Friday, December 7, 2012

Another Set of Eleven Things...

I have been awarded the Liebster blog award once again! This time, by Jonathan over at Jonny's Unofficial Blog!

So..... I will state eleven more facts about myself...oh dear this will be very hard!

1. I am training for a 5K race in March
2. I am currently memorizing the book of James
3. I get headaches if I am on the computer for very long, (so this blog post is more than likely going to be full of mistakes and typed out as quickly as possible without having to look at the screen)
4. I am the fourth born of ten children.
5. I am not a social introvert *laughs*
6. I have at least fifteen pen pals
7. I am writing four novels all at the same time and on paper
8. I stand with Israel!
9. I am a coffee and hot chocolate addict. *blushes*
10. I am a senior in high school.
11. I love the Lord God, my Savior Jesus Christ.

Ok, to answer the questions that Jonny asked...oh boy. I can definitely tell that a guy asked these. Haha! :)

1. If you could, which one of the following would you eliminate from the face of the earth: Pride, Lust, or Murder?  Why?
Umm...this is a hard question to answer. I guess I would say pride. Why? Because God hates pride. It is the root of all sin.
2. If you could go back in time to assassinate one person, which of the following men people would you assassinate: Joseph Smith, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, the Prophet Mohammed, 'Other' (pick someone not mentioned), or none of the above?  Why?
I would pick none of the above. Because assassinating someone is against God's law. I would be committing murder if I could assassinate any of those evil men.
3. Do you believe Salvation is by faith, works, a combination of the two, or something else altogether?  Why?
I believe that Salvation is asking God to forgive you for every sin that you have committed against Him and accepting Jesus into your heart.
4. What is your favorite kind of cheese and why? (switching gears here...)
My favorite cheese is Mozzarella! Why? Because it is soft, a little bit salty, and has a very good flavor to it.
5. What is your favorite kind of food and why?
Umm... right now, I don't have a favorite food. All food sounds repulsive right now.
6. What is your favorite firearm and bullet caliber?  Why?
Um a 9mm. Luger. Why? Because it's an awesome firearm, that's why! :P
7. If you had to be in a tank, which position would you choose: commander, gunner, loader, or driver?  Why?
Ummm. Never had to imagine myself in this position before. I guess I would like to be the driver. Why? Because I would just have to drive. I wouldn't have to kill anyone.
8. What is your favorite armored vehicle, and why?
Ummm.....I really don't know.
9. What is your favorite fight/battle/conflict/war to study in history?  Why?
World War Two. Because it is so interesting. (in my opinion)
10. What's the closest you've ever come to dying?  What happened and how?  What was your reaction afterward?
I really don't think I have ever come very close to dying. I take that back. I was almost dropped out of an upstairs window when I was a baby. I think I screamed. lol. I'm not sure. I can't remember.
11. What's the worst thing your best friend has done to you, and why?
Well I have several best friends....and there's only one who I can think of who has done something really terrible to me. That was my sister Emily. She called me the Missing Link. Why...I don't know. I think it was because I climbed trees and cause according to her I looked like a monkey. Thankfully I no longer have that nickname! :P

Now.....I have to come up with eleven more questions.....

1. Would you rather be a firefly or a butterfly and why?
2. If you could, which Apostle would you spend a day with?
3. Who is your favorite person in world history?
4. Would you rather be a missionary to a head-hunting tribe, or to a tribe that considered all white men Foreign devils?
5. Depending on your voice and personality what instrument do you think you would be?
6. What is your favorite holiday?
7. Who is your favorite prophet in the Old Testament?
8. If you could, would you rather live during the Old Testament time, or the New Testament time?
9. What are your five favorite movies?
10. What is the song you listen to the most?
11. What was the last movie you watched?

And the people I awarded......

Cindy Saul

And a little bit of an explanation as to why I haven't really been around much.....
If I am on the computer for very long, like 20-30 minutes I get a bad headache. So I have hardly been on the computer at all. That's where I've been.

So long peoples!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Eleven Things....

So I have been awarded the Liebester blog award by dear Gabrielle, over at The Ink Stained Parchment.
Now I  have to state eleven facts about myself. (which isn't easy)

1. I'm a bookworm
2. I'm a passionate music-lover
3. I'm saved by the Blood of the Lamb
4. I prefer hot drinks over cold ones
5. I'm an aunt three times
6. I thoroughly enjoy writing even though most of the stuff I write isn't necessarily good...
7. My favorite book in the Bible is Jeremiah
8. I love the color purple
9. I'm saving my first kiss for my wedding day
10. I'm fascinated by WWII history
11. I'm memorizing the Sermon on the Mount with my family

So now I am supposed to answer 11 questions that Gabrielle asked...

