Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas! Mine was absolutely spectacular! My family and I opened presents and stockings, watched some shows together (Mission Impossible and Star Trek...yes, very non-traditional things to watch on Christmas day. 😉), played Twister, tried out all our new gifts, put together Christmas supper, and in all, spent a great day with each other. It wasn't a white Christmas unfortunately...but it did rain, so I guess that was okay. Better than nothing at all (and you ought to know how much I love rain). 🙂

Aside from telling y'all about my Christmas, I wanted to share a little something. On Christmas Eve, my family and I went to a Christmas Eve service at the Church. The place was all decorated up with wreaths and garlands, and everyone received a candle which was lit at the end of the service. Towards the end of the service, the pastor showed a short video - rather, a commercial - about an event during World War I where the British and Germans stopped the fighting to celebrate Christmas together. The video was quite awe-inspiring, and so I want to share it with you. You can watch it below. December 25 may be over this year, but I hope the joy and love and peace that comes with the Christmas season never ends.

May your days be merry and bright, everyone!

à la prochaine,

Saturday, December 10, 2016


Wow. It's a bit hard to believe my last post was over a month ago. A lot of things have happened since then, and now Christmas is coming and so is New Years and...all I can say is wow. I wish time went slower than it does. Moments seem to be here one minute and gone the next.

Life is calming down somewhat here after a busy month in our household. We've geared up for the Christmas season. We have our Christmas tree by the front window - something I've wanted for ages! I love seeing Christmas trees in the windows of people's houses as we drive by to look at the lights. :)

I've been making presents for my family too. Mostly sewing projects - toys and such. I'm hoping to crochet a teddy bear for some family friends who are expecting a baby really soon. I'm also crocheting little baskets for a Tea Party my Grandma is having this Spring. They're so cute! We chose Spring colors, so the baskets are yellow, pink, green and blue.

My family and I have been watching a lot of Studio C since a friend introduced us to it a while ago. My younger sister loves it so much - she gets to laughing so hard! :D

Not too long ago, my best friend, Paprika, and her family came to visit for a day. It was awesome. Paprika and I went to the coffee shop three times (I live so close to it - why not?). At one point, we tried some of each other's drinks, and the "friend" part of me was all for it, but the sensory part of me was like "no, don't do it!" Paprika could tell part of me wasn't very willing (I'll bet it wasn't too hard to notice), and remarked, "This is killing you, isn't it?" But we shared anyway, which is something I wouldn't do with many people. Guess that's why she's my best friend though. ;)

While she was here, we spoke with British accents for quite a while - although I did eventually switch to Scottish because I like it slightly better. We pretended to be cousins during the 1400s too. She actually taught me how to play pretend. I didn't really pretend with anyone before I met her. And now whenever we get together, we're in a Nancy Drew mystery or making up our own adventure. :)

A very special event is coming up for me soon. I'm super excited and a little bit sad. There is an ornament on our tree that my Mom made for me before I was born. It is a clear glass ball filled with heart-shaped confetti and one note rolled up into a scroll. All my life I have waited to read that small note (and I've come pretty close to it...but that was when I was an impatient little six-year-old who tried to open it in secret. ;) ), and now this December I will finally read it. I am counting down the days. The reason why I'm sad is because I can't help but think, Wow, I've waited all this time and now the waiting is almost over. It's a bit hard to believe I will get to open the ornament and read the note inside. Believe me, I am super curious to know what it says!

My special ornament

On another note, my newest sibling was born! And now we have an equal ratio of boys to girls! It's kind of been we girls' "competition" to finally "catch up" with the boys again. And, well, we finally did. ;) So, yes, that is very exciting. After some waiting and doctor visits, Baby Ten is doing very well.

Well, this is as good a place as any to sign off. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

à la prochaine,

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Happy November! Seems like time is going so fast!

I think Fall is having a bit of trouble. It's been surprisingly warm for the time of year. I just hope that cold weather will arrive with the coming of November. :)

I went to see a ballet with a family friend earlier this week. I've always found it so amazing how dancing can tell a story without words.

Matt Smith, the (awesome) actor who plays the Eleventh regeneration in Doctor Who, had his 34th birthday this past week, so I crocheted up a pair of bow tie boot cuffs. I got the inspiration from a boot cuff pattern from Crafty Tuts. Eleven is my second favorite regeneration (and if you're curious, my favorite is Tom Baker...he is the Doctor.), so I was super excited to crochet something "Bowties are cool" related. ;)

Funny thing is, once I finally finished the baby blanket I started forever ago, I thought I'd take a nice break from crochet. Not so - after a couple days, I was back to crocheting. I've completed three projects since then, with a fourth one half-done.

Aside from feverishly crocheting things, I've also been writing short stories and poems to put in a book. So far, I have about five. I'm hoping to have twenty at the very least. Let's hope inspiration comes over me. ;)

Aaaand I went to the library for the first time in months! I love books. I've read nearly every book in our home library, and whenever I can get to the city library I have the time of my life. I usually check out a couple books I've read before...usually good books on how to write stories. This time, I also picked up some Tea Shop Mysteries (I've loved those books since my Grandma accidentally left one when she visited our house...I found it and read it cover to cover in a matter of two days), a Sherlock Holmes mystery, and a few books full of famous short stories and poems. Fiction is hard to come by at my house...our bookshelves are mostly non-fiction, save for Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, and some novels by my Mom's friends. So when I can get my hands on decent novels, I delve into them.

