it takes to make Jeremy’s chicken dreams come true. The hypothetical situation became reality on Saturday when Jeremy went out to “evaluate” what he had saved from the construction process. Evaluating his materials turned into actually building a chicken coop with the help of the boys. At this point, the boys knew the coop was for chickens. There was no going back. On Monday, during our lunch time chicken research we bought containers for feeding and watering chickens as well as a bag of chicken food. While I was at MOPS & MOMSnext, the boys bought the chickens and a container to keep them in. When I got home, there were feathered friends in my garage hanging out under the heat lamp. Because these little ladies (we’re hoping they are all ladies) are only a week old, they will be living in the garage for some time. Considering Jeremy tore down his first chicken coop structure and started to build a different design, it’s a good thing the ladies have some place to stay warm and grow until their permanent home is complete.

I’ve been very up front with Jeremy from the beginning. Whenever we talked about chickens, I reminded him that I am scared of birds – chickens included. I plan to be hands off with these birds. Jeremy and the boys will take care of them. Jeremy is excited for eggs and the chance to teach the boys responsibility. Owen is in love with the chickens. He is thrilled they are here and they are ours and they will grow up to be his pets. Graham isn’t sure about them, but he will pet them if Jeremy holds them for him. We’ve been without a pet for two and a half years and I’ve really enjoyed the freedom of not having animals to care for. I’ve been told by many how easy chickens are and I’m hoping that is true. Jeremy selected breeds that were known for being friendly and docile. If they are true to their description, I’m sure the boys will view them as pets more than a food source. Time will tell. As long as they don’t wake me up while I’m sleeping, I think I’ll be able to handle them at a distance.

I’ll keep you posted as these little ladies grow up and we learn all the ins and outs of chicken ownership.

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This boy loves his mac & cheese! 

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Lunch date with my Maggie May

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Dinner with MOPS & MOMSnext friends

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My dad was on a business trip last week to Minneapolis MN and he was a mile away from the college I graduated from. I have never been in person, but he blessed me with some school gear! I’m happy to represent NCU. Hopefully, someday I’ll be able to see it myself! 

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Taco Bar! I tried to provide all the options I could think of! I had a ton of leftovers which I turned into a casserole and got into the freezer for a weeknight meal. Saturday might have been a big day of cooking, but we’ve been living off leftovers all week. It’s been nice to not cook all week! 

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Blowing out 38 candles

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Funny guy! 

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Riding the burro

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Movie date

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Birthday lunch date

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Birthday lunch date

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Chicken adoration

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As close as Graham will get to the chickens.

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This boy is in love! 

 

Rejoining the Real World March 20, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 9:13 am

After a week solid of fevers and lethargic boys, we were able to rejoin the outside world on Friday. Even then it was a bit iffy on if we should have been out of the house. We were only about 22 hours fever free with Graham. We rested all day in the hope of attending a staff bunco night at the church. Our staff is doing fun activities outside of work to promote relationships and bunco was the first activity scheduled. The boys knew bunco night was coming and were greatly looking forward it. They recently played bunco at GG’s house and had fond memories of the experience. They were set on playing bunco and having pizza at church. It was special and not to be missed. Usually I might have of struggled with heading down to the church on a day off, but since I’d been home almost all week with sick kiddos, I was ready for a change of pace, no matter where we went or what we did. The boys loved the bunco night and Owen won candy for dropping the dice. He took it as a real badge of honor to win that handful of candy. Graham started to pretend sleep at the table while playing so the night out was probably about all his little body could handle.

Due to strategic planning, Saturday was already on the calendar as our home day for the week. The bunco outing was enough of a first step into the real world. It was nice to have Saturday as a slow day. I cleaned the house and did projects. Jeremy rested since he caught the same cold I had the week before. The boys played and we just enjoyed the fact that they were feeling well enough to be off the couch.

