Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Getting Outside June 8, 2023

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 1:48 pm

We’ve had a stretch of delightful weather here in the PNW and we’ve been loving the outside time that affords. If you ever find it odd how often I comment when we have nice weather, please realize that in Washington state we sometimes have June-uary, where June feels like January. We never take sunny days for granted because they can be rare, even as we near the start of summer. What kind of outside fun have we been having? I’m glad you asked!

Last Thursday kicked off the month of June and it was the start of our local library’s summer reading program. As a special treat, we went into the library. (We almost always use the drive-thru window). The boys selected their free books and received a new library tote bag and free tickets to our local fair. They get another free book and more rewards when they complete the reading program. Of course, all the books we came home with from the library were about birds. We have a serious case of bird brain in this household. Being a bird nerd takes research!

Friday, we took a walk to the beaver dam behind our house. Jeremy recently downloaded a bird ID app based on the bird’s song. We have quite a few forest birds that we hear, but never see. Owen hoped that by walking into the woods, we would spot a few of these elusive birds, but sadly, we did not. It was still a lovely walk, though. The trail was green and smelled of wildflowers. We saw plenty of signs from our active beaver neighbors.

On Saturday, we observed one of the deer in our yard might be pregnant. I was watching her around 2:00pm and wondering about her behavior. Around 5:00pm, Graham yelled that there was a baby deer in the yard. It took a little searching, but we discovered the new baby, only a few hours old. The boys have taken to calling the mama deer, Rosie, and the baby deer, Fern. We now spot Rosie and Fern daily and we all gush over Fern’s cuteness.

We attended a soccer birthday party on Sunday for one of the cousins. The kids had a blast playing a game of soccer – kids vs. adults. According to the kids, they won. I’m guessing that’s true since it was a mob of kids out there. They were a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, Owen and Jeremy’s allergies were stirred up by the wind and the grasses. It’s definitely allergy season and one of the few “cons” to going outside right now.

The boys have opted to be in the pool most afternoons. We had a pool playdate earlier this week. I love chatting with a friend while the kids splash around. We have another playdate this afternoon and we are excited! Swimming is an excellent way to wear out rambunctious boys. It’s a joy to watch them float through their summer afternoons. Because we are hosting multiple playdates this week, I made “cool” treats to share with our friends. I love making ice cream cone and popsicle shaped cookies. They are surprisingly easy to decorate and they are so adorable! I enjoy picking the colors and giving them a summertime feel.

That’s the update from our neck of the woods. These are good days to get outside, enjoy nature, and make a splash! (Also, to eat cookies… and read books!)

Kicking off the summer reading program at the library!
These are the books you’ll find laying on beds, couches, the coffee table, the dining room table, the floor… pretty much everywhere around our house! Luckily, I haven’t found them in the bathroom… yet.
Listening/looking for new birds
This trail leads to what the kids call Beaver National Park.
Binoculars at the ready
Love watching them roam the woods
Baby Fern
Soccer Sunday! Nana shared allergy eye drops with Owen after this picture.
Some “cool” treats to share with friends
Afternoons are for floating!
 

What I’ve Been Reading – May 2023 May 31, 2023

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 2:22 pm

Bookish Thoughts for May

I renewed my subscription to Kindle Unlimited this month and plowed through quite a few new releases from my favorite independent authors! I also dove back into reading through Courtney Walsh’s books. I reread books by Emma St. Clair to prepare for her new June release, The Pocket Pair. All my fiction was in the solid three star camp this month. I liked the books, but none of them were a new favorite. Just good stories to add joy to my day. I only read one non-fiction book this month. I feel a bit guilty about that. I have four non-fiction books on my TBR list at the moment. I’ll try to prioritize them in June. I have a strong pull to stories and it won this month. Since picking my favorites was too difficult this month, I thought I would write a short thought about each book I read.

My boys gave me an Amazon gift card for Mother’s Day and told me it was for books. I ordered two devotionals and a book by John Mark Comer. I’m slowly trying to add all his books to my home library. I’m using The Lives We Actually Have: 100 Blessings for Imperfect Days alongside my daily quiet time. When I finish, I plan to switch to Bob Goff’s devotional, Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365-Day Journey.

