Thursday, April 4, 2019

In the Pursuit of Matcha

  I'm a girl who loves adventures, especially the unexpected kinds, and today one greeted me with its arms open wide. It all started out innocently enough; I had recently read multiple skincare books in my determination to clear up my skin and they all promoted matcha (a Japanese green tea). Yes, matcha is primarily intended for consumption, but I wanted to use it for face masks that I found multiple recipes for.

  This afternoon Mum and I had to run some errands and we were going to stop by a little country shop along the way where I knew that matcha was for sale. I was very excited at the opportunity to finally get my hands on this health guru-proclaimed super food and I set out having completely resolved to procure some of this wondrous green tea that I've heard so much about, and along the way I made three unexpected friends, hid behind a shelf, and waved tiny bags of walnuts in front of a lady's face.

  If you know me well you will know that I am a firm believer that the best adventures must be had on foot (preferably in bare feet) and so it was very fitting that as I was driving to that particular matcha-carrying store I suddenly realized that while I was wearing shoes, I had forgotten to wear socks. Don't ask me how that even happens because I have no idea either. After confessing that horrible fact to Mum she instructed me to stop in at a Dollar General and fetch some socks.

  I ran around inside of that store for quite a while and after finding some socks that had strange motivational quotes on the soles I bought them and promptly dressed my feet when I returned to our vehicle.

  Having fixed that little issue I went on my way and soon we were parked in front of that little country store.

  We browsed for a while and then I decided that it was time to find the matcha. I looked all over the tea section but couldn't find any. However, I remembered that they had a section in the store where they sold specialty drinks, usually the exotic sort. It seemed like the next most likely place for matcha so I abandoned Mum and ran over to the shelves of coffees and teas imported from lesser-known countries.

  While there, a particularly effusive and smiling, curly-headed woman walked past me and chatted merrily with her two friends. They were discussing walnuts because apparently the bubbly woman needed them for the dinner that she was making this evening. I listened to their conversation only vaguely because I was very focused on finding matcha.

  No matter how long I stared at those shelves I couldn't find any. But I wasn't ready to give up yet. I was walking back to the initial tea shelf and I just passed an aisle where they had a whole collection of chopped walnuts dangling in tiny bags. I thought of the woman that I had overheard and considered telling her about my discovery but I decided not to just in case I had misheard her or in the chance that she might be offended at my eavesdropping.

  I had just decided not to tell her when I heard a familiar voice behind me. "Excuse me miss, do you work here?"

  I turned around and that very same woman I was just telling you about was standing there with a hopeful expression on her face. I couldn't stand to disappoint her so after telling her that no, I don't work at that establishment, I told her I might know where the something was that she was looking for (after all, I had a vague idea about what she might be looking for).

  She smiled and said that she was looking for walnuts. Naturally I spun around and gestured quite dramatically at the tiny bags of walnuts. She laughed in a very musical and contagious way and declared that she was looking for a much larger bag but she appreciated my efforts. I wished her good luck and went right back to hunting down that highly elusive tea of mine.

  After searching high and low, left and right, for it I decided that I couldn't find it by myself. Just as I was about to give up, that lovely lady and her two friends came around the corner. I decided that turnabout was fair play and asked her if she might know where matcha was.

  I ended up explaining what it was to all of those ladies. They also discovered that I wanted it not to consume but to use on my face. It amused all of them so much that within seconds we were all standing around laughing. One of them calmed down enough to say that she bet I discovered matcha online and after I admitted that I did they all laughed again until they were shaking. Those dear women helped me look for matcha for a while but then we all gave up together and I followed their suggestion to ask someone up front about it.

  Soon I had a store employee walking confidently in front of me. She marched right up to that dreadful tea shelf and after rummaging around the back she pulled out a teensy packet of matcha. "This is the last one" she said. I thanked her profusely and was just doing a celebratory happy dance when those three women I had met walked by and spotted the matcha. They congratulated me and after laughing some more they went on their way.

  I glanced down at the price tag on that tiny bag and almost fainted. I walked over to my Mum and we decided that it simply wasn't worth it. I detested the idea of putting it back after knowing what a great ordeal it had been to actually find some. The three women were still standing around chatting cheerfully with one another and so I hid behind shelves and once they were looking elsewhere I dashed across the aisles and tucked the matcha back in its place. Having accomplished my mission I walked back to my Mum and we both left that place feeling like an adventure had just been had.

