Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Time to Think


   I've had a few things I've been wanting to post, but I just haven't had time this past week, as I'm preparing for my trip out of town. Technically I don't have time to write a post now, but I'm going to squeeze it in anyway ;)

   One of the things I love most about driving by myself is that I can either drive in complete silence, or crank the radio up as loud as I'd like. It's my free time. I don't have to worry about other people in the car. I could sing as loud as I want, or not talk at all. It's just me. It's a time where I can be filled with peace.
I'm often distracted for most of my day, trying to finish my daily tasks, or preparing for something that is due that week. Any free moment I'm just resting and doing whatever I want.  Driving was no different. I could think what I wanted, or just not really think at all about life (don't worry, I still pay attention while driving XD)

   I get so busy- or think I am- that I forget to take time to pray and spend time with my Creator. It starts off small, but then more and more time is gone. It's one thing I am trying to work on lately, but even so I still end up doing other things that could wait.
Recently I've been doing something different. Instead of just "wasting" my time while I drive, I try to put it to good use. I pray. I usually end up praying for people, whether a close friend or someone who just had a prayer request, and I pray for them until I can't think of anything else to say. Other days I'll turn my radio up and just let the song play, listening and appreciating the lyrics, and then a moment later I may be singing praises out and thanking God for how awesome He is. It may only be a ten minute ride, but it's ten minutes of where I can be in God's presence, away from distractions, and just listen. It's hard sometimes to not turn the radio on and have it as a background noise, to sit in silence. It's not something our culture does. We fill up every moment we have. It's strange to be somewhere where there is no other noise. We might not like the silence because we feel alone, but it is in this same silence where if we focus on God, He will speak to us.

I just want to challenge you to think more about what you do with your time. How much time do you spend with God vs. social media? (I know I need to change my routine so I can read my Bible and pray consistently) Instead of having the radio on for no reason at all, turn it to a song that is worshiping God. Sing to Him with all your heart. Just listen to a song in silence. Talk with your Maker. It may only be for a moment or two, and you may think it doesn't make a difference, but it does. You get to spend that time in fellowship with the One who created you. He wants to know your thoughts and desires. He longs for you to be with him.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Wrap-Up




I can't believe it's time for another monthly wrap up, but here it goes...


LIFE
January went pretty well for me. We got some snow for a couple of days, so that was quite enjoyable. (dull, gray and cold days are no fun) It was quite fun to wake up to my little sister screaming when she saw the snow.
My mom baked a lot during this month, and it was AMAZING. Due to some stuff, she decided a while back not to bake frequently so she could focus on other things, so when she baked rolls, bread, and cinnamon rolls, it. was. heaven.
In the middle of January I had a climbing competition, and it was a lot of fun. I had only just started back into training a couple months ago, and was quite happy with my performance. Not only that, but I made it to the national competition, and will be competing in just one week! So I am cranking up my training and trying to stay healthy until then. (which didn't really work out, as I got sick this week XP)
This month was also the winter retreat for my youth group. It will be my last year to take part, and over all it was great. I was able to study the Word more, fellowship with others, and read what the Scripture says about being a woman of God. We studied the passage of Proverbs 31, as well as other passages. Our group found some things that none of us had really noticed before, and that was pretty cool. We also spent a lot of time praying for our nation, and God brought up a few things that we didn't have planned. Reminding us that if our country continues to fall away, that he will remove his blessing, but if we repent and turn from our sin that he will hold back his judgement and pour out his blessing, even though we don't deserve it.


RANDOMNESS

~When your family spends the day picking all the locks in the house just in case....(you never know when you might need the skill. getting locked out of the house for instance)

~Things you never though you would hear your dad say: "Man, nail polish takes forever to dry!"

~*little sister begins to run in the snow*
    Mom: "No running with a shovel!"
    lil sis: *pauses*
              *turns around*
              *walks toward me with shovel outreached*
              *begins to run again once I take the shovel*

~The awkward moment when I tried to put the milk up:
   *pulls out jug of milk*
   *pulls out a cup*
   *pours milk*
   *tries to put milk up and notices it doesn't fit*
   *realizes I'm trying to put the milk in the cupboard*

~When my dad got his drone up in a tree due to an unforeseen breeze at night. A few days later he was able to get it out.



