Monday, November 28, 2016

Winter's Coming

This is a poem I wrote for Language Arts, about the coming of winter.

Winter’s Coming
The days gray and plants wilt, as the wind whistles through the eaves,
The trees decide to slowly let go of their leaves.
The frosts’ gentle touch whitens the grass in the eve, and the morning,
The summer birds are all gone south, cardinals are the landscape joining.
The air is crisp, fresh, and cold, and soon Ma shall say
We must all bundle up as we go out to play.
Winter is coming, Christmas is near,
Soon sleigh bells will ring and gifts appear,
Soon we shall celebrate Jesus’ birth,
Celebrate with family, food and mirth.
Winter is coming, and Christmas along,
A whole new year will add its’ song.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Taking out the Trash

I got to write a short, true story for language arts, and decided to make it about how I take out the trash- on my bicycle. This is what I wrote:

The girl stepped out of the garage hefting up a trash bag on her shoulder, setting it down in front of her bicycle, which stood ready in front of the door; then cocked her head and studied it. Seeming to come to a conclusion, she  lifted the bag up onto the bar of her bicycle and started to walk it. She did so until she came to the second cattle-guard, and then mounted it and flew down the hill that was her driveway. Reaching the bottom, she squeezed her brakes and came to a sudden stop. Miraculously, the trash bag was still firmly placed on the bar of her vehicle. She lifted it down, and threw it inside the bin that stood by the road. Then she walked across the road to her mailbox, and put the contents in the satchel at her side. Then, walking to her bicycle and mounting it again, she slowly started to pedal back up the hill. She smiled. She loved taking out the trash.

Side note:
If you have been to our house, you probably know what I mean about a hill being our driveway! Also, It is just about the longest driveway I have ever seen!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Concerning an Autograph Book

When I was visiting Grandma and Pa-Paws house, we decided to go through a old trunk that once belonged to my Great-Great-Great-Grandmother. Among the thousands of newspaper clippings, a blouse, long brown skirt, and fancy pink dress, I found an autograph book she used to have. Here are some of the poems that are written in it:

As the scent of roses pure, so will my love for thee endure.

Remember me, and my best wishes, when you’re at home, washing dishes.

All I wish is one small spot In which to write “Forget me not”

In pleasure’s dream or sorrows hour, In crowded hall or lonely bower, The business of my soul shall be, for ever to remember Thee.

When in your easy chair you are sitting, your day’s work being, when of absent one’s you are thinking, just think of me for fun.

May all you years in joy be passed and each prove happier than the last, in the wish of your friend.

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is an amazing organization, that sends gifts packed in shoeboxes across the world to children in need, and shares the gospel with them. Samaritans Purse will give them their first Christmas Gift ever, and then tell them about the Gospel.  It can be really impactful, and if one child learns about Jesus and tells their family, and they tell somebody else, it can spread really quickly.    You can help by packing a gift for one of these children inside a shoebox and turning it in at a drop off location by November 14-21. You can also send my family small stuffed animals, modest dolls, toy cars, jump ropes, Frisbees, small plastic toys, ect. and we will pack them in boxes and send them for you. I am hoping that we can gather 100 shoeboxes to send. We need all donations by November twelfth, and all packed boxes by the 13th.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Interview With Samuel Cross About His Job

“We’re here with Samuel Cross to ask him a bit about his work. So, what is the main purpose of your job?” I asked.

“Well,” He relied, “I go and get all kinds of data about what is going on in Reverse Logistics, I take that data, and put it in a readable format and then give it to people who are managing the business so they can make better decisions and wiser investments.”

“Ok, what do you like best about your job?” I questioned.

“The thing I like best about my job,” He answered “Is that I get to prioritize the financial information, and help to prioritize the thing that matters, and determining the best ways that we can invest money, or what processes we can change to have more utilization of our recourses.”

“Why did you initially study accounting?”

“I initially studied accounting because I love the language of money, how much comes in, and goes out, and at any given time being able to draw a picture of any persons financial status.” he said, “and I love accounting because it provides a way to describe your financial results over a period of time. It’s like a second language.”

“What was your first job involving accounting?”

“My first job involving accounting was working for a company called Ernst & Young, which is a public services firm, and, in simple terms, my job was to go and work for a client, or a business, and tell them whether or not we thought that the controls they had in place to make sure that things were happening the way they were supposed to happen, and that the results that they wee presenting were correct. Because every year, when a company closes its books, it has to tell its owners and its investors how it’s done financially, how much money is made, or lost, how much money is saved, how much cast has been saved or been retained, how many shares of stock are left outstanding, and a lot of other information. So my job was to go to those company’s and appraise their controls and to see how they are getting their information.”

“Why is the job you have now so important to Wal-Mart?”

“It’s important to Wal-Mart because the company has millions and millions of dollars worth of items that have been returned, and we have to verify that we’re doing the best we can in turning those assets around and selling them to other customers or businesses or otherwise appropriately disposing of them. And we have to make sure that the cost is appropriately recorded, because even though this is just a tiny piece of Wal-Mart, it still comes in to their big financial statement.”

“If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?”

“Oh, that’s hard. Probably how much work there is to do.”

“Do you enjoy accounting overall?”

“Well, overall I do enjoy accounting, like I said, it’s the language of money, and without it you wouldn’t be able to tell how you were doing overall and what things you need to change as a company. It’s how we tell each other where money is, how money’s doing, how we’ve invested, what our assets are, where our recourses are, and where our liability’s are.”

 “So it’s kind of like communication.”

“Precisely, it’s the international language of money. There are different variations of accounting, for instance, some countries have different laws about accounting. They’re still using the language of accounting, but some parts of it vary.”

“It’s kind of like how many people in the world speak English, but there are many different accents?”


“Alright. It’s been great talking to you, Thank You for the interview.”

