Thursday, December 31, 2015

Highlights of 2015

Can you believe that today is the last day of 2015?! It seems like it went by really fast. I would like to share with you all a few of my highlights from 2015. 

May 1, senior banquet.

                   My family and I went to the Oregon coast for a few days in May.

May 30, Graduation day!

November 2-7 my mom and I went to Pennsylvania. If you want to read more about that you can see my other post here.

I'm looking forward to what 2016 will bring!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!
I hope you all have a wonderful day. I would like to share with you one of my favorite Bible verses.

Luke 2:8-14   NASB
 8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

During the Christmas season it is easy to get caught up with things like: decorating, shopping, presents, and lots of other things. But we all need to take time to remember what Christmas is really about. Jesus coming to earth to eventually die on the cross to take the punishment for our sins so that we can have eternal life.
Merry Christmas! : )

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Christmas-y Tag

After seeing this fun tag on several other blogs as a open nomination I decided to do it too. I am not going to tag anyone either, so if you want to do this too go ahead.

Anyway, here are the rules:
--Post the picture on your blog
--Answer the questions
--Tag up to 12 bloggers
--Make up 10 questions for the other bloggers

1. What is your favorite Christmas treat?
Sugar cookies! We usually only make them at Christmas time, so they are a treat! 

2. Are there any special traditions that your family does to celebrate Christmas?
Well, on Christmas morning each year after everyone gets up we read the Christmas story, open stockings, eat breakfast, then open presents. 

3. Do you enjoy getting presents for your friends and family? Do you buy your gifts or go the homemade route?
Yes, I do! Sometimes I will make the gifts and sometimes I buy them. It just depends.

4. Is it cold where you live? Have you ever had a white Christmas?
It is cold here and yes, we have had a white Christmas before. Hopefully we'll have one this year. One time it actually snowed Christmas night. 

5. What's on your Christmas list this year?
Books! I really don't know a whole lot to ask for this year besides books. My brothers started asking me, "What do you want for Christmas besides books?" :)

6. What's your favorite Christmas song?
"What Child is This?", "Mary Did You Know?", and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year".

7. What is your favorite Christmas memory?
One of my favorite memories was when I got a collectable miniature dollhouse. Now every year since then I've received something for it. 

8. What are you reading in December? (Anything festive?)
I've read five Christmas books this month.
"Christmas at Rose Hill Farm" by Suzanne Woods Fisher
"California Crazy" by Beverly Lewis
"White Christmas Pie" by Wanda Brunstetter
"A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher
"A Christmas Peril" by Diane Moody 

9. Are you an organized little elf or are you still shopping/preparing on Christmas Eve?
I am usually pretty organized, but this year I got my last bit of shopping done this morning. :)

10. How early do you start to get into the Christmas spirit?
The day after Thanksgiving.

11. What's the menu for Christmas Day?
Well, for breakfast my dad is going to make cinnamon rolls. 
Then for dinner we are going to have prime rib, mashed potatoes, corn, and rolls. 

12. What makes it FEEL like Christmas for you? (Weather, specific traditions, food, smell, person, etc.?)
Listening to Christmas music, snow, decorating, and making Christmas cookies. 

13. If you were to start a new Christmas tradition, what would it be?
To put up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. ;) 
Usually we do it the second week in December. 

14. What Christmas movies do you like to watch this time of year?
"The Most Wonderful Time of the Year", "The Christmas Card", "A Cookie Cutter Christmas", and "A Christmas Snow".

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Single mom Jennifer, who can't wait for Christmas to be over, has her perfect list-driven life derailed when her uncle Ralph visits for the holiday. 
During Uncle Ralph's trip, he meets a fellow, care-free, traveler named Morgan. Morgan's connecting flight is cancelled and Uncle Ralph convinces Jennifer to allow Morgan to stay with them for one night, but Uncle Ralph has alternative motives and things get crazy when Jennifer's list-driven life collides with Morgan's care-free lifestyle.

This is a fun, romantic, comedy that our whole family enjoyed.

I give this movie 9 out of 10 R's

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas in 10

Last year for school my brothers and I had a writing assignment where we had 10 min. to write a paragraph about Christmas. Well, that probably sounds really easy, but we were only allowed to use words of only one syllable. It was a little tricky since you can't use words like Christmas, Merry, December, Holiday, and all of those typical Christmas words. So I would like to invite anyone who wants to try this to do so. I would love to see what you come up with.
Well, here is the story that I came up with in 10 min. I hope you enjoy it. : ) 
(I just noticed that I might have a few two syllable words in there.)

