Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Continued Adventures in Domesticity February 28, 2013

Filed under: Cooking Experiments — Amy Scott @ 7:27 pm

I feel momentum after Monday night’s soup success. I thought I would share with you some of other projects from this week. As promised Tuesday night was cake pop night. I have officially decided that I don’t like making cake pops. These turned out just fine, but really the whole process is just a little too much for me. I would prefer to make cupcakes. I think once I get to the candy melt part cake pops lose their fun factor. It’s a slow process to dip them all and make sure all the excess drips off so it doesn’t run and make a mess. I did learn from my mistakes and made the cake pops about half the size of my last attempt. This made for less casualties and helped the candy melts go a lot farther. I took these cake pops to my class last night and they were a hit. The only problem is that I have a lot them left over and I know I don’t need to eat them myself. Oh temptation… I will say no. I hope!

Chocolate Cake Pops with Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Cake Pops with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tonight I had the joy of making dinner again. Oh yeah, two homemade dinners in one week! I must be like Martha Stewart or something! Just kidding. I guess I made waffles on Tuesday, but that was from a mix, so we’ll call it semi-homemade. I’m trying to make my food and not just microwave it (or pour a bowl of cereal and call it dinner). The menu this evening was Sausage and Ricotta Stuffed Jumbo Shells. They were so tasty. I’ll be honest and admit that tonight was a team effort. My hubby cooked up the meat and we both stuffed the shells together. I’m not trying to prove myself so I was perfectly fine working side by side in the kitchen. Stuffed shells is something I’ve always wanted to try, but never have. Once again, Food Network Magazine was the inspiration. I didn’t follow their recipe, but they had stuffed shells featured in an article and the picture looked so good I had to get jumbo shells when I went grocery shopping. Totally worth it!

Yummy Stuffed Shells

Yummy Stuffed Shells

I’m not sure what tomorrow holds. No cooking/baking plans yet. I’m thinking Saturday might be a cookie day. The great thing about trying new recipes this week is that I’m learning cooking isn’t impossible. I’m sure I will fail and succeed in the kitchen, but the more I try the more comfortable I will become with the whole cooking process. It’s not 1950, but there is something nice in my head about making dinner – at least once or twice a week. For the other days, there is cereal! :)

 

Guess who made dinner? February 25, 2013

Filed under: Cooking Experiments — Amy Scott @ 6:27 pm
Bubble, Bubble!

Bubble, Bubble!

If you guessed my hubby, Jeremy, you would be right about every other day off the week, but… NOT TODAY! Today I made soup for the first time – completely by myself! I’m pretty proud right now! You  have to realize that I have next to no cooking skills. Every year I tell myself that this is the year I’m going to start cooking dinner. I’m really good at Kraft Mac and Cheese and anything you empty from a box and put in the oven. However, to me that doesn’t really count.

I loved getting Food Network Magazine over the last year. It was a Christmas gift in 2011. This year I decide that I couldn’t live without it, so I subscribed for three more years. I know that three years is a long time, but it was the best deal for the price. I usually make one thing a month from the magazine and it’s usually the best looking dessert that catches my eye. While the key-lime cheesecake bars will probably be next, something else looked good too. Okay, a lot of things looked good. It was the cheese edition! How could it not? I stopped to ponder making their Apple-Cheddar Soup with Bacon. It sounded like a great flavor combination that reminded me of going out for fondue. This Friday, I made sure to add the ingredients to our shopping list.

Apple-Cheddar Soup with Bacon!

Apple-Cheddar Soup with Bacon!

While the directions say it should take 40 minutes, it took me about an hour. I crisped up some bacon in the pot. I chopped up the onion, apples and potato. I stirred frequently to make sure that nothing burned. I added the liquid ingredients and then the cheese! This was my first time making soup, but it was also my first time using the stick blender. Very educational.

