Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Making Summer Memories August 3, 2022

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Simply Me,Travels — Amy Scott @ 1:59 pm

My dreams are coming true! It finally feels like summer – both in the weather and our activities! While shopping, I’ve seen fall and even Christmas items out, but I’m not ready for that! It feels like our summer has just begun. Usually, I’m all about fall, but our June and July were too quiet. We’re ready to embrace all the summer vibes while we still can. We are starting school at the end of August, so we really have less than a month left of summer. I’m hoping we can make the most of the time we still have!

This last week was a bit of a rollercoaster. We had our minivan in the shop for thankfully a quick and cheap fix. We had our floors partially torn up to try to “fix” them again. We have a certain spot that continually breaks and has everyone puzzled. We’ll see how long this fix lasts. I had a homeschool co-op planning meeting. I will be teaching a one week class on cookie decorating and then teaming up with a friend to teach eight weeks of drama to our younger class. Teaching drama will certainly be an adventure since I’ve haven’t been on stage since high school… But the class is made up of 5-9 year-olds… I think we’ve got this! If not, it will be dramatic in more than one way!

The boys have enjoyed pool parties with friends and family. Jeremy took them to the local area spray parks on one of our hottest days. (We just came off seven days in a row above 90 degrees – very rare in our corner of the PNW.) Jeremy and the boys went on a scouting adventure on Monday in preparation for hunting season. Jeremy let them tagalong last night to National Night Out hosted by our local police department. Our church provided inflatables and the whole event was full of freebies and fun for families. The boys had a blast! They also started swim lessons this week, because it’s just not summer without swim lessons!

My special adventure this week was a getaway with my forever friend, Maggie. I drove up to her neck of the woods north of Seattle. We got a hotel room (with fantastic AC and comfy beds). On Friday evening, we had dinner at Claim Jumper and dessert at Crumbl Cookie. Saturday morning, we drove out to Lake Stevens so we could visit Jenny Cookies Bake Shop. I spent way too much on cookies (and a t-shirt), but it was such a fun and tasty treat! Maggie and I went to Panda Express for lunch and then walked laps around the air-conditioned mall. There is nothing quite like time with a forever friend enjoying good food, long walks, and chatting non-stop!

August is here and we have filled it to the brim with good things. We are making all the summer memories we can! Because we are trying to pack so much into August, our routine is a bit off, which means I’m a bit off. I figure it’s for a worthy cause. There is so much summer fun still to have before we buckle down with school books!

Highlights from family pictures in July
Highlights from family pictures in July
Highlights from family pictures in July
This was the last picture we took and it was worth the wait. I love the sweet relationship my boys have with their GG!
Spray park adventures with Dad
Cookie adventures with Maggie
Cookie adventures with Maggie
Taste testing Jenny Cookies – yum!
Ready for swim lessons!
Having the best time ever at National Night Out!
 

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

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Coronavirus Chronicles — Amy Scott @ 11:00 am

Bookish Thoughts & Top Picks for July

A representation of some of the books I enjoyed most this month!

I’m combining my Bookish Thoughts and Top Picks this month. July has been a different reading month, so this blog will be a little different than my usual. For the first time in 2022, I let myself re-read books. I have a huge “To Be Read” pile this year. I haven’t let myself re-read books, not when there are so many new books calling my name. But… Illness hit our house and I needed to simplify my reading life. I wanted to get lost in a story and not have to put any thought into how it was going to end. I finally finished The Glenbrooke Series which I started last year and stopped midway through. Robin Jones Gunn is my ultimate comfort reading author. I re-read Roseanna M. White’s British Historical Fiction because it’s my favorite of her writings. I plan to re-read her The Secrets of the Isles Series in August in preparation for the final book of the series being released in September (Worthy of Lengend). I re-read Sweet Right Here by Jenny B. Jones before her next A Lost Story Bookshop release at the end of August (First to Fall). I re-read The Caraval Series and Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber to refresh myself before The Ballad of Never After releases in September. I’m so excited for new books coming my way soon! I didn’t love being sick this month, but I did take advantage of the extra down time. Books and the characters in them become dear friends to me. Revisiting my “friends” felt like a sweet treat!

