Sunday, December 22, 2013

Festive Cake


      My Aunt DaNita was having a Christmas party with her coworkers and none of them wanted to make or bring a cake to the party. And how can you have a party without a cake? So Aunt DaNita asked if I would make them a  red velvet cake, and they would reimburse us for the ingredients.
I haven't decorated a cake in a while, but I told her I would.

Words from my Nana echoed through my head as I said I would decorate the cake.
"You have to keep up with making cakes, or you start to forget how to do it."

And....the last cake I decorated was.....hmmm....back in June or July?

Sadly enough, I was really regretting having to decorate a cake for them. Everything gets so busy in December, and this was just something to add to it.

So at first I was just going to crush up candy canes and sprinkle that on the sides and the top of the cake.

But then I sat down and sketched out my own idea:

 
I kind of shocked myself that I came up with  a good plan in under 5 minutes.
 
I watched a poinsettia flower tutorial on youtube, and then made my own.


 
Ahh, I would say it turned out pretty well, being that I really didn't want to do this anyway!
It was fun to make and decorate a cake again.
 
 
 3 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!
 
Stephanie

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oh, Christmas Tree

Saturday:
 
I knew the flea market was off to a really good start once I had gotten out of our van and was overcome by the freezing temperature inside the flea market building, it was so cold that my nose was attempting to fall off my face. Okay, well it wasn't that bad, but I was feeling rather numb. After our table was set up, I sat down in a chair behind our checkout table. In the spot behind us, the elderly vender noticed that I was vigorously trying to thaw my hands and offered me his warm winter mittens. That was so nice of him! I had my own pair of gloves, but I thanked him.
I really like how nice the people are at these farmer/ flea markets.
 
Once the flea market doors opened for shoppers to come in, mom and dad left Britney and I to manage the tables as they walked around. Which they took a good hour or more doing...haha. But once they got back, Britney and I ventured up to the farmer's market building, just a short walk away. It was snow flurrying as we went outside- so pretty!
 
The Booktail vender was there! I decided to finish up Christmas shopping for my family by buying each of them a booktail from him. I let Britney pick out her own since she was shopping with me.
I got dad a Holy Bible charm booktail, he doesn't really read anything besides his Bible, so I think it's a perfect fit, Britney picked out an owl booktail and I got mom an angel booktail. Horrah! His deal is buy 3 for $20. I had $25, so I had $5 left after I bought from him, so I found another vender with organic dog treats and bought Mandie two big peanut butter bones for $5.
 
I'm finally done Christmas shopping!!
Dad: 4
Mom: 5
Britney: 4
Mandie: 15
(Haha for Mandie I got:10 small organic pizza treats + a free one (Christmas special) , 2 large organic peanut butter treats  and 2 stuffed toys- I spoil her...I really do.)
 
I still had some money from my grandparents, so I went back to the Booktail vender and picked out three for myself-haha. He realized that I had already bought from him, and told me that after I buy 3 booktails, the price goes down to $5 for each. So I bought four!
A thimble( Peter Pan themed! I didn't realize it until after I bought it, but it's probably going to be my favorite!) A retro scooter, a teacup and a globe.
 
Britney and I made our way back down to the flea market building and walked through the vender's tables. We went to a table with crochet afghans. I saw a really soft pink one that I liked, but it was $15 and it was for a baby...so I refrained myself. I began to feel bad for the elderly vender lady, because she was unfolding and holding up each and every afghan that she had on the table. The very last one was really long and pretty, for $20, so I decided to get it from her. First, because I would have felt guilty for her unfolding all of her afghans for Britney and I to see and we just walk away,  and second, because I've been actually wanting a blanket/ afghan like it, or I've been wanting to make one, and lastly, I think it made her day!
 
Whew, I spent a lot. But most of it was Christmas shopping. I'm just not really used to spending that much, not even in a month, less likely in a day!
 
I also went walking around with my mom later on in the day. It was near the end  of the selling day and people were already regretting to pack up what they didn't sell, one vender came up to my mom and I and gave us a plastic bag, gesturing to his table he said, "I'll give you this back for a dollar if you fill it up with items from this table." I was really glad he did that, because I had just laid my eyes on a 7" by 12" ocean painting and was thinking it would be out of my price range. And I got it for practically nothing!
I wanted to get it because I could feel the paint on the canvas, meaning it was hand painted. And it looks easy enough that I think I could buy myself a canvas that size and follow that painting as a guide and recreate it!
 
Oh! That reminds me! I signed up for another Bob Ross class in January. It's an ocean painting...which is a little odd because it's still winter at that point, but it's beautiful none the less and I can't wait to take it!
 