Normally when I cook, I feel like the food wins – not in a yummy tasty way, but in a it conquers me kind of way. I’m always stressed about does that look cooked all the way through, should it smell like that, should it look like that. I’m always second guessing myself. You should take that as a sign that I really care for those who are going to eat it. No food poisoning on my watch.  Surprisingly, everything went as plan and nothing caught me off guard. Hurray!

I sprinkled some bacon on the top of the bowl and took a thick slice of bread for dipping because to me bread and soup are made me to dipped together. It was tasty! Jeremy gave me his approval and so far we’re both still standing! Woo hoo! Success! For those of you who make soup from scratch all the time, don’t mock. This is a baby step in the right direction for me. I’m trying to discover other uses for my kitchen besides baking. But speaking of baking, I’ll be heading back into the kitchen to make a sheet cake later this evening. I’m going to attempt cake pops take two tomorrow night. I think I’ve learned from my mistakes so hopefully my second attempt will turn out better then the first. I learned the hard way in the cake pop world that size really does matter!

 

The Final Result! February 23, 2013

Filed under: Home Improvement — Amy Scott @ 8:55 pm

After a long week and a whole lot of saw dust, we’re finished with the flooring project. Well, almost. Some small things will need to be done tomorrow, but for the most part it’s finished. In fact right now I’m watching Toby try to jump up on our chair and a half. With the loss of traction, he doesn’t always make it. Poor doggie. We’ve really turned his whole world upside down. Here are the pictures of the final results!

The entry way - new mats to come

The entry way – new mats to come

Living Room into the Dining Room

Living Room into the Dining Room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Dining Room

Dining Room

Dining Room into the Living Room

Dining Room into the Living Room

 

Adventures in Flooring February 21, 2013

Filed under: Home Improvement — Amy Scott @ 1:03 pm

It’s been a busy week here at the Scott Household. On Sunday, we tore up all the carpet in our home. This revealed that the carpet and the vinyl flooring were two different levels. This gave us two options – buy more sub-flooring or try to remove the vinyl with the extra layer of sub-flooring.  During Growth Group (which was hosted by my mother-in-law), my father-in-law came over to my house to survey the situation with Jeremy. They decided to buy more sub-flooring and raise the level of the floors to match our kitchen and entry way. Jeremy was anxious to get the project started so he started to lay the new sub-floor on Tuesday evening. This meant moving our dining table into the kitchen. Good thing we have a big kitchen, but I still don’t think it was ever meant to be an eat-in kitchen. It’s a little strange when I sit down at the table. The location is just a little off. Preparing food is also fun as we skirt around the table. It’s a person at a time walking space, so you got to know the flow or you bump into people! Tonight, my father-in-law and brother-in-law will join Jeremy in adding the rest of the sub-floor. Furniture pieces will scatter all over my house so that they stay out of the way. The dog and I are going to take off for the evening and hang out with my parents. I would just be in the way and frankly, Toby would be as well. They’ll have the door open as they bring in pieces of plywood and Toby is sure to escape if given the opportunity. I’ll be less of a wreck if we just avoid the construction zone all together. Tomorrow will hopefully be the beginning of laying down the final layer of flooring! Saturday and Sunday will be reserved for finishing things up and putting everything back together. Monday afternoon I plan on deep cleaning since the boys should be done. Then I do believe I will let out a deep sigh of relief. It’s been fun to see the different phases all unfold, but I’m really ready for that final reveal! I can’t wait! More updates to come as things shape up around here!  Exciting times!

