Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Birthday Month! October 2, 2022

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 6:45 pm

Birthday month is here! Our boys will turn 7 and 9 in October. We kicked off birthday month with a day full of family celebrations. We had brunch with my family and dinner with Jeremy’s family yesterday. I’m so thankful for our families. They loved on our boys and made them feel special! I also love having a combined birthday party at the beginning of the month. It’s an exciting way to start birthday month. On our boys’ actual birthdays, they will get to choose an activity for us to do as a family. More celebrating is still to come!

This weekend was BIG, so we had a fairly chill week to prepare. We visited my friend, Christa, on Monday. She offered to let me borrow her bike this month, but sadly it didn’t fit in my van. She passed along her scooter instead which started a new scooter obsession with the boys. We love visiting Christa and walking her neighbor together. She has a cool neighborhood lake and a great view of the mainline of the train tracks.

On Tuesday, Owen started something new! He is now taking piano lessons from Nana. He has had one lesson and has been diligent to practice every day. As a homeschool mom, I struggle to teach music as a part of our curriculum (since I’m not musical). I’m so glad Owen is getting this opportunity (thank you, Nana). The boys have also started kid’s choir at church on Sundays. We’ve been listening to our practice CD non-stop in preparation for the December performance. I love the musical opportunities we have this fall!

Before running birthday errands, we visited the corn maze on Friday. We got there right when it opened and we had the whole maze to ourselves! The kids had a blast and didn’t want to leave. I love getting outside and adventuring as a family. I don’t follow the corn maze map every well, but Jeremy has an excellent sense of direction. I just happily follow along, getting my steps in and enjoying the outing.

We spent part of today recovering from the big birthday extravaganza yesterday. After kids choir, the boys came from home from church to play with their new gifts. I used the time to do some chores around the house. After a restful afternoon, we took off for a church skate party. This was the boys’ first time on roller skates. I opted to watch from the side. I was a little worried about injuring myself! We had a great turn out from the church and I was super proud of the boys from trying something new.

October has been a blast so far! We are looking forward to all the family fun this fall has to offer. Birthday month is always special and feels like one big month long celebration!

Starting something new! Owen is learning to play the piano.
Rutledge Corn Maze
Rutledge Corn Maze
Rutledge Corn Maze
A Super Mario Birthday for these boys!
Doughnuts for brunch!
Cake and cinnamon rolls after dinner
I’m a big fan of theme parties! Love adding all the Mario details to their party.
First time on skates!
Skate mates for the win!
I made it out for the hokey pokey
 

What I’ve Been Reading – September 2022 September 30, 2022

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 8:25 am

Bookish Thoughts for September

The September Book Haul

September was a glorious book month! I had fun money to spend so, of course, new books were added to my home library. Two of my favorite authors had new releases which I pre-ordered for signed copies. I’m apparently that reader now. I picked up The Giver Quartet after reading the series this month and watching the movie on Netflix. I can see myself reading the books again and passing them along to my boys when they are older. I purchased Mr. Malcom’s List – both the book and the movie. I borrowed the book a few years ago from a friend and enjoyed it. I wanted to read it again before watching the movie.

I’m just a few books away from reaching my updated reading goal for 2022. I’m currently at 194 books. Three of those books I’ve read twice this year, so I will have read to 203 in order to get 200 different books read this calendar. I’m curious what my total for 2022 will end up being! I was telling my husband that I don’t plan to read as intensely after 2022. I would like to re-watch a few TV shows in 2023. He started laughing at me saying no one says “watching more television” is their goal for the future. We all know that if I read less next year, I will still read a lot! No worries there!

Apparently signed copies are my new thing!
Occasionally, I enjoy a book and movie comparison.

