Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

August Adventures Abound August 15, 2021

Filed under: Family Time,Simply Me,Travels — Amy Scott @ 5:49 pm

July was a month full of adventures and it turns out that August is doing a pretty good job of keeping up. The August adventures have been plentiful as we pack as much as we can into the last few weeks of summer. When I think of all we’ve accomplished and all that we still have planned, I’m amazed at what we’ve been able to do this summer. Our weekly explorations give us something new to look forward to and we’ve discovered some awesome new locations in the beautiful PNW.

So many big moments happened this week and they all fell back to back. Thursday was the “big” day at swimming lesson. The last class of the two week session is always a fun day for the students. The kids are allowed to swim for fun and jump off the diving board – even Graham’s beginner class. Graham informed us his plan was not to jump off of the diving board, but when the moment came he diverted from the plan. He donned his life jacket and took the plunge. By the look on his face, I don’t think he loved the experience. I’m so proud of him for being brave. I didn’t expect him to jump. Owen surprised us by jumping off the diving board with no life jacket. It turns out that Owen has officially learned to swim over the last two weeks. The kid is a fish and will swim laps just for fun these days. The big moment of the night came at the very end when they handed out the report cards. Both boys were thrilled to find out that they passed their levels! They were so excited about swimming lessons that they asked to do another two week session. I don’t love having a daily commitment, but it’s hard not to capitalize on their momentum. We opted for another evening session that will allow us to have playdates and daytime adventures. Swimming lessons won’t interfere with any plans we have for the end of summer.

On Friday, our family took off early to head to North Cascades National Park. It was on our summer bucket list to visit all of Washington’s national parks. Jeremy and I have been to the east side of NCNP, but the boys hadn’t been to the park. We love the NP junior ranger program and this park gave the boys another chance to earn junior ranger badges. The bummer about our trip was that smoke moved into the PNW the day of our adventure. The views were hazy, the air quality was unhealthy, and it was hot. I would love to return when I can see the towering mountains clearly. Ross Lake and Diablo Lake were beautiful even through the haze. We took the Ladder Creek Falls Trail and found some natural AC blowing off the creek. We also discovered a Seattle City Lights steam train at Newhalem (which our train lovers climbed all over). Our time in NCNP was brief due to the weather conditions, but still worthwhile and we would definitely go back. The day ended for us in Burlington where we got a hotel room. NCNP is bit far away for a day trip and we didn’t want to make it a super long and late drive home. The kids swam in the hotel pool for an hour and we saw many families come and go. Our little fish just kept swimming. The hotel pool might have the highlight for the kids.

Because we were staying so far north, we decided to have another big adventure on Saturday before heading home. We took the ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. We love exploring new places. Owen is actively keeping track of how many Washington State counties he has visited and he can now add San Juan County to the list. We didn’t see any orcas on our ferry rides which was my not-so-secret hope for this adventure. We did see a harbor seal and Jeremy saw a porpoise. The ferry ride itself was the highlight and the novelty of the day. Our time in Friday Harbor was a bit of a misadventure. We didn’t do much research before going so we wondered aimlessly around town. Around 11:00am we put our name in at a restaurant that looked popular and then Jeremy went online to research. It looked like a super promising lunch spot (like featured on Food Network good). After an hour of waiting outside for a table, we took our name off the list. We only had a few hours on the island and we didn’t want to spend them waiting to eat. This led us to the market across the street for apples and goldfish crackers. The lunch of champions! We wondered through gift shops, played at a small park, grabbed goodies at a bakery, and spent plenty of time by the water. Our ferry back to the mainland was over an hour late, so we might have had time to eat at the popular lunch spot. Oh well. Despite the hiccups, it was still a fun day.

We made it to church this morning a little tired and smidge cranky. Owen and I were leaning towards staying home, but Graham really wanted to go. He knew there would be foam gliders in the activity bags are hand out during service. He also knew that Pastor Josh was going to do the classic Diet Coke and Mentos experiment. Jeremy also hides a gnome each week that you get points for finding in the Summer Family Scavenger Hunt. It turns out that gnome is keeping our summer attendance in check. Last week I almost didn’t go because of the weather, this week because of exhaustion… and yet the gnome must be found and documented so off we went. I’m thankful for a quiet afternoon to rest today. We did a Walmart pick-up order and I’m working through mounds of laundry, but still it’s been a chill day. We have more fun in store for the coming week – starting with another round of swimming lessons tomorrow! Like I said, we gotta pack in all the summer fun we can into the next few weeks. You never know where we’ll end up next!

