Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

The Ups and Downs of Week Two at Home March 27, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles — Amy Scott @ 12:27 pm

Last week was truly a remarkable start to our time at home. I was in crisis management mode and threw myself 150% into making things as okay as possible. I’m not sure if the extra stress and energy I used caught up with me, but I woke up on Saturday with a migraine. I  randomly have one or two a year. The only solution is to sleep them off. Unfortunately, I spent the entire day in bed last Saturday. It was extremely disappointing and I felt like my body was really letting me down. I’m not going to pretend like everything is okay. Everyone knows that things are crazy right now. I can’t pretend to be unaffected.

I assumed that things would improve this week as I adjusted to our new normal, but that was a false assumption. I’m good at false assumptions these days. When the world started to change, I envisioned life getting smaller and slower, but still including people. I saw myself having a few play dates, maybe having family over for dinner, or hosting church for a small group in our house. I saw our family going on special outings to fill the time. None of these assumptions have panned out. There have been so many small disappointments to absorb. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t taking its toll. 

Despite the disappointments, I am incredibly grateful for how week two at home has gone. The boys continue to do well with our new schedule. We’ve found a good flow. They are excited for school each day. Since we are doing school only a few hours a day, it’s very manageable (and fun). The boys have had plenty of time to play inside and outside. Even with the rainy weather, we’ve all been outside everyday. You can’t keep us indoors! I’m enjoying the fresh air and exercise daily. My fitbit is very happy with me!

Wednesday was Jeremy’s 39th birthday. I’m so glad it wasn’t the big 4-0 because I hope to make that birthday a big deal. 39 can be quiet, but 40 needs to be extra special! Jeremy was working from home that day. He worked on a film project with a special friend, Wilson (think Castaway). He included the whole family in his creative project. We hope that his video will be included in our church’s video announcements this Sunday. It was fun to have a family project to work on and the boys love Wilson. To celebrate Jeremy, we gave him birthday cards from each of us. For our school craft, we baked treats and read a book about making a birthday cake. My parents dropped off pizza for us at the door. We sent home pieces of dessert with them. I was bummed that the birthday celebration had to be small, but Jeremy had a great attitude. I’m thankful that we got extra time with him on his special day.

My mental countdown is to April 27th when hopefully my boys will be back at school. Right now in Washington State, we are under a “Stay home, Stay Healthy” order that lasts for two weeks. The order to stay home didn’t really change all that much for the boys and me. We’ve been home and we will continue to be home. We are 1/3 of the way through our school break. After this next week, we’ll be half way done! There are so many things to be thankful for right now. I’m thankful that our family took a drive to pick up a kindergarten homework packet on Tuesday. I got to see the outside world and have a quick conversation with non-relatives. I’m thankful for the fun mail the boys got from Nana & Papa yesterday with projects and a game to keep them busy. I’m thankful for pizza leftovers. I’m thankful for Jeremy’s birthday and reasons to celebrate.

I’m learning as a go. I’m hoping I can work through the stress in a healthy way. I’m allowing myself to rest more. I’m spending time in my Bible and praying. I’m memorizing Scripture. I savor the few quiet moments as I find them. I couldn’t sustain 150% effort for six weeks. I’m learning how to stay engaged without overdoing it. This isn’t a short sprint, this is a marathon. I want to finish well at the end of this extreme season.

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Apparently collecting tadpoles is an annual experiment for our family. This is our third year! 

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Church from home with the family. It was a special treat to sit with Jeremy through an entire gathering. Owen sang at the top of his lungs during worship. I almost couldn’t sing because I was fighting back tears. 

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Jeremy was able to get so much yard work done during the nice weather. The house looks great. Here are the boys enjoying some outside time and checking on the tadpoles.

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Owen is Jeremy’s shadow. Owen is always close beside Jeremy when he is home.

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The rain can’t keep us inside!

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Rainy days call for blanket forts!

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Working from home is easy, right?

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Family dinner with Wilson

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Happy birthday, Jeremy!