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Amazing Apple Pie

I have always loved pies, and this is the first one I have made. It turned out really well, and I hope you enjoy it.

Awesome Apple Pie
You will need:
½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
8 medium-sized apples or 6 large ones
9 inch unbaked pie shell and top crust
1. Peel, core, and slice apples; then put in bowl
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
3. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
4. Pour dry ingredients over apples and stir until apples are evenly coated
5. Put apple slices in pie shell
6. Place top crust on top of bottom, and crimp the edges together. Cut small holes in the top of the crust
7. Bake around thirty-seven minutes
8. Enjoy!                                                                                  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Creamy Cannoli

I got this recipe from a cookbook we found in the library, and we improvised a bit. I think it tastes great, and hope you enjoy it!

Creamy Cannoli
Serves 6
You Will Need:
15 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 cup butterscotch chips
1/8 cup chocolate chips
6 sugar ice cream cones (optional)
1. Soften cream cheese and stir until smooth.
2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla- stir.
3. Add chocolate and butterscotch chips and stir.
4. Put cannoli in cones and serve cold.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tasty Tzatziki

I made this one day for lunch, and we really enjoyed it!

Tasty Tzatziki

You will need:
1 medium-sized cucumber
3 cloves garlic, diced
Around 1/8 of a cup chopped dried chives
4 teaspoons olive oil
About 5 teaspoons dill weed, fresh or dried
5 or 6 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups plain Greek yogurt

1. Peel the cucumber, cut in half, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut the cucumber into small chunks.
2. Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir.
3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until use. Serve with pita chips and garnish with parsley.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Trip Saga, Last Day

Today we are driving home. Even though this means concluding our epic Trip Saga, I am happy that we are going home. Contradictory to popular belief, vacations are not very relaxing, even though they are fun, so I a happy to be getting some rest. However, even though the schedule is tiring, I enjoy being on the move, so it will be bittersweet going home.
Signing off, (for now),

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 16

Today we are driving to Mim’s house, (7.5 hrs.!) and staying the night there. After the long, long drive, we were happy to stretch our legs in Mim’s backyard. We even convinced Mim to pretend to be horses with us! After another of Mim’s delicious dinners, we headed to bed.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 15

We woke up this morning, ran through breakfast, packed up the car, and embarked on a short journey, (1.5 hr.), to Chattanooga. We then got out at our hotel, Springhill Suites again, and brought all the bags we would need for the night inside. Then we walked a few blocks over to the Tennessee Aquarium. It is supposed to be the best aquarium in the US, and I think it lived up to it’s title. There were to buildings, one for freshwater creatures, and one for saltwater ones. Inside the freshwater aquarium, we saw River Otters, HUGE lake-dwelling fish, and all sorts of other fascinating creatures. We even saw a gecko! In the saltwater aquarium, we saw sharks, sea turtles, seahorses, and lots more. The top floor of each building was like a greenhouse, with plants and caves inside, with all sorts of shallow water creatures in tanks inside the jungle. What I liked best about it though is that the atmosphere and everything in the aquarium makes it feel like you are really under the ocean, or in the forest. There was even a pretend underwater cave you could go in. It looked real, and there were sharks, sea turtles, and fishes swimming over your head and all around you. After we left the aquarium buildings, we played in the river-themed splash pool outside the buildings. (Although we did not just splash, we got soaked!)  By that time we were all worn out, and went back to the hotel to eat our dinner and sleep.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 14

Today we left early in the morning after a hasty breakfast. We packed up, gave our final hugs, and clambered into the car. We were all very sad when it was time to go, because we won’t see Uncle Bob, Aunt Sue, Anna and Amanda for another year.
 Our car has now pulled out of the driveway. We are officially on the road again! We are not making a direct trip though, our next detour is in about an hour at the Udar-Harvey Air and Space Museum. There is an actual space shuttle there, that we have been wanting to see. We just pulled in, and hurried inside. The museum will only be open for another hour, and there is so much to see! We will have to hurry. There are huge rooms filled with planes, hanging from the ceiling or standing on the ground. We saw the space shuttle, which is HUGE, we saw the SR-71 Blackbird, (the fastest self-propelled plane), and we saw any number of tiny planes too. It was awesome! We left the museum after buying several small metal model planes and one plane shaped kite, and got back on the car. Now all we need to do is lay back and settle in for a long, long drive. 7.5 hours to be exact! We are going to Knoxville, Tennessee, where we will spend the night at Springhill Suites. Tomorrow we will go to the Tennessee Aquarium!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 13

Today, while the plan was to do what we hadn’t done before in D.C., we decided to go back to the Lake for the day! I am so exited to go skiing, and swimming, and tubing! We arrived early in the morning, and went to the lake at about 10:00 in the morning. We went skiing, tubed for the last time, jumped off of the dock’s roof, and had lots of fun in general. It has been nearly three weeks since I have been in a room by myself, and I do look foreword to going back home, but I will miss the lake. We still have a few days of vacation left though, including going to the Tennessee Aquarium, so the adventure is not over yet.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 12

Later, we visited the White House Visitor's Center, and us kids filled out a Junior Ranger workbooks, and were finally sworn in to get our badges. We left the White House about lunchtime, and walked across the street to Union Station, planning to eat at the food court. Mim, Nathan and I stayed to eat at a salad restaurant called Chopped, while the rest of the group ate at Taco Bell. We ate our salad, and then met each other in the Dollar General. Mom had gotten them some goodies, (namely toy metros and a pink snow globe) which they were eager to show us as we found our parking spot. We went back to the hotel for a while to regroup and decide what to do next, and finally decided that Dad would take Nathan, Malachi, Mim and I to National Cathedral while the others stayed to rest. National Cathedral is really beautiful and intricate, with detail on every inch, and we explored as much as we could before going back to hotel again. Our plan for the rest of the day was to play at the new state-of-the-art Long Bridge Park that Uncle Bob had helped to design. It is really cool, with misters, tunnels and bridges, and we loved the playtime. Then we drove to Uncle Bob and Aunt Sue’s house for a delicious dinner, featuring fresh crab. (We took it apart ourselves!) Another great day!