I think I hear a library book calling my name, so I'll sign off here. :)

à la prochaine,

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Autumn Playlist

Hi, all! I am currently sitting in front of the computer eating cookies and listening to music through headphones (and I have a baseball cap on - who knows why I decided to put it on when I found it in the bedroom while cleaning the house). And since I'm listening to music - one of my favorite things to do - I'm gonna write a post about what I've been listening to lately and why. 😄

1. "My Victory" - Crowder
(I saw Passion in concert a couple months ago, and they sang this song and I was so inspired by the lyrics and what the band talked about during the concert. Every time I hear it, I break into a smile.)
2. "If We're Honest" - Francesca Battistelli
(I first heard this song on the radio earlier this year during TeenPact, and it's so lovely.)
3. "La Esperanza Frente A Mi" - Danny Gokey
(It's the Spanish version of "Hope In Front Of Me." For some reason, I like listening to the Spanish version of the album, though I haven't taken Spanish in ages - want to, but haven't picked it up again.)
4. "Live For The Drop" - Capital Kings
(I don't usually listen to rap, but I really like Capital Kings. And I got the chance to meet them on the Air1 Positive Hits Tour. So it's kind of like a flashback whenever I listen to their music.)
5. "The List" - Matthew West
(I love how upbeat and inspiring this song is! One of my favorites!)
6. "Start Over" - Flame
(Honestly, I don't like any other song by Flame besides this one. But it's such a deep song about God's forgiveness, and I like the vocals.)
7. "No Turning Back" - for KING & COUNTRY
(I attended a for KING & COUNTRY concert a while ago, and this song was one of my favorites from the concert. I'm so excited for Priceless the movie! Can't wait to see it!)
8. "Love/War" - Jonathan Thulin
(This song almost makes me cry. It's beautiful.)
9. "Happiness" - NEEDTOBREATHE
(I like watching the music video because everyone is running, and then it slows down and I feel sad. But it's called "Happiness," so I should be happy-ish, right? I don't know...)
10. "Northern Sky" - Capital Kings
(I think of the Northern Lights when I hear this song. At the Air1 concert, KB wasn't featured in the concert version...and I like it better that way. I wish Cap Kings would release a live music album.)
11. "Live Like That" - Sidewalk Prophets
(A great song with great lyrics. It's actually one of the first songs I listened to when I first started listening to the radio. Funny how songs like that just stick with you.)
12. "I Am The Doctor" - Murray Gold
(I started learning this song on the piano. I have a friend who loves Eleven, and I used to not really like Eleven...then I did. And now I miss Matt Smith's regeneration so much. And to think I used to not like Eleven!)
13. "Love With Your Life" - Hollyn
(One of my favorite songs ever! It's awesome!)

So that's my playlist! I listen to way more songs than just the ones on this list, but these have been my go-tos lately.

Happy Fall!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review: Can I Really Know Jesus?

Happy Fall, everyone! Today I am reviewing a book called "Can I Really Know Jesus?" This book is full of questions and answers (101, to be exact) regarding a relationship with Jesus.

I jumped at the chance to review this book because faith does not always come easily to me, and I am naturally curious about a lot of things, especially regarding faith. I'm the kind of person who has a lot of questions about a lot of things, and this book helped to answer quite a few of my faith-related questions. One thing that really stood out to me is that the authoress does not answer questions through pure speculation. Each answer is based on Scripture and history.

The book features whimsical artwork which subtly decorates each page, and the text is easy to read. No flowery language or hard-to-understand theological wording. The book is divided into three topics - Jesus, Salvation and Prayer - and answers questions related to those topics. Each page ends in a Bible verse relating to each question and answer. Questions range from "Is Christmas Day really Jesus' birthday?" to "Is Jesus mentioned in the Old Testament?" to "How can I be sure I'm saved?"

It was a quick read - very short pages that left me feeling like I could read another...and another...and another. In no time at all, I had read the book from cover to cover. It's a book that can be flipped through to find an answer to a certain question, but it's so full of information that it can be read page-by-page in order.

All in all, "Can I Really Know Jesus?" is a great read for Christians who are curious and searching for answers, and I can see it being a great book for new believers. If you're looking for a book to strengthen your faith, this book is for you!

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Book Review: Gratitude - A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

Hey, all! I'm super excited to tell you about this beautiful book - the Gratitude Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal!

Teen/Adult coloring books are rising in popularity, and this one is simply stunning. From the Living Expressions Collection, the Gratitude coloring journal is page after page of lovely designs and Scripture to color through. There are blank pages with instructions to draw a certain feeling, memory, or passion. The journaling part comes in with lines for you to write on about prayer requests and praise items (and these pages are surrounded by even more designs to color!). It's peace, quiet and time with God, all wrapped up in one coloring book.

The journal is small enough to fit in a purse for road trips or lunch breaks or just about anywhere else you'd want to color! Scripture verses and motivational words on nearly every page are typed in pretty fonts that add an extra dimension to each picture. This book is full of inspiration and designs to spark one's creativity, and I can't wait to get out my pens and color in this book again!

I hope you will check out the Gratitude Coloring Journal and be as motivated by it as I am! It's a wonderful way to grow closer to God, one coloring page at a time.

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.)

Monday, September 26, 2016

🍂 Fall Is Here 🍂

Hi, all! It's been quite a while since I last posted, and I have just one excuse for that - I've been busy, busy, busy working on photography-related things and odds-and-ends that I just haven't thought to write here. But I've wanted to write a post on the blog for a while now, so without further ado, here goes.

For the past couple of days, the weather has been fantastic! The windows have been opened to let the cool air enter the house, and the backyard porch swing has been very inviting since these past few evenings have been cool with a slight breeze.

In my spare time, I've started writing a book of short stories and poems I've written (and will write). My Granny inspired me in this particular venture - A while ago, she asked if I was writing much because she'd seen me writing stories in a notebook once, and she expressed how much she would love to read one of my stories. So I'm in the process of coming up with some writing prompts and the like for my book. :)

Now that the weather is gradually becoming cooler, I'm super excited to delve into my closet for some warmer clothes. Fall and Winter are my favorite seasons, especially since I turn into more of a fashionista during the cooler months. I'm a big fan of layers, boots with boot socks, scarves and knit hats, so I really get into the style side of myself then.

As of late, I've also started to attempt certain hairstyles I've found on Pinterest - I really like doing things with my hair, but sadly my go-tos are ponytails and braided buns. And then there's the fact that my hair is long, so I can't do every single hairstyle I see. (short story: I was attending TeenPact one year, and once decided to leave my hair down with just a flexi clip for decoration. One of the staffers really liked my long hair and she had hers up in a chignon, so she offered to put my hair up like that with my flexi clip. Well, my hair was so long and thick that the flexi clip couldn't hold it all up! But I've loved chignons ever since, and remind myself to bring bigger flexi clips to TeenPact. ;) )

September is ending and Fall is happening! I am beyond excited for this beautiful season. Hot tea, cute clothes, cool weather, bright leaves...What's not to love about Fall?

à la prochaine,

"Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons." - Jim Bishop

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Book Review: Brave Enough

Hi, all! Today I am reviewing a book by Nicole Unice, Brave Enough.