  I didn't end up with what I had set out wanting, but I did leave that store having experienced something much better, a completely absurd adventure whose memory will serve to delight me for many days ahead.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Of Food and Fundraisers

  Our church has had multiple missions trips in the history of its existence and I believe that their most preferred way to raise the money that they need is to provide a fundraiser meal. I have attended several of these meals already and truly thought nothing much about them. They were well planned out and quite organized events and there was absolutely no reason why I would have had to think about them overly much, the missions trip maybe, but not the meal.

  That all changed this past week. Our church is preparing for a trip to Thailand and obviously money was needed to be raised so they decided on a fundraiser meal. Since Valentine's Day is just around the corner they thought that it would  be fun to do a themed event. I heard a lot of different ideas but eventually someone decided on doing a salad bar and naming it "Lettuce love one another." Thus began all the puns.

  It's a missions trip for the youth of the church and even though Diane and I won't be going along we still chose to help with the bringing about of the big meal.

  Decorations needed to made, food needed to be supplied, willing hearts and hands needed to be offered in service and Diane and I were simply happy to be of any help. On Saturday Eldon drove us over to the church and dropped us off. Diane and I hustled indoors (it was really cold outside) and we spent the entire evening chopping vegetables, making bread, and washing dishes. It was some of the most fun I've had in a very long time. All of my friends gathered around several truly long tables and chopped away at vegetables for hours. It was such a bizarre thing that I couldn't help but enjoy myself thoroughly. The conversations had between the adults overseeing all of us and the youth were highly entertaining. It was nice to realize that the elders of the church were every bit as lighthearted and human as the rest of us.

  The pastor's wife, Diane, and I all cried together as we chopped onions.

  Nevertheless, all of that work was just a taste of what would follow on the very next day.

  On Sunday morning I had to get up early so I could bake cupcakes. Once we were all ready for church we left and Sharon and I nervously anticipated the event. We were to work in the kitchen and tend the food tables and serve anyone and everyone who needed any help of any sort.

  Once at church we munched on doughnut holes as one of my favorite people taught us all how to greet and thank people in Thai. I can honestly say that our accents held a lot of room for improvement, nevertheless it was so much fun greeting people in Thai that no one was overly concerned with the little flaws in our performances.

  As the church congregation filed into their seats we rushed to work. My first job was to set up the dessert table and so one of my friends and I set out on a mission (pun fully intended) to cover the surface of the pretty table with cookies and cupcakes until it overflowed.

  Some members of the church stood around sipping coffees and watching all of us bustle around the place as we set up and I didn't mind it since I didn't really notice them until I ran into a bit of a difficulty.

  We had large trays of cupcakes to carry out to the dessert table. Our job was to remove the lids from the trays and place the cupcakes onto lovely plates and arrange them in a pretty way. It was easy peasy until I had to remove the lid from a particularly old fashioned pan.

  I tugged at the lid, I yanked on the lid, I pulled, pried, and poked, all to no avail. I glared down at the stubborn obstacle and then looked at my friend who was having a jolly time of arranging her desserts out of her well-behaved pan.

  "You know, if I were in a movie some fine gentleman would come to my rescue." I told her mournfully.  She laughed a little and nodded, but I was still stuck with my problem, or so I thought. Remember those church goers I mentioned that were just standing around, chatting, and watching us work? Well one of those members in particular, a blue eyed, bearded, middle-aged man had been watching my struggles and after my distressed statement he stepped up with a smile and offered to help.

  He effortlessly removed the lid and I thanked him profusely. He walked away with quite a heroic air and I decided that fine gentlemen help damsels in distress every bit as much in real life as they do in movies.

  The rest of the morning and several hours into the afternoon we worked, but never once did it feel like work. I had the best time ever and left the church having grown much closer to all of my friends and a bunch of other people I had never really talked to before. I don't think I'll ever be able to look at any fundraiser meal the same again. It's not just a nice array of food provided for donations, it's a whole team of people giving selflessly of their time and energy for a cause that they believe is greater than them.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Getting My Driver's License

  The process of becoming a legally licensed driver was one of the most difficult and stressful things I've ever gone through in my life and I'm blessed because of that. I had so many little adventures during the eight to nine months it took me to become licensed and I thought it would be fun to do a blog post about my experience.

