Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Christmas & More December 29, 2017

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:03 pm

Currently, I am writing from my mother’s computer desk. Graham and I are alone here with TC, the dog. Everyone else is out running errands. Graham is napping in the next room. I thought I would take a quiet moment to update you on our lives. The days have a way of blurring together. I often have to look back at my phone – either in my calendar or pictures – to remind myself of what happened each day. Anyone else can’t remember a week ago? Or is it just me?

On the theme of me home alone with Graham and a dog, I spent last Friday home baking for the holidays with Graham & Barkley, my brother-in-law’s dog that we’ve been dog-sitting while they move. Last Friday was the big move day for my brother-in-law and his family. Jeremy, Owen & Papa went down to lend a hand. I baked Christmas goodies while listening to Christmas music and then during nap time I watched Christmas movies. It was a great day. The kids and I have all been struggling with colds and coughs that seem never ending. Having a quiet day around the house to be productive and then restful was just what I needed.

Saturday began our three days of non-stop Christmas. We started the weekend off with my immediate family on the 23rd and then Jeremy’s immediate and extended family on the 24th and my extended family on the 25th. The kids had a blast playing with relatives and a new toys. I was impressed with how grateful all the kids were this year. All gifts were appreciated. Now that my niece and nephews are getting older, I worry about getting the wrong gifts. Shopping for them took more brain power this year since they all have unique interests. Owen & Graham got everything on their Christmas list and more. They, of course, got lots of new books and while they didn’t jump for joy when they opened them, they have now read almost every new book and seem to be enjoying them immensely. They have no clue that they got a bunch of free books for Christmas (one of the perks of being a book lady).

Tuesday was our annual day after Christmas shopping trip to Portland. Just like Black Friday, we took advantage of sales and found some new items for our future home. We got an area rug and TV stand for our living room and a new desk so I can have a home office set up in our bedroom. It’s fun to slowly add items that we know we will use in our new home. I’m so excited to see them in their new spaces. I daydream of it often.

I guess this leads to the house update. We are in the “drying” process. It’s been a struggle to get the house dry enough to move on. Right now, this could be a delay in progress unless we really amp up our drying efforts. The county came out yesterday and inspected the house. They said the moisture content was at 22%. Code is 20% and Adair requires 18%. It’s hard to be so close and yet still not right where we need to be. Jeremy found a dehumidifier that we were able to rent for the week. We also have family friends loaning us a heater and my dad connected us with another dehumidifier that Jeremy, Dad and Owen are all running to pick up now. The biggest issue is running all the equipment without overloading the power supply. You can only plug in so many things at one time. Which leads to the reason I am here at my parent’s house right now. I am baby sitting our house, keeping an eye on it, making sure it doesn’t burn down in our dry out process.  Prayers are certainly appreciated so this doesn’t become a stumbling block moving forward. As for the outside of the house, we had the garage concrete pad poured yesterday and it’s now drying. Our garage door should go up next week on the 5th and our gutters got hung last week.  I’m thankful for each thing that we can check off the to-do list.

Finally, I’ll end with my eye update. I was given two artificial tears drops to use after my appointment last Thursday and then I had one prescription we knew might be too expensive and might need a substitute.  To make a long story short, we’ve been through multiple pharmacies and had multiple hang ups. I have yet to receive my prescription. We finally settled on a mail based pharmacy, but as of today they still hadn’t gotten it in the mail… then I have to wait 3-5 business days with a possible delay because of the holiday.  I was supposed to go back to the eye doctor on January 10th as a follow up to see how the steroid is treating my eyes, but at this point, I’m going to have to postpone that appointment since I haven’t started the meds and probably won’t start them for many more days. My eyes didn’t respond great to the artificial tears so I stopped using them… I’m thinking at this point I might tell the doctor thanks for trying, but I’ll live with the discomfort until it clears up. I wonder if I have sensitive eyes because the more I put in them the more things seems to flare up. I’m close to giving up on the treatment plan.