The Book List for July
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:

  • Waymaker: Finding the Way to the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of by Ann Voskamp – 4 stars
  • 8 Great Smarts for Homeschoolers: A Guide to Teaching Based on Your Child’s Unique Strengths by Tina Hollenbeck – 4 stars
  • The New City Catechism: 52 Questions and Answers for Our Hearts and Minds by Kathy Keller/The Gospel Coalition – 4 Stars
  • The New City Catechism for Kids by The Gospel Coalition – 5 stars

Fiction:

  • Unfailing Love (When Hope Calls Series) by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan – 3 stars
  • Clouds (The Glenbrooke Series) by Robin Jones Gunn – 5 stars
  • Waterfalls (The Glenbrooke Series) by Robin Jones Gunn – 5 stars
  • Woodlands (The Glenbrooke Series) by Robin Jones Gunn – 5 stars
  • Wildflowers (The Glenbrooke Series) by Robin Jones Gunn – 5 stars
  • Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna M. White – 5 stars
  • The Lost Heiress (The Ladies of the Manor Series) by Roseanna M. White – 4 stars
  • The Reluctant Duchess (The Ladies of the Manor Series) by Roseanna M. White – 4 stars
  • A Lady Unrivaled (The Ladies of the Manor Series) by Roseanna M. White – 4 stars
  • A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England Series) by Roseanna M. White – 4 stars
  • A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England Series) by Roseanna M. White – 4 stars
  • An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England Series) by Roseanna M. White – 4 stars
  • The Number of Love (The Codebreakers Series) by Roseanna M. White – 4 stars
  • On Wings of Devotion (The Codebreakers Series) by Roseanna M. White – 4 stars
  • A Portrait of Loyalty (The Codebreakers Series) by Roseanna M. White – 4 stars
  • There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones – 5 stars
  • Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones – 4 stars
  • His Mistletoe Miracle (Sugar Creek Christmas Series) by Jenny B. Jones – 4 stars
  • A Sugar Creek Christmas (Sugar Creek Christmas Series) by Jenny B. Jones – 4 stars
  • Her Holiday Husband (Sugar Creek Christmas Series) by Jenny B. Jones – 4 stars
  • Sweet Right Here (A Lost Story Bookshop Novel) by Jenny B. Jones – 4 stars
  • Caraval (The Caraval Series) by Stephanie Garber – 4 stars
  • Legendary (The Caraval Series) by Stephanie Garber – 3 stars
  • Finale (The Caraval Series) by Stephanie Garber – 3 stars
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber – 4 stars
  • Finding Love in Big Sky, Montana by Angela Ruth Strong – 4 stars
  • Finding Love in Park City, Utah by Angela Ruth Strong – 4 stars
  • Being Love in Eureka, California by Angela Ruth Strong – 4 stars
 

Out and About Again! July 25, 2022

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 1:31 pm

The first half of July was fairly quiet for our family as Jeremy and I recovered from COVID. I’m so thankful to have that experience behind us. We have rejoined the world again!!! It’s been so nice to get out and about after being home for two weeks. Originally, I thought I would want to do a big outing on the first day I no longer had to take precautions after COVID. It turns out my desire for activity didn’t quite match my energy level, though. Instead of a big adventure, we spent our first weekend of freedom with family. It was a good way to ease back into socializing. We had dinner with Jeremy’s parents one night and dinner with my family the next. We are glad we don’t have to distance ourselves from them anymore.

This last week finally felt like what a normal summer week should be! We visited friends on Monday to meet their baby goats. We spent multiple afternoons in the pool and had two different sets of friends over to swim. We had a lake day with our homeschool co-op friends. To cap off the week, we did family photos with my dad’s entire extended family. After such a quiet start to July, I’ve deeply appreciated the time with friends and family. It was also fun to host pool playdates again. The weather has finally warmed enough that the kids can stay in the pool for more than a few minutes without chattering teeth.

