Lots of tags! {Catching up on blog tags}

Hello, my friends!

I’ve got a lot of blog tags to catch up on, and since I don’t want all of my posts to be tags, I thought I’d make a post combining all of them together. Along with some mossy-creek photos I took a few days ago.

Enjoy!

The Bookworm Tag!

I’ve actually been tagged twice for this, once by Joelle and then again by Anna. Thank you so much, girls!

The Rules:

  1. Thank and link the blogger who nominated you.  ✓
  2. Include the tag graphic in your post ✓
  3. Answer the ten questions the blogger asked ✓
  4. Nominate between five and ten bloggers ✓
  5. Ask your nominees ten book-related questions! ✓
  6. Don’t feel bound to these rules ✓
  7. (Most importantly) Have fun! ✓

**Note: I’m going to skip a few questions because I have so many other ones to answer, as well as just tag everyone at once at the end of the post.**

Paperback, hardback, audiobook, or ebook?

I love audiobooks, but hardback wins.

What is the ideal length of a series for you?

Mm, at least 12 books, maybe 15. But if it’s a series I love, there could never be enough.

What is a series you want to read that is high on your to-be-read list?

I really want to finish The Women of the West series by Janette Oke – I read the first book, but I haven’t read any of the other books in the series.

If you could choose five characters to put in a book together, who would they be and why?

Ooh, I love this question! Holly from Holly’s Heart, Jane from The Penderwicks, Emily from The Calling of Emily Evans, Claudia from From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and I’m not sure who else. That would be a very interesting, and chaotic book.

My Questions:

  • Has a book ever changed your life?
  • What’s your favorite genre to read?
  • What’s the first book you remember reading?
  • What’s your least favorite book?
  • Are there any books that are really popular but you dislike?
  • Are there any books that are considered terrible but are your secret pleasure?
  • What was the last book you read?
  • Do you have an all-time favorite book character?
  • How do you pick books to read?
  • How many books do read a month?

THe Never Have I ever Tag

Once again, Joelle tagged me again for this one – Thanks, Joelle!

To begin, the rules!

  • Link and thank the blogger who tagged you. ✓
  • Include the graphic somewhere in the post (or make your own!) ✓
  • Answer the questions truthfully and honestly. ✓
  • Tag 3 bloggers. ✓

Never have I ever. . .

STARTED A NOVEL THAT I DIDN’T FINISH.

Nope! Strange, but I have never done this. I always complete my projects for some reason – I can’t not finish them.

WRITTEN A STORY COMPLETELY BY HAND

Yes! I’ve done it multiple times actually, not a whole novel, but short stories. I used to draft a lot of my blog posts by hand too, but I’ve stopped doing that.

NOT RESEARCHED ANYTHING BEFORE STARTING A STORY.

*shakes head* I mainly write historical fiction. . . And bad things happen if you don’t research before you write a historical fiction story, so the answer is no. :’D

CHANGED MY PROTAGONIST’S NAME HALFWAY THROUGH A DRAFT

I’ve changed my whole cast of characters one time. 😛

WRITTEN A STORY IN A MONTH OR LESS.

I’ve done this! A lot of my stories I write in less than a month.

What writer doesn’t do that? So yes, I’ve done it a lot.

USED “I’M WRITING” AS AN EXCUSE.

So many times. 😜

PROCRASTINATED HOMEWORK BECAUSE I WANTED TO WRITE

Well, I’m homeschooled so I don’t really have homework, but I have written instead of doing school a few times.

Finished A Novel

Kind of? I mainly write middle-grade, so I have finished a novel for my standards, but an actual 50k novel, no. The closest I’ve come is 35K, but I’ve never actually aimed for 50K on a story.

The Sunshine Blogger Tag

This is the last one, I promise! Tasha nominated me for this, so thank you so much, Tasha. ❤

The rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog ✓
  • Answer the questions ✓
  • Nominate eleven bloggers and ask them eleven questions ✓

The Questions:

If you could spend a day with one author, who would it be?

Ooh, let’s go with Beverly Lewis. I love her writing.

You can go to any college or university all expenses paid, where are you going?