This reminds me, at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, we saw the first “Washington Monument”, a statue of our first president half-dressed, holding a piece of paper in one hand. We had studied about it before we left.  I did not think that that it was a good representation of George Washington. It really looked more like a Roman. We also saw many exhibits of how the capitol was built and acts of Congress in the past. After watching an informational video about the Senate and House of Representatives, we were ready to go. We then followed the call of our loudly growling stomachs to the Department of Agriculture, where we ate a delicious meal. Afterward, we headed to the Postal Museum, which is little trafficked, but well worth seeing.  There are fun activities and tons of information about how the mail gets around. It is really cool. By the time we finished there, it was time to go back to the hotel for another Trader Joe’s sushi and some rest. We really needed it, as the time change and so much to do has not done too well for our rest. I wonder what we’ll do tomorrow?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 11

Dad left early for Arkansas early this morning, while we slept in ‘til about 8:00. After we had eaten another hotel breakfast, (close to the heart of us kids because of all the sugary stuff never allowed in our house), we set off on another adventure. We were going to take a tour of the Capitol today, but the tour was cancelled. It is really too bad, but we can still see the Visitor’s Center. We were almost there, when Mom and Malachi started walking faster. I asked them what was wrong, and Mom said that Malachi needed to go to the bathroom. “Really badly!” he replied, hopping on one foot. Mom told me that they were going to go ahead, and that we should meet them just inside the door. “Just stick with Anna” Mom told us as they hurried ahead.
We had no trouble finding the visitor’s center, but the problem was, they wouldn’t let any, and I mean any food or drink inside, and they had strict security to enforce it. We did not know what to do, as Anna’s bag was full of snacks that we had been eating. We told the security of our plight, but she only said that we could eat it or throw it away. We could not eat all of it, and did not want to throw it away, so we called Mom for a solution. She came back outside, and helped us distribute the food among hungry people who had finished their tours, the squirrels, and ourselves. This done, we were finally ready for the Capitol Visitors Center. It was full of interesting exhibits, We rode the Metro to the Capitol, admired the scenery, and then went inside. It is more like a museum than just a visitors center! First, in the hall, there are statues of famous people from different states, some of them really well done, and then there are two wings, the first being a large room holding a replica of “Freedom”, the statue on the top of the dome.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 10

Today, Dad and Mim stayed home for the morning with Kierstin and Lincoln to catch up on some rest, while the rest of us walked to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, with Anna & Amanda, after Uncle Bob dropped us off (The place where they make money). We got there and stopped at the information cube outside the building, where the lady pointed us to the ticket cube. The tickets to the B.E.P. (Bureau of Engraving and Printing) are free, but can be hard to get due to demand. We were able to get tickets for just an hour in advance, and, to decide what to do with the extra time, we held a conferral on the sidewalk. After looking at the map, we decided to go to the US Department of Agriculture and see if it was open to the public. However, on the way we saw that the National Forestry Service was open. We had discussed it before, but their website said they were closed. We went in and asked the Park Ranger there if we could visit. He said we could, so we walked in. We were greeted by a pretend office, and sitting in a chair to greet us was a large “Smokey Bear”. The bear looked up, and said in a deep voice, “Hmmm? Oh! Oooohhh, it’s you there!” Then he looked around, and, lifting his arm to point at us, declared, “Remember, only you can prevent forest fires!” And then looked back at the letter in his hand. It was very funny! The next room was decorated to look like a forest and was very convincing. In the corner was a TV playing all the Smokey Bear commercials ever created, some of which are very funny. In the other room you stepped into a forest cabin. It was such an amazing place! They have all sorts of free Smokey Bear trinkets, and we walked out the door with magnets, stickers, and bookmarks galore. We came back to the cube in time to meet our tour, and we went into the building. After watching an informational video to get us acquainted with the overall money making process, we were led into the factory. The guide showed us all the machines, and explained how the design of money is always changing to make it more difficult to counterfeit. The machines are very high-tech, and they make huge sheets of money, which are then cut, stacked, and inspected. There was one man behind the glass, working on the machines, that held up a piece of paper that read “I love my job!” and then started fanning himself with one of the large sheets of money! In the gift shop they had all sorts of things, all decorated with the shredded pieces of money that had mistakes in their printing. Nathan bought a keychain, and we walked out of the Bureau. By then, time to get lunch. We had heard about a good food court at the Department of Agriculture, so we walked the short distance to the building. It was very delicious, and after we were full, we went to pick up food from the Farmers Market for our picnic. The plan is to eat while watching the Iwo Jima marching band, and bayonet precision work. I think it will be a lot of fun. When we got to the Market, Mom decided to get several sandwiches and cupcakes, and asked Anna and I to pick out a fruit. We walked through the tables, and finally decided to get two brimful containers of large blackberries. We secured them inside the Walmart bag, and raced back to where Mom was waiting. We now had everything we needed, so we walked to the metro station a few blocks away. Just as we got down the escalator, we realized that we were missing the sandwiches! Mom had left them on the counter in all the excitement! Anna and I raced down the streets, as fast as we could regarding traffic laws, until, winded, we were back to the market. We slowed our pace as we walked through the door, grabbed the bag, and ran back out. We went back even faster then before, ran down the escalator, and were back, (I think), in less than five minutes. We boarded the Metro, only slightly late, and made it in time for the show. It was really amazing, and the picnic was delicious. I love Washington DC!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 9