And that is the major update. We’ll continue to focus on drying out the house for the rest of the holiday weekend. We’ll celebrate my brother-in-law and sister’s birthdays this weekend. That will wrap up 2017. Hard to believe that 2018 is just right around the corner. I did at  one point think that I would be in my new home right now, able to start 2018 out with a new chapter. But here I am waiting for this chapter of building to wrap up. My guess is now February and Jeremy has even said March, which makes my heart cringe. Who knew that this journey would be so long? With my health being poor and the added pace of the holidays, I am looking at 2018 and just wondering what comes next. I am tired. I am disappointed. But keeping on is the only option. There are bright spots in each day and the little moments of joy pull me through and keep me going. I know that I am blessed and that despite hardships and delays, there is a still good ahead of me. Until then, I daydream/arrange furniture in my head and pray for healthy and energy to fill me up again. I know I’ve said it before, but I often quote Dory to myself – “Just keep swimming.”

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Christmas baking

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Watching White Christmas when it started snowing!

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Christmas #1

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The Gallaway/Vitzthum/Scott clan

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Going to see Star Wars

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Christmas #2

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The Scott Family

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Merry White Christmas

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Christmas #3

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Day after Christmas lunch at The Cheesecake Factory with my boys!

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Putting together a new Christmas puzzle!

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Hanging at Grandma’s house a lot while we try to dry out our house.

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Nap time victory!

 

Countdown to Christmas! December 21, 2017

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 5:24 pm

Hey everyone! Christmas is right around the corner. It’s always a power-packed few days for us as we celebrate with 4 family gatherings. We kick things off on Saturday with my immediate family and then the Christmas keeps going through Christmas Day. The day after Christmas is also a family shopping day. Jeremy and I stopped buying each other Christmas presents years ago. Instead we spend a fun day together hunting for deals and getting the things we most hoped for during the holiday season. It’s not a traditional holiday tradition, but it’s one we love and look forward to each year.

I was grateful to get most of our Christmas shopping taken care of early this year. However, we had a few last minute gifts and food shopping that we wrapped up today. Tomorrow will be a big baking day as I prepare for the weekend. I also love seeing all the gifts wrapped, under the tree, looking all lovely. I know that kids love the “opening” part of presents, but I love the presentation part of presents. Wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things to do. In some small way, it’s expresses creativity and shows you care for another. I’m all about the small details and wrapping gifts to me a part of that.

Zoolights was one of two things I hoped to do with the kids this Christmas season. The other was Snowflake Lane. I was skeptical that we would pull off Snowflake Lane. Jeremy has been busy with the house and I’ve been massively under the weather due to a head cold and my eye issues. It seemed like it might not happen. But it did! Yesterday, we checked visiting Santa off the list as well as Snowflake Lane. Our nephew has been staying with us for the last week while his family packs and moves so we took Carson along on our adventure as well. We introduce the boys to the LEGO store, had dinner at Red Robin and then enjoyed the magic of Snowflake Lane. The kids loved the parade and music and they were truly in awe of the “snow”. It was a great experience and one that I’m glad we were able to fit into our countdown to Christmas.

On to the big news of today… I was able to get an appointment with an eye specialist. Today was my appointment. We arrived 5 minutes before the suggested arrival time and waited 45 minutes before getting called back. Then it was another almost 2 hours in the exam room seeing various people (nurses, an intern, the doctor)… They did two dye tests and one inflammation test where they had to irritate my eye in order to get it to water. Not painful, but not fun. I wouldn’t want to do it everyday. The verdict is that eyes are not infected. Not more than the average buggies that live in our eyes. My eyes, however, are inflamed which is the source of my discomfort. There are many reasons why my eyes might be inflamed. I don’t like that vague feeling of not being sure why, but we do know now why they are bothering me. The treatment for the inflammation is two kinds of artificial tears and a steroid drop. The steroids can cause eye damage if used too long so I have to go in to check my eyes again in two weeks to see how they are responding to the steroids. The doctor said that this treatment might take 6-12 months before my eyes go back to the baseline of “normal”. I was totally shocked when I heard that number. He started to say “6-12” and I was waiting for the word “weeks” to come out of his mouth. Nope. Months. Oh goodie. I’m hoping that isn’t the case though. Anyway, the bright side of this whole appointment and an entire morning spent at the eye doctor is I now know that I don’t need glasses. They did an eye exam and then they didn’t mention my vision after that. I would assume if I failed the exam, they would have brought that up as an issue to address. I’ve been on the fence for a while if I needed to go to the eye doctor and look into glasses, but apparently, I’m good.

