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Sunday, December 21, 2014

"The Adventures of Daniel Shingler"

Well, it's December again, which begins the busiest time of the year for making cakes, since most of the birthdays in the family are in the winter. Starting with Daniel's in December, we make his, then Jeremy's and Mom's in January. After that comes Dad's in March, and then there's a long break until December again. The only summer birthdays are ours, and we don't normally work on those together.
 But now it's December, and our oldest brother, scholar, and future history professor turned 21 on December 14th. To celebrate, Katlynn and I made him a "book" cake. After much thought, we finally found a classic book title that we could squeeze his name into for a personal touch: "The Adventures of Daniel Shingler."

 This was a really enjoyable and different kind of cake to make, since it was the first time we actually had to carve one. It was fairly simple too. All we did was freeze the cake after it was out of the oven and cooled off. Then Katlynn (I left the scary work to her, which she bravely stepped up to=) gently carved out thin slices of cake in order to leave an indentation where the white pages would be. Then she used the knife to cut a narrow line on the top of the cake to make the book cover crease.
 For the icing colors, we usually use these sites to get ideas: http://sugarcraft.com/catalog/coloring/colormixingchart.htm & http://www.wilton.com/decorating/icing/icing-color-chart.cfm.
 The book cover is rust, and the lettering is semi-gold. I must say, the colors surprise me every single time we make a cake. Because as soon as we start mixing colors, it almost always seems like it isn't at all what we wanted. But it works out every time, whether it's the colors we planned on doing, or something else that still works.

Usually our cakes never turn out quite what we planned; we're always making changes and having to switch to Plan B. Nonetheless, we're usually satisfied with the results.
 Unfortunately with this one, we forgot to wipe up the splotches of brown icing on the pan before snapping the pictures. Not only that, but we probably need to find something else to put the cakes on now...it's painfully obvious that we used an upside-down pizza pan covered with foil. Huh...oh well.
 So there you go...Daniel's 21st Birthday cake...a success!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Horse Lover's Dream

  I know you are all probably thinking about Christmas and expecting Christmas themed blog posts right now(and I promise you they are coming), but I just have to talk about horses. This weekend, Laryssa and I have had the privilege of taking care of two horses, owned by a man in our church. And oh, what a weekend! Coming home every day, with apple treats in my pockets, hay on my clothes, and the wonderful smell of horses on my hands! Now that may sound kind of crazy to some, but to horse lovers, it's the sign of a good day in the barn. And I am not normally an early riser, but dragging myself out of bed at 6:30, is totally worth it if I get to go be with the horses. We slip on our cowboy boots(or cowgirl boots I should say) and get out of the house while the morning is still dim and brisk, taking a pleasant early morning drive(despite the cold), with our hot coffee and tea in hand, and walk up to the barn to find two beautiful horses watching us approach, anxiously awaiting their breakfast. And then we get to do this again in the afternoon and again in the evening, spending almost the whole day with horses. It is a passion for us. Some people do sports, and some people do music, while maybe others do art, but we do horses. Working with them, playing with them, caring for them, and loving on them, it's the horse lovers dream.

                             * Photo credit goes to our wonderfully talented friend, Anna Grace. * 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Homemade Rustic Ornaments

 After refraining from writing about my recent bout with clutter and its unavoidable frustration, I decided to turn to a more positive subject.
 It's Christmas time again and the tree was just put up last week. Last year's tree picking was definitely wait too late for my liking, so I was quite happy when we got it the Saturday after Thanksgiving this year. Much better.
 So here is our wonderful "country" Christmas tree, complete with homemade tree skirt made out of a burlap bag and other fabrics, homemade garland, and almost all homemade ornaments!

All three of us girls (that is, including mom) made the garland. It's really quite simple, but not at all a short project (it took several days to complete.) It's made of strips of fabric tied onto a long string of yarn. That's all. But believe it or not, its actually kind of fun to make...especially when your doing it with someone else!
 And then of course, there's the cute little, or should I say, cute and plump sheep. They were really easy to make too. All I used was a round piece of  quilt batting glued to cardboard along with black fabric for the face, ears, and legs. And of course red ribbon for the bow. Gotta love bows!