Monday:
 
It's finally tree shopping day! We would have typically gone on a Saturday, but since we had a spot to sell at the flea market, dad took off work on Monday so we could get our tree then.
The day started by having to get dressed nice and warm. It called for cold temperatures, which didn't surprise me.
In the end, I felt like such a mixture of a hipster/ lumberjack.
I had on a slouchy, white, crochet hat from the thrift shop, a warm, crochet scarf my mom made me, two layers of jeans....well leggings, and then jeans anyway, a loose, black shirt and a plaid flannel shirt on top with boot socks coming over my jeans and my mom's old winter boots!
Goodness gracious! Haha
 
Our day had changed slightly. When we go Christmas tree shopping, we always go out for breakfast. We used to always go to this place in town called "Four Seasons" every time we went to find our Christmas tree. Much to our dismay, about four or five years ago, Four Seasons went out of business. And we've been having to go somewhere else for breakfast on tree shopping day.
 For over a year there's been rumors about a reopening and calling the restaurant "The Fifth Season"
and sure enough, it reopened late this fall!
Britney's last college class was rescheduled to Monday, so we moved our annual Christmas tree shopping breakfast to Christmas tree shopping lunch.
We treaded through the tree farm for over an hour until we found our perfect tree and arrived at home around 5pm. At this point, we still had to clean the church, and decorate our tree.
When was the Desolation of Smaug going to fit in?
Unfortunately, we all decided that it would be better to wait until Wednesday to go see it.
Tuesday night dad had Bible Study- which I haven't been to in over a month, and I had a CBA Christmas Party to attend.
 
Tuesday:
 
I had my last MOPS of the year today! It's been so great getting to know these wonderful little kids. Bennet, Marie, Waverly and William are just the sweetest.
Once the kids had left and we were all cleaning up, I was given my money and a gift bag, which had a card with sweet notes from the mothers of the kids we've been caring for, plus a small ornament and some Ghirardelli peppermint bark! My absolute favorite Christmas candy....ahh!! I was so not expecting any of that! 
I gave Shannon her mom's soap and gift tag order. Her mom later posted on facebook a picture of the tags and how much she liked them! So sweet!
 
Later that day, was the CBA Christmas party.
When the time came for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Fashion Show, I noticed that the CBA yearbook camera was on a tripod, unmanned. And the fashion show was about to start. I didn't sign up to do the photography for the Christmas Party, but somebody had to do it. I positioned myself to the best spot I could get. Everyone had already sat down and I didn't want to hit anyone with the tripod legs.
Mrs.Abbott noticed my struggle and told the CBA students to make way for me because this must be archived. I felt so important as people made way...haha. I actually had a minor Moses moment.  A clear path was made just for me! Aghh haha.
I felt really awkward being the only one standing and taking pictures, but I also felt kind of important. And I could kind of feel, pride beaming from Mrs.Branham, our Yearbook teacher because I took on the job of photography and nobody asked me to.
Once the fashion show had ended and the winners were announced,
I positioned the tripod back in front of the Christmas photo booth, which I took the pictures for as well. Mr. Smith came up to me and told me to tell the people going in to keep the door in the photo booth closed, because if they open it, the Christmas lights just fall down.
Woohoo! I felt so important gahh all the teachers were talking to me.
After about 100 photo booth pictures had been taken, a student called for a group picture.
I had a zoom lens on the camera, not the wide angle lens, so I had to back up all the way to the door!
I was starting to feel a little left out since no one was trying to figure out a way to get me in the group picture, when Christian came through the door. He graduated last year from CBA and was on the yearbook staff. Someone yelled from the group for me to give the camera to Christian so I could get in. I trusted him with the camera and they all yelled for me to get in.
I went over to the right side of the photo booth.
Jeremy was there and got down from the chair he was standing on and told me to get on because I was shorter. I didn't have time to argue because Christian was about ready to take it. But I wasn't fully on the chair because it was starting to lean forward, embarrassingly enough, Jeremy was standing in front of me, and I had to balance myself, so I held onto his shoulder for support.
Otherwise, I was about to be flat sandwich, Stephanie.
That was so sweet of him though!
 
Wednesday:
 
The only thought in my head today was, wow. At this time next week, it's going to be Christmas day!
Mom, Britney and I went out shopping for Nana, she hadn't gotten the grandchildren anything yet, so we shopped for her. That was fun, but we were out well until after lunch shopping!
Later we went to finally go see the Desolation of Smaug.
It was so good! I really liked it.
I would post so much more about it, but I don't want to spoil anything for those who might want to see it, but haven't yet. (;
 
6 days until Christmas!
 
Stephanie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sharpie Mug Tutorial

My dad never fails to be the hardest person to shop for when Christmas time rolls around. And this year I wanted to get him something he would never expect. (He's always asking for a new John Deere hat or tractor books...which I find boring to buy and give to him).

I've seen Sharpie mugs on Pinterest before but it was usually about Sharpie Mug Fails. I was kind of worried about trying it out. But it was successful!