Brave Enough is a book about courage. Or, rather, having just enough courage to be yourself, to follow God and do what He asks of you. Not brave like the heroes in the movies, but brave enough.

The book reminds me of the song "Brave" by Moriah Peters, where she says "I know I'm no superwoman/But impossible is possible with You." It's all about the fact that, while we're not always brave and confident by ourselves, with God we can be a little brave and do somewhat small, yet daunting, tasks and work our way up to being just a little braver, then a little more, and a little more...

I'm not an exceptionally outgoing person, so this book was encouraging since the author doesn't have a "Become Super Brave In 10 Days Or Less" approach. It's just a simple calling to not be afraid to be a little brave. The book is full of real-life stories from the author and her friends, which she uses to emphasize certain truths about bravery and trusting God. And at the end of the book, there are pages full of Bible verses about courage. I like that verses are also spread throughout the book, and she explains how each verse can draw us closer to being brave enough.

The one "problem" I had with the book was that the chapters seemed a bit long. While a very good read, I had trouble reading an entire chapter in one sitting.

What I took away from Brave Enough is that there is no such thing as a perfect life, that I can't do everything by myself, and that bravery can be quiet and a little - just enough - bravery is sometimes all you need.

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.)

Monday, August 1, 2016


There’s absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the rush.
Everybody should be free to go very slow.
~ Robert Frost

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if people went about life in a slower manner. I'm pretty slow when it comes to some things anyway. Mealtimes, for instance. I've nearly always been the last person to finish eating because I'm slower than everyone else (There's a really funny joke about that: Doctors say that if you eat slowly, you eat less - You certainly will if you're in a large family.), and when I used to wash dishes during table chores, I'd spend at least 30 minutes longer than the next person, because I'd stare out the window (seriously, windows above sinks were created for the sole purpose to make you feel cooped up washing dishes, and stand there pondering everything that is) and also make sure the dishes were spotless. Doing laundry is only fun when I fold it. I have time to think, folding things - towels are my favorite because they are symmetrical, and therefore easier to fold the neatest. And folding seems to take at least 10 minutes for me (That might not seem long, but I feel very slow when I'm folding, and I see dust on the window sill, and I remember that I didn't dust it the week before, so I search for a paper towel, and I dust it, then I see a sock from who knows how long ago, so I put it in the dirty laundry, and then I start folding again...).

I go about things slower (but, admittedly, not always methodical) than most people. I'm usually the last one out the door on Sunday morning, because I left my shoes somewhere, or I had to find a pencil for my notebook for taking notes. I think and think and think some days on what to wear...a week in advance. When I put my clothes away, I color-, and type-code them. My closet is ordered like this: long-sleeved outfits, patterned skirts, solid-colored skirts, jeans, capris, gray shirts, blue shirts, purple shirts, pink shirts, white and tie-dye shirts, orange and red shirts, and TeenPact blazers and skirts. I've ordered my closet since I was 11 years old. Occasionally I'll find that someone has put away, say, one of my blue shirts in with the white shirts, and I'll put it back with the blue shirts. No big deal, but I like having sections in my closet.

I focus on details rather than the big picture. I watched a trailer for a movie recently, and I noticed little details that another person might have missed. I like seeing a painting from a distance, then pulling in and seeing all the dots or swathes of paint. I do magic eye puzzles because it's all about patience and slowly blurring everything until the picture comes into view. I stare out the window on road trips just in case I see a deer, or a change in the colors of a sunset. When I mow, I look for wild strawberries growing in the yard. 

I like the feeling of slow most days. Slow is calm. Slow is inviting. Slow is knowing that everything will wait for you. Slow is peaceful. I wonder what it would be like if slow was accepted in society. If the rush wasn't so important. If a focused, peaceful slow was the norm. If we cherished the moments that disappear so quickly.

What's the hurry?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Phase 10 And Sour Apples

My Grandma came to visit recently. Whenever she comes, we play at least one card game - usually Phase 10 or Uno. This week, we played tons of Uno games, a few games of Phase 10 (one of which, she and I sort of tied...though, in reality, she and I were both on Phase 10, and she went out of cards first, so she won.), and a couple games of Apples To Apples. We like to switch Apples To Apples around and use the green cards as our hands, and the red cards as the ones we have to describe. We call this version "Sour Apples." I guess you can't possibly lose when you describe a choose-your-own card that says "Mark Twain" with a card that says "Mark Twain." :-D

I love spending time with my Grandma because she is just an amazing person. She always has a plan, and she makes sure everyone sticks to it (that's one reason why we lovingly call her "Sergeant Grandma."). And she cuts sandwiches lengthwise. And she makes hot cocoa and cinnamon toast for breakfast. And she has a cute Shi-Tzu named Bailey, who is so soft! He's a shy little puppy dog too.

She took me on a bus tour to Branson a couple years ago, and I had a blast. It was nearly Christmastime, and we got to see Jonah at the Sight And Sound Theatre, the Dixie Stampede (I love horses, so that was an awesome experience), Daniel O'Donnell, and quite a few other shows. By the time the tour was over, we were both tired! The week was full of things to do, places to see. I got to eat Sprite and ice cream for supper one night. ;-) It was a super fun trip.

A photo I took of the reflection in the ceiling of a truck stop we got off at during our Branson trip.

Sometimes my Grandma will call us or send small letters to each of us kids. She calls me Princess, and I love that nickname. I used to want to be Cinderella when I grew up (that dream was imagined recently when I got to dress up in a lovely, Baroque-period dress, and, as I half-ran up the stairs of the building, a lady referred to me in these words: "She looks like Cinderella!"). I guess I still want to be Cinderella - I just need a Fairy Godmother and a pumpkin coach.

A long time ago, she would take us girls (my Mom, Sunshine and me) to Victorian tea parties. We would dress up the part and attend the tea. The sugar cubes had icing flowers on them, and the tea was always delicious. There was a harpist one year, and I thought she looked like an angel. I always had fun at those parties, even though I was super shy all the time. I liked dressing up in pretty clothes for the parties. One year, the tea party was Scotland-themed, and my Mom dressed me up in a plaid skirt, white socks, dress shoes, a blouse and a beret. I looked so cute. One of the dishes they served was haggis. Try it first, then ask what it is. It was pretty good, as far as I can remember.

