Monday, August 20

award and end of trip!

How pitiful, a week gone by since my last post. I apologize to the couple of people who might actually care. ;)

Moving on...I was awarded! Thanks so much, Piper!! It is the Liebster award again (that's been going around quite a bit lately), so this time I'm just going to answer her questions. Sorry. No time for awarding other peoples...and my answers are going to be pretty short. :P I'm in a terrible rush (which will be explained). :) Anyway, here are her questions!

1) Do you like Owl City? (I'm sorry, I had to)
    Their tunes are catchy...sorry, but I don't like them all that much. ;)

2) What is your favorite blog post (on your blog)?
    Ummmm......I don't know. I'll think about it. Maybe update with the answer.

3) What do you do when you're home alone?
    It's been a while since I've been home Listen to music? Call a friend and talk to her on the phone?

4) What do you think makes your blog fun to read?
    Umph. It's honest?

5) How often do you wear headphones/earbuds?
    Not that often, actually - I love listening to music, but it's usually just out loud - on the radio, YouTube, my bro's iTouch....for some reason, I can't get earbuds (most of the time) to stay in my ears. This can sometimes be very annoying.

6) Do you like writing? If so, how dedicated do you think you are to it?
    Yup. Not dedicated at all. ;)

7) What's your favorite thing about music?
    It's one beautiful way to worship our Savior.

8) If you could have any pet (that you can actually legitly have), what would it be?
    A chinchilla. Totally legit. ;) (Okay, maybe not really...)

9) Do you like painting?
    Um, yes, I would, only I can't remember the last time I painted... :P

10) Do you like rain?

11) What inspires you?
      God. Er, wait, you asked "what" Does that count? Cuz it's totally true.

And...guess what, peoples? (Note: the following is my explanation for the terrible rush.)


You know, back from our summer trip? Which, by the way, I have had an amazingly fantastic time this summer! And now...I am SO happy to see my friends! Soon. Very soon.

Annd...since we just drove up to the house, like, five minutes ago, I'm not going to sit here on the computer. Moi has work to do. Lots of it.

Farewell!! Love and blessings to all!

Monday, August 13

photo challenge pic

Here's the picture I'm entering in Ireland's photo challenge:

The photo challenge ends on the 15th, and even though I knew about it last month (when Ireland posted about it), I decided to wait until now, just in case I happened upon a better picture than any of the ones I had at the time. I'm glad I waited, because about a week and a half ago, I noticed these flowers outside of a library my mom and I went to, and I snapped a few quick pictures before hopping in the car. I'm so happy it turned out so great! (In my opinion, anyways, which might be just slightly biased.) I really didn't edit it all that much - it didn't need it. It's a beautiful flower.

Speaking of flowers...I have fallen in love with them. Ask my family; they'll immediately start complaining about how I constantly lag behind on nature trails nowadays because of my tendency to stop in delight of finding a new flower. And then take a million pictures of it, of course.

Please tell me you do that, too. No? Oh. I must be special, I guess. ;) Just kidding!

Back to what I was saying...I've taken so many pictures of flowers that I believe I'm going to do a flower post soon. But it'll have to be before we get back because I'll be too busy then, with school work and catching up with friends and all.

Anyway, I hope you liked the photo, and that you've had a wonderful start to your week! Love and blessings to you all. 

Saturday, August 11

who i am

We drove up Pike's Peak today - it was beautiful. Cold, but beautiful. We brilliant Floridiots Floridians wore, of course, shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops. It was not only 41 degrees up there, it was windy and kinda rainy (we even saw some hail). Brr.

{As I'm writing this, I'm watching the Olympics. Watching the fastest man in the world and his ego. Do you know how many times I've heard Usain Bolt call himself a legend? Did you see how he didn't congratulate anyone else? Do you know how many times you can hear the pronouns "I" and "me" coming out of his mouth? Boy, is it hard to love someone with that attitude. Jesus, help me love my 'enemies'...and help me remember that our fight is not one of flesh and blood, but one against "against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." --Ephesians 10:12}

Driving back, we were listening to music in the car. And a verse in one particular song hit me...sadly, I cannot remember that particular song (I think it was Newsboys...?). Oh, the imperfection of the human brain.

Anyway. I do, thankfully, remember what I was hit with...and it was so simple, but something I needed to be reminded of. And it was so clear.

My struggle with sin does not define me. Really, it doesn't. Yeah, being a perfectionist, trying to do it on my own, being a "good girl"...those are all struggles of mine. But they don't make up who I wanna know who I am?

"Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God."
--John 1:12-13

I'm a child of God. Not by anything I've done...but because of His love.

That is who I am. That is what defines me. Not anything of myself, but Christ in me, the hope of glory.

Who are you? What do you let define you?

p.s. this was the highlight of the Olympics so far for me :)

Thursday, August 9

linkin' up!

So today, Britt over at Encouragement for Everyday Struggles is having a...

Although this is Britt's 3rd time having a Q and A linkup, this is my first time doing it, so let's dive right in...

1. What is your favorite Bible story?
    I'm not really sure - ever since I was little, I've always liked the Parable of the Ten Minas, although I'm not really sure why.

2. What colors is your room?
    Um, I don't really have a color theme in my room - white walls, blue bedspread... :)

3. What is your favorite meal? (lunch, breakfast, dinner?)
    Definitely dinner - I was actually just telling my mom today that if we only needed to eat breakfast and dinner, I'd totally be fine with that (it seems I never know what to eat for lunch anymore. Anyone have any {simple} ideas for lunch? Right about now I'm just scrounging up whatever leftovers I can find in the fridge - that, or snacking on fruit and carbs. :P)

4. What is/was your favorite subject in school?
    Writing, Language Arts, all that good stuff - I like to write. :)

5. Are you a shy or outgoing person?
    I think I'm somewhere in the middle - I used to be pretty shy, but now I'm more comfortable and friendly when meeting new people, I think. Like Britt said though, I'm not exactly the person who always knows exactly what to say and can make everyone laugh - unless they're laughing at me (or politely trying not to). ;)

6. Are you a more reserved or expressive person?
    Kind of reserved, especially with people I don't know very well, except for a couple of people who I just immediately clicked with and, of course, close friends - then maybe I'm too expressive (translation: I talk wayyyy too much :P).

7. How many brothers and sisters would you like to have?
    What I'm blessed with right now, three (mostly amazing) bros, haha. ;) Love you guys!! :D

Wouldja like to join in the linkin'-up fun?

Wednesday, August 8

a rambling post

I'm sick. Went to sleep last night with a sore throat, woke up with a stuffy nose and tired body tagging along. Thus, I stayed in bed most of the day - just about the only times I got up were to refill my water bottle (about 7 steps from me), go to the bathroom (about 2 steps from me), or eat a meal (which did not include lunch...because I was too lazy and not hungry enough). Nathan was the first one contaminated, and now Nicholas is the only one who, so far, is feeling totally fine (or so it seems)...because in an RV, if one person gets sick, everyone gets sick.

So, while in bed, I finished a book I'd started yesterday, a novel by Beverly Lewis, titled Sanctuary. It was really good. Now that I think about it, I liked it a lot. If I had more energy, I probably would have realized that as soon as I finished it. My brain seems a tad sluggish today.

I haven't been outside once today. How sad. I'm going to change out of my PJs in a bit (yes, it's 8pm, and I am still blissfully wearing my PJs) and grab my shower stuff and walk over to the RV shower and - can you guess? - take a shower. I needed one when I woke up today, but I didn't want to get all my stuff together and everything. I'm so really is slightly a problem. 

In Sanctuary there was a part where the main character thought to herself that (words in brackets are mine) "Something about the Plain [in this case, the Amish] style of living made hard work seem altogether natural." I want to have a better work ethic. I don't feel too bad about relaxing so much today, because I'm sick, but there are times where I put a hold on contact in a friendship because I don't feel like making the effort to type up an email or make that phone call, or I skip doing my very small chores because I'd just rather go on the computer or read a book or take some pictures, or I complain when asked to do something because it's more work than usual or I'd rather be doing something else or...yeah, I can be quite lazy.

"Do everything without complaining or arguing,"
--Philippians 2:14 (NIV)

I have to (sheepishly) admit that I often quote this verse to my brothers without remembering that God's Word is for me, too...that log-and-speck thing, you know?

"Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the LordWhatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,"
--Colossians 3:22-23 (NIV)

The difference between working out of fear of men and out of reverence for the Lord is, well just that...fear or love. You can work for the Lord and do it out of fear. But what Paul means here is to work for the Lord out of love and gratefulness and worship. Even if it's not directly to the Lord as you might think might be serving living life to the full, you're serving Him. In everything you do, do it for Him.

Will you join me in obeying His Word, in working cheerfully and wholeheartedly, in being grateful and patient, in living life to the full? Not just, you know, tomorrow, or a couple of days, or a's a good place to start, but how about your whole life? How's that sound?

