Sunday, July 15, 2018

Life Lately ✽ A Little Chat

Why is it that whenever I actually feel like it would be fun to do a month wrap up post, there is no reason for one? What is this strange irony? Why do I do this to myself? Haha...

Also, I just realized that sometime last January I stopped using the double title with the flower emoticon in the middle. I didn't mean to, it just happened. Hmmmm... Why? I didn't really want to use it for every one... but I meant to use it for ones that didn't have an obvious main title, because I kind of thought it was cute.
I just realized why it was. I haven't had a real "scattered" post since January, other than month wrap ups (although I mean those to be in this style as well). I always have an agenda when I blog, because I rarely blog. Oops. Oh well.

I have a lot that I could be doing right now... I have letters to write and crocheting to do and I don't even remember the last time I journaled... those little productively quiet activities that always sound like the perfect way to fill a Sunday afternoon with before I do my evening bible study. But I kind of wanted to blog about nothing in particular, haha... so here I am, sitting in our comfortable new chairs given us by a moving church member, enjoying so cold tea, and laughing at our wet little birds across the room. They always look dirtier wet than they do beforehand, but they are so FLUFFY when they dry!

I guess while I am here, I could share those garden snippets I was gonna share weeks ago... the only issue is, now it's all outdated, haha. Oh well. I don't have recent pictures!



Looking back on this pictures is kind of fun, because I feel like our garden is still so small, but looking at these, the basil is twice that size now and ready to dry! Basil smells delicious. I love to water it on a hot day and get to enjoy it's aroma!


And these tomatoes? They have to be three times this size now! I haven't seen them flower yet, though, and I am getting impatient. (Like patience has ever been my strongest virtue anyway, why would that fact be surprising ;P?)



This is the bell pepper bed. No, that big plant dominating the bed is not a bell pepper. The bell peppers came up a week later than they were expected, while a cucumber plant, that should NOT have been there, merrily grew as fast as it could, haha!


I didn't think the bell peppers would make it since they took so long to come up, but the plants look good now, we'll just have to see if we actually get vegetables from them!


It's seriously hilarious looking at these pictures. These cucumber plants in live time can't stand up right anymore, are probably a couple feet long, and flowering! I am expecting (or at least hoping) to see little cucumbers any time now. The cucumbers we planted last time we had a real garden were the best plants we had, so I'm not surprised these are doing so well!


Our squash did so well at first, and even flowered, I was so excited. But I am guessing they didn't have enough moisture for the flowering stage, because as soon as they'd flower, they'd wither, it was sad. Our lettuce didn't make it either, and we're still trying to determine the carrots and green onions.


Okay. These plants. I am so proud of myself, and feel like there is a lesson in here somewhere, haha. I asked Mama one evening f she had planted something new in the mailbox bed, and she told me no, just what we had planted in May.
"There's just some really cute plants in there... I wondered if you put something in there..."
"Still?" she asked. "You just weeded."
"Yeah, but I left those. They were cute."
She told me I should pull them before they took over, and I did, but without telling anyone but Bethi (who I could tell agreed with me that they were too cute to throw out), I planted them in an empty pot in the vegetable garden. Mind you, they were just leaves at this time. I truly thought they were weeds, although cute weeds.
Yes. I transplant weeds, y'all. That's the kind of gardener I am.
ANYWAY, fast forward two weeks to when I actually took these pictures to admit to y'all that I was cultivating weeds, and I noticed... those little feathery cone shaped buds...


These are flowers the girls gave Mama last year. We decided these weren't coming back because they should have been up by that point, plowed all the mailbox dirt up, removed giant weeds that ripped up the soil, laid down SOOOOOO. MUCH. ant killer, and planted new flowers in May. And then mid June, I throw out about fifteen of these, save the biggest even though they are weeds, and then find out they were actually our flowers.
I transplanted another three from the mailbox last week, too. They were obviously ground spreaders, haha! (Or we just really mixed them all up into the dirt, who knows.) But our five last year became ten this year, despite throwing out so many small ones!


These are also "weeds", but I didn't transplant these ones. They are growing out behind the vegetable garden, so I left them ;). We also obviously have passion vine in the garden, but it was in between the beds, so I left it, because I loved passion vines when I was little, but they never flowered. Oh well! I love all the yard work, but even with Bethi and I together doing all the weeding, it seems we are never caught up! As soon as we finish all the different areas, I realize that the first beds are full again, and we start over. It's a good thing that weeding is Bethi's favorite part ;).

We believe we had some sort of nest near the house, but we never did find it. But as the babies got older, we started to hear them frequently when we would sit in the family room; I told Mama they sounded like little squeaky tire swings, haha :). I haven't heard them for a couple days. I think we started hearing them as they got bigger and started trying out their wings, because I saw tiny birds hopping around out there a couple of times, and my guess is they are now on their own! I'm happy to suspect a bird's family actually made it this year. We don't have a lot of luck discovering a nest that has a happy ending :P.

Life has been busy the past week. We've been working on thoroughly deep cleaning the house (like, Mama is steam cleaning chairs and we're washing walls, haha), and normal life always continues. I've also been helping with a summer program held by the church that I volunteer at, working with their special needs program. A lot of the participants also go to the monthly respites that I help with, and it's been really neat. I'm only there five days out of the program, but three of those days were all last week, and by the third day, it was obvious that several of them were beginning to look for me there. These same ones have always accepted me at the respites before, but now they have kind of adopted me as belonging there, as well, which I think it cute. They are developing patterns for when they see me, which has been interesting; for instance, one of the younger girls has been testing my artistic skills. Hint: I have none. But she doesn't care, she expects me to draw anyway. I have a challenge for you all: tell me how to draw imagination. Please. This has been a struggle, because she frequently wants me to try my hand at this one, and I HAVE NO IDEAS. She's currently gracious enough to allow me to write the word instead, but I am just waiting for the day that she's in a determined mood and that's not enough anymore ;)!

My instagram Friday: *login from an unusual device to your account*
Eh, odd. *changes password*
My instagram Saturday: *login from an unusual device to your account*
Okay, that's actually creepy. *changes password*
My instagram today: *login from an unusual device to your account*
WAIT A SECOND. *double checks* THAT IS MY DEVICE, YOU STUPID COMPUTER. The only one I EVER get on instagram with, might I add. Since when is the only device a person uses their unusual device?!


I'm also working on a project for Baby Bear, who is expected anytime after next week! I did a 19x19 inch granny sqaure in 48 hours last week, and I will admit I was a bit thrilled with how it was coming together, haha :). Of course, now that the rows are getting longer (I'm spiraling out) it's taking me a but longer to see it grow past that. as it's now taking me over half an hour to take it up by just 2 inches and I have to be careful not to overdo it, so that I don't have to stop ;). My wrist never has really cleared up in the last year, just stayed under control, so, I'm going with it, carefully, haha.

And I think I have discovered that my laptop monitor color is off, because that picture looks SO much more blue on my laptop than on my phone, and I am beginning to wonder if maybe that's why I have such a hard time editing pictures for Etsy?! Something to experiment with...

Speaking of Etsy, not only am I trying to keep a blog for my shop, which you can view at www.underthetapestryhandcrafts.blogspot.com, but there will be a new item listed this week! (Hopefully tomorrow, as long as I get home in time from the summer program... I have to post it about 2 for Etsy search reasons, and I often forget to do anything useful the first half hour I am back home, haha.)

That's about it around here, other than all the little moments that are worth holding on to but I feel probably boring to read about, haha. I'm hoping to be around a big more here soon... I have two tags I have yet to fill out, and a post I would love to share about a bible study I will be finishing up tonight :). But we shall see... I always make the best laid plans ;P.

Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri

Thursday, July 5, 2018

June in Review (Which Means the Year is Half Over Already?!)



Watching Veggietales while we older ones set up Emmi's party, because distraught toddlers need distraction from the fact that they didn't get to leave the house with the birthday girl, haha.


