Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Sailing Through September September 24, 2022

Filed under: Women in Ministry,Family Time,Travels,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 3:46 pm

We are swiftly sailing through September. The month has disappeared in what feels like a blink. I’m not used to the pace we’ve been keeping. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that the last week of September is upon us. The good news is October is my favorite month and it’s full of fun. While I’m baffled that September is almost over, I’m very happy to welcome October soon! Autumn adventures are the best and now I can fully revel in all that is fall!

My last post found us in the thick of hunting season for Jeremy (and the boys) and a conference for me. Prepping for a conference with Jeremy out in the woods wasn’t always ideal. Thankfully, Jeremy had the boys with him a few times so I could practice for my workshop without kid chaos in the background. The boys love tagging along during hunting season. While I had girl time during the conference, they had boy time in the woods. Win-win.

The day after the conference, Jeremy and I dropped the boys’ off with Nana & Papa so we could attend a staff retreat with the church team. The turnaround of conference prep, attending the conference, packing for a trip (for the kids and myself), and curating school (so Nana could substitute teach) meant I came into the retreat worn out. Fortunately, there was plenty of time for this introvert to recharge in the schedule. It was a good mix of conversation and connection while still finding time to be quiet with a book and journal. My highlights were our conversations about the Enneagram (which I adore), our rides on the golf carts to and from meals, and taking morning walks with the sun shining on the Columbia River.

We got home on Wednesday and I had Thursday set aside as a recovery day. We still did school, but the rest of the day was very chill. Jeremy took the boys out for the final evening hunt of elk season. I was able to recharge enough on Thursday so we could adventure out on Friday. We met some friends at the Ape Caves yesterday for some spelunking. We hiked our way through the more challenging cave and did another hike at Lava Canyon. I didn’t feel it yesterday, but I can tell today I climbed over boulders yesterday. It was a very fun outing and I got a chuckle that on a beautifully sunny day, we went underground for our recreation.

September sure has kept us busy. It’s been good, but I’m tired! I’ve been able to rest more today. A quiet home day is doing wonders for my soul. It’s the small things like working through the laundry, making mac & cheese, and sitting down with a book that fills me up. God has been so good to sustain me through this non-stop month. I’m certainly ready for things to slow down a bit!

Hunting buddies! I love the memories they are making out in the woods.
Sunset golf cart ride to dinner!
Not a bad view for my morning walk!
Afternoon free time means introvert recharge time. Nothing like reading a book surrounded by pillows on a comfy bed.
Ready to explore the Ape Caves
Going down…
Exploring inside the cave
Caves might not ever be my happy place, but they are cool!
Hiking aboveground is more my style!
Not a bad view of Mt. St. Helens
 

September Snapshots September 17, 2022

Filed under: Women in Ministry,Family Time,Parenthood,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 6:02 pm

Today’s blog will be more pictures than words. I just got home from a women’s conference at our church. It was a Friday night and most of the day Saturday event. I led a workshop this morning based on the book Habits of the Household by Justin Whitmel Earley. I don’t get many opportunities for public speaking so studying and practicing my notes was a big portion of my week. Now that it’s done and the adrenaline rush is over, I can feel the crash coming. Thus, a post of mostly pictures! A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Right!

Constantly being left in the dust now that these two are always on their new bikes!
My parents were on a trip this week so the boys and I checked on their dog and watered the plants while Auntie (the house-sitter) was at work. The kids loved their daily doggie duty. As you can see, TC just patiently put up with us.
Chess with co-op has started! In PE, Graham got 2nd place in the mile run. The boys love co-op and can’t wait to go back next week!
We took home Junior Ranger books from Fort Clatsop in August. We completed them and the park ranger mailed our boys their badges. We love the Junior Ranger program!
MILESTONE! Graham lost his first tooth this week. I was starting to get nervous since he is almost 7. This experience was even more memorable because he accidentally swallowed it while eating his cereal. Oops! The tooth fairy was very understanding, though.
‘Tis the season to dress like a tree! Jeremy has been out elk hunting all week. The boys got to join him Thursday evening and today!
No need to visit the pumpkin patch. Jeremy grew our pumpkins this year! They are so beautiful!
I didn’t take any pictures at the conference, but here are my cookies that I decorated in the afternoon workshop. YUM! Love the fall colors!
 

Juggling September 19, 2021

This week felt a like a juggling act. I seem to say this every September and yet I continue to forget – September takes so much energy! It’s a lot of work. I thought without kicking off a new MOPS & MOMSnext year this fall, September would be less effort… less energy? I don’t know. Just less. But September 2021 chuckled at me and went on being just like the many Septembers before it.