  My very first driving lesson happened a little less than an hour after I got my permit. My Mum pulled into the parking lot of a nearby biking trail and she handed me the keys after showing me the gas and brake. I was absolutely horrified as I stared at those keys in my hand. I thought that it was a truly idiotic thing to give me, an overly dramatic teenager, the keys to the family's primary vehicle. As I looked around the parking lot and saw all of the potential ways I could destroy the vehicle I started sweating and couldn't breathe properly for quite a while afterwards.

  I stomped on the gas a little bit harder than needed and so began the season of my life where I learned to drive. That first day, and for weeks afterwards I had a terrible time knowing how close I was to the edge of the road and taking curves was one of the hardest things ever. Instead of slowing down I'd stomp on the gas and send us hurtling around the bumpy bends on numerous little country roads hitting every pothole while I was at it.

  There are two quite large stones positioned at the entrance of that little bike trail parking lot and the entrance just happens to be positioned right around a curve in the road, therefore the first few times that I entered the area I would stomp on the gas and go hurtling straight towards the big rocks. Somehow I always got the steering wheel turned just in time to avoid destroying our lovely little vehicle. I can imagine that my guardian angel was very busy while I was learning to drive.

  Driving on big roads and interstates where the speed limit seemed ridiculously high was the thing that gave me nightmares. I remember very clearly praying one morning that God would give me as many situations as possible for me to practice my driving skills before I take my test and somehow I didn't expect Him to answer quite like He did.

  That very same day I had to drive on a big interstate that was rather busy. It was foggy and it was raining lightly and I had many times where I had to slow down because of different people pulling out right in front of me. To make it more interesting I drove past our destination twice so not only did I get to practice turning around, the whole dreadful day was topped off with me backing down the driveway to my Dad's shop. While I appreciated how well the Lord provided me with scenarios of practice for me I didn't exactly ask for such things again.

  I'm a little bit of a perfectionist and I had a lot of anxiety to deal with during those eight to nine months so while most teenagers view the road test as exciting and they just want their licenses already, I was a very timid person busily dreading my upcoming test with such anxiety that I was almost ceaselessly in prayer. I take things too seriously, I always have, and I took my upcoming test very seriously. Nevertheless, on the day when my driver's test was first scheduled I was woefully unprepared. I had tried parallel parking with mixed success and felt anything but confident going in on the big day.

  I tried to be calm, I really did, but I was still  quaking in my shoes. The driving examiner, bless his heart, was a very kind man, I can't really remember many details about him other than I recall him being extremely tall and talking rather loudly.

  The first things I had to do were operating various vehicle controls. I succeeded rather miraculously because he told me to do something I'd never done before. When it came time to parallel park my stomach was in one gigantic knot, a gigantic throbbing knot.

  I backed out of my spot and I recall being pleased that I remembered to look over my shoulders and all of that jazz, but when I pulled up to parallel park I knew that I wouldn't pass. I tried valiantly to park our vehicle and the dear examiner didn't say a thing as I tried and tried again.

  Long story short, I failed and did a magnificent job of it.  I didn't cry on the way home or any time afterwards because I was too busy thinking about the fact that I'd have to experience the whole wretched thing again.

  After failing that once I devoted my life to doing as much as I could to preparing myself. I prayed almost ceaselessly, listened tirelessly to songs I found comforting, and practiced parallel parking again and again using the system that my dear Dad taught me how to set up using four buckets and various stick-y things.  Day after day I spent hours practicing until it felt strange to not have a steering wheel in my hands.

  After fourteen hours of parking practice the big day rolled around again and back I went to the driving center. The second time around I remember how much clearer everything felt, and how alert I was to everything. Things looked brighter, sounded clearer, and registered better in my mind. The test day was blessedly sunny and I smiled as much as possible and spent all of my time in the waiting room praying. Some people say that taking your driver's test isn't a big deal, to me it was huge.

  When I saw who my driving examiner would be I was disappointed (in retrospect I see just what a blessing it really was) the man was middle-aged, a bit overweight, and grumpy, most likely because it was a warm day and he had a boring job. To his credit he spoke kindly in introduction and when Mum handed me the keys for the second time in that exact same spot I took them the first time, whispered a prayer under my breath, forced a smile with my lips and marched out the door little knowing that I was about to have one of the best days of my life.