Today Dad and Mim left early in the morning  (about 6:30) to get us tickets to tour the Washington Monument. The tickets are free, but very hard to get due to the long lines. Long after they left, we woke up and headed down to the lobby to get some breakfast. We finished at about nine thirty, but then learned that Dad, contradictory to Moms instruction, had gotten tickets for ten-thirty! We couldn’t get in the car, pick up Anna and Amanda from their house, park the car, and ride the metro to the Washington monument in less than an hour. We told Dad, and, (thank goodness!) he was able to find tickets for noon, which was perfect. When we got there, we had a bit of spare time to go in the gift shop and look around before going outside to wait on the tour. After chatting with a park ranger, we headed inside to the intense security check. They have recently closed the steps to the Monument, so you have to take an elevator. It is really too bad, but considering how sore we were from yesterday’s treck, nobody really minded. He talked a bit on the way up, mostly about the rules on the viewing point. Then, the elevator stopped and we all hopped out to look out the windows. It is really beautiful, and you get a full view of the city. As we took the elevator down, the tour guide turned off the light so we could see the stones that  the different states and countries had donated. Some are very large, and very intricate. After we got back to the ground, we walked to the Natural History Museum. (The walk didn’t seem that bad when we walked into the wonderful air conditioning!) We saw the Ocean Gallery, in which my favorite part was the giant squid, and then we went to lunch. Never eat at the Smithsonian cafe, because each pizza slice is 7 dollars! After the lunch, we went to the Rocks and Minerals section. It is really beautiful. There are whole huge display cases full of beautiful rocks and gems, in all different shapes and sizes. After that, we viewed the Mammals section. The animals are really amazing, and look like they are really alive! Afterwards, we went back to the hotel to get some much-needed sleep.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 8

We woke up in the hotel this morning, woke up, played, and ate breakfast. Then it was time to pick Mim up from the airport. Dad, Nathan, Malachi, Kierstin and I went. Once we got back and ate lunch it was time to go into the city. We drove to the Air Force Memorial. It is very impressive, and it was very interesting to read the large stone plaques that mark the virtues of the Air Force. We then headed to the south-east side of the Tidal Basin, and after searching for a parking spot, (which are in short supply in the Capitol), we hopped out of the van ready to see some of the most famous memorials and monuments. One our way to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, we walked around the Jefferson Memorial. Malachi pointed out that the Jefferson Memorial had a dome just like the one at Monticello, which I thought was very observant. Next we walked a little ways to the F.D.R. Memorial. It was beautiful, full of waterfalls, rocks, flowers, statues, and F.D.R.’s quotes. Next we trekked to the Martin Luther King Monument, which I think is a very powerful one, a large rock with his statue engraved on the  side. From there it was a short walk to the World War 2 Memorial. It took my breath away, with a very grand entry to a large oval formed by stones with each state’s name on it. Steps led down into a large oval-shaped area with two fountains in the middle. In one side were over 4,000 golden stars, each representing 100 lives lost in the war. It was beautiful, but very sad. We from there visited the Vietnam War Memorial. It is a huge, long stone wall engraved on it the names of all the people that died in the war. It is especially sad that the soldiers who did survive did not even get much credit for what they did. From there we went to the Abraham Lincoln Monument, which is very inspiring. Our last Memorial was the Korean War Memorial, which was special to me because my Pa-Paw was a soldier in the Korean War. The Memorial is several statues of soldiers spread out along the grass. The looks on their faces are very realistic. It was another sad one. By the time we had finished the loop back to the van, everybody was exhausted from the walk. We ate sushi from Trader Joes, and slept like rocks.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 7

Tomorrow is our last day at the Lake before we head to Washington D.C. When we leave for D.C., Granna and Poppa will head back to Northwest Arkansas, while Mim joins us for the rest of the trip.  I am exited to see the Capitol, but sad to leave the Lake. At least we will come back in a few years. (Side note: I got swimmers ear last night; it really hurts.)
We play at the lake for the last time, then head back to the Lake House on our bicycles, planning to spend another quiet afternoon relaxing. (Do you catch a hint of foreshadowing?) Anyway, we got back, and learned that Mom and Poppa had discovered a four or five inch deep water leak in the basement. Oh, no. We held a short conference and decided to evacuate now, opposed to in the morning like we had planned. We gathered up, cleaned up, went down to the lake and tidied up there, and left on the two-hour drive to Alexandria. Now, we are ready to see the sights, and explore the Capitol.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 6

Today is our second to last day at the lake. We sleep in, and the rest of the morning passed by quickly. Right after lunch, we have a quiet time, and I play board games “Trouble” and “The Game of Life” with Anna and Amanda. It was a lot of fun, and we laughed so hard  while playing trouble! This evening, we got to do even more skiing, and I am going to learn to cross the wake! Uncle Bob told me to not look at the wake, but over it. That helps a lot, and I can now cross it really well! I also learned a way to make the tubing even more exiting. If everybody in the tube leans to one side, the tube bounces over the wake. If you go over the wake while turning, and then lean right back, the momentum will carry you over the wakes super fast and bumpily.