I was so excited to finally hang up the very first ornaments I made this fall...the Christmas trees. Lovely addition!
  So now that we have the Christmas tree up and trimmed, making the living room extra cozy at night (and even during my favorite time of day...early morning, when it's still dark), Christmas music playing all day long, and Christmas shopping officially starting...I'd say it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


A new category for our blog is Book Suggestions. We have wanted to do it from the start but never got around to it. So at last I'm going to suggest a book. The book is called "Joy: A Godly Woman's Adornment", written by Lydia Brownback. It's a small devotional that is a part of a four book collection called "A Godly Woman's Adornment". I haven't read the other books in the collection, but this one is great! It talks wholly about joy; Joy in Forgiveness, Joy in Abiding, Joy in the Present, etc. It was a great book for me since sometimes I get tired of living the regular day with it's repetitive routine, or just get wrapped up in the miseries of life. This devotional helped me(and still helps me)focus on the joy of day to day life, and the many joys that we have in Christ, despite hardships. So if you happen to be looking for a new devotional I would suggest this book, or any of the other three: Trust, Purity, and Contentment. It was really an encouragement for me, and I hope it will be for you too.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Hidden Beauty

I think one of the greatest struggles for women, is the temptation to be vain. We all want to look nice and there's nothing wrong with that, but the problem is that we make it our goal, our obsession. We can get so wrapped up in the way we look to ourselves and to other people that it becomes the only thing we ever think about. I struggle with this myself almost from day to day, fretting over the way my hair looks or the appearance of my clothes, etc. Now I'm not saying it's wrong to routinely put on makeup and fix up your hair or whatever. I'm just saying that I think we have other things to focus on. For instance, 1 Peter 3:4 says that our beauty should be "the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,..." Peter tells us in this passage that it's not the exterior beauty that counts, but the inside. What is a gentle and quiet spirit? To be honest I don't know exactly; it's not like I have all the answers. But I was thinking about this passage recently and what it means to have a gentle and quiet spirit. In the first two verses of chapter 3, Peter is giving a command to wives, "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct."(verses 1-2). Wives should be subject to their husbands and this especially helps in a marriage situation where a Christian woman is married to an unbeliever. Peter is saying that the husband may come to see the light through his wife's respectful character and pure conduct. So then when this continues in verse 3, "Do not let your adorning be external--the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear--..."(verse 3), it seems to point us back to the previous verses talking about wives. "...But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,..."(verse 4). So as well as being respectful and pure, wives should let the beauty of the hidden heart be the ultimate piece of adornment. And this also would be a testimony to an unbelieving husband, as well as a biblical life style for any wife. So a gentle and quiet spirit might be submissiveness, willingness, respect, pure conduct, etc., and Peter is saying that this is what a wife's adornment should look like. Now even though this passage is specifically talking to wives in relation to their husbands, that doesn't mean that women who are unmarried shouldn't learn from this. It's not like these qualities can only apply to married women. We think so much about what we look like on the outside, but what about other qualities such as a quiet and gentle spirit? Are we focusing on things like respect, willingness, and purity? Like I said before, I don't know exactly what it means to have a quiet and gentle spirit, but maybe it's all the things that make a Godly woman. And that, I believe, can be sought after through prayer and obedience to God.    
   Sometimes I start feeling down about the way I may look, or sometimes I'm just too wrapped up in my appearance. And on those days I turn to this passage, "but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,..."(verse 4). And then the best part, "which in God's sight is very precious."(verse 4). Did you get that? It is VERY precious in God's sight. So much prettier than a particular hairstyle, and so much more beautiful than any pretty face. So who do we want to please: men, with the passing beauty of the external, or our heavenly Father with "...the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit."

Friday, October 24, 2014


For the first post on cake decorating, I'm going to share some cakes that we have done in the past year or so(since we haven't done any cakes recently). My favorite part of cake decorating is the planning. It's the brain storming for awesome ideas that can be the most fun. So who likes chess? For our brothers birthday last winter we wanted to make a chess board cake.