  The man began by telling me all of the usual things that all examiners do. I assume it was the Holy Spirit that made this introverted girl open her mouth and we weren't halfway across the parking lot when for whatever reason I asked the driving examiner if he liked his job. The robotic expression he had been using slid right off of his face and he laughed in shock. That unexpected question changed everything and he talked to me cheerfully from then on as if we had been friends for years.

  All too soon I was told I have to parallel park, and I think that the Lord must have custom-made the examiner for me because he spoke the exact words I needed to hear throughout the whole process to calm me.

  I pulled up to the parking spot with my turn signals clicking away steadily. I took a deep breath, turned my steering wheel sharply and the next thing I remember is the driving instructor telling me I did it. I sat there in jubilant surprise and I'm convinced that it wasn't me who did the parking. All I did was turn the wheel and I don't remember anything else from then on till the examiner told I did it. Maybe the Lord took over, who knows, what I do know is that I was told the parking was done perfectly and that I had parked in just one maneuver out of the legal three.

  Everything else was just peachy. That seemingly abrupt question before we ever got into the vehicle had broken any crankiness that the man had had and the rest of the test was spent with us chatting merrily.

  I felt such joy after parking. The man told me I had passed without a single mistake and I felt like I was flying as I told my Mum and then the exuberance I felt when leaving with my license in hand was one of the happiest moments in my entire life, probably the happiest aside from being born again.

  I left the driving center that day having just gained a license, but now I see that the process of procuring a license didn't only provide me with a license, but also a much closer relationship with my heavenly Father. There are many things I can praise Him for in my life, and today's blog post talked about just some of the ways He's blessed me. Yes, God could have prepared me to pass the first time around, but I'm much closer to Him because of my initial failure.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Highlights of 2018 - Part Three

  I'm back to finish up the highlights of my past year. It's been a lot of fun to be able to see all of the things that we were up to in 2018 and I can't wait to see what adventures 2019 holds for all of us.

  Without further ado I shall get right into September.

  • We celebrated Labor Day with apple pie 
  • Sean and I raked the yard and he decided to be my leaf jumper (he squished the leaves into the tub we were using to carry the leaves by jumping all over the leaves as I scooped them in)
  • I requested a heap of books from the library - to quote from my diary - 
  • An adorable little hornet decided to rest in my curls 
  • I accidentally turned on my turn signals instead putting on my low beams as I passed someone on the road, I felt as if I had just added insult to injury
  • I got to listen to a speaker from Nicaragua
  • Eldon's fiancee came over several times just to hang out and enjoy dinner with us
  • I had a bit of a Dick van Dyke watching session
  • My driver's test was officially scheduled for October the 11th
  • Sean celebrated his stuffed bear's birthday and I even baked a tiny birthday cake for him
  • I drove rather adventurously through the fog to get to my Dad's workplace to deliver something he needed and ended up backing down the long lane to his shop due to my highly interesting driving skills
  • I began focusing more on practicing my parallel parking
  • I read some spin-off fairy tale books
  • We commemorated 9.11.
  • I spent an afternoon with one of my good friends
  • I got to listen to the very inspiring testimony of a young missionary at our church
  • Mum spent an afternoon with one of her good friends
  • I came to know of one of the greatest violinists in the U.S, a.k.a Brian King Joseph
  • Mum treated Sean, Diane, and I to a lunch at a hibachi grill and it was the greatest thing I've ever experienced in any restaurant
  • Eldon built a bunch of shelves for my Mum
  • I baked a bunch of recipes from Mary Berry's baking book

  •  Diane, Mum, and I cleaned out our vehicle 
  • Sean and I spent a lot of time raking the yard (especially picking the leaves out of our flowerbeds)
  • I read "The Book Jumper"
  • Eldon butchered a cow and hence provided our family with a bunch of meat
  • We bought a big freezer for our basement 
  • Diane and I got be part of the cleanup crew for a stand our church had provided in a festival
  • I practiced my driving a bit more in preparation for the big test day
  • Mum, Diane, and I varnished the shelves that Eldon and Dad built
  • I failed my driver's test (this was by no means a highlight in the month, it's only in this list because it was monumental)
  • I began practicing my parallel parking in earnest (my dear Dad set up a spot using buckets and upturned brooms until I learned to do so for myself)
  • My Aunt and Uncle came by for a short visit
  • Dear Eldon kindly helped me carry all of our lovely new shelves into us girls' room. 
  • I did a bunch of writing both in my book and as random scribblings in my journals
  • Diane accompanied Eldon and I for the first time to the senior youth gatherings at our church
  • All of my friend's took their driver's tests and passed at first try
  • My Dad helped me some more with my parallel parking practice (I took my practicing very seriously and did roughly fifteen hours of practice in prep for test take number two)
  • I got to meet a bunch of new people at church 
  • We gave our librarians some cupcakes 
  • I passed my driver's test and simultaneously had one of the best days in my entire life
  • Us womenfolk accompanied by Sean cleaned out our attic 

