Monday, January 22, 2018

Thanking God for Small Miracles (Sam's Story)


Some of you may have seen that my youngest brother had his appendix rupture a couple days ago, probably from prayer requests on various social media sites. To say the least, it was a frightening situation. One of those scares where your heart skips a beat and your lungs refuse to work properly for a couple seconds.

William stayed by Sam's side throughout most of his hospital stay (coming home for nights and Sunday church). It was so cute watching him worry about his little brother. These two have always been really close, and it was during this time that that really showed. :)

It started on Wednesday afternoon, January 17th. Sam complained of an upset stomach and was kept home from prayer meeting that evening after vomiting a couple different times.
At first, we thought it was just the flu bug, assuming he had caught it from our cousins who had barely recovered the week before. However, as each day went by with no improvement, Mom's worries steadily grew. Sam wasn't able to eat anything, and couldn't keep any liquids down. He complained of severe pain in his mid-section, and could hardly walk upright.
With these symptom's in mind, Mom did some research and finally came to the conclusion that it might be appendicitis. She immediately called our Urgent Care and scheduled an appointment for Samuel on Saturday morning, January 20th.
After an ultra-sound confirmed her fears, Sam was taken by ambulance to Mary's Bridge Children's Hospital where he was to wait for surgery.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the rest of the family had to go about our daily Saturday business. Nerves were stretched to the breaking point while we waited for news...any news...from Mom. I took the boys to a basketball game, and Margaret made sure the house got clean with the other kids' help.
Prayers for Sam's safety had already begun, multiple family's from church and other friends came up to us during the basketball game to say they were praying and ask if they could do anything to help.
It wasn't long after this that I got the text that nearly made my heart stop. Sam's appendix had ruptured. It was at this moment when it really hit me that Sam could DIE. In the back of my mind, I knew a lot of people survived a ruptured appendix, but after what happened to the Houston and Simao family last year, I had this terrible sinking feeling that we were next.
When our Assistant Pastor and his wife heard that turn of events, they went all the way out to the hospital to give my parents and Sam a visit.
The next couple hours were probably the most nerve-wracking, frustrating hours of my entire life. Sam, our little ray of sunshine, our precious red-headed caboose, was mid-surgery in what could easily turn into a life-threatening situation. And I could do nothing about it. There was no way I could help him. No way I could ease his pain. Helpless and fearful for his life, us kids at home tried to carry on with normal life. It was easy for my mind to fill with all the 'what if...' questions. What if Mom hadn't brought in Sam when she did? What if Sam's appendix had ruptured earlier? And of course the unspeakable question on my mind: What if Sam didn't make it?
Prayer and support poured in from our amazing friends and family, reminding us that we were not in this struggle alone.
Saturday night, after dinner at our cousin's house, we learned that Sam was out of surgery and doing ok, despite a few complications that would keep him in the hospital for several more days. I could almost feel the tension dissipate after we heard the news. It was like our family let out a collective sigh of relief as the invisible burden lifted off our shoulders.

William read basically the entire Wingfeather Saga
to Sam while he was laid up. :)

Sam is still in the hospital recovering, but almost back to normal. He was thrilled to be placed in a room on the fish-themed floor of the hospital, and declared that the pancake he ate Sunday morning was "the best breakfast EVER." (This pancake was the first food he had eaten in four days, so it's no wonder it tasted so great.)

We look forward to having our little guy back at home, and continue to praise God for his wonderful mercy toward us and our little brother.

God is SO good.

Our family had planned to be on a vacation at Cannon Beach this week, but because my younger sister was having a surgery on her foot, we ended up canceling a month ago. Pastor Miller was able to step in and preach on Sunday morning so Dad didn't have to worry about a sermon AND a sick son. Despite the weekend being as busy as ever, we were able to cover all the bases and people stepped in to help us where help was needed. I'm still overwhelmed by how we were able to make it through the weekend. It's almost like God knew this was going to happen or something.

And I can't say how thankful I am to all of you who prayed with us through our trial and continue to pray for Sam's speedy recovery. He has no idea how much he is loved, but we do, and I wanted to tell all of you on his behalf that we are so grateful for your support and love and prayers.

Even though surviving the removal of an appendix is a common thing, even after they ruptured, I will always consider Sam's story a miracle. Truly, God IS our refuge and strength, our very help in times of trouble. Whom shall we fear? God is on our side. With Him for us, who can stand against us?

Until next time, let everything you do be done for the glory of God!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Yep, This is THAT Post: (In Which I Finally Reveal the Cover for "Sleeping Handsome")

This is the day that I'll be giving you guys THE announcement and cover reveal for my newest ebook (to be published soon) "Sleeping Handsome". Before I give you the long awaited cover image, I have to thank the girl who made this all possible: Jessica Greyson. She did such a beautiful job on this cover. Not only did she do all of the work behind it, but she even made promo materiel and designed some of my quotes into gorgeous pictures.
Guys, if you're in need of a good cover designer, I HIGHLY recommend her work. Definitely want to use her help again at some point, because I fell in love with what she did. ^_^ Check out her blog (link in her name) and help this talented young lady's business grow! :)

But now, since you probably skipped all of this the first time anyways, and have already seen the cover at this point, HERE is the cover for my upcoming ebook "Sleeping Handsome" to be released on, or as near as possible to, Valentine's Day: February 14th, 2018!