Emmi suspected what her birthday theme would be and apparently told Peter, "If I have a Care Bear birthday, set up all the Care Bears by the door so I will know." Nobody else knew that she had charged him with this task, but I had literally not even finished locking the door behind them before he was dragging the bin out!


I've been having some fun trying to do a bit of handlettering :). I'm willing to unveil this one here because I'm not happy with it yet, haha ;). I'll show the finished project on my shop blog/page later!


That, my dear readers, was found in a bag of baby carrots. I had to cut it in fourths.
And our favorite recipe site has been taken down, so we had to guess how to make the roasted root veggies, and I had to write down two recipes that I had memorized so that I'm not the sole holder of their yumminess,  and I'm trying to remember if all the other recipes were printed off or not... (Nope. We don't have our crouton recipe...)

-----

"Popcorn is so much work to make."
*Spontaneously makes cookies instead*
"I mean... not that this isn't work. But I got excited."

Noah, after Andrew tapped the bottom of Noah's cup while he was drinking: "I saw your noise."

*everybody coughing*
*Noah, who is not sick, coughs too*
Tori: "Feeling left out, Noah?"
Noah: "Sometimes."

Joey: " Where is that book, Mommy?"
Mama: "Over here."
"IN YOUR EAR?!?!?!"

Josiah: "Can we listen to Piano Guys?"
*Tori and Joey watch some piano tutorials*
Tori telling us the story later: "He asked for the tutorials I watch and he liked them, but eventually he got bored, and then he went, 'Tori, you know what would be really funny? If we watched what I actually asked for first.' I should have laughed the whole time we watch Piano Guys and told him he was right, this was funny."

Noah: "I not a see bug, I not a see bug!"

Noah at the zoo:
Looking at the crocodiles: "It's a crocodino, it's a crocodino!"
Looking at the ostriches: "It's a big duckie!"
After getting off the merry-go-round (which he was slightly intimidated by, but enjoyed nevertheless!): "Yay!!! That was amazing!!!"
Hearing some children in the aquarium squealing about the fish: *joins their family* *Squeals along with them*

Some guy after watching me and Noah in the aquarium for a minute, to Noah: "Hi there!"
To me: "You can TELL he's your's! He looks just like you."
Er... um... thanks?... but...
Hahahahaha. For you older sisters of large families DO you get mistaken for your sibs mothers? And what do you say? Because I always feel rude and flat saying "Actually, he/she is my brother/sister/these are my siblings", but... there is nothing else to say.

Me: "I need to grab my name tag so they don't lock the church down when I get there."
Mama: "That would almost be funny..."
Me: *leaves my name tag in the van and doesn't realize it until Mama gets out of the parking lot*
At least I noticed it before I went in, haha...

Mama randomly told me I make pretty taco salads, and after my comment about a salad being a work of art last month (which Mama had neither heard nor read yet), I had to laugh!

Tori said Josiah fluffed his hair like Mama does to Noah's, in an attempt to bring out the curls he doesn't have, and when he saw the result, regretted it and smoothed it immediately, haha!

Mama: *reorganizes all the books, fitting each one perfectly onto the shelves*
Mama: *pulls out her chair to sit down for supper, and finds the biggest book we own sitting on it*

Andrew is standing beside me with a grin on his face.
I reach over and push down on his shoulders to get him off his tip toes.
I laugh uncontrollably as I realize... he's not ON his tip toes.

*Noah and Mama talking about Baby*
*Noah has a sudden revelation*
"That not Baby Bear! That a ball!!!"

Josiah, sneaking, sneaking around the house, when I look up at him:
*giggles* "That was a bad part of the spy. You saw me."

Noah, whenever he doesn't want to do something: "Oh, I so sick!"

Noah, when Tori asked him to do something: "I have a scratch!"
"Where?"
"I have bruises!"
"Where?"
"I soooooo sick!"
"No you aren't."
"Oh. ...I sooooooo tired!"

-----


-June started with Emmi's birthday! Our baby sister is 8 now. It's so odd to realize we don't have a "little" girl anymore, after the family was mostly girls for so long! She took Mama and Daddy and Abbi to the zoo, and they rode ponies and had ice cream and enjoyed all that fun zoo busyness. Abbi and Emmi truly fill their birthdays to the brim. It was so late when they got home, and we still had gifts and cake to do afterwards. And then she stayed up after that... haha! She was so exhausted by the time it was all over.

-Our church held a lady's yarn fellowship, and Bethi (who has not shown any interest in crocheting or knitting for about 6 years now) and I went. It was fun, there was all kinds of yarn and all kinds of projects there that the ladies had brought as examples or inspiration or to finish. And some of the ladies were learning, and some were teaching, and some were just there for the company, and we had a salad buffet for lunch. One sweet lady there (she's one of ten children, so she has really taken our family in!) taught me how to make granny squares. It's not hard, but I have never taken the time to learn the science behind it, so when she asked if I knew how, I responded no. She told me she'd teach me, then. I sat down and picked up a crochet hook, to which she asked if I wanted a larger one, because that was more of a professional sized one and would be harder to use. I told her I was good. She showed me how to make a granny square, and then started showing me all the baby items she crochets. They were gorgeous, and as we were talking, I showed her a picture of the baby set I made for Noah... which, when she saw, caused her to promptly asked WHY she had just shown me how to crochet granny squares if I could already do something like that. "You asked, and I hadn't ever made one before!", I tried to explain, but she waved me off and told me that next time I need to be one of those teaching. Yes ma'am... haha! I think I got off easy with her, though, because I had been working with Bethi ;). Who CAN crochet. She just won't if it's not social, I guess...

-We went for our annual summer blueberry picking. Unfortunately it was really hot and several people were down right miserable by the time we finished, with half the blueberries we usually get. But we had lots of yummy berries for eating, plain or with strawberries and whipped cream, and making muffins and blueberry crisp, with some left in the freezer now. Noah was sooooo cute; he was very careful to only pick the blue ones (and sticks, but hey, he's a two year old boy, what could you expect? Sticks are all the rage), and about twenty minutes in, he apparently told Mama, out of the blue; "I happy!" Too cute <3!

How was your June :)? Two things that really stood out to you during the month? And how was your 4th of July :)?

Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri <3

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sketches of Summer



Together we pull weeds, Bethi and I, with only a comment or two, perfect comradeship without words, because we are both doing something we love together. A gentle breeze blows just often enough to make the heat almost unnoticed, and centipedes travel rapidly past our fingers, unafraid of our invasion of their territory, unlike the timid pill bugs. We are gleeful over the simple facts that the lettuce is still standing, the bell peppers have finally shown their tiny leaves, the tomatoes which were wilting are now standing straight and growing in height from careful attention. "I don't know why, but I think I like weeding the best out of gardening," Bethani muses. The straight rows rising out of what was once chaos is satisfying.

The sun is beating down almost unbearably on anything that dares to show it's face to the out-of-doors; the sun is so bright, it is almost dizzying. But the garden is a friend, and it needs a helping hand even more on such a day as this. The carrot tops, feathery, abundant, thickly green, hide many weeds under canopies formed by intertwining plants, beginning to think of needing more room The squash shows little buds, the promise of fruit for our attentive care. Mental notes to transplant that pepper and stake the top-heavy tomato plants; the ground is hard and dry; it doesn't feel like anything could live in it. But the mist of water spreads it's beautiful prisms of color across the enclosure as the sun glints off it's surface, the gentle drops of liquid soak into the earth, and the ground is transformed into a life giving home for these spears of green.

I'm called to the window to see the little bunny that is nibbling clover under our double dining room windows. He's promptly named Timmy; and almost as quickly called Tiny Tim, for even a bunny is not exempt from having an endearing nickname. He seems to know we are watching, ready to run if the noises he hears turn out to be alarming, but he's not truly afraid, and seems to feel that the half hour of twilight is one to be enjoyed. He nibbles some more, and then lazily hops across the yard, and enjoys a long stalk of grass. Then he ambles and hurriedly hops by turns to the wooden yard fence, to creep along it through the bushes to his home in the woods. We expect to see him again; he has shown up just enough of late to make us feel as if we are a regular stop.