1.  How do you outline?  Can you share with us how you do it?
   I usually 'create' my characters, fill out their 'profiles', figure out what this and that character's objective in the story is. Then I use the One Year Adventure Novel worksheets to figure out what my main character wants to achieve, what the villain's main goal is and basically figure out the roles of key characters. After that is all written out I write out the chapter skeleton. When  that's finished I start writing the first rough draft.

2. Twilight or Harry Potter or neither?
3. Author(s) that has inspired/influenced your writing the most
     Joel C. Rosenberg, my pseudo older brother Josh
4. What is your ideal place to write?
     In a quiet cozy place
5. If you could hop on a plane and go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
      Europe, but just for a visit.
6.  If you had a time machine, which author would you love to be able to talk with?
      I would love to talk to talk to Joel C. Rosenberg, but I wouldn't need a time machine for that.
7. If you were given the chance of having your book turned into a movie, would you say yes or no?  If no, why?  If yes, did you agree to it with certain conditions in mind?
     I might, but with certain conditions in mind.
8. Tea or coffee?
      Coffee definitely!
9. What time of day do you write the most?
     The morning
10. Do you listen to music while you write?  If so what genre?
        Yes, I do. Genre: Classical
11. Have you ever gotten inspiration for a novel while watching one of your favorite TV shows/movies?

Now I've got to come up with 11 questions to ask the 5 people I tag.

1. How often do you write?
2. Do you prefer being indoors or out?
3. What is your favorite drink?
4. Are you shy or out-going?
5. Favorite book genre?
6. Do you have pen pals?
7. Bookworm or not?
8. What do you enjoy writing the most?
9. If you could, which person(s) from history would you want to talk to?
10. What legacy do you want to leave?
11. Early bird or night owl?

The people I've tagged:


Have a good evening!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It Is Better to Trust in the Lord

"Obama wins two presidential elections."

The very words pierced my heart to the very core. And my heart sank with dread.

I had the privilege to watch some of the presidential election progress last night. The Republican ballot was doing well then. I was excited to see who would be the president this morning.

I woke up at 4:30 and prepared to read my Bible. But first, I seriously had to know who had won the election. I knew it would be close, and I was hoping the Republicans had taken the cake.
When I looked it up I was devastated. We had to endure another four years under the reign of a democrat again?! Why?!
As I was thinking about this a couple of scripture verses popped in my head.

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. The Lord is on my side, what can man do unto me?" Psalm 118:8, 6

"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water, he turns it whithersoever he will." Proverbs 21:1

I was instantly reminded that God is still on the throne. Yes, the battle in America for a better President may have been lost, but God still reigns. This encouraged me greatly.

Another few verses that crossed my mind were,

"Let every soul be subject unto the governing authorities. For there is no authority but of God; the powers that be are appointed by God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resists the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves judgment.
For he is the minister of God to thee for good." Romans 13:1, 2, and 4a

Clearly the Lord is saying that our new President has been placed in office by Him. And since that is the case we must respect and submit to that.

I don't want to endure another four years like the previous ones, but God has allowed this to happen for our good. Romans 8:28.

The last thing the Lord showed me about this election is that even though Barak Obama may not be the President I would have preferred in the White House, I still need to pray for him.
(that hit me between the eyes)

So as you go about your daily lives remember, it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

Oh, and pray for your President, after all, he is the minister of God.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Twas the Day Before the Election

T'was the Day Before the Election 

It was the day before election,
And all thru’ town,
Tempers were flaring
Emotions ran up and down.
I was drinking coffee with my cat in my lap,
Had shut off the T.V,
Tired of the scrap
When all of a sudden,
There arose such a noise,
I peered out my window,
Saw Obama and his boys
They had come for my wallet,
They had wanted my pay
To hand out to others
Who had not worked a day !!
He snatched up my money,
And quick as a wink,
Jumped back on his bandwagon
As I gagged from the stink.
He then rallied his henchmen
Who were pulling his cart.
I could tell they were out
To tear my country apart !!!
On Fannie, on Freddie,
On Biden and Ayers !!

On ACORN, on Pelosi
He screamed at the pairs !!
They took off for his cause,
And as they flew out of sight
I heard Obama laugh at a nation
Who wouldn’t stand up and fight.
So I leave you to think on this final note,
If you don’t won’t Socialism or Communism,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Letting Go

"I took a test this morning and it was negative"

My mom's words rang in my ears.
She hadn't been feeling well for a couple of days, but we had all been praying that God would protect the baby. We were confident that the baby would make it. This had happened before, so we were sure everything would be fine.
 As those words were spoken, a despairing mood fell over everyone. Stunned expressions graced all of our faces for a few minutes. The reality hit and one by one tears began to fill our eyes.