We thought at first that it would be difficult, but it really wasn't that bad. Chocolate for the black squares, plain white for the white squares. We were going to make chocolate chess pieces with a candy mold, but the mold didn't arrive when it was supposed to, so we had to go buy plastic pieces. Well, we have a chess mold now, in case we ever need it again. :)
  For my younger brother's birthday last year, we had a small party. And Laryssa and I, never being ones to turn down an opportunity to decorate, decked out the house with the Steelers colors, black and yellow. The cake was also decorated in the Steelers colors and logo. It turned out okay, but boy did we have trouble with this cake. The logo on the top is completely icing. The way we made it is rather complicated to explain, but here we go. First we printed out a coloring page of the logo and then placed a picture frame glass piece on top of it, taping the coloring page onto the back of it. Then on top of the glass we taped a piece of wax paper. Then began tracing the logo with icing, filling it in until it was a quarter of an inch thick. It was then placed in the freezer for 15 minutes and removed, to be flipped over onto the cake. So here is where all the trouble began. After we placed it on the cake(which is a very delicate job by the way)we realized that it was backwards. Yeah, it said "sreleetS". If you ever try this, please remember that you need to make it backwards so that when you flip it on the cake, you get it the right way. :) So we removed the "sreleetS" logo. and made a new one, the right way. :)
Just one more cake. This last one was the biggest cake we have made so far, and it took the longest. It looks rather simple but believe me, a lot of work went into that cake. Our family(aunts, uncles, cousins) wanted to celebrate our grandma's birthday last fall. And it was suggested that Laryssa and I make a cake. So we went out and bought a sheet cake pan for the occasion and baked a big cake. The actual decorating took two days with all the work split up, and I think it was like 12 hours total. Our grandma likes butterflies so we wanted that to be the theme for the cake. And to make these butterflies we used royal icing, which I mentioned in the Cake Decorating page. I won't go into all the details of how we made them because that would take too long. But they're the reason it took two days, because we had to do them the day before the cake so they could dry as hard as candy.

The flowers also were made of royal icing, just not the liquid kind. The flowers you see there are actually not two flowers. They are each made of a bunch(I have no idea how many, but a lot)of tiny individual flowers piled together to make the two big flowers. We didn't finish this cake until 1:00 in the morning. It took forever, but it was worth it!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall in the Kitchen

  Crisp, glistening, apples. Warm aroma of cinnamon. Fresh, hot, apple pie. Delicious, pleasing savor of homemade bread smothered in rich, apple butter. Ah, the delightful season of fall. There's just nothing quite like it.
   I must say, this has been one of the most enjoyable autumns I have ever had. I'm not sure if it's the beauty of this gorgeous fall weather, my exciting new baking ventures, the extra time on my hands now without school work, or a combination of them all. Whatever it is, I'm reminded that God is so gracious and that every good and perfect thing is from Him. Indeed, all of my thanks belongs to Him.  
  Now, about those baking ventures. Every year, we purchase yummy, fresh apples from a quaint, small shop by an orchard tucked away in the beautiful hills and mountains of Pennsylvania (love that trip!). Mom always makes apple pie then, so this year I thought I'd try my hand at it. I've helped make pies before, but recently I read an article about pie making at Kitchn.com (helpful website by the way, and lots of step-by-step articles which I'm strangely attracted to). So after reading the hint of keeping the crust cool while making it, I made two 10 inch pie crusts that turned out quite well (at least according to mom anyway). Believe it or not, I'm not crazy about fruit pies. Of course I always eat a little because they look so irresistibly tasty. So I'm not so sure what the crust should be like other than flaky. Anyway, if I start to make them more often, which I might actually start doing, maybe I'll know eventually what a good pie crust should be, and who knows...fruit pie might become one of my favorite desserts!
  My other kitchen enterprise this fall is making apple butter. When there's something I've never made before that's always a reason to try to make it and perfect it by making it again and again. So, here it  
is. We used almost half a bushel of empire apples and filled four and half quart jars. It turned out rather thin, but it still tastes good. I think one reason is because we might have cooked it too long. I might try making it in the crock pot next time. I really wish I could make more now, but we're running out of apples. We already got more apples and made applesauce with them earlier this week. And then today I made two more apple pies. So yeah, I've been busy. But happily busy.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Trusting Through The Hard Times

