Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Beavers, Bobcats, and Astronomy March 9, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 12:17 pm

These are exciting days around our house. With the evidence that spring is on its way, the boys have started adventuring outside again. Sometimes even in the rain because fresh air and adventure is calling to them. Our property is next to a tree farm. The tree farm has public access, so Jeremy has been wandering into the woods with little shadows following behind him to explore new territory.

These expeditions have been very educational for the Scott boys. They have discovered a path that leads down to the nearby creek. This creek has beaver dams all over it. With the supervision and help of my husband, the boys have started disassembling pieces of the dam system to see if the beavers will repair the damage. After some research, we learned that beavers will often repair their main structure while waiting to fix secondary dams that they deem of less importance. Interesting, right? They boys have also “befriended” a pair of owls who they have named Berry (short for Raspberry) and Owly. These owls hoot back and forth to each other and the boys. Jeremy and the boys have made frequent visits to the creek over the last few weeks. Each time they come home with stories to share.

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Graham exploring the beaver dam and creek with Jeremy. 

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Love how much the boys can learn by adventuring outside. 

Now when I put bobcat in the title of this post, did you expect me to share a story about a bobcat sighting in nature? Well, the bobcat that I am referencing is a certain Lintott Bobcat in kindergarten. Owen was selected as a Bobcat of the Month for the month of February. He was nominated by his classmates for exemplifying teamwork. This last Friday, we attended his school assembly where he and other students were awarded for this honor. It was definitely a proud mom moment. I know that awards aren’t necessary for me to know that Owen is a good kid. But they are fun! To celebrate after school, we let Owen decide where he would like to go out to eat for dinner. We even got ice cream for dessert! It was a special time for our family.

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So proud of our Bobcat of the Month!

On to astronomy… This is the new thing in our household. Owen has declared that he loves space more than trains these days. This declaration is a huge deal considering he has been obsessed with trains for over five years. When Owen is interested in something, he goes all in. We’ve been watching YouTube videos about our solar system for weeks now. His favorite series is called Crash Course Astronomy. It’s produced by PBS and has 10 minute episodes where the host gives a quick lesson on different elements of astronomy. The amount of information that Owen has absorbed is amazing. Our whole family is learning alongside him.

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Reading a space book from the library.

Owen was saving his money to buy a new train, but with his new love for space, his mission changed. Jeremy and Owen started researching backyard telescopes. In order to pay for this new telescope, Jeremy and I got the chance to teach Owen a valuable lesson. Jeremy and I frequently sell items around our house that we are no longer using or that we want to upgrade. We’ve purged and sold items to raise money for a new interest or a household project. Since Owen doesn’t earn an allowance at this point, his options for making money are limited. Jeremy suggested that we sell some of the wooden trains that the boys no longer play with. It took a few months, but the toy trains finally sold. Jeremy has also been selling LEGO sets from his childhood. With his last sale, he decided to combine efforts with Owen to get a telescope for the family.

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Super excited for the new telescope!

Currently, the telescopes has only been used a few times. The PNW is still a bit on the cloudy side these days. We are looking forward to the summer months for stargazing. We had friends suggest a stargazing app that allows you to identify the starts in the night sky. We’ve put that app to good use over the last few weeks. I also ordered a solar powered rover kit from Owen’s latest Scholastic book order. Jeremy helped Owen assemble the rover. We had to wait a few days before the rover actually worked, though. It needs very direct sunlight to operate, which is something we are lacking right now. The rover had it’s first spin around the back deck yesterday. There was much rejoicing because we honestly thought the kit was a dud.

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Our new solar-powered rover! 

I know that spring isn’t even officially here yet, but I can sense our family is more than ready for this new season to arrive. In fact, summer is already calling to us. We are ready for longer days, more sun, and more free time to explore and play. We have many adventures ahead!

 

 

What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – February 2020 February 24, 2020

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Simply Me,What I'm Loving — Amy Scott @ 3:13 pm

Here we are! The last week of February! And it’s a Leap Year! Do you have any special plans for your February 29th? Since the end of the month is in sight, let’s talk books and things I’m loving from February 2020!

Books

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  • You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins – a fast but practical read that was recommended to me by an author friend.
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend * – I’m currently working on this book, but should have it finished by the end of the month, so I included it. I’ve owned this book for years and I am re-reading it as a refresher on the principles.
  • Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island by Susan Page Davis * – You’ll find that I love anything PEI. This is a lovely story about when Prince Albert visited the island.
  • For the Love by Jen Hatmaker * – I read this book when I was pregnant with Graham and I remember laughing so hard while reading it. I figured it was time to revisit it.
  • Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory –  This book and the next one on the list came recommended by an author I follow on social media. Both books were a little too steamy and had too much language for me to recommend them to others. I’m fairly conservative when it comes to entertainment and these books were a little too PG-13 for my personal taste.
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes –  see my description of Royal Holiday.
  • The Anne of Green Gables Series (minus Anne of Windy Poplars) by L.M. Montgomery * – As you can tell, I love re-reading my home library. It had been a while since read the Anne books. When I read the Anne books it’s like visiting an old friend, a kindred spirit. I’ve decided that Anne of the Island is my favorite because Anne realizes she loves Gilbert and they get engaged at the end. Anne of Windy Poplars fills in the three years between her engagement and her marriage. The plot line doesn’t move forward in this book, so I skip it!

