Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

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
 

On to Autumn September 26, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Homeschool Adventures,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:36 pm

We are officially done with summer and on to autumn. While I eagerly anticipate this transition every year, I found myself slightly sad at it’s arrival. The official arrival of autumn was a mile marker – 6 months of this new world. Two entire seasons spent completely differently than I would have planned and now on to a third. We are adjusting well to our new homeschool schedule, but there are times where I’m walking on the driveway and the lighting reminds me of walking to meet Owen at the school bus. Small moments of remembering “this time last year” make me pause. While I might have been slightly less anxious for autumn this year, I am still glad that it is here.

This last week the bad air fully cleared out and we were able to enjoy what I would call our most “normal” week of homeschool yet. This week was more along the lines of what I envisioned our homeschool experience would look like. On Monday, we joined a few homeschool families for “Forest School – an outdoor learning experience. We learned about apples and made apple cider. On Tuesday, the boys got to join Jeremy for an evening hunting experience. They chased elk in the wilderness and had a blast being a part of the hunting crew. Wednesday, was a quieter day after a late night out, so we declared it a pajama day and put a fake fireplace on the TV while it rained outside. Wednesday was all of about quiet and cozy. Friday, we visited our local children’s museum for the first time since January.

I love that were able to connect outdoors with other homeschool families. I appreciate that I am not teaching forest school, so my boys are learning for other adults in our community. I love that the boys got to spend time with Jeremy doing something that he loves. The boys were able to stay out late on Tuesday and have the flexibility on Wednesday to be extra restful. We were able to do a family outing on Friday and enjoy hands on learning . These experiences are what I hoped for when we committed to a different school year.

The beginning of autumn as been beautiful and adventurous! Autumn is season full of traditions and celebrations. I am so excited for all that lies ahead – the corn maze, birthdays, pumpkin patch, all the goodies and treats! Autumn is full of so many good things!

Forest School – Apple Day
A beautiful first day of autumn! So thankful for blue skies and fresh air!
A cozy, fake fireplace on a quiet, rainy morning
Pajama day and learning about light wavelengths
Friday Field Trip: Hands on Children’s Museum
Friday Field Trip: Hands on Children’s Museum
Friday Field Trip: Hands on Children’s Museum
Friday Field Trip: Hands on Children’s Museum
 

Wrapping Up Summer August 30, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 10:41 am

This last month has been filled with adventures. However, there have been plenty of quiet days around the house even still. The boys have enjoyed time to play and be creative. The quiet days have been welcome especially after the excitement of Yellowstone. This last week in particular was a purposeful quiet. It was the week between Yellowstone and the start of school.  We are preparing for a new season and recovering from a big adventure. It wasn’t a thrilling last week of summer, but it was a good way to wrap things up.

We did have one last adventure to say farewell to summer. Yesterday, we took the boys to the beach. Jeremy and I spent a day at the beach for our anniversary in July, but the kids were with Nana & Papa. I got to spend a weekend at the beach at the beginning of this month. It just didn’t seem right to let the boys have a summer without a trip to the beach. It was great to pack up the minivan for one last hurrah! We spent the morning playing in the ocean at Seaview, WA and then we spent the afternoon exploring Cape Disappointment State Park. We crossed over the bridge to Astoria, OR for dinner at Pig’N’Pancake. It was the perfect way to wrap up our summer vacation!

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The things Owen creates with paper!

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Summer workbook done!

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I always look forward to Jeremy’s sunflowers opening.

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A cousin play date before we left for Yellowstone!

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Getting the playroom wall ready for fall. I had a lot of fun printing the apple number cards! 

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After our vacation, the boys have been thrilled to reunite with their toys! There has been so much creativity (and mess) around the house.

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It’s not too soon for Halloween costumes, right? These boys are super into space, so we couldn’t pass up a chance for them to be astronauts at home!

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Nothing like running in the ocean on a sunny Saturday morning!

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This is Owen’s happy place. He could have stayed in the water all day!

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Hanging out on the jetty at Cape Disappointment

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Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. The trail to the lighthouse was closed, so that was disappointing.