*dramatic pause*

I know, I know, it's awfully perfect, huh? ;) *sighs happily* The aesthetic appeal, the simplicity, yet complexity, the hint of mystery with a touch of romance...PERFECTION. I told you.

Here is the book's summery (as written by me, so don't get too excited):

Minnie's goal was to have a fun, worry free vacation with her best friend Amy. A few weeks spent in their favorite far away place before they both went back to their respective colleges. A visit to the many famous sights across the British Isles has been on both their bucket lists for a very long time, after all.
However, when a mysterious taxi driver mentions a legend that somehow concerns her ancestral heritage, she decides to dig deeper. After being accused of stealing the famous statue and tourist attraction known as Sleeping Handsome, Minnie and Amy are plunged into a world they would never have imagined existed.
Prince Gregory, after being awakened from being frozen in stone for hundreds of years, finds himself searching for his true love in order to reverse the stone spell on his kingdom and awaken the rest of his people. With his faithful horse Brutis by his side, he sets out to destroy his greatest enemy, release his kingdom from the stone spell, and win the heart of his princess.

Now, for some beautifully designed quotes! (Feel free to share these on Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, or whatever your favorite social media site is. I would appreciate all the marketing you give my book. Seriously, its YOU GUYS who sell my books, not me. I'm not even kidding.)

For our cast of characters, I have the three main HUMAN characters, Minnie, Amy, and Prince Gregory. There's another important main character, (my personal favorite, actually) but you'll have to READ MY BOOK to find out about him. *evil author chuckle*

The main character in my book is Minnie. She's one of those quiet, stable minded types that like to over-plan and over-think EVERYTHING. She is naturally bent toward being "the responsible one" and dislikes being coddled. Minnie enjoys the quiet things in life like being out in nature and the early morning hours before anyone else is awake.

Minnie's best friend, Amy, is in a way her complete opposite. This girl is a bubbly, effervescent extrovert who obsesses over old castles and is addicted to social media. A strange combination of hopeless romantic of all things medieval and electronic geek who owns all the newest gadgets, she puzzles most people with her mix of quick thinking and absentminded daydreaming.

Prince Gregory
Prince Gregory makes the third of our main cast. The ever steady, ever strong, ever faithful and gentle face he shows on the outside hide a mischievous sense of humor and tendency to create a whirlwind of excitement wherever he goes. With his cheerful nature and optimistic outlook on life, its impossible to NOT like him. And for a certain someone, it was impossible not to fall in love. ;) Ok, I promise I won't get all mushy-gushy on you. :P

*pictures of characters from my board on Pinterest:
Story <> Sleeping Handsome

So, what do you think about the book?
Excited to read it yet? (I hope so!)
Which character looks like it will probably end up being your favorite?
Which one was most similar in personality to you?
Would any of you be interested in me making a quiz type thing where you can figure out which character you "are"? (I put that in parenthesis because the tests usually just tell you which one you're closest too. Obviously none of my characters are an exact copy of your personality...maybe B-)

Be sure to check out the other blogs who are taking part in the cover reveal! :D Thanks so much for all your excitement! THIS is why cover reveals and blog tours are some of my favorite posts to write. THIS is why I keep trying to complete stories. YOU GUYS ROCK. :D

Until next time, let everything you do be done for the glory of God!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Cover Reveal Sign-up for "Sleeping Handsome"

It's been hard to hold back on this. I'm super anxious to share this story with you all, but I want it to be in the best possible condition BEFORE that happens. *sigh* Sometimes I wish I had Mary Poppins's ability to just snap my fingers and have everything be perfect. Don't we all, right?

However, I'm excited to announce that the cover reveal for "Sleeping Handsome" is going to be held between the 14th-16th of this month, the first day being (hopefully) the one month mark until "Sleeping Handsome" is actually released!

So, now's the time where you all go sign up to help me spread the word about my story, the FIRST ONES to see the beautiful cover, as designed by the talented Jessica Grayson!

Click on THIS LINK to head over to the sign-up page and I'll get the info to those of you who decide to help out soon. 

As part of the cover reveal, though, I have to remind you...NO ONE ELSE GETS TO SEE THE COVER. At least, not until I tell you that you can share it with the world. ;) Please be considerate and have fun with the secrecy, ok? When you get the information, don't give it out to other people until the date you sign up for. Thanks again for those of you who commit to this! It means bunches! :D <3

Also, while I'm on here, have you noticed the gorgeous new blog design? ^_^ Special thanks to Savannah Grace for all the work she put in to it, all the headache of working with a blog template that had a mind of its own, and the time she spent making the images and helping me look more or less organized. ;) I really appreciate it, girl! You're the best! :D

Saturday, January 6, 2018

2017 Reflections, 2018 Goals (ft. Some Exciting Announcements!)

Yes, I know I'm late. But I knew you guys would all be terribly disappointed if I didn't post this, SO HERE YOU GO, OK? 