Top Picks for September

Fiction: Awaking Wonder: Opening Your Child’s Heart to the Beauty of Learning by Sally Clarkson. I appreciate Sally Clarkson as a resource for not only homeschool moms, but also as an inspiration for the spaces we create in our homes and the way we raise wholehearted children. She is full of grace and encouragement. Her words are soul-stirring and bring out the hopeful best in me. This book took a while to read because I started it at the busiest time of my month, but it was worth every page I could sneak in here and there. This is one I’m sure to add to my home collection eventually!
Non-Fiction: Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay. I read this book last September and gave it 4 stars. I read it again this month and decided to bump it up to 5 stars. It has so many things I love in it! The main character is smart and well-read. She had a rough childhood and found survival in books. There is so much compassion, intrigue, and literary goodness in this book. It rose to the top this month!
I couldn’t pick just one book this month! I’m adding The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber to my top picks this month. Originally, I gave the book 3 stars after the first reading. I was so surprised by the ending that I read the whole book again in the same week to catch elements I missed the first time through. Upon a second reading, I changed my opinion to 4 stars. The end of this book is such a doozy. I’m still reeling! I can’t stop thinking about what comes next in book three of the series!

Book List for September
1 Star = I did not like it. 2 stars = It was okay. 3 stars = I liked it. 4 stars = I really liked it. 5 stars = It was amazing.

Non-Fiction:

  • Wild + Free Book Club: 28 Activities to Make Books Come Alive by Ainsley Arment – 4 stars
  • Habits of the Household: Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms by Justin Whitmel Earley – 4 stars
  • Awaking Wonder: Opening Your Child’s Heart to the Beauty of Learning by Sally Clarkson – 4 stars
  • Raising Emotionally Strong Boys: Tools Your Son Can Build On for Life by David Thomas – 4 stars
  • Adventuring Together: How to Create Connections and Make Lasting Memories with Your Kids by Greta Eskridge – 4 stars

Non-Fiction:

  • How to Kiss Your Best Friend by Jenny Proctor (Sweet Rom-Com) – 3 starrs
  • Just One Chance by Jenny Proctor (Sweet Rom-Com) – 3 stars
  • Her Last First Date by Jenny Proctor (Sweet Rom-Com) – 3 stars
  • The Christmas Letters by Jenny Proctor (Sweet Rom-Com) – 4 stars
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Animal Fiction) – 2 stars
  • Maude: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery by Melanie J. Fishbane (YA Historical Fiction) – 4 stars
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (YA Sci-Fi) – 3 stars
  • Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry (YA Sci-Fi) – 3 stars
  • Messenger by Lois Lowry (YA Sci-Fi) – 3 stars
  • Son by Lois Lowry (YA Sci-Fi)- 4 stars
  • Worthy of Legend by Roseanna M. White (Historical Fiction) – 4 stars
  • The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber (YA Fantasy) – 4 stars
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay (Literary Fiction) – 5 stars
  • Mr. Malcom’s List by Suzanne Allain (Historical Fiction) – 4 stars
  • Miss Lattimore’s Letters by Suzanne Allain (Historical Fiction) – 3 stars
 

Sailing Through September September 24, 2022

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Travels,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 3:46 pm

We are swiftly sailing through September. The month has disappeared in what feels like a blink. I’m not used to the pace we’ve been keeping. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that the last week of September is upon us. The good news is October is my favorite month and it’s full of fun. While I’m baffled that September is almost over, I’m very happy to welcome October soon! Autumn adventures are the best and now I can fully revel in all that is fall!

My last post found us in the thick of hunting season for Jeremy (and the boys) and a conference for me. Prepping for a conference with Jeremy out in the woods wasn’t always ideal. Thankfully, Jeremy had the boys with him a few times so I could practice for my workshop without kid chaos in the background. The boys love tagging along during hunting season. While I had girl time during the conference, they had boy time in the woods. Win-win.

The day after the conference, Jeremy and I dropped the boys off with Nana & Papa so we could attend a staff retreat with the church team. The turnaround of conference prep, attending the conference, packing for a trip (for the kids and myself), and curating school (so Nana could substitute teach) meant I came into the retreat worn out. Fortunately, there was plenty of time for this introvert to recharge in the schedule. It was a good mix of conversation and connection while still finding time to be quiet with a book and journal. My highlights were our conversations about the Enneagram (which I adore), our rides on the golf carts to and from meals, and taking morning walks with the sun shining on the Columbia River.