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Climbing on the rocks at Beards Hollow

 

Camping Adventures! July 29, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:23 pm

We got just back from a few nights of camping near Mt. Rainier National Park. Typing is a good distraction to keep me from scratching my bug bites. It’s also a good distraction from my achy legs. My boys love to hike. They did a certain hike last summer without me and they were so excited to have me come along this year. When it comes to hiking, I would prefer a level walk through a shaded forest on a moderately cool day. What I did with my boys on Monday was scaling a mountain. The trail went up, up, and away. We had to cross patches completely covered in snow. We were close to needing hiking equipment to do this actual hike. By the end of the mountain climbing, my legs were physically shaking! My boys continually surprise me with their stamina. Graham didn’t love the snowy parts because they were slippery, but other than that, my kids climbed a mountain like it was no big deal. They were the only kids we encountered on this steep expedition. Apparently they are mountain goats.

We saw many marmots on our hiking adventures. The boys did their best to hold still and see how close they could get to a marmot. Owen borrowed my old point-and-shoot camera to document the hike. It’s fun to see him process what is worthy of a photo. On one hike, he took a notebook to draw pictures along the way. Other than hiking and marmots, we played the license plate game as we drove around the park. We were surprised to find 40/50 plates. America is still traveling this summer. The effects of COVID-19 were seen throughout the park. Visitor centers were closed, masks were worn in common areas and we used hand sanitizer frequently.

Our campground was right by the Cowlitz River, so the boys played in the river multiple times. They loved throwing rocks and exploring the shallow shores. We set up our big tent and the boys loved having their own room because of a thin sheet that separated the space. We ate lots of yummy camp food. Honestly, camp food is one of my favorite reasons to go camping. I also love reading around the fire which I found a few moments to do while Jeremy took the boys down to the river. Our fires were small and short because of the hot weather. This was the warmest camping trip I’ve ever been on. It was in the 90’s while we were there. At night we went to bed only wanting a thin blanket and only much later into the night did we want anything warmer. It also wouldn’t be a camping adventure without an air mattress that doesn’t stay inflated. Poor Owen started in his own bed and had to move on to Graham’s in the middle of the night. We certainly made some memories!

It’s still 2020 and even camping had some differences due to COVID-19, but overall, we enjoyed all the things that we love about camping. I will admit that a cute Air B&B cabin is more my style these days, but I roughed it with my boys and I know they appreciated it. It was nice to get away for a few days. It’s been forever since I’ve stayed overnight anywhere and it felt like I had been gone a month instead of a few days. I always love coming home, but it was also great to have adventure outside of our usual territory. It was just the mini-vacation we needed!

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Our home away from home!

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Happy to be camping!

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Around the campsite! 

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Camp food is the best! Not pictured is our hot dogs and Jeremy’s freeze dried meals he selected just for this trip! 

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Toes in the river!

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A beautiful day to visit a beautiful mountain!

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We obviously didn’t summit the mountain, but wow, did we climb!

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My hiking buddies! 

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Just a casual hike through the snow…

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Documenting a marmot! It’s amazing how they blend with the rocks! 

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Our day two hike through the Grove of the Patriarchs. This was much more my speed – mostly level, shaded, and through the trees. 

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Jeremy’s scenic photograph of a marmot on the mountain. 

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One of my favorite shots taken above Myrtle Falls.

 

 

 

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! 

 

Post-Op Update July 13, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 1:36 pm

Here I am! I’m alive! (Okay, that’s a bit dramatic!) I am thankful to be on the other side of my surgery and I’m happy to share my weekly update!

Last week our family tried to lay low for self-isolation. Since I had to take a pre-op COVID-19 test, the hospital didn’t want me to pick-up something between taking the test and surgery. The only downside to this isolation meant a quiet week before my operation and a quiet week after my operation. I feel like this surgery has taken two weeks of my summer from me. While it might feel like a waste of summer days to just stay home, it’s honestly what I would be doing anyway – thank you, Coronavirus.

