Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Hello Spring! March 21, 2021

Spring arrived yesterday with off-and-on showers. Seems about right for the PNW. Our sunshine streak ended and we are in are another showery stretch. We have plenty to do tucked away indoors. This last week the boys completed their 3rd quarter of school. We are in the home stretch for this school year. I’m proud of my kiddos. They’ve made homeschooling a joy. This last week also marked one year of homeschooling for us. When school closed last March, I immediately created a plan for school at home. I’m also the “summer school” kind of mom. We worked through the summer with a lighter load. I already have our summer school plans drafted. When we wrap up school in May, we will actually be shifting directions to a lighter summer schedule. Don’t worry. We will have plenty of fun this summer! I love when the weather changes and education can move outdoors! From hiking to day trips to backyard play, there is so much to see and do. All of life is an education and outside is one of the best classrooms.

Here are a few highlights from our week. On Monday, we made leprechaun traps. Owen made these last year in kindergarten and he wanted to make them again. Graham also wanted to get on the fun. We spent the first half of the week being shocked when the traps were set off but surprisingly no leprechauns were caught. On St. Patrick’s Day, the leprechaun made a mess on our kitchen counter and then disappeared. We purchased silly glasses at Target and took some picture wearing them. We talked about St. Patrick and how the holiday is about more than leprechauns and luck.

Tuesday, my husband had an out of town day trip for work. He asked to take Graham with him. Owen has gone on plenty of adventures while Graham has stayed home. It was time for Graham to have a special outing. Owen and I did school in the morning. We ran a MOPS errand and then we got lunch at Arby’s together. Curly fries are my kiddos new favorite fast food treat. Arby’s has mac and cheese on their menu, so I got behind this decision quickly. We came home after driving to look for trains and played Crazy Eights. It was special to spend one-on-one time with my oldest kiddo. I tried to savor and make the most of our day together.

Over the course of the last week, I assembled Spa Day gift bags for the ladies in my MOPS & MOMSnext group. The bags were ready for pick-up/delivery on Wednesday and Thursday. I had a few ladies opt to pick-up from my house. When each mom arrived, I put on my mask and chatted on the front porch for a few minutes. It’s always a treat to see ladies I usually see online in-person. Our Spa Day is tomorrow night. I’m looking forward to doing a face mask and looking silly with our group. Being online isn’t always the easiest way to meet. This year has challenged me to make the most our limitations. I think Spa Day is going to be fun!

My husband was able to get his first COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. It was a bit unexpected, but he took the opportunity. I’ve been watching him all weekend like he is a science experiment. He was tired the next day so we canceled our plans and stayed home. It’s a good thing NCAA basketball is on and filled the time. Our whole family made brackets this year, even the boys. My bracket is so messed up at this point. This is not my year for correct picks. The kids get are super into it and that’s been fun to watch.

This spring feels like a transition season. Since I’m not eligible for the vaccine until most likely May, I’m still in the waiting game. I am hopeful that current predictions will pan out. I want to believe that by summer things will improve. I am okay waiting because I am optimistic that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Recently my internal motto has changed to “this won’t last forever.” I am hopeful that these strange days won’t last forever and that change is maybe just a season away!

Cookies of the Month for March. A nod to St. Patrick’s Day and Spring. Flowers are so hard! My icing was too soft and some of the cookies I didn’t photograph because they didn’t turn out like I had hoped. What I love about trying something new each month is I’m inspired to keep practicing. I don’t expect to be a pro on my first try. This is a good lesson to keep learning!
Trap #1
Trap #2
Owen & Mommy Day
The contents of our MOPS & MOMSnext Spa Day gift bags! I love how they turned out and I hope our mamas are encouraged by them!
A fun St. Patrick’s Day with the Scott crew!
 

