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Thanksgiving: Enjoy the Season!




Happy Week Before Thanksgiving!

Q: What are three traditions your family does around this time?
A: (Comment below)

Q: Do you travel for break, or does family come to you?
A: (Comment below)

When the holidays are as close as they are, life can get crazy. It's a balance of everyday life, school, average activities, prep for Thursday, holiday activities, cooking, decorating, and prep for being with your other side of the family. It's not only a lot for your mom to juggle, but for you as well!
You might be expected to help with certain chores that you wouldn't normally do, plus cook, finish all your homework, and take care of the pets. But would you rather choose this busy life? OR just skip Thanksgiving all together? Take the quiz below to find out!

Would you rather...

A: Go with the flow
B: Stick to routine

A: Travel for Thanksgiving
B: Family come to home

A: Cook your own turkey
B: Buy a pre-made one

A: Spend Thanksgiving with every member of your ENTIRE family? (Including out of town)
B: Enjoy Thanksgiving with your close family

Whether or not you chose A or B on the quizzes, you can't really choose any of your preferences in real life. There are things that will happen no matter what; like your worst favorite Aunt coming to stay until Christmas, or your family decides to travel to Alaska over break. The only thing that will be your biggest problem, is your attitude. How will you decide to handle what happens?
Here are seven ideas to try over Thanksgiving!


  1. Enjoy the season without stressing over little things 
  2. Plan a fun activity to do with the family
  3. Be the first to greet Great Uncle George
  4. Make a craft for every family member 
  5. Start a Clean Plate Club with your younger cousins at suppertime
  6. Help your mom with the cooking...and the cleaning up! '
  7.  Dress your siblings in orange white and brown:-) 
Relax. Take a deep breath. Sing a song. Make a movie. Get creative! Don't be the disconnected teen that sits in a corner on Thanksgiving. Seriously! Enjoy the season!!!


Think About Your Future...



  1. Wake Up 
  2. Eat Captain Crunch 
  3. Shower
  4. Catch the bus 
  5. Do school
  6. Talk to friends
  7. Practice Soccer
  8. Eat Dinner
  9. Homework
  10. Bed
  11. Repeat
Maybe your average day is similar to this. Or, if you're a homeschooler like me, your schedule probably goes more like this:

  1. Wake up
  2. Eat Cereal 
  3. Latin
  4. Science
  5. Procrastinate πŸ˜‰
  6. Half of Literature
  7. Lunch 
  8. Dishes 
  9. Drama practice 
  10. Dinner
  11. Late night Logic 
  12. Bed 
Whatever your routine is, days can go by extremely fast. They turn into weeks, which turn into months, then semesters, and before you know it...you're on your own! 
You can hear your parents voice- "Good luck Johnny! You just graduated high school! Now you have to go make something of yourself." You wonder where in the world your life went. What did you accomplish all those years? And while you are staring at your screen reading this, another second goes by that you could've been learning a new task. 

It's easy to get anxious about the future, because no one knows for certain what will happen. No one-not even your parents-can say with confidence where your life will be in five years. But God Knows. That's why you should trust him with your life. Simple. 

I used to get confused about how I am making my future while God holds it at the same time. The meaning is, you have the freedom to make whatever choices you desire. No one is holding you back (in general terms). But God knows (being all powerful and all knowing) where you will end up in the end. Therefor you are the chooser of your destiny (NO PRESSURE!)

So...now what? You know how your destiny is in your decisions. But what decisions? It is none other than your everyday ones. Although, don't get too obsessed where you pressure yourself into picking the "right" cereal to eatπŸ˜‹  Decisions like your attitude. Your actions. Your thoughts. Your words. 

Think of a time you said something at school that wasn't kind. If your heart is not truly full of bitterness, you'd feel guilty about that later. But if your spirit really wasn't clean, you might say even more hurtful things the next day. (*This could be from inner insecurities and hurt which is another topic*) How do you think those words affect the other person? You may never know, but that person might really hold onto that word, and it could hinder them the rest of their life. What an impact!

Think of a time you PROCRASTINATED on homework and played on your phone instead. How is that helping your future? Remind yourself about your everyday decisions affecting you later on. 

Think about a time you said yes to something or someone that impacted you in a totally wrong way...for the worst! Take this quiz and find out where you end up in the future: 

What do you do when...

You see a show on that interests you-during homework hour. You...

A: Take five minutes to watch it, then return to school.
B: Promise yourself to only watch the first scene...then the next...then the next.
C: Turn away from such evil! Besides, that show isn't good for you anyway. 

It's Thanksgiving break! You...

A: Do half your homework the first day, and plan on finishing it the next. 
B: Enjoy the week...until Sunday night. 
C: Start on it as soon as you get home. 

You're invited to a party! It's not the best crowd, and you have homework. But you only live once...right? You...

A: Talk to your parents. Maybe you could finish homework on Sunday. 
B: Seriously, homework?! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity! 
C: Don't even consider it. You made a promise to yourself to finish school TONIGHT. 

See where you ended up after each answer: 

TV SHOW

A: You balanced yourself to enjoy the moment AND do school. Good job! Hey, now that you are finished, you can go play outside! 

B: You realize your time has flown by. Now it's 8:30, and there's no other option but to stay up late pouring into Logic. Good luck. 

C: You kept on it and finished school! Now you settle yourself in the kitchen with an apple. You begin to wonder what happened on TV...because now it's too late to watch it. 

THANKSGIVING BREAK 

A: It's Saturday night...and school is less than a couple days away. Thankfully, all you have is a few latin flashcards. Plus, you got to enjoy your great Aunt-Sydney's company! 