* Books that I’ve read before; just not in the last year.

Things I’m Loving

Keepsake Quilts from Nana – I’ve been in the process of pairing down baby items in my house over the last year or so. I had this idea for making keepsake quilts out of the receiving blankets the boys used. We had SO many! My mother-in-law is a quilter and she took up the task for me. The boys got a sneak preview of their quilts about a week ago and the finished products were delivered to them yesterday. These quilts are such a precious way to preserve a part of their baby days. Graham’s blue blanket has pieces from blankets that Jeremy and his brothers used as babies. Nana even went the extra mile and made the boys matching pillows to go with them!

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 A New Planner – I was gifted this new planner by an author friend to help me on my journey of planning and writing this year. I’m currently using it to keep track of my editing schedule. It’s a dream planner so it has spaces to dream for the year and it also breaks things down into quarterly goals. I learned very quickly when I started to use it that I should write in pencil and not pen. Plans change!

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Girl Scout Cookies – It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  I have a wonderful Girl Scout in my class of Wednesday night girls and I am happy to support her desire to go to summer camp by buying as many cookies as Jeremy will let me!

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Samoas are my favorite Girl Scout cookie! Do you have a favorite?

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I love adding Thin Mints to my brownies! Such a good combination! 

Honorable Mention:

  • Unsellable Houses on HGTV – One of my close friends knows the twins who host this show. They actually helped her family buy and sell their house a few years ago. I love watching home shows that feature the PNW. And I’ve got Jeremy watching it with me, so that is a bonus as well!
  • Doctor On Demand – I was very pleased with my experience this last month using Doctor On Demand for my sinus infection. I loved that I could video chat with a doctor from the comfort of my home during nap time. As someone who never takes time to go to the doctor, this app is a game changer!

Now for some photos from the last week:

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Grandpa met Owen at the bus stop last week and gave him a ride home on the lawn mower. Such a fun treat!

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Poor Graham has been under the weather this last week!

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Owen and I tagged along on an adventure to help Grandpa buy a new truck. Owen loved being included in the process. 

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Watching space videos while resting in a giant pile of stuffed animals. 

 

A Jolly Holiday Weekend February 18, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:57 pm

This last weekend was quite jolly! So many good and wonderful things happened!

Friday was Valentine’s Day. Graham decided to go to school the extra day for his class party. He came home completely jazzed. His first Valentine’s Day party was a major hit. We exchanged chocolate boxes with Owen’s bus driver. We got him a box and he gave us one as well. It was funny and sweet. I experienced a small bit of mom guilt when I realized that my kids were the only ones in their class to give just paper cards.  I’m not too distraught about it and my kids honestly didn’t care, so it’s no big deal. I’ve made a mental note to up my game next year.

Nana & Papa offered to have the boys over for a sleepover on Friday night. I was trying to come up with a way to make Valentine’s Day extra special for them and then Nana & Papa provided the perfect opportunity. Since I’m still recovering from my never-ending cough, Jeremy and I opted for a night in a home alone. We got dinner to go. Jeremy picked up cheesecake from the store. We played a board game, watched a movie and went to bed on-time. Nothing wild or crazy, but it was perfect! It’s not often that Jeremy and I get to hang out alone. It’s been forever since we played a game together, just the two of us. It was so much fun that we even sneaked in another game on Saturday before the boys came home.

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Date night in with my hubby! 

Jeremy has been my Valentine now for 15 years. I love that “love” doesn’t look flashy, expensive, or wild. It’s sweet, thoughtful, and beautiful in all the little ways. Some of my favorite Valentine’s Day memories with Jeremy are the ones were we slowed down and spent quality time together.  Our first Valentine’s Day together happened while I was away at school. Jeremy surprised me by driving down to Portland to have dinner with me at Panda Express. If I remember correctly, we wandered through Home Depot and Target afterward. One year, after a big ministry event, we got pizza and binged watched a season of The Office. I don’t need fancy things, give me quality time and I’m a happy camper.

Saturday and Sunday were social days. Saturday night we had friends over for dinner. Sunday was the kick off our growth group for the spring semester. It was fun to catch up with many friends over the weekend. After the holiday season and lots of illness in 2020, it was nice to invite people back into our home and share our space with others again.