We finally had our first four day school week and it made a huge difference. Getting into the school routine has taken more energy than I expected. Shocking, right?! I thought we would pick up were we left off on in May. Easy peasy. I didn’t account for how much we really slowed down over the summer. Graham being in kindergarten and using new curriculum has also taken more mental energy than I realized. Three weeks in, I am happy with the direction we are headed and I am hopeful that very soon we will be settled.

Hunting season for Jeremy means lots of single parenting for me. Jeremy’s alarm goes off at 4:30am and I do my best not to let it stir me. My mind doesn’t need to be awake and processing before dawn! Jeremy sometimes comes home in the afternoon for a short break before heading back out until after the boys’ bedtime. One of my highlights from the week was Jeremy falling asleep on Graham’s bed during afternoon quiet time. Graham also fell asleep and thought it was a dream come true to have a nap buddy (those were his literal words – dream come true). Our family routine is all thrown off, but it’s doable because it’s a season.

Our Friday adventure moved to Thursday because Friday was forecasted to be damp. I knew Jeremy would be out hunting so I invited my mom along for a hike at Lewis & Clark State Park. Let me tell you, I deeply appreciate Jeremy’s sense of direction. When I’m with him, I never worry about where I’m at or if I’ll be able to find my way back to our vehicle. I had a very specific trail I wanted to hike and it was embarrassing how long it took me to find it. I also had many moments on the trail where I hoped we were going the right way (and it was supposed to be a simple loop). We enjoyed hiking and exploring a new area, but I never had full confidence as we wandered the park. Being the co-pilot is a role I appreciate even more after trying to lead the way in unfamiliar territory. So thankful my mom came along as a second adult just in cause my worst-case scenario fears came true. I’m a big fan of the buddy system. Also, my mom carries bear spray, so that’s helpful, too!

On top of juggling school, Jeremy’s schedule, and extracurricular adventures, I had a conference to prepare for this weekend. Being real here, I have a complicated relationship with indoor church. I agreed to be a part of this conference at the beginning of July when COVID restrictions were loosening. Things have changed since I said yes. I’m not the type of person who backs of out a commitment easily, but I sure thought about changing my yes to a no. Ultimately, I decided to attend the full conference despite my discomfort. It was a lot of time in a mask (worshipping in a mask is possible, but a very sweaty experience) and I was in the minority for following current mandates. It’s uncomfortable being someone who noticeably stands out. Prepping for the conference while being on the hunting schedule was also challenging, but I felt prepared by the time Saturday’s workshop arrived. My class was small. Seven moms joined me to talk about finding time with God as a busy mom. The workshop had MOPS vibes so I felt in my element. Plus talking about how I love spending time with God and giving suggestions so others can connect with God was an awesome opportunity. I’m glad I followed through on my yes, despite the discomfort.

Side note: I’m thinking of turning my workshop into a mini-series here on the blog. As I was preparing my notes I realized that these suggestions for finding time with God could apply to anyone, not just busy moms. When busyness is a barrier, it’s good to go back to the basics and keep things simple. Stay tuned! I can’t let all those words I typed sit on my computer. I want to send them out!

Despite the juggling act and out of sync schedule, I still had what I needed to to get through this week. The boys begged Jeremy to take them out hunting on Friday which gave me a big window of quiet time to prepare for the conference and to be still before lots of activity. While church is complicated for me, I loved the moments of worshipping in a dark sanctuary. I’ve missed being surrounded by loud music, raising my hands, praising God with words that stir my soul. It was sweet to revisit a spiritual practice that means so much to me. Yes, I am tired after the big weekend… and yes, I still have another week of elk season left. But today I am happy to be home, to listen to praise music as I vacuum, and to know that nothing is pressing or urgent. God has been so good through all the juggling of this last week. He will continue to sustain me through September and that brings so much peace to my heart. I can do this!

The sweet life of homeschooling. Popcorn from a science experiment and Teddy close by while working on math.
Binge reading The InvestiGators. Owen kept asking to read more chapters even though school was done. I love when a good book grabs him!
Graham was so proud to read the first story in his reader all by himself! Love seeing my kids excited to read! My bookworm heart is thrilled!!!
Feeding the monster with his reading words
Hiking at Lewis & Clark State Park
Hiking at Lewis & Clark State Park
Always drawn to water!
Hiking Buddy!
Strangest or coolest find?!?! Giant rocking horses!
When Jeremy comes home the boys are literally all over him!
Documenting my workshop before the ladies arrive
Enjoyed a cookie decorating workshop on Saturday afternoon. I’ve never used royal icing before. It was fun to learn something new, but also to have the prep work done for me. All I had to do was play! And then eat!
 

