Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

84+ Months July 29, 2013

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 8:25 pm
I am blessed to do what I love!

I am blessed to do what I love!

A lot of my summer focus at work has been preparing for my maternity leave in the fall. There are a lot of details to make sure are thought of and taken care of. I want Jeremy to be as prepared as possible for his sidekick, partner in crime and  administrative assistant to be gone. Part of this process has been finding someone to cover my Wednesday night class of girls for roughly 6-8 weeks. I love this class and I’m finding that even for 6-8 weeks, it’s hard for me to imagine missing that much of their lives and being away that long. However, I think it’s important to take a little time off right after having a baby…

I’m fairly certain that I have a plan in place for having the class covered, but I will be honest, it’s hard to get someone to commit to a weekly activity for 2 months. I started to think about why it’s so hard and while I came up with reasons, I still really don’t understand. The big picture started to come together for me as I thought this whole situation through. I have taught this 5th/6th grade class for 7 years. That means for 84 months, I been the teacher to this group on Wednesday nights. Every year we have a few Wednesdays off for holidays, but I’ve never taken a break – never taken a leave of absence – never a sabbatical. I think the most I’ve missed is 2-3 weeks in a row. For 84 months, I have been committed. I love this class and I will admit that I have deep ownership in it. It’s my favorite thing about ministry. The relationships that I build in that classroom extend way beyond those walls and those few years that I’m a “teacher” to those girls. I am blessed to be friends with many of the students I taught at the beginning.

I guess it’s a bit of a head scratcher for me why 2 months would seem daunting when I compare it to all the joy that 84+ months have given me. I’m not trying to brag or puff myself up as the super teacher. That is not the point. I just love this class so much. I can’t imagine giving it up. I can’t imagine not teaching these girls. I feel on mission and on call when I’m sharing about Jesus, God’s Word and what it means to be a Godly young lady. It’s just so important. They have good questions and they are struggling with hard stuff and these moments are precious and formative. The coolest thing is that God allows me to a part of their journey, even if just for a short while.

So yes, 2 months is a long time. I agree. Actually being out of the classroom that long will be hard on me. This class has been my “thing” for so long that it is taking some trust conversations between God and I. It’s never really been my class, it’s his. It’s not something great or special because of me. Someone else can and will do a great job with it. Letting go is hard, even if it’s for good reasons. Trusting that God will take  care of the girls while I am gone is a huge lesson for me and one I hope that I succeed at.

It just put things into perspective for me. When you love something, you give it 84 months of your life. You don’t quit, you don’t stop, you don’t look for something more glamorous or something that gives you more acclaim. I do it because I love those girls and because I love God and because I feel like I make him happy when I invest in these young ladies and that makes me happy. I would gladly serve another 84 months. It’s certainly has been time well spent!

 

Shower Season July 28, 2013

Filed under: Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 4:46 pm
The details!

The details!

We have now entered shower season. It’s not weather related. It falls between the end of July and the beginning of September. What kind of shower season? Baby shower season! With just two and a half months to go until the the arrival of our little man, I can now celebrate with family, friends and good food!

This might seem strange, but yesterday was the first of three baby showers. I know some would say that is excessive. It  feels a bit strange to me, but each shower has a different group, a different theme and a different flow. This first shower was one for my church family. I have another one next weekend with my extended family from out of town and then the final shower will be a joint shower for my sister-in-law with my husband’s side of the family.  Each shower will be unique and each I’m positive will be a blessing.

This first shower was hosted by two of my lovely friends, Vicki and Danielle. Vicki was on staff at Bethel for a long time and Danielle works in children’s ministries with Jeremy and I. My biggest concern about this shower was the fact that a lot of people were invited. When throwing a church shower, it’s hard to leave anyone out.  In our case, this meant the invite went into our weekly program and everyone was invited. This caused some concern for my gracious hostesses because they had no clue how many people to expect. In the end, it turned out to be a great gathering. Not as many people as I expected, but I was okay with that. It was more mellow and less overwhelming than I anticipated. I love being in leadership and ministry, but being the center of attention at a large event was slightly panic inducing. However, no panicking was necessary! Praise the Lord!

About to cut the cake!

About to cut the cake!

