Monday, September 28, 2015

Autumn Welcoming

These ephemeral days of summer came and went by so instantaneously this year.  I hardly noticed when they ended!  Though short, I have had a peaceful and enjoyable summer season.  When we weren't working, the hubby and I spent an excessive amount of time taking walks along the shores of the Mississippi and making numerous visits to spend time with family. 

The joy of family-togetherness has been one of the most precious segments of this year.  Being able to make memories with loved ones and rejoice in new growths has been such a huge blessing for us.  We serve such an incredible, gracious God, don't we? :-)

Although I'm going to miss the balmy days of summer, I'm highly looking forward to the autumnal days ahead.  Autumn has always been one of my favorite seasons, and this year I think I'm going to enjoy it even more so with my incredible husband by my side and a bitty-bundle brewing within me.
The change in weather will give me a chance to focus more on writing my novels, as well as working on Baby Faulkner's nursery.  Sooo many changes need to happen in our spare room for a nursery to happen.  But it's going to be fun. :-)

Sometimes I like to stop and think of what new springs of life have begun or expired at the dawn of each new season.  And aside from one particular incident, this year I can only find positive.  So many changes took place this summer and the fact that the majority were constructive brings me great happiness.  I'm beyond thrilled to welcome the new changes that will transpire in the coming seasons.

My friends, I hope you all have had a blessed summer and are delighting yourselves in the new season.  Winter will be here before long. ❄

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Awesome Food Award

Caitlin from Daughter of Destiny has nominated me for the Awesome Food Award.  I've never been nominated for this particular award before, so I'm rather excited to participate in this one! (after all, who doesn't love food?)

The rules:
1). Thank the person who nominated you, as well as link to their blog.
2). Answer the 10 questions provided.
3). Come up with 10 more questions that relate to food.
4). Nominate at least 5 people.
5). Let those people know they've been nominated.

My answers to Caitlin's questions:

1. What are your favorite Soup's?
Creamy Broccoli and Cheese, 7-Veggie Minestrone, Momma's Potato Soup, Homemade Chicken Noodle, Tomato & Kale

2. Do you prefer Scones with your Tea or separately?
Separately, usually. 

3. What's your favorite kind of Pizza?
Chicken Alfredo

4. Do you prefer baking or cooking?
Definitely baking, but I do enjoy cooking too.

5. What types of foods do you like making most?
Any baked goods.  Cookies, cakes, donuts, cinnamon rolls, brownies, etc.  I also enjoy creating new soups.

6. What exotic food have you tried that most people haven't?
I can't say that I've tried very many exotic foods.  I'm partial to the basic Italian, American, and Mexican foods.

7. Do you prefer cookies or cake?
Cake usually (at least that's what I've been craving throughout my entire pregnancy so far), but I am really fond of cookies as well.

8. Are you more the chips and salsa type, or just the plain old chip without salsa?
Usually chips without salsa.  I'm a huge fan of dipping my potato chips in sour cream & dill.  But salsa is good too. ;-)

9. Do you like Chicken or Hamburger meat better?
Definitely chicken.  I'm not a red meat-eater.

10. What's your favorite Dessert? Why? 
Anything smothered in cream cheese frosting.  I tell ya, I could eat that stuff by the tub-full (and believe me, I have). ;-) It's just so irresistible.

And now, I would like to nominate:

- Heidi at Along the Brandywine
- Hannah at Bits of Simplicity
- Natalie at Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens
- Skyeler at Beautiful Mess
- Hayden at A Singular and Whimsical Problem

My questions for the nominees:

1). Favorite ethnic food?
2). Who normally does the cooking in your home?
3). Do your taste buds prefer sweet or salty?
4). Favorite snack food?
5). Do you eat ice cream throughout the winter?
6). What's your favorite meat?
7). On the side of your meal, do you prefer soup or salad?
8). Chocolate or Vanilla?
9). How do you react to spicy foods?
10). Top favorite meal in the history of ever?

Thanks for the fun questions, Caitlin!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thankful Thursday // A Darling Equation

"Thankful Thursday"
Rejoicing in this granted blessing from above!

"For this child I prayed, 
and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him."
1 Samuel 1:27

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Thankful Thursday // It Is Well With My Soul

Since I've recently ascertained that I don't have as much time to focus on detailed and lengthy blog posts like I once was able to, I thought that I might create a little series of posts to (try) to post weekly (I'm hoping to be a bit less lethargic with this series, unlike a few others which I have so terribly neglected . . .)
Over this past year I have been so incredibly blessed, I can't even begin to explain to you what wondrous things I have beheld.  With this series of posts, I'll introduce to you the things I am thankful for on a daily basis.  Doing this will keep me on thankful-track, as well as give me a better perspective in life.
"Thankful Thursday"
"Hem your blessings with thankfulness so that they don't unravel." 
Today I am thankful for . . .
- a cup of rejuvenating and relaxing tea
- granted blessings
- the companionship of my wonderful husband
- an abundance of pickles in the refrigerator
- cozy cardigans for the chilly days
- lemonade
- the book of psalms
- chocolate banana smoothies
Hymn of the Day //
It Is Well With My Soul
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Friday, September 04, 2015