Even though I didn’t walk out of the doctor’s office feeling awesome about the appointment, I am grateful to know that my vision is okay and that I’m not contagious. I’ve been living at an insane level of paranoia. I’ve been washing my pillow case and towels daily to make sure I wasn’t letting an infection fester in my laundry. I’ve been scared that I’ve been passing germs on to my family and infesting the house. I’ve been washing my hands about every 5 minutes. I’ve been scared to touch my eyes. Now I know that I don’t have to be so concerned with spreading this issue. It’s a big relief to me to know that I’m not contagious and a threat to my family.

While I am still getting over a bad cold and living on Dayquil, I am thankful for the family fun that we’ve been able to have. I am hoping that once I kick this cold bug and get into the habit of doing my eye drops, I’ll start to feel more like myself again. Especially heading into a weekend of celebrating, now would be a great time to get back on my feet and re-enter normal life. I am hopeful. I can dream. No matter what I remind myself that I have so much to be thankful for. Despite the stress and illness, God is good. He is with me. He is for me. I have all that I need. Thank you, Jesus!

 

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We attempted to decorate a cookie train, but it was very hard and the results were not all that impressive. 

 

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Having breakfast at a local favorite and then off to show some family our house. 

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Doggie sitting this week

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Learning about dinosaurs from an expert! 

 

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Owen keeps sneaking into the big kid class. 

 

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Drove around to look at Christmas lights on Sunday night. 

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Christmas crafting with Graham 

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Our picture with Santa this year! Only Jeremy and Santa know how to look at the camera! 

 

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LEGO store adventures! 

 

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The snow at Snowflake Lane

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Enjoying the parade! 

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Loving the lights! 

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Wonder

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Jeremy felt the need to document my trip to the eye doctor. 

 

 

Immanuel – God with Us December 14, 2017

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 6:12 pm

This blog post was supposed to be published last Thursday (12/14/17), but for some reason it’s not on my site. So sorry if you see this post for the second time because I know it did send out as an email. 

I’ve been reading through a one year devotion by Shauna Niequist, one of my favorite authors. One of the days I just read was about Advent how it’s for those who don’t have a place for shiny, happy Christmas seasons. Advent speaks of long, waiting, hoping for a Savior to arrive. Advent lets us feel those raw emotions of longing and being not there yet. I could have highlighted the whole devotional that day. I can relate to the concept of an Advent Christmas. Waiting for a Savior. Longing for hope.

This Christmas season has been different for me. Not only I am waiting and longing for my own home but I’m also longing for health. My eyes did not heal with this last round of antibiotics and I’m not waiting for a call to schedule an appointment with an eye specialist. Over a month of battling infections in my eyes has taken its toll on me both physically and mentally. My immune system is shot and I catch every bug that comes through our house (which currently is a head cold from Graham). I’m taking 400% of my daily vitamin C with no signs that it’s working. I’m completely and totally spent. I’m sad, a little depressed and slightly confused on why I can get better despite my best efforts.

So yes, I can relate to an advent season of longing and desire. Keeping my eyes open for a Savior, one who will bring restoration. And then I remember that this Savior is Immanuel. God with us. I am not alone. God is here in these moments. He hasn’t left my side. This knowledge that I am loved by my Creator and he is present in my longing and waiting gives me hope. It brings peace to my troubled heart. While I have not received an instant healing (believe me, I’ve asked), I have to trust that the journey is worthwhile even though I walk down unpleasant roads. God is with us. He is for us. We are not alone.

