It was the day before Christmas...

Photos via pinterest, collage by me.
Well, it's the day before Christmas, and it's actually snowing outside! Like we actually have several inches and you can't see the ground. :) #lovingsnow It kind of looks like the perfect wintery wonderland. :) I might not be able to get on to post something on Christmas, so I would just like to say Merry Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas!

Guess what? My dad should be released from the hospital any day now! I'm really excited!!! Praise God in the highest!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Thank you so much for everyone who's been praying for him - God has worked through you guys! I just want to thank all of you for being such great friends to me. <3
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14
(If you're willing, please pray that we'll all get better, because we've been running fevers and cold-like-symptoms for several days now. Thank you so much! And if there's anything you'd like me to pray for, I would love to! :) [if you want, I can put it on the prayer request column. If you don't want me to, that's way okay. :)])

Jesus is the reason for the season! He loves each and every one of you more then you'll ever know. :) God bless, you guys!!! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

I'm not very good at painting

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Thanks to all of you guys who've been praying for my dad. Good news - he made it out of the surgery great! He still doesn't have function of one of his kidneys, but I believe that they're still hopeful that he might regain function of it still. So that's really good. God is great! :)

Right now, I have this cold that I'm starting to feel like I've had for forever... I had it even before my little break for about two weeks. (Except back then it was mostly just this cough that would take over for a few seconds now and then.) I don't know if you guys do this, but we've kind of always had this rule in my family where if you're sick, you don't eat anything sweet (like candy, desserts, etc.), because it makes your cold worse. It gets really, really hard when there's like this really yummy-looking chocolately cake sitting on the counter... oh well. I guess I'll get some eventually. ;)

Yesterday, I [somehow] found myself clicking on one of my word documents on my writing computer that I hadn't opened in awhile and, frankly, had rather forgotten what it was about. What awaited me was the beginnings of what I realized could probably be a pretty good story. Thankfully, I'd put my outline at the end of the doc, a little habit of mine that I've started doing so that I don't forget what I'd had in mind for the story after I've left it alone for a few months/weeks/etc. There was only one little part in my outline that I couldn't quite remember all that I'd planned, but I'm pretty sure I can come up with something... ;)

I'm not very good at painting. Rephrase: whatever I paint looks like a two year old did it. I admit it, I haven't painted (officially, other then helping with like this landscape for a vacation Bible school...) since like several years ago or something, but still. I'm just not good at like doing all of those different colors and everything to make it look real. I like drawing, because then I can make my characters look more cartoony, which it seems I'm a little better at doing. (In my own opinion.) I like doing rough kind of drawing, where you don't have to do all straight lines and everything and it looks rather humorous. That kind. Yeah. ;)

I don't know if I told you about this, but if you love listening to songs on YouTube and always get annoyed that you have to keep on repeating them and repeating them, then this is going to make your day! (Well, I don't know if this will make your day, but when I found out about it it made my day, so... hopefully this makes your day. :)) So, if you want YouTube songs to repeat, simply put the words "repeat" right before the .com in youtube.com when your song's loading, and it'll take you to listenonrepeat.com where you can listen to your favorite YouTube songs on repeat! :) (I actually found that out via Pinterest. Another reason why it's awesome... ;))

Well, I'm off to do other things. God bless you guys! :) Have a great day! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. Have you ever listened to this song? It grew on me...

Today's My Dad's Surgery

Hey, guys.

Just want to say that my dad's surgery for cancer - the thing that will hopefully rid him of the cancer - is happening today. Like right now. Please just pray that everything will go smoothly and that the cancer will be gotten rid of and that he will heal well.

Thanks so much. <3

Be a hero,
Anna

*Update: Please pray for my dad's kidney to function properly. Thanks so much!

Of a random book of cyphers...

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OK, so, I have some really awesome friends who know some cyphers (codes) that are seriously awesome to do. (One is really, really hard, so I won't touch on that one in this post, but I might mention it... ;)) I've learned two cyphers from them - Pig Pen which, believe me, is really fun; and then the Lewis Carroll cypher, as we call it, which is like super duper hard and I won't touch on that subject right now... (Did I already mention that? ;) lol)

Pig Pen is like really, really fun. It kind of looks like Aztec writing, which is super awesome. (My friend came up with an awesome new name for it that sounds a lot better then Pig Pen, but I forgot it, so... I'm going to call it Pig Pen.)

So, ya ready to learn a cypher? :)

The nice thing about Pig Pen is that it's not made with other letters all mixed up and jumbled about or something. It actually makes sense, with a symbol for each letter of the alphabet. Of course, it makes sense if you have the key, but I'll show you how it all works in a moment. ;) (It seriously looks like Aztec writing or something...)

So how it works is, there's two like tic-tac-toe squares and two Xs. In the second square, there's little dots. In the second X, there's little dots. You put letters in each of the slots. Then, you take just the corner by that letter and it is that letter. I know this sounds really confusing, but when you see the diagram below I think this'll all make sense:


So, see, like on the H, you take the lines on the sides and above, and that makes the H. Pretty cool, right? (and it doesn't quite look as Aztecy since I had to draw that on PicMonkey, but if you write it on paper it seriously does...)

My friend and I were playing the story game in Pig Pen (you know, where you start out with a piece of paper, write a small story, and then pass it on, and then they read yours, write something, fold your part over, and pass it to the next person?), which was kind of confusing but hilariously fun. Both the Secret Series and LOTR/The Hobbit made it in. Let's just say it was hilarious. :D (Cass, Max-Ernest, Yo-Yoji, Fili, and Kili all make great characters...)

I actually have a book with both of my cyphers inside and some writing in Pig Pen, too, so that it kind of looks like a random book of cyphers... but then again there's a whole bunch of other random stuff in it. (Including some cypher stuff from a book called Puzzle Island which I couldn't decipher...) And some pictures and a story idea and... yeah, there's lots of random stuff in it. :)

If you end up writing some in Pig Pen, I'd love to hear about it! :) (Or if you already knew about it, too! :)) I really love writing in Pig Pen because it's just so much fun. :) God bless! Have a great day, you guys!

Be a hero,
Anna

Hannah @ Fantasy Gypsy

Hey, guys! :)

So, some of you guys know Hannah - previously from in Neverland - and some of you probably even know about her decision to go pro blogger! I was pretty excited about this. I consider Hannah one of my close bloggie buddies, so I was really happy for her that she was able to do this! And so, I decided to do a Q&A with her. And, being the awesome person she is, she agreed!

Here is the Q&A! :)


Anna @ Hero: Why did you choose to become a professional blogger? What does this entail?

Hannah @ Fantasy Gypsy: I don't remember the initial why of deciding to be a professional blogger. I was just thinking about things I could do differently with my blog and considered the possibility of going pro. I didn't want to be a cliche/average blogger, I wanted to be different and more professional. I have considered moving to Wordpress and going pro before, but had decided I wasn't ready. But now I think I am. Going pro, I guess, means something different for everyone. To me it means that my blog will look and feel more professional then I think it currently does on blogger. I'm also working on making my blog my actual job, so it is a big step for me. 

AH: What will be different about your blogging style?

HFG: Absolutely nothing!.. Well... maybe I shouldn't say that... the content on my blog will probably always be the same. It's just me and my voice, talking about the things on my mind. I do want to write about things that will interest my readers more. So it won't all be personal ramblings you could care less about, but, of course, I'm sure there shall still be plenty of that.

AH: What will your new site's name be and why?

HFG: The name was quite an ordeal. Let. Me. Tell. You. I originally, when I had the idea of going pro, wanted to just use my first and last name as the blog title… well my parents didn’t like the idea of haveing my name being searched and viewed by thousands of people very much… so I had to scratch that. And after a whole lot of grief and mind wracking thought (and maybe a bit of head-desking), I decided on the name Fantasy Gypsy. I sometimes think of the name as a good spin off of in Neverland, but you’ll be able to read the whole story of why I chose this name on the blog, because it’s a long story. 