Is there any time that it's tough for you to work wholeheartedly? Hey, and by the way, have you been watching the Olympics?

p.s. I had to go take my shower and then post this...most of the lights are out and we're settling down to bed (it is 11:30ish). Anyway, just wanted to say...being clean feels good. And I'm talking about more than just the outside.

p.p.s. OK, well, I couldn't post this last night (at, like, 11:45 or something the filter that I have on my computer shuts down the Internet connection), so I'm posting it this morning, but I'm not changing anything that was actually from yesterday. :P Hey, at least I'm posting, right? ;)

Saturday, August 4

awarding fun

Today I was awarded the Liebster Blog award by the amazing Ireland from A Pearl of Great Price!! Thank you, Ireland!

First of all, of course, the rules:

1. You must post 11 facts about yourself
2. You must also answer the 11 questions that the awarder has given you, and create 11 questions for your awardees to answer in turn.
3. Tag 11 fellow bloggers.
4. Notify them that they’ve awarded them.
5. No tagging back.
6. The 11 blogs that you tag must have less than 200 followers.

So, 11 facts about myself - here we go!

1. I am a triplet!

2. My family is exactly 7 weeks into a 9-week RV trip that we're on, mostly around the Western United States - starting from Florida and traveling along the southern coast to California, up the California coast to Washington, eastward to South Dakota, down to Colorado (where we are right now), and then heading back through Arkansas and such to Florida again. :)

3. I hiked up a 10,000 foot mountain with my family yesterday, 6 miles round trip, 1,000+ feet up...and I had only had about 6 hours of sleep the night before, give or take an hour. :P Ah, well - we had fun!

4. I am the only girl of four kids.

5. I, oddly enough, am looking forward to this upcoming school year. :) I have a lot of courses I'm excited about - I'm homeschooled, so I'm doing some curriculum simply at home with my brothers, some on Florida Virtual School, and some out-of-the-house classes with (mostly) other homeschoolers.

6. I don't like eating bananas just by themselves...but I like them in smoothies, in pudding, etc. I know, I'm weird.

7. Speaking of, I just made a smoothie for lunch with half of a (large) banana, most of a peach, most of a mango, about 20 frozen blueberries (we don't have any straw berries :( boo-hoo), and, of course, ice - it is delicious!! I wish I could give you some...but I just drank the last sip. ;)

8. I haven't watched any of the Olympics this year!! :( We haven't had TV reception at the campsites that we've been staying at while the Olympics have been going...maybe tomorrow we'll get reception at our new campground that we're going to? I hope so!

9. me think...oh! I don't need braces. :)

10. Hmmm...well, my parents went out on a date last night, so my brothers and I watched Mars Needs Moms while they were gone. I have to say, I actually think it was quite good. It didn't have the unnecessary things that many movies, even animated, kids' movies, have - the only small, two things I could think of were that the main character wanted to watch a movie about zombies or something (not shown), and the female Martians' suits were kind of tight, but only around their hips and such. It had great morals of conviction, healing, redemption, consequences to our actions, sacrifice, and showed how important a loving parent is to a child and vice-versa.

11. I'm turning 15 this year (already?!) on November 16th, and I'm hoping to get my permit around then!

Now, here are my answers to Ireland's questions:

1. On average how often do you blog? Not often enough. ;) Probably somewhere around a week or a week and a half on average, I'm not sure. It's pretty amazing that I'm posting again so "soon" after my last post, which was 5 days ago.

2. How many siblings do you have? I have three brothers.

3. Are your siblings younger or older? Well, like I mentioned earlier, I'm a triplet, so I have a brother who is a minute older (Nathan), a brother who is a minute younger (Noah), and a brother who is a year and a half younger, to the very day (Nicholas).

4. Do you like to swim? Yeah, I do like to swim, but most of the time I'd rather do something else.

5. What is your favorite season of the year? Autumn, most definitely...maybe spring, but even in spring it gets so hot so quickly in Florida.

6. Favorite holiday? Hmm, I don't know...Easter? Christmas? Thanksgiving? One of those three, I suppose.

7. Favorite band/singer? Oh my, there are so many that I love to listen to! Singers...I really like Kari Jobe, Jason Gray, Britt Nicole, and Francesca Battistelli. For bands, I like Tenth Avenue North, tobyMac, Newsboys, and Casting Crowns.

8. Do you have any pen-pals? If so how many? Well, not by letter, but I have been emailing, IMing, etc. with two girls who I "met" through a blog - one of them I actually got to meet earlier this summer on our trip!

