Showing posts from September, 2011

Friendlight Friday

Annafrom The Daughter of a King

I was frantic. I couldn't find another shirt - the one I had on was stained - my grocery list wasn't ready, I was about to cry, had been grouchy to Isaac and Becca, which made me feel horrible, and it was all my fault.

I hadn't heard her tell me that we were going shopping today - two days before I was ready!

Why must these things happen to me? WHY?

I looked up at the wall with a tortured stare, consumed with my own pathetic misery, unhappy, unable to feel thanks that I was at least able to go shopping for the family groceries.

Then, there, among the frantic racing and raging a mental picture flashed before me. I saw Jesus standing just on the other side of my closet door. His robes were white - almost glowing- in their spotlessness, His face seemed to shine. I, even in the mental image, was still crazily plowing through my closet, close to tears and raging, inwardly.
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40 Days for Life

Annually on September 28 people across the country agree to give up something for 40 days and pray for the end of abortion.  This year is my first time joining this endeavor, and honestly I'm not sure how well it'll go.  I'm determined to stick to my fast by God's grace and to the best of my ability.  However, we have some very special company coming that may require an exception or two.  Also, last time I tried to fast anything didn't go so well.  (Think sobbing at Mom through a cell phone because the cake was chocolate - which was what I had given up.)  Regardless, here is what I'm attempting:

No Digital Entertainment.

This includes, but is not limited to:

~Netflix (or any other video streaming)
~Online games
~Offline video games (CD-ROM's, Wii, etc.)
~Music streaming

The 40 Days for Life fast begins with preparation on September 27.  Then, from September 28 through November 6, everyone fasts and prays individually.  Around-the-clock…

J is for...


(Okay, so I cheated. This was the year I decided my birthday and Christmas were too close together, so I celebrated my half-birthday. My real birthday's in January, but that starts with a J too...)

Ugh, a hideous photo. But it was taken at the church's Independence Day potluck back when we lived in Oki, so it qualifies for July.

One of the many teen meetings back in Oki.  Our church didn't have a teen group, so Eddie and I joined the other church's teen meetings on Fridays.  Lots of memories...

Blogs I Love

Blogs I Love (in alphabetical order)
adorkableby Dezzy
Ask Caitlinby Caitlin O'Conner
Big House in the Little Woodsby Bailey
Breezes in the Meadowsby Sarah Grace
Enchanted Musingsby Marcia
Far Above Rubiesby Jasmine
Grace's Garden Walkby Grace
Just Us Girlzby AnnaKate
Only a Breathby Melanie
Muthering Heightsby Jessica
old-fashioned beautyby Abigail
Pastor's Girl's Ponderingsby Carlotta

Pro-Life Quotesby Christine

Scribble Chicksby the Scribble Chicks

The Daughter of a Kingby Anna

The Disney Wedding Blogby Carly

The YA Blogosphere (Teen Blog Directory)

You Are Still Lovedby Bethany

Young Homemakersby Rachel and Jessica

As you can see, there's pretty much something for everyone. I sorted through the 200+ blogs I follow to find the ones I truly love and check up on. The topics range from mothering, homemaking, and parenting to books, clothing, and random life. A unique blend of just about anything.... kinda describes this blog, huh? ;)

Book Review: Culture Shift

Culture Shift by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
"Albert Mohler is a steady guide, unremittingly clear-headed." - John Piper

In 100 A.D., Christianity was simple.  Not easy - not at all - but simple.  Christ was exactly what He said - the Son of God, the looked-for Messiah - and He had lived among the people for 33 years, died the worst possible criminal's death, and came back to life three days later.  Hundreds of people witnessed Him after this event before He ascended into the clouds with a promise to return.  The early Christians had a lot more persecution and problems than we do, but the biggest 'issues' within the church were those of divorce and choosing deacons and what 'modest' meant.

Today, those problems and issues still face many questions.  However, science, technology, the modern '-isms,' and other factors have dramatically changed the world Christians have to deal with.  Questions and issues the early Christians would never have imagined…

30 Day Challenge: Day One - Favorite Song

Well, this week I decided I was tired of having nothing posted all weekend long. That's just too long to go without writing something new. So now I'm adding Saturday content! Whether or not this will last past the 30 Day Blog Challenge (which I am doing over 30 weeks) is beyond me.

Anyway, I've seen several bloggers doing several variations of this challenge. Finally I chose a random blog, copied their version of it, pasted into Wordpad, and saved. So now I have 30 Saturdays' worth of content ideas ;)

Here we go!