My Mother’s Day Books

The current theme with my boys is birds. Below is their choice for their June books. Additionally, they each spent their own dollars and purchased used books from Thriftbooks this month. They fell in love with the books in the library birding backpack and wanted their own copies. Graham selected Birds of the Puget Sound Region and Owen picked The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, Western Region. They are in a bird nerd phase at the moment. Reference books are always a fun addition to our home library. (Okay, I think most books are a good addition to our home library…)

The boys with their June books

The Book List for May
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:

  • Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown PhD. LMSW – 4 stars – Through research and stories, Brown shares how to grow and rise up after challenges and failures. Not an easy topic, but such good insight.

Fiction: All 3 stars

  • The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart – Quirky characters and suspenseful adventure.
  • Ripped & Shipped by Savannah Scott – The title made me cringe, but it was book 7 in a series and I’m a sucker for reading a whole series. Loved the focus on looking past stereotypes and not letting past prejudice define the future.
  • Why Trey Let Me Get Away by Kortney Keisel – A sports romcom. Loved the teammate involvement and acknowledgement of the 5 Love Languages.
  • Desire or Defense by Leah Brunner – Another sports romcom. The teammate involvement made the book!
  • That Time I Kissed the Groomsman Grump by Julie Christianson – A spin-off of her Apple Valley series. I enjoy reconnecting with characters I’ve met in multiple books.
  • Juniper Bean Resorts to Murder by Gracie Ruth Mitchell – I was drawn to the idea of an author who kept killing off her main characters unintentionally.
  • How to Kiss Your Enemy by Jenny Proctor – I enjoy the farm setting in this series and how each book reveals more about the Hawthorne family.
  • Kissing for Keeps by Martha Keyes – A follow-up to a Christmas novel I read and the start of a new series.
  • Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh – Small town Hallmark vibes with a kidnapping cold case to solve.
  • The Buy-In by Emma St. Clair – First book in the Graham brother’s series, I read it to refresh my memory before the next book comes out in June.
  • The Bluff by Emma St. Clair – Second book in the series, same as before.
  • Things Left Unsaid by Courtney Walsh – Great focus on forgiveness, honesty, and healing from the past.
  • A Sweethaven Summer by Courtney Walsh – Finding friendship and family in a small Lake Michigan tourist town.
  • A Sweethaven Homecoming by Courtney Walsh – Book two, focuses on forgiveness and coming home to family.
 

The Unofficial Official Start of Summer May 30, 2023

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Travels — Amy Scott @ 1:40 pm

I realize that the official start of summer isn’t until June 21st. We’ve unofficially (but officially) started our summer! The boys wrapped up their school curriculum last week and we are now in summer mode. It feels good to have 36 weeks of school completed and in the record books. We don’t ever fully break for summer, though. We just scale back our school over the summer. This means the boys will do about 30-60 minutes of school work about four days a week. It’s a super flexible schedule and keeps their minds engaged over the summer months. In the past, we’ve done between grade workbooks as a our summer school, but we’re changing it up this year. Graham will continue to focus on his reading program and Owen will do a slow start of his school books for next year. The goal is for Owen to be roughly two weeks ahead in all his subjects by the start of our school year at the end of August. Graham might also get ahead if he is motivated. We’ll see!

It’s really been too long since I last updated you on the happenings of our crazy crew. Oops! You’ll find that I’m short on words today and heavy on pictures. The recap of our life looks something like this… Jeremy went out of town for a men’s conference. The boys had a sleepover in my room with a movie night. We got pizza and visited Silver Lake, the Mt. St. Helen’s Visitor Center, and Seaquest State Park in Castle Rock, WA. Grandpa & Grandma joined us for that adventure. We got donuts one day and went down to the empty church parking lot for bike riding and scootering. We had a cavity-free dentist appointment. We wrapped up school and co-op on the same day. We visited NW Trek with family to celebrate my nephew becoming a teenager. We visited our sweet GG (Great-Grandma) and the boys got to share their love of birds with her. We’ve a had sunny park playdate with friends. We’ve also had friends over to swim in our pool. The weather has been sunny and dry so we’ve been outside often. It’s been delightful! May has been a lovely month!

Here is the recap in pictures!

