Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

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!

 

Life at the Beach July 3, 2018

Filed under: Family Time,Getting Creative,Travels — Amy Scott @ 2:27 pm

We have been incredibly blessed. We started June in Sunriver for the final day of our surprise vacation and we ended June at the beach with the Scott clan. Isn’t that simply amazing?

Before taking off for the beach, we had our first MOPS & MOMSnext summer activity which was an ice cream social at the church playground. It was a great way to kick off our vacation week. We came home dirty and sticky and while Jeremy gave the boys a bath, I packed our suitcase for the ocean.

The week at the beach was spent playing with the cousins and visiting our favorite places. We went to Fort Stevens on a drippy afternoon and explored in the rain. Not my usually MO, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. We went to Seaside and rode the carousal multiple times. I said we wouldn’t go to Tillamook since the Tillamook Creamery (used to be called the cheese factory) just opened a week ago and I didn’t want to deal with the crowds… but… Jeremy offered and I said yes with very little arm twisting. We explored the new creamery and I was relieved to see that the cheese factory viewing portion is the same as before and that brought some comfort to me. It still felt like the cheese factory I grew up visiting, but now it’s bigger and better. And the long drive to Tillamook made for an excellent nap time for two super tired little boys. It was a great week full of family fun and relaxation. Jeremy got to golf one morning and tried clamming for the first time. I read a few books. We ate at our favorite places – Mo’s & Pig’N’Pancake. What’s not to love about a week at the beach?

As you can imagine from my last post, we are still checking off summer family challenges left and right. The beach week allowed us to check off things like fly a kite, visit a state park and build a sand castle. This week we’ve made homemade lemonade and tried a new food (pickle flavored chips and blue corn tortilla chips). We’re also praying for our extended family members all this week and keeping up with the Bible reading challenges. Before we left for the beach, we sat down with a list of local and global missionaries. I took out our children’s atlas and showed the boys where the different missionaries were located around the world. Then as a family we prayed for them. We do bedtime prayers every night, but the summer family challenge as gotten us praying in new ways. We turned in our scorecard for June and I was happy to see that we completed 24 for challenges in June. I have at least 18 on the docket for July. By August, we’ll have almost all the challenges we can do completed. I’ll be real here… one of the challenges is no screen time for a week, another is no sugary snacks or drinks for a week – those challenges will not be completed. I’m afraid I would not survive. While I see the value in them, I need sugar and screen time to make it through the day (in moderation, of course, but let’s face it, a day without sugar is a day not worth living, haha, I’m kind of joking, but also not really).

I’m excited to see our July adventures unfold! See you all after the 4th of July! Enjoy the fireworks and family time!

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First craft completed from our Pinterest board! Painting fireworks with toilet paper tubes. 

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Enjoying a Star Wars themed birthday party 

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Summer Family Challenge – Water Balloon Fight

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Summer Family Challenge – Kids Make Dinner 

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For safety, the boys made PB & J sandwiches and toaster waffles for this challenge. They have no culinary skills yet. 

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Park Play Date with Auntie 

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MOPS & MOMSnext Ice Cream Social – love seeing families gathered to play and eat! :) 

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Praying for our missionaries around the world 

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The first day at the beach was windy… 

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It was also beautiful! 

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Visiting Fort Stevens – which is a state park. Check that off the summer family challenge! 

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Fort Stevens

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Sitting on the jetty watching the big waves come in

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Sitting on the jetty watching the big waves come in

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Graham really likes bacon these days… 

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Carousal Ride 

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Clamming for the first time. Jeremy is always game to try something new! 

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Trying to get a picture of all the grandkids with Nana & Papa is always an adventure. Poor Graham wasn’t feeling it. 

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Winning prizes at the arcade in Seaside (well, Jeremy won this, but don’t tell Owen. He thinks he did). 

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The Tillamook Creamery

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Owen woke up grumpy after a hard car nap. 

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Checking out new stuff in Tillamook 

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The power struggle for the cheese bus

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And the reason we came – ICE CREAM! 

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Jeremy came home from vacation and instantly started to assemble our new play set that was delivered on Saturday! He is so awesome! 

 

We have a foundation & a septic system! September 27, 2017

I figured I would start off with my building update. Our foundation is fully finished. Our septic system was put in this week. The back fill should be pushed in around the foundation this week. I’m under the impression that once the back fill is in, Adair will take things over again and move forward with actually building something on the foundation. I long for sub floors and then walls and then a roof. I want our property to go from being “the property” which would imply a piece of land to “the house” – a standing structure that resembles and promises to be a home. Each week we take baby steps forward. Rome and houses aren’t built in a day. Oh, how Jesus has taught me patience.

