Saturday, December 31, 2016

Snow, Christmas Celebrations, and Power Outages

I'm in shell shock. Seriously, HOW CAN A WHOLE YEAR GO BY SO FAST? It seems like last month I was watching "War Room" for the first time and playing Scattergories (one of my favorite party games EVER) with friends as part of our church's annual Watch Night Service held every New Year's Eve. And now? Exactly a year later? I'm scrambling to complete a Monthly review before the date changes to January 1, 2017! So, what are we waiting for? Let's jump right in! ;) 

Life:
Well, life has been exciting. Not only have I been working on all the usual things (reading, writing, blogging, family, and church) but also taking a college math course and trying to curb my use of Pinterest and other online distractions the flow of extra writing ideas that never cease to bombard my active mind. *sigh* Ahhhh, the life of an author. ;)
Of course, with Christmas this month, there's been a lot of family get-togethers which have been fun. (No, seriously. I love family parties. We are blessed with awesome reletives.) Annnnnd, bonus excitement: my ONLY big brother flew back his seminary in the snow infested Wisconson for a while. It's been so awesome having him around again. :) 
We had snow. Let me rephrase that statement. WE HAD SNOW!!!!!!! WHAAAT?? Not just the wimpy powdery covering that one can't even make a decent snowball out of let alone snowman either...we had a whole three inches! (Don't make fun of us you back east.) Yes, my friends...let it go down in history that it HAS snowed before in Western Washington. ;P It doesn't always rain. (Though, as I write this blog post it is...) 
As the title announced, we survived a couple short (and one long) power outages. Due to having an old fashioned, wood burning stove, we were still able to have the necessities of life like warmth, food, and coffee. ;) Thankfully, none of the power outages lasted longer than seven hours. :) 
Our church held its annual Christmas Cantata, and four of us sang with three other PK friends as a part of that. If you want to hear that, here's the video: 


(I was playing my flute in the orchestra this year, that's why I'm not in a robe. Just fyi. ;) 
My siblings and I "preformed" a play a couple times throughout this month called "The Ugly Duckling" written by A. A. Milne. Check it out guys.  I'm sure its on Google SOMEWHERE. It's AWESOME. Hopefully, as we get better at it you may even see a recording of it...but we'll see. ;)

Writing:
As you know, I finally completed "Ocean Mist" and am working with a friend of mine on a cover for "The Princess & I". Super excited to get that story finished and published! :D 
I'm currently working on a holiday story called "Alone" which somehow ended up getting waaaay longer then I thought it was going to be...so you all might not hear anything further about it until next year. Whoops. 
Also, my new novel length story I'm hoping to finish is "A New Name". This futuristic re-telling based off the story of Daniel in the Bible is going to take a large amount of work, but I'm excited to share it with everyone soon. :) 
One last project I took on only a couple days ago was the result of a dare from a friend. (Yes, you know who you are. B-) This book called "The Idiot's Guide to Writing Books for Dummies" written under the pen name "I. M. Stupid" is basically a parody off of those really helpful writing tricks and tips books...only instead of giving you help, it's all the worst writing advice I can think of. Generic plot lines, cookie cutter characters, and cliche...everything. It's going to be so much fun. B-) *rubs hands together* CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. 

Reading:
Well, *cough* I didn't get five books read this month. But, the ones I did read are worthy of mention. :)
Image result for Behold the Dawn

Image result for mythmaker
I couldn't find an image for the book cover, but I also read "The Innocent" by Willowy Whisper
Yes, I know. Three out of five. Believe me, I feel pretty bad about that. HOWEVER. I have an excellent amount of reading materials ready for me this next year. ;)


Editing:
Two of my editors have finished making their remarks, so I'm only waiting on five before I can buckle down and put their advice into action. *coughs emphatically towards the other five editors* Depending on how soon the other ones can finish, I'm going to TRY to set the release day for February 14th. But otherwise, I'll move the tentative date towards early March. 
I'm self-editing "Ocean Mist", and hopefully I'll have beta signups ready to post in February. :) So look for that. 