2017 is, where do I start? There have been so many ups and many tragedies and joys... I other words, I have a lot of mixed feelings about 2017. And HOW DID IT GO BY SO FAST!!?!?!? Like, whaaaaaat? Tbh, no other year has gone by this fast. I'm not kidding. SOMETHING made this year go by faster than previous years and whatever it was I want it to STOP. Seriously.
2017 held a lot of challenges for me, but most of them were positive. I'm going to give you some of the things that happened to me during 2017, followed by what I plan/hope to achieve this year because of those things. We'll see if this actually works or not. Bear with me please. ;) 

~ 2017 College Reflections ~
I finished my first year of college during last year. Lots of nail-biting moments, late night stress dreams, exhausted mind and body while cramming for upcoming tests...but I completed that milestone and it felt great. :) 
~ 2018 College Goals ~
I want to be able to finish my second year of college and wrap up my Associates degree with the hope that I can then go on to get a Bachelor's degree in English at some point in the future.

~ 2017 Job Reflections ~
Last year I got my first actual job (cleaning grandparents houses hardly counts as a job after all) as a nanny for one baby girl. When that job fell through, God immediately gave me a follow-up opportunity with another family. Now I watch two little girls, four hours a day, three days a week (sometimes more, sometimes less). 
~ 2018 Job Goals ~
This next year, with my nanny job still going full steam ahead with no end in sight, I'm excited to watch the two girls grow in their education and personality as well as hopefully gain a relationship with Christ. As for me, I will probably become a master Mac and Cheese chef and learn how to come up with even more creative ways to keep their active hands busy in a good way. ;) 

~ 2017 Author Reflections ~
I published my first novel-length book in the spring of 2017. "The Princess and I" has been my greatest creation yet and I was so blessed to see it welcomed by my community of author friends and loved to pieces by family members and church members. My favorite compliment I received from our church's assistant pastor's wife. She said she forgot she was reading a book by me because she was so caught up in the story. 
Though I didn't officially "do" National Novel Writing Month in November, I completed a novella within Thanksgiving break. The outlining, plotting, research and writing...all of it...within a week. It was one of those story ideas that latched on and didn't let go until I had it all out. Not only that, but I sent it off to an editor and had a cover artist make a cover and promotional material for me too. (If you don't know which book I'm talking about, it's "Sleeping Handsome", a retelling of Sleeping Beauty...sort of.) 
To top my writing of last year off, I wrote a total of 42,537 words in "A New Name" and am beginning to realize that this might be one of those books that have 100,000+ words and take up a third of your shelf space. O.o I keep deepening the plot and realizing I'm going to have quite the challenge climbing back out again.
~ 2018 Author Goals~  
I'm hoping to publish my first exclusive e-book edition of "Sleeping Handsome" on Valentine's Day of this year. So far, I haven't heard back from my editor so plans may have to change a bit. But we'll hope for the best in the meantime. 
Also, I'm having to do a chunk of re-writing in "Ocean Mist", but I'm hoping to have it ready for publication by this summer. 
Though "Alice and Alyssa" has been finished for over two years now, I have ye to actually get it that is something I'm hoping to accomplish within this year. The sooner the better.
And finally, as if three books isn't enough, I'm planning on having the first completed draft of "A New Name" written by the end of this year. (Maybe actually PARTICIPATING in NaNoWriMo this year for the first time?) 
Yeah. I'm crazy. I know. Wish me luck! XD 

~ 2017 Reader Reflections ~
I was sadly unable to read 100 books this year (at least I failed to record them if I did). But I did discover several new authors I now love, and had the privilege of beta-reading for a couple dear author friends. Beyond that, I also discovered I'm not a huge fan of college textbooks *cough* and WHY DO I NOT GO TO BARNES & NOBLE MORE OFTEN?? 
However, I was able to finish reading through my Bible in a year, although I started a bit late and finished a bit late. STILL. 
My bookshelf has four shelves stuffed full of books...and I have officially run out of room. At this rate I will have to start laying books on my books that are lined up in height order. Not the prettiest sight, but sometimes extreme measures must be taken. Ignore the fact that I could just stop buying books. (Who does that anyways?) 
~ 2018 Reader Goals ~
Yes, I signed up to try to read 100 books again. *shrugs* Might as well, right? With a pile of books on my dresser as we speak just WAITING to be read, a virtual TBR list that is miles high and teetering dangerously on the brink of toppling over, and more on my shelves that need tender loving care, I've got my work cut out for me...all I need now is time. *laughs* Sounds so easy. NOT.