Beginnings and Endings September 13, 2021

This last week was a big one even though at a glance it might have looked somewhat average. It was far from that, though! This week could be defined by beginnings and endings. Some things are just starting and somethings have come to a close. So let’s dive in!

I’ve been praying about a big decision that I finally went through with last Tuesday. I took time to talk it out with trusted people and I sat with my decision over Labor Day weekend to see it stuck. I’ve been a part of a team that supports women ministers in the Northwest Ministry Network. When I said yes to this commitment two years, I thought I was heading into the school-age years with my kids and I would have more time to pursue vocational ministry. But… I couldn’t predict a pandemic. Because we are homeschooling, I’m still home with my kids 24/7. Also, due to COVID conditions in my area, my in-person attendance at church is limited. I’ve loved being a part of this team because the women are incredible. I enjoyed getting to know them and I’ve been inspired by their leadership. But I’ve felt like the odd duck on the team. I am not actively pursuing vocational ministry. It’s just not the season of life that I am in. I would love to be a part of this team in the future when my season of life aligns better with the purpose of the team. I’ve been feeling the conflict between the life I thought I would be living right now and the one that I am actually living in this moment. It’s okay to say that this isn’t a good fit right now, but I hope it will be someday.

The other ending in my life has been a long time coming. I finally let go of my Usborne Books & More business. For the last year, I’ve kept the business active so I could receive discounts on my personal purchases. Now the cost of keeping the business active is no longer saving me money. I’ve been a UBAM book lady for 4.5 years and I’ve loved it! I loved introducing families to great books. Our home library exploded because of this business. It was such a blessing to my family. In the season of building our house, this book business gave me something to focus on in the waiting period. It was an important part of that building season for me. I’ve collected the last of my rewards and placed my final order as a consultant. It’s bittersweet, but I’ve known the end was around the corner for awhile. I will remain a loyal customer. I truly love this company and their products. Books are the best!

Endings can be sad and it felt weird to end two things in one week. I will admit that as my commitments continue to scale back, I’m often left wondering what is God is doing. For so long I’ve been defined by all the things I’ve been able to juggle. The pandemic has certainly made my world smaller. Instead of being worried or upset, I’m choosing to see this as a strategic time in my faith journey. Letting go of things isn’t in my nature, so I know that God is teaching me and guiding me. I’m trusting that he has a purpose in all the change.

Let’s focus on the the beginnings! It’s still the beginning of the school year. Somehow I always forget how much adjusting goes into the month of September. We are getting into our new school routine. It’s mostly gone well, but I’ve learned a few things the hard way. With Owen, I had him hit the ground running with school instead of easing him back into it. Our schedule will be lighter this week. We’ve been doing five days of work in three days for the last two weeks. This week we’ll do five days of curriculum in four days. The extra day should make a difference.

I’m happy to report that Graham is beginning to read! It hasn’t fully clicked, but he has made so much progress! I’m starting to feel more confident in the program we selected and in my ability to teach him. I’m so excited because learning to read is the beginning of beautiful things! Reading is such an adventure. I can’t wait for Graham to experience the joys of reading. We’re starting small, but we’re definitely making progress! Praise the Lord!

This week we met up with a few other homeschool families to launch rockets. We aren’t a part of a formal homeschool group, but a friend of mine hopes to facilitate a monthly outing or experience for homeschool families. The boys had a blast chasing rockets through the field with friends. We used bigger engines this time and that made our rocket even more impressive than when we launched it last fall.

Hunting season has also begun. Jeremy needed a new long sleeve camo shirt and while running errands, he picked up shirts for the boys, too. They got to join him for the evening hunt yesterday. Graham talked with me for a solid 10 minutes about his adventure when he got up this morning. The highlights were seeing the other family members out hunting. He also mentioned that he would be sad if they killed an elk. I’m guessing he is going to be a social outdoorsman verses a serious hunter (at least at this at this point in his life). Hunting season can be an intense season with early mornings, late nights, and a lot of single parenting. Since Jeremy took the boys out last night, I was able to work on my upcoming workshop I’m teaching next weekend. My parents also watched my boys for a few hours this weekend so I could prepare. I’m thankful for the extra support during hunting season.

That wraps up this week’s recap. Lots of big decisions, but also lots of fun. I’m glad the school year is underway and we are finding our groove again. September always takes way more energy than I expect, but it’s full of good things and important adjustments. I am learning a lot in this season and I’m keeping my eyes open for what God is doing in my right now, right here, ordinary life. It’s good and I’m grateful!