Music:
Well, because of all the various writing I've been doing this month, a lot of the music I've been enjoying is movie soundtrack or video game music. Here's a few of the favorite ones....And a lyrics video of one of my favorite songs as sung by one of my favorite Christian artists, Jason Gray. :)  






 
Quotes:






Bloggerly News:
This month I participated in the 12 Days of Christmas Link-Up hosted by the fabulous Faith P. from Stories by Firefly! and this month I have a couple exciting extras for you all. 
1: I'm starting a monthly(ish) blog series entitled "Life of an Author" where I will start posting some more writing related things.
2: By popular demand, I'm continuing to post "21 Answers" posts on a monthly basis and I would LOVE some help from you guys on that. Buuuuuuut....more on that when I post the next one in January. ;)
3: I'm going to be taking a survey in my next post where you will be given the change to give me feedback on my blog. (What you like about it, what you think I should change, ect.)
I began following some amazing blogs recently and I can't wait to get to know all you better throughout this next year.
Also, I know I've been a sporadic commenter at best. THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE. I'm really going to try to comment on your awesome posts more and I'm so sorry for not being better at it. *hides face*

 
Goals Reached:
1: Continue the editing process in "The Princess & I" and "Alice & Alyssa"
Yup. Definitely continued...but a ways to go... ;)
2: Finish short story "Alone"
*cough* Yeah.
3: Do a Pet Peeve Post
*triumphant fanfare* FINALLY.
4: Read at least five books
Well, I was close, ok?
5: Write a book review (I'm going to just keep putting this on here until I finally get around to DOING it... -_-)
Hmm...I didn't do very well this month, did I? Two out of five. That's actually...pretty terrible. >_<


 
Goals for January:
1: Have editors finish editing "The Princess & I"
2: Read at least five books
3: Write a book review
4: Finish writing "Alone"
5: Write a "21 Answers" post
6: Write at least five chapters in "A New Name"

 
And there you have December in review. I'll see you back next year for a post on my yearly goals (both accomplished, unaccomplished, and those yet to be accomplished). Until then, I hope you sleep well tonight. ;) 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Many Faces of the Holidays

Our family have been enjoying this one adorable kind of bird which has been flying around our feeders recently. These little brown and gray bundles of fluffy cuteness are commonly known as the North American bushtits. For fun, I googled pictures of it and added captions to their expressive faces according to the many faces we make during the holiday season. YOU know the ones. 











This is actually an Asian bushtit...but the expression was so perfect I didn't want to pass it up. ;)



















 
 


Hopefully some of those were as relatable to you as they were to me. :) Also, I'm sure some of you were squealing at their adorableness along with me. (Please tell me I wasn't the only one who fell in love with these birds...) Which "holiday face" was your favorite? 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Twelve Drummers Drumming: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

The day you (and I) have all been looking forward too! The day when I stop flooding your blogger feed with Christmas posts! ;) Just kidding. Hopefully you guys have been enjoying this 12 Days of Christmas as much as we bloggers putting it on have! :)

Can y'all believe it's CHRISTMAS!!!! :O It's come so crazy fast!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!! :D :D :D

And here is the poem I promised you:


I Don’t Believe in Santa Clause


I don’t believe in Santa Clause,

And let me tell you why:

He’s too fat for chimneys

And reindeer never fly


I don’t believe in elves

Or a North Pole factory

I’m not a three-year-old

Those toys cannot be free


I don’t believe in Jack Frost

Or a red-nosed, cartoon deer

Stockings aren’t filled by magic

Presents don’t just appear


So what do I believe in?

Well, there’s a question just for me

I’ll tell you why in a tale

Of a baby who set us free:


I believe a baby came

To save us from our sin

He was God’s precious Son

And I believe in Him


I believe that He was born

In a stable one dark night

Laid in a hay-filled manger

A burning lamp the only light


I believe that shepherds came

And knelt there in the hay

To worship Him as King

While in Mary’s arms He lay



I believe there was a star

That led some wise men East

Where they found a toddler

Who would be the one High Priest


I believe they gave Him gold

Frankincense and myrrh

They worshiped Him as well

Then escaped from Herod’s lure


After thirty years or so

He was a full-grown man

And after He was baptized

His ministry began


Because of His perfection

Enemies He made

When all He did was good

A trap for Him they laid


Upon a cruel cross He died

As meek as any lamb

He knew He had to do it

For every sinful man


But, thankfully this tale

Doesn’t end that way

Because our blessed Savior

Rose up on the third day


No matter what the devil does

No matter how he tries

To make you forget that Christmas

With all the season’s lies


Remember about the baby

Who traded glory for this earth

To save us from our sin

And give us a second birth


I believe this Christmas tale

Of our Savior, Jesus Christ

Who came down to save us all

Who came to pay sin’s price



Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas day!!! ^_^

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Eleven Pipers Piping: One More Christmas Song