Since Jeremy and I stuck close to home over the weekend, we decided to go on an adventure for our President’s Day holiday. Owen and Graham latched onto the idea of going to the Tillamook Creamery and the plan was put into motion. We started at the Tillamook Creamery and then we headed into Cannon Beach. At the beach, we walked and threw rocks and shells into the ocean. It was a cold day (since it’s February), so the boys listened to our warnings to stay out of the water. After the beach, we packed up for dinner in Astoria on the way home. It the perfect day. It was sunny and our destinations weren’t too busy even though it was a holiday weekend. It was a blessing to have a free day to go off and adventure together.

I kept thinking yesterday, as I watched my boys run and laugh in the sunshine, that these are the best days. I get to raise these boys alongside my wonderful husband and my heart just might burst (cheesy, I know, but it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, so I’m here for all the cheesiness). I wish the boys would stay little forever. I wish I could freeze Monday and live in those moments forever. But I know I can’t. So I will be thankful for each day and I will look forward to all the good memories that are still to be made.

 

 

Thing 1 & Thing 2 Baby Shower February 13, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 9:00 am

My friend, Jennifer, is expecting twin boys this spring. Jennifer and her family attend our growth group and we’ve enjoyed getting to know them over the last year or so at church. I offered to throw her a baby shower to celebrate the twins. Since she teaches in a local community about a half hour away from my house, we opted to have the shower at her house to be closer to her co-workers.  When I first started planning the shower, I sent Jennifer a list of theme ideas. I wanted her to have say in the theme, but I really had my heart set on one in particular. Lucky for me, she picked the theme I had hoped for! How can you go wrong with a Thing 1 & Thing 2 shower for twin boys? It was so fun to bring this theme to life and to bless my friend as she anticipates the arrival of two baby boys!

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Starting the theme off with these adorable invitations from Esty. I bought a digital copy of the invitation and had them printed on pearl photo paper through Shutterfly. I also purchased themed diaper raffle tickets on Etsy.

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Part of my gift to Jennifer was the decor items – The Cat in the Hat book, Thing 1 & Thing 2 plush toys, and Twin 1 & Twin 2 onesies.

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I got the decor items all from Amazon!

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The beautiful cake came from Safeway with the sparkly twin boys sign from Amazon.

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I brought my own white, red, and blue serving ware from home. I was so glad that I already owned the exact colors to match the shower. The plates and napkins were from Party City. I knew that Party City had the exact color of blue to match the Things hair.

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We played a game where the ladies had to fill in the blank with candy names that resemble aspects of pregnancy. I wanted another chance to win a prize so I came up with this guess the red and blue M&M game. I was proud of myself for coming up with the riddle on my own.

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Prizes for the two games and the diaper raffle! I got some Bert’s Bees gift sets and truffles for prizes.

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Jennifer and I at the shower! It was such a fun afternoon!

 

 

Catching Up February 12, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 9:22 am

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a newsy update with the happenings of our everyday lives.  I had a week in January were I had to cancel plans to stay home with Graham because he had a fever. Most of the plans got rescheduled to the end of January without the knowledge that I would develop bronchitis and a sinus infection at that same time.  The weeks have been full and I’ve felt slow with my brain cells not operating at 100%. Life seems to be like a kid calling over it’s shoulder, “Catch up!”

At the end of January, Owen got to take a field trip to Safety City. A local company opened their building up to local area kindergarten classes. Law enforcement shared with the kids about various forms of safety – boat, bus, train, etc. It’s definitely been on my heart that Owen has someone special to attend his field trips with this year. Since this one was in the afternoon during Graham’s nap time, Jeremy took his lunch hour to go with Owen. He also got to ride the bus to and from the event. I was thankful that Jeremy got to participate and that the bus didn’t leave him behind like it did me back in October (you can read about my past field trip experience here).

Jeremy’s plate has been full with a local home & sportsman show where our church offered inflatables and balloons for the children attending. The event was the weekend of the Super Bowl. Luckily, it wrapped up on Sunday with enough time for him to get home and watch the game. Jeremy and the boys spent the entire game at my parent’s house. I came down for snacks, dinner and dessert. After I nibbled, I went back home to rest between eating times. I was developing my sinus infection that day, so I was grateful for the quiet. Jeremy showed me all the funny commercials later that evening after the boys were in a bed.

It’s also Easter egg prep time at our church. We host a large community event the week before Easter each year. Families join us to hunt roughly 70,000 candy filled eggs. This last week, Jeremy filmed our video announcements for Sunday morning in a giant box of eggs. I love to see my husband and the staff have fun at work. You can tell they enjoyed brainstorming this idea and making it come to life. The announcements were a big hit. Jeremy got so many comments and text messages about it! I feel sorry for whoever has to follow him up this Sunday. He is going to be a hard act to follow.

Going down the list, I feel like I should give an update on Graham. But really there isn’t too much new going on his life. He is living his best life daily. The kid is a balance of silly, sassy, energy, quiet and restfulness. His current life dilemma is if he should go to preschool an extra day this week. He usually doesn’t go to preschool on Fridays, but he has the option this week so he can participate in his class Valentine’s Day party. He really enjoys his Mondays/Fridays with no school. It’s been a tough call for him. He really wants to party, but he isn’t too keen on going to school an extra day. We’ll see what decision he makes.