Root beer floats were a mission for the scavenger hunt
Slip and slide time also because of the scavenger hunt
Late night swim!
(after swimming lessons – these kids love to swim)
So excited they passed their levels at swimming lesson!
North Cascades Exploration Day
Junior Rangers
It was so hard to document the turquoise water through the smoke
Ladder Creek Falls
What are the odds of finding a train in a national park?
Hotel pool time – I feel like just keep swimming is their motto this summer!
A ferry fun day!
Owen the map reader
Graham the cinnamon roll eater
Ferry ride home!
 

Wet & Wild August 8, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time,Parenthood,Simply Me,Travels — Amy Scott @ 7:26 pm

August is off to a wet and wild start! The boys are halfway through swimming lessons and they are going swimmingly! Owen has taken to swimming lessons like a fish to water. He is in his element when he is in the pool. Graham’s week started off a bit rocky, but now that he knows what to expect, he is doing great. We were in the hot tub last night and Graham wanted to show me how he blows bubbles and what his pencil point hands look like. Both sets of grandparents came by to watch swimming lesson this last week. The boys loved showing off their skills and for Graham, I think the cheering section was a big confidence booster. We can’t wait for another week!

Swimming lesson definitely count as the wet part of this post, but we’ve also had some wet weather move into the PNW. As a true Washingtonian, I’m all for cool, cloudy days. I even love some drizzle (when I don’t have to be out in it). Our weekly adventure found us at the Oregon Zoo this Friday – in the drizzle! Of all the days to go to the zoo… Actually, it worked out in our favor. The zoo wasn’t too crowded and all the animals were out. While we did get a little wet, we weren’t soaked and we dried out quickly. We hadn’t been to the Oregon Zoo in over a year and they’ve completed some major construction since the last time we visited. It was a blast revisiting one of favorite places. We had a wet and wild time!

Back in October, you might remember that our children’s ministry at church hosted a Fall Family Scavenger Hunt. Our family participated and had so much fun earning points for completing challenges. Jeremy is hosting another scavenger hunt this month and we are in it to win it. Well, not really… But we’re having a good time. Some of the challenges we’ve enjoyed so far are making Jello Jigglers, making chocolate chip cookies, making popsicles (we apparently like food challenges), and having a water fight with squirt guns and water balloons. Grandpa and Grandma might have been outside walking when the water balloons were filled and they may have been ambushed by two wet and wild boys. Such good summer memories!

I’m enjoying a rare evening home alone as I type this. My guys are out scouting and checking trail cameras. I’m between books at the moment so I took this evening to watch Finding You which is a movie based the book There You’ll Find Me (see my July reads post). I don’t usually let myself eat popcorn for dinner while watching a chick flick. This was a special treat! I also love comparing books to movies. I laughed that even when I have a movie night it’s still related to books. The bookworm in me is strong! With that being said, it’s time to find a new book and snuggle in for the last bit of my quiet time.

Taking a deep breath
My phone is super old so the zoom quality isn’t so great. That doesn’t stop me from documenting!
Homemade popsicles for the scavenger hunt
Another scavenger hunt challenge
Wet and wild at the Oregon Zoo
We saw so many animals up close!
These boys had a blast with the water balloon challenge
The bonus of a rainy summer day!
Dahlias from Jeremy’s garden
Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
 

Good-Bye July! August 3, 2021

Wow! July was such a fun month. One adventure after another! We made so many good memories. It’s hard to see such a fun month go, but here we are in August. There is a completely different vibe to August. We still have adventures in store, but August also carries that “summer is almost over” vibe. In July, I sorted all the kids clothes to see what still fits, what can become hand-me-downs, and what needs to be replaced. July was the time to get ready for school. Our homeschool materials have arrived and await use. July was prep mode, because August is go time! With how the calendar falls, we’ll be starting school at the end of August, instead of waiting for September. With the first day of school less than a month away, the countdown is on. Summer doesn’t last forever. We’ve made the most of our July and now it’s time for August to shine!

We wrapped up July with a couple of pool play dates. The boys love splashing around in the pool and hot tub with friends. It’s always a good time to catch up with mom friends on our back deck while we supervise the splash zone. Our family outing last week was to our local children’s museum. We were gifted a membership that has been slowly extended due to COVID-19 shutdowns. Our membership ends in a month, so we wanted to use it one last time. The museum was relatively quiet and we enjoyed some of our favorite activities – like the water table, the emergency vehicles, and the outdoor play space. After some bigger adventures, it was nice to have this one be local.