Network of Women Ministers Team Day – November 2019
We had so much fun with the freebies I earned through my book business – June 2017
Working my book business at a vendor event – June 2017
Cookies of the Month: September! Apple Season! My mom asked if I could make a treat for her to share with friends and I thought I would experiment with apples!
We ran errands to get rocket engines and a new camo shirt for Jeremy. I joked with Jeremy that we should get pumpkin spice doughnuts from Krispy Kreme and he was totally up for it. They got our order wrong, so Jeremy kindly went in to fix things. We got the correct dozen for free! Gotta love an unexpected surplus of treats!
Getting to launch our rocket
Blast off!
Rocket retrieval
Ready for hunting season to begin!
 

Father’s Day, VBA, & a Heat Wave June 27, 2021

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Simply Me,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 2:09 pm

June has been an unpredictable month. While it’s been busy, we’ve also had some unexpected down time. I will always cheer for a day at home, but this month, I would have preferred the reason we stayed home not to be because of colds. It’s been an over a year since our family has shared the sniffles with each other and last weekend was our time to go down with a bug. Right before Father’s Day weekend, Graham came down with the sniffles so we canceled our Father’s Day Friday plans with Jeremy in order to rest. Then Owen got the bug so we canceled our Saturday plans with Jeremy’s family. Then Jeremy and I caught it and we canceled our Sunday plans with my family. It was a bummer way to celebrate Father’s Day weekend, for sure. Jeremy deserved more of a celebration than he got and we missed spending time with our families. Jeremy is the best dad ever. Hopefully, we can enjoy a make-up outing to compensate for the quiet holiday weekend.

When Jeremy realized that he was under the weather, he took off for the pharmacy to get an at-home COVID test. Jeremy and I are both fully vaccinated so we highly doubted this cold was anything to be concerned about. However, we had VBA (Vacation Bible Adventure) right around the corner (like the next day). We wanted to make sure that if we were working with kids we were officially okay. The test was negative and Jeremy and I refamiliarized ourselves with the flavors of Dayquil to get through the big week ahead. I was concerned about the kids being healthy enough for VBA, but they pulled through just in time. While they were good to go by Monday, their stamina (mine included) wasn’t 100% yet. We had fun, power-packed mornings at VBA and then quiet, restful afternoons to make sure we had the energy to attend the next day. It was a bit of a rollercoaster, but I’m so glad that everything worked out. This was my first time leading kids in over a year. I was nervous, but it was like riding bike. Even with a cold, it all came back to me and I was ready to roll. So many of the kids in my crew I hadn’t seen in over a year. They had all grown so much. I think I had just as much fun as my kids as we reconnected with friends.

After VBA, we started to prep for our local heat wave. Washington state has mild summers, but our weather this weekend is much more like Arizona than the PNW. We’ve been spending plenty of time in our backyard pool and doing our best to keep our chickens in the shade. We don’t want any chickens to literally roast in the yard. I’ve visited Arizona in August, so I’ve experienced high temps before, but never anything like the forecast for today and tomorrow in Washington. We are forecasted to be 111 degrees tomorrow. I’m just praying our air-conditioner can keep up and keep us cool. Just like the unpredictable theme of this month, the heat has been shifting all our plans this weekend. I made it up to Puyallup to celebrate a baby shower and a birthday yesterday. It was a early and quick visit before the heat of the day. The boys stayed home to rest after the big week and to keep an eye on the chickens. The boys and I had plans to help Jeremy at our Downton church campus today, but those changed when I realized there would be no AC in the building. We even canceled our dinner plans with a family today because we didn’t think it would be safe to outside. While we have air-conditioning, we didn’t want to overtax our system. We’ve stocked up on microwaveable food and items for cold sandwiches so we don’t overheat the house with cooking.

Every week comes with it’s own surprises. So many ups and downs. While I’m not a fan of plans shifting, I am thankful for flexibility. We’ve been able to rest when we need to rest. We were able to show up for our church. And now we’re able to lay low and be chill as we ride out this heat wave. Crazy times in the PNW. Hopefully next time I touch base with you all, it be under much cooler circumstances. Wherever you are, stay cool and stay hydrated!

Helping Jeremy set up for VBA before the sniffles set in!
Loving our pool time! Well, Owen is. The look on Graham’s face would say otherside. Silly kid!
One of the few things we got to do to celebrate Jeremy – lunch at Chick-fil-a!
Strawberries from my mama! She is so sweet!
These strawberries were the highlight of Father’s Day weekend. It was a bummer to stay home, but the special treats helped!
So glad these guys were able to attend VBA! They had such a great time! It was fun to be back at an in-person church event.
Our VBA crew! I enjoyed being their leader for the week!
Love seeing all these hearts that represent kiddos who chose a relationship with Jesus
Pool party with some of the cousins before the heat wave picked up
The last time the hot tub will feel good for a while
 

A Chapter Ends June 16, 2021

This week a chapter of my life came to a close. I’ve been keeping this to myself since the news wasn’t known in my community until this week. Our MOPS & MOMSnext group has decided to pause for the time being. There are a few factors that went into this decision, but the main factor was childcare being complicated in these COVID days. Our facility has a learning center in the building and with new cleaning protocols, our group start time would be too late to serve young families well. Not to mention, rebuilding a childcare team is a challenge. Some are willing to volunteer again, but MOPS & MOMSnext takes a large volunteer team and some aren’t ready to dive back in yet. COVID and kid germs are still a concern and I totally understand.