One last favorite Christmas song...since it's CHRISTMAS EVE!! #totallynotfreakingout Who else is having a hard time believing Christmas is TOMORROW??? Be honest.

It's almost...sad. I mean, we've been looking forward to tomorrow all these last eleven days...and then its going to be over and we're all going to be like "life has no meaning now". Your blogger feeds are going to feel strangely empty while we who did this crazy amazing 12 Days of Christmas thing take a breather.

But then, we'll realize it's only a week until New Years. :P Annnnd freak out again over having to make our end of the month overview posts. ;)

Ok, I'm sure you're all busy with family and food, so I'll make this post brief by stopping my ramble and giving you the Christmas song I promised you. ;) 


Gaaaaah, I just love that song so much!!! The music, the words, the message...*sighs* I can't believe this is my last Christmas song post. *sniffles* I'm going to miss all these awesome songs in January...

(But I will probably continue listening to them, so never mind.)

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve! :D :D

(CHRISTMAS IS TOMORROW!!!!)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Ten Lords A-Leaping: My Top 5 Christmas Books

Almost done guys...just two more days. I think you'll survive. ;)
Today, I'm bringing you my top five favorite Christmas books. This was surprisingly hard to do because I just realized I don't read all that many Christmas stories. (And it would be weird to put down my Christmas stories that I've written as favorites...so, yeah.) I will refrain from using "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" again, since I did put that down as a favorite Christmas movie...but I thought I'd mention it nonetheless since it IS a good book as well as a good movie. :)

Now onto the top 5 Christmas books. :)

5: "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
Image result for A Christmas Carol
Not only a classic tale, but one that was both original and well-written. Charles Dickens is a favorite author of mine, so of course one of his books should make it into this list. :) It's a famous story for a reason.

4: "Star of Light" by Patricia St. John
Image result for star of light book by Patricia St. John
The author of "Treasures of the Snow" brings a new Christmas tale to her collection. The story of a brother's love for his blind sister which makes him escape from a wicked stepfather and loving mother, to find a village missionary who says she never turns anyone away. While keeping an eye on his beloved sister from a safe distance, Hamid bit-by-bit hears the Christmas story and comes to believe in this Savior of all men. Despite almost losing his sister multiple times, his faith only grows stronger as he strives to protect the people he loves. 

3: "Christmas with Anne: and Other Holiday Stories"
by L. M. Montgomery
Image result for christmas with anne and other holiday stories 
If you want to curl up in a chair and read a book that makes you feel Christmassy, this is the one for you. :) I love Montgomery's style, her characters, and her stories. Each story in this book is unique and loveable. ^_^

2: "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott
Image result for Little women
Maybe not exactly a Christmas story, but it sort of is...so give me a break. Who's making these posts anyways? It's an awesome book. So there.

And my NUMBER ONE favorite Christmas book:
"The Gospel of Luke" (from the Bible)  
co-authored by Luke and God ;) 
Image result for The Gospel of Luke
Was there any doubt? I mean, this book contains THE Christmas story that we read every year while surrounded by shreds of wrapping paper and siblings. It's the story that inspired all other Christmas stories. And, to top it all off, its main character is the reason we celebrate Christmas each year. 


Well? What do you all think of my top 5 Christmas reads? Any you haven't read? Any you might add to my list? Hope you have a fantastic day!! 

(ONLY TWO DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS Y'ALL!!!!)


