We are ramping up our Christmas activities in the Scott household. There has been a new Christmas activity every day this week and my kids are loving it! The only downside with starting a Christmas-activity-a-day pattern is that the kiddos have come to expect something Christmas-y everyday. It’s addictive and habit-forming. So to keep them from going through withdrawals, I’m stepping up to the challenge. This week has been full of Christmas crafts, Christmas books, a Christmas outing, and Christmas baking. I realize that this pace isn’t sustainable forever. Good thing we are at the two week countdown to Christmas. I love that these small things (mostly done at home) are making our days festive and fun. I am truly thankful for the extra time to celebrate with my family this year. Home for the holidays is okay with us.
Advent Season December 6, 2020
This last weekend, we wholeheartedly entered Advent season! Advent is not just counting down the days to Christmas, but it focuses on the expectation of Jesus’ arrival and the salvation he brings to the world. This is our second year of lighting a candle once a week and focusing on the spiritual story of Advent. We also have an Advent calendar filled with Hershey’s kisses to open each day. Jesus and chocolate are helping us celebrate this season to the fullest!
We’ve been around the house quite a bit. While the days might seem ordinary and slow, I’m impressed when I look back over all we’ve accomplished. Both boys are plowing through their schoolwork. Owen finished the first half of his math curriculum. It’s set up in two books (1A and 1B), so we’ll start his new book on Monday. Graham finished up his last pre-k workbook this week. He is now working on a book that is actually meant for the summer between pre-k and kindergarten. Once he completes this smaller workbook, he’ll start a kindergarten curriculum in January. He is so excited about being a “kindergartener.” I keep telling him that he will be doing kindergarten work and He isn’t actual going to kindergarten. In his mind, he is about to graduate to the big leagues. I’m trying not to squelch his excitement too much because a kid excited about school is a good thing.
Jeremy has started a new project… well, he is continuing a project from this spring. He has started clearing brush in a new spot on our property. His chainsaw has been busy this weekend. Now he is looking forward to the massive burn piles that await him. I’ve been keeping busy with my Usborne Books & More business. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but I’ve had parties over the last three months. I’m not actively drumming up business, but if someone asks to host a party, I say yes. The parties have been fairly successful thanks to the Christmas selling season. It’s been fun not only to share these great books with friends, but also to add some extra income during the gift giving season.
Our family has been enjoying our new hot tub immensely. The boys are in it almost every night. We’ve had a lot of fun looking at stars together on clear nights. One night the moon was so bright that we could see shapes in the clouds as they floated by. Our favorite shape we spotted was Snoopy in a chef’s hat on skis. Jeremy got a floating light that changes colors so the hot tub has become the party pool recently. Hot tub time has been a wonderful addition to our daily routine.
Celebrating Christmas has made the extra time at home feel festive and special. We have a list of Christmas activities to accomplish over the coming weeks and there is a lot of excited anticipation. Today after dropping Owen off at church with Jeremy, Graham and I went to the store to purchase Graham’s Christmas gift for Owen. After church, Jeremy took Owen to the store to shop for Graham. It’s fun to see what they pick for each other. I’m always curious to see if they can keep the secret until Christmas. Only 19 more days of secret keeping left!
Welcoming October October 4, 2020
We are always excited for the arrival of October. It’s birthday month for my boys and it’s fun to make it a month long celebration. October is also prime-time for my favorite autumn activities! Our church is doing a Family Scavenger Hunt through an app for the entire month of October. The app features missions with all kinds of challenges and activities – many of them are seasonal as well. We’ve had a blast working our way through the missions. This game will be a highlight for our family all month long!
As we continue to find our homeschooling groove, I’m loving the routine that we’ve created. We had forest school on Monday. We learned how to make outdoor shelters. Monday night, we had a fantastic guest speaker at MOPS & MOMSnext. I’ve been nervous to see how MOPS & MOMSnext would pan out this year, so this meeting was a boost in confidence. Tuesday, we dropped of a meal for a MOPS family recovering from surgery and then we picked up a brand new trampoline for the boys. This newer, bigger, upgraded trampoline was a combined birthday present for the boys from my parents and Jeremy & I. The boys are thrilled with more bouncing space!