When I was asked to coordinator our MOPS & MOMSnext group, we were a daytime group of mostly stay-at-home moms. The learning center opened right as I started coordinating. I got to be a part of the pioneering process as we moved from a daytime group to an evening group. Meeting in the evening allowed working moms to join us and we saw a rise in attendance. When the pandemic shut down in-person gatherings, I got to be a part of another pioneering process. This time it was moving from in-person to online. This year of MOPS & MOMSnext online has had it’s ups and downs. We’ve definitely made the most of the online platform. We had wonderful guest speakers. We still managed to do group crafts and have a spa night and a game night. We got creative and made it work! However, we also saw a decline in attendance as the year went on. We heard often how complicated it is for moms to meet online especially without childcare. I am blessed to have my husband watch our kids while I’m online. I was able to be fully present for the meetings, but I know my mom friends felt the frustration of managing both their homes and the meetings at the same time.

I knew that my term as coordinator would last through my youngest’s preschool years. Once Graham graduated preschool, I knew my time was up. I’ve known this end date was coming from the very beginning of saying yes to leading. I just didn’t predict a pandemic. I will admit that I’m disappointed that I’m not handing a the group over to a new leader. I always thought I would hand over the leadership of the group and still be involved – either as a team member or a group member. I am wrestling with my emotions because this ending looks different than I had expected. I believe in the heart and purpose of MOPS & MOMSnext. I will miss the community it created in my life. I joined MOPS when I was pregnant with my oldest son. I have never known motherhood without it. Despite my disappointment, I am optimistic that the group can relaunch in the future when factors have changed. I believe this pause could be a catalyst for change and bring a new vision for the group. God does great things in and through what we see as disappointments. I believe there is a greater good still possible that I can’t clearly see at this moment.

I almost didn’t share this news here. I thought maybe I would silently let my MOPS & MOMSnext updates fade away. But I’m learning that it’s okay to acknowledge disappointments. I try to keep my posts optimistic while being realistic as well. MOPS & MOMSnext has held a huge place in my heart and has been a vital part of my calendar and community. I’m proud of what this group has accomplished over the years. We’ve been through so many transitions. Adapting isn’t always easy, but we’ve been able to bless moms in our community through creativity and flexibility. It’s been an honor to serve on a team with amazing women. It’s been an honor to encourage the moms in our community. These last eight years have been a meaningful chapter of my life. I’m giving myself space to feel my feelings and celebrate all that has been accomplished. It’s been good. God has been good to us.

MOPS & MOMSnext was a huge ministry opportunity for me. I grew so much through leading this group. One of the hardest parts of letting go is I’m not sure what’s next. God is stirring my heart. He is about to do a new thing. I’m not sure what it is yet, but my eyes are open and my heart is ready. A new chapter always begins as another chapter comes to a end.

A Walk Down Memory Lane:

My 2nd year of MOPS and my 1st year as table leader
Speaking at MOPS for one of our Christmas parties
MOPS outings every month were a highlight for my boys! So many trips to the pumpkin patch, fire station, trampoline park, zoo, and many more fun activities.
Last meeting as a daytime group! This was right before I started coordinating.
Loved seeing tables filled with mamas being encouraged
Silly “MOPS” moments
Wrapping up my first year coordinating
Steering Team Christmas Party
Planning the year and bonding as a steering team at our summer retreats was always a memorable time
Good times around the table with Mom’s Night Out
That one Memorial day BBQ when we had over 80 people over to our house!
Last year’s “socially distanced” online group picture
Our final meeting on Monday. Group pictures are still kind of weird, so I took a quick selfie before the meeting started to document the moment. We had our only in-person meeting this year on the playground at church. We chatted while kids played and we offered individually wrapped snacks. Such a different way to wrap things up.
 

The Home Stretch April 25, 2021

It feels like my life is in the “home stretch” on lots of levels right now! In the next month and a half, there is a lot to look forward to! I can feel that change is right around the corner. I’m deeply excited for these upcoming changes, but I’m also trying to stay in the moment and wait patiently. Honestly, to distract myself, I’ve been flying through novels this month. My next post will be all about the books that got me through this season of waiting. April has been a good book month.