Springing Forward March 12, 2021

This coming weekend is my least favorite weekend of the year. I always dread springing forward. In my humble opinion, daylight savings needs to be abolished. I didn’t like before having kids, but now I dislike it even more as it messes up our family rhythm. On the bright side, we are a homeschooling family completely untethered from the real world (well, expect for my hubby, Jeremy). My hope is we can gradually adjust this year. We shall see.

This week felt like springing forward in other ways. Some of our family members have started to get their vaccines. My mom said getting her vaccine is a good way to spring forward. I am hopeful that I can see these relatives in the future without the worry of what if I put them in the hospital. The entire state of Washington is moving into Phase 3. I don’t know 100% what that means yet, but it does mean a move up to 50% capacity for most (if not all?) industries. I’m curious what phase 3 will allow for social gatherings. More information should be coming this next week. This move to Phase 3 feels like a spring forward.

One big spring forward for our family this week was we bought a new to us vehicle. We were going to start vehicle shopping at the beginning of 2020, but then life got in the way (thank you, Rona). We started our search again this summer, but it just didn’t pan out. Then suddenly this week the right vehicle at the right price with the right mileage came up. Since vehicles sell fast, we were on it quick. The downside of this adventure was I had to drive our minivan home through Seattle during rush hour traffic. I’ve never driven through Seattle by myself and honestly, my driving experience is super limited right now. I was a little concerned, but I survived. The upside of driving home was my boys wanted to ride with Jeremy in the new vehicle. I had plenty of alone time to listen to the Hamilton soundtrack.

The weather feels like it’s springing forward, too. It’s been a lovely week. I’ve been able to walk outside in the sunshine and fresh air. The boys have jumped on the trampoline, played on the swing set, and captured frogs in the ditch along our driveway. My hubby mowed today. The windows are open as I type this! Today for dinner, we ate outside and barbequed hamburgers and hot dogs. The weather and these happy days around the house are so life-giving.

Change is always right around the corner. The narrative in my head is often “what is happening next?” and “what does this mean for our family?” Lots of processing, wondering, and daydreaming. I don’t know what the future holds, but I am cautiously optimistic when I see forward motion. Especially in light of the one year anniversary of the pandemic, it’s good to see progress. It’s good to know that we’re moving forward. Even if it’s inches, it’s movement. I’ll take it and celebrate!

Since it was a little too wet outside to make a nest with natural materials, we used blankets and pillows instead. Science is fun!
Only 15 months in the making! So excited to have a reliable second vehicle!
This week’s special art project was tin foil sculptures
Creepy or cool? I can’t decide.
First meal on the back deck!
 

Small Improvements January 29, 2021

At the beginning of April 2020, I shared a post that said it felt like Groundhog’s Day (the movie). At that point, we were only two weeks into our stay-at-home order. The experience was still completely new. Now I find myself in January 2021 and that same Groundhog’s Day feeling is plaguing me. You’d think after 10+ months of this COVID business, it would feel normal to go nowhere and live such a quiet life. As far as days to live over and over again, these days are good. They consist of homeschooling, chores, baking, reading, family time… All good stuff. But when I go to blog, I feel stuck. Like what am I going to share? Each week is so similar. I apologize if this post feels like déjà vu, I can’t help but process my world through words. I must write.

The biggest excitement for me this week was the arrival of eight barnwood picture frames that I had ordered at the beginning of the month. There were some hiccups with tracking the package, so I was relieved to have the package finally in my possession. Last January, I used my birthday cash to purchase a United States travel map and prints for our dining room wall. Because I didn’t have extra funds for frames, the art has been displayed with pushpins. Super classy. Very much dorm room chic. I was happy to add the next phase of the display by adding frames to the prints. Maybe a year from now, the final phase will be framing the map. Baby steps. I am pleased with how the frames look on the wall. I’m also proud that I hung them myself. Almost all the prints fit well into the new frames, except for one. Our picture of Mt. Rushmore would have been Jeremy and I with a pile of rocks or Jeremy with the presidents. I decided to cut myself out of the photo and use it as a place holder until I can replace the picture. I sent Jeremy a picture of my crop job and he had good laugh. He told me that my forehead makes a great travel companion. I shared the picture on social media and my friends are encouraging me to leave the picture as it is as a conversation piece.