Friday was our field trip to the corn maze. It was neat to see Owen following the map of the maze closely and tracking our movements. Saturday morning, I joined my mom to watch a conference via Zoom for our church ladies. It was an amazing time to see ladies online, worship, and hear a great message. Saturday afternoon, we had a small, family-only gathering to celebrate the boys’ birthdays. The kids ran wild, outside in the sunshine playing with their cousins. This is our 5th year of joint birthday parties and the theme was space. I always enjoy making a theme come to life. Today has been a combination of working on scavenger hunt challenges and playing with new toys. I’ve spent a good portion of my day assembling LEGO creations for Graham. Owen would prefer to build his own creations without assistance.
October is off to a great start and we have so many exciting adventures still ahead this month. The next big adventure this coming week is the celebration of Owen officially turning seven! It’s crazy how fast he is growing up. I’m so thankful that during this homeschool season, I get a little extra time to watch this super cool kid grow!
Celebrating with Green Eggs March 2, 2020
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
Owen’s teacher asked me if I could make a special treat for the class to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday today. I love to bake, but I’ve never made a Dr. Seuss treat before. I took to Pinterest for inspiration. I decided to make my favorite butter cookies and to frost the cookies so they looked like green eggs from Green Eggs and Ham.
I was nervous about how the cookies would turn out since I’m new to piping frosting on cookies. I love the sanding sugar process I learned from a friend. The results are lovely and sparkly! Overall, I’m very pleased with how the cookies turned out. I packaged them individually and labeled them so it was clear how they played into the Dr. Seuss theme. It’s funny that I’ve thrown a Dr. Seuss themed baby shower and now created a Dr. Seuss themed baking project all in the last month. Apparently, I’ve needed more silly in my life!
Here is a more detailed look into the process!
Life at the Beach July 3, 2018
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!
Hello 2017 January 3, 2017
2016 closed with lots of days full of family gatherings! On the 29th, we had Christmas with the Scott clan. It was a fun day full of Christmas chaos and merriment. This was the first time all the cousins had been together since the arrival of Baby Colton, so it was nice to be all under the same roof. Owen greatly enjoyed playing with his cousins and Graham enjoyed being carried around by cousin Brinley. She was such a little mommy, making sure that Graham was taken care of.
The 30th was my brother-in-law’s birthday. Andrew requested breakfast at Camp 18 which is just a short bit away from the coast. We enjoyed yummy breakfasts, bird watching and exploring the logging site. Then we took off for Cannon Beach. The weather was sunny and it was the perfect day to make a quick stop at the ocean. Graham wanted to run straight into the water. This made Owen very concerned for Graham’s safety. At one point, Owen was so stressed about Graham that he couldn’t watch anymore and asked to leave the beach. He just couldn’t handle it! Graham didn’t go out to sea thanks to many watchful eyes and we were able to stop a get a few local favorite foods before heading home.
The 31st was my sister’s birthday. We drove down to their new home and met up with the family for lunch and dessert. Birthday lunch was at Red Lobster and Owen had so much fun looking at the lobster tank. Then we went to a local mall to see a model train display they have set up there. Owen also enjoyed that. You would think the day was about Owen, not Auntie! We had dessert back at the house and April introduced Owen into Mario Party. It was a laid back, casual afternoon. April loves to pass on the video game legacy to my kids. Owen got a Mario toothbrush in his stocking this year and he discovered a Mario game on Jeremy’s phone. He was elated to play Mario with his Auntie for her birthday.
Jeremy and I rang in the New Year playing a new card game with his parents. Since New Years Eve was a Saturday this year, we didn’t want to stay up too late with church the following morning. We watched a little TV and lived a little on the wild side and stayed up till 11:30. You know you’re old when staying up till midnight just doesn’t have the same appeal anymore. Maybe if it hadn’t been on a Sunday. Maybe next year….
I was thinking back on 2016 and it made me remember how hard I thought 2015 was. I remember thinking that 2015 was a year I really didn’t want to live again. I had an uncomfortable pregnancy and then Graham had acid reflex issues that involved a lot of crying, spitting up and me having to change my diet. It was rough. I’m not sure which year was harder, 2015 or 2016… but 2016 has been one for the record books. 2016 has been characterized by change around every corner. For someone that likes stability and routine, 2016 rocked my world and shook me up. I am grateful for the lessons in faith and trust that came from 2016. Change brings growth and I think that is the true benefit of 2016. I am not the same person I was at the start of the year. I can see that through every high and low, God was there, walking beside me. God is good. No matter what.