Like I mentioned before, each shower has a different theme and flow based on the hostesses. This shower had a woodland animal theme that was inspired by our nursery decor. The tables had mason jars with twigs sticking out of them and owls on the twigs. It was super cute. Apparently, it was an idea Danielle found off of Pinterest. My wonderful friend, Julie, made a cake that was covered in trees and forest animals! It was almost too cute to eat. I felt bad cutting into it! Vicki, did a devotional time that was so sweet. I’ve been a little nervous about raising a boy because I know so little about them, but Vicki’s talk was so inspirational that it took the edge of my nerves. I am reminded that I’m surrounded by many ladies that have successfully raised boys and I am sure they will be a wealth of support and encouragement to me when I feel clueless and unsure of myself.

Overall, I felt extremely blessed. It’s not really even about “gifts” and “presents”, which of course, are a highlight of any shower, but more than that, I felt supported and loved by my church community. I know that I won’t be a perfect parent and that there will be lots of eyes watching me as I learn by trail and error. I know that the people surrounding me are rooting me on and that they are super excited for all that is ahead for Jeremy and I on this journey. It was great to have some girls attend the shower that I taught many years ago and they are now teenagers and almost adults. You also had the church lady crowd – the seniors with their white haired crowns of glory. I had moms of kids that are currently in our ministry and their elementary school aged daughters. All age groups were represented and all were there to celebrate with me. When I think about that, how can I not be blessed beyond belief? It was a sweet reminder of how loved I really am. I am grateful!

 

Beach Day July 26, 2013

Filed under: Family Time — Amy Scott @ 8:11 pm
A Day at Cannon Beach

A Day at Cannon Beach

This summer I had a mini to-do list when it came to activities. I really wanted to spend the day in Seattle and go to Mariner’s game (without Bethel kids) and we were able to accomplish that for our anniversary at the beginning of the month. Visiting the beach was another trip that was top on my list. It’s been a long time tradition to visit the Oregon Coast come summertime, so I was hoping we would get our day at the beach on the calendar! That day turned out to be today! The weather was beautiful, despite it being slightly chilly in the morning. I think Hawaii may have forever tainted my beach experience. There is nothing like Kamaole I at 5:00am with the pink, sunrise sky and the sea turtles popping their heads up off shore. However, even though we didn’t revisit our favorite Hawaiian beach, Cannon Beach is always a popular choice!

We started the morning off with a stop by The Cannon Beach Bakery where I got a cinnamon sugar apple cider cake doughnut. That’s a really long name for a super tasty treat! We took the doggie on an adventurous walk for a couple hours and then came back in time for lunch at Mo’s – my favorite beach side eating location. Since we had Toby with us, we got the food to go and ate at a picnic table in the sun! It was glorious! For our way home, we actually went south to Tillamook where we stopped at the Cheese Factory for ice cream cones and squeaky cheese! Then we took Highway 6 out for a scenic drive! It was a great day to hang with my hubby and puppy and just enjoy the summer weather! Since summer is always a busy time for Jeremy and I with work commitments, it’s nice to have special days like these!

What is the next adventure on the traveling to-do list? I think it might be camping in August! Stay tuned!

 

They’re back! July 25, 2013

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 8:48 pm
Hello Precious!

Hello Precious!

Back in November the world was going mad. Hostess products were flying off the shelves in grocery stores and gas stations. What wasn’t being consumed by the buyers was being sold on websites like eBay. Yes, my husband was amongst the many who tried to sell Hostess products online as they disappeared from the stores. You can read about my farewell to the beloved snack food here on my blog post from November – Good-Bye Old, Dear Friend.

Now for many Hostess represents what has gone wrong in America. It’s the evil food that has no nutritional value and is making the next generation (and current generations) obese. Despite all the negative vibes surrounding the snack cakes, I will admit that I am lover of Hostess and a supporter! My mom would give me Twinkies as a kid because I was so entertained by their make-up. The cream filling would keep me occupied as I disassembled the snack and munched on it. As I grew up, Hostess products became road trip food or a special treat to get through a hard day. I’ve never had a steady stash in my home, but I would occasionally enjoy a fruit pie or a package of Donettes (preferably crunch). I’ve been known to keep a pack of Ding Dongs in the freezer as a summer treat.  I also really enjoyed SnoBalls and Cupcakes.

