Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In Which I Went to Birmingham

Part One

Hi all!

We had a wonderful trip to Birmingham, Alabama, a couple weekends ago. On the first day, Mark and Steven exhibited their creation with their friend Max while Mama and Daddy and I toured the Birmingham Botanical gardens and went to the Mall. I'll be sharing the photos I took at the gardens in another post.

On day two, my parents and I joined the boys in the convention center to soak up all the sights and sounds and explore the LEGO creations.

Okay, to catch some of the crazy excitement and LEGO-ness we enjoyed, watch this:

(I helped Mark put the video together.) :)

Me and the LEGO creation! I got tired after walking around the exhibit hall and begged a seat next to the boys  behind their table. :D 

A random shot of downtown Birmingham... because you have to take pictures out the car windows when you're on vacation. :D We saw lots of tall buildings - a novelty for this girl, 'cause I live in the country. :D 

Mama and Daddy and I found Birmingham really easy to navigate compared to Atlanta. There was much less traffic and it actually seemed pretty quiet. 

I liked this "Cityville" sign on a contemporary-styled apartment complex.

An old house right next to a brand new building that looked like it was formed from a chunk of glass!

I even saw a castle!! LOL - I have no idea what this building was.

Also, bridges, bridges everywhere. 

And an old Jewish Temple, right across the street from a Mormon church.  Massively impressive.
Stay tuned for part 2!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Excitement in the Wind

Hi Readers!

I'm home from a weekend trip to Birmingham, Alabama. Why Birmingham? My brothers attended their first (and I'm sure it won't be the last) LEGO convention, "Brickfair Alabama", and displayed a beautiful castle scene they had created. The exhibit hall was filled with amazing LEGO builds, from a giant crane to moving trains and airplanes... and very tall skyscrapers, to boot! (And we musn't forget the pirate ships.) I have lots of pictures to share when I get around to it, which hopefully will be really soon. :D
Envision me sitting at the desk there, on my computer, typing away at you... for so I am!
It's so nice to be home once more... and I'm excited. Trying not to get my hopes up, and all, and yet... there's a hint of anticipation lurking in the corner of my mind. You see... this weekend, we had TWO house showings. Two separate realtors called us asking for the opportunity to tour our home in person with their clients! One called while Mama, Daddy and I were at the mall in Birmingham, so we were exceedingly glad that we had left the house in a semi-presentable state!

The other showing happened this afternoon. Daddy was away at work and Mama and the boys and I were sitting around like vegetables, feeling the effects of a traveling weekend, when the call came. The contrast between our previously vegetating selves and the bolts of lightning streaking around putting things away and sweeping out corners was nothing short of hilarious. We were able to meet this couple who came to look at the house and they seemed nice... and something about them seemed like the kind of people who would live in a log home on acreage. So I'm hopeful!

Stay tuned, I shall return with pictures from our trip. :D Did you miss me while I was gone? ;)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Alone Yet Not Alone - A Review

First, some information about the book and the story behind it...

Author Recounts Her Ancestors’ Inspiring True Story of Faith and Survival during the French-Indian War in a New Book
(A Soon-to-Be Movie in April 2013)  

alone yet not alone.JPGTracy Leininger Craven beautifully recaptures her family’s inspiring true story of faith and survival  in the poignant new book, ALONE YET NOT ALONE: The Story of Barbara and Regina Leininger (Zonderkidz; $9.99; January 2013)
Craven weaves together the terrifying events her ancestors, sisters Barbara and Regina Leininger, 12 and 9, experienced in 1755 after their family fled a tumultuous Germany  to start a new life  in Pennsylvania.

The sisters arrived in the New World to learn that the hardship they left behind would follow them to their new home when the French-Indian War erupted, causing the devastating Penn’s Creek Massacre.

Allegheny warriors ambushed their house, killing their father and older brother, kidnapping the young girls and taking them to their village. There they were forced to adapt to the warriors’ way of living—which included dyeing their faces, wearing warrior clothes and adopting the Allegheny ways of worship.

Even more frightening, the warriors separated the sisters, leaving them terrified and bewildered. For four years Barbara, who narrates the story, only had her trust in the Lord to guide her through this tough time.

Exalting both the solemn and sweet times that defined her lineage, Craven delves into what it really means to have faith, even when you think God has turned His back on you.  She emphasizes that it was that faith that kept her ancestors together when they were miles apart, and that same hope that stayed within their hearts long after they finally escaped to freedom.

Craven writes in the book, “It is my prayer that those reading this [story] will be encouraged to run the race of life with undaunted faith and endurance—drawing strength from the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ.”

Poetic and overcome with real emotion, ALONE YET NOT ALONE comes as a blessing to any child or parent who’s ever felt deserted. Craven, who first wrote a draft of this story when she was just nine years old (the same age as Regina), is living proof that the power of God’s love withstands the test of time and any situation.

This special movie edition of the book (in its final format) will also include behind-the-scenes images from the movie and a color insert.

The story of Craven’s family will continue to live on when it makes its big screen debut in April 2013.  For more information, please visit the ALONE YET NOT ALONE website ( ) and be sure to “like” the Facebook page, which features exclusive movie stills.

What I thought:

This was a neat read... I think the movie would be amazing to see as well. I thought the book was rather simply written and skipped through the story at a quick clip, which made it easy to breeze through. It's astonishing that (*Spoiler alert*) both sisters were eventually reunited after years of separation in captivity, and the way that the younger sister recognized her family at the end by the song they were singing touched my heart. :) I recommend this book.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

We're Selling Our Gorgeous House

I decided it was time to give my blog a makeover. What do you think? ;)

And... I could not be more delighted to tell you that we're moving! My dad got a new job an hour away for a man he's done landscaping design for in the past, but now he'll be full-time. This is so awesome and we are very, very thankful.