In the same theme as the picture frames, I used the last of my birthday cash this year to purchase some new desktop storage. I’ve been using clear plastic drawers on my desk for years and I decided that I no longer enjoy seeing all the colorful office supplies so clearly. The pieces I ordered feel classy and grown-up. They are also navy which just happens to be a color that makes me extremely happy. For both Christmas and my birthday, I’ve invested in new home organization or décor. We’ve now been in our home almost three years and while my systems have been good, I realize that I have room to make improvements. I’m a type one on the Enneagram which means my default mode is to make things better. Since we now spend a considerable amount of time at home, these improvements are a positive boost in how I feel about our space.

Speaking of the Enneagram, I’ve been taking a deep dive into the topic this last week. I gave myself a refresher course by reading a few books. One book was new to me and it addressed self-care for each type. One of the suggestions for type ones is to create something just for the fun of it. The author encouraged type ones to do something they love even if they aren’t good at it. I feel like baking often is my creative outlet of choice. I am by no means a professional baker. I have quite a few “flops” in my baking adventures, but I love honing my baking skills. The hard part for me is to do it just for fun and not to be disappointed in myself when my projects don’t turn out how I visualized they would in my head. I was frosting cookies today and I kept reminding myself that the goal wasn’t perfection, but fun.

Fiddling with my space, baking goodies, reading, hanging with my family… this is how I spend my days. We never did get the snow that the forecast teased us with (see last post). We did see snowflakes a few times, though they never stuck. The snowflakes graced us with their presence while we were out in the hot tub. It was a blast to watch them fall, catch them on our tongues, and examine their unique shapes as they landed on our heads. Winter isn’t over yet, so maybe we’ll get a good snow eventually. Our region in Washington State was just approved to move to “phase two” in our healthy restart plan. This means we’ll have some flexibility when it comes to seeing people. We will remain cautious and keep our circle small, but I will be thankful to have a play date or dinner with friends be an option again. Small improvements make a big difference!

Sunday mornings are always an adventure. I try to tuck myself away in a quiet corner so I can watch church, but for some reason my kids are drawn to me like a magnet.
I made hand-pies this last week. Only this one was photo worthy. Good thing the others were just as tasty!
The one print that didn’t transfer to the new frames well! So good for a laugh whenever I look at it!
Refreshed our dining room space with new picture frames, tablecloth, and a tray to make moving our napkins and coasters easier.
My creative project for the day! My sister got me a cookie decorating book for Christmas. I might attempt a new cookie from the book once a month. Here is January!
 

35 January 16, 2021

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Recollections,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:18 pm

On Thursday, I turned 35. I am now officially closer to 40 than to 30. Hello mid-30’s, good-bye early-30’s. I’m okay with the shift. The wrinkles on my forehead and the gray hairs remind me that time is marching on. I’m thankful for each year I get. At this point, I don’t mind getting older. My opinion might change, but right now, I’m cool with owning 35. I will claim my years without remorse. If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I love love love birthdays. I love celebrating. I don’t need a big party, but I always strive to have as much fun as possible on my birthday – which usually involves eating all my favorite foods and spending time with my favorite people.

How did I celebrate 35? I kicked the day off with my free drink from Starbucks. Jeremy took the day off and we adventured up north to Bellevue. My one birthday request was going to The Container Store. According to their website, the Bellevue store had the two items I wanted. Sadly, when we arrived at the store, it was closed because it’s system was down. Bummer moment. We continued on with the plan and went to a nearby park. We walked in the sunshine, looked at the water and ducks, grabbed MOD Pizza and ate outside in the fresh air (indoor dining is still closed here in WA state).