So yes, November. It was a dark time for me. What didn’t sell on eBay, Jeremy and I ate. It was sad. With each product I consumed, I knew there would be no more. No replacement. It was the end of an American classic. Of course, I rejoiced when I heard that Hostess would again be stocking it’s goodies on store shelves. I didn’t run to the store the day they came out, but I was happy.

Today my hubby came home and told me to close my eyes. This seemed a little weird and kind of ridiculous since he rarely does this. I’m not a huge fan of the “close your eyes” request. I’m not sure why. Maybe I still think all boys will put a snake in your hand when they ask you to close your eyes. When I opened my eyes, I was delighted to find a box of Twinkies. I felt like a little kid again! I immediately opened the box and had one. Yes, they are as good I remember. There is just something about cream filling that I love!

I’m excited for the return of this beloved childhood snack cake. I’m secretly hoping the whole line of products return to the stores as well. Right now I am just thankful for the box of Twinkies sitting in my pantry! It seriously doesn’t take much to make me happy!

 

Meaningful Artwork July 24, 2013

Filed under: Getting Creative,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 4:13 pm

It was very apparent to me once we had all the furniture in place in the nursery that we were going to be in need of artwork to liven up the walls. Jeremy had tacked up the fabric art pieces that came with our nursery set on the largest wall and while they are adorable, they are just a little too small for that wall. I already had envisioned them in another spot, so that left me still pondering the large wall.

If any of you know me well, you know that I am a researcher. I took to the internet for inspiration. I looked a lot over Etsy and other websites trying to find artwork that will match our theme. The hard thing is that none of the forest animals I saw where a close enough match to the ones on our bedding. This lead me way from looking at animals and started me down the focus of words. A lot of people put cute sayings, phrases and quotes on their baby’s wall. Did I want to do that? I guess the answer is yes, but I skipped the cutesy stuff and went straight to the Bible. If I was going to frame words, I want to frame Scripture. I want that to be what I see when I walk into our little guy’s room. I want him to know these verses, but as a parent, I want these verses to be familiar to me as well. I decided on four different passages that meant a lot to me and I thought would reflect well in a babies room. My first attempt at creating the artwork was a fail. I had a family member print them on a laser printer, but the colors didn’t match quite right.

My second attempt look me down a little more professional route. I went back to Esty and downloaded a wood grain scrapbook paper set. I do believe the download had about 24 colors to choose from. Jeremy really like the wood grain theme because it fit the room, but it wasn’t too busy. I set to work recreating verses on this wood grain pattern. I then had the images printed at Shutterfly on 11 x 14 matte paper. I also ordered some 11 x 14 frames online and they should arrive soon.

The artwork from Shutterfly arrived today and I will admit that I was nervous to open the package. With my first more homemade attempt at artwork, the colors didn’t print right and I was hoping that I wouldn’t have the same problem this time. I’m happy to report that the prints turned out really well! They were rolled up in the package, so I have them laying out with books to flatten them. When the frames arrive and I get everything up on the wall, I will be sure to post a picture of the finished product!

Artwork can be very expensive. Making it myself and using coupons and gift cards made this project relatively cheap in comparison to what I could have spent. More than it being cost effective to do it myself, I love the fact that I created something that will go up in the baby’s room. I love that it’s Scripture because it’s presence can be comforting, encouraging and prophetic. It means something. At least it does to me and hopefully someday it will mean something to our son as well. Maybe the artwork won’t be cherished, but hopefully the words will!

Scripture verses with a wood grain background.

Scripture verses with a wood grain background.

 

Childbirth Class, Nursery Update and Third Trimester! July 20, 2013

Filed under: Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 9:25 am
The joys of Childbirth Class!

The joys of Childbirth Class!

Today officially begins my third trimester! 12 weeks to go! We found out on February 1st that we’re expecting and that now seems like a really long time ago. However, 12 weeks also seems like a really long time to wait. However, I’m fairly positive that it will go quickly. Life is busy and there is a lot do in the next 12 weeks. I’m hoping that the pace and activity will keep my mind focused. People keep commenting on how I finally look like I’m having a baby and I guess that’s a good thing since it is right around the corner!

Toby and I make great supervisors!

Toby and I make great supervisors!