9. How long have you been blogging? I've been blogging for a little over two years if you count my old blog (which I started on July 18, 2010 on Weebly), but I don't post on that one anymore; I've been posting on this blog since December 26, 2011, ah...7 months, 1 week.

10. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Ooh, good question...probably just simply taking a walk with friends/family.

11. What is your favorite thing to do inside? It depends, but I definitely enjoy reading, playing games with my family, and going on the computer (email & blogs for the most part).

Well, that was fun! :) OK, about awarding people...because I want to get off my laptop and it's a beautiful day outside and I can see the mountains from where I'm sitting and the cool breeze is wafting into our RV through the open windows and I just got a bunch of good novels this morning that I might possibly crack open...because of all this, I'm going to be lazy and simply tag anyone who wants to do this award! Really, go ahead and do it - I know you want to. :)

Have a wonderful Saturday evening, everyone! I'm planning on eating a delicious dinner outside in the cool air with my family and sitting around a dancing, smoking campfire and getting my fingers sticky with s'mores and going out driving with my family to look for elk...what about you? What have you done or are going to do today?

p.s. does anyone know what liebster means? :)

Monday, July 30


You know...we're all beautiful. I'm not just talking about inner beauty. We're all beautiful on the outside, too.

The Psalmist doesn't say without reason,

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." --Psalm 139:13-14, NIV

And...he's not just talking about being wonderfully made on the inside, but on the outside, also. Each of us are beautiful, for God created us, each one, in His image!

Our bodies are simply shells. Our spirits, on the other hand - those are the eternal things. Our spirit will live forever, and truly, my spirit - in whatever form - will live with Christ in paradise. Forever. What a gift!!

But back to what I was saying. What I just learned a few days ago. Because I didn't know this before...that we are all beautiful, physically beautiful.

I read a book. Called The Martyr's Song, by Ted Dekker. And I had to read most of it a second time before I got it...

Yes, this shell, this flesh, is not eternal. But God created all of me, including my body, my face, my hair, my toes, shaping each feature the way He wanted it to be. He creates beauty - He doesn't create fractured, broken, ugly things (remember, "Your works are wonderful, I know that full well"?). Look around you! Look at the beauty of pure nature! Yes, there are animals killing each other for food, predator and prey...that, however, was not in the holy and pure design of God. Instead, all was peace. And joy. And love.

So, who creates beauty? Yeah, that's right: God. God creates beauty.

Then why do we allow people to tell us what beauty is in a human being, loved in God's sight? As if they know! If one doesn't know God, one doesn't know beauty. Not true beauty. They might see glimpses of it in His creations...but they can't define what it means on a person. They can't create beauty.

Beauty is not in the popular clothes, the jewelry, the make-up, the long eyelashes, the clear face, the perfect lips, the curvy figure, the tanned skin...

I might sound crazy, but that's not beauty. That's not all beauty is, at least. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...and the Beholder is God. If someone has all that, all of what I just listed above, they are beautiful. And if someone has none of that, they are still beautiful. Period. Not one over the other. We are all beautiful.

I'm not sure if I'm getting my point across clearly. I hope I am. It's a slippery concept at first, like trying to grasp water as it slips through your fingers. You have it....and then it's gone. It takes some time getting used to, changing your whole perspective on the subject, but once you's so simple, so clear, so right.

And why is this so important? I mean, really, our physical bodies don't matter all that much when you look at it from the eternal perspective...but to know that we are all truly, truly physically changes everything, things that are eternally important. It's going with God's truth and going against the enemy's lies. It's totally against what this world says, totally against the message I've become used to.

It's against pointing out a certain person and thinking they're prettier than the rest. It's against wanting to get closer to a certain person simply because they have a "pretty" face and fashionable clothes and stylish hair. It's against comparing and favoring the girl who's thin like a twig over the girl who's not so much so. It's against looking at myself unhappily, being unsatisfied with how I look. It's against wanting to be thinner, not for health reasons, but instead just hoping that if you lose more weight you'll look better...that's losing sight of the truth that we are all beautiful.

In the knowledge of this truth...there's no reason to compare myself to reason to judge others instantly merely by what they look like...

Instead, I know that they are beautiful...and loved. so dearly, dearly loved. oh, how loved we are!

Read The Martyr's Song. Listen to what God is telling you. Not only through this book, but through His Word, too, most definitely...just spend time reading through it. Nothing else. Just...listen to Him, read His Holy Word. It - He will change you and grow you like you could never imagine, tenderly, firmly, lovingly, forever.

And this relatively short novel I read the other also brought a change in me. Through it, God may show you something different than what He showed me...but it won't be totally different. Because it's all connected, all related. To each other. To life. And most God.