B: It's Sunday night...and you have so much school to do. As a matter of fact, you didn't even open your backpack until yesterday. Now you have a full stomach and drowsy eyes during school. 

C: You pushed through and kept doing school! Now you sit back on Saturday and wonder what everyone did on thanksgiving, because you stayed in your room to practice flashcards. 

PARTY 

A: Your parents said yes! You even did most of your work before the party so you wouldn't be worried. The party was so much fun. You even saw your best friend there! Now it's Sunday, and you dedicate yourself to finish before dinnertime. You sure are glad you didn't miss out.

B: All you could think about during the party was the homework stacked sky high in your room. The party was crazy, and you couldn't enjoy due to the fact that SHE was there. Now it's Sunday, and you feel guilty. 

C: Thankfully, you finished all your homework by Saturday night! But at church the next day, your three close friends are all talking about the party. You feel left out, and wonder if you should've gone. Who knows. 


"A" represented the ON TOP OF IT GIRL. She didn't give in to temptation, and determinedly stuck to her school. But, she had fun in the process. If you picked mostly A's, good job! 

"B" represented the PROCRASTINATING GIRL. She not only gave in to temptation, but lost the fun in life also. Feeling like this will make you feel guilty and lazy later on. Think about your future. 

"C" represented the GIRL WHO IS SMART AND OUT OF THE KNOW. She didn't give into temptation, but by keeping herself locked away when she didn't need to, she missed out on life. If you picked mostly C's, I congratulate you for your determination. On the other hand, I encourage you to enjoy life. Someday you will look back and wonder just what you did with your life...

Thanks for playing!


Think about the future. What do you need to stop doing that could hurt you later on? What do you need to start doing that could help you later on? The picture waaaaaaaaaayyyyy above is of three kids at a football game. They are representing the "A" girl. They are enjoying life after finishing a week of school. Don't forget to think about your future before making a decision- even the everyday ones! 




10 Ways to Simplify Your Life



Summer is rush season...not just for you, but for most people. It's a season when studies lay off, and there's time on your hands for extra daily requirements. People are extremely surprised because 
 there is so many "to do's" on a daily basis. There's no doubt things have to be accomplished, but are they really necessary? Simplify your life in 10 easy ways: 

1: Actively.  You weren't made to be doing something every second of the day. Your body needs rest. Say no to the yoga class, or the swim team. Leave time in your day to sit on the porch swing and read a book. According to Scholastic, children who have imagination playtime will strengthen their social, emotional, language, and thinking skills of a child. Be a thinker, and don't bother attending activities. Learn on your own! This is true for all of us. The more rest, the more clarity. 

2: Socially. Turn off your phone for an hour of the day. Read or write a paper, instead of Microsoft Word. Give your eyes, mind, and thoughts a relief in this simple way. Your friends can wait! Instagram will still be there tomorrow! So will Snap chat! Give it a break...the pioneers made it off pretty good on their own in the woods. 


3: Restfully. Close the door to your room and take a nap. Think about what a good day you had at night. Enjoy a hot bath when your stressed. Treat your body with absolute care- and i promise you will never regret it. Rest doesn't have to always mean a cat nap. Does a walk refresh you? Walk with Rover. Enjoy to bake? Whip up a lemon pie. 

4: Creatively. Listen to classical music in the shower! Or in the car! Or while you clean! Start a veggie, or petunia garden. Think outside the box. Hey, come to think of it...there's a box in the garage. I think i'll paint it and put our umbrellas in it! (Example) 

5: Spaciously. Get. Rid. Of. The. Junk. 

6: Financially. Do you really need that wallet? Nope. Cut back on useless materials. This helps you simplify your life both spaciously AND financially. Eat greens and cook at home rather than McDonalds. (This helps physically too!) 

7: Emotionally. BUT I JUST CAAAAAAN'T GET UP!!! Yes, you can! Attitude effects you actions. Strange as it seems, some people get emotional so bad that they can actually feel pain thats not even there!  Don't be that person. 

8: Physically. As I explained in other points, physical strength and health will determine how all these points work. You must be healthy to achieve at your highest. Drink water. Stretch, walk, or jog as often as once a day. 

9: Mentally. Clear you mind with a massage, or peppermint oils. Become a calm person when your mind is refreshed. Maybe for you, that means pulling you hair back. Or pinning back your bangs. 
Take deep breaths and smile! 

10: Spiritually. When your not right with God, your whole life feels messed up. So, I'm telling you right now that no other point will make you feel as refreshed as this one. Open your Bible and let Him speak to you. 



5 Keys to a Happy Summer

It's summer for ALL!!!

Look back at your year...how have you changed? What new friendships did you make? How much have you achieved? Whatever it might've been like, now is the time to sit back and relax. 

1: Step Back. Take some time away from stressful things: electronics, schoolbooks, cold showers, early mornings, late nights, etc. Maybe for you its missing a daily show to take a nature walk, or planting flowers instead of computer time. Give it some thought! God wants us to be refreshed...so don't feel guilty if you sleep past 8, or eat breakfast in your pajamas.

2: Organize. Summer is the time to get done what you want to during the school year. organize your drawers. Vacuum your room. Clear the porch leave for your mom. For me, it felt good to change my sheets and switch some things around in my room. If you think organization happiness just comes from your own territory, think again. I have found personally that you can find equal (if not more) happiness by helping with other parts of the home. Is your mom looking for design ideas in the kitchen? Give some ideas! Is your dad looking for help in his tool shed? Volunteer your free time! You'll find yourself enjoying others and the home when you do more than your part.

3: Try something new! Like in he previous post, try a camp! Or a sport! Or a workshop! Or a new hairstyle! Get creative. Buy a fish at Walmart...or paint your room. Don't overdue it and ruin your newly organized room, but see to it that anything annoying in the room is out for good.Keep it that way! 