As for me, I keep bopping from one thing to the next. At the end of January, I got to sit down with an author I greatly admire and talk about writing, ministry, and life. It was an extremely positive meeting. I left our conversation encouraged and with new resources to check out. I have sit down with another author this month. I hope to blog about the writing process later this month and share an update on where I am at with my book.

The last few weeks have been full of MOPS & MOMSnext commitments, volunteering at Owen’s school, and hosting a baby shower for a friend. I also had the final sit down with the bride of the March wedding at church. Things seem to be all in place and ready for a lovely event. I’m excited and a bit nervous for my official wedding as wedding facility coordinator.

With Valentine’s Day at the end of the week, we’ve been in prep mode. The boys each worked on their class valentines. Owen picked The Incredibles and Graham picked Frozen 2. We have small chocolate boxes for the teachers and the bus driver. Around the house, we’ve had hearts on our windows. My mom delivered a large and very silly helium balloon in the shape of a wiener dog. Jeremy contributed tulips for the counter. I put my heart shape cookie cutter to good use and made butter cookies yesterday. I was happy with how the frosting and sugar sprinkles turned out. I’m not a professional baker, but I have a couple friends who are. They inspire me to be extra fancy every now and again.

Our time together always goes so quickly! My next post will be about the baby shower I hosted. After months of planning, it came together well. I can’t wait to share about it soon!

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Safety City Field Trip

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Wrapping up January, our birthday month, with Maggie May! 

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I attempted to edit my book during bath time with distracted kiddos. It only lasted about three minutes before they asked to get out of the tub. 

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Can you tell my husband has fun at work? This would be a egg-cellent profile picture for social media!

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I got to the spend the 100th Day of School volunteering in Owen’s classroom. Here he is with 100 snacks. 

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One of the perks of being a children’s pastor’s kid is that occasionally you get to make leftover crafts from church at home. 

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Making a train on Sunday morning. They choo-choo’d all the way from the van to their classroom doors.

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The sun came out!!! Graham enjoyed riding his bike to the bus stop to meet Owen.

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My heart cookies for class tonight.

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Graham approved! 

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Graham has his valentines all ready to go. Now he just has to decide if he wants to party with his class or not.

 

 

Sabbath Thoughts: Social Life or Mental Health? February 3, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 8:00 am
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How I rest best – with a blanket and a book.

I was talking about this concept with a friend the other day. We both are constantly assessing the pace of lives. I realize that I over-do it often. My life seems to swing between two extremes. I’m going full tilt and then I’m slowed down to due to illness – my own or someone in my family. My calendar goes from all the commitments to no commitments and back again. I’m not a fan of the extremes.

January was a slower month due to illness and as the pace picked up leading into February, I realized that I need to be intentional again about making sure I have one full day at home a week. This doesn’t happen every week, but I do best if it happens most weeks.

When it comes to taking a day at home, I struggle with guilt. How many people have the opportunity to claim a day of rest? Some people, due to personality, might not even want a day at home. It might not fill them up in the way it does me. However, in a culture that honors busy, a day at home seems indulgent. I don’t want to be lazy or unproductive. Protecting a day at home can seem selfish when there is so much to do and so many opportunities available. And let’s be real, the things that keep me busy are valuable. They are causes I care about and people I love.

It dawned on me though, this day at home that my soul longs for is biblical. It’s a Sabbath. It’s a time to wear less hats and juggle less plates. When I’m at home, I tend to still be productive, but in a slower way. I get a few things done, but I also make plenty of space for rest. When I’m not exhausted from my pace, I can be present with my family and show up better for them. And as an introvert, time at home way from the public eye is what recharges my battery.

It can often feel like a power struggle between my social/public life and my mental health. Yes, I want to attend all the things and I want to see all the people. I want to be an excellent leader, volunteer, and friend. What if I re-wired my brain to not see this as a power struggle between Social Amy and Homebody Amy? What if I used these two equally valuable sides of myself to compliment each other?

I believe that a rested version of myself is better for the world. Resting, relaxing and withdrawing might not seem like they would make the world a better place. But when they don’t happen, I certainly don’t make the world a better place. My attitude turns to one of obligation. I sigh as I leave my house, longing for my pajamas. My spirit is sad. This is not bringing my best self to the table. I might be able to fake it and pretend like I’m all in, but inwardly, I have one foot out the door. I’m ready to go home before I ever arrive.

When I am mindful to have time at home to rest, I am more willing to go out and give my commitments 100%. I actually have something to offer my people. I have filled myself up. And yes, I will empty myself out. It’s a cycle. Fill up to pour out. You can’t have one without the other. It can’t be all fill and all pour.

