Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

On Tuesdays… October 27, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Pumpkin Day October 21, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graham turns 5! October 20, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Autumn at It’s Best October 15, 2020

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Parenthood,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:04 pm

October is autumn at it’s best (in my humble opinion). In October, the chill is a novelty and I bundle up in layers and with blankets. In October, the rainy days are a welcome excuse to snuggle in and be cozy at home. October leaves are brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red. While leaves are actively falling, the trees aren’t bare yet. October sunshine is my favorite of all. It washes the world in warm light, but doesn’t carry the heat of summer. October activities are some of my favorite traditions. October foods are some of my favorite flavors. October is simply the best. In the words of Anne of Green Gables – “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Overquoted, yes. True, also yes.

We had a minor wind event this weekend. We lost power briefly on Sunday night. This happened about 15 minutes after we put the boys to bed, so of course, the power outage completely derailed the boys’ ability to fall asleep. Graham was scared, despite having a lantern light up his bedroom. We moved him into Owen’s room for the buddy system approach, but that also led to extra excitement. The power outage became a grand adventure at that point. The power returned around 10:15pm. The kiddos were still awake at that point. Needless to say, no one fell asleep early on Sunday night.

Monday morning was a tired one. We did a pajama day for school (which is becoming a tradition on nights when we go to bed late the day before). Instead of going to forest school on Monday, both kids took long afternoon naps. My biggest hardship with forest school is Monday is marathon day. Between school in the morning, forest school in the afternoon, and MOPS & MOMSnext in the evening, it’s a big day. I’m finding that I would prefer Mondays to a mellow transition back into our weekday routine, instead of a marathon. When the kids asked for rest on Monday, I listened and we made it a mellow Monday. To make up for missing forest school, we took a family walk on the property behind our house (we have permission to explore this land). We followed our favorite trail to the local beaver dam and explored animal dens looking for signs of activity. We talked about the sights, sounds, and smells as we wondered in the woods. It was a lovely day for exploration as the cool, crisp sunshine filtered through the half-bare trees.

Our family is keeping busy with the Fall Family Scavenger Hunt with our church. One of the challenges we completed this week was to visit a local state park – Rainbow Falls. The boys had never been there, so it was fun to let them run and explore a new place. Our family has a thing for waterfalls which made this outing even better. The drive out to the falls was beautiful. Blue sky, sunshine, fall color all around. The boys loved seeing a new waterfall and throwing rocks into the river. We rounded out the outing by following a trail by the river for a short walk.

I know at some point the weather will turn and we’ll feel “stuck” inside. I know at some point all the leaves will fall and the trees will be bare. I know at some point pumpkin season will be over. But we aren’t there yet. I intend to revel in every blue sky, every crisp walk, every seasonal treat. My joy for this season is amplified as I share my favorite things with my family and see them enjoy them too. This is autumn at it’s best!

Another weekend, another birthday celebration. The boys got to have dinner with my side of the family.
Uncle Andrew came through for us when we needed a real sword for a scavenger hunt challenge. Auntie April also let us photograph her VCR and record player!
Supporting the Seahawks (for a challenge)
Puddle jumping (another challenge)
Checking out one of the many beaver dams
Woodland Wandering
Exploring Rainbow Falls State Park
Rainbow Falls
Always ready to follow a new trail. Also, this picture is blurry because it was an “action” shot.
 

Owen turns 7! October 9, 2020

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Parenthood,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:21 pm

Yesterday, our oldest son, Owen, turned 7! My youngest, Graham, will be 5 in a little over a week and I’m truly shocked to have “big” kids these days. It seems like the days of little “littles” are behind us. Each year I love to see who they are becoming. Every new season of development comes with so much joy and excitement.

For Owen’s 7th birthday, we had an epic day full of adventure and celebration. Our day started at Top Golf (which was first for all us, but Jeremy). It was fun to get out of the area and try something new. We had a special lunch at The Cheesecake Factory before exploring the historic waterfall highway at the Columbia Gorge. The whole day was full of yummy treats and awesome adventures. It’s been a long time since we had a full day of outings away from home. We are all super tired today after the big celebration, but we all had such a great time yesterday. It was worth it!