~ 2017 Blogger Reflections ~
Instead of the record breaking 100 posts I wrote during 2016, I only posted 47 times last year. However, I'm about four posts away from having a 300th blog post, which is pretty mind-boggling. 
I gained over twenty amazing followers this last year, and can I take a moment to say how much I appreciate both you who have been following me from the start and you who have joined recently or sort of recently. Every new face I see pop up brings a smile to my face and brightens my day. You have no idea how much your comments mean to me and how much I love watching you react to my posts. Blogger's don't post for themselves, they post for the enjoyment of others, and we love watching our audience interact within themselves and with us! :) 
It's been incredible to be a part of the teen writer community, and I'm beyond thrilled to call many of you my friends. Some of you I've been able to actually meet face to face, and I look forward to maybe meeting more of you someday. :) 
I have to admit, I've been very scattered on here recently. You never know WHAT I'm going to post about next. It's been a roller coaster of a year and that impacted my blogging. Having a lot of you faithfully checking my blog and leaving comments gives me a bad case of "the warm fuzzies". ;) 
~ 2018 Blogger Goals ~ 
You may have noticed the new theme if you're a slightly observant person. Guys, my dear friend Savannah Grace from Scattered Scribblings has cheerfully offered her services when I asked for someone's help in designing a new blog template. Personally, I LOVE how it turned out, and I'm sure you guys will too... Once the actual theme has been put into the system, that is. Yes, I'm leaving you with a construction theme right now, but this is only temporary, I assure you. Patience, guys. ;) 
Thanks to a certain post from a certain fellow blogger *coughs* I'm hoping to get this blog more professional and streamlined with a bigger focus on writing. However, since I don't have a newsletter email yet, I'll still be doing my monthly overview posts more or less on a regular basis. ;) Just so you guys know what's up in Western Washington. 
I'm hoping to also keep up better on my other blog, Simply Stories, with regular posts on behind-the-scenes stuff about my books. So if you are interested in character interviews, pictures, sketches, or backstory details, that will be the place to go. 
In short, I'm going to TRY to get more organized. We'll see how that goes.

~ A Couple Exciting Announcements ~
~ (as promised) ~

First, "The Princess and I" is OFFICIALLY out as a paperback and e-book on Amazon/kindle as well as being found at Barnes & Nobles, the iBook store, nook, and of course Lulu. So to those of you who have been waiting patiently for my slow release of the ebook form of my book IT'S AVAILABLE NOW! 

Second, I'll be announcing a cover reveal sign-up for "Sleeping Handsome" in a week, so stay tuned for that post coming up! 

Third, I'm going to begin my search for a group of FIVE core alpha readers for "A New Name" sometime in the next couple months, so if you're interested in that, keep an eye out for that post coming up. 

Fourth, I'm hoping to have a group of betas read through "Alice and Alyssa" and finally get that book published for good. I have it sort of published, but I have yet to go through the whole system yet.

Finally, to wrap this post up, I'll give you the list of goals I made for myself at the end of 2016 and make a new list of goals for this year. (To be completely frank, I don't think I even glanced at this list since maybe spring? *sheepish laugh*) 

Here they are, my official list of goals for 2017!

~ Goals of 2017 ~ 
-Read through the Bible
(I actually did do this one, barely.) 
-Read 100 books
(*cough* better luck this year, eh?)
-Make new friends who help me grow closer to God
(I did make a couple new freinds. Looking forward to getting to know them even better this year! ^_^)
-Have stronger relationships with siblings
(In all honesty, I did get closer to my siblings. Some more than others, but in general too.)
-Finish writing "A New Name", "Alone", and "Beyond the Galaxy"
(Nope. Though I made significant progress in at least two of those stories.)
-Publish "The Princess & I" and "Alice & Alyssa"
(One down, one to go. I can do this!)
-Complete a year of college
(*sings hallelujah chorus while checking this off with a florish*) 
-Have a closer relationship with God
(I feel like I could have done better with this goal. I'm not saying I think my walk with Him has grown more distant, but I feel like I could definitely be a lot closer. However crazy my life gets, God still needs to be at the center.)

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for, a list of 2018 goals! 

~ Goals for 2018 ~
-Memorize the book of Daniel
-Read 100 books
-Attend a writing conference
-Have a consistent prayer life
-Grow closer to my family members
-Finish writing "A New Name"
-Publish "Sleeping Handsome", "Ocean Mist", and "Alice and Alyssa"
-Complete my second year of college and get my Associate's Degree
-Have a closer relationship with God

Think I can do it? Well I guess time will tell. ;) What were some of your goals for the new year? Do any of you guys have major writing milestones planned this year? How about reading goals? 

Until next time, let everything you do be done for the glory of God! :) 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Twelve Drummers Drumming (Final Day of the 12DoC link-up): Eddy Christmas Traditions/Why I Love Christmas

Let's take a moment to acknowledge the elephant in the room (or should I say...camel? Donkey? Sheep? No? Ok. Never mind):


I have to admit something...I was incredibly busy this weekend with several out of town relations arriving and the ensuing chaos. So, I missed one of the posts I was GOING to write and schedule for you all yesterday. Sorry about that. That's the bad news.

The GOOD news (besides the gospel, which I guess will also end up being a part of this post...but not for that reason) is that I'm going to try to kill two birds with one stone and do both subjects at once. Fun, right? *laughs nervously* We'll see how this goes.

Why IS Christmas such a big deal to me? I love this holiday for a lot of reasons. It is by far my favorite holiday. Let me clue you in on what makes me feel this way about the season:

First, this is one of the very few holidays left that still has remnants of the biblical story behind it. Yes, many people have tried very hard to push this remnant out by bringing in other traditions like Santa Clause and the whole push toward satisfying your fleshly wants and desires by appealing to the "it's all about me and what I get" idea. HOWEVER, go to any store and you can probably still find nativity sets for sale around this time of year.