AH: Why did you decide to do a .org instead of .com?

HFG: Okay, let me explain this a bit. There are two different versions of Wordpress, the Wordpress.com which is a free blogging platform, like Blogger, and Wordpress.org, which is the more professional self-hosted one of the two, used for many real-deal websites out there. My website shall still have a (dot)com domain, I am just using Wordpress.org for the website, and a web host for the website foundation. (dot)org's are usually only used for big organizations. My blog is not a big organization. I hope that makes sense.

AH: What kind of a different experience will your readers get with your professional blogging career?

HFG: I don't know. That's up for the readers to decide. Some might like it, some might hate it, some might think I should’ve stuck with Blogger. My hope is that my readers will be able to connect with me more, and feel like they are a part of my life, and me a part of theirs... creepy, I know. ;) 

AH: How will your current readers still be able to follow and connect with you?

HFG: Unfortunately I can't just pack up all of my followers and take them with me. There will be a subscribing button somewhere on the website, where people can come and follow via email. And of course there is always bloglovin' and RSS feed that can be used to connect and follow. 

AH: What are some of the challenges with switching from Blogger to Wordpress?

HFG: Just learning the basics of Wordpress after living on Blogger for two years is difficult. You're just so used to the Blogger ways and you feel so overwhelmed. There were nights when I first got Wordpress where I just wanted to curl up in a corner of my room and wait for the website to build itself. But once you actually learn to do something with code on Wordpress, it’s like the clouds are cleared and you can see! I'm still not entirely comfortable using Wordpress, but I'm learning. Moving to Wordpress is definitely not for everybody. And especially for people who are not at all tech savy.

AH: Will you be keeping your old blog, In Neverland, intact?

HFG: I will be keeping in Neverland intact… at least for a little bit, to direct readers who might not have known about the blog move to the new website, but once this new site starts to get a good reading, I might have to consider deleting the old site. I hate to say it, but I don’t really think there is a reason to keep it up… I may make it private, so that I can still look at it… but I don’t know we’ll see.  

AH: What will be the biggest perk for you in switching over to pro blogging? What are you most looking forward to?

HFG: The fact I’m making blogging a part of my life is a big perk. Before I decided to go pro I would just sort of blog, and wouldn’t really talk about it to my friends and family. Of course my family knew I had a blog, but they didn’t know how many followers I had, or what I posted about. And the only one who would read my posts was my mom, and that was just because…well, she’s my mom. I didn’t even really want to tell my friends about it, because I was so nervous that they wouldn’t agree with what I said in a post, or would think the whole thing was stupid. But now I’m trying not to over think it. I want people to know I have a blog, and that it is a part of my life. 

AH: What will be your fondest memory of In Neverland?

HFG: In Neverland will always have a special place in my heart. It was my first big blog, the one that launched my blogging career in a way. And the spirit of this new blog will still be in Neverland… it will just be different.

AH: What's your biggest hope for your new blog?

HFG: That people will like it. I guess that’s kind of a given, but really I’m worried about it. It can be weird for the readers to be so used to one blog, and then have to go somewhere else. Some of my favorite blogs have moved to Wordpress before, and it is weird. But I hope that won’t scare people away from the site. 

AH: If someone else wanted to be a pro blogger, what would be the biggest advice you could give them?

HFG: Know that you are ready! Ask your friends if they think your content is strong enough for a real site. And most importantly, make sure you would be willing to blog for long term. Look at your future self and if you can see yourself being a blogger for a long time, if not forever, then go for it! Especially if you are younger, it’s better to start when you’re young and build up. Also, I would suggest getting lots of support.  This is definitely not a project I could’ve done myself.

AH: Do you think you'll have a topic on your new blog?

HFG: Nope. It’s just the random ramblings it’s always been.

Thanks so much, again, Hannah, for letting me do that with you! :)

If you want, go ahead and check out Hannah's new site, Fantasy Gypsy! :) I know it would mean the world to her! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

Let's do a catch-up...

Snippets of Life by Me

I picked up the scrap piece of paper and folded it into an airplane - the kind where you fold it in half normally. Throwing it, it didn't go very far - just a few feet, and then it fell into the ground. Frowning, I unfolded it and made it the long way. Now it sailed across the room.

I amused myself for awhile by throwing that airplane across the room. Practically silent, mostly straight in flight. I went back and forth, back and forth - retrieving, throwing, retrieving, throwing. And yet I didn't tire of it for so long.

I paused a moment, later, before I threw it out. This thing had amused me for awhile, it seemed. And yet, so easily, I was throwing it away. I put it in the trash bag and didn't give it another thought that day.

- - - - - - -

My feet crunched on the snow in the dark as we headed back to the house. My dog crazily went from behind us to before us as she investigated the smells on the ground. The wind bit at my face, and I was glad I'd put on a snow mask. I can't help but wonder now what it would be like to be faced with miles upon smiles of the same crunching snow, with nothing in sight. Only the wind howling and the snow crunching and the darkness of the sky.

- - - - - - -

I glanced out the window, big fluffy snowflakes meeting my eyes. It was Christmas snow, the kind that you always dreamed about getting on Christmas day. It was beautiful as it drifted swiftly towards the ground, ready to get its journey over with.

- - - - - - -

I sat on the mattress on the floor, placed there because I'd been sleeping next to a sick person who'd sometimes needed help during the night. I'd pulled out the pink book with the Bible verse on the front - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" - and turned past the words at the front of the book and the rants in the middle of the book and the cyphers towards the end and then even past the pictures I'd drawn with some younger kids in it earlier today. And I started a new picture - that of two floating islands that looked like masses of jungle with normal trees. A single large bridge, in the style of the Romans or Greeks, was between the two islands.

And at the top, I wrote two words:

"The Highlanders."

I went on to draw two maps of the two islands, and to start to describe the story that went along with them. I mentioned the names of the main characters of my story - Ravenna, Ekron, Hadrian - and even went on to say what they were like. My friend helped me with a lot of it, which was really fun. She helped me so much that I told her that in the acknowledgments I'd have to put, "And thanks to - - - - - - - - - - - - -, for everything."

- - - - - - -

I've been gone for awhile now, haven't I? Seems like quite awhile since I sat down and wrote something to you guys. Anything to you guys. (My last two posts were scheduled because I wasn't able to get on.) I've been doing a lot - like learning cyphers, writing in pig pen (and accidentally keep on calling it pig latin), listening to a funny book called The Hidden Hand and reading part of it myself, and lots of other stuff - and having lots of fun, but I must say I've missed you guys, too. :)

I seriously feel really horrible that I haven't commented on any of your blogs in forever. I just haven't had the time lately. I am really sorry about all that. You guys have some of the most amazing blogs... EVER. Seriously. :)

Well, yesterday, we got Netflix! That was pretty fun. (Last night we watched an old Disney Channel movie called Avalon High, because when we'd been somewhere a long time ago [it seems now] where we had access to a TV that actually had TV there was a commercial for it but we left before we got to watch it, so we finally did. Then we watched Yours, Mine, and Ours [and I found out that Miranda Cosgrove/iCarly/Margo from Despicable Me was in it?! Whaaat?! Never knew that...], because we used to watch that when we were younger but I think our library lost the DVD, so we hadn't watched it what seemed like forever. So that was fun. :)) I think we're planning on watching Kronk's New Groove sometime soon because, of course, it's hilarious. ;) Do any of you guys like Netflix? What's your "review" on it? ;)

Well, hey, I've got to go, but it was lovely talking to you guys! :) God bless! Have a great day! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

I actually did it

What did I actually do? Well, I think I did a post about it on Rubberboot Girl (I just spent several minutes trying to find a link to it, but I can't...) like a really long time ago - it was about like how I'm awful at keeping journals and stuff. Like, seriously. I think it's part of my compulsiveness. You have to write down everything. You have to write that down. What if you want to know that in the future? You can't forget all of that. Write it down. All of it. It, frankly, gets tiring to have to write it all down. Even when it's on the computer. (I had/have a computer journal [like a word doc where I act like it's a journal and write stuff down because it's faster for me to type then to write] but then I just got tired of writing every single thing down. So I haven't written in at least a few months, I think.) So I kind of stopped.

