Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

The Simplest Things December 28, 2011

Filed under: Bible,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 1:43 pm

Right now I’m in the midst of my Christmas break which has been awesome, but sadly brought down by a massive head cold. I’ve been able to do all that I wanted and hoped for – just while being medicated… kind of a bummer, but a break is a break and I’ll take it! We spent a lot of time with Jeremy’s family over the weekend and yesterday my sister and brother-in-law arrived from Kansas. We’ve had a great time connecting with them and playing lots of video games. They boys will play Call of Duty MW3 and when we all play together it’s Wii Party. Good times. Tonight we’re heading up to my parent’s house for our immediate family Christmas celebration. It’s fun to push the holiday out just a little longer.

As you can tell my normal blogging schedule is a little off. I apologize to all readers, but I think it’s a good thing when there is so much life going on that I don’t have to write about it. Makes me feel like I’m really living! Nothing dramatic, just filling the time in good ways! Today I was reading my Bible while everyone took turns getting ready. I found myself in Matthew chapter 6. It seems the simplest things and the simplest sentences can be the most powerful. This verse is highlighted in my Bible and I’m always so profoundly hit by it. I wish I could really own this verse and live it out. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:27. I suffer from anxiety. I get nervous about everything and worry all the time! It’s amazing! I know it does NOTHING, but yet I am prone to it. I should really post this verse all over my house, car, and office! Worrying does me nothing. Even on Christmas break, I have found myself worrying about what others think, worrying about the schedule, worrying about this, worrying about that. I’m on a vacation and worrying seems to follow me! So today I am remind that worrying will not bring me more time or a better outcome. Give up the worry and just live!

 

 

Cookie Exchange December 23, 2011

Filed under: Cooking Experiments — Amy Scott @ 11:07 am

Let’s try this again! On Tuesday, I tried to write a blog about my cookie exchange experience, but sadly, I hit the wrong button and there it all went – poof! Gone! I was so frustrated that I didn’t try again. So now I’m trying again… but I will admit that since then I’ve developed a head cold so my brain is fuzzier than when I first tried. Let’s call this the cliff notes version of my previous blog. Sorry, folks!

Our office ladies and pastors wives have put on a Christmas cookie exchange the past two years. I didn’t make it the first one – only my cookies did. So this was my first real experience other than the baking. I picked a way too complicated cookie last year. I had learned from my mistake and chose a drop cookie this go around. Also we all learned that a dozen cookies each was too much. It was a lot of baking, but in return we were all left with a lot of cookies to eat. We changed the number to a half a dozen cookies for everyone. This was a lot more manageable and gave me a nice platter of cookies right before the holidays with a lot of company coming into town.

I knew that I wasn’t going to the store before I needed to bake the cookies. This left me the option of anything in my pantry which was starting to become limited. Jeremy and I are in a phase where we eat everything before we go back to the store. Needless to say, I was low on a lot of items, but not pumpkin. We had purchased four cans before thanksgiving and had only used one up to that point. I decided on a pumpkin cookie from a cookie magazine. My mom is no longer eating sugar so she gave me a bunch of Christmas cookie magazines since she would no longer need them. It was hard to decide what cookie to make since I had so much inspiration! The pumpkin cookies were very soft and cake like. I really like baked goodies like that.

Now I was supposed to frost them and sprinkle cinnamon on top. The day before I had purchased paper boxes that look like take-out containers. They had penguins on them and I couldn’t refuse the clearance price of forty-nice cents! Since these boxes were already purchased, I thought the frosting situation might make them a bit too messy. The cookies would be good both ways, I’m sure. They tasted great without frosting, but I’m also sure they would be amazing with frosting.

We met at my mother-in-law’s house (she is the Director of Operations at the church). We enjoyed a Christmas brunch, a small birthday celebration and exchanged the cookies. It was a good time and a nice way to start of my Christmas break. As of now I’m out of the office until January! Yay! I’m just like a kid! I love my Christmas break! I’m not sure that I will get to the blog again before Christmas so let me say Merry Christmas to you all!