I don’t really want to go to college, I’m hoping to do the Author Conservatory instead, so I guess that if that counts.

What three books would you take to an abandoned island?

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke, and Holly’s Heart by Beverly Cleary.

Love triangles, yes or no?

No, When Calls the Heart taught me to hate love triangles.

Do you need sleep to function?

Yes, very much so. I have terrible days if I don’t get enough sleep.

The qUESTions

  • What website or app do you spend the most time on? 
  • Do you like car rides?
  • Can you drive/are you learning to drive/do you like driving?
  • Have you ever been unconscious before?
  • Favorite flower?
  • Do you like listening to music while studying or doing other things? If so, what kind?
  • What are your favorite girl or boy names?
  • What does your morning/evening routine look like?
  • What’s something you’re oddly passionate about?
  • Do you have any hidden talents?
  • Do you like listening to music while studying or doing other things? If so, what kind?

My Tags

We’ve made it to the end! Feel free to pick one of these tags to do, because I don’t expect you to do all of them, but you can if you want to, of course.

Thank you for reading, friends, and have a wonderful day!

Monthly Review: March 2022

Hello, friends!

**Please note that this post contains affiliate links — If you buy something from my link, the price won’t change for you but I’ll get a small commission and you get to support this blog for free!**

Happy April! Today, I bring you my Monthly Review for March. I hope you enjoy reading!

Writing

As writing goes, my friend Anna and I finished the project we’ve been working on for months now called Love Times Two – It’s a little over 10K, which was about the word count we were aiming for. As of right now, we’re working on editing. We may indie-publish it later down the road, but we’ll see. This project has been so much fun to write, and I am blessed to have such an amazing co-author. ❤

I’ve finally made some progress in my main work in progress (WIP), The Bensons – I’ve been trying to get the motivation to just sit down and write on this project, and I finally did that. I wrote almost 5K on it the past two weeks. (Which is a low word count for me, but I’m getting somewhere I think!)

I finished my article for The Young Writer Blog and submitted it! Right now, I’m just waiting for it to be published, I’m hoping it will be sometime this month, but we’ll see. That’s been a lot of fun and hard work to write, but I’ve really enjoyed the process.

That wraps up writing for this month!

Reading

I’ve done a lot of reading this month again; I just got some books from the Library too when my younger siblings went to get their library cards. A few of my favorite books from this month:

The Line Tender by Kate Allen

This book was amazing! A friend recommended it to me a few months ago, and I finally got around to reading it.

The wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

I had to read this for school; I was kind of dreading reading it because I haven’t enjoyed a lot of the books I’ve had to read this year, but wow. I was wrong! This book might be one of my new favorites, at least one of my favorite middle-grade mysteries. If you’re looking for another historical fiction, middle-grade mystery, this book is for you. I also really enjoyed the audiobook version of it too.

the teacher’s funeral by Richard Peck

This book was really hilarious in a lot of different ways, but with a good plot too. Like The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, I was not expecting to enjoy this, but once again, I surprised myself and I did! Apparently, I need to slow down in my judging books by their covers, yes?

Annie’s war by Jacqueline Levering Sullivan

I’m not yet finished with this one but I’ve really enjoyed it so far. It has a really interesting plot, and it carries an intriguing message. I’m really excited to finish it and see how it ends.

Doing

Goodness, a lot happened in March! A few highlights:

Our trip to Lutsen! This was a super fun trip, and it was such a blessing to be able to go and ski there again. You can check out my blog post on it if you want to hear about it more.

We also had our last ski trip of the season too! We snuck in one more trip the week after we went to Lutsen, it was so slushy; there were puddles at the end of a lot of the runs, but I guess that’s what it’s like when you ski in the Midwest in March. :p By the end of the day, we were skiing with no gloves – And Malachi and Tyler, our cousin, skied in short-sleeved shirts the whole day. It was so warm!

We made pretzels one afternoon which was quite fun! I’d been wanting to bake them again for a while, and I finally got my chance.

All the younger kids enjoyed helping roll them out and getting them into pretzel shapes.

Ahh, they turned out amazing! Some of them lost shape in the baking soda bath, but other than that, they were great. We used this recipe in case anyone is looking for a good pretzel recipe.

