Family Fun

Sometimes it sorta weirds me out and amazes me that I have so. much. to. write every time I update this blog, but I do. Today I’ve had to really think and choose what to post about. Yesterday’s epic-ness won out though, so instead of getting a recap of 2013, or a working plan for 2014, you’re gonna see some of the fun-ness from Christmas day. Most of my cousins and aunts and uncles from my mom’s side are here for a few days, so imagine a big party when you’re reading this post.

(Note: Be watching for the year’s re-cap soon! I worked on it for about two hours yesterday and I only got to half-way through June on the first draft. Yes, this year was HUGE!) 





 Settlers of Catan? Humm… Let’s just say my brother got it with money from my grandma. It arrived in the mail on December 24th, and that night four of us siblings played for about two hours until I won right after midnight on Christmas day. I woke up raring to play again, but other things took precedence and we didn’t end up playing until that afternoon when my cousin, Zack, and sibs David and Helena and I played it. David won. A couple of hours later I was like “Who wants to play?” And then set up the game. Within a few minutes my uncle, my cousin, Aubrey, Helena and I were hard at it. That game ended after 11 pm with Helena as winner. I went outside for a few minutes to swing because that’s what I do at night. As I was coming back in, I started getting texts from Helena: 
We’re playing again
Come now
Come ASAP
We’re not waiting
Come
Come
And the texts went on, but I think you get the point. So I ran. And they had started the game, but just barely, so I slid into place and we started our third game of the day at 11:50 at night. Yep, that’s pretty much what our day was yesterday. This game ended with Helena winning (again!) after one in the morning. It was so much fun. I can’t wait to play again, today! 🙂 

and me wearing a shirt my bro, David got me which says “Country Chick” =)
During the first game of Settlers, I was extremely thrilled and surprised when our friend, Jo dropped in for a visit along with her husband and sister. She lives out of state, so we hardly ever get to see her. Her family lives only about 40 minutes from here though and she was visiting them. Since Joie and I worked together for about 8 years and she’s spent hundreds of days with our family, it has always felt like she’s more an extra sister than just friend. =) Glitter war ensued soon after she arrived, although I’m not sure she had anything to do with that other than bringing a gift wrapped in glittery paper. 😉 

Mousey is what she calls me… Why? Because she’s Aubrey and I’m me.
My wonderful cousin, Aubrey, made me (and Helena, Johanna and Mariah) each personalized picture-books for Christmas. She’s done this for two years now, where she gets pictures with all of us cousins and prints them out then writes great notes to go along with them. Really, I can’t think of a gift I would rather have from her. She’s beyond spectacular. 

It’s really funny because she and I are totally different. We’re both in the creative arts (“If you call writing a creative art” – direct quote from Aubrey), she’s an extremely talented cellist, and I’m a writer. Other than that though… 


Here’s a picture in the book that has me along with Aubrey and Sarah (along with some of my little cousins gathered around). And here’s what her caption says: 
Aww. Your two best friends. And only friends. Just kidding. You’re great. You have a lot of friends. And by friends I mean food. You’ll notice that theme throughout this book. Food. The one thing we have in common

And that pretty much describes our relationship. Not the food part, but I mean how we interact together. If you read her comments on this blog or the blog tour blogs, you’ll see ones like this one (which was on a character interview): “it’s like you’re doing an interview with yourself since the character is based off you. so basically you’re just talking to yourself on the internet. does that feel weird to you?” And then on one of my posts I had a true or false question which was something about “Did I get my inspiration for my book while inside a cave” and she commented “it’s obviously false– we all know i inspired your book. and your day to day life.” 

Totally, totally Aubrey. I adore that girl, folks. 


 And I just heard we have something going on now, so I’ll leave you with that little gem. What about you? How is your week going? Do you have any amazing cousins like Aubrey? Have a great day, y’all!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!!!
Hello blogging friends of mine! Here’s a great, big, huge Merry Christmas for y’all! I know today is a busy day for all of us, but I wanted to pop in and tell you that I thoroughly enjoy getting to share my writing journey and world with you. Thank you all for reading my words and coming back time and again. 
Enjoy Christmas and don’t forget the real meaning of Christmas:

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:6-14

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Here are the gifts I told y’all I made: 
Lace thingy I made for Mom, it goes around a candle. 
Three pairs of boot sock thingys for Helena. =)

Hang on tight y’all for some end of the year posts about my goals. I’ve been having so much fun thinking/praying/planning goals for next year! Also, I’m so excited about doing my year-end post really soon! Seriously, I’ve been looking forward to it since early November! 

Don’t forget to vote on the polls! And… Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas Eve


 Merry Christmas Eve, y’all!