Mom didn't want to deal with it that day. We were preparing to leave for a trip to the Barnard's later that afternoon. She said to tell no one, and if anyone texted or called to see how she was doing we were to tell them 'the same'. With that, everyone dispersed and went off to do chores and packing. (to read mom's side of this story go to: On Pregnancy Loss)

  I stumbled to my room as the tears were blinding my vision.
"Why? God, what is the purpose of this? What are you doing?" I asked. I felt like a bad girl for asking God why. I knew you weren't supposed to ask that no matter what, but I did anyway. I was broken. Angry. I felt like my trust and faith in God had been shattered. I had trusted in Him to keep the baby safe. He had given us this baby. It had a purpose. Why was He taking it away? I sobbed my eyes out for quite awhile. My heart had broken in to pieces and melted into tears. The more I cried the angrier I became. My anger towards God grew to be so great I couldn't talk to Him anymore.

I dried up in time to do my chores, but while I was straightening books on the bookshelf a song on our iTunes began playing. It was a mother's prayer to her baby. A song we had hoped to sing at the baby's dedication. The well of tears flooded once again. I'm self-conscious about crying in front of others so I went back up to my room.
 The ache in my heart wouldn't go away. I felt like I needed to talk to someone outside the family, but who could I call? I wasn't supposed to tell anyone. I finally decided to call our pseudo older brother, Joshua Covert. He would be on his lunch break in fifteen minutes so I figured I would call him then.
To my relief the fifteen minutes sped by. I dialed his number and waited for him to answer. I told myself that I was not going to cry while on the phone.
 Josh answered his phone and the conversation began. I told him what had happened. I ended up crying, to my embarrassment, but what he told me set it in a new perspective for me.
He said, "Haley, I'm envious of you."
Shocked, I asked why.
He replied with, "You have a bunch of siblings. I don't. I have none. I don't even have the hope of having siblings awaiting me in Heaven. You do."
I mulled over that and then realized he was right. He was so right!
He also said, "God is trustworthy. He really is. You know this. There is a reason for all of this. I'm not sure what, but God knows. There is a bigger picture that we can't see just now."

To say the least, he greatly helped me out and reassured me that trusting in God, though hard as it is, is the best thing to do. He prayed for me, a little bit more was said, and then we parted ways.
Though I was still harboring anger towards God in my heart, I felt as though I could continue on with my life for the time being.

I shoved the whole thing aside while we were at the Barnard's. I didn't want it to spoil the trip. However, God didn't, and wouldn't let me forget.
On the way home from the Barnard's I had three hours to think about it. After fighting for so long I finally let the barriers break. The wall of anger, defeat, bitterness, and hurt came crashing down. I let it fall in a heap before the Master and King. I surrendered it all over to Him. The weight of it all was a relief to get rid of.
I was free! It was so refreshing.

I learned that I had been mistaken in praying my will instead of His will. It's still a constant battle, and I think it always will be, but I'm making it a habit to pray that way.
Also living by faith is a day by day process. By willingly trusting in the Lord to guide me every day I am setting myself up for an adventurous and challenging life, but why shouldn't I?

Letting go is not easy, but is there something God wants you to let go of?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guest Post: A Privilege Forgotten

Originally posted by Cheryl at Treasures from a Shoebox

Guest Post:
This post was written by a recent home-school graduate who attends our church. This young man is a great conversationalist, fun to be around (his joy is contagious), encouraging, intelligent, articulate, and passionate about what he believes. I am pleased to introduce you to Wesley Myers.

The day seemed like any other. The cold temperatures outside were reminders that winter was still haunting our otherwise normal lives. School seemed to dominate the majority of my time, and day-to-day activities seemed as monotonous as breathing itself. The notion that my perception of mankind was about to change never even crossed my mind, and if it had been mentioned, it probably would have made me laugh. 

It came during lunch, when the radio was on. As was the tradition in our household, we listened to the political talk show host Rush Limbaugh on the radio while we ate. His appreciation for the truth and its lack of placement in our society, combined with his constant string of satirical comments, made an interesting daily subject of discussion. But while I sat there enjoying my peanut butter sandwich, the popular radio host moved to the matter of international happenings, most of which, at that time, was dominated by the current war in Iraq. And then the revelation began. 