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ABC Activities

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Helping Jeremy make video announcements

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A new shark game from Nana & Papa!

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Nana & Papa got Owen a space science kit. He is in heaven!!! 

 

Week One at Home! March 20, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles — Amy Scott @ 9:20 am

On Thursday, March 12th, I had a friend over in the morning with her son. My friend and I talked on the couch while her son played happily in the playroom. It was nice to catch up and enjoy community together. We talked briefly about the coronavirus, but it wasn’t our main topic of discussion. It’s crazy the difference a day makes. I had no clue on the March 12th all that would unfold on the March 13th. I heard people making jokes about Friday the 13th, but I put no stock in such superstitions. And then it seemed that everything changed on that Friday the 13th.

We’ve had one week of our new routine and so far, so good! The weather has been sunny and that is a huge part of this week’s success. The boys have had plenty of outside time to play. We’ve found a good flow with doing schoolwork in the mornings, resting in the afternoons, and playing in the evenings. The days have been different, but different isn’t bad. This change has been good.

Our two hour window for school includes reading, writing, math, crafts, music, games and exercise. We pause for snacks. I’ll stop to move the laundry along. It’s been a relaxed pace with no stress, rush, or deadlines. Our extra free time has been spent outside. Next week when the rain comes back, we’ll focus on building blanket forts, watching movies, baking together. Next week is also Jeremy’s birthday, so we can pour ourselves into birthday prep – making cards, making a special dessert, decorating the house to celebrate.

We’ve celebrated as much as possible this last week. St. Patrick’s Day and the first day of spring gave us plenty to get excited about! For St. Patrick’s Day, we watched a video about St. Patrick and why we celebrate him. We also watched a Riverdance video and a time-lapse video of dying the Chicago River green (that was the favorite). I’ve been playing instrumental music around the house, so on Tuesday we listened to Celtic/Irish music. We did some St. Patrick’s Day coloring sheets. I attempted to dye as many things possible green at dinner, but the boys weren’t a fan. Graham did eat the green pancakes, but passed on the green eggs. Our small gift to the boys for St. Patrick’s Day was a set of glow in the dark stars for their bedrooms. Since they glow green, Jeremy and I felt like the gift was on theme. The stars were a big hit and the boys enjoyed putting them up on their walls.

The first day of spring was a little less exciting than St. Patrick’s Day. Our craft for the day was supposed to be painting flowers, but the boys wanted to paint space images instead. I didn’t mind since they were being creative. We read a book about apples growing (starting at blossoms in spring) and played Hi-Ho Cherrio (math). We talked about the cycle of the seasons and how everything is waking up and coming alive again. Once it warmed up, we went outside to document signs of spring. We found flowers, seed pods and a few green leaves starting to form on trees.

When I look at the week we’ve had, I am hopeful for the remaining weeks ahead. We’ve had a great time at home. The boys are living an adventure everyday. I’m thankful for the friendship they share. I’m thankful for the exploration they’ve done in the sunshine. I’m thankful for the time they’ve had to play. The boys know that there is a virus going around that it makes certain people sick. They know that our risk level is low, but we are staying home to make sure other people don’t get sick. The boys aren’t showing signs of stress or fear (they don’t quite understand the magnitude of this crisis). Jeremy and I are careful about our own attitudes and what we are reflecting to the kids. We are trying to make life as normal and as fun as possible right now.

When I first thought about being home for six weeks with the kids, my first concern was their education. I’ve calmed down a bit from the initial concern I felt. I had a friend share that 2-3 hours a week of academic time wards off the brain drain that kids experience over a long break. I still plan on taking our spring break at the beginning of April. I’m not sure what we’re going to do with no play dates or outings, but we’ll take a true break from the new routine we’ve started. As much as I miss sending my boys to school, I love that I’m not making a lunch every morning or waking up kids to get ready. Owen has been staying up a little later than usual to use the telescope before bed. He has been sleeping in and resting during nap time. I know this is good for him. Graham loves having Owen home as his buddy. Even though they fight, I love watching their friendship. I’m glad they have each other during this time.