What is right around the corner you might wonder? Well, first, we should have our floor replaced for (Lord willing) the final time either the 2nd or 3rd week in May. If you remember at the end of February we accepted and selected an upgrade. We are hopeful this upgraded product will hold up better and this will be the final fix! I can’t wait to see this new floor in place. I’m cautiously optimistic!

We will be wrapping up our 36th week of school on May 20th. I hope to have a small celebration for the boys to mark this accomplishment. Since Graham won’t get the same preschool graduation experience that Owen did, I ordered him a little cap and gown. I plan to do a little photoshoot with him to capture the memories. We’ve all accomplished so much this year and I’m proud of us – myself included. Learning a new role as homeschool mom had me nervous, but I’ve found a good groove and I’m enjoying it. It’s crazy to think we have just a few more weeks to go!

My ministry opportunities are about to shift as well. MOPS & MOMSnext will wrap up in the middle of June. I’m working hard to finish the year strong. Ending well is important to me. I am excited for all we have planned for our final meetings. I’ve been facilitating a Mastermind group that meets via Zoom monthly. I check-in with a small group of women ministers about life and ministry. This commitment will wrap up at the end of May. Our church gatherings plan to move outdoors in June. I’ve been watching church online and this move outdoors will be a good step forward. It feels like the right time to reconnect with my church family in-person.

The last thing is kind of big deal for me. I’m in the home stretch of waiting for my COVID vaccination. I have an appointment this week to get my first shot. My second shot (and the two week waiting period for the full efficacy) will be just in time for my return to church and hopefully the start of a somewhat-more-normal summer experience. I realize that the pandemic isn’t over and that precautions will still be necessary, but I looking forward to a little more peace of mind and a taking a step in the right direction.

I’m in the home stretch! Change is right around the corner! Until then… you’ll find me reading novels and passing the time as best I can with my little family.

The blossoms on this tree stopped me in my tracks this week. So pretty!!
Introducing the boys to minions with a special movie matinee at Grandpa & Grandma’s house. My space geeks loved the plan to steal the moon.
We’re not super sportsy, but I think we might have to invest in a soccer ball. The boys had a blast kicking the ball around my friend’s neighborhood while we took a walk.
This same neighborhood had a perfect spot to watch trains. My kids were in heaven.
Owen got pooped on to get this picture, but I’m sure he thought it was worth it. All 5 chicks sitting on him! He declared himself the Chicken King!
 

Halloween 2020 November 2, 2020

Our out of this world astronauts!

This Halloween looked different than any other Halloween in our past. Thank you, 2020. Instead of our usual harvest, carnival style event at church, we offered a “Fall Fest To-Go” event for our community. The church offered a bag of candy, carnival game ideas to do at home, small prizes and a teddy bear to each child that drove through our parking lot.

It’s been a while since I volunteered on-site for a church event. The boys and I have been sticking close to home these days. The nice thing about this event was our family wore our masks and our exposure to the community was as quick as passing a bag through the window of a car. I felt fairly safe with this ministry opportunity. I had a friend question me about the boys being at the event for the entire time (about three hours). I told her that my kiddos are pastor’s kids and they haven’t had to fill that PK role in a while. We could all step up for the night.

When our family pulled into the church over an hour before the event, we already had cars waiting in the parking lot. We knew that our social media posts had received a lot attention, so we weren’t shocked, but it was still a surprise. We quickly got our materials ready and we started handing out bags an hour before the event was set to start.

Jeremy planned for 300 pre-prepared bags. This was on par with our usual Fall Fest kid attendance in the past. However, this is 2020. Our community was desperate to make Halloween special and safe. Jeremy quickly asked me to move from passing out bags to creating more bags. We were handing out bags as quickly as we were making them. At one point, we ran out of candy and sent team members to buy more. When the event wrapped up at 8:00pm, we had handed out a 1,000 bags to kids in our community. It was truly mind blowing. My Fit Bit said I had been “swimming” for and hour and a half due to the pace and movement of my gift bag filling.

The number of kids we saw was shocking, but what really impressed me on Halloween was Owen and Graham. Our boys showed up to volunteer at the event and they took that role seriously. They transported bags for us, they filled bags, they handed out bags. They were little worker bees. It was truly an honor to serve together as a family. My mama heart was so blessed to see my kids buy into the idea of giving to others.

Jeremy and I came home tired from the hopping pace of the night, but also amped up from the results. We definitely didn’t expect this drive-thru event to explode the way it did. 2020 is so unpredictable. You plan the best you can and make the most of what you’ve got. We saw major success with this event and it left us with questions of what does mean for next year? Was this a special one-time thing? Is this the new way events should look? It’s impossible to answer those questions right now, but we are mulling them over and taking notes.