The only day that isolation was inconvenient was Wednesday (the day before my surgery). Wednesday was Jeremy & I’s 14th wedding anniversary. The boys were off to a sleepover at Nana & Papa’s house, so Jeremy and I had the day to ourselves. Now we could have stayed home and tried to pretend like the next day wasn’t a big deal, but that would have been hard. We needed a distraction. Since the weather wasn’t too bad, we took a drive to the beach. It was nice to talk on the ride out to the beach without having to talk over the kids. We got take-out from our favorite restaurant. We went to Costco (which is apparently how we spend our dates). This was the only non-isolated activity of the day and I was very careful to social distance. We took a walk on the beach and then took off for home. It was a quick outing, but it kept my mind occupied which was helpful.

Thursday was my surgery to remove a benign mass that had been growing quickly and causing me discomfort. I got to the hospital at 10:00am and spent a considerable amount of time waiting. Someone had arrived two hours late for their surgery and it threw off the timeline for the day. I had ample time to wait and be nervous. I had one moment where I shed a few tears. I was sweating in the plastic hospital gown with my mask on (these materials don’t breathe well). My IV wasn’t going into my hand and they couldn’t get a good temperature or heart rate from me. Apparently the forehead thermometer is very sensitive when you are sweaty so they had to find an oral thermometer to get a better reading. It was frustrating because I was fever-free when I entered the building only an hour before. I blame the plastic gown, face mask, and nerves. I was a sweaty mess. The IV had to be placed in my arm instead of my hand. I told the nurses I am an Enneagram Type 1 so I hate when things aren’t “right” and I struggle with failure. My most stressful moments were over things I couldn’t control and yet I felt like I was failing.

Once the actual surgery happened, things improved. I was told by one of the nurses that my doctor/OR nurse combination was the absolute best in the hospital. I’ve heard so many good things about my surgeon from multiple staff members. It gave me peace of mind. I opted for a form of anesthesia they call “twilight” instead of full-on general anesthesia. I was asleep for the surgery, but I had an easier time coming out of surgery. I can remember being in the OR both before and after surgery. I hate feeling out of control, so the ability to think clearly matters to me. I don’t like feeling out of it. I left the hospital fairly quickly post-op (especially in comparison to pre-op). I was numbed so well from the surgery that I really felt has “normal” as I possibly could have for just having surgery.

My recovery has gone better than I imagined. My pain level has been minimal. I’ve been able to rest and lay low with the help of family. Both Jeremy’s parents and my parents have provided meals for us. Jeremy’s parents kept the boys until I was comfortable and settled at home. My mom has watched the boys for me a few times. Jeremy took the kids on adventures. We even rested as a family last night by watching a movie in our big bed. I am doing my best to rest, but I glad that I am comfortable enough to do daily tasks like laundry and keeping the counters clean. I’ve taken a few short walks.

I’m so glad that this surgery is behind me now and checked off the to-do list. July is a bit of a business month. Between surgery and MOPS planning, I’ve been in grown-up mode. I’m looking forward to “fun” adventures in August. With the fall being unknown still, I want to enjoy this down time and make the most of these quiet moments. They might not be exciting, but I have a feeling that my soul needs to recover just as much as my body does right now. I’m praying for peace, comfort, and rest. While this hasn’t been the busiest, flashiest, or most fun summer I’ve ever had, I am grateful, I am blessed, I am loved.

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Extra time at home before surgery meant many large blanket forts for these boys!

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Enjoying fort life!

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When we have time alone together, we go to Costco!  It’s our love language! Haha! We do appreciate a kid-free trip to Costco!

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A walk on the beach to celebrate 14 years of married life!

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You can’t tell from this picture, but this one size fits all purple gown was practically a sumo suit on me!

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Post-op goodies from family! Feeling loved and taken care of!

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To give me some quiet time at home, Jeremy took the boys on an adventure with some of the cousins.

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Down time and s’mores go so well together! As you can see, Jeremy approves!

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I got a six pack of these ice packs on Amazon! Possibly the best thing I’ve ever purchased. Ice packs are my new best friend!

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Family movie night! Instead of sharing what I’ve read this month! I might share what I’ve watched instead!

 

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!