I went to our local AC Moore which has a whole section of sharpie markers that you can buy individually- which worked perfectly for me, because I only needed black, golden yellow and brown.
Then my mom went to the dollar store and picked up a plain white mug for a dollar and I sat down and sketched out the doodle I wanted for dad's mug. Once I figured out what I wanted, I did a light pencil sketch on the mug and went over it with sharpie. I did two layers of each color, letting the ink dry between each time, and placed it in the oven and then turned the oven on to 350 degrees, allowing the mug to warm up with the oven, Once the oven hit 350 degrees, I set the timer for 30 minutes. Once the timer went off, I turned off the oven and let the mug cool down with the oven.

It's rather simple! And the design didn't come off when I washed it! I'm so excited to give this to him!
(It's perfect for his daily morning coffee)
 

 
 
I don't recommend dishwashing the sharpie mug, it should be handled with care and hand washed in your sink.
 
Just try it! There's so much you can do with this fun project!
Have fun!
 
 
-Stephanie
 
 
 
 
 
As a side note, I'm thinking about going to the dollar store and stocking up on these simple white mugs and doodling on them and selling them for $8 each at our farmers and flea markets! What do you think? I think they should go over much better than the cards and the bookmarks have been going. (Aka...not at all...mainly because no one sends cards in the mail anymore...besides me, and reading is going digital, so you don't really need a bookmark for that). The sharpie mugs should go much faster than my cards and bookmarks have been going. Though I think I'll keep up with the Christmas tags for next year. I got an order for 20 of them!
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow, snow, snow! (And a little art)

Friday:
(The view out of my bedroom window)
 
I was away this weekend to New Life Bible Camp with my youth group for a "Fall" Retreat.
It was a very much needed time away with some good friends and my bible.
The bus rides there and back were the most exciting and scary!
As we were traveling to the large retreat cabin late Friday evening, it was  raining and one of the main roads we usually take to get to New Life was closed. We drove into a neighborhood and talked to a postman on a late evening route. He directed us into another neighborhood...but I don't think he ever took into account how huge the bus was...and that it was impossible to get in and out of the narrow road. At one point I couldn't see anything and the bus was leaning heavy to the right (I was on the left side) I heard people murmuring about the end of the road, and that we were heading off the road. I didn't know what was happening because I couldn't see. The bus kept jerking forward and I pictured the bus nearing the edge of a cliff. Thankfully, I later found out that it was just a steep hill with no guardrail and there were jagged rocks on either side of the bus. Next we drove up a hill, but there was a telephone pole straight ahead and a house on the edge of the road that we would run into if we made the turn. So we slowly jerked back down the hill, backed into someone's yard and made our way out of the neighborhood. What a stressful ride!
 
When we all woke up on Sunday morning, there were huge snowflakes cascading and swirling down from the sky.
This was very gorgeous, but made for a very challenging ride home.
We left an hour early (12pm) and didn't get back home until 6pm. (The camp was only three hours away from where we all live) Snow had piled up and was getting worse the closer we got to our destination. The highway was the worst part. Big trucks were stopped in the middle of the highway, cars spinning everywhere and we couldn't see the lines! It was chaos as the bus driver weaved us through all the cars and trucks. I was really surprised that the roads hadn't been pretreated.
 
Peter and Wendy

Princess Anna from Frozen
 
 
Tuesday:
It's snowing again today! I'm so super happy about finally having snow. For some reason, I can't get it through my head that it's Christmas time until a carpet of thick snow lays itself outside my window.
I'm so grateful for these days!
I was supposed to continue doing school until the end of this week, but mom talked with me last night and said that we were done. Focus for school has just left both of us, and we're both ready for Christmas break!
 
MOPS was cancelled today, but it was rescheduled to next Tuesday. I'm glad they have a makeup day. Because Shannon and Mrs.Johnson are the people that I carpool with and both of them have soap orders and also a huge Christmas tag order from Shannon, so I was just going to give them their order today, since they live so close we don't have to worry about shipping.
Also, the little boys and girls I work with are working on a couple Christmas songs to sing to their Moms on the last day!
I like how I get money from doing this, but I think I'm having more fun than the kids! I'm enjoying snack time, story time and play time with the little preschoolers.
 
AHH the Desolation of Smaug comes out in THREE DAYS!
We're going to watch it next Monday, the 16th. (Yay yay yay yay yay!)
 
Britney, Mom and I went out Christmas shopping yesterday.
All four of us get money from my grandparents on dad's side of the family. We go out and buy what we want, then give it back to them and they wrap it and we have Christmas over there a few days after Christmas.
I got a gray leather bound Lord of the Rings and a brown leather bound Hobbit.
I realized that my dad has them all, but I don't!  So when I move out, I would be without those wonderful books. But no worries now!
I'm also going to buy Tangled from them.
Can you believe just those three items are $20 each? Eeesh.
 
 
Photos from my walk in the winter wonderland:
 
 
 
 
 
I'm so, so, so ready for Christmas!
 