Now that August is here, our new routine involves swimming lessons. We started last night and we have seven more to go! We opted for an evening class so we could still be social (or restful) in the morning hours. Owen was a fish. He was super focused on the lesson. I was nervous about the gap between this year and his last lessons in 2019, but he surprised me with how well he did. Graham has grown in his water appreciation thanks to having a backyard pool, but you can tell that swimming lessons are pushing his comfort zone. He was so brave! For a kid who has been mostly home with his family, I know it’s a big deal to sit with a class of new kids and trust a new adult in the water.

July was a good one! One for the record books! Now that August is here, we’re ready for the last hurrah of summer. We’re going to make these August days count!

Cookies of the Month for July! I decided to use our camping/outdoor adventures as inspiration. This might be my new favorite way to appreciate the great outdoors!
The boys’ favorite part of the museum is the water table!
Our kids will play with trains any time, any place.
Having fun with the big bubbles Jeremy was so good at creating!
Firefighter Bros
Tailgating in Grandpa’s truck for church on Sunday
Saying hi to Papa!
Spray park fun before swimming lessons
The pool was too crowded to get a picture during lessons, so here is an after lessons victory shot! Also, look at that sky! So pretty!
 

What I’ve Been Reading – July 2021 July 31, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 11:23 am
Big News!!! I made it to 100 books this month! Woo hoo!!! 138+ books is my goal for 2021. I want to beat my 2020 record.

Books by Melody Carlson – One of my favorite fiction authors!

  • The Legacy of Sunset Cove – Harbor Secrets, Riptide Rumors, Surf Smugglers, Turning Tide – This series focused on prohibition and WWI times in a small town on the Oregon Coast.
  • Christmas in Winter Hill – I was in-between books so I went searching for a light, quick read. I decided on this book because I was feeling Christmas in July vibes.

Books by Jenny B. Jones – A new-to-me author this month!

  • There You’ll Find Me – This book was shared with me by a friend and started my binge-reading of Jenny B. Jones. This book also came out as a movie this month called Finding You. I’m curious to watch the movie now.
  • Save the Date – The characters in this book tie into There You’ll Find Me so I had to check it out!
  • I’ll Be Yours – The only other Jenny B. Jones book my library had – band geek and football star romance. Not my usual read, but I enjoyed it!
  • Sugar Creek Series – A Sugar Creek Christmas, His Mistletoe Miracle, The Holiday Husband – Okay, again, Christmas in July vibes and a tie into the first two books I mentioned. These three holiday romances got me to 100 books with holiday cheer!

Books by Marissa Meyer – I started The Lunar Chronicles this month since they came recommended from multiple friends.

  • Cinder – I enjoyed this sci-fi fairy-tale retelling of Cinderella. I look forward to completing this series through my local library. The hardest part is waiting my turn to each book!
  • Fairest – While waiting for the next book in the series, I jumped at the chance to read the prequel that explains the backstory of the evil queen.

Books by other authors –

  • A Tangled Web by L.M. Montgomery – My monthly dose of LMM! I love this interwoven story of two clans and their obsession with who will inherit a family heirloom.
  • A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey – This was Courty’s Book Club fiction pick of the month. I loved all the baking and that the story took place in England.
  • Things You Save in Fire by Katherine Center – This was loaned to me by a friend. It was interesting to read about a female firefighter as she re-established her career at a new station and falls in love with the rookie. The book has a strong theme of forgiveness for healing and I loved that message!
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – This is the second book I’ve read by this author and it was so much better than the first one. The WWII content of the book was heavy and the ending left me crying.
 

Let The Good Times Roll July 27, 2021

Filed under: Family Time,Parenthood,Simply Me,Travels — Amy Scott @ 2:10 pm

We’ve been having so much summer fun! We’ve opted for day adventures this summer instead of a longer vacation. It’s always fun to have a “big” trip to look forward to, but honestly, these day trips have been just as fun. Each week we have a new destination to get excited about. Here are the highlights!

Last week, we went for a river float. Jeremy has been on working our church’s riverfront property and he wanted to show it to the boys. The kiddos loved checking out the river and Owen brought his goggles so he could see minnows. We had a park play date with friends we haven’t seen in a few years. I was nervous that it would be awkward, but our new rec park is so much fun that the kids just dove into the play date and had a great time. The boys went out scouting with Jeremy one night in preparation for hunting season in September. I was informed that they saw elk and a bear. I don’t love that they saw a bear, but I guess that is the price I paid for a quiet evening at home alone.