Long ago in a small town a small Boy was born. His mom put Him in a warm cloth and set Him in a place to sleep. He was born in a barn that long ago night and His name is Christ. This is why we have that day where we put up a tree and get and give gifts. We don't have this fun day to just get gifts, but to look back on that day when Christ was born. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What Child is This?

"What Child is This?" was written by William Chatterton Dix in 1865. It was originally written as a poem called "The Manger Throne" then later became a song and sung to the music of "Greensleeves". 
The first stanza asks a question and is answered in the second half of that stanza, the second stanza does the same thing, and the third stanza is an appeal to accept Christ. 
This poem was written while Dix was very ill and bedridden caused by a severe illness. 

What child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The babe, the son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spears shall pierce him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come, peasant king, to own Him.
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise the song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The babe, the Son of Mary.

This is one of my favorite Christmas carols. I also really enjoy playing it on my violin.

Friday, December 18, 2015


From the Back Cover:

Twenty-year-old Ruth Stutzman is a wonderful caregiver…but she has no experience with children. Laid off because of budget cuts from her job at a retirement home, she's relieved to find work-even if it means temporarily watching widower Martin Rhodes's brood of six!
     Martin has been doing his best since his wife's passing, but he and his children need help. Their house, once full of laughter and light, has been darkened by sadness. Soon after Ruth arrives, the children are drawn to her warmth and gentleness, and so is Martin, even though he feels it's wrong. But the harder he tries to ignore her, the deeper he begins to care for this attractive young woman who has brought joy back into his children's lives…and his own.
     Each passing day brings the family closer to Ruth…and closer to Christmas, when she will have to say goodbye. Ruth cannot deny the bond she feels with the children-and with Martin. When her old job becomes available again, Ruth finds herself torn: How can she stay with the Rhodes's? And yet how can she go?

This book wasn't quite as good as I thought it would be, but it was a kind of fun Christmas story. 

I give this book 7.5 out of 10 R's

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Christmas Card

In the midst of war in Afghanistan, an army soldier named Cody, is touched when he receives a Christmas card from a young woman named Faith, who lives in the small town of Nevada City, California. 
A few weeks before Christmas, Cody goes on military leave and travels to Nevada City in search of Faith. Through a series of events he becomes very close to the family. Her father and uncle do their best to bring Cody and Faith together even though Faith is already engaged to someone else. 

This is one of our family's favorite Christmas movies. 

I give this movie 9 out of 10 R's

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Candy

Chocolate Caramel Fudge

12 Tbsp (1 and 1/2 sticks) of Butter
1/2 C. Sugar
14 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 Tbsp Light Corn Syrup
8 oz. Mini Chocolate Chips

Line a 7x11 pan with parchment paper. Put 4 oz. of chocolate chips on the bottom of the pan. Melt butter and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat stirring constantly until melted. Add sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup. Stir constantly and bring it to a low boil. Once it starts to bubble keep stirring for 10 min. Then pour over chocolate chips. Pour 4 oz. of chocolate chips on top. Gently swirl caramel and chocolate together with rubber spatula. Let cool completely then refrigerate.

Optional: Sprinkle some course sea salt on top after it's cooled for a bit.

NOTE: If the butter in the caramel mixture separates let cool for a few minutes. Stir the butter back in then pour over chocolate chips.  

This recipe was adapted from here.

What are some of your favorite Christmas treats?

Monday, December 14, 2015

12 Days of Christmas

A couple other bloggers and I are doing this fun 12 Days of Christmas series hosted by Faith from Stories by Firefly. Head over to Faith's blog for more Christmas fun! 

From the Back Cover:

Rachel Milligan never imagined that she and her seven-year-old niece would spend Christmas on a quaint Amish farm in Ohio. But with so many unexpected occurrences of late, perhaps she shouldn't have been surprised.
With her young niece Holly in tow, Rachel anxiously makes her way from Chicago to Ohio's Amish Country. As love begins to blossom, family secrets emerge, and old wounds are healed, Rachel realizes that she will do whatever it takes to ensure that Holly has the loving family she needs.

"A Simple Christmas Wish" is a fun Christmas book.  
The story didn't have the best ending, in my opinion, and it would have been nice if it at least had an epilogue. But other than that it was pretty good. 

I give this book 8 out of 10 R's 

Check back often for more Christmas fun! : ) 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Bedtime Book Tag

After seeing this on Faith's blog, I decided to do it too because it looked like a lot of fun. So here are the questions and my answers. 