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, 
and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 
Luke 2:7

Today is when our immediate family celebrates Christmas and it’s a beautiful day! I woke up to what felt like the inside of a snow-globe. It’s not snowing now, but it’s cold enough that it might start snowing again, which would be wonderful!
I just finished making my sister’s present. This year we each drew a name for one of our siblings and I got Helena’s name. I’ll have to show you what I made for her (it’s what she wanted) after everyone else sees it. I also made my mom something. I really enjoy making gifts!
Last night one of my sisters, Mariah, made a whole array of yummy sweets. She was extremely kind and even made three things that were sugar-freee (pictured above). I’ve been off of sugar all year, so it’s such a huge treat to actually have sweets to eat! Amazing sister of mine! (And in case you wonder, they are delicious!)
Last year I continued my daily and weekly goals all year long, and when the new year started, I wished I had left myself some ‘reward’ time without all my goals. So, at the beginning of this year I put an amendment in my goal list that from December 23rd until the beginning of next year, I would have ‘free’ days, except for writing 100 words a day and marking it in my notebook. Since I have about 7 daily goals and 7 weekly goals, I cannot even explain to you the amazing feeling I have when I think of the fact that I can just be free for several days! 
So yes, this is the first time in two years that I’ve not done my daily and weekly goals! Yea! =) 
Have a Merry Christmas!!!

Blog Tour Stop #16 // Born for a purpose.

Second to last Blog Tour stop? How in the world did this go by so fast? The last three weeks have been extremely busy on here. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. 🙂 Check out TODAY’s post! It’s a fun one where I explore my ‘likes’ for each character. 🙂
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Born for a purpose. I don’t think there are any (at least not many) people reading this who would doubt that Jesus was born for a purpose. His birth wasn’t a random idea or miracle to throw the world into a tizzy. He was sent to redeem us from our sins, to help us find unity with God. To make a way so we could live with Him in heaven. His birth was prophesied about for hundreds of years before He was born. 
His life on earth wasn’t what anyone would call easy. He was mocked, persecuted, plotted against… They even tried to push him over a cliff once. All this by the people that He, as part of the Trinity, had created. And in the “end” he was betrayed by one of his own friends and killed. 
I used to think that since He was God, He could by-pass the pain and be fine, and He could have, but He didn’t, because then He wouldn’t have accomplished what He was sent here to do. He was sent here as a man. It was hard on Him. Here’s what He prays, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.” 
 Nevertheless not my will, but Thine, be done. You too, were sent here for a purpose. You were born for a reason. No, you weren’t sent here to save a dying world from their sins, but you were sent here to accomplish something that is bigger than you.
There have been times when I feel overwhelmed with all there is to do during the short amount of time we have on earth. Sometimes I just wish I could just be content being average and ordinary. But I can’t because I believe 100% that I was created for a reason. That God placed me here with a purpose to accomplish. 
What about you? Have you thought and prayed about what your purpose here on earth is? To bring glory to God, yes. How are you supposed to do that though? God says “…to whom much has been given, much will be required”(Luke 12:48). I think that includes all arena of life. Are you serving God to the extent of your ability? 
It can be really, really hard at times, but I’m learning that when I’m dedicated to serving God, when I don’t give myself “outs”, then a little bit can go a long way… 
Merry Six Days Until Christmas! 

Blog Tour Post #13 // New Look

Surprise! New blog look today. 😉 I wanted something simple and winterish, and thought this fit both categories. I’ve also added some polls over there <, so y'all can vote on them and let me know what you'd like to see more of this next year. Thanks!
Can you imagine that we’re already in the third and last week of the Blog Tour? Crazy, right? I’ve had so much fun doing it with y’all. Thanks for taking part in it! Rosie, from over at Writings of Rosie, is hosting my Blog Tour stop for today in which we feature an interview with CJ. And let me tell you, CJ is a character! (Pun intended. 🙂 Find the post HERE
This morning. You can’t tell it, but it’s snowing. We’ve got quite a bit more now. 

Christmas is only nine days away. And since I’m a list-making-thanks-giving kind of girl, I thought I’d tell y’all nine things I’m thankful for about Christmas. (Random order, of course.)

1. That we have a reason to celebrate – If Jesus hadn’t come to earth, there would be no Christmas 
2. Family time. I love getting to hang out with my parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc…
3. Giving and receiving gifts that remind us of the ultimate gift: Jesus
4. Memories. That’s one of my favorite things about Christmas, remembering past years 
5. Having a lot of the country celebrating at the same time; the cheeriness that is spread around
6. Christmas music. Currently I’m listening to a song about how the Angels sang when Jesus was born
7. Of course the Christmas account. I could listen to it over and over again (oh wait, I do!)
8. The food. Yes, I really just said that. It’s true though, we have special foods around Christmas-time
9. The excitement, joy and fun leading up to the special day

What are some of your favorite things about Christmas? 

*Please Note: I do not necessarily endorse everything on the blogs hosting me during the tour*

CSotP Blog Tour Stop #11 // Christmas Thoughts

Want a chance to win a Walmart gift-card? Who wouldn’t find a good way to use some extra money during the Christmas season? Check out my Blog Tour post for today by clicking HERE and enter to win! 