BLOGGING
I'm happy to say that I was able to post at a semi consistent rate this month. This is my sixth post for January, so I have to say I think I did pretty good. The two highlights are:
A Poem: The Silent One
A Blogging Bake Off


Favorite posts I read:

Savannah: The Girl In The MirrorHow To Liven Up Your Mentor Character
Olivia: When They Don't Like Your Dream
Cait: 10 Classic Retellings I Want To Read But Don't Exist
Clara: I Don't Want To Just Exist , Your Past Does Not Define You
Julia: To Dance,
Rebekah: 21 Answers to the Question: What are You Planning to Do In Your Future?
Sare: Random Things You Find On Your Phone // The Flexible Ruler


WRITING

I actually did write this month. For fun. I meet up twice with a friend I'm co-writing with, and was able to up the word count by 1,000 (don't judge. I know I've written more in that time span, but when you both have lives, and are sharing a story, it takes a little more time. Plus, we don't want it to be a messy rough draft, so we're plotting a lot of the time too) 
 I did write part of the new prologue for Changeling. So once that is done I'll let a couple people read it and see what they think. I'm still writing the updated outline for Changeling, as well as the stories before and after, and stuff. Also, I just realized that I don't like writing a particular type of fantasy. I was just thinking about the final contest A. E. Stengl is doing this year, and that I want to try and take part, but that I will probably have it set in the same world of Changeling, instead of the fantasy world I created last year. So there's a rabbit trail.  


What is something you think I should add in my wrap up posts? Your favorite highlight from January? 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Blogging Bake Off


What happens when you have writers and bloggers come together to bake?
 Well, come find out



One of the things that tends to happen when you have a bunch of people in a chat group that are homeschoolers, and are in large families, is that they know how to cook. I'm amazed at all the stuff my fellow friends can do, and how well they do it. But today, as one of the gals and I were chatting, we decided to do a bake off. We ended up recruiting a couple others, and all baked the same recipe today. It was a lot of fun watching everyone's rolls come together despite being in four different states.

[During my time of baking, I found out that there is a thing called 'celery salt'. No clue that existed, but now I know- and yes, I did taste just a bit. Not nearly as stringy as actual celery ;p ]

And now we have our first baker. She has made these many a time, and it shows. The browning on top looks perfect, and the biscuits themselves look quite fluffy. 

Julia: Finished at approximately  2:48pm




Oh and it looks like we now have our second batch of rolls coming in right now. Nice touch of sprigs to give a great aesthetic touch. I like how she styled them differently to be a scone type look.

Abigayle: Finished approximately 3:30pm



Our third competitor's rolls look amazing. Great memories right here. Feels like I was just transported into another time of where it'd be biscuits and milk.

Jesseca. Finished approximately 5:30pm




And now our final competitor. A nice and decorative display, lightly dusted cheese on top I presume.

Mine: Finished approximately 5:20pm



And now the bake off has come to a close. Whose rolls would you choose???

TAKE THE POLL!



Don't they all look amazing? ( for some reason my lighting was off, so they don't look nearly as delicious as the others lol)
I am now off to my virtual ship where I will go and taste test for them. (I'm nice like that. No need for anyone to get poisoned tonight.)
Do you think we should do more bake offs? *looks around and whispers* Because I have ideas *nods*

I gotta go. Just arrived to my first stop, and the rolls are running out quickly.





Does one roll look more aesthetically pleasing? Whose house would you want to go and eat at tonight? Have you done a bake off before?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Taking the ACT // How I Survived




I know that a lot of people will be taking their ACT or SAT pretty soon. I happened to have taken mine in October, and it was quite the experience. So I thought I would just share a few tips.

~ PRAY
Whether you plan to attend college, or just taking the test and will have to give the score for when you apply for jobs, you want to have a reasonably good score to show. It may sound strange to pray for just a test, but this isn't just a normal test. It is very hard, and it will show all your weak-points. You want to do your best, and to glorify God in your life, so when you're having a hard time opening the study book, send up a quick prayer that God will help you remember and study well for the ACT/SAT.

~READ AND STUDY
It's hard to pick up your study tools and want to use them. It's repetitive and exhausting. But, it will make a difference. There are many tips and tricks that can make a difference for when you take the test (I recommend getting a few different books for studying. I took a class, but then had other things on top of what I did there) So whether its books, practice tests, online class, flashcards do as much as you can that is formatted in the way of the test.

~PREPARE
Take a prep class. You'll be able to learn some tips about the test. If you know of an area where you are weak at, get a tutor. Maybe you can't have a personal tutor for much time, but even a day or two can make a huge difference. I am really weak at math, so I went to a tutor two times about a week and a half before my test and it made a difference. Don't think you don't have enough to get help. Anything is better then nothing.



~BE ON TIME
Make sure you are at your designated test center on time, if not a few minutes early. I got there before they opened, so I had time to get to my class, drink water, go the bathroom, etc. Don't bring your phone in, or at least turn it completely off. I left mine in the car just so that way there wouldn't be any complications.

~BREAK
Bring some water and a snack. You'll be there for a while, so there's no need to try and become dehydrated. If you're like me, you probably won't be hungry before hand, but having a snack is good.