  • I officially became an "adult" in the library's eyes
  • Eldon and his best friend hung out often to work on my brother's truck
  • My parents gifted me with an entire pint of the most delicious ice cream ever in celebration of me passing my driver's test (the ice cream was in the flavor of "Chubby Hubby" by Ben and Jerry's, in case you're wondering my parents totally bought it for me because the name amused them)
  • Daylight Savings time ended and it felt like we were all gifted with an extra hour of sleep
  • One of my best friends came over to spend a fun day going on walks, talking, and eating brownies
  • Diane and I discovered that it's impossible to speak Pennsylvania Dutch with a British accent but it is possible to speak it with a Russian or Italian accent
  • My friend pointed out the fact that the pillows on my bed are the exact shade of purple as Barney the dinosaur
  • Diane and I began making Christmas ornaments for our tree
  • Everyone began planning out presents and running secretive little shopping trips
  • Diane and I fell in love with Michael BublĂ©'s Christmas music
  • I got hired by a sweet family from church to clean house once a week
  • My sister's friends visited her several times
  • I spotted a man in Walmart with his shopping cart full of fifteen heads of lettuce (and the man himself was rapidly filling up a third bag brimming with avocados) I so dearly would have liked to ask what his plans are for it
  • Mum made a fancy dinner just because
  • Diane and I watched "The Long Long Trailer"
  • We went to my Dad's parents' home to celebrate Thanksgiving with them and our relatives and Eldon's darling fiancee was kind enough to come along 
  • One of the librarian's and I realized we're both not Bob Ross in the slightest and we discussed our various art failures 
  • We set up our Christmas trees

  • I baked a bunch so that I'd be able to contribute to the food department of Diane and Sean's group play
  • My family attended the home school play that Sean and Diane took part in 
  • One of my best friend's and I spent a day Christmas shopping and had quite the adventurous time of it
  • We got all of our Christmas gifts bought, created, and wrapped
  • We baked a bunch of cookies and Christmas treats
  • Eldon took me out for a fun evening of perusing stores and then treated me at a restaurant 
  • We went to the library quite often and Diane's stacks of books have officially become much taller than mine
  • Mum baked all of her traditional fruitcake
  • We celebrated my Dad's birthday
  • We celebrated Sean's birthday
  • Eldon's fiancee and our family had a bit of a Christmas exchange and pizza night
  • I had to do panicked shopping when I discovered one of my friends bought a Christmas gift for me and I had nothing in return as I was completely unprepared
  • I got to talk with very nice people that I met for the first time 
  • My siblings and I attended a lunch fundraiser at our church
  • My parents attended a Christmas party
  • The very kind wife of our landlord dropped in to celebrate Sean's birthday the day before
  • We celebrated Christmas Eve with good food, stories, and stuff 
  • We celebrated Christmas and was it ever a good one!
  • We ate our gingerbread houses in celebration of New Year's Eve

   And there you have it, or as the French say, voila. Our year was very long but you can tell it was rather full of lovely happenings. I always knew that life isn't measured by the greatest and grandest of occasions, but rather by the everyday moments. 

  While I was stressing over my upcoming driver's test my Dad told me something that can be applied to everything in life, not just getting a driver's license and I want to share it with you because once applied to life, everything becomes happier. I shall paraphrase it because it's far more applicable that way, otherwise it only applies to those ready to parallel park. "You can't always control every situation, but you can always pray and rejoice in everything."

  I hope your year is a wonderful and a happy one, and until my next post, fare thee well.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Highlights of 2018 - Part Two

  Today has to be one of the loveliest and sunniest days yet of this year (never mind the fact that it has only been two weeks) and so with the beautifully glistening snow outside my window to keep me company as I write, I shall set about creating another post.

  I left off after finishing the month of April so I shall pick up with May.