 

 

Officially Official! We are done! June 22, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:42 pm

I am happy to report that the 2019-2020 is officially over! We are done! Last week I shared my frustration over the confusion surrounding the last day of school. In true Amy fashion, I invested way too much energy into letting my mistake make me feel weird about the end of year.  It turns out that Monday really felt like the last day of school. On Monday, we received Owen’s report card in the mail. It included a diploma for making it through the COVID-19 closure and a 1st grade supply list. Monday was also the day that Owen’s school had a drive-thru pick-up of a summer packet and a small gift. The summer packet is meant to be worked on over the summer, so it didn’t feel urgent to complete it during the “last” week of school. We started our summer school workbooks last Monday and I’m fairly confident we’ll finish them quickly. Once the workbooks are done then we’ll move on to the packet from the school.  Monday definitely carried more of a school’s out vibe as we waved good-bye to the staff of Owen’s elementary school.

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Owen’s school drive-thru on Monday – it took us over an hour and a half round trip to pick up the summer packet and wave good-bye!

The days are starting to pick up in pace. Now that staying home isn’t mandatory, we’ve been slowly rejoining the world. On Monday, the boys and I went down to the church to work on the MOPS closet. The closet received some TLC in the form of new carpet and fresh paint. I came down to help get the items that were moved out for the work back into the closet.  My boys are very familiar with Monday mornings at the church with me prepping for MOPS so this felt somewhat normal. Tuesday we had dentist appointments. Many of our church members work at the dentist office so we got to say hello to friends we haven’t seen in a while. Thursday was a big deal for our family – we hosted our first play date in over three months! Since it was a sunny day, I kept the kids outside the entire time. It was fun to watch my kids play and it was a special treat to chat with a mom friend in person. The boys got to share their new tree fort and we took a hike down to the beaver dam. An outdoor adventure with friends was the perfect way to ease back into hospitality.

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Enjoying a stroll to the Beaver Dam

We spread the celebration of Father’s Day out over three days. We celebrated Jeremy on Friday with a hike near Mt. St. Helens. We packed a picnic lunch and ate near Coldwater Lake. After we ate, the boys dipped their toes in the water. This was our first family outing since February! It was so much fun to get into nature and explore a new trail! On Saturday, we celebrated with the Scott clan. Our kids had been waiting for the day when they could see their cousins again and it finally arrived! My heart was so happy to watch all the cousins running around in the backyard at Nana & Papa’s house! I was just as happy as my kiddos to chat and catch up with family. Sunday was dinner and dessert with my parents. The whole weekend was full of happy moments spent with the men who mean the most to us! My boys are blessed with an awesome dad, they have two grandfathers who are active in their lives and they have some crazy, cool uncles. Celebrating this year felt extra special after the time apart!

And that’s a wrap of the last week’s adventures. This week promises to be extra fun and special as well! All I can say is that we are ready for some summer fun!

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I’m “that” mom! Summer workbooks to avoid brain drain!

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A visit to Mt. St. Helens

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First family outing in what feels like forever!

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What a beautiful way to spend time with our favorite dad! Jeremy is the best!

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So many great moments celebrating Father’s Day with these awesome dads!

 

We’re done! Just Kidding! June 12, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 8:18 pm

I spent months pouring over our district website to confirm the date for the end of school. Many school districts in our state have extended their school year through June 19th and I expected ours to do the same. However, when I couldn’t find that information anywhere by the end of May, I stopped checking. This means that I had been hyping up June 11th as the last day of school with my kids. We had special plans, special food, special gifts to celebrate. I took the official last day of school photos and shared them on social media… and then I got a message from a parent informing me that our district was going to the 19th and another homework packet was expected to be given out this coming Monday. I asked where this information was shared and I was told at the end of the last robocall. I don’t receive the school phone calls and my husband missed that information when he took the call. I’m a little frustrated that there was no letter from the district on the website or an email explaining this change to the calendar. Owen’s teacher didn’t mention this change while sending her weekly assignments.

