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