Trip Saga, Day 5

Today, we get to head out  to the lake! While Mom and the four younger kids load up to pick Dad up from the airport, I stay at the lake with Bob, Sue, Granna, Poppa, Anna and Amanda. The grown-ups talk for a while and we finish up breakfast, and then we head to the lake. Amanda hunts for minnows with a piece of an old bun and a net while we jump in the water. We swim and play on the slide until Granna shouts “Look at this! It’s a huge fish!!!” We all come to look, and see that several fish were attracted to the bread that Amanda had left in the water. “Let’s get the fishing pole!” I said, exited. We went into the closet and were able to retrieve one, and once we baited the hook with more potato bun bait, we lowered it into the water. Not long after, a small catfish was reeled onto the dock. We let that one go, but caught two more. Afterwards, we went waterskiing, (I got up and went a long ways!) and went for an evening tube. Tubing is so much fun, especially when you go extra fast and bumpy!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 4

Today we are going to Historic Colonial Williamsburg. It is an hours drive, so we started super early, and I got to ride with Anna, Amanda, Uncle Bob and Aunt Sue on the drive! We finally arrived at the visitors center, and after meeting up with the rest of the crew, boarded the shuttle to the actual town. Williamsburg is a beautiful place with tons to see and do.    Just walking down the street seems like you have gone back in time! Ladies and Gents in Colonial dress roam the streets and greet you with a formal “Good Day”.  Real carriages sweep down the streets very regularly, and some of these people actually work here full time to manage the old fashioned shops that line the streets. It is amazing to walk into these shops and talk to people who actually practice this trade and know what they’re doing, not just reenacting. Everything that they make is by hand, and from pretty much raw materials, just like it would be in the real Williamsburg.
We also got to take tours of two buildings, the old Capitol, and the Governor’s Palace. The tour of the Capitol was very interesting, and the lady who guided the tour told us about the building, the politics around it and the decisions made in it. What really struck me about the tour though, was that in the middle, she told the children in the room “I know these politics may seem boring to you now, but when you grow up you will have to deal with the problems in our government, and the mistakes that we made, and you are going to have to make your own decisions in our government too.” The next tour, the Governor’s Palace, was very fun. Our tour guide knew how to incorporate the building and architecture with the story of the Governor’s family. She let us through the rooms, pointing out all of the expensive details that were carefully worked into the home, and telling the story of the mob that stormed the palace. She explained also that there was not a completely right and wrong side to the Revolutionary war, because although our cause to create our own country might have been right, some of our actions were not.
Williamsburg was so much fun, but now we’re all exhausted and ready to get back to the lake house for a good night’s sleep.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Trip Saga, Day 3

Today we had a lake day! Everybody geared up in life jackets, we brought out the boxed “Scooby Doo snacks” and headed out. Everybody hopped in the van, except Anna, Amanda and I. We rode on bikes for the short distance. When we got there, we ran down the boardwalk to the lake and were met with the beautiful water shining in the warm summer lake. We had a wonderful time swimming, and I learned to paddleboard and canoe! I also got to practice waterskiing, and we all had lots of fun tubing out behind the boat. In fact, in the evening, we decided to go on a final ride. We loaded up the crew, the first shift on the two tubes being the kids under 9, Mom and Granna. They had lots of fun! When it was our turn, we stopped in the water. This sounds ordinary, but this was close to the place where the  power plant that made Lake Anna dumped it’s water when it was finished, and it was very warm, nearly to hot tub standards. Our group hopped into the tubes and we took off in the boat, trying to get away from the ominous storm cloud that had crept across the sky. We made it home safely, but it was a wild ride! The raindrops were tiny and fast, and almost hurt. Plus, the waves that seemed tiny before do not seem quite so small when you’re bouncing over them at high speeds. It was like an insane roller coaster, but I do not deny that it was kind of fun! We all made it home, and slept like rocks. I can’t wait for tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Trip Saga, Day 2

We are pausing in the drive to stop at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. We cannot wait to see it, as we have heard that his architecture was superb. We headed to the visitors center leisurely, as we still had an hours wiggle room for our tour. Then, Mom glanced at her phone to take a picture, and saw that the time was twelve three! We had forgotten the Virginia time change and were and hour behind! However, we made it in time. Monticello, (a name meaning “Little Mountain”), is really gorgeous, and quite a sight to see! The tour was very intriguing, and we got to see many interesting artifacts of Jefferson’s. For example, we saw his revolving bookstand, dumbwaiter, and small ivory notebook that he used to record the temperature. We had lots of fun trying out the interactive activities in the Discovery Room. Monticello was amazing! But now we are exited to see our great-uncle Bob, great-aunt Sue, and our second cousins Anna and Amanda down at Lake Anna. I love vacations!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Trip Saga, Day 1

We have been driving for a while now, all eight of us packed into our slightly conspicuous van. It is a long trip from Northwest Arkansas to Virginia, about a day! The funny thing is, I have actually been enjoying the drive! Mom packed lots of activities in our backpacks, and there have not even been many arguments! And… Wait for it… None of the five kids have uttered those dreaded words, “Are we there yet”. We are getting lots of great scenery, lots of “Quiet alone time” and most of our conflicts have been very short. We have been having lots of fun, and are about to see Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson! We stopped at Trader Joe’s yesterday, and continued driving with lots of tasty goodies! (Including bacon flavor popcorn!) I would say our drive has been a great success. But it’s not over yet! Stay posted for more fun!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Virginia Bound!

We have been preparing for a trip! We are heading to Virginia, and are going to visit Washington D.C. while there! We have been loading the car, and wrapping things up at home, all with the highest expectation. When at Virginia, we will waterski and tube at the lake, and then see the sights of the capital. I cannot wait!
Keep posted for more posts about our vacation, hopefully covering the whole trip.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Heritage School

Lately, I have been going to Heritage School, a sort of summer camp held at the Headquarters House in Fayetteville, five hours a day, for five days. Heritage School is a fun experience to learn more about history, particularly 1850s-60s. This year, we are studying Matilda and Jonas Tebbetts, one of the families that have lived in the Headquarters House before it was sold to the Washington Historical Society.

We have learned a lot, including tatting (lace making), made a working telegraph machine, plein air painting, and all while dressing up in historical dresses, including hoops for the girls.

I am also looking forward to the quiz bowl, where we will review what we have learned, in a game show format, and the elegant ball, with lots of historical dances such as The Virginia Reel, Duck Soup, The Gay Gordon, Jefferson's Waterwheel, and others.  I love living history!