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Nine Ladies Dancing: My Top 5 Christmas Movies

In this post I'm going to reveal my very FAVORITE Christmas movies. My top 5 favorites to be exact. Once I give over this HUGE secret, you have to return the favor in a comment and we'll see how many you share in common with me! :) 
What are we waiting for!! Ready?? 
*drum roll*


5: "The Grinch that Stole Christmas" (the old, cartoon version)

Image result for The Grinch Title
I know, an odd movie to top out as a favorite...but it IS a good movie considering the message behind it: Lights, trees, and presents don't make Christmas. Joy, love, and the knowledge that God sent His Son does that. The other stuff is like frosting on a cake. Yummy, but not really necessary...in fact, it's really just extra calories. 

4: "Buck Denver asks... 'Why Do We Call it Christmas?'"

Image result for Buck Denver asks "Why do we call it Christmas?
Famed creator of Veggie Tales, Phil Visher, gives the answers to kids' FAQ about Christmas. "What does Santa Clause have to do with baby Jesus?" "What's Hanukkah?" "Why do we give gifts on Christmas?" and many more! See Christmas and all its traditions in a new light...and the best thing about this video? It's perfectly fine (and enjoyable I might add) for the whole family! Parents, teens, and kids alike will laugh and learn. 

3: "The Shop Around the Corner" 

Image result for The Shop Around the Corner
This movie...is awesome. Granted, having Jimmy Stuart acting as the main character is a huge plus because he really is great at what he does, but that's not the only reason I like it. It's also a funny, uplifting, interesting, and unique story of the lives of the manager and employees in a certain shop during the holidays. 

2: "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"
Image result for the lion, the witch and the wardrobe
Ok, so maybe it's not strictly a CHRISTMAS movie...but it totally counts. Can I hear an AMEN? (Or a "preach it" from you-know-who... B-) 

And my NUMBER ONE favorite Christmas movie:
"It's a Wonderful Life"
Image result for Its a wonderful life
Who doubted that this would be it? I mean, honestly! Not only is it a fantastic movie with great actors/actresses, but the message is amazing, and it's fun to watch as well as thought provoking. 


Alrighty...now it's your turn. What are YOUR top 5 favorite movies...if you can nail down five. ;) Have you watched, or not watched, any of the above? (If you haven't, go watch them. *shoos*) Hope you have a great day, and see you tomorrow! :D

(THREE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS FOLKS!!!!)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Eight Maids A-Milking: A Favorite Christmas Song

I almost like the music ones better than the videos...anyone with me on that one? Well, no matter. I just love Christmas music. *hugs them all* (Ok, excepting the really, really annoying ones...those get to me just like everyone else. And don't call "Let it Go" a Christmas song...please. I beg you on my knees.)


Here's a favorite Christmas song for your enjoyment! :) I love the message behind this song, don't you agree? And, Andrew Peterson (of Wingfeather Saga fame) sings in it!! (Which makes it even more awesome... ;) 

(FOUR MORE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS GUYS!!!!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Seven Swans A-Swimming: A Christmas Video

Annnnd, I'm back. Surprised? ;P Well, if you're stalking Faith's blog...then you probably aren't. :) Here's another favorite Christmas video from Studio C bringing you some Christmas cheer on the seventh day of Christmas!! ^_^


Yes, you're allowed to laugh. Just not too loud or your family might give you odd looks. Count yourselves warned. ;)

(FIVE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS Y'ALL!!!)

Monday, December 19, 2016

Six Geese A-Laying: A Washington Winter

For those of you who DON'T know, where we live it doesn't really snow. In fact, most our Christmases are wet...and more green and gray than white. Sometimes, we get snow though, and here are a few pictures from THIS year's snowfall that we were thrilled to have.

(Special thanks to my cousins: Oliver, Colin, Jubileena, and Graham and my siblings who were nice enough to smile for me. ;)


Yeah, it actually SNOWED. *gasp*
Oliver and Graham waiting for the go-ahead to sled
down our decent sledding hill.


I think our van is trying to be a white ninja...or something.
Not that it worked. ;)

Marta and Jubileena say "cheese" right
before going down our hill.

Yep, Colin can sled down our hill standing up.
It's better than I could do. And there's a ten year difference between us! :O


David and Jubileena...

A true country snowfall. (Check out our awesome sign!! :D)
Sledding actually worked this year...unlike last year,
when the only snowfall we had was a sprinkling over the grass.