We are forging a new normal and it’s been good. I’m all for slowing down. I’m all for having fun. I’m all for making the most of teachable moments. When my boys reflect on this unexpected break, I’m hopeful they will remember it as a positive adventure. So far, so good. Possibly five weeks more to go!

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Our crazy St. Patrick’s Day outfits. We are living life in our pajamas these days. We do change into clean pajamas each morning.

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Day two of school around the table.

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A glow in the dark puzzle needed to be assembled in the pantry so we could see the end results.

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My attempt at pancake art to look like a clover, green eggs, and green pears.

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Stars on the wall and saying “space!”

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The boys have been hitting the trails in the evening, so I get a few quiet minutes alone. Time to journal and read my digital library book.

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Painting stars and black holes instead of flowers.

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Documenting signs of spring

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Pausing to smell the flowers

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Thankful that the “neighbors” let us draw with chalk on their driveway!

 

A New Adventure Begins March 16, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles — Amy Scott @ 2:34 pm

I remember first hearing about the coronavirus in January and not giving it much thought. I’ve never been one to doomsday over illness. While I heard the story unfolding, I honestly thought life would continue as normal. However, living in Washington State means that “business as usual’ has ceased to be.  Church has changed. School is closed until the end of April at the earliest. Each day brings something new to process and absorb. So let’s dive into this new adventure.

This weekend was my first wedding at the “wedding facility coordinator” at our church. It was supposed to be the biggest of the three weddings I have on the books. The family was able to handle almost everything by themselves. I was on-site to supervise and help as needed, but mostly I was in the background watching things (social distancing). The experience overall was very positive. It was good chance for me to observe before being more active in future weddings. My heart did go out to the couple who had to cut their guest list below 250 when they were expecting much more than that. There was definitely a quiet vibe over the day, but it was still a lovely wedding. The couple is officially married. Their family and close friends were there to celebrate with them. I view that as a success even though plans had to change.

On Friday, as the wedding decorating was happening around the church, I was praying over the announcement I heard was coming – schools closing. My MOPS & MOMSnext group follows the school schedule. I knew that decisions about our group meeting would be based on the decision to close schools. On top of that, school closures meant my kids are on an extended break now. Both boys are doing fantastic at school. They are learning and have great friends. I’m sad that their very positive school experience has been paused. Owen, especially, is blowing me way his capacity for learning right now and I don’t want him to lose that momentum. I’ve been mourning the decision to close schools and not because I don’t want my kids home with me. I love having my kids home. I’m the mom that cried at the end of Christmas break. My sense of mourning comes from something good coming to a close, at least for now.

I had sensed that there might be a gap in the school year coming soon. Before any announcements were made, I had purchased a workbook for Owen. It’s a Brain Quest summer workbook for in-between grades (kindergarten and 1st). Since Owen is already doing 1st grade work, I figured this might be more useful than a kindergarten level book. Owen’s teacher was able to send home a homework pack for this week. After we work through that packet, we’ll start working on the summer book. Over the weekend, I was able to create a Monday-Thursday daily schedule that will include homeschooling. Friday will be family days. I’m praying for good weather over the next six weeks so we can go explore outside and avoid a stir-crazy feeling. I have a chance to dabble in the realm of homeschooling. I’ve often pondered if I would like homeschooling. Now I have an opportunity to test it out.

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This schedule is flexible. I know that both boys operate on a schedule at school. I wanted them to have the security of knowing there is a plan. Owen likes knowing what to expect next.

Today was our first official day of homeschooling. It went well and we accomplished everything on the lesson plan. We started our day with the Pledge of Allegiance. We talked about the day of the week and the weather outside. We moved into worksheets on reading, writing and math. Owen read a book out loud while Graham traced his name and colored. Then we went into music time where we sang and danced to two worship songs. After that it was outside time with 15 minutes of walking/biking. Once we we were back inside, we had a snack and then 15 minutes of educational tablet time. After that we created with Play-Doh and played a math-related board game. Before they could move on to free time, the boys each had to pick a chore to do around the house. Day one was a complete success! Here’s hoping we can keep this up!

