Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

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.
 

Realignment April 15, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Bible,Coronavirus Chronicles,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 11:32 am

I was talking with a friend this weekend – catching up on life. She asked me for an update on my life. As I started to share, I felt frustration and disappointment rising within me. The conversation felt like Groundhog’s Day. This wasn’t the first time we’ve had this conversation. The big things in my heart and in my life are same things that have unfolded throughout this last year. I had some new news, but mostly just the same old, same old. It was discouraging. Not that I want new challenges to replace my current ones… It would just be nice to not feel like a broken record when asked how I am doing.

I’d been mulling on the discontent that followed my conversation. When something weighs heavy on my heart I take it to the Lord in prayer. I journal about it. I talk about with my people. I try to process what I’m feeling and get to the heart of the matter. After doing some reading on “feelings” this year, I’m trying my best to acknowledge them, feel them, but also realize that feelings are not the standard of truth. God is good and he quickly brought words to my heart to encourage me.

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. Galatians 6:4

It was very clear as I was reading this verse that I can get so focused on the big picture and looking ahead to the future that I forget to pay attention to the work right in front of me. I want to give my best effort and energy to my right-now life. I want to focus on my family, homeschooling, keeping house, making meals, taking care of my health (physical, mental, spiritual). I have a good work right in front of me. It’s a simple truth. It’s one I’ve championed before. But the comparison trap is real. I often process what I’m called to do in light what others are doing. Contentment comes with gratitude, not comparison. I want to be thankful for the here and now. I want to do my work well and find satisfaction in a job well done. I want to let go of comparison.

The next form of encouragement came from good, old Instagram where I follow many Enneagram accounts. One account specifically for Type Ones shared this: Dear Little One, enjoy your life for how it is right now, not for what you wish it could be (@menneagram). I left my conversation with my friend wondering when the things that I’ve been discussing for what feels like forever will be over. When will this conversation not be the main conversation of my life? When can I move on? All that processing led me to ponder what’s next. What could life look when things change? I read this post the same day I read the verse in Galatians. They fit so perfectly together. I can daydream about life after COVID or after fill-in-the-blank challenge. It’s good to have a vision for the future. I am looking forward to so. many. things. But… looking forward to the future can’t come at the expense of today. Wishing life could be different doesn’t help me thrive in my current, daily, right-here life. I can tuck dreams and visions for the future away in the corner of my heart knowing someday I can pull them out and work toward making them a reality, but for now, for the sake of contentment, I choose to live in the moment.

This seems like an ongoing lesson in my life. One that I grasp for a while and then loose my grip on. I will probably continue to wrestle with contentment and focus until I am old and gray. It’s a worthwhile endeavor, though. I won’t give up. This week felt like a realignment of my thought life. A chance to acknowledge the hard, but also to embrace the good. A chance to dream for the future, but also to love today.

We now have 5 chicks! One last baby decided to hatch and join us a few days later than the rest.
This kid loves his chickens!
Pandemic Homeschooling! We stay home. I could have died laughing when I saw that answer!
Creating animal habitats for school
Completing my L.M. Montgomery library! I used Thiftbooks.com to get the last 6 books in my collection. Not only was the price great, but I wanted the cover art to be what I remember seeing as kid.
 