The Highlights of 2018 - Part Two

  •  I practiced my parking skills
  • We finished school and entered summer break
  • I started a scripture writing challenge that I found on Pinterest
  • My sister Diane and our little brother Sean went splashing through our creek
  • Diane went to a cookout with her friends
  • I baked cupcakes for our homeschool group
  • I got an Instagram account
  • All of my friends were persuaded to play carpet ball with me
  • I decided to "wing" making a dress, including creating the pattern
  • I was gifted an adorable silver spoon
  • Mum picked up Downton Abbey at the library and I established a tea and movie time each week
  • I parked our vehicle successfully without hogging three spots (which is actually possible)
  • Mum and one of her friends had lunch dates and went walking (I tagged along once)
  • The home school group play was had and I said goodbye to the group for the last time
  • The dress I tried to "wing" sewing got stuffed into an unobtrusive corner in my closet
  • Dad and Eldon went to a lumber exposition 
  • Eldon officially got a girlfriend (who turned out to be my best friend from childhood)
  • Diane and I took up playing tennis
  • Eldon graduated from school
  • Eldon and I attended a folk music concert
  • I accidentally ran into one of my best friends at the library
  • Eldon and I attended one of our friend's graduation party
  • All of us siblings learned how to play slapjack
  • Mum took us to a beautiful old graveyard where I held a frog that used my hands as its restroom
  • My family (excepting Eldon and I) went to a wedding of my Mum's brother
  • Eldon and I attended several youth events
  • My friend and I went walking and then made homemade donuts
  • One of Diane's friends came over to have a cupcake baking day
  • My family went exploring at Cooper's Rock (where us children bought some pretty quartz)
  • Eldon and his girlfriend and her brother and a friend and I all started hanging out on Sunday evenings
  • A giant white duck chased my family (and we were in a vehicle!)
  • We all went wild strawberry picking
  • We all tried kombucha for the first time and I decided it's delicious
  • One of my dear friends got married
  • One of my cousins asked Eldon and I to be table waiters at her upcoming wedding
  • I got a bank account
  • Mum, Diane, Sean, and I cleaned out our basement
  • My Dad treated us all to pizza
  • Diane and her best friend started having library days where they went to the library and then spent an afternoon together reading books and nibbling on snacks
  • I sent in an application to a transcription company
  • Dad took Diane, Sean, and I on a hike with the goal to reach a bridge where we would sit and watch trains pass underneath  
  • Eldon and I went to watch the fireworks in town with some friends
  • Dad and Eldon worked from home for a little while
  • Dad and Mum gave me a bouquet of roses just because they loved me (and they gave Diane a special gift as well)
  • The transcription company I applied for accepted me and I was enrolled in training (I wasn't given a job but depending on how training went I would become a transcriptionist)
  • My friend asked me to come over to her place where we stroked her cats, watched movies, and went berry picking 
  • My family went on a hike to a darling little covered bridge where the more adventurous of us walked over the wet rocks and crossed under the bridge (being careful not to get swept up in the waterfall)
  • My sister and I went raspberry picking 
  • We attended my cousin's wedding and I got to talk with all of my beloved cousins again 
  • We went back to school shopping
  • We butchered chickens (a most gruesome task no matter how informative or useful)
  • Dad played baseball with Diane, Sean, and I
  • I got to drive on a big road for the first time ever (the kind where you drive at an unholy speed whilst weaving among potential life threats)
  • My family attended the graduation party of Eldon's girlfriend and I baked cupcakes for the event
  • We started up school again
  • Mum bought happy planners for us all and so Diane, Mum, and I began planning
  • Diane and I watched our first opera, perhaps you've heard of Semiramide? 
  • I actually got to sit under a weeping willow tree as the sun set
  •  I baked some sesame seed bread (my first enriched bread recipe ever aside from the disastrous brioche I once tried to create)
  • Mum made bunches of sweetcorn; so much that we were up to our ears in it (pun completely intended)
  • I was promoted in advance and became a full transcriptionist
  • Mum took us all to feed the ducks at the pond by our library (Sean was almost run over by the greedy little things)
  • One of Mum's brothers and his family stopped in for short visit
  • Mum and Dad had a date night at one of their favorite restaurants
  • Eldon became engaged
  • I met my Sunday school teachers at one of my favorite restaurants
  • Mum, Sean, Diane, and I went blackberry picking
  • My best friend and I went bike riding with her family
  • Eldon and his fiancee started having pizza nights with my family once a week
  • I finished reading through my whole Bible (it had been a goal)
  • We went to our country fair 
  • We watched bull riding (live) and I was thrilled when I found out that one of the bulls had been in the PBR
  • One of my good friends invited me over to her house where we chatted in a hammock (I love hammocks) and then baked cupcakes
  • Diane officially entered senior youth at our church after saying goodbye to junior youth
  • We went to the fair a second time and Dad gifted Diane and I with some money which we could spend on anything we pleased
  • We went to the Flight 93 memorial
  • Eldon's fiancee and her brother came over to play baseball like we used to back when we all little children
  • I was introduced to the books written by Harold Hill (some of the best books out there)