A light flashes in the dusk; it grabs my attention and I stand riveted at the window rather than hurrying past as I intended. Another and another blink on for a lingering moment, and then fade to be replaced by another. The display is simple and beautiful, reminding me of being seven years old and sitting out in my grandparents yard after a Fourth of July party, watching the fireflies put on their own light show. They are just as vivid and special this night, and their fairy sparkles over my garden fill me with a strong feeling of whimsy not often noticed, but cherished for it's briefness. I step out onto the deck, rid myself of the confining, distancing glass door. Here I am a part of the gentle night noises, the quiet stillness, surrounded by the twinkling lights that show the creativity and love for beauty that my Father not only created, but placed in me to love. 

Summer is here in full in South Carolina, and though the moment it arrives is difficult to tell, for often it feels it never truly ends, these little things are proof of the change, and a reminder that the simple moments can be breathtakingly beautiful and a gift contentedly taken is always a joy to the one who receives it. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Looking Back at May




Noah quietly playing by himself while we put together Bethi's little party.


I found a really off bug coming in from weeding, y'all. (But it's NOTHING like the beetles we've seen the last week. They are. so. big. ::shudder::)


Working on new product ;)!

-----

Me: "Out of 8 women on this thing, 3 are Anne and two are Jane."
Tori: "What kind of poem was that?"
*blinks* Bethi had to explain to me that I made a rhymn, haha...

Joey: "I better get out of here before the fan messes up my hair!"

*sees someone on the internet say they are a crazy cat lady, but only have one cat*
*scoffs*
*looks up from my phone as I realize I have zero cats*
"Okay, she could be a crazy cat lady. Amount of cats has nothing to do with it."

After weeks of Noah calling me Burrito, he is now in turn called Dorito, if anybody is interested ;). Except he hasn't seemed to notice yet, and I don't know if he just "gets it", or if he truly ignores me that much.

Me, as I am cooking in the kitchen and hear noises in the family room: "Awww, who's taking care of their beak?"
Thinks of this and laughs:

Image result for the only thing dog and cat people agree on is bird people meme

"A salad is a work of art." *stares happily at my salad*
Bethi: "Yeah... but I don't have that art..."

Standing in the kitchen of the church eating ice cream with some of the girls, when one of them says "I don't think I will have any, actually. I don't need it, I had a brownies today."
All of us; "WHAT!??!?!? But it's ICE CREAM."
One of us: "Well, but we feel bad for eating in front of you."
Responsible one: "It's okay, it's my choice."
Another of the girls: "Well, good choice!"
Literally at the exact same time, me: "But it's a bad choice."
Whoops. Don't count on me for support in turning down ice cream. Find you an Emily instead.

Tori: "My voice won't talk."

When the visiting evangelist gives a demonstration of what biblically speaking in tongues really looked like, and says "I am going to go out on a limb here, pastor, and say you don't speak swahili," (because who does, right?) and your sister jabs you and your dad tries to get your attention, because you actually know some swahili and they find it hilarious that he would choose that one. Good thing he didn't ask me, I would have ruined the demonstration ;).

Bethani, anfter I had joked to her that she needed to watch out for Andrew: "He's grown up, I didn't know I still had to take care of him."
Me: "BETHANI. You still take care of MEEEEE!!!!!"
Bethi: "Yeah, but, you're not grown up yet."
She just said she considers Andrew more capable than I am, y'all.
I would argue... but it half an hour that same day I had broken the straw to my cup and fallen into a wall. Sooooo... it wasn't a good day to argue.

Noah, dabbing at my face; "There's shwoklate, there's shwoklate."
"Chocolate? That's a mole, buddy."
Tori: "There's chocolate!? Lick it off!"
Noah: "NO. It's moldy!"
Oooookayyyy....

Josiah, obviously sick; "I just don't know what is the matter!!!"
"Josiah, you are sick."
"Nooooo, I am noooooot.
...I am never going to feel better..."
He truly said it in the saddest little wail, but it was so... Josiah like.

Tori, practicing her scales and arpeggios: "Ugh, this is hard."
*tosses book away* *plays a whole composition by ear to relax*

Tori: "I can't play this song, my hands don't stretch a whole octave! Bri, how far do your hands stretch?
No fair! You can reach OVER an octave!!!"
I got her extra key reach, now I just need to figure out how to use it...

Noah has a nightmare, wakes up, and explains that "the frogs in the movie scared him". All of us girls: "HE CALLS DREAMS MOVIES!!!"

-----


Bethani became a teenager on her May Day birthday! We celebrated with a family party themed in cacti and llamas with a pink color scheme... because how much more Bethani can you get ;)?

I got to meet the wonderful Ashley behind Precious Moments! She and her mom drove by us to get to a wedding, and on the way back down, they stopped by our church to meet! It was so neat, and Ashley is so cheerful and gentle! We have been writing and getting to know each other for a while now, but it's fun to know each other outside of the page, as much as I love handwritten letters to connect :). 

Our church held a Justin Peters' "Clouds Without Water" conference, and though most of the family missed it due to being sick, some of us got to go to all the sessions, and it was really good. If you are interested in a biblical look at the Word of Faith movement or christianity as it is in our culture today, or in biblical teaching at all, it's up on our church's website to listen to for free. You can hear the first one here: www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?m=t&s=52118103048, and there are links to the others near the bottom of the page :).

Daddy and Bethani and Andrew and I all went to a "near-by" park to see the synchronized fireflies, and despite the fact that Daddy and Andrew were attacked by some kind of large flying insect for 45 minutes, it drizzled off and on, Andrew had an allergic reaction to the mosquitoes, and my night vision is about none-existent and I couldn't see four feet in front of me for the last fifteen minutes of the walk back and kind of freaked out, haha... the actual moments that we stopped to watch the fireflies all blinking together up in the trees were worth coming for. It really was neat! It was a wonderful experience to have had... but I'm enjoying the unsynchronized fireflies through the window lately too ;). Daddy and Andrew had been to this park before, and we have a picture of Andrew on a tree that was way out in the water this time, the water was so much higher!

How was your month :)? Did anyone get to see the fireflies? What was something fun that your month included :)?

Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri <3

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

This is April's Wrap-up Post

Yes, it is very late. Yes, it is the reason I haven't blogged for almost two months. Yes, I have a lot of post ideas in my head after such a long break. No, that doesn't mean I'm back to stay, because I seem to be really bad at this consistency thing. BUT, I have missed you all, and do HOPE to do better for a while, even if I can't promise ;). And I had most of this half written and all of it jotted down in some way or another, and so I thought; why waste it ;)? I like to look back at laugh at the little things that happened that, usually, I have already forgotten (?!), and so I hope you can chuckle over them too :). 

-----

Me: "Noah, is it hard work to be two?"
Noah: "No." Then, as if to prove his point: "...Veggietales."
Veggietales makes being two easy. Mkayyyyyy...

UPDATE a couple weeks later: This is what he meant when he said that. This child's reading comprehension is amazing to me, because he made that connection between the conversation and this book, which goes on to talk about how being small isn't so bad after all (because little guys can do big things too, obviously). I mean. Wow, NoNo. You're adorably smart.


Me: *bonks everything in the kitchen in quick secession*
Bethi: "Clumsy today?"
Me: "ME? Clumsier than USUAL?!?!"
Tori: "Wow, everybody away from Bri."

Me: *Writes secession as secessio and contemplates leaving it for Tori to find*

Tori: "Noah, what is a genius?"
Noah: "Josiah!"

Me to Peter: "Why do boys fight so much?" (Wrestling/tumbling, not mad ;).)
Peter: "I don't know!" (In a little tone that said, why would I ask if I couldn't figure it out.)
Peter, with sudden enlightenment: "I think... it's to make us... STRONGER."

Mama said Noah seems to finally be making the connection about Baby... they were talking and he asked "Kicking you???"
Finally: "Get it out!!!"

Noah has called me Burrito instead of Bri about 80% of the time he talks to me for weeks (edit at this time: months) now.

