May 26, 2012

life is busy

Reading. Writing. Weeding. Cleaning. Babysitting. Organizing. Planting. Trying. Failing.

Isn't life just beautiful? I suppose that statement deserves an explanation: God blesses us in so many ways. I can't count on my fingers, toes, and even hairs exactly how many blessings God has given us. Every leaf, every blade of grass, every cloud, every ray of sun or moonlight, every breath, every beat of our hearts . . . life is a gift, a miracle. Oh, that we could learn to not take its many and beautiful facets for granted!

I haven't been writing on my blog very faithfully, and I apologize for that. I have been busy with life. (Wow, where to begin?!)

 My church is amazing, and I'm growing closer to everyone there and loving them more and more deeply as the Sundays pass by, one after the other.

I've been inching my way through the Hunger Games book, and am almost to the end. My sister, Emily, owns the book, so I've been trying to respect her wishes about not bringing it around while we travel. This makes it a little harder to finish (I spend a LOT of time in the car), but it's nice to sit down on my bed and delve into the action.

I'm finishing school at a snail's pace. Math is my most prominent issue, (I'm done with Literature, am nearly done with science, and am flying steadily through history because I just LOVE it). The prospect of finally graduating is a light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of my friends are graduating this year as well, and their open houses are getting me that much more excited!

My novel is coming along slowly. I'm the kind of writer who has a beginning and an end already planned out, but needs to work on filling in the middle. And that's what I'm doing right now, trying to fill in those spaces to get from A to B. I'm feeling a little restless, but it's a great learning process. My hope is to have chapter three completed by the first of June.
    The more I get into the story, though, the more my excitement grows. After all, I've been working on the general idea for this novel for almost seven years. (Mid-July was when it all started.) I had to crawl through a lot of drafts over the years that just weren't . . . right yet. But I'm confident that the draft I have now is the one I've been looking for all this time. I'm going through it one piece at a time, chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph. Now, I have a lot of great ideas in store --- it's just getting there!

My older sister, Lilly has begun selling Thirty-One bags. (You can find her here.)When I first went to a party my sister-in-law was hosting for these bags, I wasn't really sure to expect, and honestly, I didn't really like them. Now? I LOVE THEM! Perhaps I just needed a little nudge, but after purchase one, it's hard to stop! They're extremely practical, as well as cute. I just purchased a special cosmetic bag that I'm going to use to carry my Bible in for church on Sundays. I have two of these adorable notebook-cover-thingies called a Fold-and-Go Organizer; it's my favorite product from Thirty-One, and I use it daily to write down story-notes. It keeps them in one neat little place (who likes scraps of paper flying around in all directions?), and besides, they're CUTE!
    I'm also expecting another bag (the All In One Organizer) and a Pinch-Top Eyeglass Case in the mail in a couple of weeks. (Yeah, I have my own librarian-style specs; I'm a little near-sighted. Probably from reading so many books!)
    Anyway, if you're a girl, you won't be sorry you checked this out! You can visit the website here.

I once started reading Jerry Bridges' book Respectable Sins, but never finished it, so I'm picking it up again and am loving it! It points out those sins we look at as 'small' or 'acceptable' --- sins like pride, or greed --- things that don't show as much as murder or adultery, but are equally evil in God's eyes. This won't be the last time I mention this book, and I'll be sure to quote from it a lot in the near future because Bridges says it all so well, so much better than I do. Really, if you ever have an opportunity to get your hands on it, this is definitely a book worth owning!

Ah, and back to the subject of math, I've discovered an interesting technique that helps me get through it stress-free, and in a slightly shorter amount of time. You may call me crazy, but all I can say is that it's great to be home-educated.
    The past three days, I've sat down to math, and once I've completed between five and ten problems, I play one of my Spyro the Dragon games for a few minutes. 

 . . .

See? I told you that you'd think it was crazy.

This is why it works:
Honestly, I can only tolerate math for a very little while. About twenty to thirty problems involving fractions is enough to give me a whopping headache, and it has been known to take me a lot more than an hour to get through just one of my math lessons. If I get stressed (and too much math definitely makes me stressed!), I begin to have a harder time thinking logically about how to solve a problem; I start blanking.
    Now, when I pause every-so-often to get my mind off of math (by playing a little bit of my Spyro game), it takes away that stress (or prevents it) and actually ends up taking me approximately half an hour to finish a lesson, instead of almost TWO hours! It really does help. And you know what? I've started looking forward to doing math. ;)

Life is busy. And that's the way I like it.

May 5, 2012

sweet sixteen

My little sister, Emily, turned sixteen this April, and we had a party for her yesterday. She decorated her own cake with the Hunger Games mockingjay pin in yellow and gold. Most of her closest friends were able to make it, and we had a blast!

Mostly, everyone just talked together, which is great because there's always lots to say and laugh about. At one point, we went outside and a few of the girls danced in the rain or splashed the others with cupped hands full of water. We also pooled our ideas to make a very ugly Sim on our PlayStation console, and watched Megamind (my favorite movie!).

It was an extremely fun night. Happy birthday, Emily!
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