~SKIM
Don't read all of the long paragraphs that are there for the problems. Skim through them and underline/circle anything you think will be important. For area's like the Science and English, I read the questions first, and skimmed through for the answers. Of course, you'll want to be sure, but if you take the time to read every single word on your document, you will run out of time.

~ANSWER EVERYTHING
Even if you are only halfway through one of the sections and are almost out of time, take the remaining couple of minutes and circle in the remaining answers. Even if it's wrong that's okay. You don't have any deductions for wrong answers, and if you get one right, well, that's worth it for sure.

~TOOLS
Calculator- make sure you bring the right calculator, and an extra one. (don't want it to die on you!) You want to make sure you calculator is high tech enough to help you with as many problems as possible, but not to where you can't bring it in because it remembers all the equations and stuff. So make sure you check to see if your calculator is what is allowed before hand.
Pencils -they very are important. That is what you are using the entire time. I brought a whole box of pencils I sharpened before hand, so I had a pencil per test, and then more just in case the world ended and all but one broke.  :)


So there are some tips for you. Hope you find some of them helpful (perhaps I should do "how to study post" that is totally comical and not helpful at all? XD)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Silent One




I am the one who never speaks
yet I have much to say
The one who is full of words
yet can only say so much
who is silent when the room is full
who disappears in the shadows
who is not noticed
it is almost like a gift
to be able to disappear in the background
yet also a curse.
I do not want to be alone
I do not want to be surrounded
I love being near people
but it is too overwhelming
The Silent One they call me
whose words are hardly over a mutter
whose thoughts can be so loud
who is often dreaming of other worlds
who can be in a room all alone and feel safe
yet be in a room full of people and feel so insecure.
I am in the shadows
I am a daughter of Light


1/9/17

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Winter Wonderland

















(side note, we may or may not have tried to fly a drone at the park, and landed it in a tree. If you know any expert tree climbers for small, tall trees, feel free to recommend ;P)







I must say, when I woke up this morning and saw the world covered in while outside my bedroom window, I was quite happy. (even though I may or may not have rested for a few more minutes before getting up.) Though as soon as I heard my little sister scream in the house, I knew exactly what it was for. She was excited for snow. In the past, she had a sort've "traumatic" experience with the car slipping on ice one winter, and never forgot it. (We got stuck, and when some of us got out of the car to push it, she was quite frantic) For the past couple of years she hardly wanted to go outside, but as soon as she saw the white powder covering our yard today, she jumped at the chance to go out.
And I'm glad she enjoyed it because snow is something I love. Yes, there are many things that may be inconvenient because of it, but its beauty always astounds me. So as the day went on, tramping through what was suppose to only be an inch of snow (those weather-forcasts XD) and pulling out my camera, it made for a day full of warm layers and many smiles. Plus, my mom baked all day, so all the smells from the cinnamon rolls and bread filled the house.


                                       [finishing the day with a sparkler]








Do you ever just stop and look at the snowflakes?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Looking Back at 2016



Life:

I can't believe it's 2017. I mean, it doesn't even feel like twelve months have passed and already a new year is coming. So many things happened this past year. From things like my dad skiing on the city street at the beginning of the year,  to driving our mini in the neighborhood.
 I got to travel to Russia, then go on a trip with my family across the country again. Once back home I studied for my ACT before I  applied to and was accepted to college.
I wrote a first draft during NaNo, which was really exciting for me. I haven't written anything this large since like, 2012, so it was encouraging and exciting to write another story with great characters. I got to get to know some awesome bloggers this past year. Not sure what I would have done without my writing buddies or my sister- who kept me going and helped me write as much I did. (It's a lot more encouraging to write when you have others wanting to read your work when you give them a snippet here or there)
 I was able to hang out with some close friends, and make new ones as well.
My dad graciously allowed for me to keep a kitten that was born this year. (she looks similar to my last cat.)
My love of traveling continues to grow, and am excited for the adventures coming next year.

Adventure:


  • Ice skated  
  • Mountaineered with my dad 
  • Drove Friesans in Canada
  • Visited Red Square in Moscow
  • Rock Climbing at nationals
  • Zip line course with my distant cousins
  • Outdoor climbing and hiking with my family



Music:

I listend to a lot of great music this year, and was able to go to some concerts this year as well. I'm one of those people not perhaps the random one) who lives a wide variety of music compared to just one genre. I love old time music like Nat King Cole, Big Band sounds, all the way to modern Christian Contemperary. So you shouldn't  be surprised if one song is a classical piece, and the next is the occasional rap.  (I have never been a huge lover of rap, but I have lately been listening to NF, and have really enjoyed his lyrics)
And I have recently I become a lover of acapella.  (BYU Vocal Point/Noteworthy, Peter Hollens, Bri Ray)



Movies:

Priceless- I really enjoyed this. Especially liked reading the book, as it gave a little bit more to he story.
Ben Hur- My sister and I fell in love with some of the songs that promoted the movie, so we were excited to finally see it. Wish is was longer, but over all I enjoyed it.
Captain America: Civil War- Not really sure what to put here XD It was good, and I look forward to the next movie with the characters.
Finest Hours- I really enjoyed this movie. It was based on a true story, and it made it even better.
Now You See Me Two- This movie makes me wish I could do more tricks. (they had an epic card scene)
Rogue One- I wasn't too sure how this would be, but then when I started watching it I was really excited. I loved all the comical scenes that were in it (the new droid was pretty witty) and I really liked how they brought back some of the characters from the past movies
God's Not Dead 2- This movie was amazing. About issues that have happened, and most likely will happen again.

Next year I'm excited to see:
the live action Beauty and the Beast,
the new Pirates of the Caribbean,
Spider-Man: Homecoming,
Star Wars VIII.


Reading:

I alpha and beta read a ton, as well as read published books. According to Goodreads I:
read 43,000+ pages
read 130 books (not including the re-reads or unpublished books)

Favorite books I read published this year:
Shadows of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette
Unblemished by Sara Ella
Byways 8-10 by C J Milbrandt
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Beyond the Horizon by Jesseca Wheaton


Next year I'm looking forward to:
The Returning by Rachelle Dekker (even though I already read it, it doesn't officially release until Jan 2017)
The Voice the Key and the Revolution by Jenny Cote
Byways 11-13 by C J Milbrandt
Unraveled by Sara Ella



Writing:

I wrote a short story, worked on another short story, wrote a flash fiction, and a novel. It was probably like 80,000 words or something, but some of it was handwritten, so...
I did NaNoWriMo, and I got 50,300+ words. Still can't believe it, and I'm not even fully done. And do to getting my wisdom teeth out the previous day, I was able to write 12k in 1 day.
Somehow I gave my unfinished rough draft to some writing friends. Still not sure how I allowed that. But in the process I found out something. You know when you share a Google Doc and there are anonymous animals that pop up? Well, there was one that said "axolotyl" I was like "what in the world is that?!" Turns out, it's this little creature:

Image result for axolotl
Weird huh?


Blogging:

So I ended up posting more on my review blog the past couple years, but I'm coming back over here. I'll be just putting reviews/book spotlights on the second blog. I'm excited to post here again, but am not going to stay to a strict schedule, though I may eventually do one in the future.

Posts from this year:
Don't Worry
Miracles, Blessings, and the Faith of a Child
Hacked 1
Hacked 2
Beautiful Books Post
In Remembrance


My most viewed post that was published this year was: Just a Ramble on Snow (which kind of surprised me) 2nd most viewed was my November/NaNo Wrap-Up

Some Favorite Posts: (there were a TON of great posts this year, but I only have room for so many, and my brain may have been fried by the time I went to go looking through all the posts from everyone in the past year)
Burning Youth
Rebekah
Julia
Savannah
Katie Grace

Randomness:

  • I have begun to use Goodreads more recently this year. Wish they had this when I was a lot younger and reading books. Slowly adding to my "read" list, and adding more "to-read" all the time
  • My name was misspelled into two new ways.
  • Took part in my first writing contest this year
  • Found out that you can own a tiger/lion in the U.S
  • Had some weird and random dreams about some people.
  • Got a few laughs from Studio C (They have some great, clean comedy on YouTube)
  • Locked my keys in the car for the first time #oops
  • Began a friends page- still a WIP
  • Tea is now my thing. Coffee, not so much.
  • When my mom made me a dish from Russia.
  • When your younger sister says she doesn't like ice cream.  O.O 
  • You give a younger sibling a small, gold watering can and they think it's a genie lamp

Special Moments:

-Stars and clouds in the sky at the same time one night.
-Seeing the Northern Lights
-Berry picking
-Watching my little sister sit on my dad's lap during the evening outside.
-The peacefulness of a mountain cabin.
-The special place on the back porch with lights and brisk air.
-My writing place in our extra bedroom lit by christmas lights.
-The time where a laughing child held my hand as we ice skated.
-Where God used a girl in another country who spoke a different language to encourage me
-Those moments when I would blast my radio and sing as loud as I could.

Goal's for next year:


*Finish draft 2 of Changeling
*Write a short story prequel
*Write some good poems
*Finish alphaing
*Finish my friend's page
*Have a guest blogger
*Read and study my Bible more.
*Work on scheaduling my time
*Bible journal
*Travel
*Graduate (had to add this in)
*And this most likely will not happen until the year after, but I would like to go to a writing conference  (RM)
*Maybe try a vlog. O.o



Did you know what an Axolotyl was? What is a special time you had this past year? What is some favorite music you listened to?