Life is always full and in a way, I’m grateful for that pace. I’m glad that I started to sell books because it’s given me a good distraction and something to work on while I wait for our home. The book business has been great in September. I think I’ve found my balance with about 6 parties a month. With all of my church and home commitments, I’ve accepted that I won’t be the busiest book lady on the planet, but I enjoy being consistent. I’ve even gotten to a place where if the business fizzled, I would be fine with that. My October and November are full so I don’t anticipate that it will fizzle, but if it did, no worries on my part. I made some money, I grew our home library and I was able to keep busy in a season of waiting.

MOPS is going super well. We had our second meeting on Monday and it was just as splendid as the first! Moms are enjoying themselves and our numbers are fantastic! The childcare situation has started off strong and I’m hoping it will only improve once the learning center is fully up and running. I am grateful and beyond blessed. This last meeting didn’t drain me as much as the first which I am relieved by. After the first meeting and going 150% all in to make MOPS amazing, I was scared that I wouldn’t enjoy attending anymore if it meant I came home dead each time and feeling like I had a hang over the next day. I think it will only get better from here as we settle into our tables and grow that sense of community. Things will become routine. This will all feel normal eventually. God is good and we are seeing the fruits of our labor.

The boys! It’s almost birthday month! Woo hoo! We are less than 2 weeks away from Owen turning 4 and less than a month away from Graham turning 2. Oh my! We are gearing up for a Paw Patrol themed party at the beginning of October. We are adapting to the new schedule of Owen being at preschool three mornings a week and Graham being home with me. Graham is great on his own and plays so nicely. If he isn’t feeling good, he can get a bit clingy, but for the most part, Graham is an easy kiddo on his own. Graham is using all kinds of words now. I was concerned a few months back about his verbal skills, but I’m not anymore. He is getting to be such a “big” boy in what he can say and do. Even though you can tell he is growing, I still expect him to be low on the charts for height and weight. Owen is loving preschool and loving life. It’s one great big adventure for that boy. He sings often and remains very loud in all he does. Owen is constant talker and is full of questions. The last month has held many firsts for him with the big boy bed and starting school. He will move up to a new classroom at church soon and be reunited with one of his best buds, Maci. He can’t wait.

Jeremy has had a full month as well. September is hunting season, so he had a couple of adventures out in the woods. He also had Man Camp at church two weeks ago. He often spends his free time checking on things at the property and doing projects up there. He has assembled his new greenhouse and added gutters to the well house. His next big project is to insulate the well house.

And you’ve already heard about me… boys, MOPS, books. Keeping busy. I chopped off my hair yesterday. It’s the shortest I’ve ever cut it. I’m in a less is more phase and I wanted to spend less time doing my hair during this busy season. My hair stylist was so proud of me for bringing in a picture example (I’ve never done that before) and getting a big girl hair cut. I guess I’ve graduated into adulthood, finally. I’m not usually super brave with my hair, but I decided to try something new. I gave myself the it’s only hair and it will grow back if I don’t like it pep talk. I do like it and I’m glad I forced myself out of my comfort zone.

And there you have it! Life with Scott at the close of September! See you in October!

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Visits to the property usually require baths right after them.

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Park play date

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Park play date

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Movie night in Mama’s bed while Daddy was at Man Camp

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Movie night in Mama’s bed while Daddy was at Man Camp

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Bounce house fun at a family birthday party

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Hugs!

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Snuggling with Papa and hanging with Keegan (cousin)

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Hands On Children’s Museum on the first rainy day of September

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Hands On Children’s Museum on the first rainy day of September

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Auntie’s first time at the HOCM

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While Daddy is out hunting, we make mega-track.

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The perk of visiting Daddy at work while Mommy has a meeting.

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First official day of fall, collecting leaves!

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Bed time snack?

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Visit to the zoo with my boys!

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Target shenanigans

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Exploring the new Taco Bell by the church with friends!

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The boys were ready for a very important meeting.

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Septic installation! THRILLING!

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Another Monday of full tables and wonderful conversation at MOPS! This week we talked about de-cluttering our lives and the peace that brings.

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New hair

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Pledge leader!

