My “Adopted” Parents – An Explanation

In all probability if you’ve been around Noveltea long you’ve heard me talk about my adopted parents. Well, I’m going to be talking about them an extra-lot this week because I happen to be on a grand adventure with them out in Montana. *Cue excitement, happiness, and all sorts of dreams coming true* Therefore, I thought it might be helpful if I clarified my relationship with them a bit.

FullSizeRender-3

So, what exactly am I talking about when I say “adopted parents”? That’s a great question, and one that I find rather confusing to answer. First of all, I’m not actually legally adopted. Second of all, I have a perfectly wonderful biological family who I live and work with. Why don’t I really talk about my biological family, you might wonder? Quite simply because they like privacy, and we talked about it long ago and decided that just because I choose to be a writer and make my life somewhat public, that doesn’t mean that they need their lives to be public as well. By the same token, my adopted parents already live public-ish lives, and therefore are totally fine with me talking about them on Noveltea.

I met my adopted parents years ago at a conference (my adopted dad, Buddy Davis, is a singer, songwriter, dinosaur sculptor, speaker, actor, and author who works for Answers in Genesis). It’s a looonnnnggggg story that I don’t have time to go into today, but eventually over the years my future adopted parents and I developed a close friendship, which in time turned into them becoming my second set of parents.

I call them “Dad and Mom” (or “Papa and Mama” – which is how I’ll be referring to them this week on Noveltea), and they call me their daughter. In fact, if you’re familiar with them and have ever heard them talking about their daughter, that would be me they’re referring to.

Some people wonder how it can actually really work out for us to have “adopted” each other, but they really totally are my second family. I treat them just like a second set of parents, and they treat me just like their child – a very spoiled child, my siblings from my other family always point out…. Although they get spoiled by my adopted parents too; just not nearly as much as I do. 😉

7c885-fullsizerender-300

Papa, Mama, and I have had lots of grand adventures together. I’ve gotten to help them build a life-size model of a dinosaur, watched them record a new CD in the studio, “helped” with the last half a dozen DVDs they’ve made, and co-authored books with them. We’ve spent weeks together at the Creation Museum, traveled throughout the United States, and spent many happy quiet evenings together at their cabin. Papa wrote a song for me which is on his Songs of Life, Love, and Faith CD, they celebrate all the “big moments” of life with me, we’re together during hard times, and the list goes on.

I feel so incredibly blessed to have a whole second family and all the love and joy and blessings that goes along with that. Speaking of that today is Papa’s birthday, and it’s nearly time for me to join them for breakfast though here in Montana, so I’ll leave it at that and say good-bye for now. If there are any questions I can answer, just let me know and I’ll do my best. Have a great Monday, y’all!

The Cabin ~ Visiting

A couple of weeks ago some of my good friends were visiting Ohio, and I was thrilled when it worked out for me to take them to visit my adopted parents. Not only is it delightful to see my adopted parents, but things had been rather chaotic at work the pervious week (the best kind of chaotic), and the cabin is wonderfully peaceful and relaxing. A perfect time to set aside busyness and just visit.

FullSizeRender

My friends, Ruth, Dalton, Kaitlyn, (and me, of course), headed to the cabin mid-afternoon, then had a fun listening to music, trekking down to the old barn, finding just-ripened berries, walking around the pond, and conversing on my favorite porch in the world.

Papa and Mama had been working on building a carport just outside their backdoor, and although I’d seen pictures of it, this was the first time I got to see it in person. It’s the first time I’d been to the cabin in several months, so it was good to be back.

FullSizeRender-4
As much as I like knowing what’s going to happen from day to day and week to week, I’ve discovered that sometimes it’s the spur-of-the-moment trips like this one that garner the most memories.

Everything about the day was splendid, from interesting conversations while driving, to procuring a CD for another friend, to laughing over jokes, to finding an old fox (?) skull near one of the barns.

FullSizeRender-2

In less than a week I’m going to be (Lord willing) flying to Montana with my adopted parents to go on a Dinosaur Dig with them. I’ve wanted to be able to take part in a Dino Dig for several years now, and to have the departure date just around the corner is rather exciting.

July has been an incredible month for memory-making ventures. When I think of all that has happened this month, the song We Have This Moment pops into my head.