And that's when I decided.

I wasn't going to have a normal journal. Not where you write about everything that's going on in your life and all about yourself and explain everything until the reader feels like you're writing a story just for them. I get too bored having to write all of that down, not to mention that I really don't have the patience for it and I'm not sure that I'll like even care about it in the future if I didn't write every single thing down. (I have to tell myself that, because I get crazy compulsive.) But sometimes it's kind of nice to write stuff down, isn't it? To just sit down and grab a notebook and jot down a few words about how you're feeling.

Which is why I started a new journal/diary/thing. Just to write down what I'm feeling. I don't have to say my name. I don't even have to say anybody else's name. I can just write what I'm feeling. Just write what's coming out of my heart. And I don't have to write down everything that's happening. Just write what I feel like writing. (Believe me, it's a freeing thought.) I had started to do a "everything" journal in the front of it, so someone reading it would probably know all about me, unless they thought I was a random person who picked it up from somebody else. But that's OK. I just needed somewhere where I could just write.

Do you have a journal or diary? Are you compulsive?

Have a great day! :) Thanks so much for reading. <3 God bless! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

Guest Post \\ Anna


Well, this is a scheduled post, believe it or not. (Scheduled posts feels like you're guest posting on your own blog. In my opinion, at least... OK, if I think about this too much, I'm going to get a headache... JK) ;) Wherever I am when this gets posted, I would say that I'll be pretty busy. I hope you guys all had a great Thanksgiving! :)

So we finally did the play! :) It went really, really well. Everybody did amazing. :) I didn't miss any of my lines... YES. ;) (I seriously started to get nervous there right before we had to do it, and then I started second-guessing what I'd memorized... oh dear...) And then there was some anxiety about trying to get costumes on in time... and in the dark... Either way, it went really well and everybody did amazing. I was so (and still am) proud of them. :) We played handbells the same night, too, and that also went really well. :) We played the handbells like two songs before the play, and since we have to dress in black and white, it was a scurry to get the complicated outfit that I had to wear on. (Yeah, the in the dark thing? It's harder then it seems. I got home and saw that I'd put one of my shirts and both of my socks on inside out. At least you couldn't tell... ;)) lol Oh dear.

I was actually just in a parade! It was really fun, and really, really, really cold. :) I was handing out flyers, so I was walking alongside the float. And then sometimes I got behind and had to run to catch up... (That was interesting. lol) It was a Christmas parade, so there were lots of beautiful lights. It was really pretty. :) (I love Christmas lights. <3 Do you? :)) We used to line our hallway downstairs with lights, like around the doors and stuff, so that at night when it was dark and you turned the lights off, it was like the hallway was glowing with stars. It was so beautiful. <3 (I hope I get to do that again this year...)

My therapy's been going pretty good lately. I actually got to do it with a family member of mine, which was really fun. :)

My dad's going to be having his surgery pretty soon, and it would be amazing if you could pray for him, and for my mom, too - just that everything would go great and that the cancer would be gone and that my dad would be healed.

Believe it or not, I got a story idea yesterday - while eating pie for breakfast. =P (Oh, the joys of zucchini pie... seriously, I love that stuff. I know it sounds... interesting, but it tastes AMAZING. :)) If I end up finishing it, I'll tell you all about it... (Because I have a bad habit of telling you guys about it and then never writing it. So... I'll just give you a little tiny itty bitty sneak peek. :)) It's a girl named Daniela (I haven't decided her last name yet, maybe D'Lacy? If not D'Lacy, I was thinking of maybe changing her name to Olivia, because I like that name a lot, but I'm not sure yet... for now I'm just sticking with Daniela ;)) who sees things before they happen. Yeah. More on that later. ;) (It sounds more non-storyish when I just say it, but I've got some ideas rolling, so hopefully God will help me put it all together! :))

How was your guys' Thanksgiving, by the way? What are you excited for in December? Are you excited for Christmas? Did any of you go Black Friday shopping? (I didn't... lol)

By the way, thanks so so so much for everyone who participated in #letsmakethemsmile. I was horrible at it, which was probably because I was so busy that if I could get some designing or a blog post done, that was good. (I finally go on today, but I felt like I hadn't been on in ages... how long has it been? I don't know... I might have done some designing after my Thanksgiving post, so... *shrug* Yeah) But thanks. You guys are the greatest. :) (And you definitely made me smile! :)) And sorry I was so horrible at it and definitely didn't comment on all of your blogs... You guys are so awesome, I think I should give you guys an award. Or something. Some kind of giveaway that doesn't include addresses? Who knows... =P (I think that would only be like blog designs. Yeah... Hmm. Something. Definitely something. ;))

Have a great day, you guys! God bless! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. I just added the silly title (I always do that at the end - do you usually add your title at the end or the beginning?) to go with my beginning paragraph... lol :D

Happy Thanksgiving!


I had dragons-breath as I was outside this morning, taking care of some of my chores. It was crisp and I was slightly cold, my hands stuck in my pockets for most of the time. Today's actually Thanksgiving - it seems like awhile since it's been that. Thanksgiving. Today's Thanksgiving. Today's the day. That day. Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! :)

I'm thankful for things all year round, but here are a few things that I can think of that I'm thankful for today:

:: God and Jesus. Always.
:: Knowing that I'm going to be OK and alright, no matter what comes, because I have a great God who cares about me and who's going to be there every step of the way.
:: Every single person in my family - they're all amazing and awesome in their own different way, and I love each and every one of them.
:: Great real life friends (friends that I know personally outside of the internet) who have just been amazing to me.
: Having all of you guys as friends for this past year.
:: Zucchini pie! (Believe it or not, it's amazing, and my mom makes a killer zucchini pie.)
:: Having my family here around me.
:: Every single kind word any of you have ever said to me. You guys are the best.
:: All of our pets.
:: Chocolate, onions, bacon, potatoes, cream of mushroom, pudding, black olives, dill pickles, banana peppers, strawberries, and... like every other food I've ever loved.
:: And a million other things that I can't think of right now.

I hope you guys have the greatest day.

Happy Thanksgiving! :) God bless! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

What's going on before Thanksgiving...

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Believe it or not, no, I'm not posting about my schedule that I told you I would be really soon. In fact, I don't even think I'm going to be posting it any time soon at all. (scary, right?) The reason? Well... I'm not going to be available to make that many posts in the next while, so I was like, "What's the point of getting my schedule out if I can't even follow it?"

This, my dear friends, is my horrible dilemma.

So, I will [hopefully] be doing the schedule sometime, but just not now. :) Eventually. I'm thinking maybe the beginning of the year? (That's sounds so scary. lol it's like that thing that I love doing on New Years... "See you next year." haha does anybody else do that? :)) Scarily enough, 2013 is actually drawing to a close. *gasp* Oh my word, I think I'm going to have a... a... um... scared attack. It seems like we just started 2013, and now another year?! My nerves can not taketh this, they cannot...! OK, OK, calm down, you can do this... (JK haha)

Ahem. Anyway.

