Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Where has May GONE??

I know, that's a weird title for a monthly wrap-up post...but it EXACTLY describes my feelings. Seriously, I feel like I've been in an enchanted sleep for the last three weeks and just awoken (without the kiss, thank you very much) to find that May has disappeared into thin air. So...now I'll let you in on a little secret: my life has been crazy busy this last month. Oh, you KNEW that already? Mind-readers. Or perhaps, BLOG readers would be a better name for y'all. ;)

Ok, here's what's happened in the last month...

Life:
As some of you know, at the very beginning of this month, I had a Senior Recital with one of my best friends.
We got showered with flowers from teachers and friends.
They were so supportive of us.
Can you tell we're glad to have it over?

Playing a flute duet.
We also played the piano, and sang.
Kathryn played the cello.


Right now, she's working on uploading the songs we did on YouTube, and after that I'm planning on posting them here. Despite a horrible (really, it was AWEFUL) practice performance the day before the real deal, our actual performance went surprisingly well. Of course, it wasn't perfect...but it was better than we had hoped for. Which is a GOOD thing.

A week later we packed ourselves up, and headed to the Oregon Coast to enjoy a well-earned vacation. Some of you have already heard about our exciting time there, so I won't go into details. But if you haven't, just go HERE.
A ukulele belongs down on a beach. ;) So I took Patrick there. (Yes, he's an Irish ukulele. Don't judge.)
One of my favorite pictures. I love the reflection.

After a week at the ocean, we came back and spent a week with a very special family. Namely, the Divakars. This included a trip across the Puget Sound to Blake Island in a boat, (more on that trip later) talking, walking, talking, drinking tea, talking, learning the ropes of being a chaperone, and more talking. It was fun. ;)

Then, two days after they left, we had a Memorial Day picnic at our house...then I woke up after that enchanted sleep I was talking about and found that May was gone. It was a bit of a shock I can tell you! :P

Reading:
As promised, here's a list of the books I've read this month along with their covers. One of these I will be doing a review on in a week or so. I think the pole is up on the side of my blog...but if not, it will be soon.
Like I've said before, I'm a sucker for cool covers...can you tell? ;)

I wasn't as thrilled with the cover of this one, but I read it as an e-book, so the cover wasn't really why I read the book.

This one I got on recommendation from Jesseca Dawn. It was a fun read. I started it and finished it during the trip to the ocean. ;)

This may be my favorite cover of all the books I read. You've got to admit it: it is pretty cool. :)

Another cool cover. Told you I was a sucker. The book was pretty awesome too. :)

This book I found sort of by accident at our family's favorite used book store in Cannon Beach...and I bought and read it on a whim. It was surprisingly well written and I really enjoyed reading it.
 
I also got this one at the same used book store. You know...in the name of research. And it's a cool book. So why not, right?? ;)

Ahhh! I just can't get enough of these cool covers! This one probably comes in as my second favorite cover. :)

Absolute awesomeness. This one ties with "Worlds Unseen" in favorite covers. A cool story is hidden inside too.

And...that's all I managed to squeeze in between things this month. Vote on the pole. That's an order. ;)


Writing:
Actually, despite the crazy schedule, and writer's block, I still managed to get in some writing.
You will be glad to hear that I finished one chapter of "Beyond the Galaxy"...which is pretty good considering how much trouble I've had with writer's block on that one.
"The Princess & I" has gotten three chapters written. (Thanks to actually having an outline on that one. ;)
And after telling myself to write 100 words a day, busy or not, without my computer or not, without "Beyond the Galaxy" and "The Princess & I" or not, I started a couple short stories.
 >>Out of Darkness
Genre: Historical fiction
Time-period: Sometime right before and during the French Revolution
Basic plot: A young man awakens to a lump on his head and finds that he has absolutely NO memory of the past. When taken in by an aristocratic French family, he frantically tries to find out who he is while helping his adopted family survive the French Revolution.
>>Ocean Mist
Genre: Fiction
Time-period: Modern-day
Basic plot: Three PKs get more than they asked for while on a vacation to the ocean with their dad and mom.
>>A New Name
Genre: Fiction
Time-period: Future-modern-day
Basic plot: In a nation that calls Christianity and homeschooling "backwards" and "uneducated", Abigail is a forbidden name. Not only is it a name from the past, but a biblical name nonetheless. Taken from her parents because they chose to teach her about God and homeschool her, she is given a new name and a new family. But the government's plan backfires when Abigail decides to use the separation to lead others to Christ. Against all odds, and in defiance of the earthly authorities, she becomes a ray of light in a land of spiritual darkness.


Besides prose, I finished three poems...one of them I just shared with you, and the other ones "Lady Wisdom" and "Thoughts", I'll probably share with you soon.