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

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 12:33 pm
  • Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst – I read this book with my MOPS & MOMSnext group. We did our first book club this month. I was a little nervous when they voted for this book because the topic seemed heavy. I figured it would bring up all sorts of feels. Overall, I found this book had good takeaways for many different forms of rejection. The Scripture and Biblical perspective on self-worth were positive reminders on how to lived loved.
  • The Light In Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron – This book tells the story of a teenage girl during World War II in Poland. She boards with a Jewish family and works in their shop until the war tears their world apart. Based on a true story, this book is moving and inspiring. I found myself deeply engaged in the characters and their survival. This was a book club pick for Courty’s Book Club.
  • The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World by Rosaria Butterfield – This book was a Courty’s Book Club pick. The direction this book took went many different ways. At first I thought it was about neighborhood hospitality then I thought it would be about fostering/adoption and then it dove into loving the LGBTQ community. The author’s life has been a testament to hospitality in many forms and to many people.
  • Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, Come Rain or Shine, To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon – These three books wrap up the Mitford Series and my journey with Father Tim. Jan Karon saved her best books for last. I adored the conclusion of this series, but was so sad to leave Mitford and the characters I have come to know and love. This 14 books series was slow to start, but the reward for making it to the end was worth it!
  • That Sounds Fun: The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby by Annie F. Downs – The title of this book had me hooked. When I got the boys their 3rd quarter of school completion reward, I picked this up as a reward for their teacher. As an Ennegram 7, Annie is all about fun. In health, Enneagram 1’s move toward the positive traits in the Enneagram 7. Enneagram 7’s literally help me move toward being my best self. When it comes to being an amateur and having a hobby, these are things that I have recently seen great benefit from and I wanted to read more about the topic. Annie’s essays are honest, encouraging, and fun.
  • Pat of Silver Bush & Mistress Pat by L.M. Montgomery – I love sprinkling a little Montgomery throughout each month. Prince Edward Island is my home away from home in the book world. I return there often. The more I visit the world of Patricia Gardiner, the more I love her, her home, and her people. Pat has a deep love of her home and her greatest hope is that things never change. I might not feel quite as deeply as Pat, but she is so relatable!
 

What I’ve Been Reading – February 2021 February 28, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 11:31 am
My reading was down a bit this month. It’s partially because we’re in a short month, but I also hit some mental fatigue that made reading a challenge.
  1. Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery – During the snow days, I wanted some light reading. Visiting Prince Edward Island through the pen of L.M. Montgomery is always a favorite. Jane is one of my favorite Montgomery characters. She is industrious, learns to stand up for herself, and she reunites her parents. It’s a heartwarming tale.
  2. Where is the Water? by Diana E. Greene – I own this book so I included it in the picture for the month, but I “read” this book through the audiobook version this month. I know the author personally and she offered me a free copy of the audiobook for a honest review on Amazon. I enjoyed hearing this book through Diana’s own voice. It’s a quick read/listen. It’s encouraging for those who desire a Spirit-led life.
  3. All the Feels: Discover Why Emotions Are (Mostly) Awesome and How to Untangle Them When They’re Not by Elizabeth Laing Thompson – This was a book club read. After doing a deep dive into the Enneagram last month, I felt this book was a good follow-up. While I don’t view myself as an overly emotional person, I do tip closer to emotional verses unemotional. Processing emotions and giving them a proper place in our life is an important thing to process.
  4. Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans – This was the last book by this author that I had yet to read. Her life and unexpected passing in 2019 had a profound impact on me. While I don’t always draw the same conclusions as Evans, I appreciate how she processed her childhood faith/church culture and found a way to keep her faith through doubts and earnest questioning. She was an excellent writer and conveyed yourself as a friend.
  5. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang – A friend let me borrow this book and informed me that it was intense. She was right! Wow! It’s a thick book with small font and the content is heavy. While it was difficult to read, I appreciate how it opened my eyes to Chinese history from the personal perspective of the author and her family.
  6. Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery – This book is quick read, but a lovely story. After reading Wild Swans, the snow days called for sweet tales from Prince Edward Island.
  7. In the Company of Others by Jan Karon – I’ve been stalled in reading the Father Tim/Mitford books because I was waiting for this book from the library. I did a happy dance when this book was finally available. I have three more books in this series and I have genuinely enjoyed journeying alongside Father Tim. His people and his town have become friends of mine.
 