I might be a homebody. But I am not called to cultivate my own stand alone kingdom. I’m called to do God’s kingdom work. Part of that takes place in my home. I believe in the power of the home life I am creating for my husband and my children. And while I love the “feeling” of control over my little kingdom, I know that God hasn’t called me to stay hidden away from the world. He has called me out into the harvest field to work alongside him. The hearts in my house matter and so do the hearts that I interact with through church, through the school and through friendship.  In order to be who I am called to be, I need rest and solitude. I need that time of withdraw. I pull back fully knowing that it is for the purpose of going back out.

Maybe you know the feeling of being frazzled and worn out? I know it well. When I hit the wall and have no more to give, I tend to shut down. I want to cancel all the plans for the week, for the month, for the year. I want to hunker down and go into hermit mode.  But what if instead of vacillating between two extremes, I just scheduled more rest instead of scheduling more things? What if I left margin in my days, in my weeks and in my months? I’m positive it would make a difference. The reason I am positive is because I’ve experienced it before. It crazy how we know a truth and yet we learn it over and over again throughout a lifetime.

I will continue to learn the art of Sabbath. I will do my best not to make life a power struggle between two good things. I can be both – social and restful. I will give of myself and I will withdraw myself. Life can be both. Not one way is more correct than the other. They go hand in hand.

How do you make time for Sabbath (a day of rest) in your life? What are some activities that fill you up and renew your energy?

Find a day on the calendar and put a big X over it so it doesn’t fill up. Rest doesn’t happen on accident. If you want margin if your life, you have to create it and protect it.

 

Starting Something New January 29, 2020

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 9:40 am

I’m going to start something new on this blog. For the last post of each month, I want to share the books that I read and things that I loved that month. I almost set a goal of trying to read 100 books in 2020, but then I realized that if I made it a mission it might take the fun out of reading. So, I’m possibly shooting to read 100 books this year, but no extra pressure. Right? We’ll see how that goes.

Before I jump into my list, I thought I would share with you how I am able to read so much. The main reason I am able to read so much is that I don’t watch a lot of television. I did the math this week and I watch about 3-4 hours of TV a week. I usually watch one movie and one to two shows a week. I read during nap time which is still a thing in my household. I also read after the kids are in bed at night. I read during down time with my family. The kids might be playing together or watching a movie, I sit down in the middle of the chaos and read a book. I do get interrupted and sometimes it’s hard to focus, but I want to set the example of reading for my kids. I want them to see me doing something I value. They often ask me what I’m reading and it sparks good conversation. On a random note, Graham also really enjoys sniffing my books. The final reason I was able to read so much this month was canceled plans due to sickness. If you can’t leave the house, might as well read!

Books for January 2020:

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  1. The Enneagram Type 1: The Moral Perfectionist by Beth McCord I follow Beth on Instagram and I love learning more about my personality type. While I’ve read most of this content before, I appreciated the journal format for processing.
  2. Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry by Tara Beth Leach Tara Beth will be the speaker at a conference I’m attending in March. I heard good things about this book and decided I needed to know for myself. An excellent book for women in ministry!
  3. Never Say No: Raising Big-Picture Kids by Mark & Jan Foreman* – The title of this book might seem controversial, but it’s not about letting your kids have whatever they want, it’s about saying yes to being present with them and walking alongside them as they develop into their God given passions and dreams. As the parents of Jon & Tim Foreman from Switchfoot, I love reading about how they raised their influential sons.
  4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Borrows* – I loved the Netflix movie and it inspired me to read the book. Such an eye opening look into the occupied channel islands during WWII.
  5. Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna White* – This is the equivalent of reading a Hallmark movie but set in 1784. Perfect sick day restful reading.
  6. Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery* – I just added this book to my collection, I’ve had it as an ebook for years, but I wanted to own a physical copy for my bookshelf.
  7. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery* – Quite possibly my favorite work by L.M. Montgomery. Her heroine, Valancy, is my one of my favorite literary characters!
  8. Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings by Mary Henley Rubio – This biography was 600 pages long. I feel like it should count as two books. It was in-depth and thought provoking. I’ve found biographies/autobiographies fascinating in the last year. People lives are interesting and their stories matter.
  9. [Not Pictured] Rethink Communication: A Playbook to Clarify and Communicate Everything in Your Church by Phil Bowdle (my husband is borrowing my copy) – This was a staff read for our church. It was a good reminder that we are living in a digital age and we can use technology to advance the kingdom of God. I also love the reminder to keep things simple. There is a definite balance of not over-communicating so you get tuned out and under-communicating so no one has enough information.
  10. [Not Pictured] The Next Right Thing: A Simple Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions by Emily P. Freeman (read as an ebook) – I will admit that the title of this book made me think of Anna from Frozen II and that might be why I read it. I also like Emily P. Freeman as an author. Since I’m not making a major life decision at the moment, most of the information I read will be stored away for later, but there was lots of useful takeaways for everyday living as well.