 

Getting back to routine December 20, 2011

Filed under: Bible — Amy Scott @ 8:18 pm

Why is it so hard to get back into routine? It seems like a break from the usual scheduled programing for a few weeks and its like pulling teeth to get back into my old patterns. I’m talking about my Bible reading plan. I finished reading the Bible for this year at the end of November. Instead of starting my next plan right away, I gave myself a short break. I’ve been trying for the last week to get back into my flow and I’m finding that it’s been more of a struggle than I would like. I really do love reading my Bible. Once I open it, I’m glad that I did. It’s just the getting to the point where I’m sitting quietly and I’m not distracted. This time of year is hard when it comes to distractions! They are everywhere! It might be choosing to watch a Christmas movie, connect with a friend, bake, clean or work! There is a lot to do! However, especially at this time of year, it’s important to make that quiet time with the Lord a priority. It’s a weird concept to think that we get all worked about Christmas and what God did at this time many years away, but to not really acknowledge him during this season. It needs to be more than just adding “God bless” to a Christmas card. So even though I’m struggling, it’s worth it! As an act of worship and way to connect with my Savior, I will spend my time with the one who gives true value to my life. I will recommit to reading His word throughout the entire year. It’s amazing how every year I love it more and new things stand to me as I walk through different seasons. The Bible is not something you read once and check it off your list. I will forever have a lifetime relationship with this book!

 

Fa la la la la la la la December 15, 2011

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 3:07 pm

Last night I had a chance to go caroling with a group from my church. I’ll be honest and say that caroling really isn’t my thing. Back in high school, I was in choir so I was daily practicing my singing voice. Nowadays, driving in the car is the only time I sing loudly. Needless to say, my skill level has taken a drastic change for the worse. I was never the greatest singer and now I’m really not the greatest singer. However, I know that I didn’t need to have the best singing voice to bring cheer to those in need this time of year.

Jeremy and I lead a group to a seniors apartment complex in Chehalis, WA. We are both strong leaders, but not strong choir directors. Our group walked the halls of three floors of apartments singing as we went. Since no one in our group was a really strong singer, we all kind of floundered our ways through the songs together. The good news is there was enough of us to fill the hallways with sound. It’s nice to sing in a group where you’re voice isn’t standing out because the group is too small or too quite. We were able to make a joyful noise and that’s all that matters.

I dressed in light layers since I knew the apartments would be warm, but wow, I could have dressed for the tropics and still been too warm. I felt slightly self-conscience as I walked the halls with my red, overheated face being flushed. Many of the residents kept their doors shut (I wonder if our talent had something to do with that?), but for those that opened their doors we had great conversations. I’m amazed at how many sweet old ladies have bowls of candy ready to pass out to children! The kids in our group loved the free handouts and gladly accepted them!

We were given a handout with the lyrics to about 8 classic Christmas carols. As we walked the halls we cycled through the songs. When we stopped at a open door we often asked if they had any requests. The kids would rattle of the list of songs we had words for. The best part was when one of the kids said “Hank the Herald Angles Sing” because the cursive font made the R look like an to them. Moments like that make for fun memories. Once we made it to the third floor we were getting pretty tired. A lot of walking and singing had worn us down and our singing quality had gone down. As we awkwardly tried to hit high notes that would no longer come out, we would start to giggle at how bad we sounded. Once the giggles took hold it was hard to recover the song. I think the giggles might have come from the lack of oxygen we were getting while singing.

The smiling faces and the conversations made the night worth it. It’s important to bless those who might be widows or away from family during the holiday season. Many in these apartments have limited mobility so it was nice to be bring a blessing to them. It was a great opportunity for families to do something special together. There were a lot of great teaching moments for the kids throughout the night. After a couple of years of caroling at the holidays, I can’t say that it has gotten easier. I still get really nervous about my voice and the interactions with people.  It’s not in my comfort zone to show up unannounced at someone’s door. I do know that I was asked by my pastoral team to lead a group with Jeremy. I knew that I had a obligation to my team and to my congregation who would be taking a lead from my excitement level. Sometimes in ministry you have to do things you don’t love to do, but they are a blessing to others and they are opportunities to deepen connections with people. I’m glad that we went and I’ll have some good memories to go along with my sore throat. Overall, I learned that it doesn’t matter how well we did the job, it was just that we did it with a cheerful heart.

