Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Summer Has Arrived! June 29, 2022

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 2:02 pm

Most of June was cold, wet, and dreary here in the PNW, but it seems that summer has finally arrived! I chuckle because it went from being too wet to be outside to too hot to be outside. We flipped from one extreme to the other. We had three very hot days in the last week, but it seems we have evened out. I’m all for no rain and temps in the 70’s. I’ll even take upper 60’s. I don’t enjoy heat. I just want to be comfortable outside. Thanks to a few days in the 80’s and 90’s, our backyard pool was able to warm up. The kids are now able to stay in the water for more than five minutes and don’t emerge with teeth chattering! Being able to swim in the pool was the true mark of summer arriving for us.

Friday was a beautiful day before the true heat arrived. We took the boys to the park and the library in the morning. We picked up donuts for a late morning snack and Papa Murphy’s pizza for dinner with friends that evening. Saturday, we went to visit GG (Great Grandma) with my parents and sister. GG turned 89 on Monday, so we had a celebration with her a few days early. We enjoyed yummy Chipotle and birthday cake together. We went from visiting GG to having dinner with family friends. The kids played with sprinkler under the trampoline while the adults chatted. The boys had a blast with water fun and friends on a hot summer day.

Sunday was our kick off to VBA (Vacation Bible Adventure – we try to give “school” a break for the summer). Since Jeremy is the children’s pastor at our church, the boys have been getting sneak peeks of VBA for months now. We already have all the songs memorized thanks to the CD that’s been in our van. Jeremy and I have leader shirts and hats to wear. The boys wanted their own swag, so we got them shirts as well. They are excited to wear their shirts each week like Jeremy and I. We are formatting VBA differently this year. Instead of a weeklong event, we are doing the VBA curriculum each Sunday as a part of our regular gathering times. Jeremy add an extra week to cover the upcoming holiday weekend which means we have six weeks of “Monumental Sundays” this summer. In between the gatherings, Jeremy has the swing chair ride and inflatables running in the parking lot. The boys were so excited for Sunday and it didn’t disappoint! They can’t wait for the next five Sundays full of Monumental fun.

I’m so glad summer finally decided to show up. My summer bucket list might carry over into September, but that’s okay since summer doesn’t officially end until September 21st. We’ve only been able to check off the summer reading program from our list, but I have a feeling that is going to change quickly. Hopefully, many great summer adventures are right around the corner for us!

The pool was finally warm enough for a swim
A beautiful day to visit the park
Family photo with the birthday girl
Our GG is the sweetest
Ready for church in our Monumental gear
Excited to learn about the southwest desert and celebrate God’s greatness
Not a bad way to wrap up church
Playing with color changing slime and their Bible buddies from VBA
 

Spring Surprises April 14, 2022

Each season is full of it’s own surprises. We can make a plan, but there is no guarantee things will pan out. We definitely hold plans loosely these days!

The last few weeks have been fairly quiet for us because our family seems to be catching all the bugs that are going around. Thankfully, we’ve avoided COVID (we’ve tested to be sure), but each boy had a 24-hour flu and our whole family had a mild cold. I thought we might catch something with the mask mandate lifting in our area, but I wasn’t expecting a new illness each weekend. Someone starts to feel under the weather on a Friday and then our weekend plans disappear. (This has been the pattern for the last three weekends). On the bright side, the flu bugs were over quickly and the colds were minor. I’m really hoping we got all of our spring sickness out of the way so we can move on to a social spring now!

We had a surprise power outage on Sunday morning. We were home from church for a rest/recovery day. I had promised a morning of screen time for resting… and then we had no power! Oops! The kids were bummed, but Owen made due with an audiobook that was downloaded on my tablet. Graham was healthy so he took his energy over to play at the neighbor’s house (aka Grandpa and Grandma’s). It was super chilly without power! Owen and I bundled under blankets and had book time instead of screen time. It certainly wasn’t the morning we planned, but we rolled with it!

