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! ❤

Sapping {Part Two}

Hello, friends!

I hope you are all having a lovely week! Today, I bring you the next part in my tapping trees series. If you missed part one, you can check it out right here.

(This post is shorter than usual to due to some internet problems. That is also why this post is out on Monday instead of Friday. )

Once we tap the trees, we have to do multiple rounds of collecting each week. We usually go up two-three times a week and bring buckets of sap down.

We first run around checking buckets in our main grove and seeing which ones have sap in them. Zekey is over heading over to check buckets in this picture.

Once we check the buckets, we bring new (empty) buckets over and pull the full buckets off the trees.

Then, we pour the sap into an empty bucket.

Once it’s in, we put a lid on it and carry it over to the Ranger. (Before we had our Ranger, we would carry all the buckets down the hill.)

From there, we load up the buckets and repeat with each of the trees.

One evening, we went collecting right as the sun was setting, it was so pretty! I love how the sun is shining through the trees here.

And also, this one! All the pine-trees make it even more beautiful. ❤

Once we’re done with the collecting, we drive all the buckets down in the Ranger and bring them into the mudroom, where we have our Reverse Osmosis (RO) set up. And for this part, we have a video! It’s not the greatest, but you get the picture from watching it. So here it is!

Did you enjoy the video? I hope it was interesting and made sense. =D The reverse osmosis process removes about half of the water from the sap. Typically in reverse osmosis one would want to keep the clear freshwater, but in our case, we want to keep the sweet more concentrated sap instead.

After we run it through the RO, we bring it back outside to the boiler. The sap sits in a large pan (about 3 feet by 3 feet and 12 inches deep) on top of the stove. We boil the sap so it lets out steam for the sugar content to increase and the water content to decrease. It takes about 35-40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.

It takes a LOT of wood, so dad and the twins were splitting it while we were boiling.

We keep adding sap to the boiler as it boils to continue the process of removing water. We boiled for about 13 hours to boil around 80 gallons of sap into about 4 gallons of syrup. (The RO removed the first 80 gallons of water for us.)

And we’re going to stop there! In the next post in this series, I’ll share the bottling and finishing process, as well as the sign-up for the giveaway. Expect that in the next two or three weeks!

What’s your favorite thing to put syrup on? Do you have any questions about the process?

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

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!