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First day of homeschooling!

Our church met yesterday, so Jeremy was at work in the morning. The boys and I stayed home. I did children’s church with the boys. This looked like a Bible story, a song, and praying together. Graham told me that goldfish crackers are a necessary part of children’s church. At 10:00am, our church shared a live video of the gathering. I used my phone and screen mirroring to play the message on the TV. The boys started out watching the gathering with me but then they ran off to play. It was a different way to do church and I’m intrigued to see how online church plays out in the future. It will take some getting used to, but I am thankful for technology that allow us to gather online.

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Church at home

It seems like each day brings new changes. I have my worries and fears. I’m trying my best to take them to God and lay them down. I understand that my anxiety won’t improve anything. I’m working hard to keep a positive attitude in front of my boys. It’s okay to be sad over changes. It’s a delicate balance of validating feelings without being controlled by them. If this was a regular break, I would plan fun outings to keep the boys busy. With even play dates being iffy at this point, I’m not quite sure what six full weeks at home looks like. I’m an introvert and while I’m a big fan of simplifying life, this is new territory for me. A break, sabbatical, vacation from extra responsibilities seems nice now. I’m sure though I will miss my church family and friends. I will miss reading with kindergartners on Tuesdays. I will miss play dates and the social interaction of having company over.

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I was given flowers at the end of the wedding on Saturday. They are a lovely reminder to bring beauty into my home. Life looks different now. I can control my attitude. I can be thankful. I can be present with my loved ones. I’m praying that, even through the weirdness, these could be the best days of our lives. I’m praying that we can learn to slow down. I’m praying that family time will be sweet. I’m praying that education will still move forward. I’m praying that when the bans are lifted we all have a greater appreciation for each other and the world we live in. This is a great opportunity and certainly a new adventure.

Here are pictures from the last week:

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Having so much fun decorating cookies!

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It snowed on Friday and Saturday to add to the weirdness of life. Here is Friday’s snowman made by Jeremy and Graham while I was at church with the wedding.

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Both boys got to make a snowman on Saturday!

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Grandma brought over 50 new markers! I’m sure we’ll put those to good use over the next few weeks!

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Taking a morning to break to walk to in the sunshine!

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Play Doh

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Sum Swamp

 

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!

 

 

Celebrating with Green Eggs March 2, 2020

Filed under: Cooking Experiments,Getting Creative — Amy Scott @ 9:50 am

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Owen’s teacher asked me if I could make a special treat for the class to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday today. I love to bake, but I’ve never made a Dr. Seuss treat before. I took to Pinterest for inspiration. I decided to make my favorite butter cookies and to frost the cookies so they looked like green eggs from Green Eggs and Ham.

I was nervous about how the cookies would turn out since I’m new to piping frosting on cookies. I love the sanding sugar process I learned from a friend. The results are lovely and sparkly! Overall, I’m very pleased with how the cookies turned out. I packaged them individually and labeled them so it was clear how they played into the Dr. Seuss theme. It’s funny that I’ve thrown a Dr. Seuss themed baby shower and now created a Dr. Seuss themed baking project all in the last month. Apparently, I’ve needed more silly in my life!

 

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Here is a more detailed look into the process! 

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I made 36 butter cookies. They are slightly thicker than usual so they could handle the frosting.

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When it came time to frost the cookies, I made random egg white outlines and then filled them in by piping across the cookie. The frosting didn’t need to be perfect because I was going to squish it flat using sanding sugar. 

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The cookie goes frosting side down into a pile of sugar. I pushed down slightly to smooth out the frosting.

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Layer one done!

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I was too focused to take step-by-step pictures of the green yokes. The yokes went quickly, but took a gentle hand. I used a large tip to add the green frosting. Then I lightly pushed them into green sanding sugar. I didn’t want to push too hard and have the green sugar get onto the white layer. 

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Final step: packing the cookies up to head to school! 

 

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.