What can I say about Owen to document this moment in his childhood? The first thing that comes to mind is that he loves science. It’s the first subject he decides to do at school everyday. He is always asking me if we can do extra science experiments. He loves space, geology, nature, and geography. His birthday gifts this year included LEGO sets, STEM kits, and a globe.

Owen is creative and imaginative. He is often drawing pictures or diagrams and explaining them to us. He loves to keep tabs on the weather and is often updating us on the forecast – even if it’s for a city in Alaska or Iceland. He is getting old enough that he is requesting more independence. It might be with a chore, a school lesson, or assembling a LEGO set – he wants the chance to do it on his own.

One of my biggest blessings right now is extra time with Owen during his first grade year. I never set out to be a homeschool mom, but now I find myself sitting at the table with him each morning working through our schoolwork. I love learning/teaching alongside him. I love getting to see what makes him excited. He is growing up so much, but he also still brings stuffed animals to snuggle at the table during school or on a drive into town. He also still calls me for extra snuggles at bedtime. He is getting so tall! The taller he grows, the more comical our snuggles become, but I am thankful for all the snuggles I can get!

Owen is a big brother who includes Graham in his play and the two of them are often running wild together. My boys are blessed with a father who includes them in his hobbies. The boys are often outside with Jeremy doing activities such as golfing, hunting, or gardening. On rainy days, you might find them inside playing LEGO video games together for a minutes. I love this little family of ours and for the friendship that we share.

Some of Owen’s favorite things include: Papa Murphy’s cheese pizza, Swedish fish, and the color yellow. He is the reason we are always buying a gallon of milk at the store. He would wear pajamas all day, everyday if we let him. We love this 7 year old so much and we can’t to see what the next year ahead holds for him!

The official birthday morning photograph
Top Golf gave Owen this super yummy sundae with a special birthday message!
Special memories at Top Golf
Chocolate cake at The Cheesecake Factory
A visit to Multnomah Falls
Jumping from rock to rock at Horse Tail Falls
Right up next to Latourell Falls
 

Hazy Days September 17, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 2:26 pm

The last week has a memorable one! Washington state has been socked in by smoke thanks to fires burning across the west. One of the main reasons we’ve handle staying home due to COVID-19 so well is our property. The boys can run amok outdoors. They have plenty of space to play. The smoke this week has made the air hazardous. Being outside has not been an option. We have been trapped indoors and we are feeling a little crazy as a result.

To combat the bad air, we’ve been running box fans around our house with air filters attached to them. You can literally see that they are working has they’ve slowly changed color over the last week. I’m sensitive to air quality and have felt quite yucky all week as a result.

Our plans for the week shifted as a result of the smoke. Jeremy wasn’t able to go hunting due to fire danger. The land reopened on Tuesday and he went out for a short period of time. He decided to not go out the next day because the smoke was too bad. The boys and I planned to start “Forest School” with some friends on Monday afternoon, but the bad air quality had me feeling too poor to participate. MOPS & MOMSnext kicked off on Monday night and I was the guest speaker for the evening. I knew that if I was out and about on Monday afternoon, I would feel even worse. It was hard to miss the first forest school gathering, but it was the right decision.

While the smoke dominated the landscape of our week, I am happy to report some non-smoke related news. MOPS & MOMSnext had a great kick off. We had 16 ladies attend which was more than I expected. I had fairly low expectations so it was nice to be pleasantly surprised. We have a great guest speaker lined up for our next meeting, so I’m hopeful that we keep the positive forward motion.

This week was our first “full” week of school. Due to Labor Day weekend, we’ve had two weeks of school with just three days. This week we did a full four days for the first time. (We accomplish 5 days of schoolwork in 4 days.) It felt good to do a full week, but I am thankful for the change of pace tomorrow. I’m glad it will coincide with the smoke clearing. I’m thinking we might head outdoors for our own version of forest school to make up for missing Monday. Each week of homeschooling establishes our our new normal. I’m enjoying the feeling that comes with settling down and finding our groove.

And on a completely lighthearted note, we found my favorite pumpkin bread mix at Costco. I’ve already started to eat my weight in pumpkin treats this season. Jeremy also harvested his little pumpkins last night and I’m reveling in their cuteness.