He started speaking of the very first free election being held in Iraq. And as I listened, I was introduced to the idea of gratefulness for the very things that we have seemed to take for granted. Masses of people in Iraq were streaming to the cities to vote, crowding the booths for the opportunity to have their voice heard for the first time in their national history. Stories of people who gladly inconvenienced themselves for this rare chance flooded the news, further stunning my young, impressionable mind. Stories of people who would walk miles from their villages with incapable people on their backs to vote with them, or of elderly people who hobbled to the closest polling booth just to cast a single vote. A single vote that apparently meant everything to them. Then I wondered to myself, what was it that compelled these people so much to make a seemingly small difference? And why don’t we have the same reaction to this opportunity? That’s when I saw the error with my viewpoint. When you don’t have something, it becomes more valuable. 

There was a reason that the United States was started as a democracy. There was no freedom under the rule of Britain. America’s intention was to be liberated from the rule of oppressive government. The belief was held that if the people were the government, and the people chose the direction of the government, liberty was held intact. This belief and practice has been held for the entire life of this country, and has shaped who we are as a whole. Recently, however, we have started to develop a sense of complacency. Liberties that once were so important to us have been taken for granted. Just take a look at the voter turnout over the years – a downward trend has been going on for more than sixty years (1). 

Now compare that to a new democracy – Iraq. In only their first election ever, a third-world country lacking many of the conveniences we posses surpassed the world’s most powerful and free country in voting turnout percentage (2). Which leads us to the big question: why did this happen? Many answers can be formulated, but if we were to condense all the possible answers into one word, that word would be “gratefulness”.

We have taken too many things for granted. It is said that if we have money in our wallet, then we are richer than ninety percent of the world. If you have food, extra clothes, and a roof over your head, then you are more fortunate than seventy-five percent of the world. And here we are attending church together – something that three billion other people are unable to do. These are all things that we all too often take for granted. Freedom is a wonderful thing. But if we begin to ignore all it has done for us, then we begin to lose our sense of value for what really matters.

Freedom shows itself in many forms: freedom of religion; freedom to bear arms; freedom to own your own business; freedom of choice; and most of all, freedom of speech. Now imagine a life devoid of these freedoms. Life would be oppressed by the power hungry, and any grab for success would be met with control by those who have put themselves in power by no choice or say of the people. Life would be a monotonous existence, and, while we would hope for bright times in our children’s future, we would all know that the cycle of oppression would only continue.

So how can we avoid this all-too-possible future? The answer comes back to the reason why a third-world country had a higher voter turnout than our own – gratefulness. When you look at their past you may see a reason for their gratefulness: they are a people inundated with terrorists on every side, living in a country ravaged by war, all led by a man corrupted with power. So when they were given a chance to change the outlook for their country, it became a gift for all to have a piece. As with all countries, they may not have agreed with all that the candidates stood for, but they immediately looked past the differences to take advantage of the opportunity to change their country’s current path to destruction.

So the question remains: what is our excuse? Is it lack of time? Or money? Or maybe the polling booth is too far away? None of these excuses are valid in today’s advanced society that we have in our free country.

Even though this concept was never explained to me before, it immediately left a huge impact on my life and perception of everything around me. It became a lesson I will never forget. May we never forget the privileges bestowed upon us by the freedom of our country. Treasure them, and keep them responsibly, by taking advantage of them while we can. Because it is only when those privileges are gone that we realize how much they were originally worth, and how much was missed by ignoring them.

Works Cited

Side note: Wesley is the 6th of 8 children of Mike and Becky Myers. You might remember Mike from the recent post Too Small For His Britches.


Monday, September 24, 2012

"Out of the Mouths of Babes..."

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings...." Psalm 8:2a

This past Monday morning mom was complaining of feeling unusually queasy. She blamed it on the food she had eaten the day before. She had been on a juice fast when she ate. I argued and said Emily and Steph weren't sick even though they had cheated as well. I said, "Maybe your pregnant." She waved me off and said there's no way. But I had this gut feeling that she was.

Later that day she secretly told dad to pick her up a pregnancy test on his way home. I figured out what was going on. I'm that suspicious. :P So when dad got home she took the test without anyone 'knowing'. I went to the bathroom after she had taken it and found the test in the trash. It was a negative. My hopes were dashed. But I thought, maybe she hadn't waited long enough. So I waited a little bit, but no positive line showed. Disappointed I threw the test back in the trash, but something told me, just wait, it's all going to work out.
  I periodically kept checking on it through that evening, but I finally gave up and just laid the test on the back of the toilet. And forgot about it.
 Around nine 'o clock, Steph comes barreling into mom and dad's bedroom where they were talking.
"Mom! Did you see the pink line?" She asks mom
"No, there is no pink line." Mom counters
"Yes, mom, there is!"
"No, there's no way. It was negative when I took it."
"Come to the bathroom where the light is best and see for yourself."
She did so and lo and behold there was a faint pink line confirming that she was pregnant. Mom still did not believe it. All of us children knew though.