1. A book that kept you up all night.
I really don't know. I don't read a whole lot in bed so I can't think of any.

2. A book that made you scared to sleep.
That would be "The Postcard" by Beverly Lewis. It is a terrible book. 

3. A book that made you go to sleep.
A book has never made me go to sleep before, but some books I've read were really boring that I thought I would've fallen asleep. : )

4. A book that left you tossing and turning all night in anticipation of its release.
Well, I been super excited about the release of quite a few books, but it's never kept me up.

5. A book that has your favorite boy/girlfriend relationship. 
Definitely Millie Keith and Charles Landreth from the "A Life of Faith: Millie Keith books". 

6. A book that would be your worst nightmare to live in. 
I'm not sure. 

7. A book that reminds you of night time.
The only book that really comes to mind is "The Covenant" by Beverly Lewis. Probably because towards the end of the book there is quite a few parts that take place at night. 

8. A book that had a nightmarish cliffhanger.
"Millie's Unsettled Season" ended in a terrible place! :) 

9. A book you actually dreamed about.
I've never actually dreamed about a book before, but after I read the Dear America book "Standing in the Light", which is about a girl and her brother that get captured by Indians, I had some dreams about Indians. 

10. A book monster you wouldn't want to find under your bed. 
I can't think of any.

If anyone else would like to do this feel free to either in the comments or on your blog. :)  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Charlotte's Hope

From the Back Cover:

Charlotte is none too thrilled with her father when he sends her and her two sisters to spend Christmas with relatives in Argentina. Little does she know of the adventure, danger, and espionage that awaits her and her sisters, Clara and Constance. Neither does she expect to have her faith in the Lord tested like never before. Charlotte despairs that she will ever be able to mend her relationship with her father. Clara is convinced that she will never be able to marry the man of her dreams. Constance is determined to keep her be love horse. Will Charlotte and her sisters escape the clutches of the outlaw gauchos trying to destroy them and their family? Will Charlotte be able to maintain her hope in the Lord in the midst of hopeless circumstances?

"Charlotte's Hope" is an enjoyable book.  I came across this book because I know one of the authors. 

I give this book 8 out of 10 R's

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a great day!
Even though today is the day we reflect on everything that we're thankful for we need to remember to be thankful always. : ) 

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  Colossians 3:16 NASB

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Our chickens

I am not much of an animal person but I do like our chickens. They are so fun to watch. We have eleven chickens. Five of them are from our first batch of chickens that we got as chicks three years ago. There were twelve of them. Two are from two years ago and the last four are from last year. Our five old chickens are super friendly. They all have names too. So I thought I'd introduce them to you. 

Rosie, a Buff Orpington, is one of our sweetest chickens. 

Blueberry, an Araucana, is our other very sweet chicken. When she was a baby she had a little blue spot on her head and that's how she got her name.

Peppy la Peep, a Golden Sex Link is Rosie's best friend. Both of them are always getting out of the chicken yard and going on walks together. 

Penelope, a Buff Orpington, is our hen that is always going broody. 

Missy, a New Hampshire Red, is the chicken that I named. She was an adorable chick, it looked like she had dandelion dust on her head. 

Those five birds we spent a lot of time holding, petting, and just spending time with. Our other ones we didn't spend as much time with and they aren't as special, but I'll show you them any way. 

This is Fluffy and Nutmeg. They are both Ameraucanas. 

Lastly we have Pepper, Speedy Gonzoles, Molly, and Galadriel. Unfortunately they all look pretty much the same and I can't tell them apart. Two are Black Sex Links and the other two are Australorps. 

My favorite chick was Lily, an Araucana. She was from the original twelve and she was my chicken. She always got out of the chicken yard too, and whenever she saw me coming she would come running super fast right at me. So I would kneel down and open my arms and it looked like she was running into my arms. : ) 

                                                                      Me and Lily

So I hope you enjoyed getting to "meet" our flock. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Pennsylvania Vacation

Last week my mom and I went to Pennsylvania for six days.
We stayed in Hershey one night and the next day we went to the Hershey Chocolate World. 

For the rest of the trip we stayed at an Old Order Amish bed and breakfast in Lancaster County! It was so much fun. We stayed in a guest house next to the main house.

My favorite part of the trip was getting to have dinner with an Amish family at their house!
I also had a lot of fun at this one tour that my mom and I went on. My favorite thing was the schoolhouse

and getting to ride an Amish scooter. It was very fun. 

There were many other places that we visited but I wasn't able to get any pictures.
It was a fun trip… and hopefully I will be able to go back someday soon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Child of Mine

From The Back Cover

Flight instructor Jack Livingston has been raising his eight-year-old adopted niece, Natalie, since the accident that took her parents' lives. When he travels, Natalie is tenderly cared for by her Amish nanny, Laura Mast, who loves the little girl as her own.