Stephanie
 

 
 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

These next few days...



    "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6: 34
 
 
 
Tomorrow will be full of studying for my 90 question final in biology happening on Thursday.  There's going to be 6 pages with 45 vocab, 6 matching, 23 short answer, 13 multiple choice, 1 figure to label and 2 essay questions. I need to review all of the last four modules.
Have I mentioned that dropping out of biology has crossed my mind far more than once?
I would still have to take it again, because I need biology to graduate. And I'm halfway through, with a soring grade level, but it's just far too stressful. I'm so grateful that I'll be halfway through after this Thursday and that I have a Christmas break for the rest of December.
 
 
I'm also going away to a youth group retreat this weekend, leaving on Friday and coming back late Sunday afternoon. I'm anxious about the retreat as well. Last year, at least I had my sister to be with. But this year she isn't going! She's not in high school anymore. When I turned in my form, I requested to have a room with Amanda, one of the girls I stick to during youth group. I remember being in a room last year with very pretty girls. I felt out of place and awkward. Especially since I didn't know them very well. Th Fall retreat is usually a lot of fun. I think once I find a seat on the bus and we're on the way there, my worries about the retreat should fade away. After all, I had a whole bunch of fun climbing Ghost Mountain with Amanda last year!
 
 
One of my youth group leaders is ordering 20 hand drawn tags from me! Whoo! That means I'll make $10..haha I wonder what book I should put that money towards? Maybe I'll put it towards purchasing Tangled, we still don't have that on dvd. The only thing is that I only have 6 tags made, which means I have to make 14 more! That's going to be a lot of work...which is a little stressful too.
 
I'm not going to Bible study tonight. There's just too much recapping of Biology to do in order to be able to go tonight. I might go next week...but I feel like I never learn anything and I feel like it's a waste of time, especially since I feel like I never have any free time anymore...haha. We'll see, I guess. But since I'm staying home, that means I get to have supper with mom and Britney, and mom's going to make me my favorite meal! Taco soup! Have you ever tried it?
 
I only have one more MOPS before Christmas, then it starts back up in January. It's so nice to finally have some money flowing in. I feel so much more free to be able to purchase some books I love that I would much rather own than continue to check out from the library!
 
 
I doodled Olaf from Frozen on my church sermon notes on Sunday....haha. Maybe it's just me, but sometimes if I doodle during church, I'm able to focus on what the Pastor is saying much better.
 
I stayed home from youth group too....I decided I really needed to decorate my room for Christmas and I wasn't going to have time for it all week or this weekend since I'll be gone, and once I'll be back, it will already be so far into December that my decorations won't be up very long.
 
I hung lights and garland all around my ceiling. They're beautiful to turn on at night when all of the other lights in my room are off and the Christmas music is playing on my radio.
 
 
I also set up my Christmas Town set from my Nana. I took everything off my dresser that way it looked pretty...haha! Can you see my aquarium plant in the corner?
You can also see some more garland next to my window curtain! Haha
 
 
Have I mentioned that I am SO ready for Christmas?
And some snow too??
 
Dad: 3
Mom: 5
Britney: 2
Mandie: 2
 
I've done some more shopping as well!
And sending out two penpal letters today...one may just be headed far up North and one may be going straight out west......just maybe. =)
 
 
I'm so excited for December 16th! We're going out to breakfast on Main Street, then we're heading to our favorite tree farm in Pennsylvania, then coming home to decorate our tree and go out later in the evening to watch The Desolation of Smaug! I'm so excited to go see it! 
 
 
 
-Stephanie
 
 
 
 
 
 


Friday, November 29, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It's beginning to feel like Christmas

Christmas music officially came on our local radio yesterday. I turned on my radio when I went to bed last night , and woke up to Christmas music in the morning because I forgot to turn my radio off! Today I sat a small Christmas tree on my night stand. I know it's early, but I love this time of the year!

 
I'm beginning to get the warm feeling of Christmas filling my spirit.
 
Mom, Britney and I decided to go Christmas shopping today.
I now have gifts for:
Mom: 4
Britney 2
Dad: 2
Mandie: 0
And about $50 left to spend.
I think I'm off to a good start- though not all that I got is from today. (=
 
Also, instead of tithing to my church this year, I decided to donate to a organization for Christmas.
The last two years I've done Operation Christmas Child.
This year I decided to do Toys for Tots:

 
I think these will make three little girls very happy. Don't  you think?
It worked out perfectly too! I only had so much money to spend, and my total was 50 cents under the amount I had in my tithing envelope! It was absolutely perfect.
 
I also gave some change to a Salvation Amy bucket in the mall.
The bellringer nodded at me and said "Thank you, Happy Holidays!"
I looked up at her and said with a smile, "Merry Christmas to you!"
Realizing that she wasn't going to offend me, she said Merry Christmas in return.
 