The biggest spring surprise this week was snow! Lots of snow! We woke on Monday to a spring snowstorm. We took a snowy walk before school and then the boys did some sledding in the afternoon. I’ve never seen snow like this in April. We are used to a spring weather mix, but not inches of snow on the ground. It was crazy. It felt like we should be prepping for Christmas instead of Easter this weekend. We’ve seen snowflakes each day this week and even yesterday, we woke up to a white world again (just not as much as Monday).

Now that we’re feeling better, we were excited to start a spring homeschool co-op on Tuesday. In the afternoon, the boys participated in PE and art classes. They both enjoyed co-op and are looking forward to next time. Yesterday afternoon was spent at the dentist. The boys were cavity-free and Owen walked away with an orthodontist referral. Orthodontics are a new adventure awaiting us… Oh goody!

After school today, we went down to the church to help Jeremy move Easter baskets into the front lobby. Every kid will get to take home an Easter basket on Sunday. Graham had a great time assembling the baskets at a work party a few weeks ago and he was very excited to show us the project he was a part of. Moving baskets and preparing for Easter is one of the ways we serve our community together as a family. Our kids get a front row seat to to the joy of giving to others.

It’s full Easter prep mode here! Jeremy is making sure all the details are set for Sunday. We’ve nailed down plans to celebrate with family. Jeremy and I filled plastic eggs with candy for a small hunt. We’ll hard boil eggs and dye them at some point in the next few days. I have all the elements for Easter baskets ready to go. I’m praying these weekend plans finally pan out! Some spring surprises are fun, but I think I would like a little bit of predictable right now! Just a little bit!

I decided to add the Harry Potter series to our home library. I had a hard time deciding between new paperbacks or used hardcovers. I went for used because I feel like hardcover is more durable. Also, my personal preference is to remove the dust jackets from my books. I think they look more distinguished. Anyone else have very specific book preferences?
Last Thursday was 78 degrees and the boys were in summer mode. Owen made friends with a tiny moth.
From summer weather on Thursday to snow on Monday! What an extreme flip!
Getting some sledding in before the snow melts
Graham’s science lesson called for chocolate chip cookies so he could excavate the chips like paleontologist do with fossils. I was too lazy to scoop cookies so I went the bar cookie route. Graham enjoyed the experiment and kept eating the “fossils” he found!
The boys love stopping into Jeremy’s office to check on the Aerogarden. It’s thriving!
Art time at co-op
Cavity-Free Club!
Helping Dad prep for Easter Sunday!
 

A Trip Down Memory Lane March 23, 2022

This last week, I got to visit a place that is very special in my childhood memories. Jeremy has agreed to co-direct kids camp for our church network. He has directed/co-directed kids camps for our entire married life. Two summers without kids camp on our calendar has been strange. Now that COVID numbers are coming down and things are opening up, kids camp planning is back on. Jeremy had a camp tour this last Friday and he mentioned taking the boys along for the outing. I also asked to tagalong because kids camp this year is at the campground I attended as an elementary school student – Lake Retreat! Because it was a full camp tour, we got to look inside all the buildings and wander all over the campground. As we walked through the different spaces, I could remember which “cabins” I stayed in. I had memories of lining up outside the cafeteria, eating camp meals, messages in the chapel, and stories by the campfire. The camp is right on Lake Retreat and I remember how high the diving board seemed as a kid. The strangest thing was how small the camp felt to me as an adult. My childhood memory was of this huge, expansive campground. While the campground really isn’t small, it just wasn’t quite as large as my childhood memory made it seem. I guess the walk across camp felt longer for little legs decades ago. It was very special to visit a place for vivid in my memories.

While visiting camp was partially for nostalgia, I also had another purpose for tagging along. This is the first summer that Owen is old enough to attend. It’s crazy to think of him going off to camp. I wanted to get a glimpse of what camp might look for him. Could I picture him there? Owen and Graham both enjoyed the camp tour. It certainly inspired them to want to attend. One of the advantages of Owen visiting camp in advance is he can now picture where this new experience would take place. We’ve haven’t done overnight experiences beyond a night or two at a grandparents’ house. In the aftermath of a pandemic, we’re still processing if summer camp is a step we’re ready for. Seeing the camp in-person was helpful as we process our summer plans. It’s hard to believe that we have a kiddo that is old enough to be a camper!