Playing that they're reindeer...and Graham is Santa Clause? Funny how the smallest
person ends up acting as the fat, jolly gift bringer! XD


No snowfall is complete without building a snowman or two! :)

The beautifulness...*sighs*

Have you guys had snow yet? Does it even snow where you live? How many inches did you get if it DID snow? Do you usually get a white Christmas, or are yours more like ours where its just normal weather?

(SIX DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!! We're half-way there guys!!)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Five Golden Rings: A Favorite Christmas Song

One of my very favorite Christmas songs is "Carol of the Bells". In this post I'm going to give you my favorite versions (yes, I said VERSIONS) of this song for your enjoyment, as sung by some of my favorite artists. :)

The Piano Guys:

Pentatonix:

Straight No Chaser:

Do you have a favorite version of this song? If so, leave a link in a comment so I can listen to it! :)
Which of the above versions was your favorite?

(SEVEN MORE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Four Calling Birds: A Favorite Christmas Video

Day number four guys!! If you've put up with these Christmas posts for this long...you probably won't die. ;) Here's a quick Christmas video put on by my favorite comedy sketch group EVER: 



See? That only cost you like what, five minutes of your life? Hope you're having a fabulous day. See you tomorrow! 

(Only SEVEN DAYS until Christmas!!) 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Three French Hens: A Book/Author Spotlight

My good friend and fellow (sister?) author is publishing a Christmas WWII Cinderella re-telling and invited some of us to join her in spreading the good news that y'all can buy it now!! ^_^ I agreed to do this spotlight on it! 

(You can find her book "Beyond the Horizon" on Amazon and Goodreads)

The GORGEOUS Cover:


About the Book:

Eliana longs to see the world beyond the mountains that tower above Salzburg, Austria, but knows that dream will never see such adventure- and neither will she.
Surrounded by a world of cruelty, she lives for the weekly visits of Aron, a boy she met on one of her rambles through the countryside.

But as the years pass and she begins to grow older, a new and unwelcome world is opened up to her.
On a fateful night at a party she vowed she’d never attend, she comes face to face with a shocking truth.

As the world around her teeters on the brink of war, Eliana struggles to figure out just where her loyalty lies; a decision that will drastically change the course of her life. Will she ever be free to see what lies beyond the horizon?


About the Author:

Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano.  And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.

Connect with Jesseca:


Here are some questions Jesseca graciously answered for those of us *cough* who were DYING of curiosity

--What Inspired Beyond the Horizon?
Well, when I traveled to Washington in October, I was able to watch the 2015 Cinderella  for the first time ever. I loved it so much! The whole setting and all made it feel historical, and not at all fantasy. And, immediately, one of the first things I thought was "What would it be like to write Cinderella in WWII?" So that idea and the 2015 movie is what inspired the book. ;) 

--How did mixing the fairy-tale and historical aspects work? 
Well, I pretty mcuh took all magic out of the story, so it wasn't too difficult. There are some twists that are different from Cinderella, and of course the era is different so than changed a bit. What was nice about Cinderella was the there really isn't any spells or such involved in the original fairy tale, so it was fairly easy to set it in a realistic world. And ... *cough, cough* I pretty much skipped over the fairy Godmother part with one of the twists. *cough, cough* 

--How long, from start to finish, did it take you to write Beyond the Horizon?
Ohh, writing or editing? ;) I wrote the whole thing in about two weeks from start to finish, and it ended up around 19K words. With the editing and all, it took me about a month and a half. Probably wouldn't have been as long, but I was trying to balance it all out with NaNo, sooo...that made it a bit slower. 

--What did you do for editing? 
Well, the first draft was awful. xD I took a week or so break to start NaNo, and then I edited a chapter or so a day. It's about 10 chapter, so that made it pretty quick to be able to edit. After that, I sent it to my critique partner who read through it and gave me feedback, and then it got sent out to beta-readers. Doing it this way works well for me, because then I get help with the 2nd draft from my critique partner, and it gets improved a lot before the beta-readers get it. ;) And of course, beta-readers are awesome because they seem to catch EVERYTHING!