As an Enneagram Type 1, I strive to do everything right/correct.  I have been the champion of the homework packets, we didn’t take Spring Break because I thought the endless free time with nowhere to go would be hard on my kids, we’ve done 13 full weeks of school at home and I was ready to celebrate right alongside my kids. I quickly took the pictures off social media because I didn’t want people to think I was blowing off the last week of school. This situation was embarrassing and frustrating. I’m not upset about another homework packet or that school isn’t officially done. It’s not a big change for my kids since we plan on doing workbooks over the summer. My big issue is the lack of communication took the wind of my sails. We still celebrated with the boys, but it wasn’t the same level of joy that I had been hoping for. Now that I’ve processed my frustration and embarrassment, I’m choosing to look at next week as a chance to continue celebrating the end of the school year. Let’s make the party last longer!

Even though the school year didn’t officially wrap up this week, MOPS & MOMSnext did! Monday was a big day for me as I met with the ladies through our online Facebook group and a Zoom call in the evening. This year certainly didn’t end the way I had expected, but I am thankful for how things turned out. Our online format allowed ladies to connect with the large group and expand their relationships outside of the 6-8 ladies at their table. We saw new relationships form and a deeper sense of connection come from our online experiences. One of my favorite things about the last meeting is our group picture. Since we couldn’t take a group picture this year, I asked the ladies to send me a photo so I could assemble a collage. I’m so happy with how the picture turned out! I prayed over each lady as I assembled the collage and it made my heart happy to celebrate that each one was a part of our group. Community matters and in a season of separation, MOPS & MOMSnext has kept me grounded in my community. It is easy for me to turn inward and focus on my family during this time, but MOPS & MOMSnext continually brought me out of my shell and reminded me to think of others.

On Tuesday, I filmed a Bible lesson to be included in our upcoming VBA. My hubby and his team got creative and transformed VBA into a home-based experience. Families get all the supplies from the church and then videos will shared to walk them through the VBA experience. Jeremy was able to film many of our key kids leaders so this experience will be unique to our church and local area. My boys froze in wonder when they saw their Pre/K teacher on the preview. While I didn’t want to be on film, I was reminded how much it will mean to my Wednesday night girls and the kids that I hang out with at children’s church. They haven’t seen me in months. I haven’t been able to teach them in a classroom environment. While it was a stretch for me to teach on camera, I am hopeful that it will encourage our kiddos.

My adventures on Wednesday took me up to Olympia for an appointment and errands. For the first time in months, my boys stayed home with my mom while Jeremy and I went out alone! It was our first date in what feels like forever! We grabbed Red Robin to go and went to Target and Costco. I’ve been dreaming about Target for months and I was so hopeful that it would fill a void in my heart. First of all, we were on a time crunch so the experience was rushed and secondly, the vibe was weird. It wasn’t the shopping experience that I had dreamed it would be. I was bummed about that, but I was still thankful for the opportunity.

And now on to today – the final part of this update! Owen was given an award for most improved in math from the school. His math abilities surprised me this year. He surpassed all my expectations. By the middle of the year, he was confidently doing first grade math. It was mind blowing for me since I struggle with math. The award was given to Owen outside of the school by his teacher and the principal even came out to say hello and congratulate Owen. The smile on Owen’s face was worth the outing even though there was a fair amount of shyness as well.  To wrap up the day, we celebrated my mom’s birthday! It’s a special treat to go over to Grandpa & Grandma’s house since we didn’t go inside each other’s homes during the stay-at-home order. Now that we are entering new phases in our state, being able to see our people and visit their spaces is a fun treat!

Wow! That was a long update! It was a big week, though. Lots of ups and downs. Lots of good things. Lots of good work. I look forward to fully, wholly, and completely celebrating the end of the school year with you all next week! Stay tuned!

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Owen lost another tooth!

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Love this group! They hold such a big place in my heart!

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Is it really June? Here I am snuggled up with my electric blanket on a rainy day.

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Even though we have to mask up to go out, I am thankful for kid-free, alone time with my hubby!

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Since Graham is in preschool, his last day of school could really be whatever day we wanted!

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Let’s pretend this picture was taken on June 19th ;)

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Love my little learners! While they may have spent the last 13 weeks in their pajamas, they have accomplished so much! I am proud of them!