Okay, visiting camp wasn’t the only highlight of the last week. I’ll try to hit the others quickly. On Thursday, we visited friends and saw quite a few trains on our journey to/from their home. The boys are still obsessed with trains, so it was a very good day! We met Jeremy for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant (which I find funny since it was St. Patrick’s day). Friday night, I attended book club. I enjoy discussing books with other moms and my book recommendation list is super long now. On Saturday, we had a beaver walk up our driveway and into our front yard! We apparently live in a zoo or maybe Narnia. Saturday evening, we had friends over for dinner and the boys got to do their favorite thing – flashlight tag in the yard. Sunday, our chickens got attacked by an eagle. We missed the drama but my parents saw it happen. A crow attacked the eagle and scared it off before it could harm our chickens. A big thank you to that crow! Between a beaver in the yard on Saturday and an eagle on Sunday… we seriously live in a zoo!

After a few days of activity, I’ve been enjoying some quieter days at home. I’m almost finished with the Harry Potter series. I’m currently on book seven and hope to finish it today or tomorrow. It’s been fun to discuss the books with my friends (and hubby) who are fans. I’m often asked what I think about the books, but it’s also neat to hear what books, characters, and moments other readers like best. Oh, and the very important discussion of what Hogwarts house you think you’d be in! I’m torn between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, but I’m leaning toward Hufflepuff. I’ll have to give my final HP thoughts at the end of the month in my book blog!

Well, that’s all for now! Until next time!

Watching for trains while waiting for Jeremy to arrive at the restaurant.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at Plaza Jalisco!
Past camper and potential future camper
Introducing the kids to carpet ball
Tripe stacked bunk beds!
Enjoying the lake
The beaver and the wildlife photographers
A visit to Dad’s office on Sunday to check out the sprouts in the Aerogarden
Learning about fossils in amber with gummy worms and orange Jell-O
Learning about weather in science
 

The Other Days March 16, 2022

It can be easy and exciting to write about the big adventures and outings. However, life is mostly made up of the “other” days. They might not be thrilling, but each ordinary day is an adventure all it’s own. With the future unknown, I am trying to intentionally savor these days at home. The last two years have greatly changed how we live our day-to-day lives. While many have rushed back to normal, we are trying to hold on to the benefits we’ve found in living differently.

Our mornings are spent at the dining room table doing school. We are one week away from the end of our 3rd quarter. The boys already have their 3rd quarter rewards selected and they are counting down the days until we can celebrate. It is very exciting to see the pages left in our school books dwindling. Some of our curriculum doesn’t end at exactly 180 days of lessons. A few books will be completed before we are officially finished with the school year. (When that happens, I supplement that subject with other worksheets/books.) It’s always a celebration when a textbook is completed. The finish line for the school year is in sight!

Homeschooling has been an unexpected chapter in our family story. It’s been a good chapter, though. Our plans for school next year are still undecided. There is a chance that the boys will be back to public school in the fall. With that in mind, I’m doing my best to enjoy this homeschool season for all that it is. It’s not over yet and I want to make the most of it. Often that means putting thoughts (and, being real here, anxieties) about next year on hold for now. I don’t want to miss this current time at home pondering (or fretting over) future decisions.

After school, we have lunch and then quiet time. This used to be nap time, but the boys have long outgrown naps. Now they are allowed to play on their beds or read books during quiet time. While they might not sleep anymore, the down time is restorative. It reminds me of the “flat on bunk” time I used to have at kid’s camp when I was in elementary school. Sleep is optional, but rest isn’t. This quiet time is just as important for me as it is for the boys. I appreciate the break! I often use it to read, research (aka look things up on Amazon), contact friends (Marco Polo), and do “grown-up stuff” (like make dentist appointments).