Secondly, I love this season for the decorations. The lights, the trees, the sparkles. *happy sigh* No other holiday that I know has such amazing decor to accompany them. The best thing about the decorations? They all have meanings and messages behind them that point to Christ...or can if you use your imagination a little bit. ;)

Thirdly, can we all just take a moment to appreciate the wonderful TASTES that come around this time of year? Gingerbread cookies, peppermint bark, eggnog lattes...the list could go on but it's making me hungry. You get the picture. Most of my favorite treats and goodies are directly associated with Christmastime. 

Fourth, I love getting gifts for people. This is not a "look at me, so good at giving" point either. The act of going out to shop for friends and family at a store (or online...Amazon has saved my bacon several times this year) is something I look forward to every year. The look on their faces when I get them the perfect thing makes my year. :) 
Don't get me wrong, I also love getting gifts FROM people. I'm a normal person after all. I've already had some gifts given to me that made my season a whole lot brighter. ;) 

Fifth, I love Christmas because of the music. I could elaborate on this point, but you already had a whole post about Christmas I'll just leave it at that. ;)

Sixth, and lastly, Christmas seems to bring out the best or worst in people. This is kind of a mixed blessing of the holiday, and the part I love is (obviously) the fact that it can bring out the best in people. To see people going out of their way to help those in need, or just make someone's day with little things like smiles and a handshake or word of encouragement. It inspires me, as well as many other people I'm sure. So if you were one of those people who gave any kind of helping hand to others this Christmas, GOOD FOR YOU! You remind us that God is not done with this world yet. 

Believe me, I have plenty more reasons why I love Christmas so much, but I'm sure you have better things to do since today IS Christmas after all, so I'll keep this post short by moving on to a few family traditions. ;)

Next, let me give you a few Eddy family traditions that have been going on in my life for as long as I can remember:

~ Gifts / Stockings ~
We give gifts on Christmas. Christmas Eve, (usually) we have my mom's side over for a party, and Christmas Day, we do our own family gifts. Mom and Dad get stuff for us kids, us kids fill our parents' stockings. (Thanksgiving our family does a sibling gift exchange where we all draw names out of a hat and buy that sibling a gift...hence no gifts for siblings at Christmas.) We do it that way because there are twelve people in our family (13 if you count my oldest sister's husband) so if we all got each other A gift...I'm not even taking into consideration the fact that there would probably end up more than one gift per kid...that would make *insert mathematical moment while I figure this out* 169 gifts. So we don't. Makes sense, right? 

~ The Christmas Music Playlist ~
This "tradition" was started by my dad. About the time November rolls around, he'll begin sneaking in soft Christmas music, a playlist made of his favorite Christmas music, on our family speaker in the living room. Little by little, he incorporates it more and more into our background noise and then at about Thanksgiving Day its become an official part of our lives. By that time, I've basically had the songs and artists memorized and could tell you who was singing what on any of the given 50-100 songs. :)
Now you know where I got that part of myself from. Thanks, Dad. ;)
~ The Advent Calendar ~
If I remember correctly, my grandma handmade our advent calendar that we bring out every year and put together as we count down the days until Christmas.
The calendar is made of cross-stitched holiday picture squares (a sleigh, a bell, a candle, etc.) and each day, a child gets to choose a picture and snap it onto the calendar. December 1st is the start, and it begins with the youngest child, up through the oldest that wants to do it (usually we stop at around age 13 or 14 and just let the little kids do it more often). It's always fun to see which picture ends up landing on Christmas (often the bell or candle) and who ends up getting to choose for that coveted day. ;)

~ The Manger / Christmas Tree ~
Depending on the year, our family will sometimes get a Christmas tree to decorate. On the other years when for some reason we aren't able to get a tree, whether because we just didn't have time or for other reasons (for example, the Christmas tree farm we used to go to had a disease and all their trees, or at least most of them, died or looked really bad) we have a manger we put our gifts around with a baby Jesus doll laying inside wrapped in a dish towel. So maybe not the most realistic picture of the nativity night, but hey, its the best we could do without a real baby Jesus. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Nine Ladies Dancing (Day 9 of the 12DoC link-up): The Bookish Tag (Christmas Version)

Today I'm bringing you a bookish tag (because books + Christmas = awesomeness) as my fifth post in the 12 Days of Christmas link-up. 

*takes several calming breaths* 
Ok. Ok. I think I can do this now that I've taken a moment to let it go. *wicked grin* (You're welcome) 

Since this tag is LOOOOONG overdue, I can't even remember who tagged me in the first place. *face palm* So if YOU remember it was YOU, let me know in the comments so I can thank you properly! >_< 
Anyways, this tag (originally called The Bookish Tag) was tweaked slightly by me in order to go with the Christmas theme. For those if you wanting to do it in the original form, just omit the word *Christmas* from the questions, and it should be back to normal. :) 
Hope you enjoy the questions and answers about some of my favorite (and not so favorite) Christmas reads on this, the ninth day of Christmas! ^_^

The Bookish Tag Rules:
-You must be honest.
-You must answer every question.
-You must tag at least 4 people. 