She taught me how to play Sudoku. I remember watching her write a 5, and since then I've written my 5 like that because I thought it was the prettiest 5 I'd ever seen. She makes the bottom half, then adds a long, sweeping line on top. I have a thing with numbers, so I love how she writes a 5.

At times, she'll accidentally leave one of her books at our house, and I'll find it. They're usually Amish novels and short stories, sometimes a really good mystery. I think that's what got me started with liking novels - her forgetting a book on the end table, and me picking it up.

She bought one of those record-your-voice books where you speak the words on each page and it plays back to you whenever you turn the page. We have that book in a special place, and sometimes I take it down and turn the pages and listen to her read the storybook. I love the last page of the book, "I love you round and round the world. I love you through and through. And when it seems impossible to love you more, I do." That's her. That's my Grandma.

When we had to move to a house that didn't allow pets, she said she would take care of my guinea pig, Inca, at her house. We were so close to having to move, and I'd have to leave my little baby, and who stepped in to keep that from happening? My little Inca was very happy there, I know.

My Grandma tells stories about Peter Rabbit and baby squirrels, makes imaginary sandwiches on our backs, makes sure you wake up at a good time, acts like a kid when the opportunity presents itself, and is always ready to do something with you.

I love my Grandma. She's too amazing for words, but I hope you can see just how much I love her.

Sergeant Grandma, you're the best.


Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4th!

Happy 4th of July!!!

I love fireworks so much, and today is really, really special. We bake a cake and put lots of frosting on it. And we watch the fireworks go off outside. And we smile because everything is so beautiful.

Emmy, this is for you. ♥

Emmy, you will always be my little strawberry. I love you so, so much and so, so beyond words. I'm sure you would love the fireworks here. They are just for you.

I love you, little sis. ♥♥

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Newsies On A Mission

If you came into my house this past week, you probably would have noticed me loudly singing songs from Newsies. Since last Tuesday, I've been singing and singing and singing "Carrying The Banner" and "Santa Fe." I really can't help it. If I'm not singing one of those songs, I can hear it playing in my head. I know for a fact that some of my siblings have been just the slightest bit aggravated or amused when I suddenly burst into song. The little boys laugh. Sunshine rolls her eyes. Super-K groans and wonders why I'm singing again.

But it's just that I looooove Newsies. It's one of my favorite musicals (and I've only seen it 3 times...and I'd never heard of it until this year). I don't quite know why, but it is. I thought it was awesome when I found out that Christian Bale played both Jack Kelly and Batman. :-)

Last Tuesday was my Special Night (Special Nights are a really cool thing at my house. Every Tuesday, one of us kids gets to choose one food and one drink and gets to stay up late and spend time with Mom and Dad.), so I stayed up and watched Newsies on VidAngel. I don't care if it was a box office flop - apparently there are more "fansies" than you'd think - I like it so much. I like Jack and Davey and Spot and, well, quite a few of them! I grin all through the movie because I love it so much.

I hope to see Newsies on stage sometime - that would be so cool. Though I think it would be different not seeing Christian Bale up there with his cowboy-esque outfit and smile where he sticks out his tongue between his teeth. But I'm super excited, and, if not this year, then someday I'm going to see the stage version.

I've heard that some people have tried at some point to do the so-called "Newsies leap." I can barely do the splits any longer than 10 seconds, so I'm not even going to try that. I'm bound to tear something. ;-) I wouldn't care to land in the hospital by trying it (oh, goodness, I'm so punny. Awful, I know).

The coolest things about Newsies, I think, is that the kids have dreams and don't lose sight of them, they take care of their own, and they don't give up. And they're awesome. And they're rebels with a cause. And they dance and sing and...oh, man, I'm getting all squeaky just thinking about it (my voice gets squeaky and I shudder when I'm excited...odd, yes)!!! So, I hope you can see how much I like Newsies. They're cool. Aaaand you can watch them on VidAngel for $1, which is cool too.

And you might like it, you might not. But I'll probably keep singing "Carrying The Banner" for at least another week or two or three before it fades...and then I'll watch the movie again, and the siblings will groan because they don't like it much, and I'll start singing again. Oh, well. At least I like it. :-D

Whenever I talk about musicals with my friends (I'm glad some kids still have taste for musicals these days, ya know?), I somehow fit Newsies into the conversation. They've never heard of it, so I'm thinking I'll have a Newsies movie night sometime...

And while I rinse dishes and put them in the dishwasher, I'll keep on singing "Every morning/we goes where we wishes/we's as free as fishes/sure beats washing dishes/What a fine life/carrying the banner/home free all."

And I object to not singing songs from Newsies...

...On the grounds of Brooklyn.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Get The Latest Issue of Teen Photographer Magazine!

Hey, everybody! Just wanted to tell you that the latest issue of Teen Photographer is out! In this issue, you'll learn how to photograph fireworks (just in time for the 4th of July!), see the difference between a real photographer and a person who takes photos, find props to add to your stash, learn three simple photography tips to enhance your images, and more!

I hope you have a wonderful 4th! ♥

To get your FREE issue of Teen Photographer, click HERE.

Monday, June 27, 2016

On Working at The Merch Table (and learning to use a card reader)

Hey, everybody! Can't believe June is coming to an end. I'm not too excited for the hot weather, but I'll survive. ;-) This past month has been pretty busy and crazy, in a good way, and I really want to share one particular day I had this month.

I worked at the merch table for a band in our city recently, and that was a great experience! One of the band members showed me how to work the credit card reader, shook my hand, thanked me for helping out, and left to get ready for the show. So, there I was, standing at the table, all by myself. I felt pretty awesome. A few people came by pre-show to buy CDs, and I got the hang of the card reader and counting change. After the show started, I was allowed to sit in on the show, provided I returned to the table just before intermission. It was a really cool concert, let me tell you! The band was like Piano Guys minus the piano. I ended up buying a couple of their CDs after the show, and they signed them for me. :-)

However, during intermission, I got back to the table, and I look up and all of a sudden there is a HUGE line of people in front of me. I'd memorized the "spiel," so when they asked me how much the CDs were, I'd say "Well, these 2 are $12 each, this one's $15, BUT we have a great deal - if you buy 2 CDs, it's $20; if you buy 3, it's $30." Most of the time, they raised their eyebrows in surprise and proceeded to buy 2 or 3. A pair of girls slightly older than me got to the table, picked up one of the CDs and shrieked, "Oh my goodness! Taylor Swift's on this one! We have got to get this one!" Then they glanced up at me, and I'm hiding a grin because I have no idea why they're so excited about Taylor Swift. "How much is this?" Proceed with spiel. Met with "Oh man! We can get two of them now! Which one?! Oh, this one! Yeah! It's got (name of song I've never heard before) on it! Yeah, we'll take these two!"