Noah as Daddy tells us goodnight (pretty much every night, because he is controlling and wants things to happen in a certain order, haha): "LIGHT."
Noah after Daddy turns off the light: "Whew. THANK you."
Tori: "Noah, you are bossy."
Noah: "Not Bossy."
Noah, two minutes later,  after no one has said anything else to him, he just wants us to stop talking to each other: "NOT BOSSY, STOP GUYS, SHHHHHH!!!"
Bossy...

Daddy: "Do I need to stop for anything on the way home?"
Mama: ...
Noah: "Pizza."
Mama: "Noah wants pizza..."

Me: "I WANT a caffeinated coffee, but I'll be responsible."
Mama a few days later: "I'm going to be responsible. Just get me a decafe."
"Mama, do you realize both of us use the word "responsible" most often in connection with coffee?"
Daddy: "Yeah... but I've never heard you use it with the word 'chocolate'."
One can only be so responsible.

Me: *texts Tori two questions*
Tori: "IDK. And IDK..."
Well, that's it. Nobody must know.

Mama took a picture of a teddy bear and her google phone app told her it identified a pet picture. It hasn't even identified our birds as pets before...

Aunt Tessa: "What do you think the rest of your family will do tomorrow?"
*gives her the two options on how the day might go taking into account one variable*
Mama the next day: *texts me they are doing one of the two variables exactly*
Aunt Tessa: "Tori isn't answering you back anymore."
Me: *looks at clock* "She will in a little bit. If I had to guess, they are getting the little ones ready for an early bedtime tonight so the older ones can do an ice cream night."
Tori:  *texts and lets me know they are doing that exactly*
Aunt Tessa: "It's kind of bazaar how you know exactly what's happening at home."
We're just predictable ;).

*I am texting Tori badly written sentences in "regional dialect" (think southern, british, scottish, etc.) late at night while I was out of town to tease her because she couldn't stand to see me butcher them as I was*
Tori: "JUST. JUST STICK WITH ENGLISH."

-----

Our parakeet learned how to open the cage door. We're not sure which one, but either way, it was an issue, because one is aggressive and knows that we can't get her if she sits behind the sink, and one of them is clumsy and panics if a human is within two feet of her, and so their cage is now bread tied closed, haha.

The world's oldest spider apparently died by a wasp attack this month. ::sniff:: BUT NO, REALLY, HOW CAN THEY EVEN TELL?!?!?!?!?


So, he's blurred, but there's a genuine Peter smile, which does not happen when you warn him first ;).


It is honestly SO hard for me to put the little boys in their own beds if they fall asleep in mine before going to bed. They are just so squishily sweet <3.

Bethani and Abbi and Emmi and I put in our garden in April, and there are definitely going to be some posts on that in the future, because at least the carrots and squash seem to be growing well, haha. I love gardening, I'd missed it!


Two very exciting things happened in April... For one, our precious new cousin arrived :)! We got to meet him a couple weeks later. I stayed with my Aunt Tessa for a couple days first, and I made this little hat and diaper set for baby Kevin ( I forgot to bring Walter the Snowgie along with me, so my cup had to be the head form I use while placing the pieces) while Aunt Tessa did some school work and we watched a movie with cookie dough, haha :). We're great multitaskers, and we get along great together ;).  Kevin is just so sweet, and we were so thrilled to get to see him and hold him and love him up!



And for another thing, Mama and Daddy completely shocked us on Resurrection by announcing that little Baby Bear is a BOY! They had known for weeks; it had been long enough that I had stopped suspecting them of hiding the secret, because I honestly didn't think Mama could wait that long if she knew, so they must have decided to be surprised again... but no, Mama just wanted to save it for an extra surprising surprise ;)! We're evenly split now; five girls and five boys! Mama never suspected, after having one lone boy in the midst of five girls, that one day she would get four little guys in a row! Josiah seemed to really "get" that there was a baby on the way after he learned that it was a brother... I guess it helped him fit the baby into the family in his mind. He hadn't really responded at all up until then, but as soon as we learned Baby was a boy, Josiah started talking about him constantly, and it's just been really sweet!

-----

April ended with an experience I'd rather have forgone (well... changed, not forgone exactly), but it gave some opportunities for growth, and most of the month was wonderful and fun, something I am definitely reminded of editing my own post :) And each month, each day, each moment, is a gift from God no matter what, isn't it? God's planned everything for His glory and our benefit, and when you remember all the cause God has to remove us from Himself forever, it's just a blessing to realize that you are living in His grace!

April was also pretty much South Carolina's only month of spring, so, there is that to set it apart, as well ;).

Next up, May's recap... which is only slightly late right now, right ;)?

Many blessings,
Bri <3

Saturday, April 14, 2018

I Got Tagged Again!

The Tag:

I was tagged for the Liebster Award Tag by... Bethani from Gratefully His!

*stares Bethi down* You did this just so I would have to fill out the facts section again. I know you did. Just kidding, thanks Bethi ;)! 


 The Rules:

-Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award. Check.
-Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you. Will do.
-Give 11 random facts about yourself. I'm running out of facts, y'all. 
-Nominate 11 blogs. And blogs. I had a few I wanted to tag last time that went over the 11 limit, but not *11* more!
-Notify those blogs of their nomination. I can do that...
-Give them 11 questions to answer. *Thumbs up*

The Questions:


1: What is your favorite book?
No, no, no, no. You didn't. Not again!!! NOT THE FAVORITE QUESTIONS. 
Ughhhhh. How about a few?
The bible is the one book that I would never want to give up, and I especially love the books of Ruth, Psalms, John, Romans, and Hebrews.
Other than that... I am going to go with "The Valley of Vision", "Choosing Gratitude", and "An Old-Fashioned Girl". The one I have loved reading best so far this year was "Kingdom's Quest". It's this allegorical story inspired by the life of Paul, and honestly it's geared for younger ages, but for some reason this one just really touched me. I think it was raw and hopeful, all at the same time. It's not something I expected after the first few books, which were interesting but not terribly compelling, haha. 

2: What is your least favorite book?
This one is easier. It's a toss up between "Rose in Bloom" (I looked for that book for five years and HATED it when I found it, it was the worst disappointment) and "The House of 30 Cats" (you have a trouble-making cat? Let the cat die, then everything is alright! *screams* It was the worst).
3: What is your Favorite movie?
Nope, not even trying. Let's pretend this question doesn't even exist, 'kay? Although if you want to tell me YOUR favorite movie, I can tell you what I think of it. Ha. 

4: What is the scariest movie that you have watched?
Hands down, "Return to the Hiding Place". I'm not sure why it was so terrifying... maybe because in the back of your mind was the fact that it was a real story and this "was" really happening... maybe because as a real story, you knew people weren't safe just to help the story along... I don't know. But Mama and I went to bed with pounding hearts and jumping at little noises (Not kidding, Mama literally checked her blood pressure it was so bad, haha...).

5: What is your favorite month?
I am NOT copying Bethi here. October was my favorite month before it was hers ;)... It's fall, even here in SC. Coffee, gingersnaps, sweaters, cool(er) days, extra reading, the colors. Everything is beautiful from early October to mid November!

6: What does your dream house look like?
*Laughs because I literally answered this the other day* Then realizes... I told you my dream starter home. The home I dream about that is too small for raising a dozen children efficiently. Sooooo, I guess I could tell you about my dream long-term home, right? 
When I see that home, there are a few things that I want. I'd love an open floor plan home with lots of room for having family and church members over and being able to stay a part of things in the living room and dinning room while working in the kitchen. It's still got plenty of plants, but it's also got a whole lot more bookshelves, just because there is more room ;). There is a huge yard, and we have a wrap-around porch with plenty of seats. And I spontaneously bake chocolate chip cookies with small children at 8 o'clock at night quite often. I might want to work on the frequency of that BEFORE it's a reality ;). But once in a while can't hurt...
7:What does your dream garden look like?
It's big. It's got an arbor with a swing. Alllll the vegetables are there, but there are also tulips and daffodils and small, sweet-atmospheric plants in the middle,too.