The continuing theme of my life is slow and go. I just got off a week of serious down time with sick boys. I got out for three quick outings while the boys were sick. Other than that it was all home, all the time.  Once the great illness was over, it was back on the busy train. Sunday was a full day of church in the morning, nap time/prep time in the afternoon and then growth group in the evening. Growth group nights equal a later bedtime for us. By the time we all settled down, we were spent. Monday was a busier than usual morning. Jeremy had to leave for work early to attend an out of town prayer meeting with the staff. I was on Owen drop off and pick from preschool. After a week of being out of school, drop off was dramatic… I wasn’t surprised since getting him into his class at church on Sunday was equally dramatic. Poor Graham was tired from the night before and still getting his energy back from the illness, so Monday was a bit too much van time for him. He went to preschool drop off and we got gas in the van and then headed home for a half hour until our local pregnancy center opened. Once the center was opened, we loaded up again to deliver 14 boxes of little boy clothes ranging in size from newborn to 2T. Since my mom joined us as a helping hand on our outings, we ran to Safeway quickly for her and then dropped her off at home before turning around and picking up Owen and then heading to a play date across the street at Burger King with a friend. The whole morning Graham kept saying he just wanted to be home snuggling on the couch and I was driving him all over Lewis County. The poor kid sat in my lap through the entire lunch date and didn’t join the other boys in the play place.

I broke my “one thing” a day rule on Monday by scheduling both a play date and a dinner out with a friend on the same day. The play date was a rescheduling from earlier this month when our friends were sick. The month was already filling in and I had to double up. I try to stick to the one thing or one person a day rule so I can give the person of the day my best self. I can give them my best words, thoughts and attention. I find that if I double book my days, by the end of the day my introverted self is spent. Luckily dinner  was low key and my friend didn’t get too much of a zombie Amy. We have a very understanding relationship. We’re both introverts. We get each other and don’t judge when someone is drained from a tiring day or week or month. We understand and sympathize.

This last week I had a friend ask if she could buy some of our baby gear since her granddaughter is moving into the area and she plans on watching her at her house. Jeremy and I talked about it and we felt like it would be good to help this friend out since the gear she was looking for was just sitting in our garage collecting dust. Lots of dust. I took the items in and gave them a good cleaning until I was proud of the condition they were in. We have slowly given away baby items over the last two and a half years. The biggest thing we had a kept storing was the boxes of baby clothes. I’ve been looking for years for the right person to hand them down to since I know what a blessing hand me down clothes can be. The right family has never appeared. While I was giving my friend the baby gear I was explaining my desire to give the baby clothes away but I didn’t know who needed them. She suggested I contact the local pregnancy center and that is exactly what I did. They said they would be happy to receive the clothes. When I delivered them on Monday they were shocked that I had sorted through all them to ensure they were in good condition and they were all in boxes labeled by size. I could tell it meant a lot to them. And that made me feel good. I explained to the boys that we were sharing the clothes we had outgrown so other kids could get to use them too. It’s important to share usable things that we no longer need. I’m trying to raise kids who are generous with their items and don’t hoard a lifetime of things that just sit in a closet. Despite the good lesson and the warm fuzzy feelings of donating to a good cause, I will admit that it was sad for me to part with a good chunk of baby stuff this last week. For some reason it just solidifies that the fact that my boys are out of the baby season. A part of their childhood is done and finished. I’ve been living with these preschoolers day in and out, so I am aware that they aren’t babies, but passing along their stuff made it feel more final, more true. I’m sure as the items move more and more into my distant memory, the sadness will fade. This was bound to happen eventually. I wasn’t about to sit on all those boxes of baby clothes until they were 18 and moving out of the house.

I’m still experimenting with having a home day each week where I don’t go anywhere. Tuesday was the home day for this week. We had the installer of our floors come out to check out some problem areas that have formed. We weren’t sure if that meant the whole floors would be torn up. For all I knew the house was going to be turned into a construction zone. The installer was surprised by our issues and had a couple different options for fixing it. The actual fix date will be set in the future now that he knows what he is working with. Instead of having people tearing apart my house all day, the installer turned out to be a small part of our day so I was able to relax in my space more than I expected. Which was needed since the Sunday/Monday were busy and the rest of the week is a set to be busy too. I would really love to get off the flip flop of nothing going on because we’re stuck at home to extremely busy to make up for the stuck at home time. I wonder when things will balance out. April tends to be one of our busiest months of the year. My hope for finding balance might still be months out.