  The summer months were very busy for my entire family and even more precious memories were created. My desire for adventure was nourished and I enjoyed many delightful adventures both alone and accompanied by family. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Highlights of 2018

  The year of 2018 was a very long and eventful one for not only me but also my entire family. There were plenty of beautiful moments that I shall cherish for the rest of my life and there were some moments that weren't quite as grand (I believe most people call these the highs and lows of life) but in today's blog post I shall choose to focus on all of the positive things that happened, both big and small.

  One of my 2018 goals had been to complete six diaries, or one every two months, I didn't quite meet this goal for just yesterday I finished my sixth diary of 2018. I'm quite fond of my little stack and therefore I shall share a picture of them with you.

   I shall consult these friends of mine for today's post because my memory isn't wonderful enough to remember what happened in all of the months of 2018. But, before I jump into the highlights of my past year I must first introduce you to my diaries since that is the only proper thing to do. Starting from left to right I would like for you to say hello to Charlotte, Ella, Lavender, Annie, Luna, and Avril. Now that you have met them, I can continue.

      The Highlights of 2018

  •  I earned a 90% in my Algebra on the second day of January, of which I was immensely proud. 
  • One of my dear friends announced her engagement
  • I made a goal to become more outgoing (especially concerning talking to people I didn't know)
  • I read the Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
  • I fell in love (with strawberry mint soap that is) 
  • My family had dentist appointments and I got to sit in a chair with electrical malfunctions
  • I got to meet a bunch of new people 
  • Diane and I did some rather painful face masks
  • My brother bought his first vehicle
  • I turned sixteen            
  • I made a goal to expand my vocabulary
  • My Dad and I finished a very large puzzle whilst becoming crazier the longer it took
  • My Mum, Diane, and I had a bit of an "Austin and Ally" watching fest filled with tons of laughter
  • All of us celebrated the Superbowl with plenty of good food (I managed to avoid the game all day and then walked in the room just as the Eagles won, I'm rather skilled)
  • I gave up frivolous technology for Lent
  • Dad and I went shopping and I managed to hit every corner in the store with my shopping cart
  • My little brother learned the fine art of "testing" cookie dough
  • The winter Olympics began
  • Eldon (the oldest brother) began going to gym night with the youth
  • I had to take my physical to qualify for a learner's permit
  • Dad surprised Mum with pink roses
  • I received a letter from a "twin" 
  • I got my learner's permit
  • My siblings (excepting Sean) starting going to gym night with the youth 
  • I got my first driving lesson
  • My family got a new vehicle
  • My family all cared for me while I was quite ill
  • My siblings and I began going to another youth gathering at our church
  • An adorable little girl declared  me to be her puppy
  • We got to have Krispy Kreme Donuts
  • My Mum took my sister to her best friend's birthday party
  • Eldon and I signed up to take part in the Easter Choir at church 
  • Mum, Diane, and I spring cleaned our storage room
  • I began creating menus including recipes from a Rachel Khoo cookbook that my Mum gifted
  • I actually got a 96% on an Algebra test
  • Dad set up a bird feeder
  • We celebrated Eldon's birthday
  • Eldon and I sang in the Easter choir at church
  • I fell in love (with ping pong, that is)
  • Mum became the owner of a beautiful Bible journal
  • One of my friends and I decided to do a competition to see who could do the most algebra
  • Mum gifted me with a lovely devotional set
  • Us womenfolk (in the words of my diary) decided spontaneously to throw a birthday party for Diane
  • We attended a reptile viewing at our library
  • We actually had gorgeous weather for a day
  • We celebrated Mum's birthday
  • One of our cousins spent a little more than a week with us to help celebrate Mum's and Diane's birthdays
  • I was introduced to the game of carpet ball which I loved immensely 
  • I bought six books from the library for sixty-five cents
  • My Dad pulled a newborn calf out of the creek saving it's life and then fell in himself 
  It seems that this post would be insufferably long if I were to list all the great moments from the entire year of 2018, so I shall break it up into three posts of which this one is the first. So many of the lovely little occurrences I listed above deserve more than just a small spot as a bulleted sentence so I shall have to turn them into blog posts in the future. What were some of the highlights of your year? I would love it if you'd tell me in a comment.