The adventures of this last week have me all excited and hopeful for the latter half of our summer. I won’t lie. I’ve been disappointed with the first half. Between poor weather and illness, we haven’t had the summer of adventures I had hoped for. But I’m optimistic that it’s right around the corner. This week was a good kick-off to what I hope continues to be a summer full of fun! 🙏🤞

Owen loved meeting the baby goats. He loves animals!
Graham didn’t want to hold a goat, but he was brave enough to pet one.
Love this shot of all four baby goats playing on a wood pile.
Summer vibes in the pool!
Love when they can play and I can read. Win-win!
BBQ at the lake with our homeschool co-op
Jeremy was a saint and spent hours in this inflatable boat with our boys and their friends!
Jeremy snapped this unofficial shot of the boys with GG at family photos. We love our GG so much! It was such a special opportunity to capture these moments together.
The photographer sent us this sneak peek! He was a brave man for taking on this many families in one photoshoot.
 

Quiet Recovery July 15, 2022

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 5:45 pm

I debated not posting an update this week. 14 days at home hasn’t produced any exciting stories to share. Thankfully, I am on my last day of needing to take precautions after COVID. I hope to rejoin the world this weekend. I’m also grateful that Jeremy and I experienced fairly mild COVID symptoms. The boys tested negative numerous times and never had any symptoms. We are fairly confident at this point that they avoided the germs.

What does one do for two weeks at home while recovering from illness? My answer should be no surprise – read! I’ve finished 18 novels so far this month. All, but one, are books that I’ve read before. I let myself get lost in stories I already know the ending to. Definitely comfort reading. I took two days off from my usual walks and that was hard for me. I’m addicted to getting 10,000 steps. I’m back to walking an hour a day. I enjoy getting outside in the fresh air and going for a stroll. Quarantine baking has also become a thing in our house again. I made a second cake at Owen’s request and some frozen cinnamon rolls for Graham. Jeremy would say his recovery plan involved plenty of Parks and Recreation since we subscribed to Peacock for the month.

The kids have handled the extra time at home fairly well. We’ve been back to a somewhat normal home schedule this week. I dropped the boys off at church on Sunday so they could participate with Monumental VBA. I felt a bit self-conscience driving in my mask with the windows down, but I was still technically in isolation on Sunday. I didn’t want to spread anything to the boys. Jeremy met us in the parking lot to take them in. They also joined Jeremy for church on Wednesday night. To win the Dad-of-the-Year award, he took them fishing last night and they are out scouting tonight. I’ve appreciated the extra quiet time at home… to read… and bake… and walk… And that sums up life! We did a little bit of summer school this week as well, so it hasn’t been all play. But mostly, play.

One highlight of the past week was Jeremy and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary! Obviously, our plans changed and it was a quiet day around the house. Jeremy’s parents were kind and brought us take-out so we could have an extra special dinner. We’ll have to make up for the missed celebration another time. I joked that there is no one I would would rather “isolate” with more than Jeremy. He is my favorite person and best friend. I can’t say I wanted to have the bonding experience of sharing COVID, but we handled it well. We make a good team and I’m so grateful for the life we get to share together (germs and all).

Well, like I said, my guys are out in the woods having an adventure… I’m going to spend my evening at home with a book and maybe go for a walk. Totally predictable. We’ll see what next week holds now that the great COVID adventure is behind us.

This is how I isolate while sick…
Thankful I felt well enough to walk while recovering.
It might be a dusty, gravel driveway, but it’s one of my happy places.
Flashback to 16 years go!
Owen and Amy’s July reads:
Owen has been reading quite a bit during this quiet time at home. I took this picture on Wednesday and he has already added 2 more books to this stack. You can add 9 books to my stack on the right. 7 eBooks and 2 more books that I finished after taking this photo.
 

Camping, COVID, and Canceled Celebrations July 7, 2022

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Travels — Amy Scott @ 10:52 am

Last Thursday, we took off for camping with Jeremy’s family at Schafer State Park. Camping is always an adventure. I’m amazed at how much we pack to have as many comforts of home as possible. I’m not a tent camper at heart (I dream of owning a trailer), but I know my family enjoys it. I tagalong and do my best. The bathrooms at this campground were nice and cleaned often, so that made a world of difference. The boys loved fishing on the Satsop River and Graham was my hiking buddy. It felt so good to finally hit some trails this summer. I was able to read a book and chat with family. It was a great trip until Owen started to feel sick on Friday afternoon. When it became apparent we had a sick kiddo, we packed up camp in a hurry. Poor Owen had a flu bug that lasted through Sunday which happened to overlap with our next family drama.