This weekend, Jeremy and I attended a 6 hour childbirth class at our hospital. It was very informative. I don’t feel like I learned a whole lot because the information was basic, but it was good to process and it started some good conversations between Jeremy and I. One of the things I was looking forward to the most was the hospital tour so I could begin to visualize what our experience would look like. The tour wasn’t super impressive, but it did give me that sense of what to expect and I can picture the rooms now. I guess I have to realize it’s a hospital and not a high-end hotel. There is a difference! On Wednesday, there was a 2 hour follow-up class, but because that was the final night of VBA, Jeremy wasn’t able to attend with me. I took my mom instead. We got to practice changing diapers on creepy baby dolls and we heard a lot about postpartum and infant care. Overall, I’m glad we did the class. It’s not like I feel I’m so much smarter and capable now, but the class does give you good things to think about and talk about as a couple.

In one week, our nursery as gone from a blank slate to full of furniture! Last Friday, Jeremy painted the room while I was away with a friend for the day. This week he assembled all the furniture that has been arriving. We officially have the glider, changing table, crib and dresser ready to go. Jeremy even tacked some of the artwork that came in the bedding set to the wall. The walls are the next big thing for us to figure out. We need to settle on how we’ll decorate them. I’m also excited to add pieces like a decorative lamp or a mobile to make the room feel more homey. The furniture, however, has gone a long way to make me feel like this really is a nursery. I loved watching my hubby put things together. He really is a pro when it comes to stuff like that. Pregnant or not, you really don’t want me setting up a crib! I wouldn’t trust it!

Here are some pictures of the nursery now that we have painted and furniture. I’ll continue to post pictures as the smaller decorative details come into play as well!

Glider and Crib

Glider and Crib

Dresser and Changing Table

Dresser and Changing Table

View from the door

View from the door

 

Highlights from Family VBA July 19, 2013

Filed under: Children's Ministry — Amy Scott @ 10:05 am
Family VBA Worship!

Family VBA Worship!

Family VBA might be one of the coolest things we do at Bethel Church when it comes to children’s ministries. This was our second year of moving our VBA to the evening and having parents attend alongside there kids. We’ve been making an intentional shift at Bethel to empower parents to be the spiritual leaders in their homes. Family VBA reinforces that idea and gives parents practical experience to boost their confidence in having spiritual conversations (and fun) with their kids.

There are a lot of highlights from this last week and a lot reasons why I love this event. The first one for me would be watching families worship together. VBA is known for it’s music and the motions that go with the songs. As a leader in children’s ministries, I’m accustomed to having motions and moves that go with certain songs, however, most adults aren’t. It’s fun to watch the parents step outside of their comfort zone and look a little silly right alongside their kids. It’s also important during those slow worship songs that kids see their parents praising God. There is a lot learned by watching the adults around them go deeper with God.

In our rotations parents are the ones that lead the kids. This year at our snack rotation, we gave them all the supplies at the tables and passed out the instructions on how to assemble the snack and how it relates to the lesson. We also had them pray together as a family at this time as well. In our Bible lesson, Pastor Jeremy (my wonderful hubby) would present the lesson with youth helpers acting out parts. Once the Bible lesson was shared, the parents were given another handout to discuss and pray with their family. Our final rotation was the Imagination Station which is a bit like science and craft combined. Parents do this activity with their kids and it’s a lot of fun to watch the whole family get involved. Especially activities that involve water!

One addition to the program this year was dinner before VBA started. At 5:00pm, we offered a meal so families who were coming straight from work or a busy day wouldn’t have to worry about rushing for dinner. While a quarter of our families took advantage of this opportunity, the ones who did really enjoyed and appreciated it. I’m positive it will be a change that we keep in the future.

After last year, we learned that the littlest VBA attenders have early bedtimes, so we shortened the program by a half hour this year. This meant that families were dismissed before 8:00pm every night. This was an intentional move to be more family friendly. Another addition was a daily giveaway. Each night we gave away three parenting books as a resource to encourage parents and families. Every night we heard from multiple families about how excited they were that they won a book and how they really needed something to encourage them. The excitement for the books was cool to see.

We are realizing that our flow of VBA is still a little different. It takes some explaining, but once people see the heart behind our changes they usually agree that it’s a pretty cool change. As a children’s leaders, it’s fun exciting for me to have a week where I set parents up to succeed. It’s a great event and I’m so really encouraged by the changes in I see our families throughout the week. Sometimes it pays off to do something just a little different!