We got home on Wednesday and I had Thursday set aside as a recovery day. We still did school, but the rest of the day was very chill. Jeremy took the boys out for the final evening hunt of elk season. I was able to recharge enough on Thursday so we could adventure out on Friday. We met some friends at the Ape Caves yesterday for some spelunking. We hiked our way through the more challenging cave and did another hike at Lava Canyon. I didn’t feel it yesterday, but I can tell today I climbed over boulders yesterday. It was a very fun outing and I got a chuckle that on a beautifully sunny day, we went underground for our recreation.

September sure has kept us busy. It’s been good, but I’m tired! I’ve been able to rest more today. A quiet home day is doing wonders for my soul. It’s the small things like working through the laundry, making mac & cheese, and sitting down with a book that fills me up. God has been so good to sustain me through this non-stop month. I’m certainly ready for things to slow down a bit!

Hunting buddies! I love the memories they are making out in the woods.
Sunset golf cart ride to dinner!
Not a bad view for my morning walk!
Afternoon free time means introvert recharge time. Nothing like reading a book surrounded by pillows on a comfy bed.
Ready to explore the Ape Caves
Going down…
Exploring inside the cave
Caves might not ever be my happy place, but they are cool!
Hiking aboveground is more my style!
Not a bad view of Mt. St. Helens
 

September Snapshots September 17, 2022

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Parenthood,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 6:02 pm

Today’s blog will be more pictures than words. I just got home from a women’s conference at our church. It was a Friday night and most of the day Saturday event. I led a workshop this morning based on the book Habits of the Household by Justin Whitmel Earley. I don’t get many opportunities for public speaking so studying and practicing my notes was a big portion of my week. Now that it’s done and the adrenaline rush is over, I can feel the crash coming. Thus, a post of mostly pictures! A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Right!

Constantly being left in the dust now that these two are always on their new bikes!
My parents were on a trip this week so the boys and I checked on their dog and watered the plants while Auntie (the house-sitter) was at work. The kids loved their daily doggie duty. As you can see, TC just patiently put up with us.
Chess with co-op has started! In PE, Graham got 2nd place in the mile run. The boys love co-op and can’t wait to go back next week!
We took home Junior Ranger books from Fort Clatsop in August. We completed them and the park ranger mailed our boys their badges. We love the Junior Ranger program!
MILESTONE! Graham lost his first tooth this week. I was starting to get nervous since he is almost 7. This experience was even more memorable because he accidentally swallowed it while eating his cereal. Oops! The tooth fairy was very understanding, though.
‘Tis the season to dress like a tree! Jeremy has been out elk hunting all week. The boys got to join him Thursday evening and today!
No need to visit the pumpkin patch. Jeremy grew our pumpkins this year! They are so beautiful!
I didn’t take any pictures at the conference, but here are my cookies that I decorated in the afternoon workshop. YUM! Love the fall colors!
 

The Many Adventures of September September 11, 2022

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Travels — Amy Scott @ 2:09 pm

I always think September is going to be a month of getting back into routine after the hubbub of summer… But in reality, September isn’t that month. Each week is different and it makes finding our normal tricky. I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized that our first normal week in September is the last one! It’s always like this though… the things that make September zany are annual events. I should see this coming, but alas, I’m surprised every year! So October… November… those are my fall into routine months! The bonus of being in our third of homeschooling is that we fell back into our school routine fairly easily. Muscle memory kicked in and we’ve picked up where we left off. It’s taken way less energy to get back into the swing of school than in years past. I am grateful for that. And as much as I wish September would be more chill, I am thankful for the many adventures of September!

Let’s recap our excitement for the last week. Over Labor Day weekend the boys had a sleepover with their cousins. They’ve been asking for this sleepover since May and we finally made it happen. Jeremy and I got a hotel room nearby. It was Graham’s first sleepover (other than with grandparents) and we wanted to be close by in case he needed us (which he didn’t). Jeremy and I were able to enjoy dinner and breakfast without the kids. It was a win-win for the kids and the parents.