Now on to 2017… I’m starting it sick. I never fully got over my last cold and I went into round 2 the last few days with more fevers and sinus pressure. Not an ideal start to the year, but I’m hoping and praying this bug will be behind me soon. My biggest hope and prayer for 2017 is that our house will sell and we will be able to start building our new home. We did have a showing last Friday. We haven’t heard any feedback from that showing, but I was pleasantly surprised that we had one given the holiday season. It would be so delightful to be under contract and moving forward again with our house. I’m truly hoping 2017 will bring positive resolution to our living situation. I want to give a big shout out to my in-laws who have taken us in and let us make ourselves at home in their home. Their kindness and hospitality has been so appreciated. I don’t know about Graham (because he is so young), but I do think that Owen will have the best memories as he reflects on the time that he got to live with Nana and Papa. They are a blessing to our family. My prayer is that we can move forward with our house situation before we over stay our welcome.
I don’t have any resolutions for 2017. Graham is nursing less these days so that means my calorie intake needs to adjust. In traditional New Years fashion, I could say I plan to eat better in 2017 (and by better I mean “less”… don’t expect to find me munching on a kale salad for lunch). I have a list of books that I am hoping to read and of course, I plan to keep writing about my daily adventures. I love how the New Year feels like a blank slate. It’s a story waiting to be told. I have absolutely no clue what is in store for our family, but the last few years have a created a firm foundation for us. If we have survived the past then we can handle the future. God is our rock and our anchor. I choose to be hopeful and optimistic. I’m dreaming big for 2017!
Documenting Owen October 26, 2014
As with any new mom, I’ve spent the last year documenting Owen’s life to the fullest. I’ve been taking lots of pictures and saving mementos. This last month, I’ve put a bit of effort into some projects that document Owen’s first year of life. From the very beginning of my pregnancy with Owen, I knew that I was going to be using photo books from Shutterfly as my main way of saving memories. I kept a pregnancy journal using a Shutterfly photo book and had that book printed after Owen was born. For all of you who that I took no “bump” pictures, you were wrong. I took plenty. Only about half are documented in this book. I never posted a lot of pictures to Facebook, but I have them saved for myself and my family. I like that the journal captures what I liked and disliked while I was pregnant. It shows the transformation of the nursery and photos from my baby showers. It also talks about how we shared our baby news and the process that went into naming Owen. To compliment this pregnancy photo book, I’ve spent the last year making a photo book of Owen month to month. It’s mainly pictures with just a few highlights of holidays, trips and milestones. I love that with each page you can see Owen growing and changing. This photo book was meant to be Owen’s “Baby Book”. I didn’t plan on getting a baby book to write in dates and weights and milestones. Creativity did hit me though and I just created my own version of baby book. But more on that in a little bit.
After the photo books, I have two photo boxes from Michaels. One is full of mementos. It has items from the hospital, items from my baby showers, invitations to the baby showers, invitations to Owen’s birthday party. It has the first hair cut certificate in it and Owen’s birthday boy t-shirt. I love this box because it’s full of little items that hold big memories. The second photo box is all prints from Owen’s first year. I have a baby box full of photos and I wanted Owen to have the same. It’s a very heavy box full. My guess is that it probably has over 600+ pictures in it. Maybe even a thousand. I don’t know. But it’s full. This kid can’t say I didn’t take his picture!
Like I said before, originally my plan was to leave it at just the two books and the two boxes, but inspiration hit and I ended making my own version of a baby book this weekend. It was partially inspired by my sister-in-law’s blog. She writes monthly updates on her littlest guy. I love these posts because it give a great look at the things Keegan is into and all the ways that he is changing month to month. She mentioned that these posts will come in handy when she someday needs to remember the monthly milestones for Keegan’s baby book. I thought about it and I decided that I have monthly updates from this blog that are all about Owen and I would use the blog posts to create a baby book. I started off by just printing the monthly posts, but then I went back and read through my posts for the last year. I decided that I would print any post that was mostly all about Owen. I also created a fact sheet page that had all kinds of little tidbits about Owen and his first year. I included all the stats from his doctors appointments and the milestones that I could remember. I also included a photo collage of Owen’s monthly pictures. I was going through my files and discovered that I had typed up Owen’s birth story while it was still fresh last year. I printed that birth story to include in this make-shift baby book. The result is pretty much a baby novel instead of a baby book. It’s a very detailed account of Owen’s first year and I used mostly pieces that I already created throughout the year. I know that I had a lot of this stuff in digital form on my computer, but I like that I now I have a printed hard copy of it. I threw all these pieces into a three-ring binder and printed a cover sheet. And that is the story behind how Owen’s baby book came to be.