I'll have my hands full, I know. But I'm excited to share the completed stories with you all later. :)


Goals of May:
Technically, I didn't really post any goals last month, but I set some for myself anyways. Here they are:
1: See if I can get 25 followers or more. (Thanks to you all, I've accomplished that!!)
2: Write AT LEAST 100 words a day. (With a little stressing out on some days, I did manage to complete this.)
3: Post all the tags I've been given this month. (One remains to be done...the "It's Show Time" tag. I'll do it this month. That's a promise!)
4: Check up on the blogging world more than once a week. (*fist pump* Been there, done that!)
5: Finish five chapters in both of the books I'm currently working on. (Sadly, this one wasn't done. Better luck next time, right?)

Goals for June:
1: GRADUATE FOR GOODNESS' SAKE!!!
2: Keep writing at least 100 words a day.
3: Write five chapters in "Beyond the Galaxy" and "The Princess & I".
4: Finish one of the new short stories.
5: See if I can get 35 followers. (Risky business. I'll need your help. ;)
6: If tagged, try to post the tag within a week.
7: Do another Pet Peeve Post.

Whelp. There you have it. Hope you enjoyed reading about my last month of life, seeing the books I've read, the things I've written, and the goals I've reached and made. How was your month?

Monday, May 30, 2016

A Day of Remembrance

Today is Memorial Day. (Or, for some of you, today will be a day sometime after Memorial Day because you were too busy to read any blog posts on Memorial Day. For me, it was the day before Memorial Day because I knew I wouldn't have time to post on Memorial Day and so scheduled one. :)
Today is a day to remember the sacrifices our soldiers have made for our country.
Today is a day to honor those who gave up their time, if not their very lives, fighting for us.
Today we sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" with tears in our eyes and hands over our hearts.
Today we find that we still have pride in our nation's foundations, even though America has gone down-hill since it was founded.
Today, we are FREE.
Today, we have LIBERTY.
Today, we take time to step back out of our busy schedules and REMEMBER THIER SACRIFICE.

Today, I wrote a poem. (If you want to read last year's Memorial Day poem, go HERE)

Today, I'm going to share it with you. :)

A flag flies high above my head,
It is a handsome sight.
White and blue and cherry red,
Proudly flaunting colors bright.
 
Yet, even though a smile lies
Upon my happy face,
Tears unbidden touch my eyes
And feel out of place.
 
All those troops across the sea
Who surrendered up their lives
To keep our country safe and free
Their parents, children, wives.
 
How unfair it seems to me
That though they gave up all,
Our nation appears to hardly see
And heads right towards a fall.
 
Oh, we honor those who die,
And grieve our loved ones lost,
But we live on in our lie,
Never counting up the cost.
 
Freedom is misused today
We think that it's our right
To have our almighty way
With or without a fight.
 
I think it's time that we re-learn
The meaning of sacrifice
To let our self-love burn,
And melt our hearts of ice.
 
Following those men's example true,
And also that of Christ,
After all, He died for me and you
On a cross He was sacrificed.
 
The ultimate thing that one can do
Giving up one's life
No matter how or which or who:
A child, friend or wife.


Have a wonderful time of remembrance on this Memorial Day!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Link

Here's the link to a guest post I wrote for Blessings Counter! (Click HERE)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Vacation Post: Part Two

If you want to hear Sarah's perspective, you can go HERE.

But otherwise...

The last three days of our vacation to Oregon:

Wednesday:
It rained. And rained. So we spent the day more or less actually resting. Don't die from shock. Also, Mom lost her voice...so that was...exciting. We were all dealing with colds (it just loves us so much) but Mom had it the worst.
Card tricks that one could TOTALLY see through, reading, and (for me) writing the beginning of a short story inspired by our trip to the ocean, and a walk along the seashore despite the drizzle kept us busy.
This may have been set up... *looks innocently into sky*
Stealth photography at its best. B-)
This sign made me laugh. I love the picture of the guy on the "Beware of Incoming Tides" sign.
This house had an awesome gate and fence.
SO AWESOME. <3
My "reading corner"...when it WASN'T raining.
Reading "Daughter of Light" outside. No, this wasn't a selfie. David took it for me. ;)
The rain lightened by the end of the day and we were able to have a campfire down on the beach AND fly our kite. Perfect set up for more photography...although my camera was acting up...grrr.
T.J. and our kite. You know you're jealous. ;)
Thank goodness it wasn't raining.
A sunset on the beach...can't get much more romantic than that. :P
Awww... ;)
 
 
 
 
 

My signature. I did this everywhere I went. Just to mess with other people's minds. ;)
Thursday:
We went back to Cannon Beach to take more pictures, and even though it sprinkled, we were able to get some good ones. We stopped by our favorite bookstore and I bought two books: "The Legend of Tavik" (which turned out to be a pretty good find, even though I had never heard of it before...it was sort of a cross between Greek mythology and the Arabian Nights, without scantily clad females. Which was great!) And "The Dragonology Handbook" (you know, in the name of research ;)
And then, we went home and began the long re-packing all our unpacked stuff for our trip home the next day.
'Cause I'm graduating...
Writing "Rebekah has been here" again...since I might as well. Just for fun. ;)


Mom and Dad. I really liked this pic.