Last year I clung to a cheerful, happy Christmas to anchor my emotions. I wanted all things Christmas because I was desperate for joy in an unknown season of waiting for our house to sell, our plans on hold with uncertainty. This year, I cling to an advent season of longing and waiting. Watching and searching. Lots has happened in a year. Our home has sold, our new home continues to have progress. Things are moving forward and yet that doesn’t mean things are peachy or rosy or perfect. Life will always have it’s messes, it’s hang ups, it’s hills and valleys. When I’m in the valley, I know I am not alone and that God is for me and my Savior loves me.

So I keep pressing on. Believing. Praying. Hoping and dreaming. I keep taking the next step and moving forward in faith.

Prayers are greatly appreciated, for sure! I hope no matter what kind of Christmas season you find yourself in that God’s presence would be so close, so real to you. Despite all the holiday hustle and bustle, He is the reason for the Season. The hope of resurrection and restoration. Perfect peace. What a lovely Christmas gift!

““Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭1:23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Helping Daddy put lights on the tractor for the lighted tractor parade.

 

Holidays, House Update, and Lots of Antibiotics… “Round 2” December 7, 2017

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:44 pm

You’ll notice that my title for this post is the same as my last post. Because we are very much in the same boat as the last time I wrote you. The kids have been sick. They came down with what looked like pink eye after Zoolights at the end of November. We used up the last of the antibiotic drops and then switched to homeopathic drops. Since most pink eye is viral, I didn’t feel the need to go back to the doctor for more antibiotics. The pink eye cleared up quickly, but I have remained diligent about washing the boys bedding every day and Lysol spraying their rooms. Despite the war on germs, Owen managed to come down with the flu this weekend and then it has turned into an head cold that he has shared with Graham. My poor kiddos. We’re doing everything in our power to stop the spread of germs, but I seriously think hazmat suits are in our future. I’m not sure if it’s to protect us from the world or protect the world from us, but we need some serious help. That was the kids… now on to me.

I went back to the doctor yesterday because my eyes were still painful after my last round of antibiotics. When I had my culture on November 15th, they found two bugs growing my eyes. One was strep and the other was one commonly found in nursing homes. Don’t ask me how that happened. After going over the results from last appointment with a new doctor yesterday, she realized that I was prescribed an antibiotic that would only take care of the nursing home bug and not the strep in my eyes. So my strep has gone untreated this entire time. Explains why my eyes still feel awful and I can’t catch a break. I’m now on one last round of antibiotics before being referred to an eye specialist.  Goodie. Painful eyes have been quite a challenge over the last month and more. It’s effected my sleep. I’m obviously uncomfortable. It explains my off and on fevers… My body has been fighting an infection and I’ve been trying to push through and live life like normal, but I’m totally depleted. Makes sense now. This is my 5th antibiotic and I will admit that my faith in antibiotics is a bit slim. However, I really want to kick this bug and not have to go to a specialist, so I’m praying this time it works and I’m free from this nasty infection. Prayers are appreciated!

We continue to keep chugging along into the Christmas season. Jeremy and I are almost 100% done with our Christmas shopping and I have all the presents we’ve purchased wrapped and under the tree (this is the first time in probably 4 years that we’ve had presents under the tree – it’s an exercise in trust and so far it’s going well). Jeremy was a super dad and picked out a Christmas train for the boys. Owen has been introduced to Frosty the Snowman, the old cartoon, and loves the train in the show. He and Graham love to listen to “Frosty the Snowman” on kids Christmas CD in the van. Graham has joined the family in loving Christmas music and can sing along to about one word in each song. For “Jingle Bells” the one word he can sing is way and he sings it loud and proud.