Day One: A Favorite Song
Honestly, I never have a favorite anything for long, except color. (Green) Oh, and blogger. (Bailey. Duh.)  But I do have a favorite-at-the-moment song most of the time.  Right now, that song happens to be "Amazing Grace My Chains Are Gone," Chris Tomlin style. I first heard it on the Amazing Grace movie, and didn't hear it anywhere else until visiting Mikado Baptist Church last November. (Almost a year already!) Now my fami…

Friendlight Friday

Bailey from Big House in the Little Woods
We preach the gospel as if heaven is the end goal in salvation: "Make sure you know where you're going when you die! It could happen any minute, you know." Christ died, so it goes, so that we can end up in heaven, as opposed to hell -- so we could walk the streets of gold eternally instead of fester and burn at the other end of the spectrum.

That has much more appeal than the happiness of being free from sin, enslaved to Christ.

Most "Christians" today are happy with a heaven without Jesus. Heaven to them is just a welcome relief from hell. That's the most exciting aspect about it. They'll see their friends. They'll be blissful forever. They'll sing songs and wear wings and occupy a mansion. We're just glad to get out of a hard world.

But our primary obsession about heaven should be that finally, finally we see Jesus face to face. We'll be rid of the sin that clouds our relationship. …

I is for...

Idiotic, crazy fun.

Taking flash photos in the pitch black night on the eight floor balcony...

Jumping off the sea wall...

Slicing a pile of flour and trying not to knock over the Hershey kiss...

Letting a three-year-old paint your toes... I mean toenails.

In Which I Share My Excitement

Guess who's Homeschooling Teen's newest columnist?  Yes, that's right!  Me!

Their fiction book reviewer, Rebekah, recently graduated and in the September issue they asked for new reviewer to take over her column, The Bookshelf.  I, of course, applied immediately and they accepted!  Now I'm just waiting for approval on the new name I've chosen - Bookshelf of a (Maybe) Teen Author - and I'll be able to submit a review from those previously posted on this blog. :)

Which one do you think I should submit for October?

Departures by Robin Jones Gunn
Sisterchicks in Sombreros by Robin Jones Gunn
Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Frederick
Is Having a Boyfriend Really Necessary? by Jane Grahl
Catching Santa by Marc Franco

Book Review: Princess Bellarina


Princess Bellarinaby Marilyn Obsuna
An engaging and innovative fairy tale that celebrates the fundamental strength of a woman's love.

I just want to start out by saying this book is from a vanity press; this means the author paid Dorrance Publishing instead of the other way around.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing; it just means the company isn't as selective as traditional publishers, and the quality of their books depends more on the individual writing it than the team - writer, editor, publisher, etc. - working together on it.

That said, this book had a much better storyline than the last Dorrance book I chose.  It was a typical fairy tale, with a beautiful princess and prince in love, a jealous wicked witch, and some kind lady who saves the day.  But, partially for reasons even I can't explain, this was a page-turner.  It wasn't as predictable as others of its kind, even if it was a 'Cinderella' romance.  (I.e., guy meets girl and they're in '…

Friendlight Friday

This week's Friendlight Friday is from a blog, but it's a special website blog. I feel very strongly on this issue and have since I first discovered it less than a year ago.
This article is written by Lindsay and was posted on Abort73
I can only conclude that many of you have never made the choice that I did. If you had, wouldn’t you have told me more… because you care about me, right? You would have told me about the way the clinic smells of blood and death. You would have told me that undergoing a surgical abortion would be the worst pain I would ever experience. You would have told me that you can hear and feel the tissue being ripped away and sucked out of your body, and that even years later I wouldn’t be able to stand the sound of a normal household vacuum cleaner. You would have told me that they make post-abortive patients leave out of the back door because they don’t want anyone coming in to know what someone looks like going out. You would have told me that the evil…

My Dream Wedding

After seeing a post about a fellow teen-girl-blogger's dream wedding (which, sadly, I can no longer find) I decided to post my own dream wedding.
Back when Ash and I had our first sleepover, she came over to my place and we watched One Night with the King and made wedding dream-books.  It took all day, way too much colored ink, and actually we had to finish on a later Sunday afternoon, but it was great fun.  And now I'm going to share the finished dream book I made with you. :)
Just a note: the last page has the honeymoon. Ash was all exotic and found a gorgeous photo of Bora Bora online. I didn't really have a preference for where to go on my honeymoon, so I pulled out an old postcard I had.  I've got this utterly romantic and probably unrealistic idea that the hubby-to-be ought to choose and arrange the honeymoon, and the bride shouldn't know where they're going until they get there.  I do love surprises...

Wedding Dreambook - making a free slideshow

I spent an …

H is for...

Hippie Photos!

Once upon a time my Grandpa went with my Grandma, who buys clothes for us a lot, and picked out a shirt for me.  Then one day I was wearing said shirt and had yet to do my hair, so it had fallen into its natural middle part.  I thought, "Hey, looks like a 70's hippie."  On a whim I grabbed the headband/necklace and empty Coke bottle off my dresser for a photo shoot.
I then deleted all the photos but one, which I promised myself nobody would ever see.  But today I couldn't find any other h photos and figured, why not?
So now you know how zany I can get.  Although this is really rather mild, all things considered....