 Trust. It sounds so easy but it almost never is. It's like the trusting game where one person has to fall backwards into another persons arms, trusting that he will be caught by the one standing behind him. If your watching someone else do it, it seems simple. You may think you can do it, and maybe you can, but when it comes down to it, you doubt whether that person is really going to catch you. I know I do. But when it comes to trusting God I've got it all under control. Yeah right. That's how I think some times though. When I'm not in danger or suffering in any way, it's easy for me to say that I trust God and that even when hard times come I'll keep on trusting. I experienced this just recently. I had been looking for a job and found one that would have been right up my alley. I applied but no answer came for a couple of months so I thought I wouldn't ever hear from them. "It's alright," I thought. "I'll just keep looking." Well then they finally did call out of the blue, and they requested an interview. So excited little me went for an interview and fell in love with the job. I waited, and I received no answer for a couple more months and I thought with much disappointment that they didn't want me. I was upset but I reassured myself that if God had wanted me to have the job he would have given it to me. So I tried very hard to get it out of my mind and forget about it. Then one day they called me again, much to my surprise, and wanted me to go in for a trial week to see if I liked it. And by the time the week was over I loved the job and I was led to believe that I had it, but I couldn't start right away. So I was back to waiting for them to give me a call. Everything was going great I thought, and I still couldn't believe that I had gotten a job I loved! This long story does have to do with trusting, believe me, I'm getting there. My younger brother is into music and he and I usually play and sing together a lot. Sometimes we like to make up our own songs, so that's what we were doing one day. He had made up a pretty little tune on the piano and he wanted to come up with words for it. And after thinking about it for a little while I said the song should be about trusting God. What we came up with aren't the greatest lyrics in the world(we aren't professionals after all), but they at least get the meaning across. They basically say about having fear and grief, and not understanding why God is doing this to us, and not knowing what God is doing through it. But then the chorus comes in saying, "But I will trust you, though I can't see you..." and goes on to say that we know he is working in our trials and that we trust him because he is our only hope. It turned out to be rather pretty with my brother's little tune, and I really like it. Then the day after we wrote our song, I finally called the place where I had gotten the job, to see when I would start, and they said they had gotten someone else. I was shocked! After all those months of up and down, up and down, I was at last rejected. I was upset that I wouldn't have the job I had really wanted to do, and that I would have to keep on looking for something else, but most of all I was upset because I didn't know why God had me go through all that. After I had the interview and they hadn't called me back I was upset but I was willing to accept that it wasn't God's will. Then when it finally and officially fell to pieces I was all too willing to be upset with God for putting me through all that. Why did he have to let my hopes go up and then drop them, and then up and finally come crashing down? Why couldn't He have just let me get rejected from the get go? Needless to say, I was a bit depressed that day, but then my brother asked me to go play our new song with him. So I went and sang it as he played. It was an eye opener. Just the day before when I was feeling good I had written those words and meant them. Then the very next day when all my hopes had been trashed, I had forgotten about trusting God and decided to be bitter and question God instead. You know why He did it? Because it was His will. Other than that I don't really know. Maybe it was to test me and teach me. After all, He knew that when it was all over I would be angry and reluctant to trust Him. Of course I don't really know the intentions of God, but maybe someday when my life is over I will be able to look back on everything that happened in my life and see why it had been that way. For now, I'll just have to keep trusting that God's will is always for my good, whether I can understand it now or not.
 I guess my point to this post is about searching your own heart. I have always been one to say to myself that I trust God no matter what. Sort of like Peter who said he would never leave Jesus no matter what. And then sometimes I find out that really I was just putting myself up and trying really hard to be a good christian. I want to be one of those Christians that has complete trust in God and never fails. But you know what? We're still sinners. We fail sometimes. So instead of trying to be what we want to become all on our own, maybe we need to pray to God and ask Him to give us more and more trust in Him. That's the point of the last part of the song I wrote with my brother. We have to count on Him to give us the faith and the trust that we need to rely on Him.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Changeable Me Thanking my Unchangeable God