So I finished Risked. I don't know about you guys, but I've always kind of loved learning more about Anastasia Romanov, the Russian princess. Well, that's what this book in The Missing Series (by Margaret Peterson Haddix) was about. And I found something out. (this is a *sniff sniff* moment, at least for me...) They've actually found out that all of the Romanovs died that day, unlike what I had thought until I read this book. (Apparently I haven't quite kept up with the changing times... =P) But it was really interesting. I'd really recommend it. :) (Though there's of course that middle school boy/girl thing that always happens... but yeah)

Yesterday night, my mom and I were making chocolate covered pretzels. I don't know about you guys, but I love chocolate covered pretzels. She made the brown chocolate and I made the white chocolate ones. I guess you could say that's kind of the start of our home ec class so far. :)

I have a question - has anybody ever heard of/watched an old Disney movie called Shipwrecked? We had watched it when we were really little, but we didn't remember the title of it. It was so funny, because suddenly I just thought of the word, "Shipwrecked," and I was like, "Type in Shipwrecked [into wiki]!" And guess what? That was it! So, we found it on YouTube and got to watch it for the first time in I don't know how many years. It was so funny as my mind remembered parts of it and how it all just fit together with the memories that I had of it. (That kid in it is really little, by the way. Just sayin'. I'm pretty sure I remembered him being older then that... of course, I was littler when I first saw it, so... yeah....) I'd love to know if you watch it and if you like it! :)

Have any of you heard that new song by Natalie Grant called Hurricane? I love that song - it's so beautiful. I also love Be My Rescue by Nichole Nordeman. Hurricane reminds me of a beautiful blue wave stretching up towards the sky, and like white beaches and blue skies. Kind of like the sea at the end of the third Narnia movie, the one that separates Aslan's country from Narnia. And Be My Rescue... I just love it. :) Thoughts? :)

[really random note that I should've put up by the book conversation:] I actually finished A Year Without Autumn [by Liz Kessler], and I think I might do a review on Dragonmaster about it soon. If you're interested, keep an eye out! ;)

We've been practicing for the play, and I now have all my lines down pretty well. (just a few mess ups, but nothing that'll totally ruin it. Hopefully.) So hopefully that goes well. :)

Well, I hope you're all having a great day today. As for me, I'm off to check my designing email, and then go and do my therapy. And then there's something that's happening tonight that I'm going to be doing. Have a great day! :)

Happy Early Thanksgiving!! :) God bless!! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

It's one of those sweater days

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I haven't worn a sweater in I don't know how long, at least since last year. I don't like most sweaters, mostly because usually they're itchy and sometimes big and other times just ugly. But today, I looked outside and saw the snowing falling, and I found myself wanting to wear a sweater. Well, one of those old sweaters or sweatshirts that I always keep in the wooden dresser. So I started digging through the drawers, looking for one that I would want to wear. (I did, after all, have things to do today out in public...) And then I found it.

It was actually kind of cute. And it wasn't overly huge. And it wasn't ugly. It was green with this cool design towards the top wrapping around that was made of like this dark red and cream. I slipped it on, and I found that because of the turtleneck I was wearing with it - I don't know how long it's been since I've worn one of those, either - it wasn't itchy. I liked this. A sweater. I was suddenly feeling poetic or something. ;)

Despite the snow, I decided to wear my Bearpaw boots. Oh, just 'cause I wanted to. I wasn't feeling overly imaginative, so a ponytail for the hair. I went upstairs and realized that, obviously, it was really cold. So, time for a hat - like my cute knitted/crochet/something of the sort hat that I always love wearing. And why not the matching scarf? Sure. Let's do this thing. I put it all on, and I felt like I was in a book or something as I stepped out in the snow in my rubberboots.

Thanks for everybody whose praying for everybody that I mentioned in the post before this one. I saw a friend today who knew the person who died and she was pretty sad, so please pray for her especially, too. Thanks so much, guys. You're amazing. <3

So, today, I went off to this class that I'm taking with some friends of mine and afterwards book club. I'd already read the new book that we got - it's called Fever 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson - so guess what?? I GOT THE NEW MISSING BOOK!!!!!! YES!!!!!!! OK, OK, a little explanation. (Because what on earth is the Missing book? Like a book that's missing?) So have any of you heard of The Missing Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix? (Shout out to her, by the way, because all of her books that I've read so far are amazing and always keep me interested, at least pretty well.) Well, anyway, it's amazing awesome. :) And I just got the new one from my book club leader! (Shout out to her, too. She's awesome. :)) It's called Risked, and I'm really excited to start reading it. :) (Oh yeah, I don't remember if I told you [I'm pretty sure I did], but I've been an awful reader of late. And guess what? It's ended! [Whatever weird phase was on me. How about a either-designing-or-blogging-or-work-or-something-else-instead-of-reading phase??? That'd be about right... just another reason I need a new posting&designing schedule... =P] I actually got about halfway into a book last night. It's called A Year Without Autumn [by Liz Kessler] and it's pretty OK so far... anyway...) Which hopefully I'll start tomorrow. Anyway. :)

And then we went off to bell choir, which was fun. We're going to have a performance at a Christmas kick-off program hosted by some churches (I believe), at which I'm also going to be doing that play that I told you guys about. So I'm going to be pretty busy in the next few days/weeks. :) I'm excited, though. It should be lots of fun. :)

What have you been doing lately? Anything fun planned for Thanksgiving? What about Christmas? :)

Talk to you all later... God bless! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. Anybody else heard ThePianoGuy's new song? It's AWESOME! :) (It's called Arwen's Vigil. You can check it out on YouTube, if you want! :))

Please just pray

via
I didn't even know one of them until it happened. I pretty much only knew of the other person; I'd only just seen them a few times because we did some of the same things. But I didn't know them. I didn't know either of them. I'd never said a word to them. I pretty much just know one of their families.

And now one of them's dead.

It's so horrible. I don't think they were a Christian, so I know where they are. Whenever I think about their name, it's a whole new shock - they're dead.  I just can't believe it. I didn't even really know them at all. And yet they're dead.

The other person? They're alive, but badly hurt. I heard at one point that they were paralyzed. I don't know now.

I just can't imagine the grief that the family of the one kid that died is going through. That kid was my age. It's so scary. None of us know how long we're going to be here. None of us know when it's supposed to be our time. No one knows when God's going to call us away from this world. None of us.

Please just pray for all of the families, friends, kids... everyone. Please just pray for them. This is, I believe, the third death of a kid this year. It's just so hard. I didn't really know the people who died, but I knew of them. I had seen and known of two of them before they died. And now they're gone. It's just so sad.

Please just pray.

Just Scroll


Hey, everybody! (I think that's a new record for how long I've been gone... especially without guest posters.... hm.... sorry about that...) Anyway, so what's been up for you? Well, my pinterest's acting up funny (I had like 190 some followers and followed like 90 some boards, and now suddenly they're saying I have 137 followers and only follow 75 boards?? Anyway... at least they haven't taken away my pins =P) and I forgot my password for it, so I went and had they send me an email. (It's on my design email, so once I'm done posting I'll go and get that all figured out.)

So. I got my brace back!!! YES. I was so happy. :) I am now back in business therapy wise. I think I've been doing it for three days now... :) I was so happy to see the lovely neon yellowness. :) (And it look like normal, all the dents and scratches and anything--proof that they'd only just fixed the part that had broken and hadn't given me a new one. :) [and, yes, I did just say scratches and dents. Am I little violent with it? Hmm....])

I'm wanting to get some changes on here.... well, truth is, I need more time. In the real world. I've been devoting a lot of time to posting, commenting, designing, etc. and really need to relax a little bit with it. (Which sounds kind of sad. Don't worry, blogs will not be deleted or abandoned in this process. And neither will I.) I'll tell you guys more about the changes later.... In an official post. :) Just wanted to give a heads up that new things are coming our way...