When quiet time is over, it’s afternoon free time. If the weather is nice, we’ll walk to the mailbox. I usually start dinner prep while the boys play. LEGO Super Mario is still the toy of choice around here. If the boys have chores, they do them in the afternoon/evening free time. Some of their chores are emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, collecting eggs, and helping with the laundry. We have dinner when Jeremy gets home and then usually there is a little time to play on the Switch. Some days wrap up by watching a baking show in the hot tub.

These days can feel a bit like Groundhog’s Day. Wake up and repeat… again… and again. Despite the repetition, these are good days. The last two years have certainly been challenging, but they have also been a gift. This last week Washington State removed it’s mask mandate, so it really has been two years living in pandemic mode. While I don’t view the pandemic as over, I can recognize that things are changing. I don’t know what that means for the future, but I do know that I want to make the most of right now. I am so thankful to the small things that make these ordinary days special. We do have rocky moments (like the fights over LEGOS pieces – a real-life example from 11:30am today). I remind myself that these difficult moments are a chance for us to grow together. It might seem like sibling squabbles are a chance for the kids to learn, but these are growth moments for me as well. How will I respond? Is my attitude helping or hindering the situation? So yes, lots of learning together beyond our school time. These home days don’t make for the most interesting updates, but day-by-by, they are making for a pretty interesting life!

A special stop for fro-yo while running errands
Pizza Friday! This was our second time getting Mini Murph take-an-make kits. The boys love them!
My latest attempt at cake decorating. Used some new tools. Looking forward to trying again since I’m learning a lot through trial and error!
Getting some new dirt into Jeremy’s new raised beds
My latest used book acquisition with the last of my birthday money
A quick visit to Nana & Papa’s house where Owen got to be a firefighter and help put out a burn pile.
Jeremy’s birthday present arrived a little early! He requested (then purchased for himself) an Areogarden for his office at work. After 5 days, he already has sprouts popping up!
Time to make leprechaun traps!
Homemade pizookies for Pi Day on Monday
I had a migraine yesterday, so the boys joined Jeremy for an out-of-town errand and then an afternoon of helping at the church. Jeremy sent me this picture of Graham leading a “Bible study” in the church’s church classroom! Graham has been watching Jeremy in action on Sundays and it shows!
 

Good Times & Games February 23, 2022

I want to take a moment to say thank to those of you who read this blog and journey alongside my family. These posts feel like writing letters to a friend and it has been so meaningful for me to have this space to share. Especially over the last few years as the world turned upside down and our daily life got smaller, these blogs are proof (mostly to myself) that we are holding on, making it day by day, finding joy despite the trials of a pandemic. As we move toward spring, the world is shifting again. With pandemic restrictions changing in our area, I’m intrigued to see how the future unfolds. While my mind is often pondering what’s next, I am praying that I can stay grounded in the present and enjoy the time that I currently have – right here, right now.

This last week was full of good times and games! We hosted both a play date and a family dinner at our house. Both families we invited over had all boys and our house was filled with wild things running about. There was much laughter and shenanigans. The boys were thrilled to have their friends over and it made my heart happy to see all the smiles. For me personally, it was also nice to catch up with the parents and have adult conversation, even if it was hard to hear at times or was interrupted. Friend time for my kiddos also means friend time for myself. Yay!

Games! So many games this week! On Thursday, Jeremy surprised us by coming home from work with a Nintendo Switch. It was an anonymous and extremely generous gift to our family. To say I was shocked is an understatement. Words cannot even express the excitement our kids felt when Jeremy revealed the box. Friday morning we went on a mission to buy a game and another set of controllers. Over the long weekend, Jeremy and the boys worked on passing levels and battling bosses in hopes of saving Princess Peach. The Super Mario obsession in our house as definitely increased.

