Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

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!
 

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

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 7:00 am
So many books this month!
  • Emily’s Quest & Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery – I enjoyed reading these books for the second time. The first time I read the Emily books I was a bit harsh on her because Emily (while similar) wasn’t as endearing as Anne. However, after reading a LMM biography and learning that Emily is most like Montgomery herself, I read the Emily books in a new light.
  • The Story Girl & The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery – These books were the inspiration of one of my favorite childhood shows – The Road to Avonlea. While the novels don’t actually take place in Avonlea, the setting is just as picturesque and the pages are filled with childhood joy, drama, and mishaps.
  • The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables by Catherine Reid – I picked this book up after finding out my copy of The Story Girl came from Prince Edward Island. This book is part coffee table picture book and part biography. LMM’s love of nature is evident in all her writing, especially her love of PEI. The pictures in this book are beautiful and give you glimpse into the world that LMM grew up in.
  • The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer – This was an April Book Club Pick. I enjoyed learning from Comer’s personal experiences and how he turned his life around. There was a big emphasis on scaling back on technology and living a purposely slower life. I can see how the principles in the book have been a benefit to my own life, especially over the last year when life got a lot slower for our family.
  • From Social Media to Social Ministry: A Guide to Digital Discipleship by Nona Jones – I heard Nona Jones share about this book at a conference recently and was sent a copy of the book for attending. This book gave me lots to think on in the ways of using social media (specifically Facebook) for discipleship. The church often uses social media to get information out into the community with the hopes of getting the community into their doors. The pandemic shifted in-person in a big way this last year. What if we used social media for discipleship and life-change, not just sharing information?
  • Mommy, Teach Me to Read: A Complete and Easy-to Use Home Reading Program by Barbara Curtis – A friend let me borrow this book as I move toward teaching Graham to read. I found it very practical and useful. I took notes and I hope to apply some of what I learned in this book in the near future.
  • The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease – This book is filled with research and testimonials of the power of reading to children. As a book lover myself, I hope to pass a love of reading on to my kids. As we head into more free time this summer, I especially hope to make read-aloud time a part of our everyday experience. This book is a great resource with read-aloud suggestions for all ages at the end of the book.
  • Win The Day: 7 Daily Habits to Help You Stress Less & Accomplish More by Mark Batterson – I love Batterson’s take on processing the past, making the most of today, so you can set yourself up the future. We can’t change the past, but we can process it in a healthy way so it doesn’t hold us back. We spend so much time worrying about the future that we miss the present. Being human means we live one day at a time. How we live each day sets us up for our tomorrows.
  • The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch – I feel like I did a course in technology and proper habits this month. This book is a great resource for parents who want suggestions for reigning in technology. It clearly states the reasons why technology needs a proper place with practical takeaways for how to accomplish that task.
  • The Nature of a Lady (The Secrets of the Isles – Book 1) by Roseanna M. White – This was my Mother’s Day book. I enjoyed the mystery and the history in this book. I learned about Isles of Scilly for the first time. I love when fiction introduces me to a new place.
  • A Portrait of Loyalty (The Codebreakers – Book 3) by Roseanna M. White – I enjoyed the final book in this series. It’s focus on photography and photo editing in World War I was interesting.
  • Lore by Alexandra Bracken – This was a book club pick and outside of my usual reading choice. As someone who isn’t a fan of Greek Mythology, I struggled to enjoy the characters. The book had some Hunger Games vibes (which I liked), but overall was too violent for me.
  • Women and Children First by Gill Paul – This book was recommended by a friend. It starts with the sinking of the Titanic and then follows a small cast of survivors as they recover from the incident. I wanted to like it more than I did. The history was fascinating, but I couldn’t enjoy the characters like I had hoped.
  • I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson – A friend let me borrow this book and it was laugh out loud funny. Bryson shares his thoughts on living in America after two decades of living in England. His insights are hilarious and was the perfect read for a mood booster.
  • The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah – This book was a recommended by a friend. It was sad, hard book to read about Leningrad, Russia in WWII. It unfolds like a fairy-tale and a mystery. While it has a “happy ending” – it wasn’t the ending I was expecting and left me sad.
  • Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First.: 10 Questions to Take Your Friendships to the Next Level by Laura Tremaine – This was my teacher appreciation gift! Tremaine offers 10 questions to go deeper in your friendships and then answers them herself. It was a unique flow for a book. I could see myself using this book for a book club in the future or going through it with a friend.
 