It took over two years, but COVID finally came to visit our family. Jeremy tested positive on Saturday and went into isolation since the boys and I tested negative. I moved into our playroom on an air mattress and held down the fort while Jeremy recovered. This meant we had to cancel our plans to celebrate the 4th of July at the beach with friends. We also had to cancel hosting a birthday dinner for my father on the 5th. Living through a pandemic has a taught our family flexibility with canceled plans. We are stay-at-home professionals. We were disappointed to cancel such fun plans, but we also knew we could handle the unexpected time at home.

My parents were sweet and bought fireworks for us. We had planned to watch the fireworks on the beach, so we didn’t have any at home. The boys loved the small display and seemed to enjoy the holiday even though it wasn’t the big celebration we had originally envisioned. Tuesday was my dad’s birthday. Owen requested we make a cake and enjoy it in his honor. My parents also delivered pizza. It was like we had a birthday dinner celebration – just in separate houses.

Yesterday morning, I also tested positive for COVID. Even though Jeremy isolated right away after testing positive, I had been in very close contact with him during his contagious period before showing symptoms. I’m not thrilled about starting the isolation timer over again, but it has worked out for the best. I felt crummy yesterday, but Jeremy was starting to feel better. He was able to assist the kids (while trying to maintain a distance). The boys are still negative, so we’ll see if they can get away from this virus or if our family will draw this out.

Thankfully, I woke up today feeling much better. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I feel almost 100%. My plan is to rest today because I don’t want to go backwards. This summer certainly hasn’t turned out the way we expected. We had trips, activities, and outings that I thought we would happily checking off our summer bucket list. Jeremy has some time off in August, so we have hope for summer adventures still to come. September and October are fairly nice in the PNW. The summer bucket list might have to transition to a fall bucket list. We can do our best to make plans, but life happens! We take the disappointments in stride and look ahead with hope.

Our home away from home
Owen the Fisherman
Graham the Adventurer
Family fishing
Photo op with my contagious hubby! Ha!
Happy 4th of July
Missing Jeremy
My quiet time entertainment on the 4th of July. Nothing quite like hanging out on an air mattress in the playroom.
Parachute men are a 4th of July favorite!
Pizza and cake in honor of Grandpa’s birthday
 

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

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 8:00 am

Bookish Thoughts for June

Amazon had a book sale this month! Buy three for the price of two! I picked up our own copy of The Lost Words, as well as a book of poetry I plan to use for school this fall and a book about raising boys. Love getting book mail!

My non-fiction reading outweighed my fiction reading by far this month. That almost never happens! Jeremy brought home three books from work to get my feedback on. The weight of the topics this month overwhelmed my mind at times. Part of the reason I read so much non-fiction was my fiction options were low this month. Throughout the month, I wished I could set aside the non-fiction and get lost in a story instead. My fiction reading this month was solidly in the 3 star camp. There were elements to each book that I really enjoyed, but there were also elements that I didn’t enjoy. This meant that each book got an average rating. Overall, the 4 star non-fiction books listed below were the highlights of my month! I’m really hoping I can up my fiction game in July because that is truly where my bookworm heart is happiest.

Top Picks for June

Non-Fiction:
The Spiritually Vibrant Home: The Power of Messy Prayers, Loud Tables, and Open Doors by Don Everts. This book is based on Barna research (I’m a huge fan of Barna research – insert nerd emoji here). I love books full of stats, charts, and data. I enjoyed how Everts unpacked the research and applied it alongside the families in his church. This book affirmed many elements of faith we are already fostering in our home, but also inspired me to keep being intentional within the walls of our home and also in our communities.
Fiction:
Akin to Anne by L.M. Montgomery. If you’ve followed my blog for while, you know my love for L.M.M. This collection of short stories centers on orphans and the lonely finding connection and family. The tales are classic L.M.M. and I enjoyed slipping back in time to another world. These short stories were published over many years and were not originally published together. Many elements of the stories repeat themselves and can feel a bit redundant when read in a short period of time. I would recommend reading this book slowly and spread out so each story can stand on its own and not be compared with the others.