Friday, July 29, 2016

"I Will Always Write Back" Book Review

"I Will Always Write Back; How One Letter Changed Two Lives" is an amazing, true book about how an American girl, Caitlin Alifirenka, became pen pals with a Zimbabwean boy, Martin Ganda, and how their friendship changed their lives forever.  They have now grown up, and wrote the book themselves, nineteen years after they first started corresponding.

Martin and Caitlin became fast friends through their letters, but Martin never told Caitlin that his family barely had enough money to survive, and Martin did not even have the money to go to school, even though he loved to study and wanted to become a doctor. When Caitlin found out, she really wanted to help, so she sent twenty dollars.  Caitlin and her parents continued to send money, worth more than twenty times as much in Zimbabwe.

However, even with Caitlin's support, will Martin be able to find enough money to go to college in the states and become a doctor?  Read the book yourself to find out!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A book review: "7, an Experimental Mutiny Against Excess"

I am currently reading a life changing book called "7, an Experimental Mutiny Against Excess", by Jen Hatmaker that is very funny and enlightening. It is about the author's experiment to limit herself to seven things. Some of her friends tried the same concept, only with variations.
 For example, the first month, she chose only seven foods to eat, the whole month, while the rest of the group chose seven countries, and ate like their poorest.  The next month, clothes, she may only wear seven clothes items.
The purpose of this is to spiritually fast, while observing how our lives could be simpler, with less excess possessions. She does so in such a funny, witty fashion, which makes the book like talking to a friend.
I give this book the highest recommendation.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Outdoor Towns

My siblings and I invented a really fun game once that we called "Crosstown." Since we have had so much fun with it, I wanted to share it with you.

Crosstown is actually a game about a town that we created in our yard. Each of us has a "house" (otherwise known as a tree, trampoline, stump, or rock) that we "live in" for the game. We all have a "car" aka scooter, cozycoop or bike. Then, each of us has set up a small stand, a piece of wood, basket, or whatever we can find, to sell our merchandise on. Normally what we sell or trade with are along the lines of pretty rocks, mud pies, flowers, dyes made from crushed flowers, popsicle sticks, walnuts, leaves, shells and fruit. It is so much fun making deals and trading with each other, then coming to our trees with a small treasure of some kind, and probably will be for children of all ages.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Camo or Pink?

Here is a would-you-rather question I made up one time that I would like your opinions on:

Would you rather:
Drive a sparkly pink slugbug car with fake fairy wings and a pertend wind up key on the back.......Or..........A camo jeep with a plastic deer head attached to the front and Popeye the sailor man painted on the side?

Hint: You cannot change anything abouut the cars!!!!

Please give your opinions!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer Fun

Here are a few fun summer ideas to incorporate into your play outside, for maximum family fun.

1. Climb a tree. This may sound basic and/or obvious, but it is one of my favorite activities outside, and you can get such a thrill over the wonderful view.

2. Get wet. Break out the hose and have a water fight, or haul the kiddie pool out from the garage. Getting wet can be so much fun!

3. Teach each other new skills, such as hanging upside down, using the backstroke, how to do a flip in the air, or even how to building a treehouse! 

4. But most of all, have fun together!!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Cooking Class in a Box

This is a great idea Home Chef and a couple other cooking companies had for a new product. It is an idea where Home Chef sends you a box with the ingredients in tiny packages and a recipe for a restraunt meal, with an ice pack, so that you can cook it yourself at home. I really like this idea because it is kind of like having a personal cooking class in your house, the recipe actually gives you a lot of detail on how to cook, and also gives you the measurements for the ingredients so you can make it again with your own food. And, for fancy meal ingredients for three meals for two people, with large portions (And a recipes), it is only 60 dollars! Plus, for your first time, you get half price! To learn more, visit my mom's cooking blog at:

Monday, June 13, 2016

A foolproof way to stop hiccups

This is a foolproof, though surprising, way to stop the hiccups! I learned how to do this from Mrs. Christen, a friend of mine. You have to fill a cup with water and put a napkin over the top, then dampen the rim, but do not break the napkin. Drink through the napkin, and your hiccups will be gone! Though this method seems very unusual, Mrs. Christen says it has worked every time for her, and it certainly has for me!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Fundraising with Hand Lettering

I have been thinking about a way to raise money and awareness for the Kenyan children's refugee camp, Kukuma, and have decided to try using my love for hand lettering to help. Do you have a cause that you believe in, or a skill that you enjoy? Try and find out how you could use those skills God gave you to make a difference.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Mysterious Benidict Society Book Review

The Mysterious Benedict Society series is one of my favorites. It is exciting, and will keep you intrigued until the end. Join Reynie, Kate, Sticky, Constance, and Mr. Benedict on their adventure featuring codes, sci-fi, friendship, teamwork, evil businessmen, mysterious brain waves and stun-ray watches, this book has it all. The story is about four orphaned children who take a test for "special opportunities" that will change their lives forever. They go undercover to stop mysterious brain wave messages, saving the world from mind control, communicate through Morse code messages in flashlight blinks, and thwart evil villains in their tracks.  I recommended the three book series to my reluctant reader eight year old brother, and as soon as he finished the first chapter, he could not put it down. I strongly recommend the Mysterious Benedict Society series to children of all ages, from five to one hundred.