Movie night and sleepover in Mom’s room while Dad is away
Papa Pete’s Pizza with Grandpa & Grandma
Birding at Silver Lake with Mt. St. Helens in the background
What a wonderful view of Silver Lake and Mt. St. Helens
Starting the day with donuts
When your driveway is made of gravel, sometimes you have to find some pavement to ride!
Cavity-Free
Last Day of School!
Cheers to summer! I gave the other co-op moms a small appreciation gift for the end of the co-op school year.
End of school rewards: Graham rediscovered Ryan toys and Owen selected a 6.5lbs. bird book!
A few highlights from NW Trek
Saying hi to GG
 

Hints of Summer May 17, 2023

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 2:32 pm

Okay, maybe the word “hints” isn’t the most accurate. It feels like summer is here in the PNW. We are experiencing a heat wave and it has me completely fooled into thinking it’s summer… right now. With just a week of school left, the weather is messing with my head. It’s making me want to ditch the books and head outside for all the adventures. Now, don’t worry, we will finish and we will finish strong. I might have already printed our “last day of school” signs… I was so tempted to use them on Monday, but I didn’t give in. Only 5 school days left. We can make it! Hooray! Summer break is right around the corner!

Mother’s Day weekend was a fun one! On Friday, I selected our activity of the day as a way to celebrate Mother’s Day. I requested a visit to the historic waterfall highway outside of Portland, OR. Jeremy and I started visiting this highway of waterfalls when we were dating and it’s been a place we’ve returned to many times. It’s a family favorite! Multnomah Falls is the most popular waterfall on the route and now requires reservations over of the summer tourist season. My goal was to visit it before permits became required at the end of the month. We stopped at Multnomah Fall first and then we did a new hike to Ponytail Falls. If you hike to the top of Horsetail falls, Ponytail Falls is beyond it. The trail takes you behind the waterfall which was a neat experience. We all enjoyed seeing a new sight and hearing the powerful pound of the water in the crevice behind the waterfall. We also hiked down to Bridal Veil Falls before heading off to lunch and errands in city. It was a beautiful day to visit one of my favorite places with my favorite people.

Saturday and Sunday, we celebrated Mother’s Day with Grandma and Nana. It’s a blessing to be close to our parents and to have such wonderful grandparents in our boys’ lives. We enjoyed Chinese food take-out with my mom and had our first BBQ of the season with Jeremy’s mom. Usually, Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off to summer, but I would say Mother’s Day weekend took that title this year. On Saturday, the kids ran through the sprinklers around our house. On Sunday, they had their first swim in the pool. It was a weekend full of sunglasses, sunscreen, water fun, and time with family. Full on summer vibes here!

With the school year quickly coming to a close, so is our co-op. We had a field trip last week were the boys learned flower pounding and floral arranging. We brought home lovely flowers and art to display. Yesterday was our final day of classes for co-op. The kids wrapped up nature journaling and PE. Our family gave a presentation on birds and I handed out a sweet “tweet” (bird cookies) to the class. We will get together next week for a end-of-the-year celebration and then break for summer.

I realize we have another full month of spring ahead of us, but the weather and the end of school are giving off strong hints of summer. These hints look like good times with family and friends and smell like sunscreen, chlorine, and briquettes. I’m daydreaming of the summer days ahead. They’re almost here!

Excited to borrow the birding backpack from our local library!
Flower pounding at co-op
Flower pounding at co-op
Owen’s Flower Art
Graham’s Flower Art
Sweet tweets! My contribution to the family bird obsession is cookies.
Multnomah Falls
On top of the world on our hike up to Ponytail Falls.
The smell of the wildflowers, the view, the green – all made this hike amazing!
Made it to Ponytail Falls
Behind Ponytail Falls
Behind Ponytail Falls
Horsetail Falls
Bridal Veil Falls
First time being door greeters at church on Sunday morning.
Mother’s Day Selfie
All the summer vibes!
Giving a science presentation on birds at co-op
 

A Few Spring Things… May 4, 2023

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 2:08 pm

We find ourselves in May and the PNW has actually had a few warm and sunny days in the last week (today, unfortunately, is not one of them). I’d forgotten it was spring and that May was right right around the corner. We saw quite a few snowflakes in April which left me feeling like Washington State was Narnia under the reign of the White Witch – always winter and never spring. As the calendar and the weather changed, it dawned on me – we are here! The end of the school year is in-sight. Our summer schedule is coming soon and the weather has finally decided to shift seasons! Hooray! Each sunny day sets my mind to scheming… What great outdoor adventure can we have next? It’s finally time to head outside!!!

