Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Books by other authors –

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

Let The Good Times Roll July 27, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Olympic National Park Exploration July 17, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few pictures not related to our ONP exploration:

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

The Month of Adventure! July 12, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Camping & Celebrating! July 5, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Chapter Ends June 16, 2021

This week a chapter of my life came to a close. I’ve been keeping this to myself since the news wasn’t known in my community until this week. Our MOPS & MOMSnext group has decided to pause for the time being. There are a few factors that went into this decision, but the main factor was childcare being complicated in these COVID days. Our facility has a learning center in the building and with new cleaning protocols, our group start time would be too late to serve young families well. Not to mention, rebuilding a childcare team is a challenge. Some are willing to volunteer again, but MOPS & MOMSnext takes a large volunteer team and some aren’t ready to dive back in yet. COVID and kid germs are still a concern and I totally understand.

When I was asked to coordinator our MOPS & MOMSnext group, we were a daytime group of mostly stay-at-home moms. The learning center opened right as I started coordinating. I got to be a part of the pioneering process as we moved from a daytime group to an evening group. Meeting in the evening allowed working moms to join us and we saw a rise in attendance. When the pandemic shut down in-person gatherings, I got to be a part of another pioneering process. This time it was moving from in-person to online. This year of MOPS & MOMSnext online has had it’s ups and downs. We’ve definitely made the most of the online platform. We had wonderful guest speakers. We still managed to do group crafts and have a spa night and a game night. We got creative and made it work! However, we also saw a decline in attendance as the year went on. We heard often how complicated it is for moms to meet online especially without childcare. I am blessed to have my husband watch our kids while I’m online. I was able to be fully present for the meetings, but I know my mom friends felt the frustration of managing both their homes and the meetings at the same time.

I knew that my term as coordinator would last through my youngest’s preschool years. Once Graham graduated preschool, I knew my time was up. I’ve known this end date was coming from the very beginning of saying yes to leading. I just didn’t predict a pandemic. I will admit that I’m disappointed that I’m not handing a the group over to a new leader. I always thought I would hand over the leadership of the group and still be involved – either as a team member or a group member. I am wrestling with my emotions because this ending looks different than I had expected. I believe in the heart and purpose of MOPS & MOMSnext. I will miss the community it created in my life. I joined MOPS when I was pregnant with my oldest son. I have never known motherhood without it. Despite my disappointment, I am optimistic that the group can relaunch in the future when factors have changed. I believe this pause could be a catalyst for change and bring a new vision for the group. God does great things in and through what we see as disappointments. I believe there is a greater good still possible that I can’t clearly see at this moment.

I almost didn’t share this news here. I thought maybe I would silently let my MOPS & MOMSnext updates fade away. But I’m learning that it’s okay to acknowledge disappointments. I try to keep my posts optimistic while being realistic as well. MOPS & MOMSnext has held a huge place in my heart and has been a vital part of my calendar and community. I’m proud of what this group has accomplished over the years. We’ve been through so many transitions. Adapting isn’t always easy, but we’ve been able to bless moms in our community through creativity and flexibility. It’s been an honor to serve on a team with amazing women. It’s been an honor to encourage the moms in our community. These last eight years have been a meaningful chapter of my life. I’m giving myself space to feel my feelings and celebrate all that has been accomplished. It’s been good. God has been good to us.

MOPS & MOMSnext was a huge ministry opportunity for me. I grew so much through leading this group. One of the hardest parts of letting go is I’m not sure what’s next. God is stirring my heart. He is about to do a new thing. I’m not sure what it is yet, but my eyes are open and my heart is ready. A new chapter always begins as another chapter comes to a end.

