Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

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!
 

Summer Mode June 1, 2022

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 1:09 pm

We’re officially in summer mode, even if the weather here in the PNW doesn’t agree. May was more like March in our corner of Washington State. It’s a bit disappointing, but we’re rolling with it. Memorial Day weekend is often called the unofficial start of summer and I’ve always viewed it as such. The weather might not cooperate, but we’re still claiming summer mode no matter what!

Since we finished school last Wednesday, we took a long weekend before starting our summer routine. On Thursday, the boys spent the afternoon with Jeremy while I went to the dentist for a routine cleaning. I’m not sure why I thought going to the dentist on our first day off from school was a good idea. It was a very anti-climatic way to start our break. The boys were super sweet and surprised me with a thank you gift for teaching them this last year. Jeremy took them to store where they picked out orange roses and a maple bar for me. According to the internet (which we all know is super reliable), orange roses stand for joy. They offer sincere gratitude and happiness. I’m positive my kids didn’t have this symbolism in mind when they made their selection, but I’ll take it!

The rest of holiday weekend was a mix of resting and socializing. We had friends over for dinner on Saturday. We made burgers and hot dogs inside since it was raining. The weather wasn’t going to stop the BBQ food vides. After church on Sunday, we took a drive to visit family. The kids played with cousins while the adults played games. It was a good way to pass yet another rainy day. Both Saturday and Sunday, the kids played outside regardless of the rain. They weren’t letting the weather get in the way of fun. Monday, we met Nana and Papa for breakfast at a favorite restaurant. My big goal for Memorial Day weekend was to finish The Return of the King. I was excited to complete the epic Lord of the Rings series by my self-imposed deadline (Jeremy likes to poke fun at my “deadlines”).

Now we’re on our summer schedule. Our days start very similar to the school year. We see Jeremy off to work, start a load of laundry, and do a little schoolwork. The workload is quick and fun. Just a little something to keep their brains engaged, but not feel like a burden. The kids are enjoying the extra free time and so am I! Because we’ve had two dry days, I’ve walked mid-morning which feels like a treat. Usually, I don’t have time to walk until late afternoon or evening. Our summer schedule looks like fairly free weekdays and mostly full weekends. It’s amazing how the summer calendar filled in with adventures. Yesterday, I wrote out our summer bucket list on the white board in our kitchen. It will be fun to start checking off the activities. Hooray for summer mode!

Flowers and thank you cards! Such a sweet appreciation gift!
 

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

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 11:50 am

Bookish Thoughts for May

My book list for May is down in comparison to prior months. I blame this on realizing halfway through May there was an entire season of Call the Midwife on the PBS app that I wanted to watch before it expired. My priorities shifted from books for a while.

I finally tackled my 2022 reading goal of reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time. I learned that The Hobbit is considered a children’s book. I read it considerably faster than I expected. I also learned the next books aren’t actually a trilogy, but six books published in three. If I could count TLOTR for each individual book, I could have three more books added to my monthly total… Oh well! My thoughts on TLOTR? There were times it was a bit too wordy for me. Tolkien is famous for the in-depth world he created in Middle-Earth. Occasionally, the details were too much for me. I wanted the story to move faster. The Hobbit and The Return of the King were my favorites. At the end of The Return of the King, many couples get together and get married. I’m not a huge fan of battles, but give me a love story and a happily ever after any day! I enjoyed how Tolkien concluded the whole tale in the final book.

Even though it took me longer to get through TLOTR than I expected, I was still able to reach my another reading goal for 2022. I reached my 100 books read goal this month. Apparently, I set my yearly reading goal a bit low. So now, I’m hoping for 200 in 2022. We’ll see if I can pull it off! My reading goals for 2022 were to read 100 books and read Harry Potter and TLOTR for the first time. Now that I’ve completed all my goals, I guess it’s time to make some new ones.

I read the books through Kindle Unlimited so I could make the font larger (I’ve reached granny status), but I also purchased them as future reading for the boys.