I’ll leave you on this bright note from my weekly observations. On Sunday Owen was given three plastic coins as an visual aid for his Bible lesson. Since he had three coins, he shared one with Graham who had none. The next day, Graham shared his cookie with Owen (mostly because he didn’t want it). It was sweet to see them each share something with their brother. Moments like that are worth celebrating and I made sure they knew I was proud of them for giving freely with each other. Moments like this keep me sane when they are fighting over the same Lego train for the millionth time.

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Bunco Night

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Bunco Night

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Bunco Night

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For St. Patrick’s Day the boys each got a pack of green Legos. 

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My green contributions to our growth group meal. 

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Dinosaurs attacking a train. No big deal in our house. 

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Owen has discovered the joy of roasting marshmallows. 

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Dirty face! 

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Helping Dad with the raised beds. 

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Gathering tadpoles. 

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Graham felt the tadpoles needed a boat. 

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My recent reads: these books have been a box since I moved out of my parent’s house. They came inside with my other childhood books when I got the new bookshelves. I loved the Sweet Valley Twins in middle school. It was fun to re-read something I loved as a kid. 

 

 

 

James 4:13-15 March 12, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 12:19 pm

13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15 NLT

Okay, I’ve never made plans that involved going out of town for a year, but I make plans all the time. I could be a professional plan maker. I fill in the days, weeks, months and years like a champ. Give me a blank calendar and I’ll change that in a few texts. However, true to Mom Life, plans often don’t pan out. You can never predict when things are going to go down hill and this was one of those weeks.

As I was teaching my Wednesday night class, I noticed my throat hurt. No big deal. Push through it. It’s all good. But on Thursday, I had to admit that I was sick. And I had a book party that night. I needed to access brain cells that I hadn’t used in months. I needed to be on my game. On top of being under the weather, my computer decided to freak out fifteen minutes before my party. I had ten minutes of sheer panic before I was able to reclaim things five minutes before the party started. I felt behind from the beginning. Lucky for me, my hostess was on top of it. She commented on everything and kept the party active. Despite the rocky night for me, the party was a success. This party was in my top three for sales. That made it was worth it, for sure!

I’ve been processing my thoughts about book parties now that I’ve had a small break from them. I don’t mind doing them occasionally.  Especially if it’s just once a month. This way parties don’t overlap and I can focus on one party at a time. The downside of book partying is that it tethers me to my phone. I have to keep up with comments and posts meaning I have to be online more than I would like. While I don’t like being attached to my phone, I do enjoy getting a paycheck. It was good to have this experience after taking a break. I don’t plan to seek out parties, but if someone asks me, I would be more than willing to do one.

I was completely spent after my book party on Thursday night. I was sick. I was tired. The party was hopping so my brain was mush. And then at 11:00pm, Graham threw up. And Owen woke up at the same time, with a fever… Friday was spent with kids throwing up and cleaning up puke and washing nasty laundry and movies playing as the boys slept on and off all day. The weekend morphed into fevers and lethargic kids who just laid around like bumps on a log. This is where “you make a plan, but it might not pan out” verse I shared at the beginning of the post comes in. We had a packed weekend planned. On Friday, I was supposed to drive up north to have lunch with a friend. I was supposed to come home in time to take the boys for a sleepover at Nana & Papa’s house. Jeremy and I were supposed to spend Friday night and Saturday at a marriage conference. None of that happened. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the boys had been sleeping at night, but the fevers have made them restless and sleep has evaded them. Our nights have become like keeping up with two newborns on alternating schedules. One sure fire way to make daylight savings irrelevant is to not sleep the three nights prior to it. At that point, time looses all meaning.