8:What is your favorite Ice cream?
Ben and Jerry's Half Baked. Yummm!

9: How do you decorate your room?
How *do* I, or what do I aim for? Hahaha...
I love wall colleges, but I haven't done one because I like them all and can't commit to one. Ha! I pretty much love all (cute) wall art, and prefer functional flat surfaces. Color schemes I'm drawn to are blues and neutrals (preferably brown). But... I'm honestly not picky right now as long as it is cute and sentimental. And inspirational. Quote decor is a really big deal for me, haha :). 

10: Do you like Tea, Coffee, or Hot Chocolate better?
Not tea. Don't get me wrong, I love certain teas... but I'm not going to reach for it for a treat. I'm going to go with coffee, because if you know me you know I really love coffee! But I drink hot chocolate about as much because, 1. no caffeine, 2. almost as good ;). (Decaf coffee does not satisfy...)
11: What are 3 things that you plan to do in 10 years?
If I am alive ten years from now, I am going to wake up, eat, and feel emotions. Yes. Nearly impossible to fail. 
I totally cheated here, hahaha. But I can't even wrap my mind around that far without being reminded that... I don't know. I'll be thirty, and I have no idea where God will have me at that point. My goals might not be His plan, and I don't want to fight against that. And that's okay, because I can rest in Him and trust His path for me. 
Ultimately, my hope in life, at any time, no matter what circumstances I am given, are that I would love the Lord with all my heart, that He would use me to encourage those around me, and that I would be content with whatever those circumstances are, using them as He is leading. 

The Facts:

I'm going to do this a little differently. I think, instead of "real facts", I am going to give you a few of the many quotes that I love, because I believe that knowing what words mean a great deal to someone is really one of the best ways to truly know them, and also because, "A drop of ink may make a million think"... 

"I have an obsession with quotes, because other people are so much better at putting my feelings into words than I am."

"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us." -Psalm 62:5-8
"To begin, begin." -William Wordsworth

"If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit."

"A bible that's falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't." -Charles Spurgeon

"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here's my heart, O, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above." - Robert Robinson

"The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely." - Louisa May Alcott

"You can't truly rest until every area of your life rests in God." - A.W.Tozer

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer." -Psalm 19:14

"Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for."

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." -Ephesians 2:10

The Nominees:

-Bethani from Gratefully His. Yes, you dear. Because if you can" get Tori back", I can get you back, and I feel somewhat evil today, mwahahaha. Also because I don't think you should neglect your blog so much ;).
-Allison from "All Things Allison Marie". I just found this blog, and I right away subscribed! I thought it would be fun to get to know Allison a bit better :)!
-Daminika from "Walking in the Sonshine". I feel like Daminika has a unique blog... some of us are kind of cookie cutter without meaning to be, but somehow she does everything we do with a little personal twist which is fun :).
-Jessica from "Apples of Gold". Jessica's blog makes me think when I read it. She brings out the small things in a way that strikes you as completely new, you know :)? Also, we once unknowingly wrote blog posts about caring for others from two different sides of the story at the same time, and while I didn't post mine for months because it was kinda raw, I thought it was neat!
-Chelsea from "An Ordinary Pen". I love stalking Chelsea's blog... hahaha ;). Also, I love her blog name and the reasoning behind it!
Annnnnndddd... does anyone else want to say I tagged them ;)? 'Cause right now, the other 6 spots are a free for all, hahaha!

The Questions:

-Who is one person you look up to?
-What is the hardest part about blogging for you?
-Can you "introduce" us to your family?
-What is one blog post you've written that you hope none of your readers miss?
-How old were you were you started blogging, and how did you pick your blog title?
-What is one skill or talent you have that others might not know you have?
-What is your favorite bible verse(s)?
-If what you say in answer to this question was the only thing that you left when you died, what is it you would say?
-When you have free time, what is the first thing you want to do?
-What is your favorite fictional story (or the top few, for those of you like me ;)!)?
-What is one of the quotes that inspires you?

Thank you all for joining me for this tag once again ;)!
Rejoicing in hope,
Bri <3

Friday, April 6, 2018

Cast Your Cares

As I was reading the other day, selections from "The Cure for Care" by J.R. Miller were shared, and I found the whole article... I wanted to share some of that article with you here, but if you would like to read the whole thing, it can be found here :). 

-----

"...Refer every disturbing thing to Him, that He may bear the burden of it. “But why should I have to make it known to Him?” asks some one. “He knows all about it already. Why must I take it to Him?” It is reason enough that He has asked us to do it; and if we will not make it known to Him, can we complain if He does not help us? He needs us to learn to confide in Him and to flee to Him in every moment of perplexity or pressure. Whenever there comes into our experience a difficulty, an annoyance—anything that tends to produce irritation or anxiety or alarm or confusion—we are to carry it at once to God. We are to get it somehow out of our unskilled hands and off our frail shoulder into the hands and over upon the shoulder of Christ. It is not enough to kneel down and say a prayer, nor is it enough to pray about the particular matter that worries us, asking for help or deliverance. Only the most simple-hearted definiteness in prayer will meet the need. We must bring the very perplexity itself and put it out of our hands into God’s, that He may work it out for us. 

We are to bring the matter as literally to Him as we would carry a broken watch to the watchmaker’s, leaving it for him to repair and readjust. A little child playing with a handful of cords, when they begin to get into a tangle, goes at once to her mother, that her patient fingers may unravel the snarl. How much better this than to pull and tug at the cords until the tangle becomes inextricable! May not many of us learn a lesson from the little child? Would it not be better for us, whenever we find the slightest entanglement in any of our affairs, or the arising of any perplexity, to take it at once to God, that His skillful hands may set it right? Then, having taken it to Him, and put it into His hands, we are to leave it with Him; having gotten it off our own shoulder upon His, we are to allow it to remain there. 

But it is just at this point that most of us fail. We tell God about our worries, and then go on worrying still as if we had never gone to Him at all, or as if He had refused to help us. We pray about our cares, but do not cast them off. We make supplication, but do not unload our burdens. Praying does us no good. It makes us no more contented, or submissive, or patient, or peaceful. We do not get the worries out of our own hands at all. This is the vital point in the whole matter. 

Or perhaps we do cast the burden upon God while we are praying, and feel for the moment a strange sense of joy in our soul. We rise and go a few steps as light-hearted as an angel. We have given God our cares to keep. But in a little while we have gathered up all the old burdens and anxieties again, and have them once more on our own shoulder, and we go bowing under them, fretting and worrying as before. 

But is that the best the religion of Christ can do for us? Is that the full meaning of the privilege expressed in so many golden promises in the Scriptures? Is a little moment’s rest from anxiety in the midst of long days of care all that it is possible for us to obtain?

...We are permitted to roll our care entirely over on God and to let it stay there. We are to put the broken plan, the shattered hope, the tangled work, the complicated affair, into the hands of the God of providence, leaving the ordering and outcome of it to His wisdom. The provocation, the friction, the burden that presses sorely, the annoyance, the hindrance,—instead of permitting ourselves to be vexed, exasperated or disturbed by them, we are quietly to turn the matter over to God, and then go on calmly to the next duty that comes to our hand. And, having done this, we are to cease to worry. We have given the perplexity to God. We have asked Him to think for us, plan for us, and take the ordering of the affair into His own hands. It is our matter, therefore, no longer, but His. 

Should we not be willing to trust Him? We put our worldly affairs and interests into the hands of men, and feel that they are safe. We commit our sicknesses to the skill of our physician. Business complications we confide to the wisdom of our lawyer. A broken machine we turn over to a mechanic. Is not God wise enough to manage the complications of our lives, and to bring order and beauty out of them? Has He not skill enough? Is He not our Father? and will He not always do the very best and wisest thing for us? Should we not trust Him, and cease to be anxious about anything that we have committed to Him? Is not anxiety doubt and unbelief? and is not doubt and unbelief sin?..."

-----


We give our worries to God, but go on worrying still, and this is the cause of our cares. 