Top Picks for May

Non-Fiction: The Life-Giving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sally & Sarah Clarkson. These authors are quite popular with my homeschool-mom friends. I’ve started reading their works and I’m finding I enjoy them as well. The Life-Giving Home is formatted to be read over the course of the year with each month highlighting a certain theme. I borrowed this from the library, so I couldn’t read it on that timeline. Also, I’m not a fan of drawing books out. I want to read them all at once instead of over many months. I still gleaned a lot from this book even though I disregarded the format. It was interesting to read Sally’s perspective looking back on the home life they created and Sarah’s perspective from being raised in their home. This book is an excellent resource for family values and the environments we create in our spaces.
Fiction: The When Hope Calls series by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan. I discovered this series through Goodreads. I was delighted to see my library had the first two books and the third (and I’m guessing final book) will be released in June. I’ve read all of Oke’s When Calls the Heart books and I’ve watched both When Calls the Heart and When Hope Calls as Hallmark Channel shows. When Hope Calls was only so-so as a television show. The books are a loose companion to the show and in my opinion, the books were so much better (as is usually the case). This series opened my eyes to a part of history I had been unaware of before (the plight of home children brought over from England to Canada). I love it when I learn from historical fiction. I’m now anxiously awaiting the next installment.

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:

  • The Life-Giving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sally & Sarah Clarkson – 4 stars
  • Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want by Maria Goff – 4 stars
  • Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making by Andrew Peterson – 4 stars
  • Wholehearted Faith by Rachel Held Evans with Jeff Chu – 4 stars

Fiction:

  • And Every Day the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman (Family/Illness) – 3 stars
  • The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman (Family/Illness) – 3 stars
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings #0) (Fantasy) – 3 stars
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) (Fantasy) by J.R.R. Tolkien – 3 stars
  • The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings #2) (Fantasy) by J.R.R. Tolkien – 3 stars
  • The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings #3) (Fantasy) by J.R.R. Tolkien – 3 stars
  • Unyielding Hope (When Hope Calls #1) (Historical) by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan – 3 stars
  • Sustaining Faith (When Hope Calls #2) (Historical) by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan – 4 stars
This cute sticker came in an Usborne Books & More order I made recently. Even though the order was for the kids, I’m keeping the sticker for myself.
 

The School Year Wrap-Up! May 25, 2022

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 2:10 pm

We’ve spent the last week wrapping up our school year. The boys completed their 36 week curriculums on Thursday. It’s always a celebration to finish the school books. To mark the occasion, we had Dominos pizza for dinner and I baked cinnamon rolls and brownies as a special dessert for each kid. It was a quiet close to the school year, but still very much a celebration.

We’ve made the decision to homeschool again next year. We are enjoying the homeschool process. The kids are enthusiastic about it and we have good momentum. We were a part of a co-op for the last 7 weeks of school and we all appreciated this learning environment. The co-op is hoping to continue next year and we are looking forward to being a part of it again. Adding a social/classroom environment was a positive enhancement to our homeschool experience.

At the end of 2nd grade, Owen was required by our state (Washington) to do an end-of-the-year assessment. There are multiple options depending on the student. We opted for the California Achievement Test. We used an online, untimed version which was super convenient. I was a little nervous about what to expect since this was our first time. It went surprisingly well and it was quite the celebration to complete it this morning. It was the last thing to finish for this school year. We are now 100% done!

We are taking an extra long Memorial Day weekend before starting our summer workbooks in June. Reading and books will continue to be a focus over the summer. We’ll visit the library to participate in their summer reading program. We also hope to visit some historical sites for educational outings. We’re trying to sneak in some learning with the summer fun. It’s been a great school year, but a change of pace will be nice. Bring on summer mode!

Their “pebble pals” from the library
New books arrived last week and it took Owen no time to fly through them. I have so many holds at the library as I try to keep him stocked with reading material.
Wrapping up a unit on the boreal forest with a diorama in science.
Jeremy’s garden update! He filled in the area around the raised beds with a concrete pathway and gravel. Looks so tidy!
A soccer birthday party for two of the cousins. The boys enjoyed playing a family game of soccer together. Owen even scored a goal!
Papa sent me this picture. Apparently Graham requested to have his picture taken. Silly kid!
This weeks baking project
Last Day of Kindergarten!
Last Day of Second Grade
Last Day of School!
 

Summer is Coming?! May 18, 2022

We’ve been experiencing a May that feels very much like a March in our part of the PNW. When I look at the calendar, I see summer is coming. Then I look out the window and the weather doesn’t seem to agree. The cool and showery weather has distracted me from the fact that summer is right around the corner. Slowly, my mind is turning toward summer and I’m starting to get excited!