After lunch, the kids twisted my arm and I agreed to visit a chocolate shop that Blippi (the YouTube star) filmed at. It was only 10 minutes away, so it seemed like a small, self-less act. I figured it would be a highlight of the day for them. After our Boehms Candies adventure, we took off for a different Container Store. I figured I might not get both items on my wish list, but I could at least get one. I was pleasantly surprised that the next store had restocked and both my coveted items were available. My birthday wish came true! What was I looking for? A large can riser for my pantry and more special hangers for my reusable bags. I sure do know how to party!

We ended our outing with a stop by Costco, where I picked up mac and cheese for dinner. I enjoyed my favorite meal followed by my favorite dessert – chocolate cake. It was a super fun and super tasty day from start to finish. The sunshine made it extra special. I enjoyed getting out of the area and adventuring with my boys. I wondered if COVID would put a damper on my celebration, but yet again, we rose to the occasion and had a great time despite restrictions. God is good and I am so blessed. I don’t take these good days for granted. I know how precious they are.

So where does 35 find me? A homeschool mom… which I never saw coming. I am home a lot… more than ever before and it turns out I love it. I keep my two wild boys alive, tidy my house, read books, bake treats, and try to make dinner as easy as possible. I’m obsessed with getting 10,000 steps a day and having my FitBit register that I exercised daily (usually 30 minutes of walking). I’ve restarted the habit of journaling alongside my Bible reading because I want to remember these days. I prefer to read but when I do watch television it’s mostly Hallmark channel, This Is Us, or The Pioneer Woman. The color navy is best color ever. I’m in my fourth year coordinating our local MOPS & MOMSnext group and my eighth year as a member. I occasionally work my side business through Usborne Books & More. I’ve learned that I enjoy hiking, especially if it’s through trees and on a level trail. I might not be super outdoorsy yet, but I’m making progress in outdoor appreciation. I love spending time with my family whether it’s running errands, eating out, exploring a new place, playing games, or enjoying the inflatable hot tub in our backyard. Jeremy, Owen, and Graham have been the best quarantine team. Our relationships have been strengthen by our time together. I am so thankful I get to do life alongside these three guys!

I mentioned in my last post that having a new year and a birthday so close together tends to make me extra reflective. Usually, I would go into each year with new goals, dreams, hopes, vision. 2021 and 35 feel different, though. I continue to hold to the motto that I am doing the best I can with what I’ve got. I don’t know what next month looks like, let alone the whole year. I plan to be faithful to things that I am doing right now. I am praying for discernment as the world returns to normal (hopefully) over the next year. I’ve set down so many commitments and expectations in 2020. I don’t plan to pick them all back up again. My biggest prayer for 2021 and 35 is to know what to invest in and what to completely let go of. This will be a crucial time in setting the pace for the second half of my 30’s. Wish me luck!

Free Birthday Drink – Hot Chocolate!
Park, ducks, water, sunshine, and happy boys!
Awkward family photo after lunch in the park.
The Blippi inspired visit to Boehm’s Candy.
One of my favorite places! Not as cool as Disneyland, but still pretty awesome!
Thankful for everyday with him!
35 candles on a chocolate cake!
The Home Edit inspired hangers for my bags. Organization makes me happy!
More The Home Edit inspiration – can risers in two sizes to fit various cans in my pantry! Love this look so much!
 

Reflecting on 2020 January 1, 2021

2020! What a year! Mostly, I feel profoundly grateful for 2020. This year also brought a whole new level of anxiety and was not without struggle. Despite the ups and down, God has been faithful and good through it all. In a world where the term “shelter at home” has become common, I am thankful for the shelter my family, my home, and my faith have provided.

Let’s recap 2020. In January, I celebrated my 34th birthday with a snow day. Our calendar was full with church and school commitments. For President’s Day, we took a trip to the beach. Not realizing that the world would shutdown a month later, we are thankful we took that day trip. In March, I helped coordinated my first (and so far, only) wedding for our church. The same weekend as the wedding, school closed for what we thought would be six weeks and we got our first taste of homeschooling. We celebrated Jeremy’s birthday on the first official day of the “stay home, stay healthy” order. We started doing church through video recordings and our family jumped in to help Jeremy when needed.