 

So Many Things August 22, 2017

I was just welcoming you to August. Now it’s almost over. Yikes. So this blogging thing. It’s getting harder. I’ve added a lot to my plate the last few months. It makes me sad that my blog isn’t as frequent as before. I love writing. It’s not even an option to give this up. For the few of you that read this blog, I’ll keep at it. I apologize for the gaps and delays.

Our week in Bend with the Scott Clan was fun. The kids had a great time playing together and all being under one roof. My kid didn’t sleep so awesome the first two nights, but the last night was amazing! Graham slept on the air mattress the whole night and didn’t end up in bed with us! Praise the Lord!!! Graham really enjoyed sharing a bed with his brother on this trip and when we came home he kept trying to go down for naps in Owen’s room. It was funny and sweet! The guys got a chance to go golfing together. The girls got a chance to get pedicures, do some window shopping and get lunch on the river. It was a refreshing time!

I’ve been working away on MOPS stuff. I’m feeling good about things. The ducks seem to be coming into a row. nicely I’m praising Jesus and believing for good things. We have one more MOPS summer park play date left. We already have ladies registering for the fall. YAY!

Books have been slower for me this month. When I took the first two weeks of August off, I knew it would mean a slower month. Truthfully, I’ve loved the lacked back pace. I’ve had two parties and did two shifts at a book booth at the SWW Fair. I’ve spent a lot of time building up my September, October, November calendar. It hasn’t been a wasted month by any means.

With less parties to prepare for I’ve been able to focus on other projects. I’ve been slowly collecting items to redecorate the boys’ bedrooms. I’ve happily snagged some great deals over the last few weeks and I feel like a complete plan is coming together for the bedrooms. Now to daydream about bathrooms and the master bedroom. We are supposed to see some action up at the property toward the end of this week or beginning of next week. I’m am anxiously awaiting the foundation being poured. I would do it myself if I could. I want to get going!!! Jeremy and I fully painted the well house and it looks awesome! Jeremy filled in all of the ditches we had dug for water and power. Here’s hoping my next update has pictures of the foundation! Let it be so, Jesus!

We’re also less than two months away from the boys’ birthdays, so I’ve been working on getting party invitations ordered and birthday details nailed down. I’m a planner. Don’t judge. I also started the boys’ yearly photo books last week. I have them up to date through August and formulated so I can easily add the last few pictures needed to complete the year. The books always end with the great birthday celebrations, so I’ll be able to print them soon enough. Just like blogging, making photo books makes my heart happy. Last year I did a little bit each month so it wasn’t too much work. This year I just did it all at one time. I had the time then and there so I thought why not get it done.

And that is about it… We watched the solar eclipse at Bethel with the staff. I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t darker because the sun was 96% covered in Chehalis. On the flip side, I’m totally amazed that 4% of the sun could provide so much light. The temperature did drop. Owen got cold and asked for a coat. It was a neat experience, but not as strange as I thought it was going to be. I’m not a huge fan of crowds, but if I ever get a chance to see a total eclipse in the future, I might take it…

Oh and the Lucy Maud Montgomery summer continues! I read the Pat of Silver Bush series this month. I liked Pat more than I liked Emily Starr. I’ve enjoyed re-reading some of my favorite books, but also reading new ones this summer. I’m trying to decided if I will re-read A Tangled Web next or read for the first time Magic for Marigold. Or I might break from my Canadian friends and go down south with Jen Hatmaker to read her new release, Of Mess and Moxie. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I think that about sums up life. Vacation. MOPS. UBAM. House. Party Prep. Photo Books. Eclipse. Summer of LM Montgomery. Yep. Keeping the kids alive. Keeping up with my hubby. That’s my life! God is good and we keep moving forward and looking ahead!

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Bend 2017

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Bend 2017

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Bend 2017

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Bend 2017

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Bend 2017

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Bend 2017

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Painting the well house

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Checking in on Domino!

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Spray Park

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Playing the piano with Nana

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Brownie bakers!

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Visiting the fair. Graham was too short for the rides. Poor kiddo.

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Working up at the property!

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Backyard BBQ with the young families

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Watching the eclipse with Bethel Staff!