Guess what! OK, so, I was looking through this cookbook (I can't remember if I was handed it or if I picked it up, I'm thinking that my mom handed it to me) that like came in the mail (so more like a cook magazine??) and there were all of these great recipes that we would never normally try (we're kind of like tried and true people usually when it comes to food) and I was like, "Mom! We should do a home ec class at home!" (I said something of the sort, at least...) So, hopefully starting Monday, we're going to be having a home ec class. My idea was that we could pick a recipe that we'd never tried before, and if it was a full meal then we could make it for supper and if it was like a dessert then we could just make that for supper's dessert. I can't believe I'm getting this excited about this.... about cooking... I usually don't, but this seemed like a really good idea. :) What do you guys think? :)

Christmas is like a month away. I'm already thinking about presents. Sometimes it's like so hard to get something for somebody. For some people in my family, I like don't even know what to get them. Do you guys have people like that in your family? Hmm. Maybe I'll just get them a new shirt and a pack of their favorite candy.... lol :D Have any of you guys done Christmas shopping yet? :)

Oh yeah... a new design's going to be coming up here soon! :) (I'm hoping. Before the new posting stuff thingy maggigy.) :) Just as a little heads up. :)

Have a great day! God bless! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. Simple is beautiful. So is complicated. Which is your fave? :)

Guess What...!

via
First off... God gave us a new car! Isn't that so amazing?! This is just... it makes my brain just like shriek, "THAT'S SO SWEET!" every time I think about it. *sniff sniff* It's just so great... Because of all of the extra travel that we've had to do for my dad's cancer and everything, this car is a really precious gift. <3

And guess what else?! My brace is fixed! YES. YESYESYESYESYESYES!!!! I think we're picking it up today. YAY! :) I'm so excited. I've missed it. My friend, whenever she's not running, always says that she feels so fat. (To which I'm always like, "You're like way not fat...") Now I think I understand. I. WANT. TO. DO. THERAPY!!! Wow, never thought I'd hear that out of myself. =P lol Anybody else like exercising? Like actually? :)

And guess what ELSE?! I'm going to be in a play!!! YES. :D My friend wrote it, and she did a really great job. It's just a cute little skit for a Christmas cantata in our town. I'm the main character, and I don't know the real meaning of Christmas. (Jesus.) It's pretty funny. My character's kind of a brat, but she gets lots of awesome emotions. :D (No crying, thank goodness.) And of course she changes. So that's really fun. We did our first practice last night. I've started memorizing my lines this morning. We have about three more weeks (but it's just with our youth group, so we only get like three official practices because we're doing it at youth group), but knowing me, if I don't start practicing it's never going to get done. =P Thankfully, it's not like a huge load of lines, so hopefully I'll be able to manage it. :)

And GUESS WHAT!!!!! :D (lol how many more can I do?? =P) It's snowing outside! Like the pretty big flakes, too. And slowly, like on a Christmas card. #love <3 The trees are starting to get covered, and the ground is still visible, but it's beautiful. <3 This morning we had some fog, which I got to walk through to the barn, and then it turned to snow. Sometimes I just love the weather where I live... <3

And now. Ladies and gentleman. THE COFFEE CUP... >>



By the way, please don't pin these. Thanks! :)
Well, I know somebody who didn't think it was that cute, but since I don't drink coffee and I just had cocoa in it, I thought it was pretty cool. (Like out of a book or something...) I also loved the straw. (Does anybody else like straws?? I mean, really, they're so fun...!!!) Anyway.

Don't pin these either, please...
The other day, I also made Mac'n'Cheese. (I obviously had some free time. lol) Actually, I think it was quite awhile ago now. I just never made a post about it. And then I saw it on the camera and was like, "Whatever! Let's do this thing!" haha =D

Or this one...
IN CONCLUSION. I love the movie Rudy. I know there's some bad words and stuff, but it just makes me want to cry... like every time... not to mention the person who acts Rudy acts the beloved Sam[wise Gamgee].... oh my gosh.... *sniff sniff* (Sorry, but whoever he [I think the actor's name is Sean Astin] always makes me want to cry. Anyway.) I also love the new Persuasion movie by BBC. (With Sally Hawkins [I believe] as Anne Elliot.) Oh my word. The photography's great--I love it. (And seriously, whats-his-face is a total jerk to her in the beginning.) That movie makes me want to cry, too. (I'm starting to see a theme here... crying=loving the movie [??]).

Anyway, hope you all have a great day! :) God bless! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. Brownie points to my friend who straightened my hair the other day. YOU. ARE. AWESOME. High five, girl.

Is makeup... bad?


I know this is something that's talked about a lot between/to Christian girls. I know when I was younger, I thought like makeup was evil. Like, "*gasp* OH MY GOSH THEY'RE WEARING MAKEUP!!!" That's when I was younger.

Now, I don't think makeup's bad. I think it can be really good and enhance your features. Sometimes you might just want to look a little nicer--like for church or a special presentation or something. Is that bad? No. I think that what's really happened is that we haven't realized our motives for wearing makeup.

If somebody's wearing it for like wrong reasons--like if makeup's an idol for them--then that's not good. (And I personally don't like a lot of makeup. But that's just personal preference.) But it's not bad to enhance your features and look your best for something. I think that if makeup is as stumbling block for somebody, they need to go to God with that.

A lot of Christians would to the verses in 1 Timothy where they talk about it how your beauty shouldn't be external but internal.
I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. ~1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NIV)
Or in 1 Peter.
Your adornment must not be merely external-- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses. ~1 Peter 3:3 (NASB)
Well, first off, it doesn't even mention makeup... and even if it did, does that mean that we can't ever braid our hair? I know a lot of Christian girls who wear braids. And dresses? Do we have to wear jeans to church? Or gold jewelry. We can't wear gold crosses? Or anything gold?

These scriptures aren't saying that you can't ever wear dresses or wear jewelry or braids or makeup; it's saying that your beauty shouldn't come from that. It's fine to look nice, to look pretty. But you want your beauty to come from a beautiful heart in tune with God. That's where the real beauty comes from.

If makeup still bothers you, you might decide never to wear it. And it's not bad not to wear makeup, either! It's a personal choice, one that should be made by you and your parents with the guidance of God.

Have a lovely day. :) God bless. :)

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. I'm hoping to show that coffee cup soon, and some other pictures and an update on some exciting new things... :)

My Adventure(s)


Two days ago
November 6, 2013

I'd only been to the emergency room once before, and that was during a simulation: nobody had gotten hurt; we'd all walked out of there fine that night, glad to have helped the hospital practice and thinking it was kind of fine to ride in an ambulance. But this time was real.

My mom pulled up to the curb and we all got out, heading for the door with the red sign "Emergency" over it. We went through the sliding doors and quickly told the people what was going on. My dad had been supposed to keep a certain medicine down, but he'd thrown it up. He had to come and get it through an IV now.

We were told to sit and wait. Some kind of crime show was on the TV, but I didn't recognize it. I glanced around the room, wondering what other people were here for. Had somebody almost died? Had a heart attack? I wasn't exactly afraid for my dad's health, but I was scared--what would have happened if we hadn't gotten here? I wasn't sure. The thought scared me.

I heard the people around us. Some of the people were coming together in a group, asking over and over, "How is he? How is he?" A little child clung to what I supposed was their mother crying while the mother told them, "He's going to be alright!" I felt scared for them. Who was "he"? What had happened? Was he going to be alright? From what I could catch, it sounded like he'd broken his leg. I hoped he'd be OK. I sent up a prayer for those people.

We finally went back, where my dad's blood pressure got tested. At least, that's what I think it was. I wasn't quite sure. The woman was entering Dad's information in, Mom helping her. I stood off to the side, feeling in the way and not helpful. I held my dad's coats and got him another one of the puke bags hanging in a dispenser on the wall.

"There's a flu going around back there," the woman told us something of the kind. She glanced at Dad. "You might want to put that back on." She pointed to his surgical mask that he's been wearing to keep from getting sick. Dad quickly slipped it up.

They put Dad in a wheel chair and took him down the hallways. They'd said they wanted him in a room with a door, but that the one that they wanted was being cleaned by the house cleaning people. Instead, we were put in a good-sized room with a curtain instead of a door. Dad was put on the bed and put on a hospital gown.