So, yeah, that was pretty entertaining to watch. And I upsold 'em. *mischievous laugh* ;-D I had no idea I was such a good salesgirl.

Then it got crazy. I mean crazy. I told you there was a huge line. And that I was all by myself. So here I was, sliding cards and taking cash and handing out change and shooting out the deal we had and answering questions and...Well, I was not prepared for so many people all at once. I have a new appreciation for the people at the merchandise tables at the concerts I go to.

Well, I got another volunteer to help me out, and together, we sold a bunch of CDs. It was a bit less hectic, although the card reader misbehaved quite a few times and some people had to pay cash (we did a little happy dance every time a credit card went through the first time!). After the concert, the band members sat at the table beside us to sign CDs, so that was a huge rush too. Everyone wanted to buy a CD (and 9 times out of 10, they ended up with 2 or 3). It was like a flood. It was loud. It was crazy. But we sold albums like nobody's business.

I'm really introverted, so that whole experience was pretty overwhelming for a while. I had to actually talk to hundreds of people. That was a feat in and of itself. I had to smile happily when the card reader didn't want to work, though inside I was going crazy hoping they wouldn't get upset at me. I had to count out change (we had to break a lot of bills, which was a bit annoying - I wondered how people could have such huge bills and not a single 10 or 20.) - and sometimes I counted twice since I didn't want to shortchange anyone. Thank goodness I didn't.

So, I had to overcome that whole thing. After the concert-goers had had their CDs bought and signed, I leaned over and told the other volunteer, "Hey, let's buy our CDs from each other!" So, I gave her the spiel and she bought two and I swiped her card and we laughed out loud since the card actually went through. Then she turned and gave me the spiel and I bought two and she counted out the cash and stuffed it into the bag, zipped it up. Then we went around the table, grinning from ear to ear, and the band members signed our CDs and thanked us for helping out. We shook hands, took each other's picture with them. Then they packed up their instruments, thanked us one more time, and left the venue.

And I was exhausted, let me tell you! I couldn't believe how many CDs we'd sold that night! And how many people there were! And how awesome it was that, as simple as it was, the band member taught me how to use a card reader. So, I went home a couple hours later, very happy and very tired.

But if you asked me to work the merch table at a concert, I'd do it again.

Even if the card reader misbehaved.

Monday, June 6, 2016

My TeenPact Experience, Part 4

This is the last post in this series, though I'm sure there will be many more TeenPact references to come.  I hope you've enjoyed this series on what I've experienced and learned as a TeenPacter!

To end this series, I'm going to start with something I've learned about TeenPact elections.

All my life, I've wanted to be important, loved and accepted.  Doesn't everyone?  But I've realized that just because I didn't get through the primaries until this year doesn't mean that I wasn't well-liked or accepted by the other TeenPacters in my party.  And it doesn't mean that I wasn't good enough or hadn't tried hard enough or hadn't met enough students for anyone to want to vote for me.  I blamed myself for being fake, for not even trying to be brave, for being too shy.  And, as you've read in my previous posts in this series, I had made myself believe that no one would like me for being myself.  I put that lie in my head, walked into TeenPact and owned it.  And afterwards, I knew I'd done it all for the sake of being popular and accepted.

In the first part of this series, I wrote about how TeenPacters have a "game" of sorts.  When I first started going to TeenPact, I was so worried that I'd play the game wrong.  If I didn't play right, no one would vote for me.  If I didn't play right, no one would recognize me and ask me "For what purpose do you rise?"  If I didn't play right...On and on!  I was so afraid of the game that it consumed me. But the game is just an imaginary, silly game.  It's unwritten.  It changes.  It's not about popularity or being voted for in the elections - it's about having fun with suspending rules to make the PD talk like Kermit The Frog, or having the clerk read bills in a Speedy Gonzalez voice.  It's about poking fun at speaking con.  It's about debating a bill to make the state a constitutional monarchy, and amending it to appoint the Program Director as the king (and then, after Rendezvous, crowning him with a paper crown and giving him a coffee mug with The King written on it).  The game isn't an imposing threat that if you mess one thing up (and you don't even know what that one thing might be!), you'll fail miserably.  The game is purely fun and not real.  I just wish I'd known that sooner.

So, this year was the first time I stopped fearing the imaginary game.  I stopped caring about being fake to be liked, and started caring about being real.  And if people liked me for who I really was, well, I'd have some new friends.  And perhaps it wasn't just about me coming out from behind my mask and taking charge of my real self.  Perhaps it was actually my slogan that got me into General Elections.  Perhaps it was actually what I said during Rendezvous that allowed me to meet new people.  Or maybe it was so many things combined with my mission to stop being an awkward fake person and start being an awkward real person that brought a whole new light to my TeenPact experience.

All I know is that, this year, I didn't regret anything, cry afterwards, or kick myself for saying something dumb.  Like Lecrae says in his song, Broken:

Ain’t a soul on the planet
That’s better than another
And we all need grace in the face of each other

So I'm done with putting on masks for the sake of making friends.  If I do that, I won't be making the right friends: the ones who accept me for who I am.  I'm not Taw, Paprika, the PD who can play Devil's Advocate, or TeenPact President Fitzpatrick (of the #thanksFitzpatrick and #thanksFitzpatrickthe2nd fame).  I'm myself.  And that's good enough for me.

TeenPact, thanks for teaching me about chewy fruit and good-for-the-environment candy, for giving me fun memories that will last forever, and for getting to know awesome staffers, interns and Program Directors!  But most importantly, thanks for helping me find myself.

TeenPact has taught me to be a leader not just in my TeenPact life, but also in my daily life in general, and has greatly impacted me in my walk.  I recommend the classes to anyone and everyone in their teens!