We kicked off our homeschool co-op with rocket launches this week. Jeremy helped facilitate the launching and families came with their rockets ready to fly. This was the third year we’ve used our silver rocket and it’s now basically held together by packing tape. It’s lived a long life and seen many a launch. The kids always love this activity and it was a fun way to kick off our co-op year.

Bikes have played a big part in our week. Graham mastered riding without training wheels! We also upgraded the kids to bigger bikes since they have outgrown theirs. The new bikes are actually birthday presents for our October birthday boys. We gave them their present late last year (Disneyland in November), so why not give them their present a month early this year? The main reason we opted for early gifting is we’re taking a trip this fall and we wanted the kids to be comfortable on their bigger bikes before we travel. They are definitely ready to hit the trails!

The final highlight of our week was a field trip to the Tillamook Creamery and a stop by Hug Point (beach). We love to have family adventures on Fridays! Our fall field trips are some of my favorites. We can enjoy the last bit of summer and the good weather that seems to stay through October. Winter field trips are limited to inside, so it’s nice to get outside while we can. We watched them package three different types of cheese at the creamery. It’s always exciting to see what is being processed. On Friday, it was Monterey jack, sharp cheddar, and pepper jack. We went through the sample line (possibly twice) and had ice cream for lunch. Our time at Hug Point was spent cooling off in the ocean and exploring the rocks and caves. We even found a small waterfall! It was an excellent field trip!

Wow! We packed a lot into one week! More adventures still to come!

Riding off into the sunset without training wheels!
Hot Tub Club – We let the kids swim at our hotel before the sleepover.
Kicking off co-op with rockets!
Tillamook Creamery
Ice cream for lunch!
Ice cream for lunch!
Hug Point
Hug Point
Birthday bikers!
 

Back to School 2022 September 3, 2022

Filed under: Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 11:45 am

We’ve completed our first week of school! Hurray! Our last week of summer vacation was packed to the brim. It made coming back to school almost feel relaxing! It was nice to transition from so much out-and-about activity to days spent at home and around the table. The kids were excited to start school which always helps. This is our third year of homeschooling and we’ve definitely found our flow. It feels good to be back to routine and back to school!

Graham
Owen
 

What I’ve Been Reading – August 2022 August 31, 2022

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 7:39 pm

Bookish Thoughts for August

August has been a fun mix of books. I enjoyed re-reading The Secrets of the Isles series in anticipation of the release of the third book coming out in September (Worthy of Legend). I made this series my top pick for fiction in August, but I will admit it felt like cheating. I chose To Treasure an Heiress as my top pick when it was released in January 2022. There are obviously no rules to this book blog, but using the same book in the same calendar year felt like a concession. No clue why I have made up rules, but I do… Something about my Enneagram Type 1 personality… I explored the Renegades series by Marissa Meyers which had strong X-Men vibes. Not my usual reading, but it’s nice to mix it up. Elizabeth Bard’s memoirs took me on a journey through France and French cooking. That felt out of the norm for me, but it was interesting to explore something new with her. I really enjoyed The Bodyguard by Katherine Center. It seemed like all my friends got a copy before me and my wait at the library felt like an eternity (okay, two months, but you know, forever). One of my favorite authors, Emma St. Clair, did a surprise release with another author, Jenny Proctor. After reading Eloise and the Grump Next Door, I decided to renew my Kindle Unlimited account and binge read Jenny’s books. I enjoy sweet rom-coms. I may have given up watching Hallmark movies in 2022, but I’m pretty much reading the book equivalent these days. It definitely made for fun, light-hearted, summer reading!