Books with an * mean that I have read them before. I have a system for keeping track of the books I read each year. If I haven’t read the book in the last calendar year then it can be included in my yearly reading list. I re-read many books because they are my favorites and I feel like we are friends. I also re-read books for a refresher on useful information and inspiration.

And with that, I’ve taken up my allotted time for today. I’ll have to make another post soon with the things that I loved this month (other than books, of course).

What did you read this month?

 

Here’s to 34! January 16, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:56 pm

It’s my birthday week! And as life goes, it hasn’t quite turned out the way I expected. The first week back to school was a good one. Everyone was adapting nicely back to routine. I was surprise how excited my kiddos were to return to school. It was a great to start 2020.

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Back to school with my favorite young reader!

On Saturday, we had brunch to celebrate my birthday with family. It was a nice meal, but Jeremy came home from the brunch feeling under the weather. While he rested and the boys napped, I re-arranged the playroom. The boys got three new train and track sets for Christmas. My goal was to create more floor space for these tracks. I am pleased with the new configuration. I was able to add more books to the room which made additional space in the boys’ rooms for their personal treasures. I combined bins and cleared out unused toys. Very satisfying!

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I combined these bookshelves on to one wall. The train pictures on the wall are from our 2019 calendar. I cut them apart and used them as art for my little train lovers. 

I kept the boys home on Sunday because Graham woke up with a cold. Jeremy came home from church with a fever. And the sick vibes settled over our house. Monday Jeremy was home. He and Graham were sick buddies while I plowed through a MOPS & MOMSnext day. My dad was the guest speaker at our meeting. The topic was budgeting and the ladies were so appreciative of the information that was shared!

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Enjoying some time in the snow Monday morning.

It snowed Sunday night into Monday. The boys went outside to play briefly before Owen had to go to school. No schools were canceled or delayed, so MOPS & MOMSnext met on Monday night. I drove home through snowflakes on Monday night as the next wave of snow hit. Tuesday morning (my birthday), we woke up to a two hour late start for Owen. I was supposed to volunteer on Tuesday, but the late start meant my volunteering time frame was off. Owen was bummed, but I explained to him that the late start meant we got extra time together. This made him happy.

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Tuesday Morning! Two hour late start for Owen! It was great to have a relaxed pace on the morning of my birthday!

Snow on my birthday was a special treat. It was beautiful and the boys were thrilled. Graham and Jeremy had day two of being sick buddies. I got to spend the day with them around the house. While I was sad that they were sick, I was glad I got to spend my birthday with them. The original plan was to go out to dinner, but we quickly changed to take out since half of the family was under the weather. As it turns out, I developed a low grade fever on Tuesday evening that I’m still battling today. Seems like we are a family that shares.

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Celebrating 34 with my traditional chocolate birthday cake!

Plans have been canceled and postponed. Jeremy went back to work yesterday while I became Graham’s sick buddy. Poor Graham is on day five of being home, but he doesn’t seem to mind too much. I’m feeling a bit off because my busy week has turned into a lot of downtime at home to rest. That is okay. A fever is a clear sign to lay low.

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To jazz up day five of being home, I attempted to make a special Hot Wheels track for Graham.

My sister gave me a biography of Lucy Maud Montgomery for my birthday. It’s a thick book. I might be longest book I’ve ever read for pleasure. I’ve had plenty of time to pour through it with our extra home time. I love Montgomery’s novels. My bookshelf is full of her works. Her life was hard and her family struggled in many private ways that she kept hidden from her public work. As a fan, I struggle with the difference between her characters and her actual life. She wrote herself into her heroines, but they all got happy endings, which escaped her. It’s certainly given me a lot to think about and mull over now that I’ve completed the book.  It was one of those good, but hard reads.

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My happy place is a book and a blanket.

Probably because I just had a birthday and because I just read a biography, I am mindful of the story I am crafting with my days. Thirty-three was a wonderful year. I was a little sad that I did’t welcome thirty-four with a trip to Disneyland like last year. But that is a hard tradition to create. In the past, I’ve celebrated my birthday in Portland, Seattle, British Columbia – last year it was California. This year it was at home, with my boys. It was quiet. There was snow on the ground. I felt blessed that despite our lack of spunk, we were all together and we were happy. I’ll take it! Here’s to 34 and all that lies ahead in 2020.

A few additional snapshots from our week:

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Graham has started sniffing the books I read and declaring he likes how they smell. Future librarian? Here he is sniffing The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery.

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The trim boards didn’t get put back on our walls until the 9th (a week after our floors were replaced). It is nice to have everything back in place and settled again!

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Owen is super into space right now. His favorite subjects are the rovers on Mars and the planet Saturn.

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So proud of my Dad sharing his wisdom with us at MOPS & MOMSnext!

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Graham’s birthday card to me featured a tornado.