We are about to wrap-up our school year this week. We use an assortment of 36 week curriculums from September through May. The kids have been enthusiastically completing books all month. Next week, Owen will have his first year-end assessment. I took the CAT as a homeschooler in middle school so I’m familiar with it, but things have changed in the decades since I was a student. It will be a new adventure for both Owen and I. I’m looking forward to having testing finished because that will feel like the true end of the school year for me.

As we wrap-up the school year, the kids are already pulling out their summer books and asking when we can start them. I’m thankful for willing students who love to learn (even over the summer). We do a lighter version of school over the summer. We do this because we have the time and it adds structure to our days. I’m mindful of the “summer slide” and summer school helps to prevent learning loss. A little bit of school on the days we’re home keeps the brain engaged (and we have fun with it).

Anyone else make a summer bucket list? I started making mine this month! I have a few local historical sites and nature trails I hope we can visit this summer. I’m also hoping we can make it to the zoo. We’ll try to have a month of swimming lessons in the mix. Vacation Bible Adventure will happen on Sundays this year and the whole family is excited for the theme – Monumental. This will be Owen’s first year to attend an overnight summer camp! If the weather corporates, we’ll set-up the pool in the backyard soon. We love hosting playdates with family and friends! So much good summer fun awaits us!

The calendar says summer is coming, now if only the weather would get on board! With less than two weeks left in May, I’m dreaming of sunny days filled with adventure and a change of pace. It’s all right around the corner!

My Mother’s Day Book Haul! Books are my love language!
We had quite few peanut butter eggs left over from Easter so I turned them into a no-bake peanut butter cup pie. Yum!
Saturday was a beautiful day in the PNW! Our boys took friends on an adventure to our nearby beaver dam. They love giving guided nature tours!
A small glimpse of summer days to come! Nothing quite like kids running barefoot in the backyard!
 

Thoughts on Mothering in this Season May 11, 2022

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 4:02 pm

We had a quiet Mother’s Day weekend as Jeremy continued to regain his stamina after fighting pneumonia. Our plans for the weekend changed so Jeremy could continue to rest. While I do love a good adventure to celebrate Mother’s Day, I also enjoy time at home. A quieter weekend was fine by me.

In my Mother’s Day Instagram post, I mentioned coming to motherhood with almost no knowledge of little boys. Growing up with just a sister, little boys have always been a mystery to me, even after years of observing them in children’s ministry before parenthood. Somehow God saw it fit to give me two boys and the adventurous life of a boy mom. Owen and Graham have given me quite the education on the ways and workings of little men. It’s been a fantasticating experience and I’m on the edge of my seat to see what happens next.

I’m the first to admit that the baby and toddler years were sweet, but not necessarily my favorite seasons of parenthood. I have many fond memories of my boys as littles, but I was in survival mode most of the time. Each new stage of development has been exciting step forward. I especially appreciated moving into the preschool years and then the elementary school days. We aren’t to the tweens/teens yet, but I have have a feeling these middle childhood years are a sweet spot. I’m loving these not quite little, but not quite big boys. They still love to cuddle and be near their mama. They still want to tell me everything (in great detail). I’m doing my best to savor this season. I know moms who have great relationships with their tween/teen boys so I’m taking notes and studying even now.

The last two years of mothering have certainly been different than I expected. The pandemic nudged our family in the direction of homeschooling. I often wondered about homeschooling, but without the pandemic, I would have never taken the plunge. It turns out that homeschooling has been an amazing choice for our family. We’ve enjoyed the last two years so much that we are contemplating continuing next year. As an introvert, I do wish for a bit more peace and quiet in my life. My boys seem to come with loud as their default setting, but the noise and interruptions have been worth it. I could write a whole post on our homeschooling family structure and why I love it so much. Bottom line, I love doing life together. I enjoy learning together, playing together, reading together, adventuring together. (I also enjoy our daily “quiet time” when we take a break from being together – a must for this introvert ). I have the honor/responsibility of modeling our family values throughout the day and I get a front row seat to what the boys are learning and enjoying. It’s not, by any means, a perfect life. Sibling squabbles are real, the kids rarely cheer for chores, and lots of time at home means lots of time to make “creative” messes. Life might not be perfect, but it is good.