As you can see, I am excited about the change in weather and the promise of a schedule change soon. Homeschool moms are just as susceptible as teachers and students to the call of the end of the school year. I hope the next month holds many fun, outdoor adventures. Let me share a few we’ve had over the last week or so. Fishing season is now open and the boys have gone out numerous times. A nearby lake is stocked with tagged fish that have prizes associated with them. The chance of catching a fish is exciting enough, but add a prize on top of that! It’s highly motivating. Sadly, the fish haven’t cooperated. The lack of fish catching hasn’t dampened the spirits of the fishermen.

Our co-op is doing a unit on nature journaling right now. This week, they dissected tulips. Last week, they dissected barn owl pellets. I learned that owl pellets aren’t poop, but actually the regurgitated contents of the owl’s stomach. I’m not sure which I consider more gross. Owen loved dissecting the owl pellet because of his fascination with birds at the moment. Graham was happy to watch. The boys are also doing soccer as a part of co-op. So far their “team” has won each game and they are really enjoying this activity. We’ve never participated in youth sports before, but if this enjoyment of soccer continues, I might just add soccer mom to my title as well.

Friday was a beautiful day and our family adventure day. We visited the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, outside of Lacey, to do some birdwatching. Owen was very professional with the binoculars ready and his birding checklist in hand. Owen can give you a detailed list, but I will just say we saw many birds. It was a lovely morning for a walk and we all got our first sunburns. Oops! We tend to forget the glowing orb can burn you. We haven’t gotten use to it being around.

Jeremy spent part of the weekend getting his garden ready and tending to the yard. The grass has woken up and apparently needs to be mowed… often. I’m thankful for a hubby who loves taking care of the yard. I’m not an outdoor chores girl. I’ve come to appreciate nature walks and the benefits of fresh air, but that hasn’t extended to gardening. I feel like keeping the kiddos alive is enough for me. Asking me to keep plants alive feels a bit too extra to me.

We checked out a birding backpack from the library and we hope to put it to good use over the next few weeks. It has a couple pairs of binoculars, an assortment of bird books, a couple local plant charts, and information on where to go birding in our area. I have a few outings in mind for May that should get us out on trails and birding at the same time. I’ll need to temper my expectations. I’m aware that my kids + binoculars = a slow walk. Patience will be key. Hopefully, we’ll catalog many birds while we enjoy the backpack.

Okay, those are a few of the spring things we’ve experienced over the last week. Not to be too redundant, but I’m thrilled it’s May! The countdown is on for the end of the school year and there are plenty of good times to have before we switch to our summer schedule. Woo hoo!

Opening day of fishing season!
Science experiments are a favorite part of our school week.
Their faces accurately express how they felt about the barn owl pellets!
Our bird expert
Watching a blue heron
A nice day for a stroll
Made it to the end of the boardwalk!
Love our family adventures!
A few little birds found their home with us…
 

What I’ve Been Reading – April 2023 April 30, 2023

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 3:54 pm

Bookish Thoughts for April

We are a third of the way through 2023! I haven’t shared my page stats with you and I thought this month would be a good time to dive into some book math. I started keeping track of my pages read in January. It’s been interesting to see how my reading life has shifted month to month. Each month, I’ve read less pages, which on paper looks so depressing to me! Instead of looking at this month and being sad that my page total and book total are the lowest to date, I’m deciding to be pleased that I got as much reading into my month while juggling so many other things (holidays, illness, conferences, travel). Here are the stats so far in 2023:

  • January: 6,484 pages read, 21 books (308 average pages per book)
  • February: 5,400 pages read, 21 books (257 average)
  • March: 4,045 pages read, 13 books (311 average)
  • April: 3,574 pages read, 12 books (297 average)

I took a break from Kindle Unlimited this month. I plan on re-subscribing in May. I have my eye on half a dozen books in KU. I use KU to read my beloved sweet rom-coms, which usually ups my page and book total. I can fly through those books. After a month without them, I’m excited to have them back in my reading mix. This month was an equal mix of non-fiction and fiction, which doesn’t happen every often. I love non-fiction, but fiction truly has my heart. I’m looking forward to a few good stories coming my way soon. I also hope to work on my To-Be-Read list and finally read a few books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for months. I’m contemplating taking a break from new-to-me books this summer and doing a dive back into The Hunger Games or The Lunar Chronicles. I might give myself a summer vacation with some favorites from the past. We shall see!