It has been a challenging week, but there have been many good and wonderful moments to keep me going. I am eagerly awaiting the clearing of the air. Until we are back to good air quality, you will find me sitting in front of a box fan with an air filter taped to it waiting for the orange haze to disappear. These are strange times!

Wii night with Nana & Papa helped distract us from being stuck inside.
Jeremy wasn’t able to hunt on Saturday, so he took over the kitchen to make himself a s’mores pie.
Church with my train engineers
The day I find this bread mix in Costco is practically a holiday in my book!
I wish that was just fog… I kept trying to pretend it was fog…
Teaching Owen an important life skill – how to make paper clip chains.
Learning about balance with paper clips, straws, and pictures of weather/space.
A new distraction was worth the big mess!
Jack Be Littles might be my favorite pumpkins on the planet! So adorable!
 

Yellowstone Road Trip August 23, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Travels — Amy Scott @ 10:58 am

Back in December, we made plans with my family to go on a road trip to Yellowstone this summer. We had some concern that the pandemic would cancel our plans. This was actually the 4th trip that my family has planned to Yellowstone – the first three were canceled, so it seemed possible that this 4th attempt would also be foiled. Thankfully, we were able to make it and what a trip it was!

Our mornings were early, our days were long, but each day was worth the effort! The boys love nature and trails, so add geothermal sites and it was the perfect park of the kiddos to explore. I loved walking the geyser basins in the cool of the morning with the steam pouring out of the springs and geysers. The sight of steam billowing over the landscape was awe-inspiring and never got old! We also really enjoyed visiting Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. God’s creation is beautiful and powerful! We spotted animals like elk and bison throughout the park. We never saw a bear, but multiple times we were very close and had just missed sightings moments before. Jeremy was praying we would see a bear. I was praying that we wouldn’t. I know the boys were bummed that we had no bear sightings, but I was thankful. Bears that aren’t in a zoo setting scare me. Even the bison and elk caused my adrenaline to rush. We were so close to these wild animals!

Yellowstone was the main event on this road trip, but we also saw a few other sights along the way. On our journey to Yellowstone, we stopped at Craters of the Moon National Park. We have visited lava fields and cinder cones in Bend, OR so we knew that this would be a fun stop for the family. We collected lava rocks, climbed a cinder cone, and admired the vast fields of cooled lava.

One of our days in Wyoming was spent driving through Grand Teton National Park. We drove one route through the park into Jackson, WY and then we drove back to our rental house through another park route. The views of the Tetons were stunning. The mountains views on this day of travel are some of my favorite from our whole trip. One of the mountains in the range is named Mt. Owen so that held special meaning to our Owen. We didn’t spend too much time in Jackson, WY. The city was neat, but busy. On our way home, we stopped by Jenny Lake (where we were 100 yards away from a grizzly bear that Wildlife Management was tracking) and Colter Bay.

Our last special stop on the way home was a visit to the Lewis & Clark Caverns. The tour was brief. Due to COVID-19, the tours are limited to one room in the cavern. We were shown the Paradise Room which is impressive. The only downside was we could see the pathways that lead deeper into the caves and we weren’t able to explore them. I guess that gives our family motivation to visit again in the future.

Signs of a pandemic were seen throughout our travels. Masks were worn indoors – regardless of what state we were in. Outdoors we wore masks when distancing wasn’t possible. Mornings were the calmest in the parks, so we were able to roam without too many people nearby. As more people entered the park midday, the more often we had to wear masks. On the cold chilly mornings, wearing a mask actually helped keep our faces warm. When the day heated up, I will say that wearing a mask became less ideal, but we did it. Hand sanitizer was found throughout the parks. We also had stock piles of sanitizer in our vehicles. Overall between masks, sanitizer, and being able to do laundry at our rental house, I felt like we were safe and cautious while traveling.

With all that has been canceled due to COVID-19, I am thankful that this long awaited family trip was able to happen as planned. We caravaned with my parents to and from the park and we met my sister and brother-in-law there. We haven’t had an all-family vacation since Graham arrived in the family. It was fun to show the boys a Vitzthum-style vacation. My dad always packs way too much food. Snacks abounded and dinner was always tasty with many options for everyone! The house we stayed at was the perfect set-up. My sister and her hubby had the upstairs with their own bedroom, bathroom, and loft for their little dog to hang out in during the day. My parents had the master on the main level. Our family had two downstairs bedrooms and a bathroom. The boys had bunk beds to sleep on which are a special treat!