Other Parts Of This Series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Friday, June 3, 2016

My TeenPact Experience, Part 3

I learn a lot when TeenPact rolls around.  The alumni track was really good this year.  The American Criminal Justice System is much more interesting than you'd think.  I had to write a 1,500-word essay about it, after all!  In the time it took me to research and write up my essay, entitled "How To Reform The American Criminal Justice System," I consumed loads of facts, stories and statistics.  I don't know when I'll ever again have to talk to someone about the 2.2 million people currently in prison, but if I do, I'll have lots of facts to back me up!

Our PD this year was, in a word, amazing.  He could play Devil's Advocate like nobody's business.  He asked questions that made us think about our opinions and why we believed in them.  "Not that your ideas are wrong, but you want to be able to back them up if someone asks you the why behind them." He said.  I still wonder if he put forth some of his own opinions when he played Devil's Advocate though. ;)

One of the things that has impacted me the most about TeenPact this year was how real I was.  I was more open with the people in my Rendezvous group.  And I'm not open with people.  But this year, when the staffers in my group asked about anything we needed to get off our chests, I didn't feel like staying quiet.  I didn't want to hide behind a mask anymore.  I didn't want to worry about whether or not one of them would judge me.  I didn't want to bother with hiding.  So, I opened up a little and found that one of the girls I know empathized with me...she knew exactly what I was going through.

When I got out of General elections, even though I didn't win, I had no regrets.  I didn't regret coming up with a dumb agrarian slogan, didn't regret trying to make people like me, didn't regret making a fool of myself, didn't regret putting on a lot of masks for everyone, didn't regret losing in the primaries.  Because I didn't have to.  Things were different this year.  I was different this year.  I had a great slogan courtesy of my Mom (thanks, Mom!), met lots of new people by just being myself, found that I had a lot more in common with some people than I'd originally thought, and got into the General elections.  And I didn't regret anything I'd done at TeenPact this year.

I made it my mission during TeenPact week to be myself.  Truth is, sometimes I don't know who that is.  But I believe TeenPact, its staffers, its program directors and its students have helped me learn day by day, week by week a little bit more about who I am.

And who knows?  Maybe next year, I'll be a senator.

Have you been to TeenPact?  Tell me in the comments section about how TP has shaped who you are!

I hope you enjoy this series of posts about my experiences at TeenPact!  Thanks for reading!

Other Parts Of This Series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 4

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My TeenPact Experience, Part 2

Hey, y'all!  Hope you enjoyed my previous post in this series!  Here's Part 2!

I knew a lot of the students this year.  Some of them were staffers now.  I smiled, shook their hands, gave them hugs if I knew them well enough.  Our PD seemed familiar to me.  Turns out, through a slightly awkward conversation, I realized I'd seen him on TeenPact Memes.  He's famous there, I guess. ;)

After catching up with my TeenPact buddies, I met a few new people...Most of them were first-timers.  I told them that, if they liked the first year, the Alumni Track would be even more fun.

I spent months writing up my essay (the previous year, you had to write two 500-word essays on interventionism.  This year, it was one 1,500 word essay on the American Criminal Justice System), planning my bill topic, and coming up with the slogan.  No more dumb agrarian slogan.  This year, I'd be myself.  This would be my slogan.  Well, not quite because...

See, every student knows Taw's name.  So, they also know that I'm his little sister.  If I had a dollar for every time I met a student or staffer who said, "Hey, you must be Taw's little sister!"  I can't tell you how rich I'd be.  But connections are good.  Especially when you have a big brother who's been elected to every position.

So, this year, my slogan was "Vote For Me.  I'm Taw's Little Sister!"  Yup, that was my slogan.  I loved it.  It was funny because everyone knew who Taw was.  And, oh, the laughs I got when I said it!  A candidate standing next to me when we were in the primaries liked it a lot.  Every time after that, when we started talking to each other, he'd say "Vote for me.  I'm Taw's little sister!"  And I laughed too.  Pretty good slogan compared to my agrarian tree hugger slogan two years before.

Primaries...Students nominate others and/or themselves.  Every candidate in your party stands in a line.  You all get asked questions, like "What would you do ( giving it to charity) with a million dollars?"  And then you get really deep questions, like "What kind of fish would you be and why?"

I said I'd be the humuhumunukunukuāpua'a.  More laughing (mind you, I was laughing too).  One of my friends, a staffer, exclaimed, "Say that again!"  One of the students said, "I can't fit that many syllables into my mouth!"  Ah, it was a good feeling.  Being myself and loving it.  It's nice to have a good laugh with everyone when you say you'd like to be the Hawaiian state fish. And humuhumunukunukuāpua'a sounds so much more impressive than simply saying Reef Triggerfish. :D

Another part of being myself was reassuring other students - first-timers and alumni alike - that they should run, or that they'd do great, or that it'd be lots of fun.  I like to focus on helping other people feel comfortable, especially when I'm feeling just the same.  Those butterflies I told you about in my previous post?  Well, I'm not the only one who gets them.  One girl, she got elected Senator.  She sat next to me the last day, fretting about her speech, telling me she'd probably make a mistake, or just stand there and freeze.  I told her she'd do great, that I knew she would.  She gave a little laugh and said she'd totally campaign for me next year - do anything to help me out since she didn't want to run again.  She delivered her speech, and sat down next to me, breathing out a sigh.  I complimented her and she grinned.  I like that feeling of making people feel good about themselves.

So, as you can probably guess, I didn't get elected this year either.  But there's something I have to tell you.  For the first time as a TeenPacter, I got voted out of the primaries!  I made it to the General elections!  I was so, so happy!  I could hardly believe it.  I finally got to stand where my friends - and big brother - had stood.  I got to answer questions about which donut I'd be, and what our party stance was!  And there I was, more content than I'd ever been at TeenPact, standing in front of all the other students.  Lined up with all the other Senatorial candidates, answering every question with a huge smile on my face.

And, yeah, the other students laughed with me when I announced my slogan.

Have you been to TeenPact?  Did you get into the elections?  Tell me about your TP experience in the comments below!  

I hope you enjoy this series of posts about my experiences at TeenPact!  Thanks for reading!

Other Parts Of This Series:
Part 1
Part 3
Part 4

Monday, May 30, 2016

My TeenPact Experience, Part 1

Hey, y'all!  Hope you've enjoyed Memorial Weekend.  It's nice to see that over the decades, people still care about remembering America's soldiers.