In case you’re wondering what my kids are reading right now – it’s all about birds! We’ve stocked up on bird books and flashcards over the last month. Two of the books in the photo below are their books for May. They got them a few days early. It’s fun to see bird books scattered around the house, usually with binoculars and a check list nearby.

We are learning all the bird facts over here! Thankful for books that not only educate, but inspire my boys!

Top Picks for April

Non-Fiction: God has a name by John Mark Comer. I’m enjoying reading through the works of John Mark Comer. God has a name is a deep look into Exodus where God shares His name with Moses. Comer unpacks the attributes God uses to describe himself and what that meant not only for Israel, but also us. My minor in college was Biblical Studies, so books like this take me back to the good old days in a classroom studying God’s Word. Knowing what God says about Himself is powerful and it bears reminding that our God has a name. He is a personal God. He is clear on who He is and what He is about!

Fiction: Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna M. White. I’m not 100% sure, but I think this has been my book of the month before. I’m 100% positive I’ve mentioned it before. I’ve read it numerous times. This month it was my “sick” read. When I was down with strep throat, I needed a story I knew and loved to keep me company while I rested. This was the first book I read by Roseanna M. White and it’s still one of my favorites by her. I love Lark’s spirit and the determination of Emerson (the main characters, I’m also a big fan of Lark’s brother, Wiley, as a side character – good side characters make a good book). It’s also historical fiction, which is my next favorite genre after sweet rom-coms. This book was originally published in a series that highlighted stories all over the US (and parts of Canada), but its been republished as A Heart’s Revolution. I know the titles and cover are cheesy, but trust me, it’s a good read!

The Book List for April
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.

Fiction:

  • Start with Hello: (And Other Simple Ways to Live as Neighbors) by Shannan Martin – 4 stars
  • God has a name by John Mark Comer – 4 stars
  • Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age by Katherine May – 3 stars
  • Eat More Dessert: More than 100 Simple-to-Make & Fun-to-Eat Baked Goods From the Baker to the Stars by Jenny Keller – 4 stars
  • Parenting: Getting It Right by Andy & Sandra Stanley – 4 stars
  • The God of the Garden: Thoughts on Creation, Culture, and the Kingdom by Andrew Peterson – 4 stars

Non-Fiction:

  • The Railway Children by E. Nesbit – 3 stars
  • Ember Falls by S.D. Smith – 3 stars
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova – 4 stars
  • Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna M. White – 5 stars
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – 3 stars
  • Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes – 3 stars
 

Conferencing April 22, 2023

The antibiotics I mentioned last Friday kicked in and did the trick! I was well enough on Saturday to start a full week of conferencing. Last Saturday, our church offered an all-day parenting conference. I wasn’t sure if my throat would heal in time for me to attend, but it did! Being a homeschool mom has scaled back my ministry participation, so it was nice to jump into a one day event and be a support to our pastoral team. The conference was a full day with breaks for parents to discuss what they heard and make intentional plans forward. We received many positive comments from those who attended. It’s always a joy to equip and encourage parents. This is where world changers are formed – in our homes, with our parenting! The investment in our families has an astounding ripple affect. It’s neat to be a part of something much bigger than I can see and understand in this moment.