Okay, I could ramble on about the great memories we made and the fun times we had! There is just so much to share after an adventure to Yellowstone. It was a beautiful trip. From geysers to thermal springs to mountains to lakes to rivers and waterfalls – there is something awe-inspiring around every corner! I’m so glad we got to explore this lovely part of God’s creation. God’s artistry through nature never ceases to astound me!

Here is an itinerary of our daily explorations and photos from our adventures:

Day 1: Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake, Mud Volcano, Hayden Valley, Upper & Lower Yellowstone Falls. Day 2: Lower & Midway Geyser Basins, Artist Paint Pots, Norris Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Springs, Roosevelt Arch. Day 3: Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, WY, Jenny Lake, Colter Bay. Day 4: Biscuit Basin, Castle Geyser, West Thumb Geyser Basin, hike to Brink of the Lower Falls.

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Craters of the Moon National Park

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Elk sighting

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Old Faithful

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Bison sighting

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Lower Yellowstone Falls

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Grand Prismatic Spring at the Midway Geyser Basin

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Norris Geyser Basin

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Norris Geyser Basin

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Officially Junior Park Rangers!

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The classic vacation picture!

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Grand Teton National Park

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Such a beautiful drive through the Tetons!

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Visiting Jackson, WY

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Dipping their toes in Jenny Lake

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My hubby walking through the Biscuit Basin on a smokey and steamy morning.

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We were all alone for this walk, but face masks helped keep us warm! 

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Watching Castle Geyser erupt

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Lewis & Clark Caverns 

 

 

Summertime Downtime July 23, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 12:39 pm

I am two weeks post-op and doing well. I had my post-op appointment with my surgeon yesterday and it was wonderful to hear that I am healing well and that this process has finished. I’ll experience discomfort for a few more weeks as my body adjusts, but it should be minor. I’m back to my regular activity level and it’s been such a relief to have this recovery process go better than I expected. I tend to be imagine the worst and I then am pleasantly surprised when the worst doesn’t pan out. I am grateful to have this all behind me.

Because of my recovery, our family has had plenty of downtime these last few weeks. I’ve enjoyed reading (of course) and I’ve started watching a bit more television to help me relax. The boys are swimming every night in the pool. We’ve been doing workbook pages in the mornings, crafts and experiments, and there have been plenty of hours at play.  Jeremy has on the hunt for a small SUV and a great deal. We test drove a Nissan Rogue last week. While we didn’t purchase that vehicle, the test drive was good for our research. We aren’t in a hurry for a new vehicle. I appreciate Jeremy taking his time to search out the best fit for our family and budget.

I’ve enjoyed the slower pace for my recovery season. This week things picked up. I had dinner for the first time with a friend inside a restaurant.  We had a play date at a friend’s house. The one piece of my plans that didn’t pan out this last week was my MOPS & MOMSnext Leadership Retreat. At the last minute, we had to postpone due to unforeseen circumstances. This was a disappointment because I was ready to have the “big” discussion about how our group will operate this coming year. I was looking forward to having it settled. I am still living with the unsettled feeling, but having our conversation in August might give us more clarity. With local guidelines changing every few weeks, we might have more insight closer to our September launch time.

Living with an unsettled feeling seems to be the new normal for me. Like most parents, I am waiting to know what our local school district plans for the fall. I am waiting to settle details for MOPS & MOMSnext. I am aware that cases of COVID-19 are rising in my area. When the world shut down in March, I had no clue that our present reality at the end of July would still be so affected by this virus. It’s hard to live with so many unresolved questions on my mind. I know that I am not alone in this mental struggle. I’ve stopped reading books about homeschooling because constantly contemplating education was making it hard for me to relax. When my anxiety level rises, I pause to journal, read my Bible, and pray. I am reminded that I don’t need all the answers. I know the One who does. Trusting God is a daily decision and sometimes it feels like a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour decision.

