Sunday, 31 July 2016

July Highlights

It's the end of July. We're 7/12 of the way through 2016! O_o Seems like time's just flying by, but with great memories being made too ;) 

Here are some things that happened this month 


It's been busy. Well, busy and then at times not-so-busy either. You know where one day is just packed with things to do and then the next day there's nothing so that it often times comes close to the point of utter boredom? That's what this July has been like. It had its exciting days and its dull days :D But I will say this, the dull days were blessings in disguise. It provided days of relaxation and time to read

The very first day of July was CANADA  DAY!!!! 

Super fun day, may I just say! We had a few church friends over for a Canada Day party, as well as Tiger Lily and 'them girls' book study ;) 

Here are a few pics from that day: 
The book study group

Another day this month, we had more friends over from church. To make sure they didn't get lost, Mom asked Tiger Lily and I to add some balloons to the mailbox. Of course, you know Tiger Lily wouldn't do something as tame as that. She insisted we do this instead: 
Let me assure you, no one passed our house this time :P 

Swimming pool fun! :) 

Mmmm...coconut butter tarts. SO good! They're like regular butter tarts, except
no raisins inside, and coconut on the top :) 

We also made a ton of bread. 3-4 batches maybe? Which made over 240 rolls.
Like I said, lots of bread ;) 

God blessed us with some absolutely gorgeous days of sunshine. Thank you, Lord!

And we played with sparklers! I finally figured out why the shutter speed should be slower in low light. These pictures are not at all great, but I figured you might want to see some of the crazy things we did ;)

An attempt at writing "Canada"
I don't know if you can see Toblerone's face in the background. Back left corner ;)

Watermelon. It's the fruit of the summer. SO so good! Probably my favourite fruit ever :D

We had family summer days too. The best part of living at our house is that it's kind of already a cottage. So in the summer, we stay right where we are instead of heading out to a cottage! 
I love the reactions of everyone in this photo. Some look like they're jumping off a building, one just casually walks in, one is trying to look cool, others just . . . jump ;)

A purely random photo of Tiger Lily. It's perspective, guys. 

Enjoying the water! 

One day Mom made her oh-so-delicious fresh fruit smoothies

to go with Dad's steak and green Caesar salad. Anyone hungry? ;)

Oh yeah, and someone discovered the power of scissors. . .

We also went to the amusement park quite a few times this summer.
He's so darn cute! :D 
The day we went with our cousins, we got chased by geese who believed that our pizza belonged to them. They came right up to us and hissed! I don't think I've ever seen such bold geese before.

Oh, and have you ever heard of the "Peach Basket"? Where you throw a ball into a basket and if you get it in, you win a prize? It's extremely hard to do. And I'd never seen a person ever get a ball into the basket. Until my daring brother, Ironman, decided to give it a try, threw the ball with a flick of his hand and BAM! Into the basket it went, and there it stayed. We seriously all went crazy.

But then to top it all off, Spiderman tried it too and got it straight in on his first try! I mean, what even?! XD

At the end of the day: 
Our house is going to be overrun by stuffed toys soon. . . :P 
I also joined a photography community group with Landry this month, and my assignment was using artificial lights in portraits. Snow White was my willing test subject :) 

Special Events

Snow White's EIGHTH birthday! Really, she's growing so fast! I can hardly believe it was only eight years ago that I held a tiny little baby. Where have the years gone?!

She's been interested in baking for awhile, so this year I asked her if she wanted to help bake her cake. She eagerly agreed. 

She did a fantastic job and the end result was these two delicious chocolate cakes!

I frosted and decorated them later, and then - oh then the fun began ;) 

Her goal was to blow out all eight candles at once.

She got very close the first try, but there was still that one candle that persisted in staying lit. So Dad lit them all up again and she blew them out again. And again. And again. And again.

I love the way her eyes sparkle in this one! :D 

Getting advice on the best way to blow them out ;) 

On her fifth (or was it sixth?) try, she got 'em all out! Yippee!! :D

In the Blogosphere

Okay, so has anyone noticed the new, and rather scary, button that Blogger has added to the followers tab? UNFOLLOW. It's like just asking you to unfollow someone :P 
On the bright side, if you're not following a blog, then it's a nice 'Follow' button instead. But still. . . ;) 

Oh, oh, oh, okay guys. An absolutely amazing thing happened this month! I found two bloggers who are both in Landry Academy, and one of them I've even met at Landry Camp. Isn't that SO cool?! I'm seriously so excited and when I first found Hosanna's blog, I just stared at the screen for a minute or two and thought "I - I - I've met her before!!! I didn't know she had a blog!!!!" ;P Having a hard time expressing exactly how excited I am . . . 

And their blogs are amazing, can I just say. You can check them out here: 

Hannah E. at Completely for Him
Hosanna Emily at Having a Heart Like His

Oh yes! More exciting news! I was positively delighted one day to open my kindle and find the gorgeous golden cover of Five Magic Spindles at the top of my list! Just finished reading it recently :D Gonna write a review for it soon, Lord willing ;) 

Annndddd....Ivy Rose released her book, The Old River Road earlier this month too! It's like Laura Ingalls Wilder and Janette Oke mashed together! Amazing combination, if you ask me ;) If you haven't read it already, you should totally do so now!
You can find it on Amazon
Or add on Goodreads

Not only that, but Jesseca Wheaton also released her new book, The Silent Blade too! (all these books being released this month! so much fun! ^_^) It's set in medieval time, but it does not go "Royal family happy, princess gets captured, handsome knight in shining armour goes to rescue her, big fight, knight is going to lose, but he doesn't  (of course), brings princess home, they get married, the end" No indeedy, it's not like that at all! It's waaaayyyy more than just that. I'm not going to go into a big spiel on how amazing this book is, because I already did in another post :P If you're interested, you can read my review HERE
You can find The Silent Blade on Amazon here, Goodreads here, and Createspace here


This month didn't have THAT much baking in it. Just 250 bread rolls, 2 dozen or so cupcakes and 2 cakes. Not a lot, right? ;) 

For Canada Day, I made a chocolate sheet cake, slathered it in whipped cream, and layered it in sweet, glossy red strawberries in the pattern of a Canada flag. 