They Need You

Ways You Can Promote Life...

...For Free (Or dirt cheap):
host Abort73 video showings at your home, church, etc.prayfast - give up something, not necessarily food, for a set amount of time and pray - pray lots!wear light pink and baby blue ribbons in remembrance of the lost babiesdonate your Facebook status to Abolish AbortionTweet and/or Facebook quotes, statistics, and links to inform your friends and followersshare Abort73 photos and videosstay informed about the latest in the abortion and pro-life movements, and the people involvedwrite blog posts, Facebook notes, poems, stories, articles, etc. sharing the truthhonor those who would have graduated with you, if not for their tragic deathsvolunteer at Pregnancy Crisis Centersvote for politicians who fight to end abortionrequest books at bookstores and local libraries that tell the truth about abortionset your automatic email signature to include a pro-life phrase and/or linkfly the flag half-mast in honor of those killed dailyuse pro…

Book Review: Howl's Moving Castle


Howl's Moving Castleby Diana Wynne Jones
"A wonderful blend of humor, magic, and romance." - Publishers Weekly

As I told you last week, I took a week off from reading review books to enjoy myself. :)  After a great sleepover with Ash, during which she introduced me to this story, I knew I simply had to read this book.  So I bought it from Gottwal's and put everything else aside to finish it.

I also told you that I wasn't going to review it.  But then, I think I'm a little addicted to reviewing books.  I just have to review what I've read.  Maybe it's the writer in me, calling out to critique what's great and what's just awful in every story.

This book is a delight to read.  It seems to be written more for middle schoolers, which shouldn't have surprised me since the movie is animated.  I love that the romance isn't the whole theme of the book; I believe a good fantasy should focus more on unraveling the secrets and learning about the m…

Far Worse Than America's Worst

Ten years ago today, nearly 3,000 people died in one day.

Four planes crashed, killing 246.

2,606 died in the Twin Tower tragedies.

125 died in the Pentagon crash.

55 military personnel died as well.

Nearly 3,000 people died on that one day, and America pulled together like never before.  The past ten years have been affected by that one day that many people think of as the worst day in America's history.  Security has gone way up nation-wide; military personnel of all branches have fought, and many have died, trying to get revenge and put an end to those who were responsible.  Even today, there are deaths from unique illness caused by debris, smoke, or other factors that entered victim's bodies on that day.  Along with the 3,000, there are many others whose deaths have been identified as caused by such factors.  Documentaries, news specials, articles, blog posts, television shows, books, and many other forms of media have been created in memory of that one day.

Yet, every day…

Friendlight Friday

AnnaKatefrom Just Us Girlz
God has blessed me with so many times that I simply want to jump back into. There are two times that stand out in my memory, however, and strangely enough they both occurred in my mom's home state, Arizona.

The first was about three years ago, when we traveled out for my grandfather's wedding. Jared and I were excited for three reasons, the first being obvious: our Pap-Pa was getting married again! Second, we were finally going to see the family we had heard so much about, the family my mom had grown up with. Third, we were going to the Grand Canyon the day after the wedding.

This is where the moment picks up; I remember driving back from the Canyon, my eyes tracing the long flat lines of the red clay earth that surrounded us.

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Read more about AnnaKate here...

Sidewalk Chalk

Just a note: I was unable, as it turns out, to participate in this event due to housing rules in the area where I live. I'd encourage those who are able to do something, though:  DO!

Today is an important day to me.  Granted, yesterday morning I thought today would just be a typical school day interrupted by an orthodontist appointment and ended with the usual reading and getting-ready-to-write-a-book notes.

But then last night I discovered that today is an important day to the cause that is closest to my heart.  We all have a cause we support - a wrong in the world we fight to right, a campaign or mission that we support and are a part of.  My personal cause is ending the murder of innocent children before their first breath - in other words, stopping abortion.

And today is National Pro-Life Chalk Day.  So today I'll pull out that tub of chalk that's been gathering dust since Bella moved and try to make a difference in the world.

With a handful of chalk and an arsenal of p…

G is for...

Gorgeous views.

This is the view from the VIP cabin at Camp Schwab in Oki.  My friend Beth invited the Twins, Haley, and myself to celebrate her birthday with midnight walks on the beach, wonderful romantic teen movies, hilarious gummy worm photo shoots, and embarrassing cave explorations.

Today, I guess G also stands for Good Memories.  I may not have wanted to get attached, but I have so many friends and memories from Oki.  That's another story for another day, though.

