Tuesday, April 17, 2018

TRF Re-cap

  This last weekend, I was in Thief River Falls, MN at the Home, Sport, and Family show. It went pretty well, and I'm VERY thankful for all the friends and family who stopped by!

As you can see from the picture, my book table was right by a car dealership booth. In all, there was around 150 different companies represented, so it was to date, the biggest show I'd ever attended with my own vendor. A HUGE THANK YOU to the AMAZING friends who helped me set up and run my booth! I wanted to get a picture of us together, but I forgot. After setting up, we had a great time shopping in TRF, and visiting some stores I'd never been in.

So, my next vendor booth is coming up May 11-12 in Sioux Falls, SD, at the SECHE Homeschool convention. If you're planning on attending, make sure you sign up before April 27th, because after that, the registration fee goes up.

   A note on the SD Homeschool Convention - Israel Wayne and Patrick Nurre will be the key note speakers.

On another note, we had a great winter of skating and ice hockey, and although I didn't get to go as much as I would have liked, I'm still very thankful for all the people who lined up days to get a group together.

I found a few pictures from our family get-away in March that I thought I'd share as well. This is at the home of a missionary that we had the opportunity to fellowship with. Mom actually traveled with this missionary to France for a summer when she was younger, so she enjoyed catching up again. It was REALLY neat hearing his stories. If you ever get a chance to listen to older people sharing the things God has done in their lives, make sure you take advantage of that! It's amazing how encouraging it can be to listen to them share of God's goodness in their lives.

On our trip, we also did a fair amount of shopping and when we girls were done shopping, but Mom and Dad weren't, we did what we always do! Try out the cool chairs and couches! :) 

And on another note yet, I'm in grave remorse over the fact that I FORGOT my cousin/brother's birthday! :( :( :( :(  So, here is my "Happy Birthday!" to Josh, WAY late. :( Sorry, Bro! Thanks for being so understanding! :) :) :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Camp Nano

So, I've never actually done any of the Nano write things, but this April, after some encouragement from a friend, I decided to do the 2018 Camp Nano. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, basically, I'm trying to write a 50,000 word novel in one month.

In some ways, I feel totally CRAZY doing this because of my schedule, but during a recent webinar I watched with Michael Hyatt, he reminded me that I'm no more busy than anyone else. We all have the same length of days, and the same length of weeks. So I'm giving it a try.

Currently, I'm at 6,221 words so . . . yeah, I have a LONG way to go.

You're probably wondering which book I'm writing? Well, it's one that I'll probably not be publishing anytime soon, but I'll be putting the rough draft somewhere and I do plan on going back to it someday. The book? 

The Secret in the Steeple.

Synopsis - Detectives solve crimes. Preacher kids pray. When the two worlds mix, life gets interesting for the Mancefield family. When a spark ignites, and the church is gone, Pastor Mancefield is the main suspect. Can his kids clear his name? The police say it's an open and shut case, but for the five Mancefield children, things are just heating up. Does the stranger on their doorstep know something? Can they get to the bottom of things before the town fires them? Or is the family not cut out to solve mysteries?

Also, this weekend, I'll be at the Thief River Falls Home, Sport, and Family show with a vendor of my books. If you're in the area, I'd love for you to stop by!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Green Pastures Farm: Mini Vacation

 Mom got a few more pictures of our family trip that she posted on our family blog. Green Pastures Farm: Mini Vacation: Sometimes you just need to get away! For the last couple of years we've been going on a short trip between Priscilla and Hosanna's...

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Spontaneous Campfire

I'm not the most spontaneous person in the world, but the other day, when I looked out the window and saw that Dad had lit the pile of branches we'd been stacking on the camp fire pit over the winter, I told Miriam, "We should go roast marshmallows!"
          For those of you who know me, you know that I'm always suggesting random things, but I don't usually think we're actually going to do them. Well, this time, I guess everyone else liked my idea.

So, when I roast marshmallows, (you'll probably all hate me for this,) I DELIBERATELY burn them. That's right. I catch them on fire, and burn them all around, until they have the "delicate taste of charcoal," (As Marty would say.) Then, I pull off the outer burnt layer and eat it, before repeating the process to the next layer. Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT because I CAN'T roast a marshmallow perfectly toasty brown, because I can. I just like them this way. And, by eating it in layers like this, it lasts way longer! :) 

How do you like your marshmallows?

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Meeting Patch the Pirate

The last few years, we've tried to take a little family trip in the spring. This year, we went to Iowa, where we visited a friend of Mom's from when she was in France on a missions trip, and we attended the Patch the Pirate Live in Ankey, Iowa.