1 ~ What Christmas book has been on your shelf the longest?
I only just started building my own bookshelf (big family issues...not a lot of room in our house for each personal library etc.) so unless we're allowed to count the biblical story, I would say "The Tailor of Gloucester" by Beatrix Potter has been on my shelf the longest since I got the collection when I was twelve. That was back when I stored my books in a drawer (horrors!)

2 ~ What is your current Christmas read, your last Christmas read, and the Christmas book you'll read next? 

Currently reading "Red Boots" by Kate Willis, my last Christmas read was "The Legend of the Candy Cane", and my next Christmas read will probably be either "Christmas with Anne", "Star of Light", or "Little Women". (And yes, I count "Little Women" as a Christmas story. DO NOT QUESTION.)

3 ~ What Christmas book did everyone like, but you hated?

I wasn't overly impressed with "Treasures of the Snow" when I first read it as a ten-year-old, but after waiting a couple years I re-read it and it wasn't as bad. Still not my favorite, though, so I'll go with that one. 

4 ~ What Christmas book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't? 

There aren't any that come to mind. I probably forgot about them in a convenient way if I had any. ;) 

5 ~ What Christmas book are you saving for retirement?  

None. XD I don't think that far ahead. I probably should... but I don't.

6 ~ Last page: read it first, or wait 'til the end?

As a general rule, I wait until the end. (The only time I didn't do this was for The Return of the King, book 3 in the LOTR series because I HAD to find out if Samwise made it to the end. I just HAD to.)

7 ~ Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside? 

Personally, I think it's up to the author. After all, readers can read it or not and they might as well have it in there so those they want to acknowledge can feel special and appreciated. As an author myself, I include the acknowledgement to show gratitude to the people who played a part in my book that made it come into being. So I guess I fall under the "interesting aside" category. ;)

8 ~ Which Christmas book character would you switch places with? 

If "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" counts as a Christmas book, I would totally switch with Lucy. *heart eyes* 

9 ~ Do you have a Christmas book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?) 

No...not really. Man, I hope this tag doesn't end up being as boring as I'm afraid it will. Apparently I need to branch out in my Christmas reading. *shakes head*

10 ~ Name a Christmas book that you acquired in an interesting way. 

I was given a Christmas book as a Christmas gift through the mail once... I think that's about as interesting as my Christmas book life gets. Sorry guys. XD It was "The Old Mansion's Secret" by Rebekah Morris. 

11 ~ Have you ever given a Christmas book away for a special reason to a special person?

No, but I have been given a Christmas book before... not a bad gift idea. *mentally adds this to future Christmas gift ideas list*

12 ~ Which Christmas book has been with you most places?

The Bible. Duh. XD 

13 ~ Any "required Christmas reading" you hated in high school that wasn't so bad later?
I guess "A Christmas Carol" is the best Christmas book I would say falls in this category. It took me a couple years to wrap my mind around Dicken's writing...but now that I have, he has become one of my favorite classic authors. :)

14 ~ Used or brand new?

Depends on the book, and depends on how much it costs and what condition they are in. I like the way new books look on my shelf, but being a cheapskate, used books are the cheaper option most of the time and therefore the option I go with. I like used book stores WAY better than new book stores, though.

15 ~ Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Never ever even heard of him. (Sorry)

16 ~ Have you ever seen a Christmas movie you liked more than the book? 

Nope. Granted, I don't watch a lot of Christmas movies period, but the ones I HAVE seen that are based off of books I remember not liking any more than I liked the book.

17 ~ Have you ever read a Christmas book that's made you hungry, cookbooks included? 

Basically every. Little. House. In. The. Prairie. Book. Ever. Almost all of them have Christmas as a part of them, and every Christmas describes the food in mouth-watering detail.

18 ~ Who is the person whose Christmas book advice you'll always take? 

There's multiple people (relations or friends) that I go to for book advice. My Dad always has good book recommendations up his sleeves, and chances are he'll not only have recommendations, but also copies of aforementioned recommendations in his library. ;) 

19 ~ Is there a Christmas book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving? 
Not really. At least, not that I recall. Someone should write a sci-fi Christmas story, or a dystopian Christmas story. There aren't many of those out there...just saying. 

So...yeah. Hopefully that wasn't boring. Obviously I need to expand my CHRISTMAS TBR. Recommendations anyone? :P

That's all for now. I'll be back in a couple days with an introduction to what the Christmas season looks like (usually) for the Eddy family.

Until then, let everything you do be done for the glory of God! :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Seven Swans A-Swimming (Day 7 of the 12DoC link-up): Christmas Pet Peeves

Today I'm bringing you a subject very near and dear to my heart. PET PEEVES. I've done Pet Peeve Posts in the Past (lovely alliteration, right? :P) And while wracking my brain for more Christmas post ideas, I thought wait, I haven't done a pet peeve post in awhile...why not do a Christmas one? To be safe, I looked back at my previous pet peeve posts (again with the alliteration... this is fun B-) and sure enough, not a SINGLE pet peeve about Christmassy stuff. SO.