After the full day at the parenting conference, our family packed up on Sunday and took off for another conference. The boys got a “spring break” with Nana and Papa while Jeremy and I attended a ministry conference with our Assemblies of God network of ministers in Idaho. We are so thankful for Nana and Papa! They gave our boys an awesome experience while we were at both the parenting conference and Network Conference. We couldn’t have achieved all this conferencing without their support! Coeur d’Alene, ID is a beautiful location for a conference. We enjoyed eating out with our pastoral team, connecting with other children’s pastors, and learning from engaging and challenging speakers. My favorite moments of the conference were slipping away for time with just Jeremy. We don’t get a lot of kid-free time, so it was a treat to have a few “date” like moments for ourselves in the midst of the conference. My favorite times were walking around the park near our hotel and taking a hike along the lake. It was so nice to get out of our seats and stretch our legs. The hike along the lake was delightful and the fresh air (though chilly) was invigorating!

Now our family is back together and settled at home. I had book club last night, which is always a highlight of my month. I’ve had plenty of laundry to tackle and just general resettling to do around the house. The boys purchased Uno Attack and Uno All Wilds yesterday, so we’ve been alternating between variations of Uno and Wingspan at the dining room table. It feels good to be home! The margin for rest is appreciated. Between holidays, illness, and travels, all our social plans have landed in this coming week. I, personally, need to recharge before we tackle the week ahead. I’m thankful for the buffer this weekend offers before we dive into more good stuff!

The view from our hotel balcony
I packed 5 books with me on this trip! Good thing we didn’t fly. I would have been over the weight limit, for sure!
Crumbl Cookies is always a good idea!
This chilly hike might have been my favorite part of the week! It started to snow on us at the end, but worth it!
Can’t beat that view!
Jeremy and I each got a personal sized “Gooey” at the hotel restaurant. They are known from their over the top ice cream desserts!
Home time = Game time! The boys are loving the cardholders they made with Nana.
 

Easter Week April 14, 2023

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 1:19 pm

Easter week is always a big one for our family. Jeremy is a children’s pastor and Easter is the biggest Sunday of the year. Lots of preparation goes into making Easter Sunday the best one ever. Thankfully, Jesus’s resurrection makes it the best Sunday ever, regardless of our human efforts. We love to make holidays special, especially for the boys. We love all the activities, gifts, and fuss. But we also realize that new Easter shirts, bunny ears, chocolate, and plastic eggs have nothing to do with the true meaning of Easter. We can live with both/and. We can have both the celebration of our resurrected Savior and the springtime activities.

The Thursday before every big Easter event, our family spends the afternoon down at the church helping to prepare. This means moving prizes and gifts into place so we can give them away over the weekend. For as long as the kids can remember, they’ve helped us prepare by moving Easter baskets and setting up the church for other children to enjoy. It’s a PK (pastor’s kid) tradition and they love it. They are so helpful and so enthusiastic about the weekend to come.

Our house turned into the hub for all the Easter activities. On Friday, I decided to make sugar cookies. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use my bunny and egg cookie cutters. Saturday, we hosted an Easter weekend celebration with my parents. We had a pizza lunch, gave the boys their Easter baskets, and did an egg hunt. Later that evening, we colored Easter eggs. We often get asked why we do so much on the Saturday before Easter. With Jeremy working a good portion of Sunday, this allows us to get all the Easter festivities in without jamming them into the latter half of Sunday. It allows us more time as a family without feeling rushed.

Easter Sunday, the boys and I went to the late gathering at our church. This was the time that Jeremy needed me to assist with Children’s Church. Before church, I made the boys take their obligatory Easter Sunday pictures. They are good sports and put up with my mini photo shoot every year. After church, we had the Scott clan over for egg hunts, playtime, and a meal together. It was a full afternoon and evening of Easter fun with family.

The bonus of being a ministry family is getting the day after Easter off. It was a big week leading up to Easter and an even bigger weekend. Having Monday off is a nice rest to look forward to after so much activity. We decided to take our boys to see The Super Mario Bros. Movie. It was after spring break in our area and we figured going during school hours would give us a less crowded experience. We opted to see the movie in Olympia at the mall. They have “luxury loungers” at this theater. We all got a kick out of putting our feet up and leaning back to relax and watch the movie in style. We haven’t been to the movies as a family since Frozen 2 in 2019. It definitely felt like a special treat.