Six weeks of no school turned into the entire school year. We wrapped up Graham’s first year of preschool and kindergarten for Owen by documenting the moment in our pajamas. In 2020, we neglected our put-together-outfits and opted for sweatpants and pajamas around the house. I used Zoom for the first time in 2020. While Owen never had to Zoom for school, this became the way my MOPS & MOMSnext group stayed connected and as well our virtual small group for church.

Summer 2020 was spent mostly in the backyard pool that we were gifted by a friend. In July, I had surgery to remove a benign mass that was causing me discomfort. My recovery went well and quickly I was back to keeping up with my wild, outdoor men. We enjoyed lots of hiking, got to go camping, and took a vacation to Yellowstone.

This fall, we opted to homeschool for a less digital learning experience for our kids. Homeschooling has been a positive experience. I truly love being a part of my kids’ education. In October, we celebrated Owen and Graham turning seven and five. We also participated in a Family Scavenger Hunt with our church that kept us busy and having fun! We celebrated Halloween with a massive drive-thru kids event at church.

This holiday season has been unlike any other. Washington State COVID restrictions called for no gatherings with those outside of our household. To pass the time at home for the holidays, we invested in an inflatable hot tub. We made the most of all the holiday celebrations at home. We have missed our people, but we also enjoyed a simple and scaled back holiday season.

I will admit that before 2020, I often wished I could scale back my commitments and live a quieter life. 2020 granted me that wish. As an introvert, I’ve enjoyed the extra time at home. The blessing of this roof over my head is one that I don’t take for granted. I’m so glad I got to “shelter in place” in this home on the hill with my little family. I’ve loved spending more time with my family. We’ve grown closer and made some amazing memories together. The anxiety and uncertainty of 2020 has not outweighed the goodness I have experienced and for that I am incredibly thankful!

The one thing that fell apart in 2020 was publishing my book. I spent the first three months of 2020 editing my book with the hopes of self-publishing before the end of 2020. I wrapped up editing my book in March and then walked away from it. My brain just didn’t have the capacity to move the project forward. I want to say a huge thank you to the friends and family who read it, helped me edit, and offered feedback. While I don’t plan to complete this project, I believe God will use this experience as a foundation for the future. Publishing a book isn’t impossible, it’s just not on my agenda right now.

What is in store for 2021? I honestly have no idea. Our current COVID restrictions will expire on January 11th. It’s almost impossible to plan when you don’t know what will be allowed. We will be jumping back into school. MOPS & MOMSnext took a holiday break and will resume again. We will continue to meet online at least through March. My birthday is in two weeks and I’m unsure what celebrating it will look like.

I’ve heard sentiments about wanting 2020 to be done, but it looks like 2021 is going to start out very similar to 2020. The virus and it’s ramifications aren’t going to disappear because it’s a new year. I am hopeful that we will see change toward “normal” in 2021. I will continue to do the best I can with what I’ve got. I will prioritize my faith, my family, and my community (however COVID restrictions allow). As the world works to return to normal, I will prayerfully consider what old things I pick back up and what things I have truly walked away from. 2021 is a chance for a fresh start. Happy New Year!

Watching their friendship deepen has been one of my biggest blessings in 2020.
Found some snow on the last day of 2020!
First time sledding was a hit!
Owen lost his 3rd tooth of 2020!
We spent NYE air frying everything! We are loving this air fryer lid for our Instant Pot.
My Top 9 Instagram Posts of 2020: Family Pictures. Easter. Baby Blanket Quilts by Nana. Green Eggs and Ham Cookies. Mother’s Day. Visiting GG. Sunset. Decorating for Christmas. Mother’s Day Shoutout to Friends & Family.
 

Pumpkin Day October 21, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Autumn at It’s Best October 15, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Owen turns 7! October 9, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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