Different Levels

Different Levels

Adding the new layer of sub-flooring

Adding the new layer of sub-flooring

Our "Eat-In" Kitchen

Our “Eat-In” Kitchen

 

 

 

Good Bye Carpet! February 17, 2013

Filed under: Home Improvement — Amy Scott @ 10:04 pm

Having a major sleepover wasn’t enough to fill this President’s Day weekend. Oh no! Jeremy and I thought we would tackle something else as well… pulling up all the carpet in our main living space! I will admit that I wasn’t much help in the pulling up department, but I pulled my weight in cleaning up the wreckage. The carpet left a nice thick layer of dust EVERYWHERE as a parting gift, so I spent most of my afternoon/evening deep cleaning and trying to get the general feeling of grime out of my house. Currently, I’m wearing hard soled slippers around the house because the floor is a bit… rustic… I’m not really sure the best way to put it. Our new floors will be installed next weekend by my very handy family members. I think this week without flooring will make me even more grateful for the new floors to come. It’s a little weird to be without carpet, but now that things are tidied up a bit, I don’t mind it all that much. This part of the project was what I worried about most – the destruction – once Jeremy took that razor to the carpet there was no going back. Now that it’s done I feel better and I’m ready for the next and final phase. We did hit a small speed bump, but I think it’s solvable (with a little extra cash, of course). Originally I thought I was cool with having company over tomorrow, but mid-project I decided to take my mother-in-law up on her offer to host our Growth Group for this week. It probably would have been okay, but it’s now one less thing to worry about. I did, however, make the decision to move the group after cleaning my bathrooms… Oh well. I guess I can’t complain about clean bathrooms.

The sleepover is over – check! The flooring is pulled up – check! The house is clean – check! All materials are ready for Growth Group – check! Looks like I’m dominating this crazy big, crazy busy weekend! Oh yeah! It feels good! More updates to follow the adventures of Jeremy and Amy in Home Improvement Land – hopefully a happy ending to follow!

The middle of the project!

The middle of the project!

DSC06065

Another angle

 

 

A Winter Wonderland Sleepover! February 16, 2013

Filed under: Children's Ministry — Amy Scott @ 7:43 pm

One of the biggest events of my calendar year has just come and gone. I will admit that I’m still in the post-sleepover haze, but it’s a good haze. It speaks of working hard and giving it my all. The theme for our 9th annual sleepover was Winter Wonderland. It was a lot of fun to transform the building and make the theme really come alive.

Winter WonderlandDecorating is a key part of any gathering because it sets the vibe and tone for the event. We had white Christmas lights on as they walked into our main meeting space. These were left up from the Valentine’s day dinner the day before, but once we hung snowflakes and blue and white paper lanterns from them, you’d never know they were a leftover decoration. Our main space had snowflakes hanging from ceiling. The tables were decorated with alternating blue, white and silver tablecloths. The centerpieces were lanterns with flickering flame-less candles inside. We had two Christmas trees on stage with more white lights. The bottom of the stage was outlined in snowflake garland. Our background screen welcomed the girls with a snowflake pattern looped giving it the effect that it was snowing in the room. I love the details that go into making a theme come to life!

All our activities centered around theme. We had two crafts – one was a tissue paper mitten where they made a stain glass effect on a clear plastic mitten. We also had a station for them to decorate their own foam snowflakes. Each girl used jewels, markers and puffy paint to make a snowflake as unique as themselves. We had two game rotations. The girls got to do a snowball fight (crumpled paper, not real snow – we don’t have any of that around here) and play winter sports using the Xbox Kinect. Our final rotation was snack. Who doesn’t love a warm mug of chocolate on a cold winter day? We did a special treat and let them make their our mug brownies. It was a hit and the room smelled amazing! It’s hard to beat a recipe that allows you to have a fresh, hot brownie in a minute using the microwave.

Once the activities were all done and the girls were settling down, we had a great group devotion done by our School of Ministry intern, Nikki. She shared how we are all God’ s princesses and she got the girls really excited to read the scriptures she was sharing. They were all told how beautiful God thinks they are and how he made them just the way they are because he loves us. At the end of her lesson, each girl was given a hair clip that looked like a tiara.