This past week, I've been having a "missing the memories" time of it.  Basically, that means I remember something and feel sad about a good way.  For the past few days, that something has been TeenPact.

I love everything about TeenPact except Sine Die (saɪnɪ daɪɪ - Latin, lit. End of the end.  The end of TPLeg).  So today, I'm taking that happy-sad memory of my week at TeenPact and turning it into a post. :)

TeenPact is rather, um, difficult to describe.  It's a Christian government class for teens.  You write bills, run in elections, hold a mock legislature (where you debate bills), listen to speakers, and debate stances on a subject in the Alumni Track.  And it''  Person who has never attended TeenPact: "Are you kidding me?  How is that fun?  Don't take this personally, but is there something wrong with you?"

I've met kids who have attended TeenPact for years, and they've said their parents literally dragged them to the class their first year.  They just plain didn't want to go.  Four days of government stuff just didn't sound fun.  And afterwards?  They begged to come back the next year!  Hmmm, guess they actually enjoyed this government stuff.

I've never had that kind of story...My big brother, Taw, started attending the classes with his buddies who had been going for a long time.  So, naturally, I was more than excited when I was able to attend.  My first year at the Four-Day class (the One-Day is less intense, but it did prepare me for the new experience of the Four-Day), I was nervous beyond words!  I was excited, but there were butterflies in my stomach that didn't go away.  Actually, they've never gone away.  Every year, when I get up and stand in line, waiting to read my bill, those butterflies come back.  I choke and smile at the other kids standing beside me, wondering if they have those butterflies too.

Besides the butterflies that never leave, I had a crazy first year!  I was one of the new ones at the Four-Day class, so I didn't know how to "play the game."  Yes, there's a "game" of sorts at TeenPact.  The game consists of a lot of inside jokes and "cheating without cheating" of the rules, like where some students (including your big brother!) decide to pull off a "speak con on your bill" thing.  I still cringe when I remember saying "no" to my brother when he asked to "speak con."  All the alumni kids gasped, some chuckled.  Turns out he'd played the game.  Many times, the students speak con to help you (and the other students) out.  To get your bill passed.  They obey the TP rules, but when they get to the well, they joke about how "awful" this bill is for the environment, how this could never in a million years help anyone...Sounds painful, but they say it in the funniest voice, and you know they're not serious.  They're okay with your bill.  They want to help you out.  So they joke their way through speaking con.  And if they're serious about speaking con, that's okay.  At least you're one step closer to getting your bill through TPLeg.

So, I was one of the new ones.  I learned my way through the "game" (I still ended up crying a little that night after Night Class...I was sad that I hadn't known about the game before I'd said no to my own brother!) that week, and decided to run in the primaries.

Primaries are crazy things at TeenPact.  In preparation for the General elections, people create T-shirts, make posters, give out candy (mostly Starbursts and Hershey Kisses), and pass out business cards.  You never know who voted for you, just whether or not you got into the General elections or not.  My first and second year, I tried to be liked.  I wanted everybody to like me.  To me, it seemed like everyone loved Taw.  He'd been elected to every position: Governor, senator, clerk, chairman.  Man, one year he and another former Governor ran a smear campaign against themselves just so a First-Timer could win!  That was a hilarious election.

But anyway, I'd wanted to be liked.  I didn't want to be one of "those kids" who was weird and had a funny laugh and found pleasure in calling "Point Of Order" whenever I pleased.  I wanted to be like Taw.  Liked by everyone.  So I tried to be Taw.  I tried to make funny jokes that everyone laughed at.  Tried to be witty and extroverted.  Problem is, I'm severely introverted.  I can fake extrovert for a long time, but eventually I'll go back to my corner and die inside because I peopled "too much" for one day.  And I can't make up a joke on my own to save my life.  I'm funny on accident.

So, I wasn't myself.  I tried so hard to be my big brother because he was popular and smart and funny and just plain awesome.  And I wasn't myself anymore.  I felt like I wasn't good enough if I tried to be myself.  No one would want to hang out with, much less vote for, a shy, introverted, awkward, not-funny-at-all girl, right?  I made up a "funny" (dumb, actually) slogan in the agrarian party because Taw is funny, so I should be too.  I lost in the primaries that year.  Tried again the next year.  This time, I was a bit more me.  Way better than trying to be Taw.

I lost in the primaries that year too.  But I felt better.  I still wished I was in General elections, but my best friends (including my big brother, naturally) were in General elections, so I was really excited for them.  But there was still that nagging feeling inside me that I hadn't tried hard enough, that I wasn't good enough, that I'd tried to be the best I could be and had failed again.  I didn't want to be myself because no one would want me, like me, vote for me, befriend me.  I got caught up in the popularity of it all, the desire to be identical to my big brother.

But this year?  This year I made myself promise to totally be myself.  The real me.  Not the fake me.  The different, shy, introverted, not-funny, awkward girl with the awesome big brother was going to TeenPact.

Have you been to TeenPact?  Tell me what you liked most about your TP experience in the comments below!  

I hope you enjoy this series of posts about my experiences at TeenPact!  Thanks for reading!
Happy Memorial Day!

Other Parts Of This Series:
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Monday, May 16, 2016

Teen Photographer E-Magazine

Hey, y'all!  Today I'm posting to tell you about my brand new, FREE e-magazine on the Diverse Reflections store!

I've been a photographer since I was 9 years old, and last January I turned my hobby into a business at Diverse Reflections Photography.  Through the years, I've learned many things as a self-taught photographer.  Just recently, however, I got the idea from my Mom to start an e-magazine for young photographers like me.  So, for the past few months, I've been busily working on creating and launching Teen Photographer.

April Issue of Teen Photographer.

Teen Photographer is designed to teach and encourage beginning photographers and inspire photographers who are intermediate and beyond!  Inside, you'll find stories, tips and gear guides to help you on your photography journey.  I'm so excited to launch this new e-magazine, and I hope you'll check it out!

Issues of Teen Photographer are FREE, so check out the Diverse Reflections store for your free download.  Each issue will be free for a limited time though, so don't wait!

Have a lovely day, y'all!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Update (4/30/16)

Hey, y'all!  Hope your April has been fantastic!  Here is a short update from me. :)

I can't believe April has gone by so fast!  We had some nice rain, so that was very nice.