 

Balancing happy and sad December 12, 2011

Filed under: Family Time,Recollections,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:43 pm

This time of year has a strange mix of emotions for me. As you can tell, I LOVE Christmas – all things Christmas! I can’t get enough Christmas music, Christmas goodies, Christmas movies, Christmas decorations… Christmas just makes me happy in a way very few holidays can. However, this time of year also brings about the 1 year anniversary of my grandpa’s death. There are a lot of moments when I get lost in a memory of last year. It’s hard to not be sad as I remember the pain of letting go. It’s strange for me to be on two extremes. It seems like I can be at the peak of Christmas joy and then transported to a valley of sad memories. I don’t like this swinging feeling.  To make the season feel even more heavy, my dad’s boss away a week ago. You might wonder why that would affect me. But it does. This man has been in my life for the last 21+ years. He was a good boss and very generous to my family over the years. The business was family owned and operated. The employees are close and his death has shocked them all because it was sudden and unexpected. I know that my dad was very close with this man. I feel the sadness of him losing a friend and having the anniversary of his father’s death all happen in  he same week. It’s a lot to process. It’s overwhelming to my emotions.

Before all of this the holidays were busy and always involved navigating family and friends. I wanted to see everyone and balance the social calendar. It was a full season, but for the most part it was just full of fun. I wonder if this is what being an adult is like – having to say good-bye more often than I would like, living with memories that make me both happy and sad. It’s hard to balance my holiday happiness with the sad emotions that seem to spring forth from time to time. I know that life isn’t going to get easier. I know that death is 100% inevitable and is never convenient. People will die at the holidays and other important times throughout the year. I can do nothing about that… so now I must learn how to take the good and the bad and balance them in my life. I must learn how to process difficult emotions during joyful seasons. It’s not easy. I’m sure that I won’t master it, but I’m trying.

I want to live life to the fullest. I want to truly live in each moment and not take it for granted. I am joyful this time of year as I celebrate my Savior coming to earth so he could die for me. I am joyful as I wrap presents and wait for the reactions of family members and loved ones as they open them. I am joyful as I bake goodies and I’m joyful as sing along to Christmas songs. There is a lot to thankful for and happy about. To be joyful doesn’t mean I’m ignoring the sadness, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not letting it over take me. I know that my grandpa wouldn’t want me to view the holidays as a sad time every year. I know that he would want to be remember, but not in sadness – with joy. I guess I’m learning that the life really is layered. You can feel conflicting things at the same time. Managing it all and learning from it has a way of making me feel older. Life lessons have a way of aging me. I think it’s a good thing though. I can still be a kid at heart with the wisdom of time and experience on my side.

 

Class Christmas Party! December 7, 2011

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Cooking Experiments — Amy Scott @ 2:17 pm

Tonight is my class Christmas party for my 5th/6th grade girls. This is one of my favorite nights of the year! We have so much fun! We’ll have a gift exchange. It’s always fun to see who is brave enough to steal a gift from her fellow classmate. At this age, most are really sensitive to their friends, so the stealing is always very dramatic! As an adult and many years of gift exchanges, I can steal a gift without much remorse. I’m not sure if that is a good thing, but I figured it’s a rule of the game and it’s just a game. It’s interesting to see what the girls go home with. After class I let them barter for gifts they might have wanted but didn’t get. There are often many trades. It’s all apart of the experience!

After the gift exchange, I have worksheets for the girls to do. The first one is to put the 12 days of Christmas in order. When did the pipers pipe or the lord’s leap? They’ll see if they know! The other worksheet is matching “Merry Christmas” in 8 different languages to the correct language. I’m pretty sure they’ll get “Feliz Navidad”, but will they get “Mele Kalikimaka ” or “Buon Natale”. We shall see! After the worksheets, we’ll make a magnet craft and enjoy some yummy snacks!

It wouldn’t be a good Christmas party without some great Christmas goodies. A special treat seems to make the Christmas cheer shine just a little brighter, so I spent my evening yesterday working on the snacks for tonight. The first snack I created was a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting and peppermint crumbles on top. I used peppermint discs and realized that candy canes might have been a better option. Pettermint discs are pretty are hard to break… I learned this by beating on them quite loudly with a rolling pin. The rolling pin came out dented from the sharp edges of the crumbles. It was intense. Next time I will use a thinner peppermint candy and I’m sure that candy canes will fit that need.