5 Ways to Annoy the Blogger in Me

Inspired by two college professors' posts, which I cannot link to because I can no longer find them.

1. Use improper grammar.  I am a writer.  I am a reader.  I'm not a grammar fanatic (although some would say otherwise); but blatant or continuous mistakes drive me crazy.  And guess what?  If the top posts or most recent posts in your blog are riddled with problems, I'm not likely to click 'follow.'  Just because less literary people accept errors they themselves make a lot, does not mean everyone appreciates trying to sort through your misplaced commas or run-on sentences.

2. Use improper spelling.  This is very close to #1.  They're both very common mistakes that the average person would overlook.  I admit, sometimes I get too picky or the editor in me kicks in and all I can see is red.  Most times, though, I can understand a few words out of a hundred.  Your and you're; they're, their, and there; or too, two, and to are easy to mix up.  When over a qua…

Review.... Or Not

As some of you may have noticed, I have a new blogging schedule.  I read so many times that successful bloggers use some sort of schedule, so I decided to try it.  And while I do love how much easier it makes running this blog, there are some downsides.

Like the problem that arises when, with certain days set aside for certain types of posts, you're in a pickle without that type of post.  And being that today is Monday and I have no reviews to post, I would be in that pickle.

So this lovely Monday I thought I share with you, lovely readers, another random chattering-about-my-life sort of post that I usually reserve for Thursdays.  Enjoy.

I've set aside my responsibilities this week, despite the lists of books I need to review (currently five titles long), my own books I have yet to read (six titles long) - most of which I have promised you reviews on - and my library books list (three titles).  Instead, I have skipped to the least important title on the least important list.  I…

Devotions By You

Hey everybody! Yes, I'm posting on an 'off' day again.  But I have some more news to share with you, and an invitation to those interested.

Some of you know I run the P.O. Box Club.  Well, when you run a club, you make plenty of new friends and really get to know some of the members.  One particular member who has really helped out a lot is Anna.  Now Anna would like to start an email chain devotional, and you're invited to take part.

This devotional is girls-only, and really pretty simple.  Anna will write the introduction to each devo and a list of those involved.  Then, whoever wants to submit a devo for the chain email sends it to her, and she adds it in under the intro.  About weekly or every other week, she'll send it out and we can start over.

This is entirely Anna's idea and her project; I'm just helping write the devotionals and recruiting girls interested.

There's no age limit that I know of, and at the moment we don't have themes or speci…


Yes, it's Saturday.  According to my little bloggy schedule, today and tomorrow are my blogging 'days off.'  But thanks to that neat-o feature called scheduling and my overabundance of creativity last night, all of next week is taken. Including random-post-day Thursday.  And since I didn't want to wait until the Thursday after that to share my happy news, I decided to post on my day off.  (After all, a girl - and a writer - has to have some spontaneity and flexibility in life!)

So, what is so important that I'd use a day off to share it?

Well... I WON!

Yes, I won a giveaway! Since my introduction to the blogosphere, I've entered tons of giveaways - for movie prize packs, promotional stuff, and books, to name a few. (Mostly books.)  But tonight, I received an email stating that I had gotten my very first win!

So what did I win? I'm sure you're dying to know.  (Probably not, but I'm dying to tell you!)


Of course, if you h…

Friendlight Friday

Cathy from Periwinkle Confessions
When I vowed to commit myself into an intimate relationship with Him, that meant I would have to consider if my dreams are a part of His. It sounds like marriage, actually. That His heart would be my heart. His plans would be my plans. How his heart beats should be how my heart would also beat. And I would have to submit and let Him lead, ALL OF THE TIME. Because He is my Lord and my God, and He loves me and cares for me.

And honestly, thinking about it now… I`ve never been that intimate as I should, as I have promised. I thought that intimacy with Him meant to follow orders, to listen to His commands so I would live a good life. I thought intimacy just meant praying, and singing and sitting on my desk reading the Bible every morning.
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Visit Cathy's profile here...

Sneak Peeks and an Invitation to You

Hello, lovely readers! I have a bit of a surprise for you...

We'll be having a blog party in a few months!

The party doesn't start until December, but I need help getting ready.  I want to make this party BIG.  Really big - for this blog, anyway.  It might be small stuff for somebody else, but for us this is going to be huge.

I'll be sharing our first guest posts, starting our first giveaways, and possibly having some contests and hops.  The party will go from the middle of December to the middle of January, and it'll be a multi-celebration.  We'll have blogging stuff, Christmas specials, New Years events, birthday stuff, and possibly some cultural holiday spotlights.
But in order to make this party a success, I need your help.  If you're a reader, I need you to spread the word about this blog.  A party isn't a party without guests!  I need people to read the special posts, enter the giveaways, and participate in this event!
If you're also a writer, ph…