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

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 2:37 pm
  1. Didn’t See That Coming: Putting Life Back Together When Your World Falls Apart by Rachel Hollis – I’ll be honest, I read this book more out of curiosity than self-growth. I wanted to know Rachel’s take on grief and putting your life back together. As someone who has walked through a season of rebuilding, I could relate to many of the topics and encouragements covered in this book. It’s a quick read and one worth looking into when walking through a difficult time.
  2. All Things Reconsidered: How Rethinking What We Know Helps Us Know What We Believe by Knox McCoy – (Courty’s Book Club: Non-Fiction)* The depth of topics covered varied, but throughout the book was humor and wisdom. As I grow older, I have reconsidered many things. Sometimes my thoughts/opinions stay true to my original beliefs and sometimes, they change through time/perspective. Reconsideration is a healthy way to give your beliefs system a tune up. Also, I loved all the Hamilton (the musical) references throughout the book. And the conclusion (based on Hamilton) was my favorite chapter!
  3. The Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds – (Courty’s Book Club: Fiction)* This novel is about a high school senior who enters a time loop to save his girlfriend from dying. It was interesting to see how his choices changed the outcome of each time loop. It’s no surprise that I enjoy new-to-me novels. It was refreshing to read a story that I didn’t know the ending to and this one keeps you wondering right up to the end.
  4. Get Out of Your Own Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts by Jennie Allen – I purchased this book based on the recommendation of a friend (and because Amazon kept suggesting it to me). As an Enneagram Type One, I live with an inner critic that is always telling me what I’m doing wrong or what I should be doing better. This voice isn’t my friend, so I am thankful for voices like Jennie’s who remind me who I am in Christ. This book is a mindset overhaul and an excellent resource.
  5. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow – My appreciation for Hamilton (the musical) has deepened since I first watched it. I thought it would be interesting to read the biography that inspired the musical. Little did I know that the biography was 800 pages of small font! It wasn’t a quick read and some parts went over my head, but it was so good! Hamilton’s childhood in the Caribbean and his rise to success in America were astounding. The political climate of our young nation and the battles printed in the newspapers have such parallels to our current times. I don’t read biographies often, but I’m always moved by them when I do. There is so much to learn from the lives of others.
  6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – A friend let me borrow this book. She said it was one of her favorites, but she admitted that it was a bit on the New Age side (which it totally was). This novel is more like a parable which when sifted through did offer some good wisdom and insight. The discussion my friend and I had about the book afterward was an insightful conversation.
  7. The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done by Kendra Adachi – The second I started reading this book, I knew I was going to love it’s message. If I have friends who come to me with burnout and struggling to do it all, I will recommend this book. I already practice many of the principles in this book, but it is such a good reminder to invest in what matters most to you and let the other stuff fall away. You can’t do everything so do the things that matter!
  8. Turn the Page: How to Read Like a Top Leader (LIFE Leadership Essentials Series) – A friend let me borrow this book. It reminded me of my high school and college years when I took notes in the margins and highlighted in all my books. I’ve gotten out of that habit. It was a good reminder on how to engage with books in a way that you learn and grow. I am guilty of flying through books, but am I letting their wisdom change me and improve my life? It’s a good question to ask.
  9. Take Care of Your Type : An Enneagram Guide to Self-Care by Christina S. Wilcox – This book came recommend by someone I follow on Instagram. I love the Enneagram and I wanted to take a deep dive into self-care, but I also wanted to be aware of other types need for self-care so I can be an advocate for them.
  10. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery – An author I follow shared that this was her favorite L.M. Montgomery novel and I didn’t believe it could be better than Anne. After reading it, I have to agree. It’s my favorite now too! The heroine, Valancy, breaks out of her oppressive family and decides to finally live life to the fullest because she is told she has a year to live. The life that she discovers over that year is beautiful.
  11. The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile – After reading about Enneagram self-care, I wanted to refresh myself with all the types a little further. I’ve read many books on the Enneagram, but this is my favorite introduction to the topic. It’s filled with humor, insight, and hope. It is an excellent Enneagram resource and one I am sure to consult again and again.
  12. Kind Is The New Classy: The Power of Living Graciously by Candance Cameron Bure – A friend commented on enjoying this book, so I picked it up from the library. I enjoyed learning more about Candance’s faith journey and how she’s made kindness her main thing because it brings glory to God. As someone who grew up watching Full House, enjoyed Fuller House on Netflix, and is a Hallmark movie junkie, it was interesting to pull the curtain back on an actress I enjoy.
  13. Love Finds You in Annapolis, MD by Roseanna M. White – I forgot to include this one in the picture above. Oops. This historical fiction takes place right after the Revolutionary War. It’s a Christian romance novel, but it also touches on injustices of the time – like slavery and the treatment of Tories after the war. This novel is a good example of not judging a book by it’s cover. Also, the plot went a different direction than I expected at first. I love being surprised by a novel.