What helps with my unsettled feelings is living in the present. I can’t answer questions about tomorrow, next week, next month, the fall. I can make plans, but I have seen how easily they change. Nothing is certain. So I focus on today, on this moment. I read stories to my kids and bake muffins with blueberries from Jeremy’s garden. I read on the deck while my boys swim in the pool. The sweet, slow moments add up and they create momentum. I gain optimism from these good and lovely moments. I count my blessings. I do my best to rest and take of my body and my family. While I would love to know more, I learning contentment. It’s a lesson I never seems to fully master, but it is a good ambition. I will keep practicing.

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Graham completed his preschool workbook that we started in April! He was so excited to start a new Pre-K workbook. 

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Love listening Owen read out loud to his brother!

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It took us many prototypes to create vehicles that would actually roll! 

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The decorated “tube” cars. Getting smiles out of these wild boys is sometimes a challenge! 

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Jeremy had the boys help him make his lesson for church this last week. I love that Jeremy includes our boys in ministry! 

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First time inside a restaurant since March! And first time seeing this lovely friend since the end of February! 

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Every night is a pool party at our house!

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Graham gives summer two thumbs up! 

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Introducing my boys to Peter Rabbit… in a tent… on the back deck. These are the sweet moments that keep me going!

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Today’s baking project – blueberry muffins with berries from Jeremy’s garden! Yum! 

 

July is here! July 6, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 11:02 am

This last week we said good-bye to June and hello to July. This summer certainly has a different feel to it. Usually July would mean daily swimming lessons at the local pool and multiple play dates a week. Now our days are mostly spent at home. We keep social events outside so we can have distance and limit the use of masks. Even with our endeavors to be outdoors, we are getting used to wearing masks when we aren’t home. We are adapting to this new normal and making the most of it.

This last week we made a couple of meal deliveries to families with new babies. I love that this ministry can continue even through a pandemic. Dropping a meal at a door is a quick and simple way to show love. We did two deliveries last week and we have another one to do today. Lots of babies to celebrate in our community!

With plenty of time at home, we’ve had time for puzzles, games, fort building, and baking. The days have been cloudy and gray for the most part so we’ve been snuggled inside playing and enjoying the free time summer brings. When it warms up, we head outside to play, explore, and exercise.

The special outing of our week was a trip up to see my sweet grandma (or GG has my boys call her). I’ve been keeping in touch with my grandma through phone calls and mail over the last few months. It was great to finally have an in-person opportunity to connect with her. My heart was definitely full after our visit!

This weekend was full of celebrating with family! We had Jeremy’s brothers and their kiddos over for the 4th of July. Our kids were so excited to swim with their cousins, show off the beaver dam, and light off fireworks. There is such a happy feeling watching cousins play and make childhood memories together! Yesterday was my dad’s birthday so we celebrated with my side of the family. My sister and brother-in-law joined us. It had been many months since we’d all been together. It was a great way to celebrate my dad! Nothing like good food and family to make a weekend feel special!

Now to share about my next “adventure”… I will be having surgery this Thursday to remove a benign mass that is growing and causing me discomfort. I’ve known about the mass for years, but this November it started to bother me. I went to the doctor and had it monitored for six months. It grew considerably during that time so it was decided that it was time to biopsy it in May. Thankfully the the results were benign. The fact that is continuing to grow and cause me discomfort is the reason I opted for surgery to remove it. I am nervous and not looking forward to the surgery, but I am trying to be a grown up and take care of my health. From having a biopsy, to having a mandatory pre-op COVID-19 test, to surgery – I keep reminding myself that I am capable of doing hard and uncomfortable things. I don’t have to like it, but I can get the job done and take care of myself.  Thanks to this being a slower summer, I will be able to rest and recover without too much disruption to commitments. I will be leading a MOPS leadership retreat 8 days after my surgery, so please pray that I will be able to lead without discomfort.

That’s the news for now! I’ll see you on the other side of my surgery and hopefully I’ll have a positive update to share with you all!

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Learning how to play checkers!

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This week’s baking project! The boys helped me make a red, white, and blue layer cake. They even put the sprinkles on the cake!

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Graham received his school art portfolio this week. He had a lot of fun walking down memory lane!

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Visiting GG!

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New puzzle! Oh how these kids love geography! They are obsessed with maps of any kind!