*drum roll*

I'm going to give you some pet peeves I have about Christmas in particular. Your job is to realize that these following things I'm going to rant about are my opinion, so don't take anything personally. To those of you who disagree with me on the following pet peeves, please understand that I don't look down on you for that, believe me, I know I'm weird about some of the things I have opinions on. If you think differently, that's totally fine. I respect your opinion as I hope you will respect mine.

And, above all, don't take this too seriously. This post is supposed to be FUN. Just sit back and enjoy my tangents. ;)

~ Pet Peeve #1 ~
The thought that Christmas songs should only be sung between the day after Thanksgiving and the end of the year
See the source image
Guys, I love my Christmas songs. Personally, I don't think songs like "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and "Silent Night" should be only played during the last little bit of November and the month of December. I know some people think that this tradition makes these songs more special...and in some ways I see their point...but I'm not going to go 11 months of the year without listening to my favorite songs. Just saying.

~Pet Peeve #2 ~
When people substitute Christmas with other words or phrases like "Xmas" or
"Happy Holidays"
Do I think people sin when they say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas"? No. That phrase is perfectly fine...but something about using that instead of a good ol' fashioned "Merry Christmas" rubs me the wrong way. I just feel like substitutions are used in order to remove all signs of God from the season, and that frustrates me. Probably in most cases, that thought doesn't even cross the person's mind who uses the substitute phrase. But with everything already moving away from focusing on Christ during Christmas, that one thing is kind of the straw that breaks the camel's back (to use a Christmassyish know, camels...wise men...? *crickets* Never mind.)

~ Pet Peeve #3 ~
Santa Clause
(a.k.a St. Nicolas, Father Christmas, etc.)
See the source image
I don't have anything against the story/ies behind this traditional figure, but the way this man has become such a huge part of Christmas...drowning out the story of the birth of our Messiah...makes me want to push back with shunning him completely. That, of course, would be the extreme reflex to the issue, and one I won't make, but the fact remains that I think he shouldn't be such a huge part of JESUS' BIRTHDAY. I mean, really?

~ Pet Peeve #4 ~
When secular stories are mixed with the Biblical Christmas story
 I don't remember when, but at one point, I watched this cartoon about Santa getting his sack stolen or lost or something and this little orphan girl helping an elf find it. At one point, she asks why the magic sack is so important, and the elf explains that it was made from the same swaddling cloth that Jesus was wrapped in as a baby, and that was why it's magical.
At the time, I don't think it bothered me...I was probably like five or six, and theology wasn't as important to me as it is now. But years later that sort of thing really bothers me. I don't like when my REAL God is mixed up in stories that are obviously UNreal. It's almost like Jesus' birth is lumped in with the other traditional fairy tales as "one of those stories". A tradition, but not necessarily something that ACTUALLY happened. And that ruffles my feathers. (Ok, I'm not going to even try to get that metaphor to work as a Christmas metaphor...)

~ Pet Peeve #5 ~
When the wise men show up at the stable
See the source image
 This. Just. WHY??? Have the people creating nativity sets ever actually READ the Christmas story? Luke chapter two, y'all. THE WISE MEN DON'T GO AND WORSHIP JESUS AT THE STABLE. That's the shepherds, ok? The wise men come at least a year later, maybe two. Jesus is a toddler when they show up. And, above all, I sigh extra loud when I see a picture (like the one above) of ONLY the three wise men at the stable. *face palm* Not only do these people get the wrong people in there at the wrong time, but they don't even have the RIGHT people in there at the right time! (a.k.a the shepherds) 
Also, to go along with this pet peeve, here's my other wise men pet peeve: nowhere in the Bible does it say that there were THREE wise men. They brought three different kinds of gifts, yes, but that doesn't mean there were only three of them. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

So, there are a few pet peeves of mine when it comes to Christmas. I probably could have come up with more...but we'll leave it at that before I end up offending everyone in the world. XD
Which pet peeves do we share in common? (If any! ;P)
Which ones were you surprised to see up there?
What's your opinion on these? (I ask in fear and trembling...please be nice in your disagreement guys. I don't want to have to delete any comments, ok?)

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading my rants. Thank you for putting up with me and my opinions. Again, I don't judge you for having a different opinion on any of these pet peeves of mine. I only posted this for entertainment purposes, don't take anything personally. I DON'T HATE ANY OF YOU. YOU ARE STILL MY FRIENDS.

I'll be back in a couple days with a tag all about Christmas stay tuned!

Until then, let everything you do be done for the glory of God! :)

Pictures are not mine.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Five Golden Rings (Day 5 of the 12DoC link-up): Christmas Poetry

Today, as the third post I've contributed towards the 12 Days of Christmas link-up, although technically the FIFTH day of Christmas, I'm bringing you guys a couple Christmas poems I've written.