For months now, us children have been praying daily for a baby boy, Jeremiah James is what his name is. We have just felt that our family is not complete. Whenever all of us would gather together mom would say, "It feels like someone is missing". We would all say "It's Jeremiah James!"
We knew when mom took that test that she was indeed pregnant.
To confirm it though she took another test Wednesday morning and it was indeed a positive!!! The estimated date is sometime in May!
What was so unusual about finding out this time is normally mom and dad are the ones who tell us. But this time us kids had to tell mom that she was pregnant.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Essence of Maturity

How do you mature?
I have been asked that question several times. The reason I've been asked that I don't know why. But apparently the people who asked it thought I would be able to answer.

The first time I was asked how does one become mature I snorted and waved them off. How should I know? Who did they think I was, some spiritual guru or something? (which by the way, I'm not at all! Just ask my family and friends) :P But then I got to thinking about it.
Seriously, how does one become mature? Spiritually and mentally.

The dictionary's definition is:
"completed, perfected, or elaborated in full by the mind: fully developed in body or mind, as a person"

But how does one put that into action? How does one achieve that level of maturity? What is the essence of maturity.

It took me awhile to really figure this out. Well I didn't really figure it out the Lord brought it to my heart.

We become mature through hardships, trials, and tests. Emotionally and mentally we get older. Not necessarily age wise, (that's inevitable for all of us) but we become wise. This is what grows us. The more we go through the more mature we become.

My sixteenth year was probably my hardest year. God took me through so much. I had a bunch of medical issues and I thought I was seriously going to die. But I wouldn't trade or erase that year for anything. I learned some valuable lessons. One of the main ones was to trust God.
   It really isn't easy to just trust God. We all want to have control over our life because if it's in our hands we think that we are safe. But we have it all backwards! If we just place our life in God's hands He will do amazing things with it.

My younger sister Corrie and I were talking the other day. She told me that she really liked it when we had tornadoes come our way because we had nothing to be afraid of. I wholeheartedly agreed with her. It's because I know that God has us in the palm of His hand. And that is the safest place to be. (And we've never been hit by a tornado.)

Anyway, I grew in certain areas that I couldn't have matured in if I hadn't gone through all those trials. It has paid off!

So when a hard time, test, or trial comes your way, don't freak. Give it to God and ask Him to guide you through it. He brought it in to your life in the first place.

Are you perhaps going through a hardship right now?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Guest Post: The Princess and the Kiss

My mom, Cheryl Long from Treasures from a Shoebox originally posted this. 
I had the pleasure of participating in this awesome rendition of this lovely little story. I played the part of the Princess. 
I hope you enjoy reading this! :)

"Play opens with rave reviews!

Young people from four different families joined together recently to perform a play based on the popular children's book The Princess and the Kiss, by Jennie Bishop.


Narrator: Long ago in a wonderful castle on a mountain of splendor, a beautiful princess was born. Her parents were the king and queen of the mountain and all the green valley below.
The King and Queen adored the little Princess and wisely protected their young daughter. When Princess was finally grown, King and Queen called her to their side.

The King and Queen tell their daughter that on the day she was born, God gave her a special gift which her parents have guarded for her till now: Her very first kiss. They present her with the kiss (represented by a white rose atop a silver pillow), telling her it is hers to do with as she pleases, but her father admonishes her to wisely save her kiss for the one she will marry.

In appreciation for the gift, Princess sings the first verse of Thank You Mama and Papa (the same song she sang to me and her daddy at her covenant ceremony in July).

After the Page announces beautiful Princess is now of the age to receive suitors, he then stands at the corner of the stage, announcing each Prince's arrival.

The castle PROUDLY welcomes Prince Peacock!

Prince Peacock, sporting sunglasses, struts his stuff while curling a dumbbell. (The little girls on the front row laughed excitedly as the Prince made his grand entrance to the William Tell Overture).

Prince Peacock boasts about his strength and physical abilities (even demonstrating how fast he is by running around the audience while being timed). Princess realizes that though his muscles are impressive, there would be no room in his heart for her kiss.