  Do you ever stop and think just how changeable we are? It drives me crazy sometimes when I think of just how fickle I really am. I've already shared one aspect of that, in my sort-of, off and on frugality. But it certainly doesn't end there. For one thing, I love hearing and playing music. And sometimes I'll be completely and wonderfully caught up in it. But then it fades. The excitement dulls and I move on to something else, like, oh I don't know...sewing for instance. Then before too long I get tired of that and do something else. Really a vicious cycle, is it not?
  More than anything though, I hate that my thoughts and feelings towards God are never the same. Not to say that they don't improve. But I wish that once they have, that they'd stay that way. Okay, let me explain cause that was probably a bit confusing. Let me first start with this. I want to know my Savior. Not just to know a few aspects of His character, but to truly know Him. I love that the words of the Psalmist often express what I'm feeling so well. "As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God," (Psalm 42:1 ESV).
  It is pure joy in those moments when I see Christ in a new way. Oh, how I relish those tiny glimpses of His majesty. But it is so easy to forget, to forget just how awesome His salvation really is, how abundant His mercy is towards me, everything. At times, I'm completely and wonderfully caught up in Christ. Then other times I become indifferent. I'm always changing and never consistent.
 Now, that was all rather depressing and I'm starting to get myself to that point, so I'd better break out the good news now. To begin with, I need to be thankful for those moments He does give me and the continual knowledge of Himself that He does give. But more than that, I am thankful that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever," (Heb. 13:8 ESV). And you know what that means? It means that when I don't love Him enough, He still loves me with infinite love. It means that even if I can't see all of Him quite yet, He still is the great I AM. Just because I may not be aware of it from moment to moment, He still is who He will always be. He simply cannot change. And in a world with changing people and changing lives, and changing everything...that's good news!
  Of course, I can't fail to mention one last point. God has given me hope beyond this world and beyond this sinful flesh that I still painfully live in. For those rare but wonderful moments will one day be eternity. Those glimpses will be a never-ending, uninterrupted, infinitely blissful gaze. For "when he appears...we shall see him as he is," (1 John 3: 2).

More Country Folk Art

  In my last post, I said that I was frugal. I should clarify that I'm frugal at times. And at other times, not so much. Several weeks ago, I had the idea of decorating our bathroom "country." Why the bathroom? I guess because it needed a paint job. Anyway, I had the brilliant idea of painting it a deep, country red. As we soon discovered, red is a very difficult color to work with when it comes to painting walls. In fact, we ended up doing three coats, and still didn't get the exact color I wanted! But I'm getting a little off track here. Since the shower curtain we already had obviously wouldn't match, I decided I wanted to make one. Why isn't this being frugal? Well, it probably would have been cheaper just to buy one, since fabric is so expensive. Not only that but, once I get something in my head, I go all out. I think of this that and the other that would add to the looks of the room or help with the clutter. Yes, I hate clutter. To tell the truth, I sometimes dream about having my own house some day and how neat and tidy it'll be. But, as nice as it sounds, I have a feeling I'll have more things to do than go around picking up books, throwing out papers, and putting things away 24-7. Because that's pretty much what it takes.
  Okay, so I did make my shower curtain, and surprisingly without a whole lot of difficulty. Of course, it isn't too surprising since I didn't measure as much as I should have. So it was a bit lop-sided in the end. The worst part of sewing is the measuring. If there wasn't any math involved, I'd probably do it more often. So when I do sew, I do as minimal amount of measuring possible, which doesn't always give the best results. But it's almost worth it, just for the sake of making it more fun.    
 When mom and I went to get fabric (in my opinion this is the greatest part about sewing), we really didn't know how much to get. And we ended up getting a lot less than what we needed. Fortunately, I found another pattern to add, besides the two colors we bought, from our stash of yard sale fabric (I guess all that cluttering fabric that takes up so much space in the closet can be useful after all). So at least we didn't have to go out and buy even more fabric.
Correction: A part of sewing
  So here I am, just starting the curtain and pinning the pieces together. And of course, that really annoying problem arose after I just started to sew. The fabric was wrinkling up and getting out of place. So, first lesson learned: pins aren't always such a good idea. Sewing certainly requires patience. After only about 10 minutes through, I had to break out the thread ripper. Not sure what it's called exactly. But, I'm calling it that (thought about finding out online, but I'll resist). Usually I have to consciously remind myself that one mistake made is another lesson learned. That seems to help keep me halfway calm, most of the time anyways. Alright, so shortly after starting up again, I screw up again. I don't know about everybody else but, that's just how it is when I sew. But thankfully,  mom's usually ready to help in such dire situations as these. =)
Mama to the rescue!
So now that I've got some help, I can start making progress once again. I like to finish my projects within, at most, a few days. I get rather uninterested if they drag out any further. I was able to finish this in about two days, and that I considered to be an accomplishment.
"Peaceful Ironing"
  I once thought ironing was a rather boring part of sewing, but now I can sometimes enjoy it. Especially when there's music in the background and if I do it in front of a window on a beautiful, almost-fall day. Then it can be almost peaceful, as strange as that may sound. 