On Saturday, Nana and Papa invited us to join them for glow-in-the-dark golf with some of the cousins. We love cousin time! And surprisingly, for glow golf being a local activity, we had never been before. It was a win-win – time with family and a fun outing! I’m not a great golfer (mini golf or otherwise), but this glow golf course was right up my alley. I completed a majority of the holes in three strokes instead of my usual six or more. It was very good for my confidence! After we wrapped up golf, Nana and Papa treated the kids to a few arcade games in the lobby. They loved every moment of the outing.

Saturday night after bedtime, Graham came out of his room saying he wanted to talk. It turns out that he was very sad that the Olympics were ending. We enjoyed watching the Olympics in the evenings as a family. We cheered for Team USA. We marveled at the skill of the athletes. When explaining that the Winter Olympics happen every four years, the kids got wide-eyed. Four years feels like a lifetime right now. Telling them that the Summer Olympics would happen in just two years didn’t help ease the disappointment much. We made sure to watch the closing ceremonies as a family on Sunday. Part of me is slightly glad the games are over – only for the fact that the boys were starting to do more stunts off the furniture in the living room. Watching all the airborne athletes was inspiring them a little too much! Now we’re back to baking shows. The current family show is season two of Zumbo’s Just Desserts.

In closing, I will mention that after almost two years of watching church online, the boys and I returned to church in-person on Sunday. With case numbers going down and our family being fully vaccinated/boosted, it seemed like it was a good time to re-engage with this community. The boys and I enjoyed being a part of children’s church with “Pastor Jeremy” (aka Daddy/Hubby). We are excited to be at church as a family again.

Okay, that concludes all the major and minor life updates for the time being!

Learning to play Super Mario Bros
Good times golfing!
Wrapping up glow golf!
Arcade time
Back at children’s church! The boys did a great job participating and they were thrilled to come home with special treats.
Sunday mac & cheese tradition is still going strong!
When Amazon sends a box that is big enough to fit two kids!

 

Happy Halloween 2021 November 1, 2021

Like most families, yesterday was a big day! Halloween has always been a big deal to our family. Not because of spooky season, though. Annually, Jeremy plans and hosts a major holiday event for our community on Halloween. Fall Fest is a long standing tradition at our church. When I was in high school, I volunteered at this same event, but back then it was called the Fall Family Fun Festival. Jeremy shortened the title to Fall Fest when he became the children’s pastor. October 31st means big church event in our world and we were ready for it!

Last year, we did a drive-thru event due to COVID restrictions. This year we did an outdoor event for the first time. The weather was absolutely beautiful! We couldn’t have asked for a better day. We were so thankful! Jeremy had canopies over every game so the event could have been rain or shine. Being in the PNW, we roll with wet weather, but I’m glad we didn’t have to! Another fun element of Fall Fest this year was the Candyland theme. The decorations and games all revolved around the classic candy-themed board game. The boys and I arrived early in the afternoon to help Jeremy set-up. Pastor’s kid privileges meant our kiddos got to test out the games before it got crowded. They even got an extra long jump in the inflatable bounce house. The boys were very helpful in the set-up process. I love that we are at an age when were we can serve our community together as a family.

While Halloween and Fall Fest were the highlight of the week, I also had some fun moments with a few mom friends. On Monday, I did a book swap with a friend. She came over to look over my home library and share some of her books with me. It’s always interesting to see what books we’ve already read and what books we can introduce each other to. It’s a rewarding challenge! In the theme of books and friends, I went to the 30th birthday party of a good friend this weekend. The guests were asked to bring a wrapped book for a gift exchange. The exchange was a classic white elephant style, but instead of gag gifts, it was everyone’s favorite books. The party was kid-free and the time to chat with other mom friends was priceless. I even road out to the party with another friend so I could get more kid-free socializing into the night. What’s not to love about books and kid-free mom time with friends. Such a special treat!