Top Picks for August

Non-Fiction: This Beautiful Truth: How God’s Goodness Breaks into Our Darkness by Sarah Clarkson. This book was amazing! I appreciated Sarah’s honesty about her walk with mental illness and the brokenness she struggles with (both inside her and in this world). She has a way with words that sweeps you up in her story. It’s an incredibly vulnerable book and I admire her for writing it. While being completely honest about her struggles, she shares how God has shown up in her life and brings His goodness and light into the darkest places. I loved it! This is a library book that I will add to my home collection!
Fiction: I already shared in my bookish thoughts that The Series of the Isles series was my top pick. Why? British Historical fiction. Romance. Pirate Treasure Hunts. Yep. All good reasons. Specifically, To Treasure an Heiress makes me smile. I love Theo! He cracks me up! Reading these books again has me on the edge of my seat for the final installment. I can’t wait for Worthy of Legend to arrive in my mailbox soon.

Book List for August
1 Star = I did not like it. 2 stars = It was okay. 3 stars = I liked it. 4 stars = I really liked it. 5 stars = It was amazing.

Non-Fiction:

  • This Beautiful Truth: How God’s Goodness Breaks into Our Darkness by Sarah Clarkson – 5 stars
  • Chosing Us: Marriage and Mutual Flourishing in a World of Difference by Gail Song Bantum & Brian Bantum – 3 stars
  • Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear – 3 stars
  • Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard – 3 stars
  • Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard – 3 stars
  • No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson PH.D. – 4 stars

Fiction:

  • The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M. White (The Secret of the Isles Series) – 4 stars
  • To Treasure an Heiress by Roseanna M. White (The Secret of the Isles Series) – 4 stars
  • Renegades by Marissa Meyers (Renegades Series) – 3 stars
  • Archenemies by Marissa Meyers (Renegades Series) – 3 stars
  • Super Nova by Marissa Meyers (Renegades Series) – 3 stars
  • What You Wish For By Katherine Center (Contemporary Romance) – 3 stars
  • The Bodyguard by Katherine Center (Contemporary Romance) – 4 stars
  • I’ll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones (YA Rom Com) – 3 stars
  • A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus (Children’s Historical Fiction) – 4 stars
  • Eloise and the Grump Next Door by Emma St. Clair & Jenny Proctor – 3 stars
  • Love Redesigned by Jenny Proctor (Some Kind of Love Series) – 3 stars
  • Love Unexpected by Jenny Proctor (Some Kind of Love Series) – 3 stars
  • Love Off-Limits by Jenny Proctor (Some Kind of Love Series) – 3 stars
  • Love in Bloom by Jenny Proctor (Some Kind of Love Series) – 3 stars
 

The Not-So-Staycation August 27, 2022

Filed under: Family Time,Travels — Amy Scott @ 2:11 pm

Jeremy took this last week off from work and we had a family staycation. Instead of chilling at home, we were out and about a good part of our staycation. With June’s weather being so wet and July being quieter than expected, we’ve crammed all of our summer into August. Specifically, the last two weeks of August. While we’ve been home in time for evening swim lessons, we’ve been out exploring during the day. Sort of burning the candle at both ends. We unintentionally decided to end summer by going BIG with our activities. Here’s a look that what we’ve been up to:

  • Hiking at Mt. Rainier National Park – Jeremy has declared Mt. Rainier a summer tradition. Now that our boys are older, the tradition includes what feels like scaling the mountain (at least to my incline-adverse legs). This year, we went hiking on the Sunrise side of the mountain. We took the trail from Sunrise up past Frozen Lake and halfway to the Mt. Fremont Fire Lookout. Our goal was to find mountain goats and we ended up spotting dozens (one very close). We also got a close-up look at a fox who had just eaten a ground squirrel and was settling in for a nap. Chipmunks, squirrels, and a lone marmot round out our animal sightings. On our way home, we stopped at the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. We took the mile long nature trail past the hot springs. It was interesting to find hot springs on the mountain. Spoiler alert, they were pretty small (so don’t think Yellowstone).
  • The Oregon Coast – It’s not summer without a trip to the beach! COVID cancelled our original beach trip in July, so we were so ready for a day at the ocean! We started the day off at Pig’N’Pancake in Astoria for breakfast. Then it was off to Cannon Beach to play near Haystack Rock. Lunch was at Mo’s and we made a stop at the candy store and the bakery before leaving town. For our afternoon activities, we did a quick visit to Fort Clatsop and Fort Stevens. The kids picked up Junior Ranger booklets that we hope to work on this weekend and redeem for badges. Dinner was Fultano’s Pizza in Clatskanie. We like to eat and play at the beach in equal parts!
  • Tolmie State Park – One of my goals this summer was to hike some local trails. Tolmie State Park was on this list. Located on the Puget Sound, we arrived at low tide and were able to explore the wet sand and puddles. We spotted plenty of little crabs which delighted Owen. Graham would have happily hiked there longer, but this was a shorter outing for us. It was nice to mix in a smaller outing among the bigger ones. It was fun to explore a new place and the kids have already requested we visit again – maybe at high tide next time.
  • The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – Our library gave the kids free tickets to the zoo as a part of the summer reading program. The zoo was on our summer bucket list and the free tickets were a nice bonus. The weather was perfect for the zoo – overcast and cool. We saw almost all the animals and enjoyed the lunchtime animal show. To make this outing even sweeter, we met up with my forever friend, Maggie, and her kids. Graham’s favorite animals were the red wolves and Owen liked the sea otters. I loved seeing the penguins and Jeremy kept trying to get the lemurs to “talk” (which was quite loud and aggressive sounding).
  • Owen Beach – After the zoo, we went over to Owen Beach in Point Defiance Park. Our Owen obviously loves the name of this beach and he claims it as his own. This rocky beach on the Puget Sound is perfect for throwing stones or balancing on driftwood. There are plenty of boats to watch and a new “natural” play space that was recently added while the park was closed for updates.
  • Millersylvania State Park On our way home from Tacoma, we stopped at Millersylvania State Park for a quick hike and swim. We’ve been keeping swim clothes and towels in the van “just in case” and this seemed like the perfect time to make it happen. This state park was also on the summer bucket list, so we were able to check off one more activity.

The boys wrapped up this epic week with a sleepover in Owen’s room last night! We tried to squeeze every last bit of summery goodness out of this month. We’ve planned an intentionally quieter (quiet-ish?) weekend so we can be ready for school to start on Monday. It’s crazy to believe that we are in the final weekend of summer. It’s going to be a bit of a shock next week. Our schedule feels like it’s taking a complete 180 degree turn. I’m not sure I’m ready for it… but here we go. From one adventure to the next.

Mt. Rainier National Park
Mt. Rainier National Park
Visiting the mountain goats at Mt. Rainier
Cannon Beach, OR
Cannon Beach, OR
Stepping back in time with Lewis & Clark at Fort Clatsop
Watching the waves on the jetty at Fort Stevens
Tolmie State Park
Tolmie State Park
Tolmie State Park
That’s a wrap on swim lesson! We saw so much improvement in the 4 weeks we spent at the pool. Both boys passed a level this summer and we are so proud of their hard work.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
The Zoo Crew
Owen Beach
Owen Beach
Owen Beach
Millersylvania State Park
Millersylvania State Park
End of summer sleepover!
 

Reunited At Last! August 19, 2022

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time,Travels — Amy Scott @ 12:35 pm

Our family is reunited after Jeremy was away for a full week at kid’s camp. Owen joined Jeremy at camp for the latter half of the week. This was our longest stint with Jeremy away from home and Owen’s first time at overnight camp. It was a different week, but we made it through. Graham missed his brother a lot. It was strange to parent only one child for a few days. Jeremy co-directed seven days of camp like a champ. Owen had a blast at camp and can’t wait to go back!

Jeremy took a couple days off this week to make up for missing his normal days off at camp. I love doing outings during the work week because places tend to be quieter. We visited the McLane Creek Nature Trail on Monday. This nature trail had all my favorite things – it was a shaded walk through the forest, there were lots of boardwalks and bridges, and no incline. Hiking heaven for me! The boys really enjoyed the trail and they are excited to go back again. We also stopped by Lattin’s Cider Mill and Farm to see their animals and snag some treats from their bakery.