The Little Things May 29, 2021

I have so many little things to share today. I guess I’ll just dive in! This week was the start of our summer schedule. The kids did three days of summer school. We took Thursday off since I got my second COVID vaccine that morning. The kids were very excited that our long weekend got to be a day longer. I love the flexibly of our new schedule. Week one was great!

I’m thankful my second vaccine is behind me. It certainly lived up to the hype. Fever, chills, aches all over. I didn’t sleep Thursday night and as a result I was exhausted yesterday. Thankfully, by getting vaccinated on a Thursday, my hubby has Fridays off and he was able to take care of the kiddos while I had a down day. Jeremy is always industrious on his day off. He enlisted the kids’ help in building a canopy to cover part of our back deck. Now in the summer we can have shade over the table and in the winter we can have cover over the hot tub on rainy nights. We’ve really enjoyed the process of getting our yard ready for summer. I look forward to reading a good book in the shade while my kids run amok in the yard!

The start of the week was gray, cold, and wet. On Monday afternoon we did a what I called Movie Matinee Monday. Owen loved the title and has asked that this be a Monday tradition. I told him maybe on wet Mondays. We watched Beauty and The Beast (2017) which is a favorite of mine and put me in a happy mood. Graham played throughout the movie, but Owen got into it. Tuesday also started out gray and cold. To add some sunshine to our day, Graham helped me make sprinkle sandwich cookies. I’m enjoying baking my way through Cookie Class by Jenny Keller. I’m positive I will be making these sandwich cookies again. They are so cheerful!

On Tuesday, I made a fun discovery. I purchased The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery online from a used bookstore a few months ago. I picked up my copy to start reading it this week and discovered a stamp on the title page. It said “Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home” in red ink with a border around it. Suddenly, I had a mystery on my hands. Did my book come from Prince Edward Island? I did some research and sent a message to the home site. I got an email reply the next day confirming that my copy of The Story Girl was purchased from their bookstore. Not only was it hand-stamped by a descendant, but the reply was from a descendant of L.M. Montgomery as well. It was a very exciting discovery for me. Visiting PEI is on my bucket list so this book only deepened my desire to go there! Someday!

As you can see my update this week is a bunch of little things. Even though it’s been a fairly low-key week around the house, we’ve managed to have some excitement and we always find fun. The little things matter. Making cookies, watching a movie together, reading a book, playing in the yard. So thankful for these small things, because really they are the big things – family, comfort, cheer, home.

Drumming his way through Be Our Guest. The arm of the couch was transformed into a musical instrument.
Such friendly and fun cookies!
My special discovery! It was the highlight of my week to find out this book came from PEI and that I got to correspond with a descendant of LMM! So cool!
Vaccine Two Complete!
Roses from my mama! Such a sweet encouragement!
Since I took this picture this morning, the shade isn’t on the table. In the cool of the morning, it’s not necessary. The shade will be great on warm afternoons/evenings. Love our party deck!
 

End of the Year Celebration! May 22, 2021

We did it! We finished the 36th week of our homeschool curriculum! It’s crazy to finish so early when I’m used to preschool wrapping up at the end of May and elementary school in the middle of June. We only two weeks off of school for Christmas break, so it really made the school year fly by. In January, Graham started a kindergarten program that he’ll complete over the summer. We could have had his preschool graduation in January, but that felt weird, so we celebrated with an end of the school year and preschool graduation party. Owen will start summer school on Monday and Graham will continue his kindergarten program. The summer slide is a real thing. To avoid learning loss, we’ll do about 30 minutes of summer school a few days a week. My kids (and I) enjoy the Summer Brain Quest books. Graham did his summer between Pre-K and K book in December (haha!), but Owen is ready to kick off his Summer Brain Quest on Monday.

Thursday night was our end of the school year celebration and preschool graduation. I was looking forward to this party as much as the kids. I’m a big fan of celebrating – big things, small things, all things. If I can get themed partyware and put up decorations, I’m a happy camper. After we wrapped up school, we created a table to display the boys’ work. The grandparents got to “ooo” and “ahh” at what the kids have accomplished. We did dinner and dessert. The boys’ favorite food is Papa Murphy’s pizza. Owen picked chocolate cake for dessert and Graham selected cinnamon rolls. We got mini bottles of sparkling cider to add a festive flare. Jeremy helped me create a slideshow with pictures from our school adventures. We created a balloon garland and had some fun props for photos. Graham donned his cap and gown and we took pictures with Pomp and Circumstance playing in the background. We had a blast! It was the perfect way to wrap up the school year.