Eight excruciating years ago, Kelly Maines's baby was kidnapped. Determined to find her child, Kelly has tirelessly pursued every lead to its bitter end. And now, with the clock ticking, one last clue from a private investigator ignites a tiny flame of hope: Just a few miles away lives a young girl who matches her profile.

Can this be, at long last, Kelly's beloved daughter? 

"Child of Mine" is one of my favorite books. I really liked that it was not predictable and it always kept me guessing. 

I give this book 10 out of 10 R's

Saturday, October 31, 2015

My Bookshelf

Describe your bookshelf (or wherever it is you keep your books-it doesn't actually have to be a shelf!)
My grandpa made me this bookshelf as a graduation gift. Not all my books will fit on this shelf so I have more books on another shelf and combined with the family books downstairs.

Do you have any special or different ways of organizing your books? 
Not really. Although I always keep my books together by either author or by series. 

What's the thickest (most amount of pages) book on your shelf?
Systematic Theology

What's the thinnest (least amount of pages) book on your shelf?
The American Girl short story books

Is there a book you received as a birthday gift?
I've gotten quite a few books for birthdays over the last few years. These are some of my favorites.

What's the smallest (height and width wise) book on your shelf? 
Again it's the American Girl short stories

What's the biggest (height and width wise) book on your shelf?
Millie, Elsie, and Violet's Life Lessons books

Is there a book from a friend on your shelf?
My friend gave me the Dear America book, My Face to the Wind, for Christmas one year and The Redemption of Sarah Cain for my birthday.

Most expensive book?
Millie's Grand Adventure and Millie's Fiery Trial each cost me quite a bit of money. I started to buy this series once they went out of print and they were harder to find so they were a little spendy, but definitely worth it. : ) 

The last book you read on your shelf?
The Scent of Cherry Blossoms

Of all the books on your shelf, which was the first you read?
I really don't know, but it might've been either Elsie's Endless Wait or the American Girl Samantha series. 

Do you have more than one copy of a book? 
Yes, I have two Meet Felicity books. One is Pleasant Company and one is American Girl. 

Do you have the complete series of any book series? 
Yes! I have quite a few series. I have some American Girl series Felicity, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha, Molly, Caroline Marie-Grace and Cecile and Maryellen. Circle C Beginnings, Circle C Adventures, and Circle C Milestones by Susan K. Marlow. Indiana Cousins, The Discovery, and Rachel Yoder: Always Trouble Somewhere by Wanda Brunstetter. A Life of Faith: Millie Keith, Elsie Dinsmore, and Violet Travilla based off the books by Martha Finley. A Life of Faith: Kathleen McKenzie by Tracy Leininger Craven. Homeward on the Oregon Trail by Melody Carlson. Lancaster County Secrets by Suzanne Woods Fisher. The Heritage of Lancaster County, Abram's Daughters, Home to Hickory Hollow, Annie's People, Seasons of Grace, The Rose Trilogy, The Courtship of Nellie Fisher, Summerhill Secrets, and Holly's Heart by Beverly Lewis.

What's the newest addition to your shelf?  
The American Girl Maryellen books

What book has been on your shelf FOREVER?
Elsie's Endless Wait

What's the most recently published book on your shelf?
The Imposter

The oldest book on your shelf (as in the actual copy is old)
Meet Kirsten, Meet Samantha, and Meet Molly were all published in 1986.

A book you won?
I've never won any books.

A book you'd hate to let out of your sight (aka a book you never let someone borrow)?
The A Life of Faith: Millie Keith series are my most favorite books, but I have let someone borrow them before.

Most beat up book?
Millie's Unsettled Season isn't really beat up, but it has seen better days. You can't really tell in the picture, but the cover does have quite a few creases.

Most pristine book?
Probably the Imposter, it's pretty new.

A book from your childhood? 
Maybe Elsie's Endless Wait, I've had that book for quite awhile.

A book that's not actually your book?
20 Most Asked Questions About the Amish and Mennonites and Little House in the Big Woods are actually family books, they are just in my room because I'm in the process of reading them. 

A book with special/different cover (e.g. leather bound, soft fuzzy cover etc.)?
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgean is leather bound. 

A book that is your favorite color?
I like the color on the A Life of Faith: Violet Travilla books, but it is not my favorite color of blue.

Book that's been on your shelf the longest that you STILL haven't read?
The Silent Stranger. I got it for free years ago for doing a sumer reading program but I've never gotten around to reading it.

Any signed books?
Yes. Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home expanded edition, Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home, and Heartbreak Trail by Susan K. Marlow and One Summer's Desire by Abigail Prigge. 

So that is my bookshelf as of today!