There was some confusion about the medicine he was supposed to take. It was only for cancer patients, and my dad has a pretty rare type of cancer. The people down there hadn't worked with it--ever. If it hadn't been for a pharmacists, he might've never gotten what he needed.

This all started around nine o'clock. I was tired as it was. But when my mom told me that we might have to go to the hospital that night, while we were still in the hotel watching TV, I'd told her I wanted to come--I didn't want to be left by myself there. And I wanted to know what would happen. So I'd slipped on a sweatshirt and sweatpants over my pajamas and put on my Bearpaw boots and braided my hair.

Now I was sitting in not the most comfortable of chairs in Dad's room, feeling more and more exhausted by the moment. I tried sleeping, but it just wasn't working. (I just couldn't get comfortable. It was awful.) Not to mention I was dying of thirst. I felt like my throat was shrieking at me. Dad started sleeping with the IV in his arm while Mom did some stuff on the kindle. There was a TV, but we hadn't turned it on--I supposed that was because we didn't want to wake up Dad. I understood. I was just and bored. Really tired and bored.

You know that feeling when you're really tired but you can't get to sleep, and your head's hurting like crazy, and you're starting to feel a tad bit moody, because you're just so tired and suddenly wish you could even just sleep on the floor? Add that in with a horrible thirst and fear and you'd have about what I was feeling like. =P

The nurses came in and out, doing different stuff--first putting in the IV, then I think giving him a shot of some kind, then talking to Mom, etc. It was rather confusing. I finally ended up getting the kindle. Guess what I did? I went back through old posts on here, reading things and smiling at your lovely words you left me and showing my mom funny things. I also went and played this like matching game on the kindle. At least it kept me awake.

Mom asked if we could have some water (because we found out that both of us were dying of thirst) and this really nice nurse went and got us some ice water. I just about hugged somebody.

We stayed for what seemed like just about forever. Finally, at like 1:30 in the morning of November 7th, we finally got to leave. I started falling asleep on the way over. We got to the hotel and I literally like fell on the bed and went to sleep.

I woke up the next morning and found out that my mom wasn't there--she was in the hospital. She'd driven to the emergency room about 3:00 that morning because she'd thought she was having a heart attack. I was scared--really scared. What was going to happen? Why did this have to happen now? We had some friends living in the same town as the hospital and they drove us over so that Dad could have his last round of chemo. We didn't know anything for what seemed like forever.

And then guess what?

My mom walked through the door.

She hadn't had a heart attack, just like extreme stress. She now has to take this special medicine whenever she feels like that again. I was filled with relief. She was alright. We could do this. We were all going to be alright.

We spent the rest of the day at chemo and then went back to the hotel. I had another great night's sleep, thanks to my exhaustion.

And then this morning, November 8th. Dad just had one more shot, and then we could go home. I was so excited. We'd planned originally on going home on Thursday (yesterday) night, but had had to stay because of Dad's emergency room visit. (And I believe some other stuff.) And guess what else?

We hadn't been able to go and see about the cello because we were so busy with everything else. Finally, today, we got to go and see the cellos. I was so excited. We pulled into the parking lot and went through the door. The music shop that we went to? We've been there before. But this time, unlike the other times, I was looking around for cellos. I spotted some, but I was pretty sure they weren't the ones that we were looking for--Mom had gone to their website and saw this thing about renting cellos. These ones were for sale.

The lady came out with a cello for rent and we went into another room. She talked to us about it and how to hold it. It was so beautiful. She showed me how to hold the cello--I felt like I was hugging somebody or something, except different. I've only ever played the piano before (and killed myself briefly on guitar strings), so it was so strange and beautiful and wonderful all at the same time when she handed me the cello's bow. She showed me how to hold it--I'm pretty sure I didn't get it quite right--and then showed me how to play it on the cello.

I was kind of expecting the slightly shrill voice of the violin when you first play, and how that doesn't sound the greatest. But no. I pushed the bow over the strings, and this beautiful sound came out. I couldn't believe that I was making it. It was so amazing! Mom and the woman talked while I just pushed it back and forth, just getting used to it, not playing any notes. Then Mom tried. She told me later it was like her heart beat slowed and she could finally relax.

We didn't buy the cell or start renting it today--that was never our plan. (Though my mom told me she was sorely tempted. So was I. It was an amazing instrument, and I almost started thinking, "This is mine.") But we're planning on going back in January to rent one. I'm so excited. This is what I want. I love the piano, but not like this. I love the cello--the sound, the look, the way you play it. I don't know everything, obviously, and it's going to be hard, and I'm going to have to learn a lot and be patient and everything. But I want to. I want to. I love the cello.

This is has been rather crazy, but it's been my last few days. Thank you so much to everybody who's been praying for us. <3 It's so amazing. <3 God bless you guys. <3

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. At the hotel I was at, they had the cutest little hot chocolate cups. I'm hoping to show you a picture soon. :)

Whoa (just read)

Hiya.

So, I'm sitting in a chair in a hospital-type building somewhere where you will probably never be at a strange and different computer writing a post and hoping nobody's looking over my shoulder. (Is there anybody? *checks* Nope. OK, good, let's continue.. >>)

So my dad has needed some more chemo because of his cancer, so that's what we're doing here. I was going to actually write a post yesterday but didn't get around to it... =P (That TV was quite diverting... as was my work that I had to do.)

Anyway, guess what? Yesterday my mom was a sweetie and took me out to Wendy's. (It tasted really good, despite the fact that my mom's pancakes are thicker then their hamburgers.... at least the hamburger I got... lol) And then last night we went to a buffet. (I'm serious, I think the only time I've ever felt like a pig is at a buffet... seriously! I mean usually it's like "don't take too much, everybody else wants some" but at a buffet?! It's all like "eat up!" [I seriously felt like a pig though.])

Thanks so much for everybody who decided to do #letsmakethemsmile with me. It just made me smile as I read all of your comments on the kindle. (Yeah, I swiped it for a few moments yesterday...) It was just so sweet. (But as I'm on like a strange computer, I'm probably not going to be commenting on your blogs. Like... for several days. *bad me!* Can't even do my own resolution. =P [Well, normally I would. This is like kind of out of the ordinary...]) But thanks so much for everybody who's doing that. It's just so awesome. <3

I have a question... does anybody else like/watch NCIS? (I know some of the stuff isn't the greatest, but we just skip it/look away/etc.) And, come on, it's one of the most interesting things (I think) on TVs nowadays. (I actually looked it up on Wiki. It's like America's favorite TV show....[???] I mean, who knew, right?!) It's like either that or Disney Channel, but my dad thinks it's kind of...um...not intelligent. Yeah.

Guess what! I'm pretty sure I'm going to be checking out cellos today! I'm really excited. We're just looking for rentals, of course, because we're not quite sure if it's all going to work out. But I'm seriously excited. I just love the sound of the cello. It's so beautiful. <3 (It's OK if you think it's ugly. I understand. I don't like harmonicas. =P [or horns, really...])

Yesterday, my mom and I were getting some games on the kindle. Very interesting. Believe it or not, she likes Star Wars Angry Birds. (This is me: ??) It's kind of funny, because I thought the game was really boring. =P But she likes it for the challenge. (She's good at that kind of stuff.) I was the one who saw the hunting game and got it installed for free and was laughing while I killed the deer. =P Oh dear, me... (Actually, my mom ended up liking that game, too, and I'm pretty sure she's now way ahead of where I was.)