Tuesday, we took a drive up to Mt. St. Helens to visit the Johnston Ridge Observatory. The observatory recently reopened after being close for some time and it had been a while since we’ve visited Mt. St. Helens. The power of the eruption always amazes me and I’m awestruck at restoration of the landscape. We had a picnic lunch at Coldwater Lake and we let the boys dipped their toes in the lake.

It was fun to check a few outings off our summer bucket list. Jeremy has some time off next week and our staycation will hopefully include more local adventures before we buckle down and start school. We opted for another around of swim lessons so our evenings at spent at the pool. We got a few end of summer play dates in this week as well. We’re making our last days of summer count!

Graham and I survived the absence of Jeremy and Owen by eating a lot of carbs!
A sleepover and movie night in Mom’s room to end camp week.
Unloading off the bus! Happy to be reunited!
A tired camper with his welcome home cake!
Exploring McLane Creek Nature Trail
So glad to have Jeremy home! Life is better by his side!
We enjoyed our visit in the Capitol Forest!
Mt. St. Helens
Taking in the view!
Enjoying Coldwater Lake
 

Summer Camp August 11, 2022

Summer camp has been a part of our family life since I married Jeremy. He is a part of the directors’ team for our Assemblies of God network. He makes kids camp happen for hundreds of kids every summer. Before having kids, I tagged along and went to camp with Jeremy. Now I stay home and keep the kids alive while he is away. After a two year break (thanks COVID), summer is camp is back! Not only that, Owen is now old enough to be a camper! WHAT?!?! How did this happen? I’m also super nostalgic because camp this year is at the same campground I went to as a kid. I love that Owen is making childhood memories in a place that I also have childhood memories!

We were in summer camp prep mode this weekend. We went shopping down in Portland, OR to pick up more shorts and t-shirts for Jeremy. His camp commitment is a full seven days, so he needed to stock up on essentials. We stopped by Crumbl Cookie and visited a spray park. Jeremy left on Sunday to direct the first week of camp (Sun-Wed) and the boys and I held down the fort at home. Then Owen took off with our church for the second week of camp (Wed-Sat). Being home with two kids is one thing, but being home with one kid is completely different. Graham misses his brother a lot, but we’re making it. Graham wrapped up swimming lessons today and we got McDonald’s as a special treat. Graham is doing all the menu planning this week. He loves deciding what our next meal will be. No surprise, last night was mac and cheese. Tonight is biscuits. Tomorrow, we plan to get pizza. We are living our best carb lives here.

This whole week has felt a bit strange. We, obviously, miss Jeremy a ton while he is away at camp! Now that I have two elementary-aged kids, being on my own with them is less intense than the baby/toddler/preschool years. The dynamic of having one kid being gone is new and certainly an adjustment. Keeping Graham distracted is actually a good distraction for me. I miss Owen, but I’m not too worried about him now that he is actually away. I was more anxious leading up to his departure. Jeremy has kept me updated, so I at least know Owen is eating and having a good time.

We have two more days until we’re all back together again! Almost to the finish line of this long week. I’m hoping the rest of summer camp goes well for Jeremy and Owen… and that Graham+Mom camp continues to go well, too!

Spray park in Wilsonville, OR
Crumbl two weekends in a row! I’m living the dream!
New flashlights from Grandpa & Grandma.
I went a little OCD and labeled everything in Owen’s suitcase. Everything is ziplocked to keep things clean, dry, and easy to find. And yes, that’s a lot of crackers, but he is so picky. I wanted something I knew he would eat at camp.
Ready to go! Once he puts shoes on….
Cousins ready for camp!
We wrapped up our summer school books this week! Now we have two weeks off before starting school at the end of August. I planned our first quarter yesterday afternoon. Feels good to have it all written down in the official planner!
My lunch date
Graham+Mom Camp