The cupcakes and bread rolls I didn't take a picture of, but the bread rolls were for the summer get-togethers we had at our house, and the cupcakes, for a surprise birthday party Tiger Lily, several other girls from church, and I threw for our friend's 17th birthday! 

For Snow White's birthday cake, well, you saw the baking pictures. For the frosting, I used buttercream.There was a video on decorating cakes with flowers, so I decided to try that. It wasn't perfect, and it ended up taking around 3-4 hours to decorate, but it was worth it! She loved it :D 

Books Read

I'm just going to say now, this is way more books than I expected to read this month. I kind of want to make up for not reading so much during the school year, and well, yeah. There were so many good books to read! 
House of Secrets - Tracie Peterson
Across the Years - Tracie Peterson
Brides of the West - Virginia Bylin
Space Kitties -E Kaiser Writes, A.J. Bakke, S.R. Bakke, Valerie Howard, Brittany Jennings, Cheyanne Marie, Steve Mathisen, Lesa McKee, Cynthia Port, Jesse Rice (actually read this last month, but I forgot to add it to the list, so just put it on here ;)) 
The Silent Blade - Jesseca Wheaton
Home at Last - Rebekah Morris
Sad Cypress - Agatha Christie
The Perfect Maid - Agatha Christie 
Daughter of Light - Morgan L. Busse
Failstate - John W. Otte 
A Modern Cinderella or, The Little Old Shoe and Other Stories - Louisa May Alcott
Rustlers - Rebekah Morris
Love’s Enduring Promise - Janette Oke
The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Stranger - Rebekah Morris
Son of Truth - Morgan L. Busse 
Heir of Hope - Morgan L. Busse 
Stephen - Rebekah Morris
The Ice Cutter’s Daughter - Tracie Peterson
Shiloh Season - Phyliis Reynolds Naylor 
Saving Shiloh - Phillis Reynolds Naylor 
A Caribbean Mystery - Agatha Christie
The Amish Midwife - Mindy Starns Clark
Five Magic Spindles - Rachel Kavociny, Kathryn McConaughy, 
Grace Mullins, Michelle Pennington, Ashley Stangl 
Jack and Jill - Louisa May Alcott 
My two favourite authors from this month would probably be Rebekah Morris and Morgan L. Busse. I've totally fallen in love with Triple Creek Ranch and its characters. It's a great series and Tiger Lily and I are waiting very impatiently for TCR-6 :D The Followers of the Word trilogy is thought-provoking, but at the same time really interesting and fun too. 

Books Bought
Space Kitties (prize for Writing Contest, paperback)
The Beloved Land (gift, paperback)
Son of Truth 
Heir of Hope 
Home at Last
Set Free 
Through the Tunnel (paperback)
Gift from the Storm (paperback)
Five Magic Spindles
Flower Fables
Jack and Jill
Rose in Bloom
Mountain-Laurel and Maidenhair
Kitty’s Class Day and Other Stories
A Modern Cinderella or, The Little Old Shoe and Other Stories
Five Little Peppers At School
Five Little Peppers Grown Up
Five Little Peppers Abroad
Five Little Peppers Midway
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
(okay, so the books in italics didn't actually cost anything, so it doesn't count as being bought. It was on Amazon, and since they were so old and already in the public domain, they were free ;)) 

Great Posts 
Some posts that really stuck out for me this month were: 
A Change of Heart: It has to be God
Miracles Still Happen Today
The Future Before You

I've seen this hopping around the blogosphere before, and decided to give it a try ;) 
One thing that I came up with last month, but didn't post about was: 

Commenting on posts sooner (which could be considered a very broad word, I know, but I have this bad habit of putting it off, and then turning around and finding tons of posts to comment on ;)) // I think I did better this month. There are a few posts that I think I might have missed, but at least it wasn't a whole ton. What do you think? Did I comment on your blog enough? ;) If I didn't, you gotta tell me, so I know ^_^ 

Now here are some goals for this month (both blogging and everyday life goals)
Write at least 5,000 words and blogging don't count ;) (I know, I know, that's probably a really small amount of words. But I'm getting there! xD Besides, let's start small first. Then we'll grow bigger ;)
Reach 30 followers (you guys are going to have to help me with that! Can't do this without ya! ^_^)
Complete the "By the Book" Tag (I haven't forgotten about this, RebekahAshleigh, promise!!)
Finish memorizing Romans 6
Be prepared for school ('cause really, waking up at 9 in the morning is not a good way to start the school year!)
Read at least 10 books (we'll see how well that goes, considering school starts in a few weeks, and I'm counselling at a camp)

Oh, and on that note, do you think you could all pray for me? I find myself creating more stress than need be, especially when a load of responsibility is put on me. This year at a kids' camp, I'm really praying that the counselling will go well, I'll be patient and helpful, and that I'll be able to find ways to tell the Gospel to the children. If you could pray for me, that would be greatly appreciated :)

And that about wraps up this month! I know this post got kinda long, so if you were able to reach the end, thank you so much! :D

What are some of the highlights from your July?