The first poem is one I wrote last week and is more on the serious side. The following ones are kind of an odd thing I did last month just for fun and are going to eventually be an entire collection under the title: A Villain's Christmas. B-)
Weird I know, but could you honestly expect anything else from me? Anyways. I hope you enjoy all of them, and be sure to let me know in the comments which was your favorite. ;)
Without further ado, I present...

 ~ The Whole Reason for Christmas ~
Snowflakes and evergreen trees 
Smiles and flamboyant wreaths
Santa and elves and the toys
Songs that have become background noise
Lights and meaningless junk
That fills up our attics and bunks
Hot cocoa and eggnog lattes
Reasons this season conveys
Explains why we do what we do
And the piles of stuff we accrue
The full emptiness of it all
The sales and rush through the mall
Take a moment to step back and see
How ridiculous about Christmas are we 
What is this day without God
A worthless mask, a phony fa├žade
Realize that when Father sent Son
To save a world both doomed and undone
He laid down His life for ours
That gift which tore down the bars
And gave everyone chance to win
The ever present battle with sin
The same sin that distracts us today
From the desire to study and pray
Those wants and wishes we get
Beyond all those needs we have met
To have more stuff we don't need
To satisfy our pride and our greed
But we can be conquerors now
Going before His throne with a bow
Admitting that we are but weak
Admitting that His help we seek
Knowing our deeds are but rags
That fill up countless trash bags
And this is why Jesus Christ came
As a babe in a manger was lain
Why he grew up as one of us
But still God, both holy and just
And died on that cross for mankind
So God could claim heart and mind
Of each willing, forgiven soul
Eternal life with Him the main goal
Now when He sees the raised hands
Of people from various lands
Instead of our sin blackened hearts
He sees His Son's sacrificial scars
And opens the gates with a smile
Into heaven with streets of gold tile
So take time on Christmas this year
To thank God for His sacrifice dear
Exchanging His Son for us broken things
And rejoice in the joy that it brings
To know we are forgiven and free
'Cause God can love people like me

~ Guns and Knives ~
(a.k.a Jingle Bells)
Dashing through the snow
After ruining someone’s day
O’er the fields I go
Laughing all the way

Guns and knives,
Guns and knives,
Always do the job
Oh what fun it is to fight
And then escape the mob

Coins in pockets ring
Makes my spirit rise
Oh, what fun it is to sing
A slaying song tonight!

Guns and knives,
Guns and knives,
Always do the job
Oh what fun it is to fight
And then escape the mob
I'll leave you with a (sort of) theme appropriate song. Just...don't get this version stuck in your head. That's all I ask. :P
~ The Twelve Days of Villainy ~
(a.k.a The Twelve Days of Christmas)
On the first day a villain left outside the door for me
a match and some TNT
On the second day a villain left upon a step for me
two ICBMs
and a match and some TNT
On the third day a villain left upon the path for me
three cups of poison
two ICBMs
and a match and some TNT
On the fourth day a villain left outside the gate for me
four stun grenades
three cups of poison
two ICBMs
and a match and some TNT
On the fifth day a villain left on the sidewalk just for me
four stun grenades
three cups of poison
two ICBMs
and a match and some TNT
On the sixth day a villain left across the road for me
six dogs a-growling
Four stun grenades
Three cups of poison
And a match and some TNT
On the seventh day a villain left a bit further on for me
Seven knives a-flying
Six dogs a-growling
Four stun grenades
Three cups of poison
And a match and some TNT
On the eighth day a villain left in a corner store for me
Eight bombs a-fizzing
Seven knives a-flying
Six dogs a-growling
Four stun grenades
Three cups of poison
And a match and some TNT
On the ninth day a villain left around the bend for me
Nine hoodlums watching
Eight bombs a-fizzing
Seven knives a-flying
Six dogs a-growling
Four stun grenades
Three cups of poison
And a match and some TNT
On the tenth day a villain left down an alleyway for me
Ten doors a-closing
Nine hoodlums watching
Eight bombs a-fizzing
Seven knives a-flying
Six dogs a-growling
Four stun grenades
Three cups of poison
And a match and some TNT
On the eleventh day a villain left on a dead-end lane for me
Eleven windows creaking
Ten doors a-closing
Nine hoodlums watching
Eight bombs a-fizzing
Seven knives a-flying
Six dogs a-growling
Four stun grenades
Three cups of poison
And a match and some TNT
On the twelfth day a villain said “Look above for me”
And gave me Twelve bricks a-falling
Eleven windows creaking
Ten doors a-closing
Nine hoodlums watching
Eight bombs a-fizzing
Seven knives a-flying
Six dogs a-growling
Four stun grenades
Three cups of poison
And a match and some TNT
(Special thanks to my brothers Maxwell, David, William, and Sam for helping me come up with all the explosive names. *grins* Truly, that is what brothers are for. XD)
Well, I hope you enjoyed that. ;) Have a fantastic fifth day of Christmas with those lipstick guns (and YES those are actually a thing)!
I'll be back on the seventh day with some Christmas pet peeves! :)
Until then, let everything you do be done for the glory of God!

Thanking God for Small Miracles (Sam's Story)

  Some of you may have seen that my youngest brother had his appendix rupture a couple days ago, probably from prayer requests on vario...