I don't know about you, but  I know I have been guilty of this many times. I know God can and will answer all prayers in the best way, but so often after prayer I am left worrying that the answer will be different than what I would like, or will not happen quickly. But when I pray and leave those burdens at His feet, and do not pick them up again in fear, I am able to trust Him. "Is not doubt and unbelief sin?" When we doubt our Savior's plan or timing or answer, we are saying we know better what should happen. We, the fallible creatures with limited sight, doubt the plans of the infallible sovereign God who not only sees but has ordained the entire view of our life since before the world was made. Yet He continues to invite us to "Come unto Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)

And when our hearts are trusting and aligned in Him, the cares of this world are no longer ours to bear, but simple another way for Christ to show His power in our weakness, and we find rest. 

Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri <3

Is there something I may prayer with you about, dear friends? Let us give all our troubles to Him and encourage each other in fellowship through Him!

Monday, April 2, 2018

March is Over...

Time to look back at the month!!!


Noah was cute, obviously. Also, he turned two! I was visiting my grandparents, so I missed the day, but we celebrated later :). Mama and Daddy took him to the park, and Mama said Daddy set a pinecone on a stump at the park to take pictures of it, so Noah found a pinecone and set it up on a smaller stump... then chased after the geese trying to give them a flower <3.


I made charts in my journaling bible of the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11!


My Grandpa and Grandma graciously opened their home to me for over a week, and gave me the use of their car. I had a wonderful time, browsing antique shops and thrift stores, going through old family photos, and watching documentaries, with Grandma, in between getting some driving hours in. And Grandma remembered that dark chocolate is the best ;).


And I spent the evenings petting their cat. She was afraid of my pink skirt (?), but she was a little attention seeker, and ate a couple spoons of my yogurt every time I would pull some out of the fridge, haha.


I found our dishes. The ones we use. Everyday. At an antique shop.... (for your information, we got ours when Abbi was a baby. Guess who just reached antique status. The nine year old, yep.)


Mama and I took the little boys shoe shopping. Peter went too, but he was behind my chair, haha. Mama gave them their bagel, and Peter goes, "WOAH, that's a big one!" Haha! They usually only get half, because, I mean, it's practically the size of the two year old's head.


Jojo turned 4, too :)!!! And our cousin turned 1, and Peter is about to turn 6 and Aunt Amber's baby is due any day... these little boys birthdays are all on top of each other!


Our birds are cute. And messy. I just wiped down the cage and gave them their bath, but it needs a deep cleaning like.... every day. Haha! They are adorable, though. And so fluffy after a bath!

-----

Peter, holding a strand of Tori's hair and following her until she stopped and looked at him: "I was tracking you to give you a kiss."

Josiah as I told him goodnight, going through our "I love you routine": "You forgot the other thing. The dot and pie thing."
It took me a few questions to realize he wanted me to sing a little baby-song that says "You are my cupcake"!

Mama, after reading a review someone left on my shop: "It must be nice to have your job be taking people's dreams and making them a reality."
Abbi: "I want to do that!"
Mama: "You can. My dream is to have good little girls who are kind to each other and keep their room clean."
Abbi: "YES!!!! I will make Emmi do that!!!!"
Not exactly what was meant....

Josiah: "*Every*body is crazy... except God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit!"

Me: *switches out my long sleeved outfits for my short sleeved outfits as it gets warmer*
Me for three days: "IS IT COLDER TO Y'ALL, OR IS IT JUST ME?!?!??!!"
Day 4: "....oh. It's just me. I packed away my long sleeves..."

Peter: "Did Adam and Eve have children?"

*Bethi is putting Noah down for a nap*
*I walk past*
Noah: "BRI! Help me!!!!"

Mama: "Okay, Bethi, *I* am not that bad! Not even I dust hole punches."
Me: "...." should I admit it? yeah, sure...
"... I have done that before."

Noah sees a picture of a squirrel: "Moose! Moose!!!"
He meant mouse... if that makes any more sense ;).

Can we all just agree that if we call a wrong number, we apologize instead of acting like it is the recipient's fault or hanging up without saying anything? Please? ::sigh::

Josiah: "I want to go to the chicken nugget place, but not get pink medicine."
He went to Sonic after going to the doctor last month, hahahaha...

My Aunt and I, literally at the same time, but in different rooms:
*surveys the situation*
To ourselves, but outloud: "Okay."
*reaches for the closest lightswitch*
*turn to stare at each other and laugh*

*a commercial on TV* "This meal is so cheap... it costs nothing!"
My Grandpa: "Nothing? She stole that organic chicken breast then."

*roach on the ceiling*
*Andrew goes to vacuum it off with the shop-vac*
*shop-vac is set to blow OUT, roach is blown into the bookshelf*
::shudder:: We got it!

Abbi as Mama takes the little girls out to buy shoes: *waves at those of us left at home* "Bye, trouble!"
?!?!??!?!

Tori gave me frequent updates the first day I was gone about how Noah was making it very clear he missed me, and it was sooooo sad, but to her credit (?) she let me know she hadn't told him I was with our cousin James, because he might think I had replaced him with another baby (?!)...

Tori: "Today Emmi got a gummy packet that had a total of 4 gummies in it."

Tori: "What kind of chocolate is it?"
Me: "Dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds! Or some of it has salted caramel."
Tori: "Oh, never mind. I probably wouldn't like it. It sounds fancy."

-----

Also, I thought I would share this post with you, because it was really good. And with that, I am heading off, because things are so crazy lately that we had to split Joey's birthday celebration into two days, and he is about to open gifts :D! It's hard to believe my buddy, Joeyakins, our little "Seaweed", is 4 now!

Rejoicing in hope,
Bri <3

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Liebster Award Tag!


Hello to all my wonderful readers <3! I have missed blogging the past couple of weeks, but life has been full! I went to visit my Mom's family for a week, and Noah turned two last week, Josiah turns four tomorrow, and Resurrection is coming (I hope each of you have a wonderful time with your families remembering the beautiful, sinless, sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of the one Lord and Savior!). I am here today, though, to fill out the Liebster Tag I was awarded with not once, not twice, but THREE times in a week right before I went upstate!!! This award has been going around... I don't even know how long. I am pretty sure it's been a thing since before I started blogging over eleven years ago, but I can't find anything about it's origins (except that Liebster is a German word), so I can't prove it. I have wanted to do this tag almost ever time I have seen it making another resurgence, but hadn't ever been nominated before... but when it rains, it pours ;)! So here I am (finally -Tori saw me copying the questions and was like, "Oo!", I think she was giving up hope) to do a three in one tag! Thank you ladies :)!!!


THE RULES

1. Acknowledge the blog(s) that gave it to you and display the award: Little Bit of Sunshine, Forever Persuaded, and The Book Wyrm!

2.. Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 11 blogs.
5. Notify those blogs of their nomination.
6. Give them 11 questions to answer.
-----

These questions are the ones given to me by Maddy from Little Bit of Sunshine. Most of you should know Maddy, because we did a giveaway for my Etsy shop together last August :)! Maddy is so sweet, and I thought it was neat that she tagged me - last December, she did an "open" tag and I asked if I could fill it out, and I think she remembered that :). Thanks, girl! 

1. EXTROVERT OR INTROVERT?
Hello there, I am Bri, and on the MBTI personality quiz, I test as an ESFJ-T, or an Extroverted Sensory Feeling Judge with Turbulent leanings. Very heavy on the Feeling and Turbulence side of things. The only issue with this? My brother Andrew got the same thing. He answered the questions MORE introverted than I did, and yet came out MORE extroverted than I am, and let's just say, we are nowhere close to the same sort of person, and so my faith in the accuracy of this test took quite a blow at that time, hahaha! But for all practical answering purposes, ESFJ(T) is my personality.