I know that these items will get lots of use through the years. At first, I’m sure only I will be the one to grab them and look back through them. Sometime in the future, I hope that Owen will read them and flip through them. I hope he can see how loved he is through the written words and the absurd amount of photos that were taken of him. It’s so special to have these memories to share with him for a long time to come!
Hello Autumn! September 6, 2014
This last week has been a quieter one than I expected. Pulling a muscle in my back meant that I had to slow down more than I am used to. I’ve tried my best to be good and rest. However, our life is never too dull, so here are few of the highlights from this last week. It’s officially fall! Oh wait, I know it’s not, but to me it is. September is always the beginning of my favorite time of year. This Wednesday, I had my first class with the new girls at church. Oh my! Was that an experience! This class was all energized, crazy and loud! It’s a great group of girls and I’m looking forward to what a new year with them holds. Hopefully the volume level will decrease as the year continues… but they are 5th/6th grade girls, so I’m not holding my breath!
With the help of Jeremy, I was able to get my fall decor out and placed around the house. Nothing too extravagant. Just a few autumn touches here and there. I even got crafty and used mod podge, mason jars, and leaves to make new tealight holders. I saw the idea on Facebook and I’m a sucker for autumn leaves. Being true to me, I don’t love what I create, but it did turn out better than I expected. By mid-project my hope was diminishing. Once they dried, they looked a lot better.
Both Jeremy and my mom are harvesting their mini-pumkins and I have four little beauties on my wood stove. They are eagerly awaiting the company of more pumpkin buddies! I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve already had a slice (or two) of pumpkin pie this season. My mom was the one who bought it, so I blame her! Last night, I felt up to doing some baking so I made a fall favorite for Jeremy and I – Hello Dollies. They are now cut into bars and placed in the freezer. Jeremy prefers to eat them frozen. I will eat them at most any temperature!
This last week was the beginning of football season. Usually football season wouldn’t be blog worthy, but now that the Seahawks have won the Super Bowl, the whole northwest is a bit crazy about them. I was gifted a Seahawks shirt this last week and I was informed that I should wear it on Thursday for the big game. I did because I love my hubby (who suggested it). I felt a bit silly wearing Seahawks gear when I’m really not a fan of football. Jeremy decided it would be fun to watch the game on my dad’s ginormous television, so we headed out to my parent’s house. We snapped a quick photo of all us in our gear and then the boys headed upstairs. Mom and I watched different documentaries on Netflix and Owen went back and forth between the two groups. Our local Safeway had Seahawks themed desserts, so we enjoyed some extra special treats. I have a feeling our household is going to be following the season closer than ever before. Oh goody.
So many little things are happening that really make it feel like autumn is here. The kiddos have gone back to school. Just last night, we had a flock of geese fly over us heading south. The light is different. It gets dark so early now and the nights are cool even if the days are warm. These are some of my favorite days. Last year, I was so occupied with having a baby that I didn’t get to do all my favorite fall things. I’m looking forward to this season with great anticipation. I can’t wait to share the things I love with Owen. There is lots of fun to be had and the season has just begun! Hurray!
Going Gray and Other House Projects July 29, 2014
I mentioned in my book blog that I just finished a book called The Nesting Place by Myguillyn Smith. It’s a book all about how home decorating doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. I’ve never super interested in home decor. I don’t have a Pinterest account or anything like that. My decorating style is practical, functional and not a lot of frill. I like clean lines for the most part. I’m also partial to the colors blue, brown, cream, gray. And that about sums me as a decorator. However, this book got me thinking about my home. I decided to read it based on the recommendation of some of my favorite authors, but also because I’m spending a lot more time at home these days. It seems like now is the time to take some risks and do projects that I’d been contemplating. Here is what Jeremy and I have been up this last week.