I’ve also helped a lot with tapping trees for making syrup! I’ve already done two posts on this, so I’m not going to go into detail. You can read Part One here, and Part Two here. (Keep an eye out for the third and final post coming up along with signs ups for the syrup give-away.)

It’s been awfully cold the past few days, we’ve gotten a lot of rain, snow, and hail, with few sunny days. One time we had all four of them together! The weather here can be so weird at times. But the cold weather hasn’t discouraged my younger siblings from getting out their bikes. I even have had to face the cold because I was so tired of being in the house all the time. So Mercy and I have taken a lot of walks, and there has been multiple soccer games and capture the flag too.

I wrote a lot of letters this month too, around 10 I think. I also got a second penpal too which is super fun.

I got a new set of watercolors too which have been a lot of fun to try out too. :’D

That’s about it! I ended up having a very busy March, hopefully, April will be slower, but I doubt that with Track starting up for my older siblings. 😜

How did your March go? Have you ever baked soft pretzels? What’s the weather like where you are, do you have Spring or are you still waiting?

Thanks so much for reading, friends! ❤

Photography Challenge: collab with Alicia

Hello, my friends!

For today’s post, I have a collab I am super excited about! A few weeks ago, I asked Alicia @ Alicia Marentette if she wanted to do a collab, and she agreed – We decided on doing a photography challenge where come up with a list of things to photograph, and share the photos! So that’s what I will be sharing today.

To get started, here’s a list of all the things we took photos of.

Time for the real photos now.

1. Spring

To be honest, I had a really hard time finding a photo in this category. Spring is not here yet; it’s been in the 30s all week, and it was hard finding something springy. But then, one of my younger siblings found this little bird’s nest on the ground. I definitely think of seeing birds building their nests as part of spring.

2. fLOWERs

Ooh, I love these flowers! It’s actually an old photo because as I mentioned above, we do not have any flowers blooming yet. It’s so pretty though!


3. Sunset

Mmm, this sunset is gorgeous. Sunsets are some of my favorite things as you have probably already figured out by now – I love the clouds in this one.

4. morning SKY

This is honestly one of my absolute favorite photos ever. ❤ It was such a beautiful (And early) morning to be out on the beach to see the sunrise. And the trees too.

5. Animal

This is from one of trips to Lutsen a few years ago. It was really neat being able to go that close to this seagull so we could get a picture. He was just sitting there on the railing while we were up looking at the view, and I just snapped a photo.

6. Colorful

I wasn’t sure what to use for this one; then my Mom had the idea to take the kids out to our monkey line that we all got our birthdays last summer and get a picture there. I love how it turned out, and it is definitely very colorful.

7. Clouds

I always love looking at clouds – One of my favorite things to do is just to lay down in the grass and stare up at the clouds. (When the grass is dry, and there are no siblings with soccer balls nearby that is.)

8. Books

I just got some new books from the library, and they were perfect to grab a picture of! Have you read any of these books?

9. RAIN

I’m not sure if this one counts. . .I realized too late that I didn’t have any photos of rain, so this was the closest I could come. It’s a mud puddle from when all of the snow melted and it rained, so I think it counts?

10. Roads

Ahh, I love this one! These two roads are glorious in the morning when the sun’s shining, and that morning was no different. I love the shadows especially.

12. Peaceful

Kook at water droplets coming off the wave. And even though I’ve said this multiple times about the photos in this post, I love this – Especially the icy/crystal look to the wave.

13. Artsy

I had a really hard time deciding what to use for this – Finally, after coming up with a bunch of ideas, but none of them seeming like they would fit, I decided to look up some inspiration. I found this photo of the ice on our creek melting, and it seemed to the fit the “artsy” look. What do you think? Is it artsy?

14. Water

I have so many favorite pictures of water that it took me a while to decide. But I picked this one because I love the lighthouse and the bridge.

15. Indoor

I LOVE the shadows and the light here.. One afternoon I noticed the hydrangeas shadows from the outside shining through the window, it was so pretty! This is probably my favorite indoor photo I’ve taken.

And that’s it for the day! Did you enjoy seeing all of these different photos? Which one was your favorite?