Since my last update, I've finished my portrait montage, and have started a few other new portraits - Sherlock and Moriarty from BBC's Sherlock, Lauren Daigle, and Tom Baker as the 4th regeneration in Doctor Who (He is my favorite regeneration.).  The finished montage is below.

I'm really excited about how much my art has improved over the past few years that I've been drawing portraits.  Below is a photo I posted on Instagram of some of the portraits I've drawn through those years.

L to R: Rose Tyler and Tenth Doctor, Lecrae, NF, Angel montage.

So, yeah, I've definitely improved!  I'm still really proud of my portrait of NF, just because I hadn't done any drawing in quite some time then, and that one had turned out better than anything I'd ever drawn before.  Drawing hair is still quite a challenge, but I think that's getting a little easier as I practice.  But I think David Tennant would be disgraced if he ever saw my rendition of his hair. ;)

Aside from art...

I'm going to have another sibling!!!  I am so, so excited!  Baby Ten is due this Fall.  Mom wanted me to crochet a baby blanket for #10, so I've started that.  It's a blanket composed of many Granny Triangles, and is very easy to work up.  I found the pattern HERE.  We chose a Fall color scheme for the yarn (I'm using Lion Brand yarn for this project.).

I've released a brand NEW e-magazine on the DiverseReflections Store, so hop on over and check it out - it's a FREE download!

I attended TeenPact again this year, and it was super fun!  This year's Alumni track was probably my favorite so far - The American criminal justice system.  Also, I got to meet the TeenPact-meme-famous PD, Elijah Knapp, who very nearly became the King of our state (the state would have been a constitutional monarchy). ;)  Awesome guy - my favorite PD so far!

Also, I met a young lady at the Church we've found in our new town, so I'm hoping that it will be the start of a new friendship - I have so much trouble finding friends sometimes.  Most of the people I know here are from the Deaf community, so I'm definitely learning more Sign, which is fantastic!

Well, that's about it for now!  I'll be updating again soon, so keep checking back and subscribe so you'll never miss a post.  Check out my photography business and blog, Diverse Reflections Photography too!

Have a lovely last day of April!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Book Review ~ Surprise at Yorktown

Hey, everyone!  I'm so excited to share my review for the 15th book in Adventures In Odyssey's Imagination Station series: Surprise At Yorktown.

Surprise At Yorktown is set in the Revolutionary War in 1781.  Cousins Beth and Patrick are on a quest in the Imagination Station, and find themselves on a dangerous mission to warn General George Washington of the British general's plan to win the war.  They question who to trust as they rush to save the country from the British.

As with all the books in the Imagination Station series, I found this book interesting, humorous and fast-paced.  Everything is so well-described so that you can almost see and feel the story around you.  In every AIO book, there is a secret word puzzle, and the answer can be used to win a prize.  The puzzles are easy and fun to complete, and many involve remembering parts of the book to decode them.

My siblings who also read the book said it was "pretty funny" and "historical," although my little sister said that it wasn't as good as the previous books.  I like that the book created some suspense with one of the characters.  James Armistead, a shadowy man who constantly crosses paths with Beth and Patrick, continues to confuse them.  Can they trust him, or is he a spy for the British?  This is one of the suspenseful questions that led me to continue turning the pages of Surprise At Yorktown until, finally, the truth was revealed.

Surprise At Yorktown was a fun read, and I believe any child who reads it will think so too!

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.)

Monday, January 18, 2016

My Long-Forgotten Update

Hey, everybody.  I'm a bit embarrassed due to the fact that my last entry was just before New Years 2015, and it is now New Years 2016.  Time flies and life happens, I guess.  But, I'm back and I have some big news to share with you all!

To start things off, I have a new photography blog - Diverse Reflections Photography.

In the months before my last post, I'd noticed The Godly Photographer had slowly grown from the first tiny posts with no more than a captioned photo into longer posts that weren't limited to photography.  I've become a Tyndale House book reviewer, Compassion International blogger, and storyteller on this blog.  Anyway, I decided that I wanted to take my photography to a new level, and in order to do that, I felt the need to create a new blog solely for photography, Diverse Reflections.
However, I found that I missed having a blog where I could share my thoughts and review books and just write about whatever without worrying if it sounded professional.  It's kinda nice having a place to write freely, you know?
So, have no fear, I will (hopefully) continue writing on this blog while still building up Diverse Reflections.  But, I probably won't have quite as many photos posted here, so check out Diverse Reflections for my really good shots.  :)

Also, I have a little sister!  As some of you may know, it's been a long, long time since there's been a baby girl in our house (and there have been lots of baby boys), but the wait is finally over!  Azzy and I just shared a birthday...did I mention she was born on my birthday?...and we're preparing for a Birthday Girls photoshoot.  I've already planned out our future birthdays (i.e., making the waiters at restaurant sing Happy Birthday twice, and give us two separate desserts - we can share one, and the family can share another ;) ).  Ooh, it's so surreal having a little girl in the house!!!

And we've moved...again.  We move a lot.  I've gotten (sort of) used to living where we are, but there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of the best friend I had to leave.  Paprika, you are awesome! ;) ♥♥♥
In the months since we've moved, I've joined a fun group at Starbucks where Deaf people meet (I'm super interested in Deaf Culture, and hope to become a Deaf Interpreter).  I'm excited about where this will take me.  I've also volunteered at a Deaf children's camp, and have met a few interpreters who have given me advice for when I go on to College for interpreting.

Oh!  I'm now on Instagram!  Check out my account @megan_diversereflectionsphoto for my photography and art.

Speaking of art...Even though drawing has always been a hobby of mine (I drew lots of simple paper dolls when I was 8 years old), in the last two years my art style has changed a lot!  I switched from Manga to realistic portraits.  Let me tell you, my portraits weren't very realistic two years ago!  They looked more like Picasso had decided to keep the oversized features and place them in the correct position on the face!  Yeah, that bad.  But, about 5 months ago, I finished a portrait that is my personal best to date.  And now I've started a new portrait montage of Angel from X-Men: The Last Stand, which I hope to finish in time for the County Fair.  Once I'm finished, I'll post a photo of the drawing here on the blog for you all to see.

I guess that's about it.  I'm thankful for all my great readers who have kept following me all this time.  Thank you very much, everyone!  And happy 2016!