Motherhood hasn’t been easy, but it has been a joy. I am thankful for the opportunity to be home with my family. My mothering is in partnership with Jeremy and I am so glad we get to this child-raising gig together. I love how the boys take after their father. All my men are outdoorsy and this stretches me to keep up with them. Through the boys, I’ve learned to appreciate going on a hike or spending an afternoon outside. Hopefully, through me, they’ve learned to appreciate baked goods and good books. We are shaping and influencing each other. We are creating a family culture. It’s hard work (some days more than others), but I’m grateful it’s my work in this season.

The boys attempted to sleep in their forts last week. Owen made it to 9:30pm and Graham made it to 1:00am. Both decided their beds were more comfortable and relocated.
The vibe of our weekend… Owen birdwatching, me reading. Very exciting times at our house.
Took my first dive into Tolkien this weekend. Just like Harry Potter, I decided to find out for myself why The Lord of the Rings books are beloved by so many.
Mother’s Day Photoshoot
Jeremy played with some of the portrait settings on my phone. This was a fun one.
Mama & Owen
Mama & Graham
Marking art at co-op with oil pastels
The fire alarm accidentally got pulled at co-op so we got a visit from the local fire station.
I usually keep the front of our fridge bare, but at the moment it’s covered in Mother’s Day cards, end of curriculum awards, co-op art, and an orthodontist referral that keeps getting put off. This sums up our life pretty well right now.
 

My “Unofficial” Word of the Year… May 4, 2022

Filed under: Bible,Family Time,Getting Creative,Homeschool Adventures,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 1:47 pm

Many people select a word for the year. Something they are hoping for, looking to grow in, be more mindful of. Friends have chosen words like gather, peace, excellence, hope, and resilience. All good words. I’ve never done well with this practice. I’ve tried a few times and for some reason it doesn’t stick. However, some words seem find me. They seem to declare themselves, no matter my choosing. In complete jest (sorta), I’ve discovered my word for 2022 is cancel (or similar words such as reschedule/postpone). 2022 has been filled with plans that just didn’t come to be. I’m not upset. It’s humorous to me at this point. I’ve learned to roll with it. Plans change often enough that I am very practiced at canceling, rescheduling, and postponing.

We’re supposed to be at conference in Idaho this week. As you can guess, we aren’t… For the last few weeks, I’ve been preparing for this big trip. I got the kids ahead in school. I purchased “distractions” to keep them busy. Graham got a new backpack big enough to carry these new treasures. New leak-proof water bottles were selected at Target for the adventure. In a moment of insanity and weakness on my part, giant stuffed animals were purchased at Costco as travel companions. The kids knew there would be time to go to the nearby park, swim in the hotel pool, and walk by the lake. Oh, and the snacks! We had a huge tote of snacks ready to keep blood sugar levels good and make sure no one (adults included) got hangry. We were as ready as you could be for an out-of-town adventure.

I’m reminded of the Bible verse, Proverbs 16:9 – “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” We were as prepared as possible for this trip, but in the end it wasn’t meant to be. Jeremy started to feel under the weather at the end of the week. On Saturday, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and he started antibiotics right away. We were supposed to leave on Sunday, but he was still feeling crummy and he didn’t fall under the conference health code.

Instead of traveling, we’ve had a quiet week at home. We are ahead now in school and using this time to keep that momentum going. We might be able to finish the school year sooner than expected. The boys and I were able to attend our homeschool co-op yesterday. Owen especially didn’t want to miss a meeting, so the boys were happy to make it. They’ve had blanket forts up all week. Tomorrow they will attempt to sleep in their forts. I’m not sure they’ll last all night. Their beds are way more comfortable than the floor, but they can learn from experience. I’ve used the extra time at home to do a baking project, organize/purge toys, and create a new storage system for schoolwork. We’re making the most of these surprise days at home.

With plans changing so often, I am grateful for friends, family, and collogues who are gracious with these adjustments. Our people are understanding and supportive which is a huge relief. I am thankful for our home and the space it provides for rest. We are always able to fill days at home without issue. Owen is pouring through books at a shocking rate. Graham is loving the Bluey activity books I got as conference distractions. Art is being created and cookies are being eaten. Staying home isn’t too bad. On the bright side, Jeremy is improving. He needed this week to rest. We might have been surprised by our change of plans, but God knew. He is faithful through all the unexpected twist and turns life throws our way.