I understand the whole Happy Holiday thing...but to me, when someone wishes me a Happy Holiday,  it just puts a damp towel on the whole meaning of Christmas. To spread Cheer.
I hope not to offend anyone when I do this, but I say Merry Christmas whenever I can when December finally rolls around.
Just saying the words puts a happy skip in my heart.
 
And guess what!
We had snow flurries today!
There wasn't enough to lay a thin coat on the ground, but it was still beautiful to watch the snow flakes beautiful descent from the sky.
 
With the warmth of the crackling fire coming up through the vent in the living room, I moved towards our large upstairs window. Feeling the warmth under my feet as I stood right above the vent, I opened the window curtain and found myself gazing at the stars. It was such a clear night that I couldn't resist climbing into the window and taking in the pure amazement of it all, of God's magnificent creation, and just being quiet for a while.
 
Then I started to think about people that are just so wrapped up in themselves and the modern world that they can't let themselves be amazed for a moment about how amazing the world is.
How a tree can grow from just a seed. How a star thousands of miles away can still shine bright enough to make a bright impression in our evening sky.
 
Which reminds me! Just the other night in Virginia there was a  rocket launch.
In precisely 10 seconds after it took off the rocket came into view.
I watched it go up, up, up, until the rocket was gone, immersed in the clouds above where my eye could no longer follow.
It was so much fun to watch!
I really hope to watch a meteor shower one day...I still haven't gotten around to that yet.
 
 
I just finished reading "The Curse of the Spider King" today by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper.
I still can't really decide whether  I like this series or not.
Some parts of the book are questionable and more haunting than I appreciate.
But yet, I still want to see how the story wraps up.
 
 
Until next time!
 
-Stephanie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Me through the ages...

 

Me through the ages at my homeschool umbrella group!
It's so funny sometimes to glance back and see how much I've changed in just four years...enjoy!

 
7th grade! My year of skinny jeans and big earrings with short and straightened hair.
 
 
8th grade! My year of naturally curly hair.
 
 
Freshman year! My first year of highschool!
 
 
Sophomore year! The proofs were just sent to yearbook staffers today!
 
I think the most recent is my favorite. It's the only one so far that you can clearly see my eye color.
 
Not only have I changed physically, but also spiritually and emotionally.
These last four years of CBA have strengthened me in so many ways.
School may be overwhelming this year, but there's always one year in highschool to everyone that is just overbearing.
 I'm halfway through the school year and I can finish it off with soring grades!
(But not until I've had Christmas break....haha)
 
-Stephanie
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bilbo's Handwriting

I decided to try some majestic handwriting today...
 

It really is amazing how many things I can find to do that keep me from studying for my biology quiz happening tomorrow. I should really stop procrastinating now and buckle down to study. *wink*

Farewell!
-Stephanie

P.S. I now realize that I forgot the I in Tolkien. Oh dear me.
It was fun trying to have Bilbo's handwriting never the less!!
 
 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First day of child care!


       I must say that it was much better than I was expecting. I was quite skeptical thinking there would be an overload of kids since we get $25 each time. But it was pretty evenly spaced out.  Mckenzie and I were first put in the infant room together, then they moved us to the older preschool kids. Then after 20 minutes of being in there, Mrs. Shrock asked if one of us could go back over to the infants, so I went. I was over there for about 20 minutes....but it was so chaotic. There was four helpers including myself and 8 babies. And the babies were all over the room, one in a swing, another in a bouncy thing, one crawling around and the rest were crying being held.
The other three helpers were older women, so they called me all over the room because apparently I had a better back, so I could pick the kids up for them. One time I just sat on the floor and looked at the babies crying and they all seemed to be looking at me as if saying "How dare you make me cry?" while a lady was pulling down a babies pants making sure she didn't have to change his diaper. At that point I was really doubting myself....I had practically had no experience with babies before, but I managed to make one baby stop crying by taking her out in the big room and just pacing back and forth.

Thankfully, Mrs.Shrock came back and offered to take the 20 pound baby off my hands...(Yes. The baby was that heavy.) and asked if I wanted to go back to the preschool room, and I said yes.

I really like it in the preschool room because it's more fun than work. We had snacks, sang Christmas songs, learned about leaves, colored coloring pages, put together a huge puzzle and had story time about foxes (which was sort of funny because Mckenzie and I looked at each other and mouthed the song "What does the fox say?" at each other!)

I really enjoyed being around this girl named Waverly! She was so extremely sweet and sat on my lap, or was always sitting next to me. She has perfect blond hair and beautiful blue eyes. She came in her Dora the explorer footed pajamas! (Aww!)
Then once the moms started coming to pick up their kids Mrs.Johnson wanted Mckenzie and I to help put away chairs, so I had to leave Waverly, but she was so sad about me leaving.
"I don't want you to go!" She gave me a hug and I told her I would see her next time.