It all started with a trip to Home Depot to pick up some paint swatches to put on the walls. For a long time Jeremy and I have been waiting to change the color of our living space. Back in the day when we had cream carpet, the brown wall in our kitchen/dining space worked for us. But… we added a back splash with blues and grays and the brown didn’t quite go as well. Then we changed our carpets out for laminate floors that are brown and suddenly the space at a lot of dark brown in it. When we first painted our house, we painted everything in the front room Toasted Cashew. It was a tan/cream color, but I’ve always wondered if it had too much yellow it in. I’m not a huge fan of yellow. The tan/cream neutral was marvelous when we had all dark brown furniture. But then… we got cream colored furniture that blended with the wall. We also got a set of cube bookshelves that came with cream colored bins. The cost of replacing the bins with a different color was too much, so the cream bins stayed and added more cream to the room. Thus, you now understand our decision to repaint. We wanted to paint the walls all one color again and get rid of the two tone we had going with the brown and cream. We also wanted a color that wouldn’t blend with the floors and furniture. This led us to Gray Mist – the new color of walls. After having the samples up on the wall for a week, Jeremy decided to go for it. I didn’t expect to paint this last weekend, it just happened… Jeremy tackled all the painting while I kept Owen out of everything and alive.
You’d think painting was enough, but we also did other projects around the house this last weekend. We have started to childproof our cabinets now that Owen is on the move. We added safety latches to the bathrooms because of the chemicals that we store under the sinks. Next will be the kitchen, but because of the hassle, we are waiting just a little while longer. Right now Owen doesn’t know how to open cabinet doors, but we know it’s only a matter of time.
I also had a few design changes I wanted to make to our front room. First, the bins I was talking about earlier have a plastic covered pouch on the front of them. I’m assuming it’s so you can label the bin with the contents inside of it. I, however, didn’t want to label my bins. I like to keep the insides a mystery to my guests. I wanted to add some visual interest so inside of using the pouches for labeling, I just filled them with scrapbook paper that matched our walls and rug. I really like the pop of color the bins now add to the room while still maintaining their warm, creamy color.
We also removed a piece of artwork that has been on a random small wall. We had a picture of the ocean which we loved in our small apartment, but really didn’t have a place in our home. In it’s place is now a framed white board that is also magnetic. I think we’ll use this board a lot in the future and it gives the wall a sense of purpose.
And for an added cuteness factor, here is a picture of Owen “helping” during the painting project. There was lot of gunk to get off the floor after we moved the furniture around. The Swiffer was Owen’s best friend. He might be like is mama in that regard! Swiffer love!
Owen Art July 22, 2014
While, Jeremy was away at camp last week, I wanted to do an art project with Owen. I thought it would be super cute to have Jeremy come into his office and find a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork made with love by his son. I had heard of moms doing finger-painting with their babies. I thought it would worth a shot. My original plan was buy finger-paint, but then I got trapped in a classic “mom” dilemma. Even if finger-paint is non-toxic, what would happen if Owen ate some? Would a responsible mom really let her baby be exposed to those chemicals even if they weren’t toxic? I got worried about killing my kid and judgement from other parents, so I looked for another option and decided to do edible finger-paint made at home with safe ingredients. After googling a couple recipes, I settled on one that was made with flour, sugar and water (because I had all of these ready on hand). I combined the ingredients and whisked them on the stove top until they thickened. I then poured the paint into different cups and used a variety of food colors. Of course, the paint needed to cool before use and I wasn’t planning on doing the paint project the same day I made the paint, so I threw it into the fridge thinking that would keep it from going bad (if that is possible? I don’t really know). The paint thickened up even more in the fridge. When I pulled it out the following day it was a lot like pudding with a skin on the top. Lucky for me, I stirred it up and it was perfect. I used paper plates to pour the paint on. I laid a blanket down on our kitchen floor and dipped Owen’s hands into the paint colors individually. Adding Owen to the mix created some drama in a project that was going smooth up to that point. It turns out that Owen didn’t want to play with the paint. He had no clue why I wanted him to put his hands on the paper. I envisioned him making a merry mess and creating multiple pieces of artwork. I got one page done. That was it. I was concerned that the food coloring would stain Owen and the blanket, but it remarkably came out of everything. Owen promptly got a bath and the blanket got washed. No harm done. While the painting project dried, I ran some errands and got Owen some of the Crayola first markers and crayons. I thought that might be more his pace in the art department. It turns out, Owen isn’t interested in making art at all. He wanted to lick the crayons and markers. Again, he had no idea why I wanted to mark up the paper. It just didn’t click. Oh well. I now have some art supplies for him when he gets a bit older. I also really enjoyed the process of making my own finger-paint and it is a project that I wouldn’t mind doing again in the future. The project gave me something to do while Jeremy was away and I liked being able to do something that let Jeremy know we were thinking of him. I framed the artwork and put it on Jeremy’s desk with a bunch of Hershey’s hugs and kisses as a welcome home gift. Overall, it was a fun experience for me. Good thing Owen is too young to remember this escapade!