It’s been months since I’ve decorated sugar cookies! I felt bad that I purchased these LEGO cookie cutters in December and hadn’t used them yet. I had some extra free time, so it seemed like it was the right time to make a special treat.
Graham is my cookie shark. He is always close by waiting for a chance to chomp into a treat!
My completely unnecessary purchase for the conference. Instead of travel companions, they turned into consolation prizes!
 

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

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 9:00 am

Bookish Thoughts for April

April was a month full of good books! The bonus of extra time at home is extra time to read! You’ll notice lots of 4 stars on my book list. You’ll also notice that my non-fiction to fiction ratio is fairly even this month (which is extremely rare). Here are some highlights of the month… Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the first play I’ve read (since long forgotten high school days). It took me a while to get into the format, but I eventually got the hang out of it and really enjoyed the story. I added two new special books to my home library. I pre-ordered both Shauna Niequist and Roseanna M. White’s new releases. I got the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition of I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet for the bonus chapter on writing. Shadowed Loyalty is a signed copy which is a first for me (and such a treat)! Both were excellent reads and worth the wait. I read on some of my favorite topics this month from the Enneagram to parenting to memoirs. I also read some of my favorite authors this month – Ian Morgan Cron, Bob Goff, Shauna Niequist, Jenny B. Jones, Emma St. Clair, and Roseanna M. White. It felt like a month spent with good friends!

My two extra special additions to my home library!

Top Picks for April

Non-Fiction: Habits of the Household: Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms by Justin Whitmel Earley. This book came recommend by a wise friend! She has pointed me toward many a good book. It took a while for me to get a copy at the library, but it was worth the wait. In fact, this book is on my short list of books I want to purchase next. I get asked for parenting book recommendations frequently and this book will be on my list now! It was practical and relatable. These habits might seem common sense or even small, but they set the tone and foundation for our families. I liked that the chapters ended with an overview, deeper application, and further reading recommendations. Any book that recommends more books is a winner! Non-fiction runners-up this month are The Story of You: An Enneagram Journey to Becoming Your True Self by Ian Morgan Cron and I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shauna Niequist.
Fiction: Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price. I read the first book in this Jane Austen Murder Mystery Series last spring (Pride and Premeditation). I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t an instant favorite. I came across Sense and Second-Degree Murder as a new release and I thought since I read the first book, I might as well read the second (I’m a sucker for a series). This book was better than the first in my opinion. I read it over Easter weekend and I kept wanting to sneak in more reading sessions despite my busy schedule. I just had to know what happened next! These books are loosely based on the classics and loaded with girl power. Elinor wants to be a chemist. Marianne is training under her father to be an investigator. In P&P, Lizzie is training under her father to be a lawyer. Something about these ladies’ not letting society hold them back from their dream professions just makes me happy. Runner-ups for fiction are Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna M. White and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany.

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.

Non-Fiction:

  • Becoming Us: Using the Enneagram to Create a Thriving Gospel-Centered Marriage by Beth & Jeff McCord – 3 stars
  • The Story of You: An Enneagram Journey to Becoming Your True Self by Ian Morgan Cron – 4 stars
  • Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie – 4 stars
  • Habits of the Household: Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms by Justin Whitmel Earley – 4 stars
  • Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish – 4 stars
  • Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan – 3 stars
  • I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shauna Niequist – 4 stars
  • Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do About It by Bob Goff – 4 stars
  • Wild and Free Nature: 25 Outdoor Adventures for Kids to Explore, Discover, and Awaken Their Curiosity by Ainsley Arment – 3 stars

Fiction:

  • Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman – 3 stars
  • Falling Sommerset by Jenny B. Jones – 3 stars
  • Falling For Your Brother’s Best Friend by Emma St. Clair – 3 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany – 4 stars
  • The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle – 3 stars
  • Dragons in the Water by Madeleine L’Engle – 3 stars
  • A House Like a Lotus by Madeleine L’Engle – 1 star
  • Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price – 4 stars
  • All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir – 3 stars
  • Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna M. White – 4 stars