4: Plan ahead.  Get a calendar to hang behind your door, or in your bathroom. Write at least a month ahead of things you know will happen. Is it a habit to forget what day the swim meets are and aren't on? Write it down. Also, Make a list of things you want to accomplish before school starts. What makes you most tense in August? Not enough pencils? A lack of shoes? Forgetting lunch money? Strategize your battle plan. How is this year going to be different? Could I take a summer job for some extra spending money? Would I prepare for school a week early so I'm not stressed? Should I make a daily schedule for myself?

5: Stay refreshed.  Keep your body healthy. Drink water, and eat fresh  fruit and vegetables. Don't slack on your time with The Lord. Make an effort to read the Bible and talk with Him. Stretch every morning and you will have a better day! Have one-on-one time with your mom or dad. Connect with a sibling and do something fun. Just like organizing, when you refresh others you will be refreshed.



P.S. Enjoy summer!!!

Don't Miss It!

Your life might be like Alex... A girl who really wants to go to camp but too busy. 
Or, you might relate to Rachel... A girl that's nervous going to a new place away from home. 
Could it be you're like Chloe? She is begging her parents for some time away from her chaotic home life. 

Whatever situation it might be, ask yourself these questions: 

  1. Does my church (or a similar one) have a camp this summer? 
  2. Am I looking for a place I can connect with friends and God? 
  3. Are my parents okay if I go? 
If you answered "yes" to any or all of these, camp is just for you! Wether you've never put a thought to camps, or gone your entire life, God wants to work in your life this summer. Don't sit around waiting for adventure...go after it! You don't have to be completely comfortable with the idea of sleeping away from home to go. Take a risk...and who knows how much fun you'll have!

There's gazillions of camps taking place in summer, but what I'm talking about is church camp. Every church is different and has cool ways of presenting the Gospel. Don't be picky when deciding if the camp your church offers is "fun enough" or has clean bathrooms. You're only a kid for so long-so enjoy life and reflect later! You don't have to be an extravert to live it up. Meeting new friends, exploring God's Word, and enjoying summer activities is something most teenagers crave (even if they don't realize it). 

Turn off your computer/phone and sign up for CAMP!!! 

Rebellion, Respect, and Redemption


(One chapter) 




     In the early 1900’s, the Carter family moves west to Montana. As the small town builds, that’s not the only thing that is on the move. Jason Carter is faced with a temptation of going back to his old gang. When the gang commits a robbery one foggy night, Jason is killed. Soon after, his daughter Elara and his wife are faced with prejudice indictments and financial crisis. Meanwhile, Mrs. Carter tries hard to convince the village of Jason’s heart. However, they are forced to move out of their hometown and into a foreign territory until the gang arrives. Taken as a captive by the mastermind behind the conspiracy, Elara is forced to take action in the robberies. Against her will, Mrs. Carter eavesdrops to the gang’s meeting place, only to find everyone but Elara. Will the mother and daughter reunite again and convince the people of their purity?

