--How did the cover designing go/ who designed the cover?
It was amazing! I placed 1st in a writing contest earlier this year, and the prize was a free cover design from Willowy Whisper ( http://willowywhisper.com/). I had pretty much no idea what I wanted the cover to look like, so she sent me a list of questions about the story, setting, characters etc. Literally, that was all. I knew I wanted mountains, so I told her that. And then she told me she'd get back with me. I was SHOCKED when I saw the cover! It was the most beautiful thing ever! So yes, I'd highly recommend her as a cover designer! Even if you don't know what you want for a cover, she'll make you something beautiful! 

--Any tips for mixing the historical/fantasy worlds? 
Hmm, well, as I said above, it was fairly easy for Cinderella. I think one of the main things to remember is that you're writing a retelling. As such, your main character, plot, and pretty much everything else may differ from the original. But even if you change a lot, keep some of the original elements in the story, so that the reader can see the nods to the original. There's nothing I enjoy more than reading a retelling and looking for all the little things that refer to the original fairytale. Just little details make such a difference, even if your plot is wildly different. Oh, and don't kill off the prince, or hero of the story. That's just . . . sad. ;)

Well? What do you think? You're going to go buy the book now, right?? ;) See you back here tomorrow!!

(NINE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!!) :D

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Two Turtle Doves: Every Eddy Christmas

As far back as I can remember, (except for those annoying years when Christmas ends up on a Sunday *cough*) our Christmas Day goes something like this:
Ironically, we hardly EVER get this much snow...so the picture (taken this year) is not accurate to the title bestowed it. ;)

I wake up to the sound of voices downstairs and my dad's knock on my bedroom door. One eye cracks open to test the surroundings. Am I dreaming or is it really Christmas morning?
"Coffee's up and on the counter," Dad says. Ok, so it's not a dream. Mixed feelings on that. 
I roll over and open both eyes. If I don't get up now, my coffee with get cold. Which would be almost as bad as a sudden tornado hitting our house. Almost. So I get up and put on my bathrobe and stumble downstairs, half asleep. 
Younger siblings are already running around the tree with way too much energy for their own good (and they haven't even had any sugar yet!!), the living room is lit up with various Christmas lights and I can now smell the coffee. Also, I think Mom is running some kind of essential oil in the diffuser, because the whole downstairs smells like pine trees and cinnamon. 
Holding on to the steaming mug, I carefully make my way to an open corner of the couch, avoiding the ecstatic younger siblings who have already found all the gifts with their names and created small piles of them next to their unopened stockings. 
Finally, all the older kids are up. (Parents and younger kids have been up for more than an hour already...what can I say? We're not really morning people.) No gift wrapping flying across the house? Not yet. Be patient. That part is coming. First, we have our Christmas Bible time. 
Dad takes out his Bible and opens it. The excited voices quiet down and I can begin to hear my own thoughts again. I suddenly realize that our Christmas music playlist is going in the background...something I didn't hear up until now. 
After clearing his throat, Dad begins reading Luke chapter two, that beloved tale we all know and love. In some ways, a "rag to riches" story, in other ways one of those "only this hero can save the world" stories, and in still other ways a romance. The true story of a baby King who was born in a stable only to grow up and die in order to save us from our sins, then be raised from the grave and into glory...all because of His infinite love for us. 
Like every family Bible time, we end with us praying around in a circle. THEN, and only then, do we start opening our gifts. Stockings first, youngest to oldest. A few smaller gifts, a candy cane, an orange, and a few snacks are usually what we find within the personalized stockings. 
Now come the bigger gifts (and, coincidentally, the gift wrapping all over the living room floor part) which are either under our Christmas tree or piled up on the window seat (if we are unable to get a Christmas tree that year). A few middle kids help with handing out the various presents, and then when they're all distributed, we open them in as organized a fashion as a family with ten kids can. Ooooos and aaahhs are given to each gift, and hugs to parents/siblings who gave you them. 
My gifts, now opened and sitting in a pile beside me, are put away as soon as my coffee is finished and Mom mentions the word "breakfast" so I can skillfully avoid having to eat the Christmas Tea Ring (given to us by a sweet older lady of the church each Christmas Eve for us to eat on Christmas morning) because I don't like candied fruit. *shudders* 
We begin to be able to see our floor again as everyone pitches in to clean up the brightly colored wrapping paper, tissue paper, and bags after breakfast is finished. 
At this point, it's practically lunch time (I TOLD you we weren't early risers) and we barely have time to clean up the breakfast dishes before its time to make sandwiches for the younger boys and get the middle kids working on their own. 
Gradually, the various gifts make their way into their new homes and we spend our afternoon either playing with new games/toys, reading, checking email/blog, or in my case, writing as well. Sometimes, my Mom has us watch a Christmassy movie or read out loud. But the afternoon is usually spent doing restful things like I mentioned above or spending time with family. 
Evening arrives and us girls make dinner. Sometimes it's special, sometimes something ordinary, but whichever it is, we probably enjoy it while we talk and laugh at the table. Clean up happens inevitably, and we girls try to persuade Mom into giving the task to the boys...
Upon occasion, there is some sort of dessert...though not every Christmas, in which case we might have cousins or grandparents over to share it. Otherwise, the evening is spent quietly. Towards our bedtime, we brush our teeth, certain siblings care for certain animals, Mom reads aloud to the younger kids, and after they are safely tucked away, we older kids have some free time until our own bedtimes. 
I go to bed after taking a shower. I put in my earphones, turn on my iPod, and play the Christmas playlist. That's when I begin thinking...and thinking...and thinking...and then I become drowsy...
And that's about five to ten minutes before I fall asleep. 