Guess what. I broke my brace. It was on accident, yes, but I did it. Actually, it wasn't even my fault. I was just pulling it on and it... broke. Wow. Yeah. So now I can't use it, which means no running, jumping, etc. I miss my brace. A lot. (I promise I won't break down crying on you. JK :D)

Anyway, I suppose I should get going. God bless! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. Last night we watched Hogan's Heroes. Oh dear.... :D

Let's Make Them Smile


I have some of the most amazing blogger friends in the world, some of whom I don't know what they look like, maybe don't know their real name, and don't know where they live. But there's something that connects us. We're friends. We have smiles, laughs, and beautiful words that we share together on our blogs. It's a kind of bond that's different from anything else.

I think sometimes we don't appreciate these awesome people enough. There's so many there for me... I can't even mention them all. Everyone always surprises me with their kindnesses. And I just wanna say... you're all amazing. You're all the most amazing people in the world. God's used you in such amazing ways in my life. I love being here with you. I love talking to you. I love reading your words and replying. It's just something that I love so much.

This month, this November, I've heard people talking about counting one thing that they're thankful for every day. That's a lovely thing. But what if, along with that, we made a sort of resolution.

Up until Thanksgiving, let's comment on every blog post that shows up on dashboards. (Unless it's like offensive or something to you in some way.) Let's show those people who have been so amazing to us just how amazing they are.

I think that sometimes we get caught up and just treat one person that they're the most amazing person ever, you know? It's really hard being on the other end of that, I know from personal experience. It just makes me think, "Oh, great, so I guess I'm chopped liver." And the truth is... everyone is amazing in their own special way. We don't have to feel bad. Blogging isn't about getting followers, getting comments... it's about sharing and making friends and being the person that God calls you to be. Some people who have like 5 or 10 followers have the most amazing words. Just because you don't get comments doesn't mean you're not read or that you don't have good things to say. You're all special. You're all amazing.

So, this month, let's spread the love. Hashtag #letsmakethemsmile in a comment below if you're with me.

Let's make them smile. :)

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. You all make me smile.

November+

made my moi. [photo from here]
I can't believe it's already November. It seems like October was like really long and the rest of the months just sped past. Soon enough, it's going to be December, and then Christmas, and then New Years, and then... *gasp* 2014. DOES THAT JUST SOUND OLD TO ME?! OR DOES 2014 MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'VE JUST BEEN SENT INTO THE FUTURE BY TIME TRAVEL?! OK, ANNA, YOU CAN DO THIS... breath deeply, breath deeply. DON'T. FREAK. OUT.

But seriously. Like... that's really old. (Though I do admit 2013's sounding just a tad bit old. Like there was this car commercial on the TV saying "2013 model!" and I found myself thinking, "That's like last year's... oh, wait..." *face palm*) It makes me a little freaked out. Like... I'm getting older, too. So much has happened this year that it's crazy almost. Like seriously.

I tore my ACL in March. That's when I first started to realize that big things don't just happen in books. Then I realized that that person was actually moving on. And then my dad got cancer. (I didn't do an official post about it, I don't believe, but just put it on the prayer requests.) It's... it's been hard. With my dad's cancer, our lives have kind of been thrown upside down. We've had to go to places we would've never been to if this hadn't happened, we had to have experiences that we would've never had... I even went with my parents when we were gone away from our home for a month, and suddenly I felt like what it was like to be the new girl again. It was so... strange. Everything was strange. 2013 is a year of change for me and my family.

What does 2013 signify for you?

OK, guess what. I didn't write anymore on the Unusuals, but now I know KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO DO NEXT!!!!!! YES!!!!! :D That's because I went back through like ALL OF THE FOUR OTHER BOOKS (no joke) to make sure that my hunch was right. (It was wrong, by the way.) So today was really a researching today, mostly. And believe me, it was FULL of laughs. =D I actually laughed out loud several times... like with D and Josh?... don't even get me started... lol :D

Guess what? I'm going to be checking out cellos in just a little bit! I'm pretty excited. If you didn't know, I got hooked on the sound of the cello from ThePianoGuys, and I just love the sound and the instrument so much. My mom loved it, too, and was really open to looking into getting a rented cello for the both of us to learn to play. We got some books and are looking around for maybe a teacher, too. (The books are self-teaching, but it's always good to have a real person who you can ask things and such.) I'm really excited about checking out the cello. I've heard that they all sound different and look different, which makes sense, and that sometimes people want prettier ones or better-sounding ones etc. I was just like, "I don't care what it looks like, I want it to sound awesome!" That's me for you... lol Anyway, I'm really excited about checking out the cellos. #excitementlevelover9000 :)

Do you play an instrument? What's your fave?

I have a question--so, has anybody else ever read the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series? I read like all of the story ones and got stuck on the first history one. =P (Seriously, owl history is boring. Sorry... No offense to the author--she's really good.) But the rest of them were pretty interesting. I haven't read them in what seems like forever. I remember that the main character was called Soren and that they always said, "Goodlight," when they went to sleep instead of "Goodnight" because, like, they're owls and so they sleep in the daytime instead of night. =P Anyway, if you have read them (or... if you haven't), did you know they made a movie?! I found out about it when it first came out, and watched it when my library got it. Seriously, I don't really remember about really anything that happens in the movie, except for the fact that they combined several books and revealed a big secret from the books.... (no spoilers here! ;)) I'm going to watch it tonight. #hopeful #hopeitsgood

Anyway, have a great day! God bless! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. My friend is awesome. She gave me some nacho cheese and chips. #yum

#likeaboss


Last night, there was a centipede on the wall, and my friend grabbed a book and killed it. #likeaboss (It was actually funnier then it sounds. Let me explain the story.)

It was pretty late at night and my friend was going down the hallway to change into pajamas when I was made aware by her (there was no shrieking, I promise ;D) that there was... a bug... of some kind... ON THE WALL. The way she said it made me think of spider so I was immediately like "Where? Where is it?!" She just calmly goes into my room and starts looking for the perfect book along the row of books lined up on my shelf. "It's a centipede," she explained grimly. I glanced down the hallway and saw she was right. She comes out and carefully made her way down the hallway. I could see the little bugger--he was gross. And then, with the stealth of a ninja, she smashed it. "Oh yeah," we joked. "Like a boss." (Something of the sort was said. You must realize I don't have a perfect memory. lol)

On a different note...

I WROTE ON THE UNUSUALS TODAY!!!!!! (*pats self on back* JK haha :D) Was a group effort, of course, between my artistic side, my Unusual side, and my brain, who had lots of ideas of its own. I'm thinking that maybe Jenny and Hannah would be the main characters in the next book...? Not quite sure. I'm hoping to introduce several new characters soon.... (coughcoughAutumnClaireChristinaLaylaAbilaineGracepossiblyseveralotherscoughcough) I'm having way too much fun doing all of these awesome plot twists. mahahahahahaha!!!!! :D Ahem. ANYWAY.

Hope you guys are all having a great day! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. My mom does an epic matchmaker-from-Mulan imitation. EPIC.

P.P.S. I seriously went through at least three different pictures for this post. Strange...

Updates and a Surprise :)


Have you ever felt like there's so much information and work and everything your head's just going to about explode?? Yeah, I felt like that yesterday. (I believe it was. Or maybe it was the day before that. Let's just say recently, OK, and call it quits...) It's just like that moment when you want to pull your hair out and scream because your mind becomes overloaded and there's that horrible thought of I still have lot a million more things to do. Ugh, I hate that feeling with a really big passion. (It makes me want to scream. Really. And pull my hair out. And maybe even throw a book across the room. OK, I wouldn't do that, but seriously...)