Chapter One
     Sirens echoed from outside the window. Elara’s eyes opened almost suddenly from a deep sleep. Sweat dripped from her forehead. Where was she? What had happened? She swiftly leapt from the bed and onto the cement floor. As most children would do, the first thought in Elara’s mind was to find her Mama and Daddy. Although her feet did make somewhat of a noise, it was drowned by the sounds of the commotion happening on Maple Lane. Automobiles, shouts, gunshots and the alike owned the 2 o’clock hour. Elara’s mama was also distracted by the noise and wrapped herself in a shawl while skeptically observing the drama. “Mama? What time is it? Why do all them people make such noise?” Her mother didn’t move an inch, but seemed to draw Elara to her side. More gunshots came from the outer world of chaos. “Where’s Daddy?” She began looking about the room. Elara became frightened. Without her father standing with his knee somewhat bent and holding his shotgun, she felt vulnerable. Where could he be during this awful night? Her mother didn’t answer. Screams came from the neighborhood. Elara watched as her mother’s eyes shot across the room as footsteps seemed to crawl the sidewalks. Shadows crept on almost every side of the wall, making her feel trapped. “Hush now.” Mrs. Carter whispered. The girl tried to catch a glimpse of what seemed to be an eternal silent blast of eruption. But just as she slowly inched upward on her tiptoes, Elara’s mother covered her eyes. “Don’t look, sweetheart. Them folks doing dirty things out there.” Another gun shot a bullet. “But why mama?” questioned Elara, shaking her head back and forth. Her mother was silent. “Where’s daddy?” she questioned again once she was free.  “Daddy will be here soon” was all she said, taking Elara over to her rocking chair. “Did he go out drinkin’, after the preacher told him otherwise?” Elara ventured. Mrs. Carter sat in the family rocker. She hesitated, not knowing what to say. Then, she noticed Elara’s favorite fable book. “How ‘bout a bedtime story?” she directed, reaching for the old two-inch thick storybook. The cover held darkened illustrations of little animal pets, each doing something gladdening. Elara pushed back the book. “No mama. I’m too frightened.” She looked timidly into her mother’s eyes, trying to decide if she was cross at her. However, her mother placed the book back onto the floor and softly stroked Elara’s hair.  “Don’t be, sugar. Everything is fine and well. Those men ain’t got any right scarin’ us women folk.” she soothed. “When Daddy’s not here, I get all shaky. Tell me mama, will he be here soon?” Mrs. Carter avoided eye contact and stopped her stroking. Where is that man? She wondered. A mix of anger, fear, and questions lurked in her mind. A thudding knock was heard on the next house over, sending both mother and child into a panic. “Dear Lord! Quick, Elara! Go back into your room and lock the door!” Elara did this without question. Mrs. Carter sprang over to the mantle, which atop held the family rifle. “Jesus!” was all she could say, standing in front of the door, awaiting a knock.
     Elara’s determination took control, as the lock to the old hickory-wood door wouldn’t budge. Without hesitation, she began pulling on it in every direction. “Elara, darlin’! Lock your door now!” Her mother called. The front door began to rattle. A fierce knock pounded on the door. “Open up! It’s the police!” Against her will, Mrs. Carter unlocked the front door and showed only the corner of her eye to the men in black. “No time for sweet talk, ma’am. There’s been a gang of men, just a few blocks from here that’d been drinkin’. One of em got on a mule with the money they stole from the tavern and we’ve heard rumors they’ve all are hiding out here on Maple Lane.  If you please ma’am, we need to have a look…” Given no choice, the men began traipsing around the country cabin. The shorter constable pointed his gun to the family portrait hanging above the mantle. “Ralf! Look at this…its Jase Carter! Ain’t he one of ‘em in the gang? Mrs. Carter covered her face with her trembling hands. The taller constable walked steadily towards her. “You ain’t is to knowin’ where your man is tonight, eh?” He cautioned. Mrs. Carter remained silent, reminding herself that she had Elara to worry about. Finally, she spoke up, seeing that they didn’t seem much in a hurry and held their guns. “I-I don’t know exactly. He-he was gone b-before I could notice. Really! I ugh, was asleep when he left. But I’m sure he didn’t go all out just to steal somethin’. I know he has a habit to drinkin’ and all…ugh…but he’s never really stolen before! Honest! He’s a churchgoer...and he reads the Good Book on Easter.” She said this while walking sideways towards Elara’s bedroom door. Elara could hear their boot sounds and bit her lip to the point of a bloody taste. When she heard the heavier boots approaching, she nestled under the low-rise railed bed. Cobwebs covered her head; reminding her of a haunted house in a book her father would read…only when her mama wasn’t around. Leave my Daddy alone! Elara said in a whisper.  Both of the men noticed the door she so happened to be standing in front of. “What’s in the room, Mrs. Carter?” The tall one said suspiciously. “Please don’t go in here! It’s only my daughter’s room! Ain’t nobody in there! Why, it’s past her bedtime!” Mrs. Carter pleaded. One of the policemen motioned his head towards it, and the other followed. Rattle. Rattle. Rattle. COLAPSE! The door fell inward towards the bed. Elara held her breath. She prayed a silent prayer. The men flung open the closet door examining every nook and cranny. Mrs. Carter stood at the door, curious herself where Elara hid. “I don’t see your girl anywhere ma’am…” The taller one said saucily. The other policeman then added, “Do you think she’d a ran off with her daddy?!” He laughingly retorted. Just as the policemen ventured towards the bed, a loud bombing noise erupted from a block away. “Get down!” they all said at once, ducking from the flying pieces of furniture blowing through the window curtain. The bed had swerved to an angle, exposing Elara’s bare feet. “Mama!” She sobbed, slithering like a snake coming out of a hole. Once her whole body had come from under the bed, she ran up to Mrs. Carter and fell into her arms. Both men now knew no one else was there. They both arose and tipped their caps. “Sorry for the trouble, ma’am.” The tall policeman apologized. However, as the shorter one exited, he noted, “Let’s pray your husband is found and locked up in jail as soon as possible…” Slam. The front door added.

     Mrs. Carter closed the shutters to every window in sight and knelt down onto the floor beside the bed. Sniffles came from beneath it, and little drops fell onto the floor. “Oh sugar, get up from under that cob-web! Those bad men are gone now.” She whispered, cradling Elara with affection. “Why were they lookin’ for Daddy, Mama? He done nothing wrong!” Mrs. Carter strained herself from bursting out at tears. “Don’t you ever think that your daddy did wrong. He’s not as close as some of us are to the Good Lord, but he’s a mighty fine man who deserves respect, no matter what he done.” She placed Elara back under her patchwork quilt and kissed her on the cheek. Then, Mrs. Carter began piling up the ripped materials around the house. She threw them out the window and then closed the shutters. Wearing herself out with each pile of rubbish, she stopped in her tracks to push traces of hair away from her eyes. Suddenly, the front door opened quickly and slammed back almost immediately. “Jason?!” Mrs. Carter said fearfully. She turned to see her husband holding a sack, along with a bandana that had been fastened around his mouth. “No.” She whispered. “Jason, tell me you ain’t with them men! Tell me!” He stepped towards her, dropping the sack of money, along with his disguise. “Oh Abigail. You know how much I try; yet still go back to my old ways. Forgive me.” He reached for her arms, but she withdrew them and hesitated. “You know them men been looking for you. Bet you there’s a reward out, too.” She said sternly. “I know. Just as long as you and Ellie are safe.” “Daddy!” A voice cried from a room. Elara ran from her bedroom into her father’s arms. A dozen policemen rushed into the house and noticed Jason immediately from the cry. “Put your hands up!” They ordered. “Now!” But Jason remained still- holding his daughter in is arms. “No.” He said. A shot rang out. “Elara!” Abigail cried, as Jason fell to the ground.

ARE YOU IN A MID-LIFE CRISIS? READ BELOW!



There are 5 basic mid-life crises

1: (to average 6 year olds)
If you find yourself saying things like, "I can't do subtraction!" Or, "I'm afraid of the dark!" You are most likely in a mid-life crisis.

2: (to average 10 year olds)
If you find yourself thinking things like, "I want to be popular!" Or, "I want to be in charge!" You are probably in a mid-life crisis as well.