* A staff member at our church has started a book club on Instagram. Since I am a book lover and always looking for new books to read, I thought I would give it a try. Each month will feature a fiction and non-fiction read.

 

What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – December 2020 December 30, 2020

Here marks one year of keeping track of my books on the blog, as well as the things that made me happy each month. It’s been fun to document each month and share the simple things that made an impression on me. Now that we are wrapping up 2020, I can say that I surpassed my goal of reading 100 books this year and landed at 137 as of this afternoon. Obviously, books mean a great deal to me, but never before have they matter quite as much as they did in 2020. Books took me to new places and introduced me to new people during a time where I was told to stay home and limit my social circles. Books were my entertainment as well as my distraction. This year has been unlike any other and books kept me going. It’s no surprise I read so many. 2020 afforded me plenty of opportunity to read. So here’s to 137 books!

What I’m Reading:

  • Out to Canaan, A New Song, A Common Life, Shepherds Abiding, In This Mountain, Light from Heaven (books 4-9 in the Mitford Series) by Jan Karon – It took me a while to get into the pace of the Mitford series, but after a few books I was sold on the characters in this charming small town. I’m a huge fan of reading a series and love having book after book to dive into. This series took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did.
  • Home to Holly Springs (book 1 in the Father Tim Series) by Jan Karon – This series picks up after the Mitford series. Father Tim is still the main character, but this book finds him outside of Mitford and revisiting his childhood hometown. Throughout the Mitford series you would get glimpses into Father Tim’s traumatic childhood, but only small bits. This book pulled back the curtain and shared the raw truth of Father Tim’s past.
  • The Home Edit Life by Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin – I follow these home organizers on Instagram. I read their first book and recently watched their series on Netflix. I love the pictures in this book. I love the step by step instructions. I love home organization. These ladies inspired me to take it up a notch with my organization this Christmas season. I enjoyed having a project and I loved the book so much I bought my own copy with Christmas money.
  • The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson (not pictured – Kindle library book) – Reading a book by Melody is like watching a Hallmark movie. After the pace of the Mitford books, I wanted a book that I could sail through. This story about about a women who fixes up a beat up camper was sweet.
  • The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson – I read this book right before Christmas and it was perfect for celebrating Christmas week with a Christmas book. Again, I enjoy the Hallmark plotline that is fairly predictable, but heartwarming. Melody’s books are like comfort food for me!

What I’m Loving:

  • Baking – Other than reading, baking was my main project this month. I made five different kinds of cookies. Two of the recipes were an experiment to find a chocolate cookie recipe that Owen would approve of. It was fun to make some Christmas classics like cut-out cookies and gingerbread, but it was also fun to try something new! Bonus, my sister got me a cookie decorating book for Christmas, so more cute cookies are hopefully in my future!
  • Christmas – I needed Christmas this year! I needed books, movies, decorations, crafts, outings – the works! Christmas gave me a something hopeful and exciting to focus on. Currently in Washington state, our COVID restrictions are tight. With so much time at home, Christmas was the perfect distraction. I’m so thankful for the Christmas season we got to celebrate as a family. Even though it was very different than our usual experience, it was a unique gift.
  • Home Organization – I’ve had some fun tweaking my home organization. I picked up more storage containers, rearranged our books by color, and replaced broken or worn household times. It was a fun project to focus on the house and fine-tune our systems. After a year spent mostly at home, I can see how our home has changed. The boys’ rooms now display more artwork and things that matter to them. Toys are played with often. The kitchen and laundry room are well-used. A well-lived-in house calls for practical systems of maintenance. I’m a nerd, but I love it!
  • Playing UPS – One of the highlights of my month was our gift delivery days to our families. We got to see the people who matter most to us even if the visits were short, distanced, and in masks. I miss long, leisurely visits with my people, but seeing them in-person for a short time did my soul good.