So often this happens… After a big week with lots of effort, someone in our family gets sick. This year it was me. I developed a sore throat Monday night and I’ve been batting it all week. After two tele-health visits, I started an antibiotic last night to treat it as strep throat. This was supposed to be a full week with a co-op field trip and a playdate with friends. Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time trying not swallow. Advil and salt water gargles have been my best friends. Skipping school wasn’t an option with our commitments this month. I masked up and homeschooled the best I could with a weak voice. Not ideal, but I didn’t want to get my kids sick. Being a homeschool mom makes illness difficult. Jeremy helped with the boys when he could, but there was no substitute teacher to call in. I’m hoping the antibiotics take effect soon so I can move forward with our upcoming plans. Our April plans are a bit “extra” this month and I would hate to miss more than we already have. You can’t plan for these things and you can’t control them. Whatever happens, I have peace. I’m doing the best I can. Sorry to end with the bad news after a post all of all sorts of goodies. Hopefully, the next time I write you, I’ll be well with adventures to share!

The boys helping move Easter baskets into the Children’s Church classroom for Sunday.
Easter Sugar Cookies
Easter Basket Time!
Ready for their first egg hunt!
Egg Coloring
Happy Easter! He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!
Funny Bunnies!
The boys did an egg hunt with the cousins and then the adults got to do an egg hunt as well.
Ready for The Super Mario Bros. Movie!
 

A Spring Celebration & Other Joyful Moments April 3, 2023

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 1:44 pm

The beginning of spring always comes with a special celebration right around the corner. Jeremy’s birthday!!! His spring season is often filled to the brim with Easter preparation, but our family likes to make sure that he gets his time to shine. He’s the best and we can’t help but make a big deal of his day. He is worth the honor and extra attention. The boys and I kicked off Jeremy’s birthday weekend on Thursday evening when he got home from work. We greeted him with cake, cards, presents, balloons, and the happy birthday banner up declaring it was time to party. Technically, his birthday wasn’t until Saturday, but we are firm believers in celebrating over many days. Friday, we had a family outing to Top Golf. This is our third year in a row visiting for Jeremy’s birthday. Apparently, it’s become tradition! For Jeremy’s actual birthday, we started the morning with a family game of Wingspan. The birthday boy won, of course. My parents brought take-out over for a birthday lunch, we took a walk in the sunshine afterward, and then went to Jeremy’s parent’s house for dinner. It was a fun and festive day filled with family!

Other highlights of the week included a playdate with friends. It was a dry afternoon and the kids spent the whole time in the woods building a fort. My mom-friend and I got uninterrupted conversation while our kids were busy building. It was a win-win for all! We’ve certainly been social this spring, especially this last weekend. We had friends over for dinner on Friday. Jeremy and Owen helped with our church work party on Saturday morning. Then we all met at Nana & Papa’s for pizza and games with some visiting family. Yesterday, I was able to catch up with my forever friend, Maggie, over a linner of pizza and pizookies at BJ’s Brewhouse. I love when family, friends, and food all combine for a good time!

Now it’s Easter week! It’s always a big one on the church calendar. We are looking forward to this coming weekend with great anticipation. We have special goodies to giveaway at church. We have multiple family meals and Easter egg hunts. I have all the elements of our Easter baskets assembled and ready to go! I still need to fill eggs for our family egg hunt on Saturday. There will also be some tasty treats to prepare and silly pictures with bunny ears to take. New polos are washed and ready for the boys to wear on Easter Sunday. All the fuss cannot eclipse the true reason we celebrate – which is our Risen Savior, Jesus! The greatest celebration is for our redemption made complete on the cross! So thankful for all the joyful moments this season provides. It’s a sweet spring season!

Kicking off birthday weekend!
Celebrating at Top Golf
A birthday game of Wingspan
Birthday dessert number 2!
Birthday walk!
Birthday dessert number 3!
Linner with Maggie May!
 

What I’ve Been Reading – March 2023 March 31, 2023

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 3:58 pm

Bookish Thoughts for March

My pace of life changed in March and my reading life reflects that. While I was still able to read quite a bit, my total books read is lower than previous months. It doesn’t matter to me how many books I read as much as it does what books I read. Were they good books? Did I learn something? Did I support a favorite author or add to my home library? The answer to those questions was a resounding yes. And so, it was a good reading month, indeed.