Well, the rest of the way through it went fairly smoothly, so there isn't too much more to say. =)
Other than that I made button holes for the first time which was surprisingly easy and quick. All 14 holes differ quite a lot in size, as I was too anxious to hang it up and too lazy to measure. But you can't notice anyway once the hooks are attached, so I didn't worry too much about it.  
   Unique for sure and certainly not perfect. But hey, that's what homemade is...unique and certainly not perfect.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Country Christmas Tree Ornaments

  I absolutely love country folk art (something I get from my mom). As that sort of thing can be quite expensive to buy though, and as I can be rather frugal, I'm trying my hand at making my own. My mom and I were walking one morning, and with the air being chilly, it got us thinking about winter, and then Christmas. She had the idea of decorating our tree differently this year...having a rustic Christmas tree. I loved the idea and got started with the decorations soon after. It isn't normal for me to be thinking about Christmas already when it's not even technically fall yet. But I was too anxious. So anyway, I decided to make these country Christmas tree ornaments.
 I'm not much of a seamstress, but I do like to sew off and on when I'm in the mood. I mainly like to work on household items. I've had my fill of trying to sew clothing. Then again, maybe one day I'll try again...who knows? Since I'll have to make a good many decorations for the tree (I only made five so far), I figured they should be pretty simple. As is often my habit, which isn't always a good one, I searched the web for ideas. I seriously count on the internet for everything...at least when it comes to hobbies. Nonetheless, I'm getting better I think. In fact, I didn't even follow directions for these! =) They were really, really easy and quite fun, especially when it came to mixing and matching the different colors. All I did was sew two triangle pieces together, stuffing it about three-quarters of the way through. After doing the same with the stars, I sewed them and the string onto the trees and hot glued the buttons. Fun, fun. =) 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hard Things

In our culture today, there is so much pressure put on young people over what they plan to do with their lives. Everybody is expected to go to college, to make something for themselves, to do something great. I had a complete stranger say to me once "Go out there and change the world.", which was interesting because he was there checking my Grandma's air conditioning at the time. But you all know how it is. When we graduate life changes, and most people think that it's the time when we can finally do something big. It's time to go to college and time to work on getting that career, because that is making the most of our lives. So when I tell people I'm not going to college, and that I'm just staying at home, I usually get a silenced, stunned kind of nod. Some may think that I'm just lazy, and some think that I have no aspirations. After telling a woman once that I was going to stay at home she replied, "So you don't have any goals?" Did I say that? No. For some reason, hard work, ambition, and success, are thought to only be achieved through college or anything else that the world identifies as being BIG. I'm not here to say that college is wrong, wrong, wrong. It can be good for some people who are looking to get some specific job they love or whatever. But what about young women, like myself, who desire something different? Young women, who want to stay at home, and eventually get married and raise families of their own. What are they doing? Are they wasting their time and their lives doing menial house work and never have any dreams and goals? A friend told me one time that she had read the book "Do Hard Things", and it made her feel like she wasn't really doing anything big or important. And sometimes that's how stay-at-home daughters are made to feel by our culture. But you know what? We are doing "hard things". When we are staying at home we aren't being lazy. In fact, daughters who stay in their homes are doing one of the hardest things there is; putting others before themselves. When we choose to stay at home, we aren't choosing to take the easy road of rest and relaxation. We're choosing to devote ourselves to serving our families. Think about the "excellent wife" in Proverbs 31. "She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands."(Proverbs 31:13), "She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle."(Proverbs 31:19), "She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."(Proverbs 31:27). Even though this passage is talking about a wife, as young women in the home we're preparing for marriage so I believe we can apply this to ourselves. Go and read Proverbs 31. Do you think that woman is being lazy? No, I don't think so. And you know what? I don't think she went to college, and she doesn't have a career, and she's not doing something that would be called extraordinary. She is simply doing the things that her family needs her to do, and things that will benefit her family. Working in the home is still a hard thing for me to do. I have always hated doing dishes, and rarely committed myself to helping around the house. But God has given me a new heart to want to serve and help my family, whether it's cleaning around the house or running errands for my mom, helping my dad with the garden or at the church, or whether it's helping and encouraging my younger brother. So, despite what some might think, staying at home is a hard thing. It's hard going against the culture and doing what many believe to be unimportant. And it's hard to commit yourself to serving others. But through God's grace we can "Do Hard Things". So, am I lazy? Maybe sometimes :) But God is working in me to make me an active servant. Do I have goals? Yes. I want to write stories, and maybe even a book! I want to serve my family, and most of all, I want to honor God with my life.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Story Writing