Yesterday, we called the nurse at our doctor’s office. We wanted to know if we should bring them in. After talking with her, we determined this sounds like a virus and it could take seven days to run it’s course. Today the boys woke up with no fevers. The boys even sat up to watch part of a movie. We’ll take baby steps back to health and celebrate the small victories.

Sometimes the show must go on despite illness. For me that meant MOPS & MOMSnext still had to happen last night, no matter what was going on at my house. It was Spa Night and a huge success. We had a Mary Kay consultant do Satin Hands (a two step process to treat your hands and make them soft). We offered a station for moms to paint their nails. This is a special treat they don’t often get to do uninterrupted. We made DIY car fresheners with essential oils and leather. And my favorite part was the s’mores station that very much fit with our Find Your Fire theme. I found these cute little indoor s’mores kits that use Sterno cans for the heat. I had fears of ladies burning marshmallows, setting off the smoke alarms and having the fire department come. Thankfully, that was not the case and the whole thing ran smoothly.  I had a bunch of moms tell me both before and after the meeting how much they needed a spa night. It was perfectly timed – thank you, Jesus – for a day when so many ladies needed a little extra TLC and relaxation. Definitely God’s timing there!

The final part of this update is after purchasing five vanities and returning four of them, we finally completed our half bath project! We switched to looking at smaller vanities that were a slightly higher quality then we’d been looking at. The vanity we picked isn’t a perfect color match to our other cabinets, but it’s close. We like the counter-top color and it’s a better product, so it shouldn’t chip as easily as the other ones we’d been getting. The door knobs that came with the vanity were not our style, but we had two knobs left over that Jeremy had saved from our cabinets, so now the knobs match perfectly with the house. This vanity project has been a dream of ours for a year. I am so blessed by a husband who powered through frustrating circumstances and was able to conquer the vanity project. I love it and every time I use that bathroom, it makes my heart happy!

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On Thursday before the illness hit, Owen had a snow day. The boys had such a fun day together that I was shocked when they got sick because they showed no signs during the day. 

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Our new vanity! So thankful!!!

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Sleepy, sick boys

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Despite sickness, Graham had a few perky moments.

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My next read! 

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He said he wanted pancakes so I made them look like Mickey in hopes that he would eat more. He took two bites, but the smile was worth it. 

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The s’mores station at MOPS & MOMSnext!

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Yummy goodness! 

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Nail painting station! Love seeing moms connecting and investing in themselves! 

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Proof that the boys are moving in the right directions! They are sitting up and smiling. 

 

Bargains, Mishaps & Screen Time: A Diverse Update March 6, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:40 pm

Let’s start with what makes me happiest – my new bookshelves. I don’t know how long I’ll be riding the new bookshelf high, but for now it’s one of the things that is bringing me joy daily. My hopes of shopping on Friday were rewarded. Between Hobby Lobby & Michaels, I was able to get 4 picture frames, 3 decorative signs, a fake plant and two photo boxes. The bonus was all the items were 40% off, 50% off or on clearance. I got all my new decorative items for under $54. I was very impressed with those bargain finds. And now my bookshelves look complete. No more empty space! I love it. Every time I walk by my books, I smile.

I was able to run all my errands on Friday, so Saturday was a full day at home. Week one of March has had a successful day at home! Woo hoo! Tomorrow is supposed to my home day for week two. A friend had to reschedule with me so we are hanging out at my house tomorrow. I’m also hosting a book party tomorrow night (more on that in my next post). The level of put-togetherness I need to host company and work might cancel out the benefits of staying home all day. We will have to see how this experiment goes.

While we are talking about home, Jeremy and I dove into another home improvement project this week, but were met with much mishap. Ever since we realized that the pedestal sink in our half bath isn’t big enough to hold a soap dispenser, we’ve talked about putting in a vanity instead for counter space and storage. We found a vanity we really liked online and purchased it in store on Monday. After ripping out the pedestal sink, we realized that the vanity was damaged. Lesson learned – check new vanity before ripping out pedestal sink. Oops. We have now purchased three vanities – all having to be returned because of damage. We are still formulating where we plan to go from here. Despite the rough look, the pedestal sink has been reinstalled until the mythical perfect vanity is found.