I started the month with Royal Gone Rogue by Emma St. Clair. The release of this book had been delayed for months and I was thrilled to finally read it. I was nervous the wait would heighten my anticipation and then it would let me down – but it did not! It had Prince & Me, Return to Me, and Cinderella vibes. All of which I loved! The side characters were fantastic and it left me anxious for the next installment in the series. If I had a choice for runner up on top fiction pick, this book would be it.

I read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr after having so many friends read it. I’ll often select a book just to see what the hype is about. I liked it, but true to most wartime historical fiction I read, it wasn’t quite the ending I hoped for. Modern Parens, Vintage Values was a wonderful parenting resource. I love these authors out of Daystar Counseling Ministries. They give parents such practical tools with heart and wisdom behind them. My mom let me borrow her copy of Beth Moore’s memoir, All My Knotted-Up Life, and I dove into it quickly. This is my third memoir this year and I’m finding this genre so fascinating. People are so layered and their life experiences so much deeper than the surface we often see. Even though I knew pieces of Beth’s story, it was so much more than I expected.

Jeremy offered to take the boys to Powell’s Books so they could select their April books in-person instead of online. Our family has come to love the Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing. It’s not the iconic downtown location, but we enjoy the store layout and selection. We comb the store and always come away with treasures. For me, it was God Has a Name by John Mark Comer. For Owen, a Boxcar Children book and the first book in The Hardy Boys series. Graham, an Animal Crossing guidebook and a collection of Frog and Toad stories. Jeremy found a Hidden Pictures book to use at church for the kids who arrive early. ThriftBooks also surprised me with a free book so I selected Loveology by John Mark Comer and Eat More Dessert by Jenny Keller (two books, so I could get free shipping… the slippery slope… one free books leads to buying another).

I sat down this week and made a list of new releases coming out between April and September. I have 8 books that I’m looking forward to and only July is missing a new release. I’m sure many happy reading days are ahead and I’m positive I’ll find something to look forward to reading in July. I’ve got time to stumble on a good a read!

March additions to the home library!
We love our local library! It’s helping me research summer vacation plans!
The book haul from Powells! So many thoughts about this photo… First Graham wouldn’t stand up straight so he looks extra short… Don’t judge our mismatch pajama lifestyle. Sometimes Mama just wants a quick photo and this is as good as it gets. Ha!

Top Picks for March

Non-Fiction: Undistracted: Capture Your Purpose. Rediscover Your Joy. by Bob Goff. The title of the book sums it up well. Undistracted is about living your life on purpose, finding joy and meaning in everyday. Bob Goff has a very signature style of writing. There is no one quite like him on this earth. While Bob and I might quite different personalities, he never fails to inspire me and make me laugh out loud. His real life examples make me marvel at the life he leads. Bob Goff is one of my go-to author. If he writes it, I will read it.
Fiction: The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin. This is the second WWII book I’ve read by this author. The other was The Last Bookshop in London. While I enjoyed the first book, this second one moved me in a deeper way. The story focuses on two brave women. One an American librarian in Lisbon and the other operates a Resistance printing press in Lyon. Their stories overlap over the course of the book. I found myself thinking of both women long after I finished the book. The American librarian was particularly interesting to me because of her role in cataloging important information was new to me. Learning something new is a sign of a good book.

Book List for March
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:

  • Modern Parents, Vintage Values, Revised and Updated: Instilling Character in Today’s Kids by Sissy Goff and Melissa Trevathan – 4 stars
  • Undistracted: Capture Your Purpose. Rediscover Your Joy. by Bob Goff – 4 stars
  • All My Knotted-Up Life: A Memoir by Beth Moore – 4 stars

Fiction:

  • Royal Gone Rogue by Emma St. Clair – 4 stars
  • Cruise(shipped) by Savannah Scott – 3 stars
  • The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin – 4 stars
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – 4 stars
  • Betting on the Boy Next Door by Melanie Jacobson – 3 stars
  • Second Time Around by Melody Carlson – 3 stars
  • The Winter Princess by Keira Dominguez – 3 stars
  • Love at First Note by Jenny Proctor – 3 stars

Novellas:

  • That Time I Kissed My Brother’s Best Friend by Julie Christianson – 3 stars
  • A Little in Love with You by Jenny Proctor – 3 stars