Our weekend was full of action! On Friday, we took off to do some shopping south of Portland, Oregon. Our kids are growing like crazy. New clothes have moved from a fall priority to a summer one. Our shopping was quick and successful and then we finally achieved our original Father’s Day plans for Jeremy. We went mini-golfing! Jeremy has been interested in Crumbl Cookies so we also made a special stop to try something new. Very yummy!

We took our three roosters to a local auction late Friday afternoon. The whole process was a bit dramatic, but the real drama happened when we got home. Jeremy and Owen went to console our hens who had been freaked out by the process of catching the roosters. When they arrived at the pen, they discovered that four of our five full-grown hens were missing. Our three little hens were secure in their pen still. Owen adores his chickens. I thought for sure he would breakdown over this situation. He was concerned, but joined the search party without tears. We searched our property for 40 minutes! I walked through the woods, up and down our driveway, through my parent’s property next door. I prayed the whole time. I was the one to finally discover our the hens in the bushes near our house. They had wondered back home! Praise Jesus! I literally had tears in my eyes as I called the family over from their searching. Who knew that chickens could be such an emotional investment?!

Saturday, we had the whole cousin crew over a pool and pizza party. The boys love anytime they get to spend with their cousins. Add pool time and pizza and you have an ideal summer day. Childhood at it’s best! Sunday, we had a dedication ceremony for our new church property. It has river access and we were able to baptize 31 people in the river that afternoon. It was a big celebration! Our Sunday evening wrapped up in Tacoma where I met my forever friend, Maggie, for dinner. Jeremy and the boys tagged along. They got a special dinner of their own and did some window-shopping.

You’d think that was it, but wait there’s more!!! The summer fun just keeps on coming. Yesterday we spent the afternoon at Mayfield Lake with the church staff. Our lead pastor took families out on his boat for tubing. Graham gave it a go for a the first time. I was so proud of him. I love boat rides and was happy to document all the tubing action.

Today we went to a local park to watch for trains – railfanning! My boys are super into trains again. Owen took a break and got into space for awhile, but trains have resurfaced as his true love yet again. We saw an Amtrak Cascades passenger train and a BNSF freight train. This outing was definitely a win!

Tomorrow I plan to go nowhere! I absolutely need a home day to recover from all this goodness! I love that we are making summer memories left and right, but wow, it’s tiring business! Life can feel like a balancing act sometimes. We’ve had a lot of go-go-go and now we need some slow-slow-slow. Summer is a good time for both of those vibes!

River float!
The last of our homeschool books have arrived! Our homeschool shelf is restocked and ready to roll!
Jeremy and the boys brought me flowers last week! So sweet of them!
Crumbl Cookies! 3 out of 4 Scotts approve! Owen was not into it.
Graham and I are cookie buddies!
Belated Father’s Day Mini-Golf!
Pool Party!
Pool Party!
Excited to have Grandpa & Grandma sit with us at church!
Baptisms in the river
Almost 20 year of taking pictures with Maggie!
Maggie & I’s first picture together! 10th Grade Biology – this picture was dated 6.12.02!
Lake Day! Out on the boat!
Literally jumping for joy at the sight of a train!
 

Olympic National Park Exploration July 17, 2021

Filed under: Family Time,Parenthood,Travels — Amy Scott @ 11:15 am

Our family adventure this week was exploring part of Olympic National Park. The park is so big that couldn’t do it all in a day trip and that’s okay. We have a reason to go back and explore another day! Last summer we purchased an annual national park pass as a part of our trip to Yellowstone. We’ve used the pass to get into Craters of the Moon, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Mt. Rainier (multiple times), and now Olympic National Park. Our hope is to make it to North Cascades before our pass expires at the end of the summer. I’m the first to admit that I’ve never been a nature person, but I’ve grown in my outdoor appreciation (thanks in part to my enthusiastic husband and boys). I now think that national parks are pretty neat. I look forward to exploring more in the future!

Our day at Olympic National Park started at Kalaloch Beach. We stopped by the ranger station there so the kids could turn in their Ocean Steward booklets and get their badges. We also picked up the Junior Ranger booklets for ONP so we could turn them in at the next ranger station. We had no clue what to expect at Kalaloch and we were so surprised by the cool rocks and tide pools. Being freshly appointed Ocean Stewards, our kids took looking around the tide pools very seriously. We discovered sea stars, anemones, mussels, acorn barnacles, and seals off shore.