May you have a faith-filled, joy-filled, love-filled, hope-filled, grace-filled...God-filled week, you beautiful, beloved child of God.

Wednesday, July 11


Since we are finally at another campground which has free Wi-Fi (the last two or something didn't), I can finally post pictures! We try not to upload pictures using our Verizon Mi-Fi hotspot thingy, because it uses a ton of data (which means we can't watch YouTube videos either :( phooey), so that's why I had to wait until now.

But now means now, and so I proudly present you with two slideshows I created, with helpful input from my family, of course - one video is of our time traveling in the month of June, and the other of our time in the Grand Canyon! Enjoy!

Sorry about the weird thumbnail in that video^^ :P - YouTube is being annoying and won't let me pick my own thumbnail (it only gives you 3 choices, and it's taking a while to load the one that I want, so for now it's stuck on this one, cut halfway between two pictures of my dad and my brother in the pool)...the thumbnail on the video below, however, worked out great! I was happy about that. :D

These slideshows were a lot of fun to make! We went to the Grand Canyon three different times (which is why there are so many pictures): the first day we went in the late afternoon and stayed there for the sunset. We went back the next day and spent most of the day there, hiking around the rim and having fun. We rode on a bus for about a half an hour out to almost the furthest point of the rim, and had some very interesting conversations with some very interesting people while we were driving out there. ;) And the last time we went was the next morning, at roughly 5:00am. Yeah. I know. We all got up at about 4:30ish to go and watch the sunrise...and it was freezing!! It being so windy didn't help either. :P That's why we all have jackets tightly wrapped around us in one or two of the pictures towards the end of the slideshow.

Oh, and I'm entering this picture of the sunset in the Grand Canyon in KayleeBeth's photo challenge:

It was a hard pick, because there were a few others that I really liked as brother and my dad liked another pic better than this one (you could see the Canyon better), but I loved the sun rays in this one, and I just had to use it. :) The sunset was absolutely gorgeous!

Annnnnd...that's all for now! We're heading today from, uh, somewhere in California (about an hour outside of LA) to Yosemite National Park! I can't wait! :) Hope everyone has had a wonderful week so far!

Monday, July 9

some thoughts about life and death

the two times i have come closest to death happened two days in a row.

not death happening to me, personally. but to others around me.

yesterday, my dad was driving early in the morning to find coffee and signal. for his phone, that is. as he was driving, a police car...a fire ambulance sped past him. later he saw them, crowded around where a car had driven off the road...and down the drop-off, several feet below. they loaded the person, loved and precious in the eyes of our Lord, into the ambulance.

that evening, as we drove by, merrily coming home from our day trip in San Diego, we quickly sobered when we saw flowers and a sign where the accident had happened.

life is so fragile.

today, a dear friend of mine, whom i've met only once, but who is a sweet sister in Christ...their very, very close family friend passed away today. she has... had been in the hospital for many weeks, for several things going on in her body. her husband, my friend said, was given peace by our loving Father, but i ask all of you reading this to please pray for him and for my friend and her family, as this is obviously so painful. i praise the Lord that this precious lady is now rejoicing in heaven with our Lord Jesus, but i weep for those here on earth who will miss her.

life is so fragile.

why? why must it be so? if i look at it in anger and pain and despair, it looks as if God is mocking us, mercilessly reminding us of our frailty, of our weakness, in contrast with His Almighty strength.

but i know that is not truth.

what is truth is that our Savior loves us. i know, as surely as the sun rises, as the Psalmist says, that our Lord and King is a loving God, and that while He is rejoicing in heaven, He is weeping with His beloved ones here in this fractured, broken world. the ones who miss their dear friends and family members, who have lost loved ones in the the end of an a hospital...

although i'm not quite sure what the point of this post is, other than to let out some of the thoughts tumbling around in my mind, my soul, begging to be heard...maybe, out of all that, this is one lesson learned:

how precious life is. how dear, sweet, and precious life is.

may we not forget that. may we always bless each day, grateful for the life given us by our Savior.

Wednesday, July 4

Happy Independence Day!

4th of July. Red, white, and blue. Flags. Fireworks. Family. Friends. What a wonderful celebration, no?