 

All Things Christmas December 11, 2020

We are ramping up our Christmas activities in the Scott household. There has been a new Christmas activity every day this week and my kids are loving it! The only downside with starting a Christmas-activity-a-day pattern is that the kiddos have come to expect something Christmas-y everyday. It’s addictive and habit-forming. So to keep them from going through withdrawals, I’m stepping up to the challenge. This week has been full of Christmas crafts, Christmas books, a Christmas outing, and Christmas baking. I realize that this pace isn’t sustainable forever. Good thing we are at the two week countdown to Christmas. I love that these small things (mostly done at home) are making our days festive and fun. I am truly thankful for the extra time to celebrate with my family this year. Home for the holidays is okay with us.

Monday was Nutcracker day! We painted these nutcrackers from Hobby Lobby and read the story from our home library.
Watching clips from the Nutcracker ballet to see how the story is told through music and dance.
Tuesday was cinnamon ornaments. This is a classic school craft, but I’ve never personally made them before. The cinnamon smell was so strong that the boys abandoned me after they each made two ornaments. The dough actually made more than I expected.
The finished results – we have now have plenty of cinnamon trees, men, snails, chickens, hedgehogs, lights, and squirrels around our tree. We also gifted a few ornaments to family members, because we had a ton!
On Wednesday, we read for the first time the original How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The boys love the cartoon version, so this seemed like the perfect addition to our home library. Also, another classic kid Christmas thing and I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever read the actual book before… at least not in a few decades anyway… I really can’t remember.
On Thursday, we drove through a local park to see the Christmas light display. We love this tradition! This year, we added Santa hats to the outing to make it more festive.
Friday was Christmas cookies!
I enjoy making the pretty cookies first and then I let the boys have at the rest of the cookies. I’m always intrigued to see how they decide to decorate.
 

What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – November 2020 November 30, 2020

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,What I'm Loving — Amy Scott @ 1:49 pm

What I’m Reading:

  • At Home in Mitford, A Light in the Window, These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon – My friend let me borrow the first six books in the Mitford series. The writing style and perspective is different than what I’m used to, but I think it’s interesting to read something new.
  • Mr. Malcom’s List was mentioned last month and made it into the picture by mistake! Oops!
  • Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra – This was a modern retelling of Little Women from the perspective of Meg and Jo. While I was intrigued to see how the author would re-envision these characters, I was disappointed with the book. It was a little too PG-13 and it lost the wholesome nature that made the original story so good.
  • The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner – I enjoyed this book about an unlikely group of people that sets out to save Jane Austen’s family estate. It was slow to start, but I got into by the end.
  • Mama Bear Apologetics by Hilary Morgan Ferrer – This book came recommended by a friend. It gives moms the tools to talk about apologetics with their kids so that their kiddos are equipped to stand firm in their faith. I’m sure this book will be one that I reference throughout the years ahead.
  • Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere by Ree Drummond – (Not picture because I’m letting my mom borrow it.) I love Ree! I pre-ordered this book so it would arrive the day it was released. This book is full of humor, love, and wild stories of life on the ranch while being a wife, mother, and television show host.