After our time at the beach, we took off towards the Hoh Rainforest. This is where our plans slightly went off course. We didn’t expect the wait to enter the park. The parking lot was full, so the rangers were only letting a vehicle into the park once a vehicle left. Once we made it in, our first stop was the visitor center to get the boys their ONP Junior Ranger Badges. I love the National Parks Junior Ranger program. Our kids have so much fun with it (me too)! We did a hike through the Hall of Mosses. Visiting at another time of year might have been better. I appreciated the dry day in the rainforest, but our recent heat wave made the moss crispy. It wasn’t as lush as I remembered (from my middle school field trip two decades ago). The Hall of Mosses is a kid-friendly hike. My favorite kind of hiking includes limited/no incline and mostly just walking through shaded forest. The Hall of Mosses was right up my ally. Due to attitudes and the late time, we didn’t do the second hike. Again, it’s always good to have a reason to come back.

Our final stop on the way home was Ruby Beach. This beach had interesting rock features in and by the water. It was beautiful! It was a rocky beach with flat stones perfect for skipping. There was a little pond (or creek, I’m not sure) near the beach and our boys (including Jeremy) had fun skipping and throwing rocks. Because we had no beach expectations, the beaches were a highlight of the trip. They were so unique. We love exploring and discovering new places.

The end of our trip was a bit eventful. We had packed lunches, but didn’t have a plan for dinner. Our eating schedule was off. The long, winding drive back home was more than our tummies could handle. I got a touch of carsickness, but both of our boys threw up. After camping laundry at the beginning of the month and beach laundry last weekend, I thought for sure this day trip would mean less laundry upon arrival home. Nope. I was wrong. I got to spend the next day washing clothes, blankets, towels, and car seat covers. Oh well! It was a fun adventure even if it ended dramatically.

We keep checking activities off our summer bucket list. We’ll see where our next adventure takes us!

Officially Ocean Stewards
Kalaloch Beach 4
Kalaloch Beach 4
Kalaloch Beach 4
Officially ONP Junior Rangers
Hall of Mosses
Ruby Beach
Ruby Beach
Ruby Beach

A few pictures not related to our ONP exploration:

Raspberry Crumble Bars with berries from Jeremy’s garden!
We visited our sweet GG this week! It’s always a treat to spend time with her!
When we visit GG, the boys play with the same toys I did as a kid. It always does something to my heart! Such good memories!
 

The Month of Adventure! July 12, 2021

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Parenthood,Simply Me,Travels — Amy Scott @ 2:13 pm

July has turned out to be a month full of adventure! We are 12 days into the month and today is the first full day at home for the boys and I with no plans, no company, no errands. Insert a sigh of relief here. We’ve been having a lot of fun, but I’m glad for the break. I’m not used to this pace. (I apologize if I say that all summer). In my last post, I shared about our camping trip, our 4th of July celebration, and my Dad’s birthday dinner. Let’s pick up where I left off.

On Tuesday I had lunch with a friend. This was my first time going to lunch with a friend in a long time. The time with my friend was sweet, but I had one embarrassing moment. I dripped ketchup down the front of my shirt and didn’t notice it right away. I had some serious concerns about my ability to socialize after so much time at home but I didn’t realize I should be equally concerned about my eating skills. My friend laughed it off, but I was practically scandalized. I’m just not the type of person who gets food on her shirt. It was mortifying. I guess my eating-out skills were rusty.

Wednesday we had friends over for some pool and hot tub time. Wednesday morning was actually kind of drippy with a light rain. The pool was reading 74 degrees and it was only 60 degrees when the kids got in. Luckily, we have the hot tub as well, so the big kids had fun hopping between the pool and the hot tub, while the younger kids opted to stay in the hot tub the entire time. I love hanging on our back deck with friends. We’ve only a had few swimming playdates so far this summer, but they are always a hit. I’m looking forward to more!

Thursday was Jeremy and I’s 15th wedding anniversary! Woo hoo! Jeremy took the day off and we had a quiet morning/afternoon around the house before dropping the boys off at a sleepover with Nana & Papa. Jeremy and I took off for Portland to have dinner at The Cheesecake Factory and to do a little shopping. Jeremy was sweet and picked up another bookcase for our bedroom. I’m running out of room on our other two bookcases. We picked up some media baskets at Target so I can store our series DVDs out of sight. Storage/organization is my love language! I’m trying to talk Jeremy into getting premier access to Black Widow because I’m pretty sure Marvel movies are his love language. We enjoyed our kid-free evening immensely! Thank you to Nana and Papa for making that happen.

Jeremy picked up the boys early on Friday morning and we packed up for a family beach adventure. My sweet forever friend has a trailer near Long Beach and she offered to let us use it. It’s glamping at it’s finest! We got to the beach around lunchtime and spent a windy afternoon playing in the sand. We took off for Cape Disappointment where we visited the North Head Lighthouse and Waikiki Beach. We had dinner at the trailer before heading out on the Discovery Trail for a bike ride. Once we got back to the trailer, the boys settled into their sofa bed to watch Frozen 2. Thank you, Maggie, for sharing your home away from home with us.