I grew up listening to Patch the Pirate, and if it was only for that, I'd have still thought it was cool to meet him. (For those of you who know me well, you've probably heard me quote Patch the Pirate before.) But the opportunity to meet him wasn't just about his fame as Patch the Pirate. 
Our church has used the Majesty Hymnal for years, and there are several hymns in there written by Ron Hamilton. In some ways, he kind of feels like the Philip Bliss of our day. His most well-known one in our church is probably Rejoice in the Lord, but he's written many others.
As for Shelly Hamilton, well, she wrote the song that we used as the theme song at my graduation. (The Secret Place)  She's also put together a LOT of great materials for the church pianist.
So whether it was Patch the Pirate, or Ron Hamilton, I've been blessed by their ministry all my life, and I was THRILLED to get to meet them. Even if we did drive through a blizzard to get there.

It was also neat to meet some of the crew on board the Jolly Roger. Over all, we had a great trip, shopping, spending time with fellow believers, and being together as a family. I was reminded of how fragile life is. Take the time to cherish the moments with your family. Another of Ron Hamilton's songs is Cherish the Moments, and it is so true. We don't have this life forever, so be sure to love your family while you can.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Minnesotan, You Betcha!

Since Hosanna and I have birthdays so close, we decided to combine them this year and have the married kids and grandparents over between the two. I didn't think of it till the food was all made and set out, and then I realized something. We eat strange food. What's just a normal, northern Minnesotan thing to us, is really weird to the rest of the world. I just had to take pictures of these two platters to share with you. Two types of open faced sandwiches that you can find at any potluck.

Growing up, I never thought ANYTHING strange about the peanut-butter and pickle sandwich. I mean they're GREAT! Apparently, the rest of the country doesn't eat these. Do they eat them where you're from?

And my personal favorite, the cheese-wiz and olive sandwiches. Now these are great on normal bread, but to get the VERY BEST experience, you have to use the round cinnamon bread. That's what we did here. The round cinnamon bread, with cheese-wiz and olives will always be one of my favorite open face sandwiches. Have you ever had one?

Since it was just 'light snacks,' we didn't serve any hotdish or jello salad, but those are two other things that you ALWAYS find at a potluck. 

I've been told that we do other things weird too. For example, we eat our pears green. (All of us accept Mom.) I mean a crunchy green pear is WAY better than a messy and soft yellow one. And bananas, once they get the slightest bit of brown on them, then they'd better go into banana muffins or something because then it's not much good for fresh eating. Honestly, I like mine to still be green on the ridges. And cottage cheese, that should ALWAYS be eaten on buttered toast with salt and pepper.

So, now I'm curious. What kind of things do you eat that would be considered 'strange' outside of your area, or outside of your family?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Memorizing God's Word

   For me, there's never been any doubt that I ought to be memorizing and meditating on God's Word. Obviously, God commands us to hide His Word in our hearts, and mediate on it day and night, but that's WAY easier said, than done. I've been reading a book lately where the people don't have the Word of God in writing. They only have what they've memorized, and it really gets me thinking. If I was suddenly unable to read the written Word of God, how much of the Scripture would I have?

     When I'm completely on my own, trying to memorize, I find that I don't get much done. It seems that no matter how much I preach at myself, and want to do it, it just doesn't happen. But, like the rest of our Christian life, we don't have to do it alone. With the body of Christ to help, we can keep each other accountable.

  How does that look in my life? Well, before I was 19, I was in the Bible Bee. (www.biblebee.org) Some summers, I memorized up to 800 verses, and while I don't still know them all today, some of them have stuck. If you're 7-18, and wanting to memorize more, the Bible Bee is a GREAT tool to motivate you!

  Since I'm too old for the Bible Bee now, I've had a hard time staying consistent in memorizing. Here are a couple of things that have helped me.

Number one - the kitchen marker board. Miriam is very good at putting verses up, and making sure that we learn them. Often, she motivates us with treats like ice cream or something, and sometimes she goes so far as to say, "No supper till you've learned the verse!" It's very effective, and I've learned a LOT of verses this way. 

And number two - A church Bible memory program. Recently, our church has been doing the Scripture Memory Fellowship Bible memory books. We all get to pick our book, and we're assigned someone to quote verses to on Sunday.

When you know someone is going to check in on you EVERY Sunday, and you have to quote them to them, it helps motivate you to learn them!

If you can memorize on your own, without encouragement, go for it, but if you're like most of us, and you need extra encouragement, find something to keep you accountable, and stick to it. The Word of God is a treasure, and we're commanded to memorize, so find something that works for you, and get to it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Random Pictures.

I was going through the pictures in my phone, and I found a few I thought I'd share. Enjoy! (Although my phone doesn't take great pictures so pardon the blurriness!)

We had a fun cousins game night with a few of the cousins around. We had some awesome games of four-on-a-couch, Dutch Blitz, and some kind of pictionary something or another. I'm not sure exactly what it's called. 

After some of the nieces and nephews had been away on trips, it was fun to get to babysit again!

This is from when Miriam, Hosanna, and I were in ND at the homeschool convention. We were just getting ready to check out of our hotel when the fire alarm went off. We're not sure exactly what happened, but there wasn't a fire. Anyways, when we got to our vehicle, I took a picture of the firetruck and texted it to . . .(name omitted) she didn't see the firetruck, and thought I was showing her where we were parked! I guess it's a good thing that I didn't alarm her!