The good times kept coming on Friday morning when we went to a newly opened park in our city. The old park had been torn down and a new play structure replaced it. The park has been completed for over an year, but was fenced off due to COVID. Last week the fence came down and it’s been a happening place ever since. We figured Friday morning was a good time to go since most kiddos would be in school. The timing worked out well and we got to enjoy the park before it got too busy. The new playground is so cool. I have a feeling we will spend a lot of time there this summer!

I know I’ve said it a lot in the last few posts, but we are so excited for summer! Memorial Day weekend is sort of the unofficial start of summer. Once all the party goodies are eaten up, I plan on making some special cookies to munch on over the holiday weekend. I’m all for adding festive vibes with sweet treats. Jeremy and I continue to daydream about our backyard and how we plan on making it the place to be this summer. I get my second COVID vaccine this week, so it really does feel like change is right around the corner. I can’t wait to be fully vaccinated. I never thought I could be so excited about getting a shot. I’m ready to have this process behind me. I’m ready to move on. I’m ready for some summer fun!

Last Day of Preschool! Ready for Kindergarten!
Last Day of First Grade! Ready for Second Grade!
All official with the cap, gown, and diploma!
The boys loved the funny headbands and silly grad glasses!
Thankful for supportive grandparents who blessed our kiddos by helping us celebrate all the boys accomplished this year.
The balloon garland was an adventure to create and hang, but it was the perfect backdrop for all our party pictures!
Silly Kid!
Our new city park is so much fun!
 

The Smell of Sunscreen May 16, 2021

We’ve had a stretch of nice weather. We busted out the slip and slide, set up the swimming pool, and stained the play structure in the backyard. Summer is right around the corner and we are ready! The sunscreen has come out as our kiddos run wild around the yard. We’ve had more outside time than inside time. Everyone is sleeping soundly at night after full days of activity. This is just the start of the summery vibes with plenty more fun in the sun to come!

This last week Graham reached a childhood milestone. He had his kindergarten screening. I completely forgot about it. Good thing Jeremy remembered! We are leaning towards homeschooling again next year, but we want to keep all doors open at the moment. Even if we homeschool next year, it was good for Graham to go through the process. After so much time with just family, it’s important that he can follow directions and talk with adults who aren’t relatives. He told me he wasn’t nervous at all and He came home chattering away about the experience. I’m glad he wasn’t nervous, because I sure was! I didn’t know how he would respond after so much time at home. I’m so happy that it went well!

Another exciting milestone for our family is that the little chickens moved out of the garage this weekend and into their own enclosure. They aren’t old enough to join our big chickens yet, but they are now neighbors. Having the little chickens in the garage came with a certain odor. Pine shavings also frequently got walked into the house on the socks of my little chicken checkers. It’s nice to have the smell and the mess out of the garage. Owen is thrilled with how the chicks are doing. He is quiet the chicken whisperer.

We are about to start our 36th and final week of school. I am so excited to wrap up this homeschool year. We have fun plans – especially for Graham with a preschool graduation of sorts. I’ve always been curious about homeschooling, but I don’t think I would have ever gone this direction without the pandemic giving me a giant shove. We’ve had such a fantastic year. I am thankful for my kiddos who love to learn and who have made the most of our extra time at home. I am thankful for the friends and family who encouraged me through this process. This whole experience was a grand adventure – an unexpected blessing during strange times.

With school wrapping up soon and the sun shinning brightly outside my window, it’s easy to see why it feels like summer is almost here. The kids smell of sunscreen. Last night we had a wash off little feet that were dirty from running around barefoot on freshly mowed grass. Life is never perfect, but it is good. I am thankful for these moments, these memories around the house with my little family.

Sun’s out! S’mores Time!
Don’t let the focus-face fool you, Owen loves reading stats. I read The Tech-Wise Family this last week and Owen kept coming over to look at the stats.
Out of this World Cookies for May!
Such a cool sky earlier this week!
Found the Slip and Slide in the garage. We got it all cleaned up and ready for fun on a warm afternoon.
The Big Chickens got some new neighbors! Owen helped moved the Little Chickens out of the garage.
More water fun! Getting the pool set-up!
Graham was ready for a morning in the yard to help Daddy!
I helped Jeremy stain the play structure. Since outdoor projects aren’t usually my thing, I had to document that I helped!
The Chicken Whisperer. They literally come flocking to him!
It’s looking like summer in our backyard!
 