So, how did you enjoy that sneak peak into the life of the Eddy family? Is it anything like your family's Christmas, or is it completely different? Hope you all are having a wonderful day! :) 

(Only ten more days until Christmas!!! :D :D Who else is excited??)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Partridge in a Pear Tree: 12 Days of Christmas Introduction


I am joining a whole passel (why is that word not used more??) of bloggers in flooding your blogger feed with Christmassy posts. This link-up was hosted by the lovely Faith P. (from Stories by Firefly and Chosen Vessels) so be SURE to click on the links I provided and visit her blog to find links to the other people participating and all the information if you want to join!!

Now, onto how I plan on spreading Christmas cheer each day. :)

Day 1 (TODAY!!): I'm going to give you a favorite Christmas song
Day 2: Every Eddy Christmas Ever (what Christmas looks like in the Eddy household)
Day 3: Christmas Book Spotlight
Day 4: Favorite Christmas video
Day 5: Another favorite Christmas song
Day 6: A few wintery pictures from our life here in Washington
Day 7: A Christmas video
Day 8: A Christmas song
Day 9: The titles of my top 5 favorite Christmas movies
Day 10: The titles of my top 5 favorite Christmas books
Day 11: A favorite Christmas song
Day 12: (CHRISTMAS DAY!!): A special Christmas poem...written by Yours Truly. ;)


Here we go...*drum roll* 

One of my very FAVORITE Christmas songs EVER is "Leaving Heaven" as sung by Matthew West. The music, the words, the message...*hugs* I just love it. ;) So here it is for you to listen to and add to your favorite Christmas song list. 



This song played a part in the inspiration of my Easter poem "The Journey of Christ" I posted earlier this year. :) I loved it that much. Have you ever heard this song before? (The answer should be "Yes, I just listened to it..." :P) Hope you all have a wonderful first day of the twelve days of Christmas. See you back here tomorrow!!! ^_^



Saturday, December 10, 2016

Pet Peeve Post (Take Two)

TWO alliterations in that title folks. Yes, I'm FINALLY posting the next part...which contain a few of my very TOP pet peeves. (And may gain me some flack from people because I'm not going to be politically correct.)

WARNING: IF YOU ARE AN OVERLY SENSITIVE PERSON...READ NO FURTHER.

Annnnnd... I probably just offended those people with that warning. Bother.

For ease of reading, I'm going to give you five serious pet peeves, and then end the post with some "this is probably just my quirkiness, but..." peeves which will leave you with a smile. (Hopefully.)
*rubs hands together* Lets get started, shall we?

The Serious Ones:


1> Abortion:
This is probably THE biggest pet peeve of mine. Killing babies...no matter how small...is downright murder. And no, it's not just tissue and a collection of cells. Those are precious lives. Life begins from conception.

2> The Theory of Evolution:
Open your eyes and look around you! Just like a bunch of bricks, mortar, and dynamite don't create a school when blown up, so our amazing world wasn't created with a few cells that exploded. Only an intelligent Creator could make all this.