3: (to average 14 year olds)
If you find yourself wondering about things like, "I am overwhelmed!" Or, "I can't stand math!" You are definitely in a mid-life crisis.

4: (to people between 18-30)
If you find yourself doing things like DRINKING MOCHAS OR NOT SLEEPING WELL then... there is no hope for your situation. *this could occur to other minors as well

5: (40 ish)
Ok...seriously girls. This is the technical age for a real mid-life crisis. Sorry minors.

To get away from the humorous side of things, you may feel like you're in a "mid-life crisis" but your life is probably just in a valley. There wouldn't be mountains without them! Remember that summer is a couple months away, and that in Heaven, there won't be any (fill in the blank) !
Look up Hebrews 12:1 for more!

SPRING ABSTRACT TIPS

Everyone has a different style. But by glancing around my world, I noticed a few new techniques...

TOP 10 SPRING ABSTRACT TIPS
(Pick and choose, not all work for everyone)

1: Short hair.
Long hair is good too, but hair (falling down on your shoulders) is really standing out. Try straightening or curling or waving it instead of just plain down.

2: Coral and light blue colors in clothes AND decorating! Try it!

3: Handmade bracelets, necklaces, etc. It's a great way to get asked about an organization you support. For instance, wear a necklace supporting a cause, and you just might get asked where people can find one!

4: Fish. Getting a fishy or two can brighten up your room, and give you a companion! They're easy to care for, inexpensive, and lovable!

5: Lists. Lists can help you organize messes into miracles. Just grab your phone and write! OR, do it in the vintage way which is more fun...grab a piece of paper and an orange thing called a pencil!

6: Storage bens. You know you need them for your closet, or under your bed. It's an excellent purchase that your mom is sure to approve. It helps with how your room looks, too.

7: Helping out. Do your siblings need a little fashion help? Offer your artistic talents and dress them for school! It's really fun- I sometimes do it for my sisters. If they aren't interested, try something like making a chart with ten bubbles. Every time you get them dressed and are allowed to put a bow in their hair, have them fill it in. Once all bubbles are covered, have a prize- like letting them get an app on your phone, or sleeping in your room. This stuff works!

8: Nature. Nature can calm the soul by looking at His creation. Take a walk- not on the sidewalk, but in real nature thats surrounded by trees and grass. Take the dog along too. Deep breaths!

9: Speaking up. You might be an introvert by nature, but you don't have to stay that way. In fact, you might enjoy talking after awhile! Start by walking up to ONE new person everyday and getting to know them. Next thing you know, you're the talk of the school!

10: Standing out. Who said you had to be like everyone else? When you are deceased, would you rather your friends say at the funeral that you always followed all the trends? Or, that you stood out of the crowd and enjoyed being different? You decide.

SPRING MADNESS TIPS


Easter's services have ended, but the story never stops being told.

As we press on through our last weeks of school, you might find yourself frustrated with your lifestyle. For example, maybe your room hasn't been cleaned in years, or your wardrobe just seems to be getting smaller. Whatever it is, there is hope!!! 

Today's SPRING MADNESS TIPS are: 

1: Take 30 minutes of your day and push all the junk into the center of your room. Then turn on music, set a timer, and knock it out! 

2:  Look up two new hairstyles and try them out on her head. 

3: Run around your house three times, while listening to your favorite song.

See if any of these helps!

Easter: The Silent Day

Saturday. This is the day between the crucifixion, and the resurrection...of course, people didn't know it back then.

Jesus has now left His friends on Earth, and ascended into heaven. During this time, Satan thought he won. He thought he defeated the one and only hope for us that would ever come! But he didn't.
Jesus came back and defeated death.
Imagine you are one of many friends of Jesus. You just watched an unmerciful crucifixion, and also witnessed His burial. Now, you glumly walk back towards your home. Your spirit is solemn. You feel irritable, wrongly accused, and broken-hearted. Not even your other friends can cheer you up.
BUT WAIT!!! Then you remember the prophecy! Jesus had told you earlier, that He would rise from the dead in three days! But how do you know its true? Didn't He just die himself? Words and thoughts are swirling around in your head...and just to add to the weekend, it is the passover.
I bet Jesus' friends were extremely confused and lost during this weekend thousands of years ago.

But how do we tend to forget this day as if it is nothing but March 26th? It might be because we know how the story ends. Don't let that take away from your weekend as you remember what others were going through. Pray a silent prayer as to thanking God for sending Jesus-because without Him, where would you be?

Easter: With Everything

With God, nothing is impossible. Therefor we worship Him with everything that we have. With everything, we will lift our voices. We will raise our hands in surrendering ourselves to Him. With everything, we will fight the spiritual supernatural war-the war we cannot see-but the war we can feel.
With God, we have victory. Therefor we put our hope in Him. With everything we have, we praise Him and put our trust in His name. We will put our victory in His hands. With everything, we show others what He has done for us. Because with God, nothing is impossible.

Easter: Agenda Overload

We've all been there- you make a picture perfect plan, wait for it to play out, and it doesn't.

That's why God says in the Bible that we are not perfect creations. (In the sense of decisions, not as beings)
Easter is a time to be CELEBRATING, but maybe you have too many plans that this whole thing could unravel... Maybe you have an idea of what this Easter is going to look like.
My advice for you, is the perfect-well-dressed-family-going-to-church-on-time might not play out perfectly. The truth is, every family will have some sort of trouble or difficulty on Sunday, because Satan will try is best to ruin the most important day of the year. Be ready to fight to get to church!
Church is important, and Satan knows how true it is-that is why Christianity is one of the most hated religions. Have you noticed a common-denominator? Jews and Christians seem to be persecuted worldwide. Satan never says, "Hey! Let's attack the Muslims, or people who follow Hinduism!" It's because he knows what is true, and what isn't. Prepare your family for a fight to the finish.