Prince Peacock leaves a lasting impression! ☺

The castle AFFECTIONATELY welcomes Prince Romance! He saunters to the stage to the classical song The Swan, while tossing rose petals and pastel confetti toward the crowd. (The girls on the front row squealed!)

After presenting Princess with flowers and chocolates, Prince Romance boasts about all the beautiful places he's been to. He went here with Princess Mary, and here with Princess Jane. When Princess hears her friend's name mentioned she is alarmed, as her friend, Princess Francine had given her the impression that she was awaiting a marriage proposal from Prince Romance. Realizing he's been discovered, he exits quickly. Princess realizes that Prince Romance would soon lose interest in her kiss.

The castle GENEROUSLY welcomes Prince Treasure Chest.

Wearing a flashy shirt and cape and sporting a ring on each finger, Prince Treasure Chest arrives to a Brahms Sonata.

After presenting Princess with a beautiful garment and jewel that has been in his family for generations, he proposes to the young lady. She declines, believing that though he could buy her whatever her heart desires, her kiss would not be special to him.

Discouraged, Princess requests that all suitors be sent away as she wonders if she will die an old maid.

King and Queen admonish their daughter to use her single years profitably and to trust that the Lord will bring her one true prince in His time. She sings verse 2 of Thank You Mama and Papa.

All the while, there has been a lone figure in the distance, working the fields next to the castle and patiently watching the Princess from afar...

As Humble Farmer approaches the castle, the Page determines there is no need to announce his arrival.

King and Queen are pleasantly surprised when Humble Farmer asks permission to speak with their daughter. 

Humble Farmer explains that he has worked in her father's fields for years and has prayed and watched and waited for the one who would be his wife and found no one. But then he saw her one day and noted her beauty and purity. He confesses that he has little to offer, as he is not as strong as many, he has no means to travel the earth, and has little money. But there is one thing he can give to her. On the day he was born, he too was given the gift of his first kiss and he has saved this all his life for the one he would marry. As he proposes, Princess looks to her parents who nod their whole-hearted approval.

Princess sings the final verse of Thank You Mama and Papa, with Humble Farmer joining her on the chorus.

The cast files out onto the stage to Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Princess is wearing a veil and she and Humble Farmer carry their "kisses".

The cast: Prince Treasure Chest (Daniel Johnson); Prince Romance (Jonathon Boehlke); Prince Peacock (Stephen Boehlke); Handmaiden Beth (MacKenzie Long); Page (Isaac Long); Princess (Haley Long); Humble Farmer (David Johnson); Queen (Emily Long); King (Joshua Covert).
Costumes by Hannah Porter and Emily Long. Music and sound effects compiled by Stephanie Long. Play written and directed by Cheryl Long (based on the book The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop).

We hope you've enjoyed our rendition of this beautiful story!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Announcing a New Blog!!

Hello all!
Today my best friend Rachelle Myers and I just published our first post on our new blog:

Our Two Cents in a Pinch

Go check it out! We have a few ideas of what we want to accomplish through this blog.
 Feel free to suggest any ideas about what we could do in the suggestion page. We are open for suggestions!

Have a blessed week.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guest Post: 2016: Obama's America Review

This is a must read/see post!!!! Re-share it! It's important that every American sees it before the election in November!! 

Rak Chazak Amats!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Michael Ray

Michael Ray turned three today. Though, he doesn't act three. No, he acts much more mature than your average three-year-old.
    As you gathered from the picture, his favorite thing to do is mow the lawn. Or pretend he is mowing. He's a busy little fellow and is as sharp as a knife!

Emily has been teaching Michael, along with the twins, Brook and Briar. He knows his ABC's, can sing the song flawlessly, and can point the letters out on pages. Though this trait is not so welcome during a game of Scrabble.

A few interesting facts about Michael...

He was talking almost full sentences by the time he was two
He just here recently potty-trained himself. Yes, you read that correctly. We just stuck big-boy underwear on him and told him that until he was out of diapers he couldn't ride on the end of the cart. clicked and he doesn't wear diapers. Except at night of course.
He makes friends wherever he goes.
And he's the light of the house.

For his birthday today, Uncle Larry and his girlfriend, Diane came over and gave him his gift.

He's been singing the Happy Birthday song all week long. He was absolutely delighted when we told him it was finally his birthday today. He immediately knew what to do after we had finished singing to him. :)

He enjoyed opening the presents that were given to him. Especially the bag of balloons that Corrie presented him with. :)

Happy Birthday, Michael!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

She's a Teenager!

Today is my younger sister Corrie's birthday. And as you guessed from the title she is turning 13. I simply cannot believe that she is actually a teenager. That makes three of us. :)

Corrie is one of my best friends. I love the girl to death.