We left the trailer early Saturday morning to have a day at the Oregon Coast. Our first stop was Pig’N’Pancake in Astoria (an OR coast must, in my opinion). Then we took off for the Tillamook Creamery. We were there in February 2020 before everything shut down and we hadn’t been back since. The Tillamook Creamery is a family favorite and we were delighted to watch medium cheddar cheese being packaged. We also did a little shopping at their store before getting ice cream. On our way back up the coast, we hit Arcadia beach for one more sandy, wet experience. Then we hit our favorite Costco in Warrenton and finished the trip with an early dinner at Mo’s in Astoria. The big highlight of Mo’s is they now have saltine crackers back in baskets on the table after a long absence. Our kids ate a whole basket themeselves!

Now we arrive at Sunday – our official return to in-person church. Our church is doing outdoor gatherings this summer due to construction inside. Jeremy has a swing chair ride and inflatables for kids to enjoy for the hour before church. The boys were so excited that they got up early despite being tired from our trip. They helped Jeremy set-up and then got to be the first to enjoy the kids zone. I used the time they were gone in the morning to work on the mountains of beach laundry and get myself ready for church. I will admit that I tried to keep a low profile (introvert alert). While I’m ready to be back in-person, but I didn’t want to have the same “It’s been forever since I’ve seen you” conversation on repeat. I talked with a handful of people and I’m sure each week I will build up the muscles to engage in church socializing. I enjoyed worshiping with my family. Worship is the one thing that doesn’t always translate well with online church. I’ve been singing alone at home for over a year now so it was nice to sing with the congregation again. Having church outside was a first for me, but I enjoyed the vibe and I’m looking forward to next week.

And that, my friends, is an update full of adventures! We loved having some extra time with Jeremy this last week thanks to the holiday and vacation. It was great to rejoin him at church as well. Family is important and I love the memories we are making together. I created a summer bucket list on our white board last week and we are working our way through a list of exciting adventures. I can’t wait to share what we’re up to next!

After 15 years of marriage, we’re still shopping at Ikea!
Glamping!
Sand art by Jeremy
North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment
Getting wet at Waikiki Beach
Bike ride on the Discovery Trail
All cozy watching Frozen 2
First ones in the Cheese Bus at the Tillamook Creamery
Getting sandy at Arcadia Beach
This swing chair ride will ensure that my kids are at church early all summer long.
 

Camping & Celebrating! July 5, 2021

Filed under: Family Time,Parenthood,Travels — Amy Scott @ 8:58 pm

It’s been a fun start to the month of July. We took off on July 1st for a few days of camping at Mt. Rainier National Park. The whole Scott clan was able to stay on the mountain together and make some sweet summer memories. We had three campsites side-by-side so the cousins could run amok between them all. There was a giant boulder in the back of one of the campsites that acted as a climbing wall and slide. The kids named it Scott Rock. It was nice to catch up around the campfire, play games, explore the mountain, and enjoy the camp food. Our kids didn’t want to come home. It was the best combination of family time and adventure!

Since the 4th of July landed on a Sunday this year, Jeremy worked the morning and afternoon at a community event that our church was asked to be a part of. The boys and I were wiped out from camping so we stayed home to rest (and conquer the mountains of camping laundry). I enjoyed the low-key vibes after the full days out camping. Jeremy came home from work and collected the boys to pick out fireworks. We also decided on Chinese take-out for dinner. It wasn’t a traditional choice, but it sounded good and fit the low-key mood. The boys swam in our pool after dinner and then we stayed up late to put on a small fireworks display. The boys loved the fireworks and seemed to enjoy the day even though it wasn’t our flashiest celebration. Small celebrations can be just right sometimes.

Today we celebrated for two reasons. Backstory – our betta fish, Benny, passed away last weekend. He wasn’t quite himself for those final days. Because his passing was expected, the kids took the news well. We’ve had close calls with Benny in the past that had left Owen in tears. I was nervous how he would handle the death. He understood and stayed dry-eyed despite the disappointment. We didn’t want to get a new fish before camping, so today was the day to find our new betta. After a quick visit a local pet store we came home with Finn. Owen is happy to have a new fish and the tank is no longer empty. It felt so strange to have it unoccupied for a week. Finn’s arrival was definitely reason to celebrate.