Today's Society // From Classy to Trashy

Do you notice today how hard it is to walk into your local Walmart or grocery store without seeing some trashy-R-rated magazine, film, music album, or poster?  Squalid celebrities are pictured all over in the book & music sections... half-nude posters are hung by the clothing... and there awaiting to welcome you at the check out is a shelf full of the latest celebrity gossip and sex-talk, plastered with contemptible individuals.  It's an act designed to demoralize and it only appears to be getting worse.
As a maturing adult, I am noticing more and more sinful details in our world today and it bothers me more than ever.  Fashion that once was classy is now trashy in the here and now. 
The music album covers from, let's say . . . the 40's . . . were quite simple and classy, right?  Not today.  Now it is as rare as budding crocuses in the late summer to find an acceptable album cover that's not defrauding and revealing.  Today's celebrities are dressed in garments that barely cover the essential areas, revealing a fashion statement that teaches "less is best" and "modesty is old-fashioned".
Sometimes these modern stars don't wear clothing at all on the covers of their albums (is it at all shocking that this is allowed in stores today?)  Well it is only getting worse, folks. 
It's sad for me to realize how far our culture has fallen from morality, modesty, and dignity.  Where is the self-respect and decency in today's society?  Has it vanished entirely?  If it hasn't, it sure does seem like it.
Another thing that breaks my heart is the fact that so many young girls aren't even aware of the pull these fashion trends have on them.  Young girls want so badly to fit in with society and they will do whatever it takes to feel welcomed and accepted into it.  What starts out to be a slow and subtle transition can quickly turn into a deadly trap. 
It's pretty obvious that a girl wanting to fit in with her school friends is not going to go out and immediately buy the latest Miley Cyrus trends.  No, she's slowly going to lower the bar on her own morality because it's not "the trashiest option".  Yet, this is a common tactic that Satan uses to get us to lower our standards.  He whispers lies into our ears like, "You're no where near as bad as they are . . . just lower the bar a little.  There's nothing wrong with wanting to fit in, is there?  Just relax and loosen up a bit."
And so many of us fall for his deceiving lies. 
Society compares and then compromises, and I can assure you, that response is completely wrong.  We need to segregate ourselves from the immorality of this world and let God's Word inform our worldview. 
We need to listen and act wholeheartedly to the teachings of the scripture in Romans;
"And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God. "
- Romans 12:2
See also, Why I Chose Modesty 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Bookish Tag

To celebrate her new blog's grand opening, fellow writer and blogger Annie Hawthorne has launched a tag for all of her readers to participate in. 
The questions in the tag were too delicious to resist in answering, so I decided to go for it.  Besides, who doesn't love a good ol' book tag?  And it seems that there just aren't enough of them floating around the blogosphere.  So I thought, why not?
Annie writes here, at Curious Wren (isn't that such a charming blog title?)  I recommend that you check it out!
To add to the fun, Annie is also celebrating with a giveaway (if that doesn't make you want to check it out all the more I don't know what would. :-)
And now. . . for the delightful tag!

- The Bookish Tag -
1. What was the last book you read, and would you recommend it?
The last book I read was the Bible (this one tends to be read and re-read often for me), and yes, I would definitely recommend it!
2. Describe the perfect reading spot.
Underneath a swaying willow tree on a warm, summer's day - at a secluded spot on the beach - or, nestled cozily under a warm quilt next to the crackling fireplace.
3. Favorite book beverage? Tea? Coffee? Hot chocolate? Tears of your readers?
Tea.  Most definitely.
4. Share favorite quotes from four books.
“People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven't you?”  - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
“Now, in Mr. Thornton’s face the straight brows fell over the clear deep-set earnest eyes, which, without being unpleasantly sharp, seemed intent enough to penetrate into the very heart and core of what he was looking at. The lines in the face were few but firm, as if they were carved in marble, and lay principally about the lips, which were slightly compressed over a set of teeth so faultless and beautiful as to give the effect of sudden sunlight when the rare bright smile, coming in an instant and shining out of the eyes, changed the whole look from the severe and resolved expression of a man ready to do and dare everything, to the keen honest enjoyment of the moment, which is seldom shown so fearlessly and instantaneously except by children”  - Elizabeth Gaskell, North & South
"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." - Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
“I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”  - Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

5. What is your most loved fantasy read? Dystopia? Contemporary? Sci-fi? Classic?
I'm not a huge fantasy reader, although I am fond of C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia.  But my most loved fantasy read would probably be classic.  I do love a good classic novel when I'm taking a break from my non-fictional reads. :-)
6. List three authors you’ve collected the most books from.
Jane Austen, Beverly Lewis, Janette Oke.
7. What are your thoughts on magic in literature?
I'm not a huge supporter of magic in literature, but, I must admit that I enjoy reading about it in the classic fairytales (fairytales just wouldn't be the same without it, I think)
"If I'm honest I have to tell you, I still read fairytales.  And I like them best of all."
- Audrey Hepburn
8. What types of book covers capture your imagination most strongly? Feel free to include images.
Old vintage book covers that are slightly worn with gold trimmings along the edges and a captivating title (with eye-popping colors and/or possible illustrations).  I like to imagine the types of people that have had the books in their possession and where they have been transported throughout the years.  Yep.  My imagination can run all day with thoughts and ideas of these.
 (Note: Over the past year I have collected an entire bookshelf's worth of vintage classics -these are actually photos of a few of my copies!-  Aren't they just breathtaking??  I'm quite happy with my achievement of finding such rarities in book designs and classics.)

9. Mention the first book character that comes to mind. Elaborate on this.
Jane Eyre.  And that's probably because I was just glancing at my 'classics' bookshelf before this question when my eyes happened upon the novel.
10. Do you lend out your books? Or is that the equivalent to giving away your babies?
It's not very often that I do so, but if someone asks I will kindly lend it to them.  I just write my name inside of the front cover and hope that it returns to me safely.
(P.S. All photos in this post are property of this blog.  If you're interested in using or sharing my photos, feel free to message me for my permission!)