I have a question--is anybody else studying Spanish? Seriously, isn't it one of the most confusing languages in the history of the world?? Well, probably not, but it's the only language I've ever had to learn. (Other then English. But... um... yeah. I grew up speaking that. So.) Sometimes it's really really REALLY confusing... let's just say I'm not gifted at languages like some people. =P

I haven't been writing lately like at all. Not because I don't have ideas and stuff. Mostly because 1) my mind's been kind of in a crazy whirling mess, 2) my new idea that's only part of an idea's killing me, and 3) I really want to write more on the Unusuals but I'm trying to figure out where they're supposed to go next to get to THE FINALE. (Yes, I do know what's going to happen. Yay me! By the way, I have over 100 [small] pages on it, and I've made all of the books [so far] exactly 303, so we're kind of like one third of the way there. Cool, right? I'm excited. It's going to be great. [I added some really funny parts. hehe Come on, there's got to be some perks with having Madeline the defense girl narrating part of it, right? ;)]) I'm excited. =D

I've been a happy little designer lately. Mostly because I've been coming up with some stuff that I'm really loving. :) (It's OK if you guys don't like it, I just happen to personal be loving all of this...) OH MY GOODNESS, I ALMOST FORGOT! Gee, I can't believe I forgot this... practically the whole reason I'm writing this post in the first place... *face palm*

OK, guess what? I've finally made an official designing site instead of just a page! Go and check out Hero Coding & Design! (And as always, all my designs are free. I'd love to have you go and order a package! :)) I was really happy with how I managed to make it look. I seriously had barely any idea about how I wanted the site to look. Then it just sort of... fell together. :) Hope you guys like it! :) (By the way, this is the "surprise" mentioned in the post title. :))

OK, after you read/comment/whatever you're going to do on this post, you've got to check this song out by ThePianoGuys! IT'S SO AWESOME! :D

Be amazingly awesome was usual! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

P.S. The publishing company that I sent Rubberboot Girl still hasn't replied, but I have hope. :) Have any of you guys sent out query letters yet? :)

Back to the Stone Age [hardly]

Yes, I'm exaggerating a bit. =P (I tend to do that quite often. A rather bad habit of mine. But I'm catching it more often now. So that's good.) So, guess what? Our kitchen sink is leaking. Like big time-o baddo. As in we had to order a new one. Soooo... the old one's out of commission. Which means we have to haul water from the laundry room tub sink and pour it into the kitchen sink.

I don't know how many times in the past few days I keep on reaching for the handle of the sink in the kitchen to turn it on for a drink of water and then saw it wasn't there. I'm seriously starting to think that I took our poor old sink for granted...

Hauling the water's not as bad as it sounds. It's just kind of funny because I'd never thought I'd be doing that, you know? I'd never really thought about our sink going out... until... it did... anyway....

It reminded me of the pioneer days when they all had to haul all of that water for washing and everything. OH. MY. WORD. I seriously seriously SERIOUSLY think that we just often take for granted the modern conveniences that we have. Like SERIOUSLY.

(I'll save you from hearing me say "seriously" again in the same paragraph. :D)

Anyway...

I feel like lately I haven't been talking to you guys like I normally do, you know? Well, I mean, kind of. I feel like I haven't just been... I don't know. It's kind of confusing. I haven't felt like my normal bloggie self. Sorry if I've been really boring or something. =P That short story that I did like two posts back just made me realize how much I miss doing short stories. I think I want to bring those back. AND QUIZZES. I MUST BRING THOSE BACK. (Just because I like taking them and I know you guys have liked them in the past. :))

I feel like lately I've been mostly talking about just the huge conflict in my feelings and everything. And, really, that's been my life lately. (Rather crazy.) But I think I'm wanting to be more positive. I mean, like at least on here. I don't know. Like just be my crazy self. (Yes, it has been stashed away for awhile. My more serious self was hoping it was gone for forever. JK) And use caps when I'm really excited. And use a million exclamation points. And do smileys and all sorts of crazy stuff. Because, really, that's what I'm more like if you know me. (At least, that's what I get from myself.... anyway)

I'd love to hear what's happening in your life. Like I don't care... leave me a link to your post or something. Pour out what's going on. Give me something to put on the prayer list. Whatever you want to do, I would love. Because I really love connecting with you guys. I love hearing about your lives and what God's doing. Because that's just amazing.

I'm off rambling again. Well, I do ramble a lot. At least my thoughts ramble a lot. I'm serious. And when I talk to myself...? Don't even get me started. lol

Anyway, hope you guys all have a great day and God bless! :)

Be a hero,
Anna

lately || in lesser words


having
the most confused thoughts of the century
doubts about myself
turmoils inside of me that i can't explain
things that i need to work through
to have God's peace
to realize that i'm not going to die because of one stupid mistake

listening to
lots of lovely songs by leah
"what makes you beautiful" version by thepianoguys [x]
"desert symphony" by thepianoguys [x]
(let's just assume i'm listening a lot to thepianoguys, hmm?)
songs i've heard a million times but this time in my head

reading
strange case of dr. jekyll and mr. hyde by robert louis stevenson
the land of stories: the enchantress returns by chris colfer
the hypnotists by gordon korman
jack and jill by louisa may alcott

realizing
that God's always going to be there for me
that i can be alright
that there's a plan for me
that there's a hope

hoping
that everything's going to be alright
that my dad's going to get better from cancer
that i can just let everything go
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death." ~Romans 8:1-2
live freely, smile often, laugh long.
~anna

Buried Pieces of Paper

i watched the girl through the window as she walked along the border of the stone fence separating the two pastures. her long brown hair went down in waves to her middle. she was tall for her age, almost as tall as i was, and skinny. i'd been watching her for the last few days. as she had done before, she walked down to the end of the wall and jumped over, walking along the road that went through my grandparents' land towards the edge of the woods at the country road. as before, she got down on her knees, despite her dress, and started digging. i watched, as transfixed as before. just like before, she took out a little piece of paper and, with a pained look on her face, wrote something on it and then buried it on the ground, covering it with the dirt until it looked like nothing had happened there. then, with a wan smile on her face, she started skipping back towards the wall, despite the fact that she seemed too old for skipping. she jumped over the wall again and walked back through the field and out of sight.

"who is that girl?" i'd asked my grandparents when i'd first seen her.

"hmm? oh, that's ami," my grandmother had replied. "pretty girl, isn't she? she's our neighbor's daughter."

"why does she always bury something in the ground by the woods?" i questioned.

"i don't know," shrugged my grandfather. "she's just always done that."

"we should dig them up," i suggested.

"no," they both cried at the same time.

i stared at them. "why ever not?"

"chris, whatever it is, it's not for our eyes," my grandmother pointed out. "she hasn't shared it with us, so it's not of our business. promise me you won't dig them up?"

"promise," i told them, though i didn't want to.

one year later

ami and i were good friends. i'd finally met her one day, when they were over for dinner. at first it was kind of awkward, but then it was alright and we could just be normal around each other. we had gotten to know each other pretty well. we could always tell when something was bothering the other person. we always talked to each other about these things, and about our hopes and dreams.

one day, i asked her about the papers.

"i remember when i used to watch you go to the woods and bury those papers," i started. "what did they say?"

my words made ami stop. i could see her lip quivering in fear. what had i done? what i had i said? what was wrong?

"you... you did?" she whispered.

i nodded. "yeah. what was that all about?"

she took a deep breath. "chris, you must promise never to tell anyone and never to open them up. do you promise?"

"i promise."

"i was burying my sins."

i stared at her. "what?"

she took another deep breath. "every time i remembered something bad i've done, instead of letting it haunt me, i wrote it down. and then i buried them. Jesus had paid for them, and they were dead. gone. that's why i buried them. it helped me, you know?" she gave me a shaky smile. "i'm still healing, though. but it's working. God's working. in me."

i slowly nodded. "alright. what made you think of doing that?"

"God," she told me immediately. "through my mom. she suggested it. but i know God was the one who told her. she said that some people can just mentally put them in a box and bury them. but for me, i really needed to bury them."

i smiled at her. "whatever happens, ami, whatever you've done, whatever's happening right now, i'll always be there for you."

she smiled. "i know. and i'll always be there for you, too."

we held hands--not awkwardly, but as friends, thirteen year old friends--and walked down the road together... skipping.
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