This Halloween was memorable to say the least. We had fun, we served our community, we worked together as a family. Halloween 2020 was one of the record books. It was certainly a special way to wrap up such a special month.

Panda Amy! I bundled up because I thought I would be out in the cold all night. Turns out I worked up a sweat filling gifts bags indoors!
Graham is helping to fill bags and Jeremy (on his dinosaur) is coming to pick up more bags to take out! It was fast paced evening!
Owen’s orange helmet blends with the orange bags on the table. Owen helped Papa hand out bags to vehicles.
 

We have a foundation & a septic system! September 27, 2017

I figured I would start off with my building update. Our foundation is fully finished. Our septic system was put in this week. The back fill should be pushed in around the foundation this week. I’m under the impression that once the back fill is in, Adair will take things over again and move forward with actually building something on the foundation. I long for sub floors and then walls and then a roof. I want our property to go from being “the property” which would imply a piece of land to “the house” – a standing structure that resembles and promises to be a home. Each week we take baby steps forward. Rome and houses aren’t built in a day. Oh, how Jesus has taught me patience.

Life is always full and in a way, I’m grateful for that pace. I’m glad that I started to sell books because it’s given me a good distraction and something to work on while I wait for our home. The book business has been great in September. I think I’ve found my balance with about 6 parties a month. With all of my church and home commitments, I’ve accepted that I won’t be the busiest book lady on the planet, but I enjoy being consistent. I’ve even gotten to a place where if the business fizzled, I would be fine with that. My October and November are full so I don’t anticipate that it will fizzle, but if it did, no worries on my part. I made some money, I grew our home library and I was able to keep busy in a season of waiting.

MOPS is going super well. We had our second meeting on Monday and it was just as splendid as the first! Moms are enjoying themselves and our numbers are fantastic! The childcare situation has started off strong and I’m hoping it will only improve once the learning center is fully up and running. I am grateful and beyond blessed. This last meeting didn’t drain me as much as the first which I am relieved by. After the first meeting and going 150% all in to make MOPS amazing, I was scared that I wouldn’t enjoy attending anymore if it meant I came home dead each time and feeling like I had a hang over the next day. I think it will only get better from here as we settle into our tables and grow that sense of community. Things will become routine. This will all feel normal eventually. God is good and we are seeing the fruits of our labor.

The boys! It’s almost birthday month! Woo hoo! We are less than 2 weeks away from Owen turning 4 and less than a month away from Graham turning 2. Oh my! We are gearing up for a Paw Patrol themed party at the beginning of October. We are adapting to the new schedule of Owen being at preschool three mornings a week and Graham being home with me. Graham is great on his own and plays so nicely. If he isn’t feeling good, he can get a bit clingy, but for the most part, Graham is an easy kiddo on his own. Graham is using all kinds of words now. I was concerned a few months back about his verbal skills, but I’m not anymore. He is getting to be such a “big” boy in what he can say and do. Even though you can tell he is growing, I still expect him to be low on the charts for height and weight. Owen is loving preschool and loving life. It’s one great big adventure for that boy. He sings often and remains very loud in all he does. Owen is constant talker and is full of questions. The last month has held many firsts for him with the big boy bed and starting school. He will move up to a new classroom at church soon and be reunited with one of his best buds, Maci. He can’t wait.

Jeremy has had a full month as well. September is hunting season, so he had a couple of adventures out in the woods. He also had Man Camp at church two weeks ago. He often spends his free time checking on things at the property and doing projects up there. He has assembled his new greenhouse and added gutters to the well house. His next big project is to insulate the well house.

And you’ve already heard about me… boys, MOPS, books. Keeping busy. I chopped off my hair yesterday. It’s the shortest I’ve ever cut it. I’m in a less is more phase and I wanted to spend less time doing my hair during this busy season. My hair stylist was so proud of me for bringing in a picture example (I’ve never done that before) and getting a big girl hair cut. I guess I’ve graduated into adulthood, finally. I’m not usually super brave with my hair, but I decided to try something new. I gave myself the it’s only hair and it will grow back if I don’t like it pep talk. I do like it and I’m glad I forced myself out of my comfort zone.

And there you have it! Life with Scott at the close of September! See you in October!

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Visits to the property usually require baths right after them.

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Park play date

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Park play date

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Movie night in Mama’s bed while Daddy was at Man Camp

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Movie night in Mama’s bed while Daddy was at Man Camp

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Bounce house fun at a family birthday party

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Hugs!