We have this moment to hold in our hands
And to touch, as it slips through our fingers like sand 
Yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow may never come
But we have this moment today

FullSizeRender-3

And now I’m off to a busy day with nearly a dozen nieces and nephews to create memories with. I hope y’all have a wonderful day as well!

Visiting The Ark Encounter

This last Friday I was thrilled to join my family to visit the Ark Encounter. I’ve heard so much about it, seen hundreds, possibly thousands of photos, heard my friends at the Creation Museum gush about it, but despite it having been opened for five months I hadn’t actually been there myself. (Much to my dismay, I might add.)

Friday dawned beautiful and freezing cold (possibly magnified by the fact I had just arrived back from Florida). The Ark is not only huge, but it’s also beautiful. I enjoyed getting to take my time wandering through it and trying to take in some of the many details.

img_3449

One of my favorite displays was the one on Fairy Tales. This display showcased dozens of books that have been written over the years that depict the Ark and account of Noah as an unrealistic fairy tale (although in many cases they’re actually trying to tell the real story). It was rather ironic seeing all the covers with crowded tubs overflowing with animals, then realizing that this giant building we’ve been walking through is the size of the real ark.

img_3448

The fairy tale poem in the middle of the display amused me and made me extremely thankful for how wise God is, and that He provided for Noah and his family much better than that:

img_3447

When we were finished going through the Ark we ran across to the restaurant “Emzara’s Kitchen” (and ran is the correct word, cause it was cooolllllddddd), for supper. They served a delicious meal, including some wonderful creamy soups that I greatly enjoyed. The dinning area itself was pretty cool with a mounted animal display.

On our way back to the Ark it was such a cool sight that I braved the cold for several moments (even without my coat), to stare up at it in wonder.

img_3460

I look forward to posting more about the Ark in the future, but that will have to wait for another day. I’ve been staying at the Creation Museum with my adopted parents since Friday, and we’re about ready to go do a photo shoot for my adopted dad’s newest DVD. But, before I go, I wanted to share one final highlight of my time at the Ark Encounter.

When we were down in the gift store I was totally delighted see my co-authored book, Cool Critters of the Ice Age. I might, possibly, have walked around the store the rest of the the time my family was shopping, hugging the book and just being happy.

img_6441

Have y’all been to the Ark Encounter? If so, what was your favorite part?

Giveaway Winners Announced!

First of all, Happy Day After Thanksgiving!

I have out-of-state relatives visiting for the rest of the week, so our festivities are continuing. Thanksgiving day was wonderfully delightful with lots of memory-making expereinces. I have lots of little nieces and nephews and having them together is a happy, chaotic experience that is fantastic, albeit a bit crazy at times. (As you can see in the picture below, my one-year-old nephew was excited to try out one of the pumpkin pies before it was even cut….)

fullsizerender-314

So! The giveaway ended at midnight and I was excited to see who the winners were, so of course I had to have Rafflecopter choose them right away. How it works is that the first winner receives the first prize, the second winner receives the second prize, and so on.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the giveaway! It was fun hosting it for y’all. Also, a huge Thank you to everyone who sponsored it! And, without further ado, the winners are…

fullsizerender-313

And, for your convenience:

Cait is the winner of the $25 Amazon Giftcard, sponsored by Free Bible Music 

Olivia is the winner of the $10 Amazon Giftcard, sponsored by Noveltea 

Rachel is the winner of the $5 Amazon Giftcard, sponsored by Noveltea 

Hannah is the winner of the Go Teen Writers book, sponsored by Stephanie at Go Teen Writers 

Hosanna is the winner of The Sparrow Found a House sponsored by Elisha Press

Linda is the winner of her choice of one of Amanda Tero’s  e-books, sponsored by Amanda

Nicole is the winner of  her choice of one of Amanda Tero’s  e-books, sponsored by Amanda

Heidi is the winner of her choice of any one of the books on my 5-star shelf on Goodreads, sponsored by Noveltea

Kaitlyn is the winner of  The Best of Buddy Davis Music CD, sponsored by Buddy Davis 

Rebecca is the winner of a physical copy of the book, Martha’s Fun Summer, sponsored by Bekah O’Brien 

I hope to email all the winners today. Have a great rest of the day, everyone!