On to the big screen time update. We are a family that allows screen time. We keep it under 2 hours daily. We use kid-friendly apps to make sure the content is appropriate. And then the news blew up about YouTube kids… While one of the new stories turned out to be a hoax (I learned after research), it has become apparent that people are trying to send harmful messages to kids and YouTube Kids isn’t doing a sufficient job in my opinion to make sure their content is safe.  This led to us deleting the YouTube Kids app off of my phone and tablet. We still have the YouTube app on our TV in the living room where it can be used with parental supervision – my kids love watching videos of trains too much to cut all YouTube. The boys got Amazon Fire tablets for Christmas with the FreeTime Unlimited subscription. Web videos are available through that program and I learned after doing research that Amazon and an outside organization called Common Sense Media previews all web content before it is available to kids. This makes me feel safer about the videos they are viewing. While we always had good intentions with screen time, we have really locked down the “rules” now. Time limits have been set, screens are only allowed in the living room and within ear shot of a parent. The boys have responded well to the increased security. We took time to explain to them the reasons why. They know to not watch anything that is mean, scary or makes them uncomfortable.  I can already see how this is a positive change, for Graham especially. He is playing more games instead of watching videos. He isn’t watching as many videos of kids playing with toys – these kinds of videos make him want us to buy him the same toys as the kids he is watching. Videos like that feed consumerism and discontentment. Overall we feel like we’ve landed in a good place. I’m glad we were able to have the conversations now and set healthy boundaries at a young age. Media will be a factor in our boys’ lives as they grow up into adulthood. My hope is that we can give them a firm foundation to use technology for good and that they would know how to have healthy safe guards in place to protect their hearts and minds.

This topic fits well with the latest book I’ve been reading called A Practical Guide to Culture. It came highly recommended from a friend/mentor and it was on sale for $0.79 on Kindle. I downloaded right away. Later our lead pastor recommended that Jeremy & I read it and attend a group discussion on it. I finished it yesterday and it hits so many important topics for parents to be aware of and shares how to have intentional conversations with kids. It was like a Biblical college course on culture. There was a lot to unpack throughout the book. It is a great resource to encourage parents to be proactive and also a helpful reference for when situations come up that might catch you off guard. Kids are exposed to all kind of things way sooner than we experienced as parents. We might not be ready to have tough conversations, but we need to be aware that they are going to happen. If we’re not willing to have these conversations with our kids, they will go to someone else for the answers. This is a resource I will return to many times over the next few years.

Okay, way to end with the heavy topics, huh? The pictures below might help to lighten the mood. I look forward to next week’s update. Who knows, maybe we’ll actually have a vanity we like and isn’t damaged installed in our half bath? Or not! Life can be a great mystery! I’ll just look at my bookshelves and soak up the happy vibes if things get too intense around here.

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Graham discovered the fake fruit aisle at Michaels

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Color coding my Food Network Magazine collection

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Top: Before my shopping day, Bottom: After with my bargain finds! 

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Decorations for bookshelf #1

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Decorations for bookshelf #2

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The Complete Before and After

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The boys even got something out of the Hobby Lobby outing

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Graham had some great time this week tracing his numbers and working on scissor skills. I’m thankful for times like this when my schedule allows me to sit down with him and get hands on with his preschool skills. 

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I showed Graham our wedding photo album after he stared long and hard at a wedding picture we have up in our house. 
He asked if I was a princess and I explained that I was the bride and Daddy was the groom and this was the day we got married. 

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On to my next read!

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Making train tracks out of cardboard

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Train bridge

Note: My kiddos got new pajamas a week or so ago. Now if we are home, they are in the their pajamas. That is why they are in their pajamas in almost every picture. And they are washed daily… and put back on promptly. This is my life.