A Walk Down Memory Lane:

My 2nd year of MOPS and my 1st year as table leader
Speaking at MOPS for one of our Christmas parties
MOPS outings every month were a highlight for my boys! So many trips to the pumpkin patch, fire station, trampoline park, zoo, and many more fun activities.
Last meeting as a daytime group! This was right before I started coordinating.
Loved seeing tables filled with mamas being encouraged
Silly “MOPS” moments
Wrapping up my first year coordinating
Steering Team Christmas Party
Planning the year and bonding as a steering team at our summer retreats was always a memorable time
Good times around the table with Mom’s Night Out
That one Memorial day BBQ when we had over 80 people over to our house!
Last year’s “socially distanced” online group picture
Our final meeting on Monday. Group pictures are still kind of weird, so I took a quick selfie before the meeting started to document the moment. We had our only in-person meeting this year on the playground at church. We chatted while kids played and we offered individually wrapped snacks. Such a different way to wrap things up.
 

The Flooring Saga June 11, 2021

Filed under: Family Time,Home Improvement,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 2:45 pm

We are not quite at the conclusion of our epic flooring saga. The new floors where installed on Wednesday and Thursday. New trim is being delivered today so Jeremy can paint it over the weekend. The trim will go on this coming week. We have most of the furniture back in place (expect for a bookcase and the all items that sit on our closet floors). We can move the furniture off the walls when the time comes to install the trim. I was able to put most of my linen closet back in place, but I will be such a happy camper when all the items have been returned to their homes. I’m still waiting for that “settled” feeling to arrive. I’m optimistic that it’s right around the corner.

It’s always an adventure to have flooring replaced. Clearing the floor makes our house a bit chaotic. Our carpeted rooms became storage units – mainly our bedroom and master closet. I tucked items under the kids’ beds, in the laundry room, and in the playroom as well. I was able to move most of the smaller items myself over the course of a few days, so that really took the stress level down for me. Jeremy and his dad moved the big furniture into our bedroom the night before the project began. Our bedroom became the living room, dining room, and at times even the playroom, for a few days. Oh, yes, and also it was still our bedroom.

To get out of the way of the construction zone, we went over to my in-laws on Wednesday. It was nice to have a place to crash where we would keep up our normal routine somewhat. The boys played, we did summer school, we took a walk, and I read. On Thursday, we drove out of the the area to visit one of my forever friends. She lives by an active train track and a lake, so it’s always a highlight for my kids (and me) to visit. I’m thankful for friends and family who gave us a place to hang while we were displaced.

You’ve maybe noticed that I haven’t jumped into gushing about how much I love the new floors. It’s been a rocky journey for me. The truth is while the new floors are fine and I’m landing in a neutral place with them, I just don’t “love” them. I wanted to and was hopeful I would, but I don’t. I still prefer the other floors (not the fact that they broke all the time, but color and pattern). Our old floors were darker with a bit of brown to them. The new floors are lighter and grayer. We picked as close a match as possible with the choices we were given, but the look is still very different. Now our brown cabinets pop whereas before they blended more. It’s not a bad thing, just different. It will take some time to adjust and get used to the changed. I think getting the trim on will help.

We had a little drama with a happy meal toy making a mark on the floor within three hours of being home the first day (the floor wasn’t even finished yet). I started to freak out. If a happy meal toy could mark up the floor in the first three hours, what will we do in three days, three weeks, three months, three years? Will these floors hold up to our boys and their toys? It started to spiral and add to it the fact that I didn’t love the new pattern… Wednesday night was rough. I woke up on Thursday with a renewed hope. Wednesday felt like a valley, but I was ready to climb out of it. It was good to see the whole floor completed yesterday. It was good to clean up (sawdust is not my friend). It was good to have our living space be livable again.

I’m exhausted from the emotional rollercoaster as well as the energy it takes to deep clean and move back into the house. But, I am thankful that the work got done in two days instead of three. It was lovely to not set an alarm this morning. It was nice to just be in our space and acclimate. I spent my morning making cookies and taking care of my usual chores. I’m very much looking forward to having the trim on soon and this project completely behind us. Even though I am still adjusting to the change, I am thankful that we were able to get an upgraded product that will hopefully be drama-free for years to come!