How blessed we are to live in this amazing country! I really mean it when I say this twisted, fractured world, it is such a gift from God to be able to worship Him without fear of being arrested or killed, to have food and clothes and shelter and more, to enjoy fellowship with friends at church, to move around freely at home and abroad - in other countries, my family wouldn't be able to travel around together like we are! And we're having so much fun! We're driving down the highway right now, listening to upbeat music (tobyMac!), singing and smiling and having an overall amazing time! :) {Speaking of having an amazing time, I have some incredible pictures to share later from the Grand Canyon!!}

Anyway, I am so thankful for the independence of this amazing country called the United States of America! Oh, sure, we have problems. We're human, tempted by our flesh, the world, and the enemy. Our government isn't perfect. Some of our laws are screwy and saddening (you know, legal abortion, gay rights, etc.) and we need to continue praying against those laws and for the people behind them, to love them like Jesus loves us in our imperfection.

But, in spite of the junk, I love this place. I love walks with my family and meeting up with friends and going to church and having little church in our RV and listening to Christian radio stations and seeing the sunshine. I love living in freedom in my faith. Most of all, I love my awesome God Who has given me all these things.


1st Amendment - Protects the people's right to practice religion, to speak freely, to assemble (meet), to address the government and of the press to publish.

2nd Amendment - Protects the right to own guns.

3rd Amendment - Guarantees that the army cannot force homeowners to give them room and board.

4th Amendment - Protects the people from the government improperly taking property, papers, or people, without a valid warrant based on probably cause (good reason).

5th Amendment - Protects people from being held for committing a crime unless they are properly indicted, that they may not be tried twice for the same crime, and that you need not be forced to testify against yourself. It also contains due process guarantees.

6th Amendment - Guarantees a speedy trial, an impartial jury, and that the accused can confront witnesses against them, and that the accused must be allowed to have a lawyer.

7th Amendment - Guarantees a jury trial in federal civil court cases. This type of case is normally no longer heard in federal court.

8th Amendment - Guarantees that punishments will be fair, and not cruel, and that extraordinarily large fines will not be set.

9th Amendment -Simply a statement that other rights aside from those listed may exist, and just because they are not listed doesn't mean they can be violated.

10th Amendment - Says that any power not granted to the federal government belongs to the states.

Monday, July 2

The Beautiful Blogger Award!

I was given the Beautiful Blogger award by the beautiful Piper from her beautiful blog on this beautiful day - how beautiful! ;) Let's get started, shall we?

1. Thank the person who nominated you and give the link.
Thank you so much, Piper for nominating me!!! That was uber-beautiful of you. ;) {OK, OK, I'll cut it out with the beautiful business...but all that's been said so far is so beautifully true! ;) haha}

2. Tell us how the idea of making a blog popped up and why you continue it.
Wellll...this isn't actually my first blog. My old blog was with Weebly - each member of my family had their own blog page altogether on the same blog in amazing blogness! (If that made sense.) To clear things up, just go here. Go ahead and look, that's fine. I'll wait.

...good, you saw it? Now, the reason my family started that blog (about 2 and a half years ago) was to record our traveling extravaganza! When we came back to Florida, it fizzled out quite a bit (except for my mom's blog). Later, I started this new blog, because I like Blogger better than Weebly. Aaaannnnd (sorry this is so long) - I continue this blog because I like to write. And post pictures. So there.

3. Describe a usual day of your life.
Um, ah, well, er...I don't really have a usual day in my life. Sorry! :) That's just the way my family is - right now, that is, as we're traveling around the Western United States in our RV. I could describe a usual day during the school year. But that would be boring. :P So, just suffice it to say that my days this summer are as varied as people on this earth. ;) Oh, wait - there is one thing that you can count on: most every day this summer we will have spent some amount time at some kind of museum. Just check out my mom's blog if you don't believe me. ;)

4. The best collaboration with a blogger?
Ah...I haven't exactly had any collaboration with any blogger yet. Well, I'm in the middle of one, I guess, answering Britt's interview questions...and so far it's been wonderbaar! :) {Sorry...too many Amish books lately. ;)}

5. Worst collaboration with a blogger?
See answer to #4.

6. Explain what having this blog means to you.
Oh, wow, well...basically just my journey through life. A place to improve my writing, share some of my thoughts, epiphanies, and just every day stuff. I also hope that through my blog others might be encouraged - that I would always point to Christ. :)

7. Nominate five bloggers for this award.
Okey-dokey, I nominate...

2. Emma at Beautifully Me
3. Ireland at A Pearl of Great Price
4. Melody at Rejoice Always!
5. Sophie at My Happy Place

That's it for today! So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu, adieu, adieu, to you and you and you. Ahem. I want to watch that movie! :) Anyone else think the Sound of Music is amazing?