  I have always had an imagination. When I was little, I was always coming up with something exciting for my brother and I to play together, and sometimes I came up with stories to write. And yes, they were typical, little kid stories; terrible writing, no sense, and usually never finished. But it was just so much fun making them up. Well I'm a little older now, but I still like creating stories(I just don't play them). So about two years ago I decided to try writing again, but this time I wanted to really do it. This time I wanted to finish it and make it good. And much to my own amazement, I actually finished it, and it wasn't too bad. Still my writing wasn't quite where I wanted it to be, and I was still coming up with stories. So last Summer I read a book on writing and by Fall I had started into my next story, hoping that this time it would be even better. Now I don't know if I'll turn out to be an author some day or not, but writing has given me a chance to use the imagination God has given me. And on top of that it gives me something to work at and accomplish, and something to get better at and enjoy. I never imagined myself really trying to write, it just didn't seem like the kind of thing that I would like to devote my time to. But here I am. So I want to encourage you, to step out and try things, whether it be writing or something else, because you never know until you try. :)
  Now, if you're anything like me, you love adventure and excitement. And when I read I usually pick books that look like they're going to be just that, exciting. So when it came to writing, I wanted to write stories that would be exciting. The story I'm working on right now is called, In Search of Treasure. And yes, it's kind of a pirate story, but it's more than that. So here is a summary and maybe soon I'll put on a section for you all to read. 

      Rebecca Mason's world is turned upside down, following her father's death, when the truth about his past life is revealed and she is caught up in a deadly treasure hunt. While her and her companions struggle to survive, Rebecca struggles to forgive, and to show the rest that Jesus Christ is the greatest treasure.



Hey there,
  Thanks for visiting our blog! All posts labeled "Katlynn's Page" are posts where I show you my hobbies and other things I like to do. I hope they will inspire you to try your hand(and your brain) at being creative, or just give you something fun and interesting to look at. I have a collection of hobbies that are all fairly different from each other, but probably the core of many of them is creativity. I inherited the "artsy" gene from my Mom and my Grandma, but with more of a twist. I enjoy drawing sometimes; however, my creativeness mostly takes form in jewelry making, slideshow creating, story writing, etc. In my "Katlynn's Page" posts I'll share these with you, as well as other various hobbies and interests, and maybe they'll help get your own creative brain waves moving ! :)



 Welcome to my "hobby page." First, I'll share a little about myself. I just turned 18 this last August and am still trying to grasp the fact that I'm actually an adult now and will never, ever be a kid again. So yeah, haven't quite gotten over that yet but...getting there, I think. =)
  As I am not doing school work any more, my time has been taken up with doing the things I love most, like baking, cooking, canning, couponing, shopping with my mom, serving in my church, being with my beautiful family, and being with my beautiful family (that's the best part about being a stay-at-home-daughter, so it's worth mentioning twice). Above all though, I love the wonder and joy and peace of living day by day with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love learning more and more about Him. I love that I am His forever. And I love that He has made me to glorify Him in absolutely everything I do!