Then Mrs.Shrock handed Mckenzie and I our $25 and asked if we were permanent helpers, we both said yes and she said "I'm glad we can depend on you!" as we headed to help put back the chairs for the moms.

Mrs.Johnson gave us a schedule of the rest of the dates and told us she would give us another one once MOPS starts back up in January after Christmas, but she made sure that we wanted to come back first.

I really had fun, and it gives me some good experience to be around younger kids. I don't have any younger siblings, so I'm kind of clueless when it comes to being around kids.

But as far as babies....I just can't do that just yet. The ladies were really happy to have me in there with them, but I didn't feel like much help.

So I'm glad I'm back to the preschool-I need to start out slow! Haha especially since I practically have had no childcare experience before.

Also, Mrs.Johnson said that the church was a perfect place to advertise for babysitting when I need some money.  Shannon (another girl that carpools with Mrs.Johnson) said she put up a paper with her number on it and her phone was ringing off the hook! I'm not quite ready to do that just yet, but it's good to have that avenue when I need more money.

Mckenzie and I were talking about how $25 is a lot of money to us and she's going to spend it on movie tickets, makeup and clothes and stuff and then she asked me and I was like "Um...books." Haha.


Now....to finish schoolwork I didn't complete before I left this morning...
-Stephanie


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpkin Carving

A little behind with the autumn festivities this year! Here's the pumpkin I carved last night!


 
 

 
Can you guess who it is?
Hint: Under the sea.
Good luck!
 
-Stephanie

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A good day at last!


     I signed up for Nanowrimo for the very first time this year. I'm not necessarily trying to reach the 50,000 word goal. But I am trying to push my story forward. I just started it yesterday, and I'm already at 1,300 words. (That means only 49,000 more words to go, right? Haha) So I'm really excited about it. This is the first time in maybe 5 years that I've felt inspired to try writing again.
And whether I finish it in a month or not, I want this to be the first story that I actually finish. My first, decently long story.

     Today we went to sell soap at another flea market. I love going to this flea market! There's always great stuff being sold. And today was author day in the farmer's market building, just a short walk from the flea market building.
I looked through all the books from the authors but none appealed to me. It was nice to talk to the local authors though! I decided I was going to get a book if it was fiction and appeared my type, but most were nonfiction and romance , history and science fiction. There was really only about 10 authors too!
When walking out of the small room where the authors were, a violinist was playing a tune on her violin. I listened a few seconds and saw her case for her violin on the floor, it had a sign propped up saying "Tips welcome!" I reached in my pocket, I had 50cents from my last purchase, so I threw that in her case! I had always wanted to do that! It felt so cool.

I supported two local craft makers today:
 

 
A man was selling upcycled forks and spoons! He had chimes and all different sorts of little charms made out of them. Both my Britney and I purchased an elephant pin from him! He makes them himself, and they were only $5 each. I plan on pinning this little guy on to my backpack, it's so cute!
 
 
There was another man in the farmer's market building that was selling bookmarks. I was going to just walk by at first and then I walked closer. They were really cool! He had all different sorts of charms on the ends of his bookmarks and I had a hard time choosing which one I wanted at first, until I laid my eyes on the one pictured above.
It was $7.50, but he also gift packaged it!
It was altogether a well put together shop. If he's there next time, I may not be able to refrain myself from purchasing another one.
 
 
Pictured above is how you insert the bookmark into the book you're reading!
Such a cute idea, no?
 
 
Both Britney and I went to the jewelry lady that was there the last time we sold at this flea market.
Immediately we rushed to the bargain bin.
The bike necklace was $1 and everything else was 50cents.
Ha....and I can hardly get one jewelry item at Walmart for $5!
 
 
 
     When we got home from the flea market there was a call on the answering machine for me...from Mrs.Johnson! She's the junior high play director for CBA. She actually lives just a neighborhood away from me.
She was calling to ask if I was interesting in working with little children for MOPS two Tuesdays a month from 9:30 am to 11am. $25 each time.
And she could give me a ride there.
For now she just needs the two Tuesdays in November coming up and one week in early  December.
She said on the message that so many people were signing up, that they had to start turning them away because there wasn't enough childcare.
I called her back immediately and accepted the offer. I think she was more pleased than I was with me wanting to do it!
 
Of course, this means I'll have to be able to finish math before I go, and come back home to do history, language arts, and biology once MOPS is over.
But it's not every Tuesday, and I only have one in December.
 
Ahh!! This is my first job offer ever. Hooray for the chance to get some experience (and extra cash)!
Hmm, perhaps I should actually save that money up for something?
 
And tomorrow Britney is going to see a play called "The Importance of Being Earnest" She's required to see the play for one of her college classes and got two free tickets to go see it! Anddd guess who was invited to go with her? Me! I'm so excited. I love plays.
 
 
-Stephanie

Friday, November 1, 2013

A sneak peak into my sketches

I've posted before that I draw on blank notecards and bookmarks and now even blank tags and sell them at craft shows to get some income....