Friday, June 10, 2016


Do you know what an "onomatopoeia" is? This is an exceptionally long word I found in the dictionary, meaning "The formation of a word as cuckoo, meow, honk, or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its' referent." In other words, onomatopoeia is just a long word for an imitation of a sound!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hand Lettering in Art

These are a few projects I have done using Hand Lettering and art. I hope you will 
enjoy them!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Shell Necklaces

Have you ever been looking along the beach, and stumbled upon a shell with a perfectly circle hole already punched in it? Have you ever wondered how so many shells have these fully round holes pre-made? Here is the intriguing, and slightly gross story of the shells with holes.
On one of the rocks of the ocean, a mussel clings to the hard, cold surface of the rock with its strange filament. Then, a snail oozes around the corner and draws close to the mussel, using its foot to squeeze acid into the shell, starting a hole in its smooth surface. After it is finished, it uses its radula to further rasp open the shell, then repeats the process. After many tedious hours, even days, it is finished and the snail once again inserts its radula through the hole in the shell and tears the mussel meat, pulling it into its mouth, providing a long delicious meal.
Later, the very same shell washes up on the shore, still baring the hole punched into it by the snail. And that is how these holes come to you.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Group to change the world

Here is an idea I had to start a group of girls my age, meeting twice a month at my house, and I thought that it would be inspiration for you to start a group to change the world. This is part of what I wrote on the flyer about what we would be doing in the group:

We will be studying a new missionary each month, including Amy Carmichael, Brother Andrew, and George Mueller. Book recommendations for each missionary will be given, please come prepared to share what you learned about the months’ missionary. We may also be making things for fundraising, and craft things to send to other countries, and people that need them, and we will be challenging each other to share Jesus in common daily situations with the people around us, even the cashier at Walmart! Bible memorization will also be one of our goals. Please come prepared to have fun and change the world!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Beach Vacation

My family and I recently went on vacation to the beach, and it was amazing, and so much fun! Some of my favorite things to do were:
Jumping and diving into big waves,
Making huge sand castles, with moats and towers,
Looking for shells,
And crabbing.
Crabbing is a very fun, and very interesting sport. You pack nets and buckets, and walk on the beach at night. Pretty soon, you will see tiny ghost crabs scuttling sideways along the beach. But when you try to catch them in your net, be careful, because these crabs will scuttle for your toes when you least expect it! You can always tell when people are crabbing be the shrieks and laughter! I really love crabbing, and hope you try it on your vacation.

The More of Less book review

I have been reading a good book called “The More of Less” by Joshua Becker, about becoming a minimalist, and its benefits. It tells how getting rid of some things, even things you think you need, can free up your life and help you focus on more important priorities. While minimizing is different for everyone, clearing up and getting rid of things that are not really something you are investing in an be a great life benefit. “The More of Less” is very inspiring, even life changing, and also helps clear up some of the problems you will face while trying to minimize. This book clarifies the difference between organizing and minimizing, clearing the distractions in your home, to focus on what is truly important to you. “The More of Less” is an amazing book, that I hope you will read. It has truly changed my perspective on possessions and true focus.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Adventure Kit

 I really love going on little adventures in my backyard with my awesome brothers, Nathan and Malachi, and it is important to always be equipped. A book that gave me part of the inspiration for an adventure kit is "The Daring Book for Girls" by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. It is truly amazing!
My adventure kit includes:
  • My Swiss Army Knife, 
  • A bandana,
  • My compass and whistle, 
  • String
  • A pencil and a pocket journal.
What does your adventure kit include?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Corn Husk Dolls-an Ancient Tradition

This is a picture of a rag doll that I made, using the old fashioned method of making a corn husk doll. Rag dolls used to be one of the only toys a girl would have, due to limited supplies, and they would cherish them. They are very easy to make, and fun too. All you need are a few pieces of leftover cloth and string!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Thoughts on Generals in "Across Five Aprils"

I am doing a book study on "Across Five Aprils" by Irene Hunt, a story about a boy who grows up during the Civil war, for Language Arts. I really enjoy the book because it is so detailed, gives you information about the actual history behind it, and gives you a lot of insight into what life would truly be like back then. I wrote these paragraphs about the generals in the Civil War, and their battle techniques.

General McClellan was a general in the Civil War, at first highly esteemed, but his lack of brutal strategy lost him his position. In “Across Five Aprils” Shadrach Yale’s opinion of him is that: “He does not have the cold approach to killing, the singleness of purpose, the brutal tenacity, that the winner of this war-if there ever is to be one-must have.”

I think Shadrach means that they need a General who can focus on, not the soldier’s lives, but the strategy of the war. To do this, he must be fairly cold-hearted. I do not think a Christian should be able to act like this, even in a war, because our hearts are supposed to be open and loving. While God does even order people to kill sometimes, such as in Exodus, I do not believe we should have a cold-hearted approach to it.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Would You Rather

I wrote a "Would You Rather" for our Bible Study Newspaper that I thought you would enjoy.

Be stranded on a tropical island with an active volcano...or…be stuck in the desert?
Eat a worm…or…eat part of an alligator tongue?
Have a broken pinky finger…or…broken big toe?
Be crippled…or…permanently have no hair? (No wigs)
Always itch…or…ache?
H A V E    S O M E    F U N! ! !
Do the “would you rather” with a friend!!!

Here are my answers:
Tropical island, (Less heat!)
Alligator tongue,
Pinky finger,
I guess... No hair
Ache!! I cannot stand itching!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hand Lettering

I really enjoy hand lettering. This is a project I did, copying down Exodus 14:14.
Do you have any tips or techniques I can learn from?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Living History

Living History is an amazing and intriguing experience. It was created to bring to life our heritage, show how hard life really was, and how we can learn from their struggles by showing them through acting. I started volunteering for the Shiloh Museum and the Washington County Historical Society Headquarters House a couple years ago, and it has been a wonderful adventure for me.  I have several different programs, and dress up in character from different time periods! I like it best when I can sing ballads and perform historical dances in a group. As volunteers, we perform for different audiences, from young schoolchildren to elderly ladies. It is such a blessing to me how Granna works so hard on the dresses I use, and I am so grateful to her!!! Living History is quite an adventure, and the best thing is, anyone can be a part of it! It is an amazing thing to re-discover our heritage!!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Churchill Club's Amazing Acts