2. FAVORITE MOVIE ACTOR/ACTRESS?
Hmmm. Interesting question. I feel like a lot of people follow all these actors, and know everything about them, and watch some movies just because so-and-so is in it, while I am over here, Tori is saying "So-and-so is in this movie", and I am like, "Who is that?" And she has to tell me who else so-and-so plays, before I realize that I have seen five movies with this so-and-so in it, haha. I really don't have a favorite. The ones I do actually know, I don't prefer over any others I know. If it counts, Tori and I talk about Harrison Ford most often, because every time he lets his personality come out (which is a lot, he can't mask it) we get a glimpse of Josiah's future as an old man. Harrison Ford flies planes and seems to make a joke of looking down on the world. Josiah has already told us he wants to fly a plane when he grows up "so he can look down on the world". It just fits.

3. SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU EXTREMELY HAPPY? 
Something?! Somethings...  Bible journaling, and productive early mornings, and relaxed late nights, and spending time with people I love, and words that are so encouraging you don't know how to respond.

4. COKE OR PEPSI?
I guess Pepsi... but if I am going to drink a soda, it's almost sure to be a root beer.

5. IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE FOR A MONTH WHERE WOULD IT BE?
If I could live anywhere for a month, it would not be far from home, and it would not be alone or with strangers. I just spent a week away from home, and I loved being with my Grandparents and Aunts, but I missed my family and just being home, too. I would have to have a good reason to be gone that long, and it would have to be somewhere I knew what to expect. So really my only options are with my grandparents or staying with some friends in VA, haha!

6. HAVE YOU EVER VISITED A PLACE OUTSIDE OF THE USA?
No, I have not. But I would love to visit Scotland/Ireland area sometime (it's so beautiful!).

7. FAVORITE SONG EVER?
No. Not this question. I can answer either/or questions, or yes/no questions, and sometimes even what do you think questions. But I can.not. answer favorite questions. And favorite ever?! That's worse!!!
I have now sat here for 4 minutes trying to think of a maybe answer, and I now give up. Sorry.

8. HOW MANY SIBLINGS DO YOU HAVE?
I have 13 younger siblings, but four are waiting for us at the feet of Jesus, so until that joyful reunion in heaven, I have 4 sisters and 4 brothers here... and Baby Bear, who will either create a tie or pull the girls further ahead. What do y'all think?!

9. IF YOU COULD EAT LUNCH WITH ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I am assuming this question was designed to find out what celebrity I would like to glean wisdom from, ha, but if you know me, you know that's not how I work. I would go out to lunch with my mom, my aunt, or my friend Katie.... and since I get to go out with my mom frequently and Aunt Tessa and I just went out, I guess next up is Katie, but since she lives 6 hours away, that's kind of unlikely ;).

10. DO YOU LIKE BLUEGRASS MUSIC?
I have listened to one Bluegrass music CD, the Maxwell family's. I like that CD! But I don't know if that gives me license to answer for the whole genre.

11. HAVE YOU EVER MET SOMEBODY FAMOUS? 
Famous to whom? I have met the Maxwell family, the Mally sisters, Pastor Voddie Baucham, Ken Ham... and the Huzinger family, who are not actually famous at all, but they adopted a little girl from Pleven and it was literally the neatest thing ever when we ran into them, because I had prayed and raised money for little Penny, and to just randomly meet her <3? I enjoyed that encounter more than the "famous" people, though it was fun to talk to those influential christians, as well!

-----
These questions came from Abby from "Forever Persuaded". Abby has apparently been lurking on my blog for a while ;), but I just "met" her this month when she let me know that she tagged me :)! So that was fun. Thank you again, Abby :)!!!
1. What was your favorite childhood book, and why? 
Hmmmm.... well. I grew up reading "The Hiding Place", "Little House on the Prairie", "Anne of Green Gables" and some of Louisa May Alcott's books yearly. I loved each of these stories! But the only one I still read yearly is "An Old-Fashioned Girl", so I suppose that would be the one to answer this question with. There is just something about the perspective of this book that I love to read and re-experiance, even if it does have a silly love triangle in it... haha :).
2. What was your favorite childhood Bible story?
Outside of the gospels, the book of the bible I read most growing up was the book of Ruth. It was a really beautiful story, but I didn't realize it's true worth until years later. Ruth is the Proverbs 31 woman if you ask me, and the fact that she was a gentile, "grafted in", is neat for us reading it today, grafted into the spiritual family tree ourselves, don't you think? I have considered doing a series on the book of Ruth in the past, but I haven't yet... I don't know if I will. But it's at the back of my mind ;).

3. Which parent are you more like, and what are your similarities to them?
Both? I feel like I am a very good mix of my parents in every respect, looks and personality. In fact, my Grandma and I were talking about this just last week. She said she thought I looked like Mama, and I told her, well, I look most like my siblings who *obviously* take after Mama's side, but even though I look most like those siblings, I don't feel like I look anymore like Mama than Daddy... I don't look like either of them, even though I look enough like them for you to say I look like either of them. It's kind of the same thing with my personality. I think my dad thinks I take after him, but I am a good mix (Josiah is the one that truly takes after him, haha!). Mama and I think a lot alike and are both very traditionally minded and emotionally invested, while Daddy and I have a lot of the same get-at-it-and-then-don't-stop-until-it's-done tendencies (Mama has a bit of that too, but hasn't taken it to such an extreme, haha), and our family all teases us for always being the last two to the car on Sunday, haha :).

4. What pair of shoes do you most frequently wear?
It's getting warmer here in SC, so that means that I am going to live in sandals, probably either my brown open heeled or my white leather, until November, depending on my outfit. BUT, for the past four months, I lived in my brown boots, because I love them! (Daddy didn't, though... They made us closer to the same height ;).)

5.  What was the last song you listened to?
*blinks* Good question. Oh! A Resurrection hymn melody that a friend shared on FB. But I honestly cannot think what before that, so I am glad I listened to that, haha!

6. You’re handed two tickets: One to Disneyland, and one for a round trip to Rome. Which one do you pick, and why?
Ummm... ha. Neither. Honestly. I have no desire to go either place. But if I was forced to pick one, I would pick the Disneyland one, not because I want to go to Disneyland, because, let's face it, Disneyland sounds just like the fair except 1. without craft and animal shows, which is really all I care about at the fair, though I enjoy one ride on the faris wheel and some funnel cake, and 2. more putting yourself out there, because I am told the characters come up to shake your hand all the time. It doesn't sound fun. So why would I pick that ticket? For the following reasons... 1. It's closer to home, meaning it would be a shorter time away, hahaha, and 2. my best friend lives about 30 minutes away from it, and would most assuredly meet up with me ;). Ignoring Disneyland to talk to her wouldn't be a bad way to work out the situation, as long as I didn't have to ride the rides, haha. A friend told me they were usually terrifying.

7. If you could travel back in time, what top three events would you witness?
Huh, I never thought of this question before. Probably one of Jesus' sermons, one of the life events of Paul, and the landing of the pilgrims in America. It would be so neat to witness all of these events that are so important to us as Christians in America!

8. CDs or records?
CDs... it's kind of silly to think about starting a record collection with no record player ;).

9. If you’ve seen/read them, Anne of Green Gables movies or books?
"Anne's House of Dreams" and "Rainbow Valley" are my favorite parts of anything involving Anne, so I guess the books... but I feel like I enjoy the first two movies from the mini-series equally well as the books. The third mini series, though... I've only seen that once. That was terrible. If you are considering watching it and love the books, you might want to pretend it's not an Anne story.

10. Wall calendar or pocket planner or neither?
Hahaha! Neither. Because, I have a great big binder that I keep a stack of papers in as my planner, haha! I should just start a bullet journal, but, there is so much to get hung up on keeping one...

11. What is your favorite TV show?
When Calls the Heart. (Tori is probably rolling her eyes right now that I am bringing up this show again, but you asked!) I am behind right now, so no spoilers. Unlike Google, who gave me a recommended article that even just the title + snippet shared on the home page gave away the biggest spoiler of the season right away. *glares at Google* But can I just say, I hate when they take the best character and give them the best story line and then just ruin it all later?

-----

And these last questions come from Tori from "The Book Wyrm". Who is Tori? I'm not sure.
Hahaha, just kidding, just kidding. Tori is my oldest-younger sister, and she's the queen of puns, a wonderfully humorous blogg(hopp)er, and musical artist :)!