The Book List for June
 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:

  • The Whole Brained Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. & Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. – 4 stars
  • Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie C. Martin – 4 stars
  • The Spiritually Vibrant Home: The Power of Messy Prayers, Loud Tables, and Open Doors by Don Everts – 4 stars
  • Biblical Worldview: What it is, Why it Matters, and How to Shape the Worldview of the Next Generation by Dr. Josh Mulvihill – 3 stars
  • Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing–and How We Can Revive Them by Jonathan Merritt – 4 stars
  • Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie – 4 stars
  • On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books by Karen Swallow Prior – 3 stars
  • Morning Time: A Liturgy of Love by Cindy Rollins – 3 stars
  • The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our “Correct” Beliefs by Peter Enns – 4 stars
  • 50 Things Every Child Needs to Know Before Leaving Home: Raising Children to Godly Adults by Dr. Josh Mulvihill & Jen Mulvihill – 3 stars
  • Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends by Mark A Yarhouse, PsyD – 3 stars
  • Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown PhD, MSW – 3 stars

Fiction:

  • Akin to Anne by L.M. Montgomery (collection of short stories) – 3 stars
  • Where’d You Go Bernadette (contemporary, family fiction) by Maria Semple – 3 stars
  • The Keeper of Lost Things (contemporary, British fiction) by Ruth Hogan- 3 stars
  • The Bluff by Emma St. Clair (small town, rom com) – 3 stars
  • By the Book (Meant to Be #2 – Modern Beauty & the Beast) by Jasmine Guillory – 3 stars
  • If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be #1 – Modern Cinderella) by Julie Murphy – 3 stars
 

Summer Has Arrived! June 29, 2022

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 2:02 pm

Most of June was cold, wet, and dreary here in the PNW, but it seems that summer has finally arrived! I chuckle because it went from being too wet to be outside to too hot to be outside. We flipped from one extreme to the other. We had three very hot days in the last week, but it seems we have evened out. I’m all for no rain and temps in the 70’s. I’ll even take upper 60’s. I don’t enjoy heat. I just want to be comfortable outside. Thanks to a few days in the 80’s and 90’s, our backyard pool was able to warm up. The kids are now able to stay in the water for more than five minutes and don’t emerge with teeth chattering! Being able to swim in the pool was the true mark of summer arriving for us.

Friday was a beautiful day before the true heat arrived. We took the boys to the park and the library in the morning. We picked up donuts for a late morning snack and Papa Murphy’s pizza for dinner with friends that evening. Saturday, we went to visit GG (Great Grandma) with my parents and sister. GG turned 89 on Monday, so we had a celebration with her a few days early. We enjoyed yummy Chipotle and birthday cake together. We went from visiting GG to having dinner with family friends. The kids played with sprinkler under the trampoline while the adults chatted. The boys had a blast with water fun and friends on a hot summer day.

Sunday was our kick off to VBA (Vacation Bible Adventure – we try to give “school” a break for the summer). Since Jeremy is the children’s pastor at our church, the boys have been getting sneak peeks of VBA for months now. We already have all the songs memorized thanks to the CD that’s been in our van. Jeremy and I have leader shirts and hats to wear. The boys wanted their own swag, so we got them shirts as well. They are excited to wear their shirts each week like Jeremy and I. We are formatting VBA differently this year. Instead of a weeklong event, we are doing the VBA curriculum each Sunday as a part of our regular gathering times. Jeremy add an extra week to cover the upcoming holiday weekend which means we have six weeks of “Monumental Sundays” this summer. In between the gatherings, Jeremy has the swing chair ride and inflatables running in the parking lot. The boys were so excited for Sunday and it didn’t disappoint! They can’t wait for the next five Sundays full of Monumental fun.

I’m so glad summer finally decided to show up. My summer bucket list might carry over into September, but that’s okay since summer doesn’t officially end until September 21st. We’ve only been able to check off the summer reading program from our list, but I have a feeling that is going to change quickly. Hopefully, many great summer adventures are right around the corner for us!

The pool was finally warm enough for a swim
A beautiful day to visit the park
Family photo with the birthday girl
Our GG is the sweetest
Ready for church in our Monumental gear
Excited to learn about the southwest desert and celebrate God’s greatness
Not a bad way to wrap up church
Playing with color changing slime and their Bible buddies from VBA
 

A Weekend Full of Celebration June 22, 2022

Filed under: Family Time — Amy Scott @ 6:36 pm

It was a weekend full of celebrations! Not only was it Father’s Day weekend, but we also celebrated my mom’s birthday as well. One of the ways I show love to others is through dessert. Celebration was the theme of the weekend and dessert was the star on center stage.