This is outside of Chick-Fil-A. If you look close, you'll see the bunny rabbit in the snow. The reason for this picture goes back a few years ago to when my sisters and I were taking a walk through the woods. I heard a rustling, and this rabbit jumped up in front of us and took off. It REALLY startled me! As I let my heart rate get back to normal, I looked down, and saw that I was holding my sister's hand! They haven't let me live that down. Every time we see a rabbit, they joke about me being deathly afraid of rabbits, and needing to hold their hand. So, when we pulled up into the Chick-Fil-A drive through, I had to take a picture. Even in the city, the rabbits are after me! But seriously, I'm NOT afraid of rabbits contrary to popular belief. I simply get startled a little too easily. :) :) :) :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Excerpt from Ty Carson

I don't think I've done any excerpts from the Ty Carson series yet, so here's one from book one. Graveyard Bend. If you're not familiar with the basic plot of the book, Ty Carson visits Graveyard Bend, (a town) to spend the summer with his grandpa. When he arrives, his grandpa is dead, and he's convinced it was murder. Ty and some friends end up staying at his grandpa's farm, and Ty sees something out the window, he goes to check it out, and this scene takes place.

. . .“What if it is another body?” I whispered tightening my grip on the baseball bat.
Sebastian shrugged. “No one is missing. There can’t be a body if no one’s missing.”
We were getting close to the straw pile, when I stopped. “You still want to argue that it’s not a body?”
Sebastian grabbed my elbow. “Is that an arm sticking out of the straw?”
I shook my head. “Yeah, but don’t worry, it can’t be a body. No one’s missing remember? It’s probably just a random arm that someone lost.”
Sebastian turned around and waved his arms to Wally. “We’ve got to get Uncle Wyatt over here.”
I nodded. “Yeah, let’s see who it is.”
The body was dressed in a suit coat. A large gash crossed his head and dry blood clotted in his hair.
“At least they won’t have to change him for his funeral,” Sebastian whispered. “He’s already got his suit on.”
“Do you recognize him?”
Sebastian shook his head. “No, but I can’t see his face.”
I shined my flashlight on him, but his face was turned away.
I leaned forward and reached out my hand.
“What are you doing?” Sebastian hissed. “You can’t touch a dead body!”
“Why not? A real detective would.” I touched his chin and twisted his head towards us.
“I’ve never seen him before,” Sebastian whispered. “But he couldn’t have been dead for real long if his head turned that easily. Rigor mortise probably hasn’t even set in yet.”
I stared at the body. When I had touched his face, it had been warm. I reached for the body’s wrist. “Sebastian! He’s still alive!”
Sebastian dropped to his knees beside me. “Are you sure?”
“He’s got a pulse. That means his heart’s beating. If his heart’s beating, that means that his brain is still giving signals. That generally means that a body is still alive.”
“Cut out the dramatics,” Sebastian said. “This man’s hurt. We’ve got to get him to a hospital!”. . . 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

ND Homeschool Convention

I had a WONDERFUL time at the ND Homeschool convention. People have been asking me how it went. It went GREAT!!!! I mean how could my sisters and I go on a trip and not have fun???

Not only did they do all the driving, my amazing sisters also helped with set-up and take-down, and they did the 'sales handling' so that I had time to visit with people. So, did I make many sales? Did I pay for my booth? Well, no, but it was still totally worth it. I got to meet a lot of really awesome people, including a young woman who recognized me from one of the online interviews I had.

The days were a lot of fun, and then at night, we went back to our hotel and had fun together, so it felt like a vacation!

I was excited to carry Bethany's book on my table as well as a journal she designed! 

My vendor was on the end of one of the rows which I enjoyed, although I also enjoyed my neighbors and had fun getting to know them.

I always enjoy a visit from family!

So, if you've never been to a Homeschool convention, you may not be sure exactly what goes on at one. Well, in a nutshell, a homeschool convention, is an event where you meet LOTS of fellow homeschool families from your state or surrounding area, you get to attend all kinds of fun workshops and sessions, and you get to buy all kinds of awesome books!
For the sessions and workshops, they get in a lot of well-known speakers. Topics range from a-z with some for beginning homeschool families, others for more seasoned families, and some for those of us who aren't exactly in either category any more. At this last convention I attended, the speakers were people like Chuck Black, author, who spoke on Developing Discernment in your child, and more, Davis and Rachael Carman from Apologia ministries, who spoke on soaring above survival while homeschooling and more, and Jake MacAulay, CEO of the Institute of the Constitution who spoke on Faith, values, the constitution, and more, to name a few.
At the SD Homeschool convention, which I'm planning on attending, the keynote speaker is Israel Wayne. So no matter what kind of speakers you like, you'll probably find at least a few that you'll enjoy hearing.
The vendor hall, is full of booths that sell the products you love. Vendors like Lamplighter, Brinkman Adventures, Chuck Black, and dozens more. 
So, basically, if you're a homeschooler, you will LOVE the conventions!