The second snack and the inspiration for my peppermint theme was a white chocolate dipped marshmallow that is then rolled in peppermint crumbles. These were very easy and fun to assemble. I crumbled the peppermint first. I put lollipop sticks into marshmallows before I melted the white chocolate. Once the white chocolate was fully melted, I set off dipping and rolling. It’s important to let as much extra chocolate drip off as possible. Rolling the marshmallow in peppermint was a little trickier than I expected, but it turned out great. I let the marshmallow pops cool on wax paper. Once the chocolate was set, I wrapped the marshmallows in plastic wrap and tied it close with red ribbon. There was some excess plastic wrap on the pop, so I cut around the pop so the wrap didn’t completely engulf the stick. Tying the ribbon into the bow was the final touch. I knew I needed a creative way to display these pops so I purchased some foam from my local craft store – the kind that they use for floral arrangements. I wrapped the foam like a present and then pushed the sticks through the wrapping paper into the foam. It’s really great for presentation as well as practical for transportation.

I’ve never really used peppermint in baking other than peppermint extract. It was a lot of fun to take something very seasonal and tweak it and create something new. It’s been a fun journey for me as I branch out of my “usual” baking projects and try something new. Peppermint is a very Christmasy flavor. It also has the right Christmas colors with the bright red and white. These goodies are sure to spread Christmas cheer on multiple levels!

 

I still miss you… December 6, 2011

Filed under: Family Time,Recollections — Amy Scott @ 8:39 pm

It’s hard not to think back to last year at this time. The memories have a way of floating to the top even if I wish they wouldn’t. They aren’t bad memories, but they do make me sad. At this time last year my grandpa was in the hospital. He had entered the hospital just after Thanksgiving with pneumonia and later discovered some serious heart issues and infections. At first it looked like he was going to be fine, but as things progressed it became obvious that he going to be with us for very long. I knew his health was frail due to being on dialysis, however, I didn’t expect him to pass away so quickly. I wrote my grandparents a letter over the summer letting them know how much they mean to me. After losing Jeremy’s grandpas so suddenly, I didn’t want anything left unsaid between my mine. When I composed that letter I assumed that I still had years with my grandpa. Turns out, I only had months.

I can still remember the last time I saw him. I had been trying to make it up the hospital as much as possible even though I lived over an hour away. My parents had called me that day and I left work early so I could spend a couple hours at the hospital. It was hard to leave that night. I told him good-bye and continued to wish him well on getting better. I told him I would be up again tomorrow to see him. Inwardly I knew that I wouldn’t see him the next day. I knew that I was saying good-bye. I remember smiling at him as I left the room.  There was a heaviness as I had a late dinner with my parents and headed home. That night I put my phones on silent – something I normally do so I can sleep in on the weekends. I had a feeling I would get a call in the night, but I didn’t want to take it. I knew if I answered the phone I would feel the need to head up to see my grandpa as he passed away. I’m not really good with death. I didn’t want to see the life leave his body. As I expected when we got up in the morning, there was the message that grandpa had passed away in the night surrounded by family who all got to say their good-byes and be there with him.

I was good at first. Grandpa was no longer suffering and was with his Savior. Not a bad deal and I was happy about that. I went into help the family mode. As long as I could do something I was good. Shortly after the funeral, I started having stress dreams. There was nothing more for me do, so I dreamed about having stuff to do. I would dream about funeral planning and about the funeral a lot. It was strange for me to go from being so good with things to being stuck on repeat. Over time the dreams did pass. I was back to being “good”. Around October I noticed that I was starting to really remember a lot of the last year and started to feel a lot of sadness again. It took me by surprise. The last couple of months leading up this week have been harder as I remember a lot of things that take me back to my last days with Grandpa.

I still miss him… a lot. I know I probably always will. I’m sure it will come in phases where I feel fine at one time and not so much at another. It’s strange that he isn’t sitting in his spot on the couch at family gatherings. I miss hearing his laugh in the background of conversations. I miss him calling me “Amos” (he was the only person I would let get away with that). He was such a good grandpa. He loved his family. I didn’t get a chance to live as close to him as the other grandkids, but I knew I was loved. I have a favorite picture from my wedding and it’s of Jeremy, Grandpa and I. I don’t remember what we were talking about, but I remember that he had us laughing! Our photographer snapped a shot of us all laughing together. I love that picture. It means a lot to me. When I look at the picture I see the grandpa I want to remember. I see the grandpa who was there for me during life’s big moments. I see the grandpa who made me laugh and saw the funny side of things. I have so many happy memories… but I would take the man over the memories any day. I look forward to being able to see him again someday. What a sweet reunion that will be! I wonder if he’ll call me Amos?