As I reflect on this last week, I’m so grateful that Fall Fest went so well. I am thankful for the friends and community we get to do life with. It’s mind-blowing that we now find ourselves in November! We have so many fun things ahead. I have a few coffee dates on the calendar. Red Cup Day at Starbucks is right around the corner. We have some homeschool outings planned with other families. And… we have Disneyland on the horizon! So much to be thankful for as we make our way toward Thanksgiving! I’ve added a gratitude practice to my daily journaling as effort to find and remember the good moments scattered throughout each day. I’m not immune to the struggles and challenges of these different days. When things seem hard or overwhelming, I fall back into thankfulness. Oh! That’s another blessing in November – falling back with daylight savings. I used to love falling back just as much as I loved Christmas (before kids). Now… it’s not quite the holiday it once was, but I still get excited for it. I’m certainly counting my blessings as we head into November.

Graham helped me make this super tasty pumpkin cake. He requested no frosting but I couldn’t agree to that. We compromised… and then he didn’t eat any of it. No worries! I ate all the unfrosted pieces with the extra frosting I had leftover.
This playroom usually looks like a bomb went off it in. I can accept they worked hard to creatively make this mess. The fun discovery this week was Mario Kart Hot Wheels cars. They used birthday money and their first-quarter-of-school reward to start a collection of vehicles.
Taking on the world together! These ninjas had a fantastic Halloween!
If you give a kid a sword…
Setting up for Fall Fest. Every year I wear a headband as my costume. This year I rocked the Minnie Mouse ears leftover from the boys’ birthday party.
Jeremy as King Candy! Seems fitting as the leader of this candy-filled event.
Donut Hole Game
Classic fishing pond with a licorice twist!
Graham got warm during set-up and took his costume off. I couldn’t get him back into it for the actual event. Graham was his own person for Halloween.

 

Easter, Chicks, and Anniversaries April 6, 2021

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 12:10 pm

The last week has been packed full of good things. Easter is always a busy season for our family. While this Easter wasn’t 100% back to business-as-usual, this Easter season felt like a step closer to normal. Instead of throwing two huge Easter egg hunts at our church, we offered a drive-thru event where families could pick up Easter baskets filled with candy and treats for their kids. The boys and I volunteered to hand out baskets to help Jeremy with this big event. It’s always a joy to watch my boys serve our community and give to other children. Many familiar faces drove through the line and I loved getting to say a quick hello to people I don’t get to see often. It was a beautiful day which also made being outside delightful. It was a different Easter event, but it was good to do something and bless our community.

Jeremy worked on Easter Sunday morning. I’m still watching church online so the boys and I did our church from home. Instead of hopping from family gathering to family gathering like years past, the boys and I said a quick hello to my parents after church. Once Jeremy got home from work, we opened Easter gifts and then went over to his parent’s house for an egg hunt with the cousins. It was great that the weather allowed for us to have an outdoor gathering. We missed seeing our extended family, but seeing some family, even for a short time, gave us a feeling of moving toward normal. The big highlight of Easter weekend is the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We love baskets, bunnies, and chocolate, but we are always aware that Easter is a celebration of so much more. This is celebration is so deep and personal. I love the meaningful moment of talking about God’s love for us and Jesus’ sacrifice. As a mom, these conversations with the my kiddos are a time that I treasure.

We had some excitement on Easter Sunday beside the holiday. Our second round of incubator eggs started to hatch. Our first round was a flop, but round two came through for us! When we were putting on our shoes to say hi to my parents, the boys noticed that two eggs had cracks. We were ecstatic! When we arrived home from our egg hunt, we had found one chick waiting for us in the incubator. Before Jeremy and I went to bed later that evening we heard more peeping from the incubator. We discovered chick number two made it’s arrival as well. We only had two hatch at this point and we think that is probably all we will get from this batch. We’re letting the incubator run for a few more days, just to be sure. While picking up some chick supplies yesterday morning, Jeremy also got two more chicks from the farm store. Our chick total is now at 4. We are hopeful that these chicks will be hens so we can add them to our flock. Any roosters will will given to our local chicken auction down the road. It’s fun having chicks again!