That being said, this year's Easter might not go as planned, but remember that God is on your side and you can face anything!

Easter: Resting through Races


Ahh...a rest day like to no other-until something comes up!

Everyday there will be challenges and hardships, just remember that God is with you every step of the way!

Easter: Your Own Life

Imagine what it would be like if you were never born.

Would the world be different? No doubt it would. Every girl has a specific role in her world, and not one role is more important than another.
God chose YOU to be apart of His plan. Don't feel that important? Here's why. ⬇️

                                                                                                   Satan is against all of God's work.
                                                                                                  He wants to stop it from becoming.
                                                                                             
 But the good news is...HE WON'T STOP US! GOD IS BIGGER THAN HIM.

We can all at some point feel frustrated with ourselves or embarrassed or annoyed. But God made you to be you, and her to be her. Always remember that you are unique for a reason, and there is no "normal" girl. This Easter, thank God for creating you in your own way- because the world would be boring if every girl was the same!

Easter: Denying the Truth

After Jesus resurrected, he attempted to get reacquainted with His disciples. But what surprise-as we read how some did not believe their own teacher-whom they believed was the Son of God!
This contradiction couldn't have been more comical. Besides, Jesus already prophicied His resurrection before His death. We do the same thing that the disciples of Jesus fell in to. The trap is called denial. (I bet you are trying to deny this:) We can deny a number of areas...like careers, marriage, guilt, and selfishness. Some of us even deny we struggle with denial!
 But God didn't leave us on earth to struggle.

God tells us to reveal our sins and struggles and accept healing. Jesus brings restoration.
So what areas in your life need revealing? Personally, i know that i need to stop denying my procrastination and delay. Step back and take a look at your life. What do you see?

Easter: Let's Celebrate!

A gift. For you. Open it!

Without making this post an extremely long lecture, let me dive in to your benefits through the Easter season. Easter is a word to sum up Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. But how does that benefit us? Without his resurrection...there would be no bridge to heaven. This miracle that Jesus did for us was the only way we wouldn't have to dread death. So why do people still fear dying??? Two reasons.
1: The way they die (tragedy)
2: Where they go (Heaven or Hell)
If a person has not chosen to be a Christian, then these two reasons are understandable. However, if you are saved, then why worry about death? But, then again...how do you know for sure if you are going to Heaven??? Three ways.
1: Forgiven.
If you prayed the sinner's prayer, YOU ARE SAVED.
2: Set free.
In the Bible, God says, " He whom the Son sets free, is free indeed!"
3: Committed.
Although we all make mistakes, if you are still following The Lord, you aren't forgotten.

Have you ever noticed people can exaggerate this event by making it sound graphic and dark? Jesus did suffer, but Easter wasn't meant for everyone's attention to be on the the burdens. God presented us a gift like no other. A gift greater than anything in the whole universe; Salvation. 

Thank God for the ultimate gift paid in full!



Easter: The Final Word

Easter has so many elements, but no one can have a service without PEOPLE.
 Just as a game of tag means nothing without players, or an orchestra without instruments, no one can share the Good News without lost souls. So why is that relevant?

Our mission is to reach the unsaved. While this statement is overused, they're out there! Kids like you haven't felt what true joy feels like. They haven't experienced what its like to be loved. And worst yet, they most likely have never been told that there is a Heaven and Hell. What if you spent your entire life not knowing about the supernatural world? What if you died, and nobody ever had the courage to tell you the truth? That's how it is for some people. The only reason your heart is still beating is because at least one person-somewhere in the world-is waiting on you to deliver the message. This person could be in South Africa, Macedonia, India, or your neighbor...and the only reason their heart is still beating is to hear the message and tell others. The cycle goes on and on!

You don't have to be 18 or older to "officially" witness to others. You don't even need to memorize a speech! In the Bible, God used the unlikely to do some of his greatest miracles. It doesn't matter what your situation is, God has a unique battle plan just for you. No one else has one like it.

Here are three ideas to help you reach people for Christ:

1: Talk.
Are you a born-leader, and have a way with speaking? Tell others how God spoke to you, and how he changed your life. But you don't have to be naturally gifted to do this. Ask God to guide you the way He wants you to go. Maybe he wants you to speak out at lunch when the lonely girl sits by you. Maybe he wants you to stand up for the little boy who gets picked on. Only God knows. Maybe, you don't even know what the situation is behind the girl that God told you to tell, "You're beautiful."
Always make sure you are hearing God's voice, and let Him speak to you what is right. This may come easily to some, but harder to others. This is the perfect way to invite people to your churches Easter service.

2: Write.
Do you have a way with words? God might be calling you to share the Gospel through writing. This is not uncommon at all. Writing could mean a message on social media about your testimony. Or writing could mean you write a book about your testimony. Maybe through that, someone feels stirred in their heart and wants to hear more. Writing doesn't have to be long and boring...maybe it means a handwritten card to the girl who's dad just died. The more interested you get in their world, the more they are open to hearing what you have to say. Maybe you prefer handing out an invitation to the Easter service, rather than telling others verbally. God can use writing in a billion ways! Always be sure that God is telling you to write this or that-not your flesh. Writing can be powerful, and be sure to pray before writing words down on paper.

3: Do.
I know quite a few people who are active and say they wish to "do" something big for God. Guess what, you can! Jesus DID miracles. God CREATED the world. He MADE you and me to ACT on what we have heard. So give. Serve. Invite. Decorate. Clean up. Pray. Worship. Speak. Write.
God can use anything!