Before you go, make sure to check out Alicia’s post here.

Have a beautiful day, friends!

A Family Vacation at Lutsen

Hello, my friends!

Last week, my family and I went on a vacation to Lutsen, Minnesota to ski, enjoy God’s wonderful creation, and have a bit of an escape from everyday life. We had a lovely time and it was wonderful to ski up there again. Today, I’m going to be posting some of the photos I took, as well as a few of the adventures we had. It’s going to be quite a long post, so get ready!

We started the 7-8 hour trip off at 6 o’clock in the morning. We drove for about 15 minutes, and then we came across this sign and had to turn back around, because of water on the road. It had rained the night before and the rivers had escaped it’s banks.

After that little adventure, we were back on the road–backtracking our original route and going in the opposite direction and then finally getting headed on a road in the right direction that wasn’t flooded.

I loaned Zekey my pens, and notebook and he thoroughly enjoyed coloring, while all of the other kids slept.

After about 3 hours of driving, we stopped at a Kwik Trip to get gas, and grab some donuts for breakfast.

It was so foggy out! ^^

While we drove, I amused myself by finishing up a letter to one of my pen pals. A great way to make the time pass!

Once I finished my letter, I just sat and watched the scenery go by. Look at how tall this tree is.

We took our second stop at Olive Garden for lunch. We decided to get carry out to get back on the road faster. Eating in a car with 9 other people is a bit chaotic, but it was delicious.

Once we had finished lunch, we got right back to driving again. I’ve always loved driving through this city because of how much there is to look at it and you can see Lake Superior almost everywhere. We’ve only driven through a few times, so it’s always interesting and you are always seeing something new. We drove over this huge bridge which I thought was really cool!

There were all of these cute little cottages along the edge of the Lake.

Ooh, these factories are always something to see–Look at all cranes and that huge boat!

We always pass through this really neat tunnel called Silver Creek Cliff. (Wait, is that the name of the tunnel or the cliff? Maybe both. :’D)

The view from inside the tunnel

Once we were out of the city, and tunnel, the view isn’t as interesting. It’s wooded and you can see the lake occasionally through the trees. So, I got a turn with the iPad and read some of my friends’ blog posts that I’ve been meaning to catch up on.

After a bit, we could see the lake more! I love this picture! It’s a bit blurry, as a lot of the other ones are because I took these out the car window, but I do like it a lot still. It was so cloudy out!

Then, I worked on writing my blog post for that week!

Sorry for the terrible photo. 😦

At long last, we reached out destination, Lutsen Mountains!

Once we had checked in, we went to our condo and started unpacking. I took this random photo of lights, I LOVED the shadows//reflection it was making on the ceiling. Look at the trees!

After that, we ate supper, and then went ice skating! The rink was really nice, and it was really fun to skate since our town doesn’t have an ice rink anymore, and we haven’t tried skating on our pond yet.

It was so pretty down there! Look at all the lights!

There was also a fire going which was really nice since it was quite cold out.

Once we got on our skates, we all had to remember how to ice skate. Luke and Levi took a few spills before they caught on since they hadn’t skated every before.

I love this one of Jewel! She looks so happy. At first, she was very nervous, but the more we skated, she got a lot more confident.

We skated three times that trip! Everyone was too tired and it was too cold the last two nights we were there, so we didn’t skate those nights. Having the rink there was really fun since the other times we had come, it was a puddle!

We skied the next morning, and here is when the photos are in chronological order anymore. Mom wanted to get a picture like we do at the lake each year (Check out my “About” to see it!) I love how this one turned out.

Ahh, look at the view. It was glorious up there, God created a very beautiful world. ❤

The whole trip is quite exciting, but then there’s the gondola which adds to the excitement. It’s the only one in the Midwest too and it is the only way to get across from one mountain to the other, so we rode it at least once a day. It’s such a beautiful ride, but a bit terrifying at the beginning because it feels like you are about to drop down this cliff, but then you just coast along.

This one of Mal is probably one of my favorite photos out of this whole post. Dad wanted to try to get it with Malachi bending his skies, and I’d as he was successful. He thought it would be really fun to have the lake in the background.