1. What is your favorite time period for fiction books to be set in?
The 1800's. I love that time period, as mentioned in my last facts about me post, and it definitely carries over into books :).

2. Fictional movies, or movies based off a real person?
Hmmmmm, this is hard. See, it really depends on what SORT of movie it is. And... I just like a good movie, I don't usually care how the story came to be, haha. I am going to say that I like movies *done well* and based off a real person best, but that usually a movie has a better chance of being done better if it is fiction but based off of real life. If that makes sense?

3. Favorite preacher/pastor? (e.g., Charles Spurgon, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur.)
Well, I have to say Charles Spurgeon. I love to read his writings, he can pack so much truth into one quote! His writing is always a refreshing reminder to focus on the Lord. I have to give a bit of credit to our VA Pastor, as well, though. There is a lot about that church I miss!

4. Least favorite movie character?
I thought this was movie actor at first, and I was going to refuse to answer, because Tori knows my harsh feelings on this answer, and it would be rude to share them here, hahahah! But since it's movie *character*, I guess I can answer...
Hmmm.
OKAY, THERE IS ONE. I am thinking of one in particular that I always say I hate it whenever the character comes on the screen. But now I am drawing a blank.
I hate the king of Alice in Wonderland, if that counts. But that is no fault of his own at all, I promise. So I don't feel that is fair.
...whatever.

5. What do you think about Van Gogh's paintings? (Just curious, I've heard differing opinions about them.)
Honestly, they seem messy and boxy all at the same time, and they do not speak to me at all. I don't want to say he was a bad artist, but his technique was definitely not my style ;).

6. On a similar note, do you feel like Charles Dicken's works are intriguing or dry?
I have only ever read "A Christmas Carol", but I love it! So I want to say they are intriguing, but I guess time will tell ;).

7. Favorite language? (Even if you don't understand a word of it.) I honestly find listening to spanish fascinating, but one of the elders of our church showed us an India bible last year and I fell in love with the lettering. That was gorgeous... if they do all their writing like that, I am jealous, haha! But despite those facts, I am learning Swahili ;).

8. Are you able eat white meat or grapes without inspecting them thoroughly first?
Never, never, never. And if you can, are you even human? I can't eat strawberries or clementines without inspection either. Or mozerella cheese. Or turkey.
I inspect my food a lot.

9. Dream job?
My goal is to be an in-home assistant to families with special needs children! I am going to have to get some experience before I can jump into that, though, and I don't plan on working after having children, so we'll see if that comes about. It's what I am working towards as my job goal, though :).

10. Favorite name?
I don't have just one. I used to read the baby name book by the hour, haha! All names are fascinating to me. One that I absolutely love is Adelina, but I don't know that I would ever use it... it might feel out of place with my other favorites. We'll see!

11. Thing you're best at? (Or maybe thing people tell you you're best at, even though you think you're better at something else.) (And it has to be something NICE.)
*starts to write five different things* *is stopped by that "NICE" each and every time* Oops.
Well. I was once told I was "the mom friend", and I took it as one of the nicest compliments I ever got. Does that count as a thing I can be good at, being the mom friend? Because that's pretty much who I am, though I lose that ability under stress.

-----

Now, for 11 facts about me! Random. Facts. I am done with those, people. I can't think of anymore, hahaha. Soooooo, I am just going to give you regular ol' facts, facts that will be useful to new readers who drop by thanks to this tag. It sounds like the best plan to me ;). 

1. I am saved, redeemed, and honored to be the daughter of the only true King, who bled and died to take away my sins. This is the greatest gift and title I could ever have bestowed on me!
2. At 20, I am the oldest of my wonderful parents' 5 girls, 4 boys, baby on the way, and 4 babies in heaven.
3. I was homeschooled all of my school years! This was another wonderful blessing that I do not take lightly. 
4. I run an Etsy shop (that is currently majorly under some potential redesign, so it's kind of empty right now, haha). But I am still excepting custom orders! Just saying ;). 
5.  I have a heart for special needs adoption, and volunteer at special needs respites.
6. I love Mondays, the first day of the month, to-do lists, and even deadlines (though the deadlines can also stress me out). They are all great motivation!
7. I have been blogging for over 11 years, and my blog has taken many different paths since I started, but I think I am really growing into what my blog is meant to be, lately, and I am grateful for each of you joining me on the journey :). 
8. If I were asked to send someone a link to my blog for them to get to know me a bit better, I probably wouldn't send them to my "about me" page. The posts I feel best share my heart and who I am are these; "While I was a Sinner", written a few years ago as I was going through a dry season of my life, and this one, a little more recent and part of my unofficial series on my year's word, Rest; "Beautiful, Messy, Dependent." But you can feel free to check out my about me page, too ;).
9. I am an animal person, love being outside, believe that the darker the chocolate is the better, cannot give up writing, love to curl up with little ones and read books or listen to music, will try my hand at any craft project that you throw at me (but some only once... *cough cough* origami (actually, even that I did 4 times, and hated it every time.)), and will talk your head off for hours once we get really started. 
10. My favorite book of the bible is Romans, and I love to sit down to a bible study and bible journaling!
11. I guess I should note that I am quite the procrastinator... since that is literally why I am working on this post right now... ha.

-----

And now, I would like to nominate...

1. Hosanna from Having a Heart Like His. This is literally my new favorite blog, y'all. The way Hosanna writes about the things she writes about... <3. 
2. Molly from A Ramble Through the Woods. Molly's blog is adorable! I mean, it's inspired by a line from Anne of Green Gables, it was bound to have a whimsy feel.
3. Alyssa from Here is Love. Not only a blogger friend, this sweet girl is a real-life friend <3!
4. Ashley from Precious Moments. Ashley is a blogger friend turned real life friend :)! I love how I have been able to create friendships through this insignificant blog!
5. Julia from The Barefoot Gal. I'd still read Julia's blog if all she ever posted was monthly recaps. 'Nuff said. 
6. Micaiah from Notebooks and Novels. Micaiah has a cute little blog, and I love hearing about her family!
7. Katie from A Writer's Faith. Usually, I'm not interested in blogs that are about nothing but writing projects, I don't know why. But I have loved Katie's since I found it, so she must be a good blogger, right ;)?
8. Elizabeth Anne from Elizabeth Anne. So much honesty dealt out with truth, here. I love this blog.
9. Grace from Totally Graced. Grace is awesome. Even though I know nothing about theater, even her posts about that interest me. 
10. Hannah from Letters to Myself. When I first found Hannah's blog, there was a post about confidence coming from the Lord that felt like it was written for me. It really encouraged me, so obviously I stuck around.
11. Brianna from No End Of Books. Brianna was my 25th blog follower earlier this year, which was neat, and so I wanted to include her in my nominations! (I promise I didn't bribe her to become that 25th follower with this, I just thought it would be fun as I was typing this out ;).)
If anyone else wants to do this as well, feel free to snag my questions and pretend I am the one who nominated you, too :)!

-----
And now, for your questions to answer! 

1. What is a quote that you really love?
2. What is a favorite/most vivid childhood memory?
3. What is one thing God has been taking you through/teaching you this year?
4. How did your blog start, and where do you hope to see it in the future?
5. What is the longest you have lived in one place? 
6. Do you see yourself as an optimist, pessimist, realist, or opportunist? 
7. What is your typical go-to when you try a new restaurant?
8. Do you re-read books? If so, which have you re-read most?
9. If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself five years ago?
10. What is your favorite part of your every day routine?
11. How do you do your devotions (by a schedule, with a study guide, is scripture memorization part of that daily time, etc.)?

-----

This. Took. Hours. Hahaha! 33 questions is quite a lot to answer ;). Now it's time to make cinnamon rolls for Josiah's birthday, clean the house, and work on some crocheting, since I have gotten the project I was using to procrastinate out of the way ;). Ha. But this was a lot of fun, too! I hope you all enjoy <3!

Rejoicing in Hope, 
Bri