But I've never posted what I sell! Here's a sneak peak into what I do!




 
The bookmarks sell for $2 each, while my cards sell for $3 each and my gift tags sell for 50 cents each.
 
 
Sadly, nothing has sold just yet. But I still have hope for them.
Especially with Christmas coming just around the corner.
 
I'm having mixed feelings about selling my tags.
They're just too cute to part with!
 
-Stephanie
 
 


Monday, October 28, 2013

Home again

It was so wonderful to spend a long weekend away at Virginia Beach! It was in the 50's and the 60's the whole time we were there, but I didn't mind at all. It was beautiful!


I always love how fluffy the clouds are over the ocean on overcast days.


We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express again, I love it there. They have a huge pool and hot tub, and Mmm breakfast with bacon. ^_^
We were on the 8th floor in our hotel this time...which none of us were comfortable with....we tend to enjoy being on the 3rd or 4th floor, that way the ocean doesn't seem so...small?
( I don't know... is it possible for the ocean to look small? Haha)

I finished "The Final Storm" by Wayne Thomas Batson while I was there. I can't say that it finished the way I was hoping it would. I was thoroughly disappointed at first with the way Wayne finished the book, but as an allegory I guess it had to end that way.

One evening I went down to the lobby and finished replying to the two penpal letters I brought with me. It was so dark over the ocean, but the boardwalk was illuminated by several lampposts. While I sat there working on writing letters, I didn't see anyone walk past for an evening stroll. It was nice to spend sometime in the lobby when no one was there. It was eerie silent in the lobby and the only other person was a worker behind the front desk and my sister working on math homework for college.

The next morning we woke up to papers posted all over the hotel about a race taking place that morning and that our street would be closed until 10am. Sure enough, starting just before we went down for breakfast, we watched several people run by. Some were in Halloween costumes, which I found kind of funny. Some of the costumes made me laugh. One guy was crazy enough to wear nothing but a speedo in the cold temperatures. He was dressed as Captain America with a cape, but was missing the remainder of his apparel besides his speedo.
There were several others! There was a couple that dressed up, the lady was Peter Pan and the man was Tinkerbell- in a dress in all!
 
There were so many runners! It was fun to watch them run by in costumes, knowing that some were just in the race to have fun.

 
The gender-switch Peter Pan and Tinkerbell!

 
Can you guess who the people in the boat are?
I'll give you a hint, it's based on a show....
You got it! Duck Dynasty!



There were so many cargo ships that passed by our view of the ocean each day. I was always wondering where on earth they were going, and where they had been. I wouldn't mind a year full of nothing but traveling on the sea, but I always get a vision in my mind of huge waves and dark clouds threatening to topple a ship over. Then I snuggle farther down in my bed and decide that I'm content with staying on land.

It still doesn't stop me from wondering what life is like for those that travel by sea, or how far it is to reach the horizon, or how long it takes to be directly under those huge, fluffy clouds.

On Saturday Britney took me out for a photoshoot on the beach. She didn't want any pictures, which I was slightly disappointed at, but agreed. While I was out by the water, a boy around my age wearing a cowboy hat rode by on a horse. "Good day ma'am." He said with a tilt of his hat. I couldn't help swooning a little. And also being slightly embarrassed. I was in a dress! Goodness....I never wear dresses. I smiled back, but I was more intent on watching his horse. He was riding a horse on the beach! Have I ever mentioned how much I want to do that?

 
I made this my profile picture on facebook....and exactly 50 people liked it.
Whaa....? That's my highest record so far! Haha


 
I'm reading "The Curse of the Spider King" in this shot. I just started it on the ride back home.
It's also by Wayne Thomas Batson. I haven't quite decided if I like it just yet...

 
Dad took us to a restaurant called "Outback" for supper the second evening we were at Virginia Beach.
He let me order a side of four crab legs! I was so thrilled. I haven't had crabs since early summer.
Yummy, tasty, crabses, hobbiteses!

On our final morning there, we watched the sunrise over the ocean. It was absolutely gorgeous. We were all really going to miss the ocean, but we were all ready to come back home. I appreciated the escape. I had been needing to get away so badly lately.

Now, back into my daily routine of school and homework and school and studying and school and bible study and school and socialization.

And reading when I can, writing when I can, enjoying life when I can, and hopefully squeezing in time for drawing when I can...time doesn't allow for that currently. I hoping I can adjust something's so there's time for that  again.
 
Until next time! Bon voyage!
-Stephanie







Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Anticipation for a long weekend away.