Thursday, June 28

sometimes i'd just like a list of good titles to use

Welp...the trip so far has been wonderful, and while I'm not going to post any details here about where we've been and such, I am happy to inform you that my mom has been quite the blogger lately, and has provided all who are interested with fascinating reports of our recent excursions, complete with pictures {compliments of my banged-up camera - not that I took all those pictures, mind you - Mother dear has become a natural photographer, once she learned how to switch my camera from taking videos to pictures, of course - does anyone else out there have family members who tend to do that?}. ;)

So, here is her blog - and, by the way, I'm sharing this with you peoples completely apart from her saying anything to me...I just feel guilty about not telling y'all every detail of our trip - so I'm letting her do that! ;) Haha. of late, I have been looking at C.S. Lewis quotes. Wow - he was certainly one amazing man. And...well, I was only going to share a few quotes, but then I went on a quote-frenzy. Sorry. ;) Please read them, though, and take the time to digest them quite thoroughly. They're all rather short, thus quick to read, but I find that the shorter ones often hit closer to home. I've added a couple of notes to some of them in italics.

“You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”

A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.This quote is so sad, but think about's so true.

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

“Nothing you have not given away will ever really be yours.” *cough* That one hurt...
― Mere Christianity

“'You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,' said the Lion.”
― The Silver Chair  Just clarifying, 'the Lion' being Aslan, who represents God in the Chronicles of Narnia.

“Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.” This is exactly why I've been trying not to use the word 'love' as much to describe things that I merely like. It's difficult, in this world where that's just what you say, whether you're talking about that person's outfit or that delicious meal, but...I once watched a YouTube video where this guy was (sarcastically) talking about how much he liked grilled cheese sandwiches - "I love grilled cheese sandwiches!" - and how so many people say stuff like that. He went on to say, however (also sarcastically), "I'm sure Jesus appreciates being on the same level with you as grilled cheese sandwiches." Interesting thought, huh? Now, I'm not strictly religious about this or anything (you're a sinner if you say you love ice cream! :P just kidding), but it's just something to keep in mind.

“The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go God's love for us does not.”

“God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.”

“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito.” I could say this for everything here, but, wow, how true this one is. Definitely reminds me of Psalm 139. Yeah, that's right, go look it up! ;) (And I urge you to look it up in a real, actual Bible instead of Biblegateway or something - unlike I did. ;) haha)

“Do not let us mistake necessary evils for good.” In other words, let us not become so accustomed to the necessary evils in this life that we accept them as good. In the Light of Christ, they are far from it.

“It is a very funny thing that the sleepier you are, the longer you take about getting to bed.” 
― The Silver Chair

Does anyone else totally agree with that last quote?! Oh, c'mon - we've all done that before, when we're so tired we'd rather just sit right where we are on the couch instead of getting up and having to go through getting pajamas on, brushing and flossing your teeth, etc. before actually getting in bed. I had actually read that quote before, in the book where it's from - has anyone else read the entire Chronicles of Narnia? (How about totally out of order, like the weird person I am? I actually might not have read one or two of them, though - I can't remember.)

Anyways...last thing, about my title (amazing, right?), if anyone out there ever comes up with some kind of gadget that scans your blog post and generates a brief list of incredibly creative titles for you to use, please contact me. Immediately. Thank you very much. ;)

Love and blessings,

Saturday, June 23

recent happenings {and a different direction}

Hello, peoples! I've kind of been dreading writing this post, not because I have bad news, but because I have way too much good news to share! :) We've been having such a great time on our trip, and I'm afraid this post will be a mile long! However, I will try to summarize *coughicannotsummarizecough*.

To start off, last Tuesday I had an amazing time meeting Sarah Elizabeth! She and I are both part of the wonderful community of teen girls led by Mrs. Rue at this blog, and for the last couple of weeks we've gotten to know each other better via email. My family was staying near her family, so we arranged to meet up at the Cafe Du Monte (sp?) for beignets - never had them before, but they were delicious! :) Kind of like fry bread, only they're shaped in little squares, with mountains of sugar on top - what could be better? (Unless...they were filled with chocolate! ;) just kidding...) Anyway, here are some pics.

this is Sarah Elizabeth and I...
(not Sarah Elizabeth and me, not I and
Sarah Elizabeth, Sarah Elizabeth and I ;) haha
...and, by the way, if you doubt my grammar, click here)

...and her adorable little brother :)

Here is her blog, by the way, where she posted about our time together (because hers is much better than my pathetic attempt at describing our wonderful time together!). It was really such a blessing getting to meet her, and I had a great time talking with her, as my mom did with her mom and older sister. My dad had so much fun playing around outside, throwing the frisbee and such, with my brothers and her younger siblings - my dad is so great with little kids (and he's not too bad with teenagers either). :)

Oh, and before we went to meet her, we visited a very cool glass blowing and printing place. They were in the middle of a summer camp so there were a bunch of young teens in there making glass beads and shaping metal and making their own ink prints (to print on paper), which was all very entertaining. :) They were not glass blowing at the moment, but they had some amazing displays of tons of different glass creations, which are what the following pictures are (obviously) of (sorry if some of the pictures in this post are messed up...they weren't cooperating with me :P).