Owen & Graham participated in the Christmas musical this year. Their classes sang a song before the musical started. Owen wasn’t feeling well that morning, but he was crushed that he couldn’t sing on stage, so we went to church briefly so he could sing. I was nervous about how Graham would do on stage, but he did great! Owen and Graham held hands and looked super cute! They didn’t really sing along with the songs, but they were adorable and clapped at the end and didn’t make drama. I call that a win!

Owen’s room now as decorated mini-tree as well as our Little People nativity set and our Christmas letters out that spell believe. I told him its a reminder for us to believe in Jesus and why he came at Christmas time. Santa has taken up a more prominent place in our house as Owen asks me often if Santa will bring him one very specific item this year. He also knows that Christmas presents have been delivered to our house and I wrap them. I told him that Santa gave me the job of wrapping the Christmas presents. I didn’t use the word “delegate” but I’m teaching him that Santa shares his job with others. Haha… Verdict is still out on if we’ll do pictures with Santa this year. I’m inclined to if we can find the time. I also hope to do Snowflake Lane up in Bell Square if we can find a day where the weather is nice. They make it snow every night and do a fun parade with a drum line.  The Christmas season is in full swing here and I’m hoping that if this last round of antibiotics does the trick, I’ll be able to enjoy the season a bit more than I have up until this point.

On to the house! The siding on the outside is completely done. The tubs/showers are in and the plumbers have been out to hook them up and get all the pipes in place. The doors have also all installed which make our effort to dry out the house even better because now we can trap air. The heating/cooling people have started their installation process and electricians should be on the scene shortly. Jeremy has been given the go-ahead to pressure the wash the siding and start the painting process. We have a stretch of dry weather, but it’s also cold weather. We need to figure out if it’s too cold to paint. We have some questions out to the pros and should know soon. Jeremy has some vacation time stored up for end of the year. Some of it will go to family fun and the holidays, but he will also want to use that time to work on the house. Painting the outside will be a huge project and I’m sure he’ll be glad for those vacation days so he can make headway.

I’ll touch on MOPS & Usborne just shortly before wrapping things up. On Monday, I had my steering team Christmas party for MOPS. Our steering team meetings usually stick to a schedule and while we have fun, we also take care of business. This meeting with all party and fun and no agenda! It was great. We ate a ton of good food, played a silly Christmas carol game and did a secret sister gift exchange. Next Monday is our Christmas party for the whole MOPS group. We have a great guest speaker lined up, Christmas games and a group Christmas present that I’m really happy with. We got the ladies each a MOPS “Free Indeed” theme mug and inside is a hot chocolate packet, a mug cake packet and a candy cane. Super cute! We don’t have a second meeting or outing in December because of the holidays. I’m looking forward to things slowing down a bit and having a slight break.

On to books, things are going great in the world of Usborne. I thought my business might fizzle after the Christmas selling rush was over, but I have 4 parties already on the calendar for January and a long list of people who said to contact them in the new year to book a party or a fundraiser. I had a really successful Black Friday sale and that gave me $200 in book rewards that I was able to cash in. Jeremy jokes with me that we’re not building a play room in the next house, but really a library. I’m kind of okay with that. A lot of the books I just got are age appropriate for the boys now. I’m think that my next time I cash in my book rewards, I’ll invest in some of our chapter books and start stock piling for the future. Tonight is my last book party in 2017! Woo hoo! I’m excited to wrap up this year and start strong in January.

And that is the update for now. Hopefully my next post will share how I beat the eye infections and finally feel like a normal person. And maybe I’ll have a picture of my painted house… Maybe… We’ll have to see!

 

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Zoolights 

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Preschool Craft

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What a lovely sliding glass door! 

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The shower in our master bath

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The soaking tub in our master bath

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Helping Daddy get ready for the Christmas musical 

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Decorating the mini-tree while Graham napped. 

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Christmas musical performance

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Owen is sick with the flu in this picture. Graham wanted to be just like Owen. 

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MOPS Steering Team Christmas Party 

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I love free stuff! :) 

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It’s looks alike a house! Time to clean it up and paint it!