The little boys...being little boys. Gathering sand on themselves to bring into the van and house. ;)
I really liked how this one turned out. :)
As promised, me 'n my uke.
(That's the G Major chord btw...
for those of you who don't play the ukulele)
Because, well...the ukulele and beach are just RIGHT.
Yes, I named him. He's Patrick. :) An IRISH ukulele...because I like going where no one has gone before. ;)

 Friday:
We went home. ;) We did stop by some more stores and ran in with a couple people from our church who took our family picture for us so we could be altogether...but otherwise, it was pretty boring. :)
We made it safely home and told all our relatives about Sarah and Jesse's engagement before announcing it on Sunday. Then I told some people and then told you all. Feel special. ;)



So...I'm glad to be back. And now you know what's been keeping me so busy. ;)
I'll post about the rest of our time with the Divakars next week along with some other stuff.
Oh my goodness! Where has May gone!?!?! I still need to give you the "what I've read this month" post! (dvgfhjklghgftvfr) < that was me smacking my face on the keyboard.
Bear with me please. This month has been hectic...to say the least.


Hope you enjoyed that glimpse into my life. ;)





 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Vacation Post: Part One

As promised, here's the first post about my vacation and exactly why our family ended up at Seaside, Oregon (and Cannon Beach too for a little while.)

Some background: My dad went to seminary with a future missionary. When our church began supporting them years later, we had NO IDEA that it would change our lives forever...
In November of last year, this missionary's son, Jesse Divakar, began the process of getting to know my oldest sister Sarah.
After he came up to hang out with our family during Christmas, the two of them decided to take it to the next level...official courtship.
In February, over Valentine's Day ironically, Mom, Sarah, and Max went to visit my oldest brother in Wisconsin and Jesse drove up from where he was working currently to join them and spend more time with them.
Then in April, Sarah and Margaret went to visit an old friend of theirs in Ohio and Jesse, only two hours away from where they would be, spent some more time with them.
Finally, they came up to Washington again and spent last week with us in Oregon and are now at our house as I type this out.

WITH THAT SAID...

Drum roll please...

*drum roll*

Thank you.

Here's what happened: ready?

Monday:
After packing ourselves into our van and car, we drove to the airport (I got through two books!) and picked up the Divakar family (Mr., Mrs., and Jesse) and drove to the ocean. Then we unpacked, rested, and took a walk.

Gorgeous weather, I know. ;)
We saw some cool houses, (which is YOUR favorite?)

Ignore the Oregon Ducks flag...that was NOT what made this house awesome.


Check out the staircase!


Classy. Cool and classy.

Those colors!!! Just...amazing.
and a dilapidated sand castle that looked like a scene from Star Wars.

And since no trip is complete without a history lesson, we stopped by the Lewis and Clark salt camp.


Somewhat boring I know...just wait.

Tuesday:
Feeling not quite ready for more driving, we shopped some in Seaside before lunch,
then ready at last, we piled into our cars and drove to Cannon Beach. There we enjoyed looking at the famous Haystack Rock, as well as a bunch of fifth day creation critters (birds and fish y'all),
The one and only Haystack rock...and yes, I took this pic.


Birds...



...and fish? Nope, that's a SHRIMP. But there were fish.

and I practiced taking selfies with a regular camera. It's trickier than you might think! Thankfully, Jesse offered to take one. Otherwise, you might not have gotten any actual pictures of me, because I was dubbed the "stealth photographer" of the trip (that means I was taking sneak shots of Sarah & Jesse), but I ended up just being the regular photographer because, well, my camera didn't act like a proper stealth camera. It beeped EVERY time I did ANYTHING on it. So, yeah.




It was pretty windy out there.
And even though the cloud cover makes it look not bright,
but it was very bright...hence the sunglasses.
We walked to Haystack rock...where we tried NOT to step on all the wildlife crawling everywhere.
 
The brother who dared me to eat those crickets. He didn't even try any himself! (coward)
I had some of the most gorgeous photo opps around the rock with the sea spray and seagulls.
After playing around the rock for a little bit, the parents (who had stayed a safe distance from the water) started across the rocks towards where Jesse and Sarah sat with siblings hovering around them. I was wondering what they were doing when I turned around and caught The Moment: (ON CAMERA!!)

He asked...

She said yes!

He put on her ring.

Isn't it pretty?
Congratulations were in order, then after all the picture taking and hugs, we headed to Mo's for dinner.
*cough* Sarah doesn't like getting her picture taken so much.

And then drove "home" and crashed in bed...well, ok so we stayed up until eleven talking. But THEN we crashed into bed.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of our vacation! :)