These May Days May 11, 2021

Our floor replacement project was supposed to start today. But… it’s been postponed. Our flooring situation feels like an epic saga (a never ending one at that). There was an internal miscommunication with the building company and now we’re looking at the end of May or beginning of June for this project to take place. As much as I want this project behind us, I’m okay with the pause. I wasn’t thrilled to homeschool around the flooring project. With only 1.5 weeks of school left, I’ll be glad to do this project after we wrap up school. We will have summer school, but the summer schedule is lighter. Postponing the flooring project fits better later. I guess a delay can be a blessing.

When my hubby asked me how I wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day, I originally thought the house would be torn up right after the weekend. I didn’t want a busy weekend on top of a crazy week. This year I opted for a quiet day at home to read and eat my favorite foods. We ran errands on Friday and then had dinner with my parents to celebrate my mom. Saturday was my quiet day. Sunday morning was restful around the house with the kids while Jeremy worked. Once Jeremy got home, we went over to celebrate with his mom. I enjoy the flow of celebrating Mother’s Day over the whole weekend. Instead of celebrating three moms in short burst of time, it allows us to have a laid back flow to the weekend. No need to rush. Expanding the time we celebrate allows our family to be in the moment and present. Maybe I won’t feel this way ever year, but a low-key Mother’s Day was perfect this year.

Without a major construction project in the immediate future, things around our house are business-as-usual. Homeschooling, reading, baking, walking, outside time, hot tub time… All the usual things. The weather has been nice so we have been outside everyday. The sunshine reminds me that summer is right around the corner. We had a chat with the kids this week about our summer bucket list. We’re starting to daydream about how to fill our summer days. We have a camping trip on the books. I hope to visit the zoo. The kids hope to go to the beach. We’re looking forward to more play dates and backyard hangouts. The boys and I will return to church on Sundays for outdoor gatherings. We are enjoying this slower-paced Spring, but we are also looking forward the promise of Summer!

Graham directed me on how to decorate this cake. He was also my sprinkler of the sprinkles. He was so proud of our team effort. It was a bit busy for me, but apparently the 5 year-old sees the world differently!
Our final MOPS & MOMSnext craft! I might add some ribbon for a finishing touch.
My favorite place to read is a loveseat in my bedroom. These two are always close by. Here you can see the pillow fort bedrooms that they created. The orange vest were used for the construction phase and then cast off for “bedtime.”
My Saturday Mother’s Day Plans: Reading, dinner of mac & cheese with brownie sundaes for dessert, and then movie night with my hubby. Perfect day!
Mother’s Day 2021 – Love being their mama!
Silly Bedtime snuggles
Our MOPS & MOMSnext group did a fun challenge to share a picture of yourself in middle school. Here is 8th grade Amy. Awesome bangs and braces!
 

Happy May Day! May 1, 2021

Welcome to May! I knew it was coming, but it still gave a little shock when I realized it was May 1st today. The month of April went by in a blink. I was looking back over pictures from this last month and it was humorous to see how our chicks dominated the monthly documentation. Yesterday, the boys helped Jeremy built a new chicken coop so that our chicks could move to roomier accommodations. Our kiddos have loved checking in on the chicks throughout the day. Owen is always ready to hold one. Graham has been brave and petted a few. Our chicks are looking more like chickens each week. Their feathers are coming in and they are growing. It’s amazing how quick the chick phase goes by.

I’m happy to report that I got my first dose of the COVID vaccine this week. Everyone I’ve talked with has responded so differently to the vaccine. I was nervous to see what side effects I would have. The biggest side effect for me was a sore arm. I didn’t expect it to hurt quite so much. In fact, I’m still waiting for my arm to feel normal, but it’s only been two days… so hopefully that is right around the corner. While I have felt a little “off”, like my body is processing something, I haven’t felt as bad as I expected. I hear round two is what really gets you. Despite the discomfort and continued nerves over the second dose, I am thankful that process is underway. With how quickly time flies, I know this will be behind me soon enough.

What’s on the horizon for May? New floors and wrapping up school are the two main things. I’m planning a little celebration for the end of the school year. I had fun ordering some party supplies. I’m also organizing the loose school papers into notebooks for easy storage. With Owen’s schoolwork, it’s recommended that we keep all his work for two years as proper documentation. Owen keeps pulling out this books and looking over all he has accomplished this year. I can tell he is proud of his hard work. It’s a satisfying feeling to be near the end and know that a celebration is right around the corner. The only thing that has me slightly concerned is our house will be torn a part and a construction zone when our floors are replaced. This will happen in our final weeks of school. It won’t derail us, but it will certainly be something we have to work around. Never a dull moment here, that’s for sure!