Some unique little quirks about Corrie are:
She is an avid pack rat, but she keeps it all organized.
She is thorough. You can always depend on Corrie to have the job done complete and to your liking.
She loves audio books and listens to radio theatre dramas all the time!
Some things she collects are dolls, hats, purses, miniature things and the like.
She likes to get up at ungodly hours even though sometimes she hasn't had much sleep.

She looks up to me. I find this a little un-nerving sometimes. She is looking up to me as an example. She told me not too long ago that she watches us older girls make mistakes and gleans from them what she can. I find that quite remarkable.

She is a servant. She will take the initiative when others just sit back and do nothing.

She absolutely loves children and claims that she wants to have twenty of her own. You go girl! :)

Another aspect of Corrie is her amazing character. She is more mature than most 13-year-old girls that I know. The key to Corrie's awesome character is the fact that she spends time with God. She is seeking Him day by day. For a girl of 13, that is amazing.

Happy Birthday, Corrie!!! I love you bunches!!! :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Very Best Friends

It's been said that if you can get along with your siblings, you can get along with anyone in the world.

Sisters are great. Especially when you have six of them. But along with having six sisters comes what people call relationships. 
Most folks don't realize just how important it is to have a good, solid relationship with not just your sisters, but your brothers too. 
I didn't realize it myself until about a year ago. Your siblings are the friends who will always be there for you. They won't ever ditch you. You're family! There's that strong tie to hold you together. 
But before you get that good relationship... The construction must come first. You cannot simply expect to wake up one day and you and your sister or brother are best friends for life and nothing else will go wrong. That couldn't be further from the truth. I know this to be true from my own experience. 
When I was much younger I couldn't seem to get along with anyone in my family! That's frustrating! Some of you may know what I'm talking about. You are constantly at war with everyone and no one seems to care that you are human too. :P 
But then, I realized that the reason my relationships with my siblings was in shambles was because of my nasty, ugly pride. Once I came to that realization, and I feebly tried to humble myself, the building process with my siblings began. 

The first siblings to become my best friends were my two older sisters, Stephanie and Emily. 

From left to right; Emily, me, Stephanie

"The Three Older Girls", as we are known in our family, are an epic trio. I have to say so myself. We go almost everywhere together and we share the common thread of being the three main singers in our family's singing ministry. We have a special relationship between the three of us. We trust one another enough to spill our guts to each other, and we know that when we share our struggles we will get sound advice. It's quite awesome how close we are. These two girls are my treasured best friends. I know that we will carry on this special relationship even after we are all gone from the house and married. 
I have to admit though, we have not always been that way. To make you feel better, we use to be terrors with each other. It's not like we hated each other, but we certainly were not the best of friends. But as each of us has gotten older we have grown closer. As a result we have each made an effort to strengthen and build each other up. 

My other siblings fall into place after. :) 

MacKenzie would be next. She's my best friend as well. Our journey into best-friendship-hood has not been exactly the easiest road to travel, but we are slowly but surely making it to the glorious land of best friends. We have our occasional spats of course; you can't escape those lovely little things. They will arise while you are growing together. The trials and mini hardships are what makes your relationship stronger. 

Me and Corrie

Corrie Beth is my newest best friend. Corrie and I have a sad history. Well it's sad to me. We both really didn't like each and therefore a lot of problems rose between us. It was mainly my nasty pride. And I mean it when I say that. But I've come to realize that Corrie needs me to be her best friend. She is at that age where she is trying to figure out just who she really is. With that stage comes the need for a close friend. And the best candidates our your siblings. Trust me, I know. :) 

So, yesterday morning, we had a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of tea party out in Mom's herb garden. I wrote Corrie a little note the night before saying that she needed to be down at mommy's garden by six the next morning. 
I got up at 4:30 and frantically scrambled together some tea, pretty china that we have, a small table, a cute table cloth and runner, (I'm not going to tell you what it really was.) and some tasty little treats. 
I ended up having to wake her up, but it turned out that her tardiness was a blessing. 
She was thoroughly excited to be having this tea party with just me. You see, the younger children put us three older girls in this category all by ourselves, as we are "The Older Girls". This status means we are somehow more special than the rest of them~?. Not sure how that works, but that's how their precious little brains figure us in. When one of us Older Girls pays attention to one of the Little Ones, it makes them feel really special. Corrie told me she felt special because of what I was doing. She also told me (and this threw me for a loop) that I am her ideal. She looks up to me! She is always trying to figure out how I do this, and how I do that. That both scared and thrilled me. Imitation is the best kind of flattery. But the biggest responsibility that comes with having an admirer, is you MUST set a good example. Corrie told me she is watching all of us Older Girls and learning from our mistakes. I'm glad I'm saving her the trouble. :) But she is so very wise to be doing that. 
Anyway, when we were done she claimed me as her best friend. That made my day right there. 