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Snuggling with Papa and hanging with Keegan (cousin)

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Hands On Children’s Museum on the first rainy day of September

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Hands On Children’s Museum on the first rainy day of September

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Auntie’s first time at the HOCM

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While Daddy is out hunting, we make mega-track.

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The perk of visiting Daddy at work while Mommy has a meeting.

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First official day of fall, collecting leaves!

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Bed time snack?

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Visit to the zoo with my boys!

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Target shenanigans

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Exploring the new Taco Bell by the church with friends!

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The boys were ready for a very important meeting.

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Septic installation! THRILLING!

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Another Monday of full tables and wonderful conversation at MOPS! This week we talked about de-cluttering our lives and the peace that brings.

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New hair

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Pledge leader!

 

Catching You Up! June 15, 2017

Hey all! I will admit that it’s harder to find time to blog these days. The boys are wild and running full steam ahead every waking second. I’m blessed with snuggles and sweet moments in the midst of the boyhood chaos surrounding me. Things are happening at the property. I am giving 150% to my new Usborne book business. And then I have MOPS and friendships and family relationships that I’m trying to keep up with as well. I don’t like being busy. I am very tired. I was thinking today about how there just isn’t enough of me to go around or the age old saying of “there aren’t enough hours in the day.” Today was a day where I tried to multi-task working while the boys were awake and it was insanity. Often, I’m working when the boys are napping or at bedtime. Anytime my kids are asleep, I’m trying to get something done. It’s rewarding. I love the things I’m doing and people that I am investing in, but man, I could use a nap. Instead I’m blogging… naps and blogging are both therapeutic for me, but sadly I can only do one at a time. Maybe I can clone myself…

Okay, so the house. I know that you want house updates. I feel bad because we’re into building season and I would love to chronicle that process in detail here… but that might not happen. Sorry. As you can see I’m loosing my marbles a bit and I have some screws loose and whatever other saying will imply I lack mental clarity. While I get the basic just of building a house, there are parts of the process that I get confused about or don’t know the correct terms. This is not my skill set. Please, keep that in mind as you read my updates. They might include words like “thingamajig” from time to time. Last week we had the home site excavated, our driveway put in and gravel spread over the excavated site. Jeremy, my dad and brother-in-law, spent the weekend assembling the walls of our well houses.  The concrete pads weren’t poured yet so the well houses couldn’t go up over the weekend, but they are now as assembled as possible. Once the pads are poured and set, the well houses will be officially assembled. Jeremy is also working on getting the temporary power set up. And our building permits have been submitted to the county. We are still in the site “prep” stage, but we are very close to being fully ready to build. We had a meeting with Adair last week and they were impressed with how far we were in the process and they seemed optimistic that things would move along quickly. I’ll keep you posted so I know more!

As I mentioned, our days have filled with Usborne, MOPS, play dates and zany kids. Things are going well with Usborne. I’m one recruit away from getting my Success Kit #2. I have a couple recruits possibly joining in June because Usborne is running a special where you can join for $50. It’s a fantastic deal and truly an awesome opportunity. MOPS wrapped up last week and I’m in the midst of meetings and reworking paperwork in preparation for the new year. It’s exciting to see it all come together and I am believing great things are in store for our group. This new role has stretched me and grown me. I seem to be in a season doing new things. It’s good, but again, tiring. I’m doing lots of learning and trying to keep up and on top of things.

I think back to the days when I was at home for maybe 2,3,4 days in a row. Maybe unshowered… just chilling with babies and wondering if I’m losing my mind. Now, I kind of miss that. I’ve been out of the house a lot more these days or I’m doing live videos for my business, so the endless days of no showering just aren’t an option… I’m sure it’s better for the world as a whole, but I miss the slower pace and the option of being presentable. Haha… it takes energy! As an introvert, these new roles have me connecting with people all day long and that is taking some getting used to. I’m very much drained by constant communication. This summer is probably going to be the hardest part (I hope). I’m learning new things, we’re building a house, I’m out of my comfort zone in a lot of areas. But new routines will form. I will adapt to the new schedules and new commitments. Everything won’t be “new” forever. I’m learning a new form of endurance. It’s good, but hard. It’s rewarding, but tiring. Doesn’t that sum up life in a nutshell?

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Airplane

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Telling the time with his new Usborne book!

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One cute kid!

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Celebrating Cousin Bennett’s birthday at the park!

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Home Depot runs with Dad

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Last MOPS meeting of the year! So blessed by these ladies and excited to lead this group in the fall!

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Cranky face

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Home partying with my books!

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We have a driveway!!!!!!!

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Homestead Selfie

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Happy snuggles after Sunday naps

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Making Grandma a birthday card!

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Happy Birthday, Grandma!

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Graham fell asleep in his highchair after a super active play date!