It’s also been a week of anniversaries! Last Wednesday was the 3rd anniversary of us moving into this home. I celebrate “house-iversaries” as I call them. Building this house was such a long, hard process that I feel like throwing a party every year when the anniversary arrives. This home as been such a blessing for our family. I had no clue when moved here that we would spend so. much. time. here. More than ever, I am thankful for this safe place to raise our family. It’s been a wonderful three years here on the hill. So many good memories have been made here. I look forward to hopefully many more years celebrating life in this house.

Today is also my blogging anniversary! It’s been a decade of Amy Scott’s Thoughts. This blog has looked different throughout the seasons of my life. It might not be famous or well-read, but it’s my place. My small corner in the world where I can be real and honest. Sharing my life in this space as been good therapy and lots of fun. Thank you to all my readers! I’ve loved my blogging journey so far and I look forward to many more decades of writing ahead of me! Happy blog-iversary!

In case you were wondering, 2000 Easter baskets fills a gym! Thankful for all the volunteers who helped assemble these baskets and handed them out to the community. Team effort!
Cavity free club!
Cavity free club!
Happy House-iversary! My happy place!
Learning about bioluminescence in science
Egg Coloring
April’s Cookies of the Month: bunnies and eggs! I love how the dipped buttercream was fast, easy, and looks so neat!
Volunteering at Easter Eggstravaganza To Go
Egg hunt around the house
Using Resurrection Eggs to tell the Easter story
Hoppy Easter!
An egg-citing discovery!
Success! We hatched chicks!
Growing our little flock
 

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.
 

Welcoming October October 4, 2020

We are always excited for the arrival of October. It’s birthday month for my boys and it’s fun to make it a month long celebration. October is also prime-time for my favorite autumn activities! Our church is doing a Family Scavenger Hunt through an app for the entire month of October. The app features missions with all kinds of challenges and activities – many of them are seasonal as well. We’ve had a blast working our way through the missions. This game will be a highlight for our family all month long!

As we continue to find our homeschooling groove, I’m loving the routine that we’ve created. We had forest school on Monday. We learned how to make outdoor shelters. Monday night, we had a fantastic guest speaker at MOPS & MOMSnext. I’ve been nervous to see how MOPS & MOMSnext would pan out this year, so this meeting was a boost in confidence. Tuesday, we dropped of a meal for a MOPS family recovering from surgery and then we picked up a brand new trampoline for the boys. This newer, bigger, upgraded trampoline was a combined birthday present for the boys from my parents and Jeremy & I. The boys are thrilled with more bouncing space!

Friday was our field trip to the corn maze. It was neat to see Owen following the map of the maze closely and tracking our movements. Saturday morning, I joined my mom to watch a conference via Zoom for our church ladies. It was an amazing time to see ladies online, worship, and hear a great message. Saturday afternoon, we had a small, family-only gathering to celebrate the boys’ birthdays. The kids ran wild, outside in the sunshine playing with their cousins. This is our 5th year of joint birthday parties and the theme was space. I always enjoy making a theme come to life. Today has been a combination of working on scavenger hunt challenges and playing with new toys. I’ve spent a good portion of my day assembling LEGO creations for Graham. Owen would prefer to build his own creations without assistance.

October is off to a great start and we have so many exciting adventures still ahead this month. The next big adventure this coming week is the celebration of Owen officially turning seven! It’s crazy how fast he is growing up. I’m so thankful that during this homeschool season, I get a little extra time to watch this super cool kid grow!

Monday Forest School: This week we learned how to make shelters!
Upgraded to a bigger trampoline since we now have big kids!
Friday Field Trip: The Corn Maze
It’s always an adventure following these boys through a corn maze. Every year I’m pleasantly surprised we make it out as quickly as we do. This is probably because my boys (Jeremy included) follow the map. I just follow my gut which means when I’m wondering the maze, we get extra quality time in it!
Conference zooming with my mom
Celebrating these two boys with an out of this world birthday party!
Some of the pictures we’ve collected during the Fall Family Scavenger Hunt!
LEGO Time!
 

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!