On Thursday, I made snickerdoodles for Jeremy. I wanted him to head into Father’s Day weekend with a special treat. Friday, the boys and I took Jeremy out to lunch at a favorite restaurant. We also gave Jeremy’s his gift of Switch Sports early, so we enjoy it over the weekend. We celebrated Father’s Day and my mom’s birthday on Saturday. Everyone had the dessert of their choice. This led to quite the dessert buffet – brownies for Mom, coconut cream pie for Dad, and a strawberry custard pie for Jeremy. We also had ice cream and snickerdoodles, just in case. Possibly a bit much! On Sunday, Nana & Papa joined us for dinner. I made an apple spice bundt cake with a cream cheese glaze. So yummy! The boys had a blast playing Switch Sports with Nana & Papa and having some time to read books with them.

We are so thankful we can celebrate these occasions with our family. We don’t take these relationships for granted. They are precious. Jeremy is an amazing father and our boys are so blessed to be a part of his legacy of faith and fun! We are so grateful to have the best Grandpa and the best Papa in our lives! Even though it was a belated birthday celebration, I’m glad we could add my mom to the mix, too! Birthdays are always a reason to party (with dessert, of course).

We’ve slowly eaten up all the leftovers desserts. I might be going through withdrawals… I guess it’s time to get in the kitchen and bake something new!

Snickerdoodles to enjoy over Father’s Day weekend
Lunch out to celebrate Jeremy
Our kids have discovered a new love of French bread. They literally requested bread and water for lunch on Saturday. And then they polished off an entire loaf (with some help from Jeremy and I).
Saturday Celebrations
Apple Spice Bundt Cake
Book club with Nana and Papa
Before bed snuggles on Father’s Day
 

June-uary June 15, 2022

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 2:39 pm

I can see the rain falling as I sit down beside my bedroom window to type. I’ve clicked the thermostat up a few times already today. I’m trying not cringe that the house still needs heating. The term June-uary is jokingly said here in the PNW to refer to a June that feels much more like a January. A chilly June isn’t unheard, but it’s still disappointing. My summer bucket list of outdoor adventures continues to be put on hold while I wait for opportune weather. Owen dramatically asked me, “Will it ever be warm enough to swim in pool?” I don’t know, kiddo!

Here are a few highlights from the last week. The boys wrapped up the activities needed to get a free book for the library summer reading program. Since I was disappointed the selection at the library, I purchased them books of their choosing as a reward. Owen selected the first book in The Boxcar Children series and Graham selected a reader. The boys used the money they earned from selling their train table and play kitchen to purchase new items. Owen went for a video game and Graham got a LEGO set. New books, games, and toys have come in handy as we rest at home and avoid the rain.

We continue to fiddle with how best to use the playroom. We kept it open and empty for a few days, but now we have a card table and some chairs in the space. The card table isn’t my ideal playroom furniture, but it works for now. Graham used the table to build his new LEGO set and Jeremy used it to sort his own LEGOs he might be interested in selling. Every so often, we do a purge and sell of old items. It’s a good practice. It clears out space and gives us some fun money in return. I’m all for the playroom table being covered in LEGOs instead of the dining room table!

We were able to attend a reunion for Jeremy’s family on Sunday. It was good to see many familiar faces we haven’t seen in the last few years due to the pandemic and meet a few new faces as well. Jeremy let his parents borrow an inflatable from the church and the kids had a blast bouncing the afternoon away with the cousins. It was a chilly gathering, but thankfully, it only misted on us for a short time at the start.

Yesterday, I went to a potluck for our homeschool co-op to discuss plans for next school year. I brought pumpkin muffins because I still have pumpkin in my pantry that needs to be used and the weather seriously feels like fall. I’m just embracing the chilly vibes with my pumpkin roll scented Scenty warmers and pumpkin spice muffins. Summer might be the favorite season of many, but I’m always looking forward to fall. I might have gotten a jump start on longing for fall. Oops!