I thought the kids would like a soccer ball after playing with one last weekend. Turns out the box is more fun.
For MOPS & MOMSnext on Monday, we assembled fruit and yogurt parfaits and talked about the Enneagram. I was in my happy place! Also, I should have picked a bigger jar for my treat.
I have a baking buddy who has been posting recipes monthly in our MOPS & MOMSnext group. April’s recipe was a citrus berry shortcake. So yummy!
Endless chicken adoration
This week my hubby and I attended an online conference. We worked our homeschool/work schedules around it. The week was a bit of a jigsaw puzzle. Also, watching a conference with kids at home was… distracting. I am thankful for technology that allowed us to participate from home.
Dose one done!
The upgraded chicken coop!
May Day Flowers from my mama! She’s the sweetest!
 

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

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 2:09 am
A small sample of what I read this month. I used my Kindle app more than ever this April.

It all started with a desire to read something new. I’ve read most of the books on my bookshelf more than once, so I went looking for something new. I discovered a book in Prime Reading that caught my eye. It was a novel by Roseanna M. White. I own one of her books (Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland) and I enjoyed it. I thought why not check out another book by her. Turns out, she’s authored quite a few books and most of them were available through my local library. This is how my novel idea took form. I decided to read as many novels as I possibly could in the month of April. I will admit that it was excessive and delightful. I can fly through most novels in a day and there is nothing quite like a series or discovering a new author to create a binge-worthy obsession.

Why so many novels you might ask? In my last post, I mentioned that there is a lot of change around the corner for me. Some big, some small. It’s mostly positive change, but my brain still seems to stress over what it is yet to come. My mind wonders and wanders. I have an tendency to overthink, worry, ponder, and brood. I didn’t want to get on a one way track of overthinking. Instead, I gave my mind a different project. Not every month can be this dedicated to reading, but for April, these books served me well and I am thankful for a chance to step into a story other than my own.

L.M. Montgomery:

I’ve only read these books once before and I wanted to revisit them. I’m usually much more harsh on books the first time I read them and then I like them more the second time around. While I didn’t dislike these works, they didn’t land in my favorites. Upon a second reading, I am finding them quite wonderful. I just added these to my home library in used paperback form. I’m so glad I invested in them.

  • Magic for Marigold
  • Emily of New Moon (I plan to finish the next two books in this series in May)

Melody Carlson:

I love reading books by Melody Carlson because they remind me of a Hallmark movie. Her stories are simple, sweet, and often fast reads. She has been a go-to author for comfort reading in my life.

  • Your Heart’s Desire
  • Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel (Dear Daphne Book 1)
  • Dating, Dining, and Desperation (Dear Daphne Book 2)
  • Home, Hearth, and the Holidays (Dear Daphne Book 3) (Kindle)
  • A Will, a Way, and a Wedding (Dear Daphne Book 4) (Kindle)

Roseanna M. White:

Here is where I went a bit crazy! I dove deep into every book I could get my hands on. Some of her books are set in America and span the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. The rest are set in England from Pre-World I into World War I. I enjoyed the books that took place in England most. They reminded me of Downton Abbey. Each book was filled with adventure and romance. They are below listed in the order I read them (which is not in chronological, oops). The books set in England build on each other and you see characters from previous books throughout the novels. I love when an author weaves stories together. It’s like getting a visit from a friend within a book.

  • The Number of Love (The Codebreakers Book 1) (Kindle)
  • On Wings of Devotion (The Codebreakers Book 2) (Kindle)
  • The Lost Heiress (Ladies of the Manor Book 1) (Kindle)
  • The Reluctant Duchess (Ladies of the Manor Book 2) (Kindle)
  • A Lady Unrivaled (Ladies of the Manor Book 3) (Kindle)
  • A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England Book 1) (Kindle)
  • A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England Book 2)
  • An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England Book 3)
  • A Ring of Secrets (Culper Ring Book 1) (Kindle)
  • Fairchild’s Lady (Culper Ring Novella) (Kindle)
  • Whispers from the Shadows (Culper Ring Book 2) (Kindle)
  • A Hero’s Promise (Culper Ring Novella) (Kindle)
  • Circle of Spies (Culper Ring Book 3) (Kindle)
  • Dreams of Savannah (Kindle)

Last But Not Least:

  • Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price – This was Courty’s Book Club fiction pick for April. It was interesting to read Pride and Prejudice as a murder mystery. I enjoyed the spin on this classic. It’s book one in a Jane Austin Murder Mystery series. I will keep my eye out for the next in the series.