I have just finished an interesting book on the Churchill Club called “The Boys Who Challenged Hitler; Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club” by Phillip Hoose. It tells an intriguing and true tale of a few boys who stood up to the German occupation in Denmark during World War 2. In the beginning of the German occupation, the citizens of Denmark did not stand up against the Germans, and the Government let them take control of their country. However, Knud Pedersen and a few other boys were ashamed of how their government was acting, and decided to do something about it. They named themselves the Churchill Club, and stood up to the Germans by using graffiti on their base walls, and even ruining German cars! Even though they were caught and jailed, they sparked inspiration in the Denmark citizens, and sparked the Denmark rebellion, and their separation from Germany. This is an amazing book, and though the end is depressing, the beginning is very inspiring. This book is also a great reminder of how the way one small group acts can change a nation.

Awareness for Kakuma

Kakuma is a refugee camp in Kenya, Africa. It was created to house refugees, especially children, who escaped from the civil war in South Sudan. However, the conditions in this camp are terrible. Some of these children were ripped from their parents when they were only 6 years old, and after struggling to survive in a terrible war, are now imprisoned in this camp, with no hope of a better future. They are handed out tiny amounts of rations, but they are always in a short supply. Even this little food that they have is often stolen from them by the older boys in the camp. These children, even down to the age of 6, look forward to Tuesday, because that is the day trash is dumped near the camp. They will scavenge in the heap for broken bits of banana, or anything else in the slightest way edible.

I want to raise awareness for this cause, and my goal is to give at least ten, out of the thousands of children that are still stuck there, a hope. Whether this be a new family, or even coming to America, I wish that they can have a hope in Jesus Christ, and that they can have a chance to be free from the harsh conditions of Kakuma.

Revival paper

For my language arts, I got to write a persuasive paper. I chose to write about the
necessity of time with God in our personal lives. I wrote it for Christians who have grown
complacent in their faith, to encourage and inspire them. I hope it it motivates you to
strengthen your faith.

As Christians, we are called to grow in faith, love and maturity (1 Peter 2:1-2). The thing is, we are often not open to new growth and cling tightly to the things that are only important in this world, such as sports, money, etc. We often think of ourselves as following God, even though we are not listening to him and not obeying when he tells us to do anything out of our comfort zone. In Matthew 19:16-23 it tells the story of a rich young man who asked Jesus what he should do to be saved. Jesus answered: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the man heard this, he went away sadly, because he would not let go of his money and riches. Often, we do the same thing. It is not always with money, sometimes the thing that we do not let go of is a job, or a position, and we let it stand  in the way of what our Savior has told us to do. Do not let this happen. Listen to him, and obey with a cheerful heart.
Another thing that keeps us from a relationship with God is our time with him. Very frequently, we will go days without reading the Bible, or even quietly praying alone. It can be very hard to make time for God, because this age is full of busy schedules, but should anything stand in the way of knowing him, and spreading his love? What could be more important? After all, he is Jesus, the Christ who saved us from eternal separation with God.
Sometimes, we will spend time with God, but not really throw ourselves into knowing him, or making it enjoyable. Being a Christian does not mean being solemn, for God gives us joy in him, not sadness. To ward of monotony, try something new, like listening to music, or just sitting quietly outside and listening to God.
Make a commitment. Make time to listen and get to know Jesus. Hear his voice, and obey him. Make every devotional interesting and grow in your faith. Life is a battle, so be prepared. There will be a time in your life when you will be challenged. Get ready, and preach the gospel.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” Says the LORD, “Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”,
Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,”

Friday, April 1, 2016

My Heart for Sudanese Refugees

There are young children in a refugee camp. They are the survivors of the Sudanian Civil War. Some of them have been trapped for years in a place called Kakuma in Kenya, Africa. They look forward to the day when trash comes to the camp, and they can hunt for the smallest scrap of anything edible. They get some small rations every year, but many are stolen by the older inhabitants of the camp. These children view America as a near heaven. Some children have been taken to America, but these efforts stopped when the two towers crashed on 9/11, because the government did not want to risk taking in terrorists. Many of these children are still living in the refugee camp, with no hope of a better future.

A good book that tells more about these situations is "Running for My Life," By Lopez Lomong.

I hope to raise awareness so more children can have more opportunities to learn about Jesus, for a better life, and possibly reach America.

Learning Through Difficulty

It was very hard for me when Lincoln was sick and in the hospital. I can still remember Mim being at our house taking care of us and talking and crying with me in the kitchen about how Lincoln might die, but that God was still there and had a plan for him. I was a bit angry, and sad because I didn’t think he should die, I wanted him to stay with us so that we could get to know him, play with him, and love him. It was very hard to get through, worrying and praying over him, hoping he would live. It was so hard to accept that God was in control, even when poor Lincoln was in the hospital. I am so glad that God has chosen to let Lincoln live, and live with us too!!!

I think that God could have used that hard experience to remind us to trust in him, even when it is hard because he is in control and knows what is best for us. Also, I think that Lincoln coming and being in the hospital has pulled our family together and completely redefined our definition of “miracle” and “God’s perfect plan” through experience. It is such a amazing thing to, whenever I read a miracle, to think of Lincoln and how God has worked in our life personally. I also think that Lincoln’s hospitalization has taught me patience, steadfastness, and faith.

This trial will help me in future struggles because it has taught me to trust God no matter what happens, even if I am afraid and worried. It will also help because I will remember it and how God knew what was best for me. Even if it does not turn out the way I want next time, I can know that God is in control and I can trust in him, I do not have to worry or fear.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me,”
Psalm 23:4

I read in the devotional "Speak Love; Making Your Words Matter," by Annie F. Downs a quote that I liked.

"Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become your character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny,"