What I’m Loving:

  • New books – Not only did I add a few new books to my home library this month, I also only read new-to-me books this month. It was fun to have each page I read be an unknown adventure.
  • Seasonal Goodies – We’ve been baking like crazy at our house. Jeremy made an assortment of mini pies for Thanksgiving. I made a pumpkin pie. There has also been the need for chocolate (brownies and cake). On top of the homemade goodies, I’ve been enjoying the cranberry treats that are back at Starbucks! My taste buds love this time of the year.
  • Christmas Movies – Thanks to Hallmark Channel, our home collection, and rejoining Netflix for a month, we now have a plethora of Christmas movies at our disposable. We’ll see how many books I end up reading in December. I have a feeling the pull for Christmas movies will be strong! It’s the only time of year that a movie a day doesn’t seem too absurd.
  • Christmas Décor – I love the soft light of the Christmas tree. I love seeing our nativity set on the bookshelf and our Advent candles on the dining table. Every year I set up these letter blocks that can spell a bunch of Christmas words depending on how you flip them around. This year I chose the word peace to display above the sink. I knew that was the word for the year before we started decorated. More than ever, I want to claim peace over this home and peace on earth.

 

What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – October 2020 October 31, 2020

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,What I'm Loving — Amy Scott @ 9:27 am

What I’m Reading:

Mr. Malcom’s List by Suzanne Allain – A friend raved about this book and let me borrow it. It’s a Jane Austen inspired novel. It was a light, quick read, but enjoyable. According to the book cover and a little internet research, it’s being made into a motion picture.
The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph. D – This book was mentioned in Introverted Mom by Jaime C. Martin. I can related to the highly sensitive person. I like that Aron explained how being a HSP is a neutral trait and displays itself in positive and negative ways. Being “sensitive” is often seen as a flaw, but it isn’t. I appreciated her perspective on HSPs.
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – I watched the movie when it came out a long time ago, but a friend told me I had to read the book. It was certainly an thoughtful book on ethics and life with cancer.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Same situation as before. I’ve seen the movie, but my friend said I should read the book. Two books about kids with cancer in a row might have been a bit of a downer this month. But they were both written well and I found them thought-provoking and honoring to those who struggle with cancer as well as those who support them.
Love Finds You in Sun Valley, ID by Angela Ruth* – My last Love Finds You book in my home library. After processing my personality and two novels about cancer, I needed something lighter to focus on.
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Nieguist* – In an effort to re-read my home library, I plan to re-read all my books by this favorite author of mine.
*Books I’ve read before, but not in the last calendar year.

What I’m Loving:

My MOPS & MOMSnext craft – We did a watercolor craft this month with washable markers, watercolor paper, a ziplock bag, and water. It was so easy and so fun. I turned mine into a print with a quote from L.M. Montgomery from Anne of Avonlea. I put it up in my closet by my dresser and it makes me happy (and thoughtful) every time I look it. I’m not super crafty, so this project turned out way better than my expectations.

Card Boxes – I love giving cards. October is prime card month with plenty of birthday cards and thank you cards necessary. I absolutely love the stash of cards I have on hand. They are best!

My card box stash! From birthday to thank you to all occasions to blank, I love always having a card ready to go!

New Toys – Thank you to birthday month for an influx of new toys! My kids are happy campers and you can find them creatively playing with all their new items. Keeping these boys occupied means I can actually be a productive human – until the new toy needs assistance (which happens often with LEGOs or solar robots).

Fall Family Scavenger Hunt – It’s no surprised that I love playing this game with my family. Since I’m not seeing a lot of church families right now in-person, this activity created a sense of community. We were all competing and being silly/creative together. It’s been an intense competition (for me anyway) and it’s kept us active and engaged in a project.

Seeing Friends – I am doing my best to follow all the local guidelines and keep community at the same time. This means outdoor gatherings and keeping my social circle small. This month, I got have a lunch and a cider date with my two forever friends. I also gathered with my MOPS & MOMSnext steering team (outdoors and distanced) to hang out and catch up. We’ve continued to enjoy outdoor forest school with other homeschool families. These times of connection are so important. Distance doesn’t mean isolation.

Apple cider with Christa was just what I needed on a beautiful October afternoon.