I challenge you to invite people this Easter. Remember that they are most likely to listen to what you have to say, when you hear them out and get down at their level.
GO AND SHARE THE MESSAGE!

Easter: Relying on the Stage

Lights go black. Smoke goes out. Music starts blaring...
Everyone enjoys a good concert!
But why do we get wrapped up in the hype and not the spirit?

The hype of something and the spirit of something are two different terms.

When a "spirit" is in the air, people can feel the presence of either good or evil. They can notice a spirit of secularity, a spirit of joy, or a spirit of burdens. God's presence is something people cannot ignore-and this is related to spirits in a room.  But not everyone feels a spirit in the air at once.

When "hype" is in the air, people can feel active and energetic. You'll notice lots of men and women on adrenalin- caught up in the moment. Hype can be used as a show. Being "hyped" could mean your pumped up about something. It could mean during the concert you scream-or jump-or shout!
Hype can lead to post emotional let down (once the event ends).

Despite there differences, they can both be good, yet both be bad.
Easter is a time most churches yearn for life-giving spirit and hype in the room. But people can get so caught up in the hype, they can unintentionally miss out on God's work.

God can do amazing things, if we will only listen!

This Easter, don't rely on the stage's hype and drama to bring tears to your eyes.
Let God speak to your life.


Easter: Inwardly Passive, Outwardly Happy


Candy. Bunnies. Pink and green. Egg hunts. Family. Church...who wouldn't love Easter?!
Yet, as you pass out invitation cards for the Easter service, something inside of you just isn't right. 

You've probably heard the story of Jesus raised from the dead.
You've also probably go to church on Easter.
You've most likely even brought someone to church on Easter.
But this year might seem different to you.
While this event is commercialized, we are taught to remember the true meaning of Easter. As for me, every Easter that goes by makes me feel less passionate about it! But why is this??? Two reasons.

Maybe your life feels like...

1: Too Much Fun- (There's no need for God!)
Maybe your life seems so perfect and fun, you feel like God is only for the hurting people. Maybe you feel like everything that goes on is just fine without kneeling by your bed at night.
Who do you think gave you all of this? Your parents? You???
Who do you think created you? God is blessing your life right now. He gave you these blessings so you could go and tell others about his love. Easter is that time of the year to thank God for all he has done in your life.  Praise God in the good and bad times. Imagine your life if Jesus decided not to die on the cross. Imagine being separated from him forever. Easter is to remind us of God's faithfulness and love. How can you reach out to others at this time? Enjoy your life for what it is now, and celebrate the freedom we have. Never put your trust in earthly possessions.
You can't take your phone or credit card to heaven, not even your car. But God promises us, he has treasures in heaven awaiting our arrival! So don't take Easter as the perfect time to eat unlimited candy, or an excuse to wear your new spring outfit. Remember that God has blessed you. Praise God for all of the things he has done, is doing, and about to do!

2: Too Much Hurt- (God has no need for me!)
Maybe your life seems like a mess. Maybe God is this figure that's only for the "good people". Maybe Easter seems like a big joke. As a matter of fact, Jesus came for the hurting people.
Jesus, unlike me, demonstrated an act of true love by dying for us. Now is the time to thank him. People commercialized this event so you and me could be blinded and forget about the true meaning. Just like Christmas, this event has the ability to get wrapped up in pretty packaging to fit what you want easter to be. Hurting people is what we truly are, in some area or the other. Easter would be a joke if it was only a day to celebrate bunnies and chocolate!  Easter is so much deeper. This is your opportunity to have a one-on-one connection with Christ. Tell him what you are going through. The Bible says that Jesus felt every burden and sin on the cross- which means he felt what you are going through. Don't blow this event off, accept it.

Some people might feel outwardly happy, because of the excitement and fun. But on the inside, feel passive towards what God is trying to speak to you. I challenge you to take time today to ask God for a fresh perspective. Don't blow away your happy feelings. You don't have to fake a smile either! Keep a focus on what He has for you.
Easter is so much hype we forget what it truly is about.

To end today's note, ask yourself these questions...

1: Am I being inwardly passive towards what God has for my life?
2: Am I pretending to ignore the hurt I feel?
3: How can I celebrate Easter without being wrapped up in the hype?


God's Amazing Creation

Have you ever EXPLORED the outdoors???
I know Meg has.
My friend Meg loves the outdoors- and my sister and I are inspired by her creativity and imagination.

A secret world in open view
Awhile the wind and rain
A secret world in open view
Hence will call us by name.

I dare you to get out of your shell and explore!

God's Amazing Creation

Have you ever looked around you at things you've never seen before?
I have. There are things in my own backyard I never paid attention to until now!
Trees, for example, are something we overlook every day.
In fact, there is no ordinary tree...

1: Trees give us oxygen to breathe.
2: Trees provide shelter.
3: You can climb on them.
4: Without trees, you can't have a tree swing!
5: Kindling, furniture, toys, etc.
6: Christmas trees. (Non-plastic)
7: Flooring.
8:  Architectural designing of homes.
9: Landscaping.
10: Housing of birds.

Look for ways you can appreciate one of God's Amazing Creations in your daily basis!

Shopping with 6 kids and a dog:0

Ok...HIGHLY not recommended to take 6 children below adulthood with a 4 month-old puppy to PetSmart. This day happened to be on my birthday! It took gallons of energy poured into my son's future (Charlie) and hours of shopping. thankfully, weeks later we are all settled and loving him.
Shout out to Charlie!

Walking with Charlie

Charlie and I bond a special way when we walk together around the neighborhood.
This is us exercising together in the great outdoors!
Look for a special way to bond with your pet and create fun active games such as playing fetch, or making an obstacle corse!