After the devotion time, we split the girls up into two different rooms. The younger girls watch a short movie and the older girls watch a full length movie. Once the movies are over it’s bed time! We had a great group of sleepers this year, but that didn’t help me get more sleep. I usually can’t stay asleep  for a full hour the whole night. Too many sounds to keep me awake. I feel responsible for all these girls so my ears are super tuned in. It’s all good though because I got a good long nap this afternoon.

The morning starts with waking up them – super chipper like – they all thought I was morning person! I had them fooled! We ate a wonderful breakfast of Costco muffins together and then it’s time to pack up and clean up. This one hour is the most transformative of the whole event. The building goes from being completely overrun with girls to totally empty and clean. It’s like we were never really there! 

I’m still getting my pictures downloaded, so I’ll share a few in the days to come! It was another great sleepover and I’m so blessed to serve these young ladies and their moms. I’m also so beyond blessed by all the leaders who came alongside me and helped to pull off this giant party. This is team effort! I certainly couldn’t have done it alone!

 

Time February 13, 2013

Filed under: One Thousand Gifts Challenge — Amy Scott @ 11:18 am

I’m rereading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp as a part of my Growth Group this winter.  Because I’m the leader and an over-achiever by nature, I’m trying to read the chapters of the book that are recommended by the study. This means that I needed to read chapters 4 and 5 before Monday. Wednesdays are my quiet mornings, so I sat down determined to get these chapters checked off my to-do list. It turns about that chapter 4 is all about time. It was no coincidence that I read this chapter today.

What a week this week is. I’m preparing for my largest event of the year. Our girls sleepover this weekend and the deadline to register is today. I’ve been making supply piles in the office, making shopping lists for tomorrow, doing a jigsaw puzzle of leaders and kids as I find the right spot for them. Tonight I’ll get the final numbers after church. Tomorrow I’ll do all the shopping and set up what parts of the building I can. Friday will a majority of the set-up and show time!

Let me tell you, my brain is not here in the moment. My brain is on the upcoming details. Beyond the sleepover, we’re tearing up the carpet in our home this weekend and I need to clean the bathrooms before Growth Group on Monday and I wonder what condition my house will be in when they all arrive.  The next week has a lot to hold my attention.

I was drowning in thoughts and check lists when I started to read this chapter. Here are just a few quotes that derailed me this morning:

  • In a world addicted to speed, I blur the moments into one unholy smear.
  • I don’t really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done – yesterday.
  • Wherever you are, be all there.
  • It’s not the gifts that fulfill, but  the holiness of the space. The God in it.
  • Jesus embraces His not enough… He gives thanks… And there is more than enough. More than enough!
  • Life is brief and it is fleeting but it’s not an emergency.
  • Life is is dessert – too brief to hurry.
  • Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus.

Oh Ann! How you hit it right on! I could really quote the whole chapter! Here I am running  in circles. Hurrying through life. I’m always trying to get the next thing off my t0-do list. Especially this week when the list seems long and it seems to imperative that I get everything done perfectly. No time to be human, no time to stop and take a deep breath. It seems that to slow down and live in the moment would mean the world would stop, because I’m not longer holding the weight of it all.

I don’t want to be so driven by time. I don’t want to live my life feeling like there is enough time. My favorite quote from the book is found in this chapter – I just want enough time to do my one life well. Just enough! I know that when I invite Jesus into these moments with me the world feels a little less frantic. All the expectations and hurrying isn’t from him. He never commanded me into this tizzy. I put myself there. I created the mess. It’s so sweet to remember that time is what I make of it. It can be a hurried mess or it can be simply beautiful. It’s all in my perspective and the power I give it. I don’t need more time. That’s hard for me write, but it’s true.

I want to use my time this week to bring honor and glory to God. I don’t want to use it to stress and freak out. I want to use it to smile and do things I love. I really do the love the sleepover. I want to enjoy the smiles of the girls and watch them take over the church with fun activities. I want to be able to slow down and enjoy moment, because it’s only here for such a short while. Each second I will never get back. There are no do-overs, so I might as well live this one life well.