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Happy 4th of July from the Scotts!

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Parachute men are a favorite activity on the 4th!

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Introducing the cousins to the beaver dam!

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Sparkler Time!

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I hope Grandpa didn’t want to blow out his own birthday candles!

 

 

Does It Feel Like Summer? June 27, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 10:21 am

We’ve had two weeks of our summer schedule and I keep pondering to myself – does it feel like summer? Now in Washington state, I could mean the weather. As I look out the window next to me, I am looking at gray clouds and the forecast even has showers for tomorrow. We’ve had some gray days this month, especially over the weekends. But really, I’m not referring to the weather when I wonder if it feels like summer. I’m referring to the change of pace, the summer vibes. Do I feel them?

My answer is kinda. They are there, but they aren’t as strong as years past. Usually the end of the school year brings a dramatic change to our household. With the kids being home all day since March, school being out doesn’t seem like a big shift. We started each day this week with 30 minutes of summer workbooks (15 minutes for each boy to keep their brains engaged) and then we moved into an hour of VBA (Vacation Bible Adventure) at home. Rocky Railway was the theme this year and my kids LOVED IT! It was a great time to sing, dance, learn about the Bible, and do a fun craft/activity each day. In a way VBA took up the window of time that “school” had filled just weeks before. Our flow of focused mornings, quiet afternoons, and free evenings has remained even after school is out.

Now there are some ways that it does feel like summer. Over the last week, we’ve turned on the air-conditioning as the days have risen into the 80’s. That feels like summer, for sure! My boys have spent every sunny evening in the pool. Jeremy is doing swimming lessons at home with the boys. Graham’s confidence in the water has sky-rocketed in just the last week. It’s fun to watch them learn important life skills from their father. I can swim, but I don’t relish time in the pool (unless I can just sit on a lounge float and soak up the sun). I’m thankful that Jeremy can engage our little swimmers at their level! He is truly the best dad ever! Another way that it feels like summer is our family adventures on Fridays! Last Friday, we hiked around Mt. St. Helen’s. Yesterday, we went to NW Trek with Nana & Papa. What a unique experience we had as we drove our own van through the wildlife park! It was also our first family outing where masks were mandatory. The boys did a great job keeping their masks on in public. The whole experience gave me hope that we can continue to do fun things that we love even if they look different for a while.

I find that I’m living in a season with more questions than answers. I had no clue when things shut down in March that life would look this way heading into July. I honestly thought this whole virus thing would blow over by May. I thought kids would go back to school, I thought I would coordinated weddings at the church, I thought we would be back to “normal” by summer. Now I’m realizing that normal seems like a distant memory – the good old days. I’m wrapping my head around a new world where masks are necessary, schedules are disrupted, and adapting to change is crucial. It might not be the summer I expected, but summer is here. I told Jeremy that I don’t want to spend my summer wringing my hands with anxiety over what the future holds. I want to live this summer day by day, moment by moment. The big picture might be hard to see, so I’ll focus in on what I can see – today, this moment. As we continue to move forward, I’m hopeful the summer vibes will come our way!

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Collecting moths has become a thing to do around our house. I’m happy to report that as of last night all the moths have been released back into nature! 

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Excited for their first day of Rocky Railway! I love that my kids didn’t miss out on a VBA experience this year! And they got to do it in their pajamas (which as you know is how we roll these days).

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Learning the Bible Lesson from Teacher Lauren! These boys were so excited to watch “their” teacher from church. Jeremy and the kids team worked hard to make VBA a fantastic experience for our community of kiddos! 

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Tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe to see if I could achieve a different kind of cookie… they turned out just like my go-to recipe, so apparently I only make one kind of a cookie… 

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Second play date of the season, so we had to go the beaver dam. It never gets old!

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The determined face of a kid trying to master the kick board.

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This feels like summer right here! 

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Family Outing to NW Trek! 

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Usually you ride through the wildlife park in a tram, but for a short window of time they are having personal vehicles drive through! Such a unique and memorable opportunity! 

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Even though the world feels weird, raccoons are still cute! 

PS: If you want to watch my 5 minutes of VBA fame, you can here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFFjU008neg. I had fun teaching a short and sweet Bible lesson about being good friends!