  Until some later date, fare thee well.  

Monday, August 13, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather.....  is dreadful, if you will pardon my negativity.  This Summer has been the soggiest and rainiest Summer I've ever had in my entire life. Unfortunately I have not, not even once, danced in the rain.

Right now I am....  I don't think I shall ever be able to read this prompt and not think "writing a blog post" but I shall try to be creative. I'm making a tortilla pizza for my little brother who wasn't very hungry at lunch time but is now experiencing hunger pangs.

Thinking.... That my dear librarian shouldn't have told me that I can access the entire library on their website if only I type in my card number and password. I've requested far too many books as it is. I had to walk away from the computer or I'd have wanted to check out entirely too many.

On my reading pile....
I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I was in the mood for a bit of classic fiction so I walked out of my library with "The Three Musketeers" (the unabridged version too. The very word unabridged sends a shiver of fear and excitement down my back). I've been working on that book for close to two weeks now (I'm regrettably not very dedicated) and I must say I'm enjoying it a lot more than when I first tried to read it two years ago. The humor in the book is such that only the classics contain and for that reason alone I would recommend the book to everyone.

On my TV..... I was extremely delighted when I found my favorite girly movie of all time, Cinderella! I believe I've already said it once before, but I simply can't keep myself from saying it again...I love Lily James and love everything about the movie.

Listening to..... The odd noise that is created when one peels a sticker off of a sticker sheet and the sound of pens being clicked. My sister is in the midst of filling in her planner for this week and I must say it makes me want to fill mine out all over again.

Something fun to share.... Why is it that I can only think of things that aren't fun to share? I can name a few, for example: chocolate (everyone knows chocolate is to be horded, sharing is unheard of); craft supplies (the only reason that craft supplies should ever be shared is if a fellow crafter is in dire need of one of your supplies and then it's your crafter's duty to be helpful); and lastly, books (far too many bad things happen when you share, or loan, a book to someone).

Some interesting bit of news that I have is that I found out that it's ever so much more fun to pass people on a trail when you're riding on a bike than when you're walking. I think it may be because the greeting is fleeting (no rhyming was intended).

Blog hopping (newly discovered blog)....
This isn't a newly discovered blog, but I shall share it anyway since I see no reason not to.

On the menu for this week....
I'm not very sure what we'll be having for the other days but I do know that tonight we shall be having a Mexican themed dinner. As for the rest of the week, I'm assuming we'll be eating food.

On my to do list....
To-do lists are rather depressing. I have a small and quite compact one for each day (it wouldn't be so small but the spots in my planner won't allow for more which I'm fine with) and today's list included doing work, cleaning, school, making a blog-post, and going berry-picking. The blackberries are in full swing so I'm very busy as of late.

In the craft basket....
My craft basket is so overwhelmingly "overflowing" that I'm not sure where to begin. I have some crochet projects, some mending that needs to be done, and a whole lot of journaling supplies I have to sort through.

Looking forward to this week....
This Thursday my brother's fiance is coming over and I'm excited. I do get to see her often but I'm still excited because she's my childhood best friend and before too terribly long I'll be able to call her my sister!

I'm also looking forward to the youth gathering I will be going to, and another trip to the library, and most of all, going to fair which will be starting this Saturday.

Looking around the house.... I see a heap of craft supplies on the school table (happy sighs) and moderately tidy rest of the home. The bouquet of flowers I was gifted after taking part in my cousins wedding is still sitting on our desk. It's remarkable how pretty the flowers are staying considering the fact that I received them over a month ago and that they're real. Perhaps they just dried with their colors still intact. 

Bible reading....
I've been reading and journaling my way through my Bible for quite some time now and last night I read the first chapter of Revelations. It's very thrilling for whatever reason to be so close to having read the Bible from cover to cover.