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Owen’s card to me featured a chocolate cake! 

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My birthday present from my boys. I’ve been thinking about getting a Fit Bit for sometime and they made my wish come true! I feel so techie! 

 

New Year, New Floors January 6, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:12 pm

Christmas break has come and gone. I will admit to shedding some tears last night as I went to bed. All the parents are rejoicing that school started again today. I cried about it. I absolutely loved our Christmas break. I loved having my boys home. I loved our daily adventures whether they were out of the house or at home in our pajamas. I love setting my own pace. The vacation vibes where all I needed and more. Now my kids do drive me nuts. Don’t get me wrong. If I had a dollar for every time I told my boys – don’t touch each other – that means hands, feet, arms, legs, bodies, etc – no contact – period – I would be pretty rich right now. It’s not that our time together was as picturesque has a Hallmark movie, but it was good. Really good. Living outside of responsibility for a few weeks was delightful. And now we’re back to reality.

The end of our vacation was thrown off by our flooring situation. For the boys it was one big adventure. For me it was a whole lot of stress and mess. I’ve shared in previous posts about how our floors have repeatedly broken and been fixed. Each time the trim is torn off the walls, the house is covered in saw dust. Even the small fixes brought big messes. We were told that new flooring was going to be delivered on the 30th and the team would be back to fix the floors on the 2nd & 3rd. This time enough flooring was delivered to replace our entire laminate floor. We spent our New Year’s Day not only taking down just Christmas, but also moving all of our furniture from our living space and into our master bedroom. We also had to clear everything off the closet floors so they could be replaced as well.

The boys loved having the dining table set up in our bedroom for snacks. Our big TV was moved to the floor of our room and the boys watched TV in our bed like it was the big screen at the movies. It was a total adventure for them. Not to mention the living space was now clear and perfect for running laps while taking advantage of the echo created by the emptiness. The boys and I took off early Thursday morning to be out of the way of the workers. We got back home around 6:00pm when the flooring guys finally took off. Instead of doing the project in two days, they pushed to do it in one day. I’m thankful for that!

Oh the clean up process. It was rough and dusty. The house smelled weird due to the dust and the new laminate. I was a bit disgruntled as I cleaned up the mess. This is a new house. It’s frustrating that we had to go through so many failed fixes to get it completely redone. And it’s frustrating that it needed to be redone at all. As I went over the floor again and again, I started to pray. I knew my heart wasn’t in a good place. I reminded myself that this space isn’t just about me. These new floors will hold guests and loved ones. My house belongs to the Lord. I am grateful for it. I am blessed by it. Instead of being mad at the mess, I started to pray blessing over those who would walk on my floors. I reached for gratitude. The floors were fixed. That is good.

Some of the furniture is back in place now. The trim was left off the wall so a trim team could come in today and reattach it. But the trim guy was sick today, so that didn’t happen. The new date is set for Wednesday. Once the trim is back on the wall, we can put the furniture back up against the walls and the construction zone vibes will hopefully go away. This is not the way I recommend starting the new year, but it is almost done. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

That my friends is the latest adventure in the Scott household. Every day, week, month is an adventure. There is always something next on the horizon. And I’ll keep blogging about each escapade that comes my way. Blogging is seriously the best therapy. Thanks for being along for the ride!

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Watching our new pal, Rosie, in action!

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New Year’s Eve fortune cookie wisdom: I would rather attempt something great and fail than attempt to do nothing and succeed.

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Celebrating end of the year birthdays with Uncle & Auntie.

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I took my post Christmas decluttering a bit too far. 

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Bed time snacks at the dining room table in the master bedroom.

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Thursday distractions while the floor was being replaced!

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Team work makes the dream work. Rosie and I working together to reclaim the house. 

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How we watch our morning cartoons when there is no furniture in the living room.

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Jeremy repainted our trim pieces to cover up the roughness that came from having them torn off the walls so many times. The boys took advantage of the couch cushions being off to make a fort. 

 

It’s Been a Good Year! December 29, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 9:07 pm

I haven’t put too much thought into 2020 even though I’ve heard a lot about having 20/20 vision in the new year. In my mind, January is a change in the month more than a change in the year. Possibly because my life has always been more on a school schedule from college to children’s ministries to parenthood. September seems like the start of something new more than January. However, every year, I can’t help thinking about the year I’ve just lived and wondering about the year to come.

2019 was pretty awesome. January started with Jeremy and I taking a trip to California with a ministry group. We stayed a few days after the group. I got to spend my birthday in So Cal with a beloved friend that lived in the area at the time (she’s now back in WA)! I got to spend the day after my birthday at Disneyland with just Jeremy. Talk about the best date day ever. It was magical – in the way an early years Taylor Swift song is – aka lots of rain. Something romantic about the rain and what not. Even though our day at Disney was wet and wild, it was also super memorable and very fun.