The second reason (and really the main reason) we celebrated today is because it’s my dad’s birthday. He made ribs and brought his whole birthday meal over to our house so we could sit on the back deck and enjoy the meal outside. It was a perfect mid-70’s day and it was delightful to eat outdoors. We enjoyed chatting around the table and had cheesecake with berries for dessert. We love celebrating with family! It felt like the perfect ending to a family-filled, celebration-filled few days!

July has set the standard high for fun! We’ve certainly started the month off with a bang!

Cool story: we love to wave at our garbage/recycling guys every week. This week the recycle guy hopped out and placed these squishy garbage truck toys on top of our can. It was such a surprise and made the boys’ day!
Snow hiking around Paradise, Mt. Rainier
It looked like a winter wonderland in the snow fog.
The cousin crew with Nana & Papa. This was right before we did a mini piñata with them. Jeremy saw one at Target and thought it would be fun to take camping.
Glow sticks have become a camping tradition.
Owen joined the ranks of fire pokers on this trip. He loved to watch his stick catch on fire and then start to smoke as it went out.
Scott Rock!
The whole clan! We spent plenty of time down by the Nisqually River.
Jeremy admiring a snow cave across the river.
The mountain finally came out for us on the last day!
Sparklers!
Owen documented our firework display on his tablet. Graham really enjoyed the fireworks this year and wasn’t freaked out by the noise like in years past.
Meet Finn
Happy Birthday, Grandpa!
 

What I’ve Been Reading – June 2021 June 30, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 2:58 pm
I’ve started a race with 2020 Amy to see if I can beat my book total for last year. Right now I’m one book ahead of where I was last year.
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – As a fan of every film version I’ve seen of this book, I decided to give the book another go. I tried reading it probably a decade ago and couldn’t get into it. My reading style has changed over the years and I found Little Woman delightful upon a second attempt.
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown – (Courty’s Book Club Non-Fiction Pick) I’ve seen Austin Channing Brown’s work highlighted by other authors so I knew this would be a deep read. It was profound and eye-opening. Brown’s personal experiences are both heart-breaking and inspiring. This book is the kind of book that you can’t just read and walk away from. It demands that you see the world differently now that you know and that you respond with this new knowledge.
  • Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter – This book was recommend by a friend. I had never heard of it or it’s author before. It’s a story about an orphan who finds himself working in the Limberlost swamp of Indiana protecting timber for a logging company. He earns an appreciation for nature and has a wild adventure while in the end figuring out his past. There is a sequel to this novel that I have on hold at the library. I can’t wait to revisit the Limberlost.
  • The Princess Who Believed in Fairy Tales by Marcia Grad – A friend ask to read this book with her. It’s a psychology book that is set-up as a fairy tale allegory. The story unfolds like Pilgram’s Progress where the princess sets out on a great journey to learn the truth and recover her life. Not my typical read, for sure, but very interesting.
  • Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze – This was a gift from my father many years ago. I read it when I received it, but Owen was only a baby at the time so the principles felt far off from our reality. Now that I have two elementary-aged kiddos, I wanted to refresh myself on these concepts, especially after going through Financial Peace Junior with the boys this school year. This is such a practical book and I plan to implement some of it’s concepts this fall.
  • The Hope We Hold by Jeremy & Jinger Vuolo – I am fan of the Duggar family. I might not believe all the same things they do, but I still find them fascinating with their big family and their media platform to share their faith. This book is written by Duggar daughter, Jinger, and her husband, Jeremy. It was a behind the scenes look at their relationship and their journey together so far. I found it a very interesting read since I watched their “courtship” on their TLC show.
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows – This my third time reading this book. It’s one that I will probably read every year because it’s just so good. This post-WWII story about the German occupation of Guernsey is the best kind of historical fiction. I learned so much through this heart-warming and at times heart-wrenching novel. The Netflix movie of the book is pretty good, too!
  • The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth by Beth Allison Barr – From Barr’s personal experiences as a pastor’s wife in the Southern Baptist church and her profession as a history professor, this book is powerful. I heard the hype over this book and I wanted to see for myself. I’m so thankful a book of this nature has been written. It clearly sets women free! As a champion of women in ministry this book stirred my heart!
  • The Glided Ones by Namina Forna – (Courty’s Book Club Fiction Pick) I will be the first to admit that I would have never found this book without Courty’s book club. Like her fiction pick last month, I’m not drawn to mythology. In this novel, the main character finds out she is different from the other girls in her village and is offered a position as a warrior to defeat beasts that plague their land. It has a strong feminist message. I found the tale interesting , but it was a little too violent for my tastes.
  • The Legend Series by Marie Lu (Legend, Prodigy, Champion (not pictured: audiobook), and Rebel) – My sister-in-law recommended the first book in this series to me. I’m all for finding a new series because one book leads to many more! I’m also a fan of post-apocalyptic writing. How does the author envision the world after the fall of the United States? The first book was the best in my opinion, but I enjoyed reading to the resolution of the final book.