 

Catching You Up! June 15, 2017

Hey all! I will admit that it’s harder to find time to blog these days. The boys are wild and running full steam ahead every waking second. I’m blessed with snuggles and sweet moments in the midst of the boyhood chaos surrounding me. Things are happening at the property. I am giving 150% to my new Usborne book business. And then I have MOPS and friendships and family relationships that I’m trying to keep up with as well. I don’t like being busy. I am very tired. I was thinking today about how there just isn’t enough of me to go around or the age old saying of “there aren’t enough hours in the day.” Today was a day where I tried to multi-task working while the boys were awake and it was insanity. Often, I’m working when the boys are napping or at bedtime. Anytime my kids are asleep, I’m trying to get something done. It’s rewarding. I love the things I’m doing and people that I am investing in, but man, I could use a nap. Instead I’m blogging… naps and blogging are both therapeutic for me, but sadly I can only do one at a time. Maybe I can clone myself…

Okay, so the house. I know that you want house updates. I feel bad because we’re into building season and I would love to chronicle that process in detail here… but that might not happen. Sorry. As you can see I’m loosing my marbles a bit and I have some screws loose and whatever other saying will imply I lack mental clarity. While I get the basic just of building a house, there are parts of the process that I get confused about or don’t know the correct terms. This is not my skill set. Please, keep that in mind as you read my updates. They might include words like “thingamajig” from time to time. Last week we had the home site excavated, our driveway put in and gravel spread over the excavated site. Jeremy, my dad and brother-in-law, spent the weekend assembling the walls of our well houses.  The concrete pads weren’t poured yet so the well houses couldn’t go up over the weekend, but they are now as assembled as possible. Once the pads are poured and set, the well houses will be officially assembled. Jeremy is also working on getting the temporary power set up. And our building permits have been submitted to the county. We are still in the site “prep” stage, but we are very close to being fully ready to build. We had a meeting with Adair last week and they were impressed with how far we were in the process and they seemed optimistic that things would move along quickly. I’ll keep you posted so I know more!

As I mentioned, our days have filled with Usborne, MOPS, play dates and zany kids. Things are going well with Usborne. I’m one recruit away from getting my Success Kit #2. I have a couple recruits possibly joining in June because Usborne is running a special where you can join for $50. It’s a fantastic deal and truly an awesome opportunity. MOPS wrapped up last week and I’m in the midst of meetings and reworking paperwork in preparation for the new year. It’s exciting to see it all come together and I am believing great things are in store for our group. This new role has stretched me and grown me. I seem to be in a season doing new things. It’s good, but again, tiring. I’m doing lots of learning and trying to keep up and on top of things.

I think back to the days when I was at home for maybe 2,3,4 days in a row. Maybe unshowered… just chilling with babies and wondering if I’m losing my mind. Now, I kind of miss that. I’ve been out of the house a lot more these days or I’m doing live videos for my business, so the endless days of no showering just aren’t an option… I’m sure it’s better for the world as a whole, but I miss the slower pace and the option of being presentable. Haha… it takes energy! As an introvert, these new roles have me connecting with people all day long and that is taking some getting used to. I’m very much drained by constant communication. This summer is probably going to be the hardest part (I hope). I’m learning new things, we’re building a house, I’m out of my comfort zone in a lot of areas. But new routines will form. I will adapt to the new schedules and new commitments. Everything won’t be “new” forever. I’m learning a new form of endurance. It’s good, but hard. It’s rewarding, but tiring. Doesn’t that sum up life in a nutshell?

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Airplane

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Telling the time with his new Usborne book!

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One cute kid!

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Celebrating Cousin Bennett’s birthday at the park!

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Home Depot runs with Dad

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Last MOPS meeting of the year! So blessed by these ladies and excited to lead this group in the fall!

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Cranky face

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Home partying with my books!

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We have a driveway!!!!!!!

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Homestead Selfie

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Happy snuggles after Sunday naps

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Making Grandma a birthday card!

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Happy Birthday, Grandma!

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Graham fell asleep in his highchair after a super active play date!

 

 

The Promised Pictures June 2, 2017

Here is the photo update that I wasn’t able to include yesterday. Enjoy!

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Working at the property

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Sending a “Hello Dad” picture to Jeremy

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Owen knows his stuff with tractors

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Playing at the property

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Graham worked up the courage for a ride

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Ice cream treat on a hot day

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Serious bedhead

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Shopping with my boys

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Checking out a new coffee shop and bookstore with friends. It’s an old bank and the vault was made into a playroom!

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Exploring my first success kit from Usborne!

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Water play time

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Watering cans are endlessly fun

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Hanging at a local multi-vendor sale