Sam, Isaac, Destiny, Michael

These sweet young'ins are my baby-cakes. We are still in the process of thinking about building our relationship, well they are, I'm not. They are a little bit harder to get along with, but that's okay. I understand that they don't understand just yet how important it is for us to be best friends. We're still working on it. :) 

I hope this post has encouraged you to build your relationship with your siblings. I would enjoy hearing your experience in this area. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Blast With the Barnards!

I know this is a bit late, but better late than never, right? :)

We first 'met' the Barnard family a year ago. Though we didn't meet in the traditional sense.
  They had seen one of mom's article in the Above Rubies magazine and thought us to be a family they would like to meet. Mrs. Barnard sent my mom an email and told her that she had a daughter named Haley who was the same age as me! I was instantly intrigued and told mom to email the lady back and ask her if the Haley girl wanted to be my pen pal. I'm a sucker for pen pals. :P
   The lady promptly replied and said that her daughter, Haley would. I was thrilled to death.
So we began writing letters back and forth. Soon our younger sisters began writing as well. Then the boys started writing letters too. That led to us calling each other once a week.

As the months wore on, both families decided that we needed to meet each other in person. The problem was, the Barnard family didn't have a van to travel down here in. So when they got their van, and after months and months of waiting and trying to schedule a time for them to come we finally nailed down a date. July 18th-the 21st.

The day finally arrived. We had 4-H projects to finish and turn in, and a house to clean up before they arrived. We got it done and anxiously waited for their arrival. They ended up getting lost...and got to our house at eight PM.
I have to say, it was wonderful finally getting to meet the family, in person, who had been our pen pals for a year.
We had dinner, and then started deciding where we would all sleep. Most of the children from both families slept outside in tents. That was a blast because the first night the Haley twins, Haley Barnard, and I, got an entire tent all to ourselves. With the exception of one-year-old Meleah, but she was asleep. :P

Here are pictures of each of us with our pen pals:

Me and my twin Haley Barnard

Aubrie Barnard and MacKenzie

Lucas Barnard and Isaac. Not sure what Isaac's problem was there....

Adalin Barnard and Corrie

Levi Barnard and Sam

Claire Barnard and Destiny

Meleah and Corrie

Elizabeth Porter and the lovely miss Grace Barnard

My dad and Mr. Barnard

On Thursday, we sent almost all of both families off to Brown County State Park while we (Emily, the Haley twins, Adalin and Corrie) prepared our surprise. The surprise was an elegant dinner. All homemade.

The adult table: 
From left to right, back to front: Haley Barnard, me, Ben Barnard, Stephanie, Mr. Barnard, my dad, Mrs. Barnard, baby Sarah, and my mom.

The children's crazy table. :P
From left to right, back row, Michael, in the highchair, Levi Barnard, Sam, Judah Barnard , Isaac, Lucas Barnard
Front row, Corrie, Adalin Barnard, Grace Barnard, Destiny, and Claire Barnard

The lovely ladies who served the meal
Left to right: 
Aubrie Barnard, Emily, and MacKenzie

The next day was my covenant ceremony. It was a huge blessing to have the Barnards there. They helped out tremendously! I honestly don't think we could have done it without them. Thank you all so much!!!! 

Saturday. This was my least favorite day....because they had to leave. :( We had so much fun while they were here! It was as if we were one big family. :)

Both families
Yeah, that's a lot of people, but it makes for an epic time!!! 

Love you all, Barnard family!!!! :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What Does Your 15-Year-Old Sister Do?

This is my sweet sister MacKenzie, and today she is turning 15. I would like to share with you a few things about her that constantly amaze me.

She doesn't date. I greatly admire her for stand against this as most girls her age are dating.

She builds seven foot tall arbors for 4-H

She is buddies with her brothers

She enjoys witnessing to the lost. On some of her previous birthdays she has gone with dad to the mall where she passed out tracts and talked to people about Jesus.

She is bold. She's not afraid to tell you what she thinks.

She enjoys writing lyrics to already written songs. Some of them have had us all in stitches!

Her best friend is Aubrie Barnard.

She's my best friend too. (sorry Aubrie, you have to share. :P)

Happy 15th birthday, MacKenzie!!!