Friday, March 17, 2017

Chicago












My family flew me out for my birthday to visit an old friend in Illinois. I had such a blast this past weekend with her (we may or may not have stalked the people on the train. They made very good subjects for our photography lol)
We attacked the used bookstores, and had some great finds. Went to local coffee shops and had conversations over coffee and cocoa, and deep talks over lunch. We caught up on each other's lives and just had a fun time hanging out.

For my "Chicago experience" we went to the Bean (I am not totally sure why this is so popular) and then walked down to Navy Pier. I got some awesome pics, and loved the old buildings and bridges. I also had a Chicago hot dog, which was actually really good. (I'm not a big hot dog fan, but I did enjoy it.) I molded pottery as well, and I look forward to sharing pics once it's glazed. I saw La La Land and...I have to say that I loved that intro scene. It was amazing. *dances/sings and pretends I'm half as good as the actors in the movie*

I got an Instagram, so I'll be sharing my photography with my lovely followers. Excited, and hope I won't explode with pics all at once XD



Have you been or want to go to Chicago? What are your thoughts on La La Land?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

February Wrap-Up


Life:

This past month was pretty amazing. I had the opportunity to compete at the Bouldering Nationals  (rock climbing) in Utah. I didn't make it to day two, but I still had a blast, and felt like I did a great job from where I had been in the past. I got to meet up with my old coach. Was awesome getting to see him, and I also went and toured at Antelope Island with my dad, which was really cool. The weather was really nice, and we had some amazing views. (it was actually warmer there the first day than when we had left VA. If that doesn't tell you something about southern winters) We had quite the experience trying to get out there, which I'll post about later, but it all ended up good.

I went down and visited a friend and my grandma, who both live a couple hours away. I was so proud of myself for not getting lost while driving through the city. (the new GPS is proving its worth ;)  ) It was great seeing Sami again. She told me about her new book and the series she is working on- which sounds amazing! We talked writer details and then went to searching for treasure in the local thrift shops (I found some great books). I had a fun time with my grandma. We met up for supper and had a good talk. She had been up north, so I hadn't been able to see her for a while.

And on a random note, I went through my keepsake box. Saw all those school worksheets from kindergarden (my only non homeschool year) and the adorable pictures I drew. Was super cute and some of the stuff was quite comical. I found taped pieced of paper and a note my mom put on it saying I made my own Blue's Clues notebook, and a spot for the crayon. I was four years old <3
My two favorite shows when I was little was Blue's Clues and Bear in the Big Blue House. My little sister is watching them now, so it's been cool seeing it be passed down :)





Reading

Goodreads added rereading on their website! Now I can reread, and am excited to try it out. I have never reread any books before, so it will be quite interesting I think. (Just kidding. I reread a ton. I've lost count of how many times I've read thru my books. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of times. Who knows)

I got a few really good books this month. And although I have slowed down a bit in reading, I still got in a nice amount of like 17 books. (had quite a long time to read at the airport lol)

*Shiver not listed

And of course I got a new story idea. *shakes head* And it was really random too because I was doing my hair. (writer problems) XD It's really cool though. It's sci-fi or something, which is totally not my normal genre, so we'll see how it turns out whenever I try to write it. This is like, idea three this year?


Randomness:

When you take your phone out of its case and it looks and feels so strange   (what is this?!)

We were in a drive thru and I handed my sister the receipt and all of the sudden showed me the receipt again. Apparently our cashier's name was Kashiana. Kashiana the cashier. *nods*

When your lips feel like they're dying. Even when you slather chapstick all over them (it happened)

When you are trying to choose between sleep and a movie

When you realize that your one page paper is suppose to be an eight page paper, and it's due tomorrow.  O.O (I died)

I got my hair cut, which is a big deal because I love my hair and like it long. I really like the new length though. (Just chop it off!)  ;D

I have been winning quite a few giveaways lately- not that I'm complaining. Just that it isn't normal XD Mostly book stuff, but still :)

You know your at a small airport when the attendant is calling for people to board (going thru all the many different members) and finally says over the intercom after no one gets up "How about is there anyone headed to Philadelphia on flight - ?"

I did NOT drop a Gatorade bottle on top of a woman while putting my bag in the overhead compartment on the plane. O.O  *glances around and hides evidence*




Little Sister

Hearing this conversation:
Sis1: Why are you so cute?
Sis2: Because God made me cute.  <3
How did God make me? Did he paint me?
Sis1: In a wayyy....

"My ears hear dat!"

*is vacuuming in another room*
*hears screaming and sobbing*
*wondering what's going on*
*hears family consoling her*
Turns out she had vacuumed up her dolls pj pants. Very traumatic XD


So there is my wrap up. (A bit shorter than usual, but limited WiFi has been the main reason)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

February 26






it’s been four years
since I’ve seen your face
seeing you only at family gatherings
or a random meeting now and then
i still look for you
i drive by where you lived
and I look up
waiting to see your face in the window
but it’s just as I notice it’s empty
that I remember
you’re gone
you will never come back
i seem to forget that
whenever I go by
because no matter what
i always look
but you aren’t there
i can no longer go to that building
walk through those sliding glass doors
and press the button on the elevator
i can no longer come knocking on your door
and hear you tell stories
of who you helped save
or the cars you had back in the day
no longer can I dance with you
spinning me round on the dance floor
as you did that once



[seeing my grandpa’s window]

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)