My excitement for going away is starting to go ecstatic!
“I just need some time in a beautiful place to clear my head.”
After volleyball is finished on Thursday we're coming straight home so I can change out of my volleyball uniform and then we're traveling through the night to Virginia Beach for a long weekend away.
Vacation has been a luxury we've had to miss out on this year because of Mandie's very expensive radiation treatments and her hot spot treatment on her bum later in the spring. We love our dog so so much, so none of us were going to complain about no vacation this year, especially if the choice was between a few days away, or her. It wasn't even a moment's thought and we knew vacation would just not happen this year. So, funds have been slightly stressed lately, but Mandie is paid off! We used my college fund, that way we wouldn't have to worry about growing interest rates to pay off if we used a loan.
Anyway, all of that is besides the point! We're going away for a long weekend and I'm very excited!
I've been sick for the past three days, so I'm going to skip Bible Study tonight, that way I don't pass on whatever I have to them. Even though I was sick mainly over the weekend, I'm knocked back a little on my Biology homework. And I haven't packed at all for this weekend.
So instead of going to Bible Study tonight, I'm going to finish up most of my biology homework, leaving practically only studying for tomorrow (another quiz this Thursday). And I'll get most of my things together for this weekend.
It's going to be a cold weekend at the beach, but I won't complain! I love Virginia Beach, and the hotel we're staying at is my home away from home. They have a splendid pool and hot tub.
I'm hoping Britney will give me a photoshoot on the beach. I've had one before, but I was wearing my winter coat....so they didn't have quite the look I was searching for...haha. I'm thinking of going during the heat of the day and maybe wearing my long maroon dress I got recently, but haven't worn anywhere yet.
I'll probably finish up the Final Storm by Wayne Thomas Batson on the ride there on Thursday night. So what ever shall I read while I'm there?
I'm tending to go out of my Rick Riordan phase. But I couldn't resist purchasing his latest book. I have to see how this series ends! And I had to buy it because one cannot have a incomplete collection of books! (I have the first three of this series on my shelf). I don't know though. Maybe his next series will be better? He wants to do Norse/ Viking mythology next. It will be worth checking out, I believe.
Thanks to Wayne Thomas Batson, I've been inspired to write a story for the first time in years. His way of writing is simple, and inspired me to try again.
I don't have any goals for this story. If it gets up to 30 pages, then hurrah!
I have a plot...I'm just working on "thickening the plot" and then I'll start my story.
I have some excerpts I've written that I'll throw into the final story and I now realize that adding chapters to my story will help extremely. When I'm stuck, and don't know where else to go, there can be a semi-cliff hanger at the end of each chapter. I'm not sure if that makes much sense? Haha.
I should really get back to finishing up my lab write up for Biology....hmmm....
I'll write another post after I get back from my weekend away!
-Stephanie
 
 
 

Friday, October 11, 2013

The pitter and patter on the rooftop


"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."
-James 1:12
The rain has put me in one of those reflect and depressed moods again today.
I have been put through so many trials lately. And I feel like a punching bag; like the air is being kicked out of me, like I'm floating, helplessly with my stomach turning and my head throbbing.
Highschool is hard. School has been a challenge this year, and relationships have split apart, some for the better and some for the worst.
My Tuesday night bible study is getting really hard to attend. It's confusing me. One person in my group keeps bringing in questions that make no sense, things that she shouldn't even be questioning. I need to fight to pray for her....she has a different denomination than me, so it's hard for us to get on the same page sometimes and come to an agreement. The thing about this bible study is that they pull stuff out of nowhere and I just want to ask almost every week "Where does it say that in the Bible?" (We're studying Genesis) The leader had a slide last week that said "And God said it was good." And added underneath that "Or was it?" Okay. First off, you're a leader and you should know that you don't question God's word! That's a huge no no. UGH. I just. I think I need to pull myself away, either that, or I should be leading this thing. What do you think?
I'm rambling again. I'm trying to think of good things to say, but the stress in my life is coming out instead...
 
-Stephanie
 
 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Remembering...

This is a picture of me and my friend's dog, Pippy.
 
I stayed up at Rachel's house for a short weekend during the Summer.
 
I'm really missing her right about now.
 
We're in Yearbook at CBA together, but other than that, we don't have much time to catch up this year.
 
*sigh*
 
Youth group is getting harder and harder to attend.
 
It's so awkward for me to stand there without anyone to talk to or laugh with.
 
My mom and dad keep telling me to make some new friends.
 
Which is much easier said than done.
 
I'm getting a stronger and stronger feeling that I just don't belong here anymore.
 
All my friends are at CBA.
 
That means, I only get to see friends once a week.
 
And nobody's ever home anymore.
 
I've been home alone countless times lately.
 
And there's talk of Britney going away for college, instead of just staying at our community college.
 
It's hard to get a grip on to that thought.
 
That my childhood is over with her.
 
I can't dream hard enough right now that we lived on a farm in Pennsylvania and I could just go outside and ride on my very own horse.
 
It just brings a feeling of freedom to me.
 
Who knows....I may just feel like this because it's a dark, rainy day here in Maryland.
 
But I think there's a little bit more to it than that.
 
-Stephanie