Later that afternoon, we drove on the 2nd longest bridge in the world! And...we didn't make it all the way across. It was slightly boring. Beautiful for a couple of minutes, boring after many. So we went grocery shopping and headed home. :) Here is an example of the view from pretty much the whole bridge:

sorry for that annoying black dot :P
it's on my camera lens and I have not
been able to get it off - any suggestions?

The next day we went to a Children's Museum, which was pretty awesome. :) Pictures: 

Noah and Nathan in a bubble
Nathan in a huge bubble (!!!)

Me in a pretty big bubble :)
Here's Nathan standing on...
some sort of blocks that we built up.
we're not sure what they were made of :P

Nathan's pic of me sitting on our little block creation - a very unsteady creation...we felt very brave of ourselves ;)

We found a whole lot of interesting stuff there, and had a great time - unlike the Children's Museum of Houston that we went to yesterday. Oh, trust me, that place was huge and had a ton of stuff - but I was kind of extremely tired, and it was kind of extremely loud and kind of extremely crowded. With little kids. {Today I learned how quickly you can get a headache...just kidding.} Anyway, my mom and I sat on a bench (we soon figured out why it wasn't occupied - it was conveniently placed underneath the AC vent blasting freezing-cold air), and we people watched. Basically, there were a lot of young moms dressed like teenagers (annoying), a lot of young girls dressed like teenagers (very, very annoying), and several grandparents who looked almost as bored as I was. Almost.

But, really, when I say that the dressing like teenagers (and I'm not talking about modest teenagers) was annoying, I don't mean annoying in the normal way you would say annoying, as in describing your brothers' incessant chatter. No, I mean it was saddeningly heartbreaking. My heart breaks for the lack of modesty, morality, and above all, the knowledge of the God Who loves to the point of His death - the lack of this in women in this age. The lack of a relationship with the one true God Almighty, Yahweh, Savior, Who loves more deeply than any boyfriend could, Who makes you more beautiful than any amount of makeup or clothes could, and Who fills and fulfills your life more than anything or anyone else could ever, ever even pretend to.

God has given me a deep passion and burden for the young women of my generation, the lost, the ones who seek security and love and pleasure in all the wrong places, who are ever searching but never finding. What can I do? Where will He lead me? I don't know. But those aren't even the right questions - those questions are focused on me, what I can do. I believe I should sound more like Christ, and how He acted...

"First He {Christ} said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings You {God the Father} did not desire, nor were You pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then He said, “Here I am, I have come to do Your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
--Hebrews 10:8-10
words in {braces} are mine; also, I capitalized pronouns describing God

I don't want to act as if God is a tool for me to use in order to lead others to Him. {paraphrased from this post by Michaela Danielle - "We put emphasis on ourselves...using God as a tool."} I want to be, in every way possible, in Spirit and in truth, a tool for Him to use in order to bring others to Him!

And, while I wanted to finish there, I cannot. It would be quite hypocritical of me. I want to clarify that I have, in no way, become a perfect tool for Christ. I am definitely not perfect; I am, however, made pure by Christ's sacrificial love for me. And, oh, how often I forget that! I turn from Christ, trusting in myself, my knowledge, my ability - all weakness compared to His Almighty strength. I pride myself in spiritual-sounding language and good deeds, and totally miss out on God's amazing plans for me.

So let me make this plain (to myself as much as anyone else reading this). I have sinned. I will continue to sin as long as I am here on this earth (oh, how hard it is for me to say that, to accept that, that imperfection in me). And yet, Christ has died and rose again in love for what I so often try to justify by my own good works. I have believed in His love and forgiveness and embraced Him as my Savior. And I do this continually, every day - reminding myself that I have been saved by Him, not by myself, and I, in His grace, try to make every effort to live in His.

Thus the meaning of forgiven mess - in a nut shell (a coconut shell, that is, not a peanut shell). :)

In love and peace and blessings in Christ our Savior,

P.S. Well, this post went in an entirely different direction than I had originally planned (guess Whose "fault" that is?). I think it like it.