Photo credit to Dad ^^

Aww, these shadows are so pretty! I believe I took them from on the gondola. They are a lot like the ones the light made on the ceiling.

One day in the late afternoon, Dad, Mercy, and I went out to get ice cream, and hopefully get some close-up photos of the lake. Getting the ice cream went fine, we stopped at this cute little general store that sold practically everything, from postcards to groceries, but getting the photos of the lake didn’t.

^^The ice cream

We wanted to go to the park we had been to the year before, but when we drove by, it wasn’t plowed at all and Dad didn’t want to risk getting stuck in there. So for about fifteen minutes, we drove looking for a place, and then once we found none, we decided to turn around. Well, apparently Minnesota doesn’t have many good side roads to turn around in, at least Hightway 61 North didn’t. We drive for a while longer and thought we were going to hit the Canadian Border before we were able to turn around.

Thankfully, we found a road to turn into, but that caused a bit more chaos. There was no dead end sign, but after about 10 minutes of just driving along, we started to wonder if it was a lane which mean it was a dead end. And of course, we didn’t have service so there was no way to look on Dad’s phone. But finally, the road ended, and we were able to get back onto the highway, and head toward the condo.

That was definitely a chaotic (and fun) adventure. Except I am a bit disappointed that we never got any pictures of the lake. Oh well, there was a pretty sunset to make up for it.

I also got post cards to send to my friends and penpals! I had a lot of fun writing them out.

Ooh, I love this sign! Moose Mountain is what one of the four mountains here is called.

The afternoon before we left, we drove up to the top of the mountain, and got a family picture. I also snapped these ones while we are there. The view was beautiful, and the ski was so blue. It almost blends in with the lake.

Ooh, you can see the gondala right there!

I love this one of the whole mountain.

This honestly doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the other photos, but there were these really pretty flowers in the snow by the top. I wonder what they look like in the summer when they are blooming and not brown and dry from winter.

We loaded up and headed home one morning at the end of the week after skiing in the morning. We were supposed to stop partway through the trip, and stay overnight so we could have more time to ski that day, but it was SO cold out that we decided not too, and just drive home. I don’t have a lot of pictures from the way home, but I do have a few.

We stopped at Olive Garden again and this time, went inside for lunch. It was really a nice way to end the trip. It was the first time we had really eaten inside a restaurant since the beginning of COVID and me and mom were wondering if any of the younger kids would remember how to eat in a a restaurant. But they did for the most part and they meal past uneventfully.

It was so sunny out and the lake was so pretty!

We drove by this really cool clock tower//building on the way home.

We had a beautiful sunset as the end of our trip set in. The last few hours of the trip seemed to go on forever, but we survived. We got a new audiobook(The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall. for anyone who’s wondering.) and listened to that. Eventually, all the younger kids fell asleep, and I tried to do some writing, but we had no service, so my document wouldn’t load. Then I just sat. We got home around 8:30-9ish, and went straight to bed.

It was a lovely trip, but I was ready to come home at the end. I am very thankful to God that we are able to go and ski. A nice break from what we usually do!

Have you ever been to Lutsen? Or rode a gondola? Or taken a long road trip? Have you read any of the Penderwick books? What did you think?

Thank you SO much for reading, friends, and have a wonderful day!

P.S. I’m getting very close to hitting 100 followers on my Newsletter! If you aren’t already subscribed, or just following through WordPress, I’d love to have you on board. You can join by signing up right here: https://thehomeschooledgirl.ck.page/0217c0cd50

Christmas blog tour stop #1: A Peek into the Ski Life in Photos

Hello, my friends!

If you saw the title, a few of my friends and I are doing a blog tour! We wanted to do it earlier, in December for Christmas, but the timing didn’t work out, but we decided to go ahead with it anyway. So here we are with a bit of Christmas in January. Check out the kick-off post by Bethany for more details.

(Also, the only day that worked for me was Wednesday, that’s why I didn’t post yesterday.)

And for my post, I decided to share a few photos from my family’s winter and ski trips. But let me give you some background before we start so you all know what this has to do with Christmas for my family and I.