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Seriously, this kid! So expressive!

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Sticker books with flags and maps are perfect for these geography lovers!

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Special sleepover in Mom & Dad’s room!

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Owen accepting his award at school!

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Happy birthday, Grandma!

 

One More Week of School! And Quarantine Reflections… June 7, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 4:57 pm

Just one week left in our homeschooling adventure! We will have accomplished a grand total of 13 weeks of home education by this Thursday. You can tell that summer is right around the corner. Our schooling times are the basics now – math, reading, and writing. Owen still has a weekly assignment from his teacher. My supplements of crafts and board games have become optional. We have been doing quite a few science experiments throughout the week, so that counts as extra credit, right?

We had a milestone at our house this week – we had kid-led sorting/purging take place. I’m a tidier and I am constantly evaluating what needs to stay or go in our house. I was talking with my MOPS & MOMSnext group this spring about keeping clutter down and they asked me how I do this with the kids. I shared that most of the time I de-clutter when the kids are not aware and they very rarely notice the items I get rid of. I did acknowledge though that my kids are getting older and that soon I would need to include them in this process. The reason for this is two-fold – 1) I need to honor their belongings and 2) they need to learn how to sort/purge their own items. I’m a big advocate of leading by example. My kids have watched me sort and giveaway items their whole lives. This week, they decided to go through their bins and take down the clutter. I was proud of them as they recycled papers and tossed happy meal toys that were no longer played with. A few nicer items were added to our donation stockpile. It was a highlight of the week for me! 

Now that we have moved out of the quarantine season, I’m reflecting on the things that I’ve learned through this whole experience. One of the biggest wins for me is I broke the social media addiction in my life. I am now averaging around an hour of screen time on my phone a day and that is because I limit my use of Instagram and Facebook. Now my phone sits on the counter or my nightstand, but I don’t feel the need to check it every few minutes. This discipline has been life-giving through my time at home and I hope I can continue to keep my phone usage down in the future.

I’ve also been reflecting on the pace of life. I’ve valued the slower pace of quarantine and I want to take that pace with me as I move forward. I used to pack the summer weeks with all kinds of plans because I thought my kids needed to be busy. I’ve since learned that my kids do well for long periods of time at home. It turns out we are a family of four introverts. While we enjoy people, we don’t need to go out and do something everyday to be fulfilled. Right now in Phase 2, we can see one household outside of our own a week. This pace sounds about right to me. We can add seeing people in person, but one outing/play date/dinner a week is just enough. As I made a play date for later in the month with a friend, she remarked that her family tires out easily after play dates. We have some muscles to rebuild in the socializing department. Building muscle takes time and I am ready to slowly build our schedule back up. I am hesitant though to go back to the way things were before.

The last things that I’ve learned to value during quarantine is my health. I also give credit to my fitbit for this realization. Since the first week of quarantine, I’ve been exercising daily and making sure to get my 10,000 steps a day. Before quarantine, I didn’t have “time” to prioritize daily exercise, now I make it a daily goal to have my fitbit register that I have exercised. For me, my exercise of choice is walking. Moving my body is important not only for physical health, but also mental health.

Overall, quarantine has given me time and space to evaluate healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle. I’m determined to take the lessons I have learned over the last few months and to live differently here from here on out. The nice thing is that they say it takes 21 days to build a habit. I’ve had almost three months to build new habits. This gives me confidence that these changes might just stick.

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The boys requested that I take a picture of our newest backyard buddy. I find him much cuter than the birds that Jeremy draws to the house.

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First time making mini pies!

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So cute! And yummy!

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Still hoping a summer vacation might happen!

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Celebrating National Doughnut Day

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Baking soda and vinegar never gets old! Yay for science!

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Owen claimed this island in the creek near our house. He has a flag to make it official. Welcome to Owen Island.

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Exploring the beaver dam is always a fun outing.

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Papa & Nana came over for pizza on Friday night! We showed them all the changes around the house from our quarantine projects. The boys got to show them the beaver dam for the first time!

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Everything is sooooo green!

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Owen helped Jeremy with the video announcements this week! Moments like this make my heart happy!