Bye-bye old floors
New floor on at top of the picture and old floor at the bottom.
Welcome to our bedroom, living room, dining room, and storage unit. Also our current favorite family show is Bluey. Jeremy and I crack up watching it along with the kids.
Visiting Christa! My mom came along for the adventure and took this picture for us.
New floors Completed
Thankful for a livable living space again!
Treated myself to some new cookie cutters! I think they are pretty cool!
 

Wow! It’s June! June 5, 2021

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Home Improvement,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 11:30 am

My brain never fully accepted that it was May. My mind weirdly paused at the end of April. I don’t know how many times in May I was surprised by the date. Could time really be flying so quickly? And now it’s June and I’m awestruck. How did that happen? I had a vision in my mind for June. I thought it was going to be super chill. I envisioned playdates galore with nothing but free-time to kill. But… I was wrong. It’s only the start of the month and I’m shocked at how quickly it has filled in. Thanks to COVID rewiring our family schedule, I’m used to a much slower pace of life. June looks a bit tricky because I haven’t had to function at this level in a long time. I feel like I’m at the top of a rollercoaster and the plunge is coming! Here we go! Welcome to June!

Before I share all about adventures ahead, let’s take a quick look at last week. We spent Memorial Day exploring new beaches. The weather was lovely and the kids had a blast in the water and sand. Our family enjoys visiting new places, so we had a grand adventure. The rest of the week was spent in the pool (it was finally warm enough), reading, baking, running errands, and included a visit the park. Even though we were out and about multiple days this week, it would appear that this week is the quietest of the month. In fact, today is the last Saturday we don’t have plans for the next four weeks. Today is rainy and I’m feeling all the cozy, stay-at-home vibes! I plan to savor today because I know things are ramping up.

Next week got a bit crazy when Jeremy received a call on Thursday saying that our new flooring would be delivered on Friday (yesterday). The plan is to install them next week. It was short notice, but it worked with our schedule, so here we go. The install is projected to last Wednesday through Friday, but we’re hopeful that it will only take two days. This means on Tuesday we will relocate all the dining/living room furniture into our carpeted rooms. We will clear out all closet floors and move all the food out of our kitchen fridge and into our smaller mudroom fridge. Starting Wednesday, it will be full-on construction zone mode here. I’ll be responsible for getting the kids out of the house and away from the work. My hope is that we can get the house put back together in time to host a family dinner on Saturday to celebrate my mom’s birthday. It’s a tight timeline, but I’m hopeful we can make it work. Never a dull moment around here!

By this time next week, I will have brand new floors in my house. I’m glad that this project is moving forward and it will soon be in the rearview mirror. I’ve been staring at the new boards that are boxed in my living room. They are similar to what we currently have, but also different. The new flooring will be slightly lighter and the pattern less busy. I’ve always struggled with visualizing changes when it comes to home projects. I think I’ll like it. I just won’t know for sure until I can see it down. I’m praying that it’s a good change. The higher quality product already makes it a good change. I hope to love the look as much as I love the quality. Like any change, positive or negative, I know there will be an adjustment period while I adapt to the new look. Who knew flooring could take up so much mental and emotional energy?

Looking forward to sharing the before and after with you soon! Stay tuned!

Wide open spaces, blue skies, and following my guys. Always the sign of a good day!
One in the sand and the other with his toes in the water. These kids have different beach styles.
They called the little pools “hot tubs” because they were so warm in comparison to the ocean.
Proof I was there!
Finally warm enough to get in the pool!
My summer plans involve reading poolside… as much as possible.
A visit to the park is always a highlight of our week. When we arrived it was quiet and peaceful… then a large crowd of 5th graders arrived. We left to run our errands and came back after the 5th grader had returned to school.
Here we go! New floors are coming soon!
The boys went to Home Depot for dirt and came home with building projects!