Honorable Mention:
Waterfalls – It was so much fun to visit 7 waterfalls this month. We didn’t set out to make this a theme to our month. It just happened, but it was so much. We’ve been enjoying getting outside and enjoying the October sunshine as much as possible.
Hallmark Christmas Movies – I gave Hallmark movies a break for a few months. Now that Hallmark is airing their new Christmas movies, I’m back to recording every new movie. Yep. I’m that girl.

 

What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – September 2020 September 29, 2020

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,What I'm Loving — Amy Scott @ 3:30 pm

What I’m Reading:

Wool & Shift by Hugh Howey – These books belong to a friend and I have a final book in the trilogy to go. It’s one of those post-apocalyptic series about people living underground in silos after a nuclear explosion made the outside world unsafe. It’s been a while since I’ve read any science fiction. I’ll be intrigued to see how the series ends.

Blueprint Homeschooling by Amy Knepper – Another friend recommendation, this books breaks down planning for your whole homeschool year.

Introverted Mom by Jamie C. Martin* – I read this book a few years ago and thought that it would apply more if I was a homeschool mom since the author is a homeschool mom. Well, now I’m homeschool mom, so I thought I would give it a re-read. It was a good reminder of how I am wired and how I need to take care of myself so I can take care of my family.

Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons – This author is new to me, but my mom bought a copy of the book and asked if I’d like to read it. Just like Introverted Mom, this book spoke to lessons I’ve already wrestled with, but also that I deeply value. It was a refreshing reminder.

The Motive by Patrick Lencioni – This book is a staff read that Jeremy came home with. I’m not a huge fan of business books, but I’m always curious about what our church staff will be processing together. This book was about servant leadership and I appreciated that it was a quick and direct read.

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy* – I’m slowly re-reading my entire home library. I’m especially looking for books that I’ve only read once and might want a chance to ponder again. This prequel obviously wasn’t written by L.M. Montgomery, it’s interesting to see how another author envisioned the beginning of Anne of Green Gables.

Love Finds You in Martha’s Vineyard, MA, Love Finds You in Sisters, OR, Love Finds You in Pendleton, OR by Melody Carlson* – As you know from previous posts, I read Love Finds You books like I watch Hallmark movies. They are simple, sweet, and a good way to relax.

Love Finds You in Victory Heights, WA by Tricia Goyer & Ocieanna Fleiss* – I enjoy reading local stories. This novel takes place in Seattle during WWII.

Call of the Wild + Free by Ainsley Arment – This was a recommendation from a friend and I had to wait to get a copy from the library. While I might be a bit structured for this movement, I did find this book to be inspirational and encouraging. My boys certainly have a wild + free lifestyle right now.

Welcome Home: A Cozy Minimalist Guide to Decorating and Hosting All Year Round by Myquillyn Smith – I don’t read a ton on home décor, but if I do, Myquillyn is my favorite author. I enjoyed this seasonal approach to decorating and hosting. I will reference this book in future seasons!

*Books I’ve read before, but not for over a year.

What I’m Loving This Month:

Between the start of homeschooling and over a week stuck inside due to poor air quality, this month as been quieter. The things that I’ve been enjoying this month are my tried and true favorites.

Victoria – I watched all three seasons as they aired, so I thought I would revisit them. I love British, period dramas, so one episode of Victoria most days is a favorite way to relax!

New Books – While I did re-read books from my home library, I also read more new books than usual this month! I love borrowing from friends and the library. In the case of Welcome Home, I love adding a new book to my home library from time to time.

Journaling – I completed a journal this month and started a new one. A fresh journal is always so inspiring! My new journal was a gift and on each page is has a Bible verse with my name inserted into the sentence to make the verse personalized to me.

Baking – As I mentioned last month, I love the arrival of all the pumpkin goodies. I’ve made pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins this month. I’ve also been creating other autumn treats as well. I’ve made candy corn blondies and seasonal sugar cookies. I don’t love how my frosted pumpkins turned out, but I learned from trial and error. I’m confident for better results in the future.