3> Hypocrisy:
Easy as it is to be the world's best older sister at church or out in public, I find myself being a hypocrite. To be brutally honest about myself, I can be both bossy and a total control freak at home. I've yelled at younger siblings, and torn family members down with my words. Yet, every Sunday I can smile and act as if I'm the perfect PK everyone expects me to be.
I have to convict myself into acting better at home...and slowly and surely with God's help I think I have been. Hypocrisy bothers me whether it's me or another person.

4> Manipulation:
This is actually something I don't do much myself...although I have caught myself in the act before. It really irritates me when people try to use manipulation on me, and tends to influence my response in the OPPOSITE way.

5> The idea that our world is over populated:
Guys, I think God would do something if our planet was in danger of getting over populated. Take a deep breath and relax. It's ok to have ten kids. The polar bears will survive.

Maybe it's just me...but it bothers me when:
6> People don't wash their hands before baking something:
It doesn't matter if you think the germs will cook out in the oven...WASH THEM ANYWAYS.

7> People read over my shoulder:
If I want you to read what I'm reading/writing...I'll let you know. Otherwise don't. Just don't.
If you value your life...

8> People text while driving:
Kill us all why don't you? This can't be so important you have to endanger everyone around you as well as yourself. Shut it off and focus. Please.

*cough* Not that I'm picking on any ONE movie in PARTICULAR
9> Movies don't follow the book:
Why create a movie "based" on a book unless you plan on having it FOLLOW the book. Seriously, some of the movies out there are like: "So you used the title and the character names...but what on earth did your movie's plot have to do with the book's plot??" It's worse when it's a book you really loved.

10> People think Christmas music should only be listened to/played during the last half of November and December (and MAYBE the first half of January. Maybe.):
So...why are we only allowed to celebrate our Savior's birth for six weeks? We sing Easter songs all year, why not Christmas songs? (Besides, "Joy to the World" was originally written about the SECOND coming...trust me. And if you don't, Google it.) 

11> I'm told "Happy Holidays":
What should make Christmas and New Years Day the "happy holidays"? Why not tell people "happy holiday" on St. Patrick's Day or Valentine's Day or the 4th of July? Christmas ain't the only holiday. (Thank goodness. 'Cause if Easter hadn't happened we'd be in a heap of trouble.)

12> People think teenagers have their life planned:
Maybe we have no idea what our future has in store? And possibly we're tired of people asking us who we're planning on marrying or what college (if any) we're going to attend?

13> I read/watch anything in the Romance genre:
a) Kissing shouldn't require a whole scene or page. b) The descriptions are completely unnecessary. Please. Spare us the awkwardness. And c) why does the best looking guy always end up with the best looking girl? That is SO not reality. Cut the cliché.

14> The pictures on a wall are crooked:
Could...could I just straighten that please? Otherwise I probably won't be able to focus on what you're saying to me.
(I'm not OCD, but things aren't symmetrical and SHOULD be, or are crooked when they SHOULDN'T be...it distracts me.)

15> People assume extroverts are flirting when they talk to people of the opposite gender:
I'm usually a bold person, but my biggest insecurity is what other people think of me. So I will avoid situations where I have to talk to guys. You want to know why? Because I'm afraid people...either the guy I happen to be talking to or the people seeing us talk together...will assume that I'm flirting when that is literally the LAST thing on my mind. I MIGHT just enjoy his company as a friend. #mindblown

16> People dye thier hair:
Guys, you look better in the hair color God gave you. Just saying. I think after creating a whole universe, you can trust that He knew what hair color would go best with your complexion.

17> There's rude humor in books/movies/media:
Any movie looses a star in my personal rating if it contains rude humor...even if there's only a little bit. The more there is, the lower it stands in my esteem. Movies are the worst (especially kids movies) but there are books that have it too, and they also go lower in rating the more they have. There's also gifs and memes that use rude humor. When those scroll by on my Pinterest feed, I just keep scrolling. They aren't even worth a second glance.


And there you have it. I finally posted it. After like what...four months? Something like that. But I did it. Now it's your turn: are any of these pet peeves also pet peeves of yours? Any ones to add? Give YOUR top 5 pet peeves in a comment below! :)