Saturday, August 1, 2015

An Update + Birthdays + Road Trip + Book Challenge

Wow, is that a title... ;)

It has been a long time since I last posted (sorry about that!), but a lot has gone on in the interim. I have been working towards tying up the loose ends of school, and I literally just did my last test in Home Ec. yesterday!

I finally finished the quilt that I've been sewing, and it actually turned out rather well. (I even used an even slipstitch to sew the spot left open for turning the quilt right side out! I was pretty happy with it...) All that's left is some writing and drawing - hopefully those will go easy enough! :)

This last week has been the week of birthdays (still is, actually)! I had my fifteenth birthday on Monday the 27th, and had a ton of fun. I got some great gifts, including a new purse with a compartment the perfect size for a book, the 2009, mini-series version of Emma (we watched the first episode last night. Mr. Knightley is quite a good friend to Emma, and I must *cough* admit that so far he's my favorite character.), a novel - Ashburn by Julia Erickson (which I've already read!), and even some new music - Luminate's Welcome to Daylight - which is great if you're looking for music with a lot of depth and message - and Crowder's newest: Neon Steeple.

My niece, Stephanie, and I on my birthday. She's eating a banana. Her face is so funny!

Tuesday, my older brother had his birthday, and we made him a S'mores Pie. Yes, you heard right! S'mores Pie! It was so good I thought I'd share the recipe with you (thank Pinterest!). It's super sweet, but good. And Jesse liked it so much...I've made it again today. (It's cooling.) It's great for a once-in-a-while-treat!

My pie from today!

All right, enough rambling about the pie. ;)

Tomorrow is my sister's twenty-second birthday. She's requested banana bread for her special dessert, so Mom and I will throw that together tomorrow morning.

(Can you tell I like baking?)

I'm also very excited...because in exactly 11 or 12 days, we're going on a road trip to visit my grandparents! All the way from Washington to Russell, Iowa! That's a 1,600 mile trip through Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, and through parts of Iowa I've never seen...

And I'm actually looking forward to the trip (albeit, it'll be long. Two or three days long.). I'll get to see new places, stop by Waldrug, South Dakota, and Devil's Tower in Wyoming, and I'll also bring a book along. (When Jesus Wept, Into the Depths, and Ain't We Got Fun will be making the trip with me... As long as I don't cave in and read one first! I'll make sure I don't...) ;) I am so excited to go back to Russell - we haven't been on vacation there in nearly three years! - and spend time with my grandma and grandpa. We'll go to tea houses, shop, play Domino Train, maybe kayak and fish, and just hang out. Oh, and my grandpa goes up a few blocks for coffee everyday, so we get to go get frozen yogurt with him! Perhaps I'll do a post when we get back detailing our adventures!

Oh...and one last thing: While there, WE'RE GOING TO SEE TIM HAWKINS LIVE!!!!! I am so excited. Tim Hawkins, the Christian comedian, is hilarious to watch, and I can't wait to see him in person! It'll be so fun!

Aside from all the wonderful craziness (okay, so it hasn't been that crazy), I have been endeavoring to finish a book challenge a friend and I decided to do together for 2015. It's actually a pretty short one, but it's been kind of fun. I have read a book in each category listed except one! I thought I'd share with you:

(Links go to my Goodreads review of that book!)

Read a book that...

Takes place in your state or country... Quiet in His Presence
Makes you cry... The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
You love as a child... Millie's Faithful Heart (based on the books by Martha Finley)
Your best friend recommends... The Heart of Arcrea by Nicole Sager
Features someone that shares your eye color... Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (on the cover I'm pretty sure Marianne has brown eyes, but I may need to read another book in this category!)
Is over 500 pages long... Hebbros by Nicole Sager
Begins a series... Ashburn by Julia Erickson
Is in a genre you don't normally read... Hope in Front of Me by Danny Gokey
Has a child main character... The Island Queen by R.M. Ballantyne
Takes place in your favorite time period... It Took a War by Emily Ann Putzke
Is written by an author you've never heard of... Eric Liddell by Catherine Swift
Was made into a movie... Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Reminds you of someone you love... Bruchko by Bruce Olsen
Includes a Christmas scene... Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke
Is a classic you've never read... Persuasion by Jane Austen (this was actually the first book I read in 2015!)
And last, but not least: Has a great cover... To Be Decided (But I'm pretty sure THIS book - To Get to You by Joanne Bischof - will take this category if I get to read it!)

I've also been reading to complete my Goodreads challenge for this year! Are any of you doing it too? It's a great way to keep track of books, page count, and keep you motivated to read. I really like it! (It's great for keeping the books I've read and want to read in order. I'm not sure how I'd find books to read without it!) Be sure to get an account if you love reading... ;)

To end, I'll leave you with one of my favorite songs from each of the albums I got for my birthday:

'Love is Loud' from Welcome to Daylight:

And Crowder's 'I Am':


Are you doing any reading challenges? If so, which ones? (I'd love to find some new ones!) Have you watched Emma? What did you think of it? Would you make S'mores Pie - or is it too weird? (It's really good!!)


P.S. I probably won't be able to do much, if any, blogging while in Iowa, so I may officially disappear for about three and a half to four weeks! I'll try to post an update or two, but I apologize in advance if I don't get to!