We've decided that a relocation is in order, because Daddy has to be at work at 7:00 in the morning and it's an hour drive to get there from here. And we're looking for a house that's all on one floor so that Mama won't have to navigate a flight of stairs several times a day.

I've created a blog for our lovely log home to show you every little detail about how beautiful it is... please take a moment to look at it and watch the virtual tour. I hope you'll consider telling your friends about it if you know anyone interested in purchasing a log home. :) 

For more details and information feel free to email :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my photography or if you just think our house is pretty! ;)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

To All My Concerned Friends...

...Or to anyone who may have observed my crazed Pinterest binging during the past few days. :D

I have been very sick. Very. And felt like a mullygrub. (Whatever that disgusting creature is). I have not been up to doing anything but the essentials... eating, sleeping, coughing, blowing my nose, and doing a few simple but crucial tasks for preparing to list our house on the market.

I can't wait to show you all the blog we've made for our house with pages for each room, simply stuffed with pictures... and the coolest video virtual tour in the history of the world! I'm prodigiously proud of it.

While I've been sick and not feeling up to much, I've been so happy to have all this neat technology lying around. Holding a kindle in hand while curled up in front of the fire, and using the Pinterest app on my iPhone while lying in bed... or watching movies on my laptop. It makes it easier being ill. :D And I am grateful for it.

However... I've been sick for almost the whole year so far (Haha... all six days of it) and I'm officially ready to be better again and helping with the normal chores and able to breathe through both sides of my nose. ;) Here's hoping that tomorrow I'll be completely back to normal.

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

When Life Gives Ya Lemons...

... simply make lemonade and sell it for $1.50 a glass, quickly becoming a Lemonade Millionaire. ;)

Feeling a little crazy this evening... I'm ill with a horrid-feeling throat. It's not 'sore' exactly but it feels tight and  swollen and I've been coughing like mad all day long, causing my left ear to feel as if someone is turning a screw winding tighter and tighter into my head. :P Also, my lower back hurts from all the heavy lifting and cleaning I've been doing and for some inexplicable reason, my left hand feels as if the fingers have been bent backwards, all strained and painful. In short, I'm not doing so well! 

However, despite feeling the worst I have in months, I got nearly half of our house photographed for the website! Progress! Our realtor is coming on Friday to meet with us for the first time and see the house, so we've been putting the finishing touches on it. :D 

While taking a break in between dragging myself around with camera in hand, and watching episodes of Scarecrow and Mrs. King, I spent a couple minutes on Pinterest.

That was my day, in a nutshell. Despite feeling rotten, I am so, so blessed, and things are most definitely looking up. I've been house-hunting online and made a secret pinboard of options... I'm excited about touring some of these places in person! There is a lot to choose from but we are searching for just the right one that I am certain God has set aside just for us, that fits all our needs and is the right price for our budget.

Daddy started his first day at work today and said it was great. We are so thankful.

How's 2013 treating you so far?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Good Morning, January!

Well, what a wonderful year this looks to be. :) 2013 is filled with promise!

2012 was over too fast, it seems to me. I blinked and it switched from 2011 to 2013. How exactly does that happen? ;)

Of course, when I stop and think about it, a lot happened this year. I wasn't a very good blogger for most of it... but I lived it to the fullest. I had a blast. It was exhilarating, and wonderful, and heartbreaking, and joyous, and sobering, and just plain awesome.

A few highlights. (Not in perfect chronological order.)

~ I finished my novel Lissie a few minutes before midnight on December 31, 2011.
~ I wrote ASHBURN, the first story in my agents series
~ I started book 2 of my agents series.
~ I gave my cousin Katie a crocheted afghan for her wedding present
~ I passed my driver's license test with flying colors.
~ I went to see Courageous with my dad and brothers, which was amazing.
~ I discovered the old TV show Scarecrow and Mrs. King (Wow, has it only been a year?)
~ I traveled to South Carolina to go to the Teach Them Diligently Convention and sold jewelry and ebooks while my brothers sold swords and ebooks.
~ I went to the GHEA convention in Atlanta, GA and also the NCHE convention in North Carolina, selling jewelry and ebooks again!
~ We began hosting Ultimate Frisbee at the field near our house
~ We went to Florida for a week with another family and stayed at my grandmother's house near the beach, and had an absolutely wonderful time!
~ We watched the 2012 Olympics and saw the USA creaming everybody else (Lol!)
~ I got a Kindle Touch and and iPhone (which us kids will share).
~ I learned how to play the Bass guitar and played it in the church we visited for several months
~ I started selling jewelry in the Rescue Me Market store in town on the square
~ We started going to the English country dances up in McDonough every month (SO FUN)
~ I tried Wordpress and decided to stick with Blogger.
~ I discovered Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and was completely captivated... and I totally cannot wait until they film and release season three
~ I took a month off the computer - and I did not expect this to be a good thing - but it really was. I was amazed.
~ I started reading my Bible and praying every single morning. WOW. I am so glad I've done this.
~ I stopped eating sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils, and began exercising regularly in various ways, and, as a result...
~ I lost fourteen pounds.
~ We thought we might be moving to Virginia... but then Daddy got a job an hour north of here, so now we're moving a little farther north but still in Georgia. (I'm so excited!!)
~ I voted for the first time, ever, in my first presidential election, ever... even though my candidate did not win.
~ We celebrated Thanksgiving all alone, and it was the most peaceful, joyful day I've ever spent with my family.
~ We went to Florida again to go to my cousin Denise's wedding and to see my grandma, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the beach... warm, salty breezes and abundant sunshine in the middle of December. :D

It was an amazing year. I hope 2013 is even better, and by God's grace, I believe it will be.

Happy New Year, Everyone!