I do realize that summer hasn’t officially started (13 days to go). I’ve always viewed the beginning of June as the start of summer, though. Wrapping up our school year in May gave me high hopes of enjoying some special summer moments before the rest of the PNW was on summer break, but no such luck. Oh well. I might be mad at the rain for keeping my summer plans on hold, but I’m also okay with the cozy vibes inside – books to read and muffins to munch on while wrapped in a blanket. Not a bad trade off. I guess I’ll survive this June-uary just fine.

Summer reading program completed
The joy of selling old stuff to get new stuff
The kids barely came out of this inflatable on Sunday. They had so much fun!
The roof is a totally normal place to take a cousin picture, right?
We very rarely get a picture of us moms! So blessed to raise our kiddos together!
Graham loves all things pumpkin, just like me. He was my taste-tester of the pumpkin muffins and he approved!
We are really enjoying this book of poetry! The illustrations are beautiful, too! The Lost Words brings back to life 20 nature words that were removed from the Oxford Children’s Dictionary to make space for technological words. The purpose of the book is to revive the words and re-wild childhood. If we can’t be outside in nature, this is the next best thing! I might have to get my own copy for our home library.
 

Making Some Changes June 8, 2022

Filed under: Family Time,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 12:52 pm

Now that we are in summer mode, we have extra time to make some changes. The first happened on Friday. For a family outing, we took the boys inside the library (something we almost never do). Our library has a drive-thru window that I adore. I place my holds online and simply drive-thru to pick-up. We decided to make the trip inside for a special occasion. We wanted to participate in the summer reading program and grab a free book. We also wanted to sign the boys up for their own library cards. We’ve been close to hitting the maximum holds/check-outs on my card a few times this school year. Owen is super into checking out all the books when he finds a series he loves (his current favorite is The Boxcar Children). Graham reads a reader everyday, so we stock up on a dozen or more at a time. Now they can use their own cards to get their books. It was an exciting experience for them and a good fit for the somewhat rainy day. Getting their own library cards is a sign that these boys are growing up.

This leads perfectly into our next big change. Jeremy and I have been brainstorming about the playroom/toy situation for some time. Over the last two years, we’ve purchased more storage so we can house all the toys without having to do a major purge. Throughout the pandemic, we had plenty of time at home to play. Keeping as many options for play made sense. When we moved into this home, four years ago, we had a toddler and a preschooler. We now have two elementary-school kids. They’ve graduated into a new season and the toys need to reflect that. We finally decided it was time to do a big purge. We did a massive sort on Sunday afternoon – keep, toss, donate, or sell. The boys decided to sell their train table and play kitchen. Because these items are theirs, we let them split the profit 50/50. Now the playroom is wide-open with plenty of floor space. We have discussed putting a regular height table into the room for hobbies or board games. We’ve also daydreamed about the next phase of the playroom when the kids are slightly older. We will most likely move the gaming systems into that room and add a sofa.

The one change I wanted to see happen in the playroom was moving the board games down low for easy access. When I moved the kid games into the playroom, I placed them up high on the closet shelf. I thought this would require the kids to ask to play a game. I could monitor what games were out and limit the number of games out at a time (ideally, one). My plan didn’t pan out though. I quickly became aware that Graham wouldn’t ask for my help. Instead, he would climb in the closet like a monkey to grab what he wanted. Since this wasn’t a safe way to access games, we moved them lower so no climbing was necessary. I’m hoping this new arrangement will spark an even greater interest in game play. It seems to be working for Graham. However, he makes up his own games with all the little pieces! Playing by the rules just isn’t as fun.

Overall, we are pleased with the playroom purge. The kids have continued to learn about assessing the value of their items. Selling old items to buy new items shows that we don’t limitless money or space. If you want to make room for something new, something old has to go. Since their weekly pay-day means slow savings, they can also see how selling lesser-used items is a good way to earn additional dollars. The space feels a bit bare with nothing in the middle of the room, but I’m sure it won’t stay that way for long. It’s an adjustment when spaces change, but it’s also exciting to see how the space can grow with our kiddos.

A visit to the library to get their own library cards
Before
After
The kids think all this floor space is awesome. I’m less sure, but we’ve decided to live with it this way for a while. I’m leaning toward a table for LEGOs and board games. Also, I wonder how long the location of the train table will stand out in the carpet? We have a patch of “brand new” carpet now in the middle of the room.
Graham approves of the new board game location. No more climbing!