About five years ago, my parents decided instead of giving us gifts/presents for Christmas, they would get us all skis and take us skiing every week. We’ve continued that tradition, and we’re very blessed to be able to ski every week. I have a pile of photos to show you all. I hope you enjoy it!

A fun ski picture well we are on the lift!

Here’s my little sister, and younger brother on one of the lifts! Aren’t they cute?

Ahh, this photo was taken a few years ago, I’m guessing on one of our ski trips up to Minnesota. I’m the girl in the blue, with my little sister, and older brother ahead of me.

Aww, I love this photo with the clouds and the shadows. I believe my older brother, sister, and I are on the lift, but I’m not 100 percent sure. It was taken a few years ago.

This isn’t necessarily a skiing photo, but it is one of one the mountains we visited so I believe it counts? I don’t know, but it is pretty.

Here’s me, my little sis, and my dad. I just realized how many times my little sister has popped up in these photos. She does love getting her picture taken. 😁

This one is just another pretty photo that we took while we were skiing.

I love how the sun reflects off the snow in this photo.

And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed seeing these photos, let me know in the comments, which photo was your favorite?

Make sure to follow the tour, check out tomorrow’s post on Bethany’s blog.

Thank you so much for reading!

5 Book Characters I would like to meet

Hello, my friends!

I’m back again, this time, with a bit of a funny post: Five book characters I would like to meet.

Anyway, it’s funny, but I thought it might be fun to do! So here we go.

Character #1: Caddie Woodlawn

Caddie and her siblings are a few of my favorite book characters to read about. One thing I enjoy, is most of the stories written in this fun novel are true. The fact that the story is set in Wisconsin makes it all the more relatable to a Midwestern girl like me. The first time I read Caddie, I was about her age, and her bravery and spunk impressed me. She was unique and blazed her own trail. I have no desire, to run wild with my brothers like Caddie did but I do love the idea of being free to be me and do things just how I want to (within God’s plan, of course.). As an author, Caddie Woodlawn inspires me to listen well and do my research because you never know when a good story from the past could become the inspiration next Newberry Medal Award Winner! It would be so fun to take a hike through Caddie’s woods with her and have her show me all the wonderful things she has discovered.

Character #2: Rosalind Penderwick

Rosalind Penderwick is an inspiring character. Her generosity and kindness to her sisters inspires me to be a better sister. Her care of Batty and concern for her comfort is impressive although it is always easiest to love the babies and get along with the little siblings. However, the way she gave Skye the perfect room (for Skye) in the first book really made an impact on me. I would love to have a cup of tea with Rosalind and chat about our siblings and all of her great vacations.

Character #3: The March Sisters

Another group of four sisters, but I haven’t even finished reading Little Women (Yes, shocking, I know, but I haven’t read it before. 😅) but I already know these sisters are going to be some of my favorites! However, if I had to pick just one I would pick Beth. She is so giving and generous. She is kind. Her musical ability is inspiring to me as I play the piano and would love to become an accomplished pianist. Finally, I appreciate her dream of just staying home. I think so often “big dreams” seem so desirable but wanting to stay close to home and take care of your parents is admirable. I would love to sit down at the piano and plunk away with Beth.

Character #4: Ramona Quimby

Ohhh, Ramona. One of my favorite characters that I’ve grown up reading about. I couldn’t leave her out this time. Ramona is so fun to watch grow up. She goes from being a wild child to thoughtful little girl as you read through all of her books. I imagine getting to know her more as the friend of one of my younger siblings. It would be fun to have Ramona over to do a craft project or maybe even decorate cookies. I think my younger siblings would love having Ramona as a friend.

Character #5: Holly Meridith

Holly is a bit less known book character, but she is one of my absolute favorite characters – Definitely a character I would like to run into on the street someday and if I did, I would invite her to chill at our local bakery and have a donut and coffee with me. Holly is dramatic which makes her so funny. She is also so relatable. Generally, she is a good friend and is willing to admit when she makes mistakes (after a while of course.). Oftentimes so many characters are perfect or too imperfect and Holly is the perfect in-between character- not too good and not bad either!

What are some of your favorite book characters? Let me know in the comments!