 

Father’s Day, VBA, & a Heat Wave June 27, 2021

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Simply Me,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 2:09 pm

June has been an unpredictable month. While it’s been busy, we’ve also had some unexpected down time. I will always cheer for a day at home, but this month, I would have preferred the reason we stayed home not to be because of colds. It’s been an over a year since our family has shared the sniffles with each other and last weekend was our time to go down with a bug. Right before Father’s Day weekend, Graham came down with the sniffles so we canceled our Father’s Day Friday plans with Jeremy in order to rest. Then Owen got the bug so we canceled our Saturday plans with Jeremy’s family. Then Jeremy and I caught it and we canceled our Sunday plans with my family. It was a bummer way to celebrate Father’s Day weekend, for sure. Jeremy deserved more of a celebration than he got and we missed spending time with our families. Jeremy is the best dad ever. Hopefully, we can enjoy a make-up outing to compensate for the quiet holiday weekend.

When Jeremy realized that he was under the weather, he took off for the pharmacy to get an at-home COVID test. Jeremy and I are both fully vaccinated so we highly doubted this cold was anything to be concerned about. However, we had VBA (Vacation Bible Adventure) right around the corner (like the next day). We wanted to make sure that if we were working with kids we were officially okay. The test was negative and Jeremy and I refamiliarized ourselves with the flavors of Dayquil to get through the big week ahead. I was concerned about the kids being healthy enough for VBA, but they pulled through just in time. While they were good to go by Monday, their stamina (mine included) wasn’t 100% yet. We had fun, power-packed mornings at VBA and then quiet, restful afternoons to make sure we had the energy to attend the next day. It was a bit of a rollercoaster, but I’m so glad that everything worked out. This was my first time leading kids in over a year. I was nervous, but it was like riding bike. Even with a cold, it all came back to me and I was ready to roll. So many of the kids in my crew I hadn’t seen in over a year. They had all grown so much. I think I had just as much fun as my kids as we reconnected with friends.

After VBA, we started to prep for our local heat wave. Washington state has mild summers, but our weather this weekend is much more like Arizona than the PNW. We’ve been spending plenty of time in our backyard pool and doing our best to keep our chickens in the shade. We don’t want any chickens to literally roast in the yard. I’ve visited Arizona in August, so I’ve experienced high temps before, but never anything like the forecast for today and tomorrow in Washington. We are forecasted to be 111 degrees tomorrow. I’m just praying our air-conditioner can keep up and keep us cool. Just like the unpredictable theme of this month, the heat has been shifting all our plans this weekend. I made it up to Puyallup to celebrate a baby shower and a birthday yesterday. It was a early and quick visit before the heat of the day. The boys stayed home to rest after the big week and to keep an eye on the chickens. The boys and I had plans to help Jeremy at our Downton church campus today, but those changed when I realized there would be no AC in the building. We even canceled our dinner plans with a family today because we didn’t think it would be safe to outside. While we have air-conditioning, we didn’t want to overtax our system. We’ve stocked up on microwaveable food and items for cold sandwiches so we don’t overheat the house with cooking.

Every week comes with it’s own surprises. So many ups and downs. While I’m not a fan of plans shifting, I am thankful for flexibility. We’ve been able to rest when we need to rest. We were able to show up for our church. And now we’re able to lay low and be chill as we ride out this heat wave. Crazy times in the PNW. Hopefully next time I touch base with you all, it be under much cooler circumstances. Wherever you are, stay cool and stay hydrated!

Helping Jeremy set up for VBA before the sniffles set in!
Loving our pool time! Well, Owen is. The look on Graham’s face would say otherside. Silly kid!
One of the few things we got to do to celebrate Jeremy – lunch at Chick-fil-a!
Strawberries from my mama! She is so sweet!
These strawberries were the highlight of Father’s Day weekend. It was a bummer to stay home, but the special treats helped!
So glad these guys were able to attend VBA! They had such a great time! It was fun to be back at an in-person church event.
Our VBA crew! I enjoyed being their leader for the week!
Love seeing all these hearts that represent kiddos who chose a relationship with Jesus
Pool party with some of the cousins before the heat wave picked up
The last time the hot tub will feel good for a while