This is another one of those blogs that I’ve been following for a while and thought it would be really cool if they would be willing to host me. Thanks, Tessa! (Really folks, you don’t want to miss out on her blog!)

Picture taken by my adopted mom. Isn’t it beautiful?

Christmas time is such a lovely season. Last year at this time, every morning when I woke up, I would listen to the dramatized version of the book of Luke on my phone for about an hour. I haven’t listened to  it quite so much this year, probably because still haven’t been able to comprehend that Christmas is right around the corner.

I love the book of Luke! From the opening statements, I am not only fully immersed in the account, but even though I know what’s going to happen, I want to hear what they have to say next. 

Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus,  that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.1

And then you get introduced to some of the main people who the account is about. I don’t know about you, but right away I can feel my heart going out to them. They have a problem that’s not likely to be fixed. Of course, this is only the start. God knew from the beginning of time what each and every one of us is going to go through, and while everything’s not going to be all fine and dandy in this lifetime, He really does have amazing plans for each and everyone of His children’s lives. 

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.3


Really, I could go on and on, but instead, why don’t you just check it out for yourself? This year, why don’t you read Luke with fresh eyes, with understanding. Seeing the people as they really are, real. These people went through struggles just like we do. They had thoughts, feelings, heartache. They had dreams and ambitions. 

Think about it, how would you respond in the different situations? Think of the huge, huge, huge change of plans so many of the people in this book had to go through. The way they had to put aside their own thoughts, schedules and ideals to do what God called them to do. And then think about how blessed we are for all eternity because of the events that took place. 

Put yourself in Elisabeth’s place. What would it feel like to have a dream you’d given up on suddenly spring to life? Put yourself in the Angel Gabriel’s place. What would it feel like to know your news was going to change the entire world forever and ever? What about Zacharias and Elisabeth’s neighbors? How strange would that be! What about Mary, her parents, Jospeh’s, his siblings… Allow yourself the time to soak in the account and realize how truly life-changing it is.

This is what Christmas is really about. God came to earth as a Man. He gave us the greatest gift and I am ever so thankful! 

The Bible is inspired by God and it’s powerful. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.2  Go and let it change your life!

This year I am reminded again at the huge blessing God gave us when He sent His Son to earth to become a man. This is truly a season to rejoice and delight in God’s goodness! 

What about you? Do you ever imagine yourself in these people’s places? 
What are you excited about this Christmas season?

1 – Luke 1:1-4 
2 – Hebrews 4:12
3 – Luke 1:5-7

*Please Note: I do not necessarily endorse everything on the blogs hosting me during the tour*

CSotP Blog Tour #9 // Life Recently

Wow! We are already on day #9 of the Blog Tour. How did that happen? And finally, during the last couple of days I actually got caught up on sending out the posts to the different bloggers prior to the night before it’s supposed to be posted. (Sorry to you amazing bloggers who have worked with me, even with my lateness!)
I’ll talk more about that ^ later, but first y’all should really check THIS post out. I had jolly good time bragging writing about my editor and illustrator. Really, they’ve been amazing and so much fun to work with. 
And, if you want a chance to win a book, check out THIS post. 😉 

GA in October. Does it bother any of y’all when I randomly post pictures?
Because I enjoy seeing ones from different seasons and hope you do to! 😉

My life has been nuts recently. I knew it was December and that Christmas was zooming up, but I really had no clue how close it was until I stopped yesterday and changed my calendar to December and counted the days. It’s two weeks from today! Yeah, really. No wonder we had to send out Christmas boxes already. No wonder why we have our Christmas tree and decorations up already. No wonder we’ve been playing Christmas music. No wonder everything. 


Christmas is almost here! 

And I’ve basically written nothing about it on here. So hopefully that will be remedied soon. 😉 This Blog Tour has been tons of fun and really rewarding (I’ve been watching my page-views grow like crazy!), yet it’s been a huge amount of work as well. See, you’re supposed to work on a blog tour for months before you launch it. And I should have, but didn’t. I had a very good reason for that though! (Don’t laugh. It’s not an excuse, because really, it’s not as if I’ve been messing the Tour up or anything…) 
My reason? I was working on the my audio book and I made a commitment to myself that to keep on track, I wouldn’t work on any more projects (except the ones I have to do every day), until I finished the audio. 
As soon as the audio was done, I quickly switched to Blog Tour Mode, and here I am today. 😉 Even though that didn’t leave a lot of time to get ahead with everything before the Tour started, I would still do it again so it could be in the weeks leading up to Christmas. At least I think I would…. 
What about you? Have you been enjoying the Blog Tour?
Has your life been extremely busy? 

*Please Note: I do not necessarily endorse everything on the blogs that are hosting me.*