The video below is him playing with his ball then trying to get my phone! No, he did not end up eating it, but he has been chewing on my house-shoes:0

https://youtu.be/Y3l5jrcQpwA



Pride Comes in the Fall

Today my sister and I made a music video for fun! Yes, it is very prideful in how we are dancing and what the words are. In life, you don't want to be all about yourself all the time. If you are, you will soon have a downfall in life. Use your talent and your fun time wisely! Here is one song you don't want to live by!

But like my last post, you are never too old to have fun and make a video!
Go ahead and stop reading this and watch the video, then go make your own!




video

Meeting New Friends

A couple posts ago I mentioned going to Evangel. This is also from that day after the service:)
I met a student there named Karen and she was really nice! I hope to have more memories with her.



(picture will be posted as soon as it downloads)


Just remember, if you're insecure about being younger than a girl and less mature, remember that God made you to be that exact age for that exact moment. Don't pretend to be someone else. Although she is years older than me, i still am not embarrassed or ashamed to be around her or others. There isn't a law that says you can only be friends with someone your age.
I can still be friends with girls who are older than me or are in college.

To put this idea into practice, say your friend's sister is a sophomore in high school. Every time your friend comes, she is talking about her sister and how she is so cool. One day, her sister picks her up from school in her new car. she asks you some questions, and you feel a little awkward...

Older sister: "So what's your name?"
You: (whatever your name is)
Older sister: "I see you attend junior high. How sweet!"
You: "Gee, thanks."
Your friend: "We play on the same volleyball team."
Older sister: "Well maybe ill see you again when i drop (your friend) off at practice!"
You: "Yeah, i guess."
She drives off with your friend as your mom comes to pick you up.

This conversation could've gone smoother and less awkward. instead of answering her with yes or no replies, try asking her questions back.

Older sister: "So what's your name?"
You: (whatever your name is), What's yours?
Older sister: "Oh, my name is (name)."
You: "I like that name. So when did you get your license?"
Older sister: "This February. Thanks for asking!"
Your friend: "We play on the same volleyball team."
Older sister: "I hope to see you there when i drop my sister off."
You: "Me too. Bye!"

See how the sister seems to be enjoying the conversation better the second time?
Your age difference might be the only barrier that keeps you and the sister apart...
But that doesn't have to be that way.
Picture this, when you are 30, the sophomore would be 35! That is not much of a difference.

Sometimes, it's the friend who could be more friendlier. So what do you do when you want to get to know the friend, but she acts standoffish? BE YOURSELF.

Best friends don't happen when just one person wants to be friends, they both have to agree.
They also take time. Don't blame it on yourself if the friend doesn't seem interested in a middle-schooler. Do your part by reaching out and let her feel guilty when you both are pregnant and in you thirties without any past relationship. She might not think you are cool or as good as her other friends. Relationships take time! Also, look for areas in your life where you could be a little more friendlier to younger peers. They might want to be friends with you too!

Jordan and Candice

This is Jordan and I yesterday at Evangel University while my dad spoke:)

Best Birthday Ever


video

Okay... I just had my birthday, and what I thought to be a ginormous make-believe dream came true! If you've been around me the last couple years you have probably heard me talking about wanting a dog. Both of my parents said no for YEARS, and then i woke up to this...

(WATCH VIDEO)

Just a reminder for all of you out there who want a dream to come true and don't think it is possible; patience is the key! After much patience, prayer, and keeping up with my daily chores and school, God blessed me. His name is Charlie, btw, and he is a Chorkie. (Chihuahua/Yorkie)
Although he is 4 months old and still in the training stage, he is so much fun to be around!
During the first week, he ran into the screen door, barks at his own shadow, and thinks his tail is chasing him, while runs around the house with our house-shoes!

Don't ever think that God will never answer your prayers and you aren't heard. He will answer them, even though sometimes its a no. God will only give you what you can handle; so for all of you dog people out there who have never heard of  sleep-in day, or a quiet afternoon, remember that dogs are a blessing from God!

No Worries!

In my elementary years I never thought that when I reached the year I turned 13 it would be a downer.
EVERYONE pictures teenagers differently, and I want to redefine an "average teen" as these three words...

1 Confident
2 A person who never gets enough of The Lord
3 Someone who's not too self aware but cares about their attitude and takes care of their body.

You may be 8, or you may be 18, but whatever age, you don't have to grow up.
You can ALWAYS grow spiritually, or mentally, or physically, but never be too old to
"get in the sandbox again" like some people who don't. Some grow too fast...think about it.
You have only 216 months until you are an adult for an average of 480 months.

I was concerned at first because I had heard so much of teens into stuff and I was beginning to think that every teen would face on of the three. But I was wrong.

One day, my grandmother sat me down and told me all about how her teen years were the funnest years of her life. I was stunned! How could you have so much fun with school, peer pressure, parents, siblings, sports, driving, and more?

I know that The Lord is going to use me through these next seven years.

He WILL use you too, mightily!

If you are nervous about becoming a teenager then don't worry! There's hope:-)

(i recommend reading the book of Ecclesiastes!)


Ziplining


This morning, bright and early my sisters and i got up with our cousin Brooklyn and went to the nearby Indian Point Zipline. We have been there several times and enjoy it just the same!

It's always fun doing activities with cousins and sisters. we will always remember this special bonding time.

Doom at the Dentist!?

Click here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqWJ3FYBWMg&spfreload=10

 Ever feel afraid of having some medical care? I haven't met anyone yet who looks forward to going to the dentist. It can be sca-sca-sca-scarrrrrrryyyyyy!  But going isn't as bad as you think! Check out our video for our time there! (My favorite part is watching my mom pull Kelly Grace out of the car!)