Over the course of the spring, I decided that I was going to sit down and a write book.  I finally had the space in my head, heart and schedule to make it happen. It was a fun experience and I’m glad I did it. The process is still on going as I have a family member editing the book for me now. One of my goals for 2020 will be finalizing the editing process and trying to determine what mode of publication I would like to use. I’m sitting down with an author I look up to in January and I’m hoping my conversation with her will provide new insight or inspiration.

This summer was our epic road trip to see the redwoods in northern California and then we traveled home along the Oregon Coast. The boys were great travelers and the whole trip was a memory I will never forgot. The big trees, visiting lighthouses, eating lunch at parks along the way, so much good stuff. We still talk about the trees and the cute cabin we rented. I hope we can return someday, but not this next summer. We already have some exciting plans in the works for Summer 2020.

And the fall! Who could forget Owen started kindergarten and the beginning of our public school days. September and October were brutal as I adapted to the changes and mostly all my feelings about the changes. Wow. So much processing and adjusting. November was a big month full of conferences and by December I finally fell into the swing of everything. School felt normal just in time for Christmas break to mess me up. Now I’m back on the kick of family time and us being together 24/7 and how much I love being home with my boys. I was told that it’s hard going back to school in January for the kids. I’m guessing it’s going to be a bit hard on this mama as well.

We’ve been having a wonderful Christmas break. It’s been a mix of excitement and adventure as well as time at home to play and rest. We’ve had quiet days as a family of four and we’ve had large family gatherings. It’s been the best of both worlds. We enjoyed Christmas Eve morning as our immediate family. The boys played with their toys all day until nap time. Then we had a Christmas Eve gathering with Jeremy’s extended family. Christmas Day was stockings at home before heading up to GG’s house for my extended family gathering.

The day after Christmas we did our shopping in Portland tradition. The boys had envelopes with their Christmas cash on hand, ready to spend. It was funny to see how different my shoppers are. Owen will buy anything he sees – regardless if its age appropriate or something he wants/needs. Graham wanders the store with 2-3 items he might get and then at the end decides to buy nothing. I actually think Graham is smarter than he realizes. He saves his money and ends up playing with Owen’s toys in the end since Owen shares with him.

Yesterday was our last Christmas gathering with Jeremy’s immediate family. It’s always a fun time when we are all together under one roof. We started the day with cinnamon rolls (my cinnamon roll count for Christmas break is probably over a dozen at this point, I am truly living my best life and Graham is right there with me, pounding them down like a pro). Watching my niece, nephews and the boys open presents is the best part of the day. I love seeing their reactions and how their diverse interests are represented in their gifts. The theme of this Christmas was Toy Story and board games for our family. We got 6 new games to add to our family collection. I see a family game day in our near future!

While I don’t have any high and lofty goals for 2020, I do have a few things I’ve been pondering. I’m going to try to cut down on waste by using less paper towels and finding a compostable straw option for my kids. We use plastic straws in our cups daily and it’s starting to nag at my conscience. I don’t want to give up straws, but finding an eco-friendly option is on my list of things to do. As I mentioned before, I want to finish the final editing process of my book. I want to finish my Bible reading plan in 2020. In September, I decided I was going to read my Bible daily and I’m now on an 120 day streak. I want to keep that going! Since Graham arrived, I’ve read my Bible 3-5 days a week but not daily until September. I’ve loved being consistent in my Bible reading and  it truly adds value to each day. I’ve been plowing through a Psalm and Proverbs plan and I’ve loved camping in this section of the Bible. The Psalms express such raw, honest emotion and calls to praise. Proverbs offers wisdom and insight. I’m looking forward to wrapping up this reading plan and starting a new one in 2020.

And reading in general is always high on my list! I read 85 books in 2019. Possibly the most books I’ve read ever in a year. At least since 2014 when I started keeping track on my phone. I already have four books to read in the house and I hope to get a few more for my birthday. I’ve already started making more space on my bookshelf for the new additions. Christmas and a January birthday equals many new books and a happy Amy!

We are wrapping up a quiet day of rest around the house. I love the days after Christmas when plenty of new toys keep little hands busy. Owen also finished his “optional” homework packet from school tonight and his reading log. We’ve been productive and restful in all the best ways. And we still have a week of break left. Praise the Lord.

Wishing you all a peaceful end to 2019 and a joyful new year ahead in 2020!

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Christmas Eve Morning

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Matching pajama pants

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One of the special treats of Christmas break was a sleepover in Graham’s room

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Lighting all 5 candles to celebrate Jesus’ arrival!

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Reading the Christmas story by candle light. These moments are precious!

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Scott Family Christmas 2019

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Caroling to the neighbors down the street

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My top nine Instagram posts of 2019: finishing my book – Owen’s preschool graduation – Graham looking at our wedding pictures – celebrating 1 year in our house – Disneyland – Jeremy’s birthday – Jessica’s wedding – Ring Security – Graham’s birthday